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The ILLYRIAN EMPERORS of ROME and BYZANTINE EMPIRE

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Published on Jan 2, 2009

The Illyrians, exploiting the privileges of allegiance to Rome, moved up the ranks rather quickly and eventually ruled the empire.
Emperors of Illyrian origin reigned in both the Roman and Byzantine empires.
ILLYRIAN-ROMAN EMPERORS
Claudius II - Gothicus, as he was also known, reigned for a short period from 268-270 AD. He was born in Dardania in 214. He was a Roman officer in the army and upon the death of the Roman emperor Gallenius in 268 was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers and was affirmed by the Roman senate. His reigned was highlighted by several military campaign victories over the invading Goths (Germanic tribe) and for this he named known as Gothicus. He died on the throne in 270.
Aurelian - Aurelian reigned from 270-275 AD. Born in Moesia in 214. He received high military status under the reign of Claudius II. Aurelian's emphasis was to restore the general welfare and unity of the empire and was given the title, Restitutor Orbis, or Restorer of the Empire. He commissioned a wall to enclose the city of Rome, but was assassinated by some of his officers in 275 on a expedition to Persia before it was completed.
Probus - He reigned from 276-282 AD. He was born in Pannonia. As a Roman officer he kept the Germanic tribes at bay. After the murder of his rival, Probus assumed the throne. He led many successful military campaigns and was known as a military emperor and would eventually see the same fate as Aurelian as Probus was also killed by some of his officers in 282. He did complete the enclosing wall of Rome that was begun by his predecessor.
Diocletian - He was born in 245 to a Dalmatian family and reigned from 284-305 AD. Diocletian became a Roman officer and was declared emperor in 284. Because of hostilities in respects to his reign, Diocletian made his confidant and his Pannonian officer, Maximian joint emperor in 286 and Constantius I (an Illyrian from Moesia and father of Constantine the great - ruled jointly with Maxentius from 305-306) and Galerius as Caesars, or sub-emperors. This method succeeded brilliantly as Britain was restored to the empire and the Persians were subdued. He did incur economic problems and Christians were severely persecuted under his reign. After his and Maximian's abdication in 305, the once brilliant system of emperors and sub-emperors led to internal strife. Maximian returned to aid his son, Maxentius, but was forced out by him in 308. Maximian committed suicide in 310 to the advice of Constantius I. Diocletian had retired to his Palace in Salona, Dalmatia and died in 313.
Constantine the Great - Born in Moesia in 285. Reigned from 306-323 as joint emperor and then solely from 323-337 AD. He was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity and established it as the preferred religion. Constantine defeated Maxentius in 312 to become sole ruler in the western province and defeated the joint emperor, Licinius, to become the sole Roman ruler. Constantine also moved the empire's capital to the Greek city, Byzantium and later renamed it Constantinople. After his death, Constantine's sons would also rule:
Constantine II (337-340)
Constans I (337-350) and
Constantius II (337-361)
ILLYRIAN-BYZANTINE EMPERORS
Justin I - Born of Dardanian peasants in 450 AD and ruled from 518-527 AD. Surprisingly elected to the throne at the age of 70 only because of his military expertise. Justin began to see a formidable threat against the Byzantium - the Slavs who began to settle on the empires borders. Justin would not live long enough to see the Slavic invasion dying of an illness in 527.
Justinian I - Born in 483 AD and appointed successor by his uncle Justin I. Justinian assumed the throne in 527 after Justin's death and would rule until 565. His reign was one of Imperial greatness as he recaptured much of the territory of the western empire that fell to the Germanic invaders and successfully kept the Slavs at bay. He also unified Roman laws into one code known as the Justinian code (civil laws). Unlike his illiterate Illyrian predecessors, Justinian had acquired an early education at Constantinople. Justinian was the last of the Illyrian emperors.

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