MARCUS AURELIUS CARAUSIUS, tyrant or usurper in Britain, A.D.
Carausius thereupon crossed over to Britain and proclaimed himself an independent ruler.
Maximian and Diocletian were compelled to acknowledge the rule of Carausius in Britain; numerous coins are extant with the heads of Carausius, Diocletian and Maximian, bearing the legend "Carausius et fratres sui."
In 292 Constantius Chlorus besieged and captured Gessoriacum (hitherto in possession of Carausius), together with part of his fleet and naval stores.
Constantius then made extensive preparations to ensure the reconquest of Britain, but before they were completed Carausius was murdered by Allectus, his praefect of the guards (Aurelius Victor, Caesares, 39; Eutropius ix.
Haverfield in Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian Soc. Transactions, 18 95, p. 437) A copper coin found at Richborough, inscribed Domino Carausio Ces., must be ascribed to a Carausius of later date, since the type of the reverse is not found until the middle of the 4th century at the earliest.
Nothing is known of this Carausius (A.
Evans in Numismatic Chronicle, 1887, "On a coin of a second Carausius Caesar in Britain in the Fifth Century").
Watts de Peyster, The History of Carausius, the Dutch Augustus (1858); P. H.
Webb, The Reign and Coinage of Carausius (1908).
Less likely is the theory of Palgrave that the Bretwaldas were the successors of the pseudo-emperors, Maximus and Carausius, and claimed to share the imperial dignity of Rome; or that of Kemble, who derives Bretwalda from the British word breotan, to distribute, and translates it "widely ruling."
In 287 he suppressed the rising of the peasants (Bagaudae) in Gaul, but in 289, after a three years' struggle, his colleague and he were compelled to acquiesce in the assumption by his lieutenant Carausius (who had crossed over to Britain) of the title of Augustus.