May 19, 2022

Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus (lat. Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus), better known in Roman historiography as Pupienus, was a Roman emperor who ruled in 238. Apparently, Pupien was of noble birth. He made a successful political career: he ruled a number of provinces, was a consul, and also a prefect of Rome. In 238, when the senate joined the rebellion of Gordian I and Gordian II against Maximinus the Thracian in Africa, Pupienus joined a committee of twenty men assigned to the defense of Italy. After the death of the Gordians, the senators elected Pupienus and Balbinus as emperors. Under pressure from the townspeople and soldiers, they were forced to proclaim the young Gordian, the grandson of Gordian I, Caesar. many people died, and part of the capital was burned. During the campaign, Pupienus, having received the news that Maximinus had been killed by his own troops, returned in triumph to Rome. Shortly thereafter, when both emperors were ready to leave the city to fight - Pupien against the Persians, and Balbinus against the Goths - the Praetorians, who were unhappy with the appointment of senatorial appointees and supported the memory of the soldier emperor Maximinus, seized the opportunity to take revenge. When the majority of the people were at the Capitoline Games, they burst into the palace, captured Balbinus and Pupienus, and, dragging them through the streets, put them to death.


Information about the personality and reign of Emperor Pupien is contained in the same historical sources as information about his co-ruler Balbin. So, first of all, it is necessary to note the collection of imperial biographies "History of the Augusts", based on the works of the following ancient historians: Korda, Publius Herennius Dexippus and Herodian. It includes a biography of Pupienus and Balbinus, written by a certain Julius Kapitolin. In addition, some information is contained in the biographies of Maximin and the three Gordians. In addition to the "History of the Augusti", a detailed account of the reign of Pupienus and Balbinus is given in Herodian's "History of Imperial Power after Ma.