British Usurper in the West
Magnus Clemens Maximus was a native of Spain who claimed kinship with 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 the 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 relatively young at this time, was apparently left behind in Gaul when his father attacked Valentinian II’s Italian possessions in the summer of 387 AD. Following Maximus’ defeat, he was beheaded, and Flavius Victor fell into the hands of the ambitious general Arbogast, who also promptly executed him.
Mints: Arelate, Aquileia, Constantinople, London, Lugdunum, Milan, Treveri
D N MAG MAXIMVS P F AVG
AU Solidus (4.50 grams)
AU Semissis (2.25 grams)
Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong