Maximus of Barcelona – 409-411 AD

Maximus of Barcelona

409-411 AD

the same time when the Roman Emperor Honorius was clashing with the Visigothic King Alaric who sacked Rome in 410AD, we find so many other events undermining the Roman Empire. The Picts of Scotland invaded Britain crossing Hadrians’s Wall, and Vandals, Alans, and Suebi invaded Gaul (France) devasting the landscape. Honorius ruled what was left of the Western Roman Empire from Ravenna, and the city of Rome had been abandoned by the officials of government. The Visigoths had forced the Senate to appoint Priscus Attalus emperor as their puppet and the remnants of legions in the Britain elevated Constantine III and his son Constans to the throne in a desperate attempt to retake the Empire.

Spain (Iberia) was initially spared, but then in 409AD then Vandals invaded and began to devastate the region. Constans , who had been in Hispania, fled back to join his father Constantine III in Gaul. Their general, Gerontius, remained in Spain, and he struck an alliance with the Vandals. He then appointed Maximus of Barcelona (Barcino) as his own puppet emperor. Maximus was probably a senior staff officer and may have also been a relative in some way perhaps his son or son-in-law. Maximus thus became one of six men claiming to be Emperor in the year 410AD.

Gerontius besieged, defeated and executed Constans  at Vienne. The general then besieged Constantine III at Arles, but the forces of Honorius joined the fight and defeated him. Gerontius was trapped and committed suicide. Maximus then fled to his Vandal allies in Iberia who protected him until he was pardoned by Honorius.

It is not known whether or not Maximus Tryannus was the same man, by this Maximum rebelled in 420AD against Rome. He was swiftly captured, taken to Ravenna, and executed by Honorius 422AD.

Monetary System

The coinage of Maximus is quite rare. No denominations other than the reduced silver siliquae are known.

Mints: Barcino

Obverse Legend:



AR Siliqua (1.22 grams)

The Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong