Eparchius (Avitus) Augustus

Eparchius (Avitus) Augustus (abt. 0390 - abt. 0456)

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Eparchius "Western Roman Emperor" Augustus formerly Avitus
Born about in Clermont-Ferrand, Francemap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Brioude, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 9 May 2011 | Last significant change: 10 Nov 2018
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European Aristocracy
Eparchius (Avitus) Augustus was a member of aristocracy in ancient Europe.
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Marcus Maecilius Flavius Eparchius Avitus (c. 395 - 456, Western Roman Emperor (455 - 456). Made Magister militum (or Master of Soldiers) by the emperor Petronius Maximus, Avitus was sent on a diplomatic mission to his old student, Theodoric II king of the Visigoths, and was at Theodoric's court in Toulouse when Gaiseric invaded Rome, bringing Petronius Maximus's rule to a sudden end. Theodoric seized the opportunity and urged Avitus to assume the imperial throne, and with the acclamation of a gathering of Gallo-Roman senators, allowed himself to be persuaded. On July 9, 455, he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers, and reached Rome that September.

The Italian populace never fully accepted his rule, so when his campaign against the Vandals failed in 456, and they pressed their blockade against Rome, his position became tenuous. Famine in Rome forced him to disband his Gothic bodyguard. But they needed to be paid, and he did not improve his standing with the Roman citizenry when he melted down a number of bronze statues to pay their outstanding wages. Ricimer and Majorian exploited this discontent by starting a general revolt.

Avitus fled to safety in Arles. A plea for help to Theodoric went unanswered, as the Gothic king was away in Spain campaigning against the Suevians. Avitus raised the best force he could and returned to Italy. He was defeated near Placentia, modern day Piacenza, and captured. His life was spared, and was allowed to become bishop of Placentia on October 17 or 18, 456; however, he still feared for his life and attempted to escape to safety in Gaul. He died on the way, by some accounts murdered.

His grandson was the poet Avitus of Vienne.[1][2]

Eparchius Avitus Augustus (390/400 - Nov/Dec 456)[3]

alias: "In older literature the names Marcus Maecilius Avitus and Flavius Eparchius Avitus were reported, but now only Eparchius Avitus is accepted."[4]

bur. Saint-Julien de Brioude, Auvergne (France)[5]


The parents listed for this individual are speculative and may not be based on sound genealogical research. Sources to prove or disprove this ancestry are needed. Please contact the Profile Manager or leave information on the bulletin board.
Avitus' parents are UNKNOWN.[6]


m. Sidonius Apollinaris
  • other unknown children[8][4]


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avitus
  2. http://www.roman-empire.net/collapse/avitus.html
  3. Not to be confused with alleged relative Papianilla, who married prefect Tonantius Ferreolus[1]
  4. unproven: Ecdicius and Agricola "vir inlustris" fl. 466–485, (Wikipedia -- unsourced)[2]

Cawley, C. (2006). Medieval Lands v.3. fmg.ac[9]

Space: Later Roman Empire

Wikipedia: Avitus -- CAUTION: as of 07 Oct 2015, Wikipedia's section on "Origins and early career," has been UNSOURCED since Sep 2013.

MEDIEVAL LANDS: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families by Charles Cawley © Foundation for Medieval Genealogy & Charles Cawley 2000-2018.

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Images: 1
Avitas Vienne Image 1
Avitas Vienne Image 1

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