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Flavius Lupicinus was a Roman military commander (magister militum) in the 4th century AD.

Military ServiceEdit

During the reign of Emperor Constantius II, Lupicinus was named Magister Equitum (commander of cavalry) in 357. Lupicinus took a leading role in the campaign of Fl. Claudius Julian Caesar along the Rhine against the Salian Franks and the Alemanni. In one instance, he devised a successful plan whereby 300 Roman troops secretly crossed the Rhine at night and attacked the Alemannic camp on the opposite bank. This allowed the main body the Julian's army to cross and quickly defeat and accept the surrender of the five confederated Alemannic kings.

The Roman Diocese of Britain was invaded from the north and from Hibernia to the west in 360. Lupicinus was dispatched there by Julian to stave off the attacks. However, his order came at the same time that Constantius II ordered Lupicinus east against the Persians. Not wishing to march east, Julian's army mutinied and acclaimed him Augustus over Constantius II. Refusing to side with Julian in the imminent civil war, Lupicinus fell out of favor and was arrested by Julian's troops. After the death of Emperor Julian in 363, Julian's successor Jovian brought Lupicinus back into service and appointed him Magister Equitum per Orientum (Commander of the Cavalry of the East). Lupicinus continued in this command after the death of Jovian in 364 and on through the reign of the newly-elected Emperor Valentinian and Valentinian's brother Valens.

In 365, there was an attempted usurpation of the eastern portion of the Empire by Procopius. Lupicinus was Emperor Valens' senior commander against the rebel troops holding Asia Minor. After a chain of victories and the overthrow of Procopius in 366, Lupicinus was rewarded with the Consulship the following year. His consular colleague was the western military commander, Flavius Jovinus.

Later careerEdit

Lupicinus next appeared in 376 as the commander of Roman troops in the Diocese of Thrace. There he oversaw the settlement of the Goths within the empire along the Lower Danube, after which, he proceeded to extort and starve them until they broke into an open revolt that led to the Gothic War of 376. After orchestrating a failed assassination attempt of the Gothic leaders while ostensibly meeting with them to discuss a peace, Lupicinus led his troops into a total defeat at the Battle of Marcianople. It was said that Lupicinus' actions in the battle were both foolish and cowardly. He was apparently superseded by new commanders in 377. It is unknown if Lupicinus was cashiered, executed or killed in subsequent battles.

ReferencesEdit

Preceded by
Dagalaifus (West),
and Flavius Gratianus (West)
Consul of the Roman Empire
367
with Flavius Valerius Jovinus (West)
Succeeded by
Valentinian Augustus II (West),
and Valens Augustus II (East)