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Rufinus is known only for a work transmitted by the manuscripts as A commentary on the metres of Terence (Commentarium in metra Terentiana), which includes a section clearly taken from a different treatise and reconstructed with the title On the composition and rhythms of the orators (De compositione et de numeris oratorum). In the two sections, Rufinus uses different styles of address, identifying himself as u. d. (uir deuotus, ‘a devout man’) in the former work and as u. c. (uir clarissimus, ‘a right honourable man’) in the latter, perhaps as a result of an intervening change in his status. The incipit also gives Rufinus the adjective Antiochensis, ‘of Antiochia’, thus identifying him as a Latin teacher active in the Greek East.1 The inclusion of Servius among his authorities provides a terminus post at the end of the 4th century, while the presence of Rufinus as a source in Priscian places him no later than the 5th century.

Article

Severus Flavius Valerius, Illyrian military commander of humble birth, and friend of *Galerius, at whose wish *Maximian on abdicating (1 May, 305 ce) proclaimed him at Milan as Caesar, with charge of Italy and Africa. When Constantius I died (306) Galerius made him Augustus but accepted Constantine as Caesar. His attempt to register the plebs of Rome provoked *Maxentius' rebellion.

Article

Joop van Waarden

Sidonius Apollinaris, c. 430–c. 485 ce, Gallo-Roman aristocrat, poet and letter writer, civil servant, and bishop, is one of the most distinct voices to survive from Late Antiquity as an eyewitness of the end of Roman power in the West. Born in Lyon to a family of high-ranking Gallo-Roman administrators, he became a leading resident of the Auvergne through his marriage. In the 450s and 460s, he delivered poetic panegyrics to three emperors: his father-in-law Avitus, Majorian, and Anthemius, voicing Gallic, and especially Auvergnat, interests. His other poetic output consists of occasional verse, celebrating moments of high-profile aristocratic, and Christian life. He put out a carefully crafted collection of his selected letters in nine books against the foil of his personal and contemporary history, including significant elements like his early career, culminating in the urban prefecture in Rome (468/469), lettered leisure in the company of sophisticated friends on Gallic estates, and the turning of the scales that made him into bishop of his hometown Clermont, in vain opposing the onset of the Visigoths and having to put up with the final withdrawal of Roman authority from Gaul (475/476). After a period of exile, he was reinstated as bishop under Visigothic sovereignty. His career is typical for the kind of aristocratic bishop that emerged in Gaul as imperial career opportunities vanished, social distinction being transferred to office holding in the Church, and a distinguished ascetic lifestyle.

Article

Alberto J. Quiroga Puertas

Salamanes Hermeias Sozomenus, also known as Sozomen, was a lawyer and church historian. The scarce biographical information that we have about him derives from ex silentio arguments and from the interpretation of passages of his extant work, The Ecclesiastical History. Even his full name presents doubts, as the three names that it consisted of are presented in different orders in the manuscripts transmitting his work. It has also been argued that Sozomen could be a Greek translation of Salamanes, a name of Semitic origins. Sozomen’s date of birth has also been a matter of debate, with estimates ranging from 380 to 427, although a date at the beginning of the 5th century seems to be the most likely approximation. Less problematic is to determine his place of birth, Betheleia, a village near Gaza in Palestine where Sozomen’s family had been long established. His grandfather seems to have been the first of the family to convert to Christianity when he witnessed how the monk Hilarion cast out a demon that had possessed a fellow citizen (Sozomen, Historia Ecclesiastica 5.

Article

Robert Browning

Greek grammarian, probably a contemporary of *Justinian, and a publicly appointed teacher in Constantinople. Nothing is known in detail of his life except that he was a Christian. He is the author of Ethnica, in sixty books, an alphabetical list of place-names together with the adjectives derived from them. The original work, which contained information on foundation-legends, etymologies, changes of name, oracles, historical anecdotes, proverbs, etc. , is lost. The surviving *epitome, consisting mainly of jejune entries, was compiled some time between the 6th and 10th cents. ce. It may be the work of one Hermolaus, mentioned in the *Suda, but some scholars believe that it is actually a conflation of at least two epitomes, made on slightly different principles. There are fragments of the original extensive text embedded in the De Administrando Imperio and De Thematibus of Constantine Porphyrogenitus.Stephanus was neither a geographer—he makes no direct use of *Ptolemy (4)—nor a historian—he puts down side by side information dating from different epochs—but a grammarian.

