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Barbarians And Politics At The Court Of Arcadius Pdf

Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius (Transformation of the . Classical Heritage) by Alan Cameron, Jacqueline Long ebook PDF download. Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius. Assisted by Lee Sherry. This content is only available as a PDF. Download all figures. Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online.

In a volte-face, he then wished to use Alaric as the leader of the western field army that was supposed to bring down Con- stantine. The aim of this article is to advance several notes of critique on this narrative that has had a long life in Stilichonian scholarship. Instead it will demonstrate that a the threat of Constantine has been overestimated, b Stilicho had no designs on annexing eastern Illyricum, c he had a military strategy ready against Constantine that was sound and in tandem with earlier civil wars, and d that the intended role of Alaric during this enterprise has been misunderstood. This set in motion the plot that ultimately brought down Stilicho. The fact that he even took some northern Italic cities by storm, though unspecified but most probably all walled, was ominous enough in its own right. In contrast to most of the third century, when the island was generally quiescent, from the Tetrarchy to the Theodosian dynasty Britain proved to be a province with a particular penchant for political uprisings. On the war against Radagaisus, see now Wijnendaele a. Blockley and discussed later. Barbarian slaves: Oros. Authenticated jeroen. Wijnendaele accumulate wealth and status through imperial benefactions. Ambitious men who had grand designs on imperial power usually found British troops willing to throw their weight behind their candidature. Thus, the island formed a bastion for the usurpations of Carausius , Allectus , Constantine I and Magnus Maximus , and unswervingly joined usurpations launched from Gaul, such as those of Magnentius , Julian , and Eugenius He was not able to defeat the Alans, Vandals and Sueves in pitched battle, but rather struck treaties with them.

Demougeot ; Jones , —; Matthews , ; Wolfram , ; Paschoud , ; Liebeschuetz , 66—67; Wolfram , 97; Blockley , ; Drinkwater , ; Janssen , —; Amidon , n. See also, however, the reservations of Kulikowski , Wright , slightly emended.

That being said, it certainly echoes the troubles that had been plaguing this region over the previous two decades. Yet recognition or the with- holding of recognition of consular candidates is a sound criterion for how imper- ial policies of one court were perceived by its twin et vice versa.

Alaric marched from eastern Illyricum into Noricum with his Gothic army in , and Zosimus 5. However, it is nonsensical to claim that Stilicho paid Alaric to attack Noricum and Italy on his behalf. After having received no payment for more than a year, Alaric could reasonably demand gold for his soldiers. However, one cannot rule out that Alaric and his followers may have travelled westwards independently from any agree- ment with Stilicho: see Gheller , 67—68 no.

Wolfram , ff. Liebeschuetz especially regarded this as evidence that Alaric and his Authenticated jeroen. Wijnendaele he asked money for his stay in Illyricum and move to Noricum. The problem here, however, was that state funds had sunk abysmally low and Stilicho needed the support of the Senate in Rome in order to raise the funds to pay Alaric.

Unsurpris- ingly, the senators were unwilling to do what was necessary to raise these funds, not least because this would have impacted their own wealth also.

Furthermore, many were probably genuinely concerned that Alaric could not be trusted and would turn against them again given the slightest opportunity. Nevertheless, Stilicho was voted the necessary funds. Here one notes that Zosimus 5. Even today, the regular remuneration for the highest military commands such as the comites rei militares or magistri militum remains unknown.

Lee a , 99 points out that it must have been substantial, however, given the eagerness other non-Roman leaders pursued it with.

The case of Attila may point in this direction. On this episode, see now Meier For a discussion of the use of honours and gifts towards barbarian leaders under Theodosius I, see Gheller , 62—63; — Alternatively, Janssen , suggests that Alaric could have asked for one year of back pay and an advance for the next year, on the calculation of 12 solidi per soldier for 12, men.

It is not at all clear that he was to be supreme commander. On the contrary, the presence at Ticinum of the magister militum per Gallias Chariobaudes, the magister equitum praesentalis Vincentius, and the comes domesticorum Salvius suggests other- wise.

At best, Alaric was meant to be a partner, not the overall commander, perhaps serving as vicarius or magister militum vacans to Vincentius. Precedents in previous late Roman civil wars suggest that such tactics could be devastatingly effective.

Just like the war against Radagaisus, Stilicho could let two subordinate armies launch the first attacks on the enemy in order to wear him down before letting the imperial army finish the job. A decade earlier he had taken a western army into eastern territory and had been proclaimed an 28 Zos 5.

