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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 926 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MAXIMUS, the name of four Roman emperors. I. M. CLoDIUS PUPIENUS MAXIMUS, joint emperor with D. Caelius Calvinus Balbinus during a few months of the year A.D. 238. Pupienus was a distinguished soldier, who had been proconsul of Bithynia, Achaea, and Gallia Narbonensis. At the advanced age of seventy-four, he was chosen by the senate with Balbinus to resist the barbarian Maximinus. Their complete equality is shown by the fact that each assumed the titles of pontifex maximus and princeps senatus. It was arranged that Pupienus should take the field against Maximinus, while Balbinus remained at Rome to maintain order, a task in which he signally failed. A revolt of the praetorians was not repressed till much blood had been shed and a considerable part of the city reduced to ashes. On his march, Pupienus, having received the news that Maximinus had been assassinated by his own troops, returned in triumph to Rome. Shortly afterwards, when both emperors were on the point of leaving the city on an expedition—Pupienus against the Persians and Balbinus against the Goths—the praetorians, who had always resented the appointment of the senatorial emperors and cherished the memory of the soldier-emperor Maximinus, seized the opportunity of revenge. When most of the people were at the Capitoline games, they forced their way into the palace, dragged Balbinus and Pupienus through the streets, and put them to death. See Capitolinus, Life of Maximus and Balbinus; Herodian vii. to, viii. 6; Zonaras xii. 16; Orosius vii. 19; Eutropius ix. 2; Zosimus i. 14; Aurelius Victor, Caesares, 26, epit. 26; H. Schiller, Geschichte der rgmischen Kaiserzeit, i. 2; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 7 and (for the chronology) appendix 12 (Bury's edition). II. MAGNUS MAXIMUS, a native of Spain, who had accompanied Theodosius on several expeditions and from 368 held high military rank in Britain. The disaffected troops havingproclaimed Maximus emperor, he crossed over to Gaul, attacked Gratian (q.v.), and drove him from Paris to Lyons, where he was murdered by a partisan of Maximus. Theodosius being unable to avenge the death of his colleague, an agreement was made (384 or 385) by which Maximus was recognized as Augustus and sole emperor in Gaul, Spain and Britain, while Valentinian II. was to remain unmolested in Italy and Illyricum, Theodosius retaining his sovereignty in the East. In 387 Maximus crossed the Alps, Valentinian was speedily put to flight, while the invader established himself in Milan and for the time became master of Italy. Theodosius now took vigorous measures. Advancing with a powerful army, he twice defeated the troops of Maximus—at Siscia on the Save, and at Poetovio on the Danube. He then hurried on to Aquileia., where Maximus had shut himself up, and had him beheaded. Under the name of Maxen Wledig, Maximus appears in the list of Welsh royal heroes (see R. Williams , Biog. Dict. of Eminent Welshmen, 1852; " The Dream of Maxen Wledig," in the Mabinogion). Full account with classical references in H. Richter, Das westromische Reich, besonders unter den Kaisern Gratian, Valentinian II. and Maximus (1865); see also H. Schiller, Geschichte der rOmischen Kaiserzeit, ii. (1887); Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 27; Tillemont, Hist. des empereurs, v. See Orosius vii. 42; Zosimus vi. 5; Sozomen ix. 3; E. A. Freeman, " The Tyrants of Britain, Gaul and Spain, A.D. 406-411," in English Historical Review, i. (1886). IV. PETRONIUS MAXIMUS, a member of the higher Roman nobility, had held several court and public offices, including those of praefectus Romae (420) and Italiae (439–441 and 445), and consul (433, 443)• He was one of the intimate associates of Valentinian III., whom he assisted in the palace intrigues which led to the death of Aetius in 454; but an outrage committed on the wife of Maximus by the emperor turned his friendship into hatred. Maximus was proclaimed emperor immediately after Valentinian's murder (March 16, 455), but after reigning less than three months, he was murdered by some Burgundian mercenaries as he was fleeing before the troops of Genseric, who, invited by Eudoxia, the widow of Valentinian, had landed at the mouth of the Tiber (May or June 455). See Procopius, Vand. i. 4; Sidonius Apollinaris, Panegyr. Aviti, ep. ii. 13; the various Chronicles; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chs. 35, 36; Tillemont, Hist. des empereurs, vi.
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