Magnus Maximus – 383-388 AD

Magnus Maximus

383-388 AD

British Usurper in the West


Magnus Clemens Maximus was a native of Spain who claimed kinship with the Emperor Theodosius I through his father, Count Theodosius. Magnus served with the Count in Africa and in Britain during his campaigns. Eventually, Magnus held an important military command in Britain, during 383 AD when his troops proclaimed him Emperor in opposition to Gratian. Magnus immediately set out to invade Gaul in an attempt to overthrow Gratian who quickly found himself deserted. Gratian attempted to retreat to Lugdunum (Lyon) but was captured in August 383 AD and put to death. Theodosius I refused to recognize Magnus as sole ruler of the West, as he had expected. Instead, Gratian’s younger half-brotherValentinian II would remain on the throne in Italy and Magnus was to restrict himself to Gaul.

Magnus established his court at Treveri (Trier) in Gaul where he also proclaimed his young son, Flavius Victor, co-Emperor during the spring of 387 AD. Magnus was not content with ruling only Gaul. He thus invaded Italy later that same year thereby breaking the treaty he had reached with Theodosius I. Flavius Victor, still quite young at this time, was apparently left behind in Gaul when his father attacked Valentinian Il’s Italian possessions in the summer of 387 AD. Following Maximus’ defeat, he was beheaded and Victor fell into the hands of the ambitious general Arbogast who promptly executed him as well.


Monetary System

Mints: Arelate, Aquileia, Constantinople, London, Lugdunum, Milan, Treveri

Obverse Legends:

D N MAG MAXIMVS P F AVG


DENOMINATIONS

AU Solidus (4.50 grams)
AU Semissis (2.25 grams)
AU Tremissis (1.45 grams)
AR Miliarense (4.50 grams)
AR Reduced Siliqua (2.25 grams)
AE2
AE4


Monetary History of the World
©  Martin A. Armstrong