This is not impossible but unlikely given the vast distance in time, see also Paschoud , After all, he had also fought for the Theodosian dynasty against the previous western usurper Eugenius at the Frigidus in Socrat.

War on multiple fronts bringing down Magnentius: Zos. Wijnendaele enemy of the state by Constantinople as a consequence Zos. A fundamen- tal difference between his campaign of and that intended for is that the imperial west had still retained its territorial integrity during the former, while by it had lost almost half of its provinces to a usurper.

Furthermore, if Stilicho departed for the east and his adventure misfired, the court in Italy would be in a precarious position. Finally, one should note that resistance against any co-operation with Alaric may also help explain a mutiny among imperial soldiers near Bologna after Stilicho departed from Rome Zos. Zosimus does not state the reason for this mutiny, but it may have originated among the men who were instructed to transport gold to Alaric. Stilicho had successfully managed to antagonise both civilian aristocrats and Roman soldiers, and the stage had been set for a coup against him.

This may be related to the accusation in Philost.

HE Hence, when the emperor arrived in Ticinum in order to address the troops before their despatch against Constantine III, Olympius gave a quiet signal, and the soldiers suddenly attacked the key ministers and officers present there.

Stilicho was not present during the massacre at Ticinum, and so escaped death there. He learned of the massacre while at Bologna, and immediately assembled the leaders of all his barbarian allies.

They seem to have remained loyal soldiers of the emperor as yet, because they decided not to launch a full- scale revolt unless the emperor himself had been harmed, but had to focus instead on the leaders of the mutiny Zos. However, Stilicho decided against any military action even of this limited kind, both because there was a 34 On the military responsibilities of the magister officiorum, see Jones , —; Elton , Wijnendaele real possibility of defeat, given the strength of the Roman forces at the time, and, perhaps more importantly, because such action risked turning the emperor irre- vocably against him.

Finally, he probably suspected also that certain elements of his barbarian forces, noticeably Sarus and his men, were simply opportunists seeking to turn this situation to their own benefit. He then proceeded to Ravenna, where he was soon arrested and brought to execution on 22 August, Soldiers retrieved him from the church, and even when it became clear that their instruc- tions had changed, and that they now intended to execute Stilicho rather than simply arrest him, Stilicho still forbade his supporters to intervene and quietly accepted his fate Zos.

In effect, he delayed any open revolt until it was too late. He placed a quiet loyalty in the emperor, hoping that he would even- tually realize the truth of the matter, a hope which proved totally misplaced.

Finally, at that point where even Stilicho probably realized that he was not going to escape with his life, it was too late, and his main concern then had to be what would happen to his family after him, particularly his son who was present there with him in Ravenna. Unfortunately for him, however, his quiet surrender to his fate did nothing to save his son. Yet these pogroms cannot be conceived as purely anti-barbarian reprisals. The war with Radagaisus had raised Stilicho to the peak of his military power.

When he had defeated Rada- gaisus, Stilicho made them his allies. He doubtless retained the best among the forces closest to him. See Ridley , n.

Olympius commanded Huns against Athaulf in Zos. The number is accepted by the communis opinio however: Heather , 12; Elton , ; Halsall ; Stickler , ; Fear , n. On the nature and development of the buccellarii, see Schmitt ; Lenski ; Wijnendaele forthcoming b. Throughout the third and fourth century, the imperial government favoured breaking up defeated war-bands into smaller units and settling them in areas scattered across the empire.

This enabled Stilicho to expand the number of retainers in his service, so that he now controlled an army within an army. Most probably, these had also been recruited after his victory over Radagaisus, for which he had originally contracted the services of the Hunnic chieftain Uldin: see Wijnendaele a , — For an alternative interpretation, see Gheller , 65— An important question, which cannot be investigated further since it would vastly exceed the scope of the current research, is how different the barbarian kings of the fifth-century groups were to those emerging warlord-commanders in the western imperial army on the latter see Wijnendaele b; For further discussion on barbarian leadership, see the various studies in Pohl and Gillett The potential danger of this practice, as future events would show, is that these men kept a sense of their worth and power.

Certainly, Constantine III had been punching above his weight when he tried to establish himself in the Transalpine provinces with the very last comitatenses of Britain. He already had his hands full with the dual challenge of pinning down the barbarian war-bands who had crossed the Rhine in northern Gaul, and the Theodosian resistance in the Iberian peninsula.

At the same time, enough resources were at hand for Stilicho to simultaneously pursue his highly ambitious plans to have his say in the imperial succession at the eastern court.

