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Article

Anne Sheppard

Of *Cappadocia, *Neoplatonist, pupil of *Iamblichus (2) and teacher of *Maximus (3) Chrysanthius, Priscus, and Eusebius Myndius. He set up a school of philosophy in Pergamum. No writings survive.

Article

Originally named Athenais, Eudocia was the daughter of Leontius, a teacher of rhetoric. She was born in Athens (Evagrius Scholasticus Historia ecclesiastica 1.20) and probably followed her father in his career move to Alexandria, before returning to Athens, where Leontius was elected to the chair of rhetoric in 415ce with the help and intervention of Olympiodorus of Thebes (Olympiodorus fr. 28 FHG). Details of Eudocia’s life are complicated by the novelistic embellishments of the chroniclers (exemplified in Joannes Malalas 272-8 Thurn) and contemporary polemics persisting in later sources,1 but a basic narrative seems secure. Eudocia’s classical education (reported by Malalas 273 Thurn; Phot. Bibl. 183; Tzetz. Chil. 10.48–54) is evident in the nature of her literary output, her use of traditional poetic language, and her classical versification, which reveal formal training despite occasional inconsistencies and non-classical usages. Athenais converted to Christianity and changed her name to Eudocia before her marriage to Theodosius II on 7 June 421.

Article

Peter Heather

Aetius, Flavius (d. ce 454), Roman patrician and general, ruler of the western Empire c. 432 to 454. In the 410s he served lengthy periods as a hostage among both the Visigoths (see *goths) and Huns, and a relationship with the Huns provided the cornerstone of his career. Hunnic military support first allowed him to survive the civil war which put *valentinian III on the western throne (Aetius had initially supported a usurper), and then enabled him to defeat rival generals Felix and Boniface and establish a domination over the young emperor manifest in his unprecedented three consulships (432, 437, 446). Subsequently, Aetius also used the Huns to defeat internal rebels and hold in check the centrifugal forces within the western empire represented by internal rebels and outside groups such as the Visigoths (campaigns 433 and esp. 436–9) and *burgundians (435). When the Huns under *attila mounted massive invasions of the western Empire, he was forced to draw on Gothic and Burgundian support to defeat them at the Catalaunian Plains in 451.

Article

Averil M. Cameron

Agathias, also referred to as Agathias Scholasticus (‘lawyer’), historian, and poet in *Constantinople, c.ce 532–c.580. A native of Myrina in Aeolis, where his father was a rhetor, he was educated at *Alexandria (1) and Constantinople, where he later practised law, a profession about whose conditions he complains in his Histories. His poetic activity began early, with a lost Daphniaca, amatory hexameters, and he is the author of numerous *epigrams in classical style on personal and traditional subjects, including love poems; *Nonnus was a major influence in style, vocabulary, and versification. Many of these, as well as poems by his contemporaries, including Paul the Silentiary (see paulus) and other officials, were included by him in a collection known as the Cycle, compiled, or at any rate completed, in the early years of Justin II (ce 565–78), and modelled on the earlier Garland of *Meleager (2) (see anthology).

Article

Arnold Hugh Martin Jones and R. S. O. Tomlin

The detested frumentarii (see postal service) were abolished by *Diocletian, but were soon replaced by ‘agents’ perhaps purposely ill-defined, who likewise served as couriers between the court (comitatus) and the provinces. They were civilians, but they enrolled as troopers and rose by seniority through the same grades as non-commissioned soldiers. As they became more senior, they served as curiosi supervising the public post, and finally as chiefs of staff (principes) to the praetorian prefects, urban perfects (see praefectus praetorio; praefectus urbi), proconsuls, *vicarii, and eastern duces (see dux). Their duties included making reports on the provinces, and they gained a reputation as secret police (Aur. Vict. Caes. 39. 44) and for extorting illicit tips (Lib., Or. 14. 14), but their real role was to be the trusted emissaries of the central government. Ponticianus, a pious Christian instrumental in the conversion of St *Augustine, was an agens in rebus; Augustine's friend and fellow-townsman Evodius was another.

Article

Jill Harries

Agroecius, bishop of Sens (c. 470ce) and associate of *Sidonius Apollinaris, wrote a treatise on spelling, De orthographia (ed. Keil, Gramm. Lat. 7. 113–25), dedicated to Eucherius of Lyons, as a supplement to *Flavius Caper.

Article

John Frederick Drinkwater

Alamanni (Alemanni), a loose concentration of *Germanic communities, under various petty kings, located on former Roman territory west of the Rhine and north of the Danube in the 3rd and later cents. ce. Though not securely attested in our sources until 289, Alamanni of a kind were probably first encountered by *Caracalla on the middle Main in 213. ‘Alamanni’—‘All Men’—is Germanic, but its precise derivation and meaning are highly contentious. It may have been the nickname of a small band of warriors, picked up by Rome and applied to the wider grouping for administrative convenience. Ethnically diverse (including former Romans and their descendants), their cultural heartland lay on the Elbe, like *Tacitus’ *Suebi. But Alamanni were not the product of some great Suebian ‘folk-migration’. Raiders from the Elbe had been probing the Main and its tributaries from the late 2nd cent., with some choosing to settle in the area. By the mid-4th cent. this had created an ‘Elbe-Germanic triangle’, with its base on the Elbe and its apex at the Rhine-knee. Within this triangle there was continued circulation of population. Romans may therefore have applied the term ‘Alamanni’ to Elbe-Germani resident in the top third of this triangle (roughly the old *Agri Decumates and northern *Raetia): ‘Alamannia’.

Article

Alans  

Peter Heather

Alans, *nomadic pastoralists who lived in the northern *Pontus in the early cents. ce, operating politically in a number of separate subgroups. They often tried to cross the Caucasus—*Arrian, when governor of *Cappadocia, beat off one such attack—but Roman emperors from *Nero onwards fortified the region's western exits against them. In the late 4th cent., the *Huns overran their territory, conquering some groups, and driving others westwards.

Article

Alaric  

Peter Heather

Alaric, Gothic leader c. 395–410 ce who created the *Visigoths. By 408 he had united the Tervingi and Greuthungi who had crossed the Danube in 376 with survivors of Radagaisus' force which had invaded Italy in 406. He approached the Roman state with a mixture of force and diplomacy to extract an advantageous, but above all permanent, settlement. In search of this, he switched the focus of his operations from the Balkans and the eastern half of the empire, to Italy and the west (first in 402, then permanently after 408). He sacked Rome on 24 August 410 when the emperor *Honorius refused to negotiate; he died a few months later, after briefly threatening to transfer his Goths to Africa.

Article

What makes Alexander Great? His story has captured the imagination of authors, artists, philosophers, and politicians across more than two millennia. He has provided a point of convergence for religious and spiritual thinkers, he has been co-opted as a champion for gender and sexual openness, he represents a paradigm for would-be charismatic dictators (and their opponents), he gives us scientific imperialism and justification for conquistadorial dreaming, and he exemplifies the risks of cultural appropriation. To understand why Alexander resonates so widely across so many different fields of study, interest groups, and media, is an exercise in reception. This Alexander who has captured the imagination is triumphantly equivocal and it is in the plurality of traditions through which this complexity is expressed that his enduring “greatness” lies. The imaginary quality of Alexander is unsurprising because more profoundly than for any comparable individual from classical antiquity, his history is a product of reception from the start: every encounter with Alexander the Great is part of a conversation that depends substantially on accounts and narrative evidence from long after his death, and at the least at one remove from the historians who first and contemporaneously chronicled his life and achievements.

Article

R. S. O. Tomlin

Allectus, probably finance minister (rationalis summae rei) of the usurper *Carausius, whom he succeeded by assassination in ce 293. His coinage and the archaeological evidence of ambitious building-work in *Londinium contrast with the negative picture given by a panegyric of *Constantius I, who finally organized a successful invasion of Britain in 296, in which the praetorian prefect Asclepiodotus defeated and killed Allectus.

Article

Ammianus Marcellinus (c. 330–95 ce), the last great Latin historian of the Roman empire, was born at Syrian *Antioch (1). His early entry, c.350, into the élite corps of protectores domestici may indicate family connections with the imperial service at Antioch, in which case an early acquaintance with the Latin language could be inferred, as well as the Greek which formed the base of his literary education. Assigned by *Constantius II to the personal staff of the general Ursicinus, Ammianus saw service in north Italy, Gaul, and Germany (the early campaigns of *Julian), Illyricum and Mesopotamia. It was here, in the siege and capture by the Persians of Amida (mod. Diarbekir) in 359, that the first phase of Ammianus' military career came to an end. He escaped from the city, but Ursicinus was dismissed from office in the aftermath of its fall. Ammianus seems to have returned to Antioch, but subsequently participated in the disastrous Persian campaign of *Julian (363).

Article

Anicia Iuliana (c. CE 461–527/8), a Constantinopolitan aristocrat (see constantinople) of western senatorial family (the Anicii) and imperial descent (*Valentinian III, grandfather; Olybrius, father); she was a staunch Chalcedonian Christian. In 512 rioters attempted to proclaim her husband Areobindus emperor instead of the Monophysite Anastasius. A generous ecclesiastical patron, she lavishly reconstructed the church of St Polyeuctus.

