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Lucius Perpetuus Aurelianus Marius Maximus



Roman historian, lived c. 165-230. No connected account of his life exists, but he is frequently quoted as an authority in the first half of the "Historia Augusta", and Valesius and Borghesi have identified him (Fragm. hist. Rom., p. xxv sq.) with the prefect of the same name, mentioned both in the inscriptions and by Dion Cassius. According to these he served in the Roman army, received prætorian rank at Rome, took part as commander in the campaigns in Gaul, Belgium, Germany, and Coele-Syria, and was employed in high offices of administration. During the reign of the Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211) he was made consul for the first time shortly after 197, and in 217 Macrinus appointed him prefect. In the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235) he was, in 223, appointed consul for the second time and governed the Provinces of Asia and Africa as proconsul, these offices being due to the special favour of the emperor. Later, Marius Maximus devoted himself to historical writing and wrote biographies of the emperors from Nerva (96-98) to Heliogabalus (d. 222). As the biographies stop with Heliogabalus, although Maximus was intimately connected with Alexander Severus, it is supposed that he did not survive the latter emperor during whose reign, it is thought, his work was probably written. The history of the earlier emperors is not extant, but it can be inferred from the fragments preserved that he adopted the method and views of Suetonius of whose biographies of the emperors his work was a continuation. His description of the lives and acts of the emperors is influenced by his friendliness towards the senate. His style is diffuse and detailed. Often he introduces personal occurrences, and offers official instruments and records of the senate as documentary proof. The biographies of Marius Maximus were greatly admired by his contemporaries and were especially read by the Roman senators. Some of the biographies were continued and enlarged by other writers. Ælius Junius Cordus wrote supplementary lives of the usurpers, Cæsars, and coadjutor-emperors, up to Alexander Severus.

KARL HOEBER








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