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Augustus  AD 350 - 353

Flavius Magnus Magnentius (ca. AD 303 - 353):
From Barbaric origin;
Brother of Decentius;
Husband of Justina (future wife of Valentinian I).

Flavius Magnus Magnentius, was born of a British father and a Frankish mother. His military career included an appointment as comes of two legions, the Joviani and the Herculiani. In January 350 he was declared emperor at Augustodunum, most probably because he heard that Constantius suffered a military setback in the east. When Constans learned of the revolt, he attempted to flee, but was captured and put to death by a band of Magnentius' henchmen, who dragged him from a temple. Magnentius then consolidated his hold on the realm of the late emperor. Italy fell to him, and shortly thereafter he controlled Gaul, Africa, and Spain. Late in the winter of 350, at Antioch, Constantius received the report of his brother's death, and refused to acknowledge the usurper's claim to the title. To counter him, probably in the winter of 350/1, Magnentius acclaimed Magnus Decentius, perhaps his brother, Caesar to protect Gaul and the Rhine limes. Magnentius then made preparations for war. He successfully ambush the emperor's forces near Adrana that spring, but in a major battle in September 351 he was defeated, fled the field and retreated to northern Italy to regroup his forces. As Constantius' forces seized some territory in Italy, Magnentius was forced to flee to Gaul. Constantius did not follow up on his advance until the summer of 353, when he moved to Gaul. Near the Cottian Alps, in the area of Mons Seleuci, he defeated Magnentius' forces. The latter then fled with his few remaining troops to Lugdunum, but his troops soon changed their minds and decided to surrender Magnentius to the emperor. When Magnentius realized that there was no escape, he murdered, or attempted to murder all the relatives who were with him, including his mother, before committing suicide in August 353.

Mints: Ambianum, Aquileia, Arelate, Lugdunum, Rome, Siscia, Treveri.

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