Yet what finally brought the western generalissimo down was not military strategy but a thorough underestimation how much the western nobility took umbrage over his tactics in accomplishing this goal. De Red. For the latest status quaestionis on the Historia Augusta, see Cameron , — Wijnendaele validity of this pastiche as a source for historical inquiry regarding its Kaiser- geschichte, the sentiment it reveals in this passage would have resonated loudly with the landed aristocracy of Italy.

Thousands of Gothic warriors remained close together in an imperial province, this time the political heartland of the imperial west. See also, however, the reservations of Kulikowski , Wright , slightly emended. That being said, it certainly echoes the troubles that had been plaguing this region over the previous two decades.

Yet recognition or the with- holding of recognition of consular candidates is a sound criterion for how imper- ial policies of one court were perceived by its twin et vice versa.

Alaric marched from eastern Illyricum into Noricum with his Gothic army in , and Zosimus 5. However, it is nonsensical to claim that Stilicho paid Alaric to attack Noricum and Italy on his behalf.

After having received no payment for more than a year, Alaric could reasonably demand gold for his soldiers. However, one cannot rule out that Alaric and his followers may have travelled westwards independently from any agree- ment with Stilicho: see Gheller , 67—68 no.

Wolfram , ff. Liebeschuetz especially regarded this as evidence that Alaric and his Authenticated jeroen. Wijnendaele he asked money for his stay in Illyricum and move to Noricum.

Book Barbarians And Politics At The Court Of Arcadius Transformation Of The Classical Heritage 1993

The problem here, however, was that state funds had sunk abysmally low and Stilicho needed the support of the Senate in Rome in order to raise the funds to pay Alaric. Unsurpris- ingly, the senators were unwilling to do what was necessary to raise these funds, not least because this would have impacted their own wealth also.

Furthermore, many were probably genuinely concerned that Alaric could not be trusted and would turn against them again given the slightest opportunity. Nevertheless, Stilicho was voted the necessary funds. Here one notes that Zosimus 5.

Even today, the regular remuneration for the highest military commands such as the comites rei militares or magistri militum remains unknown. Lee a , 99 points out that it must have been substantial, however, given the eagerness other non-Roman leaders pursued it with.

The case of Attila may point in this direction. On this episode, see now Meier For a discussion of the use of honours and gifts towards barbarian leaders under Theodosius I, see Gheller , 62—63; — Alternatively, Janssen , suggests that Alaric could have asked for one year of back pay and an advance for the next year, on the calculation of 12 solidi per soldier for 12, men.

It is not at all clear that he was to be supreme commander. On the contrary, the presence at Ticinum of the magister militum per Gallias Chariobaudes, the magister equitum praesentalis Vincentius, and the comes domesticorum Salvius suggests other- wise. At best, Alaric was meant to be a partner, not the overall commander, perhaps serving as vicarius or magister militum vacans to Vincentius.

Precedents in previous late Roman civil wars suggest that such tactics could be devastatingly effective. Just like the war against Radagaisus, Stilicho could let two subordinate armies launch the first attacks on the enemy in order to wear him down before letting the imperial army finish the job.

A decade earlier he had taken a western army into eastern territory and had been proclaimed an 28 Zos 5. This is not impossible but unlikely given the vast distance in time, see also Paschoud , After all, he had also fought for the Theodosian dynasty against the previous western usurper Eugenius at the Frigidus in Socrat. War on multiple fronts bringing down Magnentius: Zos.

Wijnendaele enemy of the state by Constantinople as a consequence Zos. A fundamen- tal difference between his campaign of and that intended for is that the imperial west had still retained its territorial integrity during the former, while by it had lost almost half of its provinces to a usurper. Furthermore, if Stilicho departed for the east and his adventure misfired, the court in Italy would be in a precarious position. Finally, one should note that resistance against any co-operation with Alaric may also help explain a mutiny among imperial soldiers near Bologna after Stilicho departed from Rome Zos.

Zosimus does not state the reason for this mutiny, but it may have originated among the men who were instructed to transport gold to Alaric. Stilicho had successfully managed to antagonise both civilian aristocrats and Roman soldiers, and the stage had been set for a coup against him.

This may be related to the accusation in Philost. HE Hence, when the emperor arrived in Ticinum in order to address the troops before their despatch against Constantine III, Olympius gave a quiet signal, and the soldiers suddenly attacked the key ministers and officers present there. Stilicho was not present during the massacre at Ticinum, and so escaped death there. He learned of the massacre while at Bologna, and immediately assembled the leaders of all his barbarian allies.