Article

Peter Heather

Stilicho of *Theodosius (2) I, became regent for his son *Honorius and ruler of the west ce 395–408. He sought to unify east and west, particularly up to c.400. Two attempts to quell *Alaric (395 and 397) and move on to *Constantinople were, however, ineffective. He successfully parried Alaric's first invasion of Italy in 402, but was unable to maintain his control of the west in the face of a series of crises. First Radagaisus invaded Italy in 405–6, then came the Rhine crossing of 31 December 406 and the associated usurpation of *Constantine III, and, in the mean time, a previously arranged alliance with Alaric (perhaps part of another attempt on the east) caused the latter to make heavy financial demands. These military and political disasters allowed rivals to win Honorius over; Stilicho fell in a coup d'état in 408.

Article

Walter Manoel Edwards and Robert Browning

Stobaeus (Ἰωάννης Στοβαῖος ‘John of *Stobi’), author of an anthology of excerpts from poets and prose-writers, intended in the first instance for the instruction of his son Septimius. The work was probably composed in the early 5th cent. ce; it consisted originally of four books, which came to be grouped later under the titles Eklogai (‘Selections’) and Anthologion (‘Anthology’), though subject-matter and treatment are essentially homogeneous. It deals with a variety of topics, from metaphysics to household economy; from bk. 2 onwards it is concerned chiefly with ethical questions. The illustrative extracts, which Stobaeus probably owed in large measure to earlier collectors, are arranged under successive headings, being grouped generally in the same order, beginning with the poets. Stobaeus cites a multitude of authors, from *Homer to *Themistius; the writers of the *Second Sophistic are scarcely represented, but there are many excerpts from the Neoplatonists (see neoplatonism); the absence of excerpts from Christian authors suggests that he was a pagan.

Article

Dina Boero and Charles Kuper

Symeon the Stylite the Younger (521–592 ce), a pillar-saint or “stylite,” practised his mode of Christian asceticism for more than sixty years on a mountain southwest of Antioch. Symeon’s lifetime, spanning most of the 6th century, coincides with a drastic time of transition in the history of Antioch, which began with the devastating earthquake of 526 ce and includes events such as the sack of Antioch in 540 ce and the Plague of Justinian in the following years. Symeon also happens to be one of the best-documented holy men from this period. The remains of his monastery have been preserved and studied extensively. A number of pilgrimage objects, most notably clay tokens, have also received much scholarly attention. The extant literary evidence is also vast, though understudied in comparison. It includes homilies, letters, and short hymns penned by the saint himself, as well as two hagiographies composed by members of his monastic community shortly after his death. Symeon, therefore, is a critical figure for understanding many issues relevant to the study of the Eastern Roman Empire during this period: political, social, and theological history; the development of cult sites and pilgrimage; the literary self-representation of a stylite and his community; and the construction of monumental architecture and water management in remote locations in Syria, among many others.

Article

Roman senator, orator, and epistolographer (cf. letters, latin), and leading proponent of the pagan religious cause against the Christian emperors, was educated by a Gallic teacher and enjoyed a highly successful political career. After visiting the court of *Valentinian (1) I in 369–70, where he delivered the three panegyrics of which fragments survive and made the lasting acquaintance of *Ausonius, he was proconsul of Africa (373) and prefect of Rome (383–4). Despite his support in a lost panegyric for the usurper *Magnus Maximus, he was made consul in 391. In the last decade of his life, through his extensive correspondence and personal contacts he tirelessly promoted the interests of his family and friends; the letters in which he arranged the praetorian games of his son are of special interest. He died in 402, shortly after leading an embassy to the imperial court at *Ravenna during the first occupation of north Italy by *Alaric.

