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Book IV
Note A

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Italy and Her Invaders

Thomas Hodgkin

2nd edition
Oxford University Press

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book IV
Chapter 3

Book 4 (continued)

Vol. III
Chapter II

The Reign of Zeno


Sources: —

Malchus (see vol. II p506) lived probably about the end of the fifth century. He came from Philadelphia in Palestine to Constantinople, where he taught as a Sophist, and attained considerable eminence as a rhetorician. Unlike many of his fellow historians, he was a professed Christian. His history called Byzantiaca, in seven books, was read by Photius, who praises its purity of diction and elevation of style, and calls it the model of what a history ought to be. The portion of it with which Photius was acquainted reached from the death of Leo I (thus forming a continuation of the work of Priscus) to the death of Nepos, Emperor of the West (474‑480): but there is reason to believe that the entire work reached from the reign of Constantine the Great to that of Anastasius (306‑491). Unfortunately we know it only by a very short compendium in the Bibliotheca of Photius, by a few biographical notices extracted from it by Suidas, and by the excerpts made by the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his 'History of Embassies,' which are extremely valuable and interesting, but break off abruptly as soon as the story of each particular embassy is finished.

Candidus the Isaurian, born in that part of Isauria which was called the Rugged (ΤραχεῖαAspera), came to Constantinople and obtained employment as a notary or registrar (ὑπογραφεύς) at the time when the fortunes of his countrymen were in the ascendant. He probably left the capital at the time of the general emigration of the Isaurians on the death of Zeno (491). He was a Christian and an adherent of the council of Chalcedon.  p31 He wrote, probably soon after 491, the history of the times from the accession of Leo to that of Anastasius (457‑491). This work would have been of great value, as giving the Isaurian version of the acts of Zeno and his countrymen, but unfortunately we possess it only in the Compendium (a tolerably full one) inserted by Photius in his Bibliotheca. Photius says that the style of this author is wanting in historic composure, that he uses poetical phrases without taste and like a very young writer, and that, altogether, the effect is harsh, dithyrambic, and unpleasing. This description seems to bring before us an excited party-pamphlet written by an imperfectly educated Asiatic Highlander, after the fall of himself and his party from power. To the amusement of his critic he derives the name of his country, Isauria, from Esau.

Eustathius of Epiphania in Syria wrote a history of the events from the beginning of time down to the 12th year of Anastasius (502), shortly after which date he died. This history is known to us almost entirely by the extracts made from it by Evagrius the ecclesiastical historian, who himself lived between 536 and 600. He says that Eustathius wrote 'very elegantly' (μετὰ τῆς ἐς ἄγαν κομψείας). Evagrius is also himself an authority of some importance, even where he does not professedly base himself upon Eustathius.

(These three authors are here quoted, as from Müller's 'Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, vol. IV (Paris, 1868). They are also contained in the Bonn edition of the Byzantine Historians.)

Theodorus Lector compiled an ecclesiastical history reaching from the times of Constantine to those of Justinian. He was probably a contemporary of the latter emperor, and perhaps survived till the reign of Justin II (565‑578). His work is chiefly known to us by extracts made by Nicephorus Callistus (14th cent.), also by a few fragments preserved by Joannes Damascenus (8th cent.) and others. There is reason to think that Theophanes, and perhaps other historians, borrowed largely from him. Notwithstanding the fragmentary condition in which his works have come down to us, he must be considered one of our best authorities for the reigns of Zeno and Anastasius.

(Compare the excellent article on this writer in Smith's 'Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography.' Considering the commonness of the name Theodore, it does not appear necessary  p32 to accept the suggestion there made that he is the same Theodore who saw the fall of a statue in the reign of Philippicus (711‑713) and thus to make him an authority only of the eighth century).

Joannes Antiochenus flourished probably in the middle of the seventh century, say between 610 and 650, and composed a history reaching from the mythological period to the reign of the emperor Phocas (602‑61), of which we possess some fragments. In the earlier portions he compiles extensively from Dion, Eutropius, and other well-known authors. 'For the reign of Zeno,' as C. Müller remarks (from whose edition quotations are here made), 'he has followed some author, whom we know not, of excellent quality, and the fragments in Joannes relating to this reign are of the greatest importance.' He seems to have been in his turn copied from by Joannes Malalas, also of Antioch, who flourished about 700, and with whom he has been sometimes confused.

Joannes Lydus, an officer in the law‑courts of Justinian, writing about 553, gives us an unfavourable estimate of Zeno's character.

Theophanes (758‑816) and the Paschal (or Alexandrian) Chronicle (about 630) furnish as usual some curious details, probably copied from contemporary authors, but which have to be used with caution on account of their later date.

The only chroniclers in Roncalli's collection who are of any service to us here are Marcellinus Comes (about 534) and Victor Tunnunensis (who died in 569).

Guides: —

It will be seen from the above list that we have a good deal of contemporary or nearly contemporary information for this period, but that it has reached us in a very fragmentary state. This makes it difficult to construct a continuous narrative, and is probably one reason why the reign of Zeno has been so slightly noticed, except by ecclesiastical historians. The only guide whom I have found of much value is the ever-patient Tillemont, whose accurate digest of history is especially helpful when we have to deal with such materials as these. There is also a good article on Illus, by J. C. Means, in Smith's 'Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography.'

 p33  [Since the publication of the first edition of this book, Professor Bury and Mr. E. W. Brooks have written concerning the reign of Zeno. For some corrections suggested by them, see Note at the end of the chapter.]

Chronology of the Reign of Zeno

Consuls​1 Events Date

Leo Junior

Leo I died (3 Feb.). Zeno proclaimed Emperor (9 Feb.). Leo II died (Nov.).


Zeno (II)

Usurpation of Basiliscus. Flight of Zeno (Clinton says in November; but how reconcile this with the statement of Joan. Ant. that Zeno's flight was on the ninth day of his consul­ship.)


Basiliscus (II), Armatus (or Harmatius)

(Deposition of Romulus Augustulus).


Post Consulatum Basilisci et Armati

Fall of Basiliscus (July). Embassies from Rome.



The two Theodorics coalesce against the Empire.


Zeno (III)

Theodoric, son of Triarius, enters Zeno's service. Revolt of Marcian. Campaign of Theodoric the Amal in Epirus Nova.


Basilius Junior, W.

Earthquake at Constantinople (24 Sep.).



Deaths of Theodoric son of Triarius, and of Sabinianus.


Trocundus and Severinus

Theodoric the Amal ravages Thessaly and Macedonia. The Henoticon ( according to Clinton in 483).


Faustus, W.

Theodoric made Magister Militiae Praesentalis.


Theodoricus and Venantius, W.

Revolt of Illus and Verina. Leontius proclaimed emperor. Enters Antioch (27 June).


Q. Aurelius Symmachus, W.

Release of Longinus by Illus after ten years' captivity.

War with Illus and Leontius 485

Decius and Leontius


Fl. Boethius, W.

Theodoric approaches Constantinople with his army.


Dynamius and Sifidius

Theodoric starts for Italy. Illus and Leontius taken and beheaded.


Anicius Probinus (W.) and Eusebius


Longinus (II) and Faustus, W.

Zeno puts Pelagius to death. Flight of Arcadius.



Death of Zeno (9 April). Accession of Anastasius.

