P. Aelius Vitalianus - Prefect of the Praetorian Guard in the reign of Maximinus I Thrax

A loyal supporter of the emperor, Vitalianus was left in charge of Rome during the emperor’s campaigns. Feared and hated for what the historian Herodian called savage and merciless deeds, the prefect became the first target of removal for the African usurper, Gordian I.

Assassins were sent to Rome with the task of carrying “important” documents to Vitalianus, pertaining to the emperor. Entering his study early in the morning they found him alone and stabbed him to death. The way was clear for the Senate to elevate Gordian to the throne.

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