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Ch. 9
This webpage reproduces a chapter of
History of the Later Roman Empire

by J. B. Bury

published by Macmillan & Co., Ltd.,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Ch. 11

Vol. I
Chapter X

Leo I and Ricimer's Rule in Italy

§ 1. Leo I (A.D. 457‑474)

It was always a critical moment when an Emperor died without a designated successor or a member of his family marked out to claim the diadem. Theodosius I had created his sons Augusti; Arcadius had co-opted his infant son; Theodosius II had designated Marcian as his successor just before his death, and Marcian's title was sealed by his marriage with the Augusta Pulcheria. On Marcian's death the Theodosian dynasty had come to an end, and the choice of a new Emperor rested with the army and the Senate. There was one obvious candidate, Anthemius, who was the grandson of the great Praetorian Prefect and had married Marcian's daughter Euphemia. He had held the office of Master of Soldiers in Illyricum, and had been consul in A.D. 455. But Marcian had not designated him as his successor, and though the Senate perhaps would have liked to elect him,​1 he was not favoured by the man of most authority in the army, the patrician Aspar, who with his father Ardaburius had distinguished himself thirty-five years before in the suppression of the usurper John. Being an Arian, as well as a barbarian, he could not hope to wear the Imperial diadem; the only course open to his ambition was to secure the elevation of one on whose pliancy he might count. He chose Leo, a native of Dacia and an orthodox Christian, who was tribune of the Mattiarii,​2 a legion  p315  belonging to the troops which were under the control of a Master of Soldiers in praesenti. Aspar doubtless held this post, as Leo was his domesticus. The Senate was unable to reject the general's nominee and (on February 7) Leo was crowned at the Palace of Hebdomon. As there was no Augustus or Augusta to perform the ceremony of coronation, this duty was assigned to the Patriarch Anatolius, who had perhaps taken some part in the coronation of Marcian.​3 We have a contemporary description of the ceremonies connected with Leo's elevation, though the act of crowning is passed over.

The senators and officials, the Scholarian guards, the troops which were present in the capital, and the Patriarch gathered at the Campus in the Hebdomon. The military insignia, the labara and the standards, lay on the ground. All began to cry, "Hear, O God, we call upon thee. Leo will be Emperor. The public weal demands Leo. The army demands Leo. The palace expects Leo. This is the wish of the palace, the army, and the Senate." Then Leo ascended the tribunal or raised platform, and a chain was placed on his head, and another in his right hand, by officers.​4 Immediately the labara were collected, and all cried: "Leo Augustus, thou conquerest!​5 God gave thee, God will keep thee. A long reign! God will protect the Christian Empire." Then the Candidati closed round him and held their locked shields over his head. At this stage he must have retired into the palace where he put on the Imperial robes and the actual coronation was performed.​6 He came forth again bearing the diadem, and was adored by all the officials, in order of precedence. Then he took a shield and spear and was acclaimed anew. When the cries ceased, he replied, through the mouth of the magister a libellis,​7 in the following words:

"Imperator​8 Caesar Leo, Victorious, Ever August (saith): Almighty God and your choice, most valiant fellow-soldiers,  p316  elected me Emperor of the Roman State." All: "Leo Augustus, thou conquerest. He who chose thee will keep thee. God will protect his choice." Leo: "Ye shall have me as your master and ruler, who shared the toils which as your fellow-soldier I learned to bear with you." All: "Our good fortune! The army accepts thee as Emperor, O conqueror. We all desire thee." Leo: "I have decided what donatives I shall give to the troops." All: "Pious and power­ful and wise!" Leo: "To inaugurate my sacred and fortunate reign, I will give five nomismata [about £3] and a pound of silver to each shield."​9 All: "Pious, lavish! Author of honour, author of riches! May thy reign be fortunate, a golden age!" Leo: "God be with us!" Then a procession was formed, and the Emperor returned to the city where more ceremonies awaited him.10

The danger which had threatened the Empire in the reign of Arcadius through the power of Gaïnas and his German faction was now repeated, though perhaps in a less openly mena­cing shape, and the interest and importance of Leo's reign lie in the struggle for ascendancy between the foreign and native powers in the State. To have averted this peril was Leo's one achievement. The position of Aspar, who, though an Alan and not a German, represented the German interest,​11 was extremely strong. He was Master of Soldiers in praesenti, and his son Ardaburius was, if not already, at least soon after Leo's accession, Master of Soldiers in the East.​12 The Emperor, however, whom  p317  Aspar hoped to use as a puppet, soon showed that he had a will of his own and would not be as amenable to his general's dictation as he had led the general to expect. But, though differences arose​13 and Aspar was unable always to have his own way, yet for at least six or seven years his influence was predominant. Leo had made two promises, to raise Aspar's son Patricius to the rank of Caesar,​14 thereby designating him as successor to the throne, and to give the Caesar one of his daughters in marriage.​15 The second arrangement could probably not be carried out immediately because the girl was too young, and Leo managed to postpone the fulfilment of the first. In the meantime he discovered a means of establishing a counterpoise to the excessive influence of the Germans.

In order to neutralise the fact on which Aspar's power rested, namely that the bulk and the flower of the army consisted of Germans and foreigners — who since the fall of the Hun Empire had begun again to offer themselves as recruits — he formed the plan of recruiting regiments from native subjects no less valiant and robust. He chose the hardy race of Isaurian mountaineers who lived almost like an independent people in the wild regions of Mount Taurus and were little touched by Hellenism. The execution of this policy, begun by himself and carried out by his successor, counteracted the danger that the Germans would prevail in the East as they were prevailing in the West.

 p318  Leo had recourse to Tarasicodissa,​16 an Isaurian chieftain, who came to Constantinople, and presently married his daughter Ariadne (A.D. 466 or 467),​17 having changed his uncouth name to Zeno. For about four years there was a struggle for ascendancy between the two factions. A new corps of Palace guards was formed, and we may conjecture that it was recruited from stalwart Isaurians, with the title of Excubitors.​18 The Excubitors are for many centuries to be an important section of the residential troops, and, when we meet them for the first time in the reign of Leo, they were, as we shall see, called upon to oppose the Germans.

When a great expedition sailed to Africa against the Vandals in A.D. 468,​19 Leo entrusted the command, not to Aspar or his son, but to Basiliscus, the brother of the Empress Verina. The commander's incompetence led to the failure of the enterprise. It was alleged, but the charge was probably false, that Aspar, sympathising with the Vandals, bribed Basiliscus to betray the fleet with the promise of making him Emperor.​20 In the following year Zeno was consul. It is possible that he had already been appointed Master of Soldiers in praesenti,​21 and in this capacity he took the field in Thrace apparently against an incursion of Huns.​22 Some of his soldiers, at the instigation of Aspar, conspired  p319  to assassinate him, but forewarned of the plot he escaped to Sardica. After this he was nominated Master of Soldiers in the East, and left Constantinople for Isauria, where he suppressed the brigand Indacus, one of the most dangerous and daring of the Isaurian bandits.23

It was probably during the absence of his son-in‑law in the East that Leo was at length induced by Aspar to perform his old promise of conferring the rank of Caesar upon his son Patricius (A.D. 469‑470).​24 Aspar is said (whether on this or some previous occasion) to have seized the sovran by his purple robe and said, "Emperor, it is not fitting that he who wears this robe should speak falsely," and Leo to have replied, "Nor yet is it fitting that he should be constrained and driven like a slave."​25 There was great displeasure in Byzantium at the elevation of an Arian to a rank which was a recognised step to the Imperial throne. It appears that a deputation of clergy and laymen waited on the Emperor, imploring him to choose a Caesar who was orthodox, and the public dissatisfaction was expressed in the Hippodrome by a riotous protest, in which monks played a prominent part. Leo pacified the excited crowd by declaring that Patricius was about to turn from his Arianism and profess the true faith.​26 The new Caesar was soon afterwards betrothed to Leontia, the Emperor's younger daughter.

Meanwhile Anagast, a German soldier who had been appointed Master of Soldiers in Thrace, threatened to rebel. Messengers from the court persuaded him to desist from his enterprise, and he alleged that he had been instigated by Ardaburius, whose letters he sent to the Emperor as evidence.​27 Having failed in this attempt, Ardaburius endeavoured to gain over the Isaurian troops in Constantinople​28 to his father's faction. These intrigues  p320  were betrayed to Zeno,​29 who, if he was still in the East, must have hastened back to the capital (A.D. 471). The destruction of Aspar and his family was now resolved upon. There was only too good reason to regard them as public enemies, but foul means were employed for their removal. Aspar and Ardaburius were slain in the palace by eunuchs;​30 the Caesar Patricius was wounded, but unexpectedly recovered; the third son Ermanaric happened to be absent and escaped.​31 From this act the Emperor received the name of Butcher (Makelles). It was an important act in the long struggle against the German danger in the East. But it inaugurated a period of Isaurian domination which was to involve the Empire in a weary civil war. This was the price which had to be paid for the defeat of the German generals who sought to appropriate the Empire.

