Born Caius Valerius Galerius Maximinus, he was called Maximinus Daia from his peasant birth. He was the nephew of Galerius, and served in the army as a Scutarius, protector and tribunus. As caesar under Galerius as Augustus, Maximinus spent the majority of his time in the middle east, gaining some personal success. He struggled valiantly to hold his empire against Licinius, who had become Augustus of the west through a series of circumstances that do not bear close inspection.
Licinius desired to be Augustus of a rejoined Roman Empire. It is believed that left to his own choices, Maximinus would have been a fair and just ruler, but the prevaling warlike character of the Roman Empire at that time prevented this. To the extent that upon his death from illness not long after his final battle, Maximinus’ wife and daughter, unamed in history, were sacrificed by the victorius Licinius. There is some justice in that Licinius faired even worse than maximinus daia at the end of his life.