as Augustus (Usurper in Rome) AD 455
Flavius Ancius Petronius Maximus (ca. 396 - 455):
Second husband of Licinia Eudoxia;
Son-in-law of Theodosiau II and Aelia Eudocia.
Paralel ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire:
Marcian (AD 450 - 457)
Flavius Petronius Maximus was an influential aristocrat who served as Praetorian Prefect in Italy and city Prefect of Rome on three occasions and was wealthy enough at a time when the imperial finances in the West were crumbling to build a Forum of his own. After the murder of Valentinian III in 455 his wealth, distinguished service, and influence made him a good choice for the purple in the absence of other direct claimants. To gain legitimacy, he immediately married Valentian IIIís widow, Licinia Eudoxia. Eudoxia, however, had reasons to believe that Maximus was responsible for her husbandís death, and choose to request help against her new spouse from Gaiseric, the powerful Vandal king with she was in-laws. In early May, news reached Rome that Gaiseric had set sail for Rome. The citizens panicked and began evacuating the capital. Maximus, instead of taking measures to calm them and organize the cityís defenses, planned to flee himself. Thus he did on May 31, and as he was leaving the disaffected population sent a hail of stones his way. One of those struck him in the head and killed him.
Mints: Ravenna, Rome.
List all Petronius Maximus coins in the Catalog.