But the German danger was not yet quite stamped out. The Gothic friends of Aspar were dismayed, and they determined to avenge him. Count Ostrys,​32 an officer of high rank who belonged to Aspar's faction, burst into the palace with an armed troop, but in an encounter with the new guards, the Excubitors, they were worsted. Ostrys fled to Thrace, taking with him Aspar's Gothic concubine. The Byzantine populace, with whom the power­ful general, Arian as he was, probably had not been unpopular, cried, "A dead man has no friend save Ostrys."​33 The fugitive found a refuge in the camp of the Ostrogothic chief of German federate troops, Theoderic Strabo, Aspar's relative, who, as soon as he heard tidings of the murder, replied by ravaging Thrace. Whether he was deeply incensed or not, he saw an opportunity of stepping into Aspar's place, and when he made his peace with Leo in A.D. 473, he was appointed to the post of Master of Soldiers in praesenti, which Aspar had held. The career of Strabo will claim our attention later.34

 p321  At this time it was a common practice for rich people to maintain in their service not only armed slaves but bands of free retainers, often barbarians. It was natural enough that this practice should grow up in provinces which were exposed to hostile depredations, as in Illyricum and in those parts of Asia Minor which were constantly threatened by the Isaurian freebooters. But it is noteworthy, in view of Leo's Isaurian policy, that in his reign Isaurians were themselves hired or retained by private persons and that the Emperor found it necessary to forbid this dangerous usage.35

Leo was a man of no education, but he seems to have possessed a good deal of natural good sense. The historian Malchus, who hated him for his religious bigotry, describes him as a sewer of wickedness and condemns his administration as ruinously rapacious.​36 This accusation is probably untrue and malicious. The financial methods of the Empire were so oppressive that the charge of rapacity might be brought against any Emperor, but Leo seems to have done nothing to make the system more rigorous, and to have followed in the steps of Marcian in adopting particular measures of relief and clemency as occasion offered.​37 He is reported to have said that a king should distribute pity to those on whom he looks, as the sun distributes heat to those on whom he shines, and he may at least in some degree have practised what he preached. An anecdote suggests that he encouraged petitions. His unmarried sister, Euphemia, resided in a house in the south-eastern corner of the Augusteum, close to the Hippodrome. The Emperor used to pay her a visit with affectionate regularity every week. She erected a statue to him beside her house, and on its base petitioners used to place their memorials, which were collected every morning by one of the palace servants.38

One of the destructive conflagrations which have so often ravaged Constantinople occurred in A.D. 465 (September 2). The fire broke out close to the arsenal,​39 and it was said that it was  p322  caused by an old woman who was careless with her candle. Superstitious people believed that a malignant demon had assumed the shape of the old woman.​40 The fire spread eastward to the Acropolis, as far as the old temple of Apollo, and southward to the Forum of Constantine, whence it devastated the porticoes and buildings of Middle Street westward as far as the Forum of Taurus, and also pursued a southward course to the House of Amantius or Church of St. Thomas and to the Harbour of Julian.​41 It lasted three days. The senate-house on the north side of the Forum of Constantine was destroyed,​42 and the Nymphaeum directly opposite to it, a building in which those who had not large enough houses of their own used to celebrate their weddings. Many magnificent private residences were burned down. It is said that Aspar ran about the streets with a pail of water on his shoulders, urging all to follow his example and offering silver coins to encourage them. There is no hint of the existence of a fire-brigade.​43 The Emperor, alarmed by the disaster, withdrew across the Golden Horn to the palace of St. Mamas and remained there for six months.

In his ecclesiastical policy Leo followed Marcian and faithfully maintained orthodoxy as established by the Council of Chalcedon. No memorable feat of arms distinguished his reign​44 to counterbalance the disastrous issue of his ambitious expedition against the Vandals, which will be recounted in another place. The Illyrian peninsula was troubled by the restlessness of the Ostrogoths, but the brunt of their hostilities was to be borne by Leo's successor. He died on February 3, A.D. 474, having co-opted as  p323  Augustus (in October) his grandson Leo, an infant aged about six years.45

§ 2. Maximus, Avitus, and Majorian (A.D. 455‑461)

If it was a critical moment at Constantinople at the death of Marcian, it had been a still more critical moment in Italy on the death of Valentinian III two years before (A.D. 455). For not only was there no male heir of the house of Theodosius, but there was no minister or general of commanding influence, no Aetius or Aspar, to force a decision. Military riots were inevitable, a civil war was possible; and we read that "Rome was in a state of disturbance and confusion, and the military forces were divided into two factions, one wishing to elevate Maximus, the other supporting Maximian (son of an Egyptian merchant) who had been the steward of Aetius."​46 A third possible candidate was Majorian, brother-in‑arms of Aetius, with whom he had fought against the Franks,​47 and he had the good wishes of Eudoxia, the widowed Empress. If there had been time to consult the Emperor Marcian, we may conjecture that his influence would have been thrown into the scale for Majorian. But the money of Petronius Maximus​48 decided the event in his favour, just as Pertinax had won the Empire after the death of Commodus by  p324  bribing the Praetorian guards. He was elevated to the throne on March 17, A.D. 455.

Maximus endeavoured to strengthen himself on the throne by forcing Eudoxia to marry him, and if she had yielded willingly, it is possible that the Italians might have rallied round him and he might have reigned securely. But though he was a member of the noble Anician house, he was not like Marcian; he was not one whom the Augusta could bring herself to tolerate even for cogent political reasons. If he was really related to the British tyrant Maximus, who had been subdued by Theodosius, the great-granddaughter of Theodosius had perhaps not forgotten the connexion; but the widow of Valentinian must have known or suspected the instigator of her lord's murder.​49 In any case, the new Augustus was so hated and despised by Eudoxia that she was said to have taken the bold and fatal step of summoning Gaiseric the Vandal to overthrow the tyrant. There was indeed a particular reason for asking aid from Carthage, instead of appealing, as one might have expected her to do, to Constantinople. Maximus had not only forced her to wed him, but he also forced her daughter Eudocia to give her hand to his son Palladius whom he created Caesar. And Eudocia was the affianced wife of Huneric, the heir to the Vandal throne. The act of Maximus touched the honour of Gaiseric, and he would be likely to come to the rescue more promptly than Marcian. The story, therefore, of the appeal of the Empress to the Vandal is credible, though it is not certainly true.50

Petronius Maximus enjoyed the sweets of power for two months and a half, but he found them far from sweet. The man who as a private individual was so great a figure, "once made emperor and prisoned in the palace walls, was rueing his own success before the first evening fell." Formerly he used to live by the clock, but now he had to renounce his old regular life and his "senatorial ease." His rule was "from  p325  the first tempestuous, with popular tumults, tumults of soldiery, tumults of allies." An influential nobleman, who was often with him, used to hear him exclaim, "Happy thou, O Damocles, whose royal duresse did not outlast a single banquet!"51

In May it was known in Italy that Gaiseric had set sail. There was consternation at Rome, and a considerable exodus both of the higher and the lower classes. Maximus, when he heard that the Vandals had landed, thought only of flight. He was deserted by his bodyguard and all his friends, and as he was riding out of the city, some one cast a stone and hit him on the temple. The stroke killed him on the spot and the crowd tore his body limb from limb (May 31).52

Three days later​53 Gaiseric and his Vandals entered Rome. Whether they came entirely of their own accord or in answer to a summons from the Empress, they were now bent only on rapine. The bishop of Rome, Leo I, met them at the gates. Although he did not succeed in protecting the city against pillage, violence, and "vandalism," he preserved it by his intervention from the evils of massacre and conflagration. For fourteen days the enemy abode in the city, and plundered it coolly and methodically.​54 The palace on the Palatine was ransacked thoroughly. Precious works of art were carried off, and many of the gilt bronze tiles which roofed the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus were removed. The robbers added to their booty the golden treasures which Titus had taken from the temple of Jerusalem. When they had rifled the public and private wealth of Rome, and loaded their ships, they returned to Africa with many thousand captives, including the Empress Eudoxia and her two daughters, Eudocia and Placidia.​55 It will be remembered that the idea of an alliance between Gaiseric's heir and a daughter of Valentinian had been suggested by Aetius. This plan was now carried out. Huneric married  p326  Eudocia. Her sister Placidia was already the wife of a distinguished Roman, Olybrius.56

But the question was, who was to be Emperor? Rome was paralysed by the shock of the Vandal visitation, but Gaul intervened. Marcus Maecilius Flavius Eparchius Avitus, the man who had fought by the side of Aetius and at a great crisis had decided Theoderic the Visigothic king to march against the Huns, had been appointed by Maximus Master of Both Services in Gaul. It was important for the new Emperor to establish a friendly understanding with the Visigothic ruler, and no one was more fitted to bring this about than Avitus, the intimate friend of Theoderic I, and no less a persona grata to Theoderic II. He was, in fact, at Tolosa when the news of the death of Maximus arrived, and Theoderic persuaded him that he was the necessary man.​57 He was proclaimed Emperor by the Goths at Tolosa (July 9, or 10); five weeks later his assumption of the Imperial power was confirmed at a meeting of representative Gallo-Romans at Ugernum (Beaucaire), and he was formally invested at Arles with Imperial insignia.58

Towards the end of the year Avitus crossed the Alps to assert his authority in Italy and assume the consul­ship for A.D. 456. He was accompanied by a famous man of letters who was his son-in‑law, Caius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius, son and grandson of Praetorian Prefects of Gaul.​59 Sidonius had been born and educated at Lyons, and was now about twenty-five years of age. For a quarter of a century he was to play a considerable part in the relations between Gaul and Italy as well as in the internal affairs of Gaul. The poetical panegyric which he recited at Rome in honour of his father-in‑law's consul­ship​60 marks the beginning of his public career; his statue was set up in the Forum of Trajan. But the Emperor Avitus, who was so much at home at Tolosa, was not welcome at Rome, though he was acknowledged by Marcian. He was acceptable neither to the soldiers nor to the Senate, and his  p327  behaviour did not tend to make him popular, although his reign was distinguished by military successes by land and sea.

