Rome was led into victory by not just politics,their army was most of the source of their greatness.Their army was led by great generals.


Aegidius (unknown - 464 or 465) was a Gallo-Roman promoted as magister militum in Gaul under Aëtius around 450. He was an ardent supporter of Majorian, whom he helped to gain power. When Majorian lost ground against Ricimer in the chaos of Gaul in the middle of the fifth century he rebelled and created a Roman rump state that became to be known as the Domain of Soissons.

Aegidius allied himself with Childeric I, Merovingian king of the Salian Franks of Tournai. According to Gregory of Tours, Aegidius even succeeded the banished Childeric in the latter's kingdom for a while, but Childeric would later return.

The death of Aegidius occurred under unclear circumstances at the Loire in 464 or 465, either by poison or in ambush. He was succeeded first by the Comes Paulus, who was killed shortly afterwards by Childeric, and then by his son Syagrius.

There is a tradition, dating from Gildas, that the Britons, having been deprived of Roman military protection after 410, wrote to a "Roman commander Agitus, thrice consul", who may be Aegidius, or, more probably, Aëtius.[1]


Aelianus (P. Aelius Aelianus) was a Roman general and senior official of the mid-Third Century AD who rose from relatively lowly origins to become the prefect of a legion under the Emperor Gallienus. He was one of the earliest beneficiaries of Gallienus’s policy of excluding senators from army commands in favour of career-soldiers of equestrian rank. His later life is obscure. He was possibly procurator (i.e. Chief Financial Officer) of Epirus in the late-260s, but the foremost authorities query this identification. However, there are stronger grounds for believing that he was appointed a praeses (provincial governor) in Africa, most likely under the Emperor Probus. It is likely that Aelianus was born at Aquincum in Pannonia Inferior which, as noted above, was the base of Legio II Adiutrix. His father was L. Aelius Martialis who had been a/the Custos Armorum (i.e. Warden of the Armory) of Legio II (obviously he was described as ex custode armorum - i.e.'formerly Warden etc.' on his tomb) and his mother Fl. Agathe. The gentilicum 'Aelius' suggests that the family was one of many in Pannonia that was given Roman citizenship when the future Emperor Hadrian was governor in the early years of the second century AD and took Hadrian’s family name as was the custom of the day. Thus by this interpretation of the onomastics Aelianus’s clan had been Roman citizens for some 150+ years by the time he dedicated his parents’ sarcophagus and it is likely that the family had had connections with Legio II for generations.

It can be safely assumed that, as a castrensis (i.e. 'Son of the Camp' - born of a serving soldier), Aelianus would have enlisted at the earliest age – i.e. 18-20 – probably in his father’s legion. Nagy is inclined to the view that he would then have risen ex caliga – i.e. 'from the ranks of those who wear hobnailed sandals' (the footwear of legionary rankers). This is debatable. His father, Martialis, was a senior non-commissioned officer, one of those given the right to wear the golden ring of equestrian rank by the Emperor Septimius Severus[6], and it seems unlikely that such a man would not have used every scrap of influence he could deploy to make sure his boy was spared the rigours of life as a ranker and got the best possible shove up the ladder of promotion. There are plenty of known instances of men entering the army at the rank of centurion[7] . Although Martialis may not have disposed of sufficient influence to elevate Aelianus directly to the centurionate or the command of cohort of auxiliary infantry it is not unreasonable to suppose that he was at least able to ensure that his son was entered on the Legio II muster roll as an immunis – i.e. excused fatigues – which would have cut several wearisome years off his upward career.

This is speculation, but it is beyond all doubt that Aelianus showed himself a highly capable officer and probably a lucky one as well who prospered in the conditions of crisis that prevailed on Rome’s northern frontiers in the middle years of the Third Century AD. Although he probably enlisted in Legio II and certainly commanded it at a high point of his career, he is unlikely to have served solely with that legion. Like many of Rome’s more brilliant general officers it seems safer to postulate that he rose through the centurionate receiving progressively more senior postings in different legions[8]. It is not known whether he served in Gallienus’s field army or comitatus where he would have been noticed by the Emperor and his senior commanders, but it is not unlikely that he did.

As Praefectus Legionis II Adiutricis Aelianus is likely to have been one of the earliest beneficiaries of Gallienus’s policy of excluding senators from army commands in favour of professional equestrian officers. Nagy points out that, as a non-senator, Aelianus would not have been given this posting prior to the Persian captivity in 260 AD of Gallienus’s father and senior Augustus, the Emperor Valerian who was, the sources seem to agree, a very model of Roman patriarchal conservatism. Nor could he have been given it after 267 in which year we know that Valerius Marcellinus was in command of Legio II[9].

Nagy is inclined to ascribe his promotion to the earlier part of this five year ’window’ in which case it is tempting to associate it with Gallienus’s suppression of the attempted putsch of Quietus Macrianus. Macrianus had been supported by the Pannonian garrison – including, presumably, '‘Legio II’' - as well as by the army he brought with him from the East and in the aftermath of this failed bid to unseat him, Gallienus would have wanted to secure the loyalty of the provincial officer corps by putting in his own men in all the main units.

