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Magnentius
Magnentius
(Latin: Flavius Magnus Magnentius
Magnentius
Augustus; r. 303 – August 11, 353) was a usurper of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
from 350 to 353.

Contents

1 Early life and career 2 Usurper 3 Demise 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Early life and career[edit] Born in Samarobriva
Samarobriva
(Amiens), Gaul, Magnentius
Magnentius
was the commander of the Herculians and Jovians, the Imperial guard units.[1] When the army grew dissatisfied with the behavior of Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Constans, it elevated Magnentius
Magnentius
at Autun
Autun
on January 18, 350. Constans
Constans
was abandoned by all except a handful of retainers, and he was slain shortly afterwards by a troop of light cavalry near the Pyrenees. Usurper[edit]

Magnentius
Magnentius
quickly attracted the loyalty of the provinces in Britannia, Gaul, and Hispania, in part because he proved to be far more tolerant towards both Christians and Pagans. His control on Italia and Africa was applied through the election of his men to the most important offices. However, the short-lived revolt of Nepotianus, a member of the Constantinian dynasty, showed Magnentius
Magnentius
that his status as emperor was to be consolidated against the members of that dynasty. Magnentius
Magnentius
tried to strengthen his grasp on the territories previously controlled by Constans, moving towards the Danube. Vetranio, commander of the Pannonian army, had been elected Augustus
Augustus
by his troops in Mursa on 1 March. This revolt had a loyalist mark, since Vetranio
Vetranio
was supported by Constantina, and Constantius II
Constantius II
himself recognized Vetranio, sending him the imperial diadem. Demise[edit] The remaining emperor of the family of Constantine I, Constantius II broke off his war in Syria with Persia, and marched west. Despite Magnentius' efforts to gain Vetranio
Vetranio
to his cause, the elderly Vetranio
Vetranio
reached Constantius with his army, resigned the crown, and went into retirement in Bithynia.

A Nummus of Magnentius

After electing Magnus Decentius (probably his brother) as Caesar and gathering as many troops as possible, Magnentius
Magnentius
advanced his armies to meet those of Constantius in the Battle of Mursa Major in 351; Magnentius
Magnentius
led his troops into battle, while Constantius spent the day of battle praying in a nearby church. Despite Magnentius' heroism, his troops were defeated and forced to retreat back to Gaul. As a result of Magnentius' defeat, Italy ejected his garrisons and rejoined the loyalist cause. Magnentius
Magnentius
made a final stand in 353 in the Battle of Mons Seleucus, after which he committed suicide by falling on his sword. Following the suppression of Magnentius' rebellion, Constantius commanded an investigation be made to find his followers. The most notorious agent in this search was the primicerius notariorum Paulus Catena ("Paul the Chain"). Some sources state that Magnentius' father was a Briton and his mother a Frank.[2] His wife, Justina, later remarried to Valentinian I. Notes[edit]

^ Zosimus, ii.58 ^ Drinkwater pp.131–59. Original sources: Epit. de Caes. 42.7; Zos. HN 2.46.3, 54.1; Zonar. 13.6.1.

References[edit]

Cameron, Averil, and Peter Garnsey ed., The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol XIII, Cambridge University Press, 1988. Drinkwater, J.F. (2000). "The revolt and ethnic origin of the usurper Magnentius
Magnentius
(350–53), and the rebellion of Vetranio
Vetranio
(350)". Chiron (30).  (in French) Pierre Bastien (numismat) (fr), Le Monnayage de Magnence (350 – 353), Wetteren
Wetteren
(Belgium), Édition numismatique romaine, 1983

External links[edit] Media related to Magnentius
Magnentius
at Wikimedia Commons

Magnentius Non-dynastic Born: 18 January 350 Died: 11 August 353

Regnal titles

Preceded by Constans Roman Emperor 350–353 Served alongside: Constantius II
Constantius II
and Decentius as appointed Caesar (junior emperor) Succeeded by Constantius II

Political offices

Preceded by Sergius, Nigrinianus Consul of the Roman Empire 351 with Gaiso Succeeded by Flavius Magnus Decentius Caesar, Paulus , Flavius Iulius Constantius Augustus
Augustus
V, Flavius Claudius
Claudius
Constantius Caesar

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining ind

.