Both the Vandals and the Suevians had been alert to take advantage of the difficulties which followed Valentinian's death. Gaiseric had been extending his authority over those African provinces which had been left to Rome by the treaty of A.D. 442. The Emperor Marcian had sent an embassy to remonstrate with him on the sack of Rome and the captivity of the Imperial ladies; Avitus sent him an a message warning him to observe the treaty. But Gaiseric was inflexibly hostile; he defied both Marcian and Avitus; and he sent a fleet of sixty ships to descend on Italy or Gaul. The general Ricimer, destined to be the leading figure in the West for about sixteen years, now makes his appearance on the scene. His mother was a daughter of the Visigothic king Wallia, and his father was a Sueve; he had risen in Roman service, and Avitus appointed him Master of Soldiers.​61 He now went to Sicily with an army and a fleet; a Vandal descent on that island was evidently expected, and was apparently attempted in the neighbourhood of Agrigentum. The enemy was forced to retreat, but Ricimer followed them and gained a naval victory in Corsican waters (A.D. 456).62

Theoderic II, who seems to have been chiefly responsible for the elevation of Avitus, had won the Gothic throne by murdering his brother Thorismund (A.D. 453).​63 He now showed his good will to the new Emperor by marching into Spain and making war upon the Suevians, who were perpetually harrying Roman provinces. But, though he went in the name of Avitus and the Roman Republic, we cannot doubt that he was deliberately preparing for the eventual fulfilment of the ambition of the Goths to possess Spain themselves, by weakening the Suevic power. The king of the Suevians, Rechiar, was his brother-in‑law, and to him Theoderic sent ambassadors calling upon him to desist from his raids into Roman territory. Rechiar defied him and invaded Tarraconensis, whereupon Theoderic led a host of Goths, reinforced by Burgundians, into Gallaecia, and defeated the Suevians in a battle on the river Urbicus, near Astorga (October 5, A.D. 456). The victor pushed on  p328  to Bracara, which he captured three weeks later, and his barbarous army committed all the acts of violence and rapine usual in sacks, short of massacre and rape. Sometime later Rechiar, who had fled, was captured at Portuscale (Oporto) and paid with his life for defying his brother-in‑law.​64 The battle of the Urbicus was an important event, for it shattered the power of the Suevians. Their kingdom indeed survived for 120 years, but it never recovered its old strength.

The crushing victory won by his German allies in Spain did not avail Avitus. Before the great battle was fought he had left Rome, virtually as a fugitive, on his way to Gaul, and was probably already a prisoner. The circumstances which led to his fall are thus related:​65 —

When Avitus reigned at Rome there was famine in the city, and the people blaming Avitus compelled him to remove from the city of the Romans the allies from Gaul who had entered it along with him (that so there might be fewer mouths to feed). He also dismissed the Goths whom he had brought for the protection of Rome, having distributed among them money which he obtained by selling to merchants bronze stripped from public works, for there was no gold in the imperial treasury. This excited the Romans to revolt when they saw their city stripped of its adornments.

But Majorian and Ricimer, no longer held in fear of the Goths, openly rebelled, so that Avitus was constrained — terrified on the one hand by the prospect of internal troubles, on the other hand by the hostilities of the Vandals — to withdraw from Rome and set out for Gaul.​66

He was captured at Placentia by Ricimer and Majorian. He was deposed from the throne and elected bishop of the city which witnessed his discomfiture (October 17 or 18, A.D. 456), but died soon afterwards.67

A new Emperor was not immediately elected. A temporary cessation of a separate Imperial rule in the West occurred on several occasions during the twenty years which followed the death of Valentinian. One of these intervals occurred now. They are often called interregnums; it is natural to say that from October A.D. 456 to April A.D. 457 there was an interregnum  p329  in the West, and the expression represents the actual situation. But we must not forget that in theory the phrase is incorrect. Legally, Marcian was the sole head of the Empire from the fall of Avitus to his own death at the end of January, and Leo was the sole head of the Empire for three months after the death of Marcian.68

The Master of Soldiers, Ricimer, whose prestige had been established by his naval victory, now held the destinies of Italy in his hands. He had succeeded to the post and the responsibilities of Stilicho, Constantius, and Aetius, but his task was vastly more difficult. For while those defenders of the Empire against the German enemies were supported by the secure existence of an established dynasty, Ricimer had to set up Emperors in whose name he could act. At the beginning of A.D. 457 the situations in Italy and at Constantinople were similar. In both cases the solution of the difficulty depended on the action of a military leader of barbarian birth; Aspar's position was as that of Ricimer. Both were the makers of Emperors, neither could aspire to be an Emperor himself. They were Arians as well as barbarians.69

The legitimacy of any Emperor set up in Italy depended on his being recognised as a colleague by the Emperor reigning at Constantinople. Avitus had been recognised by Marcian, and if the seat of his successor was to be firmly established it was indispensable that he should obtain similar recognition. The political importance of conforming to this constitutional necessity was realised by Ricimer, and we may confidently assume that after the fall of Avitus, he, acting probably through the Roman Senate, communicated with the Emperor of the East. Marcian's death postponed a settlement, but one of the early acts of Leo I was to nominate a colleague. That the suggestion of Majorian's name came from Rome we can hardly doubt. Julius Valerianus Majorianus was a thorough Roman and on that account most acceptable to the Senators. He had been, we saw, the candidate  p330  of Eudoxia after her husband's death. He was elevated to the throne on April 1, A.D. 457.​70 At the same time Leo conferred upon Ricimer the title of Patrician.

There were two tasks for the new Augustus to accomplish if he was to make his seat on the throne secure and exercise effective rule in the west. He had, in the first place, to quell the opposition in Gaul. The fall of Avitus had aroused the wrath both of his barbarian friends, Visigoths and Burgundians, and of the provincials. Gallic Avitus had failed to conciliate Italian goodwill; it was now to be seen whether Italian Majorian would succeed in solving the reverse problem. There was little love lost between the Romans and the trans-Alpine provincials, and there was now a serious danger, such as had often occurred before, that Gaul would attempt to dissociate itself politically from Italy, and have an Emperor to itself.

There are indeed signs of a gradually widening rift between Gaul and the rest of the Empire ever since the time of the tyrants in the reign of Honorius. It has been observed​71 that of the twenty-eight Praetorian Prefects of Gaul in the fifth century whose names are recorded, we know that eighteen were Gauls, and of the other ten none is known to be of Italian birth. This points to the conclusion that the feeling in Gaul was such that the central government considered it impolitic to appoint any one to that post outside the circle of Gallic senators. The loss of Africa probably accentuated the sectional feeling in both Italy and Gaul, and from this point of view the elevation of Avitus was a momentarily success­ful attempt of the Gallic nobility to wrest from the Italians the political predominance which had hitherto been theirs. It was the business of Majorian to preserve for Italy her leading position and at the same time to conciliate the Gallic nobility.

Majorian entered Gaul with an army composed mainly of German mercenaries, and found the Burgundians in league with the inhabitants of Lugdunensis Prima against himself.​72 Lyons,  p331  which had received a Burgundian garrison, was compelled to surrender and was punished for its rebellion by the imposition of heavier taxation. This burden, however, was soon remitted, through the efforts of Sidonius Apollinaris, who delivered an enthusiastic Panegyric at Lyons on the man who had helped to dethrone his father-in‑law.​73 The Visigoths were besieging Arelate, but Majorian's general, Aegidius, drove back Theoderic from its walls and firm compacts were made between the two potentates.​74 The Burgundians were allowed peacefully to possess the province of Lugdunensis Prima.​75 Honours were freely distributed to the Gallic nobility.

Majorian had accomplished one task; the other was more difficult. It was indispensable for an Emperor, who had not the prestige of belonging to a dynasty, to win general confidence by proving himself equal to the great emergency of the time; he must "preserve the state of the Roman world."​76 The deliverance of Arelate was a good beginning. But the great emergency was the hostility of the Vandals who in their ships harried the Roman provinces and infested the Mediterranean waters. The defeats which Ricimer had inflicted on their fleet at Corsica did not paralyse their hostilities. The words of an historian indicate that Avitus in fa­cing this danger had felt his inability to grapple with it: "He was afraid of the wars with the Vandals."77

Majorian prepared an expedition against Africa on a grand scale; his fleet numbered 300 ships and was collected off the coast of Spain. The hopes of all his subjects were awakened and their eyes fixed on his preparations. But a curious fatality attended all expeditions undertaken against the Vandals, whether they proceeded from Old Rome or from New Rome, or from both together. The expedition of Castinus had collapsed in A.D. 422, that of Aspar had failed in A.D. 431, the armament of Ardaburius did not even reach its destination in A.D. 441, and the expedition of Majorian came to naught in A.D. 460. Gaiseric ravaged the coasts of Spain and many of the Roman warships  p332  were surprised and captured in the bay of Alicante.​78 Yet another expedition, and one on a grand scale, was soon to be fitted out and also to meet with discomfiture; and more than seventy years were to elapse until the numerous failures were to be retrieved by the victories of Justinian and Belisarius.

This misfortune led to the fall of Majorian. He returned from Spain to Gaul, and after a sojourn at Arles​79 passed into Italy without an army. In Italy, and at Rome, he was probably popular;​80 but now that he had proved himself unable to "preserve the state of the Roman world," Ricimer, who was thoroughly dissatisfied with him, could venture to take action against him. At Tortona Majorian was seized by Ricimer's officers, stripped of the purple, and beheaded (August 2, A.D. 461).​81 He had done at once too little and too much. An Emperor who was just strong enough to act with independent authority, but not strong enough to contend with the enemies of the State, was useless to Ricimer, who himself seemed resolved not to leave Italy, probably judging that the constant presence of a capable general with considerable forces was necessary against descents of the Vandals. There were other enemies too against whom he had to defend it. He had to fight against the Ostrogoths of Pannonia, and to repel an invasion of Alans. But the great foe was Gaiseric, who hated him as the grandson of King Wallia.

§ 3. The War with the Vandals (A.D. 461‑468)

Nearly three and a half months passed before Majorian was succeeded by Libius Severus, a Lucanian, who was elected by the Senate at the instance of Ricimer and proclaimed at Ravenna (November 19, A.D. 461). He was not recognised at Constantinople.  p333  He reigned as a figurehead; Ricimer was the actual ruler.82

It might seem that at this juncture Italy might have received another Augustus from Gaul, and that Aegidius, Master of Both Services in Gaul​83 and friend of Majorian, might have crossed the Alps to avenge his death. Aegidius acknowledged no allegiance to Ricimer's Emperor,​84 but he was fully occupied with the defence of the Gallic provinces against the Visigoths, who were attempting to extend their power northward and eastward. We find him winning a battle at Orleans in A.D. 463,​85 and in the following year he died.

