Magnus Maximus, 383-388. Solidus (Gold, 21 mm, 4.44 g, 7 h), Treveri, 383-384. D N MAG MAXIMVS P F AVG Laurel-and-rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Magnus Maximus to right. Rev. RESTITVTOR REI PVBLICAE / SMTR Maximus, in military attire, standing front, head to right, holding labarum in his right hand and Victory on globe in his left; in field to left, star. Depeyrot 50/1 corr. (position of star). RIC 76.2. Rare. A beautiful example of this historically important issue. Light die wear, otherwise, extremely fine.
From the collection of a retired senior air force officer, Leu 7, 24-25 October 2020, 1825, ex Gorny & Mosch 203, 5 March 2012, 459 and idem 195, 7 March 2011, 498.
Magnus Maximus was a general of Spanish descent who made a career under the famous general Flavius Theodosius, the father of Theodosius I. In 383, Maximus was the commander of the Roman army in Britain, a province that had increasingly been disregarded by the emperors and suffered from a series of Pictish, Scottish and Irish invasions. When Maximus defeated the Picts and Scotti early in 383, his troops proclaimed him Augustus and he marched against Gratian. The two armies met near Paris, but Gratian's soldiers deserted to the enemy and the emperor was killed near Lugdunum on 25 August. Maximus thereafter ruled Britain and Gaul from his capital Treveri and was recognized by the juvenile Valentinian II in Mediolanum and Theodosius I as the third Augustus. However, when he invaded Italy in 387, Valentinian II fled to Theodosius I, who marched against the usurper and defeated him twice in 388. Maximus was captured in Aquileia and executed, while Theodosius I, who had meanwhile married Valentinian's sister, reinstalled his brother-in-law as the western Augustus.