(Isaurian Rebellion, 492‑497)

We have now followed the fortunes of the young Ostrogoth down to the time when he settled as Gothic foederatus in the home provinces of the Eastern Empire. In order to understand his subsequent career, and even in order rightly to appreciate the scanty notices of his future rival, Odovacar, as ruler of Italy, we must grasp the connection of events in that city which was now virtually the capital of the world, the New Rome beside the Thracian Bosporus; we must, at the cost of some little repetition, trace the outline of the reign of the Emperor Zeno.

 p35  Genealogy of Zeno


 p36  Isaurian origin of Zeno. This Emperor, as the reader may remember, bore at first the barbarous name and style of Tarasicodissa, the son of Rusumbladeotus,​2 a name which he changed to Zeno, in memory of one of his countrymen who a generation previously had climbed up to greatness in the Roman State.​3 He came from Isauria, that wild upland region on the northern skirts of Mount Taurus, between Cilicia and Phrygia, which Paul and Barnabas traversed in the missionary journey to Derbe and Lystra, but which the Roman legionary for three centuries after Christ found it difficult to penetrate and impossible to subdue. The part which this obscure mountainous corner of Asia Minor played in the politics of the Lower Empire is truly extraordinary. We shall find that Zeno and his Isaurian countrymen were, for near twenty years, the dreaded and hated lords of Constantinople. Leo III and Constantine V, 716‑775. They depart and disappear for a time, but, two centuries later, another Isaurian, the hero‑emperor Leo III, ascends the throne, commences and all but carries through a mighty religious reformation (the Iconoclastic), and transmits his throne to a son whose reign with his own makes up a period of sixty years, the most glorious and the most successful in the whole later history of the Roman Empire. The peculiar position thus occupied by the Isaurians is no doubt explained by the fact that these tameless mountaineers had in great measure  p37 preserved their freedom. They had not passed, like the wealthier inhabitants of the plains, between the mill-stones of the Byzantine despotism. Their country was the Switzerland of the Eastern Empire.4

Circumstances of Zeno's accession. From the ranks of the Isaurian adventurers who made their way to the capital the Emperor Leo, who needed all the support which he could obtain against the party of the domineering Aspar, selected Tarasicodissa, who was perhaps the best-born among them, and bestowed upon him in marriage his elder daughter Ariadne. 3 Feb. 474 At the death of Leo, his grandchild, the younger Leo, a child of seven years old, son of Zeno and Ariadne, already associated with his grandfather in the Empire and proclaimed consul for the year, succeeded without opposition to the throne. Naturally his reign would have implied for some years to come the regency of his parents; but, to make sure, Ariadne instructed her child, 93 Feb. 474 when his father came to make obeisance before him in the Hippodrome, to place on his head the imperial diadem. The precaution was a wise one, Nov. 474 for in nine months the child-emperor died. The charge brought against Zeno by one writer, distant from the scene,​5 of having procured the death of his own child, must be dismissed as unworthy of  p38 belief, since none of the Greek writers, not even those who canvass his actions the most bitterly, have dared to insinuate it.

Character of Zeno. It cannot be said that the new Emperor did anything to justify his predecessor's selection of him as a son-in‑law. He was quite incapable in the field, 'not only a coward but a wretch, an emperor who could not bear even the picture of a battle,' says one of our authorities.​6 This author proceeds to say that Zeno's only notion of conquest was by buying off his foes, for which purpose he laid upon his subordinates the duty of raising as much money as possible by exactions and confiscations. Another historian​7 gives a somewhat different account of the cause of Zeno's financial misgovernment. He says that this Emperor was not so cruel, passionate, or avaricious as his predecessor, but that he was ambitious and vain, with no real knowledge of affairs nor formed habits of business. He was thus exposed to endless peculation on the part of the officials of his exchequer, and at the same time squandered with lavish hand the carefully-hoarded treasures of his father-in‑law among his greedy Isaurian friends. This incapacity for business, again, made him dependent on his underlings, especially on one Sebastian, who was Praetorian Prefect during a large part of his reign,​8 and who possessed an extraordinary influence over his master. Like the eunuch Eutropius, ninety years before, Sebastian put  p39 up offices and governments for sale as in a market, and suffered no business to be transacted in the palace upon which he did not levy his toll.​9 Some part of the gain of this unblushing traffic he graciously shared with the Emperor, but if the latter had bestowed an office on one of his own friends, the favourite would insist on buying it at a small price from the recipient, that he might re‑sell it at a high figure to one of the attenders of his auction-mart.

Frequent rebellions against him. An Emperor thus governing, of discreditable private character​10 and strengthened by no deep roots of ancestral claim to the loyalty of his subjects, was sure to find his right to rule challenged by usurpers; and in fact the history of the reign of Zeno is chiefly a history of the rebellions against him. The course of these rebellions is drearily similar. With a certain tenacity of purpose, which perhaps explains Leo's selection of him, Zeno generally succeeds in holding on to power. Some popular officer delivers him from the rival of the moment, and becomes for the time 'the man whom the king delighteth to honour.' Then he too falls under suspicion, the Emperor or Empress intrigues against his life; he is forced to make himself the mouthpiece of the popular discontent. Another  p40 rebellion and another deliverance by a champion who is doomed to experience the imperial ingratitude, and so the dismal round recommences. Add to the already enumerated causes of discontent the fires, never long smouldering in this reign, of religious bigotry, the incessant battle-cries, 'Nestorian,' 'Eutychian,' 'The Council of Chalcedon,' 'The Council of Nicaea;' add also the intrigues of Verina, the Emperor's mother-in‑law, one of the most odious women who ever stepped inside the purple chamber at Constantinople, and the reader will have some idea of the events which formed the staple of the reign of Zeno.

Usurpation of Basiliscus, 475‑477. The rebellion of Basiliscus was the first of the series.​11 It was on the ninth day after his accession to the office of Consul, when he received a message from his mother-in‑law desiring him to come to her with all speed. He obeyed, and when he reached her chamber, Verina informed him that the generals, the senate, the people, all were united in the resolution to depose him, and that his only safety was in flight. Without a struggle he appears to have given up the prize of empire, took with him his wife Ariadne and his mother Lallis, and such of the imperial treasures as he could pile upon his horses and mules, and stole away by night accompanied by many of his Isaurian fellow-countrymen. Still wearing the rich imperial robes in which he had presided in the Hippodrome, he crossed the Bosporus to Chalcedon, and was soon in the heart of Asia Minor. Thus did Basiliscus, Verina's brother, find himself at length in  p41 possession of the diadem which he had coveted with an insane desire.​12 He associated his son Marcus with him in the empire, and in their joint names issued edicts for the regulation of church affairs.​13 These edicts were to the utmost extent of his power in the interests of the Monophysite party, of which he, and still more his wife Zenonis,​14 were fanatical adherents. Peter the Fuller was reinstated at Antioch, Timothy the Weasel at Alexandria. Everywhere the opponents of the decrees of Chalcedon began to take heart, and its adherents, except the dauntless Acacius of Constantinople, began to despond.

Harmatius. But Basiliscus, raised to the throne by female influence and intrigue, was threatened by dangers from the same source. Verina had a lover, Patricius, upon whom, rather than upon Basiliscus, she had hoped that the choice of the insurgents would have fallen, but who was put to death by the new emperor. Zenonis, who was a woman of great beauty, had  p42 also a lover, the nephew of her husband, the handsome and effeminate Harmatius.​15 This man, who knew more about the palaestra and the hair‑dresser's shop than about the art of war, was, by the influence of his paramour, promoted to the high office of Magister Militum in Thrace. 476 He also shared the honours of the consul­ship with Basiliscus. Puffed up with wealth and official importance, he began to imagine himself a great soldier, and rode about the streets of the capital, aping in arms and accoutrements the great Achilles. The populace followed him with their acclamations, and called him the new Pyrrhus, in allusion to his fresh pink-coloured complexion.​a But many doubtless thought, what the historian could safely write, that the new hero was more like Paris than Pyrrhus.16

Zeno in his exile. Meanwhile the dethroned Emperor Zeno had betaken himself to his native Isauria, and there maintained a feeble resistance to his rival. In the course of his wanderings he came to a castle situated upon a hill, and enquired the name of this place of refuge. When told that it was called (by a curious chance) Constantinople, he gave a deep sigh and said, 'Verily man is God's plaything. The prophets foretold that the month of July should see me lodged in Constantinople, and so indeed I am, in this little hill-side fort of a Constantinople, instead  p43 of in my royal city.' 477 Brighter days, however, were at hand for the fugitive as the second July of his exile drew near. Illus and Trocundus,​17 the generals of Basiliscus who had been for some time besieging him, perhaps in the mountain fortress just referred to, changed sides and openly espoused his cause. The money and the promises of Zeno had no doubt some share in producing this result; but they had some excuse for their defection in the fact that letters had been received from the Senate at Constantinople informing the generals that the profligacy and folly of Basiliscus had become absolutely unbearable, and inviting them to aid in his deposition. In fact, what with political discontent and what with theological strife, the capital was almost in a state of revolution. Acacius had draped the altar and the clergy in black. Daniel, the greatest of the Stylite saints, had descended from his column to harangue and muster the people. A vast multitude of men, women, and children had assembled at the gates of the cathedral to protest against the heretical doings of the Emperor. There was a talk of burning down the city, from which Basiliscus withdrew in terror, but Daniel and the monk Olympius followed him to his retreat, and forced him to listen to their passionate invectives.18