Ricimer had an opponent in another quarter, the count Marcellinus. In A.D. 461 this general was in Sicily, in command of an army chiefly consisting of Hun auxiliaries; he had probably been posted there by Majorian to protect the island against the Vandals. But the bribes of Ricimer prevailed upon the cupidity of the Huns and induced them to leave the service of Marcellinus and enter his own. Then Marcellinus, conscious that he could not vie with Ricimer in riches, went to Dalmatia, where he ruled under the authority of Leo, and perhaps with the title of Master of Soldiers in Dalmatia.​86 On his departure Sicily was ravaged by the Vandals and Moors, and a pacific embassy from  p334  Ricimer had no effect. But another embassy sent at the same time by the Emperor Leo induced Gaiseric to come to terms at last in regard to the ladies of the Theodosian house, whose deliverance from their captivity in Carthage Marcian had vainly endeavoured to secure. Eudocia, the bride of Huneric, was retained, but her mother Eudoxia and her sister Placidia were sent to Constantinople. In return, Gaiseric bargained for a certain share of the property of Valentinian III as the dowry of Eudocia.​87 He had already occupied and annexed the Mauretanian provinces, as well as Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic islands.

This concession had its definite political purpose which was soon revealed. The Vandal monarch now came forward as the champion of the Theodosian house against Ricimer and his upstart Emperor. Placidia had married Olybrius, a member of the noble Anician gens, and Gaiseric demanded that Olybrius should succeed to the throne in Italy. Threatened on one hand by the Vandals, on the other by the ruler of Dalmatia, Ricimer and the obedient Senate solicited the good offices of Leo. He was asked to bring about a reconciliation with Gaiseric and with Marcellinus. Leo consented. One envoy prevailed on Marcellinus not to wage war against the Romans, the other returned from Carthage without result. Gaiseric claimed in his daughter-in‑law's name all the private property possessed by her father in Italy, and also the inheritance of Aetius, whose son Gaudentius he retained a prisoner. In pursuance of these claims he led a great expedition against Italy and Sicily, ravaged the country districts and undefended towns. There was no efficient navy to oppose him at sea.

The elevation of Olybrius, which would have been a restitution of the Theodosian dynasty, might have seemed a hopeful solution of some of the difficulties of the situation, but the fact that he was Gaiseric's candidate and relative was a reason against accepting him. For a year and eight months after the death of Severus (August 15, A.D. 465),​88 no successor was appointed. Then Gaiseric made a raid on the Peloponnesus (A.D. 467) and Leo determined to take decisive steps and act in close conjunction  p335  with the Italian government. Now that not only Italy and Sicily were threatened, but the entire commerce of the Mediterranean, the forces of the east were to be united with those of Italy and Dalmatia against the African foe. The first step was to find a suitable man to invest with Imperial authority in the west. The choice of Leo fell on the patrician Anthemius, who, as the son-in‑law of the Emperor Marcian, might be considered in some sort a representative of the house of Theodosius, and his pretensions might be set against those of Gaiseric's candidate, the husband of Placidia. The support of Ricimer was secured by an arrangement that he should marry the daughter of Anthemius. The elder Placidia had married Athaulf, her granddaughter Eudocia had married Huneric, both indeed under a certain compulsion; yet Anthemius afterwards professed to regard it as a great condescension to have given his daughter to the barbarian general. He arrived in Italy and was proclaimed Emperor near Rome on April 12, A.D. 467.89

The expedition which was organised to overthrow the kingdom of the Vandals was on a grand and impressive scale, but in ended in miserable failure, due to lukewarmness and even treachery both in the east and in the west.

The number of vessels that set sail from Constantinople (A.D. 468) is said to have been 1113, and the total number of men who embarked was calculated as exceeding 100,000. But unfortunately Leo, under the influence of his wife Verina and his friend Aspar, appointed as general a man who was both incompetent and untrustworthy, his wife's brother Basiliscus. Aspar, it is said, was not over-anxious that Leo's position should be strengthened by such an exploit as the subversion of the Vandal kingdom; he schemed therefore to procure the election of a general whose success was extremely improbable.​90 The western armament obeyed a more competent commander. Marcellinus  p336  assumed the direction of the Italian fleet.​91 But his participation in the enterprise alienated Ricimer, who was his personal enemy, and who seems to have been jealous of Anthemius already.

The plan of operations was that the eastern forces should be divided into two parts, and that the Vandals should be attacked at three points at the same time. Basiliscus himself was to sail directly against Carthage. Heraclius, another general, having taken up the forces of Egypt on his way, was to disembark in Tripolitana, and to march to Carthage by land. Marcellinus, with the Italian forces, was to surprise the Vandals in Sardinia, and sail thence to join the eastern armies at Carthage.

If the commander-in‑chief had not been Basiliscus, and if the opponent had not been Gaiseric, the expedition might easily have succeeded. But Gaiseric, though physically the least, was mentally the greatest of the barbarians of his time. Even as it was, though Basiliscus had such a foe to cope with, success was within the grasp of his hand. The invaders were welcome to the Catholics of Africa, who were persecuted by their Arian lords. Marcellinus accomplished his work in Sardinia without difficulty; Heraclius met no obstacle in executing his part of the scheme; and the galleys of Basiliscus scattered the fleet of the Vandals in the neighbourhood of Sicily. On hearing of this disaster, Gaiseric is said to have given up all for lost; the Roman general had only to strike a decisive blow and Carthage would have fallen into his hands. But he let the opportunity slip, and, taking up his station in a haven at some distance from Carthage, he granted to the humble prayers of his wily opponent a respite of five days, of which Gaiseric made good use. He prepared a new fleet and a number of fireships. The winds favoured his designs, and he suddenly bore down on the Roman armament, which, under the combined stress of surprise, adverse wind, and the destructive ships of fire, was routed and at least half destroyed. Basiliscus fled with the remnant to Sicily, to join Marcellinus, whose energy and resources might possibly have retrieved the disaster; but the hand of an assassin, inspired perhaps by Ricimer, rendered this hope futile.​92 Heraclius, who had not reached Carthage when he heard of defeat of the  p337  fleet, retraced his steps, and Basiliscus returned to Constantinople, where amid popular odium​93 he led a life of retirement at Heraclea on the Propontis, until he appeared on the scene of public life again after Leo's death.

The ill-success of this expedition, organised on such a grand scale that it might have seemed irresistible, must have produced a great moral effect. The Roman Empire had put forth all its strength and had signally failed against one barbarian nation. This event must have not only raised the pretensions and arrogance of the Vandals themselves, but increased the contempt of other German nations for the Roman power; it was felt to be a humiliating disaster by the government at Constantinople, while the government of Italy was too habituated to defeat to be gravely affected.

The cost of the armament was immense. Leo had found in the treasury a reserve of 100,000 lbs. of gold (over £4,500,000).​94 This was exceeded by the expenses of equipping the ill-omened expedition,​95 and the consequence is said to have been that the treasury hovered on the brink of bankruptcy for more than thirty years.

§ 4. Anthemius and Ricimer (A.D. 467‑474)

The conciliation of Gaul was a problem which was no less important for Anthemius than it had been for Majorian. The situation there had changed for the worse. The Visigothic crown had passed to Euric, who had murdered his brother Theoderic in A.D. 466. Euric was perhaps the ablest of all the Visigothic kings, and he aimed at extending his rule over all Gaul. The  p338  Gallo-Romans felt themselves now in greater danger, and they looked to Anthemius for protection with an eagerness which they had not shown in the case of Majorian. They sent a deputation to the new Emperor at Rome, both to petition him to remedy some administrative abuses and to stimulate him to take adequate measures for the defence of the Gallic provinces. The most distinguished member of the deputation was Sidonius Apollinaris.​96 The panegyrist of Avitus and Majorian was now called upon to compose a panegyric of a third Emperor, on the occasion of his consul­ship.​97 It was publicly recited on the kalends of January A.D. 468. The poet emphasised the fact that the elevation of Anthemius was a restoration of the unity of the Empire. He hailed Constantinople in these words:

Salve sceptrorum columen, regina orientis,

orbis Roma tui,

and praised the Byzantine education of the new Augustus of the West. He was rewarded by the Prefecture of Rome. The appointment was much more than a recognition of his personal merit; it was intended to conciliate Gallo-Roman sentiment.98

The pleasure of Sidonius in holding this high office was somewhat marred by the sensational trial of Arvandus, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, with whom he was on terms of friendship. Arvandus had sunk deeply into debt and had peculated public funds. His prosecution was decided by the Council of the Seven Provinces, and he was brought to trial before the Roman Senate. If malversation had been the only charge, he might have escaped through the influence of his friends, but he had been guilty of treasonable communications with the enemy, and there was clear proof of this in a letter in his own handwriting to King Euric, on which his accusers had managed to lay hands. Sidonius did all he could to help him, but the confidence of Arvandus himself, who was unable till the last moment to believe that he could be condemned, refused the advice of his friends and frustrated their efforts to save him. His confidence indeed was so strange that it has been conjectured that his communications with Euric  p339  had been secretly prompted by Ricimer, and that he was trusting in the protection of the Emperor's son-in‑law.​99 He was condemned to death "and flung into the island of the Serpent of Epidaurus (Island of the Tiber). There," writes Sidonius, "an object of compassion even to his enemies, his elegance gone, spewed as it were by Fortune out of the land, he now drags out by benefit of Tiberius' law his respite of thirty days after sentence, shuddering through the long hours at the thought of hook and Gemonian stairs, and the noose of the brutal executioner."100

Anthemius made large concessions to the Burgundians in Gaul to ensure their aid against the Goths, but he was not success­ful in resisting the aggression of Euric.​101 In Italy he was not popular. He was a Greek; he was too fond of philosophy or thaumaturgy; he was inclined to paganism.​102 His high standard of justice and honest attempts to administer the laws impartially did not overcome the prejudices of the Italians, and the failure of the Vandal expedition did not heighten his prestige. His relations to Ricimer gradually changed from mutual tolerance to distrust and hostility; the father-in‑law regretted that he had given his daughter to a barbarian; the son-in‑law retorted with the epithets Galatian and Greekling (Graeculus). In this contest the Senate and people of Rome preferred the Greek Emperor to the Suevian patrician.​103 The question of "Roman" or German ascendancy, which had underlain the situation for fifteen years, was now clearly defined.

