Son of Carus and brother of Carinus, Numerian's brief stint as emperor
started when he along with his father set out for war against the Sassanians in
Persia (Iran). Under mysterious circumstances Carus was incinerated in his tent
just prior to the military encounter of the two armies. The official explanation
was that the tent had been stricken by lightning but this has been interpreted
as much too convenient. As the battle was called off and the army was returning
Numerian, too, was found dead in his quarters. This time a hasty investigation
was started and the Praetorian Prefect, a certain Aper, was found guilty and
killed on the spot by Diocletian. He then proclaimed himself emperor and
renounced Carinus. With the suspicious death of Numerian the report of Carus's
death made for a more compelling story that the Prefect had had a hand in their
deaths. It is likely that Diocletian had engineered a sophisticated conspiracy
using Aper as the central pawn and then scapegoat.
Obv-IMP C NVMERIANVS PF AVG Radiate cuirassed bust right.
Rev-CLEMENTIA TEMP Numerian recieving Victory on globe from Jupiter. XXI in ex.