Hereditary acromegalic gigantism in the family of Roman Emperor Maximinus Thrax

Emanuele Armocida, Raffaella Bianucci, Elena Varotto, W.W. de Herder, Francesco M Galassi

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


To the Editor,
In AD 235 Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (ca. AD 173-238), known as Maximinus Thrax, became the first Roman Emperor of barbarian origin. Because of his military service, he never actually lived in Rome and was assassinated by his own troops during the siege of Aquileia in May 238. Allegedly one of the tallest individuals in recorded history, scholars maintain that he was affected by acromegalic gigantism (acro-gigantism), an endocrine disorder caused by a tumour in the anterior pituitary gland secreting an excess of growth hormone (GH) causing elevated insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels before puberty (prepubertal gigantism)...
Original languageEnglish
Article number109525
Number of pages2
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Gigantism
  • Acromegaly
  • Pituitary
  • Endocrinology
  • History of medicine
  • Palaeopathology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Paleopathology


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