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Clodius Albinus

Emperor A.D 193 - 197

Clodius Albinus was Governor of Britain at the time of Pertinax’ murder. The Senate encouraged him to proclaim himself Emperor and march on Rome, but Septimius Severus offered him the post of Caesar in A. D. 193. Clodius Albinus was a very canny individual, and understood that his best move at this time was to avoid committing himself to any side in the upcoming civil war until he could be sure who would emerge victorious. He therefore maintained an aloof but cordial relationship with Severus, Niger, and the Senate. The only opinion he offered was that the murder of Pertinax was a base act of treachery and that Didius Julianus was unfit to rule.

In A. D. 195. relations between Septimius Severus and Albinus became strained, probably because Severus started portraying himself and his family as the rightful descendants of the Antonine emperors. In December of that year, Clodius Albinus left Britain and crossed the channel to Lugdunum (Modern Lyons, France) where he was hailed as Augustus by the army.

Like Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus should have marched on Rome immediately. Instead, he decided to wait until the snow had cleared from the passes in Spring. By this time, Severus had occupied the Alpine passes, blocking Albinus' approach to Italy. The final clash between Septimius Severus and Clodius Albinus took place on the plains surrounding Lugdunum in A. D. 197. Though well-disciplined and tough, Albinus' forces were greatly outnumbered by Severus' seasoned Danubian legions. Albinus was defeated and committed suicide before he could be captured and executed in disgrace by Severus' troops.


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