Maximīnus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
Gaius Iulius Verus. A Roman emperor who reigned from A.D. 235 to 238. He was born in a village on the confines of Thrace, of
barbarian parentage, his father being a Goth, and his mother a German from the tribe of the Alani. Brought up as a shepherd,
he attracted the attention of Septimius Severus by his gigantic stature and marvellous feats of strength, and was permitted
to enter the army. He eventually rose to the highest rank in the service; and on the murder of Alexander Severus by the
mutinous troops in Gaul (235 A.D.) he was proclaimed emperor. He immediately bestowed the title of Caesar on his son Maximus.
During the three years of his reign he carried on war against the Germans with success, but his government was characterized
by a degree of oppression and sanguinary excess hitherto unexampled. The Roman world became at length tired of this monster.
The Senate and the provinces gladly acknowledged the two Gordiani, who had been proclaimed emperors in Africa, and after
their death the Senate itself proclaimed Maximus and Balbinus emperors (238 A.D.). As soon as Maximinus heard of the
elevation of the Gordians, he hastened from his winter-quarters at Sirmium. Having crossed the Alps he laid siege to
Aquileia, and was there slain by his own soldiers along with his son Maximus in April. The most extraordinary tales are
related of the physical powers of Maximinus, which seem to have been almost incredible. His height exceeded eight feet. The
circumference of his thumb was equal to that of a woman's wrist, so that the bracelet of his wife served him for a ring. It
is said that he was able single-handed to drag a loaded wagon, could with his fist knock out the teeth, and with a kick break
the leg of a horse; while his appetite was such that in one day he could eat forty pounds of meat and drink an amphora of