They seem to have remained loyal soldiers of the emperor as yet, because they decided not to launch a full- scale revolt unless the emperor himself had been harmed, but had to focus instead on the leaders of the mutiny Zos. However, Stilicho decided against any military action even of this limited kind, both because there was a 34 On the military responsibilities of the magister officiorum, see Jones , —; Elton , Wijnendaele real possibility of defeat, given the strength of the Roman forces at the time, and, perhaps more importantly, because such action risked turning the emperor irre- vocably against him.

Finally, he probably suspected also that certain elements of his barbarian forces, noticeably Sarus and his men, were simply opportunists seeking to turn this situation to their own benefit.

He then proceeded to Ravenna, where he was soon arrested and brought to execution on 22 August, Soldiers retrieved him from the church, and even when it became clear that their instruc- tions had changed, and that they now intended to execute Stilicho rather than simply arrest him, Stilicho still forbade his supporters to intervene and quietly accepted his fate Zos.

In effect, he delayed any open revolt until it was too late. He placed a quiet loyalty in the emperor, hoping that he would even- tually realize the truth of the matter, a hope which proved totally misplaced. Finally, at that point where even Stilicho probably realized that he was not going to escape with his life, it was too late, and his main concern then had to be what would happen to his family after him, particularly his son who was present there with him in Ravenna.

Unfortunately for him, however, his quiet surrender to his fate did nothing to save his son. Yet these pogroms cannot be conceived as purely anti-barbarian reprisals.

The war with Radagaisus had raised Stilicho to the peak of his military power.

When he had defeated Rada- gaisus, Stilicho made them his allies. He doubtless retained the best among the forces closest to him. See Ridley , n. Olympius commanded Huns against Athaulf in Zos. The number is accepted by the communis opinio however: Heather , 12; Elton , ; Halsall ; Stickler , ; Fear , n. On the nature and development of the buccellarii, see Schmitt ; Lenski ; Wijnendaele forthcoming b.

Throughout the third and fourth century, the imperial government favoured breaking up defeated war-bands into smaller units and settling them in areas scattered across the empire. This enabled Stilicho to expand the number of retainers in his service, so that he now controlled an army within an army.

Most probably, these had also been recruited after his victory over Radagaisus, for which he had originally contracted the services of the Hunnic chieftain Uldin: see Wijnendaele a , — For an alternative interpretation, see Gheller , 65— An important question, which cannot be investigated further since it would vastly exceed the scope of the current research, is how different the barbarian kings of the fifth-century groups were to those emerging warlord-commanders in the western imperial army on the latter see Wijnendaele b; For further discussion on barbarian leadership, see the various studies in Pohl and Gillett The potential danger of this practice, as future events would show, is that these men kept a sense of their worth and power.

Certainly, Constantine III had been punching above his weight when he tried to establish himself in the Transalpine provinces with the very last comitatenses of Britain. He already had his hands full with the dual challenge of pinning down the barbarian war-bands who had crossed the Rhine in northern Gaul, and the Theodosian resistance in the Iberian peninsula. At the same time, enough resources were at hand for Stilicho to simultaneously pursue his highly ambitious plans to have his say in the imperial succession at the eastern court.

Yet what finally brought the western generalissimo down was not military strategy but a thorough underestimation how much the western nobility took umbrage over his tactics in accomplishing this goal. De Red. For the latest status quaestionis on the Historia Augusta, see Cameron , — Wijnendaele validity of this pastiche as a source for historical inquiry regarding its Kaiser- geschichte, the sentiment it reveals in this passage would have resonated loudly with the landed aristocracy of Italy.

31781328 Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius

Thousands of Gothic warriors remained close together in an imperial province, this time the political heartland of the imperial west. The dual nature of these warriors as imperial troops, but personally bound to Stilicho, meant that he could exploit them to serve his needs first and only secondarily those of the state.

It is in these if anywhere that we might have expected to find some hint of the "conversion" that is so much discussed in the modern literature; "yet there is no trace in his very personal works of any crisis or change in his faith; he did not go through the spiritual turmoils of his contemporary, Augustine of Hippo.

But it is also significant in a different way that it was to his brother that he addressed what was obviously intended to be an open letter to the entire Christian community. Evoptius must have been a respected member of that community. Indeed, he may well be the Evoptius who was bishop of Ptolemais in , having succeeded to the see on his brother's untimely death.

To start with, it is above all things as frank a statement of Synesius's doubts as could well be imagined. He lays down the terms on which he will accept the see. He will not preach on dogmas he does not believe. He refuses once and for all to separate from his wife. He repeats, "I will never conceal my beliefs. It was essential to make the electors absolutely clear just how ill qualified he was. Nothing could have been worse than to accept first and have his qualifications called into question afterwards.

