CARAUSIUS (M. Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius)
- Carausius was of Menapian origin (north-east Gaul) and was a general under Maximian, Augustus in the west.
- After defeating the rebellious Bagaudae in Gaul in 286, Carausius was appointed Commander of a new Channel Fleet. Based at Gessoriacum (Boulogne), this force incorporated the old Classis Britannica and was intended to thwart raids in the English Channel by Frankish and Saxon pirates.
- Unfortunately, he had a tendency to attack the pirates on the way back from their looting, keeping the booty for himself.
- He was summoned by Maximian to explain himself, but instead landed in 286 or 287, on the coast of North West Britain, and concluded a treaty with the Picts and Scots.
- He marched South, defeating the forces of the Roman Governor, Quintus Bassianus, near York. He continued to London, where he proclaimed himself Augustus.
- His territory extended over part of Northern Gaul, where some of his coins were minted at Rotomagus (Rouen).
- In 289 his fleet defeated Maximian's. Thereafter, some of his coins were issued in the names of Maximian and Diocletian.
- Carausius's British mints were at London and Colchester (or possible Southampton).
- In 293 Diocletian appointed two Caesars to assist himself and Maximian, who would reign with the title of Augustus. The Caesar under Maximian, Constantius Chlorus, was given the task of re-taking the lost territories. He regained Northern Gaul and prepared for the difficult cross-channel invasion.
- Then suddenly in the same year, Carausius was murdered by Allectus, his finance minister.