Europe 235: Maximinus Thrax

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 05 Oct 235 (The Crisis of the Third Century: Maximinus Thrax), showing the following events: Severus Alexander’s Germanic War; Mazun; Reign of Maximinus Thrax; Magnus and Quartinus; Battle at the Harzhorn.

Following his Persian campaign, Severus Alexander headed north to face a Germanic incursion, which he attempted to resolve by paying off the invaders. Outraged at this cowardice, the legions proclaimed the soldier Maximinus Thrax as Emperor and killed Alexander (March 235). Maximinus then led them deep into Germania, where they gained victories and plunder.

Main Events

? ?? 234–19 Mar 235 Severus Alexander’s Germanic War

Shortly after the end of his Persian War, Severus Alexander received news that Germanic tribes had crossed the Rhine and Danube and were ravaging the countryside. In 234 traveled to Mogontiacum (Mainz) and built a boat-bridge across the Rhine to face the Alemanni, but with the arrival of winter decided to buy them off instead of risking battle. Outraged, the legions revolted under Maximinus Thrax in March 235, killing both Alexander and his domineering mother Julia wikipedia

234?–235? Mazun

From his capital Gōr, Ardashir I of the Sasanian Empire traveled to Tylos (Bahrain), where he besieged the local king Sanatruk. Sanatruk died with the fall of his fortress, allowing the Sasanians to assume control over the southern Persian Gulf as far as northern Oman. The newly conquered region was reorganized as the Sasanian province of wikipedia

19 Mar 235–10 May 238 Reign of Maximinus Thrax

In March 235 the disgruntled Rhine legions rose in support of the 62-year-old Maximinus Thrax—who had been charged with training recruits for the entire army—and assassinated Roman emperor Severus Alexander the next day. The low-born and brutal Maximinus was immediately unpopular with the Senate, who in 238 orchestrated a revolt against him. Maximinus responded by marching on Rome, but was halted and assassinated at wikipedia

235 Magnus and Quartinus

Not long after the accession of Maximinus Thrax, two plots were hatched against him among the troops at Mogontiacum (Mainz). In the first plot the senator Magnus conspired to strand Maximinus in German territory by destroying the bridge over the Rhine; in the second, Osrhoenian archers who had supported Severus Alexander proclaimed a reluctant former consul, named Quartinus, as Emperor. Both attempts were quickly suppressed and several thousand alleged conspirators wikipedia

235 Battle at the Harzhorn

Soon after his accession in early 235, Maximinus Thrax led his legions across the Rhine against the Alemanni and other Germanic tribes, gaining much plunder and establishing his military prowess. Advancing hundreds of kilometers into Magna Germania, possibly as far as the Elbe, Maximinus defeated a Germanic encirclement attempt in a great battle in the marshes before returning to the Rhine. Remains of a battlefield from this time exist at the Harzhorn, where a Roman army heading south for the border defeated Germanic forces at a mountain wikipedia