Return of Zeno. Liberated from his long blockade and strengthened by his new allies, Zeno now set forth for the capital. Basiliscus sent Harmatius to meet the foe,  p44 having first extracted from him, possibly on account of some rumours of his doubtful loyalty, an oath 'by his holy baptism'​19 that he would not betray him. Harmatius took with him not only the troops which ordinarily followed the standard of the Magister Militum in Thrace, but also a levy, probably a hasty levy, from the citizens of Constantinople.​20 This fact, together with the statement that a terrible massacre of Isaurians took place at the time of the expulsion of Zeno,​21 seems to indicate that the animosity against the Asiatic highlanders was especially bitter among the mob of the capital.

Treachery of Harmatius. However, neither his baptismal oath nor the rancour of his civic followers availed to keep Harmatius from entering into a transaction with the dethroned emperor, his willingness for which was doubtless increased by the consciousness of danger from the discovery of his intrigue with Zenonis. He advanced to Nicaea, where Zeno and the two generals were quartered. Great terror was at first caused in the Isaurian army at his approach. Zeno was on the point of retreating, but Illus undertook and accomplished the delicate task of detaching Harmatius from his fidelity to his uncle. The terms were high: the rank of Magister Militum Praesentalis (commander of the household troops, ranking above the other Magister Militum) for life, and the dignity of Caesar  p45 for his son Basiliscus, which assured to that son the succession to the empire on Zeno's death.​22 The bargain being concluded, the two armies, now united, marched against Constantinople.

Basiliscus takes refuge at St. Sophia's. Basiliscus, when he heard that his rival was accepted as lawful emperor by the senate, the people, and even by the arch-intriguer Verina, saw that the game was hopeless, and took refuge in the church of St. Sophia, to which he had betaken himself nine years before on the failure of the Carthaginian expedition.​23 Leaving his crown on the holy table, as a sign that he renounced the sovereignty, he passed on with his wife and children into the baptistery, and there sought for shelter. Not even in the hour of her downfall can the ecclesiastical chroniclers forbear to triumph over the heretical Empress,​24 thus compelled to seek the shelter of the Church whose power she had dared to cope with. The patriarch Acacius came and upbraided the fallen Emperor with the impious innovations which he, the Eutychian, had sought to introduce into the Christian Church. According to Procopius​25 he actually delivered the suppliant into the hands of his rival; but this is so contrary to the character of the man and to the religious instincts of the age, that we may safely reject such a story. Doubtless Acacius was a powerful agent, probably the most powerful in  p46 the counter-revolution which hurled Basiliscus from his throne. Probably also he was the medium of the negotiations which resulted in the fugitive's surrender of himself to his rival; but this is a different matter from the accusation that with his own hands he delivered him over, a suppliant at the Church's altar, to his enemy.

Fate of Basiliscus. 'The most religious emperor Zeno,' says the Paschal Chronicle, 'then gave orders that the curtain should be drawn over the amphitheatre. He mounted to his seat, exhibited the games of the circus to the citizens, and received their acclamations. Then he sent to the Great Church, stripped all the emblems of imperial dignity from the fallen Emperor, his wife and children, and induced them to come forth by a promise "that their heads should be safe."​26 Zeno then sent him away and those with him to the camp of Limnae​27 in Cappadocia. And they were thrust into one tower of the camp, and the gate was built up, and the tower and the camp itself were guarded by soldiers and by a great multitude of Isaurians. And thus Basiliscus himself and his wife and children, perishing by hunger, gave up their lives and were buried in the same tower of Limnae.'

Procopius and some other historians​28 say that the banishment was in the depth of winter, that the unhappy exiles were insufficiently supplied with clothing  p47 as well as food, and that cold worked together with hunger for their destruction. Thus was Dante's terrible story of Ugolino and his children in the Torre del Fame anticipated by eight hundred years. That deed of horror and of perfidy was perpetrated by an archbishop,​29 this by an emperor, whom, in the very act of describing his wickedness, the chronicler terms 'most religious,'​30 because he was not tainted with the heresy either of Nestorius or of Eutyches.

Death of Harmatius. Thus had Harmatius surrendered his uncle and his paramour to a death of horror. He had not long to wait for his reward, in either sense. He received the post of Magister Praesentalis, his son was proclaimed Caesar, had a royal seat prepared for him by the side of the Emperor, and joined in distributing the prizes to the charioteers. Soon, however, Zeno began to reflect that a man who had displayed so much perfidy to his kinsman and benefactor, and had violated his solemn baptismal oath, was not likely to serve him more faithfully, when his son, the young Caesar, should have grown to manhood. He argued with himself that he had kept all his promises to his deliverer. Magister Praesentalis he was now, and that for life, but he had said nothing as to how long he was to live. His son had been declared Caesar, and, having once worn the imperial purple, should now be dignified with an office in the Church. The Emperor therefore gave orders that 'Harmatius the perjurer' should be slain. It was evidently no judicial sentence that was passed, but an order for a private  p48 assassination that was given. An agent for the bloody deed was soon found. Onoulf, son of Edica and brother of king Odovacar, was still in the imperial service. He had received much kindness from Harmatius when he came a poor barbarian to the capital of the East. His patron had procured for him the dignify of Count, then that of Prefect of Illyricum, and had made him handsome presents of money to enable him to give the banquets which his rank rendered necessary. At Zeno's order Onoulf laid wait for his patron at a palace ten miles from Constantinople, and stabbed him in the back when he was mounting a spiral staircase to the Hippodrome.​31 The fickle populace, who had forgotten the shouts of admiration with which they once hailed the rubicund 'Pyrrhus,' as he dashed in brilliant armour along the streets, now applauded his death; and remembering the cruel manner in which he, in conjunction with the Gothic foederati, had punished an insurrection in Thrace during the reign of Leo, cutting off the hands of the peasants who were accomplices therein, they now rejoiced with rapture that one so arrogant and so hard-hearted had at last met with his deserts. The young Basiliscus, son of Harmatius, after his brief dream of Caesarship, was installed as Lector in the church of Blachernae, and appears before his death to have reached the dignity of bishop of the important city of Cyzicus, the metropolis of the Hellespontine diocese.