As a result of these dissensions, Italy in A.D. 472 was practically divided into two kingdoms, the Emperor reigning at Rome, the Patrician at Milan. The venerated Epiphanius, bishop of Ticinum, attempted in vain to bring about a reconciliation. It will be remembered that Gaiseric had wished to elevate to the Imperial throne Olybrius, the husband of the younger Placidia. At this time Olybrius was at Constantinople, and his Vandal connexion made him a suspicious person in the eyes of Leo, who is said to have planned a treacherous device to remove him.  p340  He sent Olybrius to Rome for the ostensible purpose of reconciling Anthemius and Ricimer. But he also sent a messenger to Anthemius with a letter instructing him to put Olybrius to death. Ricimer intercepted the letter, and Leo's stratagem led to the result which he least wished.​104 Ricimer invested Olybrius with the purple (April).

The army of Ricimer soon besieged Rome. Leo had overcome the power of Aspar; was Anthemius to overcome the power of Ricimer? In the camp of the besiegers was the Scirian soldier Odovacar, son of Edecon, destined soon to play a more memorable rôle in Italian history than Ricimer himself. The Tiber was guarded and supplies were cut off; and the Romans pressed by hunger resolved to fight. An army under Bilimer, who was perhaps Master of Soldiers in Gaul, had come to assist them. The Imperial forces lost heavily in the battle, and Ricimer completed his victory by treachery.​105 Anthemius, when his adherents had surrendered to the barbarians, disguised himself and mingled with the mendicants who begged in the church of St. Chrysogonus.​106 There he was found by Gundobad, Ricimer's nephew, and beheaded (July 11, A.D. 472).107

But the days of Ricimer were numbered. He survived his father-in‑law by six weeks,​108 and the last Emperor he created died two months later.​109 He is not an attractive figure, and it would be easy to do him injustice. Barred by his Arian faith as well as by his German birth from ascending the throne, Ricimer had the choice of two alternative policies — to maintain an  p341  Imperial succession in Italy or to recognise the sole authority of the Emperor at Constantinople. It would probably have been repugnant to the ideas and traditions of his training to have cast off all allegiance to the Empire and created in Italy a government on German foundations, formally as well as practically independent. His choice of the first of the two policies was doubtless decided by public opinion and the influence of the Roman Senate, perhaps also by his own attachment to the system under which he was the successor of the great Masters of Soldiers, Stilicho and Aetius. But Italy had a taste of the other alternative in those sometimes long intervals between the puppet Emperors, when Leo was its only legitimate ruler. The success of Ricimer in maintaining this system for so many years was partly due to his diplomatic skill in dealing with Leo. But it worked badly. For it was based on the assumption that the Emperor was to be a nonentity like Honorius and Valentinian, and except in the case of Severus (whom Leo never acknowledged) circumstances hindered Ricimer from choosing a man who was suited to the rôle. In the matter of the expedition against the Vandals he had shown but lukewarm loyalty to the interests of the Empire, but Italy owed much to him for having defended her shores, and for having kept in strict control the German mercenaries on whom her defence depended. The events which followed his death will be the best commentary on the significance of his rule and enable us to appreciate his work.

§ 5. Extension of German Rule in Gaul and Spain

The accession of Euric to the Visigothic throne, which he won by murder, meant the breaking of the last weak federal links which attached the Visigoths to the Empire.​110 Euric was probably the ablest of their kings. He aimed at extending his power over all Gaul and Spain, and he accomplished in the eighteen years of his reign a large part of his programme. He was a fanatical Arian. "They say that the mere mention of the name of Catholic so embitters his countenance and heart that one might take him for the chief priest of his Arian sect rather than for the monarch of his nation."​111 The principal  p342  hope of those Gallo-Romans of the south, who clung passionately to the Roman connexion, lay in the Burgundian power, which had itself in recent years made large encroachments on the Imperial provinces. King Chilperic ruled in Lyons and Vienne in the west, and at Geneva in the east; the provinces of Lugdunensis Prima and Maxima Sequanorum were almost entirely under his sway. His Arianism was not like that of Euric; he was tolerant and on friendly terms with Catholic bishops; he was glad to enjoy the breakfasts of Patiens, the rich and hospitable archbishop of Lyons.​112 The higher clergy, who were mostly men of means and good family, played prominent parts in the politics of the time, and did a great deal to preserve the Roman tradition.​113 In the north the Imperial cause depended much on the attitude of the Salian Franks, who, under their king Childeric, seem to have been consistently loyal to their federal obligations. But in the Belgic provinces Roman civilisation was gradually declining.​114 The lands of the Moselle and the Somme had never recovered from the shocks they had experienced in the days of Honorius. As for north-western Gaul, the province of the Third Lugdunensis, which was at this time generally called Armorica, it seems since some years before Valentinian's death to have been virtually independent.

The first important success that Euric won was a victory over the Bretons on the Indre. This enabled him to seize Bourges and the northern part of Aquitanica Prima, which, under their king Riothamus, they had come to defend at the request of the Emperor Anthemius. But he was unable to advance beyond the Loire, which was bravely defended by a count Paulus. Soon afterwards he laid siege to Arles, and defeated an Imperial army which had advanced to relieve it under Anthemiolus, the Emperor's son. Arles he appears to have occupied and then to have marched up the valley of the Rhone, burning the crops, and taking the towns of Riez, Orange, Avignon, Viviers and Valence.​115 He did not hold these places, for he was not prepared to go to war with the Burgundians, but he left the land ruined, and the people would have starved if the archbishop Patiens  p343  had not collected supplies of cornº at his own expense, and sent grain carts through the ravaged districts.

Euric was determined to annex the rich country of Auvergne, and here he met a stout and protracted resistance, of which Ecdicius,​116 son of the Emperor Avitus, was the soul. He was supported by his brother-in‑law, Sidonius Apollinaris, now bishop of Clermont, which held out for nearly four years against repeated sieges. But no help came either from Italy or from Burgundy, and finally the Emperor Julius Nepos arranged a peace with Euric, which surrendered Auvergne and recognised the conquests which the Goths had already made in Spain as well as in Gaul (A.D. 475).​117 The Gallic portion of the Gothic kingdom was now bounded by the Loire, the Rhone, and the Pyrenees, and seems to have included Tours.

Sidonius was taken prisoner and confined in fort Livia, near Carcassonne.​118 Here he employed his time in editing or translating the life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus, and was so well treated that the worst he had to complain of was that when he lay down to sleep "there were two old Gothic women established quite close to the window of my chamber who at once began their chatter — quarrelsome, drunken, and disgusting creatures."​119 He was finally released through the influence of Leo, the principal minister of Euric and his own good friend.

The peace lasted for little more than a year. Then Euric found a pretext for denouncing it, invaded Provence, and seized Arles and Marseilles. Then a new arrangement was made, and southern Provence, with the consent of the Emperor Zeno, was conceded to the Goths.120

Euric was now the most power­ful of the German kings. The Burgundians hastened to make peace with him. Ostrogoths, Heruls, Saxons, Franks were to be seen at Toulouse or Bordeaux paying court to him. Even the Persian king thought it worth while to send envoys  p344  to his court.​121 When he died in A.D. 484 the Spanish peninsula, except the Suevian kingdom in the north-west, was entirely under his dominion.122

For the Gallic provincials the change of masters probably made very little difference. They and the Goths lived side by side, each according to their own law. The Roman magnate had to surrender a part of his estates, but he could live with as much freedom and ease, and in just the same way, under the Goth as under the Emperor. Some of these men were enlisted in the royal service, such as Leo of Narbonne; Namatius, who commanded the Gothic fleet in the Atlantic to guard the coasts against Saxon pirates;​123 Victorius, who was made governor of Auvergne. Latin was the language of intercourse. It is probable that very few provincials learned any of the German tongues which were spoken by their masters. Syagrius, a man of letters, who lived much at the Burgundian court, mastered the Burgundian language, to the amazement of his friends. Sidonius bantered him on his feat. "You can hardly conceive how amused we all are to hear that, when you are by, not a barbarian but fears to perpetuate a barbarism in his own language. Old Germans bowed with age are said to stand astounded when they see you interpreting their German letters; they actually choose you for arbiter and mediator in their disputes. You are a new Solon in the elucidation of Burgundian law. In body and mind these people are as stiff as stocks and very hard to form; yet they delight to find in you, and equally delight to learn, a Burgundian eloquence and a Roman spirit."​124 In this connexion it is significant that the early German codes of law were composed in Latin. The earliest that we know of was the code of Euric, of which some fragments are preserved;​125 a little later come the Burgundian laws of Gundobad. It is legitimate to guess that the Visigothic law-book was drawn up under the supervision of Euric's minister Leo, who was a notable jurist.

Sidonius gives us occasional glimpses of the life and habits  p345  of the Germans, who were then moulding the destinies of Gaul. Writing to a friend, for instance, he describes the wedding of a Burgundian princess: the bridegroom,​126 walking amid his guards "in flame-red mantle, with much glint of ruddy gold, and gleam of snowy silken tunic, his fair hair, red cheeks and white skin according with the three hues of his equipment." The chiefs who accompanied him were in martial accoutrement. "Their feet were laced in boots of bristly hide reaching to the heels; ankles and legs were exposed. They wore high tight tunics of varied colour, hardly descending to the bare knees, the sleeves covering only the upper arm. Green mantles they had with crimson borders; baldrics supported swords hung from their shoulders, and pressed on sides covered with cloaks of skin secured by brooches. No small part of their adornment consisted of their arms; in their hands they grasped barbed spears and missile axes; their left sides were guarded by shields which flashed with tawny golden bosses and snowy silver borders, betraying at once their wealth and their good taste."

