Maxentius (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius Augustus; c. 278 – 28 October 312) was Roman Emperor from 306 to his death. His sister, Fausta, was the wife of his rival, Emperor Constantine I.

In 308, Maxentius began construction of a basilica. However, Maxentius was later defeated in 312 in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Constantine, who oversaw the building's completion and relished the satisfaction of completing Maxentius' project. In commemoration of his victory over Maxentius, Constantine also built an arch.