CLAH266: The Later Roman EmpireDr Jamie Wood                                  Ambrose of Milan and Theodosius I,23rd Novem...
   Part 1:    ◦   The aftermath of Julian    ◦   The Valentinian dynasty    ◦   Theodosius    ◦   The sons of Theodosius...
 Julian dies in 363 while on  campaign against Persia Praetorian Prefect of the east,  Saturninus, rejects the purple H...
Colossus of Barletta   Valentinian I made emperor    ◦ Son of Gratianus, one of generals of      Constantine and Constans...
   Reinforcement and almost continual    campaigning along Rhine and    Danube frontiers    ◦ Fighting against Alamans in...
   Valentinian I shared power with his brother, Valens,    who was made (subordinate) ruler in the East    ◦ Capitals at ...
7
 Less military experience than his brother Given control of the eastern half of the empire    ◦ Situation  ->       F...
   Valens allows Goths to cross    Danube in 374; reasons:    ◦ Hopes to recruit troops?    ◦ Allows tax collection in pr...
   Nicene Christian historians take great delight in    Valens’ death:    ◦ E.g. Orosius, Seven books of history against ...
   Gratian (375-383)    ◦ Received title of Augustus from his father in 367    ◦ Ruled Gallic provinces (Gaul, Spain, Bri...
 Son of one of Valentinian I’s generals,  also Theodosius From Spain Held military office under Valentinian I Father e...
 Initially weak position: diplomacy with the Goths  due to weakness of Roman forces and reliance on  barbarians Treaties...
   Against Pagans:    ◦ Defeated pro-pagan usurper, Eugenius    ◦ Legislated against paganism    ◦ Encouraged militant mo...
15
16
   Honorius, Emperor of the West (395–423)    ◦ Young, therefore relies on general Stilicho, his      guardian then fathe...
   Theodosius II, Eastern Emperor (408-450)    ◦ Young, so dominated by chief ministers, then by his      elder sister, P...
   Options    ◦   Monday all day    ◦   Tuesday 2.30 onwards    ◦   Wednesday 3.30 onwards    ◦   Thursday 12 onwards    ...
   Overview    1.   Dynasty and internal (in)stability    2.   East and West    3.   Barbarians and Romans    4.   Milita...
   Division into eastern and western empires    formalised under Theodosius I to give his sons    separate spheres of inf...
   As under Constantine, attempt to secure throne for    family members    ◦ Sons and brothers as co-emperors (or Eastern...
   Co-existence:    ◦ Converting the barbarians      begun under Constantius II so most barbarians Arian      barbarian...
25
   Roman military no longer predominant    ◦   376: Adrianople    ◦   406: Barbarians cross the Rhine    ◦   410: Sack of...
 Victory was interpreted as  a Goddess in Greek and  Roman religion It was particularly  important in the context of  im...
   Aureus, Octavian 29-27    BCE: Victory standing on    a globe, holding a wreath    in her right hand and a    vexillum...
   357 CE: Constans II, son of Constantine the    Great, ordered the Altar of Victory to be removed    from the Senate Ho...
382 CE: Gratian enacted a series of anti-  pagan measures:- He renounced to the title of Pontifex Maximus (the    head of ...
383: Gratian was killed by the usurper  Magnus Maximus Western part of the empire experienced a deep  crisis Many pagan/...
   Symmachus was sent to the imperial court at    Milan to plea for    ◦ the restoration of the Altar of Victory    ◦ the...
   Symmachus, Relatio 6:                  ◦ “Where shall we swear to obey your laws and          commands? by what religi...
   Symmachus, Relatio 2:    ◦ “In the exercise, therefore, of a twofold office, as your      Prefect I attend to public b...
   Ambrose, Letter 18.31:    ◦ “They ask to have her altar erected in the Senate House of      the city of Rome, that is ...
   Victory an obvious concern for an empire under pressure from    barbarians outside and usurpers within    ◦ Remember, ...
37
A.       For 1 of the sources below, answer the following questions.         Be ready to discuss them next week:     ◦   W...
The Theodosian Dynasty
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The Theodosian Dynasty

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The Theodosian Dynasty

  1. 1. CLAH266: The Later Roman EmpireDr Jamie Wood Ambrose of Milan and Theodosius I,23rd November 2012 Van Dick 17th century 1
  2. 2.  Part 1: ◦ The aftermath of Julian ◦ The Valentinian dynasty ◦ Theodosius ◦ The sons of Theodosius Break Part 2: ◦ Theodosian themes ◦ The Altar of Victory Controversy 2
  3. 3.  Julian dies in 363 while on campaign against Persia Praetorian Prefect of the east, Saturninus, rejects the purple He is succeeded by Jovian (363- 364), an army commander ◦ Christian, so revokes Julian’s anti- Christian measures ◦ Issues edict of toleration but soon takes anti-pagan measures, e.g. burning of library in Antioch ◦ Agrees humiliating peace with Persians  Withdrawal from 5 provinces  Persians occupy 3 key fortresses ◦ Dies on way back to Constantinople 3
  4. 4. Colossus of Barletta Valentinian I made emperor ◦ Son of Gratianus, one of generals of Constantine and Constans ◦ Commander under Julian in Gaul ◦ Under Jovian promoted to tribune of Scutarii (elite infantry) regiment at Ancyra ◦ So, close at hand when Jovian’s successor was discussed ◦ Had to placate the troops and the imperial bureaucracy by 1. Sharing power 2. Emphasising support for military 4
  5. 5.  Reinforcement and almost continual campaigning along Rhine and Danube frontiers ◦ Fighting against Alamans in Gaul (365- 368) culminates in Roman victory at Solicinium ◦ Fighting against  Saxons and Franks in northern Gaul  Quadi and Sarmatians in Illyricum  Picts and Scots in Britain ◦ Frontier defences reinforced and extended (resisted by barbarians) ◦ Alliance with Burgundians against Alamans A stickler for the law Christian, but not militant ◦ Not involved in theological disputes ◦ Minor anti-pagan measures 5
  6. 6.  Valentinian I shared power with his brother, Valens, who was made (subordinate) ruler in the East ◦ Capitals at Milan and Constantinople His sons Gratian and Valentinian II succeeded him in the West 6
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  8. 8.  Less military experience than his brother Given control of the eastern half of the empire ◦ Situation  ->   Faces immediate revolt in Constantinople led by Procopius, cousin of Julian, in 365; revolt put down in 366  Troubles with the Goths north of the Danube; campaigns successfully in 369, forcing them to accept disadvantageous treaty  Territory given up to Persians by Jovian; campaigns in the East with some success, especially in Armenia 8
  9. 9.  Valens allows Goths to cross Danube in 374; reasons: ◦ Hopes to recruit troops? ◦ Allows tax collection in provinces instead of troop levies? ◦ Cannot stop them? But Goths treated badly by administration and rebel Valens campaigning against Persians and Saracens so cannot meet them immediately ◦ 378: V moves forces to deal with Goths, supposedly in coordination with Gratian, his nephew ◦ He rushes into battle, wanting glory for himself, and is defeated and killed ◦ Eastern field army destroyed 9
  10. 10.  Nicene Christian historians take great delight in Valens’ death: ◦ E.g. Orosius, Seven books of history against the pagans 7.33.10, 19: ‘The emperor himself was wounded by an arrow and turned to flee. He was carried with some difficulty to an outhouse on a small farm to hide but was found by the pursuing enemy who killed him by burning it down. So that his punishment should bear even greater witness to, and provide an even more terrible example of, Divine Wrath for future generations, he did not even have a common grave. […] So it was by righteous judgement of God that they burnt alive the man because of whom they would burn when dead for the error of heresy.’ 10
  11. 11.  Gratian (375-383) ◦ Received title of Augustus from his father in 367 ◦ Ruled Gallic provinces (Gaul, Spain, Britain) ◦ Success against barbarians ◦ Appoints Theodosius I to deal with aftermath of Adrianople ◦ First reign in which Nicene (orthodox/ catholic) Christianity is imperially- favoured ◦ Becomes ineffective and killed by usurper general Magnus Maximus  Valentinian II (375-392) ◦ Proclaimed emperor as a child by troops in Pannonia on father’s death ◦ Ruled Italy, Africa and Illyricum ◦ Under influence on his Arian mother, Justina = Arianism in favour ◦ Called in Theodosius I (marriage alliance) to deal with Magnus Maximus ◦ Valentinian sidelined; established at Vienne
  12. 12.  Son of one of Valentinian I’s generals, also Theodosius From Spain Held military office under Valentinian I Father executed in 374 and he retires to family estates in Spain Invited to take command of army in Illyricum against Goths following Adrianople; in effect, this is an offer of imperial status 12
  13. 13.  Initially weak position: diplomacy with the Goths due to weakness of Roman forces and reliance on barbarians Treaties result in Goths fighting for Theodosius ◦ e.g. against usurper Eugenius in 394: Orosius on Battle of Frigidus Interference in the West ◦ Defeats usurper Magnus Maximus in 388 ◦ Sidelines Valentinian II Split between Eastern and Western Empires formalised 13
