Tiberius Claudius Candidus

Last updated
Cursus honorum of Tiberius Claudius Candidus,currently in British Museum CIL II 4114.jpg
Cursus honorum of Tiberius Claudius Candidus,currently in British Museum

Tiberius Claudius Candidus (died c. 198 CE) was a Roman general and senator. He played an important role supporting Septimius Severus in the struggle for succession following the assassination of the emperor Pertinax in 193 CE.


Early Career and the War Against Pescennius Niger

A member of the equestrian [1] gens Claudia, Candidus began his career in the military, eventually serving as praepositus copiarum (or supply officer) in the emperor Marcus Aurelius’s second expedition against the Germans in 178/9 CE. [2] Then during the reign of Commodus, he was elevated to the rank of Praetor through the imperial adlectio , thereby making him a member of the Roman Senate. [1]

His career continued in the east of the empire, where Candidus served as an assistant to the Roman Governor of the province of Asia before being appointed curator of Nicomedia and Ephesus. [1] He was either serving in the east, or was Legatus legionis of one of the Pannonian legions when Septimius Severus, then governor of Pannonia Superior, declared himself emperor in 193 CE following the murder of Pertinax and the elevation of Didius Julianus. [1]

In preparation for the Expeditio Asiana against Severus's rival Pescennius Niger in the eastern provinces, Severus had a special elite force assembled from the Pannonian legions, the exercitus Illyricus, and placed Candidus in command, giving him the title dux exercitus Illyrici . [1] While the emperor was stationed at Perinthus, Candidus took his troops and crossed the Propontis, meeting and defeating Niger's forces (under the command of Asellius Aemilianus) at the Battle of Cyzicus. [3] In the aftermath, Aemilianus was captured and brought before Candidus, who had him executed. [4]

Niger himself arrived to take command of his troops at Nicaea, and at the Battle of Nicaea fought against Severus's army under Candidus. Candidus was losing the battle before he managed to rally his troops and inflict another defeat on Niger, who fled the battle and proceeded to Antioch. [5] As Candidus marched towards the Taurus Mountains, he proceeded to fine those cities in Asia Minor who had decided to support Niger. It was during this period that Severus replaced Candidus as principal commander with Publius Cornelius Anullinus, possibly due to his failure to prevent the withdrawal of Niger's army at Nicaea. [6] Nevertheless, Candidus remained with the army and fought at the Battle of Issus in 194 CE. [7]

The Parthian Expedition and the War Against Clodius Albinus

With Niger's defeat at Issus and subsequent death, Candidus was appointed Dux adversus rebelles Asiae, tasked with dealing with Niger's remaining supporters in the eastern provinces. Following this, Candidus rejoined Severus in his Expeditio Mesopotamena against the Parthians in 195 CE, where Candidus was once again appointed dux exercitus Illyrici. [8]

After campaigning against Adiabene and Osroene, Candidus was sent back to the western provinces, as Clodius Albinus declared himself Emperor in 196 and invaded the Gallic provinces. [9] It was during this period (either 195 or 196) that Candidus was appointed suffect consul in absentia. [10] Arriving in Noricum, he carried the title Dux adversus rebelles Noricae, and was given the task of rounding up Albinus's supporters in the province. [11] Following this, in 197 CE he returned to commanding the exercitus Illyricus and participated in the Battle of Lugdunum where Albinus was finally defeated. [12]

That same year (197 CE), Candidus was appointed governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, where he was again tasked with hunting down and executing the remaining supporters of Albinus within the province. [13] Around 198 CE, he was subjected to a Damnatio memoriae and was executed. [14] It is unclear as to why this occurred; however it may be linked to a plot against the emperor mentioned in the Historia Augusta, involving some friends of Severus who were put on trial after being accused of planning his death. [15]


Related Research Articles

2nd century Century

The 2nd century is the period from 101 (CI) through 200 (CC) in accordance with the Julian calendar. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period.

The 190s decade ran from January 1, 190, to December 31, 199.

193 Calendar year

Year 193 (CXCIII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Sosius and Ericius. The denomination 193 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Pescennius Niger Roman emperor from 193 to 194

Gaius Pescennius Niger was Roman Emperor from 193 to 194 during the Year of the Five Emperors. He claimed the imperial throne in response to the murder of Pertinax and the elevation of Didius Julianus, but was defeated by a rival claimant, Septimius Severus, and killed while attempting to flee from Antioch.

Didius Julianus Roman emperor in 193

Marcus Didius Julianus was Roman emperor for nine weeks from March to June 193, during the Year of the Five Emperors.

Clodius Albinus Usurper and Caesar of the Roman Empire

Decimus Clodius Albinus was a Roman general, senator and usurper who claimed the imperial title several times between 193 and 197. He was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania after the murder of Pertinax in 193, and proclaimed himself emperor again in 196, before his final defeat the following year.

