Maximinus entered the army, and under Caracalla rose to the rank of centurion. He carefully absented himself from court during the reign of Heliogabalus, but under his successor Alexander Severus, was appointed supreme commander of the Roman armies. After the murder of Alexander in Gaul, hastened, it is said, by his instigation, Maximinus was pro-claimed emperor by the soldiers on March 19, 235. The three years of his reign, which were spent wholly in the camp, were marked by great cruelty and oppression; the wide-spread discontent thus produced culminated in a revolt in Africa and the assumption of the purple by Gordian. Maximinus, who was in Pannonia at the time, marched against Rome, and passing over the Julian Alps descended on Aquileia; while detained before that city he and his son were murdered on May 10, 238, in their tent by a body of praetorians. Their heads were cut off and despatched to Rome, where they were burnt on the Campus Martius by the exultant crowd.