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Table of contents :
Introduction ..............1
Decius and Valerian ..............18
Scelerum inventoret malorum machinator Diocletian and the Tetrarchy ..............39
An Emperor for all SeasonsMaximian and the Transformation ..............63
Rome and ..............83
Constantine the Tetrarchy and the Emperor Augustus ..............113
Constantines Son Crispus and His Image in Contemporary ..............137
Uncovering Constans Image ..............158
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Imagining Emperors in the Later Roman Empire

Cultural Interactions in the Mediterranean Editor in Chief Floris van den Eijnde, Utrecht University Editorial Board David Abulafia, Cambridge University Diederik Burgersdijk, Radboud University

Volume 1

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/cim

Cover illustration: The Gemma Constantiniana, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden (reproduced with permission). The Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available online at http://catalog.loc.gov LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/ Names: Burgersdijk, D. W. P. (Diederik W. P.), editor. | Ross, Alan J. (Alan James), 1983- editor. Title: Imagining Emperors in the Later Roman Empire / edited by Diederik W.P. Burgersdijk and Alan J. Ross. Description: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2018. | Series: Cultural interactions in the Mediterranean, ISSN 2405-4771 ; volume 1 | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2018024211| ISBN 9789004370890 (hardback) | ISBN 9789004370920 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: Emperors—Rome—Biography. | Emperors—Rome—Historiography. | Rome—History—Empire, 30 B.C.-476 A.D. Classification: LCC DG274 .I43 2018 | DDC 933/.060922—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018024211

Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill.” See and download: brill.com/brill-typeface. ISSN 2405-4771 ISBN 978-90-04-37089-0 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-37092-0 (e- book) Copyright 2018 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi, Brill Sense and Hotei Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

Contents Preface vii Notes on Contributors ix Introduction 1 Diederik Burgersdijk and Alan J. Ross 1 Decius and Valerian 18 David Potter 2 Scelerum inventor et malorum machinator. Diocletian and the Tetrarchy in Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum 39 Jürgen K. Zangenberg 3 An Emperor for all Seasons—Maximian and the Transformation of His Political Representation 63 Alessandro Maranesi 4 Maxentius and the aeternae urbis suae conditores: Rome and Its Founders from Maximian to Constantine (289–313) 83 Raphael G.R. Hunsucker 5 Constantine, the Tetrarchy, and the Emperor Augustus 113 Catherine Ware 6 Constantine’s Son Crispus and His Image in Contemporary Panegyrical Accounts 137 Diederik Burgersdijk 7 Uncovering Constans’ Image 158 George Woudhuysen 8 The Constantinians’ Return to the West: Julian’s Depiction of Constantius II in Oration 1 183 Alan J. Ross 9 Julian’s Self-Representation in Coins and Texts 204 María Pilar García Ruiz

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Jovian between History and Myth 234 Jan Willem Drijvers

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Valentinian as Portrayed by Ammianus: A Kaleidoscopic Image 257 Daniël den Hengst

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Gratitude to Gratian: Ausonius’ Thanksgiving for His Consulship 270 Bruce Gibson

13

Authorising Freedom of Speech under Theodosius 289 Roger Rees

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Claudian’s Stilicho at the Urbs: Roman Legitimacy for the Half-Barbarian Regent 310 Álvaro Sánchez-Ostiz Index Locorum 331 Index Nominum 347

Preface This volume, entitled Imagining Emperors in the Later Roman Empire, is the result of collaboration between several European and North American scholars working on panegyric, historiography and, to a lesser extent, archaeology of the Roman Empire in the ‘long’ fourth century a.d. We conceive the longer fourth century as the period between the Dyarchy of Diocletian and Maximian up to the reign of Theodosius the Great and his immediate successors, for reasons that will be explained in the Introduction. The chapters in the volume are based on papers presented at the conference ‘Images and Emperors in the Fourth Century ad’, held at Radboud University’s conference centre Soeterbeeck, in Ravenstein, The Netherlands, from 17 to 19 September 2015. The conference was generously supported by funding from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (nwo), in particular Diederik Burgersdijk’s veni-project ‘A Monument of Romanitas’ (project number 275-50-012). Further support was granted by Radboud’s International Office, the Chairs of Latin and Ancient History (Research Group ‘Impact of Empire’), and the Institute of Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies, as well as the Zenobia Foundation and the National Research School of Classics oikos. In addition to the contributors for their prompt and good humoured cooperation during the editorial process, the editors would like to thank several people who made the conference and its resulting volume possible. Ilse Verstegen and Evelien Renders did not spare any effort to make the conference a success, while Evelien was also energetically involved in the preparation of the volume. Papers at the conference that for several reasons do not appear in the volume were delivered by Gavin Kelly (Edinburgh, uk), as well as a quatre-mains by Catherine Schneider (Strasbourg, France) and Valérie Pageau (Québec, Canada)—their presence at the conference and contributions to the discussion were valuable and much appreciated. The panels were chaired by scholars from several Dutch Universities, among whom Gerda de Kleijn (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) deserves to be mentioned in particular: she attended all the papers, and presented a thoughtful overview in the closing session that greatly helped the contributors and editors in shaping what we hope is a coherent set of arguments across the volume. We wish to thank the publisher Brill, the commissioning editors Mirjam Elbers and Giulia Morricone, and the external reviewer, who provided us with advise, and led us through the editing process in the new series ‘Cultural

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Actions in the Mediterranean’, to which we are happy to contribute with the first volume. In the concluding phase, Floor Zwertbroek expeditiously assisted in composing the indices. Thanks are also due to Daniel den Hengst for expert advise on indexing. Alan Ross would like to thank Diederik Burgersdijk and Astrid Helstone for their hospitality in Amsterdam during two convivial and productive editorial meetings. Diederik Burgersdijk and Alan J. Ross Amsterdam and Southampton, 14 May 2018

Notes on Contributors Diederik Burgersdijk is Lecturer in Latin and Researcher at the Department of Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies at Radboud University (The Netherlands), as well as affiliated Researcher at Allard Pierson, University of Amsterdam. He specializes in historiography and rhetoric in the Later Roman Empire, and is presently working on a text and commentary on Nazarius’ speech to Constantine the Great from a.d. 321 He took his PhD (2010) on a study entitled Style and Structure of the Historia Augusta. Jan Willem Drijvers is Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). His research interest focuses on the political and religious culture of the Later Roman Empire. He is author of Helena Augusta (1992) and Cyril of Jerusalem: Bishop and City (2004), and co-author of the Philological and Historical Commentary on the Res Gestae of Ammianus Marcellinus XXII-XXXI (1995–2017). María Pilar García Ruiz is Reader in Latin at the University of Navarra (Spain). Her main research interests combine the study of Latin and Greek panegyrics, imperial representation, and linguistic and cultural alterity. Since 2013, she has lead a research group focused on how imperial representation in Late Antiquity was created and transmitted through panegyrics, historiography, visual arts, and ceremonies. She is currently co-editing (with A. Maranesi) a collaborative monograph on this topic. Bruce Gibson is Professor of Latin at the University of Liverpool (uk). His publications include a commentary on Statius Silvae 5 with translation (2006) and Polybius and his World: Essays in Memory of Frank Walbank (co-ed., 2013). He is currently writing a commentary on Pliny’s Panegyricus. Daniël den Hengst Ph.D. (1981) in Latin, University of Amsterdam, is emeritus Professor of Latin at the University of Amsterdam. Together with Jan den Boeft, Jan Willem Drijvers and Hans Teitler he has written Philological and Historical Commentaries on Ammianus Marcellinus Res Gestae, Books 20–31. An anthology of his articles

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on late antique historiography is D.W.P. Burgersdijk and J.A.  van Waarden (eds.) Emperors and Historiography (Brill, 2010). Raphael G.R. Hunsucker was PhD student and Lecturer in Ancient and Medieval History at Radboud University, Nijmegen and affiliated researcher in Classics at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He is currently finishing his PhD-thesis, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (nwo), on the concept of re-founding Rome in the Augustan age and Late Antiquity. Alessandro Maranesi is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Roman History at Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany). His research interests lie in political communication in the fourth century, with particular regard to panegyrics and Constantine. He is author of Vincere la memoria, costruire il potere (Mimesis, 2016) and is currently working on the processes of the creation of ‘imaginaires’ in Late Antiquity. David Potter is currently the Ronald W. Mellor Professor of Roman History at ucla (usa), he has taught at the University of Michigan as Francis W.  Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor since 1986. His recent publications include Theodora:  Actress, Empress, Saint; Constantine the Emperor; and The Roman Empire at Bay (2nd edition). Roger Rees is Reader in Latin at St Andrews University (uk). Much of his published and ongoing research concerns the Panegyrici Latini collection. His commentary on the panegyric to Theodosius is forthcoming with cup. Alan J. Ross is Lecturer in Roman History at the University of Southampton (uk) and a Visiting Research Fellow in Classics at University College Dublin (Ireland). His research interests lie at the intersection of literary and historical studies— especially in the historiography, rhetoric, and politics of Late Antiquity. He is the author of Ammianus’ Julian: Narrative and Genre in the Res Gestae (oup, 2016)  and is currently working on a set of Greek panegyrics addressed to Julian’s predecessor Constantius ii.

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Álvaro Sánchez-Ostiz is Professor in Latin at the University of Navarra (Spain). His main research fields are late Latin historiography and poetry, with a particular interest in the creation of public discourses and images from Julian to Theodosius, as well as in phenomena of intercultural exchange in the Classical World. He has published an edition of the Anonymus de rebus bellicis with a commentary, several papers on the reception of Latin literature in the Greek East, the literary technique of Ammianus Marcellinus, and interpretations of some of Claudian’s panegyrics. He is currently preparing a Spanish translation of Ammianus’ Res Gestae. Catherine Ware is a Lecturer in Classics at University College Cork (Ireland). Her research interests lie with late antique literature; her work on epic intertextuality and the changing poetics of Late Antiquity led to her book, Claudian and the Roman Epic Tradition (cup, 2012). She is currently working on late antique imperial panegyric and is finishing a commentary on a panegyric of a.d. 310 in honour of the Emperor Constantine (Pan. Lat. vi[7]). George Woudhuysen is a Fellow By Examination at All Souls College, Oxford. His interests lie in the political history of the Later Roman Empire, in particular the reigns of Constantius ii, Constans, and Julian, as well as late antique epistolography and historiography. Jürgen K. Zangenberg is Professor for the History and Culture of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity in the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University (The Netherlands). His research focuses on the place of ancient Jewish and early Christian communities within the wider cultural matrix of the ancient Mediterranean world. Next to studying ancient Jewish and early Christian literary heritage, his particular attention is devoted to the material cultures of both groups in their regional contexts (for example, Qumran, Jerusalem, Galilee, Samaria). Since 2001 he has been co-director of Kinneret Regional Project (www.kinneret-excavations.org), an international academic consortium to explore the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, and is currently busy writing a book on ancient Galilee and publishing remains from the Late Roman / Byzantine synagogue of Horvat Kur.

Introduction Diederik Burgersdijk and Alan J. Ross Representation and Image Theory The projection of the ruler’s image is a necessary component of maintaining power. Roman emperors understood that their visual representation on coins and statues, their legislative persona disseminated via legal pronouncements, as well as their physical presence displayed on the battlefield, in the theatre, or in public generally were all part of an important dialogue of legitimacy which they maintained with the population of the Empire, and by which they were maintained in power. In a geographically vast empire, where even the hardiest of travellers could scarcely be a frequent presence amongst the majority of his people, it is little surprise that the image of the emperor, initially disseminated centrally, accepted and negotiated by ‘receiving’ populations, would play a role in maintaining loyalty across this vast space.1 Recent scholarship has done much to focus our study on the dynamics of this complex process of dissemination, particularly on the important role played by various groups within the Roman Empire, outside the confines of the imperial court or even the imperial bureaucracy in the negotiation and acceptance of imperial images.2 In this volume, we follow an approach to Roman emperorship that has been gaining ground in late antique studies during recent years.3 While in earlier decades, especially the period after the Second World War, Roman emperorship was viewed as a top-down institution, in which the emperor held sway over his subordinates, from senators, governors and court-officials down to the wider population, more recent studies have shown that the political and social situation in the Empire was much more complicated than a simple pyramidal model. The impression, however, that the emperor stood at the top of an imperial pyramid may still be endorsed by 1 See Fowler and Hekster 2005b for the theory that ‘visibility lies at the heart of power’ in the ancient monarchies, particularly Rome. 2 Ando 2000; Fowler and Hekster 2005a; Noreña 2011; Manders 2012 for the messages of coinage in the 3rd century. 3 E.g. the edited volume by J. Wienand (2015) on fourth-century emperorship, complemented by Hekster 2015 on the period from Augustus up to the Tetrarchy.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 002

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modern scholarship, but the structural integrity of that pyramid was ensured by every layer, not just dictated by the top. The images by which emperorship was surrounded and propagated were essential for ensuring the structural integrity of the system. Scholarship on imperial image-making has often focused exclusively on the period of the reign of individual emperors, and thus studies the live dialogue between ruler and ruled that has left its impressions in (and is then reconstructed from) the sources. This book takes as its theme a related issue: the reception of the imperial figure’s image in the sources themselves, particularly literary texts, not just during the reign of the emperor but after his death.4 It is indeed an irony that our most complex textual representations of emperors in the fourth century were not crafted by their own hands (perhaps with the exception of Julian’s) but by a group, albeit a fragmentary and often competitive group, of literate elites, who received, revised, and communicated the imperial image within a broad range of literary genres including panegyric, historiography, and invective (both secular and ecclesiastical). In other words, both sender and receiver of the imperial message, be it emperor or subordinate on any level within the elite, are part of a ‘shared culture’ in which image-making functions in many directions, top-down, bottom-up, but also across different groups within the Empire. In the construction of these literary depictions, the emperor himself had comparatively little control of his image. It is then another irony that as the figure who is under review in these texts, the emperor by-and-large stands external to the text as the object of description, whilst he is simultaneously (often) held up as the embodiment of the imperial project, an exemplum of Romanness itself (or chastised for failing to be so), by these elite authors. In terms of the text, if an author is the ‘image maker’ then the emperor himself is, to a certain extent ‘othered’ as the object, or external inspiration for the image that is to be represented to a certain audience. As we will introduce further below, literary studies on the creation of textual images of other subjects and in other periods provide a valuable framework in which to investigate the construction and presentation of textual images (and formed the inspiration for the conference from which this book ultimately derives).5 4 Representation, and especially imperial representation, is often associated with visuality. In this volume, even though our contributors often draw on visual representation, our main emphasis lies in textual representation. See for an overview of the relationships between ‘visual and verbal representation’ in Late Antiquity and Early Christianity: Francis 2012. 5 The Conference ‘Images and Emperors in the Fourth Century ad’ was held at Radboud University’s conference centre Soeterbeeck, at Ravenstein, The Netherlands, 17–19 September 2015.

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Roman Emperorship To make this more diverse approach even more complicated, we also challenge—on good grounds, we think—the monolithic notion of the emperor and of his image, the ‘imperial figure’. This approach is in line with a concept already elaborated in antique sources. By the end of the third century a.d., the Roman Empire had a long history of emperorship to look back upon. Ever since the first Augustus (who reigned under that name and title from 27 b.c. until a.d. 14), many leaders of the state governed under that same nomenclature, supplemented by other titles such as Caesar, Imperator, or honorific names such as Pius and Felix, and eventually pater patriae.6 The nomenclature had become a kind of package deal, with all possible variations, to indicate that a man was allowed to take on the highest authority in the state (res publica).7 An emperor, however his appointment to the office might have occurred (by birth, by adoption, by military means or otherwise), was supposed to hold office as soon as the senate in Rome acknowledged him as emperor, as a legitimate heir to the legacy of his predecessors. Although the senate’s authority may have waned, and the choice of a new ruler may have been made outside this revered college, it still seemed to exercise a privilege that enabled it to turn a private person (privatus) into an emperor (princeps).8 It is precisely this privilege, and the ongoing process of appointing ever new persons in the same position with comparable titles and responsibilities, that guaranteed a continuity that we may now call Roman emperorship. In the third century, from 238 onwards, rapid developments in the evolution of the Empire created a swifter and more condensed series of successions than 6 On the name of Caesar and the title of imperator:  Wardle 2014, 105 on Suet. Aug. 7.2; Bleicken 2015, 21 for imperator as addition to Julius Caesar’s personal names. For all imperial titles, see Kienast 20115 for pius: 21 n.75, and felix: 149. The first emperor to receive the double designation, popular from that time onwards, of pius felix upon accession, appears to be Macrinus in 217 (ibid. 169). The title of pater patriae, which first had been granted to Cicero in 63 bc (Pis. 3.1), was bestowed upon Augustus, who had earlier refused it in 27 bc on the occasion of his being nominated Augustus (see Wardle 2014, 394–5 on Suet. Div. Aug. 58.2 and passim). It had become fashionable to accept the title only later, see for Trajan, Pliny’s Panegyric 84.6 (while actually he got the title already 98: Kienast 20115, 122), and for Hadrian: HA Hadrian 6.4 (patris patriae nomen delatum sibi statim et iterum postea distulit, quod hoc nomen Augustus sero meruisset). 7 Still standard for the practice and position of the emperor, from Augustus to Constantine, is Millar 1977. 8 The difference between privatus and princeps is thematized by Pliny in his Panegyricus, especially chapter 21.

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ever before:  in the period 238–284 (a period often called the ‘third-century crisis’), no less than 30 recognised rulers held the throne, together with some 45 would-be rulers, labelled by their suppressors as ‘usurpers’, (who even met some usurpers themselves in their sub-empires).9 Co-emperorship, moreover, had become normal: more emperors reigned together under the name of Augustus, or as co-rulers under the name of Caesar (normally destined to become the next Augustus) which led to an even higher number of legitimate rulers. Trajan in 97 had been the first to act as a co-ruler at the side of Nerva, while some sixty years later the first partnership of emperors, Marcus Aurelius and his brother Lucius Verus (in the period 161–169), ruled the Roman Empire pari imperio (with equal rights). In the third century, co-rulership had become rule rather than exception, and this remained the case until the very end of the Roman Empire. The possibility of joint rule had been created as a response to the expanding magnitude and dynamics of the Empire and was more or less institutionalized under the reign of Septimius Severus, who appointed his eldest son as Caesar, Augustus, then successor. The idea transformed into a system that produced ever higher numbers of succeeding emperors that were seen in the Later Roman Empire. The more individuals taking hold of the throne, the more rival-emperors (those who strived to acquire the highest authority in the state but who in the end did not meet with senatorial approval) appeared.10 These persons were normally swiftly designated by their opponents with the term rebelles (‘rebels’, ‘rivals’ or ‘pretenders’), or tyranni (‘tyrants’, ‘usurpers’); terminology that became fixed for posterity by their military failure.11 The pretenders involved could reign for a shorter or longer period in certain areas of the Roman Empire: in the third quarter of the third century there are some exceptional examples of a western empire under Postumus, or an eastern counterpart under Zenobia, who both controlled large tracks of the Empire for several years. At the beginning of the fourth century, the exceptional situation occurred that a rival empire was founded in the very heart of the Empire of old, in Rome: Maxentius, as son of the former emperor of the West Maximian, met senatorial approval in Rome but lacked support from the existing Augusti, Galerius in the East and Severus in the West. His realm embraced Northern-Africa and Egypt, Sicily, Sardinia and the entire peninsula of Italy and the upper parts below the Alps. 9 10 11

Statistics based on Kienast 20115, 183–263. Kienast mentions, moreover, some ten Augustae, either as the (co-)emperors’ wives or as usurpers. Two overviews of the period up to the Tetrarchy have been published by Edinburgh University Press, by Ando 2012 and Hekster 2008. Two publications concerning ‘rebels’ are Kolb 2001 and Barnes 1996.

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Retrospectively, he was a rebel, but his reign came almost indistinguishably close to ‘legitimate’ emperorship, not only from a modern perspective, but also for contemporaries and later historiographers, as we will explore further in a following paragraph. It was partly this ancient practice in approaching Roman emperorship that has led us to choose the approach adopted in the present volume. To do justice to the irregular fate of so many rulers in the fourth century, we have included in this volume more rulers than the ones who regularly find themselves referred to as ‘legitimate’ Augusti. After his demise, Maxentius was soon branded as a tyrant, a prime example of negative imaging of the defeated adversary, who had in fact behaved along the lines that could be expected from a traditional ruler, in his case by propagating a policy of restoration to which his successor could easily continue. The newly coined appellation of tyrant is still visible for everyone to see on the inscription on Constantine’s Arch in Rome (cil 6.1139 = ils 694). If things had turned out differently, Maxentius could easily have been designated emperor, just like his rival Constantine—another son of a reigning Augustus. Constantine had to content himself with the title of Caesar in 306 and, again, in 308 (when he also got the title filius Augustorum, at the conference at Carnuntum), while only afterwards he could claim to be the reigning Augustus from 306 onwards. The developments show how new regimes could try to promote historically false claims: the victors are remembered at the dispense of the defeated, who are often punished not so much with the obliteration of their memory, but with a negatively-reshaped image.12 Still, as Hunsucker shows in this volume, Maxentius’ antiquarian obsession with Rome’s founders provided an example for the next emperors of the eternal city. Constantine set a further example for the emperors of the fourth century:  ascending the throne had become again a dynastic procedure, and for the next generation acquiring sole rule necessitated getting rid of—or simply outliving—rivals:  it was Constantius ii who had to share the reign with his two brothers, after which he became monarch of the entire Empire (Constantine ii and Constans and were defeated in 340 and 350 respectively). Julian was the next in line, while after the short interval of Jovian’s reign, a new dynasty ascended the throne, that of the Valentiniani, who were in their turn succeeded by Theodosius and his descendants.13 It is this situation, which 12 13

See Flower 2006. On procedures and celebration—and their presentation in panegyrical and historiographical literature—of imperial successions in the Fourth Century, particularly Julian’s, see now Ross 2016, 96–105. A more extensive overview, also encompassing the period after 355, is MacCormack 1981, 159–221.

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certainly had its precedents in the first century of emperorship onwards, that made many Romans, especially contemporary historiographers, look back on the preceding centuries and reflect on the nature of Roman emperorship. This is especially the case while so many other challengers appeared during these years of apparent stability,14 and their conflicts determined which of the co-rulers or challengers would finally be called a tyrant. As Roger Rees and George Woudhuysen show in this volume, emperors were often concerned with eradicating the memory of these usurpers or creating a new and positive (even tolerant) regime in comparison to their predecessor. Such processes make it difficult to unearth the former representations, mostly propagated by themselves, or by their orators, in order to retrieve the imperial depictions that once must have been thriving. The Representational Turn The long history of Roman emperorship, if not the Roman Empire itself, led several late antique authors to reflect on the nature of Roman emperorship, not as much from theoretical perspectives as Greek authors and philosophers had done for different forms of statehood, for example, but on the course the Roman Empire had taken under this specific kind of rulership. A  long—apparently homogenous—history to look back upon led authors to create canonical lists of various kinds in an encyclopedic tradition, of Roman rivers, hills and towns, but also of kings, emperors and tyrants. Suetonius’ Twelve Caesars (not unlike Nepos’ description of Roman and Greek generals from his De viris illustribus) was tantamount to the creation of canonical monarchs and the treatment of first-century emperorship as a unique form of government.15 It set the example for, among others, the biographer Marius Maximus, who described the emperors following Suetonius’ series and, most probably, ending with his contemporary 14

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For example, the fourth century saw Magnentius during the reign of Constantine’s sons, who again met another usurper in the person of Vetranio—an in-between figure, whose loyalty vis-à-vis the victorious emperor Constantius ii is contested. In Theodosius’ times, the Gaulish usurper Magnus Maximus was successful during a range of years. The recent volume by Gibson and Powers (2013), excellent and welcome a volume as it is, does not as so much approach Suetonius as a biographer of emperors as it considers him an innovative author. Henderson’s study ‘Was Suetonius’ Julius a Caesar’ tackles the imperial aspects most closely, and moreover not exclusively for the first of the vitae.

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Elagabalus.16 The biographies, which are no longer extant, served as a source for the fourth-century series of imperial biographies the Historia Augusta, whose claim to originality was that it not only incorporated the legitimate rulers, but also the ones who aspired to the throne, or held the prospect of becoming emperor one way or another, thereby showing clear consciousness of the irregular nature of Roman emperorship, and the relativity of legitimacy.17 Others, like Polemius Silvius, choose to create dedicated works about ‘tyrants’ or usurpers, granting them a place in Roman history on the same foot as those persons—mostly generals—who indeed won the highest position in the state. Abbreviators and epitomators from the fourth century, such as Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, and Festus tended to create some structure in a seemingly chaotic imperial sequence. Canonical emperors are indeed much better distilled from their works than from the sources who acknowledge the complexities in imperial succession. This leads to very different depictions in the textual record, which may differ from time to time: the portraiture of Stilicho by his panegyrist Claudian may differ strikingly from posthumous reports, to mention just one example explored by Sánchez-Ostiz in this volume. The difference maintained between officially reigning emperors and their rebellious counterparts is further complicated by very different receptions of the ‘official’ emperors: they tend to be categorized along lines of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, although the perception of which emperors belong to the ‘good’ and which to the ‘bad’ (again a dichotomy which is often challenged) may differ from source to source, depending on the view of the one who presents them. We will return to this topic, after having presented some examples to illustrate the problem. Apart from sole emperors and related categories of rulers, we have included a special study that treats the memory of third-century emperors in the fourth century, namely the recollection of the persecutors of the Christians in a time that Christianity gradually took hold of the Roman Empire as the dominant religion (Decius and Valerian). The depiction of these rulers in both pagan and Christian accounts may not only differ along lines of religiosity. The Christian account of these persecutors are equally negative, while the pagan sources may praise Decius for his attempt to keep the borders of the Empire clear from invasions, while 16

17

The series was incorporated or—partly—rewritten in the first part of the Historia Augusta, that, although its dramatic date is set in the first quarter of the fourth century, has most probably been composed in the later fourth or finished in the early fifth century. See for a recent overview of the discussion Zinsli 2014, 78–83. See for this design of the series the prefaces to the vita Aelii and the vita Macrini, and Burgersdijk 2016.

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Valerian meets scorn for his being taken captive in Persia—a disgrace for the Empire, regardless of the religious stance of the author who describes it. David Potter traces the tribulations of these rulers in the historical record. In sum, this volume is not about legitimacy defined by emperors, coemperors, and their rivals themselves, but tackles the question of how these imperial figures are presented and which are the underlying reasons for those presentations. This approach, which has gained force in the course of the past decades, may be styled the ‘representational turn’, and can be applied to practically all kinds of media in arts and letters. The genre of historiography, for one, careful to establish itself at a remove from contemporary political debate,18 was nonetheless as engaged in creating nuanced images of past emperors, either to condemn, rehabilitate, or reshape existing images of those same subjects as panegyric. Panegyric, on the other hand, was clearly predisposed to present a clear-cut positive picture of the current emperor (no matter whether later labelled legitimate or rebellious). At the same time, panegyric also served to eradicate or condemn the imperial figures that were not to the liking of the emperor addressed, or indeed of the orator. No attempt has been made, in this volume, to efface contrasting opinions as to the status of panegyric either that panegyric tends to imperial propaganda, or that the orator tries to equal or even surpass his own status as an orator vis-à-vis the emperor, eventually by promoting his own agenda (argued in the contributions of Maranesi and Burgersdijk respectively). The former view is the prevailing one in the past few decades, and now acquires new strength in a time when political communication directed towards different receiving groups is so intensively analysed. The latter view sees the orator in his role as educator and acting on an equal place as the imperial honorand addressed, elevating his own role by showing off his skills in praising the emperor, and thus making an attempt to recommend his worldview to the emperor on behalf of certain groups or causes present within the Empire. Apart from historiography (and the related genre of biography), other media are perfectly applicable to the representational approach:  coinage and legislation also show the way in which emperors are presented, either by the imperial figure’s agency or by others to serve their cause. For example, Woudhuysen and Drijvers show how the emperor, Constans and Jovian respectively, creates images of their own emperorship by introducing moral legislation that might underline (or is at least not in contradiction with) their Christian convictions. Both cases, for Constans and for Jovian, met with

18

Straub 1939, 154; MacCormack 1975, 153.

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approval from the Alexandrian bishop Athanasius, who functions as a kind of trait-d’union between different rulers, holding up as it were a mirror for their (Nicene) Christian policies. Emperors, just as one may frequently suppose in the case of their coinage, unfold a political programme in their legislation that bolsters the image that the emperor himself wants to broadcast. On the other hand, legislation may also be the product of long deliberation and bargaining between senate or other stake-holding institutions. If the emperor had a strong hand in legislation, he also may have met the needs and wishes of the people for whom the new laws were meant. So, laws may be considered the sovereign wish of the emperor, but they also serve a communicative purpose and help construct an image of an emperor in tune with the perceived wishes of his people.19 In terms of agency, coinage may contain the most ‘top-down’ message of all media. Recent scholarship has argued that the emperor and his court, throughout the imperial period, had free hand in determining the message and even targeting it to specific audiences.20 With coins, we may glimpse the ‘purest’ imperial message but coin types, as other media, were conditioned by tradition and a wish to stress continuity of disjuncture with a previous regime. And as García Ruiz explores in this chapter, even when there clear development of a single ruler’s numismatic image across his reign (Julian in the case of her chapter), it is not always easy to synthesise this evidence with textual representations, even when, in the exceptional case of Julian, we possess so many of his writings. At this point we should also raise the archaeological record. As we discussed with panegyric, the frequent connections with material evidence speaks to the pervasiveness that an emperor may seek for a chosen image or aspect of his reign. Also, the celebration of an imperial lustrum may be questioned from the same perspective. In this volume, Raphael Hunsucker shows how on the Forum Romanum the celebration of an imperial birthday acts as self-advertisement of the reigning Emperor Maxentius, by comparing earlier information from Pan. Lat. x(2) addressed to Maximian, in which also his son Maxentius figures. As, naturally, no panegyric on Maxentius, who was retrospectively labelled as a usurper, has been preserved, the evidence must be gathered from the remaining material data in combination with textual testimonia: an excellent example of an interdisciplinary approach, from which imperial communication may be reconstructed. Understanding the local context of this object is crucial in assessing the communicative situation: the

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See Schmidt-Hofner 2015 on representational value of legislation. Howgego 1995; Paul and Ierardi 1999; Hekster 2003.

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senate completed an arch for the Emperor Constantine, once intended for Maxentius, leads to entirely different contexts and thus questions about how to understand that particular imperial monument. Imagology and the Theory of Representation The representational turn has focused scholarly attention on the important role of image-making in political discourse. We have already discussed topics such audience, medium, and agency in relation to the creation and communication of imperial images. Several of the contributors to this volume have taken their inspiration from a related field of literary criticism that provides a theoretical framework for the construction of certain stereotypes: ‘Imagology’ offers a systematic, structuralist approach to the study of cultural construction of national stereotypes within the literature of another nation. Partly it aims to offer a systematic description of a national image from an external perspective, but equally it studies the forces (ideological, historical, or literary) that shaped the creation and evolution of those images. For example, what is the mental image of the Dutch constructed in the literature of the English; or the English of the Scots; and how were these created and change over time? As a self-consciously literary theory, Imagology stresses that it studies stereotypes and not identities, and in this sense it does not seek to uncover essentialist characteristics (indeed, as a theory it consciously distances itself from the concept of national identity being anything other than a social construct).21 In answer to those questions above, then, it does not seek to define exactly what it is to be Dutch or Scottish.22 Rather, it provides a framework to consider the subjectivity of sources and representations, maintaining that in the creation of an image of an external person or people, one’s conception of one’s own identity is also fundamental, often forming the normative background for the contextualisation (or ‘silhouetting’) of the image of the ‘other’. Though it also acknowledges that these constructed images themselves have a certain valency 21 22

In this the proponents of imagology follow the work of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (Anderson 1983). For the history and method of the theory see Leersen 2007a. An illustration of the sorts of images it uncovers: the stereotyped image of the Dutch by the English in the seventeenth century (when the two countries were in competition militarily and over trade) was that of frogs living in swamps, whereas the Dutch themselves prided themselves on cleanliness, with Erasmus frequently referring to Dutch ‘clean and tidy cities’ (see Krol 2007, 143).

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as a discourse of representation (for example, the discourse constructed on the Irish by the English as ‘emotionally incontinent and intellectually handicapped’ throughout the 17th to 19th centuries reaffirmed the English right to rule that island).23 Imagology is concerned with perspective—historical and literary—and even a pragmatic-functionalist perspective: the text’s target audience further effects the construction of the image. There is much that this approach can lend to the study of the representation of Roman emperors, though several caveats must first be addressed. Imagology addresses the stereotyped image of an entire nation constructed by a group outside that nation: the subject of our images—the emperor—is an individual, though we can nonetheless speak of a figure who has to conform to a set of ideals shared with his audience and which are codified and typified over centuries (perhaps, then, even stereotyped). Those who construct the imperial image in text certainly do not comprise a single or uniform group, though they are largely united in being distinct and separate from the imperial court (with the exception of a few panegyrists), and, as we shall see, they do not construct a uniform depiction of each emperor.24 Nonetheless, the consideration of textual images as non-essential, as subjective, frees them from their role as a way purely to (re)construct the emperor as a historical actor, and allows these texts to be viewed as an active part in an ongoing process of interpretation and reshaping of the memory of an emperor, albeit within the confines of historical events and actions of his reign, and within the literary implications of generic tradition. This approach, then, permits us to consider more broadly the nature of fourth-century discourse on emperors through a series of case studies of individual imperial figures (Sánchez-Ostiz in particular shows how ethnic stereotypes, under the heading of ‘barbarism’ can be used to deconstruct the image of the ‘imperial figure’, the general Stilicho, who was an integral part of the imperial family and in fact acted on the same level as any emperor). Each emperor is illustrative of the shifting textual strategies and communicative discourse in Late Antiquity across linguistic, religious, geographic and even temporal divides. At the heart of the project, and of each chapter, lies comparativism: the comparison of the same emperor in different media or in

23 24

Leersen 2007b, 192. Although many of the national stereotypes investigated by Beller and Leersen are similarly contrasting. For example, the Scots suffered from a split characterisation between roughly 1550 and 1800 as either romantic, untrustworthy, ill-disciplined, Catholic Highlanders, versus the prudent, protestant, well-educated professional Lowlanders. Pittock 2007, 232; cf. Pittock, 2009.

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different periods allows exploration of the ‘perspectival context’ of the author as much as it offers an assessment of the emperor himself. Several authors in this volume—Hunsucker for Maxentius, García Ruiz for Julian and Drijvers for Jovian—make use of specific terms taken from the field of imagology, such as auto- and hetero-image. Is the image created by the person depicted (‘auto-image’), or is another responsible for the depiction (hetero-image)? This framework allows our contributors to consider how the two types of image may compare and which may influence the creation or adaption of the other. Literary Genre and Imperial Images We have already distinguished between material and textual images, but distinctions (as well relationships) between different genre of text, needlessto-say, determine the types of imperial images that appear from them. The relationship between panegyric and historiography deserves some further consideration, as it is a theme frequently touched upon in the present volume. It was a well-worn topos of late antique historiography that historiography dealt only with deceased emperors; the current reign was instead the subject matter of panegyric.25 The relationship (and distinction) that historiography sought to draw between itself and panegyric was bound up with its own claims to tell the truth. That effusive praise tended towards untruth was a charge that hung around panegyric,26 a charge from which historians wished to distance themselves.27 What is more, historians often articulated their attitude to panegyric in concluding sections of historical or biographical works (albeit allusively; Eutropius concludes his Breviarium by stating that he will not proceed into the reign of the current emperor ‘for what remains must be told in more elevated style’ 10.18.3).28 In placing these statements at these concluding moments,

25 26 27 28

The bibliography on the topic is vast; see most recently Paschoud 2005 and Kelly 2007, 225–31. Pernot 2015, 72–77. A position that historians had maintained throughout the imperial period, as Lucian’s second-century treatise de historia conscribenda makes clear. Nam reliqua stilo maiore dicenda sunt. Similar references are found in concluding sections of other biographical and historical works (Festus Brev. 30.1; Amm. Marc. 31.16.9; HA Quad. Tyr. 15.10; Jerome, Chron. praef. p.7.3–6 [Helm]). See Kelly 2007 for a multi-layered interpretation of Ammianus’ closing words, in which ad maiores moneo stilos may as well refer to grand historiography in his own style as to panegyric.

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historians thus determined (and defined) the terminal point for their narrative by suggesting that they could not proceed any further, and in a certain sense they hand the current reign to the panegyrist. They, then, skilfully manage to suggest that panegyric is a genre that should be read subsequently to history. To carry on the story chronologically, one must turn next to panegyric. Such statements demonstrate their authors’ acute awareness of the competitive co-existence of these genres, and speak clearly of the anxiety that ancient historians held about the generic proximity of historiography and panegyric (despite their protestations to the contrary). Nonetheless, the way in which ancient historians articulate their attitude to panegyric is also an attempt to disguise the inverse relationship that must have been the root of their concern, namely that the first, extensive textual representation of emperors occurred within panegyric. After all, as historians themselves pointed out, the panegyrists could lay claim to an emperor (when he was still alive) before the historian could do likewise (after the emperor was safely dead).29 One panegyrist was even prepared to flaunt this relationship declaring ‘from me history will derive its credibility (a me fidem sumet historia)’.30 Historiography has traditionally been privileged by scholarship as the better source for modern historical studies of Antiquity, especially in preference to the passionate prejudices expounded by panegyrists and writers of invective, and even of ecclesiastical texts, who ‘in the heat of religious faction, are apt to despise the profane virtues of sincerity and moderation’.31 There is good reason to be cautious about such attitudes (even if in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries they are rarely expressed with as much vitriol as by Gibbon). Even though it may be the practitioners of historiography who openly and competitively theorise about the relationship between panegyric and their genre (albeit in the abstract) several chapters in this volume show the phenomenon of the chronological ‘primacy’ of panegyric working in practice and the effect this had upon the subsequent construction of imperial images in different genres. By charting the changing depictions of emperors chronologically across genres, and treating all sources as necessarily subjective, many of the chapters in this book reveal the importance of the intertextual development of the image of a single emperor. The image in one panegyric may determine the way that a subsequent panegyrist deals with that same emperor (Ware for Constantine, and Ross for Constantius ii); 29 30 31

An elaboration of a point made by Ross 2016, 298–9. Pan. Lat. 2(12)47.6. Tellingly, it comes at the conclusion of Pacatus’ speech, mimicking the historiographical practice. Gibbon 1776–8[1994], 1074.

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or seeks to overturn the positive image of a predecessor in a panegyric to a successor (thus the Maxentian claim to be a new Romulus, overturned by a panegyric to Constantine, as noted by Hunsucker); or similarly for invective, which in any case is generically defined by ancient theorists as the inverse of panegyric (Zangenberg for Diocletian); and historiography (Woudhuysen for Constans and Sánchez-Ostiz for Stilicho). Textual images, unsurprisingly, have the potential to be intertextual, and the ability of panegyric (on account of its temporal primacy and authority as a genre so closely implicated with the emperor and the imperial court) to set the agenda for how later writers should fashion the image of an emperor, should be unsettling for those who still privilege historiography as comparatively neutral and more reliable genre. And furthermore as Den Hengst shows for Ammianus, the image of a single emperor in as vast and complex a historical narrative as Ammianus’ can be (alarmingly) multifaceted and even contradictory, perhaps testament to the partisan depictions of Valentinian against which Ammianus wrote.32 We should view historiography as a part of a great discourse on imperial imagery during our period, and not a privileged genre that stood apart, hermetically cut off from contemporary debates on any given emperor. The motives for stark changes in depictions of emperors are often religious, but their directions and outcomes are not uniform, though they often track the shift between the dominance of traditional polytheism at the end of the third century to the dominance of Christianity at the end of the fourth. In the 310s Christianity clearly lies behind Lactantius’ reason for blackening the names of the ‘persecutors’ Valerian, Decius, Maximian and Diocletian (as Potter discusses for Valerian and Decius; Maranesi for Maximian; and Zangenberg for Diocletian), whereas Jovian is rehabilitated as a Nicene hero in Syriac texts of the sixth century once that sect of Christianity had proved itself the winner in doctrinal conflict with the Homoians, and despite ‘pagan’ historians such as Ammianus defaming Jovian as a foil to Julian (for which, see Drijvers). The Syriac reinvention of Jovian in the sixth century appears almost brash in the way it deviates from the versions even of Greek ecclesiastical historians, though it nonetheless follows the some of the same contours, illustrating, perhaps, that auto-images in the long run lose their potency and leave subsequent generations to create imperial images afresh for their own purposes. 32

For an even more radical exposition of Ammianus’ consciously ‘provisional’ attitude to history-writing in the fourth century, which may reflect on the uncertain political cultural climate of the time, see Weisweiler 2014.

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We have discussed the ‘auto-image’ of the emperor, the image that the emperor disseminated of himself. As Imagological theory predicts, one can also catch glimpses of the auto-image of the authors themselves in their depictions of emperors. The authors who wrote in the fourth century are necessarily viri litterati, who often gained their important positions in the imperial bureaucracy on account of their high levels of education. Again we see a negotiated image of an emperor emerge, partly driven by the intellectual horizon of the author, partly by the anticipated reaction by a specific imperial reader (rather like panegyric). These and many more questions regarding the individual emperors and co-emperors of the Later Roman Empire will be treated by the contributors who serve as the archaeologists of their lost and shattered images. Let the synthesis of these findings direct us towards new perspectives on Roman emperorship. Bibliography Anderson, B. 1983. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London. Ando, C. 2000. Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire. Berkeley. Ando, C. 2012. Imperial Rome AD 193–284. Edinburgh. Barnes, T.D. 1996. ‘Oppressor, Persecutor, Usurper: The Meaning of Tyrannus in the Fourth Century’, in G. Bonamente and M. Mayer (eds.) Historiae Augustae Colloquium VI. Bari. 55–65. Beller, M. and J. Leerssen (eds.) 2007. Imagology: The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters. A Critical Survey. Amsterdam/New York. Bleicken, J. 2015. Augustus, the Biography (translated by A. Bell). London. Burgersdijk, D. 2016. ‘Qui vitas aliorum scribere orditur. Narratological Implications of Fictional Authors in the Historia Augusta’, in K. Demoen and K. De Temmerman (eds.), Writing Biography in Greece and Rome: Narrative Technique and Fictionalization. Cambridge. 240–258. Flower, H. 2006. The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture. Chapel Hill. Fowler, R. and O. Hekster 2005a. ‘Imagining Kings: From Persia to Rome’, in R. Fowler and O. Hekster (eds.) Imaginary Kings. Royal Images in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome. Stuttgart 11–38. Fowler, R. and O. Hekster 2005b. Imaginary Kings. Royal Images in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome. Stuttgart. Francis, J.A. 2012. ‘Visual and Verbal Representations: Image, Text, Person and Power’, in P. Rousseau (ed.), A Companion to Late Antiquity. Oxford. 285–305.

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Gibbon, E. 1994. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. London. [originally 1776–8]. Gibson, R. and T. Power 2013. Suetonius the Biographer. Oxford. Hekster, O. 2003. ‘Coins and messages. Audience targeting on coins of different denominations?’, in L. de Blois et al. (eds.), Representation and Perception of Roman Imperial Power. Amsterdam. 20–35. Hekster, O. 2008. Rome and its Empire AD 193–284. Edinburgh. Hekster, O. 2015. Emperors and Ancestors. Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition. Oxford. Henderson, J. 2013. ‘Was Suetonius’ Julius a Caesar?’, in R. Gibson and T. Power (eds.) Suetonius the Biographer. Oxford. 81–110. Howgego, C. 1995. Ancient History from Coins. London/New York. Kelly, G. 2007. ‘The sphragis and closure of the Res Gestae’, in J. den Boeft, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler (eds.), Ammianus after Julian. The Reign of Valentinian and Valens in books 26–31 of the Res Gestae. Leiden. 219–241. Kienast, W. 20115. Römische Kaisertabelle: Grundzüge einer römischen Kaiserchronologie. Darmstadt. Kolb, F. 2001. Herrscherideologie in der Spätantike. Berlin. Krol, E. 2007. ‘Dutch’, in M. Beller and J. Leersen (eds.), Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters: a Critical Survey. Amsterdam/New York. 142–145. Leersen, J. 2007a. ‘Imagology: History and Method’ in M. Beller and J. Leersen (eds.), Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters: a Critical Survey. Amsterdam/New York. 17–32 Leersen, J. 2007b. ‘Irish’ in M. Beller and J. Leersen (eds.), Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters: a Critical Survey. Amsterdam/New York. 191–194. MacCormack, S. 1975. ‘Latin Prose Panegyrics’, in T.A. Dorey (ed.), Empire and Aftermath: Silver Latin II. London. 143–205 [= Rees 2012, 240–250]. MacCormack, S. 1981. Art and Ceremony in Late Antiquity. Berkeley. Manders, E. 2012. Coining Images of Power. Patterns in the Representation of Roman Emperors on Imperial Coinage, A.D. 193–284. Leiden/Boston. Millar, F. 1977. The Emperor in the Roman World. London. Noreña, C. 2011. Imperial Ideas in the Roman West. Representation, Circulation, Power. Cambridge. Paschoud, F. 2005. ‘Biographie und Panegyrik: wie spricht man vom lebenden Kaiser?’, in K. Voessing (ed.), Biographie und Prosopographie. Internationales Kolloquium zum 65. Geburtstag con Anthony R. Birley. Stuttgart. 103–118. Pernot, L. 2015. Epideictic Rhetoric. Questioning the Stakes of Ancient Praise. Austin.

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Pittock, M. 2007. ‘Scots’, in M. Beller and J. Leersen (eds), Imagology. The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters: a Critical Survey. Amsterdam/New York. 230–234. Pittock, M. 2009. ‘To See Ourselves as Others See Us’, European Journal of English Studies. 13: 293–304. Rees, R.D. 2012 (ed.). Latin Panegyric. Oxford. Ross, A.J. 2016. Ammianus’ Julian. Narrative and Genre in the Res Gestae. Oxford. Paul, G.M. and M. Ierardi (eds.) 1999. Roman Coins and Public Life under the Empire. Michigan. Schmidt-Hofner, S. 2015. ‘Ostentatious Legislation: Law and Dynastic Change, AD 364–365’, in J. Wienand (ed.), Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD, Oxford. 67–99. Straub, J. 1939. Vom Herrscherideal in der Spätantike. Stuttgart. Wardle, D. 2014. Suetonius. Life of Augustus. Translated with Introduction and Historical Commentary. Oxford. Weisweiler, J. 2014. ‘Unreliable Witness: Failings of the Narrative in Ammianus Marcellinus’, in L. Van Hoof and P. Van Nuffelen (eds.), Literature and Society in the Fourth Century AD. 103–133. Wienand, J. 2015 (ed.). Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. Oxford. Zinsli, S. 2014. Kommentar zur Vita Heliogabali der Historia Augusta. Bonn.

