Petronius Maximus was born in 396 and was a roman aristocrat of senatorial rank.
He gradually worked his way up the political ladder and arrived at the position of Consul in 433 and then went on to become the Praetorian Prefect of Italy in 439. In 445 he became the most honoured of all non-imperial Romans when he was given the title Patrician until Aëtius stepped in. From that point in time there was great hostility between the two and while some records claim that it was only Valentinian who had Aëtius murdered in 454, other records show that Maximus was also behind the conspiracy.
After Valentinians’ death, Maximus would fight of several others for the position of power including Majorian who would eventually become emperor anyway.
While having just sent soldiers led by Avitus out on an expedition to gain support from the Visigoths, it was heard that the King of the Vandals had invaded Italy and as a part of all the commotion that was stirred in Rome, Maximus was stoned to death.