 p49  Revolt of Marcian, 479. The next revolt against Zeno was of a different kind, and one which illustrates the peculiar ideas about hereditary succession which were introducing themselves into the originally elective sovereignty of the Empire. These ideas had assumed a somewhat different shape since 450 Pulcheria, sister of Theodosius II, had, by the bestowal of her hand, raised Marcian to the throne and thus familiarised the Romans with the idea of a hereditary right to the purple conveyed through females. The Marcian who now, by assuming the diadem, gave a rallying-point for all the unsubdued discontent with Zeno and his Isaurians, was, on his mother's side, grandson of that Emperor Marcian. He was also son of an Emperor — of that Anthemius sovereign of the West whom Sidonius saw riding through the streets of Rome side by side with Ricimer.​32 Yet upon neither of these relation­ships did he found his pretensions to the throne. He had married Leontia, the youngest daughter of the Emperor Leo, and set up the claim so often heard of in Eastern, and sometimes in Western, monarchies, that his wife, as being Porphyrogenita, born after her father had attained to supreme power, was of higher dignity than her elder sister Ariadne, born while Leo was still a private person serving in the household of Aspar. Marcian raised troops and attacked the palace of his brother-in‑law. A bloody battle took place; the two brothers of Marcian, Procopius​33 and Romulus, brought up supports at a seasonable moment; the palace and the diadem were almost won. But,  p50 inheriting the slack and indolent disposition of his father, Marcian betook himself to the banquet and the couch, let slip the golden opportunity, and adjourned till the morrow the victory which never came.​34 For during the night Illus, the general of Zeno, who was now holding the high rank of Magister Officiorum, brought a large number of Isaurians across the straits from Chalcedon in market boats, the regular transports having been seized by the rebels. He also practised with his bribes so successfully on the fidelity of the insurgent troops, that, when morning dawned, Marcian found himself forsaken by most of his followers, and far from capturing the palace was forced to flee to the Church of the Apostles.​35 Hence he was dragged away, and sent, like all the enemies of Zeno, into captivity in the recesses of Asia Minor.  p51 He became a monk; he escaped; he attempted another abortive insurrection. Hereupon, if not after his first downfall, he was ordained a presbyter; and henceforth Marcian, with his wife Leontia, who had escaped to the convent of 'The Sleepless Ones,' disappears from history.​36 It is clear that Zeno recognised, in the feeble character of his brother-in‑law, less danger to his throne than from other claimants of less noble birth. Procopius and Romulus, the brothers of Marcian, were caught in Constantinople while bathing in the baths of Zeuxippus. They escaped, however, from their captivity, fled to the camp of the Gothic general, who, as we shall find in the next chapter, steadfastly refused to surrender them to their enemies, and finally made their way to Rome, where these sons and grandsons of emperors disappear into the undistinguishable crowd.

Services of Illus. Conspiracies against his life. The last of the insurgents against the authority of Zeno was also the best and the noblest of his foes, his countryman Illus the Isaurian. Sent with his brother Trocundus by Basiliscus to conduct the campaign in the Asiatic highlands against the fugitive Emperor, he had, as we have already seen, not only gone over himself to Zeno's side, but had been the broker through whose mediation the similar defection of Harmatius and the consequent ruin of the cause of Basiliscus had been secured. Such important services should have earned the life-long gratitude of the restored Emperor; but for some reason the ladies of the imperial family pursued him with undying hatred. Three times was his life in danger through their machinations.  p52  477 Before a year had elapsed from Zeno's return, Paulus, a slave in the imperial household, was detected, sword in hand, watching for a favourable moment to slay the general. The Emperor abandoned the slave to the just resentment of Illus, upon whom 478 next year was bestowed the dignity of Consul. While he was busied with the restoration of the Royal Porch, a magnificent work probably, which was to have commemorated his year of office, another assassin, this time a barbarian of Alan race, was found in his apartments, again with a naked sword in his hand. The murderer, being put to the torture, confessed that Epinicus the Phrygian, who, by the favour of the Empress-mother, had risen from an obscure position to the successive dignities of Comes Privatarum Rerum, Comes Sacrarum Largitionum, and Praefectus Praetorio, had hired him for the bloody deed. Again was a victim sacrificed to propitiate the anger of Illus. The Praetorian Praefect, stripped of all his honours and wealth, was handed over to the man whose death he had compassed, but who generously spared his life, and was satisfied with banishing him to his own native Isauria. Visiting him there not long after, Illus learned from the ex‑prefect's lips that he in turn had been stimulated to the deed of blood by the arch-intriguer, the Empress-mother, Verina.

Recall of Illus and banishment of Verina. For the time Illus held his peace, and remained in honourable and self-sought exile from the court. Before long, however, he was recalled​37 by his master,  p53 who, with all the ranks of the military and civil hierarchy, crossed the Bosporus and came more than six miles along the road from Chalcedon to welcome the returning general. Immediately, perhaps before he would even enter the capital, Illus disclosed to the Emperor the intrigues of Verina against his life, and declared that he could never be in safety so long as that woman remained in Constantinople. Zeno, who knew that he too was never safe from the conspiracies of his mother-in‑law, abandoned her without reluctance to his general. She was sent off under the care of the brother-in‑law of Illus with a large retinue to Isauria, compelled to take the veil in the cathedral of Tarsus,​38 and then shut up in the fortress of Dalisandus. Epinicus, in return for his information, was, at the request of Illus, received again into the imperial favour, perhaps restored to his old office.

Pamprepius the friend of Illus. Among the followers of Illus who accompanied him into the capital on that day of his triumph none probably attracted more attention than the Egyptian grammarian, poet, and philosopher, Pamprepius. Rich gifts of intellect were hidden under the unprepossessing countenance of this dark Egyptian, who was possibly a full-blooded negro. His poetical attainments in his native country (perhaps acquired in emulation of his  p54 compatriot Claudian) were rewarded by the chair of Grammar in the University of Athens. Here too he studied philosophy under the mighty mystic, Proclus, the last, and some say the greatest, of the Neo‑Platonists; and, in the judgment of all Athens, Pamprepius ranked pre‑eminently the first among the great master's pupils. Having left Athens in consequence of an insult received from one of the local magistracy, who was himself a dilettante philosopher, Pamprepius came to Byzantium and attached himself to the fortunes of Illus, which he powerfully influenced both for good and for evil. There was certainly a strain of nobility in the character of the patron. 'Illus,' says his fellow countryman Candidus, 'conferred many benefits on the Roman state, by his brave deeds in war and by his generosity and righteous dealing in the city.'​39 There was also a vein of literary pursuit in him, such as we should by no means have looked for in an Isaurian highlander. When first introduced to the general, Pamprepius recited, with much grace of delivery, a long-meditated discourse, probably in the Platonic or Proclean style, on the nature of the soul. Illus was charmed with what he heard, proclaimed the swarthy Egyptian wisest of all the professors in Constantinople, and arranged that he should be engaged at a large salary, paid by the State, to teach the choicest spirits among the young men who resorted to the 'Museums,' or, as we should call them, the colleges, of the capital. At the time when we behold him about to re‑cross the Bosporus in the train of his  p55 triumphant patron, Pamprepius has reached a higher elevation. He is now Quaestor, belongs therefore to the awful innermost circle of the Illustres, endorses the petitions of the subjects, directs them to the proper office which has to take them into consideration, and prepares the stilted sentences in which Tarasicodissa-Zeno may clothe his meagre thoughts when replying to supplications or promulgating laws.40

Pamprepius a heathen. But there was a worm at the root of this amazing good fortune of the Egyptian, although for the present all went well with him.​41 Like his master Proclus, he was a Greek, or, as we should call it, a heathen in his creed; and made no secret of his Hellenic faith, even in Christian Constantinople itself. The avowed heathenism drew after it the imputation of darker practices, and of a knowledge of the future obtained by unhallowed arts, an imputation to which the windy theosophy of the Neo‑Platonist not unnaturally exposed him, and which Pamprepius himself, by mysterious and enigmatical utterances, which could be claimed as prophecies if they turned out true, seems to have intentionally fostered.​42 It would be going  p56 too far to attribute either to Illus or his client an attempt at the hopeless task of the restoration of heathenism: but it is probable that the general as well as the philosopher may have shown a deeper interest in the Dialogues of Plato than in the endless theological squabbles of Timothy the Weasel and Timothy Solofaciolus, and that his popularity with the mob of Constantinople may have suffered accordingly.

Illus remains loyal during Marcian's insurrection. The insurrection of Marcian, which followed shortly after these events, was partly caused, according to the representations of the rebels, by the harsh treatment of the widow of Leo.​43 Certainly Illus was bound to keep his master harmless from the consequences of a severity which he had himself insisted upon: yet he seems to have wavered for a moment. In his perplexity he turned to the dark Egyptian for counsel. The voice of Pamprepius was in favour of loyalty, and presaged the victory of Zeno. 'Providence is on our side,' he said oracularly; and when, notwithstanding the first success of Marcian, his standard was eventually lowered, men looked with yet heightened reverence on the prophetic powers of the Neo‑Platonist professor.