Chapter 1

Decius and Valerian David Potter Decius and Valerian were incompetent and embarrassing. Decius was the first emperor to die in battle against external enemies. That was in an encounter with Gothic raiders who were withdrawing to their own territory with plunder seized from the city of Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv in Bulgaria). The city had been betrayed to them after they had inflicted a notable defeat on Decius. Decius’ second defeat (and death) took place near Abrittus (modern Razgrad in Bulgaria) at the end of May 251. Valerian was the only emperor to die in captivity. That was sometime after Sapor of Persia took him captive outside Mesopotamian Edessa in the early summer of 260.1 Given the similarities in the two men’s fates, and the considerable contemporary hostility to both on the part of their subjects, the difference in the longer term historiographical traditions about them are remarkable. What will be significant in both cases is not what really happened (that was most likely only ever known by a few people), but the images that the bare outline of their careers and fates generated. The ways that their reputations changed between the middle of the third century and the end of the fifth century offer a case study in the way that imperial history was written and remembered in the post-Diocletianic period. The pictures of the two men that were current by a.d. 400 bear only a tangential relationship with the contemporary record. In his important book on the reflection of imperial ideology in local contexts Olivier Hekster has drawn attention to the influence of local choices in defining the way that an emperor was presented in provincial contexts. Similarly, analysis of imperial depictions in oracular contexts reflects quite particular local readings of imperial images.2 With both Decius and Valerian, largely as a result of their religious policies, we are able to gain a direct impression of the way their subjects saw them. These records are enhanced by what we can recover of Dexippus’ contemporary history (more helpful for Decius than Valerian) and some comments 1 For the date of Abrittus see ae 2003 n. 1415; press reports in 2016 place the actual battle at Dryanovets, north of Razgrad. For the date of Valerian’s capture see Koenig 1981, 20– 31 showing that the dates obtained from papyri are not reliable (Valerian continues into August), but that the ordination of Dionysius as bishop of Rome on 22 July may be connected to the arrival of news of Valerian’s capture. 2 Hekster 2015, 319–20; Potter 1994, 98–145.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 003

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in the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle. In the post Diocletianic period, there is some reflection on the two emperors in Lactantius and, perhaps even more significantly, the writings of Constantine himself. In the later fourth century we are offered new versions of both men in the tradition of the Latin epitomators and the more extensive history of Eunapius, as preserved by Zosimus’ New History, composed in the sixth century. The changes in the tradition will largely be due to the influence of centralized discourses which shaped public memory. Religious Policies Decius and Valerian were religious innovators. Decius did what no emperor had done before, ordering all his subjects to sacrifice to the gods of Rome by a fixed date and to obtain a certificate proving that they had obeyed the imperial order. The purpose of this edict appears to have been to rally divine support for a regime whose roots were stuck in the muck of revolutions evidently connected with the celebration of Rome’s thousandth anniversary in a.d. 248.3 Valerian was somewhat less creative, but the edict through which he sought to eradicate a particular cult (Christianity) involved a higher level of wide-ranging imperial proactivity than earlier edicts banning or declaring illegal cults or undesirable practitioners. Astrologers, for instance, were periodically banned for Rome, as were ‘magicians’. Claudius had banned Druidism, but that ban had been localized to specific provinces; Christians had been executed as public nuisances under Nero, but the connection between Christians and the great fire in 64 seems to be a later embellishment. In 112 Trajan made it clear, that while Christianity remained illegal, his governors were not to go looking for Christians; his rescript was occasined by an inquiry from a governor whose own arrests of Christians had been sparked by local protest.4 The supine 3 See Kienast 20115 for the dates and sources; Potter 1990, 40 on the millennium celebration. See also ils 8922: I]mp(eratori) Caes[ari] // C(aio) Messio Q(uinto) Traian[o] / Decio P(io) F(elici) Invicto Au[g(usto)] / pont(ifici) m(aximo) trib(unicia) pot(estate) co(n)s(uli) I[I?] / designato p(atri) p(atriae) proco(n)s(uli) / reparatori disciplinae / militaris fundatori / sacr(ae) urbis firmatori / [S]P(?)E(?)[---]S(?) F(?)O(?)[---] / [------] which may be reporting acclamations at the time of his accession. A further fragment of this text, was presented by Dr.  N.  Sharankov at the conference, ‘Empire in Crisis:  Gothic Invasions and Roman Historiography’ held in under the auspicies of Universität Wein in Vienna in May 2017 makes it clear, to my mind, that the text dates to the immediate aftermath of Decius’ accession. 4 De Ste Croix 1963 and Barnes 1968 remain valuable surveys for the second-third centuries, for the first century see the important revisionist study in Shaw 2015. For slightly differing interpretations on the context of the Edict on Sacrifices see Potter 2014, 237–40; Rives 1999.

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hostility of the Roman state thereafter meant that what persecution there was had been in response to specific local initiatives. Valerian’s edict had no specific ‘trigger’, which is why it does not fit the pattern of earlier expressions of official hostility. Decius’ edict on sacrifices is the best attested act of any emperor in the half century prior to Diocletian’s accession in 284. We have not only the reactions from Christians, but also from the officials responsible for enforcing the edict, we have reactions from non-Christians who sacrificed and one city council. All of our sources tell somewhat different stories, and, in so doing, they remind us that in thinking about interactions between the imperial government and its subjects, local factors will often have conditioned responses to orders and other messages from the centre. The first Christian report of Decius’ edict survives in the correspondence of two bishops, Cyprian of Carthage and Dionysius of Alexandria. In the spring of 250, Cyprian, writing to Christians in Carthage (whence he had fled) stated that the persecution they were suffering came from God. It was his punishment for their lax ways. He would repeat this view in a treatise on those who had lapsed during the persecutions by obtaining certificates of sacrifice. He never mentions the name of Decius, though he indirectly notes that his death is an act of divine vengeance, he still implies that the persecution was God’s work. The name Valerian will only appear in his extant works in the letter in which he quotes the imperial rescript whose arrival will set in motion the sequence of events culminating in his own execution.5 Dionysius of Alexandria is barely more explicit, and then only when the emperors in question are gone. In a letter preserved by Eusebius, we find Dionysius writing to Fabius, bishop of Antioch in 250–51, saying that persecution began a year before the edict on sacrifices, and, at Alexandria, was the result of a pogrom inspired by a local holy man. He sees this as having nothing to do with Philip, and mentions his reign as being ‘the reign that was kinder to us’. But he does not mention Decius by name, and speaks instead only of ‘the arrival of the edict’. Later, with Decius dead, he writes in a letter to a bishop named Germanus, explicitly referring to ‘the persecution of Decius’, and, now in the reign of Gallienus, he would write that Decius and Gallus both made the same mistake and stumbled over the same stone.6 At this point, Dionysius is explicit in drawing a connection between persecution and the unfortunate demise of an emperor. Valerian, as he pointed out, had been kind to Christians

5 Cyp. Ep. 11.1.2; Laps. 1.1; 7.1; Ep.80–81. 6 Eus. HE 6.40.1-2; 6.41.9-10; HE 7.1; 7.10.3-4.

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for most of his reign, up until the point that he fell under Macrianus’ influence. His subsequent fate—which Dionysius refers to as ‘slavery at the hands of the barbarians’—was the direct result of his persecution. Macrianus, now recently deceased, is a nightmare.7 Dionysius, like Cyprian, avoids direct criticism of an emperor in his lifetime, which appears also to have been true of Pionius, who was executed because of his refusal to sacrifice when he was arrested at Smyrna.8 Dionysius, however, has no difficulty in becoming quite explicit once the emperor is dead and the attitude of the reigning emperor towards his predecessor has become clear. In this regard, Dionysius’ criticism of Valerian is particularly interesting, suggesting that the official line on Valerian, while Gallienus was sole emperor, was that, even if Macrianus had betrayed him, Valerian was to some extent responsible for the disaster that led to his capture. The East, in any event, was dominated by Odaenathus, ‘the lion from the sun’ in the words of the author of the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle.9 The King of Kings, as Odaenathus called himself was presumably unbothered by the notion that he had fixed the mess Valerian had made.10 Further information about Decius’ edict has come from the numerous libelli or certificates of sacrifice that have been preserved on papyri (46 have been published to date). The majority of these texts come from one place, Theadelphia in Egypt, which allows us a quite different insight into contemporary reactions to Decius’ edict than that provided by the two bishops. Taken as a whole, the libelli reveal that the prefect circulated a clear set of instructions as to how the sacrifices were to be recorded. This much is clear from the essential verbal and formal similarities between documents from different sites.11 The papyri from Theadelphia record the activities of Aurelius Serenas and Aurelius Hermas. These men oversaw the sacrifices and signed off on the 7 8 9 10 11

Eus. HE 7.10.3-4; 7; 13.1. For the Passio Pionii see now Robert 1994. Orac. Sib. 13. 164–5. See Gawlikowski 2007 for Odaenathus’ self-celebration at King of Kings at Antioch, for the issue of his official titulature see Potter 1996 and Andrade 2013, 326–33 for context. The most recent publication and list is in P.Lips. 2.152; still invaluable is Knipfing, (1923). In what follows I refer to both the original publication and the numbering in Knipfing’s publication where relevant. The terms of the prefect’s circular, postulated in the text, may be seen in P. Oxy. 1464 (Knipfing n. 33); P. Wisconsin 59 (wisconsin.apis.5451) (not in Knipfing); P. Wisconsin 59 (Knipfing n. 37); Wilcken, Chr. 124 (Knipfing n.1, the declaration, uniquely, is treated like a census declaration in that identifying marks are given). A previously unknown libellus is published in Claytor (2016).

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completion of the required ceremony. This ceremony involved a person coming forward to state that he or she had always sacrificed to the gods and, now, in the presence of ‘the men selected’ (to oversee the sacrifice) that they make the sacrifice, pour the libation, and partake of the sacrificed animal. The variation in the Theadelphia documents comes in the reversal of words (putting the libation before the sacrifice), and some variations in the initial oath (sometimes the statement is expanded to include the assertion that the person ‘reverences’ the gods as well as ‘sacrifices to them at all times’). Nothing here changes the meaning of the event, but these slips suggest that Serenus and Hermes, while working hard to follow orders, were simply bored by the whole process.12 A different reaction emerges in another place from a woman named Alexandra, who is the priestess of Petesouchos, and appears rather annoyed at having to come forward to make what she seems to regard as a pointless declaration of orthodoxy.13 In addition to these responses, we have two reactions to Decius from Aphrodisias in Caria. Aphrodisias’ city council, had greeted the news of the emperor’s accession with a letter that seems to have reflected some consciousness of his religious interest. The letter, sent with an embassy at the end of 248 as an opportunity to open a conversation with the new ruler on its own terms. Decius’ response to Aphrodisias’ message follows standard imperial practice of repeating back the substance of the original missive. In this case saying: To the magistrates, council and people of the Aphrodisians, greetings. It is appropriate, given the divinity for whom your city is named, and because of your relations to the Romans and your loyalty to them, that you celebrated the establishment of our kingship and made appropriate 12

13

They are responsible for twenty-five papyri, see Knipfing 1923, 351. For ἔθυσα καὶ ἔσπεισα ‘sacrifice and libation’ (the order of events in oaths not sworn at Thealdephia) see, for instance, SB 1.1449 (Knipfing n.  10)(no date); P. Meyer 10 (Knipfing n.15)(June 21); P. Meyer 14 (Knipfing n.  18)(23 June); P. Meyer 17 (Knipfing 20)(14 July); P. Meyer 17 (Knipfing 21)  (no date); P. Rylands 2.112a (Knipfing 27)(20 June); P. Rylands 2.112b (Knipfing n.28)(no date) P. Meyer 15 (Knipfing 30)(27 June); P. Meyer 16 (Knipfing 31) (no date); for ἔσπεισα καὶ ἔθυσα ‘libation and sacrifice’ see, for instance (Knipfing n. 6); SB 1.4440 (Knipfing n.11)(24 June); SB 1.4448 (Knipfing n. 18)(23 June); P. Rylands 2.112c (Knipfing n. 24)(22 June); see now Schubert 2017, 173 and 191–7 on the imprecise wording of the papyri. He is not willing to go as far as I do in seeing the variations as signs of lack of care, seeing the many papyri as a sign of the effectiveness of the system; we agree that ‘[t]he local administration had to find an effective mechanism by which every villager would comply with the order’. Wilcken, Chr. 125 (Knipfing n. 4) with further discussion in Knipfing 1923, 349; 361.

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sacrifices and prayers. We preserve the existing freedom and all the other rights that you have received from the emperors who proceeded us, and are willing to give fulfilment to your hopes for the future.14 The fact that the names of Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus (Caesar at the time the letter was written) have been erased show that the local view of Decius changed rather rapidly after this document was added to the archive wall at the entrance to the city’s theatre. While Decius was alive he was to be cultivated as a potential source of favour. The erasure, which was not mandated from the centre, was likely a local response to news about the disaster at Abrittus. This response, admittedly rare, accords with the general negative appreciation of Decius, stemming from this disaster, that appears in other contemporary texts.15 Dexippus and the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle Before moving on to what may be the most important third-century contribution to the reputation of both emperors, the work of Dexippus, some note should be taken of the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle, composed between 262 14

15

Reynolds 1982 n. 25, 6–16 … Ἀφροδεισιέων τοῖς | ἄρχουσιν καὶ τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήµῳ χαίρειν·| εἰκὸς ἦν ὑµᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν ἐπώνυµον τῆς πόλεως θεὸν καὶ | διὰ τὴν πρὸς Ῥωµαίους οἰκειότητά τε καὶ πίστιν ἡσθῆναι | µὲν ἐπὶ τῇ καταστάσει τῆς βασιλείας τῆς ἡµετέρας || θυσίας δὲ καὶ εὐχὰς ἀποδοῦναι δικαίας καὶ ἡµεῖς δὲ |τήν τε ἐλευθερίαν ὑµεῖν φυλάττοµεν τὴν ὑπάρχουσαν | καὶ τὰ ἄλλα δὲ σύνπαντα δίκαια ὁπόσων παρὰ τῶν πρὸ ἡ|µῶν αὐτοκρατόρων τετυχήκατε συναύξειν ἑτοίµως | ἔχοντες ὑµῶν καὶ τὰς πρὸς τὸ µέλλον ἐλπίδας. || ἐπρέσβευον Αὐρήλιοι Θεόδωρος καὶ Ὀνήσιµος. | εὐτυχεῖτε. For Gallus’ handling of Decius see Gilliam 1956 on the formula iii et i cos. with, more recently ae 1999 n. 1425 showing a similar dating formula; see more recently ae 1986 n. 236 (Cosa) (dedication with erasures); ae 1996 n. 1358 (marble plaque; with erasure); ae 2008 n. 1270 (altar, probably with erasure of Decius); ae 1991 nn. 1494; 1508 (milestones, no erasure); ae 1995 n. 1463a (milestone, no erasure); ae 1998 n. 1000 (milestone, no erasure); ae 1999 n.  295 (dedication at a Mithraeum, no erasure); ae 2000 n. 546 (possible, no erasure, bronze plaque; ae 2004 nn. 953; 1253 (both milestones, no erasure); ae 2005 n. 1434 (lead balance weights, no erasure, similar to ae 2008 n. 1307); ae 2006 n. 1777 (milestone, no erasure); ae 2008 n. 1307 (balance weight, no erasure); ae 2010 n. 1625 (milestone, no erasure); ae 2012 n. 178 (dedication by the sacerdotes feriarum latinarum so possibly also relevant to his religious policy); n. 1705 (milestone, no erasure); ae 2013 n.  775 (milestone, no erasure). The point of the foregoing list is that in the absence of widespread erasure an erasure is local initiative and likely to be contemporary.

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and 268. Valerian gets very little attention, the author merely says that he will defeat the Persians for a while, then be destroyed.16 Decius gets more attention. The author is aware of his Danubian origin, and attributes the persecution of the Christians to Decius’ antipathy towards Philip.17 This is in line with Dionysius’ observation that one regime was more kindly to Christians than the other. The compositor of the oracle also includes some lines associating Gallus with a figure referred to as ‘the bastard son’. It is not completely clear who this is, but it can be connected with Hostilianus, Decius’ younger son, who ruled, briefly, with Gallus. The association between the two may underscore Dionysius’ observation that Gallus continued Decius’ overall policies. Otherwise the author had a very dim view of both men. Looking at Decius from an eastern perspective the author/compiler notes that Mariades, a notorious brigand, began his career in his reign, and holds Gallus responsible for disastrous summer of 252.18 Dexippus devoted substantial attention to Decius in the first book of his Skythika. We have long had an extremely long letter Decius sent to Philoppopolis, giving its citizens all manner of bad advice on how to deal with the Goths, preserved through the Excerpta de Sententiis, one of the tenth-century collections of extracts compiled at the behest of Constantine Porphyrogenitus.19 We now have, thanks to the efforts of Jana Grusková and Gunther Martin, another speech of Decius, this one delivered after the defeat of his army before Philoppopolis’ capture by the Goths, and the city’s subsequent capture. Decius blames the failure of his army on the treachery of the scouts, urging his men not to see their earlier defeat as a result of their own weakness. He then says that Philoppopolis’ capture was the result of a barbarian plot rather than the strength of the barbarians, who had been driven back by the skill of the city’s defenders.20 We know the defence of the city through another fragment that comes to us, through the Excerpta de Strategematis, 16 17

18 19

20

Orac. Sib. 13. 155–161; for the date see Potter 1990, 151–154; Hartmann 2009, 81. Orac. Sib. 13. 81–102 with Potter 1990, 147; for alternative views (e.g. that this is a later interpolation) see the discussion in Hartmann 2009, 80 n. 18. I would suggest that the essential disinterest in Decius’ career as a persecutor, shown elsewhere in this chapter might be taken as a further argument against the notion of interpolation. Orac. Sib. 13. 103–141 with Potter 1990, 148–150; Hartmann 2009, 84–6. Just prior to the discovery of the texts in the Vienna palimpsest discussed below, two excellent new editions of Dexippus were published in Martin 2006 and Mecella 2013. I give the fragments according to the numeration in both editions. For the preservation of Dexippus’ work through the Constantinian excerpta see Martin 2006, 44–52 and Mecella 2013, 96–101. Vind. Hist gr. 73 fol. 194r-194v with discussion in Martin and Grusková 2014b.

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another of the tenth-century collections. A  recently published section from the Vienna palimpsest goes on to show how the Goths lured the defenders of the city into a false sense of security were contacted by traitors within the city, and launched what looks like a successful night attack, to capture the city as it has let down its guard. The passage includes accurate topographical details, and suggests that, on this point, Dexippus had an excellent informant.21 A further recently published fragment deepens our understanding of Dexippus’ picture of Decius. In his letter to Philoppopolis, Decius had told the people to sit tight and not venture to fight the Goths in the open field. The implication of his letter is that they lacked the ability to stand firm before the frightening barbarian charge, though imperial troops could. Of course, this is just what imperial troops would fail to do.22 In this case, when news of Philoppopolis’ fall (facilitated by treason linked with an imperial official after the people had driven back the Gothic assault) spread, Greek forces gathered under the command of Ptolemaios the Athenian, whom Decius had ‘sent to rule the Thessalians’. These provincials, fighting in defence of their homes are clearly, in Dexippus’ view, competent, as would be those who gathered at Thermopylae to resist another trans-Danubian incursion around 259.23 In 267, Dexippus himself urged the 21 22 23

Grusková and Martin 2015, 39–40. Dexippus Fr. 24 (Martin); 29 (Mecella), for a negative reading of the image of Decius in this letter see Davenport and Mallan 2013. Codex Vind. Hist. gr. 73 fol. 192v-193r. For the initial publication see Martin and Grusková 2014b, arguing, as the title suggests for a date in 267/8. More recently, Mallan and Davenport 2015 have argued for a date in 262. Another date can be obtained from George p.  466:  διὰ τοῦτο ταραχθέντες Ἕλληνες τὰς Θερµοπύλας ἐφρούρησαν τό τε τεῖχος Ἀθηναῖοι ἀνῳκοδόµησαν καθαιρεθὲν ἀπὸ τῶν Σύλλου χρόνων, Πελοποννήσιοι δὲ ἀπὸ θαλάσσης εἰς θάλασσαν τὸν Ἰσθµὸν διετείχισαν, οἱ δὲ Σκύθαι µετὰ πολλῶν λαφύρων εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθον. Ἐπὶ τούτοις καὶ Σαπώρης ὁ τῶν Περσῶν βασιλεὺς καταδραµὼν Συρίαν ἦλθεν εἰς Ἀντιόχειαν καὶ πᾶσαν Καππαδοκίαν ἐδῄωσε. τοῦ δὲ Ῥωµαϊκοῦ στρατοῦ λιµώξαντος ἐν Ἐδέσσῃ καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ταραχθέντος Οὐαλεριανὸς πτοηθεὶς καὶ σχηµατισάµενος ἐπὶ δευτέραν ἰέναι µάχην ἑαυτὸν προὔδωκε τῷ Περσῶν βασιλεῖ Σαπώρῃ, συνθέµενος καὶ τὴν τοῦ πλήθους προδοσίαν· ἣν αἰσθόµενοι Ῥωµαῖοι µόλις διέφυγον ὀλίγων ἀναιρεθέντων (‘Frightened by this, the Greeks fortified Thermopylae and the Athenians rebuilt the city wall, which had been in ruins since the time of Sulla, and the Peloponnesians built a wall from sea to sea at the Isthmus. The Scythians returned with an abundance of plunder to their own lands. While this was happening, Sapor, the King of the Persians, laying waste to Syria, came to Antioch and ravaged Cappadocia. With the Roman army was starving in Edessa and frightened on account of this, Valerian, fearful and making a show of setting forth for a second battle, handed himself over to Sapor, the King of the Persians, agreeing to the betrayal of the army. Learning this, the Romans fled with difficulty and a few of them were killed’), which derives from Dexippus’ Chronicle and plainly puts this invasion before the capture

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Athenians to stand firm, trusting in their own skills to resist the barbarians who had captured Athens by stealth—and await the aid of an imperial fleet.24 For Dexippus the defence of the Empire rested in the united actions of provincials and imperial officials. It was this that Decius did not understand, and, it appears from Jordanes’ Dexippean account of Abrittus, he likewise lost control of his emotions after the death of his son, Herennius Etruscus.25 For Dexippus, Decius is a failure, and it is interesting that he gives minimal indication that he feels that Decius’ edict on sacrifice mattered in the least. Dexippus’ picture of Valerian is much harder to get at and would, presumably, have been contained mostly in the less detailed Chronicle, some of whose contents are preserved in truncated form by the ninth century Byzantine chronicler George Syncellus. In George’s version of Valerian’s capture, it is the oncebeaten emperor who, fearing his starving (or plague ridden) soldiers in Edessa, turns himself over to Sapor rather than fighting a second battle with him.26 There are two ways of explaining this story. One is obviously that this is what Dexippus thought had happened and that the story was spread as a way of justifying the revolts that followed his capture. That seems somewhat unlikely as there is no hint outside the Byzantine chronicle tradition that Valerian had done this, and some quite explicit statements, even by those who no reason to think well of him, that he had been taken by treason. It should be noted that there is a bad error in George’s handling of explicitly Dexippean material in the narrative of the campaign of 250/51, and it is quite likely that this unparalleled account of Valerian’s surrender is an error as well.27

24 25

26

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of Valerian in 259/60. This campaign is placed by Zosimus just before the final campaign (see further Potter 1990, 314). For a Gothic raid c. 262 with an impact on Asia Minor, see Potter 1990, 311–313. Dexippus fr. 25 (Martin); 31 (Mecella); for Dexippus’ attitudes see Martin 2006, 185–190; 203–9; Mecella 2006. Jord. Get. 101–3; Jordanes’ knowledge of Dexippus is established by fr. 29 (Martin); 31 (Mecella) one of the crucial points to emerge from the publication of Vind. Hist gr. 73 fol. 194r-194v and 194r 29-30-194v 30 with 195r 1–10 is that Dexippus knew the names Ostrogotha and Cniva, and that he reported the defeat of Decius prior to Abrittus; see especially Martin and Grusková 2014b, 743–8; Grusková and Martin 2014, 35–36. George p. 466 (see n.23 above); Zon. 12.23. The connection with Dexippus is established by Dexippus fr. 12 (Martin); 21a (Mecella); 13 (Martin); 14 (Mecella); 15 (Martin); 16 (Mecella) and 17 (Martin); 23 (Mecella)(cited in the next note). For the connection between this story and Zonaras’ account, again likely from the Chronicle see Bleckmann 1992, 97, 115–7 and 124–5 (on the similar connections between the two concerning Odaenathus). Dexippus fr. 17 (Martin); 23 (Mecella):  Σκύθαι περαιωθέντες οἱ λεγόµενοι Γότθοι τὸν Ἴστρον ποταµὸν ἐπὶ ∆εκίου πλεῖστοι τὴν Ῥωµαίων ἐπικράτειαν κατενέµοντο. οὗτοι τοὺς Μυσοὺς φεύγοντας εἰς Νικόπολιν περιέσχον· ∆έκιος δὲ ἐπελθὼν αὐτοῖς, ὡς ∆έξιππος ἱστορεῖ,

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Most likely the story Dexippus actually offered runs roughly as follows: the Roman army is beaten by the Persians outside of Edessa, with his army suffering from sickness, Valerian offered to negotiate. Sapor rejected an initial embassy and demanded that Valerian appeared in person. When Valerian did so, Sapor took him prisoner. Some substantial portion of the army that was with Valerian surrendered either at that point or later. A second tradition, probably stemming from Philostratus of Athens, a contemporary of Dexippus (and possibly mentioned by Dexippus in his history) mentions a battle and has Sapor send a man named Cledonius to treat with Macrianus, who had escaped the general catastrophe, having remained at Samosata. Macrianus refused to leave the city. The implication may be that Macrianus was already plotting further treason, but it also calls attention to the fact that the Romans never seem to have tried to get Valerian back. The fact that the author is aware of Macrianus’ physical disability suggests that the original version of this story was composed shortly after the events it narrates.28 The Capture of Valerian in Other Sources In these accounts, Valerian is seen as being, to some degree, culpable. He is the one who led the army into the impossible position. Such accounts could serve the interests of a usurper like Macrianus, but also those of Gallienus, who seems to have made no effort to retrieve his father. Gallienus’ explicit reversal of his father’s policy towards the Christians, whose religion now

28

καὶ τρισµυρίους κτείνας ἐλαττοῦται κατὰ τὴν µάχην, ὡς καὶ τὴν Φιλιππόπολιν ἀπολέσαι ληφθεῖσαν ὑπ’ αὐτῶν καὶ Θρᾷκας πολλοὺς ἀναιρεθῆναι. ἐπανιοῦσι δὲ Σκύθαις ἐπὶ τὰ σφέτερα ὁ αὐτὸς ∆έκιος ἐπιθέµενος ἀναιρεῖται ἐν Ἀβρύτῳ, τῷ λεγοµένῳ φόρῳ Θεµβρωνίῳ, σὺν τῷ παιδὶ λίαν οἰκτρῶς ὁ θεοµάχος, οἵ τε Σκύθαι µετὰ πλείστων αἰχµαλώτων καὶ λαφύρων ἐπανέρχονται (‘In the reign of Decius many of the Scythians who are called Goths crossed the Danube and overran the territory of the Romans. They besieged the Moesians who had fled into Nicopolis. Decius attacked them, as Dexippus says, and, although he killed 30,000 of them he was defeated, and as a result (also lost) the city of Philoppopolis. It was taken and sacked by them and many Thracians were killed. Decius attacked the Scythians as they were returning home. He was killed at Abrittus as the so-called Forum Thembronios together with his son, very pitiably, he was the enemy of God. The Scythians returned home with many prisoners and very much plunder’). See also the important discussion in Mecella 2013, 89–96. Anon. post Dionem fr. 3 with Potter 1990, 361–362; for further discussion of his date see Jones 2011; and Martin and Grusková 2014, 113 as he may also be the general in 258 (for the date see note 24 above).

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became officially legal, might have been one of a number of ‘corrections’ made once Macrianus was defeated, and Valerian’s record was simply buried. By the fourth century, however, imperial incompetence was less interesting than Persian treachery. The evidence that the ‘treacherous Sapor’ version of the story became predominant by the end of the third century is offered by Petrus Patricius’ account of the peace negotiations of 297. Petrus, we know, used third century sources, and it looks like he is quoting contemporary in this case, for when the Persian ambassador Aphpharban advised the Romans to be aware of the mutability of human fortune, Galerius replied that: ‘You did not observe the measure of victory in the case of Valerian, you who, after you had tricked him with deceptions, held him to extreme old age, and did not spare him a dishonourable end, then, after death, by some abominable art, having preserved his skin, perpetrated an immortal outrage on a mortal body’.29 In this case, the image of Valerian seems somewhat different. There is no question that the Persians might have tried to return him or that a return would have been regarded as unwelcome. The notion, which appears in some later sources that he was held into extreme old age may suggest that the tradition that Valerian had an extended life in Persia dates to the third century. But that calls attention to another issue with the tradition—the absence of ransom. Even if Valerian was taken through treachery, the fact that he was taken alive appears to have been a matter so disgraceful that he could not be brought home. In secular traditions, the religious policies of both emperors were ignored. If we did not have Christian sources or the actual libelli we would not know of the edict on sacrifices; without the evidence of Cyprian and Dionysius, we would not know what Valerian had done or, for that matter, that Gallienus had reversed his father’s policy and even granted freedom of worship to Christians. Gallienus’ rescript on this matter does, however, cast some light on the evident disinterest in recovering Valerian. It too points to the conclusion that he was toxic.30 29

30

Petrus Patricius fr. 13: καλῶς γὰρ καὶ ἐπὶ Βαλερριανοῦ τὸ µέτρον τῆς νίκης ἐφυλάξατε, οἳτινες δόλοις αὐτὸν ἀπατησάντες κατάσχετε καὶ µέχρι γήρως ἐσχάτου καὶ τελευτῆς ἀτίµου οὐκ ἀπελύσατε, εἶτα µετὰ θάνατον µυσαρᾷ τινι τέχνῃ τὸ δέρµα αὐτοῦ φυλάξαντες θνητῷ σώµατι ἀθάνατον ὓβριν ἐπηγάγετε. Eus. he 7.13 with Millar 1992, 571–2.

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Eusebius of Caesarea does not seem to know about Abrittus, although he certainly knows about Valerian’s capture from Dionysius, though he seems uninterested in the story of Valerian’s skin. Then omission may reflect the fact that this addition had emerged in the Roman court circles in which he was not moving when he composed the Ecclesiastical History. Very different was the information community into which the Professor of Latin at Nicomedia moved. Lactantius knew that Decius died in battle, in the Danubian lands, even if he might not have had good information either about the place or the people (whom he calls the Carpi). His version of the final battle seems to have had the army surrounded by the barbarians (not a fact that would have come through Dexippus), and the story that the emperor’s body was left naked and unburied as fodder for beasts.31 When it comes to Valerian, he knows the story about his skin, and is the first author to add the detail about Sapor’s use of Valerian in mounting his horse. This detail was possibly influenced by Sasanian reliefs which depict a Roman emperor kneeling before Sapor whose iconography had been misinterpreted (the kneeling emperor is Philip not Valerian).32 The ongoing importance of Valerian as a topos in Romano-Persian relations is attested by Constantine’s rereading of the story in his letter to Sapor ii of 325. In addressing Sapor, Constantine would mention emperors ‘seduced by insane errors’ who had attempted to deny the righteousness of Constantine’s god and were then engulfed by punishment. Amongst them ‘that one, who was driven from these parts by divine wrath … and was left in yours, where he caused the victory on your side to be very famous because of the shame he suffered’.33 A Persian familiar with the usual imperial discourse about Valerian might be interested in this variant—especially since it deprived Sapor of credit for the victory and attributed it to Constantine’s god. For our understanding of Constantine this reference is important because it suggests that his understanding of Valerian’s fate has been shaped by a specifically Christian source (possibly Lactantius). So too, in his speech to the bishops of the East, composed a few months earlier, Constantine had adopted a similar line on the fate of persecuting emperors.34 31 32 33

34

Lact. dmp 4.3. Lact. dmp 5.1–6 with McDermot 1954. Eus. VC 4.11.2: τούτων ἐκεῖνον ἕνα ἡγοῦµαι γεγονέναι, ὃν ὥσπερ τις σκηπτὸς ἡ θεία µῆνις τῶν τῇδε ἀπελάσασα τοῖς ὑµετέροις µέρεσι παραδέδωκεν, τῆς ⸢ἐπ’ αὐτῷ⸣ αἰσχύνης πολυθρύλητον τὸ παρ’ ὑµῖν τρόπαιον ἀποφήναντα. For the date of the letter to Sapor see Barnes 1985, for the date of the Oratio ad Sanctos see Bleckmann 1997.

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Decius and Valerian from Constantine to the Historia Augusta Constantine’s handling of Decius is especially interesting as it combines Christian doctrine about the reason for Decius’ death with a new location for the defeat. Constantine says that ‘the time between your life and death showed your “fortune” since, smitten with all your army in the Scythian plains, you exposed the famous power of Rome to Gothic contempt’.35 The enemy here have changed from the Carpi of Lactantius to Goths, the battle does not take place in a swamp, and, significantly, it takes place beyond the frontier. The fact that the placement of Decius’ death in ‘barbarian’ territory has a positive aspect elsewhere suggests that Constantine is reinterpreting something he has picked up in court circles in light of the Lactantian view that Decius got what he deserved; the placement of Decius’ death beyond the frontier is certainly not something he could have derived from Dexippus. This example of the rewriting of history is important as an example of the way court panegyric might come to influence the contents of narrative history—this is a process that can be shown to have had an important impact in the development of traditions about Constantine (for example, his escape from Galerius, the execution of Frankish kings, various versions of the death of Maximian).36 Constantine’s next example is Valerian, though in this case, the treatment is more standard (in line with his statements to Sapor) as he says, ‘and you Valerian, showing the same murderous nature to the subjects of God, reveal the same sacred judgment, taken prisoner, laden with chains in your purple and other imperial regalia, finally, stripped of your skin that was preserved at the command of Sapor, you left an eternal memorial of your misfortune’.37 The post-Constantinian tradition, down to the Historia Augusta, is interestingly varied. Eutropius, writing under Valens, notes that the years of Gallienus and Valerian were nearly the end of the Empire, through the misfortune or sloth of the emperors and has Valerian grow old in his Persian captivity. The author of the Liber de Caesaribus, the latest of our three short histories, states that he came from a good family, that he was lazy, accomplished nothing good 35

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Constantine, Orat. 24.1:  ἔδειξε δὲ καὶ ὁ µεταξὺ τοῦ βίου καὶ τῆς τελευτῆς χρόνος τὴν σὴν εὐτυχίαν, ἡνίκα ἐν τοῖς Σκυθικοῖς πεδίοις πανστρατιᾷ πεσὼν τὸ περιβόητον Ῥωµαίων κράτος ἦγες τοῖς Γέταις εἰς καταφρόνησιν. On this point see now Potter 2017. Constantine, Orat. 24.2:  ἀλλὰ σύγε, Οὐαλεριανέ, τὴν αὐτὴν µιαιφονίαν ἐνδειξάµενος τοῖς ὑπηκόοις τοῦ θεοῦ, τὴν ὁσίαν κρίσιν ἐξέφηνας ἁλοὺς αἰχµάλωτός τε καὶ δέσµιος ἀχθεὶς σὺν αὐτῇ πορφυρίδι καὶ τῷ λοιπῷ βασιλικῷ κόσµῳ, τέλος δὲ ὑπὸ Σαπώρου τοῦ Περσῶν βασιλέως ἐκδαρῆναι κελευσθεὶς καὶ ταριχευθεὶς τρόπαιον τῆς σαυτοῦ δυστυχίας ἔστησας αἰώνιον.

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for the state, and adds the detail about Sapor’s use of Valerian for mounting his horse.38 Aurelius Victor, writing in 361, has very different information (as is not unusual for him) pointing to a prophecy of doom for Valerian that accompanied the senate’s acclamation of Gallienus (after a Tiber flood) and has Valerian die under torture in his Persian captivity.39 Eunapius, to judge from Zosimus, blamed Valerian for his misfortune; it is because of his degenerate lifestyle that Valerian tries to buy peace with Persia, and, when his first effort fails, he sets out with a small escort, and is promptly taken prisoner by Sapor.40 This Valerian looks a little like Eunapius’ vision of the vigorous and valiant Julian, whose death in battle doomed his expedition to failure, as possible, and somewhat like Julian’s own vision of Valerian (and Gallienus). In his Caesares, written in the months before the Persian expedition of 363, Julian adopts the line that Gallienus was given over to vice and that Valerian’s capture was a disgrace, which, given his somewhat limited knowledge of the third century suggests that this was the standard view of Valerian at his time. Julian does not seem to have known about Valerian’s career as a persecutor, which was only remembered in some Christian circles. Even if he did know about it, it was scarcely something to recall at a point when the emperor was going to war with Persia as a worshipper of the traditional gods.41 Moving to the end of the fourth century and beginning of the fifth, Orosius is quite clear about Valerian’s role as a persecutor, and has him captured by Sapor and grow old in Persian territory while also being used by Sapor when mounting his horse.42 In other authors there are enough minor variations on the main theme of Valerian’s captivity to make it difficult to trace any cross fertilization between the traditions, but it does look like the author of the Historia Augusta is responding to the most negative versions of Valerian’s life, possibly as a way of making Gallienus, one of his particular villains, look worse. If Valerian was not a total embarrassment, then Gallienus’ refusal to try to bring him home reflects badly on Gallienus. So it is that in the scrappy remains of the life of the two Valerians, he alludes to Valerian’s treacherous capture and he has the kings of the East write to Sapor, advising him to give Valerian back. The author might possibly make an indirect reference to the statement of Valerian’s lack of achievement in the Epitome de Caesaribus by inventing a decree of the senate urging Decius to appoint Valerian as censor because of the excellent 38 39 40 41 42

De Caes. 32. 1; 5–6. Aurel. Victor, Caes. 32 Zos. 1.36.2. Julian, Caes. 313b-c with Bowersock 1982. Oros. Hist. 7.22.4.

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quality of his life, Decius’ acceptance of this decree, and then a speech of thanks from Valerian (dated precisely, if accidently, several months after the battle at Abrittus).43 At this point non-ecclesiastical writers seem to be familiar with the additions of the Christian tradition (the bit with the horse), and it may be this that drew the author of the Historia Augusta to link Valerian with Decius, who is evidently regarded in a positive light. Indeed, the author of the Historia Augusta would indirectly link Decius to Constantine with invented documents showing how Decius had promoted the career of Claudius ii, Constantine’s putative ancestor.44 As these passages suggest, Decius’ career in the post-Constantinian tradition was a good deal richer than that of Valerian. There were two major developments in the story of Abrittus during the fourth century. The first was the movement of the battle away from Abrittus, which is all the more interesting as there seems to have been some sort of monument on the site, to which Jordanes attests.45 The second was the inclusion of 43

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HA Valeriani duo 5.4–6.8, dated sexto kal. Novembrium die; the outcome of the battle at Abrittus was known at Rome on 24 June (cil 6.36760); for the actual date in late May see note 3 above. Ideological aspects of the scene, with bibliography are discussed in Desordes and Ratti 2000, 67–81. For the positive presentation of Decius see also ha Claud. 13.8; 16.1. The view that there is a single lost Latin source that unites the Historia Augusta, the epitomators and, through a Greek translation, Zonaras is problematic. Mommsen’s discussion of the Historia Augusta’s use of Greek sources demonstrates that the author of the Historia Augusta had a source that had translated some of Herodian and some of Dexippus’ Chronica into Latin (see Potter 1990, 363–9 on this point; but also, differently Barnes 1978, 109–111). This will not have been the same as the putative Kaisergeschichte, which makes Enmann’s argument that the Kaisergeschichte was the source for the Historia Augusta as well as for Eutropius, Aurelius Victor and the Epitome de Caesaribus problematic. The parallels that Enmann adduces between the Historia Augusta, Victor and Eutropius are not necessarily explicable by the use of a common source, see especially Enmann 1884, 342–7 (Eutropius and Victor on third century emperors, including Decius and Valerian, where, as argued above, the differences are significant); 364–8 (comparing material from the Historia Augusta life of Marcus Aurelius with Victor and Eutropius); 392 (comparing material from the Historia Augusta lives of the Thirty Tyrants with Eutropius). There is, in general, more variation than similarity between the narratives of Eutropius and Aurelius Victor. Indeed, Enmann’s acute observations about tendencies in these works—such as discussion of the low birth of third century emperors (p. 458–9)—are more interesting if seen as reflecting a shared topos rather than a single source. The common source posited by Burgess 2005, which includes Republican history and informs Eutropius, as well as Greek sources (this source having been translated into Greek), which was in use in the later fourth century, and for whose influence there is stronger evidence, is not deprecated by disbelief in Enmann’s Kaisergeschichte, for which see also Cameron 2011, 665–8. Jord. Get. 103.

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the story that Gallus had betrayed Decius. Eutropius places the battle in barbaricum, as does the author de Caesaribus, and Aurelius Victor, who places the battle ‘across the Danube’. Orosius has him die in barbarian territory.46 Aurelius Victor has the notion that Decius was betrayed, while Eutropius has him die in a swamp so his body could never be found (Lactantius has simply said that the body had become fodder for beasts). Ammianus, who may have read Dexippus or some other Greek historian of the third century, has the unique detail that he died in a swamp after falling from his horse.47 Orosius likewise knows that Decius died in the heart of barbarian lands, and is at pains to point out that he was also a persecutor. He knows that there was an edict, but he seems to think that it was an actual persecution edict (which is not surprising in light of the fact that orders to sacrifice featured in later persecution edicts). In the developed story of Decius’ death, Gallus’ treachery plays a crucial role, though in somewhat different ways. According to Zonaras, Decius refused to allow the ‘Skythoi’, whom he had defeated, to return home when he had trapped them after a defeat; instead he ordered Gallus to block their retreat. Gallus made a deal with the ‘Skythoi’ and held back when Decius’ army entered a swamp, where he, his son, and most of the Romans were killed.48 Zonaras’ battle is in Roman territory, but for Zosimus, the final conflict is on the far side of the Tanais.49 In Zosimus’ story Decius has become a sort 46 47 48

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Eutrop. Brev. 9.4; Aur. Vict. Caes. 29.4; De Caes. 29.3; Oros. 7.21.3. Lact. dmp 4.3 (n.31 above); Amm. Marc. 31.5. 16; 31.13.13 Zon. 12.21: βαρβάρων γὰρ ληιζοµένων τὸν Βόσπορον ὁ ∆έκιος αὐτοῖς συνεπλέκετο καὶ πολλοὺς ἀνῄρει· τῶν δὲ στενοχωρηθέντων καὶ αἰτουµένων ἀφεῖναι τὴν λείαν πᾶσαν, εἰ παραχωρηθεῖεν ἀναχωρῆσαι, ὁ ∆έκιος οὐκ ἐνέδωκεν, ἀλλὰ Γάλλον ἕνα τῶν τῆς συγκλήτου τῇ διόδῳ τῶν βαρβάρων ἐπέστησε, µὴ συγχωρῆσαι κελεύσας αὐτοῖς παρελθεῖν. ὁ δὲ Γάλλος ὑπέθετο τοῖς βαρβάροις, ἐπιβουλεύων ∆εκίῳ, πλησίον τέλµατος βαθέος ὄντος, ἐκεῖ παρατάξασθαι. οὕτω δὲ παραταξαµένων τῶν βαρβάρων καὶ τὰ νῶτα τρεψάντων ὁ ∆έκιος ἐπεδίωκε· καὶ αὐτός τε σὺν τῷ υἱῷ καὶ πλῆθος τῶν Ῥωµαίων ἐνεπεπτώκει τῷ τέλµατι, καὶ πάντες ἐκεῖσε ἀπώλοντο, ὡς µηδὲ τὰ σώµατα αὐτῶν εὑρεθῆναι, καταχωσθέντα τῇ ἰλύϊ τοῦ τέλµατος (‘When the barbarians had ravaged the Bosporus, Decius fell upon them, and killed many; they, in difficulty, offered to return all the plunder, if they were allowed to go home. Decius did not grant the request, but placed Gallus, a senator in the path of the barbarians, ordering him not to allow them to pass. Gallus, plotting against Decius, suggested to the barbarians, who were next to a deep swamp, that they draw up their battle line there. When they were drawn up and withdrew, Decius pursued; he, together with his son and the majority of the Romans, fell into the swamp, and they were all killed in that place, and their bodies were not found, having been covered in the mud of the swamp’). See also Bleckmann 1992, 157–73 for discussion of the relationship between Zonaras’ and other narratives. He is less concerned than I am with the invented geography for the battle. Zos. 1.23; see p.35 below for further discussion.

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of proto-Julian, betrayed beyond the frontier (making it somewhat interesting that in the Caesares, Julian omits all emperors between Alexander Severus and Valerian, while holding Gallienus responsible for the disasters of the third century).50 The Evolution of the Traditions There are some conclusions that may be drawn from the foregoing. One is that the story of the circumstances of Decius’ death, to appear in Eutropius, the earliest of the three epitomators (his work was finished in 364), must have developed by the middle of the fourth century. The second is that the story of Decius’ death in the swamp was amplified by the story that he had been betrayed by the time that Aurelius Victor wrote, in the reign of Theodosius i. It is not necessary to believe that he knew the same story that Zosimus discovered in his source (surely Eunapius). What is perhaps most significant is that there may have been a third-century tradition to support this notion; that Constantine knew some version of Decius’ story that had him dying in barbarian lands could date the emergence of the story to the time of Diocletian, the point at which an ideologically useful ‘court tradition’ of the third century had developed which also recalled Gallienus as a reprobate and Aurelian as a thug.51 Dexippus’ Skythika, completed in Aurelian’s reign seems to blame Decius and no one else for the disasters of 251, but the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle, an earlier composition, might reference something of the sort on its highly negative portrayal of Gallus, who is said to have brought the ‘disorderly races’ against the ‘walls of Rome’.52 Given the fact that the authors whose work came into the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle would certainly not have had access to the imperial court, it may be that the story of Decius’ defeat was open to wide ranging speculation outside of the circles influenced by a history like the one Dexippus wrote (that would have been most people). From a contemporary Christian point of view, Decius and Valerian were equally appalling, and both paid the price for their impiety. The secular tradition about the two men diverges significantly. In Valerian’s case, it does seem possible that he was betrayed both by his own men and by the Persians, and that he survived for some time in Persian captivity, just as the Persian tradition, 50 51 52

Bowersock 1982. Potter (2014): 290–4 for these and other aspects of ‘Tetrarchic historiography’. Potter 1990, 285–8.

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known through Tabari says.53 As a victim of Persian perfidy, he was at least marginally useful to Roman propaganda in the third century. In the fourth century, he is more useful, as Constantine uses him, as an exemplar of the sort of person who excites the wrath of God and thus brings the Empire to ruin, though the fact of his capture was so embarrassing that the overall decline of the Empire in the third century was more readily attributed to the vices of Gallienus (something already evident in the Panegyric of 298 for Constantius).54 In the course of the fourth century his reputation gets worse, so that Zosimus can attribute the disaster of 260 in part to his personal failings. For Decius we see exactly the opposite trajectory. He is forgiven the sins attributed to him by Dexippus and well before there would be another emperor dying in battle against the Goths, he is made out to be rather more successful than he had been, pursuing his enemies beyond the frontier and, at least by the time Eunapius produced his history, a victim of treason. An emperor who died in battle could, it seems, become a hero, an exemplar of the martial virtues of the Roman people. That could not happen in the case of a man who died in captivity. It was best that he become an unperson. Outside of a strictly confessional context, their religious policies were irrelevant to later generations, it was the manner of their deaths that dictated the fashion of their memories. The different historiographic fates of Valerian and Decius reflect some significant issues about the way their defeats were perceived. In both cases stereotypes replace authentic detail in the later fourth century. It is only for Orosius, writing to contradict the argument that Christians were responsible for the divine disfavour manifest in the capture of Rome who would resuscitate the memory of the persecutors as victims of divine vengeance. For other writers this was not relevant, even if they could anticipate Christians being amongst their audiences. Nor, given that he was simply remembered as a loser, was there any interest in digging out the details of Valerian’s final encounter with Sapor, or even recalling the possibility that he had been betrayed. That fact underscores the curious interest in later writers in claiming that Decius was betrayed. He had the decency to die in battle, and his record as a warrior is enhanced by the story that he was not just the first emperor to die fighting, but the first to do so beyond the frontiers. Since both Constantine and Aurelius Victor know this version it plainly has nothing to do with fourth-century 53

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Dodgeon and Lieu 1991, 282–3 for a translation. It is only in an Arabic tradition that Valerian is freed in return for a large ransom (with his nose—heels in an alternative version—cut off). Another tradition reported by Tabari has Sapor kill Valerian, see Dodgeon and Lieu 1991, 283–295. Pan. Lat. viii(4).10.1–3.

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emperors, Julian or with Valens, who would also die in battle. It is simply made up to make Decius seem more successful than he was. It would not be until a historian with very different interests, Jordanes, rediscovered Dexippus’ history in the sixth century that some semblance of the real story was recalled. Until then, stereotypes were more useful as being more readily understood than reality. Bibliography Andrade, N. 2013. Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World. Cambridge. Barnes, T.D. 1968. ‘Legislation against the Christians’, JRS 58: 32–50. Barnes, T.D. 1978. The Sources of the Historia Augusta. Collection Latomus 115. Brussels. Barnes, T.D. 1985. ‘Constantine and the Christians of Persia’, JRS 75:126–36 Bleckmann, B. 1992. Die Reichkrise des III. Jahrhunderts in der spätantiken und byzantinischen Geschichtsschreibung: Untersuchungen zu den nachdionischen Quellen der Chronik des Johannes Zonaras. Munich. Bleckmann, B. 1997. ‘Der Kaiser als Prediger’, Hermes 125: 183–202. Bowersock, G.W. 1982. ‘The Emperor Julian on his Predecessors’, YCS 27: 159–72. Burgess, R.W. 2005. ‘A Common Source for Jerome, Eutropius, Festus, Ammianus and the Epitome de Caesaribus between 358 and 378, Along with Further Thoughts on the Nature and Date of the Kaisergeschichte’, CPh 100: 166–192. Cameron, A. 2011. The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford. Claytor, G. 2016. ‘A Decian Libellus from Luther College (Iowa)’, Tyche 30: 13–18. Davenport, C. and C. Mallan 2013. ‘Dexippus’ Letter of Decius: Context and Interpretation’, Museum Helveticum, 70: 57–73. Dodgeon, M.H. and S.N.C. Lieu 1991. The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars (AD 226–363): A Documentary History. London. Desbordes, O. and S. Ratti 2000. Histoire Auguste 4.2: Vies des deux Valériens et des deux Galliens. Paris. Enmann, A. 1884. Ein verlorne Geschichte der römischen Kaiser und das Buch De Viris Illustribus Urbis Romae. Quellenkritik. Philologus suppl. 4: 335–501. Gawlikowski, M. 2007. ‘Odainat et Hérodien, rois de rois’, MUSJ 60: 289–313. Gilliam, J.F. 1956. ‘Trebonianus Gallus and The Decii: III et I cos’. Studi in Onore Di Aristide Calderini E Roberto Paribeni. Milan: 305–311. Grusková, J. and G. Martin 2014. ‘Ein neues Textstück aus den “Scythica Vindobonensia” zu den Ereignizzen nach der Eroberung von Philoppopolis’, Tyche 29: 35–36. Grusková, J. 2015. ‘Zum Angriff der Goten unter Kniva auf eine thrakische Stadt (Scythika Vindobonensia, f. 195v)’, Tyche 30: 35–53.

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Hartmann, U. 2009. ‘Orientalisches Selbstbewusstsein im 13 Sibyllinischen Orakel’, in M. Blömer, M. Facella and E. Winter (eds.) Lokale Identität im Römischen Nahen Osten: Kontexte und Perspektiven. Tübingen. 75–98. Hekster, O. 2015. Emperors and Ancestors:  Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition. Oxford. Jones, C.P. 2011. ‘The Historian Philostratus of Athens’, CPh 61: 320–322. Kienast, D. 20115 Römische Kaisertabelle. Grundzüge einer römischen Kaizerchronologie, Darmstadt. (first edition, 1990) Knipfing, J.R. 1923. ‘The Libelli of the Decian Persecution’, HTR 16: 345–390. Koenig, I. 1981. Die gallischen Usurpatoren von Postumus bis Tetricus. Munich. McDermot, B.C. 1954. ‘Roman Emperors in the Sassanian Reliefs’, JRS 44: 76–80. Mallan, C. and C. Davenport 2015. ‘Dexippus and the Gothic Invasions: Interpreting the New Vienna Fragment (Codex Vindobenensis Hist. gr. 73 fol. 192v-193r)’, JRS 105: 203–226. Martin, G. 2006. Dexipp von Athen:  Edition, Übersetzung und begleitende Studien. Tübingen. Martin, G. and J. Grusková 2014a. ‘“Dexippus Vindobonensis”(?) Ein neues Handschriftenfragment zum sog. Einfall der Jahre 267/268’, WS 127: 101–120. Martin, G. 2014b. ‘“Skythika Vindoboniensia” by Dexippus (?):  New Fragments on Decius’ Gothic Wars’, GRBS 54: 728–54. Mecella, L. 2006. ‘πάντα µὲν ἦν ἄναρχά τε καὶ ἀβοήθητα. Le città dell’Oriente romano e le invasioni barbariche del III secolo d.c.’, Mediterraneo Antico. Economie Società Culture 9: 241–66. Mecella, L. 2013. Dexippo di Atene: Testimonianze e Frammenti. Rome. Millar, F. 1992. The Emperor in the Roman World (rev. ed.). London. Potter, D.S. 1990. Prophecy and History in the Crisis of the Roman Empire: A Historical Commentary on the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle. Oxford. Potter, D.S. 1994. Prophets and Emperors: Human and Divine Authority from Augustus to Theodosius. Cambridge. Potter, D.S. 1996. ‘Palmyra and Rome:  Odaenathus’ Titulature and the Use of the Imperium Maius’, ZPE 113: 271–285. Potter, D.S. 2014. The Roman Empire at Bay AD 180–395. (2nd ed.) London. Potter, D.S. 2017. ‘Writing Constantine’, in E. Siecienski (ed.) Constantine:  Religious Faith and Imperial Policy. London. 91–112. Reynolds, J. 1982. Aphrodisias and Rome. Journal of Roman Studies Monograph 1. London. Rives, J. 1999. ‘The Decree of Decius and the Religion of Empire’, JRS 89: 235–254. Robert, L. 1994. Le martyre de Pionios prêtre de Smyrne (ed. G.W. Bowersock and C.P. Jones). Washington.

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Ste Croix G.E.M. de, 1963. ‘Why Were the Early Christians Persecuted?’ P&P 26: 6–38. (=G. E.  M.  de Ste. Croix, M. Whitby, J. Streeter (eds.), Christian Persecution, Martyrdom, and Orthodoxy [Oxford, 2006]:153–200). Schubert, P. 2017. ‘On the Form and Content of the Certificates of Pagan Sacrifice’, JRS 107: 172–198. Shaw, B.D. 2015. ‘The Myth of the Neronian Persecution’, JRS 105: 73–100. Addendum: For preliminary information about the discovery of the battlefield where Decius died (mentioned in footnote 1), see http://archaeologyinbulgaria .com/2016/09/15/archaeologists-identify-battlefield-of-251-ad-roman-goth-battle -of-abritus-near-bulgarias-dryanovets/ [retrieved: 12 May 2018]

Chapter 2

Scelerum inventor et malorum machinator. Diocletian and the Tetrarchy in Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum Jürgen K. Zangenberg Approaching the Topic1 ‘Von der Parteien Gunst und Hass verwirrt, schwankt sein Charakterbild in der Geschichte’.2 This proverbial phrase from Friedrich Schiller’s prologue to his famous poem Wallenstein on the eponymous general of the Thirty Years War, Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein (1583–1634), written in 1800, is a fitting beginning for a chapter on Diocletian in a volume on the literary and visual depictions of Roman emperors. Images—both visual and literary perception and representation of people or events—always have a function in a concrete process of communication and negotiation. Variety and controversy are part of ‘image making’. Images never coincide, they differ, contrast or even contradict each other.3 Against such a background, this chapter will examine one particular process of ‘imaging’: that of the Late Roman emperor Diocletian during a crucial period of transformation of the Roman Empire. In my survey I  will first briefly sketch the image Diocletian promoted of himself and his colleagues to determine how he wanted to be seen by his own public and by future generations, using both data from material culture and literary sources. Then, I will discuss Lactantius’ counterimage which reflects a very different perspective and a new historical situation. 1 I wish to thank Diederik Burgersdijk, Evelien Renders and Ilse Verstegen for organizing the conference ‘Images and Emperors in the 4th Century ad’ at Nijmegen’s Radboud University and for inviting me to present a shorter version of this paper. I am also grateful to my student assistant Jasper Verplanke, Leiden University, for his meticulous editorial work and to the editors of this volume for much valuable advice. 2 ‘Observed by partisan love and hate, his profile / remains uncertain in the gaze of History’ (trans. Flora Kimmich). 3 See Introduction p.6-12 for further discussion.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 004

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Diocletian’s Self-Image From Chaos to Stability—The Sources for Diocletian’s Self-Image It is more difficult than one might think to reconstruct how Diocletian wanted to be seen by his contemporaries, or what image he intended to leave to future generations after him. Extant literary sources are by far not unproblematic: ‘(I)f they broadly tell us what happened, they are hardly reliable on the question of why, even less how’.4 Apart from buildings, coins, and many inscriptions we have, in addition to a number of historical accounts written after Diocletian, six roughly contemporary panegyrical speeches on Diocletian’s colleagues Maximian Augustus (Pan. Lat. x[2] from 289 and Pan. Lat. xi[3] from 291) and Constantius Caesar (Pan. Lat. viii[4] from 297); then on all four Tetrarchs (Pan. Lat. ix[5] by Eumenius from 298), on Maximian and Constantine (Pan. Lat. vii[6] dating to 307), and three speeches on Constantine as Augustus (Pan. Lat. vi[7] from 310; Pan. Lat. v[8] from 311/12 and Pan. Lat. xii[9] dating to 313). All these texts often contain vital information on Diocletian’s selfimaging,5 but every single one of our sources—be they Christian or ‘pagan’—is already part of the broad process of ‘imaging Diocletian’, and none of them is ‘neutral’.6 Taking Diocletian’s relatively long reign as a whole, many contemporaries indeed seem to have shared the common perception that the Tetrarchy was a turning point after a long period of governmental chaos, economic crisis, and military defeats.7 In the words of the panegyrist of 291, for example, the Empire had been liberated from tyranny, injustice, and savagery, peace and prosperity had returned to the provinces (Pan. Lat. xi[3].5.3 clementia; xi[3].15.3 salutem rei publicae redderetis). A much more effective division of military, economic, and administrative resources and a clear consensus on succession and responsiblities had indeed granted the Empire respite and the stability that it had been painfully lacking for a long time (for example, Pan. Lat. x[2]9; Pan. Lat. viii[4]3.3).8 Summarizing 4 Rees 2004, 12. He continues: ‘On crucial matters of political motivation and ideology, of the practical machinery of government administration, of life as it was lived, they can tell us little.’ 5 Pan. Lat.  =  Panegyrici Latini according to the bilingual edition by Müller-Rettig 2008 and following the numbering used by Rees 2012. On the Panegyrics as propagandists of a ‘united Tetrarchy’ see Hekster 2015, 300–311. 6 On Diocletian in general cf. e.g. Stephenson 2011, 87–109; Kolb 1987; Kuhoff 2001; Potter 2013, 29–64; Rosen 2013, 45–66. 7 The Historia Augusta even calls Diocletian ‘father of a golden age’ (Elagabalus 35.4). 8 On military aspects see Rees 2004, 13–23.

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these achievements, the famous price edict of 301 was able to announce ‘a picture of a world at peace that was not optimistic propaganda but a fair description of reality’.9 Between Meritocracy and Dynastic Ambition: The Tetrachic System Diocletian and his three Tetrarchic colleagues did everything to promulgate their image as god-sent creators of an unprecedented degree of stability for the entire Empire. Diocletian was at the very centre of that effort, both ideologically as its uncontested focus and actively as his own main propagandist. The reason for that is simple: there can be no doubt that the Tetrarchic system originally was Diocletian’s ‘invention’, making him one of the great ‘moulder(s) of a new imperial matrix’, perhaps as great as Augustus’.10 Regardless of his hate of Diocletian, even Lactantius acknowledges that fact at a crucial point in his narrative: when Maximianus the Elder (i.e., Galerius) approached Diocletian to pressure him into retirement, he assured the aging emperor that he would not alter the present governmental system according to which there were two more powerful men in the state who have ultimate authority, and two less powerful men who support the former in their task (dmp 18.5 ‘Diocletian’s arrangement ought to be permanently preserved, whereby there were two senior rulers in the state who held supreme power and two younger rulers to assist them’).11 In a way, the Tetrarchy intends to combine and reconcile two conflicting principles: meritocracy and the dynastic principle.12 The purpose was to overcome the disunity that regularly erupted over the question of succession which had caused much of the chaos in previous decades.13 The way out of that dilemma, according to Diocletian, was to incorporate potential candidates, distinguished by their achievements and authority, into the government as subordinate corulers and designated successors already before the casus successionis occurred, and to bolster their role by creating fictitious family relations. 9 10 11

12 13

Corcoran 2000, 41; Corcoran 2011, 208 quoting tranquillo orbis statu et in gremio altissimae quietis locato from Diocletian’s price edict I.1 (Lauffer 1971, 90). Corcoran 2000, 40. Trans. Creed. ipsius dispositionem in perpetuum conservari, ut duo sint in re publica maiores, qui summam rerum teneant, item duo minores qui sunt adiumento. See the term coined by the not unsympathetic pagan historian Aurelius Victor on what we now call ‘Tetrarchy’: quadripartitum imperium (39.30). Börm 2015, 240–246. He shows that both concepts are rooted in Roman tradition, thugh the combination under Diocletian was new. Lactantius never uses the term Tetrarchy. Thus Kolb 1987, 15–49 and 66f. who underlines his statement with the fact that Diocletian did not have his own sons in 284 which made him attractive for many of his military peers who could hope to be appointed to share the rule with Diocletian.

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It took Diocletian some time until he had perfected the new system: after Gaius Valerius Diocles had come to power on 20 November 284 as a usurper like the more than twenty emperors or pretenders before him,14 Marcus Aurelius Gaius Valerius Diocletianus, as he now called himself, chose Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus first as his aide in 285, then after Maximian had proven himself fit for the job formally appointed him Augustus in early 286.15 Each Augustus was now responsible for one half of the Empire which had long become much too big for a single ruler to control. In 293, the co-rule of two emperors was transformed into collegiate rule of two emperors with their two ‘appointed princely successors’ when the two senior Augusti Diocletian and Maximian chose Galerius and Constantius i as Caesares, their junior colleagues, and above all designated successors.16 Until Diocletian’s retirement in 305, the system worked remarkably well. To be sure, shared power arrangements were not unheard of in the Roman Empire. Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, who jointly ruled with Lucius Commodus and Annius Verus, offer a good precedent of an ‘arranged succession’. But times changed, and the model of basing legitimacy on imperial descent and defending it by keeping power within one’s own family, more and more discredited itself during the second half of the third century. None of the usurpers ultimately proved strong enough to secure control. But despite its rather sobering reality check, the dynastic principle remained an option, and needed to be addressed by Diocletian.17 Propaganda and Success: Advertizing an Experiment Real success was as important as its systematic advertisement by propagandistic and ideological means. To overcome the lack of dynastic legitimation and its potentially centrifugal effect on the Tetrarchy, one of its strongest ideological ties was the image of concordia. Many documents continuously affirm the unity and cordial relationship between the two Augusti and their Caesares (Pan. Lat. x[2]3.1–4 cognata numina; 9.3 hac ipsa vestri similitudine magis magisque concordes et, quod omni consanguinitate certius est, virtutibus fratres; Pan. Lat. xi[3]6.3 quanta vosmet invicem pietate colitis). This mantra took on several forms. While the panegyrists, for example, repeatedly hailed the Tetrarchs’ success as an achievement of their concordia, pieces of official 14 15 16 17

Kolb 1987, 10 calls the circumstances of his ascension to the throne ‘einigermaßen geheimnisvoll’ (see pp. 10–21). On the reasons for Maximian’s appointment and its circumstances see Kolb 1987, 22–67. See the discussion in Kolb 1987, 68–87. Kolb 1987, 86.

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art reinforced this image: the faces of the Tetrarchs were made to look similar on statues and coins, and statues showed the Tetrarchs embracing each other or clasping their hands.18 Of course, the Tetrarchs’ common origin in the war-torn Danubian provinces and their military careers had already forged them into an invincible ‘band of brothers’ (Pan. Lat. xi[3]3.9 provinciae … in quibus omnis vita militia est). No wonder the army provided an exceptionally important element for shaping the ‘Tetrarchic image’. The Tetrarchs frequently had themselves depicted in military dress, arms, and harness. Such attire did not only signal solidarity with the military: the Tetrarchs’ short hair, bullish heads, and stubbly beards symbolized austerity and continuous hard work for the wellbeing of the Empire in general—a kind of military ascetism. But that was not enough. To bolster their collegiality, a fictitious ancestry was designed and strong kinship ties were created through adoption and marriage and propagandistically promoted. Establishing new family bonds was meant to keep individual ambitions under control by securing future roles for all members of the newly created families.19 Consequently, the panegyrists used family-related concepts and metaphors to describe the Tetrarchs’ mutual relationships:  they are like brothers or twins sharing an indivisible patrimony (Pan. Lat. x[2]9.3 virtutibus fratres; Pan. Lat. xi[3]6.3 germani geminive fratres indiviso patrimonio). But unlike in natural families, the Tetrarchs’ ties are not incidental, but are willingly chosen and therefore of a higher, stronger sort because they are based not only on common blood (Pan. Lat. x[2]9.3 consanguinitas), but on virtue and rational choice and consent (Pan. Lat. xi[3]7.5-7 germanitas is not fortuita … sed electa).20 Strangely enough imperial women were—unlike later under Constantine—almost invisible: the Tetrarchic ‘band of divine brothers’ apparently needed neither mothers nor wives.21 ‘A Band of Divine Brothers’: Religion and the Tetrarchy The Tetrarchy certainly did not only depend on family politics and propaganda. Success was important, above all on the battlefield. But above all, Tetrarchic rule required a firm intellectual and religious basis.22 There was 18 19 20 21 22

See e.g. the Venice Tetrarchs or the reliefs in the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, L’Orange 1984, 6–9, 27, 99–100, pls. 5, 7. Hekster 2015, 277–314. Emphasized also by Kolb 1987, 86f. Hekster 2015, 313–314. On the ideology of unity see Rees 2004, 72–76.

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a lot the Tetrarchs could adapt: the crisis of the third century had already led to several attempts to revive and reform traditional religious beliefs and rituals, like under Gallienus and later Aurelian, but the rapid sequence of emperors and usurpers had prevented any long-lasting effect of these reforms. The Tetrarchs’ court propagandists and philosophers not only very skilfully borrowed elements from traditional religion; they also combined them with new philosophical elements and added new accents. The Tetrarchs designed a new theological system based on their divine origin and character (Pan. Lat. xi[3]3.2–4; cf. 6.4 their souls are called vero caelestes et sempiternae). Diocletian himself claimed to have attained power divino consensu (ha, Car. 13.1). Later, Fate and the Stars brought the four emperors together (Pan. Lat. xi[3]4.1; 19.2-4 praemia fatorum, bona sidera et amica). The Tetrarchs consequently participate in divine virtues and qualities from birth (Pan. Lat. xi[3]2.4 vos dis esse genitos).23 Their rule corresponds to the order in the universe, since the number ‘four’ is nothing less than a cosmological principle (Pan. Lat. viii[4]4.2 isto numinis vestri numero summa omnia nituntur et gaudent). The Tetrarchs’ emphasis on their sacrality, their image as comites deorum permeated all aspects of official court ideology and protocol.24 A  powerful visual expression of that belief can be found in the iconographic programme of the shrine of the imperial cult at Luxor.25 What worshippers preceived from painted or sculpted images, and what they performed in ritual created a powerful reality that evoked the presence of the divine emperors. The panegyrics are equally explicit:  Diocletian’s colleague Maximian was hailed as sacratissime imperator (Pan. Lat. x[2]1.5; xi[3]19.1). Diocletian consequently expected to be addressed as dominus and was called a ‘present and visible Jupiter, all closeby’.26 Human reaction to Diocletian’s divine appearance was one of awe and gratitude. Of course, each Tetrarch’s achievements enhanced his own glory, but ultimately every ruler served the fame and popularity of his colleagues (Pan. Lat. xi[3]6.7; see the adoratio in Mediolanum: geminato numine, ambo, pariter, iunctim, concorditer in Pan. Lat. xi[3]11), so that in the end a delicate imperial symmetry prevailed.27

23 24 25 26 27

Kolb 1987, 90–91. Rees 2004, 54–56 on the background of the names and Herculius and Iovius. McFadden 2015b. Conspicuus et praesens Iuppiter cominus, Pan. Lat. xi(3)10.5. Kolb 1987, 115–127.

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Jovians and Herculians: Hierarchy in Equality Despite all the shared honours and the creation of a common divine aura around the Tetrarchs, a subtle hierarchy existed among them.28 To express both common sacrality and hierarchy, the Tetrarchs modified the traditional ruler’s affiliation with a particular protector god and adapted this, still rather informal, habit into a more systematic form.29 While Diocletian seems to have had a particular affinity with Sol at the beginning of his career,30 he later connected himself and his co-Augustus with the prime god of the Empire Jupiter.31 The Caesares, however, claimed Hercules, the universal helper and invincible protector ‘who represented heroic energy combined with willing obedience’,32 as their patron.33 The religious dimension was indeed crucial for the Tetrarchy’s public image and its inherent stability.34 Throughout his reign, Diocletian demonstrated a decidedly conservative attitude towards traditional values and practices. The result was a much more doctrinal form of Roman religiosity than had ever existed before. In the edict against the Manicheans, for example, Diocletian and Maximian explicitly warned that one must not oppose vetus religio and subject it to new creeds. To them, it was a most severe crime to reopen discussions about ‘doctrines once and for all settled and defined by our forefathers’ (Coll. leg. Mos. et Rom. xv 3). Only traditional religio will please the gods and safeguard their continuous blessings for the Empire. At the same time, only practicing accepted religio will demonstrate one’s loyalty to the emperors, since such action complies well with the emperors’ own behaviour.35 Therefore, 28 29

30 31

32 33 34 35

Hekster 2015, 280–282 on an ‘apparent hierarchy among the rulers’ in their ‘Tetrarchic image’. Kolb 1987, 88–114 describes the complex relationship between Iovii and Herculii and emphasizes their factual (perhaps not ideological) equality and Diocletian’s ‘persönlichen Ancennitäts- und Autoritätsvorsprung’ (p. 109). Aur. Vic. 39.13; Kolb 1987, 15. According to Kolb 1987, 16.19–20 Diocletian adopted Jupiter very early in his reign (continuing a tradition starting with Gallienus), but did not drop Sol altogether, see the Carnuntum-Altar on which both deities are mentioned (ae 1914, 249; cil v 803). See also ibid. 52–67 on the dies natalis of Diocletian and Maximian in 286. Frend 2006, 518. On Iovius and Herculius see Kolb 1987, 88–114; DePalma-Digeser 2012, 27–31; Hekster 2015, 297–300 Pan. Lat. x(2)1.3; see x(2)13; xi(3)3 or viii(4)4.1 illa Iovis et Herculis cognata maiestas in Iovio Herculioque principibus totius mundi caelestiumque rerum similitudines requirebat. Corcoran 2011, 51–53. See Coll. leg Mos. et Rom. vi 4.1: ‘The immortal Gods, on their part, will undoubtedly continue to be, as they have always been, favourable and friendly to the Roman Power, only if all who live under our rule shall be observed by us to lead pious and religious lives, and to observe in all things quiet and absolute purity’.

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contemporaneous pamphlets constantly celebrated the Tetrarchs’ divine qualities (providentia in ils 613, a building inscription from Nicomedia on the restoration of the Antonine Baths),36 and presented them as shining examples for all citizens to emulate in their way to practice proper pietas towards the gods. By their example, the Tetrarchs will ultimately lead all humans to an ever greater appreciation of the divine (Pan. Lat. xi[3]6.1-2). As a saviour of the peace and stability of the Empire, Diocletian saw himself personally responsible for promoting and protecting this news sort of ‘orthopraxy’. Consequently, one of the most important tasks of the Tetrarchs consisted in actively fighting against all sorts of immoral behaviour (Law on Marriage in Coll. Leg. Mos et Rom. vi 4),37 stubborn depravity (pertinacia pravae mentis in Coll. leg. Mos. et Rom. xv 3.3) and anilis superstitio and to defend real religio towards the gods (Lactantius, Inst. 5.2.7).38 Dangerous Terrain for Non-Conformists In such an environment, nonconformity could only have been perceived as attempt to undermine the image of religiously motivated concordia and pietas: ‘the emperors wanted a polity whose common worship would ensure the continued blessings of unity and stability from the gods, Rome’s traditional protectors, whose wrath they had but recently appeased’.39 Whoever challenged the peace regained with the gods was a threat to public safety and had to expect the most severe punishments. The first to be hit by the full impact of Rome’s coercive actions were the Manicheans. Being of Persian origin and by rejecting animal sacrifices, they were suspicious per se. So, on 31 March 302 a letter was issued by the Tetrarchs against the Manichaeans that forms an ‘immediate and aggressive precedent for the “Great Persecution”’ only a year later.40 In 303, the next to suffer were the Christians. The Christians, on the other hand, had not developed a really constructive relationship with the Roman state either. For a long time, Christian intellectuals had kept a mental distance from the state and saw it, mostly on the basis of practical experience but also inspired by apocalyptic motives, as a proponent of 36 37

38 39 40

Rees 2004, 146. Coll. leg Mos. et Rom. vi 4.6: ‘The Roman Empire has, under divine favour, attained its present greatness, only because it has safeguarded all its laws with the wise sanctions of religion and concern for morality (religione sapienti pudorisque observatione)’. Heck 1987, 187. DePalma-Digeser 2012, 2. Rees 2004, 58–59, see Coll. leg. Mos. et Rom, xv 3.

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blasphemous paganism and a potential source of violence. The definitive change of the legal situation only came after Galerius had issued the famous Edict of Tolerance in 311 which ended the persecutions by finally adopting Christianity into the fold of accepted Roman religious options. Galerius’ momentous decision, confirmed in 313 by Constantine and Licinius in Milan, also gave the Christians the opportunity—and posed the necessity—to revise their own attitude towards the state. Lactantius is an important voice in this process. Lucius Caecilius Firmianus An Intellectual between Imperial Honours and Persecution Sometime in the 290s Diocletian appointed Lucius Cae(ci)lius Firmianus, also called Lactantius,41 a student of the famous rhetor Arnobius from Sicca Veneria in Africa, professor of Latin to serve as teacher at his new, thriving court at Nicomedia on the Marmara Sea (Jerome, vir. ill. 80). Well educated in language, literature, and philosophy, as well as being cultured, eloquent and equipped with a respectable public position, Lactantius certainly belonged to the intellectual and likely also economic elite of his time.42 Sometime before or during his stay at Nicomedia, Lactantius must have converted to Christianity. Why and under what circumstances he took this step, we do not know. Christian communities in general benefited from the forty-year period of peace and stability since 260 when Gallienus had stopped the first wave of persecutions initiated under his predecessors Decius and Valerian.43 Christians actively used this opportunity and increasingly recruited neophytes from intellectual circles. Lactantius apparently was one of these elite newcomers who built more and more social and intellectual bridges between Christian religion and imperial culture.44 In 302/03 at the latest, however, the tide clearly turned against the Christians. The stage was apparently prepared by anti-Christian propagandists like Porphyrius or Sossianus Hierocles (Inst. 5.2.3-3.26).45 Already in 299 41 42

43 44 45

Born c. 250, died c. 325 perhaps in Trier. On the life of Lactantius and the circumstances under which dmp was written, see e.g. Barnes 1996, 11–14; DePalma-Digeser 2000; Walter 2006, 16–21; Städele 1998; id. 2003, 7–11 and 75–78. Rives 1999; Corcoran 2011, 36. see e.g. Eusebius, he 8.13.9. Barnes 1976; Barnes 1996, 21–22; Simmons 1995, 22–32; Walter 2006, 18; DePalmaDigeser 2012, esp. 164–191.

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Diocletian had ordered Christians to be removed from the army and civil service when a small group of Christians present at a sacrificial ceremony at the court at Nicomedia was found guilty of being the cause ‘for the absence of entrails in animals sacrificed to the gods in honour of the successful conclusion of the Persian war’ by uttering exorcistic formulae and refusing to participate in the subsequent epulae (dmp 10f.).46 No matter if Lactantius’ anecdote is historically reliable, it nicely catches the atmosphere and demonstrates mutual ‘image-building’. For Diocletian Christians simply disturbed the harmony between the emperor and the gods. Christians had, after all, long been known for their criticism of pagan sacrifices. Diocletian was convinced ‘that the official ideology of the Tetrarchy presupposed religious conformity’ and consequently targeted the Christians as next in a line of oriental enemies of the Empire after the Manicheans.47 Lactantius, in turn, might eagerly have picked (or perhaps even made up) this episode to demonstrate that the religious base of the Tetrarchy was nothing else but supersition. How, in the first place, could an animal have lived without entrails? In any case, open violence broke out on 23 February 303 when Diocletian began issuing a series of edicts to eradicate Christianity from society as a whole (dmp 9.11).48 To punish and correct Christians, they were forced to sacrifice (dmp 10.1–4).49 Especially in the East, churches were burnt, property confiscated and functionaries and later laypersons arrested, tried and killed. De mortibus persecutorum We do not know how Lactantius managed to survive the almost ten dark years of persecution up to 311. He certainly lost his highly-respected position at the Nicomedian court, but seems to have still been able to remain active as writer, if the earliest parts of his Divinae Institutiones can really be dated to shortly before 311. Lactantius probably wrote De mortibus persecutorum (dmp) shortly after the bloody ten years had ended, maybe between late 313 and mid-316.50 Unfortunately, the text provides little information on where it originated. We know that Lactantius was active as tutor for Crispus, Constantine’s son, 46 47 48 49 50

Frend 2006, 519. Barnes 1996, 18–20. Barnes 1996, 22–27. Rees 2004, 59–66. Barnes 1996, 13–14: ‘Lactantius wrote On the Deaths of the Persecutors while Constantine and Licinius were still at peace with each other, and he wrote it in Nicomedia as a subject of Licinius not Constantine’, arguing for a date between 313 and 315; Potter 2013, 302 argues for the end of 313.

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at Trier in 314/15,51 but is that enough evidence to propose that Trier was the place where Lactantius penned De mortibus persecutorum?52 Wherever Lactantius lived at the time of writing, he seems to have been fully rehabilitated as a Christian intellectual.53 The genre of De mortibus persecutorum is difficult to define. It is everything between a polemical pamphlet, a reflection on history and a theological treatise about God’s justice. In dmp Lactantius triumphantly announces that God, the religionis ac populi sui vindex (dmp 31.1), has started to punish all persecutors with the most violent deaths. Given the topic and circumstances of its origin, it is no wonder that dmp is full of exuberant emotions. Lactantius mourns, warns and threatens, he twists facts, exaggerates situations and ignores others. In dmp there is no middle ground, no objectivity. Lactantius is polemical, biased and often unfair to the main characters whose violent and cruel deaths are used to assure all Christians that God will eventually take revenge on unjust rulers and vindicate his innocent people. But dmp is not just a ‘durch und durch tendenziöse, polemische Abrechnung mit den Feinden Gottes und der Menschen’.54 It is a well-conceived, rhetorically subtle, pedagogical, and extremely effective work, written at a crucial moment of political transition.55 Not only were the years of tribulation and death definitively over for the Christians in the West after 311 and in the East after 313 (extincta impiorum conspiratio, dmp 1.4), the rise of Constantine, who had effectively stopped persecutions in the West after he had taken over power from his father, nourished Lactantius’ hope that Rome might now redefine its relation with the Christians (post atrae tempestatis violentos turbines placidus aer et optata lux refulsit, dmp 1.3). The new situation not only demanded Rome to reconsider its attitude 51

52 53

54 55

Christensen 1980, 21–26 pleads for ‘autumn of 313 (or the winter of 314) and the summer of 316’ in Bithynia; Städele 2003, 75–77 agrees with Christensen on the dating, but prefers a court in the West; all this, however, remains very uncertain. For Trier see, e.g., Rosen 2013, 17. This does not turn dmp into a simple pro-Constantinian pamphlet, although it was likely written under the influence of Constantius i, or more likely Constantine, see the discussion in Christensen, 1980. On the relationship between Lactantius and Constantine, especially regarding dmp see Walter 2006, 267–288 (‘starke Züge proconstantinischer Propaganda’, 268 and 278–280). ‘A thoroughly biased and polemic account of the enemies of God and mankind’, Städele 2003, 75. Barnes 1996, 13 calls it a ‘pamphlet’: ‘The work has a violent and aggressive tone, with no attempt to disguise its author’s bias, his profound admiration for Constantine, his deep loathing for Constantine’s political adversaries. Lactantius’ prejudices and strong opinions foster the suspicion that he must have tailored the facts to suit his thesis’.

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towards the Christians, the Christians had to rethink theirs, too. With its clear language and position, dmp takes a clear stance in this process. Based on Christian values like pietas and aequitas,56 on Biblical topics especially from 2Maccabees, according to which the just will ultimately be vindicated and the unjust punished, and on elements of Roman ethics of punishment and reward, Lactantius gives a decidedly Christian account of the persecutions and the end of the Tetrarchy. He re-evaluates the main protagonists, criticizes their official images as mirages and replaces them by his own counter-images. With these images, Lactantius actively shapes his readers’ conception at a time when the old Tetrarchic spirits were finally evaporating and two new, promising figures were emerging: Constantine in the West and Licinius in the East—the latter of whom had apparently not yet turned into a pesecutor of Christians at the time of writing De morte persecutorum. Lactantius takes these rulers as exempla for his central message, namely that the one God of the Christians is the only final judge who will avenge his faithful and vindicate his might (dmp 1.7). To prove his point, Lactantius resorts to powerful rhetorical devices. He insists that God’s punishment is not only imaginary or spiritual, it has drastic effects on the persecutors:  it inflicts madness, debility, illness, bodily decay, and cruel, painful deaths. In this respect, God’s justice first of all is retribution. Apart from being a pedagogical treatise on God’s justice, dmp offers a political program in nuce, that—to be sure—differs from the sometimes hostile antiimperial polemics in earlier apologetic writings, but takes up their point that Christians are loyal citizens and deserve to be tolerated and respected.57 Targeting the execrabilia animalia: Lactantius Versus the Tetrarchs Among many other persecutors, Diocletian naturally plays a promiment role in dmp. For Lactantius, Diocletian was not the first, but certainly among the most despicable and violent persecutors of the Church. Diocletian and his comrades did not see what swift and violent deaths all those execrabilia animalia from 56

57

See the broader discussion on pietas and aequitas in Lactantius’ writings in Walter 2006, 214–231. Walter is able to show that Lactantius’ concept of pietas differs quite considerably from that of the way it featured in Roman imperial ideology. The discussion of Lactantius’ political message is broad and controversial, partly because his statements in his various works are by far not consistent. I agree with Walter 2006, esp. p. 268 who sees dmp in some sort of a transitional, middle position (see literature quoted in his n. 18). Although Lactantius might not have proposed a ‘constructive political theory’ in dmp (Garnsey 2002, 174, n. 90), it cannot be denied that his criticism on Diocletian and the Tetrarchs is remarkably detailed and fundamental at the same time. This implies a distinct political position, which Lactantius may not explicitly express, but addresses in nuce.

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Nero to Decius and Aurelian had suffered from the hand of God (dmp 2.5–6.2), but committed even more outrageous crimes (audacius etiam contra deum confidentiusque, dmp 6.3). Introduced in such a way, it is clear that the Tetrarchs, whose savagery Lactantius has very likely witnessed himself, are the main targets of De morte persecutorum. Diocletian is the first to be attacked in De morte persecutorum, since he made three other rulers join his tyranny and he has divided the Empire into four parts and split up the army (dmp 7.2). Lactantius’ criticism of Diocletian as a blasphemous persecutor of the Christians is therefore closely related to his political criticism agianst the Tetrarchy. No wonder, therefore, that Lactantius disagrees with the panegyrists about almost every aspect of the Tetrarchs’ rule. If the panegyrists had presented the Tetrarchy as a divine reflection of the cosmological order, Lactantius castigates it as nothing less than the result of Diocletian’s avarice and timidity (avaritia et timiditas, dmp 7.29) that made him scelerum inventor et malorum machinator (dmp 7.1). In short: with the Tetrarchy, Diocletian had set out to destroy the glorious Empire (rem publicam talibus consiliis et talibus sociis everteret, dmp 9.11). Let us have a closer look. Already in the beginning of Lactantius’ long list of Diocletian’s crimes, the emperor is charged with daring to challenge God (dmp 7.1). But theology does not set the tone for dmp. Surprisingly, the religious component of the Tetrarchy, itself an important element of its ideology, does not play a prominent role here. It is likely that Lactantius had already referred to the religious aspect of the Tetrarchy in his refutation of polytheism in Inst. i.58 Although never directly addressing the Tetrarchs by name, he seems especially interested in criticizing traditions on Jupiter and Hercules. In Inst. 1.9.111, for example, Lactantius attacks Jupiter’s lust, self-indulgence, greed, and contempt—the direct opposites of virtue, restraint, and self-control (Inst. 1.9.4). Moreover, many myths and traditions depict Jupiter as an adulterer and as being guilty of parricide, undermining the belief that he is really Optumus et Maximus (Inst. 1.10.10-11.49). Similarly, Daia’s barbarae libidines and cupiditas corrumpendi destroy any pudicitia, fides and castitas (dmp 38.1–41.3) and directly violate moral renewal of, for example, marriage laws (cf. dmp 38.4: as omnibus nuptiis praegustator Daia demanded ius primae noctis). Furthermore, Jupiter is arrogant, because he wants to have his cults everywhere (Inst. 1.22.21-28). Finally, Jupiter’s good reputation with simple people is misused by rulers like shrewd Minos who retreated to Jupiter’s cave on Crete, spent a long time there and proclaimed his laws as gift from the god, ‘so that he could enforce 58

Digeser 2012, 32–40; Diocletian’s decision to persecute the Christians ‘had brought Rome to the brink of ruin. (...) (T)he Tetrarchy had set in motion the events that would end the world’ (ibid., 45 quoting Inst. 7.17.1-19.6).

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the people’s obedience not merely by command but by religious sanction also’ (Inst. 1.22.3-4). Hercules does not fare any better in Inst. The myths demonstrate that he is not a helper nor a protector, but a violent thief who took the last oxen from a poor farmer because he was hungry. Consequently, he is a liar, and in his cult good words are condemned as profanation (Inst. 1.21.31-37). Instead, dmp targets the political and administrative decisions that provided the basis for Diocletian’s political experiment of reforming the Empire. A few aspects are worth mentioning: a) According to Lactantius, the extensive sacralization of the Tetrarchs’ rule, above all Diocletian’s detailed court protocol,59 was inspired by Persian customs and dress and therefore is ‘un-Roman’ and nothing but a testament to Diocletian’s boundless desire for wealth. Interestingly enough, Constantius i is not mentioned in this context, although he certainly shared the quasi-divine aura with his colleagues in the official image of the Tetrarchy. b) Lactantius further denounces the reorganization of the traditional provinces into dioceses and smaller units as ‘dividing the world in four’ (in quattuor partes orbe diviso, dmp 7.2).60 c) Lactantius also attacks the new structure of the Empire as an unnecessary enlargement of administration and bureaucracy (dmp 7.4).61 The Tetrarchs’ comitatus (core of court, civil administration, and high ranking military) indeed quadrupled, because the emperor travelled and needed to have his aides around.62 In fact, to have the comitatus at each emperor’s immediate disposal meant quick execution of imperial decisions and easier communication. For Lactantius, however, this system only had negative results. d) Consequently, the enlargement of the army and its pivotal role in the defence and stabilization of the Empire are criticized as a mere scheme to enhance each ruler’s military power in the struggle for his own interests (dmp 7.2 and 5).63 What that meant in practice for Lactantius becomes clear when he describes the aging Diocletian and his rival Galerius negotiating about establishing the ‘second Tetrarchy’ (dmp 19). In the course of the ensuing haggle Galerius’ allegedly 59 60 61 62 63

On the court protocol see Rees 2004, 46–56 Corcoran 2011, 46–47. See the Laterculus Veronensis in Rees 2004, 171–173. Corcoran 2011, 45–46. Corcoran 2011, 46–47.

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corrupt character took the lead and had the hated Maxentius, homo perniciosae ac malae mentis, adeo superbus et contumax (dmp 18.9), Severus, saltatorem temulentum ebriosum (dmp 18.12), and Daia, adulescentem semibarbarum (dmp 18.13; 19.6 a former shepherd who now became militum pastor), appointed as successors, because they all were loyal and able commanders in the field. So much for meritocracy! As a sort of promise for a better future and clear anti-model against these figures, however, Constantine, sanctissimus adulescens, was already present on the stage. He alone combined military excellence with a flawless character so that even the soldiers and the common people desired him as ruler (dmp 18.10). But to the surprise of the whole army and due to Galerius’ bad influence, Constantine was not appointed member of the new Tetrarchy in the solemn celebration Diocletian set up for announced his successors, nor was Maxentius, due to his insubordination towards Galerius (dmp 19.4), foreshadowing the future conflict between good Constantine and bad Maxentius that would later cover much space in dmp 43.4–44.9. e) Furthermore, Diocletian’s tax reform is criticized as a tax increase that works to the disadvantage of small farmers who are now forced to leave their land and let the uncivilized forests take over arable soil (dmp 7.3-4). With his additional taxation, Galerius, the dementissimus tyrannus, brought huge suffering upon all mankind (dmp 31.2–6 vexatio generis humani). Maximinus Daia followed his masters Diocles and Galerius and had all crops and beasts carried away from farms and fields, only to squander other peoples’ possessions for his army and the barbarians (dmp 37.3-6). The Tetrarchs obviously did not bring back Saturn’s Golden Age under Jupiter and Hercules as the panegyrists claimed (Pan. Lat. ix[5]18.5). For Lactantius Tetrarchy means misery, decline, de-cultivation, and re-barbarization (cf. Inst. 7.24.7-8). f) The famous edict on the regulation of prices and wages, part of Diocletian’s broad economic reforms that also included stabilizing the currency,64 does not fare any better in Lactantius. According to mort., the edict only resulted in inflation and the disruption of markets. Instead of stability, it created a system of corruption, intimidation and exertion against all affluent and powerful citizens. Under this law, imperial bureaucracy degenerated from an institution to protect the rights of innocent citizens to an instrument of suppression which 64

Corcoran 2011, 48–50.

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only served Diocletian’s personal benefit (dmp 7.4-5). Civic freedom turned into slavery and injustice, so that many innocent citizens died before the law was finally abolished (cf. dmp 7.12; 8.4).65 g) Even the Tetrarchs’ investments in building projects, a traditional instrument of governmental benefaction and support, were targeted by Lactantius. The emperors, he says, drained the provinces of builders, artisans and resources only for their own glory (dmp 7.8–9). Lactantius criticizes the Tetrarchs for promoting many second- and third-rate cities to capitals (Milan, Ravenna, Aquileia, Trier, Serdica, Sirmium, Nicomedia, Thessalonica). The fact that Diocletian made Rome compete with, for example Nicomedia, was a clear sign of his madness (dmp 7.10: ita semper dementabat Nicomediam studens urbi Romae coaequare).66 The very obvious reasons and advantages for this system are, of course, not mentioned by Lactantius. Indeed, few of the Tetrarchs honoured Rome with their presence at all, many were said to have not liked the city.67 Lactantius illustrates his verdict with a series of neat anecdotes:  when Diocletian, for example, visited Rome on 20 Nov 303 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his reign (vicennalia), he entered into conflict with the libertas of the inhabitants and angrily left the city for Ravenna (dmp 17.1). Galerius does not seem to have been familiar with Rome either: having never seen the capital in natura, he mistook it for one of the small provincial towns he knew, so he neglected Rome’s strong walls and lost the siege against Maxentius (dmp 27.2). And even Constantius I never visited Rome (something Lactantius passes over in benevolent silence), but after Maxentius’ demise in 312 his son Constantinus would occupy the city and quickly take over his predecessors’ monuments such as Maxentius’ famous basilica. Lactantius on Good and Bad Emperors: Sketching Diocletian Diocletian cannot be understood as a simple individual, his achievements depended on the system he created, and therefore to a large extent on his 65 66 67

See the translation of the Edict of Maximal Prices from 301 in Rees 2004, 139–146. This statement seems to imply a more positive assessment of Rome than in earlier texts, see Walter 2006, 276–277 and Nicholson, 1999. On the waning role of Rome see Corcoran 2011, 43–45: ‘Rome was still powerfully symbolic, but for an emperor it was more a luxury than a necessity’ (p. 44).

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colleagues. Lactantius makes this very clear in dmp by relating Diocletian to other rulers. Far from being objective, Lactantius offers interesting insights into characters and events in his usual polemical style. Diocletian and Maximian Herculius Despite the fact that Lactantius begins his invective against the Tetrarchs with Diocletian in dmp 7.1, he is very clear to state that this emperor was not the major force behind their anti-Christian violence: Diocletian’s fratres Maximian Herculius and Galerius were even worse (dmp 8.1–9.10). While Diocletian targeted the Christians out of fear and superstition (dmp 10.1 pro timore scrutator rerum futurarum), his colleague Maximian—homo non adeo clemens (dmp 15.6)—was driven by fury and hate. Though Diocletian’s avarice was greater than that of his colleague, his timidity was even more so. Unfortunately, Maximian did not use his greater courage for doing greater good than Diocletian (dmp 8.2). To the contrary, Maximian’s rule was dominated by libido and cupiditas mala (dmp 8.6): such charges against insatiable and violent sexual behaviour belong to the standard repertoire of political polemic. Despite all differences, both Diocletian and Maximian are depicted as sinister, sly, full of evil and insanity. Diocletian and Maximian agreed that all enemies of the gods and opponents of publicly accepted religions need to be exterminated (dmp 11.7 inimicos deorum et hostes religionum publicarum tollendos esse) and issued the infamous edictum of 303 (dmp 13.1). They even put fire to their own palace, only to blame the Christians for such a crime (dmp 14.3–7; see also Constantine, Or. sanct. 25.2; Eusebius, he 8.6.6). By destroying what they pretended to protect, their palace became a symbol of the Tetrarchic rule: they achieved stability and security only by deceiving, forging, and lying. Diocletian and Galerius The worst of all evil emperors, however, was Galerius (dmp 9.1). Lactantius describes him as a sheer monster: being of foreign stock, Galerius had a natural, innate ‘barbarity’ (dmp 9.2 inerat huic bestiae naturalis barbaries, a rare word), which is only matched by his horrible physical appearance (dmp 9.3 caro ingens et in horrendam magnitudinem diffusa et inflata). With his strong personality, he dominated Diocletian:  Galerius’ military success against the Persians not only made him arrogant, he even frightened Diocletian (dmp 9:7). But not only that: incited by his superstitious mother (dmp 11.1–2), Galerius is charged with being the real driving force behind the anti-Christian persecutions (dmp 15; above all later 21.7–22.3; 31.1 nefandae persecutionis auctor). Weary and hesitant during the persecution (dmp 11.3; 12.4), Diocletian is depicted as weak slave of his emotions (dmp 10.4) and

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easy to influence (dmp 11.5,8; 14.1–7). While Diocletian first wanted to limit coercive actions against Christians to members of the army and his court, Galerius—burning from viciousness himself (inflammatus scelere)—incited the weak-minded old man Diocletian, made him attack the church empirewide and behave like a barbarous tyrant (dmp 10.6; 18.7 characterized as senex languidus during discussion on retiring as Augustus). Galerius’ tyranny had shocking consequences: in his cruelty he ruthlessly transgressed the traditional, fundamentally important distinction between humiliores and honestiores and subjected every inhabitant of the Empire regardless of rank to the most disgraceful and brutal methods of interrogation and punishment (dmp 21.7). By crossing this line, Rome had lost its soul, culture, and identity (dmp 22.4; cf. Tacitus, Agr. 2.2f.), and by treating humans like animals, the emperors themselves had lost their human face, so that Lactantius could name them tres acerbissimae bestiae saevientes (dmp 16.1). It is indeed interesting to note how often Lactantius uses the terms animal or bestia for the Tetrarchs (bestia on Galerius, dmp 32.4; monstrum on Daia, dmp 38.3; animal nefarium on Daia, dmp 39.3; see dmp 2.5–9 for Nero and 4.1-3 for Decius).68 Diocletian, the scelerum inventor et malorum machinator (dmp 7.1), it seems, has found many followers. Constantius I But not every Tetrarch was liable to the same crimes in Lactantius’ eyes. When one sees how nonchalantely Lactantius kept Constantius I out of the fire, the political character of dmp becomes especially apparent (Constantium praetereo; dmp 8.7). Of course, by passing over Constantius I in his catalogue of criminal characters, Lactantius wanted to save his son Constantine from even the slightest suspicion that he had anything to do with the Tetrarchs’ evils. In the description of the devastating consequences of the edict of 303, Lactantius explicitly noted that the Gallic provinces were not affected (1praeter Gallias, dmp 16.1). For Lactantius, the consequence was clear: Constantius i would have deserved to rule the world alone, because he was different from all others (dignus qui solus orbem teneret, dmp 8.7). In reality, however, Constantius I  must have known and approved of many, if not all empire-wide decisions taken by his colleaguesin-government. Constantius’ role at least remains dubious:  on the one hand, Lactantius claims that Diocletian did not wait for Constantius’ opinion before he started the persecution, implying that the latter was not involved, but at the same time Lactantius wished to avoid the impression that Constantius was unloyal and 68

Städele 2003, 46.

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undermined the Tetrarchy’s overall consensus and unity (dmp, 15.6). In any case, Lactantius emphasizes that no Christian was killed in Constantius’ Gaul, and that he only halfheartedly destroyed their buildings (dmp 15.7; 16.1). But due to Constantius’ illness, it was Constantine who ultimately put an end to the persecutions and restored ‘holy religion’ in his realm immediately after his father had died (religio restituta, dmp 24.8–9). By distinguishing Constantius i from his other colleagues, Lactantius intentionally blurred the fact that that there was much more continuity between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ Tetrarchs. Diocletian’s End and a New Beginning As a witness of the two edicts of tolerance in 311 and 313 and the return of the dynastic principle through Constantius i and his son Constantine in the West and Licinius’ ‘monarchy’ in the East since 313/14, Lactantius saw the actual end of the Tetrarchy when he wrote De morte persecutorum. Jupiter and Hercules now competed with Christ in an increasingly unequal contest, the powers of the past needed to be revisited and redefined to open up the way into a very different future. For Lactantius, it was now time to settle the score with the past and its powers. In Lactantius’ eyes, Diocletian was an enemy of the Roman name (hostem se Romani nominis erat professus, dmp 27.8). He and his colleagues were weak and feeble beings who could not keep their physical appetites and emotional desires under control. Therefore, they utterly failed to fulfill their political duties to care for the Empire’s well-being and instead committed all sorts of cruelties against innocent people—not only Christians. The Tetrarchs turned out to be nothing but tyrants.69 For this, but above all for the hubris against God himself, they were justly punished and died a cruel death. But Diocletian is not simply a second Nero who needed to be described in apocalyptic terms. In the end and regardless of all the revenge Lactantius wished to take on Diocletian, the aging emperor almost appears as a tragic figure. In a way, Diocletian fell victim to his own system that produced and promoted villains to take the imperial throne—one more cruel than the other. Ousted from an active role in the Tetrarchy by his epigones, the old emperor continued to live in his palace and more and more saw himself losing control. His repeated interventions to reconcile conflicting players and to save ‘his’ Tetrarchy from the jealousy and greed of its successors ultimately remained fruitless. Diocletian was even unable to save his daughter Valeria from the 69

Städele 2003, 44–54.

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fury of her husband Daia, demonstrating the absurdity of politically arranged marriages and the ideological pomp around them (dmp 41.1–3).70 Nothing remained of Diocletian’s former glory and authority, the stability he intended to create with his ‘rule of four’ ended in chaos and violence for the entire Empire and in personal disaster for himself. A system that brought figures like Galerius and Maximinus Daia to power and with them depravity, cruelty and barbarism over the entire Empire, could not prevail. When Diocletian realized at the end of his life that Constantine ordered statues and images of Maximian and himself to be removed (sometime between 310/311),71 he—having been the most happy emperor for twenty years (felicissimus imperator)—died full of hate against life, disillusioned and humiliated by both God and humans and consumed by hunger and fear (ad humilem vitam deiectus a deo et proculcatus iniuriis atque in odium vitae deductus postremo fame atque angore confectus; dmp 42.1–3). With such a bleak resumé of Diocletian’s character and achievements, not only God was vindicated, but also Lactantius had established himself as the messenger of the new Constantinian age. Diocletian’s image in De mortibus persecutorum, therefore, is inseparably connected to the one that Lactantius wanted to promulgate about Constantine and himself. Conclusion and Outlook: Lactantius’ Image of Diocletian from a Constantinian Perspective Historically, the picture is quite obvious. After the turmoil created by the endless line of emperors and usurpers before 284, Diocletian’s rigorous, iron-fisted energy, as well as his political prudence and strategic vision no doubt granted Rome the necessary stability to build the foundations for the next two to three generations. Diocletian’s image of his own rule was no doubt positive. He emphasized his role as divinely guided servant of the state, not as dictator, and he, wherever he could, gave room to his peers to demonstrate their loyalty to the unity of the Empire. But in the end, experience showed that the tetrarchy was an experiment that did not deliver that for which it was designed. Despite all rhetorical and material bombast, the Tetrarchic system was inherently fragile; in fact, it 70 71

Valeria would eventually fall victim to Licinius’ purges after the defeat of Maximinus Daia (dmp 50.2–51.2). On what this damnatio memoriae might have meant for the famous shrine of the imperial cult at Luxor, see McFadden 2015a, 29–31.

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worked only once.72 Its stability ultimately depended on Diocletian’s power and authority. As soon as he stepped down in 305, the entire system began to disintegrate. The old dynastic system resurfaced when Constantius i had dropped the Tetrarchic claim of descendancy from Hercules and instead proclaimed himself son of Claudius ii Gothicus (which was equally fictitious). With Constantine’s proclamation only eighteen months after the abdication of Diocletian, the Tetrarchic model of succession was obsolete.73 Constantius i, therefore, was not innocent of the terarchy’s failure, though his behaviour did not differ much from Maximian’s policy after Diocletian’s resignation. Constantine (perhaps already his father) realized that the unity of the Empire needed a symbolic center and—with Rome being unable to produce that symbol any longer—the ruler himself had to become that focus. For that matter, Constantine perhaps was more ‘Roman’ (‘Augustan’) than Diocletian. Though Constantine’s dynastically based rule brought the Tetrarchy to an end, there is more continuity between Diocletian and Constantine than Lactantius would admit or reveal in dmp. Constantine realized that the Empire’s internal diversity could not be reverted and consequently left Diocletian’s provincial system intact. Despite all the resistance from the traditional Roman elites, he even created a second capital that was soon to supersede the first, and by that continuing a path that Diocletian had pursued with the promotion of Nicomedia—which not only in geographical terms was remarkably close to later Constantinopole. For a large part, the army still provided Constantine’s power base, now increasingly supplemented by a new, but no less educated elite of Christian officials and intellectuals who first augmented and later increasingly replaced the traditional political elites. The basis for this profound transformation was that Constantine readily and actively built upon Galerius’ decision to revoke Diocletian’s concept of unity through uniformity with the edict of Nicomedia from 30 April 311 (cf. dmp 24.9; Eusebius, he. 9.1.1-6; 9.2.1). The consequences Constantine put into practice went much further than perhaps envisioned by Galerius. Under Constantine, Christianity not only formally enjoyed the same legal status as all other religions, but members of his family also acted as generous patrons for Christian matters and interests. Religion continued to form the ideological focus of politics, in a way similar to the Tetrarchy but now centered on one single, divinely sent ruler and his family. In choosing the 72

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McKay 1999, 198, ‘This new system of appointive succession worked only this one time, collapsing under the hereditary claims of imperial offspring who had been passed over as successors’. Börm 2015; on ‘dynastic rebellion’ against Tetrarchic ‘non-dynastic succession’ see Hekster 2015, 287–296.

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still somewhat obscure and rather ill-prepared group of Christians to provide this basis, Constantine took a risk that would transform the Empire for good. Lactantius certainly welcomed the return to monarchy, and it is not too farfetched to speculate about his active and productive role in that process. In the midst of all polemics against Diocletian and his colleagues, De morte persecutorum also allows a glimpse into how Lactantius invisioned the Roman Empire to be governed. One should certainly not expect a detailed, positive discourse on good governance, but some elements deserve attention: a) Lactantius’ negative attitude to the Tetrarchy’s division of the Empire into multiple provinces (note how often multiplicity is expressed in dmp 7.2!) opens the door to understanding that there should only be one empire with one single capital: Rome. Singularity instead of fragmentation is the only way how Rome would regain her strength and rule the entire orbis / orbis terrarum (see dmp 3.5 as horizon for the expansion of Christianity, cf. Pan. Lat. viii[4]20; xi[3]13.5). b) Instead of a division of power in the Tetrarchy, there should only be one single ruler and his dynasty. Lactantius thinks like a good Roman here, more than that, he turns one of the Tetrarchy’s most crucial concept against it: unity. c) And as a Christian, Lactantius would add, the unity of the Empire can only be guaranteed by worshipping the one and only true God (already in Inst. 1.3.19 and 20–21).74 Despite all tendencies towards monotheism that the Tetrarchs pursued, it was the wrong gods after all, and the Tetrarchs lacked rigour to concentrate only on one God. The Jovian and Herculian ideology of the Tetrarchs had proved to be a perversion of power. Instead, true monarchy and true monotheism belong together. Lactantius’ ‘global’ perception of the Empire and the church, although traditional to the bone, is open to be supplemented by Constantinus’ dynastic, neomonarchic aspirations. Only a little later, Christian intellectuals like Eusebius would fully embrace this concept and elevate it theologically to an almost semi-divine status: one God, one Christ, one Church—and one emperor ruling one empire, united beyond all diversity. Against such a powerful concept, the Tetrarchy with all its eventualities and its subtle and fragile balance had no future. It remained an episode. 74

This conviction has been advocated by Christian apologetics since the 2nd century, see Young 2000; Walter 2006, 265.

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Bibliography Apart from the Loeb Classical Library, I use the Latin and Greek texts in

Girardet, K.M. (tr.) 2013. Konstantin: Rede an die Versammlung der Heiligen. Freiburg. Städele, A. (tr.) 2003. Laktanz, De mortibus persecutorum. Die Todesarten der Verfolger. Turnhout. Müller-Rettig, B. 2008. Panegyrici Latini, Lobreden auf römische Kaiser, Band 1:  Von Diokletian bis Konstantin. Darmstadt.

Secondary Literature Aubreville, P. 2009. ‘Zur Motivation der tetrarchischen Chistenverfolgung’, ZAC 13: 415–429. Barnes, T.D. 1976. ‘Sosianus Hierocles and the Antecedents of the “Great Persecution,”’ HSCP 80: 239–252. Barnes, T.D. 1996. Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge/London. Börm, H. 2015. ‘Born to be Emperor. The Principle of Succession and the Roman Monarchy’, in J. Wienand (ed.), Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD: 239–264. Oxford. 239–264. Christensen, A.S. 1980. Lactantius the Historian. An Analysis of De mortibus persecutorum. Kopenhagen. Corcoran, S. 2000. The Empire of the Tetrarchs. Imperial Pronouncements and Government AD. Oxford. Corcoran, S. 2011. ‘Before Constantine’, in N. Lenski (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (revised edition). Cambridge. 35–58. Demandt, A., A. Goltz and H. Schlange-Schöningen (eds.) 2004. Diokletian und die Tetrarchie. Aspekte einer Zeitenwende. Berlin/New York. DePalma-Digeser, E. 2000. The Making of a Christian Empire:  Lactantius and Rome. Ithaca/London. DePalma-Digeser, E. 2012. A Threat to Public Piety. Christians, Platonists and the Great Persecution. Ithaca/London. Frend, W.H.C. 2006. ‘Persecutions. Genesis and Legacy’. In Margaret M. Mitchell and M. Young, (eds.), The Cambridge History of Christianity. Cambridge. 501–523. Garnsey, P. 2002. ‘Lactantius and Augustine’, in A.K. Bowman, H.M. Cotton, M. Goodman, and S. Price (eds.), Representations of Empire:  Rome and the Mediterranen World.Oxford/New York. 153–179. Heck, E. 1987. ΜΗ ΘΕΟΜΑΧΕΙΝ oder:  Die Bestrafung des Gottesverächters. Untersuchungen zu Bekämpfung und Aneignung römischer religio bei Tertullian, Cyprian und Lactanz. Frankfurt/Bern/New York.

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Hekster, O. 2015. Emperors and Ancestors. Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition. Oxford. L’Orange, H.P. 1984. Das spätantike Herrscherbild von Diokletian bis zu den KonstantinSöhnen, 284–361 n. Chr. Das Römische Herrscherbild. III. Abteilung; Bd. 4. Berlin. McFadden, S. 2015a. ‘Dating the Luxor Camp and the Politics of Building in the Tetrarchic Era’, in M. Jones and S. McFadden (eds.), The Roman Frescoes and Imperial Cult Chamber in Luxor Temple. New Haven/London. 25–37. McFadden, S. 2015b. ‘Picturing Power in Late Roman Egypt. The Imperial Cult, Imperial Portrait, and a Visual Panegyric for Diocletian’, in M. Jones and S. McFadden (eds.), The Roman Frescoes and Imperial Cult Chamber in Luxor Temple. New Haven/ London. 135–153. McKay, C.S. 1999. ‘Lactantius and the Succession to Diocletian’, Classical Philology 94: 198–209. Kolb, F. 1987. Diocletian und die erste Tetrarchie. Improvisation oder Experiment in der Organisation monarchischer Herrschaft? Berlin/New York. Kuhoff, W. 2001. Diokletian und die Epoche der Tetrarchie. Das römische Reich zwischen Krisenbewältigung und Neuaufbau (284–313 n.Chr.). Frankfurt. Lauffer, S. 1971. Diokletians Preisedikt. Berlin. Mackey, C.S. 1999. ‘Lactantius and the Succession to Diocletian’, CPh 94: 198–209. Nicholson, O. 1999. ‘Civitas quae adhuc sustenat omnia. Lactantius and the City of Rome’, in W.E. Klingshirn amd M. Vessey (eds.), The Limits of Ancient Christianity. Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture. Ann Arbor. 7–25. Potter, D. 2013. Constantine the Emperor. Oxford. Rees, R. 2004. Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. Edinburgh. Rees, R. 2012. Latin Panegyric. Oxford. Rives, J.B. 1999. ‘The Decree of Decius and the Religion of Empire’, JRS 89: 135–154. Rosen, K. 2013. Konstantin der Große. Kaiser zwischen Machtpolitik und Religion. Stuttgart. Simmons, M.B. 1995. Arnobius of Sicca: Religious Conflict and Competition in the Age of Diocletian. Oxford. Städele, A. 1998. ‘Laktanz’ De mortibus persecutorum als Dokument einer Zeitenwende’, in P. Neukam (ed.), Von der Rezeption zur Motivation, München. 185–208. Stephenson, P. 2011. Constantine: Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor. London. Walter, J. 2006. Pagane Texte und Wertvorstellungen bei Lactanz. Göttingen. Young, F. 2000. ‘Christianity’, in C. Rowe, M. Schofield, S. Harrison, and M. Lane (eds.), The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought. Cambridge. 635–660.

Chapter 3

An Emperor for all Seasons—Maximian and the Transformation of His Political Representation Alessandro Maranesi Introduction In this chapter, I will sketch how various media from the reign of Maximian created, adopted, or changed his representation and that of some of his enemies. My aim is to display how these media offered iconic and ideological perspectives in an attempt to (re)define an imperial political identity. In particular I will focus on ‘pagan’ panegyrics, coins, and sculptures from the part of the Empire that Maximian controlled directly. I  will examine how the characterization of external populations through negative stereotypes played a central role in legitimising political power. In the second part of this chapter, I will also look at the ‘evolution’ of the image of Maximian created by the ‘revisionist’ perspective of the early fourth-century Christian author Lactantius. In the year a.d. 289, an anonymous orator delivered a panegyric to the Emperor Maximian. In order to give legitimacy to the new Imperator, the panegyrist stressed the idea of Maximian and Diocletian acting as brothers. Hekster1 has recently demonstrated how concepts such as family and dynasties have characterized Tetrarchic political rhetoric and art to forge a political identity.2 As argued by Leadbetter and Rees,3 the anonymous orator who delivered the panegyric in 289 not only promoted the importance of the existing familial relationship between the two rulers (albeit not a blood relationship), he also gave a voice to imagery pertaining to family, which apparently was an effective method during these eventful years to legitimize Diocletian’s concept of the Tetrarchy.4 In this way, the orator emphasized the 1 Hekster 2015, 278–298. 2 Cf. Pan. x(2) and xi(3); Kolb 1987, 139–141, Rees 1993, 181–200. 3 Cf. Leadbetter 2004, 261: ‘Brotherhood is conveyed by mutuality, rather than consanguinity’; cf. Rees 2002, 53. 4 As modern scholarship defines the period, the term itself being a nineteenth-century invention.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 005

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existence of an imperial family and described emperors as integral to a sort of dynasty with the aim of enriching (and reinforcing) the imagination of the audience. As we will see, after a long period of crisis, authors and political agents were able to adopt not only specific strategies to (re-)elaborate family-oriented political messages (in the case of media which were directly exposed to a ‘topdown’ communicative perspective) or to create (in the case of media which were partially free to broadcast a ‘bottom-up’ communication)5 distinctive sets of images related to imperial politics,6 but also to determine and represent the external menace within this new political trend. The Pagan Enemy of the Barbarians The Gallic orators who delivered panegyric x(2) in 289 and panegyric xi(3) in 291 to Maximian had a central role in shaping a strategy based on the definition of the external enemies’ characteristics.7 In particular, proximity with the Rhine border (both the speeches were delivered in Trier) forced the panegyrists to observe (and to develop the idea of) the barbarae nationes.8 The barbarae nationes are central to understanding how the idea of the ‘Other’ has defined ‘what belonged to the author’s world and its civilization’ and distinguished what does not.9 Although certainly not a new process, from the end of the third century ‘rhetoric (and, especially, its most notable offspring, panegyric) safeguarded the stereotyped categories of the barbarians that the Classical world had kept alive for centuries’.10 For example, Libanius considers every form of cultural alterity not strictly connected to a traditional ‘paideia’ a form of barbarism,11 while Ammianus in his Res Gestae portrays people of the nomadic steppe (the Huns and the Alans) as horrifying creatures.12 Some fifth-century authors (for example Claudian, Rutilius, and 5

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

In particular, coins are related to the ‘communication descendante’ and panegyrics and works of art to the ‘communication ascendante’, according to the examples and the terminology developed by Sabbah 1984, 378–379. See further the Introduction in this volume. Leadbetter 2004, 257–266. Cf. Rees 2012, 24, with further bibliography. This notion appears not only in the panegyrics for Maximian (x[2]5.1, xi[3]14.1,16.1) but also in viii(4)1.4, and 13.2 (Constantius Chlorus), xii(9)23.1 (Constantine). Burgersdijk 2016, 112–113. Quiroga 2013, 65. Quiroga 2013, 64. Amm. Marc. 31.2.

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Orosius),13 on the contrary, emphasise how unity and unification reflect the ideals of beauty, civilisation, and justice.14 At the end of the third century, in the case of the panegyrics dedicated to Maximian, media inspired by a local conservative milieu,15 the anonymous orators never underline the actual cooperation and integration between Romans and barbarians in the border region, and the social and economic importance acquired by the so called ‘Barbaren im Reich’ (the definition developed by Seeck to describe this phenomenon):16 during the age of Maximian, they spread the idea that the evil barbarian, depicted as monstrum biforme, was destroyed by the ruler. There are many other examples of this strategy even in (supposedly) centrally controlled media, such as coins.17 For example, an important number of those minted in Trier represented Maximian, or Hercules—from whom he was said to be descended—destroying the Hydra (see Fig. 3.1).18 Another coin from Trier shows the emperor riding a horse and trampling on a sort of bizarre and terrified homunculus:  a barbarian (see Fig.  3.2). These images portray a dehumanization of ‘non-Roman’ populations and symbolize the necessity of the cruel war conducted by Maximian against them.19 At the same time, an interesting statue preserved at the Museum of Metz in France (see Fig. 3.3), reveals the same use of the monstrum: as Lassandro demonstrated, the figure riding the horse is probably Maximian, while the deformed giant on the ground represents one of the Bagaudae.20 The anonymous orators in the panegyrics of 289 and 291 explicitly defined the nature of these horrible and evil monsters and described their qualities through a series of stereotypes.21 As previously mentioned, the Gallic panegyrists were able to ‘ethnologise’ the Bagaudae, providing a description of their (in)human nature, and depicting their social and intellectual characteristics. Some examples may help us to understand the nature of this process: in particular, in the panegyric of 289, the anonymous orator sketches a kind of anthropology (Pan. Lat. X[2]4.2-3): 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Claud. Cons. Stil. 3.159; Rut. Namat. De red. 1.63–66; Oros. 5.2.1-2. Gualandri 2013, 9. Lassandro 1982, 359–371. As mentioned above, note 5, I  will follow the terminology defined by Sabbah 1984, and I will treat these panegyrics as ‘bottom-up’ communication. Seeck 1897, 368. See Hekster 2015, 300:  ‘Coinage, sculpture, and inscriptions testified to a new central formulation of imperial relations among the tetrarchs’; cf. L’Huillier 1976, 441–442. Depeyrot 1995, 43; Belloni 1976, 227–228. Cf. De reb. bel. 6.1. Lassandro 1982, 359–371. Brosch 2006, 88–89.

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Figure 3.1 Quinarius from Sciscia, years 293– 305 (Courtesy of Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. kg, Osnabrück and the Owner Lübke & Wiedemann, Stuttgart).

Figure 3.2 ric vb, p. 275, n. 48 (Treveri) (Courtesy of Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. kg, Osnabrück and the Owner Lübke & Wiedemann, Stuttgart).

… your Hercules once lent timely assistance to your Jupiter, when he was beset with difficulties in his war with the Earthborn. Hercules then gained a great part of the victory, and proved that he had not so much received heaven from the gods as restored it to them. Was this not similar to that calamity of two-shaped monsters in our lands, I know not whether to say suppressed by your bravery, Caesar, or calmed by your mercy?22 22

… tuus Hercules Iovem vestrum quondam terrigenarum bello laborantem magna victoriae parte iuuit probavitque se non magis a dis accepisse caelum quam eisdem reddidisse. An non

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Figure 3.3 Colonne de Merten, (Public Domain Wikicommons License).

illud malum simile monstrorum biformium in hisce terris fuit quod tua, Caesar, nescio utrum magis fortitudine repressum sit an clementia mitigatum, cum militaris habitus ignari agricolae appetiverunt, cum arator peditem, cum pastor equitem, cum hostem barbarum suorum cultorum rusticus uastator imitatus est? The English translations of the Panegyrici Latini are taken, with some adaptations as here, from Nixon and Rodgers 1994 with the Latin text by Mynors 1964.

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At the same time, it is noteworthy that in this passage the orator emphasises family-rhetoric: Hercules, depicted as an assistant of Jupiter, reflects the brother-emperors communicative (and ideological) strategies. Then, he concentrates again on the Bagaudae, clarifying how the barbarae nationes devastated Gaul during their invasion (Pan. Lat. x[2]5.1): … When immediately all the barbarian people threatened the destruction of the whole of Gaul, and not only the Burgundians and Alamanni, but also the Chaibones and Eruli, foremost of barbarians in might, most remote in their location, burst into these provinces in headlong assault …23 The description of the barbarae nationes can be considered a fitting example of the use of stereotypes and distortions (feras illas indomitasque gentes and lubrica illa fallaxque gens barbarorum)24 to describe the ‘Other’.25 It is particularly interesting because coins and official sculptures, controlled centrally,26 contributed to the depiction of the Barbarians, but only the panegyrics were sufficiently rhetorically sophisticated to produce a complex representation of their geographical, ethnic, psychological, and anthropological peculiarities. In particular, the use of terms like immanitas27 describes the horrifying landscapes of their regions,28 whereas the adoption of feritas and furor can be considered a demonstration of their illogical stupidity and their ignorance (Pan. Lat. xi[3]16.5 and 16.1): All the peoples rush against their own kind, whose lot it never was to be Roman, and now of their own will they pay the price of their stubborn savagery.29 The felicity of your rule is so great that barbarian nations everywhere tear each other to pieces and destroy one another, by battles and treachery in 23

24 25 26 27 28 29

… cum omnes barbariae nationes excidium universae Galliae minarentur neque solum Burgundiones et Alamanni, sed etiam Chaibones Erulique, viribus primi barbarorum, locis ultimi, praecipiti impetu in has provincias inruissent … See, respectively, Pan. Lat. x(2)7.6; Pan. Lat. x(2)11.4. On the invention of the concept of ‘Otherness’ in Antiquity, cf. Gruen 2011, 2. See also Woolf 2011, 105–111 and Burgersdijk 2016, 112, 113 n. 11 for additional literature. Hekster 2015, 300. Pan. Lat. x(2)7.3, 17.4. Lassandro 1980, 196. Ruunt omnes in sanguinem suum populi, quibus numquam conti[n]git esse Romanis, obstinataeque feritatis poenas nunc sponte persolvunt.

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turn they redouble and renew their own destruction; inspired by madness they re-enact on each other your expeditions in Sarmatia and Raetia and across the Rhine.30 Even the vesania and the rabies are anti-values in relation to Rome that represent a paradigm of barbarian behaviour (Pan. Lat. xi[3]16.2): Sacred Jupiter and good Hercules, at last you have transplanted civil wars to races worthy of that madness, and spread all of that fury abroad, beyond the boundaries of this empire, among the lands of our enemies.31 Through these words, the orators of 289 and 291 developed and expanded the themes that had appeared during the same period on coins and sculptures. They ‘barbarized’ the enemies of Maximian and of the entire Roman Empire through a deformation of their characteristics. They used loci communes to capture the qualities of the entire society in which barbarians lived. In this sense, we can affirm that Gallic intellectuals drew upon negative descriptions and applied them to the enemy’s social order. Although Tacitus best exemplifies ancient literature’s treatment of the Germanic tribes, full integration of stereotypes with imperial ideology,32 in the media of the age of Maximian, however, we encounter a peculiar and new combination of these rhetorical forms: environmental stereotypes reinforced by the description of their ugliness, stupidity, and offensiveness. These notions, in turn, played a significant role in shaping ideas about the necessity of political unity and stability in the face of the enemy. The stereotyped descriptions also became useful for proposing a polarized and contrasting description of the ruler’s good values. Maximian’s character was defined by using standards diametrically opposed to those of the barbarians.33 The creation of these barbarian tales, which were very useful for defining and 30

31

32 33

… ut undique se barbarae nationes vicissim lacerent et excidant, alternis dimicationibus et insidiis clades suas duplicent et instaurent, Sarmaticas vestras et Raeticas et transrhenanas expeditiones furore percitae in semet imitentur. Sancte Iuppiter et Hercules bone, tandem bella civilia ad gentes illa[s] vesania dignas transtulistis omnemque illam rabiem extra terminos huius imperii in terras hostium distulistis. Cf. Tac. Germ. 46. See Isaac 2006, 499: ‘being uncorrupted and powerful, they [the Germans] were the most dangerous people that had not been conquered’; Woolf 2011, 98–111. Cf. Prud. c. Symm. 2.816–819.

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characterizing the political situation in Gaul, did not just emphasize antitypes of the emperor, but were also useful in determining the precise meaning of Maximian’s elevation and victories. Roman qualities are represented by Maximian’s very figure and he also embodies the best part of Roman identity. But what is that identity? As many scholars have shown, an established and unambiguous idea of Roman identity never existed,34 and it was therefore easy for local orators to apply to Maximian an idea of Romanitas they felt necessary for the moment. Nonetheless the convergence of identity markers upon the Imperator proved to be effective in generating a degree of ideological unification. Maximian, like many of his predecessors, needed a symbolic system which could build an imagery capable of legitimizing and justifying the existence of the Roman Empire and to define ideological borders against the brutality represented by the barbarians. The images used for defining the emperor staged a limes that could separate uncivilized barbarians from Roman homines. In fact, if the external enemy and its society are constantly imagined as non-human beings and primitive organizations respectively, the praises for Maximian reveal a positive construction of values. It is remarkable that, in the case of the panegyrics of 289 and 291, we also observe a constant, ideologically oriented, re-elaboration of existing argumentation (as shown by coins produced in mints that were controlled by the emperor). In so doing, they anchored some of Maximian’s ideological models within an already existing rhetoric, in order not only formally to rephrase messages but also to change their meanings by inscribing them in the traditionalist frame of a ‘system of quotations’.35 Gallic panegyrists were professional orators:  they knew the works of ancient authors by heart and used them to blend traditional themes together. Therefore, they represent an interesting example of the archaeological concept of late antique ‘ideology of reuse’36 extended to the literary field. For example, the peculiar rhetoric in the panegyrics is suitable both for passing on an idea of violence and force and for transmitting the image of a society organized around the model of a martial life.37 From this perspective, the media were able to convey the idea of the third-century soldier-emperor38 and the wish for geographical expansion, even beyond Rome’s traditional and historical borders (Pan. Lat. xi[3]16.3): 34 35 36 37 38

Woolf 2003, 7. Maranesi 2016, 57–62; Rees 2013, 119–120; Van Dam 2011, 103–106. See Varner 2014, 64–70. vita militia est, (‘all of life is military service’) Pan. Lat. xi(3)3.9. Cf. Pan. Lat. x(2)7.6.

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Indeed, what that first writer of Roman poetry said, ‘from the rising sun to Lake Maeotis’, one may now extend farther and farther, if one were to review our enemies’ insane mutual destruction throughout the world.39 The phrase Romani carminis primus auctor refers to Ennius, one of the traditional authorities used by Gallic orators in a socio-political perspective.40 In fact, the orators of 289 and 291 employed precise communicative strategies in which various classical sources were combined to legitimize a new model of Romanitas. For instance, they cited—both in direct and in adapted form— verses by Virgil,41 who was held to be the best poet to glorify Romanitas.42 Moreover, Gallic intellectuals filled their texts with long-lasting leitmotifs, related to the traditional representation of the good emperor, such as clementia and pietas. In two passages of the speech delivered in 289, the second coming shortly after the first, the anonymous orator comments on Maximian’s recent victories over the barbarians, which underline the typically Roman virtue of clemency (Pan. Lat. x[2]4.2 and 4): I know not whether to say suppressed by your bravery, Caesar, or calmed by your mercy (clementia)? … This I pass over in haste, for I see that such are your dutiful feelings (qua pietate es) that you prefer that victory to be cast into oblivion rather than glorified.43 Another passage from the same text reflects how the emperor ensures good governance through marriages and friendships in order to achieve political concordia. The ‘Tetrarchic’ family-tie mentioned by the rhetor is considered part of Maximian’s rulership (Pan. Lat. x[2]11.4):44 39

40 41 42 43

44

Etenim, quod ait ille Romani carminis primus auctor:  ‘a sole exoriente usque ad Maeotis paludes’, id nunc longius longiusque protendere licet, si qui hostilem in mutua clade vesaniam toto orbe percenseat. Cf. Pan. Lat. xi(3)5.4 (addressed to Diocletian). See Pan. Lat. xi(3)16.3; Pan. Lat. ix(5)6.3; Pan. Lat. iv(10)29.5; Pan. Lat. iii(11)28.5. We are aware of the verse quoted in the body of the text thanks to Cic. Tusc. v.17.49. Rees 2004, 38. Cf. Pan. Lat. xi(3)14.2-3; Virg. Ecl. 3.60. See Rees 2004, 38. Caesar, nescio utrum magis fortitudine repressum sit an clementia mitigatum. … Quod ego cursim praetereo: video enim te, qua pietate es, oblivionem illius victoriae malle quam gloriam. This passage is even more interesting considering that Maximian’s daughter Theodora and Constantius will get married only in 292–293. Cf. Lassandro and Micunco 2000, 105 n.40.

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You indeed, Emperor, so earnestly hold that harmony (concordia) is a virtue that you have bound to you by ties of friendship and marriage even those who perform the highest office in your entourage, thinking it a very fine thing to have them held to your side, not through pledges inspired by dutiful affection (vota pietatis).45 Finally, in the text delivered in 291 the orator remarks on the clemency shown by Maximian after defeating the Bagaudae (Pan. Lat. xi[3]5.3): I do not, therefore, bring to mind the State freed by your valour from savage despotism, I do not speak of provinces, provoked by the injustices of the preceding era, returned to obedience through your clemency (clementiam uestram), I  omit even the holidays celebrated with your victories and triumphs, I do not mention trophies for victories over German erected in the middle of the barbarian territory.46 Maximian is described as clemens towards his rivals six times in the speech of 289. Clementia was, according to Seneca, a virtue of the good princeps, who shows tolerance to his enemies.47 Also, Maximian is called pius as many as thirty-six times in the panegyrics of 289 and 291, thus evoking a traditional attribute which ensures the gods’ support.48 In general, facts, events and judgements contained in Cicero and Livy’s writings influenced not only the panegyrics for Maximian but also the entire corpus.49 This ‘rhetorical recycling’ extends also to the reuse of the same terminology across media, as pietas and felicitas, two values often employed together in inscriptions since Commodus to describe the emperor in these panegyrics,50 appear together also in the text delivered in 291: 45

46

47 48 49 50

Tu quidem certe, imperator, tantum esse in concordia bonum statuis ut etiam eos qui circa te potissimo funguntur officio necessitudine tibi et adfinitate devinxeris, id pulcherrimum arbitratus adhaerere lateri tuo non timoris obsequia, sed vota pietatis. Non commemoro igitur virtute vestra rempublicam dominatu saevissimo liberatam, non dico exacerbatas saeculi prioris iniuriis per clementiam vestram ad obsequium redisse provincias, mitto etiam dies festos victoriis triumphisque celebratos, taceo trophaea Germanica in media defixa barbaria. See ric vb, p. 268, n. 575. Cf. Nixon 1981, 166 for contemporary examples of clementia. For Seneca: Sen. clem. 4.3. Cf. Braund 2009, 30–44. Nixon, Saylor Rodgers 1994, 90, note 40 with further bibliography. Cf. Pan. Lat. x(2)1.4; Pan. Lat. xi(3)6.1, 6.3, 6.7, 8.1, 8.4, 11.1. See also ric vb p. 274. n. 478 (Treveri). Rees 2004, 36–44. Magioncalda 1991, 48–49. Cf. for the Tetrarchy cil v 8017 = ils 636.

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I ignore even those things, which were done by the fear of your arms […]. I propose for myself a new mode of speaking to show […] your piety and your felicity … (Pan. Lat. xi[3]5.4–6.1)51 The transition is easy, most sacred Emperor, from praise of your piety to praise of your felicity. (Pan. Lat. xi[3]13.1)52 Recycling traditional elements to develop a paradigm of good Roman qualities was an efficient strategy for creating identities (not only during Maximian’s empire). At the same time, the new Tetrarchic institutional form needed a new public image for the Imperatores. The ‘sacralisation’ of imperial figures became an instrument of legitimacy: by using religious references Gallic orators sanctified Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, and Galerius and shaped their public images in a powerful way.53 In particular, the panegyrics addressed to Maximian are pervaded by the idea of the effective Herculean nature of his power. Thus, they created a new and sacred identity, that profoundly changed—even distorted—the image of the emperor, if compared to the eulogistic strategies employed in Pliny’s panegyricus.54 The issue is traditionally considered slightly more complicated regarding media issued centrally, such as official inscriptions, and coins.55 Rees, for instance, notes the rarity of the legend hercvlivs on coinage. However, Hekster has recently clearly demonstrated the pre-eminence of the Herculean theme in coin types and in epigraphic evidence.56 In the panegyrics, the emperor was described as sacratissimus, as a numen, and praesens deus. His head was divina, and caelestis as the result of his decisions.57 Again, Rees has shown innumerable affinities between Maximian and Hercules as described by the orators.58 The result of this divine 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58

Etiam illa quae armorum vestrorum terrore facta sunt […] praetereo […]. Nova mihi propono dicendi […]: pietas vestra atque felicitas … Facilis est mihi transitus, sacratissime imperator, ab hac pietatis vestrae laude ad praedicationem felicitatis. Ronning 2007, 279. See Ronning 2007, 32–44, 139–150; Eck 2006, 324. I.e. cil viii 9041 = ils 627, cil viii 4764 = cil viii 18698 = ils 644, inscribed in 303– 304 Macomades (Numidia). For coins, cf. Perassi 2000, 830–839. Rees 2005, 225; Hekster 2015, 297–299; for a general debate for these kinds of problems, cf. Raimondi 2006, 269, 273, Tantillo 1999, 81, 83. See, respectively, Pan. Lat. x(2)1.5, 8.6, 13.5; Pan. Lat. vii(6)1.1, 13.1; Pan. Lat. x(2)1.2; Pan. Lat. x(2)2.1, 14.2, 14.5; Pan. Lat. x(2)3.2; Pan. Lat. vii(6)7.1; Pan. Lat. x(2)14.5. Rees 2002, 42.

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projection of the rulers and the human events related to him was not only to increase the emperor’s power but also to allow the local pagan audiences to identify with them and to picture the emperor as closely connected to the god. Homo non adeo clemens sed pestifer: Lactantius’ Christian Representation Now that we have discussed the Maximian’s representation created by different media from the contemporary pagan sphere, I want to analyse the corresponding representation created by Christians. In this case, our major source is Lactantius, who rejects the pagan imagery of the emperor and the associated loci communes.59 Compared to the images of virtue offered by coins and panegyrics, Lactantius’ book De mortibus persecutorum, composed after the death of Maximian, can be considered an example of ‘historical revisionism’ which offers a double criticism of Maximian’s character. In particular, the clemens and sacratissimus Imperator becomes, in the brief description proposed by Lactantius, ‘… Homo non adeo clemens …’.60 The Christian polemicist denies, with a sort of litotes, not only the quality of clementia (a virtue that in contrast was strongly underlined by the panegyrists), but also the sacralitas of Maximian, who is simply called ‘man’, without any religious connotations and pursuing a strategy of demystification well known since the times of Suetonius.61 Even when Lactantius uses the term Herculius, it is only as an epithet: Maximianus […] est dictus Herculius.62 But the Christian perspective on Maximian is not limited to a desacralisation of his character:  it is also revealed through a peculiar moral paradigm. Lactantius refers to sexual behaviour to stress Maximian’s negative personality, placing him in a long-standing historical tradition of abhorrent sexual clichés related to the canonical bad emperors (Nero, Caligula, Domitian, Vitellius, and Elagabalus)63 and in opposition to the sexual moderation of the age of 59 60 61 62 63

As Jürgen Zangenberg argues, Maximian is depicted by the Christian polemicist in even worse terms than Diocletian, when it comes to their morals. Cf. Chapter 2 above. Lact. dmp 15.6: ‘a man absolutely not clement’ (translation of Lactantius are by the author). Wardle 2012, 315–321. Lact. dmp 7.12: ‘Maximian […] is called Herculius.’ See, Suet. Ner. 28–29; Suet. Calig. 24.1; Suet. Dom. 22.1; Suet. Vit. 13.2; Hdn. v.6.1-3. Cf. Sommer 2004, 95–110.

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Constantine, so well depicted in the panegyric of 313.64 He was accused not only of being a corruptor of men, quod est odiosum ac detestabile, but also to have abused innumerable young women, extorted and snatched away from their parents. Moreover, Lactantius underlines that his soul is naturally inclined to evil deeds.65 The polemicist, in fact, in his brief but incisive moral portrait, defines the emperor through two terms: libidinosus and pestifer.66 The latter adjective is interesting because it shows how Christians felt an urge to use moralising classifications but in doing so needed to rely on traditional pagan models. Analysing the use of pestifer before Lactantius (who applies this term also to Galerius),67 it is remarkable that its literal meaning (‘carrier of plague and/or scourge’) is employed only in technical literature.68 It is also possible to find this term used in a metaphorical way in Ovid, Virgil, and Seneca,69 where normally pestifer relates to things or events associated with disgraces, and unfortunate choices. At the same time, looking at Cicero and Livy’s works (which, along with those of Seneca and Varro, formed the foundation of the ‘library of Lactantius’, as demonstrated by Ogilvie),70 we find that this term was closely related to specific types of people, and it assumes a precise political meaning. In particular, in the Ab Urbe Condita, pestifer is linked to two characters generally considered as public enemies in the Roman historical tradition: Sextus Tarquinius and Marcus Manlius. Livy describes the pestiferum gaudium71 of Sextus Tarquinius, son of the last king of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus, after having forced himself upon Lucretia, wife of Collatinus, and having threatened to kill her. Some years later, in 384 B.C., the consul 64

65 66 67 68 69 70 71

Pan. Lat. xii(9)7.5:  Qui fuit dies ille quo Mediolanum ingressus es! quae gratulatio principum ciuitatis! qui plausus populi! quae securitas intuentium te matrum te virginum quaeque duplici fructu fruebantur, cum pulcherrimi imperatoris formam viderent et licentiam non timerent. Lact. dmp 7.12: non ad bene faciendum sed ad male. Lact. dmp 15.8. Lact. dmp 27.2; cf. An. Val. 6–7; Barnes 1982, 64. See, respectively, Veg. Vet. iii.191, iii.192; Mela i.43; Pall. i.5.6; Plin. Nat. hist. vii.169, xi.65 . See, respectively, Ov. Met. viii.465–470; Virg. Aen. vii.561–563; Sen. clem. 1.3.3; Sen. ben. 2.14.4. Ogilvie 1978, 42–43, 68–72. Liv. 1.58.8: Sex. est Tarquinius, qui hostis pro hospite priore nocte vi armatus mihi sibique, […], pestiferum hinc abstulit gaudium (‘Sextus Tarquinius is he that last night returned hostility for hospitality and brought ruin on me, and on himself no less [...] when he worked his pleasure with me.’ Translated by F. Gardner Moore).

