Flavius Gaudentius

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Flavius Gaudentius (or simply Gaudentius) (died 425 AD) was the father of the Roman magister militum Flavius Aetius and married to an Italian noblewoman.[1] He was of Scythian origin.[2][3] As the term "Scythian" was frequently used in the late-Roman period for East Germanic tribes, Joseph Cummins notes that Gaudentius was possibly of Gothic origin.[3]

Gaudentius served under the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius I against the usurper Eugenius. Later, when his son Flavius Aetius was born in 396, Gaudentius served as magister equitum, or Master of Cavalry, under the Emperor Honorius. In 399, he served as the Comes Africae (count of Africa). Presumably he was Christian, as Augustine of Hippo claimed that he destroyed pagan temples in Carthage.[4] According to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gaudentius was still serving the Western Empire in the 420s as magister militum of the Western Roman Empire. He served under the usurper Ioannes until his death in a military uprising in Gaul in 425.[1]


  1. ^ a b J. R. Martindale (1980), The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Vol. 2, pp. 493-494.
  2. ^ Thomas J. Craughwell, How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds, 2008, p.60 Google book
  3. ^ a b Joseph Cummins, The War Chronicles: From Chariots to Flintlocks, Fair Winds, 2008 p. 110 Google book
  4. ^ Augustine of Hippo, City of God, Book 18, chapter 54 (Available at CCEL)