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Marius (emperor)

Marius: emperor of the Gallic Empire (269).


Successor of: Postumus

Main deeds:
The emperor Postumus was killed when he captured Mainz, where Laelianus had tried to start an empire for himself. Marius succeeded Postumus, but was killed soon afterwards.

Succeeded by: Victorinus

Text from the Historia Augusta

After Victorinus, Laelianus and Postumus were slain, Marius, formerly a worker in iron, so it is said, held the imperial power, but only for three days. What more can be asked concerning him I know not, save that he was made more famous by the shortness of his rule. For, just as that consul who held the office as a substitute for six hours at midday was ridiculed by Cicero in the jest, "We have had a consul so stern and severe that during his term of office no one has breakfasted, no one has dined, and no one has slept," so the same, it would seem, can be said of Marius, who on the first day was made emperor, on the second seemed to rule, and on the third was slain.

He was, indeed, an active man and rose through the various grades of military service to the imperial power itself - this one whom many called Mamurius and some Veturius, because, forsooth, he was a worker in iron. But we have already said too much about this man, concerning whom it will be sufficient to add that there was no one whose hands were stronger, for either striking or thrusting, since he seemed to have not veins in his fingers, but sinews. For he is said to have thrust back on-coming waggons by means of his forefinger and with a single finger to have struck the strongest men so hard that they felt as much pain as though hit by a blow from wood or blunted iron; and he crushed many objects by the mere pressure of two of his fingers. He was slain by a soldier whom, because he had once been a worker in his smithy, he had treated with scorn either when he commanded troops or after he had taken the imperial power. His slayer is said to have added the words, "This is a sword which you yourself have forged."

This page was created in 2005; last modified on 10 August 2020.

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