Pertinax (August 1, AD 126 - March 28, AD 193)
Publius Helvius Pertinax was Emperor for only 86 days. Born a freedman’s son in Alba, Pertinax made his living as a teacher of grammar, but eventually decided to seek a more rewarding career. Through patronage he gained a commission as an officer in a cohort. During the Parthian war that followed, he distinguish himself, gained a string of promotions, and, after postings in Britain (as military tribune of Legio VI Victrix) and along the Danube, he served as a procurator in Dacia. In AD 175 he received the honour of a consulship and, until AD 185, governed the provinces of Upper and Lower Moesia, Dacia, Syria and, eventually, of Britain. In the decade of the 180s, Pertinax played a pivotal role in the Roman Senate until the praetorian prefect Sextus Tigidius Perennis forced him out of public life. He was recalled after three years to serve in Britain, where the army at the time was in a state of mutiny. He tried to quell the unruly soldiers, but one legion attacked his bodyguard, leaving Pertinax for dead. When he recovered, he punished the mutineers severely. This led to his growing reputation as a disciplinarian. He was forced to resign in AD 187 when the legions grew hostile to his harsh rule.