Third attempt on the life of Illus, 482? To Zeno's triumph on this occasion the valour and the skill of Illus, as we have seen, largely contributed. But if the Emperor prized his services, the Empress could not forget her mother's wrongs. Ariadne on this occasion belied the fair and honourable character  p57 which, as far as we can judge, she generally bore in a dark and troublous time. When the Master of the Offices (for this was the dignity now held by Illus) was mounting the stairs to view the races in the Hippodrome, a life-guardsman44 named Spanicius, hired by Ariadne for the purpose, drew his sword and endeavoured to cut off his head. The armour-bearer of Illus interposed and struck up the assassin's hand, but the escape was so narrow that the right ear of the intended victim was actually severed, and he ever after wore a skull‑cap when he appeared in public.45

It was vain to ask this time for the surrender of the instigator of the crime, and probably from henceforward it was only a question of time how soon Illus should revolt. Quarrel about Longinus. But, according to our chief authority,​46 the Emperor began the quarrel by insisting on the liberation of his brother Longinus. This person, whose previous history is almost hopelessly obscure, had been for ten years kept a close prisoner by Illus at a castle in Isauria. So strange a predicament for the brother of a reigning Emperor is perhaps explained by the private character of Longinus, which was detestably immoral. He may have inflicted on the general some wrong which in one less powerfully protected would  p58 have called for the punishment of death, a punishment which even in his case could be commuted for nothing less than life-long imprisonment. It would seem, however, that the Emperor's request was granted, and that both Longinus and the mother of Zeno arrived in Constantinople, having been voluntarily released by Illus.47

Illus disgraced. The Emperor next proceeded to strip Illus of his military command, which he bestowed on one of the barbarian foederati, John the Goth. He then made a harangue to the people of Constantinople — there are some indications that Zeno was vain of his oratorical powers — setting forth his grievances against Illus, and ordering that all his relations and dependents should be banished from Constantinople. The possessions of these men the Emperor, ever thinking of his highland home, distributed among the cities of Isauria.

Revolt of Illus, 484. Illus, thus driven to open revolt, withdrew into his native Taurus-country and endeavoured to strengthen himself by alliances. The kings of Armenia and Persia promised help if he would effect a junction of his forces with theirs. Odovacar, 'the tyrant of Western Rome,'​48 was also appealed to, but for the present declined to join the confederacy, 486 though two years later he showed symptoms, or Zeno thought that he showed symptoms, of a willingness to favour the cause of Illus. The insurgent general seems to have  p59 at first proclaimed Marcian​49 Emperor, but the attempt to conjure with this name proving fruitless, he next sought out his former persecutor Verina in her exile. Their common hostility to Zeno brought these two old antagonists together. Leontius proclaimed. Verina, arrayed in imperial robes, was announced as the lawful disposer of the diadem, and mounting a high platform, in the Church of St. Peter at Tarsus,​50 proceeded to invest with the insignia of empire a certain citizen of Dalisandus of obscure parentage, named Leontius, whom Illus had selected for the dangerous honour. Leontius nominated the high officers of the household and the state, distributed money to the people, and established his court at Antioch, which had not, apparently, been the residence of an Augustus since the days of Valens.

The revolt does not prosper. Zeno, whose position was somewhat insecure, made for himself strange alliances with ecclesiastics and barbarians. He persuaded his fellow-countryman Conon, bishop of Apamea in Syria, to leave his episcopal throne and don the armour of a legionary. At the same time he bestowed the chief command in Isauria on Linges, the bastard brother of Conon, a man of high courage, and probably of great local influence. Of the share which the Goths under Theodoric and the wild Rugians from beyond the Danube took in this war as soldiers of Zeno it will be convenient to speak in the following chapter. After Leontius for little more than two months had possessed the semblance of sovereignty his fortunes began  p60 to decline. Illus, who had been worsted in the field, sent his wife, and provisions for a siege, to the fortress of Cherreus. These precautions, and the messages he sent to Leontius and Verina to quit Antioch and come to him with all speed, produced a discouraging effect on his army. The officers dispersed to seek shelter in friendly fortresses, while many of the more obscure abettors of the rebellion took refuge in the caves with which that part of Asia Minor abounds.

Blockade of the fort of Papirius. The castle of Cherreus also bore the name of its builder Papirius, apparently a kind of robber chieftain who had occupied it as a feudal baron occupied his turrets by the Rhine, in order to levy toll on passers‑by and to keep his rustic neighbours in terrified subjection. Papirius was apparently now dead, but his son Indacus, a man of great courage and physical strength, who fought with his left hand and as a runner outstripped the fleetest horsemen, still held the castle and was faithful to the cause of Illus.​51 Death of Verina. Here had Marcian been imprisoned, and here Verina.​52 Hither did the empress-mother now return, a fugitive though no longer a captive. The fatigues and anxieties of the last few months had been too much  p61 for her strength, and on the ninth day after she reached the castle her turbulent and intriguing life came to an end. She was embalmed and placed in a leaden coffin, with the hope doubtless that one day a tomb befitting her dignity might be found for her beside the Bosporus.​53 After thirty days died Marsus, a faithful friend of Illus, and he by whose intervention Pamprepius was first introduced to him. The castle was strong and provisioned for a long siege, and Illus, after entrusting the details of the daily defence to Indacus, shut himself up in his library and devoted his now abundant leisure to the study of his beloved manuscripts. Leontius took the turn in his fortunes less philosophically. He macerated himself with fastings, and passed his days in unmanly lamentations.

Illus and Leontius slain. After the siege had lasted two years, the hopes of Illus and Leontius growing ever fainter, the besiegers, under the command of John the Goth, obtained possession of a fort on an opposite hill which in some degree commanded the castle, and plied their engines with great effect.​54 486 The besieged called for a parley, and by the mediation of the Goth sent to the Emperor at Constantinople a letter reminding him of their past services and praying for forgiveness. The appeal, however, was ineffectual,​55 and the siege dragged on for two years longer. At length, at the  p62 end of four years, treachery accomplished what fair fighting could not achieve. 488 The wife of Trocundus, the brother of Illus, privately communicated to the Emperor her willingness to betray her relative. She was sent for this purpose from Constantinople, probably with a delusive offer of pardon, entered the fortress, and succeeded in opening its gates to the imperial troops. Illus and Leontius were slain, and their heads were cut off and sent to the Emperor. Pamprepius was sent with them. All through the four years of siege he had fed his associates with hopes of ultimate triumph; and it is said that when they found that his prophecies were about to turn out false they themselves in their disappointment cut him to pieces. The authorities for this story are not of the highest class.​56 One would gladly disbelieve a history so inconsistent with the character of the brave philosopher-soldier Illus.

Zeno pries into the future. No further rebellion disturbed the reign of Zeno. His brother, the shameless profligate Longinus, was now all powerful. He had held the office of Consul in 486 and again in 490; he was the head of the Isaurian faction in the capital, and he doubtless intended to wear the diadem after his brother. 490 The health of the Emperor was now visibly declining, and he was filled with a restless desire to know how it would fare with his family and his beloved Isaurians after his death. With this view he consulted Maurianus the Count, 'a very learned man, who was acquainted with certain  p63 mystic rites and had predicted many future events,'​57 and asked to be informed of the name of his successor on the throne. The answer was ambiguous: 'Your successors shall be your wife and one who has served as Silentiarius' — that title being given to the guard of honour, thirty in number, who watched in the purple chamber. On hearing this Zeno at once ordered the arrest of a certain Pelagius, formerly a Silentiarius but now a Patrician, and an eminent statesman, who seemed to him the most likely person to be thus indicated. Moreover, Pelagius, who was a man of high character and some literary fame (he had written in verse a history of the Empire from the time of Augustus), had dared to rebuke the misgovernment of Zeno and to oppose earnestly his project of declaring his fatuous brother Caesar.​58 His property was ordered to be confiscated, and soon after he was strangled by his gaolers.​59 When the Praetorian Prefect Arcadius​60 heard of this act of iniquity he rebuked Zeno for it with a freedom worthy of better times. Upon this the Emperor ordered Arcadius also to be killed the first time that he should set foot within the palace, but the Prefect, receiving a hint of his danger, 'turned aside as if casually to pray in the Great Church [St. Sophia], claimed the right of asylum there, and so escaped bitter death.'61

 p64  491 Death of Zeno. Next year (April 10, 491)​62 the life of the wretched and suspicious tyrant was ended by an epileptic seizure. The prophecy of Count Maurianus came true. Anastasius succeeds. The Empress Ariadne was requested to bestow the diadem where she would, and she bestowed it, and her hand, on Anastasius, a native of Dyrrhachium, past the prime of life, not yet even a senator, but one of the schola of Silentiarii.

