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Sextus Marcius Martinianus (Martinian)
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Martinian - Follis cyzicus RIC 016.jpg
Follis of Martinianus
Reign July - September 18, 324 (nominally as Augustus in the west, with Licinius as Augustus in the east)
Died 325
Predecessor Constantine I
Successor Constantine I

Sextus Marcius Martinianus (usually rendered in English as Martinian; died 325) was Roman Emperor from July to September 18, 324. He had been appointed co-emperor by Licinius.

Contents

Elevation

In 324 the second civil war between Licinius and Constantine I was at its height, and Licinius was losing. Because of this war he decided to replace Constantine (in name only) as western Augustus. As his replacement he named Martinian co-emperor, as he had previously appointed Valens[1] during his earlier war with Constantine. Prior to his elevation, which took place some time after the Battle of Adrianople (July 3, 324), Martinian was serving as magister officiorum at Licinius' court.

Military activities

Following his defeat at Adrianople Licinius sent Martinian, with an army including Visigothic auxiliaries,[2] to Lampsacus (on the Asiatic shore of the Hellespont or Dardanelles) to prevent Constantine from crossing from Thrace into Mysia and Bithynia in Asia Minor. A naval battle in the Hellespont resulted in the destruction of Licinius' navy by Constantine's eldest son Crispus. Following this defeat Licinius withdrew his forces from Byzantium, which was being besieged by Constantine, to Chalcedon on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphoros. Constantine then crossed over to Asia Minor, using a flotilla of light transports in order to evade the forces of Martinian.[3] Licinius recalled Martinian from Lampsacus to reinforce his main army.[4][5] On September 18 Licinius was defeated for the last time at the Battle of Chrysopolis.

Fate

Due to the intervention of Flavia Julia Constantia, Constantine's sister and also Licinius' wife, both Licinius and Martinian were initially spared, Licinius being imprisoned in Thessalonica, Martinian in Cappadocia. However, Constantine seems to have soon regretted his leniency as both men were subsequently executed, probably in the spring of 325.[6]

Notes

  1. ^ Grant (1993), pp. 42-43. Gaius Aurelius Valerius Valens was raised by Licinius to the position of Augustus in 316, following his defeat Licinius appeased Constantine by deposing and executing Valens.
  2. ^ Grant (1993), p. 57
  3. ^ Grant (1985), p. 236
  4. ^ Grant (1993), pp. 46-47
  5. ^ Odahl, p. 180
  6. ^ Grant (1993), pp. 47-48

References

  • DiMaio, Michael, "Martinianus (324 A.D.)", DIR (1996).
  • Grant, Michael (1985), The Roman Emperors: A biographical Guide to the Rulers of Imperial Rome 31 BC-AD 476, London. ISBN 0-297-78555-9
  • Grant, Michael (1993), The Emperor Constantine, London. ISBN 0-75380-5286
  • Odahl, C.M., (2004) Constantine and the Christian Empire, Routledge 2004. ISBN 0415174856
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Licinius
Roman Emperor
324
Served alongside: Licinius
Succeeded by
Constantine I
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