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Age of Antiquity » 400 AD/CE » 455 AD/CE

Emperor Maximus

When: 3/16/0455 - 5/22/0455 AD/CE
Where: Rome, Roman Empire, Europe

Maximus is thought to have been behind the plot to kill Master of Soldiers Aetius, by convincing Valentinian III that the general was plotting against the emperor. This resulted in Valentinian and an attendant attacking an unarmed Aetius in the palace, killing him.

This did not go unavenged. On March 16, 455 AD, soon after news spread of Aetius' murder, two Huns loyal to the general took advantage of the situation and assassinated Emperor Valentinian III. This plan was also designed by Maximus.

Maximus then stepped in and married Eudocia, Valentinian's wife, against her will. She eventually plotted to have revenge upon Maximus. The plot involved the Vandal Gaiseric, who stormed Rome, only to find that Maximus had died in a slave riot, 77 days after the death of Valentinian III.

After the death of Maximus in 455 AD, the empire was controlled not by an emperor, but by patrician Ricimer, who was of barbarian descent. The designated emperors of this time held the title only - they had little or no power. Patrician Ricimer made and deposed several emperors before his death in 472 AD.

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History Fact of the Month
Did you know ...

The Origin of Valentine's Day?

Valentines day dates back to Roman times, when a holiday called The Feast of Lubercus was celebrated to protect shepherds and their flocks from wolves. During this time of year, goddess Juno Februata was honored by pairing boys and girls and denoting them 'partners' for a year.

Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 497 AD, in an effort to replace pagan holidays with Christian tradition. Although the pairing ritual was banished, romance remains the distinctive attribute of this holiday.

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