Troubles from the Isaurian faction, cowed but not crushed by the elevation of Anastasius, broke out both in Constantinople and in their native province. In the capital the statues of the new Emperor were thrown down, and fire was thrown into the Hippodrome, by which the adjoining arcades were consumed. This rebellion seems to have been partly caused by the oppressive conduct of an unpopular Prefect, whom Anastasius wisely dismissed from office, but as it was thought that the disaffected Isaurians had also something to do with it, an order went forth for their banishment from the city. They lingered, and stronger measures had to be taken. Longinus, the late Emperor's brother, was compelled to enter the priesthood​63 and was banished to the Egyptian Thebaid,​64 where, after eight years, he perished of hunger. His wife and daughter, together with his  p65 mother Lallis (who had been for more than fourteen years mother of a reigning Emperor), took up their abode at a little oratory on the Bithynian shore,​65 where, at any rate for the remainder of the elder lady's life, they subsisted on the alms of the charitable. The property of Zeno was confiscated, and even his imperial robes were sold for the benefit of the treasury.

Meanwhile the people of Isauria, reinforced by the numerous unwilling emigrants from Constantinople, went into open rebellion. The leaders of the movement were a former Master of the Offices, named Longinus of Cardama, the militant Bishop Conon, and a certain Athenodorus, who appears to have held the chief command. Towards the end of 492 the insurgents were routed by the Imperial Army at Cotyaeum in Phrygia. The insurrection however seems to have been but a local affair, for the rebels apparently never pushed their incursions further than into Phrygia; but the Emperor, who had confided the conduct of the war to two generals of the same name, John the Goth and John the Hunchback, was accused by his critics of feebleness and faint-heartedness in its prosecution. After five years of it he grew weary, and secretly confided to Euphemius, Patriarch of Constantinople, that he would gladly see it at an end. As the Isaurians, with all their savageness, were orthodox Chalcedonian Christians, and Anastasius was not, Euphemius leaned somewhat towards the side of the rebels, and most improperly repeated what had been said to him to yet another John, the Patrician, father-in‑law of the insurgent general Athenodorus. The Patrician hastened to Anastasius,  p66 expecting to be made the instrument of a negotiation, but found the Emperor, instead thereof, highly indignant at this betrayal of his confidence. Next year (498), prosecuting the war in a bolder and more imperial way, he obtained a complete victory over his enemies. Athenodorus and Longinus were taken prisoners and beheaded. Their heads, sent by John the Goth to Constantinople, were fixed high on poles and exhibited at Sycae opposite the city, 'a sweet sight to the Byzantines,' says a historian, 'in return for the evils which they had endured from Zeno and the Isaurians.' When the overthrow of the rebel cause was certain, Anastasius sent his Master of the Offices​66 to the Patriarch with the insulting message, 'Your prayers, O great man! have covered your friends with soot.'67

Tribute of 'Isaurica.' The remembrance of this Isaurian rebellion was maintained by a tribute called 'Isaurica,' which was thenceforward collected (probably from the malcontent province) for the imperial treasury; and we are told that from this tax, amounting to £200,000 annually, were paid the subsidies to the barbarian foederati.68

 p67  Zeno's Henoticon. In the sketch which has been given of the reign of Zeno, its political aspect only has been dwelt upon. Its place in the development of religious doctrine must be alluded to, however briefly, for, as Gibbon truly remarks, 'it is in ecclesiastical story that Zeno appears least contemptible.' Throughout his reign the Emperor was a steady supporter of orthodoxy, and the patriarchs of Constantinople, who were thorns in the side of a Basiliscus and an Anastasius, served him as faithfully and as steadily as his own Isaurians. There was a great deal, however, of sheer misunderstanding of the Council of Chalcedon and much personal rancour against it in some of the Eastern dioceses, especially in Egypt and Syria. Acacius, patriarch of Constantinople, a man of great gifts and much force of character, induced the Emperor to attempt to remove these misunderstandings and to soften this rancour, 482 or 483 by the issue of his celebrated Henoticon, or Letter of Union, a document which was of course drawn up by Acacius himself. In this instrument the Via Media of Catholic orthodoxy, as distinct, on the one hand, from the Nestorian doctrine that Christ's human nature was a mere robe worn by the Eternal Son, and on the other, from the Monophysite doctrine that the Godhead was weary, suffered, and died, was reaffirmed in terms which appear to the lay mind undistinguishable from the decrees of Chalcedon. A formal adhesion to the utterances of that Council was, however, not insisted upon, and, with some lack of candour, the one allusion to Chalcedon  p68 which was introduced was couched in purposely disrespectful terms.

Its praiseworthy motives. Such was the tenour of the Henoticon of Zeno, a document which has met with but scant favour from ecclesiastical historians.​69 Yet the object which it proposed to itself, the closing of a barren and profitless controversy, was one earnestly to be desired in the interests of a living faith. The mere statesman could not be blind to the fact that this Monophysite logomachy (which in fact paved the way for the conquests of Mohammed) was rending the Eastern Empire in pieces. And from the point of view of a Byzantine official, there was nothing monstrous in the idea of the Augustus preparing a symbol of religious belief for all his subjects, though no doubt, as a matter of ecclesiastical order, that symbol should have been submitted for discussion to a council of bishops. However, issued as it was on the sole authority of the Emperor, it all but succeeded in its object. Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch accepted it; and thus the four great patriarchates of the East, after the discords of forty years, were again united in apparent harmony. There was but one exception, but that was world-important. The Pope of Rome, now but a precarious subject of the Eastern Caesar, unwilling to acquiesce in any further exaltation of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and determined above all things that the decrees of Chalcedon, those trophies of the victory of the mighty Leo, should not merely mould but should be recognised as moulding the faith of the whole Christian world, refused to accept the  p69 Henoticon of Zeno, and soon began to clamour for its withdrawal. It will be necessary hereafter to sketch the outlines of the controversy hence ensuing, a controversy in which it is impossible to believe that either party saw any principle at stake other than the sublime principle of self-assertion, the sacred duty of choosing the chief seats in the synagogue and the uppermost places at feasts.

Its unfortunate results. But whatever its motives, this controversy led to a schism between the two great sees of Eastern and Western Christendom, a schism which lasted thirty-five years, which had important results on the earlier fortunes of the Ostrogothic monarchy in Italy, and which undoubtedly prepared the way for the more enduring schisms of later years. The Henoticon of Zeno, which was meant to reconcile the Churches by the Bosporus and the Nile, laid the first courses of the wall of separation which now parts St. Petersburg from the Vatican.

Since the publication of the first edition of this volume Prof. Bury has published his History of the Later Roman Empire, and there has also appeared an elaborate article on 'The Emperor Zenon and the Isaurians' by Mr. E. W. Brooks, in the Historical Review (April, 1893). The latter writer has subjected the whole history of the period to a very careful examination, and had included therein two authorities, Joshua the Stylite and some fragments of Malalas, edited by Mommsen, neither of which were before me when I wrote the preceding chapter. I gladly accept his correction of some points of detail in my narrative, but I think it better not to attempt to rewrite the chapter as, in the present very fragmentary  p70 condition of our materials, it is not easy to correct one error without faling into others, perhaps more important. I must also admit that, having regard to my main purpose, the reign of this Byzantine Emperor already occupies a disproportionate space in my book, and that it would not be right to expand it.