  14. 14.  Against Pagans: ◦ Defeated pro-pagan usurper, Eugenius ◦ Legislated against paganism ◦ Encouraged militant monks and destruction of prominent pagan temples (Serapeum in Alexandria, Temple of Apollo in Delphi) ◦ 393: banning of Olympics Within Christianity: ◦ Death of Valens undermines Arians (no divine protection?) ◦ Theodosius decides in favour of Nicenes in 380-1:  Codex Theodosianus 16.1.2: all subjects should profess faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria  Expels Arian bishops and appoints Nicenes to main sees  Holds First Council of Constantinople in 381 ◦ Trouble with Bishop Ambrose of Milan (Thessaloniki and Callinicum): stage-managed to make both look good? 14
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  17. 17.  Honorius, Emperor of the West (395–423) ◦ Young, therefore relies on general Stilicho, his guardian then father-in-law, until 408 ◦ Trouble with the Visigoths, who invade Italy repeatedly ◦ Loss of Britain and much of Spain and Gaul; sack of Rome by Visigoths and their settlement in s. Gaul Arcadius, Emperor of the East (395-408) ◦ Chief ministers play key role in his government, as does his wife Aelia Eudoxia ◦ Further anti-pagan legislation ◦ Anti-barbarian (i.e. Gothic) sentiment:  massacre of Goths in Constantinople 17
  18. 18.  Theodosius II, Eastern Emperor (408-450) ◦ Young, so dominated by chief ministers, then by his elder sister, Pulcheria who was proclaimed Augusta ◦ War against Persians due to persecution of Christians ◦ Involvement in Christological controversies ◦ Issued Theodosian Code in 438 ◦ Constructed Theodosian Walls of Constantinople ◦ Wars with Huns Valentinian III, Western Emperor (425-455) ◦ Installed by Theodosius II, betrothed to his daughter, Licinia Eudoxia ◦ Another young emperor; regency of his mother, Galla Placidia ◦ struggles among his generals, Aëtius emerging victorious; invasions of the Huns 18
  19. 19.  Options ◦ Monday all day ◦ Tuesday 2.30 onwards ◦ Wednesday 3.30 onwards ◦ Thursday 12 onwards 19
  20. 20.  Overview 1. Dynasty and internal (in)stability 2. East and West 3. Barbarians and Romans 4. Military defeat and loss of territory 5. Religion and empire 21
  21. 21.  Division into eastern and western empires formalised under Theodosius I to give his sons separate spheres of influence ◦ Recognition of what had been happening for previous century and longer  Third Century Crisis; Diocletian and the Tetrarchy; 2nd Tetrarchy Benefits: the two sides can aid one another (theoretically) Drawbacks: competition and interference ◦ E.g. East sends Goths westwards to save itself? 22
  22. 22.  As under Constantine, attempt to secure throne for family members ◦ Sons and brothers as co-emperors (or Eastern and Western emperors) ◦ Mothers and sisters play an important role, not just in dynastic marriages, but as regents/ power brokers, especially influential in religious controversies Key problem: young emperors ◦ Power in hands of advisers ◦ Open to challenge from generals  E.g. Magnus Maximus: a successful general, like Theodosius 23
  23. 23.  Co-existence: ◦ Converting the barbarians  begun under Constantius II so most barbarians Arian  barbarians maintain Arianism later as sign of identity? ◦ Intermarriage among barbarian and Roman elites  see dynastic stemma on next slide Tension: ◦ Invasions increase, possibly under pressure from Huns (Peter Heather) ◦ Anti-barbarian feeling (and outbreaks of ethnic violence) A bit of both: ◦ Barbarian generals playing roles as power-brokers  E.g. Stilicho; Visigoths (cooperating with Roman elites in Gaul) make Attalus emperor in 450s ◦ Romans and Visigoths fight together against Huns in 450s 24
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  25. 25.  Roman military no longer predominant ◦ 376: Adrianople ◦ 406: Barbarians cross the Rhine ◦ 410: Sack of Rome ◦ Early 5th C: loss of Britain and Spain Romans can no longer break up barbarian groups and scatter them across empire/ army unit ◦ Visigoths able to maintain separate identity and leadership in 370s ◦ Settling of Visigoths in southern Gaul (terms of settlement) in late 410s: first separate kingdom on Roman soil (WHY AND ON WHAT TERMS?) 26
  26. 26.  Victory was interpreted as a Goddess in Greek and Roman religion It was particularly important in the context of imperial ideology We find her on many official buildings and on the reverse of coins Victory of Samothrace (2nd cent. BCE), Paris Louvre 27
  27. 27.  Aureus, Octavian 29-27 BCE: Victory standing on a globe, holding a wreath in her right hand and a vexillum on her shoulder. In 29 BCE Octavian built the Altar of Victory in the Senate house Senators poured libations, sacrificed and made oaths to the Altar of Victory during their sessions Political, military and religious factors interconnected and reinforcing 28
