Marcus Aurelius Marius

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Augustus of Gaul and Britannia
Coin featuring Marius. Caption: IMP. C. M. AVR. MARIVS AVG.
Emperor of the Gallic Empire
Augusta Treverorum (Trier)
Marcus Aurelius Marius
Regnal name
Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Marius Augustus

Marcus Aurelius Marius[1] was emperor of the Gallic Empire in 269 following the assassination of Postumus.


According to later tradition, he was a blacksmith by trade, which earned him the nickname Mamurius Veturius, a legendary metalworker in the time of Numa.[2] He rose through the ranks of the Roman army to become an officer.[3] He was part of the army that revolted at Moguntiacum (Mainz) after the Emperor Postumus refused to allow them to sack the city.[4] They murdered the emperor and in the confusion that followed, the army elected Marius as Postumus' successor.[5]

His first decision was to allow his troops to sack the city of Moguntiacum.[6] He then moved to Augusta Treverorum (Trier) to consolidate his power base.[7] His reign lasted no more than two or three months before Postumus' praetorian prefect Victorinus had Marius killed in mid-269, most likely at Augusta Treverorum.[8]

According to ancient written sources, Marius' reign lasted only two or three days before he was killed by a sword of his own manufacture.[9] This tradition is probably partly or wholly inaccurate. Based on the number of coins he issued, a more accurate length for his reign would be at least two or three months.[10]

Marius is listed as one of the Thirty Tyrants in the Historia Augusta. It is said that he was chosen because his names were reminiscent of two great Romans of the past, Marcus Aurelius and Gaius Marius.[7]


  1. ^ Martindale, pg. 562
  2. ^ Historia Augusta, Tyranni Triginta, 8:1; Thomas Habinek, The World of Roman Song: From Ritualized Speech to Social Order (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), p. 25.
  3. ^ Martindale, pg. 562
  4. ^ Southern, pg. 118
  5. ^ Potter, pg. 266
  6. ^ Polfer, Marius
  7. ^ a b Polfer, Marius
  8. ^ Polfer, Marius; Potter, pg. 266
  9. ^ Historia Augusta, Tyranni Triginta, 8:1-2; Eutropius, 9:2; Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 33:11-12
  10. ^ Polfer, Marius; Martindale, pg. 562


Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Southern, Pat. The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, Routledge, 2001
  • Potter, David Stone, The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180-395, Routledge, 2004
  • Jones, A.H.M., Martindale, J.R. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I: AD260-395, Cambridge University Press, 1971
  • Polfer, Michel, "Postumus (A.D. 269)", De Imperatoribus Romanis (1999)

External links[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by Emperor of the Gallic Empire
Succeeded by