The main corrections and suggestions for which I am indebted to the Reviewer (and in part to my friend Professor Bury) are these:—

1. (p46) The terrible story of the starvation of Basiliscus and his family, though told by early authorities (Marcellinus Comes, Procopius, Anonymus Valesii), may reasonably be doubted: since the yet earlier authorities, Malchus, Candidus, Evagrius (probably following Eustathius) say that Basiliscus was 'slain with the sword.'

2. (p119, first ed.) I erroneously connected the statement of Marcellinus as to Theodoric's march to Anaplus with the invasion of 479, instead of with that of 481. This mistake is now corrected.

3. (p59) The curious and interesting Sacra issued by Verina on her coronation of Leontius (Theophanes A.M. 5974) might well have been inserted here. 'Verina Augusta to our officers and Christ-loving peoples, greeting. Know that the Imperial power is ours, and that after the decease of my husband Leo, we chose Trascalissaeus, surnamed Zeno, as Emperor, that our subjects might be benefited. But seeing that the state is being ruined by his avarice, we have thought it necessary to crown as your Emperor a Christian man honoured for his piety and righteousness, that he may preserve the interests of the state and calmly administer warlike affairs. We have therefore crowned Leontius, the most pious Emperor of the Romans, who will hold you all worthy of his wise forethought.'

As Mr. Brooks observes, there is perhaps in the wording of this proclamation a hit at the heterodoxy of Zeno and a bid for the support of the adherents of the Council of Chalcedon.

4. (p58) Probably, as hinted in the note, Longinus was not really restored so early as is here said. Marcellinus Comes assigns his return to the year 485.

 p71  5. (p62) The account of the betrayal of Illus and Leontius given in the text is from Theophanes (A.M. 5980). Joannes Antiochenus (fr. 214, 10, ap. Müller, V.28) gives a much fuller and more graphic account, and makes Indacus Cottunes (see p60) the traitor. Indacus, however, appears to have been slain in the mêlée by some of the garrison of the castle.

6. Another fragment of Joannes Antiochenus (214B, ap. Müller, V.29, 30) also enables us to disentangle to some extent three different persons, all probably Isaurians, and all called Longinus (see Bury, I.293). They were (1) Longinus the brother of Zeno; (2) Longinus of Cardama, Master of the Offices about 485 (J. A. fr. 214.6, Müller, IV.621), who with Athenodorus headed the Isaurian rebellion against Anastasius, and was not subdued till 497 (by John the Goth). (3) Longinus the Selinuntian, who also shared in the Isaurian rebellion, and was sent as a captive to Constantinople to be led in triumph through the streets of the city, as stated in the note 2, p66. The confusion between Nos. 1 and 2 introduced some inaccuracy into my history of the early years of Anastasius (pp64‑66), which I trust that I have now removed.

The Author's Notes:

1 Those who represented the West are marked with W.

2 Perhaps rather (as suggested by Mr. Brooks) 'a native of Rusumblada.'

3 τὴν προσηγορίαν προσκτησάμενον ἔκ τινος παρὰ τοῖς Ἰσαύροις ἐς μέγα κλέος ἐληλυθότος, οὕτω προσαγορευομένου (Evagrius, II.15). According to Tillemont's probable conjecture this was Flavius Zeno, the Isaurian, Magister Militum in Oriente, and Consul in 448. (Compare vol. II pp90 and 94.)

4 Ammianus Marcellinus, XIV.2.1, describes how the Isaurians were wont 'to throw all things into confusion by their sudden raids,' and how 'a long course of impunity gave boldness to their young men and encouraged them to engage in warlike operations of a more serious kind, being especially indignant because some of their comrades who were taken prisoners had been exposed to wild beasts in the amphitheatre of Iconium' (A.D. 353). The whole of the following section gives a graphic picture of the freebooting excursions of the Isaurians.

5 Victor Tunnunensis.

6 Joannes Lydus; writing, it is true, about 550 or some sixty years after the death of Zeno, but all the less likely to have any personal prejudice against him.

7 Malchus (ap. Müller, IV.118).

8 In 475, 480, and 484, and probably in most of the intervening years; Tillemont, VI.478.

9 We have in Malchus (p120) an interesting note of the tariff of prices at this time: 'The Governor of Egypt (Praefectus Augustalis?), who had previously obtained his commission for something under 50 lbs. of gold (£2,000), now had to pay 500 (£20,000) on account of the increased prosperity of the province.'

10 Evagrius says (III.1) that Zeno, on becoming sole emperor, abandoned himself to every kind of unlawful and disgraceful pleasure, and that he scorned to practise any concealment of his vices, appearing to think that there was something grand and emperor-like in parading his immorality before the public.

11 II.525.

12 II.445.

13 Compare the circular letters in Evagrius, III.4 and 7: 'The Emperor Caesar Basiliscus, pious, victorious, triumphant, supreme, ever-worshipful Augustus, and Marcus the most illustrious Caesar, to Timotheus (Solophaciolus) archbishop of the great city of the Alexandrians, most reverend and blessed of God.' In this circular he anathematises, not only Nestorius, but also 'the so‑called tome of Leo [Pope Leo I], and all things said and done at Chalcedon in innovation upon' the Nicene symbol. Afterwards, evidently finding the influence of Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople, too strong for him, he published another circular, containing an abject withdrawal of the first, and anathematising not only Nestorius but also Eutyches (the Monophysite) and every other heresy.

14 Was this lady a sister of Zeno? No allusion is made to any relation­ship between them.

15 His name is spelt by Suidas both Harmatus and Harmatius. He is called by the chroniclers (who are extremely loose in their use and disuse of the aspirate) Armatus.

16 This curious little tirade against Harmatius, preserved by Suidas, is believed by Niebuhr to be from the pen of Malchus (see remarks in Müller, IV.117).

17 Mr. Brooks, following Joannes Antiochenus, calls this general Trocoundes. Theophanes and Marcellinus give the termination ‑os and ‑us. Victor Tunnunensis calls him Tricundius.

18 Theodorus Lector, I.32, 33, p182, ed. Migne.

19 Ὁρκίσας αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ἅγιον βάπτισμα μὴ προδοῦναι (Theophan. A.M. 5969). Does this adjuration explain the process by which the term sacramentum obtained its ecclesiastical signification?

20 We have only the somewhat doubtful authority of Theophanes for this statement: Μετὰ πάσης τῆς στρατιᾶς αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ λαοῦ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως.

21 Candidus the Isaurian (ap. Müller, IV.136).

22 Zeno's own son Zeno, the offspring of his first marriage, a youth of insufferable arrogance and viciousness, whose character was ruined by the flatteries of courtiers, died miserably in consequence of his excesses, probably before his father's banishment (Malchus, p118).

23 Vol. II p449.

24 Τῇ κακοδόξῳ αὐτοῦ γυναικί (Theoph. A.M. 5969).

25 De Bello Vandalico, I.7.

26 Candidus (Müller, IV.136) makes Harmatius the deceiver of Basiliscus in this negotiation for his surrender.

27 Situation not identified. According to others, Cucusus, the scene of Chrysostom's exile (Theophanes), or Sasemac (?) (Vict. Tunnun.). Certainly in Cappadocia, and probably some place high up on the sides of Anti-Taurus.

28 Anonymus Valesii and Jordanes.

29 Ruggieri (Inferno, xxxiii.14). Here too there was the element of a promise violated in its spirit.

30 Ὁ δὲ θειότατος Ζήνων (Chron. Pasch. 835, ed. Migne).

31 The Paschal Chronicle and Theophanes both record the death of Harmatius and the curious casuistry by which Zeno convinced himself that he was breaking no promise. They do not mention Onoulf, by whom Malchus (in Suidas) says that Harmatius was slain. Candidus (a friend to Zeno) says that Harmatius was cut to pieces (ἐκρεουργήθη).

32 See the genealogies, vol. II pp461 and 491.

33 It will be remembered that Procopius was a favourite name in the family of Anthemius.

34 Evagrius (III.26), or more probably Eustathius (who wrote 'very elegantly'), quoted by Evagrius, has some poetical remarks here about the critical nature of Opportunity, symbolised by a figure bald behind but with one lock in front, by which it may be grasped and held fast. The thought is precisely that of Shakespeare, 'There is a tide in the affairs of men,' &c.

