I. Scriptis iam pluribus libris non historico nec diserto sed pedestri adloquio, ad eam temporum venimus seriem, in qua per annos, quibus Gallienus et Valerianus rem publicam tenuerunt, triginta tyranni occupato Valeriano magnis belli Persici necessitatibus exstiterunt, cum Gallienum non solum viri sed etiam mulieres contemptui haberent, ut suis 2locis probabitur. sed quoniam tanta obscuritas eorum hominum fuit, qui ex diversis orbis partibus ad imperium convolabant, ut non multa de iis vel dici possint a doctioribus vel requiri, deinde ab omnibus
The Thirty Pretenders
by Trebellius Pollio
I. After having written many books in the style of neither an historian nor a scholar but only that of a layman, we have now reached the series of years in which the thirty pretenders1 arose—the years when the Empire was ruled by Gallienus and Valerian, when Valerian was busied with the great demands of the Persian War and Gallienus, as will be shown in the proper place, was held in contempt not only by men but by women as well. But since so obscure were these men, who flocked in from divers parts of the world to seize the imperial power, that not much concerning them can be either related by scholars or demanded of them, and since all those historians who have written
- 1The collection actually contains 32 names, of which the last two form a sort of appendix containing two men admittedly not of the time of Gallienus. The author’s original plan, according to Gall., xvi. 1; xix. 6; xxi. 1, was to include 20, but as Peter has pointed out (Abh. Sächs. Ges., xxvii. p. 190 f.), this number was raised to that of the Thirty Tyrants of Athens by padding with ten additional names. If we take from the list the names of the two women and the six youths who never held the imperial power, the list is reduced to 22. Of these it may be definitely asserted of Cyriades, Odaenathus, Maeonius and Ballista that they never assumed the purple, and the same may be said with almost equal certainty of Valens, Piso and Aemilianus. Saturninus, Trebellianus and Celsus may be regarded as inventions of the author. Of the twelve remaining names, Valens “Superior” was of the time of Decius and Victorinus and Tetricus of the time of Claudius and Aurelian. The list, then, of the authentic pretenders under Gallienus reduces itself to nine, viz., Postumus (258–268), Laelianus, Marius, Ingenuus (258), Regalianus (258?), Aureolus (268), and Macrianus and his two sons (260–261).