Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Emperor

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Flavius Magnus Maximus Augustus Gueletic

Welsh: Macsen Wledig Gueletic
Also Known As: "Macsen", "Wledig", "Magnus", "Maximus", "Maxianus", "Macsen Wledig", "The Imperator", "Magnus Clemens Maximus"
Birthplace: Callaecia, Spain
Death: Died in Aquileia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Eucherius and Flavia
Husband of Ceindrech ferch Rheiden and St. Elen Lwyddog 'of the Host' of Britain
Father of Eugenius; Flavius Victor, Roman Usurper; Dimit Dimet; Antonius Donatus Gregorius; Custennin Fendigaid Constantine "the Blessed" and 4 others
Brother of Andragathius; Marcellinus and Malvius

Occupation: Spanish-born, emperor of Rome 383-8, Emporer of Western Rome (Britain)
Managed by: Erin Spiceland
Last Updated:

About Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Emperor

Magnus Maximus (Latin: Flavius Magnus Maximus Augustus) (ca. 335 – August 28, 388), also known as Maximianus and Macsen Wledig in Welsh, was Western Roman Emperor from 383 to 388. As commander of Britain, he usurped the throne against Emperor Gratian in 383. However, through negotiation with Theodosius I the following year he was made emperor in Britannia and Gaul - while Gratian's brother Valentinian II retained Italy, Pannonia, Hispania, and Africa. Nevertheless Maximus' ambitions led him to invade Italy in 387, leading to his defeat by Theodosius at the Battle of the Save in 388. His death marked the end of real imperial activity in northern Gaul and Britain. After Maximus, no significant Roman emperor (ignoring shadowy and short-lived usurpers) ever went north of Lyons again.

Magnus Maximus alias Macsen Wledig (the Imperator), Emperor of the West, Abt 340 - 388

  • m. Ceindrech ferch Reiden
    • Victor alias Gwidyr, Abt 354 - 388
    • Eugenius alias Owain Finddu (Black Lips), King of Mid-South Wales, Abt 355 -
  • m. St. Helena of the Host, alias Elen Lwyddog, daughter of Octavius the Old alias Eudaf Hen, Abt 340
    • Antoninus Donatus alias Anwn Dynod, King of South-West Wales, Abt 357 -
    • Constantine alias Custennin Fawr (the Great), King of North-West Wales, Abt 360 -
    • Publicus alias St. Peblig of Llanbeblig, Abt 363 -
    • Gratianna, Abt 367 - , m. Tudwal ap Gwrfawr, King of Dumnonia, Abt 375 -
    • Severa, Abt 370 - , m. Vortigern Vorteneu (the Thin), King of Powys & All Britain, Abt 370 - Abt 459


He was a Spanish Celt, born in Galicia and originally named Maximus. He is generally said to have been a peasant, but he was almost certainly a relative of his patron Theodosius, perhaps a son of Eucherius.

There are two traditional Welsh pedigrees for him.

1. He was the son of Ytec, son of Ytector, son of Ebiud, son of Eliud, son of Stater, son of Pircsmesser, son of Constans, son of Constantini (Constantine the the Great), son of Constantii (Constantius) (Harleian MS. 3859). However, because Constantine the Great died in 337, it is obvious that Maximus, who died 51 years later, cannot have been his 5th great grandson.

2. He was the son of Maxmianus, son of Constantius (Constantine the the Great), son of Custeint (Constantius) (Jesus College MS. 20). Chronologically, he could have been a son of Maximianus. Alternatively, some modern sources speculate he might have been a son of Constantine's disinherited son Crispus. However, it is unlikely he belonged to an earlier, more legitimate dynasty that were potential rivals of his patron Theodosius.

Maximianus Maximus (my 42nd great grandfather).

Magnus Maximus (Latin: Flavius Magnus Maximus Augustus) (ca. 335 – August 28, 388), also known as Maximianus and Macsen Wledig in Welsh, was Western Roman Emperor from 383 to 388

The earliest Welsh genealogies give Maximus (referred to as Macsen/Maxen Wledig, or Emperor Maximus) the role of founding father of the dynasties of several medieval Welsh kingdoms, including those of Powys and Gwent.[10][11] He is given as the ancestor of a Welsh king on the Pillar of Eliseg, erected nearly 500 years after he left Britain, and he figures in lists of the Fifteen Tribes of Wales.[12]

After he became emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Maximus would return to Britain to campaign against the Picts and Scots (i.e., Irish), probably in support of Rome's long-standing allies the Damnonii, Votadini, and Novantae (all located in modern Scotland). While there he likely made similar arrangements for a formal transfer of authority to local chiefs—the later rulers of Galloway, home to the Novantae, would claim Maximus as the founder of their line, the same as did the Welsh kings

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Magnus Maximus, Western Roman Emperor's Timeline

Callaecia, Spain
Age 16
Rome, Italy
Age 20
Age 24
Caer Gloui, Gwent, North Wales
Age 25
Age 34
Caer Gloui, Gwent, North Wales
Age 35
Caer Gloui, Gwent, North Wales
Age 43
Caer Gloui, Gwent, North Wales
August 28, 388
Age 48
Aquileia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy