Macrinus                217 - 218 A.D.


Macrinus was well respected in the military circles and he eventually gained the position of Praetorian Prefect under Caracalla, which was the highest military position short of Imperator (otherwise equivalent to Emperor). In the spring of 217 it is believed that Caracalla consulted a soothsayer who told him the next emperor would be Macrinus. As soon as Macrinus heard of this, he understood that Caracalla would kill him at the first chance he got just to remove any validity to the prophesy. Gaining the support of his closest guardsmen, a plot to assassinate Caracalla was put together as a preemptive strike and the assassination was carried out successfully. He was then hailed as Augustus by the army and soon after by the Senate.

But Macrinus would prove a weak leader. He had no choice but to introduce lower pay scales for the army and settled for a demeaning peace against the Parthians. This one-two punch engendered a great deal of dissatisfaction at home and abroad and gave birth to a rebellion headed by the teenager Elagalabus. Macrinus moved to quell the revolt but was defeated and forced to flee. Unluckily for him, he was found, captured and executed.



Obv-AVT K M OPELLIOC SEV MAKPREINOC Laureate head right.

Rev-VPCTALONGINOVNIKOPOLITWNPPOCICTPW Zeus seated left, holding patera and scepter.

Obv-IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG Laureate and cuirassed bust right.

Rev-PONTIF MAX TR P COS PP Unknown standing facing holding two standards.