May 10 – The future emperor Claudius II (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius Augustus) more commonly known as Claudius Gothicus was born on this day A.D. 210.
Claudius was an Illyrian likely born in Pannonia Inferior or in Moesia Superior, he served in the Roman military his entire adult life and was proclaimed emperor in A.D. 268 by his troops after the murder of Gallienus whilst besieging the usurper Aureolus.
Some believed that he was responsible for the murder of his predecessor, who was not popular with his own officials, although this has never been proven. Claudius ensured that his predecessor was deified and that his family were left unharmed.
In his short time as Emperor Claudius at the head of his legions routed a very large Gothic army at the battle of Naissus earning him the surname Gothicus. At the same time the Alamanni had crossed the Alps and attacked the Empire, Claudius routed them at the battle of Lake Benacus.
Claudius next traveled to Pannonia to expel the Vandals who were raiding the province, however whilst preparing for war against the Vandals Claudius fell ill and died early in January A.D. 270 as a result of plague (possibly smallpox) having ruled for only two years.
image credit: Ronan guilloux