Marcus Maecilius Flavius Eparchius Avitus was born in 395 and was named Master of Soldiers by Emperor Petronius Maximus.

It was Emperor Maximus who sent Avitus on a friendly mission to seek allegiance with Theodoric II, the King of the Visigoths but upon his arrival Avitus would learn that the Vandals had invaded Rome and that Maximus had been killed. Theodoric persuaded Avitus to take the place of the former emperor and by 455 his soldiers had proclaimed him emperor and he arrived back at Rome that year to make the claim official.

The roman people were never satisfied with Avitus as ruler and following a failed campaign against the Vandals and famine ravaging the empire a revolt was led by Ricimer and Majorian.

Avitus fled and attempted to raise an army with which to fight for his position bur was defeated and captured. Though his life was spared he attempted to escape to Gaul but he died on the way there.

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