Merobaudes (general)

Merobaudes (general)

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Merobaudes was an official of Roman Emperor Julian (361-363). He was entrusted with the transportation of the corpse of the Emperor when Julian died during his military campaign against the Sasanids
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...


Around 375, Emperor Valentinian I
Valentinian I
Valentinian I , also known as Valentinian the Great, was Roman emperor from 364 to 375. Upon becoming emperor he made his brother Valens his co-emperor, giving him rule of the eastern provinces while Valentinian retained the west....

 appointed Merobaudes magister militum
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

. After Valentinian I's death in that same year, Merobaudes stated that he could control the army only if Valentinian's son, Valentinian II
Valentinian II
Flavius Valentinianus , commonly known as Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from 375 to 392.-Early Life and Accession :...

, was to be appointed Emperor. Valentinian II ruled together with his brother Gratian
Gratian was Roman Emperor from 375 to 383.The eldest son of Valentinian I, during his youth Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers...

, and Merobaudes influenced both of them.

Merobaudes was twice consul, in 377 with Gratian and in 383 with Saturninus
Saturninus (consul 383)
Flavius Saturninus was a politician and a military man of the Roman Empire.- Life :Saturninus was probably a Christian: it is known that he hosted a bishop, that he donated to a monastery and that was in touch for a short time with Gregory of Nazianzus.He followed the military career, and in...

. This is a sign of great honour, as multiple consulates have been reserved to members of the imperial family since Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

's time. Merobaudes probably supported the corrupt governor Romanus, and Romanus was found not guilty.

In 378 Merobaudes disobeyed Gratian, as he did not send his troops to help Eastern Emperor Valens
Valens was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 364 to 378. He was given the eastern half of the empire by his brother Valentinian I after the latter's accession to the throne...

 when he was defending the frontier from the Alemanni attack; Valens then died in the Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
The Battle of Adrianople , sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between a Roman army led by the Roman Emperor Valens and Gothic rebels led by Fritigern...


According to ancient sources, in 383 Merobaudes supported the usurper Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus , also known as Maximianus and Macsen Wledig in Welsh, was Western Roman Emperor from 383 to 388. As commander of Britain, he usurped the throne against Emperor Gratian in 383...

 and was put to death by the Emperor. Modern historians, however, downplay Merobaudes' role in Maximus' usurpation. Even his death in 383 is in doubt, as an inscription mentions a third consulate of his in 388, even if a panegyric by Pacatus records his death, probably suicide. He was probably buried in Treveri
The Treveri or Treviri were a tribe of Gauls who inhabited the lower valley of the Moselle from around 150 BCE, at the latest, until their eventual absorption into the Franks...