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Mascezel (Latin: Masceldelus or Mascezel) ( circa 398)[1] was briefly ruler of Roman North Africa after the defeat of his brother Gildo during the Gildonic revolt in 398 AD. He is credited with landing 5,000 Roman legionnaires in the province on the orders of Stilicho in order to put down the revolt.[2] He was favourably compared to his elder brother by the panegyrist Claudian.[3] According the Paulinus of Milan, Ambrose of Milan appeared to Mascazel in a dream and assured him of victory against his brother.[4] Zosimus described his death as follows:

Diptych featuring Stilicho who both gave Mascazel support in overthrowing his brother, and also ordered his death

By means of this victory, the brother of Gildo restored Africa to Honorius, and returned to Italy. Though Stilico was envious of him for his great achievement, yet he pretended an attachment to him, and gave him favourable expectations. But subsequently, as he was going to some place in the suburbs [of Rome], and was pacing over the bridge, Masceldelus among others attending on him, the guards, in obedience to a signal which Stilico gave them, thrust Masceldelus into the river, where he perished through the violence of the stream.[5]

— Zosimus, New History



  1. ^ Halsall, Guy (2007). Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West 376-568. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 200. 
  2. ^ Orosius, Paulus. Historiae Adversum Paganos (History Against the Pagans). pp. VII.36.6. 
  3. ^ Claudian. De Bello Gildonico (The War against Gildo). p. 390. 
  4. ^ Paulinus of Milan. The Life of St. Ambrose of Milan. pp. Chapter 10. 
  5. ^ Zosimus. Historia Nova (New History). pp. Book 5.