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Marcus Manlius was accused of aspiring to kingship. According to Livy’s version, the tribunes of the Plebs Marcus Menenius and Quintus Publilius both referred to him as pestiferum civem.72 Another application of the word pestifer, as a political term, is found in Cicero. In the fifth Philippic he addresses Mark Antony as pestifer civis in comparison with Octavian, who is called divinus adulescens;73 similarly, he calls Marcus Antonius’ supporters pestiferi cives.74 In the oration De domo sua, the term pestifer is applied to another enemy of Cicero, Clodius.75 The tribunus is addressed with the same epithet in the Pro P. Sestio Oratio76 and even the year of Cicero’s exile is described as pestifer.77 Returning to Lactantius and Maximian, it is remarkable that the Christian polemicist also used pestifer to define the ‘evil ruler’. He knew the works of Livy and Cicero where the term pestifer had been employed in a political perspective and disseminated to his Christian audience a new, morally oriented, meaning for it. This is even more interesting if we consider that the apologists known by Lactantius78 had used pestifer only occasionally, and not to characterize persons:79 this reinforces the idea of a direct connection in the use of the term between Lactantius, on the one hand, and Livy and Cicero, on the other. The immorality represented by Lactantius’ portrait of Maximian became an exercise in moral and characterological stereotyping in comparison with the description of the first Panegyrici Latini. The pagan concordia, clementia and

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Liv. 6.19.5-6:  tum M.  Menenius et Q.  Publilius tribuni plebis:  ‘quid patrum et plebis certamen facimus, quod civitatis esse adversus unum pestiferum civem debet?’ (‘When Marcus Menenius and Quintus Publilius, tribunes of the plebs, addressed them as follows: “Why do we make a conflict between patricians and plebeians out of what ought to be the quarrel of the state with a single pestilent citizen?”’. Translated by F. Gardner Moore). Cic. Phil. 5.43: … cum omnia ad perniciem nostram pestifero illi ciui paterent … (‘When every road to our destruction lay open to that pestilent citizen.’ Translated by D.R. Shackleton Bailey). Cic. Phil. 11.21: … pestiferi ciues parricidaeque … (‘pestilent and parricide citizens’). Cic. De domo 2: … illum pestiferum et funestum tribunatum … (‘Iniquitous and ruinous tribunate.’ Translated by N.H. Watts).; Id, 85–86: et tu unus pestifer civis (‘Pestilential citizen that you are.’ Translated by N.H. Watts). Cic. Sest. 78: … illo pestifero ac perdito civi (‘By the agency of that pestilent and abandoned citizen.’ Translated by R. Gardner). Cic. Red. in Sen. 3: ille pestifer annus ... (‘That pestilent year’). Ogilvie 1978, 88–95. It is possible to count one instance of pestifer, in Minucius Felix, Octavius v.10.4 (tabe pestifera), four instances in Cyprian, in Heptateuchos 222, 258, 267 and 553, one in Commodianus Carm. Apolog. 1009 (pestifera clades).

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felicitas of the Sacratissimus Imperator appear to correspond, when viewed through a different moral, cultural, and political filter to, the libidinosus, non-clemens and pestifer ‘dictus Hercules’ homo of the Christian and proConstantinian perspective. When Maximian Fell into Ruin Stereotypes and moral classifications pervaded media of all types during Maximian’s lifetime. In panegyrics, the good qualities ascribed to Maximian remained the same up until 307, when another anonymous panegyric was composed (Pan. Lat. vii[6]): even after his return to the throne, he remained (although together with Constantine) sacratissimus.80 According to the Gallic orator, it was only because of a plea from a personified Rome that he agreed to resume his position and to begin fighting and ruling again.81 The abdication and the subsequent return to the purple were part of the same plan: Maximian’s intervention is depicted by the orator as an act of saving the res publica.82 In the panegyric to Constantine of 310, Pan. Lat. vi(7), given the altered historical situation, a new theme occurs: Maximian’s rebellion, his attempt at usurpation and his suicide determined the de-sacralisation of the once sacratissimus Imperator. In the description of the panegyrist, the divine Herculean ruler became a man hated by the gods. Moreover, the revenge of them compelled Maximian to commit suicide (Pan. Lat. vi[7]20.4): But—pardon me for saying so—you [Constantine] cannot accomplish everything; the gods avenge you even against your will.83 The drastic transformation of Maximian’s imagery gives the orator the opportunity to create a new (negative) characterization of the ruler’s suicide, in accordance with the new Constantinian political atmosphere, testified, as we have already seen, also by Lactantius:84 through this rhetorical process, the emperor has turned into an enemy (Pan. Lat. vi[7]14.2 and 15.1):

80 81 82 83 84

Pan. Lat. vii(6)1.1; 13.1; Bucci 2010, 39. Cf. Pan. Lat. vii(6)4–5; 11.7. Pan. Lat. vii(6)10.1; 12.7. Sed (ignosce dicto) non omnia pote [Constantine]: di te vindicant et invitum. Cf. supra and Lact. dmp 7.12; 15.8.

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For however just the accusations and complaints of your piety, a private individual, on the other hand, ought to moderate his language, especially since contemplation of you compels men, however angry, to revere him who has shown himself so ungrateful to you in return for your very great benefactions to him, and the great favour which flowed from kinship with you.85 You had given him the most splendid and divine gifts, the ease of a private citizen and the wealth of a king; for him departing you had sat at the rings; you had commanded that our deference be paid even more earnestly to him than to you; you had so decreed that all his orders be obeyed that, while you had the appearance, he had the reality of power.86 The double system drawn by the panegyrist of 310 involves the moral and intellectual construction of Maximian’s character. According to this reconstruction of the events, in the first passage Maximian is characterized by ingratitude and disloyalty. In the second, he is also accused of stupidity: although Constantine had granted him underserved power, Maximian did not accept this concession and orchestrated a coup. In the panegyric of 310, these actions against Constantine are depicted as foedum facinus.87 This is a quite rare expression, which shows the vast culture of the rhetorician who is probably here quoting Sallust, in a passage where he accuses Catiline of many a foedum facinus88 or Livy, who refers to Pyrrhus with the same term.89 The result of this narration is a typical example of memoria damnationis.90 It finds its rhetorical structure in the polarization of values, feelings, and 85

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Quamlibet enim merito pietatis tuae questibus arguatur, debet tamen sibi vox privata moderari, praesertim cum eum qui tibi ex tantis beneficiis tuis et tanto necessitudinum favore ingratus exstiterit adhuc contemplatio tui cogat ut quamvis irati revereantur. Cui tu summa et diversissima bona, privatum otium et regias opes, dederas, cui digredienti ad anulos sederas, cui impensius etiam quam tibi occurrere obsequia nostra mandaveras, cuius omnibus iussis sic statueras oboedire ut penes te habitus, penes illum potestas esset imperii. Pan. Lat. vi(7)18.1: foedum illud facinus. Sal. Cat. 52.36. Cf. Liv. 29.18.4: qui cum ex Sicilia rediens Locros classe praeterveheretur, inter alia foeda quae propter fidem erga vos in civitatem nostram facinora edidit (‘When on his return from Sicily Pyrrhus was passing Locri in his fleet, among other shameful acts which he visited upon our state for its loyalty to you’. Translated by F. Gardner Moore). The other two existing instances are Ter. Eun. 943 and Tac. Ann. 16.13.1: the first is not an author commonly used as a model in panegyrics, the second refers not to a person but to a year (tot facinoribus foedum annum). As Enenkel (2000, 98) observes with regard to this panegyric.

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moralizing terms (for example, good/evil, pietas/crudelitas), which is a traditional aim of the panegyrics. Crudelitas and pravitas are criticized by the orator and described by him as error desipientis aetatis.91 Through this strategy, his moral portraits assumed a political significance, giving the rhetorician the chance to create a new imagery for Maximian. He combined different aspects to produce a new paradigm of a bad emperor: moral (ingratitude and cupidity, genero peieravit), political (gravissima curas et bellum civile suscepit), and military (quo quidem illius errore declaratum est, imperator, quantus te militum tuorum amor complecteretur).92 Conclusions: Maximian in Context Contemporary panegyrics celebrated Maximian’s reign and depicted his enemies as cruel and horrible beings that inspired fear. A close ‘co-operation’ and a similar political inspiration shaped a sort of ‘integrated multi-media library’ in which a coherent imagery was created to develop distorted and stereotyped representations of the defeated enemies. Although displaying many differences, the top-down and bottom-up media promoted (whilst diffusing or reinterpreting) the new political cursus. After Maximian’s death, at the beginning of the age of Constantine, it was the defeated emperor’s turn to have his image diffracted: the once sacratissimus imperator was himself transformed into a cruel monster. In this case, although it is difficult to observe ‘agglomerations of [visual] relationships’,93 it is interesting to analyse how different ‘rhetorical agendas’ (one promoted by the panegyrist and the other developed by Lactantius) played their roles in expressing criticisms of the dead emperor. In the case of the panegyric of 310, Maximian’s demonization can also be thought of, as Ware has recently argued, as ‘a careful rewriting of Maximian’s place in Constantine’s history that transfers Maximian’s virtues to his ex–son-in-law’.94 In this case, we can consider this text as a sort of rhetorically engineered restoration of the characterization of Constantine and Maximian which was effective in 307. Lactantius operates in a different way: his aim is to attack the sacralisation of the Tetrarchic rulers and their anti-Christian messages especially.95 In order to obtain this result, in the 91 92 93 94 95

Pan. Lat. vi(7)14.1, 16.5; Pan. Lat. vi(7)15.2, 16.2. See, respectively, Pan. Lat. vi(7)14.2–6, 15.1-3; Pan. Lat. vi(7)15.6; Pan. Lat. vi(7)15.2; Pan. Lat. vi(7)16.2. Karsdorp and Van den Bosch 2016, 13. Ware 2014, 93. Rees 2004, 46–50.

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instances I have analysed, he described Maximian by employing terms already used by canonical Latin, pagan authors. Lactantius, in fact, blended them in a new moral and ideological perspective, but even in this case (rhetorical) images and imageries became part of a process of political retelling.96 Bibliography Arce, J. 1982. ‘Un relieve triunfal de Maximiano Herculeo en Augusta Emerita y el Pap. Argent. inv. 480’, MDAI(M) 23: 359–371. Belloni, G.G. 1976. ‘“Aeternitas” e annientamento dei Barbari sulle monete’, in M. Sordi (ed.), I canali della propaganda nel mondo antico. Milan. 220–228. Barnes, T.D. 1982. The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Cambridge MA. Braund, S. 2009. Seneca, De clementia. Edited with translation and commentary. Oxford. Brosch, P. 2006. ‘Zur Präsentation der Tetrarchie in den Panegyrici Latini’, in D. Boschung and W. Eck (eds.), Die Tetrarchie. Ein neues Regierungssystem und seine mediale Präsentation. Wiesbaden. 83–101. Bucci, T. 2010. ‘Massimiano da «imperator invictus» a «perfidus hostis»’. InvLuc 32: 35–42. Burgersdijk, D. 2016. ‘Creating the Enemy: Ammianus Marcellinus’ Double Digression on Huns and Alans (Res Gestae 31.2)’, BICS 59: 111–132. Depeyrot, G. 1995. Les monnaies d’or de Diocletien a Constantin I (284–337). Wetteren. Eck, W. 2006. ‘Das Herrschaftskonzept Diocletians im Spiegel öffentlicher Monumente’, in D. Boschung and W. Eck (eds.), Die Tetrarchie. Ein neues Regierungssystem und seine mediale Präsentation. Wiesbaden. 321–347. Enenkel, K. 2000. ‘Panegyrische Geschichtsmythologiesierung und Propaganda:  zur Interpretation des Panegyricus Latinus VI’, Hermes 128: 91–126. Gardner Moore, F. (tr.) 1949. Livy: History of Rome. Cambridge, ma. Gardner, R. (tr.) 1958. Cicero: Pro Sestio. In Vatinium. Cambridge, ma. Gruen, E. 2011. Rethinking the Other in Antiquity. Princeton. Gualandri, I. 2013. ‘Linguistic and cultural alterity in the Roman Empire: Historiography and panegyrics’, Talanta 45: 9–12. Hekster, O. 2015. Emperors and Ancestors. Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition. Oxford. 96

My gratitude goes to Professor Olivier Hekster and Dr Daniëlle Slootjes, who kindly read through earlier versions of this chapter, and Dr Diederik Burgersdijk and Dr Alan Ross for their meticulous editorial work. Their comments have greatly improved the original draft, and saved me from many errors. It goes without saying that all remaining errors and inconsistencies are solely my responsibility.

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Isaac, B. 2006. The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity. Princeton. Karsdorp, F. and van den Bosch, A. 2016. ‘The structure and evolution of story networks’, R. Soc. open sci. 3: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160071 Kolb, F. 1987. Diokletian und die erste Tetrarchie. Improvisation oder Experiment in monarchischer Herrschaft? Berlin. L’Huillier, M.C. 1976. ‘A propos des Panégyriques et des revers monétaires. Quelques remarques sus l’idéologie au Bas-Empire’, Dial. Hist. Anc. 2: 435–442. L’Huillier, M.C. 1980. ‘La rappresentazione del mondo barbarico nell’oratoria encomiastica del IV secolo d.C.’, InvLuc 2: 191–205. L’Huillier, M.C. 1987. ‘Paneg. 10 (2), 4 ed un gruppo statuario del Museo di Metz’, InvLuc 9: 77–87. Lassandro, D. and Micunco, G. (eds.) 2000. Panegirici Latini. Torino. Leadbetter, B. 2004. ‘Best of brothers. Fraternal imagery in panegyrics on Maximian Herculius’, ClPhil 99: 257–266. Magioncalda, A. 1991. Lo sviluppo della titolatura imperiale da Augusto a Giustiniano attraverso le testimonianze epigrafiche. Torino. Maranesi, A. 2016. Vincere la memoria, costruire il potere. Costantino, i retori, la lode dell’autorità e l’autorità della lode. Milan. McNair, B. 2011. An Introduction to Political Communication. London-New York. Mynors, R.A.B. 1964. XII panegyrici latini. Oxford. Nixon, C. 1981. ‘The “Epiphany” of the Tetrarchs? An Examination of Mamertinus’ Panegyric of 291’, TAPhA 111: 157–166. Ogilvie, R.M. 1978. The Library of Lactantius. Oxford. Perassi, C. 2000. ‘Ideologia e prassi imperiali: Panegyrici Latini, monete e medaglioni’, in B. Kluge and B. Weisser (eds.), XII. Internationaler Numismatischer Kongress–Acten. Berlin. 830–839. Quiroga, A. 2013. ‘The Others: Cultural Monotheism and the Rhetorical Construction of ‘Cultural Alterity’ in Libanius’ Panegyrics’, Talanta 45: 55–66. Raimondi, M. 2006. ‘Modello costantiniano e regionalismo gallico nell’usurpazione di Magnenzio’, MedAnt 9: 267–292 Rees, R. 1993. ‘Images and image: a re-examination of Tetrarchic iconography’, G&R 40: 181–200. Rees, R. 2002. Layers of Loyality in Latin Panegyric, A.D. 289–307. Oxford. Rees, R. 2004. ‘Praising in Prose:  Vergil in the Panegyrics’, in R. Rees (ed.), Romane memento. Vergil in the Fourth Century. London. 33–46. Rees, R. 2005. ‘The Emperors’ New Names: Diocletian Jovius and Maximian Herculius’, in H. Bowden and L. Rawlings (eds.), Heraklis and Hercules. Exploring a GraecoRoman Divinity. Swansea. 223–239. Rees, R. 2012. ‘The Modern History of Latin Panegyric’ in R. Rees (ed.), Latin Panegyric. London. 3–41.

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——— 2013. ‘The look of the Late Antique Emperor’, in H. Lovatt and C. Vout (eds.), Epic Visions. Visuality in Greek and Latin Epic and its Reception. Cambridge. 99–120. Richardson, J. 2008. The Language of Empire, Rome and the Idea of Empire from the Third Century BC to the Second Century AD. Cambridge. Ronning, C. 2007. Herrscherpanegyrik unter Trajan und Konstantin. Tübingen. Sabbah, G. 1984. ‘De la rhétorique à la communication politique:  les Panégyriques Latins’, BAGB 4: 363–88. Shackleton Bailey, D. R. (tr.) 2010. Cicero: Philippics. Cambridge, ma. Seeck, O. 1897. Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt. Stuttgart. Sommer, M. 2004. ‘Elagabal. Wege zur Konstruktion eines ‘schlechten’ Kaisers’, SCI 21: 95–110. Tantillo, I. 1999. ‘L’ideologia imperiale tra centro e periferie. A proposito di un ‘elogio’ di Costantino da Augusta Traiana in Tracia’, RFIC 127: 73–95. Thompson, E.A. 1952. A Roman Reformer and Inventor. Being a new text of the treatise De rebus bellicis with a translation and introduction by E.A. Thompson and a Latin index by Barbara Flower. Oxford. Van Dam, R. 2011. Remembering Constantine at the Milvian Bridge. Cambridge. Varner, E.R. 2014. ‘Maxentius, Constantine, and Hadrian: Images and the Expropriation of Imperial Identity’, in S. Birk, T. Myrup Kristensen and B. Poulsen (eds.), Using Images in Late Antiquity. Oxford. 48–77. Wardle, D. 2012. ‘Suetonius on Augustus as God and Man’, CQ 62: 307–326. Ware, C. 2014. ‘The Severitas of Constantine:  Imperial Virtues in Panegyrici Latini 7(6)and 6(7)’, Journal of Late Antiquity 7: 86–109. Watts, N.H. (tr.) 1923. Cicero: Post Reditum ad Quirites. De Domo Sua. Cambridge, ma. Woolf, G. 2003. Becoming Roman. The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul. Cambridge. Woolf, G. 2011. Tales of the Barbarians. Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West. Malden.

Chapter 4

Maxentius and the aeternae urbis suae conditores: Rome and Its Founders from Maximian to Constantine (289–313) Raphael G.R. Hunsucker On 21 April in a year less than two decades distant from the turn of the fourth century a.d., a special ceremony took place in the imperial capital of the western emperor, celebrating the foundation of the Eternal City.1 The citizens and dignitaries present at the occasion would probably not have missed their emperor’s desire to connect his own rule to Rome’s primordial beginnings. Even more so, and perhaps surpassing their expectations, they witnessed how their ruler was addressed in terms that presented him as the new founder of the Urbs. That strategy of representation can be described as ‘ktistic renewal’— a strategy famously employed by Augustus, who was hailed as alter conditor, ‘second founder’ of Rome.2 The late antique ceremony thus revived an old Imperial tradition of ‘ktistic renewal’, harking back all the way to the founder of the Principate. This chapter is about political rhetoric and monuments connecting late antique Roman emperors to the founders of Rome. During the reign of Maxentius (306–312), who reaffirmed the political centrality of Rome, ideological references to the city’s founders were particularly conspicuous and high in number.3 That is perhaps unsurprising, but it will be argued that the founders of Rome were surprisingly prominent also in the political rhetoric surrounding Maxentius’ predecessors and successors, who were less dependent on the city of Rome in their exercise of power. While Maximian and Constantine based themselves in cities like Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier, Germany) and Constantinople, but connected themselves to Rome’s 1 This contribution was written during a doctoral research project subsidized by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (nwo) through the National Research School in Classical Studies in the Netherlands (oikos). I would like to thank Evelien Roels, as well as the editors of this volume, for their valuable help and comments in different stages. 2 The concept of ktistic renewal is the subject of the present author’s forthcoming PhD dissertation; see further below, note 41. 3 Cullhed 1994, 63–64.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 006

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foundation nonetheless, Maxentius combined rhetoric and reality at Rome. His ideological efforts culminated, in all probability, in the year 308,4 when the emperor dedicated a monument on the Forum Romanum to Mars and ‘the founders of his own Eternal City’.5 It is the aim of this chapter to analyse and contextualize Maxentian evocations of the city’s founders by looking at Tetrarchic and earlier precedents for such evocations, as well as their fortune under Maxentius’ successors. To employ the adjective ‘Maxentian’ is to avoid the thorny issue of the agency behind political and ideological messages, just like the adjective ‘Augustan’ is conveniently used to cover the whole range of cultural production during the rule of Augustus, three centuries before Maxentius.6 This preliminary recourse to deliberate vagueness will give way to some insights into questions of agency at the end of this chapter. Yet even if the vexed question of agency remains largely unanswered, it may still be fruitful to further scrutinize the political rhetoric revolving around Rome’s foundation for its own sake. Drawing on the representational turn in ancient history, this analysis will venture to move away from the question what the emperor did and focus mainly on how his reign was presented and perceived. What makes Maxentius such an interesting emperor to study when it comes to political rhetoric and ideological imagery, is that his very image, conveyed in the sources that have come down to us, is almost entirely built up from the slander produced by his (contemporary and posthumous) opponents:7 his ‘heteroimage’ completely overshadows his ‘auto-image’.8 Although, sadly, almost all literary sources favourable to Maxentius (which must arguably have existed)9 4 Wrede 1981, 141; his dating, presented as new but actually preceded by Gatti (see Groag 1930, 2459, who remained critical), has now found universal acceptance. 5 Marti invicto patri / et aeternae urbis suae / conditoribus / dominus noster / [[imp(erator) Maxentius p(ius) f(elix)]] / invictus Aug(ustus) (cil vi.33856a = ils 8935). See further below. 6 The exemplary study is Galinsky 1996. One may compare the use of the term ‘senatorial’ to describe both an agency group and an ideological perspective. In studies of imperial panegyric, the debate is often conducted in terms of communication descendante vs. communication ascendante. See ‘The Representational Turn’ in the Introduction to this volume for further discussion. 7 See Drijvers 2007. For a similar phenomeon with a later emperor, see Woudhuysen in this volume. 8 For these notions see Leerssen 2007, 27 and ‘Imagology and the theory of representation’ in the Introduction. 9 On the author of the Historia Augusta’s unfufilled desire to treat the reign of Maxentius (ha, Heliogab. 35.6) see Straub 1972, 304; traces of such apparently favourable sources (given the interest that the author of the ha shows in co-rulers, usurpers and other imperial figures) may very well be preserved by the late-fifth century Historia Nova of Zosimus, for which see briefly Lieu and Montserrat 1996, 12–15. See also Zinsli 2014, 866 ad Heliogab. 35.6 (K662).

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have been lost, we can luckily still compare the hostile image drawn by his enemy’s partisans with the coins and inscriptions produced for the emperor himself, and whatever impartial information about him we can deduce from other sources. Maxentius as (False) Romulus Let us, in keeping with the overwhelming hostility found in the literary record, begin with a telling passage from a panegyric to Constantine, delivered in Trier by an anonymous orator in the year 313. Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in 312 had led to Maxentius’ death, which the panegyrist presented in a mythologizing fashion (Pan. Lat. xii[9]18.1–2):10 Sacred Tiber, once advisor of your guest Aeneas, next savior of the exposed Romulus (Romuli conservator expositi), you allowed neither the false Romulus to live for long nor the City’s murderer to swim away (tu nec falsum Romulum diu vivere nec parricidam Urbis passus es enatare). You who nourished Rome by conveying provision, you who protected her by encircling the walls, rightly wished to partake of Constantine’s victory, to have him drive the enemy to you, and you slay him. The Constantinian panegyrist chose the mythical framework of Rome’s foundation to highlight the Tiber’s providential role in Maxentius’ demise, thereby turning Maxentius’ own legitimating efforts against him, as the following analysis hopes to show. There is some discussion about the identity of the falsus Romulus. Rodgers argues that it is not Maxentius and could be no other than Maxentius’ deceased (first) son, Valerius Romulus.11 He was, however, already dead and deified for several years, and, as Rodgers herself notes, ‘how the Tiber achieved his death is a mystery’—he would then have been killed by the Tiber previously, to which the panegyrist would have referred in an entirely oblique manner.12 That is highly unlikely, especially because there is an easy solution at hand. Rodgers over-stresses the adversative value of the double 10

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All translations of the Latin Panegyrics are those of Nixon and Rodgers 1994, and the Latin text quoted is that of Mynors’ 1964 Oxford Classical Texts edition, as reprinted by Nixon and Rodgers 1994. Ib. 321. See also Mundt 2012, 175–176. Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 321. Cf. Ib. 351 on omnibus qui statum eius labefactare poterant cum stirpe deletis in Pan. Lat. iv(10)6.6, taken as evidence for a second son of Maxentius.

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nec, which according to her has to signal a change of subject. She states: ‘nor does anything explain why Maxentius would be the false Romulus’.13 A very straightforward explanation is available, however: Maxentius identified himself with the founder of the city, so the Constantinian panegyrist did the same. Furthermore, there is no problem in taking nec … nec as explicative rather than adversative. As the falsum Romulum and the parricidam Urbis were in fact one and the same person, there was logically only one corpse to be disgorged later on (18.2).14 Therefore, Galletier, Curran, and Oenbrink, among others, rightly take Maxentius as the one intended here by ‘the false Romulus’, also described as ‘the murderer of the city’, who was neither allowed to live for long nor to swim away.15 In fact, the panegyrist has masterfully conflated Romulean vocabulary in characterizing Maxentius. Other authors described Romulus as parens urbis,16 in his role as founder, and fratris parricida,17 because of the killing of Remus. Styling Maxentius as parricidam Urbis thus makes for a splendid contrast with Romulus’ role as founder, while at the same time exploiting the subversive connotations of Romulus’ fratricidal behaviour.18 Constantine, in contrast, is working together with the sacred Tiber, which now turns into the murderer of the falsus Romulus, again a splendid contrast with its original role as conservator Romuli.19 Also, that makes the victorious emperor third in a list of ‘ktistic’ or foundational heroes helped by the Tiber, after Aeneas and Romulus.20 Accordingly, Constantine is strongly contrasted to Maxentius and presented 13 14 15

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Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 321. Cf. 4.4, where falso generi also refers to Maxentius, in opposition to Constantine’s true descent. Groag 1930, 2458; Besnier 1937, 350n33; Galletier 1952, note to page 138. 2*; Dulière 1979, 179; Cullhed 1994, 61; Bauer 1996, 104n22; Lippold 1998, 237n35; Bruggisser 1999, 78; Curran 2000, 68n132, 77; Bruggisser 2002, 132; Oenbrink 2006, 202n85; van Poppel 2014, 63. Cf. e.g. Cic. div. 1.3, principio huius urbis parens Romulus; Liv. 5.24.11, Romulo (…) parente et auctore urbis Romae and see parentes urbis (Pan. Lat. x[2]2.1), discussed below, with note 30. Hier. Praefatio ad Dydim. spir. (pl 23, 107). Cf. Min.Fel. Oct. 25.2; Cyprian, Quod idola dii non sint, 5; August. De civ. D. 3.6; Serv. in Aen. 6.779; possibly also Tert. Ad nat. 2.7.7 (see Kolter 2008, 87n428). Cf. Sall. Cat. 51.25, parricidae rei publicae (on Catiline's associates) and Lact. Div. inst. 1.15.29, patriae parricida (on Julius Caesar, but in one sentence with Romulus as fratricide). On the Maxentian overtones of the word conservator, see note 69 and page 100. On the term ‘ktistic’, see Hardie 1994, 11–12.

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by the panegyrist as the ‘true Romulus’, to use the words of Salzman.21 Turning Maxentian ideology upside down, the panegyric presents the victory at the Milvian Bridge as an act of ktistic renewal. Right away, then, this neatly composed invective suggests a twofold hypothesis: 1. Maxentian appropriations of Romulus were effective and deployed on such a scale that they influenced even his enemy’s political audience in Trier, which the panegyrist here effectively manipulated.22 2. Romulus was too important to be done away with together with his imperial propagator. The founder of Rome had to be cleansed of Maxentian stains rather than to go down with him. At the end of this chapter it will be shown that this was the fortune of Maxentius’ appropriation of Romulus under Constantine. Where, however, did Maxentian ideas originate? We have considerable evidence that he drew inspiration from the emperor that preceded him almost directly: his father Maximian. The Celebration of Rome’s Foundation during the Reign of Maximian and Diocletian: Dyarchic Emperors as alteri conditores After three decades of steadily increasing scholarly investigation,23 it remains a point open for discussion whether Maxentius, who was the son of one Tetrarch and the son-in-law and grandson-in-law of two others, tried to legitimize his rule by associating himself with the Tetrarchs, by disassociating himself from their policies, or by doing both in ways that shifted over time and according to the circumstances. The role of Rome, the old imperial capital that

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Salzman 1990, 110. A similar notion is expressed by Nazarius in Pan. Lat. IV(10)6.6, were the destruction of Maxentius is equated with the foundation of Rome for eternity. See Cullhed 1994, 62. Whether Romulean messages on Maxentian coinage affected public opinion in Gaul is a question that remains to be explored: on the circulation of Maxentian coinage in Gaul, see Drost 2013, 60. Maxentian coins from Ostia depicting Romulus are actually found in Gallic hordes: Bastien and Vasselle 1965, 97–98; Bastien and Cothenet 1974, 83. Rollins’ bibliographical overview of twentieth-century scholarship in English listed only two contributions on Maxentius (Rollins 1991, 89, 160). Since then, Maxentius has been studied intensively by Cullhed 1994, Hekster 1999, Curran 2000, Dumser 2005, Oenbrink 2006, Drijvers 2007, Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, Marlowe 2010, Ziemssen 2011, Donciu 2012 and Drost 2013, to name only the most important contributions.

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allegedly suffered from neglect and loss of prestige during the Tetrarchy,24 is clearly central to this issue. In fact, Maxentius’ political focus on Rome is seen as his major breach with Tetrarchic policies. Were Maxentius’ appropriation of Rome’s distant founders and his enactments of ktistic renewal also without Tetrarchic precedent? It will be argued that the current scholarly interpretation of Maxentian celebrations of Rome’s foundation as ‘anti-Tetrarchic’ is problematic and incomplete.25 As a matter of fact, the founders of Rome were all but absent from Tetrarchic imperial ideology. The opening paragraph of this chapter, describing a ceremony on 21 April, could in fact be equally applicable to the reign of Maxentius’ father, Maximian (286–305). In the year 289 a panegyric was delivered to Maximian in the imperial palace at Trier (Pan. Lat. x[2]) by an orator who perhaps bore the name Mamertinus.26 The occasion was the ‘most solemn (…) day’27 of the Natalis Romae, Rome’s birthday—as the panegyrist misses no chance to mention repeatedly.28 In the presence of ‘this glittering crowd of courtiers’ (haec obsequiorum stipatio et fulgor, 3.2), referred to deictically in the speech itself (haec), the emperor Maximian was addressed in terms of praise closely related to and inspired by the foundation of Rome. That is all the more striking, since the speech was held by a local orator for an emperor who had never been to Rome29 and an audience of courtiers in Trier that was arguably anxious to see their city take over as much of the power and prestige of the old Urbs as was fitting and feasible (cf. 14.3). In spite of this, the Gallic orator celebrated the foundation of the ‘sacred city’ of Rome (sacrae urbis, 1.1) in a way that is difficult to reconcile with imperial neglect. 24 25 26 27 28

29

Dulière 1979, 176–177; Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 41. Cf. however Rees 2004b, 29. Oenbrink 2006. See also Cullhed 1994, 94; Curran 2000, 54. See de Trizio 2009, 11–12. On the date, see Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 42–43. celeberrimo isto et imperantibus vobis laetissimo die (Pan. Lat. x[2]1.1). The term Natalis Romae is first used explicitly at 1.4 (natalem Romae diem), but the occasion was already paraphrased twice, right at the start of the speech in 1.1 (solemni sacrae urbis religione) and earlier in 1.4 (hoc die quo immortalis ortus dominae gentium civitatis vestra pietate celebratur). It is described again in 1.5 (illi urbi natalis dies) and hinted at in 2.1 (nunc Romae omnes magistratus et pontifices et sacerdotes iuxta parentes urbis et statores deos Herculis templa venerantur). After these five instances in the opening chapters of the speech, the occasion is again highlighted towards the end, in 13.4 (hunc natalem suum diem) and 14.3 (natalem tuum diem). Contrast Pan. Lat. vi(7), delivered on the occasion of the anniversary of Trier’s (re-)foundation, where the occasion is mentioned only in passing (1.1, 22.4). Pan. Lat. vii(6)8.7 (primo ingressu tuo). See Nixon 1981, 75–76; Barnes 1982, 56–60; Kolb 1987, 145–147; Marlowe 2010, 199.

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The most striking aspect of the whole speech with regard to the foundation of Rome, however, is the creative manipulation and re-elaboration of the concept of foundation itself. The panegyrist presented his audience with an array of foundational heroes, from Evander, who remains unnamed (‘regem advenam’, 1.2), and Hercules, who figures most prominently (1.2; 1.3; 2.1; 13.5), to Romulus and Remus (‘parentes urbis’, 2.1;30 ‘Remo et Romulo tuis’, 13.1). This is not for mere display of erudition. The panegyrist did so, namely, to link these ktistic heroes closely to the descent, virtues, and imperial office of his addressee. Hercules, Maximian’s patron deity, is an obvious point of departure, and is therefore given pride of place. Actually, the rhetorical scheme that enabled the panegyrist to celebrate Maximian’s military exploits in Gaul and Germania (in the middle part of the speech)31 on Rome’s birthday (2.1) is entirely built upon the comparison of these military exploits with Hercules’ pristine ktistic deeds involving Geryon and Cacus, centred around the Forum Boarium in Rome. The orator’s treatment of those legendary episodes harks back to Virgil’s Aeneid (8.184–305, 362–365), where the story is recounted to Aeneas by Evander.32 In fact, the panegyrist transplants to Hercules (as a prefiguration of Maximian) much of the prophetic importance that was attached to Aeneas’ coming to Rome in the Virgilian original.33 In the Aeneid, Virgil had presented Aeneas as the (ktistic) precursor of Augustus—our panegyrist uses Virgil’s example

30

31 32

33

Cf. de Trizio 2009, 63. She advocates a broader understanding of the term comprising Hercules, whose inclusion would, however, be superfluous, as the veneration of the parentes urbis is compared to that of the Herculis templa. The plural (parentes) more likely refers to Romulus and Remus, prominently presented in the last paragraphs of the speech. For the term, see e.g. Liv. 5.24.11, Romulo (…) parente et auctore urbis Romae, Quint. 3.7.26 and above, note 16. See Maranesi in this volume. Cf. Liv. 1.7. Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 54 n.4, trace some antiquarian details back to Servius Auctus and ‘a chain of earlier Virgilian commentators’, but in fact much can be found in Virgil directly. Compare Herculei sacri custos familia Pinaria (1.3) with domus Herculei custos Pinaria sacri (Aen. 8.270), and Pallantea moenia adisse victorem et, parua tunc licet regia (1.3) with ‘haec’ inquit ‘limina victor / Alcides subiit, haec illum regia cepit’ (Aen. 8.362–363, Evander speaking about Hercules’ visit to his Palatine abode). Compare e.g. principem illum tui generis ac nominis (…) futurae maiestatis dedisse primordia, ut esse posset domus Caesarum quae Herculis fuisset hospitium (2.1, on Hercules prefiguring Maximian’s greatness) with nymphae priscum Carmentis honorem, / vatis fatidicae, cecinit quae prima futuros / Aeneadas magnos et nobile Pallanteum (Aen. 8.339– 341, on Aeneas prefiguring Roman/Augustan greatness). On the role of Hercules (and Aeneas) in the Aeneid, see briefly Hekster 2004, 240–241, with further bibliography.

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to present Maximian as a (ktistic) successor of Hercules, completely glossing over Aeneas.34 Hercules is of course an obvious mythological example for Maximian, but the orator goes beyond the obvious in creatively adapting that bit of central imperial ideology to the occasion of the speech, namely the foundation of Rome. Although Aeneas is left out, that does not mean that Rome’s traditional foundation myth is entirely subordinated to contemporary political concerns. As Marlowe observes on Hercules and Jupiter in this speech, they ‘are honoured not in their generic or universal guises as the Tetrarchic comites but rather in the very particular form of their metropolitan Roman cults, Jupiter Stator and Hercules Victor’.35 Even more so, these cults had strong ktistic associations.36 Hercules thus figures as a specifically Roman model for Maximian’s concern with that city and its foundation in particular. Apart from Hercules, Rome’s traditional founder also makes a prominent appearance. Towards the end of the speech, in the grand apostrophe to Roma that heralds the panegyric’s peroratio, the panegyrist, again, displays considerable creativity in intertwining Rome’s ktistic traditions with contemporary concerns (Pan. Lat. x[2]13.1-3): Felix igitur talibus, Roma, principibus (fas est enim ut hoc dicendi munus pium unde coepimus terminemus); felix, inquam, et multo nunc felicior quam sub Remo et Romulo tuis. (2) Illi enim, quamuis fratres geminique essent, certaverunt tamen uter suum tibi nomen imponeret, diversosque montes et auspicia ceperunt. Hi vero conservatores tui (sit licet nunc tuum tanto maius imperium quanto latius est vetere pomerio, quidquid homines colunt) nullo circa te livore contendunt. Hi, cum primum ad te redeant triumphantes, uno cupiunt invehi curru, simul adire Capitolium, simul habitare Palatium. (3) Utere, quaeso, tuorum principum utroque cognomine, cum non cogaris eligere: licet nunc simul et Herculia dicaris et Iovia. ‘Fortunate Rome, under leaders such as these (for it is right that we finish this pious duty of speechmaking where we commenced): fortunate, I say, and much more fortunate than under your Remus and Romulus. (2) For they, although they were brothers and twins, quarreled nonetheless as to 34 35 36

Note that the Constantinian panegyrist of 313, discussed above (page 85), began with Aeneas (Pan. Lat. 12[9]18.1). Marlowe 2010, 200, referring to §13.4 of the speech. Cf. Liv. 1.12.3-6; Tac. Ann. 15.41; not appreciated by de Trizio 2009, 63; Bruggisser 1999, 78; cf. Marlowe 2010, 200.

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which would give you his name, and took separate hills and auspices. But these preservers of yours, Rome (although your empire is now greater by as much as the inhabited world is more extensive than the old pomerium) vie for you with no jealousy. These rulers, as soon as they return to you in triumph, wish to be conveyed in the one chariot, to ascend the Capitol together, to dwell on the Palatine together. (3) Use, I beseech you, the cognomen of each of your Emperors, since you are not compelled to make a choice. Now you may be called at the same time both Herculia and Iovia.’ The orator profitably compares the Dyarchic emperors, Maximian and Diocletian, to the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Although Romulus and Remus are of course twins, it is by no means a given that Remus, here even named first (13.1), was also seen as a founder of Rome, on a par with Romulus—Remus’ role is notoriously ambiguous.37 That difficulty is suppressed, however, to create a forceful simile between both pairs.38 In the process, Remus is implicitly rehabilitated as co-founder of Rome. Unsurprisingly, the pair of Romulus and Remus is mostly presented in order to be outdone by Rome’s current rulers: the latter’s commitment to Rome is even greater than that of the city’s founders. Some of the resulting rhetorical hyperboles have erroneously been interpreted as reflecting negatively on Rome. The expression multo nunc felicior quam sub Remo et Romulo tuis (13.1) would allegedly convey disdain for Rome’s traditional founders.39 Does the well-known invocation felicior Augusto, melior Traiano (Eutr., Brev. 8.5), then, imply disdain for Augustus and Trajan? These are mostly stock ingredients of Herrscherlob, working to the benefit of the laudandus rather than the detriment of the comparandum. Maximian and Diocletian are simply bigger and better than Romulus and Remus, as is the realm over which they rule. Rather than belittling Romulus and Remus, described affectively as Rome’s own (tuis), the comparison casts Maximian and Diocletian in the role of ‘alteri conditores’.40 The panegyrist tapped into traditional Augustan ideology here, according to which the princeps was an alter conditor of Rome.41 Maximian and 37 38

39 40 41

See the classic treatment by Wiseman 1995 and, for Late Antiquity, Bruggisser 2002. On Maximian and Diocletian as brothers, see Leadbetter 2004 and Hekster 2015, 304– 306. Pan. Lat. xi(3)6.3 compares them explicitly to gemini fratres, outdoing even the harmony of twins. Dulière 1979, 176; cf. Ziemssen 2011, 67–68. Ziemssen 2011, 67–68. Cf. Liv. 4.20.7, 5.49.7 (with Miles 1988, 194–195, 199–200); Suet. Aug. 7.2.

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Diocletian, however, also outdo that example. As the realm over which they rule is bigger than the city of Romulus (and Remus), so is their title: instead of re-founding just Rome, they have become Romani imperii conditores (1.5). The Hadrianic author Florus had used that conjunction before to describe Augustus, who would have been called Romulus quia condidisset imperium (2.34/4.12.66).42 Our late antique panegyrist thus adapted an imperial view of Augustus’ re-foundation of Rome and its Empire to present the reign of his imperial overlords as the culmination of Rome’s history. Contrary to de Trizio’s view that conditor (1.5) is ‘a synonym of aedificator’,43 the choice of words is highly significant, presenting Maximian and Diocletian as ktistic successors to Romulus and Remus as well as Augustus. As such, the statement in the opening sentence of the speech that Maximian should be venerated on this dies festus (1.1) is no hollow phrase—as conditor, Maximian is rightly venerated on the Natalis Urbis.44 Our orator has a keen eye for the intricacies of the traditional foundation myth, and knows how to exploit them, rather than doing away with them as altogether outdated, as has been argued in the past.45 The grand apostrophe to Roma shows this clearly. Whereas Romulus and Remus ‘took separate hills and auspices’ (diversos montes et auspicia ceperunt, 13.2), Maximian and Diocletian, here dubbed conservatores tui46 and presented as the apogees of Dyarchic concordia, ‘wish to dwell on the Palatine together’ (cupiunt … simul habitare Palatium, 13.2). They do, in other words, precisely what was denied to Remus in Tibullus’ famous vignette (Romulus aeternae nondum formaverat urbis /moenia consorti non habitanda Remo, 2.5.23-24),47 the first known instance of the conjunction urbs aeterna. A clever allusion. At the same time, Rome, site of the original imperial palace, can also bring two rulers who normally resided in different palaces throughout the Empire together in one place. Compared to Romulus and Remus, Diocletian and Maximian overcome both the discord of the founders and what was seen as a contemporary problem: the absence of the emperor from Rome. Here, perhaps, the rhetoric is optimistic 42 43 44 45 46 47

Cf. Plin. n.h. 15.77 on Romulus and Remus as conditores imperii. de Trizio 2009, 62. Ib. 53; cf. sacratissime imperator and sacrae urbis (1.1), a conjunction first used here (de Trizio 2009, 56). Dulière 1979, 177; cf. Groag 1930, 2459; Mayer 2002, 126. I.e. Romae. The term is familiar from contemporary coinage, where it is applied to Jupiter and Hercules as conservator(es) Augusti/-orum: see Rodríguez Gérvás 1991, 85–87. ‘Not yet had Romulus traced the walls of the Eternal City wherein was no abiding for his brother Remus.’ (Loeb-translation by J.P. Postgate, revised by G.P. Goold, 19952 [1913]).

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rather than realistic, but it may also build on a sincere expectation—we will return to this below. Another key feature of Romulus and Remus’ discord, immortalized by Ennius’ pounding hexameter certabant urbem Romam Remoramne vocarent (Ann. 1.77, fr. 47 Skutsch),48 is ‘[who] would give you [Rome] his name’ (uter suum tibi nomen imponeret, 13.2), as the panegyrist paraphrases the matter. The Dyarchic solution is that Rome can freely use both emperors’ nicknames, Herculia … et Iovia (13.3), without the need to choose. This is no scorn of Rome’s majesty, as has been argued:49 it is a matter of adopting a cognomen (13.3), just like the tui principes have both adopted one.50 We need thus not think of the type of slander, according to which Nero or Commodus would have wanted to rename Rome after themselves. Instead, Maximian celebrated the Natalis Romae ‘with that customary magnificence which is your [Rome’s] due’ (14.3), even if absent from the capital itself. It is to the issue of that absence that we must now turn. Rome under the Tetrarchic Emperors: A Reappraisal? Rather than a break with traditional imperial patronage of Rome and with appropriation of the city’s foundation, the panegyric of 289 presents Dyarchic devotion to Rome as the culmination of imperial tradition. That Maximian and Diocletian adapted the foundation of the city to their own political agenda and cast themselves in a ktistic role for the purpose need not arouse surprise, nor suspicion as to their dedication to the Eternal City. Augustus (or Virgil) tampered with Rome’s ktistic traditions a great deal more than Maximian (or our panegyrist), and was never accused of neglecting Rome. It is more than anything else a compliment to Rome that Maximian ‘is so generous in honouring Rome’s birthday that he celebrates that city, already founded, to such an extent, that he would seem to have founded it himself’ (ad honorandum natalem Romae diem tam liberalem facit, ut urbem illam sic colas conditam, quasi ipse condideris, 1.4; my paraphrase). A clearer and more forceful statement regarding Maximian’s devotion to Rome and the celebration of its foundation would be hard to conceive.51 It is thus difficult to accept Ziemssen’s 48 49 50 51

‘They were competing about whether to call the city Roma or Remora.’ (translation by Wiseman 1995, 6–7). Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 41. On the context of this remark see Kolb 1987, 63–64; on Tetrarchic cognomina, see Roels 2013. Cf. Kolb 1987, 123–124.

