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Macrinus 217-218 AD Denarius
Marcus Opellius Macrinus was born in Caesarea in Mauretania around the year 165. He received an education that enabled him to rise high as a bureaucrat in the imperial service during the reign of Septimius Severus. Septimius' son Caracalla made Macrinus Praetorian Prefect, an equestrian post second only to the emperor in power. In AD 216, Macrinus accompanied Caracalla to the east on a campaign against the Parthians. Macrinus learned that a letter implicating him in a plot against Caracalla was about to be delivered to the emperor. Acting quickly, he arranged for Caracalla to be murdered by one of his own bodyguards. Macrinus was able to retain the army leadership who acclaimed him as emperor on April 11, AD 217. Macrinus raised his 10-year-old son Diadumenian to the rank of Caesar. The Senate in Rome was delighted to be rid of the hated Caracalla. In an effort to to disengage the army and have the legions reurn to Rome Macrinus revoked the large pay increase Caracalla had granted the military. Julia Maesa, Caracalla’s wealthy and influential aunt, bribed the Roman garrison of Emesa in Syria to proclaim her 13-year-old grandson Elagabalus as emperor on May 15, AD 218. Macrinus rallied his loyal legions and met the opposition at a village near Antioch on June 8. With his troops on the verge of victory, Macrinus suddenly lost heart and fled the field. His disgusted soldiers switched sides and declared their support for Elagabalus. Macrinus was captured in Chalcedon and summarily executed. His son met a similar fate en route to exile in Parthia.
Mint: Rome
Provenance: Private acquisition *

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