The Ulcisia altar describes the dedicator, P. Aelius Aelianus, as prefect of the Second legion, thus confirming that he was the same man as the one who had commissioned the sarcophagus of Martialis and Fl. Agatha. It adds the additional information that he was protector nostri augusti Gallieni – i.e. 'Protector of Our Majestic Lord Gallienus'. He was, thus, one of the earliest known recipients of that title. That he was a Protector while simultaneously holding an active independent command supports the notion that at this time the title was given as a distinction and did not mean that the holder was part of a military unit stationed about the Imperial camp and concerned with guarding the Emperor’s person. (See Protectores Nostri Augusti).

More important, perhaps, the inscription states that he was praefectus legionis agens vices legati – i.e. 'Prefect of the Legion acting on behalf of the (senatorial) legate' who we know was never to be appointed. However, the use of this terminology - presumably a formula to ensure that the prefect had the legal authority of a legate - seems to throw doubt on the proposition advanced by many historians [10] that Gallienus had always intended the removal of senators from legionary commands as a permanent reform as opposed to an expedient resorted to in the crisis following the captivity of Valerian that was never reversed. In other words, it suggests Aurelius Victor was mistaken when he said that Gallienus had issued an edict incorporating the change in law[11]. If such a law had been promulgated the formula agens vices legati would surely have been superfluous.

The Photike inscription is in Greek and it identifies an Aelius Aelianus as the chief financial officer (Lat. Procurator) of the province of Epirus sometime in the period 275-80 AD who had previously taken part in the census of Noricum. Nagy does not believe that the Aelianus who was a legionary prefect before 266 could have held these offices at a later date as the posts were lower in the equestrian career structure.

However, Nagy’s summary rejection did not make any reference to the possible effects of the 'regime change' of 268 when Claudius Gothicus replaced Gallienus. If our Aelianus had shared the anger of the lower ranks of the field army at the murder of Gallienus and his views had been made known to Claudius and Aurelian he could well have been demoted and packed off to some financial post in Noricum to reflect on the nature of political reality. This would fit in with Claudius’s known preference for assuaging rather than challenging the army’s wrath on this occasion. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that an Aelius Aelianus could have been active in Noricum in the late 260s-early 270s and not be aware that he bore the same name as a soldier who had been a praefectus legionis in next-door Pannonia only a few years before and thus feel that he needed to make sure that he was not confused with him. Both these propositions supporting the notion that the Aelianus of Photike was the same man as the Aelianus of Aquincum seem to be within the bounds of permissible speculation. Nevertheless, the weight of the evidence and expert opinion is on Nagy’s side.

On the other hand, Nagy considers that the Aelius Aelianus who was identified as praeses provinciae Mauritaniae Caesarenses (i.e. 'Governor of the provinces of Mauritaniae Caesarenses') in around 276 could well have been the praefectus legionis II in Aquincum of a dozen years earlier. This would have been a promotion quite compatible with what we know of the equestrian career structure. Furthermore, it would also fit in with the known tendency to appoint military men to governing posts in Africa from the later years of the Emperor Probus onwards to deal with increased restlessness on the part of the Berber tribes of the Mauretanian interior. As Nagy observes, the Aelianus who cut his teeth fighting the Sarmatian steppe nomads in Illyria would have been well qualified to deal with the Moorish raiders of Rome’s west African provinces.

Gaius Hostilius Mancinus

He was sent into Spain in his consulship to succeed his colleague Gaius Hostilius Mancinus, who had been defeated by Numantines. While he was waiting for reinforcements from home, as he was not yet in condition to attack the Numantines, he resolved to make war upon the Vaccaei, under the pretence of their having assisted the Numantines. However, the senate, immediately after knowing his decision, send deputies to command him to desist from his design, as they deprecated a new war in Spain, after experiencing so many disasters. Lepidus, however, had commenced the war before the deputies arrived and had summoned to his assistance his relation, Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus, who commanded in Further Spain and was a general of considerable experience and skill[1].

Notwithstanding his aid, Lepidus was unsuccessful. After laying waste the open country, the two generals laid siege to Palantia, the capital of the Vaccaei (the modern Palencia), but they suffered so dreadfully from want of provisions, that they were obliged to raise the siege and a considerable part of their army was destroyed by the enemy in their retreat. This happened in the proconsulship of Lepidus (136 BC) and when the news reached Rome, Lepidus was deprived of his command and condemned to pay a fine.[2]

Lepidus was augur in 125 BC, when he was summoned by the censors Gnaeus Servilius Caepio and Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla, to account for having built a house in too magnificent style.[3]

Lepidus was a man of education and refined taste. Cicero, who had read his speeches, speaks of him as the greates orator of his age and says that he was the first who introduced Latin oratory the smooth and even flow of words and the artificial construction of sentences which distinguished Greek. He helped to form the style of Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Carbo, who were accustomed to hear to him with great care.

He was, however, very deficient in a knowledge of law and Roman institutions.[4]. In politics Lepidus seems to have belonged to the aristocratic party. He opposed in his consulship the law for introducing ballots (Lex Cassia Tabellaria) proposed by Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla[5] and it appears from a fragment of Priscian[6], that Lepidus spoke in favour of a repeal of the lex Aemilia, which was probably sumptuary law proposed by the consul Marcus Aemilius Scaurus in 115 BC[7].