Article

Jill Harries

Anthemius, western Roman emperor (ce 467–72), son-in-law of Marcian, eastern emperor, was imposed on *Ricimer by the eastern court. Though praised by *Sidonius Apollinaris in a panegyric, he lacked support in the west and the defeat of the imperial fleet by the *Vandals in 468 undermined his position.

Article

Robert Browning

Anthimus was a Greek doctor attached to the court of the emperor Zeno (ce 474–91) who was involved in treasonable relations with the Ostrogothic king *Theoderic (2) Strabo in 481. He fled Roman territory and took refuge in Italy at the court of *Theoderic (1) the Great, who later sent him on a diplomatic mission to the Franks. He wrote some time after 511 a short Latin handbook of *dietetics—De observatione ciborum ad Theodoricum regem Francorum epistula. The interest of this curious text, half medical textbook, half cookery book, is twofold: first, it provides a detailed and vivid picture of the eating and drinking habits of a Germanic people of the Völkerwanderung: beer and mead are drunk for pleasure, wine as a medicine; second, since Anthimus learnt his Latin from the lips of the common people and had no contact with the literary and grammatical tradition, the De observatione ciborum is a specimen of the popular Latin of late antiquity, deviating from classical norms in vocabulary, morphology, and syntax, and of great value to the Romance philologist.

Article

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron

Antiphilus, of Byzantium, author of 50 epigrams in the Greek Anthology (see anthology), from the Garland of *Philippus (2). Some are ingenious paradoxes or descriptions of freak accidents, many are devoted to the sea, especially around his native city. Anth. Pal. 9. 178 thanks Nero for restoring the liberty of *Rhodes in 53 ce.

Article

Edward Arthur Thompson and J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz

Arcadius (2), Flavius, eastern Roman emperor (ce 383–408), was the elder son of *Theodosius (2) I. Weak and irritable, he filled the essential role of emperor, while policy was made by a succession of strong ministers, *Rufinus (1), *Eutropius (2), and Anthemius. The independence of civilian government in the east was maintained in the face of pressure from the west under *Stilicho, and of Gothic federate bands led respectively by *Alaric and Gainas.

Article

R. S. O. Tomlin

The army of the late empire is brilliantly described by *Ammianus Marcellinus, and its order of battle (c. 395 ce) survives in the *Notitia Dignitatum, but its evolution is obscure. As pressure upon the frontiers grew, *Septimius Severus increased the number of legions and, by recruiting the praetorian guard from them, protected himself from other usurpers and formed a strategic reserve. This was supplemented on campaign by the usual frontier detachments. Emperors assumed personal command and, if they proved incompetent like *Severus Alexander, the army replaced them. Promotion of professional soldiers culminated in *Gallienus' exclusion of senators from military service, and the premium on mobility in his creation of a separate cavalry force.This ‘élite’, as *Aurelian's army is called, was used by *Diocletian to reinforce frontier armies now increasingly commanded by professional duces (see dux). But despite his emphasis on fixed defences, Diocletian retained a small mobile army of new units like the comites cavalry and the Ioviani and Herculiani legions.

Article

Blossom Stefaniw

The literary tradition portrays Arsenius as a particularly stringent and austere man who was formed as a monk at Sketis, near Alexandria. It is probable that his reputation in his own day was much greater than the scope allowed him in the modern reception of the desert tradition, which tends to focus on other figures like Antony the Great. While we cannot independently verify his date of birth or death or his precise movements and deeds during his life, the traditional story of Arsenius remains important as a depository of key elements from the ascetic tradition, such as the relationships between different ethnic and social groups within ascetic communities, the abba and disciple system of ascetic formation, and teachings on compunction, pure prayer, and extreme austerities.Arsenius is believed to have been born to an aristocratic family in Rome around the year 354 and to have committed himself to an ascetic life as a young man. He moved to Constantinople in 383 and is said to have tutored the Emperor Theodosius’ sons (Arcadius and Honorius) while there.

Article

L. M. Whitby

An important general in the eastern empire for at least four decades from about 430 ce, or earlier, to his death. As an *Arian he could not aspire to the throne, but he came close to wielding at *Constantinople the decisive influence which Stilicho and Ricimer exercised in the west. He was well connected to leading *Goths, including Plinta and Theoderic Strabo, and relied on the latter's military support. He is first attested with his father Ardaburius on the expedition to Ravenna against the usurper John, whom he defeated even though Ardaburius had been captured, and whose Hunnic allies under *Aetius he also withstood. In 431 he was again in the west, to help *Boniface repulse the *Vandals from Africa; he failed in this, but continued to defend the province at least until his proclamation as (western) consul in January 434. In the 440s he was involved in diplomacy to limit *Attila's depredations; he was elevated to patrician status, but is not attested fighting against the Hunnic onslaught.