  28. 28.  357 CE: Constans II, son of Constantine the Great, ordered the Altar of Victory to be removed from the Senate House Julian (361-363) restored it as part of his support for pagan religious traditions 29
  29. 29. 382 CE: Gratian enacted a series of anti- pagan measures:- He renounced to the title of Pontifex Maximus (the head of the Roman religion, an imperial title/ office since Augustus)- He ordered - closure of all temples - confiscation of their property - public financial support to pagan religion was abolished (compare to previous anti-Christian legislation) - that the Altar of Victory be removed from the Senate House 30
  30. 30. 383: Gratian was killed by the usurper Magnus Maximus Western part of the empire experienced a deep crisis Many pagan/traditionalist aristocrats gained power Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, a member of an ancient senatorial family and a pagan, became prefect of Rome (highest political authority of the city after the emperor) Valentinian II (Arian Christian) becomes emperor in the West 31
  31. 31.  Symmachus was sent to the imperial court at Milan to plea for ◦ the restoration of the Altar of Victory ◦ the continued possibility of performing pagan religious practices ◦ the restoration of privileges to pagan priests and the Vestal Virgins Ambrose was the bishop of Milan, where he was a counsellor of Valentinian II (and of Gratian before) ◦ Ambrose also a former governor within the imperial administration so well-connected ◦ Ambrose opposes Symmachus’ plans 32
  32. 32.  Symmachus, Relatio 6: ◦ “Where shall we swear to obey your laws and commands? by what religious sanction shall the false mind be terrified, so as not to lie in bearing witness? All things are indeed filled with God, and no place is safe for the perjured, but to be urged in the very presence of religious forms has great power in producing a fear of sinning. That altar preserves the concord of all, that altar appeals to the good faith of each, and nothing gives more authority to our decrees than that the whole of our order issues every decree as it were under the sanction of an oath. So that a place will be opened to perjury, and this will be determined by my illustrious Princes, whose honour is defended by a public oath.” 33
  33. 33.  Symmachus, Relatio 2: ◦ “In the exercise, therefore, of a twofold office, as your Prefect I attend to public business, and as delegate I recommend to your notice the charge laid on me by the citizens. Here is no disagreement of wills, for men have now ceased to believe that they excel in courtly zeal, if they disagree” 34
  34. 34.  Ambrose, Letter 18.31: ◦ “They ask to have her altar erected in the Senate House of the city of Rome, that is where the majority who meet together are Christians! There are altars in all the temples, and an altar also in the temple of Victories. Since they take pleasure in numbers they celebrate their sacrifices everywhere. To claim a sacrifice on this one altar, what is it but to insult the Faith? Is it to be borne that a heathen should sacrifice and a Christian be present? Let them imbibe, he says, let them imbibe, even against their will, the smoke with their eyes, the music with their ears, the ashes with their throats, the incense with their nostrils, and let the dust stirred up from our hearths cover their faces though they detest it. Are not the baths, the colonnades, the streets filled with images sufficient for them? Shall there not be a common lot in that common assembly? The faithful portion of the senate will be bound by the voices of those that call upon the gods, by the oaths of those that swear by them. If they oppose they will seem to exhibit their falsehood, if they acquiesce, to acknowledge what is sacrilege.” 35
  35. 35.  Victory an obvious concern for an empire under pressure from barbarians outside and usurpers within ◦ Remember, this is before Theodosius has established his dominance Symmachus and Ambrose ◦ present 2 different religious systems in terms of rites, beliefs and institutions ◦ but also appeal to the same tradition to justify their positions to some extent  Greek and Roman past  memory of Julian’s attempt to control the schools  Ambrose defines the Symmachus’ religion) as superstitio (unreasonable form of religion, connected with superstitious and or alien behaviours; compare Pliny and Tacitus on Christians)  Symmachus appeals to toleration (compare to early Christian apologists) 36
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  37. 37. A. For 1 of the sources below, answer the following questions. Be ready to discuss them next week: ◦ What kind of source is it? ◦ When was it written? ◦ Why is it important? ◦ What are its strengths and weaknesses? 1. Ammianus Marcellinus, Histories 2. The Theodosian Code 3. Gildas, On the Ruin of Britain 4. Hydatius, Chronicle 5. Priscus, History B.Work through the learning object here: http://www.glomaker.org/samples/PulcheriasCoin/GLO_Player. 38

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