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Maximian. Statue from Utica. Rijksmuseum van oudheden, Leiden (Netherlands). Photo Jona Lendering.
Maximian. Statue from Utica. Rijksmuseum van oudheden (Leiden)
Maximian: emperor of the Roman world (285-305, 306-308).


  • 21 July 250 (?): full name unknown
  • Oktober 285: Proclaimed caesar by Diocletian
  • 1 April 286: Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Augustus Herculius 
  • 1 May 305: resigned
  • December 306: Second reign: Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Augustus
  • November 308: forced to resign
  • July 310: taken captive; suicide

Early career:

Main deeds, first reign:

  • 286 Successful campaign against the Bagaudes; Maximianus made co-ruler; he accepts the title Herculius
  • 286 War against the Germanic tribes; insurrection of Carausius in Britain
  • 287 Consul (with Diocletian III); continued war against the Germanic tribes; accepts the title Germanicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus II
  • 288 Consul II (with Pomponius Januarius); end of the Germanic war; Germanicus Maximus III; meeting with Diocletian
  • 289 Naval catastrophe; Moorish war; Diocletian successfully fights against the Sarmatians; Maximianus accepts the title Sarmaticus Maximus
  • 290 Consul III (with Diocletian IV)
  • 290/291 Meeting with Diocletian in Milan
  • 292 War against the Alamans
  • 293 Consul IV (with Diocletian V); First Tetrarchy: Galerius and Constantius I Chlorus proclaimed caesares; all four men accept the title Germanicus Maximus, Maximianus for the fourth time; in Britain, Carausius is killed by Allectus
  • 294 Diocletian defeats the Sarmatians; Maximianus accepts the title Sarmaticus Maximus II
  • 295 Galerius fight against the Persians (?); Maximianus accepts the title Persicus Maximus
  • 296 Diocletian fights against the Carpi; Maximianus accepts the title Carpicus Maximus and adds Britannicus Maximus after Constantius has reconquered Britain
  • 296/297 Insurrection of Julianus in Africa; campaign against the Moors
  • 297 Consul V (with Galerius II)
  • 298 Stay in Carthage and expedition to Tripolitana; Galerius defeats Narseh; end of the Persian war; Maximianus accepts the titles Armeniacus Maximus, Medicus Maximus, Adiabenicus Maximus, and Persicus Maximus II
  • 299 Consul VI (with Diocletian VII); return to Rome; begins building the Baths of Diocletian
  • 300 Accepts, after Galerius' successes along the Danube, the title Sarmaticus Maximus III
  • 301 Accepts, after Constantius' successes along the Rhine, the title Germanicus Maximus V; monetary reform; edict on Maximum Prizes
  • 303 Consul VII (with Diocletian VIII); joint triumph with Maximianus; edict against the Christians
  • 304 Consul VIII (with Diocletian IX)
  • 305 Diocletian and Maximianus resign; Second Tetrarchy: they are succeeded by Galerius and Constantius I Chlorus, who appoint as caesares Maximinus Daia and Severus II
  • Maximianus retires from politics
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One of the mosaics of the late-antique Roman villa at Piazza Armerina. Photo Marco Prins.
One of the mosaics of the
late-antique Roman villa
at Piazza Armerina

Main deeds, second reign:

  • 306 Third Tetrarchy: After the death of Constantius I Chlorus, Severus II becomes emperor and recognizes Chlorus' son Constantine as his caesar. Maxentius, the son of Maximianus, occupies Rome, demanding the caesarship; Maximianus supports him
  • 307 Maximianus forces Severus II into surrender and orders him to abdicate; recognizes Constantine as emperor, marries him to his daughter Fausta; consul IX (with Constantine)
  • 308 Maximianus unsuccessfully tries to dethrone his son in Rome; flees to Constantine; Conference at Carnuntum; Maximianus resigns again
  • 310 Maximianus provokes a new rebellion, is captured, and commits suicide
  • Damnatio memoriae
Buildings: Baths of Diocletian, Piazza Armerina (?)

Succeeded by: Constantius I Chlorus

This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.

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