Majorian (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: The last emperor of the Western Roman Empire to have significant successes against the barbarians and to offer hope that the empire could be restored.
As a youth, Majorian served with Aetius, along with the Gallic Aegidius and the barbarian Ricimer. He fought against the Franks at the Battle of Vicus Helena (c. 448). After the murder of Aetius in 454, he was made count of the domestics by Emperor Valentinian III. He retained this position under Petronius Maximus and Eparchius Avitus. When Avitus’s popularity in Italy waned in 456, Majorian and Ricimer, now a military count, revolted, defeating and deposing Avitus at Piacenza.
On February 28, 457, Majorian was named master of soldiers by the Eastern Roman emperor Leo I. In this capacity, he sent Count Burco against Alamanni, who had invaded Italy. The resultant victory led to Majorian’s acclamation as emperor on April 1. Majorian spent his entire reign attempting to consolidate his authority. In 458, he defeated a Vandal party raiding Campania. Soon thereafter, Majorian marched into Gaul. The Visigoths were driven away from Arles, and Majorian made his old friend Aegidius master of soldiers of Gaul. The Burgundians were defeated, and Lyon was besieged and captured. In 459, Majorian reoccupied much of Spain, which he wanted to use as a base to attack the Vandals in Africa. However, the following year, his fleet was destroyed through...
(The entire section is 304 words.)
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