Roman Emperors Dir Flavius Victor
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors
Flavius Victor (384-388 A.D.)
Walter E. Roberts
Flavius Victor was the infant son of Magnus Maximus. After Maximus failed to achieve a peaceful accomodation with Valentinian II and Theodosius I in 384, he proclaimed Victor as his co-Augustus. This is attested to by Prosper Tiro and the coinage issues, especially the AE 2 SPES ROMANORUM series. When Maximus invaded Italy in 387, he left Victor in Trier under the care of the generals Quintinus and Nannienus. After Maximus' defeat, Theodosius sent Arbogastes to slay Victor.
Victor's brief reign is important for several reasons. Most importantly it shows Maximus' changing strategy with regards to asserting his legitimacy. When Valentinian II and Theodosius refused to recognize his claim as a legitimate emperor, Maximus forced the issue by co-opting Victor. Making their eldest son a member of the imperial college during their lifetime was a standard practice among emperors in the fourth century. Valentinian I had done this with Gratian and Theodosius did the same with Arcadius. By making his son an Augustus, Maximus gave the appearance that he was a lawful emperor. This may have been one of the reasons that Theodosius finally recognized Maximus from 386 until his invasion of Italy in 387.
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