Bronze Antoninianus of Emperor Carus - C.4678Origin: Minted in HeracleaCirca: 282 AD to 283 ADCollection: NumismaticsStyle: RomanMedium: Bronze.Carus was serving as the Praetorian Prefect, when in 282 A.D. he was ordered to prepare the legions in Raetia for a campaign against the Persians. When the soldiers rebelled against Emperor Probus, they elevated Carus to the throne. Enraged, Probus sent a detachment of troops to arrest Carus, however, they deserted to the usurper’s side. A civil war was narrowly averted when a group of soldiers, angry at having been put to work on a domestic vineyard project, murdered Probus. Carus seized the throne uncontested and, unlike his predecessors, did not politely ask the Senate to confirm his elevation; instead he just informed them that he was filling the vacant throne. He instantly conferred the title of Caesar to his two sons, Carinus and Numerian. Later, Carus left his older son, Carinus, in Rome to manage the Western Empire while his younger son, Numerian, accompanied Carus on a campaign against the Sarmatians who were quickly defeated. Having achieved a swift victory, Carus now turned his eyes to the Persians, hoping to undertake the war that had been planned by his predecessors. The Roman army, led by Carus, advanced swiftly through Mesopotamia and then crossed the Tigris River and sacked the Persian capital of Ctesiphon. However, just when a resounding victory seemed in grasp, Carus was killed in a freak storm. Legend has it that a violent storm broke out over the Roman camp and lightning flashes filled sky. After one momentous clap of thunder, the word came out that Carus had been killed by lightning. According to ancient traditions, anyone struck by lightning had invoked the wrath of the gods. Thus, Numerian, who was earlier raised to Augustus along with his brother, ordered the invasion off and the Roman army retreated due to the demands of the superstitious army.