or MARCELLIA'NUS (Μαρκελλιανός
, Procop.), a Roman officer, who acquired for himself in the fifth century an independent principality in Illyricum.
He was a friend of the patrician Aetius, on whose assassination, A. D. 454 [AETIUS], he appears to have renounced his allegiance to the contemptible emperor Valentinian III. [VALENTINIANUS III.]; and having gathered a force, established himself in Dalmatia and the other parts of Illyricum. (Procop. De Bell. Vandal,
After the assassination of Valentinian, whether before the election or after the deposition of Avitus is not clear [AVITUS], a conspiracy of the young nobles was formed under the restless Paeonius to raise Marcellinus to the empire, but without success. (Sidon. Apollin. Epistol.
1.11.) During the reign of Majorian, Marcellinus appears to have recognized his authority; and the title of Patricius Occidentis, which Marcellinus bore, was perhaps conferred at this time.
He marched with a body of troops, chiefly or entirely Goths, to the assistance of Majorian against the Vandals, and was posted in Sicily to defend that island from invasion; but the patrician Ricimer, jealous of Marcellinus, employed his superior wealth in bribing his soldiers to desert him; and Marcellinus, fearing some attempt on his life, withdrew in anger from Sicily, which was left defenceless, and returned apparently to Illyricum.
This was probably in A. D. 461 or 462, after Majorian's death. (Priscus, Historia,
apud Excerpta de Legationibus Gentium ad Romanos,
100.14, and Romanorum ad Gentes,
100.10.) The Western empire, which had passed into the hands of Severus, now apprehended an attack from Marcellinus, but he was prevailed on to give up any hostile purpose by the mediation of the Eastern emperor, Leo, who sent Phylarchus as ambassador to him. (Priscus, ibid.) In A. D. 464 he was engaged in the defence of Sicily, from which he drove out the Vandals (Idatius, Chronicon
); and apparently, in 468, at the request of Leo, drove the same enemy from Sardinia (Procopius, l.c.
). About the time of the expedition of Basiliscus [BASILISCUS] against Carthage (A. D. 468), he was again in Sicily, acting with the Romans against the Vandals, when he was assassinated by his allies (Marcellin. Cuspinian. Cassiodor. Chronica
). Genseric, the Vandal king, who regarded him as his most formidable enemy, rejoiced exceedingly at his death, and repeated the saying, that " the Romans had cut off their right hand with their left." (Damascius, Vita Isidor.
apud Phot. Biblioth.
Cod. 242.) Marcellinus was a heathen (Damascius, l.c.
), a man of learning, and the friend of Salustius, the Cynic philosopher.
He was given to divination, in which he had the reputation of being highly skilled; and was eminent for statesmanship and military skill, of which his establishment and maintenance of his independent position, unstained by any great crime, is a sufficient proof.
He governed his principality equitably (Suidas, s. v. Μαρκελλῖνος
); and perhaps transmitted it to his family; for his nephew, Julius Nepos [NEPOS], when driven from the Western empire by the patrician Orestes [ORESTES], retained some territory and the imperial title in Illyricum, where he was assassinated some years after. [GLYCERIUS.] The ancient authorities for the life of Marcellinus have been cited: of moderns, Gibbon (Decline and Fall,
&100.100.36) and Tillemont (Hist. des Empéreurs,
vol. vi.) may be consulted: but we doubt whether either of them has accurately digested the scattered notices of the ancients.