PETRONIUS MAXIMUS, a member of the higher Roman nobility, had held several court and public offices, including those of praefeclus Romae (420) and Italiae (439-441 and 445), and consul (433, 443). He was one of the intimate associates of Valentinian III., whom he assisted in the palace intrigues which led to the death of Aetius in 454; but an outrage committed on the wife of Maximus by the emperor turned his friendship into hatred. Maximus was proclaimed emperor immediately after Valentinian's murder (March 16, 455), but after reigning less than three months, he was murdered by some Burgundian mercenaries as he was fleeing before the troops of Genseric, who, invited by Eudoxia, the widow of Valentinian, had landed at the mouth of the Tiber (May or June 45 5).
See Procopius, Vand. i. 4; Sidonius Apollinaris, Panegyr. Aviti, ep. ii. 13; the various Chronicles; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ens. 35, 36; Tillemont, Hist, des empereurs, vi.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)