W. Europe Giants 8
"effeminate" emperor and their "manly" giant commander, to whom they had become totally devoted. They soon reached the conclusion the empire would be much better off under Maximinus' rule. They therefore now plotted to kill Alexander and proclaim their fellow soldier and messmate emperor and Augustus. This decision they carried out one day during their regular assembly on the drill field. As Maximinus took his place, some soldiers approached him and threw a purple mantle over his shoulders. At first he declined the honor but finally assented. "After arousing great enthusiasm and goodwill among the troops," writes Herodian, "Maximinus doubled their rations, promised them lavish gifts, and revoked all sentences and punishments. He then marched out, for his camp was not far from the headquarters of Alexander and his companions.... When these developments were reported, Alexander, panic-stricken by the incredible nature of the message, was in complete confusion." As Maximinus and his armed men approached, the emperor ordered his guards to apprehend them. The guards hesitated, then backed away, allowing the assassins to enter and put to death both Alexander and his mother.113
"he pillaged cities and temples, coined the statues of the gods into money, and confiscated the funds set apart for games and distributions. Citizens were cut down while endeavoring to defend the statues of their gods. A catastrophe was becoming inevitable."114
"After these menacing disturbances," says Michael Grant, "Maximinus remained suspicious and embit-tered. All officers of senatorial rank were removed from the army, and replaced by professional soldiers whom he himself had promoted."115
"the Cyclops,"116 "the Busiris,"117 and "the wild beast," and men openly desired his death.
Capitolinus writes that the public's hope for the giant emperor's death became widespread. It even inspired the following popular song, which the historian preserved for posterity:
The song proved prophetic. In 238, while Maximinus was at Sirmium with the army, some landowners in the African province angered over his new taxesrevolted. Using the revolt as an excuse, the Senate deposed Maximinus and conferred the title of emperor upon Gordian. When he heard of his removal from power, writes Ivar Lissner, Maximinus "behaved like a huge, tormented bear. Convulsed with rage, he dashed himself against walls, threw himself on the ground, bellowed, lashed out at his servants, tried to claw his son's eyes out, and finally drank himself into a stupor."118 After sobering up, he assembled his troops, and, intent upon forcing a showdown, he started a march on Rome. But by the time they reached Aquileia, which the Senate had ordered to defend itself, Maximinus' troops had begun to show mutinous tendencies. An outraged body of the Praetorian guard finally decided to assassinate him. One day, while waiting for the right opportunity, they obliquely observed Maximinus and his son finish their midday meal. A short while after the two retired to their tent for their usual siesta, several guardsmen armed with swords and spears followed. Inside the tent they fell upon the mighty giant emperor and his son and spilled their blood. (See Jovian; Maximilian; also see Charlemagne)
"This is to give notice to all gentlemen, ladies, and others. That there is just arrived from France, and is to be seen at the Two Blue Posts and Rummer, near Charing-cross, a giant, born in Saxony, almost eight foot in height, and every way proportionable; the like has not been seen in any part of the world for many years: he has had the honour to shew himself to most princes in Europe, particularly to his late majesty the King of France, who presented him with a noble scymiter, and a silver mace."