Carus, whose name before the accession may have been Marcus Numerius Carus,
 was likely born at
Narbo (modern Narbonne) in Gaul
 but was educated in
 He was a
 and filled various civil and military posts before being appointed
prefect of the
Praetorian Guard by the emperor
Probus in 282.
After the murder of Probus at
Sirmium, Carus was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers.
 Although Carus severely avenged the death of Probus, he was suspected as an accessory to the deed.
 He does not seem to have returned to Rome after his accession, contenting himself with an announcement to the Senate.
Campaign against the Sassanids and death
Bestowing the title of
Caesar upon his sons Carinus and Numerian,
 he left Carinus in charge of the western portion of the empire and took Numerian with him on an expedition against the
Persians, which had been contemplated by Probus.
 Having defeated the
Sarmatians on the
 for which he was given the title Germanicus Maximus,
 Carus proceeded through
Asia Minor, annexed
Mesopotamia, pressed on to
Ctesiphon, and marched his soldiers beyond the
Bahram II, limited by internal opposition and his troops occupied with a campaign in modern-day
Afghanistan, could not effectively defend his territory.
 The victories of Carus avenged all the previous defeats suffered by the Romans against the Sassanids, and he received the title of Persicus Maximus.
Carus' hopes of further conquest were cut short by his death, which was announced after a violent storm.
 His death was variously attributed to disease,
 the effects of
 a wound received in the campaign against the Persians,
 or an assassination planned by his
Lucius Flavius Aper.
 The fact that he was leading a victorious campaign, and his son Numerian succeeded him without opposition, suggest that his death may have been due to natural causes.