Magnus Maximus                    383 - 388 A.D.  


It's uncertain exactly how Magnus Maximus came to power. At the time he was a general in Britain and whether by his own will or that of his troops he was hailed as emperor. Gratian moved quickly to put down the revolt and bring Maximus to justice but, his troops mutinied, switched sides and had Gratian executed instead. Maximus then sought to have his claim recognized throughout the rest of the empire and to this end he sent a delegation to the court of Theodosius. If not outright enthusiastic, Theodosius was at least initially cooperative and accepted Maximus. However, the situation changed when Maximus upset the balance of power by intending to appropriate Italy which was under the control of Valentinian II. Suddenly, Theodosius realized that Maximus was intent on becoming the sole ruler of the West and possibly the East as well. Theodosius then rescinded his recognition of Maximus and sent a large army against him. The two sides met roughly halfway between their courts and Maximus was defeated. Maximus was then captured and executed in Aquileia.


AE4 383--388 A.D.

13 mm.

Obv. DN MAG MAXIMVS PF AVG: Diademed bust right

Rev. SPES ROMANORVM: Camp-gate with star between two turrets, T CON in


SR 4206, RIC 29a, Van Meter 16