35 The above account is chiefly founded on Eustathius. Joannes Antiochenus adds some details which would be interesting if they could be illustrated by an archaeologist versed in Byzantine topography. The insurgents encamp near the house of Caesarius: from thence they divide their forces, one brother operating against Zeno in the palace, the other against Illus in the gardens (?) of Varanes (ἐν τοῖς λεγομένοις Οὐαράνου). In the middle of the day, while the imperial troops are indulging in their noontide repose, the former directs his attack against 'the porch of Delphax, in which stand the Delphic columns painted in various colours.' Busalbus, perhaps Magister Militum Praesentalium (ἡγούμενος στρατιωτικοῦ τάγματος), and Nicetas co‑operated with Marcian. So too, according to Joannes, did Theodoric the son of Triarius, but this, as we shall see in the next chapter, is not exactly correct.

36 Except that, as we shall see, Illus at one time entertained the thought of proclaiming him emperor.

37 Joannes Antiochenus (our chief authority here) couples this recall of Illus with some catastrophe — perhaps a riot — following on the earthquake at Constantinople. His meaning is not clear. We dare not connect this statement with the entry in the Chronicle of Marcellinus, 'Urbs regia per XL continuos dies assiduo terrae motu quassata, magnopere sese afflicta deplanxit,' &c., since that belongs to the year 480, and the return of Illus must be put before 479.

38 This must, I presume, be the meaning of the words of Joannes, ἐν τῇ κατὰ Ταρσὸν ἐκκλησίᾳ καθιεροῖ. Dalisandus, like some other places mentioned in the record of these transactions, must remain a mere name, the geography of this part of Asia having received but little attention from scholars.

39 Candid. ap. Müller, IV.136. Ταῖς κατὰ πόλιν φιλοτιμίαις probably refers to such deeds as the restoration of the Stoa Basilicé, which signalised his consul­ship.

40 Notitia Orientis, cap. xi:

'Sub dispositione Viri Illustris Quaestoris:

Leges dictandae,



non habet, sed adjutores de scriniis quos voluerit.'

These adjutores were themselves spectabiles.

41 Τῷ δὲ Παμπρεπίῳ τὸ λοιπὸν ἐν πάσῃ εὐροίᾳ τὰ πράγματα ἦν, τιμηθέντι καὶ τῇ τοῦ κοαίστορος ἀξίᾳ (Joan. Antioch. fr. 211).

42 For information as to the life and character of Pamprepius consult the Biographical Dictionaries of Suidas and of Dr. W. Smith. In the latter the somewhat crude and incoherent statements given in the former are sifted and arranged. The article 'Illus' in the same Dictionary is also particularly copious and helpful. Both articles are by J. C. Means. The philosophical careers of Pamprepius and his great teacher Proclus are well brought out by Herzberg (Geschichte Griechenlands unter der Herrschaft der Römer, III.510‑513).

43 Διὰ τὴν πρόφασιν Βηρίνης (Joan. Antioch. fr. 211).

44 Scholarius (Theophanes): 'Illus dignitate Magister Officiorum amputata apud Comitatum auricula' (Marcellinus Comes, s. a. 484). Malalas calls the assassin Sporacius.

45 Quaere the date of this third attempted assassination. Theophanes describes it at A.D. 480, but his chronology is extremely loose. Marcellinus puts it apparently in, but really before, 484. Probably it was in 482 or 483.

46 Joannes Antiochenus, fr. 214. For a somewhat different arrangement of the obscure events connected with the revolt of Illus, see Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, I.256.

47 Theophanes, who relates this circumstance, connects it with the events of the year 483, but attributes the liberation to Illus and Leontius, which looks as if it was later than 484. But I despair of introducing coherence or probability into the story of Zeno's Isaurian relatives.

48 Joannes Antiochenus, fr. 214: καὶ πρὸς τὸν Ὀδόακρον ἔστελλε, τὸν τῆς ἑσπερίας Ῥώμης τύραννον.

49 So says Joannes (τότε Μαρκιανὸν ἀναζώννυσι), but it is not easy to reconcile this with other accounts of the life of Marcian after the failure of his revolt.

50 Malalas, p388 (ed. Bonn).

51 For Indacus (surnamed Cottunes) and his father Papirius see Joann. Antioch. fr. 206.2 (combined with 214.6), and Suidas, s.v. Indacus. Suidas says that he surpassed the greatest runners of antiquity in speed, that he would suddenly vanish from the high road, and be seen like a bird skimming over the most craggy and inaccessible precipices, that he would accomplish in one day, on foot, journeys which the fleetest horseman could not have performed, and so on.

52 Theodorus Lector, I.37, II.3. Verina was perhaps removed from Dalisandus to Papirium.

53 Βηρίνα δὲ μετ’ ἐνάτην ἡμέραν τῆς ἐν φρουρίῳ καταφυγῆς παρεθεῖσα (conj. παραλυθεῖσα) ἐτελεύτησε, καὶ ἐν μολιβδίνῃ ἐταριχεύθη λάρνακι (Joan. Ant. fr. 214.6).

54 Μετὰ τὸ ἐπιτυχεῖν τοῦ ἀντιφρουρίου πολλοῖς μηχανήμασιν ἐχρῶντο.

55 The MS. of Joannes Antiochenus here breaks off abruptly. We have to trust to imagination for the completion of the sentence and to go to Theodorus Lector for the end of the siege.

56 Theophanes, A.M. 5976, and Damascius the philosopher (in the Life of Isidorus). The latter is a contemporary authority, but we have his work only in the somewhat obscure and one‑sided report of it by Photius (Bibliotheca, Cod. 242).

57 Paschal Chronicle. (A late authority, but the death of Pelagius is confirmed by the contemporary testimony of Marcellinus.)

58 Cedrenus, I.621 (ed. Bonn).

59 Excubitores. (Comes Marcellinus says that Pelagius was strangled 'in insula quae Panormum dicitur' (?).)

60 It is possible that this faithful counsellor was really the Emperor's brother-in‑law, as Zeno's first wife was named Arcadia.

61 Paschal Chronicle.

62 On the Wednesday before Easter (Zach. Myt. 7.1). I give the reference and the consequent correction (from April 9 to 10) on the authority of Mr. Brooks (p231).

63 This detail is given by Theophanes. The rest of this paragraph is written on the authority of Joannes Antiochenus, fr. 214B (ap. Müller, V.30).

64 So the words of Joan. Ant., Λογγῖνος κατὰ τὴν Θηβαίων ἀφορίζεται χώραν, are generally understood, no doubt rightly, though they might apply to the Boeotian Thebes.

65 Named Brocthi.

66 Evagrius.

67 The authorities for the Isaurian rebellion are —

(1) Marcellinus Comes, s. a. 492‑498;

(2) Theodorus Lector, II.9.10;

(3) Evagrius (perhaps quoting Eustathius), III.29, 35.

(4) Joannes Antiochenus, fr. 214B.

Probably the Theodorus of Evagrius is the same as the Athenodorus of Marcellinus and Theodorus Lector. Another Longinus, also an Isaurian, surnamed 'the Selinuntian,' was taken prisoner in 482 (Marc.) by John the Hunchback and sent in chains to Constantinople, where he was led in triumph through the streets (Evagrius, III.35).

68 Ἐντεῦθεν καὶ τὸ καλούμενα πρώην Ἰσαυρικὰ τοῖς βασιλικοῖς ἐνηνέχθη θησαυροῖς· ἦν δὲ ἄρα τοῦτο χρυσίον ἐς ἔκαστον ἴτος τοῖς βαρβάροις χορηγούμενον πεντακισχιλίας ἕλκον λίτρας (Pounds of gold are no doubt intended.) Evagr. III.35.

69 'Subtle to escape subtleties' is Milman's verdict (Hist. of Latin Christianity, I.248).

Thayer's Note:

a The proper name Pyrrhus (Πύρρος), worn in particular by the famous military commander, is from πυρρόςflame-colored, red, blushing pink; ultimately from πῦρ = fire.

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