Maximin I the Thracian


May 28, 2022

Guy Julius Verus Maximinus (lat. Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus), better known in Roman historiography as Maximinus I the Thracian, was a Roman emperor who ruled from 235-238. A native of the Danube provinces, Maximinus, according to ancient sources, was a shepherd, then entered the military service and went from an ordinary soldier to command ranks. In 235, Maximinus, who led the troops of recruits during the campaign against the Alemanni, was proclaimed emperor as a result of a soldier's rebellion, which ended in the assassination of his predecessor Alexander Severus. The new emperor had no connections among the senatorial and urban nobility and relied during his reign on the army. Maximinus waged successful wars with the barbarian tribes on the Rhine and Danube, personally taking part in the battles. Due to the financial difficulties associated with maintaining the army during long military campaigns, the emperor increased tax collections and often resorted to confiscations and requisitions, which led to general discontent among the population. This policy provoked an uprising in Africa in 238, when local landowners, having killed the procurator Maximinus, proclaimed the aged proconsul of the province Gordian I and his son Gordian II as emperors. The Senate recognized the imperial title of the Gordians, declaring Maximin an enemy of the state. Upon learning of this, Maximin went on a campaign against Italy to suppress the rebellion. At the same time, the governor of Numidia, Capelian, defeated the supporters of the Gordians near Carthage, who both died. The senators elected new emperors from their ranks - Balbinus and Pupienus, who led the struggle against Maximinus. Meanwhile, Maximinus entered Italy and laid siege to the city of Aquileia. However, soon his soldiers, faced with a lack of supplies and hunger, raised a riot that ended in the murder of Maximinus and his son. Maximinus I the Thracian held the following victorious titles: "Germanic Greatest", "Sarmatian Greatest" and "Dacian Greatest" - from 236, and also, presumably, "Parthian Greatest".


One of the most important sources telling about the life and reign of Maximin the Thracian is the collection of imperial biographies "History of the Augusti", in particular, biographies of