Avitus, Eparchius

   Western emperor (q.v.) from 455-456. In 436, when Avitus was Preatorian Prefect of Gaul under Aetius (qq.v.), he concluded peace with Theodoric (q.v.) and obtained Theodoric's help against Attila (q.v.) in 451. In 455, after the deaths of Valentinian III and Petronius Maximus (qq.v.), and after the Vandals sacked Rome (qq.v.), Avitus was declared emperor. His son-in-law, the Latin writer Sidonius, showered him with accolades in poetic verse, but Marcian (q.v.) never confirmed him as emperor. This, as well as his inability to prevent further Vandal pillaging, and his failure to obtain enough grain for those starving in Rome (q.v.), forced him to flee the city. Ricimer and Majorian (qq.v.) conspired to depose him.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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