Maximinus Thrax

Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus

AD173 ~ AD238

Born as Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus in 173, he was the first emperor to never actually set foot in Rome and his rule marked the beginning of the “Crisis of the Third Century”.


Historical accounts state that he was reportedly 8ft 6 in tall and was incredibly strong. He joined the army during the reign of Septimius Severus but was not promoted to a powerful position until the reign of Alexander Severus. The legions elected him to take over Alexander’s rule and although the senate weren’t happy having a peasant as a ruler he was supported strongly by the praetorian guard.

He hated the nobility and suspected many of plotting against him, but as a result of this over-cautiousness he thwarted at least two plots against him.

After his first victory on the battlefield, he promoted his son Maximus to the rank of Caesar. During his reign, a governor of the province of Africa, Gordian I and his son Gordian II, took law into their own hands when murdering a corrupt government official who had initially caused a revolt in the region. The province proclaimed them both as co emperors and the senate soon switched allegiance and set about increasing support for the pair. The Gordian’s were soon killed by an enemy, Capelianus.

When Maximinus reached Rome the senate became extremely worried as they had shown such great support for the Gordian’s and were determined to defy him by electing two of their own (Pupienus and Balbinus) as co-emperors. The people of Rome were unhappy with this decision and Gordian III was elected Caesar in 238 after much fighting in the street. At the same time Maximinus was assassinated by his own guards.

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