A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Appius Claudius), is ranked by Trebellius Pollio among the thirty tyrants [comp. AUREOLUS], although the number is complete without the addition of his name, and he belongs not to the reign of Gallienus, but of Claudius Gothicus. Censorinus, having devoted his youth and manhood to a military career, attained to the highest dignities. He was twice consul, twice praefect of the praetorium, thrice praefect of the city, four times proconsul, and discharged at various periods the duties of numerous inferior ap pointments. Full of years, and disabled by an honourable wound received in the Persian war, under Valerian, he had retired to pass the evening of his days on his estate, when he was suddenly proclaimed emperor by a body of mutinous troops, and invested with the purple at Bologna, in A. D. 270. Having, however, displayed a determination to enforce strict discipline, he was forthwith put to death by the same soldiers who had raised him to a throne. If any genuine medals of this prince exist, which is very doubtful, they have never been described with sufficient accuracy to render them of any historical value, or even to enable us to determine whether the names Appius Claudius formed part of his designation. Birago, in his Numismata (Mediol. 1683), quotes a Greek coin supposed to indicate the third year of the reign of Censorinus; but, since no account is given of the place where it was preserved, it was in all probability a forgery, especially as we have no reason to believe that the pretender maintained his authority beyond the space of a few days. Tillemont supposes, that the Victorinus mentioned by the younger Victor as having assumed the purple under Claudius is the same person with our Censorinus. (Trebell. Pollio, Trig. Tyr.; Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs, vol. p. 37.)