Abt 400 - Aft 456 (~ 56 years)
Has one ancestor and 6 descendants in this family tree.
||Marcus Maecilius Avitus  |
||Aft 17 Oct 456 
||8 Nov 2009 |
- Eparchius Avitus, who was born of a senatorial family circa A.D. 400, was a native of the Auvergne in Gaul. His father may have been the Agricola who was consul in 421. He pursued a distinguished career, and early in his life formed close contacts with the Visigothic court at Toulouse. After serving under Flavius Aetius in several military posts, he became Praetorian Prefect of Gaul by 439, in which capacity he was able to re-negotiate the treaty with the Visigoths. In 451, he was influential in gaining the aid of the Visigoths against the invading Huns. In 455, he was appointed by the short-lived emperor Petronius Maximus (455) to the office of Master of Soldiers, and was sent as an ambassador to the Visigoths. When the news arrived of Maximus' death during the Vandal sack of Rome, the Visigothic king Theoderic II urged Avitus to seize the purple himself. He did so shortly thereafter at Arles, and in October of 455 he entered Italy with a retinue of Gauls and Visigoths.
As a Gallic emperor in Italy, Avitus was not popular. By this time, the different sections of the western empire had begun to go their own ways, and Italy was no exception. Antipathy toward Avitus only increased when he removed the half of the bronze roof of the Capitoline temple that the Vandals had left in order to pay off his Gothic supporters. Although the commanders of the Italian army, Ricimer and Majorian, were able to hold the Vandals at bay, they themselves soon began to conspire against the new emperor. Eventually, local unrest forced Avitus to depart Rome and return to Gaul in the summer of 456. He returned in the fall, only to be defeated by Ricimer at Piacenza. He then was forcibly consecrated bishop of Piacenza, the first time that this novel method was used to dispose of a deposed emperor, but hardly the last. Soon thereafter, however, he attempted to make his was back to Gaul, and after being chased down by Majorian he either starved to death or was strangled. Avitus' brief reign was the last attempt in the western empire to reverse the trend toward the Italianization of the empire. Its failure indicates the degree to which this trend had become irreversible.
- 455 - Emperor of the Western (collegial) Roman Empire.
- Acceded: 455, Arles. Birthname of Eparchius Avitus.
- Born of a senatorial family.
- Formed close contacts with the Visigothic court at Toulouse.
- Praetorian Prefect of Gaul by 439, re-negotiated the treaty with the Visigoths.s
- 451 - Persuaded Theodoric I of Visigoths to join Aetius in repelling Attila.
- 455 - Appointed Master of Armies of Gaul by Emperor Petronius Maximus.
- Ambassador to the Visigoths, AD 455.
- Took the purple when Petronius Maximus died during Vandal sack of Rome in 455.
- Chosen Emperor with the help of the Visigoths.
- Italian unrest forced him to depart Rome and return to Gaul, summer 456.
- Defeated by Ricimer at Piacenza. fall 456.
- Deposed & forcibly consecrated Bishop of Piacenza.
- [S157] Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary, (Merriam Webster Inc., Springfield, MA , 1995 ,).