Article

John Frederick Drinkwater

Gaius Pius Esuvius Tetricus became emperor in Gaul in 271 ce. In the literary tradition he appears weaker than *Postumus and *Victorinus, finally betraying his own army to *Aurelian at Châlons-sur-Marne (274). However, his coins (which show the late elevation of his son, Tetricus II, as Caesar) suggest a more resolute regime. Having led Tetricus in triumph, Aurelian gave him a senatorial appointment in Italy (PLRE 1.

Article

Robert Browning and Peter Heather

Themistius, pagan Greek philosopher, rhetorician, and senator of *Constantinople was born in *Paphlagoniac.ce 317, studying in the eastern provinces and in Constantinople, where he opened a school (c.345). Attracting imperial attention, he soon won a salaried chair and became a member of the Constantinopolitan senate. As a philosopher, his explanatory paraphrases of many of Aristotle's works set a pattern of exegesis which was followed throughout the Middle Ages.It is often said that he was little influenced by contemporary *Neoplatonism, but his commentary on Aristotle De Anima shows that he was widely read in Plotinus, and the surviving speeches often cite Plato with approval. Where he really parted company from contemporary Neoplatonism was in his attitude to public life. His self-professed claim to intellectual originality lay in the proposition that it was acceptable to use rhetoric when advocating policies dictated by philosophical reasoning, and that—contrary to the stance of increasingly reclusive Neoplatonic Holy Men—it was correct to use philosophical wisdom in the service of the state. This explicitly accepted the claims of Roman imperial ideology that the state was a divinely-ordained entity, despite the fact that he was a pagan and it was now run by Christian emperors. Consistent with this view, his political speeches consistently sought to identify a religiously neutral strand of classical culture which was common to both Christians and pagans, an approach highly attractive to Christian emperors ruling an empire still dominated at the local level by pagan elites. Thus he found great favour under a succession of Christian emperors from *Constantius II to *Theodosius (2) I, culminating in the office of prefect of the city of Constantinople (383–4).

Article

Theoderic (1), Gothic king of Italy (493–526 ce; see goths), spent ten years (aged 8–18) as hostage in *Constantinople. Made a sub-king on his return to *Pannonia in c.471, he and his father Thiudimer invaded the Roman Balkans in c.473. Becoming king on his father's death in c.474, he had by 483/4 united most of *Theoderic(2)'s following to his own, continuing the process by which his uncle (Valamer) and father had progressively united disparate Gothic groups as the Hunnic empire collapsed (see huns). Theoderic's new force—the so-called Ostrogoths—was too powerful for emperor Zeno to tolerate so close to Constantinople, and a series of conflicts followed; sending the Goths to Italy in 488/9 broke the impasse. By 493 Theoderic had murdered *Odoacer to establish an essentially independent rule, although he acknowledged certain prerogatives claimed by Constantinople. He retained Roman-style administration, carefully presented his rule as the ‘Roman empire continued’, and, although an Arian (see arianism), cultivated excellent relations with the papacy.

Article

Theoderic (2), known as Strabo or the son of Triarius, led one of two Gothic groups (see goths) which united to create the Ostrogoths. By ce 471 Strabo's Goths had close relations with Constantinople, but the murder of their patron Aspar prompted a revolt during which Strabo established his pre-eminence. From 473 to 481, when he died in an accident, he used a mixture of strategies to compete for Roman favour with the Goths of *Theoderic(1).

Article

Flavius Theodosius (1), count (see comites), wealthy landowner of Cauca (mod. Coca) in Gallaecia, was a general of *Valentinian I and father of the emperor *Theodosius (2) I. In ce 367 he recovered *Britain, which had been overrun by *Saxons, Picts, and Scots (the so-called ‘barbarian conspiracy’); the invaders had reached the vicinity of London. In 369–73 he was Valentinian's magister equitum (see magister militum) against the *Alamanni and *Alans, and in 373–5, in campaigns described in detail by *Ammianus Marcellinus he was active in Mauretanian Africa, where he suppressed the revolt of the local chieftain Firmus. He was put to death for unknown reasons at Carthage in 376.

