as Augustus (Western Roman Empire) AD 455 - 456
Marcus Maecilius Flavius Eparchius Avitus (AD ? - 456).
Paralel ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire:
Marcian (AD 450 - 457)
Avitus was of a Romano-Gallic progeny and a man of refined education, the scion of a distinguished family from the Auvern. Serving long years with the Visigothic kings of Gaul, he was already in retirement when Theodoric II persuaded him to accept the throne. On July 9, 455 he accepted and was hailed by the troops as the leader of Gaul. After he moved to Rome, however, he met up with the hostility of the Senate, who did not like a Gallo-Roman on the throne. To neutralize them, Avitus turned to Ricimer, an outstanding German general. Ricimer remained loyal only for a couple of months. After clearing Sicily of the Vandals, while Avitus was campaigning in Panonia, Ricimer changed sides and conspired with the Senate to get rid of Avitus. The Emperor attempted to flee to his native Gaul but was captured and deposed. In a rare gesture, he was allowed to remain a bishop of Placentia; however, he soon got wind that the Senate wanted him dead and in a desperate attempt to escape perished somewhere in on the way towards the Alps.
Mints: Arelate, Mediolanum, Rome.
List all Avitus coins in the Catalog.