Macrinus was well respected in the military circles and he eventually
gained the position of Praetorian Prefect under Caracalla, which was the highest
military position short of Imperator (otherwise equivalent to Emperor). In the
spring of 217 it is believed that Caracalla consulted a soothsayer who told him
the next emperor would be Macrinus. As soon as Macrinus heard of this, he
understood that Caracalla would kill him at the first chance he got just to
remove any validity to the prophesy. Gaining the support of his closest
guardsmen, a plot to assassinate Caracalla was put together as a preemptive
strike and the assassination was carried out successfully. He was then hailed as
Augustus by the army and soon after by the Senate.
But Macrinus would prove a weak leader. He had no choice but to introduce
lower pay scales for the army and settled for a demeaning peace against the
Parthians. This one-two punch engendered a great deal of dissatisfaction at home
and abroad and gave birth to a rebellion headed by the teenager Elagalabus.
Macrinus moved to quell the revolt but was defeated and forced to flee.
Unluckily for him, he was found, captured and executed.
AR Antoninianus 217--218 A.D.
3.5 g., 22 mm.
Obv. IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed
Rev. FELICITAS TEMPORVM: Felicitas standing left, holding long caduceus and