Sidonius confesses that he did not like Germans,​127 and it is the society of his own fellows, the country gentlemen of southern Gaul, among whom he had a wide acquaintance, that is mainly depicted in his correspondence. The life of these rich members of the senatorial class went on its even and tranquil way, little affected by the process which was gradually substituting Teuton for Roman power.​128 They had generally town mansions, as well as country estates on which they lived, well provided with slaves, and amusing themselves by hunting, hawking, and fishing, ball-games, and dice. But the remarkable feature of the life of these Gallo-Roman magnates was that they did not confine themselves to the business of looking after their domains and the outdoor pursuits of country gentlemen, but were almost all men of literary tastes and culture. There were many poets and trained rhetoricians among them; they circulated their verses; and mutually admired one another's accomplishments. It is probable that in literary achievement Sidonius was considerably superior to his friends, but in any case his works show  p346  us the sad decadence in style to which the tendencies of the rhetorical schools of the Empire, in Gaul as elsewhere, had brought literary prose. Of his epistolary style it is enough to say that it gains in a good modern translation. He could write good verses, occasionally approaching Claudian, and bad verses, which remind us of Merobaudes.

Of the last thirty years of Imperial rule in northern Gaul we know virtually nothing. Childeric, the principal king among the Salian Franks, seems to have loyally maintained the federal bond with the Empire.​129 The blue-eyed Saxons, who were at this time the scourge of the coasts of Gaul, in the west as well as in the north, had sailed up the Loire and seized Angers. We find Childeric aiding the Imperial commander Paul in his operations against this foe.​130 We have already seen Paul holding the line of the Loire against the Visigoths. We are not told his official rank or functions; he is designated by the title of Count, but we may fairly assume that he had succeeded Aegidius as Master of Soldiers. His name and that of Syagrius are the only two recorded names of Roman functionaries who maintained Imperial authority in northern Gaul after the death of Aegidius. Syagrius was the son of Aegidius, and on him devolved the defence of Belgic Gaul in the last years of Childeric.131

Childeric died in A.D. 481 and was succeeded by his son Clovis (Chlodwig), who entered upon new paths of policy. He saw clearly that the Imperial power in Gaul was now negligible. The few provinces that were still administered in the name of the Augustus at Constantinople were cut off from the rest of the Empire by the kingdoms of the Visigoths and the Burgundians. It was evidently the destiny of Gaul to be possessed entirely by German rulers, and Clovis determined that the Franks should have their share. He took the field against Syagrius soon after his accession and defeated him near Soissons (A.D. 486).​132 The province of Belgica Secunda, with the important cities of Soissons  p347  and Reims, immediately passed under his sway.​133 Of his subsequent advance westward to the Loire and the borders of peninsular Brittany we know nothing, probably because it was gradual and easy.

The victory of Soissons completely changed the political situation and prospects of Gaul. Two years before, when Euric died, the destinies of the land seemed to depend on the Goths and the Burgundians, and if any one had prophesied that the whole land would ultimately be ruled by Gothic kings, few outside Burgundy would have questioned the probability of the prediction. Yet twenty years later the formidable power which Euric had created was to go down before the Franks; afterwards it would be the turn of the Burgundians. The failure of the Goths to fulfil their early promise was due above all to their Arian faith, which deprived them of the support of the Church. When Clovis embraced Christianity in its Catholic form, ten years after the battle of Soissons, he made the fortune of the Franks.

The part which the Church was able to play throughout the critical age in which the country was passing from Roman to Teuton lords depended on the fact that the Gallic episcopate was recruited from the highly educated and propertied class. The most public-spirited members of the senatorial families found in the duties of a bishop an outlet for their energies. It was these bishops who mediated between the German kings and the Roman government, and after the Imperial power had disappeared, helped to guide and moderate the policy of the barbarian rulers towards the provincials, and to preserve in some measure Gallo-Roman traditions. The study of the society mirrored in the pages of Sidonius, himself a case in point, is an indispensable preparation for the study of the France created by Clovis, of which the early history is recorded by Gregory, the bishop of Tours.

The Author's Notes:

1 Sidonius, Carm. II.214 quamquam te posceret ordo. The poet asserts that he did not covet the throne, 210. From this poem we learn that he distinguished himself in defending Illyricum against the Ostrogoths under Walamir.

2 Constantine Porph. De cer. I p411. The Mattiarii seniores were under one mag. mil. in praes., the Mattiarii iuniores under the other. In the former case they are associated with Dacians. (p315) See Not. Dig., Or. VI.42, V.47. Leo's Dacian origin is mentioned by Candidus, F. H. G. IV p135; John Mal. XIV p369, says he was a Bessian. He had the rank of count.

3 See above, p236.

4 Campiductores, army-guides. Perhaps they were attached to the legion of the Lanciarii, for a καμπιδούκτωρ τῶν λαγκιαρίων performed the same office at the elevation of Anastasius (Const. Porph. op. cit. p423). The Greek word for the chain or torc is μανιάκιν.

5 Συ νικᾷς. But the Latin τοὺ βίγκας (tu vincas) remained long a regular acclamation in the Byzantine Hippodrome. We also meet the hybrid σὺ βίγκας.

6 This may be inferred from the order of proceedings in the case of the coronation of Anastasius.

7 Ὁ λιβελλήσιος.

8 Αὐτοκράτωρ.

9 Καταβουκοῦλον, which should obviously be κατὰ βούκολον. The βούκολον was the centre of the clipeus. The Latin version mistranslates pro singulis buccis "to each mouth."

10 The description is taken from an evidently contemporary document preserved in Constantine Porph. De cerimoniis, I. c91. There can, I think, be little doubt that Constantine found it in the ceremonial book (Κατάστασις) compiled by Peter the Patrician in the sixth century, from which we know that he derived other accounts of early ceremonies (see ib. cc84, 85). It is to be noted that the description of the actual ceremonies of A.D. 457 comes down only as far as the words κατὰ τάξιν, p412, l. 18; the rest of the piece is generalised (in the present tense) so as to apply to any Emperor who is crowned in the Hebdomon Palace. It describes the return to the city, the halt at Hellenianae (near the Forum of Arcadius) and ceremonies there, a second halt at the Forum of Constantine, a third at St. Sophia, before the Great Palace is reached.

11 His wife may have been an Ostrogoth, for Theoderic, son of Triarius, was her nephew (Theophanes, A.M. 5970).

12 John Malalas, XIV p369. For the character of Ardaburius, who in time of peace devoted himself to frivolous amusements — actors, jugglers, and stage entertainments, — see Suidas, sub Ἀρδαβούριος, where Priscus may be the source (cp. F. H. G. IV. p100).

13 Cp. Candidus, p135. Brooks (Zenon and the Isaurians, 211‑212) gives reasons for dating the incident, referred to here, to 459.

14 The eastern consul in 459 was Patricius, but it is improbable that this was Aspar's son. We must rather identify him with Patricius, magister officiorum, to whom several undated laws of Leo are addressed (C. J. XII.19.9; 20.3‑5; 50.22) and who played a public part after Leo's death. Ardaburius was raised to the rank of patrician (Marcellinus, sub a. 471), but the date is unknown. A third brother, Ermanaric, was perhaps consul in 465, as colleague of Leo's brother-in‑law Basiliscus. At that time Severus was Emperor in the West, and, as Leo did not recognise him, both consuls belonged to the eastern realm.

15 Of Leo's two daughters, Ariadne was born before, Leontia after, his accession. Brooks (ib.) thinks that Ariadne must have been betrothed to Patricius, because Leontia was too young, and because a marriage with the younger daughter would not have had the same significance. But Leo might have preferred to promise the infant — many things might occur before she was ripe for marriage; and against the second objection might be set the fact that Leontia was born in the purple. We must also take into account that when Zeno married Ariadne we do not hear that Aspar complained that Leo had broken his promise. Leontia married Marcian (son of the western Emperor, Anthemius) whom we shall meet again; Eustathius, apud Evagr. III.26.

16 Zeno's name is variously given as Tarasikodissa (Candidus, p135, who as an Isaurian should have known; cp. Στρακωδισσεων in the MS. of John Malalas), Arikmesios (Eustathius of Epiphania,º ap. Evagr. II.15), Traskalissaios (Theoph. A.M. 5974, perhaps an error for Τρασκωδισσαῖον, cp. Agathias, IV.29, Ταρασικωδίσαιος. He was a native of Rousoumblada in Isauria (Candidus, ib.; Ramsay, Hist., Geography of Asia Minor, p370). His mother's name was Lallis. Of his brother Longinus we shall hear much.

17 Cp. Brooks, op. cit. 212, and Kulakovski, Ist. Viz. I.352. Theophanes records the marriage under A.M. 5956 = A.D. 459, which is certainly wrong. 467 is the latest possible date, as Leo, son of Zeno and Ariadne, was six years old at the end of 474 (Michael Syr. IX. c5, ed. Chabot, vol. II p143.)

18 John Lydus, De mag. I.16. The number was 300.

19 See below, p335.

20 Hydatius, Chron. 247. According to this chronicler Aspar was consequently degraded from office and one of his sons put to death.

21 John Mal. XIV p375. This statement seems probably correct, for if Zeno was mag. mil. of the East he would have had no business to defend Thrace. The danger he ran with the Thracian army determined his transference to the eastern command. The statement of Theophanes (A.M. 5962) is certainly not decisive, but the date = A.D. 469, is probably right, and it seems probable that Zeno had been appointed to the East before the end of the same year. He continued to hold this post till the summer of 471 at least (see C. J. X.3.29, and Brooks, op. cit. 212, n17).

22 The invasion of Huns under Attila's son Denzic is recorded in this year by Marcellinus. He was opposed by Anagast, mag. mil. in Thrace, and slain. Chron. Pasch. records this under 468.

23 John Ant. fr. 90 (Exc. de Ins. p130), and Suidas, sub Ἰνδακός (source Priscus?). The fortress of Indacus was Cherris.

24 Theophanes places this event in or before 468 (A.M. 5961), Victor Tonn. in 470, to which Brooks inclines. I agree, for Aspar would have been able to press Leo more effectively in Zeno's absence.