Legio III Italica Roman legion

Legio III Italica was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD 165 by the emperor Marcus Aurelius, for his campaign against the Marcomanni tribe. The cognomen Italica suggests that the legion's original recruits were mainly drawn from Italy. The legion was still active in Raetia and other provinces in the early 5th century.

Britannia Superior

Britannia Superior was a province of Roman Britain created after the civil war between Septimius Severus and Claudius Albinus. Although Herodian credits Severus with dividing Roman Britain into the Northern territory of Britannia Inferior and the Southern territory of Britannia Superior, modern scholarship argues that it is more likely that Caracella was the person who made the split sometime in the early 3rd century CE. The previous British capital Londinium remained the centre of Britannia Superior while Eboracum, or modern York was the capital of Britannia Inferior. Epigraphical evidence shows that Upper Britain encompassed approximately what is now Wales, southern England and East Anglia. However, the official boundary between Britannia Superior and Inferior is still unclear.

The Battle of Lugdunum, also called the Battle of Lyon, was fought on 19 February 197 at Lugdunum, between the armies of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus and of the Roman usurper Clodius Albinus. Severus' victory finally established him as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire following the Year of the Five Emperors and immediate aftermath.

The Battle of Issus was the third major battle in AD 194 between the forces of Emperor Septimius Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger, part of the Year of the Five Emperors.

The Battle of Nicaea was fought in 193 between the forces of Septimius Severus and his eastern rival, Pescennius Niger. It took place at Nicaea in Asia Minor. Severus defeated his rival, and ended his bid for the Roman Empire the next year at Issus.

The Year of the Five Emperors was 193 AD, in which five men claimed the title of Roman emperor: Pertinax, Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, and Septimius Severus. This year started a period of civil war when multiple rulers vied for the chance to become caesar.

Lucius Marius Maximus Perpetuus Aurelianus was a Roman biographer, writing in Latin, who in the early decades of the 3rd century AD wrote a series of biographies of twelve Emperors, imitating and continuing Suetonius. Marius's work is lost, but it was still being read in the late 4th century and was used as a source by writers of that era, notably the author of the Historia Augusta. The nature and reliability of Marius's work, and the extent to which the earlier part of the HA draws upon it, are two vexed questions among the many problems that the HA continues to pose for students of Roman history and literature.

Quintus Aemilius Laetus was a prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, from 191 until his death in 193. He acceded to this position upon the deaths of his predecessors Regillus and Lucius Julius Vehilius Gratus Julianus, by appointment of emperor Commodus. His name suggests that his family received Roman citizenship from Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.

Gaius Julius Erucius Clarus Vibianus was a Roman politician and senator. He was consul ordinarius with Quintus Pompeius Sosius Falco in early 193, during the reign of Pertinax.

Titus Flavius Claudius Sulpicianus was a Roman statesman who served as Senator and Consul suffectus. He unsuccessfully attempted to succeed his son-in-law Pertinax as Emperor in 193.

Quintus Hedius Rufus Lollianus Gentianus was a Roman military officer and senator who was appointed consul suffectus in around AD 186–188.

Gaius Caesonius Macer Rufinianus was a Roman military officer and senator who was appointed suffect consul in around AD 197 or 198. He was the first member of gens Caesonia to hold a consulship.

Titus Sextius Magius Lateranus was a Roman Senator who lived in the Roman Empire in the second half of the 2nd century and first half of the 3rd century. He was ordinary consul for the year 197 with Cuspius Rufinus as his colleague.

Publius Cornelius Anullinus was one of the generals of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. He was from the city of Iliberis, and, while there is no clear information around this, it is believed he was not of a patrician family but was one of the equites.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Mennen, p.197
  2. Mennen, p. 146
  3. Kulikowski, p. 82; Mennen, p. 198
  4. Kulikowski, p. 82
  5. Mennen, p. 198; Kulikowski, p. 82
  6. Potter, p. 104
  7. Kulikowski, p. 83; Mennen, p. 198
  8. Mennen, p. 199
  9. Mennen, pp. 201-202
  10. Paul M. M. Leunissen, Konsuln und Konsulare in der Zeit von Commodus bis Severus Alexander (1989), p. 153; Mennen, p. 206
  11. Mennen, p. 202
  12. Mennen, p. 202
  13. Kulikowski, p. 87; Mennen, p. 206
  14. Kulikowski, p. 89
  15. Mennen, p. 206; Historia Augusta, Vita Serv., 15.4-6

Inscribed stone base for a statue (now lost) of Tiberius Claudius Candidus, with a Latin text of 24 lines describing his career. Erected after his death by his groom Silius Hospes, hastatus of Legion X ‘Gemina’, for "the finest governor". https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1994-0122-2