Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus (249-310 CE) was the co-emperor of Diocletian at the start of the tetrachy.

Maximanus came from humble conditions, but made a career in the military which brought him in contact with Diocletian. When the latter was acclaimed emperor, Maximianus was likely by his side, and he was soon after appointed Caesar, or vice-emperor. When Diocletian instituted the tetrachy, he was made Augustus or co-emperor.

When Diocletian resigned in 305, he forced Maximianus to resign as well, but Maximianus didn’t want to leave power. He tried to convice Diocletian to return, and when it was turned down, he tried to help his son Maxentius in his bid for imperial power in the civil wars between the various contenders. He lost his life in 310, either killed or by suicide, after a failed plot at the life of Constantine I who was married to the daughter of Maximianus.


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