If Synesius had only recently abandoned paganism or was still unbaptized, this was the moment to say so, either in this letter or in his hardly less important but less quoted letter of acceptance to the elders of Ptolemais Ep. It deserves to be quoted in full: I was unable, for all my strength, to prevail against you and to decline the bishopric, and this in spite of all my machinations; nor is it to your will that I have now yielded.

Rather was it a divine force that brought about the delay then, as it has caused my acceptance now.

I would rather have died many deaths than have taken over this religious office, for I did not consider my powers equal to the burden. But now that God has accomplished, not what I asked, but what he willed,[42] I pray that he who has been the shepherd of my life[43] may also become the defender of his charge. How shall I, who have devoted my youth to philosophic leisure and to the idle contemplation of abstract being, and have only mingled as much in the cares of the world as to be able to acquit myself of the duties to the life of the body and to show myself a citizen—how, I say, shall I ever be equal to a life of daily routine?

Again, if I deliver myself over to a host of practical matters, shall I ever be able to apply myself to the fair things of the mind that may be gathered in happy leisure only? Without all this, would life be worth living to me, and to all those who resemble me? I, for one, know not, but to God they say all things are possible, even impossible things [Matt. If I am not forsaken by God, I shall then know that this office of priesthood is not a decline from the realms of philosophy, but on the contrary, a step upwards to them.

Here too Synesius makes no attempt to conceal his doubts and openly admits that his past has been devoted to philosophy. On the traditional interpretation of his intellectual development, philosophy was first a barrier and finally a bridge to Christianity: it was a stage through which he passed. His spiritual history has generally been cast into the mold of the conversion to, and then from, philosophy that Augustine so fully describes for himself.

Synesius's prayer that "He who has been the shepherd of my life may become also the defender of his charge" could have been the perfect opening to thank God for guiding his steps even when they were following the paths of unrighteousness.

Yet neither of these two letters gives any such impression. In Ep. That this was more than a literary flourish is proved by the fact that he repeats the idea in an evidently slightly earlier letter to his old friend Olympius, a fellow student of Hypatia: I call to witness that divinity whom both philosophy and friendship honor, that I should have preferred many deaths to the priesthood. But God has imposed upon me not what I desired but what He wished.

Aristaenetus (consul 404)

I pray Him, therefore, who has been the giver of my life, to be its protector also, so that this office may not seem to me a descent from the realm of philosophy, but rather a step upwards to it. In conclusion he tells Olympius: If possible, I shall perform my duties[45] with the aid of philosophy; but if they cannot be reconciled with my convictions and way of life, what else can I do but set sail straightaway for glorious Greece?

It was not so much the conflict for his soul between Christianity and philosophy that worried Synesius as the demands of episcopal duties on his time and energy. Men of the highest social rank were not accustomed to full-time, life-long careers. The fabric of Synesius's life was woven out of study and recreation, the latter provided by sociability and hunting. Study of philosophy to raise his soul from defilement to purity through knowledge and understanding was the real centre of his life.

Later on in the same speech he says that he will not attempt to court popularity as a bishop just as he never used to court popularity when a philosopher. He was even to go down in Christian legend as "Synesius the philosopher. It is in this context that we must interpret the passage that has often been held to prove that he was brought up a pagan:[52] Above all, pray for me, for you will be praying for a man abandoned by all, deserted, and in need of such support.

I shrink from asking of God anything for myself.

Arcadius (2), Flavius, Roman emperor - Oxford Classical Dictionary

All things are turning out quite contrary to my desires, on account of my rash presumption. A sinful man, brought up outside the Church , following a different way of life , I grasped at the altars of God. But in the context another meaning is not only possible but virtually certain. It would have been entirely irrelevant for him to close this very detailed report with a lament for his pagan past.

This interpretation is strongly supported by the parallel protest in the preceding letter, also addressed to Theophilus and also concerned with a controversial episcopal election: "For my part , I have not in the past been nurtured in the holy laws, not has it fallen to my lot to learn much lately since last year I was not yet even on the list of bishops" Ep.

Once more, taken by themselves, the words "nurtured in the holy laws" could be taken to imply that Synesius was brought up a pagan. Once again, it would have been irrelevant to his subject to say that he had not yet had time to learn much about doctrine, whereas it made perfect sense for him to remind Theophilus how little experience he had not yet had in handling delicate situations such as the one in which he now found himself.

But it is also suggestive that he contrasts his present state with merely not having been a bishop a year ago, rather than indicating some more drastic change.

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