Maximinus Daia

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Aureus of Maximinus Daia
Follis of Maximinus Daia

Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximinus (called Maximinus Daia , Maximinus Daza or Maximinus II. , † August 313 in Tarsos ) was a Roman emperor . First he was from 305 subordinate co-emperor ( Caesar ) in the second tetrarchy , from the fifth tetrarchy from May 311 he ruled as Augustus until his death . He is the last Roman emperor to be dubbed and listed as pharaoh in the Egyptian king lists.

Maximinus was originally supposed to be an Illyrian shepherd. In any case, he did not come from any known family, but rose up in the Roman army and was adopted in May 305 by his uncle, Galerius , who had been one of the four emperors in the empire since 293, raised to the rank of Caesar and ruled in Entrusted to Syria and Egypt . As early as 308, after Licinius ' proclamation , he demanded that he also receive the title of Augustus , which he also received in 310 through the acclamation of his soldiers.

Having risen to senior Augustus with the death of Galerius in 311 , Maximinus achieved rule in the Asian provinces through decisive action. He allegedly ordered radical persecution of Christians (despite the edict of tolerance of his uncle Galerius from the same year) and at the same time tried to consolidate traditional polytheism organizationally. He seems to have complied with the wishes of the majority of the population in his part of the empire; Thus the request of the provincial residents of Lycia et Pamphylia , "to finally silence the Christians who have been behaving insane for a long time", is attested by an inscription from Arykanda. The assertion of the Christian historian Eusebius of Caesarea (HE 9,8,2) that Maximinus forced the population to express these requests is considered implausible; rather, in view of the tense situation, Maximinus had to try to make himself popular with the people. The emperor particularly promoted the cult of Serapis . His attempts to make the non-Christian cults imitate those elements (poor relief, etc.) that made Christianity increasingly popular were later taken up again by Julian . However, when the conflict with Licinius began to become inevitable, Maximinus seems to have taken a more conciliatory attitude towards the Christians.

Maximinus apparently formed an alliance with Maxentius , who ruled Italy after his rival Licinius had come to an understanding with Constantine . In late 312 or early 313 there was an open break with Licinius; Maximinus went on the offensive but suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Heraclea Pontica area on April 30th . He fled first to Nicomedia , then to Tarsus , where he died the following August - although his death was described in different ways: "out of desperation", "through poison" or "through divine justice". Severianus , who possibly succeeded him briefly, was executed by Licinius.

Maximinus was portrayed extremely negatively after his death; Among other things, the extent of the persecution of Christians in his part of the empire was possibly massively exaggerated in order to portray him as "Gotthasser" ( church history of Eusebius) . What is certain is that Maximinus had the measures against the Christians suspended again in November 312 and issued an edict of tolerance in the spring of 313, which also provided for the return of the confiscated property of the Christians. Whether this is only due to the impending war against Licinius is unclear and controversial.


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predecessor Office successor
Galerius Roman Emperor
305 / 310–313