25 Zonaras, XIV.1 (p122 ed. B.-W.).

26 See Vita Marcelli in Simeon Metaphrastes, P.G. 116.74. Marcellus, archimandrite of the Sleepless monks, led the protest. Theophanes says that Leo created Patricius Caesar διὰ τὸ ἐλκύσαι τὸν Ἄσπαρα ἐκ τῆς Ἀρειανικῆς δόξης. Possibly Aspar was converted.

27 John Ant. ib. (date, consul­ship of Jordanes = 470).

28 These Isaurians were reinforced by a body of their fellow-countrymen who had descended on the island of Rhodes. Many of these brigands had been cut down there, but the remnant escaped to Constantinople and were received by Zeno. Brooks dates this incident to 469 (op. cit. 213, and C. Med. H. I.470).

29 Candidus, ib. Zeno did not enter the city but remained at Chalcedon till after the murder, Theoph. A.M. 5964.

30 Marcellinus, sub 471. The murder is branded by Damascius as treacherous (ἐδολοφόνησεν, Vita Isidori in Photius, Bibliotheca, 242, p340 ed. Bekker).

31 Candidus, ib. Zeno is said to have assisted Ermanaric's escape to Isauria, where he married a daughter of an illegitimate son of Zeno. After Leo's death he returned to Constantinople (Theoph. ib.).

32 Doubtless the same as the στρατηγός Ostryas mentioned by Priscus, fr. 2 (De leg. gent. p589), in connexion with the Hun invasion of 469. As στρατηγός means mag. mil., it may be conjectured that Ostrys succeeded Zeno as mag. mil. in praesenti in that year (cp. above, p318, n6).

33 John Mal. XIV p371.

34 Below, Chap. XII § 5.

35 C. J. IX.12.10 omnibus per civitates et agros habendi bucellarios vel Isauros armatosque servos licentiam volumus esse praeclusam (A.D. 468). See above, p43.

36 Malchus, fr. 2a (F. H. G. IV. p114).

37 Antioch was laid in ruins by an earthquake in Sept. 458 (cp. Clinton, F.R., sub a.). Leo rebuilt the public edifices (John Mal. XIV p369, Evagrius, II.12).

38 The statue was hence called the Pittakes (from πιττάκια, letters). See Patria, p167 (cp. 65).

39 Near the Gate of the Neorion, now Baghtsche Kapu.

40 See Evagrius, II.13, the chief description of the fire (probably derived from Priscus, through Eustathius). Also Theodore Lector, I.22; John Mal. XIV.372; Zonaras, XIV.1, 16.

41 From here it spread to the Church of Homonoia of which the position is unknown.

42 Cedrenus, I. p610 (source unknown), mentions the Σενάτον and Νυμφαῖον. The building in the forum Tauri to which he refers may be the Basilica Theodosiana. The fire was described in the work of Candidus (cp. F. H. G. IV. p135), and Shestakov has tried to show that the accounts in Cedrenus and Zonaras are derived from him (Kandid Isauriski, cp. Bibl. II.2, 13).

43 In later times we hear of regular arrangements for extinguishing fires. See Michael, Vita Theodori Studitae in P.G. 99, p312 τὴν τῶν σιφώνων κατὰ τόπους παρασκευήν.

44 Early in his reign a barbarian people, which invaded Pontus, was repelled and subjugated. We hear of this in a letter of bishops of Pontus to the Emperor (Mansi, VII. p600), and the same event seems to be referred to in other letters (ib. 581, 583). Tillemont thought these barbarians must be Huns (Hist. des Empereurs, VI.367), but it seems to me more probable that they were the Tzani (for whom see below, p434).

45 For dates see John Mal. XIV p375. The details of the coronation of Leo II are preserved in a contemporary account which was probably included in a work of Peter the Patrician (Const. Porph. De cer. I. c94). After the coronation of the child the two Leos would be distinguished as Λέων ὁ μέγας and Λέων ὁ μικρός, and this, I believe, must be the origin of the designation of Leo as "the Great"; just as reversely Theodosius II was called "the Small," because in his infancy he had been known as ὁ μικρὸς βασιλεύς to distinguish him from Arcadius (see above, p7). Leo never did anything which could conceivably earn him the title of Great in the sense in which it was bestowed by posterity on Alexander or Constantine. — Coins issued at the beginning of Leo's reign show Marcian's head, the legend being merely altered to Dn Leo Perpet Aug; and Pulcheria's coin stamp with Victoria Augg (see above, p236) was used for Verina (Ael Verina Aug). Later coins of Leo have his portrait, a bearded man; but his face is seen better on a medallion (Sabatier, Pl. VII.1), for which an old stamp of the seventh quinquennalia of Theodosius II was used (as the unaltered reverse shows).

46 John Ant. fr. 85 (De ins. p127). His account deserves credit because he drew his information from the contemporary historian Priscus.

47 Aetius, however, dismissed him from whatever post he held. Sidonius attributes this injustice to the influence of the wife of Aetius who was jealous of Majorian's growing fame (Carm. V.126‑294). Majorian retired to his country estate, but was recalled to military service after the Patrician's death, by Valentinian (ib. 305‑308).

48 The wealth of Maximus is noted by Sidonius Apollinaris, Epp. II.13.

49 The favour he showed to the assassins is recorded by Prosper, sub a.

50 Little is said of it by western writers (Hydatius, 167, refers to it as an evil rumour). The sources are John Ant. loc. cit.; Marcellinus, Chron., sub a., Procopius, B. V. I.4; Evagrius, H. E. II.7. All these accounts are probably derived from Priscus, but it is evident from John Ant. (cp. οἱ δέ φασι) that Priscus did not tell the story as definitely true, but admitted the possibility that Gaiseric might have come of his own accord. The part played by the mysterious Burgundio in Sidonius, Carm. VII.441 sqq., is not clear. For Palladius see Prosper, ib.

51 Sidonius Apoll. Epp. II.13 (Dalton).

52 His end is described by Prosper, ib., and with more detail by John Ant. ib.; Jordanes, Get. 235, names Ursus, a Roman soldier, as the assassin.

53 Victor Tonn. sub a.

54 Secura et libera scrutatione (Prosper).

55 For the sack of Rome see, besides Prosper, Procopius, B. V. I.5 (he mentions that a ship laden with statues was lost on the way to Carthage). Gaudentius, son of Aetius, was one of the captives. Cp. Grisar, Hist. of Rome and the Popes (Eng. tr.), I.96‑99; Martroye, Genséric, 158 sqq.

56 Priscus, fr. 10, De leg. Rom.; Procopius, B. V. I.4. Evagrius, H. E. II.7 blunders. See Clinton, F. R. II p127.

57 Sidonius, Carm. VII.517 tibi pareat orbis, ni pereat.

58 Ib. 522‑600. For dates see Fast. Vind. pr. p304, and Victor Tonn. sub a. We have a portrait of Avitus on gold coins which show his side face, bearded; on the reverse he is trampling on a captive.

59 The father was Prefect in 448; the grandfather in 408.

60 Carm. VII.

61 Sidonius, Carm. II.361 sqq.

62 We have to combine Hydatius, 177, with Sidonius, ib. 367, and Priscus, fr. 7, De leg. Rom.

63 There is an interesting account of Theoderic and the daily routine of his life in Sidonius, Epp. I.2.

64 Hydatius, 170‑175.

65 By John Ant. fr. 86, De ins.

66 John Ant. fr. 86 (De ins. p128). This notice (doubtless derived from Priscus) is the sole authority of the vandalism of Avitus, which was probably the immediate motive of Majorian's measure for the preservation of public buildings.

67 John Ant. ib. says he was starved or strangled. There is a different story in Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. II.11. For the date cp. Cons. Ital. p304. Avitus had armed men with him, and there was a battle at Placentia in which "his patrician" Messianus was slain, ib.

68 Coins of Marcian minted in Italy belong to this interval, and those of Leo to the longer period between the death of Majorian and the accession of Anthemius (461‑467). Cp. de Salis, Coins of the Eudoxias, p215, who holds that the custom of striking coins at Italian mints in honour of the eastern colleague ceased at the beginning of the reign of Valentinian III.

69 We have an inscription of Ricimer recording that he decorated with mosaics the Arian church of S. Agatha in Rome in accordance with a vow. Its date is later than 459, the year of his consul­ship. De Rossi, II.1, p438; Dessau, 1294.

70 He had been created magister militum in February (Fast. Vind. Pr. p305). His address to the Senate (Nov. 1 de ortu imperii divi Maioriani) announces the inauguration of a new era. Ricimer is thus mentioned: erit apud nos cum parente patricioque nostro Ricimere rei militaris pervigil cura.

71 By Sundwall (Weströmische Studien, p8), who has insisted rightly on the importance of the struggle for power between Gaul and Italy.

72 Cons. Ital. (Auct. Prosper, Havn.), sub 457; Marius Avent. sub 456.

73 Carm. IV, V.

74 Hydatius, 197, A.D. 459. Majorian was in Gaul in 458‑459.

75 Not including Lyons.

76 Majorian, Nov. 1 Romani orbis statum . . . propitia divinitate servemus.

77 See Priscus, fr. 13 (De leg. gent. p585), who is almost verbally followed by John Ant. fr. 87, p203.

78 Marius Avent. sub a. 460 (where Elice = Alicante is misleadingly described as near New Carthage). Cp. Hydatius, 200, and see Martroye, Genséric, p192. Majorian made a "disgraceful treaty" with Gaiseric, John Ant. ib. Probably he ceded the Roman provinces in Africa (the Mauretanias and Tripolitana) which Gaiseric had recently seized.

79 He celebrated games at which Sidonius Apollinaris was present (Epp. I.11).

80 During A.D. 458 Majorian had attempted much remedial legislation. He alleviated the public burdens by a remission of arrears (Nov. 2) and resuscitated the office of defensor civitatis (Nov. 3). He enacted a much-needed law for preserving the public buildings of Rome, to check the "disfigurement of the face of the venerable city" (Nov. 4). He also endeavoured to deal with the social evil of celibacy (Nov. 6).