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contention, that Rome ‘hardly plays any role’ in this panegyric, and that the fact that it was delivered in Trier, not Rome, would be indicative of imperial neglect of the Eternal City.52 It is rather the other way round. Had the oration been held at Rome, or by an orator from Rome, the praise of the old Urbs could be explained away as wishful thinking or hollow rhetoric.53 The fact that 21 April, in Trier, was celebrated at all, and that Rome figured so prominently in the celebratory speech, both indicate how important Rome was for Maximian. Other circumstances add to the impression of Rome’s contemporary importance. As far as we can infer from the statement that the ornate panegyric was delivered in a packed hall at court (3.2), 21 April must have been celebrated quite lavishly (14.3) and with full imperial ceremony. The birthday of Rome was thus seen as an important annual feast, also in the years not marked by centennial or secular celebration.54 Even more so, it appears that the Natalis Urbis, not (the anniversary of) Maximian’s consular election or dies imperii (referred to in the speech: vestri imperii primi dies, 1.5),55 was chosen as the occasion for a panegyric celebrating the last odd years of Maximian’s military exploits in Gaul and Germania. That is how important Rome’s birthday was in 289. Furthermore, there are reasons to believe that this speech was connected to contemporary expectations. If Barnes’ hypothetical reconstruction of the emperor’s movements (based on Julian) is correct, the panegyric’s references and allusions to a visit to Rome by Maximian, as well as the prominence awarded to Rome, may be explained by the circumstance that the emperor’s first journey to the Eternal City was imminent and indeed took place between April 289 and early 290.56

52 53

54 55

56

Ziemssen 2011, 113. Cf. Mayer 2002, 126; Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 41. Confusingly, Marlowe (2010, 200) makes the panegyrist ‘reveal the city’s [Rome’s] displeasure with its Tetrarchic rulers’ as a spokesman for Rome ‘offer[ing] a glimpse of the tension brewing in Rome in the late-third and early-fourth centuries over the city’s relations with distant emperors’, thereby ‘confirm[ing] the general impression of a humiliated and angry ancient capital’. On the possibility of such celebrations held by Maximian, see Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 193. Pan. Lat. viii(4) celebrates Constantius Chlorus’ dies imperii (in 297?), xi(3) Maximian’s own birthday in 291, v(8) and iv(10) the quinquennalia of Constantine and his sons in 311 and 321. Pan. Lat. iii(11), for Julian, was delivered on 1 January 362, but does not make so much of the date as the term ‘Neujahrsrede’ (Gutzwiller 1942) suggests:  see iii(11) 28.1 (cf. 2.4) and further Mause 1994, 37–38. Millar 1977, 46n54 seems to have misunderstood x(2) as a celebration of Maximian’s own birthday. Barnes 1982, 57–58; contrast note 31.

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However representative all this is for Maximian’s later years in office,57 let  alone for his Tetrarchic colleagues to come, one thing should be absolutely clear: to Maxentius’ father in 289, Rome and its foundation mattered a great deal. It is also telling that Maximian and Diocletian chose Rome as the city to celebrate their vicennalia, as well as the triumphs they had saved up, in 303.58 It is true that Maximian’s coinage tells a different story,59 but instead of adapting our interpretation of this panegyric to suit that kind of evidence, we ought to consider it as a piece of evidence on its own. In the culminating phrases of the speech, Rome is hailed as gentium domina (14.3) and illa imperii vestri mater (14.4), powerful epithets for a city allegedly without power. Furthermore, the orator gives pride of place to his concern, in his last words, that Rome will retain Maximian for too long, or prevent him from returning to Gaul altogether. Apparently, Rome still had such powers, at least in the eyes of the orator (and his local audience). They may have been naïve or traditional; indeed, the whole show may have been a farce. Yet on the other hand—taking this elaborate display of political rhetoric seriously—it may very well be that Rome was simply not as marginalized as modern scholars sometimes tend to believe. Taking the properly interpreted evidence of this speech seriously, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Maximian, who would become the most influential Tetrarch of the West, publicly honoured Rome and the city’s foundation for his own political purposes. Maximian, accordingly, seems the likely precursor of Maxentius in his appropriation of Rome’s foundation. Whatever his age was at the time (either about 10 or about 6), it is far from unlikely that the elaborate performance in 289 made a lasting impression on Maxentius. He was (perhaps for the first time?) addressed in public by the orator himself (14.1-2).60 The orator clearly mentions him in his capacity of future emperor of Rome: the words imperatoriae institutionis (14.2) reveal what young Maxentius’ education

57

58 59

60

Maximian possibly visited Rome to celebrate 21 April in 304: see Kolb 1987, 145 (with the wrong Latin date in note 434) and Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 193 n.5, on Pan. Lat. vii(6) 2.5. Mayer 2002, 175, and 183 on the often quoted passage of Lactantius (dmp 17.1-3) concerning Diocletian’s reaction to the Roman populace’s behaviour. Cullhed 1994, 62; Hekster 1999, 722; Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 43. Cf., however, Kolb 1987, 123–124, who interprets the Tetrarchic monument on the Forum and Tetrarchic coinage as part of a political programme connected to Romulus. As Nixon and Kolb note, Maxentius is not mentioned in Pan. Lat. iii(11), held in 291 (Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 75; Kolb 1987, 140–141).

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is about.61 Little did the panegyrist know that his vivid picture of the dies natalis-celebrations in Rome itself, evoked before the eyes of the audience in Trier through his skilful words (2.1; 13.4),62 would become such an integral part of the little boy’s quest for imperial legitimacy and power, less than 20 years later. Maxentius and the Founders of Rome: Urban Topography and Ktistic Renewal Young Maxentius, described as ‘born with every endowment of talent for a study of the liberal arts’ (ad honestissimas artes omnibus ingenii bonis natum, 14.1) by the panegyrist of 289, indeed studied his father’s example well. In his own policy of imperial legitimation, which seems sometimes to relate as directly as possible to the ideology laid out in the Panegyric of 289, he gave pride of place to the dies natalis of Rome. As a fortunate exception to our meagre historical record for Maxentian policies, we happen to possess not only an extraordinary epigraphical testimony to his appropriation of Rome’s founders, but also solid evidence for its prominent setting in time and space, including a connection with 21 April. The Maxentian monument in the Roman Forum, already mentioned at the start of this chapter, indeed provides reliable indications that the day was more than just an antiquarian’s party. I will first discuss the text of the dedicatory inscription, and then address its ritual, topographical, and political context. The main part of the inscription, still present in the Comitium area today, reads as follows (cil vi.33856a = ils 8935):63 Marti invicto patri / et aeternae urbis suae / conditoribus / dominus noster / [[imp(erator) Maxentius p(ius) f(elix)]] / invictus Aug(ustus)

61 62 63

Cf. Hekster 2015, 306, on the ‘clear expectancy of dynastic succesion’ expressed here. The latter passage is not, as Marlowe (2010, 200) has it, a ‘direct complaint about the emperors’ failure to put in an appearance at Rome on the city’s birthday.’ The transcription offered here is my own; for a reason unknown to me all corpora and databases (cil vi.33856a [Hülsen], ils 8935 [Dessau], HD028258 [Feraudi], lsa-1388 [Machado], EDR071738 [Grossi]) print Maxent[iu]s instead of Maxentius, although the supposedly illegible letters iu are as legible as the others in this erased line, as was in fact recognized by Alföldy in 1987 (drawing online at http://edh-www.adw.uni-heidelberg.de/ edh/foto/F026825 [retrieved 5 December 2016, 2:32 pm]).

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To Mars the unconquered, the father, and to the founders of his own Eternal City, our lord, the Emperor Maxentius, pious, fortunate, the unconquered Augustus [dedicated this].64 A second, less monumental inscription on the right side of the same stone informs us that the (reused) monument was dedicated on 21 April, the Natalis Romae (cil vi.33856b):65 [[magistri quinq(ennales) co[l]l(egii) f[a]bru[m]]] / dedicata die xi Kal(endas) Maias / per Furium Octavianum v(irum) c(larissimum) / cur(atorem) aed(ium) sacr(arum) [[The five-year magistrates of the college of the craftsmen.]] Dedicated on the eleventh day before the Kalends of May by Furius Octavianus, of clarissimus rank, the curator of the sacred temples.66 The dedicatory inscription and the holes on top of the base make it extremely likely that the base supported some sort of sculptural representation of Mars and the city founders. It thus constitutes a prominent public monument to both the founders of Rome and an emperor conspicuously commemorating 64

65

66

Cf. the slightly different translations by Curran 2000, 61 (‘To unconquered Mars, Father, and to the founders of his eternal city, our Lord Imperator Maxentius Pius Felix, unconquered Augustus [dedicated this]’) and Machado (‘To unconquered Mars, [our] father, and the founders of his eternal City, our lord, the em[[peror Maxentius, pious, fortunate]], unconquered Augustus’), online at http://laststatues.classics.ox.ac.uk/database/ discussion.php?id=1762 [retrieved 29 October 2016, 6:11 pm]. Transcription from EDR071738 and EDR144328 (both by I.  Grossi), online at http:// www.edr- edr.it/ edr_ programmi/ res_ complex_ new.php?Bibliografia=HD028258 [retrieved 5 December 2016, 2:32 pm]. Traces of the original inscription from the Antonine period (transcribed in the first line) still survive on this side of the stone, on its left side and on the back. Furius Octavianus was known from this inscription only, but a fascinating new iscription M(atri) d(eum) M(agnae) I(daeae) et deo sancto Atti from the Phrygianum, dedicated by Furius Octovianus [!] v(ir) c(larissimus) pater sacrorum dei Solis Invicti (cf. EDR150917, online at http://www.edr-edr.it/edr_programmi/res _complex_comune.php?do=book&id_nr=EDR150917 [retrieved 17 August 2017, 11:52 am], wrongly identifying the dedicant as Attius Furius Octavianus) has now turned up in a 15th century Catalan sylloge: see Carbonell Manils 2015, 264–265. Translation (slightly adapted) from the Last Statues of Antiquity database, http:// laststatues.classics.ox.ac.uk, LSA-1388 (C. Machado) [retrieved 29 October 2016, 6:11 pm]. The translation at http://inscriptions.etc.ucla.edu/index.php/inscription-database/? statueID=55 is faulty.

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them together with the god Mars, their divine father.67 Although the ktistic connection seems clear enough, the monument has previously been interpreted as furthering mostly dynastic claims.68 These interpretations will now be discussed first, before proceeding to the ktistic connections of the monument. Just like Maxentian coinage, the inscription creates a close link between Maxentius and Mars.69 Here, both receive the epithet invictus, and the inscription is emphatically framed by Mars invictus pater at the beginning and Maxentius invictus Augustus at the end. The difference between the two unconquered resides in Mars’ second title, pater, on the basis of which previous interpreters have championed a dynastic interpretation of the monument. That sounds attractive, as Maxentius had overtly dynastic ambitions focusing on his son Valerius Romulus—ambitions sharply at odds with the Tetrarchic ideal of emperorship.70 There are, however, reasons to be sceptical about the anti-Tetrarchic, dynastic claims Mars’ role as father here would entail. Mars’ son Romulus was no hereditary king by virtue of his descent, nor did he pass his realm on to a son. Rather, the election of Romulus’ successor Numa would even remind one of Tetrarchic succession based on fitness to rule. Also, if Mars’ paternity would have been presented as a model for Maxentius and his son Romulus, why does the inscription then fail to explicitly mention Romulus the founder in the first place, referring generically to (plural!) conditores instead? Apart from the word pater, the inscription contains no hint of a dynastic message. A dynastic interpretation, furthermore, rests on the assumption that another, accompanying monument erected not by but for Maxentius (cil vi.33857b) would in fact be a statue of him in his capacity of father, allegedly featuring his son Romulus,71 or, as Hekster has wrongly supposed, 67

68 69

70 71

On Mars in the century preceding Maxentius, see Manders 2012, 115–121, with ample bibliography, and 121 in particular on Mars pater, for which see Hekster 2015, 261–266 (cf. Groag 1930, 2451; Coarelli 1986, 401n95). For a sacrifice to Mars Pater Victor on the third century Feriale Duranum, see Degrassi 1963, 417. Interestingly, Mars pater also featured on gold coinage minted for Maxentius’ later enemy, Severus, in 305: see Kolb 1987, 156. Wrede 1981, 142; Bauer 1996, 104. See further below. Apart from the fact that Mars featured on Maxentian coinage to an unprecedented extent (Hekster 1999, 731; 2015, 294), there is also a structural parallel between Maxentius as conservator urbis suae on his most common type of bronze coinage and Mars accompanied by the legend MARTI CONSERV. AUGG. ET CAESS. N. on aurei (ric vi, Rome 140, 148) and bronze (ric vi, Rome 266–267). I owe this point to Taylor Grace Fitzgerald. Oenbrink 2006, 198. Oenbrink 2006, 197, 201; Bruggisser 2002, 145–146. No evidence in support of this claim is cited.

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that the monument to Mars ‘figured two reliefs: one showing Mars and his sons Romulus and Remus, the other Maxentius and his son Romulus’.72 More likely, Mars is hailed as pater to stress his relation to the other dedicatees, the conditores Romulus and Remus, whom he fathered.73 Without this specification of Mars’ relation to the conditores, the connection between the dedicatees would have remained implicit—and we might even have wondered which conditores would have been meant, as the statue on top has not survived. Mars’ ktistic paternity was also part of the Maxentian numismatic programme: a scene with Rhea Silvia, the she-wolf and the twins is known from contemporary coins.74 Although further research is necessary to corroborate this idea, it seems that the monument to Rome’s founders is also dedicated to Mars because his roles as both Maxentius’ patron deity and father of the city’s founders proved an irresistibly appropriate combination75—just like Hercules for Maximian’s panegyrist. This will become clearer as our analysis proceeds. More striking even than the link to Mars is the salient appropriation of the city of Rome by the dedicating emperor. Honouring Mars and the founders of the Eternal City places Maxentius in a tradition that harks back to the founder of the Principate, Augustus, if not even further back to the generals of the late Republic. Maxentius, however, goes further than all his predecessors by claiming, with that most common of Tetrarchic adjectives,76 that the founders of Rome are ‘aeternae urbis suae conditores’, ‘the founders of his own Eternal City’. 72

73 74 75

76

Hekster 1999, 726 (repeated in Hekster 2011, 48–49 and 2015, 294), based on Wrede 1981, 141. In Wrede’s phrasing, however, (‘eine programmatische Gegenüberstellung zwischen Mars pater und seinen Söhnen Romulus und Remus auf der einen Seite und Maxentius mit seinem Sohn Romulus auf der anderen’, ‘a programmatic juxtaposition of Mars Pater and his sons Romulus and Remus, on the one hand, and Maxentius with his son Romulus, on the other’) the German expressions ‘auf der einen Seite’ (‘on the one side’) and ‘auf der anderen’ (‘on the other’) are meant rhetorically rather than referring to (relief sculptures on) the physical left and right sides of the monument. Marcone 2000, 26. Cf. Ov. Fast. 5.465. Drost 2013, 79–81; Coarelli 1986, 21; Wrede 1981, 141. A more detailed investigation of the monumental connection between Mars and the city’s founders might begin with the Augustan temple complex of Mars Ultor on the Forum Augustum, also featuring a statue of Romulus. On Mars and Romulus in the period before the Tetrarchy, see Hekster 2015, 261–265. For Tetrarchic suus in a similar context, see e.g. cil vi.1130 = 31242 = ils 646 (dedication of the Baths of Diocletian and Maximian Romanis suis), with Hekster 2015, 286–287. Hekster 2011, 48 interestingly suggests that Maxentius, before becoming emperor, may already have been involved in the baths’ construction.

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As the monument is not (as often in the case of honorary statue bases)77 dedicated to the emperor but by him, and Maxentius is the subject of the dedicatory formula of the inscription, suae closely links the emperor to the Eternal City and its founders. This inscription thus expands Maxentius’ famous coin legend CONSERVATOR VRBIS SVAE (displaying his patronage of Rome in the present)78 to the city’s eternity and foundation. It is important to stress that the idea was only partially new: in 289 the panegyrist had already hailed Maximian and Diocletian as conservatores [Romae] (13.2) and new founders.79 The use of the possessive adjective with aeterna urbs, however, certainly was new and striking, and can convey a strong political message depending on our reading and interpretation of the text.80 Was it merely a factual statement meaning ‘the Eternal City that is now in his possession or control’? It seems likely, as will become clear below, that the phrase carries teleological overtones, implying a meaning like ‘his own Eternal City’ (that is: eternally his?). Appropriating the powerful symbol of the aeterna urbs as his own with reference to the founders of the city, Maxentius’ dedication creates an impressive temporal framework that encompasses, within the realm of eternity, both the distant origins of the city and his own reign, thus projecting the latter into eternity. Such a projection into the future would perhaps imply claims of a new dynasty, of which the emperor’s own son Romulus was obviously an integral part. In this way, dynastic considerations could have played a role in, but were certainly not the main reason for the monument’s erection.81 Rather than primarily promoting dynastic ambitions, further evidence indicates that the monument functioned mainly within a setting of ktistic celebration. The word conditoribus, prominently indented and centred, takes up a full line. This term is used instead of spelling out the names Romulus and Remus (or Romulus alone), which would have been far more suitable for dynastic purposes. While their identical epithets and their initial and final positions in the inscription created a connection between Mars and Maxentius, the layout of the text rather connects Maxentius to the conditores, as they are set next to each other and centred on both the horizontal and the vertical axis. Lines three and four (conditoribus / dominus noster) stand out as a central unit, linking 77 78 79 80 81

Cf. Bauer 1996, 76. Cf. Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 44–45; Pietri 1961, 316n1. See pages 91–3. The closest identifiable precedent is perhaps an inscription from Rome referring to Trajan and aeternitati Italiae suae (cil vi.1492 = ils 6106). For a compelling discussion of Maxentius’ dynastic messages in the context of the Third Tetrarchy, see Hekster 2015, 295–296.

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the founders (preceded by the possessive suae) to the emperor, indicated by the usual, but unusually spelled out formula dominus noster. That formula also features a possessive adjective, creating a chiastic arrangement. Moreover, the visual prominence of the conditores is echoed by the dedication date recorded in the inscription on the right side of the stone, cited above (page 97). On Rome’s birthday, 21 April, a magistrate responsible for sacred buildings dedicated what we assume must be our inscribed base with the accompanying statuary.82 The explicit mention of the date implies a ritual occurrence. We may begin to see how the dedication on that highly appropriate day might have involved a ceremony not unlike the one during which the Panegyric of 289 was delivered. In a way, the repeated imperial attention for this festive occasion implies continuity between Maxentius and his father. Unlike the palace in Trier, however, the location of this celebration in Rome may have carried extra significance in terms of ritual space and memorial topography, apart from occupying significant ritual time. The Comitium, after all, where the Maxentian monument was excavated, was a focal point of Roman historical awareness and traditions thought to stretch back to the regal period and the foundation of the city. Although it is likely that the monument’s location ties in with the historical character of its surroundings, it is hard to say what specific historical connotations it may have been associated with. The site is interpreted as an appropriate and highly significant setting for a dedication to Rome’s founders because of its proximity to the Niger lapis.83 This monument, known from the literary record to be in some way connected to the death of Romulus, was ‘discovered’ in 1899 some 20 metres from where our statue base was found around the same time.84 As the pavement of the Niger lapis was thought to be Maxentian in date, the base and the Niger lapismonument would be contemporary and thus perhaps part of the same ensemble. That obviously makes the plot thicken:  by linking the new monument for the founders topographically to the Niger lapis, an old Romulean lieu de mémoire would have been consciously reactivated under Maxentius.85 82

83

84 85

The participle dedicata refers to an implied noun, either a feminine one in the singular (like statua, imago), or a neutral one in the plural (like simulacra). In the latter case, this may support the hypothesis that our base was originally dedicated together with an accompanying monument for Maxentius (cil vi.33857b). Coarelli 2000, 74 (= 2007, 59); Curran 2000, 60; Oenbrink 2006, 194–195; Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 43. More cautious Groag 1930, 2459; Machado 2006, 168. Bauer 1996 alternates between ‘wahrscheinlich’ (18) and ‘vielleicht’ (402). cil vi. 33856 (Hülsen); cf. Groag 1930, 2459; Gantz 1974; Coarelli 1999. Bauer 1996, 104; Oenbrink 2006, 194.

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Appealing as this theory sounds, the evidence on which it rests is scanty at best. Although the so-called lapis niger-monument is quite famous in modern times due to the fuss surrounding its discovery and interpretation, it was a rather marginal phenomenon in the ancient sources we have.86 The name itself is recorded only by Festus (p.  177 Lindsay), who uses the words niger lapis, not (as it is often called in modern scholarship) lapis niger. There is a considerable degree of doubt as to what the monument actually marked: to sum up, the often-repeated contention that it was believed by ‘the Romans’ to be the tomb of Romulus is only very partially true.87 Also, the Maxentian dating of the Niger lapis-pavement appears to be based on the dating of our inscription.88 The theory that the Maxentian monument reactivated the Niger lapis is thus built on a circular argument and should be dismissed. Lacking solid evidence for a connection to Romulus, the Niger lapis is linked to the Maxentian monument for Rome’s founders mainly by topographical proximity and the circumstances of discovery. Moreover: why would Maxentius, who had a living son called Romulus, have wanted to reactivate the (disputable and disputed) grave of Romulus, rather than one of the many topographical markers of the city founder’s ktistic activity? If the Niger lapis did mark the tomb of Romulus, it must have conjured up the anti-monarchical tradition of the founder’s violent death at the hands of the senators, rather than the hero’s glorious deification—which took place in the Campus Martius.89 Other considerations, therefore, probably determined the location of the Maxentian monument. Apart from the Niger lapis, the Comitium could lay claim to at least two other ktistic associations. It was one of the two attested sites of the ficus Ruminalis, a fig-tree associated with the twins Romulus and Remus washing ashore and being suckled by the she-wolf.90 The ficus in the Comitium is prominently depicted on the Hadrianic anaglypha Traiani, and was possibly still known in Maxentius’ day (perhaps through these very reliefs).91 Also, the Comitium was probably the site of the oldest documented statue group of the lupa with the twins, erected by the Ogulnii brothers in 296 b.c., commemorated both by Livy (10.23.12) and on early Roman coins.92 86 87 88 89 90 91 92

See already Hülsen 1900, 3. See Coarelli 1999 for the interpretative variants and problems. Bauer 1996, 18. For the vicissitudes of the legend connected to this place, see Gantz 1974; for the Campus Martius, La Rocca 2013, 98, 102. See Coarelli 1995a and 1995b. See further Torelli 1982, 89–118, with Smith 1983, 227. Papi 1999.

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More likely and more suitable than the Niger lapis as a historical precedent for the Maxentian monument to build on, the visible presence or memory of the statue(s) set up by the Ogulnii could have influenced the choice for the Comitium-area in the Maxentian era.93 But perhaps even this is pushing things too far. As Machado has observed, ‘constant works in this area had certainly made the topography of the Comitium very different, in the early 4th century, from what it had been in earlier periods’.94 Given the state of the evidence, it is hard to say whether the location of the Maxentian monument was determined by the ktistic connotations of the site. It could very well be that its contemporary relevance, rather, influenced Maxentian desire to appropriate the Comitium-area. The monument stood between the newly rebuilt Curia, where the Senate assembled, and the Forum square proper, adorned with brand new sculptural celebrations of the Tetrarchic system and imperial power. To add some counterweight to the Tetrarchic dominance of the area, or even to appropriate the Tetrarchic legacy,95 Maxentius or his agents cunningly came up with a dedication to Mars and the aeternae urbis suae conditores on this Tetrarchic hotspot. That must have rearranged the contemporary political significance of the site (with or without its ktistic connotations) and reactivated traditional Roman ritual time, celebrating the Natalis Urbis with a lasting monument prominently visible to all. The contemporary relevance of the monument for the Maxentian regime is likely, however, to have stretched further than that. In 308, Maxentius and his son Romulus were inaugurated as consuls, independent of the consuls already nominated by the reigning Tetrarchs. The event constituted a major rupture with the ongoing Tetrarchic system and marks Maxentius’ newly envisaged independence more than anything else.96 It was marked also by a ‘crucial turning point in Maxentian minting’,97 apparently, as emphasis shifted completely from Hercules, the patron deity of the Herculean partners in crime that had until then been Maxentius’ imperial allies, to Mars, his new personal patron god. Interestingly, this unilateral consular inauguration occurred not on 1 January, as Roman tradition dictated, but on 20 (not 21) 93

94 95 96 97

Around 1900 the excavator, Boni, enthusiastically hypothesized that the Maxentian base might have carried the Capitoline she-wolf (see Groag 1930, 2459; Bauer 1996, 19), but it could be worth considering the ancient Ogulnian statue(s) as a more likely candidate. Machado 2006, 168. Cf. Cullhed 1994, 54; Coarelli 1986. Drost 2013, 21. Hekster 1999, 731.

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April.98 Wrede has brilliantly suggested that the festivities connected to the dedication of the monument in the Comitium, on 21 April, should also be dated to 308 and were thus preceded by the consular inauguration on the day before.99 That must have created a ritual connection between the two events that would have been hard to miss. Ziemssen well formulates the consequences of Maxentius’ choice of date for taking up the consulship:  ‘The fact that this event was moved to 21 April [sic100] instead of the usual 1 January, leaves no doubt about the intended symbolic interconnection of the consulate with the foundation myth of the city’.101 In 308, it would have been clear that Rome (whatever neglect it had suffered during the Tetrarchy) and its foundation were again in the centre of the political stage. The Maxentian mints, particularly the newly established one at Ostia, produced numerous issues featuring motives related to Rome’s foundation, mostly dated to the year(s following) 308. Combining the evidence treated so far, it is now possible to reconstruct how the ktistic dedication in the Comitium interacted with the political agenda of the Maxentian regime. Maxentius (who can here surely be pinpointed as the agent responsible) single-handedly declared himself consul together with his son and took office on the unusual and specially chosen date of 20 April. The day after, Rome celebrated the Natalis Urbis with the dedication of a monument to Mars and the founders of Maxentius’ Eternal City in the Comitium, possibly accompanied by a monument dedicated to the emperor himself (cil vi.33857b, see above, page 98 and below, note 111), perhaps set up by the Senate. The renewed and conspicuous celebration of the city’s founders on the day after Maxentius’ first inauguration as consul was probably designed to present the emperor’s outspoken new style of rule, independent of the Tetrarchic emperors (including his father), as a symbolic re-foundation of Rome. The Maxentian monument and the circumstances of its dedication thus fit the long imperial tradition of ktistic renewal, and uniquely provide a nonliterary set of evidence for that phenomenon. 98

99 100 101

Chronographus anni 354 (ed. Mommsen, mgh, Chron. Min. i (1892) 67); see Mommsen in mgh, Chron. Min. iii (1898) 517; Groag 1930, 2437; Barnes 1982, 94. The correct date has wrongly been assimilated to 21 April (e.g. by Dulière 1979, 178, 182; Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 42–43). Wrede 1981, 141. See note 4. As said, the date should be 20 (not 21) April. Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 43 (‘Daß dieses Ereignis auf den 21. April gesetzt wurde, nicht, wie üblich, auf den 1. Januar, läßt an der bewußten, symbolischen Verbindung des Konsulats mit dem Gründungsmythos der Stad keinen Zweifel.’).

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Such a set of bold moves certainly surpassed Maximian’s appropriation of the dies natalis in 289. The imperial ceremony of Maxentius taking the consulship was, quite uniquely, determined by the ritual recurrence of the city’s foundation. That makes for an impressive and innovative celebrationand-inauguration-combined, intertwining ktistic, Republican and Imperial elements and topographies. There may possibly have been more Maxentian appropriations of the city’s founders than the monument and ceremony discussed here,102 although some of them seem to belong to modern scholarly rather than Maxentian inventiveness.103 Yet even if some late antique ktistic appropriations are falsely attributed to Maxentius or result from misinterpretation of the evidence (as in the case of the Niger lapis), it is clear that the founders of Rome played a considerable role in imperial ideology during his reign. For reasons of space, we have to restrict our treatment to the monument and ceremonial occurrences in the Forum on 20 and 21 April 308. They provide a representative indication, to be sure, of Maxentius’ ideological appropriation of Rome’s founders. Maxentius, Maximian, Augustus: Ktistic Traditions Compared After treating Maximian’s and Maxentius’ appropriations of Rome’s foundation, it makes sense to compare the two both amongst themselves and with regard to their earlier models. The ktistic associations of the Palatine are a case in point. Maxentius, it turns out, did things his way. He did not just copy Augustus’ appropriation of Romulus, echoing the emperor who was described as quasi et ipse conditor urbis.104 Maxentius took up residence in the Palatine palace and used the imperial connotations of the place for his own legitimation to such an extent, that a Constantinian panegyrist could equate his abandonment of the palace with the fall of his imperium.105 Nevertheless, the Romulean monuments traditionally centred on the hill, closely connected to Augustus’ image and the coming into being of the imperial palace complex (at least according to most scholarly interpretations), seem not to have played any role in Maxentius’ reign. Contrary to the panegyrist of 289,106 Maxentian invocations of Rome’s 102 103 104 105 106

See e.g. the statue program described by Prud. C. Symm. 1.215–244 with Gnilka 1994 and Bauer 1996, 60, 104. Scrinari 1991, 98–101, 115–119; see Ziemssen 2011, 24n74. Suet. Aug. 7.2. Pan. Lat. xii(9)9.6 (see Liverani 2003, 151 n.64), 14.4 (see Liverani 2003, 158 n.119). Pan. Lat. x(2)1.2–3, 2.1.

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beginnings, as far as we can tell, do not tap into the renown and standing of the Augustan literary tradition (Virgil and Livy, mostly). One could argue that this is primarily a matter of surviving source material and genre, since a literary source (the panegyrist) is far more likely to come up with Virgilian allusions than the surviving Maxentian coins or inscriptions are. Indeed so, but not entirely:  the usurper Carausius, in a position not completely dissimilar from Maxentius’ and active only two decades earlier, had quite prominently showcased Virgilian allusions on his coinage.107 Maxentius seems to have done no such thing, innovating rather than following tradition. Maxentian celebrations of Rome’s founders were thus distinctly late antique; Augustus’ Romulean Palatine and Virgil’s Evander seem completely absent from the picture. Depending on one’s stance in the debate about Maxentius as either a wouldbe-Tetrarchic or an anti-Tetrarchic ruler, his neglect of long-standing tradition in imperial imagery may either be rendered more striking, or conveniently explained, by the notable difference with Maxentius’ direct predecessors. As Rees concludes in his 2002 study Layers of Loyalty, with reference to §1.3 of the 289 panegyric, ‘the building on the Palatine which offered quarters to Hercules and is now the imperial home provides a physical legacy and link between Hercules and Maximian’.108 The same was true for Augustus, in whose case ‘Hercules’ could be changed to Evander, Aeneas, Romulus, or all of them together. Even Galerius (Maxentius’ father-in-law) seems to have likened himself to Romulus in a way reminiscent of Augustus.109 Although Maxentius could have followed in their and/or his father’s footsteps, he apparently wanted to do more than that, to become a new kind of alter conditor of Rome. Maxentian invocations of Romulus did not slavishly copy Tetrarchic precedent or the traditions on which that precedent was based. Instead, Maxentius focussed attention on the Comitium, a contemporary hotspot of Tetrarchic Rome. Although the way in which Maxentius appropriated the founders of Rome was innovative, the fact that he did so at all shows continuity with a much older tradition. Moreover, his focus on the founders of Rome, in the plural, rather than on Romulus alone, might very well have had to do with the Dyarchic rehabilitation of Remus to co-founder of Rome. While the details differ, it is not unlikely that the whole idea was indebted at least partially to Maximian’s example. Regarding the veneration for the founders of his eternal city, then, 107 108 109

Rees 2004a, 1–2, 6. Rees 2002, 42. Exinde insolentissime agere coepit, ut ex Marte se procreatum et videri et dici vellet tamquam alterum Romulum maluitque Romulam matrem stupro infamare, ut ipse diis oriundus videretur (Lact. dmp. 9.9). See Cullhed 1994, 63; Bruggisser 1999, 77.

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Maxentius’ reign was at least not as categorically ‘anti-Tetrarchic’ as it is sometimes being considered.110 Above all, it is safe to say that he revamped the Tetrarchic hotspot of the Comitium into a showcase of his ktistic appropriations, perhaps building on the precedent of his father’s ktistic celebrations. We are unsure what happened to the Romulean monuments on the Palatine or the Augustan showcase of ktistic heroes on the Forum Augustum during Maxentius’ reign—or what might have happened, had it not been cut short in October 312 by the victory of his provincial adversary. It is certain, however, that Romulean memories were creatively reconfigured under (and probably by) Maxentius to fit the contemporary needs of this proactive ruler in early fourth century Rome. There, as well, the similarities with Maximian are obvious. Conclusion: Maxentius and Constantine Maxentian policies concerning the founders of Rome, however, and the underlying idea of ktistic renewal, proved to be more long-lasting, and loaded with not just contemporary and circumstantial significance. As the Panegyric of 313 with which we started this chapter shows (together with Constantine’s own coinage and the continuity of the Comitium-monument), Constantine largely adopted Maxentian policy towards the founders of the city. While Maxentius was characterized as ‘false Romulus’, Constantine, by contrast, became the ‘true Romulus’ of a new Rome. While an accompanying monument for Maxentius himself was obliterated and used as building material in the Basilica Julia, where it has been found by excavators,111 the monument for Mars and the city founders remained in place in the Comitium, as one of Maxentius’ few inscriptions to survive his total damnatio memoriae.112 Only Maxentius’ name was conspicuously erased.113 What remained intact, therefore, was the daring formula aeternae urbis suae conditoribus, including the possessive pronoun originally referring to the erased dedicator. Should suae thereupon have been taken to refer to the new emperor, hailed as liberator urbis and fundator quietis on the arch near the Colosseum?114 110 111 112 113 114

On Maxentius adhering ‘(more or less) to the tetrarchic system of representation’, see Hekster 2015, 289. cil vi.33857b; http://laststatues.classics.ox.ac.uk, LSA-1387 (C. Machado); EDR126954 (G. Crimi). Mayer 2002, 185. cf. Varner 2004, 215–219. Bauer 1996, 19. On the restrained nature of the damnatio here, see also Ziemssen 2011, 130; Drost 2013, 27n148 and van Poppel 2013, 28–29. cil vi.1139 = ils 694; cf. Marlowe 2010, 218–219.

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Constantine was apparently the last emperor to feature Maxentius’ recently restored temple of Venus and Roma on his coinage,115 poignantly replacing the Maxentian legend CONSERVATOR VRBIS SVAE with his own LIBERATOR VRBIS SVAE and RESTITUTOR VRBIS SVAE.116 Did Maxentius pave the way for his great opponent and successor also with regard to appropriating the city’s founders?117 It seems so, if Constantine himself, once he had taken control of Rome, spontaneously felt the need to honour the mythic traditions of the Urbs. More likely, as Constantine’s interest in the old Rome proved to be short-lived, Maxentius did not only pave the way, but rather forced Constantine to go down the same road and position himself vis-à-vis the mythic traditions of Rome’s foundation. Constantine’s appropriation of Rome’s founders seems a clear case of what Hekster describes as the ‘constraints of tradition’. Constantine, clearly, could not afford to neglect Maxentian appropriations of Rome’s foundation (even if the panegyrist of 313 reverted them back to the Augustan image, the sacred Tiber helping Rome’s ktistic heroes).118 In a way, the constraints Maxentius’ intervention imposed on Constantine thus safeguarded the position of Rome for centuries to come. The boost he gave to the Eternal City’s enduring prestige as caput imperii still resonated with emperors as late as Honorius and Valentinian iii, more than a century later, and even in Constantinople.119 Although we sadly lack the literary sources about Maxentius’ appropriation of Rome’s founders, which could have been more explicit on its interpretation as ktistic renewal, what we still have attests that these Maxentian appropriations were no literary game, but prominent monuments in the centre of Rome and coins in Roman pockets. Maxentius’ own image hardly survived his tragic defeat and he went down in history as the necessary tyrannical foil to a victorious Constantine, who appropriated late antique Rome and continues to do so today. It is, however, fair to say that it was Maxentius who influenced the image of all following emperors more than any of his immediate predecessors or successors. Maxentius is, ultimately, responsible for the enduring late antique devotion to the city that fostered an empire that would remain Roman long after its ancient capital’s eventual decline and fall.120 115 116 117 118 119 120

Coarelli 1986, 22. ric vi, Rome 303–304, 312, with Sutherland's comments at pp. 53 and 348. Cf. Coarelli 1986, 22; Behrwald 2009, 38; Marlowe 2010, 217–218. Along similar lines, but focusing on the development of the Empire rather than city of Rome, see Cullhed 1994, 94–95. On Constantinian imitations of Virgil, see Ware in this volume. Bauer 1996, 250; Behrwald 2009, 38–40. For Constantius ii, Julian, and Gratian, see Salzman 1990, 110, with note 243; in general, 154–155. See also Cullhed 1994, 66–67. Leppin and Ziemssen 2007, 119, 122.

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Drost, V. 2013. Le monnayage de Maxence (306—312 après J.-C.). Zürich. Dulière, C. 1979. Lupa Romana. Recherches d´iconographie et essai d´interprétation. Vol. 1: Texte. Brussels. Dumser, E.A. 2005. The Architecture of Maxentius: A Study in Architectural Design and Urban Planning in Early Fourth-Century Rome (diss. Univ. of Pennsylvania). Galinsky, K. 1996. Augustan Culture. An Interpretive Introduction. Princeton. Galletier, E. 1952. Panégyriques latins. Vol. 2:  Les panégyriques constantiniens (VI-X). Paris. Gantz, T.N. 1974. ‘Lapis niger. The tomb of Romulus’, La Parola del Passato 29: 350–361. Gnilka, C. 1994. ‘Prudentius über das Templum Romae und seine Statuen (Prud. c. Symm. 1,215/237)’, in M. Jordan-Ruwe (ed.), Bild- und Formensprache der spätantiken Kunst. Hugo Brandenburg zum 65. Geburtstag. Münster. 65–88. Groag, E. 1930. ‘Maxentius’, RE. 14.2: 2417–2484. Gutzwiller, H. 1942. Die Neujahrsrede des Konsuls Claudius Mamertinus vor dem Kaiser Julian. Basel. Hardie, P. 1994. Virgil, Aeneid, book IX. Cambridge. Hekster, O. 1999. ‘The city of Rome in late imperial ideology: The Tetrarchs, Maxentius, and Constantine’, Mediterraneo Antico 2: 717–748. ——— 2004. ‘The constraints of tradition. Depictions of Hercules in Augustus’ reign’, in C. Gazdac et al. (eds.), Orbis antiquus. Studia in honorem Ioannis Pisonis. ClujNapoca. 235–241. ——— 2011. ‘Keizers en hun steden: Constantijn, Maxentius, Rome en Constantinopel’, in D.W.P. Burgersdijk and W.J.I. Waal (eds.), Constantinopel. Een mozaïek van de Byzantijnse metropool. Leiden. 47–58. ——— 2015. Emperors and Ancestors. Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition. Oxford. Hülsen, C. 1900. ‘Die neuen Ausgrabungen auf dem Forum Romanum’, Archäologischer Anzeiger [s.n.]: 1–9. Kolb, F. 1987. Diocletian und die Erste Tetrarchie. Improvisation oder Experiment in der Organisation monarchischer Herrschaft? Berlin. Kolter, C. 2008. Die Einstellung vorkonstantinischer Apologeten zum römischen Staat am Beispiel der römischen Frühzeit (diss. Aachen). La Rocca, E. 2013. ‘La Roma di mattoni diventa di marmo’, in Id. et al. (eds.), Augusto. Milano. 92–105. Leadbetter, W.L. 2004. ‘Best of Brothers: Fraternal Imagery in Panegyrics on Maximian Herculius’, Classical Philology 99: 257–266. Leerssen, J. 2007. ‘Imagology:  History and Method’, in M. Beller and Id. (eds.), Imagology:  The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters. A Critical Survey. Amsterdam/New York. 17–32. Leppin, H. and H. Ziemssen 2007. Maxentius. Der letzte Kaiser in Rom. Mainz.

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Lieu, S.N.C. and D. Montserrat (eds.) 1996. From Constantine to Julian:  Pagan and Byzantine Views: a Source History. London. Lippold, A. 1998. Die Historia Augusta:  eine Sammlung römischer Kaiserbiographien aus der Zeit Konstantins. Stuttgart. Liverani, P. 2003. ‘Dal palatium imperiale al palatium pontificio’, in J.R. Brandt (ed.), Rome AD 300–800: power and symbol, image and reality. Rome. (=Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia 17:) 143–163. Machado, C. 2006. ‘Building the Past. Monuments and Memory in the Forum Romanum’, in W. Bowden, A. Gutteridge and Id. (eds.), Social and Political Life in Late Antiquity. Leiden. 157–192. Manders, E. 2012. Coining Images of Power: Patterns in the Representation of Roman Emperors on Imperial Coinage, A.D. 193–284. Leiden. Marcone, A. 2000. Costantino il Grande. Roma/Bari. Marlowe, E. 2010. ‘Liberator urbis suae: Constantine and the ghost of Maxentius’, in B.C. Ewald and C.F. Noreña (eds.), The Emperor and Rome: Space, Representation, and Ritual. Cambridge. 199–219. Mause, M. 1994. Die Darstellung des Kaisers in der lateinischen Panegyrik. Stuttgart. Mayer, E. 2002. Rom ist dort, wo der Kaiser ist: Untersuchungen zu den Staatsdenkmälern des dezentralisierten Reiches von Diocletian bis zu Theodosius II. Mainz. Miles, G. 1988. ‘Maiores, conditores, and Livy's perspective on the past’, TAPhA 118: 185–208. Millar, F. 1977. The Emperor in the Roman World (31 BC–AD 337). London. Mundt, F. 2012. ‘Die Rolle der Stadt in der lateinischen Herrscherpanegyrik am Beispiel Roms und Mailands’, in T. Fuhrer (ed.), Rom und Mailand in der Spätantike. Repräsentationen städtischer Räume in Literatur, Architektur und Kunst. Berlin. 163–187. Nixon, C.E.V. 1981. ‘The panegyric of 307 and Maximian’s visits to Rome’, Phoenix 35: 70–76. Nixon, C.E.V. and B.S. Rodgers 1994. In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: the Panegyrici Latini. Introduction, Translation, and Historical Commentary, with the Latin Text of R. A. B. Mynors. Berkeley. Oenbrink, W. 2006. ‘Maxentius als conservator urbis suae. Ein antitetrarchisches Herrschaftskonzept tetrarchischer Zeit’, in D. Boschung and W. Eck (eds.), Die Tetrarchie. Ein neues Regierungssystem und seine mediale Präsentation. Cologne. 168–209. Papi, E. 1999. ‘Statua: Lupa, Romulus et Remus’, in LTUR 5: 290–291. Pietri, C. 1961. ‘Concordia apostolorum et renovatio urbis (Culte des martyrs et propagande pontificale)’, Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire 73: 275–322. Rees, R. 2002. Layers of Loyalty in Latin Panegyric, AD 289–307. Oxford. ——— 2004a. Romane Memento: Vergil in the Fourth Century. London.

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——— 2004b. Diocletian and the tetrarchy. Edinburgh. Rodríguez Gérvás, M.J. 1991. Propaganda política y opinión pública en los Panegíricos latinos del Bajo Imperio. Salamanca. Roels, E. 2013. ‘Iovius Augustus en Herculius Caesar? Het belang van de signa 'Iovius' en 'Herculius' onder de keizers van de tetrarchie’, Skript Historisch Tijdschrift 35.1: 16–29. Rollins, A. 1991. Rome in the Fourth Century A.D. An Annotated Bibliography with Historical Overview. Jefferson, NC. Salzman, M. 1990. On Roman Time:  the Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity. Berkeley. Santa Maria Scrinari, V. 1991. Il Laterano Imperiale. Vol. 1: Dalle «Aedes Laterani» alla «Domus Faustae». Vatican City. Smith, R.R.R. 1983. Review of Torelli 1982, JRS 73: 225–228. Straub, J. 1972. ‘Die Zinsgesetze des Severus Alexander’, in Id. (ed.), Regeneratio imperii. Aufsätze über Roms Kaisertum und Reich im Spiegel der heidnischen und christlichen Publizistik. Darmstadt. 304–313 (originally published as 1963. ‘Il precetto aureo’, in s.a., Atti del Colloquio Patavino sulla Historia Augusta. Roma. 21–28). Torelli, M. 1982. Typology and Structure of Roman Historical Reliefs. Ann Arbor. van Poppel, S. 2014. Urbs et Augustus. The City of Rome in Politics and Representations of Power during the Constantinian Dynasty (306–361) (diss. Univ. of Nijmegen). Varner, E.R. 2004. Mutilation and Transformation: Damnatio Memoriae and Roman Imperial Portraiture. Leiden. Wiseman, T. P. 1995. Remus. A Roman Myth. Cambridge. Wrede, H. 1981. ‘Der genius populi Romani und das Fünfsäulendenkmal der Tetrarchen auf dem Forum Romanum’, Bonner Jahrbücher des Rheinischen Landesmuseums in Bonn 181: 121–142. Ziemssen, H. 2011. Das Rom des Maxentius. Städtebau und Herrscherbild zu Beginn des 4. Jh. n. Chr. (diss. Univ. of Hamburg). Zinsli, S.C. 2014. Kommentar zur Vita Heliogabali der Historia Augusta. Bonn.

Abbreviation LTUR: Steinby, E.M. (ed.) 1993-2000. Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae i-vi (Roma).

Chapter 5

Constantine, the Tetrarchy, and the Emperor Augustus Catherine Ware A strong case can be made for regarding Constantine as the most significant figure in the Panegyrici Latini corpus. He features in five of the twelve orations, and the collection closes with a speech in his honour. A  reader of the collection begins with the juxtaposition of Pliny’s Trajan from a.d. 100 and Pacatus’ Theodosius of 389, is then led back through a century of emperors, from Julian (iii[11] of 362) to Maximian and the Tetrarchy (x[2], xi[3] c. 291),1 and is finally redirected to the Constantine of 313 (xii[9]), a striking conclusion to a corpus which is presented, with the exception of the first and last orations, in reverse chronological order.2 As the final honorand of the collection, Constantine balanced Trajan but if Trajan was optimus, Constantine matched and even surpassed him with the last word: tu sis omnium maximus imperator (‘you are the greatest emperor of all’, xii[9]26.5).3 Taking the speeches as a macrotext, the reader can examine in detail Constantine’s evolving image on his journey to maximus imperator as he is uniquely presented at different and significant stages in his career. Within the sub-collection of the panegyrici vii diuersorum,4 he emerges as the single successor to the Tetrarchs; in the collection as a whole he is shown variously as the new Heraclian Augustus (vii[6]), the patron of Autun (v[8]), the saviour of Rome (xii[9]), and a mature ruler whose sons were celebrating their own quinquennalia (iv[10]). No other emperor in the collection received such 1 On dating, see Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 42–3, 76–9. 2 On the addition of this speech to the Panegyrici diuersorum vii, see Pichon 1906, 284–5, 289–30; Galletier 1949, xi; Barnes 2011, 183. 3 It is difficult not to arrive at this interpretation if these words are read as a sphragis in a speech deliberately placed at the end of the collection. In the context of the speech itself, as a document of a.d. 313, the phrase most likely refers to Constantine’s superiority over Licinius, see Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 333. 4 Several manuscripts give the heading panegyrici diuersorum vii to v(8) and it is thought that v(8) to xi(3) form the nucleus of the entire collection, originally compiled in 311–12.

