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He fought with success against the German tribes, but soon left the defence of the Upper Rhine to his legates and returned to Rome, where he abandoned himself to all kinds of debauchery and excess. He also celebrated the ludi Romani on a scale of unexampled magnificence.
After the death of Carus, the army in the East demanded to be led back to Europe, and Numerianus, the younger son of Carus, was forced to comply. During a halt at Chalcedon, Numerianus was murdered, and Diocletian, commander of the body-guards, was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers.
Carinus at once left Rome and set out for the East to meet Diocletian. On his way through Pannonia he put down the usurper Marcus Aurelius Julianus , and encountered the army of Diocletian in Moesia.
Carinus was successful in several engagements, and at the battle on the Margus (Morava), according to one account, the valour of his troops had gained the day, when he was assassinated by a tribune whose wife he had seduced. In another account, the battle is represented as having resulted in a complete victory for Diocletian.
Carinus has the reputation of having been one of the worst of the emperors.
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