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Gaius Iulius Verus. A Roman emperor who reigned from A.D. 235 to 238. He was born in a village on the confines of Thrace, of barbarian parentage, his father being a Goth, and his mother a German from the tribe of the Alani. Brought up as a shepherd, he attracted the attention of Septimius Severus by his gigantic stature and marvellous feats of strength, and was permitted to enter the army. He eventually rose to the highest rank in the service; and on the murder of Alexander Severus by the mutinous troops in Gaul (235 A.D.) he was proclaimed emperor. He immediately bestowed the title of Caesar on his son Maximus. During the three years of his reign he carried on war against the Germans with success, but his government was characterized by a degree of oppression and sanguinary excess hitherto unexampled. The Roman world became at length tired of this monster. The Senate and the provinces gladly acknowledged the two Gordiani, who had been proclaimed emperors in Africa, and after their death the Senate itself proclaimed Maximus and Balbinus emperors (238 A.D.). As soon as Maximinus heard of the elevation of the Gordians, he hastened from his winter-quarters at Sirmium. Having crossed the Alps he laid siege to Aquileia, and was there slain by his own soldiers along with his son Maximus in April. The most extraordinary tales are related of the physical powers of Maximinus, which seem to have been almost incredible. His height exceeded eight feet. The circumference of his thumb was equal to that of a woman's wrist, so that the bracelet of his wife served him for a ring. It is said that he was able single-handed to drag a loaded wagon, could with his fist knock out the teeth, and with a kick break the leg of a horse; while his appetite was such that in one day he could eat forty pounds of meat and drink an amphora of wine.


A Roman emperor (305-314), originally called Daza, and subsequently Galerius Valerius Maximīnus. He was the nephew of Galerius by a sister, and in early life followed the occupation of a shepherd in his native Illyria. Having entered the army, he rose to the highest rank in the service; and upon the abdication of Diocletian in 305, he was adopted by Galerius and received the title of Caesar. In 308 Galerius gave him the title of Augustus, and on the death of the latter, in 311, Maximinus and Licinius divided the East between them. In 313 Maximinus attacked the dominions of Licinius, who had gone to Milan for the purpose of receiving in marriage the sister of Constantine. He was, however, defeated by Licinius near Heraclea, and fled to Tarsus, where he soon after died. Maximinus possessed no military talents. He owed his elevation to his family connection. He surpassed all his contemporaries in the profligacy of his private life, in the general cruelty of his administration, and in the furious hatred with which he persecuted the Christians. An account of the two Maximini is given by Iulius Capitolinus in the Augusta Historia.

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