81 Fasti Vind. pr., sub a. 464.

82 His monogram appears on the reverse of coins of Severus. There were a good many issues of coins during this reign. Perhaps one of the earliest of the solidi of Severus was that with the same reverse type which appears on solidi of Petronius Maximus and Majorian — an Emperor holding a cross and a globe surmounted by a Victory, with his right foot on a dragon's head.— A bronze weight with an inscription of Plotinus Eustathius, Prefect of Rome, may belong to the reign of Severus (CIL X.8072). It illustrates the position of Ricimer, whose name is associated with the Emperors: salvis dd. nn. et patricio Ricimere. On another tablet, of the Praet. Prefect Probianus, his name does not appear with those of Leo and Severus (Dessau, 811).

83 Hydatius, 218. It was doubtless Maximus who first conferred this higher rank and title on a Gallic commander (Avitus), hitherto a magister equitum. The change illustrates the political importance of Gaul at this time. See above, p326.

84 Priscus, fr. 14, De leg. gent.

85 Cp. Hydatius, ib.; Marius Avent. sub a. Aegidius defeated Frederic, brother of King Theoderic, near Orleans. Before his death he was negotiating with Gaiseric, the plan being that the Vandals should attack Ricimer in Italy while Aegidius was making war on the Visigoths.

86 Marcellinus had been a friend of Aetius and after his murder had withdrawn to Dalmatia. The Gallo-Romans offered him the Imperial crown in 458 before they accepted Majorian. (Procopius, B. V. I.6; Sidonius, Epp. I.11.6.) Damascius in his Vita Isidori (Photius, Bibl. 242 p342) describes him as αὐτοδέσποτος ἡγεμών of Dalmatia. I conjecture that his title was magister militum Dalmatiae, because after his death his nephew Julius Nepos held this exceptional title: see C. J. VI.61.5 (A.D. 473).

87 A.D. 462. Hydatius, 216. Priscus, fr. 10 (in De leg. Rom.).

88 Fast. Vind. pr., sub 464. According to the Chronicle of Cassiodorus, ut dicitur, Ricimeris fraude Severus Romae in palatio veneno peremptus est. If this is true, Ricimer had a hand in the death of no fewer than three, if not four, Emperors.

89 Cons. Ital., sub a p305, Cassiodorus, Chron., sub a. He was not created Emperor or crowned until he arrived in Italy, for he sent Heliocrates to Constantinople to announce his elevation and obtain formal recognition. Leo sent his image bound with bay leaves (τὰ λαυρεάτα) to the cities of the east with a command that it should be honoured like his own, "that all the cities may learn with joy that the powers of both sections of the Empire are united" (Peter Patricius, in Constantine Porph. De cer. I.87, where the ceremony of the reception of the ambassador of Anthemius is described).

90 Compare Hydatius, 247 Asparem degradatum ad privatam vitam filiumque eius occisum adversus Romanum imperium, sicut detectique sunt, Vandalis consulentes.

91 Marcellinus, Chron., sub a. 468, where it is mentioned that Marcellinus was a pagan. He had received from Leo (we may assume) the title of Patrician.

92 Marcellinus, Chron.

93 He was obliged to seek refuge in the sanctuary of St. Sophia.

94 John Lydus, De mag. III.43.

Thayer's Note: The difficulties of converting financial figures! Today (2007), a hundred thousand pounds of gold would be just over a billion dollars; £4.5 million would be $260 million.

95 According to Procopius, B. V. I.6, the total cost was 130,000 lbs. of gold; according to Lydus, ib., 65,000 lbs. of gold and 700,000 lbs. of silver, which (calculating the ratio of gold to silver as 1:18) would together amount to about 104,000 lbs. of gold. The statement of Lydus evidently rests on the same data as the interesting notice of the historian Candidus (fr. 4, in F. H. G. IV p137). The chests of the Praetorian Prefects (East and Illyricum) contributed 47,000 lbs. gold, the treasury of the Sacred Largess, 17,000 lbs. gold; in all 64,000 lbs.; while the 700,000 lbs. of silver were supplied partly ἐκ δημευσίμων (i.e. from confiscated property, and therefore from the treasury of the Private Estate) and partly by the treasury of Anthemius. It is unfortunate that we have not the story of the expedition given by the contemporary Priscus, whose work was the source of Theophanes, A.M. 5961, and indirectly (through Eustathius of Epiphania) of Procopius. Cp. Haury, Proleg. to his ed. of Procopius, IXsqq.

96 In an interesting letter (Epp. I.5) Sidonius describes his journey to Rome (in 467), where he arrived when the nuptials of Ricimer with Alypia were being celebrated, and the city was given over to rejoi­cing.

97 Carm. II.

98 Cp. Epp. I.9. Dalton has rightly pointed out that the whole affair was prearranged; the panegyric was a pretext, not the motive, of the appointment.

99 Martroye, Genséric, p234.

100 Sidonius, Epp. I.7, Dalton's translation. The sentence was not carried out. Seronatus, governor of Aquitanica Prima, was less lucky. Accused of oppression and treacherous relations with the Goths by the people of Auvergne, he was executed. Sidonius calls him a Catiline, Epp. II.1.

101 His son Anthemiolus was a commander in operations against the Goths. Chron. Gall. 649 (p664).

102 Damascius (Vita Isidori, p208) says that he cherished the hope of restoring pagan idolatry.

103 John Ant. fr. 93 (loc. cit. p131).

104 This transaction is related by John Malalas, XIV p374, and is quite credible. Cp. my note on The Emperor Olybrius in E. H. R., July 1886. Olybrius had been consul in 464. He was descended from Sextus Petronius Probus, consul in 371. His grandson (by his daughter Juliana) was consul in 491, and married Irene, a niece of the Emperor Anastasius. That he was never recognised as Augustus in the East seems clear from the circumstances, and Stein (Stud. z. Gesch. des byz. Reiches, p176) had adduced confirmatory evidence.

105 Ennodius, Vit. Epiph. p344 sqq.; John Ant. fr. 93 (Exc. de ins. p131); Paul. Diac. Hist. misc. 15.4; Schmidt, op. cit. 262.

106 This church, restored more than once, still stands, near Sta. Maria in Trastevere.

Thayer's Note: For details and sources, and several further links, including to the detailed section in Armellini, see the entry [Ecclesia] S. Chrysogoni in Christian Hülsen's Chiese di Roma nel Medio Evo.

107 John Ant. fr. 209 (F. H. G. IV), says "Gundobad, Ricimer's brother," and afterwards speaks of Gundibalos as his nephew. The fact is that Ricimer's sister married Gundioc, the Burgundian king, and their son was Gundobad, now in Roman service, but soon to succeed to a Burgundian throne.

108 He died August 18, 472, from vomiting blood, John Ant. ib.

109 Nov. 2, of dropsy, ib. The date in the Paschale Campanum (Chron. min. I p306), borne out by an Auctarium to Prosper (ib. p492), is to be preferred to Oct. 23 of the Fasti Vind. pr. (ib. p306).

110 He sent an embassy to Constantinople (Hydatius 238). It has been conjectured that the purpose was to denounce the status of foederati and claim full sovranty (Schmidt, I.260).

111 Sidonius, Epp. VII.6.6.

112 Sidonius, Epp. VI.12.3.

113 Among the prominent bishops were, besides Patiens, Lupus of Troyes, Fonteius of Vaison, Perpetuus of Tours, Graecus of Marseilles, Leontius of Arles, Faustus of Riez, Basilius of Aix, and Sidonius himself.

114 Ib. IV.17.2.

115 Ib. VI.12.

116 He seems to have held the post of Master of Soldiers in Gaul, see Jordanes, Get. 45. Nepos created him patrician in 474 (Sidonius, Epp. V.16).

117 The negotiations were conducted by four south Gallic bishops (ib. VII.6, 10), and also by Epiphanius, bishop of Ticinum (Ennodius, Vit. Epiph. 81); but it is not clear whether or not two separate missions were sent to Euric.

118 Sidonius was very bitter over the surrender of Auvergne, ib. VII.7.

119 Ib. VIII.3.3.

120 Procopius, B. G. I.12.20. Cp. Candidus, in F. H. G. IV p136. Schmidt, op. cit. I.267.

121 Sidonius, VIII.9.5.

122 The capture of Caesaraugusta, the siege of Tarraco, and the capture of coast cities in A.D. 473 are recorded in Chron. Gall. pp664‑665. Cp. Isidore, Hist. Goth. 34.

123 Sidonius, VIII.6.

124 Ib. V.5 (this and the other quotations are taken from Dalton's translation). Syagrius was a great-grandson of Flavius Afranius Syagrius, who was Pr. Pr. of Gaul and consul in A.D. 382.

125 Edited by Zeumer in the Leges Visigothorum.

126 Sigismer, otherwise unknown. Sidonius, IV.20.

127 Ib. VII.14.10.

128 In Dalton's Introduction to his translation of the Letters there is an admirable account of this society.

129 He had fought with Aegidius against the Goths at Orleans (see above, p333).

130 For the dealings with the Saxons see Gregory of Tours, H. F. II.18, 19. On their invasion and the Litus Saxonicum in Gaul see Lot, Les Migrations saxonnes, 6 and 13 sqq.

131 We may conjecture that he owed his appointment either to Anthemius or to Julius Nepos, and that he succeeded Paul as Master of Soldiers. He is mentioned only by Gregory of Tours, unless, as some think, he is identical with the correspondent of Sidonius referred to above.

132 Syagrius fled to Toulouse, but King Alaric gave him up to Clovis, who put him to death.

133 For some years Clovis allowed the Imperial administration to continue unchanged in this province. See the letter which Remigius, archbishop of Reims, addressed to him (Epp. Austras. 2, in Epp. Mer. et Kar. aevi, vol. I), which must be dated after 496.

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