Emperor Licinius

licinius I coinFlavius Galerius Valerius Licinianus was born in 250 was of peasant lineage and as a middle aged man joined the army and followed good friend Galerius on the Persian expedition. Once the emperor Severus was killed, Licinius was elevated by Galerius to the position of Augustus to maintain the western front with command over Illyricum, Thrace and Pannonia.

In 311 after the death of Galerius it was Maximinus Daia and himself who held the empire in their hands. After a failed attack on him by Maximinus, Licinius defeated him in a counter attack at the battle of Tzirallum, and took over ruling the east while his brother in law Constantine ruled the western empire.

This arrangement was not to last long when a civil was erupted between the two brothers in 314 and again 2 years later. The emperors eventually put their differences aside and reconciled.

Sextus Marcius Martinianus came to power during the second civil war but originally he started out as a “magister officiorum” in Licinius’ court. In 324 Licinius and Constantine were once again fighting for power during the second civil war and because Licinius was losing he decided to replace Constantine as Augustus and instead replace him with Martinianus as co-emperor.

Martinianus was sent by Licinius to intercept and attack Constantine as he crossed the Bosporus to arrive in the Dardanelles but was unsuccessful as weeks later Licinius was defeated by Constantine and both Martinianus and Licinius were placed under house arrest with the promise that both their lives would be spared. 6 months later Constantine had them both executed.

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