Roman Empire

Magnus Maximus, Usurper AD 383-388

RIC 77b; Depeyrot 52/1, Mint State

Treveri, AD 385/6. D N MAG MA-XIMVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Magnus Maximus right. Reverse: VICTO-RIA AVGG, the two co-emperors seated facing, together holding globe between them; behind, Victory standing facing; (palm)//TROB.

Magnus Maximus was a nephew of Count Theodosius (the father of Theodosius I) who rose to command the armies of Britannia under Valentinian I and Gratian. In AD 383, the troops, who had become disaffected with Gratian, proclaimed him as their new emperor. Maximus proceeded to invade Gaul and kill Gratian, but was prevented from the immediate overthrow of Gratian’s brother, Valentinian II, by the intervention of the Eastern Emperor Theodosius I. In AD 386/7, he forced Valentinian II to flee Milan and Magnus Maximus prepared himself for the inevitable war with Theodosius I. After the defeat of his forces at Siscia, Poetovio, and the Save in 388, Magnus Maximus surrendered to the Eastern Emperor at Aquileia. He begged for mercy but was executed nonetheless.