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detailed, even biographical, treatment,5 and as each panegyric was written for a different occasion and in response to different political circumstances, the reader of the corpus is presented with an in-depth portrayal of this one emperor and his exercise of imperium. The coherent structure of these speeches makes plausible, even tempting, the notion that Constantine’s image was carefully crafted throughout his career. There are intertextual links between all the panegyrics and intertextuality is utilised to particular purpose in the speech of 310 which derives much of its impact through rejection of the oration of 307.6 The earlier speech had introduced Constantine as a new Augustus, honouring his elevation to Augustus, his marriage to the daughter of Maximian, his entry to the imperial college and the eternal reign of the Tetrarchy, immortale … imperium (vii[6]2.2). He and Maximian were hailed as emperors forever under the protection of Hercules, imperatores semper Herculii (2.5). Three years later, Constantine had defeated his father-in-law and stood alone. The panegyric of 310 claims for him a new right to rule through descent from Claudius ii and a new divine patron in his vision of Apollo. With hindsight, one could argue that Constantine had begun his journey to sole ruler of Rome and had already put himself under the protection of the solar deity with whom he would be associated for much of his career. While there is no direct evidence for such a conclusion, it can certainly be argued that there is strong evidence in vi(7) of Constantine’s desire to separate himself from Tetrarchic influence and ideology and to establish his own distinct identity, a new identity which was being created in this speech. It was a persona which would be consistent with his presentation in the later panegyrics and indeed throughout his career.7 The question remains, however, as to who was responsible for the creation of this new identity in the speech of 310. The panegyrist himself declared that the information he presented was unfamiliar to most,8 and this has prompted considerable scholarly discussion as to whether Constantine or the orator was

5 Constantius I features in two of the orations and Maximian in three but the goal of Tetrarchic panegyrics is to honour an individual in terms of his group identity. There is very little assertion of individuality and no question of an evolving image. 6 Ware 2014, 90–4. 7 On solar imagery in Constantinian artefacts, see Bardill 2012, 169–202, for the separation of the emperor from Sol, 326–31. 8 Descent from Claudius ii is introduced by quod plerique adhuc fortasse nesciunt (‘which many still perhaps do not know’, vi[7]2.1) while the vision of Constantine is described in terms of (rhetorical) disbelief: immo quid dico ‘credo’? (‘but why do I say “I believe”?’, 21.5); see Barnes 1981, 36.

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the source of the new image, whether it is an example of communication ascendante or descendante.9 Again, lack of direct evidence precludes certainty and the either-or nature of the question is too forceful. The focus of this volume encourages a more nuanced approach to the concept of image. This chapter will consider the change in Constantine’s persona and its relevance to the people of Gaul who were the audience for the panegyric. Emperor and audience were the same for the speeches of 307 and 310 yet while the aim of both was to present Constantine as a legitimate ruler whose reign would be of local benefit, the change in political circumstances during the intermediate three years required a completely fresh approach. Both emperor and orator knew this and it will be argued that the speech of 310 should rather be described as a negotiation between the two parties than straightforward communication ascendante or descendante. It is likely that much of the new information originated with the emperor and is therefore descendante, but the interpretation of this information came from the orator, the voice of his people, and so became a form of communication ascendante. This paper will analyse the significant elements of Constantine’s new image—his rejection of the Tetrarchy and Maximian, his new lineage, the vision of Apollo—in terms of the two parties involved: what did it mean for Constantine and what did it mean for the people of Gaul? VII(6) Imperatores semper Herculii Constantine had come to power in 306 on the death of his father Constantius, but had been grudgingly accepted as Caesar rather than Augustus by Galerius. In 307, he was elevated to Augustus by Maximian. vii(6), written in that year, celebrates his elevation and his marriage to Fausta, the daughter of Maximian. It also celebrates Maximian’s return to imperium.10 This was a considerable amount of material for one panegyric and a technical challenge for the orator. Praising two emperors in a single speech would have been a familiar task under the Tetrarchy,11 but the convention of praising this particular pair as imperial fratres, particularly 9

10 11

For example, Müller-Rettig 1990, 51 argues for descendante, Enenkel 2000, 92–3, 96, argues against, Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 215 allow it to be possible. On this question in general, see MacCormack 1976, 53–4; Nixon 1983, 92; Grünewald 1990, 9, 26; Nixon 1993, 229; Ando 2000, 127; Heather 2007, 72. For this terminology, see Sabbah 1984. Although, as Potter 2004, 348 observes of vii(6)5.3, the orator manages to suggest that Maximian has never abdicated. Odahl 2004, 88 in fact sees the panegyric as the work of an orator more familiar with the partnership of Maximian and Constantius than the ‘ambitious plans’ of Constantine.

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in a speech honouring their new father-in-law, son-in-law relationship, may have seemed to test the limits of plausibility. The concordia of Maximian and Constantine was praised as was the closeness of the new bond between them12 but that was all. Whether it was the order of one or other of the honorands or the decision of the orator, the two emperors were distinguished from each other by age, looks, and experience. Maximian was clearly preeminent.13 The panegyrist made Maximian’s return to power imperative and this, the main theme of the speech, determined his image. Maximian was Augustus always, whether he liked it or not, (velis nolis semper Auguste, vii[6]1.1), he was emperor forever (imperator aeterne, 11.5), he was possessed of inborn majesty (ingenita maiestas, 12.4) which he was incapable of laying down even in retirement. The goddess Roma came to beg his return to power, comparing him to the emperor Augustus as a model of mature rulership and asking why should Maximian be allowed to retire if the divine Augustus reigned for fifty years (11.2)? In order to drive home the point that Maximian’s return to power was essential, Constantine was necessarily downgraded to a junior partner, at best oriens imperator (‘rising emperor’, 1.1). If Maximian was presented as the saviour of Rome and, by extension, of the Empire as a whole,14 Constantine was the protector of Gaul although he had as yet only begun (auspicatus es, 4.2). In place of his accomplishments, the orator praised those of his father, perhaps desiring to reassure an audience unfamiliar with this new emperor who had spent most of his adult life in the East at the court of Diocletian.15 In his eagerness to praise the father, the orator left little scope for the son to display his ability: Constantius had tamed so many barbarians that Constantine had had no chance to conquer. The mere terror of his zeal (alacritas 4.4) kept them in check. It is clear that the panegyrist saw Constantine’s value to the people of Gaul as dependent upon his existing family connections, his ability to follow his father’s example in war, and his breeding potential. If Maximian was the emperor Augustus, Constantine was Agrippa (13.4). The orator referred only to Agrippa’s actions at Actium but Agrippa’s role as father of Augustus’ grandchildren could not be ignored and this became the primary function of Constantine towards the end of the oration. Although the panegyric ended with hopes for the future dynasty 12 13 14 15

vii(6)1.4. That Maximian is superior to Constantine in majesty is stated explicitly at vii(6)3.2. Grünewald 1990, 26–7, however, interprets this speech as Constantinian propaganda. Roma is here more than the abstract symbol of empire:  Maximian had emerged from retirement to support his son Maxentius who was ruling in Rome. Odahl 2004, 56 suggests that Constantius and Constantine did not see each other between 293 and 306.

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arising from this marriage, the focus was not on Constantine but on the senior Tetrarchs, Maximian and the late Constantius, whose relationship would be strengthened by their common descendants (14.7). The image of Constantine, all youthful potential, may have been the response to political necessity, but it had one significant and paradoxical result in that Constantine, while being welcomed into the Tetrarchic college by the orator, was singled out as different. The Panegyrici Latini might have provided models of emperors praised in tandem but the essence of a Tetrarchic panegyric was that however outstanding the individual might be, his persona was always subordinate to the group identity. As this passage on Diocletian and Maximian showed, similarity defined the emperors (x[2]9.3): ambo nunc estis largissimi, ambo fortissimi atque hac ipsa uestri similitudine magis magisque concordes … Both of you are now most bountiful, both most brave, and because of this very similarity in your characters the harmony between you is ever increasing …16 Visual imagery confirmed this. In the famous porphyry statue, four identical figures sternly confront the world, embracing each other in solidarity.17 Therefore, while Constantine was welcomed into the group and bound to Maximian in concordia (vii[6]1.4), which the marriage to Maximian’s daughter would only cement, and while he was identified with Maximian in imperatores semper Herculii (2.5), he was at the same time distinguished by his youth and beauty. He had inherited his father’s youthful features as well as his virtues (3.3)18 and as oriens imperator he was defined by synonyms

16

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Tetrarchs share the guardianship of the world (viii[4]3.2), they clasp invincible hands (x[2]9.1) and are models of concordia (‘harmony’), aequalitas (‘equality’) and similitudo (‘likeness’), e.g. x(2)9.1-3, 11.1, 11.3–4, xi(3)6.3, 7.4, 11.4. See Smith 1997, 181–2. It is possible that the orator is following the propaganda of Constantius whose portraits present a different physiognomical type to the standard Tetrarchic portrait and which combine, in the words of Smith 1997, 184 ‘thrusting energy with a tall, deep-chinned, lean-faced portrait’. Alternatively, as Smith suggests, these portraits may be the retrospective work of Constantine, keen to create a coherent dynastic background for himself. In either case, what is relevant here is that in this panegyric we have the introduction of youth and physical beauty as attributes of Constantine, characteristics which from the outset of his reign distinguish him from his colleagues.

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of boyishness, prima iuuenta (3.3), pueritia and adulescentia (4.1). Unlike the other Tetrarchs, whose appearance was indicated only in terms of the virtues apparent in their seamy countenances, Constantine was young and handsome, and his beauty was a source of delight to the court artist (6.4). This physical distinction would create a link between the Constantine of 307 and of 310, and would in fact characterise his public persona throughout his career. VI(7): Incipiam originis tuae numine The circumstances in which vi(7) was written were very different. Only a few months before the panegyric was recited, Maximian had attempted to seize power while Constantine was on campaign on the Rhine. Constantine returned at once, pursued Maximian to Marseille and defeated him there. Maximian died shortly afterwards, whether by suicide or at the command of his son-in-law. Although the orator put Maximian’s actions down to senility (error iam desipientis aetatis, 15.2), he did not disguise the fact that Maximian had been able to win over part of the army to his side and that this had been a civil war. The audience of the panegyric needed to be disabused of the notion that Constantine’s power was dependent on his relationship to Maximian. They had to be told that he was their rightful emperor, that he was capable of ruling, that he had a strong bond with the people of Gaul, and that his reign would benefit them. Some elements of the older image could profitably be salvaged. The distinction of age in the earlier panegyric, which emphasised Maximian’s maturity in contrast to Constantine’s untested youth, only needed a slight manipulation to present Constantine in the flower of manhood and Maximian in his dotage (15.2). The prominent role of Constantius, however, was most likely motivated by practicality and suggests that the audience might appreciate further reassurance on the emperor’s ability. Even though Constantine had established his capital at Trier after the death of his father, he had also been absent in Britain and had then spent time on campaign on the Rhine.19 A quick summary of Constantius’ deeds (vi[7]5–6) would serve to remind the audience of the protection which Constantine’s father had given them and reassure them that 19

After spending a few months in Britain after his elevation, he had gone to Trier in 306. During the next few years, he continued his father’s rebuilding programme in the intervals of his campaigns against the Franks in 306 (vii[6]4.2), his war with the Bructeri and the construction of the bridge at Cologne in 308 (vi[7]12, 13), Barnes 1982, 69–70.

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the son was following in the father’s footsteps.20 To see the son was to see the father, the orator claimed (4.5), as he reiterated the passage from the speech of 307 which detailed the likeness, in virtues and appearance, between the two.21 Above all, the orator hammered home the point that Constantine, as Constantius’ eldest son, was his father’s legitimate heir (vi[7]4.2), had been born in the purple, far removed from any need for electioneering (2.3–4.6), that his father had recognised him as his successor (8.2) and named him so to Jupiter (7.4), that this appointment was ratified instantly by the entire army (universus … exercitus, 8.2)22 and, somewhat later, by the senior emperors (8.2). This was truly a consensus omnium, legitimacy by merit reinforced legitimacy by blood. The prominence which was given to dynastic entitlement, roughly a third of the panegyric, was in itself a departure from official Tetrarchic ideology,23 but although he gave full weight to the rights of primogeniture the orator went beyond citing descent from Constantius as the basis for Constantine’s familial claims. There was the danger that association with one Tetrarch might suggest association with another, and the ties with Maximian were now an embarrassment.24 Ignoring them was not enough:  a counter-claim was required, and at the very start of his panegyric, the orator made it clear that there was no place for the Tetrarchy in Constantine’s imperium. In a rather humorous captatio beneuolentiae, he said that he planned to thwart the expectations of his colleagues who anticipated his speaking too much and as an initial short-cut, he would speak only of Constantine, omitting the rest of the imperial college (1.4–5): … cum omnes vos, invictissimi principes, quorum concors est et socia maiestas, debita veneratione suspiciam, hunc tamen quantulumcumque tuo modo, Constantine, numini dicabo sermonem. (5) Vt enim ipsos immortales deos, quamquam universos animo colamus, 20 21 22 23

24

Potter 2004, 353. In both cases, youth, beauty and virtues are transmitted from father to son, with Nature stamping the likeness of one on the other, vii(6)3.3, vi(7)4.3, cf. also vi(7)4.5. Cf. the consensus of men and gods in the elevation of Trajan, i(1)5.1-3, cf. also i(1)10.2. Technically Tetrarchs were appointed by merit, but as shown by the marital alliances arranged between the emperors (cf. the hopes for dynastic issue in vii[6]14.7, and x[2]14.1-2 on Maxentius, still a boy), the desire to bequeath power to a son remained constant, see Hekster 2015, 278, for the complexities of Tetrarchic dynastic/non-dynastic succession, see 277–314. Syme 1974, 204; Lenski 2006, 66.

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interdum tamen in suo quemque templo ac sede veneramur, ita mihi fas esse duco omnium principum pietate meminisse, laudibus celebrare praesentem. … while I hold all of you in dutiful reverence, emperors unconquered and united in harmonious majesty, nevertheless I shall dedicate my speech, slight as it is, to your divinity alone, Constantine. (5) For while we worship all the immortal gods in our hearts, even so we sometimes venerate each by himself, in his particular temple and seat. Accordingly, I consider it right for me to mention all the emperors out of duty, but extol the one before me in my praise. Without pause, the orator elaborated on this reference to divinity and announced Constantine’s true claim to legitimacy:  not only was he the son of the late divine Constantius, but he was also the descendant of the divine Claudius ii (a primo igitur incipiam originis tuae numine … ab illo enim divo Claudio, 2.1-2), who was Claudius Gothicus, restorer of Roman discipline, destroyer of the Goths. It was almost definitely a spurious claim but it made the point very clearly: Constantine owed none of his power to the Herculian Maximian and his family claim predated the Tetrarchy. As third in his line to rule, born to a divine family and blessed by the gods at birth with fortune and power, Constantine had no need of the concors et socia maiestas of the Tetrarchy. It was quite a startling claim, as the orator acknowledged, and it seems likely to have emanated from the emperor himself. As Nixon and Rodgers point out, this is a panegyric which saw Constantine’s goals expand from harmonious majesty to totius mundi regna (‘kingship of the whole world’, 21.5) and may be interpreted as heralding his ‘bid for sole rule’.25 Further, a claim of kinship with Claudius was unlikely to have originated with an orator from Autun, given that the people of that city had appealed, unsuccessfully, to Claudius for help when they were besieged by Victorinus in a.d. 270 and the memory was still fresh.26 There was no reference to the Gallic Empire (the orator addressed his audience as populi Romani (1.2), emphasising their loyalty to Rome) and the new ancestor was presented quite obviously as a substitution for Tetrarchic legitimacy. The orator contributed to the emperor’s new image by setting the information in the context of the panegyric of 307, making the assertion a challenge to the

25 26

Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 215. Drinkwater 1987, 37–8; the suffering of the Aeduans is recalled in v(8)4.2.

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family tree Constantine had been given through his alliance with Maximian (vii[6]8.2-3): hic est qui nomen acceptum a deo principe generis sui dedit vobis, qui se progeniem esse Herculis non adulationibus fabulosis sed aequatis virtutibus comprobavit. This [Maximian] is the man who gave you his name, received from the god, the author of his race, who proved his descent from Hercules, not by the flattery of fairytales but by equalling his bravery. To distract his listeners further from any lingering grievances, the orator concentrated on Claudius’ successes against barbarian peoples. As Claudius had slaughtered Goths, so Constantine would destroy Germans (10–13) thereby proving the veracity of his descent. Claudius’ restoration of discipline which the Roman army had lost (perditam disciplinam … reformavit, vi[7]2.2) would be recalled in his descendant’s restoration of confidence in Roman authority (renovasti … veterem illam Romani imperii fiduciam, 10.5). And that was all. It seems probable that the theme of a new ancestor received top-billing because it was important to Constantine but received no real development because it would not advance his relationship with the people of Gaul. Constantine and Augustus The second disclosure of the panegyric, the vision of Apollo, was a very different matter. The orator may have been briefed about the episode but its interpretation in the panegyric is most likely his own. In her article of 1980, Rodgers addresses this question, pointing out that Constantinian coinage after 310 suggests that the emperor had chosen the patronage of Sol Invictus while the orator identified the god with the Graeco-Roman Apollo.27 Her argument that the orator conceived of Constantine as a latter-day Augustus is very plausible28 and it is in this difference of interpretation that we can see the convergence of communication descendante and communication ascendante, and the nascent image of the emperor become a matter of negotation. Rejecting Hercules as the patron of Maximian and the Tetrarchy, Constantine had chosen to identify 27 28

Rodgers 1980, 265; see Nock 1928, 208; Bardill 2012, 86; for the choice of Sol Invictus, see L’Orange 1973, 325–44; Liebeschuetz 1979, 82–5; Singor 2003, 492–3. Rodgers 1980, 277.

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himself with a solar deity, one which had been associated with his new ancestor Claudius ii and possibly with his own father.29 Without denying this identification, the orator offered a variation, one which would be of more relevance to the audience of the panegyric and one which would provide an appropriate context for his own mandate: that Constantine be invited to bring his beneficence to Autun. In a speech which continually looked back to the panegyric of 307 in order to distinguish Constantine from Maximian, it is not surprising that the orator of 310 should have reconsidered the earlier casting of Constantine as Agrippa to Maximian’s ageing Augustus. The appeal to Maximian as a second Augustus had never been a perfect match. While the comparison rests on valid similarities, Augustus’ longevity and his connection to Rome (vii[6]11.2),30 its credibility is undermined by the appearance of a younger Augustus, the victor of Actium (13.4) which is how he usually appears in the collection.31 In the language of imperial ideology generally, Augustus represented restoration and renewal and was not a particularly appropriate model for a man who needed to be recalled from retirement. The new age of Constantinian rule, however, implied in vi(7) fitted perfectly with Augustan imagery. By the end of the speech, the orator had reclaimed the Augustan persona for Constantine and had shown that in his youth and beauty, his affiliation with Apollo and his role as deus praesens (‘manifest deity’), the quasi-divine benefactor to the people of Gaul, Constantine was following in Augustus’ footsteps.32 The presence of Augustus in this panegyric is skilfully evoked, particularly since he is not mentioned by name. The allusion to the fourth Eclogue in Apollinem tuum (‘your Apollo’, vi[7]21.4) is a strong indication of his presence but the identification of Constantine and Augustus in the panegyric relies more on the accumulation of implied reference than on this one point of direct comparison. Augustus is evoked throughout the panegyric in suggestions of the Eclogues and the Aeneid while the very structure of the panegyric may have been inspired by the temple metaphor from Georgics 3. Rodgers’ argument for Augustus’ corporeal presence in the poem, as discussed below, is open to question, but such an entrance would only confirm his intertextual presence created through Virgilian reference. Virgil had an almost uniquely authoritative 29 30 31 32

Barnes 1981, 12; Potter 2013, 116. Cf. Rome’s claim that Augustus adorned her with virtues, moribus Augustus ornaret, ii(12)11.6. Cf. xii(9)10.1, ii(12)33.3, see Nixon 1990, 6. For Constantine as the most Augustus-like of emperors, see Burgersdijk 2014, 41–2.

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status in the Panegyrici Latini33 and particular passages were so well identified with imperial encomium that a short phrase was enough to suggest an allusion.34 The fact that Augustus was nowhere mentioned by name may be due to the fact that this part of the new image was the orator’s own invention. It was unlikely that an emperor would have been offended by being likened to Augustus but it might also be safer to let the emperor make the connection for himself.35 Rejection of the Tetrarchy and association with Augustus went together from the start of the panegyric and the Virgilian intertext began with the image of the temple of the introduction (1.4–5), a pointed dismissal of the imperial college: … Constantine, numini dicabo sermonem. (5) Vt enim ipsos immortales deos, quamquam universos animo colamus, interdum tamen in suo quemque templo ac sede veneramur, ita mihi fas esse duco omnium principum pietate meminisse, laudibus celebrare praesentem. I shall dedicate my speech … to your divinity alone, Constantine. (5) For while we worship all the immortal gods in our hearts, even so we sometimes venerate each by himself, in his particular temple and seat. Accordingly, I consider it right for me to mention all the emperors out of duty, but extol the one before me in my praise. While suggesting that his panegyric was a hymn of praise to a god, sung within the god’s own temple, the orator briefly shifted from first person singular to plural, thereby including all the audience in the reverence he was paying to the emperor. Trier was now transformed into the temple of Constantine, the emperor becoming a local god, one visible, praesens, before them.36 The vocabulary itself, blurring the language between temple and palace, god and

33 34

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Rees 2004, 37–43; Ennius is the only other poet given this authority. These passages include Jupiter’s prophecy in Aeneid 1, the aurea saecula of Augustus in Aen. 6, and the golden age of Eclogue 4. The use of ‘Virgilian shorthand’ in imperial panegyric is not confined to the Panegyrici Latini, and is found in encomia from Statius to Claudian, although intertextuality within the Panegyrici Latini makes the technique a particular feature of the collection. A similar technique of ‘plausible deniability’ may be observed in Augustan writing, e.g. Aeneid 1.286–8; on Augustus as exemplar, see Levick 2010, 293–311, within the collection, Nixon 1990, 6. See Kolb 2004, 32.

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emperor, suggested a break with the convention of Tetrarchic panegyrics which presented the Tetrarchs as god-like rather than gods. The word diuinus (‘divine’) was common as was praise of the emperor’s numen (‘divinity’), but the honour belonged to the office rather than the individual; and the Tetrarchs were the representatives of Jupiter or Hercules on earth, rather than gods themselves.37 With Constantine, this changed. Election by god, identification with god and victory through god were concepts which would be central to Constantine’s image, even if the god in question might be replaced.38 In this panegyric, the identification of the emperor with the Virgilian deus praesens recalled both the Augustan ideal and the aurea aetas (‘golden age’) when the gods walked among men.39 Comparing a panegyric to a temple is a long-established encomiastic motif.40 In Latin literature it is most famous from the mid-point proem to the Georgics (Geo. 3.13–48) where Virgil promised to build a temple in honour of Caesar and his ancestors, in medio mihi Caesar erit templumque tenebit (‘Caesar will be at the centre and he will inhabit the temple’, 3.16), a promise which has been taken to refer to the writing of the Aeneid.41 There are no explicit verbal links to the Georgics passage in the panegyric of 310, but it may be noted that in structural terms the temple motif surrounded Constantine (1.5, 21.3–6), the god at the centre. The temple metaphor anticipated and was developed in Constantine’s detour to the shrine and his vision of Apollo, the two parts creating a frame for the praise of Constantine within the panegyric. In the Aeneid, the temple promised in the Georgics enshrined Augustus. Virgil had promised that his temple would contain statues honouring Caesar’s ancestors (Geo. 3.34–6) and at the centre of the Aeneid (Aen. 6.760–805) the rulers of Troy and Rome appeared, pointed out as though they were statues, a refutation, perhaps, of Anchises’ words at Aen. 6.847–9:

37 38 39 40 41

Their closest approach to divinity is at xi(3)10.5 when people wonder if Jupiter and Hercules have appeared in the flesh. See Van Dam 2007, 27–34 on the Hispellum rescript. As Nock 1947, 105 observed it was under Christianity that the climax of imperial dignity was reached. On the concept of deus praesens from the Tetrarchy onwards, see Kolb 2004, particularly 31–5. See for example Pind. N. 4.79–81, O. 6.1-4, P. 6.5–10; and also iv(10)6.1, see Laudani 2014, 123. Virgil does not specify whether Caesar refers to Julius or Augustus, but the passage is taken by Servius and subsequent scholars as applicable to Octavian’s history. For a discussion of this passage, see Nelis 2004, 82–4.

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excudent alii spirantia mollius aera (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus Others, I believe, more gently will hammer bronze into breathing images, I believe, and will shape living countenances from marble.42 The figurative vivos vultus of the imagined statues become the venientum … vultus (6.755), the faces of the future rulers of Rome who are yet to come. The line of rulers culminates in the figure of Augustus (Aen. 6.791-3): hic vir, hic est, tibi quem promitti saepius audis, Augustus Caesar, divi genus, aurea condet saecula qui … This is the man, this is he whom so often you have heard promised, Augustus Caesar, race of the gods, who will inaugurate the golden age. The orator of vi(7) began with Constantine’s putative ancestor Claudius Gothicus, then his father Constantius before turning to the praises of Constantine himself who is described as hic firmus, hic aeternus est rei publicae custos, quem … (‘he is the sure, the eternal guardian of the state whom …’, 16.6), a line reminiscent of Aen. 6.791 in vocabulary, anaphora, and context. 43 The line is in fact a double reference to Augustus as it combines an allusion to Horace, whose Augustus is optime Romulae/custos gentis (‘great guardian of the race of Romulus’, Carm. 4.5.1-2).44 Augustus’ appearance at this point 42

43

44

The encomiastic element of the scene is emphasised by the repeated command to Aeneas to look at the figures before him (e.g. uides, ‘you see’, 6.760, cf. 779, aspice, ‘look’, 771,788); on this vocabulary as typical of panegyric, see l’Huillier 1992, 300–1. It perhaps may seem a tenuous allusion but this particular Virgilian line has earned a special place in Latin panegyric. Wills 1996, 76–7 singles it out as an unusual example of Augustan gemination and argues that Ovid imitated this line at Am. 3.1.20 in order to characterize the poet in the same way as ‘Augustus’ public presence, with the sort of revelatory syntax of the “deus, deus ille” tradition’. For the revelatory formula used of Nero, cf. Calp. Sic. 4.100. The formula found favour with later encomiasts, e.g. Cal. Sic. 4.100, Stat. Silu. 4.3.128 (on which Palmer Bonz 2000) and Claud. Epith. 319. It is also worth noting, with regard to its familiarity, that this particular line was used repeatedly by late antique and medieval grammarians to illustrate various principles of grammar or metre (e.g. Diom. Ars gramm. 2.430, Bede Arte met. 233.3; see the tll for a full list). Rodgers 1980, 271–2 does not note this allusion but sees the phrase tibi quem promitti saepius audis as being applicable to the presentation of Constantine in this panegyric.

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in the Aeneid was indeed the fulfilment of prophecies which Virgil has made concerning the restoration of the golden age, from Ecl. 4.5–9 to Aen. 1.291– 6. A similar progression of intimations is apparent in the panegyric, with the reign of Constantine, like that of Augustus, promised in language take from the fourth Eclogue. As noted, youth was as much a defining characteristic of Constantine in this speech as in the oration of 307, but it was presented very differently. In 307, Constantine was described as though he were barely old enough for marriage, and he was praised for such adolescent virtues as sexual restraint and bashfulness (vii[6]4.1). In 310, the orator presented instead an accelerated maturing which paralleled the familiar rhetorical structure of a panegyric. After the announcement of his birth as the descendant of Claudius ii, the summary of his father’s virtues and the guarantee that the son was created from the best of his father, Constantine entered the speech, rushing to join his father in Britain. His initial rejection of imperium was described as the error of youth, error adulescentiae (6[7]8.4) and his elevation to imperium was presented as a second birth with a hymn to Britain as his birthplace, o fortunata et nunc omnibus beatior terris (‘fortunate and now more blessed than all other lands’, 9.1). Britain was a land of great fertility, without extremes of temperature or ferocious animals or harmful snakes, a place where the flocks came home by themselves, heavy with fleeces and with their udders swollen with milk (9.2). It is language steeped in the golden age imagery of the fourth Eclogue. The child in the Eclogue was unnamed but he had always been associated with the Augustan regime and Servius would even identify him with the emperor Augustus.45 By describing the birthplace of Constantine’s imperium in such terms, the orator created an Augustan context for the new Caesar and also linked the passage with the opening assertion that Constantine was the deus praesens of his speech. Virgil did not make the child of the Eclogue divine but he was the child of the gods (deum suboles, 49)  he would live with the gods (ille deum vitam accipiet, 15) and he was under the protection of Apollo, tuus iam regnat Apollo (‘now your Apollo reigns’, 10). The Virgilian child came directly from heaven: nova progenies caelo demittitur alto (‘the new race is sent from high heaven’, Ecl. 4.7). Britain, by virtue of closeness to the sky, was a suitable birthplace for a god: sacratiora sunt … loca vicina caelo, et inde propius a dis mittitur imperator (‘places close to heaven are more holy, and from there it is closer for an emperor to be sent by the gods’, 9.5) and gods typically came 45

Serv. ad Buc. 4.11, 13; on the identification of the child, see Coleman 1977, 150–2. Constantine himself would follow Lactantius (Div. Inst. 7.24) and identify the child with Christ (Oration to the Saints 18–21); MacCormack 1998, 22–7.

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from such remote places, as the example of Liber and Mercury showed (9.4). As the child in the Eclogue would rule a world pacified by the virtues of his father, pacatumque reget patriis uirtutibus orbem (Ecl. 4.17), Constantine had already begun ruling a world on which his father had imposed the peace of Roman government, pacem Romani imperii (6.2). Now acknowledged by the consensus omnium as the legitimate ruler, Constantine’s elevation to Augustus was presented as the judgment of the imperial council. Their delay was glossed as mox (‘soon’, 8.2), suggesting the inevitable interval of bureaucratic formalities. Maximian’s agency was ignored so that Constantine’s position appeared due entirely to dynastic entitlement and personal worth. As soon as he was in command, Constantine imitated and surpassed the deeds of his father, bringing peace to the Empire, inde pax ista qua fruimur (‘from this comes that peace which we enjoy’, 11.1). With the plural fruimur the audience was included in the safety which Constantine provided. This was the halfway point in the panegyric and from here, as the orator turned to campaigning on the Rhine, Constantine stood alone, the strong defender of Gaul and empire, the terror of the barbarians.46 Alone, Constantine subdued the Rhine, then hastened south to defeat Maximian, a campaign which would literally destroy his connection to the Tetrarchy. The orator finally admitted the kinship between the two emperors but the connection was given a specific literary connotation, as the war is referred to as bellum civile (‘civil war’, 15.2). The socer-gener relationship of Pompey and Caesar was recalled and reversed as Maximian, the father-in-law became Pompey, the dux senior (‘older general’, 19.3), whose aged folly led him to embark on civil war (15.2). The speed of Constantine’s army suggested the celeritas of Caesar as they hastened to avenge their leader and the matter was settled in a replay of the siege of Massilia, the orator’s opening Massilia enim alluding to Caesar’s own account.47 After Maximian’s defeat, Constantine pardoned all those who opposed him, an imitation of the clementia of Caesar and Augustus.48 It was at this point, as he returned home from campaign, that Constantine had the vision of Apollo. At the prompting of fortune, he decided to fulfil his vows to the gods and made a detour to visit a shrine in Gaul. The metaphorical temple of the orator’s introduction which housed Constantine as the deus

46 47 48

There may be a recollection here of the portrayal of Maximian as destroyer of barbarians and defender of the Rhine at x(2)5–7. 19.1, cf. Caes. bc 2.1. His behaviour also recalls that of his father. On Constantius’ clementia, see Ware 2014.

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praesens (1.5) now was made manifest as an actual temple in which a deus praesens appeared to Constantine (21.3–7): ubi deflexisses ad templum toto orbe pulcherrimum, immo ad praesentem, ut vidisti, deum. Vidisti enim, credo, Constantine, Apollinem tuum comitante Victoria coronas tibi laureas offerentem, quae tricenum singulae ferunt omen annorum. Hic est enim humanarum numerus aetatum quae tibi utique debentur ultra Pyliam senectutem. Et—immo quid dico ‘credo’?—vidisti teque in illius specie recognovisti, cui totius mundi regna deberi vatum carmina divina cecinerunt. Quod ego nunc demum arbitror contigisse, cum tu sis, ut ille, iuvenis et laetus et salutifer et pulcherrimus, imperator. Merito igitur augustissima illa delubra tantis donariis honestasti, ut iam vetera non quaerant. Iam omnia te vocare ad se templa videantur praecipueque Apollo noster … Where you had turned aside toward the most beautiful temple in the whole world, or rather, to the deity made manifest, as you saw. For you saw, I believe, Constantine, your Apollo accompanied by Victory, offering you laurel wreaths, each portending thirty years of life. For this is the number of human lives which are assuredly owed to you, beyond the old age of Nestor. And—now why do I say ‘I believe’?—you saw, and recognized yourself in the likeness of him to whom the divine songs of the poets have prophesied that rule over the whole world was due. And this I think has now happened, since you are, emperor, as he is, youthful, joyful, a bringer of health and very handsome. Rightly, therefore, have you honoured those most venerable shrines with such great treasures that they do not miss their old ones any longer. Now may all the temples be seen to beckon you to them, and particularly our Apollo … Was the vision the creation of Constantine? For the emperor to sanction his new image with a new divine comes would have been an effective strategy and a clear rejection of Hercules with whom he had been associated through Maximian. The vision may even have been real. The sanctuary has been identified as that of Apollo Grannus at Andesina, now Grand, and inscriptions found at the site attest to the practice of incubation.49 If it was real, however, why did Sol Invictus rather than Apollo appear on Constantine’s coinage? Alternatively, if the entire scene was the invention of the emperor, why did he not specify Sol Invictus? This deus was explicitly Apollo. As a solar deity, he could be identified 49

See Müller-Rettig 1990, 339–47; Woolf 2003, 139 imagines the scene.

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to some extent with Sol Invictus, but he was not the same.50 There is no way of knowing how much if any instruction came from the emperor but as the vision was recounted by the orator, Apollo had several advantages over Sol for both orator and emperor. For the Gallic orator, a vision of Apollo at a local shrine would have been popular with the audience, an imperial visit indicating the importance of the shrine itself and also demonstrating Constantine’s commitment to the people and culture of Gaul. The local setting allowed the orator to link the shrine of Apollo at Grannus to the shrine at Autun as a prelude to his invitation to Constantine. From the point of view of the imperial image, association with Apollo brought far more than the military promises of Sol Invictus. For an emperor who prided himself on his youth and good looks, Apollo’s face was the ideal divine mirror (in illius specie recognovisti), the familiarity of his divine features creating an instantly recognisable image for Constantine.51 More specifically, this was the Apollo of Augustus. The echo of Apollinem tuum in Apollo noster underlined the bond of common worship between the people of Gaul and the emperor but also alluded to Virgil’s fourth Eclogue: tuus iam regnat Apollo (Ecl. 4.10). Rodgers took the identification farther, arguing that a third figure entered the vision at this point and that illius referred not to Apollo but to Augustus. She rightly observed that the phrase cui totius mundi regna deberi vatum carmina divina cecinerunt was far more applicable to Augustus, the ruler promised by Virgil, than to Apollo.52 One could object that there was no reason for the orator to be so ambiguous if he intended Augustus should be read in illius; on the other hand, the ambiguity allows more than Augustus to be implied. This orator was not the first to take Augustus and the golden age as an encomiastic model. Apollinem tuum comitante Victoria is a composite of Virgil and Calpurnius Siculus’ praise of Nero, comitatus Apolline Caesar (‘Caesar accompanied by Apollo’, Ecl. 4.87). On points of intertextual

50 51

52

For the identification of Sol with Apollo in Late Antiquity, see Macr. Sat. 1.7.7-68. The formal portraits of Augustus had been created to suggest the beauty of Apollo in classical portraits, see Zanker 1988, 98–9. For an orator desirous of a creating a new image, Harrison 1967, 95–6 argues with regard to portrait types that there was a choice of two:  Apollo who represented divine inspiration and Hercules, representing human achievement. In this case, Hercules was not an option. Rodgers 1980, 273–4. The continuation, cum tu sis, ut ille, iuvenis et laetus et salutifer et pulcherrimus, imperator (21.6) was also applicable to Augustus (for these adjectives, see Aen. 8.680-1, Ecl. 1.42, Geo. 1.500, Hor. Carm. 1.2.41, Serm. 2.5.62) and would be even more so if imperator was taken as nominative rather than vocative. On the association of Augustus and Apollo see, most recently, Miller 2009.

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comparison, this passage from the panegyric is overall more suggestive of Nero than Augustus, since tuus iam regnat Apollo occurred in the Einsiedeln Eclogues (2.38), while Seneca’s panegyric to Nero in the Apocolocyntosis invoked the longevity of Nestor and the similarity between the emperor and Apollo (Sen. Apocol. 4.1).53 Nero’s identification as Apollo was itself a recreation of the Augustan persona54 and the fact that Nero as well as Augustus can be read in illius expands rather than contradicts Rodgers’ essential argument. The ambiguity of illius therefore, allowed Augustus’ successors and the imitators of the Augustan image to be understood as the recipients of the vatum carmina divina and brought to mind images of imperial divi who ruled the Empire with benevolence, but the primary model remained Augustus himself. The Augustan vocabulary of this passage served to confirm the implicit Augustus who had been invoked in the golden age language of Britain and the allusion to Aeneid 6 in hic firmus, hic aeternus est rei publicae custos (16.5). These invocations to Augustus, the vision of Apollo and the identification of Constantine with the visionary figure led the orator to a final Virgilian allusion and the personal motivation of his speech: the invitation to visit Autun. Deus praesens In the introduction, Constantine had been singled out from the Tetrarchy as the deus praesens in his temple and this theme was picked up and developed in the closing section of the panegyric, linked through the vocabulary associated with Apollo in the vision scene. While Apollo was the deus praesens at the shrine, the figure of Augustus, suggested in allusive language, was also present in that epithet as that was how Virgil had presented him initially to the people of Rome. In the first Eclogue, Tityrus had sought help from Octavian when his lands were threatened (Ecl. 1.40–2): quid facerem? neque servitio me exire licebat nec tam praesentis alibi cognoscere divos. hic illum vidi iuvenem … 53

54

Ligota 1963, 181. It should be noted, however, that the reverence of carmina divina vatum suggests Virgil, one of the two poets who receives honour in the Panegyrici Latini. Note also that cecinerunt suggests both Virgilian epic (Aen. 1.1) and the language of oracles and prophesies (e.g. Aen. 3.183, 559, 6.345). Nero followed Augustan iconography by portraying himself with the radiate crown, Bardill 2012, 5; on Nero and Apollo, Champlin 2003, 112–21.

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What was I to do? I could not quit my slavery nor elsewhere find gods so readily to aid. Here, Meliboeus, I saw the young man … Octavian was the young man in question, and this vocabulary, with its emphasis on visuality and wonder, recurred in Constantine’s vision of Apollo where vidisti was repeated with emphasis.55 Virgil’s casting of Tityrus as grateful recipient and panegyrist would echo in Sidonius’ praise of Maiorian in a.d. 458: nec fuit inferius Phoebeia dona referre:/fecerat hic dominum, fecit et ille deum (‘nor was his an inferior repayment for Phoebus’ gifts, the one [Octavian] had created a master, the other [Tityrus/Virgil] created a god’, Pan. Maior. pr. 8). In the speech of 310, the distinction between Apollo, Augustus, and Constantine was deliberately blurred as the orator begged Constantine to visit the springs of Apollo at Autun where he would be honoured as the praesentissimus deus (‘god most manifest’, 22.1) welcomed to the seat of his divinity, ‘numinis tui sedem’ (22.2), words which picked up the opening metaphor in which Trier, the location of the panegyric, becomes the templum ac sedes of Constantine. The value of Constantine’s new image was now made clear. The role of a deus praesens was to do things for his worshippers.56 Octavian was a deus praesens because he had saved Tityrus’ lands and the old man was addressed as fortunate (‘fortunate’, 46) as a result. Constantine had already been generous to Trier. Now the orator wanted Constantine to bring his generosity to Autun. It is easy to see the shadow of Augustus in a rebuilding programme, especially since the orator described the temples he would build in Autun as augustissima illa delubra (‘those most august shrines’, 6[7]21.7). This is only explicit instance of augustus in this panegyric but the wordplay is insistent.57 Trier, Augusta Treverorum, had benefitted greatly from imperial beneficence, but Autun will be greater, (auctior, 22.4) and all things will be bigger, (augentur, 22.6).The public places and temples of Autun will be rebuilt (22.4): illic quoque loca publica et templa pulcherrima tua liberalitate reparantur, sicut hic video hanc fortunatissimam civitatem. 55

56 57

Octavian is depicted as one of a number of gods but is the first to help Tityrus (on the Eclogue and panegyric, see Nauta 2011, 306–7), this is a further point of comparison with Constantine who is part of the Tetrarchy but singled out as the deus praesens at the start of the panegyric (vi[7]1.5). Nock 1928, 40; Rodgers 1980, 267. It is difficult not to associate the rebuilding of augustissima delubra with the man who boasted that he had rebuilt eighty-two of them (Aug. rg 20).

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there also public buildings and the most noble temples may be restored by your generosity, just as I see here this most fortunate city. The vocabulary is carefully chosen. Pulcherrima recalls the vision in the temple at Grannus which presented Constantine/Augustus as pulcherrimus; the city will be fortunatissimam in the presence of Constantine as Britain was most fortunate in seeing his elevation to emperor and as Tityrus had been as the recipient of Octavian’s kindness. Constantine’s generosity would bring about an Autun to rival Rome: the orator imagined a Circus Maximus which would match that of Rome as well as basilicas and a forum, all being gifts of Constantine’s praesentia (‘presence’, 22.5). The people of Gaul, hailed initially as populi Romani, now become part of the imperial image, invited to imagine themselves citizens of a second Rome ruled by this second Augustus, their very own deus praesens. Ascendante or Descendante? By the end of the oration, there was no lingering memory of Maximian or the Tetrarchic image and Constantine’s debt to the Tetrarchy was obliterated long before the defeat of Maximian at Massilia. The question remains, however, as to who created this image. More than any other speech in the corpus, this oration gave a wealth of new information. It is possible that the vision of Apollo was created by the orator, divine visions being suitable ornaments for panegyrics,58 but descent from Claudius ii was an unlikely invention and, since it appeared in contemporary inscriptions as well as the works of Julian and in the Historia Augusta,59 it became, for a time at least, the official line.60 Was this communication descendante, and the briefing of a local rhetorician by the imperial court, or did the orator have his own voice? Certainly the orators described themselves as having a significant role to play in the dissemination of an imperial image. The speaker in 307 saw his panegyric in terms of Fama spreading the news throughout the world (vii[6]1.3) while the orator of 310 rather smugly announced that Constantine’s descent from Claudius ii was a fact not known to many (2.2). However, given that 58 59 60

Cic. Part. 73. See Chausson 2007, 63 for a compilation of these references. E.g. HA Elag. 35.2, Gall. 7.1, Aurel. 44.4–5, Claudius 1.1, 2.8, 3.1, 9.9, 10.7, 13.1–4; cf. Julian, Caesars 313C.

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the orator was not currently a member of the imperial court (23.2) and was unsure of when he was to speak (1.1–2), it seems unlikely that he had been charged with the disclosure of official information. The prudent suggestion of MacCormack, that the panegyrists paraphrased imperial ideology and made it comprehensible to the local people, is applicable in this instance but does not go far enough.61 The panegyrist had his own agenda and reworked the imperial image to suit his own needs. Communication descendante and ascendante mingle in the speech. If, as seems probable, Constantine desired the news of his new ancestor to be made public, the orator publicised it, but did so in terms which would be most beneficial to emperor and audience. The claim of kinship with Claudius ii was designed to repudiate Constantine’s connection with Maximian and give him an alternative and more ancient right to rule. The orator, therefore, introduced the information by dismissing the other emperors and paid more attention to the fact that the information was startling than to praise of Claudius. He honoured Claudius’ successes against the barbarians as this was a suitable model for Constantine, but was otherwise silent. Claudius ii was not a friend to Gaul and it would do no good to remind either the people or the emperor of the fact. This, then, was communication descendante with no ornamentation, an editorial decision in its own right. The vision of Apollo, even if prompted by the knowledge that Constantine had begun to favour Sol Invictus, was more likely to be the creation or elaboration of the orator. As a response to Constantine’s need for a new image, it was either direct or indirect communication descendante. The youthful and handsome Constantine who was honoured in vii(6) paved the way for an Augustan persona, iuvenis et laetus et salutifer et pulcherrimus. The model did not need to be made explicit. In the vocabulary of imperial ideology, to compare an emperor to Augustus was shorthand for ‘here is something new’.62 Such a comparison could only be complimentary to the emperor and for the orator it was a means of introducing his invitation to Autun. If the vision scene came from a briefing by the emperor, its presentation by the orator was a transformation of communication descendante into ascendante. By the end of speech, communication ascendante was paramount. The intertwined vocabulary linking Augustus, Apollo, and Constantine—templum 61 62

MacCormack 1976, 53–4. For the identification of Apollo with Augustus’ new saeculum in 17 b.c., see Feeney 1988, 31–5. As Lieu 1996, 76 observes, the identification with Augustus need have no wider ideological significance than this one speech; on Apollo and a new age, see Liebeschutz 1979, 84–5.

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ac sedes, pulcherrimus, fortunatus, deus praesens—culminated in the orator’s vision of an Autun blessed by the presence of their very own god Constantine. Constantine’s new and non-Tetrarchic image may have been prompted by the emperor’s own needs, but was manipulated by the orator to serve his own ends. An Augustan Constantine, the deus praesens of the Gallic people, was a perfect compromise between the emperor’s desire for a new image and the people’s desire for his assistance. Communication descendante, therefore, became communication ascendante in a satisfactory negotiation of interests between emperor and people. Bibliography Ando, C. 2000. Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire. Berkeley. Bardill, J. 2012. Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age. Cambridge. Barnes, T.D. 1981. Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 1982. The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 2011. Constantine. New Malden. Burgersdijk, D. 2014. ‘Augustus van Trajanus tot Theodosius: een exemplum in de literatuur van de keizertijd’, Roma Aeterna 2.1 37–44. Champlin, E. 2003. Nero. Cambridge, ma. Chausson, F. 2007. Stemmata Aurea: Constantin, Justine, Théodose. Rome. Coleman, R. 1977 (ed.). Vergil, Eclogues. Cambridge. Drinkwater, J.F. 1987. The Gallic Empire. Stuttgart. Enenkel, K. 2000. ‘Panegyrische Geschichtmythologisierung und Propaganda:  Zur Interpretation des Panegryicus Latinus VI’, Hermes 128: 91–126. Feeney, D. 1988. Literature and Religion at Rome. Cambridge. Galletier, E. 1949. Panégyriques latins. Tome 1. Paris. Grünewald, T. 1990. Constantinus Maximus Augustus. Stuttgart. Harrison, E. 1967. ‘The Constantinian portrait’, DOP 21: 79–96. Heather, P. 2007. The Fall of the Roman Empire. Oxford. Hekster, O. 2015. Emperors and Ancestors. Oxford. Kolb, F. 2004. ‘Prasens deus:  Kaiser und Gott under der Tetrarchie’, in A. Demandt, A. Goltz and H. Schlange-Schöningen (ed) Diokletian und die Tetrarchie. Berlin and New York. Laudani, C. 2014 (ed.). Nazario: Panegirico in onore di Costantino. Bari. Lenski, N. 2006. ‘The reign of Constantine’, in N. Lenski (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine. Cambridge. 59–90. Levick, B. 2010. Augustus: Image and Substance. London.

