Avitus was the son of a nobleman in Gaul and a friend of the Visigothic king Theodoric II. After the death of Petronius Maximus, Theodoric urged Avitus to ascend the throne in the West. The Visigoths in Gaul proclaimed Avitus emperor in A.D. 456, but he was hated by the people of Italy and Rome. He was defeated and deposed by the German Master General Ricimer and forced to become bishop of Placentia.
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