Gratian (usurper)

Gratian (died 407) was a Roman usurper (407) in Roman Britain.

Following the death of usurper Marcus, Gratian was acclaimed as emperor by the army in Britain in early 407. His background, as recorded by Orosius, was that he was a native Briton and one of the urban aristocracy. He ruled for four months at a time when a huge barbarian invasion was taking place in Gaul. On the last day of December 406, an army of Vandals, Alans and Suebi (Sueves) had crossed the frozen Rhine. During 407, they spread across northern Gaul towards Boulogne, and Zosimus wrote that the troops in Britain feared an invasion across the English Channel.

The army wanted to cross to Gaul and stop the barbarians but Gratian ordered them to remain. Unhappy with this, the troops killed him and chose Constantine III as their leader.

Geoffrey of Monmouth describes a similar character, named Gracianus Municeps, who is likely the same figure.


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