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Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D.
Maximinus I was a giant of a man, and possessed of natural fighting ability. He rose through the ranks of the Roman army during the reign of Severus Alexander. After a successful governorship in Mesopotamia, he was sent to the Rhine frontier to oversee the regions army recruitment levies. In 235 A.D. he was proclaimed emperor by troops offended by Severus Alexander's peace loving character, and the galling fact that his mother, Julia Mamaea, was the true power in the empire. Maximinus campaigned with great success against the Germanic tribes, but his great cruelty towards the nobility whom he hated, and general ruthlessness inspired several rebellions, notably the failed Gordian rebellion and then the rebellion of Balbinus and Pupienus. Maximinus marched against the latter two, and during the abortive siege of Aquileia his troops deserted and murdered him.