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| 12th Roman Emperor
|Bust of Marcellus|
|Reign||17 July, 839 - 16 December 839|
| Marcellus Claudius Caesar Germanicus|
(birth to 818)
Claudius Florian Germanicus
|Imperator Marcellus Claudian Caesar Augustus|
|Born|| 19 January 818 |
|Died|| 16 December, 839 (aged 21) |
Born to the Emperor Florian in January 818, he was widely expected to take his father's place as he was "born in the purple"; born to a ruling Emperor. However, as Florian's health began to degrade throughout the year, the Senate joined with Lucius Vitellius (the Emperor's designated heir prior to his son' birth) to keep Marcellus from succeeding his father if he died (thus leaving a new-born as Augustus). Eventually, when Florian did die in March of 818, Marcellus' mother Poppaea Sabina attempted to install her son as princeps, a move the Senate would not have, and after two months of debate between the supporters of (Lucius) Vitellius I, and the young pretender, Sabina stood down, knowing that her sons' life was at risk, and disappeared from public view.
For the next twenty years, little is known about Marcellus and his attempts to regain control of the Empire; mostly through diplomatic dealings with Senators and mercenaries, all of which came to nothing in the end. By 839, Marcellus was preparing to go into exile in Sardinia before news of a conspiracy in the Praetorian Guard to remove Emperor Julius Marcus (Emperor Vitellius I nephew) was brought to him. Swiftly making a move back to Rome, the conspiracy was put into action on 15 July, driving the Emperor out of the capital, but not killing him. The Guard then followed through by finding the location of Marcellus within the city and proclaiming him Augustus.
For the entirety of his reign, Marcellus had to deal with a Senate that refused to accept any demands he presented, and a populace that did not agree with the removal of the popular Julius Marcus. The only loyalty the Emperor did find was within the Praetorian Guard, however, by November of 838, the widespread hatred for Marcellus brought them to act against their leader as well. As Julius Marcus was beginning to build an army in the north of Italia to retake his nation, Marcellus found himself surrounded by a conspiring Senate who was preparing for his assassination, and on 16 December, only five months after coming to power, Marcellus was murdered by a group of Senators, who subsequently reinstated Julius as Emperor.