Article

Theodosius I, the son of count *Theodosius(1), was born c. 346 ce. He was promoted early, serving as *dux of *Moesia Superior in 374. On his father's sudden disgrace and execution in 376 he retired to the family properties at Cauca but in 378, after the defeat and death of *Valens at Adrianople, *Gratian appointed him *magister militum to fight the *Goths, and shortly afterwards (19 January 379) proclaimed him Augustus of the eastern parts, including the dioceses of *Dacia and *Macedonia. For the next few years Theodosius conducted campaigns against the Goths, basing himself at first at Thessalonica (379–80), then at Constantinople. Failing to eject the Goths from the empire, on 3 October 382 he signed a treaty with them, recognizing them as federates and assigning them lands in *Thrace and Lower Moesia. In 386 he signed a treaty with Persia, whereby the long-disputed kingdom of Armenia was partitioned between the two empires.

Article

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz

Theodosius (3) II, son of *Arcadius (2) (401–450 ce) was proclaimed Augustus in 402. After his father's death in 408, Pulcheria, his pious elder sister, exercised a strong and continuing influence over him. For a time he was also influenced by Eudocia, whom he married in 421. From 405–14 the empire was in fact governed by *Anthemius, the praetorian prefect of the east (see praefectus praetorio), and then probably by Helion, master of the offices. In the 440s Chrysaphius, an imperial *eunuch, and Nomos, master of the offices, were influential, but Theodosius had the last word. The Acts of Chalcedon (451) vividly illustrate how the government of Theodosius worked.The chief military events of the reign were two successful Persian wars (421–2 and 441; see sasanids), the defeat of the usurper John in the west, and the installation of *Valentinian III at Rome (425), an unsuccessful naval expedition against the *Vandals (441), and a series of wars and negotiations with Rua and *Attila, kings of the *Huns.

Article

Demetrius Triclinius (early 14th cent.), one of the most important scholars of his day, lived probably Thessalonica. He prepared editions of numerous classical poets, using his knowledge of metre to improve the text, and in some cases he also revised the accompanying corpus of *scholia. A number of his emendations are generally accepted; but though he was a better metrician than his contemporaries many of his alterations to the text are violent and unnecessary (see textual criticism). He is known to have worked on *Aeschylus, *Sophocles (1), *Euripides, *Aristophanes (1), *Pindar, *Hesiod, *Theocritus, and *Babrius. Several autograph manuscripts survive. His scientific interests are demonstrated by a recently published treatise on lunar theory.

Article

Peter Barr Reid Forbes, Robert Browning, and Nigel Wilson

Johannes Tzetzes (12th cent. ce), a copious, careless, quarrelsome Byzantine polymath. In his youth he wrote (ce 1143) a commentary on *Homer's Iliad of which the greater part is still unpublished, followed by Allegories on Iliad and Odyssey (in 10,000 verses), and other verse works on Antehomerica, Homerica, and Posthomerica. His other writings included scholia on *Hesiod, *Aristophanes, *Lycophron ( (b)), and others, and a poem on prosody. His chief work, Βίβλος Ἱστορική, Histories, by its first editor named Chiliades, is a review (in 12,674 verses) of Greek literature and learning, with quotations from over 400 authors. In regard to his poverty and slighted merits Tzetzes displays an engaging lack of reticence. He was not always without taste or discretion; e.g. once, when reduced to selling the rest of his library he retained his *Plutarch; nor is felicity of expression lacking in (for example) his objurgation of *Thucydides (2)'s cross-word style (λοξοσυστρόφοις λόγοις).

Article

Nigel Wilson

Ulpianus of Ascalon taught rhetoric at *Emesa and *Antioch (1) in the reign of Constantine (324–37 ce) and wrote a number of declamations and rhetorical works (no longer extant). He is the reputed author of *scholia to eighteen speeches of *Demosthenes(2); they are of little independent value.

Article

His date is not quite certain, but 4th century ce (rather than three centuries earlier) seems likeliest. He is a source for much of the Arabian information in Stephanus of Byzantium, in whose treatise on ethnics he is praised highly.