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L’Huillier, M.-C. 1992. L’Empire des mots: orateurs gaulois et empereurs romains 3e et 4e siècles. Paris. Ligota, C. 1963. ‘Constantiniana’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 26: 178–192. Liebeschuetz, J.H.W.G. 1979. Continuity and Change in Roman Religion. Oxford. Lieu, S. 1996. ‘Constantine’s “Pagan Vision”: the anonymous panegyric on Constantine (310), Pan. Lat. VII(6)’, in S. Lieu and D. Montserrat (eds.) From Constantine to Julian: Pagan and Byzantine Views: a Source History. London. 63–76. L’Orange, H.P. 1973. Likeness and Icon. Odense. MacCormack, S. 1976. ‘Latin prose panegyrics: tradition and discontinuity in the later Roman Empire’, REA 22: 29–77. ——— 1998. Shadows of Poetry. Vergil in the Mind of Augustine. Berkeley. Miller, J.F. 2009. Apollo, Augustus, and the Poets. Cambridge. Müller-Rettig, B. 1990. Der Panegyricus des Jahres 310 auf Konstantin den Grossen: Übersetzung und Historisch-Philologischer Kommentar. Stuttgart. Nelis, D. 2004. ‘From Didactic to Epic: Georgics 2.458–3.48’, in M. Gale (ed.) Latin Epic and Didactic Poetry. Swansea. 73–107. Nixon, C.E.V. 1983. ‘Latin panegyric in the Tetrarchic and Constantinian Period’ in B. Croke and A.M. Emmett (eds.) History and Historians in Late Antiquity. Sydney. 88–99. Nixon, C.E.V. 1990. ‘The use of the past by the Gallic panegyrists’, in G. Clarke et al. (ed.) Reading the Past in Late Antiquity. Potts Point. 1–36. ——— 1993. ‘Constantinus Oriens Imperator: Propaganda and Panegyric: on Reading Panegyric 7 (307)’, Historia 42: 229–246. Nixon, C.E.V. and B.S. Rodgers 1994. In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: the Panegyrici Latini. Berkeley. Miller, J.F. 2009. Apollo, Augustus, and the Poets. Cambridge. Nauta, R.R. 2011. ‘Panegyric in Virgil’s Bucolics’, in M. Fantuzzi and T. Papanghelis (eds.) Brill’s Companion to Greek and Latin Pastoral. Leiden. 301–332. Nock, A.D. 1928. ‘Notes on the ruler cult, I- IV’, JHS 48: 21–43. ——— 1947. ‘The emperor’s divine comes’, JRS 37: 102–116. Odahl, C.M. 2004. Constantine and the Christian Empire. London. Palmer Bonz, M. 2000. The Past as Legacy—Luke-Acts and Ancient Epic. Minneapolis. Pichon, R. 1906. Les Derniers Ecrivains Profanes:  Les Panégyristes—Ausone—le Querolus—Rutilius Namatianus. Paris. Potter, D. 2004. The Roman Empire at Bay AD180–395. London. ——— 2013. Constantine the Emperor. Oxford. Rees, R. 2004. ‘Praising in Prose: Vergil in the Latin Panegyrics’ in R. Rees (ed.) Romane Memento. London. 33–46. Rodgers, B.S. 1980. ‘Constantine’s Pagan Vision’, Byzantion 50: 259–278.

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Sabbah, G. 1984. ‘De la rhétorique à la communication politique: les Panégyriques latins’, Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé 43: 363–388. Singor, H. 2003. ‘The labarum, shield blazons, and Constantine’s caeleste signum’, in L. de Blois, P. Erdkamp, O. Hekster, G. de Kleijn and S. Mols (eds), The Representation and Perception of Roman Imperial Power: Amsterdam. 481–500. Smith, R.R.R. 1997 ‘The Public Image of Licinius I:  Portrait Sculpture and Imperial Ideology in the Early Fourth Century’, JRS 87: 170–202. Syme, R. 1974. Emperors and Biography: Studies in the Historia Augusta. Oxford. Van Dam, R. 2007. The Roman Revolution of Constantine. Cambridge. Ware, C. 2014. ‘The Seueritas of Constantine: Imperial Virtues in PanLat 7(6) and 6(7)’, Journal of Late Antiquity 7.1: 86–109. Wills, J. 1996. Repetition in Latin Poetry. Oxford. Woolf, G. 2003. ‘Seeing Apollo in Roman Gaul and Germany’, in S. Scott and J. Webster (eds), Roman Imperialism and Provincial Art. Cambridge. 139–153. Zanker, P. 1988. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Michigan.

Chapter 6

Constantine’s Son Crispus and His Image in Contemporary Panegyrical Accounts Diederik Burgersdijk Panegyric, as a subspecies of epideictic rhetoric, may be considered the literary genre of imperial image making par excellence. The evidence provided by the collection of Panegyrici Latini xii shows how orators mould images of the emperors they addressed, while not only extolling the ruler, but also showing off their own skills in the genre. Most of the speeches in the collection were composed for a political situation that required more rhetorical skill than a simple address to a single emperor. The speeches composed during the so-called Tetrarchies in the last decade of the third and the first decade of the fourth century were often addressed to more than one emperor, mentioning (or eliding) the others as equal partners in the reign, even if they were not the subjects of the speech. This kind of ‘multiple praise’, pertaining to joint-rulers (either Augusti or Caesares) or intended successors, required rhetorical techniques that carefully took the political situation and imperial hierarchies into account.1 This chapter will investigate the particular ways in which the son of an emperor, who might be considered a potential successor to his father, was addressed. The exemplum will be Crispus, who at various stages in his career was identified as grandson of an emperor (Constantius i:  Caesar 293–305, Augustus 305–306) and son of an heir (Constantine, from 306 onwards), and thereafter was (presumably) considered next in line in his father’s succession, for which reason he was appointed Caesar together with his half-brother Constantine ii in 317. He ended up being executed by his father in unclear circumstances, and suffered a damnatio memoriae in 326.2 Posthumous reports 1 Rees treats the complexities in addressing the emperor in his Layers of Loyalty (2002) on several occasions, e.g. 146: Eumenius, simultaneously addressing Constantius, his colleagues in the imperial college, and his children, manages ‘to express local and wider loyalties whilst avoiding any tension between them.’ 2 The exact date and circumstances of the execution are heavily debated, see Barnes 2011, 144–50, and notes 7 and 67 in this chapter. Omissi 2016 (following Flower 2006) recently noted that damnatio memoriae is not an official process and as a term dates only from the early modern period (first used in 1689).

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 008

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about the prince by far outnumber contemporary written sources, which contain, moreover, very unspecific details about the prince’s life, as we will see below. In this chapter, we will concentrate on the presentation of Crispus in the reign of Constantine I, during which he developed from a simple emperor’s son to a full Caesar seemingly fit to take control of the Empire himself. Other, iconographic and epigraphic sources, as well as panegyrical poetry and coinage, will be used as supporting evidence to investigate imperial image making in rhetoric. During his relatively brief life (ca. 300–326) and reign as a co-emperor with the title of Caesar (317–326), Crispus managed to acquire some fame for himself, mainly on the battlefield. About his personal life, few reports have come down to us from antiquity. Crispus’ birth to his mother Minervina must have occurred around the year 300.3 Constantine married (probably for a second time, in 307) Fausta, the emperor Maximinian’s daughter, thereby consolidating his position in the imperial family by becoming the son-in-law of the deceased emperor Constantius i († 305). After Crispus was appointed as Caesar, together with his younger half-brother Constantine ii (born 316 or February 317)  on the first of March 317 in Serdica, he was to become consul three times, in 318, 321, and 324.4 In 321, Crispus gained a military victory against the Franks. According to Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius in carmen 5.30–32, Crispus was the leader in an expedition against the Franks, although Crispus’ contribution is not confirmed by other sources.5 In 322, he married a woman named Helena, who bore him a son and possibly a daughter.6 Four years later, however, Constantine ordered the execution of 3 Kienast 2011, 305–306; Barnes 1982, 44. 4 Appointment to Caesar: evidence mentioned in Pohlsander 1984, 86 n57; consulship: Barnes 1982, 95–6, 251. For the the joint consulship of Crispus and Constantinus, see Bagnall 1987, 176–7, 182–3; Kienast 20115, 306. For Constantine ii’s birthdate and its sources: Kienast 20115, 310. 5 ‘Crispus’ unwavering force against the brave prepared to protect the borders of Rhine and Danube on the other riverside and to inflict harm upon the Franks’. No particular expedition is referred to and Polara (1973 ii, 47) believes that the protection of the Empire in general is meant. See also poem 10.25–7 (Polara 1973 i, 45) for Crispus as leader in battle and 18.8 (Polara 1973 II, 70). The extensive description by the orator of 313 (xii[9]22) does not mention Crispus’ role in the expedition of 313, nor does Nazarius (iv[10]17.1). In iv(10)37.4, Crispus’ battle activities are mentioned, unspecified. Zöllner’s attempt (1969, 15) to pinpoint Crispus’ activities to 313 lead him to suppose his leadership at least in name (‘wenigstens nominellen Führung’). See also Lenski 2006, 75 and 87 n. 88 in support of this view. 6 Cod. Theod. 9.38.1 (Pohlsander 1997, www.luc.edu: Crispus). Daughter: Barnes 1982, 44.

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Crispus for unknown reasons, while Constantine’s wife Fausta was similarly punished.7 Crispus’ position as an emperor’s son was comparable to that of his father Constantine in the previous generation:  they both were born of their fathers’ first wives, whom their fathers later divorced (if they had been married at all) in order to marry a wife that better suited their dynastic aims. Constantius i set aside Helena, Constantine’s mother, in favour of the senior Augustus Maximian’s stepdaughter Theodora.8 Constantine, in turn, left Crispus’ mother Minervina for another of Maximian’s daughters, Fausta. With their second wives, Constantius i and Constantine I  had several other children, so that their oldest sons, Constantine I and Crispus respectively, were born, as it were, before the imperial family was constituted properly, viz. without reasonable prospects to imperial accession. Both women, as mothers of first-born sons of the emperors, may have retained their position within the family. Not much is known about the fate of Minervina (if she was condemned, we would probably have heard about it), but Helena remained in favour, eventually to be named Augusta in 324 or 325.9 One crucial difference between the position of father and son at the time of their birth was, that in the Constantine’s case, there was no reasonable prospect of his ascending the throne, while Crispus, as the first grandson born of a reigning Caesar (since 293), might have been expected to become emperor (or to prove his chances of becoming one) once he grew up. In other words, to borrow a notion from Byzantine history, Crispus the son was ‘born in purple’, while his father Constantine was not. Was the son of a reigning emperor, such as Crispus, expected to succeed to his father’s position as emperor?10 The position of Constantine I changed 7

8 9 10

Jerome De Vir. Ill. 80; Jerome. Chron. Olymp. 276 (ed. Fotheringham 313; ed. Helm 231); Aur. Vict. Caes. 41.11:  incertum qua causa. The epitome de caesaribus 41.11 mentions Fausta as the instigator: ‘… on Fausta’s suggestion, as they say, he ordered to kill his son Crispus’, confirmed by Zonaras 13.2.38-41 (who adds Fausta’s accusation of an attempt at adultery at Crispus’ request), while Helena is said to be the instigator of Fausta’s death (Zosimus 2.29.2, who also mentions the cursed relationship between Crispus and Fausta). Modern speculation about the events is as wide-ranging as the ancient sources; Guthrie 1966 defends a dynastic motive for the execution (also because of Fausta’s attempts to remove the illegitimate son Crispus in favour of her own sons), now supported by Barnes (2011, 148). Wienand 2012, 337 n. 218 strongly opposes this scheme, while still accepting a dynastic motive: Crispus was growing too fast. Eutropia was born of the first marriage of her mother Eutropia to Hannibalianus. Kienast 2011, 305. Succession in the family was a matter of private law. The relevant question here is whether succession in the family (as pater familias) also involved succession to the

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rapidly during Crispus’ years as an infant and adolescent. After varying prospects, as we have sketched above, in 308 Constantine’s position was formalized by the treaty of Carnuntum by which Constantine was endowed with the title of filius Augustorum (on a par with Galerius’ intended successor Licinius), while in 310 he was appointed Augustus in retrospect from 306 onwards: the incipit of his first quinquennalia was celebrated on 25 July 310, and his claim to emperorship was also acknowledged in the East.11 From this time onwards, and certainly from 312, Crispus’ position as the successor to his father’s power was more or less guaranteed, and so was the imperial ideology that consequently developed. Eternal Offspring and the Stability of the State While in earlier stages of Roman emperorship, Crispus’ position would certainly have put him in the best position to succeed his father, during the time of the Tetrarchy, this cannot be stated with equal certainty, as the succession practices under Diocletian questioned the status of biological sons of reigning emperors.12 The problem is that there are no explicit reports about a regulation of imperial succession. Modern scholarship has, nonetheless, posited theories about succession from the way in which the reigning emperors are presented, combined with the outcome of an apparent struggle between various competitors. The result of this struggle shows that a preference for non-biological successors prevailed over biological sons. Whether an imperial ideology can be inferred from the presentation of emperorship and its apparent practice is far from secure, although recent scholarship tends to assume such an ideology with concomitant propaganda unreservedly.

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imperial purple. We will not go deeper in the judicial aspects of succession, but it should be noted that imperial succession is a matter of becoming son and heir to a father, which—just as in private families—was achieved by heredity (either as a biological son or by adoption, which were equal ways of becoming a son and heir). In other words, the opposition between hereditary and adoptive emperorship may deserve reconsideration, as whether a successor was a hereditary successor by definition (biological son or not). Although there are several recent studies about imperial succession (e.g. Börm 2015; Hekster 2015), only Lindsay 2010 takes into account adoption in a legal sense. See Nixon 1980 on Constantine’s quinquennalia. See Börm 2015 (who does not so much suppose an ideology, but rather speaks ‘the prevailing critera of the time’), for a balanced assessment of Diocletian’s aims in his adoption policies.

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Succession by biological sons—all tribulations in individual succession stories left aside—had always been an ideal (and mostly unrealized) standard in Roman imperial succession.13 The same holds for the reign of Maximian, Diocletian’s western colleague, as becomes apparent from a passage in Pan. Lat. X(2)14.1. The speech is supposedly delivered in on 21 April 291, at a time when Maxentius must have been between eight and sixteen years of age:14 ‘But surely that day will soon dawn, when Rome sees you victorious, and … your son. It will be no great labour for him to encourage in this divine and immortal scion a yearning for glory’.15 The son referred to is Maxentius, Maximian’s son by Eutropia, who is characterized as divinam immortalemque progeniem and who has to receive an imperial education (by felix aliquis praeceptor—’some lucky teacher’) in order to make him fit for future rule. The wish for eternal offspring more often (but not exclusively) occurs in the context of imperial education, as Eumenius ix(4)8.1 recommends a good education for Constantine, and the same holds for Constantine’s children.16 Also Constantius’ son Constantine I had been destined to rule, as becomes apparent from the orator’s wish in Pan. Lat. viii(5)20.1 ‘… that our children and grandchildren and our descendants … be dedicated not only to you but also to those you are rearing and will rear hereafter’.17 The occasion of the speech was the recovery of Britain for the Roman state by Constantius i in 296; the speech itself was held in either 297 or 298.18 The orator wishes for a duratura progenies of perpetui parentes, for the good of the Roman Empire.19 The res publica is in danger whenever there is instability in governance; a

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Titus, son to Vespasian, was the first biological son to succeed his father as an emperor in a.d. 71, almost a hundred years after the institution of the principate. On the 21 April 291 (Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 42); Maxentius’ age: Kienast 2011, 291. Sed profecto mature ille inlucescet dies, cum vos videat Roma victores et … filium … cui nullo labore constabit divinam immortalemque progeniem ad studium laudis hortari. In general, education is a topic that lends itself very well for panegyric, as it functions as a mirror of princes and tells how just rule is ideally achieved. Menander Rhetor, who represents a tradition of Greek handbooks, explicitly recommended praise of education as an integral part of panegyric (371.17–372.2). ut liberi nepotesque nostri … cum vobis tum etiam his quos educatis atque educabitis dedicentur. On the kinship-terminology, see Hekster 2015, 307. Nixon and Rogers 1994, 105. For the date of the speech, see Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 105. duratura progenies: viii(5)20.2 (cf. Pan. Lat. x[2]14.1 divinam immortalemque progeniem and Pan. Lat. VII[6]2.1 duratura progenies.

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sentiment shared by Pan. Lat. vii(6).20 During the reign of Maximian, eternal offspring were recommended as a guarantee for a consolidated empire. The combination of divine support, eternal offspring, and stability in the state is a recurring triplet throughout the panegyrics. If the ideology of non-biological succession meant a breach with earlier practices of succession, the rupture had already become apparent at the moment of Constantine’s marriage to Fausta. The evidence for a change in succession policy is provided by a wedding speech on the occasion of Constantine’s and Fausta’s marriage in Trier in 307.21 It is striking that only one year previously Constantine I had been bypassed in the succession of his own father Constantius i. The generous support of Maximian for his newly adopted son-in-law, linked to him by adoption as well as marriage, suggests that he distanced himself from Galerius, who had his confidant Severus appointed as successor to the deceased Constantius i. Not only was Galerius neglected, but also Maximian’s biological son Maxentius, who had taken power in Rome on 28 October 306 without the consent of the reigning Augusti, and Severus (in the West). Severus, at the moment of the wedding speech in March 307, had recently led a fruitless expedition against Maxentius in Rome, as the result of which he lost his mandate as emperor, and therefore the rank of Augustus. A few months later, he was murdered.22 The West was momentarily without emperor, a void into which Maximian promoted the biological son of his deceased Caesar (and Augustus for a year) Constantius i. The wedding speech promotes a crisp and clear recommendation for imperial succession by the biological son (Pan. Lat. vii[6]2.1–5), and eternal continuation of the imperial house ‘… because in rearing children and wishing for grandchildren and by extending the succession of your posterity, (…) its Empire may be as immortal as the offspring of its emperors is perpetual’.23 It becomes clear from the passage that the series vestri generis in the imperial succession is best guaranteed by ‘rearing children and wishing for grandchildren’, so that the offspring may reign forever.24 The context of the wedding speech suggests that 20

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Pan. Lat. vii(6) from a.d. 307, see below (2.1: diversis regentium moribus fatisque and 2.5 mutatoria per novas familias communis salutis gubernacula) and Pan. Lat. viii(5) 20.2: variis temporum vicibus. 31 March 307, Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 180. Barnes 1982, 44 (a brief overview of the evidence concerning Crispus’ life, with sources). Furthermore Anon. Val. 4.10; Epit. de Caes. 40.3. suscipiendis liberis optandisque nepotibus seriem vestri generis prorogando …, tamque sit immortale illius imperium quam sempiterna suboles imperatorum. Hekster 2015, 308 argues for an ‘ambiguity’ between suscipio (emphasizing ‘acknowledgement of children to be brought up as one’s own’)—in old equated to adoption (ad

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biological succession prevails over adoption. This is for the good of the Empire, that had previously been ruled by emperors of differing character and quality. According to the orator, the Empire is as stable and immortal as the eternal offspring of emperors. Moreover, the offspring should rather be of imperial, not ignoble stock, vii(6)2.5: ‘For you are propagating the State not with plebeian offshoots but with imperial stock …’.25 Constantine, who already was a biological son of an emperor, is now raised to an even higher rank by double imperial legitimation, as a man from imperial stock and as adopted son of the reigning emperors, as expressed in 2.1: ‘while you, Constantine, have been enhanced by the name of Emperor through your father-in-law’.26 In Crispus’ case, who was around seven years of age by the time, but who is not mentioned or even hinted at in the speech, this means that his status as a son of the recently installed emperor is no hindrance to succession. If indeed Constantine as well as Maxentius were destined to succeed their respective fathers, what went wrong in the succession of 305, when both Constantine’s father Constantius in the West and Galerius in the East were raised to the rank of Augustus, and were succeeded as Caesars not by their own sons but by Severus in the West and Maximinus in the East? This move must have been an unexpected dynastic intervention for which the new Augustus Galerius was held responsible in modern scholarship.27 For the moment, I will pass over the question of whether a ‘Tetrarchic ideology’ of hereditary emperorship existed, a construct that is broadly accepted nowadays, but which rests on historical probability rather than hard evidence.28 However this may be,

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suscipio 4.2)—and begetting natural children. In panegyric, the difference between the two must not be overstressed (cf. Hekster’s observation [2015, 302 and 311] that there is a marked difference between Tetrarchic iconography and panegyric as to the use of kinship-terminology) as adoption always had been a viable way for a paterfamilias to create successors in the family (or as a successor to the emperorship in case of an imperial family: it must be taken into account that ‘successorship’, also as a legal notion, is much older a phenomenon than ‘emperorship’). Qui non plebeio germine sed imperatoria stirpe rem publicam propagatis … tibi, Constantine, per socerum nomen imperatoris accreverit. Cf. for the combination nomen—imperium: Livy 1.6 and 3.33: nomen imperiumque. Following Lactantius’ contested report in 18.8. Creed 1984, 98. As Kolb pointed out in 1987, 139–43, the biological sons (Candidianus son of Diocletian, Constantine son of Constantius I and Maxentius son of Maximian) were integrated into the imperial family, but not promoted as successors to the reigning Augusti, a stance recently confirmed by Hekster 2015, 306. The discussion of adoptive emperorship over biological succession during Tetrarchic times is reflected in the Historia Augusta, of which the dramatic date is situated in the earlier fourth century, for which see my study (2016).

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imperial virtus and all qualities derived from it were supposed to promote any candidate for succession, whether he was an adopted or biological son to the reigning emperor (both would acquire the right to succession by hereditas in any case). The situation that occurred in 305, that the biological sons of the new Augusti were passed over in favour of two adopted Caesares, is historically exceptional, and therefore suggests a ‘Tetrarchic ideology’ devised by Diocletian. Nonetheless, biological succession soon afterwards occurred in Maximian’s part of the Roman Empire. Crispus’ prospects seemed to be dashed by in 305, when a new situation occurred by the succession of non-biological sons by adoption. Crispus in Panegyric Even if the wedding speech of 307 promotes biological succession, it offers no hint of Crispus, either because it was not about him (it is about the wedding of his father), or because the speech expresses a wish for future natural offspring of the newly wedded couple. That wish might eventually mean that biological children of the new couple were to be given preference over Constantine’s existing offspring, but the statement might rather be interpreted in a more general sense:  that the emperor’s family is the best guarantee for continuation of the dynasty, without preference for biological succession. In the extant speeches of later date, Crispus does not play a prominent role either, although biological offspring are still promoted as a claim to legitimacy.29 As is well known, in speech vi(7) of 310, the former emperor Claudius is promoted as Constantine’s ancestor, thus extending the imperial line back beyond Maximian’s and Constantius’ reign.30 The process also works the other way 29

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Pan. Lat. v(8), held in Trier in 311 (Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 255) might contain some— very vague and indirect—references to Crispus, such as in 14.4 quasi maiestatis tuae comes et socius ‘he who is like a comrade and ally of your majesty’. Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 286 and 287 n.61:  ‘… the panegyrist might well have thought it appropriate to include a graceful allusion to the emperor’s son’, although the formula might, certainly in that period of Constantine’s emperorship, refer to Apollo, Constantine’s protector god (cf. Pan. Lat. vi(7)21.4). Hekster 2015, 310 considers it ‘a likely reference to (…) Crispus’. Nazarius’ speech (see below) also mentions Constantine’s comes, iv(10)3.3 divina virtus et eius misericordia comes appendixque victoria (‘[your] divine valour and its companion mercy and adjunct victory …’). Indeed, comes does evoke divine associations, such as in the case of Claudius, who is called deorum comes in vi(7)2.2, and the official titulature comes sol; see also in coinage e.g. ric 6.42, 111 (Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 287 n61). See for a detailed assessment of this claim Ware in this volume, and further references.

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round: when Maximian, according to speech xii(9) from 313 (held within a year of Constantine’s victory in Rome), denied Maxentius’ claims to power as an Augustus, he is accused of being Maximian’s bastard son, which weakens his claims to the emperorship and justifies his defeat by Constantine.31 The orator compares both figures’ nobility and pedigree, and yet excuses himself because the comparison seems unfit to him—and at the same time he employs praeteritio, xii(9)4.3: ‘To omit those things which are unsuitable for comparison, that he was Maximian’s changeling, you Constantius Pius’ son’.32 Being the real son of an emperor had become important at least by the time that Constantine defeated Maxentius in 312. Thus, the orator could unreservedly praise the succession of a natural son, after having addressed the eternal parents of the state and having wished the equally long reign of Constantine’s family as the best gift for mankind: ‘… your divine offspring has already come forward …, yet that future will truly be blest if when you have installed your sons at the helm of the world, you are the very greatest Emperor’.33 Familiar themes appear: the blessings of succession of a natural son for all mankind (humano generi), already seen in the combination of ‘eternal parents and masters of the human race’ in Pan. Lat. viii(5)20.1, because the role of the father of the imperial family is equated with emperorship in the state. The vota for a future reign, omnipresent in coinage, poetry and figurative art and architecture (such as Constantine’s arch, cil 6.1139), were also mentioned frequently in panegyric, for example omni votorum nuncupatione (‘with each pronouncement or our vows’) in viii(5)20.1. The orator 31

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In xii(9), Maximian is described as qui pater illius credebatur ‘he who was believed to be his father’ (3.4), and falso generi ‘false paternity’ (4.4). The bastardy is repeated by Epitome de Caesaribus 40.13 and Origo Constantini Imperatoris 4.12 (see also Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 299 n.18). ut enim omittam illa quae non decet comparari, quod erat ille Maximiani suppositus tu Constantii Pii filius. Suppositus (vide OLD 7b:  ‘esp. suppositious children’) is the Latin variant of Greek nothos, or nothus (OLD 1: ‘born out of wedlock, illegitimate’). The idea that an emperor does not possess a claim to the throne because he is not a legitimate heir to the imperial title (in case the nomen Antoninorum) is expressed in the Historia Augusta, Macr. 10.6: Antoninorum nomini est velut nothus adpositus (cf. vita Getae 1.1: et ipsi Antonino a Severo patre sit nomen adpositum). The unknown author employs a wordplay with the name of Verus (‘the real’) in Op. Macr. 10.6, see also Den Hengst 2010, 134 for an analysis of the poem in which the joke occurs. Pan. Lat. xii(9)26. Translation adapted from Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 333 as for the translation of omnium, here interpreted as a reinforcement of the superlative maximus. (iam divina suboles tua … successerit …, illa tamen erit vere beata posteritas ut, cum liberos tuos gubernaculis orbis admoveris, tu sis omnium maximus imperator).

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of xii(9) clearly was well acquainted with an earlier tradition, that could be traced back for decades at least. In the period between 312 and 326, Crispus began his imperial career and was appointed Caesar in the West―Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier) was his residence―while in the East Licinius Junior was appointed as Caesar to this father Licinius Augustus. After the Licinii’s demise, Constantine reigned for a brief period of just less than two months together with his elder two sons, until he appointed Constantius ii as his third Caesar in 324. An inscription dated between 18 September and 8 November 324 sheds light on the way the relationship between the maximus imperator34 and his sons, cil vi 40770.35 The official responsible for the maintenance of the Tiber bedding and the sewers in Rome address the emperor and his sons: ‘The divine and extraordinary clemency / of our rulers / Constantine the Greatest Victor / Augustus for ever / and the very noble Caesars [[Crispus]] and Constantinus’.36 The dedicatory inscription has a typically panegyrical tone in which the divina clementia of the rulers is praised. The communicative situation, reflected in the vocabulary, is similar to Eumenius’ address in the year 298 to an anonymous governor of Gaul, in which the speaker requests funding for the rebuilding of the school of rhetoric, ix(5)4.1:  ‘… our Emperor’s and Caesars’ divine foresight and singular goodwill toward us’.37 In the inscription, the divina singularisque clementia is quoted, while the panegyric is a slightly altered conflation of the divina providentia and singulari benevolentiae.38 The titles imperatorum Caesarumque nostrorum recur in dominorum nostrorum … et Caesarum, who are quoted by name. Both the inscription and the panegyric attest formulaic language in the context of gratitude for the aid in case of restorations, be it the schools or the 34 35 36

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xii(9)26. The inscription dates from the period between the defeat of Licinius and his son and the accession of Constantius ii on 8 November 324. Divina singularisque clementia / dominorum nostrorum / Constantini Maximi victoris / semper Augusti / et [[Crispi]] et Constantini nobb. / Caess. A photographic reproduction is to be found in the catalogue of the exhibition in Rome Costantino 313 dC, edited by M. Barbera 2013, cat.nr. 37 on page 77–8, with further bibliography (and Gregori 2013, for comments). Note the erasure of the name of Crispus after his condemnation to death in 326, and the subsequent damnatio memoriae, to which this inscription, dug up from the mud of the Tiber bedding, bears witness. Translation Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 154 (divinae imperatorum Caesarumque nostrorum providentiae singularique in nos benevolentiae …). See Rees 2002, 30. The speech is addressed to a vir perfectissime, an official in Gaul, and (among other reasons) rather an embassy speech than a panegyric, according to Hostein 2012.

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bridge. Another similarity is the absence of the emperors, who were praised at a distance, not being physically present at the time of the dedication. The formulaic language might be considered in the light of euergasia (Latin: beneficentia): beneficiary activity of a patron for a City and reciprocal thanksgivings, which has a long tradition going back to Greek Antiquity, for which especially rulers in the Hellenistic tradition are known.39 It might, in a contemporaneous light, also betray the use of centrally approved language, in a process of negotiation between rulers and the ruled, and the possible result of correspondence with the imperial court. Both options, tradition and centrally organized language, may on closer inspection not differ very much:  the court and the traditional heart of the Empire were both strongly influenced by the practice that is manifested in both spoken panegyric and inscriptions. Two Brothers These two Caesars, Crispus and Constantine ii, are the addressees of Pan. Lat. iv(10), delivered in Rome on 1 March 321 ad, to mark the fifth anniversary of their reign (quinquennalia). The Caesars are addressed as if they are physically present during the delivery of the speech, while their father is absent. Nonetheless, the orator begins with stating that he is ‘about to voice the majestic praises of Constantine’.40 Conforming to the imperial hierarchy as it appears on the inscription cil vi 40776, the Caesars are not addressed exclusively or even primarily, although the occasion is said to be the beginning of the Caesars’ quinquennalia, iv(10)1.1: beatissimorum Caesarum quinquennia prima. At the same time, however, the emperor’s fifteen-year reign is celebrated, ibid.2.2:  quintum decimum maximus princeps salutaris imperii degit annum.41 Only then the quinquennalia beatissimorum Caesarum are mentioned in 2.3. So, even if the Caesars are first and foremost the cause of the actual celebration, the imperial hierarchy is cautiously maintained: the speech ends as it had begun with a reference to the senior emperor: ibid. 38.6 ‘… there 39

40 41

Two studies, Gygax 2016 about the origins of benefaction in Greece, and Hemelrijk 2015 on female benefaction in the Roman Empire (especially chapter  3), may be mentioned as recent contributions to the debate—the field is thriving in current research. dicturus Constantini augustissimas laudes. The emperors reside in Serdica, see Barnes 1982, 74 (evidenced by C.Th. 2.19.2; 9.42.1). ‘the first five-year-reign of the most blessed Caesars’, and 2.2: ‘the greatest princeps spends the fifteenth year of his salutary reign’.

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is only one thing that could make Rome even happier, … namely that it see Constantine as its preserver, and that it see the most blessed Caesars’.42 The question whether Constantine (in his absence) or his Caesars (in their quinquennalia) should be addressed primarily, is mutatis mutandis also applicable to the hierarchy between the older and younger brother. They were appointed Caesar on the same date at the occasion of the treaty of Serdica in 317. Their consulships are dated to 318 for Crispus and 320 for Constantine ii, thereafter both held their second consulship in 321, the year in which the speech is held, when Crispus was around twenty years old, and Constantine ii only about four.43 Crispus, being older, receives some praise of his own, albeit later in the speech (chapter 36.3–37.6) and carefully wrapped in the praise of Constantine’s offspring in general. The younger brother has to watch and imitate his elder carefully in order to become like him.44 The speech is mainly built around Constantine’s expedition against ‘the tyrant’ Maxentius and the ‘liberation of Italy’.45 The praise addressed to Crispus, who is not even once named (the only occurrence of his name is in facta Crispi in 36.3, while Constantine ii is mentioned in 37.5), only follows in a later stage of the speech, and indirectly serves as praise for Constantine for his noble offspring. A Christian Crispus? The relationship between the two brothers in terms of hierarchy is interesting enough. In the speech, the older brother clearly serves as an example to follow 42

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unum modo est quo fieri possit Roma felicior, … ut Constantinum conservatorem suum, ut beatissimos Caesares videat. See Hunsucker in this volume for the implications of conservatorem suum with regard to Maxentius (conservator Urbis suae). The political implications are that Constantine, although absent, is still the emperor that the orator longs for: his return to the eternal city is, in a long Augustan tradition, the most desired event for the near future. Kienast 1996, 2011 306 and 310. The consulship of 321 was not acknowledged in the eastern part of the Empire. In 324, after Licinius’ defeat (from September onwards), the brothers held their third consulship, the period to which the inscription treated above must be dated. ‘His brother listened intently to these things …; when he admired his brother he applauded himself as well because he recognized from his years how close he was to such great glory’ (Audivit haec frater intentus, …; cumque miraretur fratrem etiam sibi favit, quod ex annis eius quam proximus tantae gloriae esset agnovit). In 19.3 and 27.5 respectively, the verb liberare is used―idiom that was expounded in Augustus’ age and that goes all the way back to the liberation of Greek poleis from tyranny. It is represented in the iconography of Constantine’s Arch in the liberatori Urbisrelief (cil vi.1139).

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for the younger one, while officially they function on an equal level. This situation is reflected in coinage, where the older brother is not depicted as a larger person, at least not discernibly so.46 This depiction correlates with Optatianus’ epigrams (see note 5) in which no difference in rank is observed in poems 7, 8 and 16, written between 321 and 324, while in poems 5, 9 and 20, Crispus is clearly extolled above his brother, which might be explained by the defeat of Licinius in which Crispus played a role.47 Still, Optatianus’ poems, presented to the emperor after the downfall of Crispus in 326, do seem to constitute an exception in the presentation of Crispus. The extremely positive picture presented is remarkable and hardly agrees with the cautious depictions in panegyric. Crispus apparently had a position of his own, especially after the first battle against Licinius in 316, when Constantine moved his court to Serdica and stayed there with his second son Constantinus. From that time onwards, Crispus ruled alone in Trier, where he even allowed the mint the possibility to issue gold and silver coins on its own behalf, by special and exclusive permission of the emperor.48 Coinage, just like inscriptions referred at above, may also be viewed as the result of official court communication, although it might be imagined that mints had a certain freedom to choose their own variants. Crispus is depicted in several series, such as the BEATA TRANQUILLITAS series from Trier, and Crispus as the princeps iuventutis.49 In a later part of his career, between 324 and 326, in spite of the celebration of Crispus in—quite exceptional—poetry, coinage depicting his younger 46 47

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Wienand 2012, 383 n.77. Wienand 2012, 384 (and chapter 5 in general about Crispus in Porphyrius Optatianus). Crispus is presented as avis melior (9.24) and as atavo summo melior (10.29)—a clear breach with practice in panegyrical speech, in which the living (and even the dead) emperor is growing through the glorious deads of the son. Constantine can even reign omine Crispi (10.25), when he is not around at certain places—which hardly agrees with the emperor’s omnipresence (Rees 2002, 14). Ramskold 2013, 415–6, and n.40; 439. Crispus was appointed princeps iuventutis on 1 March 317, together with being appointed to Caesar:  Kienast 2011, 306. Coins of this series:  Wienand 2012, 307 and n.99; beata tranquillitas:  268 n.257. Crispus as princeps iuventutis with helm, spear, and shield: Wienand 2012, 288 n.23. Other coins minted for Crispus were the Concordia Augustorum series with Constantine, Licinius and Crispus (Wienand 2012, 308 and n.105), the securitas rei publicae and gaudium Romanorum series, celebrating the victories over the Franks and Alamanni in 320 and 323 respectively (Wienand 2012, 308 and n.108). Coins for Constantine the father, Crispus and Constantine the son were also issued at Sirmium for the victory over the Sarmatians, the Sarmatia devicta type: Wienand 2012, 376.

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half-brothers Constantine and Constantius was strikingly more present than Crispian coinage.50 In a papyrus found in Egypt, dated on 13 January 325, the coming visit of Constantine during the third consulship of ‘our masters Crispus and Constantinus’ is announced, a visit that never occurred.51 The fact that Crispus occurs so prominently in Optatianus’ poetry confronts us with another aspect of Crispus’ presentation in literature: Optatianus’ poems do bear a markedly Christian character. The career of Crispus, from his appointment as Caesar in 317 to his death in 326 took place in a period during which Constantine presented himself ever more as a Christian advocate, without freeing himself entirely the pagan tradition in which his emperorship was still based. The christogram (the chi-rhosign, referring to Christ) appears in Optatian’s poem 8, together with the word IESVS, as well as in poems 14 and 23 and 24.52 On coins, Crispus was depicted bearing the christogram in the BEATA TRANQUILLITAS series from the period 321–323.53 In the same series, Crispus was also portrayed bearing a Sol-sign, which might refer to a priesthood that Constantine transferred to (one of) his sons around this time.54 On a milestone found near Trier, Crispus is even indicated with the title invictus, which—exceptional as it is—also bears associations with the Sol-invictus cult that his father Constantine was gradually disposing of. This puts Crispus in the same ambiguous position as his father with regard to Christian sympathies:  it is far from clear how Crispus’ own religious stance has been, although he was raised by the Christian author Lactantius at his court.55 Indirect Praise The hierarchy between the emperor and his Caesars in speech iv(10) is not only reflected in the way and order they are addressed, but also in the way the Caesars are framed within the narrative. The main point the orator puts 50 51

52 53 54 55

Ramskold 2013, 419 and n.49. Ramskold 2013, 449–50. The brothers held their third consulship in 324, in the East only from September onwards (due to Licinius position, who was defeated on 18 Sept.): Kienast 2011, 306 and 310. Squire 2017, 64–5 (poem 8), 66 (poem 14), 67 (poem 24), 68 (poem 19). See now also Squire and Wienand 2017; and an earlier study by Wienand (2012a) and n.47. Wienand 2012, 268 n.257. Wienand 2012, 311–313. Palma-Digeser 2000.

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forward is the excellence of their education. Again, principles of indirect praise are employed: by praising Crispus, the image of Constantine is actually raised to a higher level, because the excellence of the sons is a mirror for the excellence of their father. Constantine is not praised so much for being a good educator or pedagogue, but simply for being the biological father whose virtues are inherited by his sons. Furthermore, as the ultimate example of a good emperor he only has to be observed and imitated by the sons in order for them to become good successors.56 The narrative about the education of the sons is often orientated towards Constantine’s own exemplary education (in 4.5) and his position as son to his own father Constantius i. After a discussion of the sons’ natural inheritance of their father’s imperial characteristics and virtues in chapter  4, the narration in this paragraph is rounded off by paraprosdokian:  while the narration was about the sons’ education, the conclusion is about the father’s (the unexpected turn being introduced by the emphatic iam tibi quidem …).57 The ending of the paragraph on the sons’ education is prompted by the orator’s fear of losing focus on the emperor, who is the main object of praise:  even the excellence of the sons’ education has to be connected to the father. What is also lacking in these paragraphs is the motive of aemulatio: although the sons are raised to be virtuous, their education is primarily based on imitatio, not on aemulatio, which is the case for Constantine vis-à-vis his own divine father Constantius. Constantius led the armies of Constantine, who is greater than he had ever been himself, to victory from heaven, 14.6: ‘Your father Constantius, who had yielded earthly triumphs to you, greater than he’.58 The deceased and deified emperors are there to be surpassed, a rivalry which is certainly not suitable in case of the living emperor at the head of the imperial college.59 56

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Ware 2014, 99 n.52: ‘Tutor to pupil and father to son are standard models in kingship literature’, a theme that belongs to the type of speculum principis; see the examples (Philip to Alexander of Macedon; Seneca to Nero; Claudian to Honorius). See also Yun and Livingstone 1998, 283, who stresses the similarities in responsibilities of teachers (didaskaloi) and rulers (archontes) in giving directions for good behaviour in Greek context (Xenopon’s Cyropaideia in particular). The father acts as the kurios of the oikos, while the son is supposed to act like his successor, in which particularly the virtue of moderation (sophrosunè) must be taught by an appropriate paideia (see also Strauss 1993, 32). Demetrius in his rhetorical treatise On Style 152–3 defines Paraprosdokian (‘counter to expectations’) as the surprise of the unexpected, from which the narration derives charis, charm. Constantius pater, qui terrarum triumphis altiori tibi cesserat. 14.6–7:  quamvis particeps caeli, ampliorem se fieri gratia tua sensit (‘although he [i.e. Constantius] shared in heaven, he felt that he became more distinguished thanks to

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How then is the education of the emperors’ sons described? The start of the first relevant section is telling, Pan Lat iv(10)3.4: ‘To wish to also describe the praises of the most noble Caesars’.60 The introduction containing quoque picks up the passage in which Constantine is praised in 3.1 (quis, inquam, aspirare laudes tuas audeat: ‘who would dare, I say, to breathe your praises’), again pointing out that the Caesars are secondary addressees. The natural abilities of the sons are said to surpass the hope for a great future, because their excellence is already proven by deeds.61 There is no promise, there is only proof of excellence. The elder of the two, Crispus, has already gained victories on the battlefield.62 The explanation for the two Caesars’ successful upbringing is then revealed: ‘Every outstanding nature is rapidly drawn to the resemblance of its equals’.63 The result of necessitudo naturae (‘kinship of nature’, 4.1), the indoles similis (‘equal character’, 4.2) and similitudo (‘likeness’, 3.6) will be the spes aequiparandi patris (‘the hope of being equal to the father’, 4.2―and not surpassing him!) and eventually the princeps’ simulacrum (‘resemblance’, 3.6). The likeness of an emperor’s son to the emperor himself is not like any other man’s, because the son of the emperor is in principle destined to rule. The main message is that when the son is good, this is an aspect of

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you). Cf. Pan. Lat. xii(9)24.4–25.1, where Constantine is said to have surpassed his now divine father:  sed etiam recentissima et pulcherrima divi patris tui facta superasti (‘you have surpassed … even the very recent and very glorious deeds of your divine father’, Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 330) and 25.1 iam pridem vocatus ad sidera adhuc crescit in filio (‘although summoned long since to the stars he grows still more in his son’). In vii(6)5.1, Constantine imitates his father’s iustitia, pietas and prudentia (ipso patre potiorem, ‘even better than his father’). Nobilissimorum quoque Caesarum laudes exsequi velle. For the titulature, cf. et [[Crispi]] et Constantini nobb. / Caess. from the inscription above, note 36. 4.1:  non erupturae virtutis tumens germen, non flos praecursor indolis bonae (‘not the swelling seed of valor about to burst forth which is evident, not the flower which as an early indicator of a beautiful nature’); iam facta grandifera et … maximorum quorumque fructuum matura perceptio (‘there are already productive deeds, and … a ripe gathering of all most excellent fruits’). In 4.2, the natural abilities are described as quae ingenerata sunt bona (‘their inherent good qualities’ translation Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 347, although ‘inborn’ makes the case even clearer, cf. Tacitus’ description of Drusus in Ann. 1.29.1 as nobilitate ingenita—‘with inborn nobility’). quorum alter iam obterendis hostibus gravis terrorem paternum (‘One of them is already impressive in crushing the enemy and has begun to divert to his own account his father’s capacity for inspiring the terror’). See above for comments on Crispus on the battlefield, note 4. rapitur quippe ad similitudinem suorum excellens quaeque natura.

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praise for the ruling emperor as well. This makes the emperor both imperator and father, a position that had already been explored extensively in Pliny’s Panegyricus (although in the more complicated context in which the successor is an adopted son). This dual role is also elaborated in Pan. Lat. vii(6)14.4 with regard to the deceased Constantius i:  ‘How much delight will you obtain, … when the same man, as father, father-in-law and emperor, has ushered into the possession of your empire this great son of yours …!’64 In order to be a good successor to the father, the son should resemble his father as much as possible, which means a promise for a bright future, even immortalitas, for the imperial house.65 This idea of being equal to the father and so securing the interests of the dynasty which we encounter in Constantius and Constantine’s case, is echoed in Constantine’s and Crispus situation in iv(10), except for the last element of par imperii potestate. The idea of Crispus being equal to his father is also expressed in Constantine’s biographer Eusebius of Caesarea, who wrote in the first edition of his Historia Ecclesiastica, 10.9.6: ‘The greatest victor Constantine with his godbeloved son Crispus, who is equal to his father in every respect’.66 The hope for eternity of the royal house clearly lied in the generating and rearing of sons. Conclusion In conclusion, there are hardly any individual traits of Crispus to be detected in the panegyrical discourse: there is a certain relationship to his father the emperor (in imitating but not surpassing his example), and the exemplary role he fulfils for his younger brother. Only very general descriptions allow us a glimpse of the person of the young prince. As far as any individual traits are concerned (such as his supposed fame on the battlefield), these hardly lead us to draw any conclusions about the historical person. This is no less the case for the panegyrical poems by Porphyrius Optatianus than the Panegyrical 64

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Quanto nunc gaudio poteris, … cum talem hunc filium [sc. Constantinum] tuum [sc. Constantii] … in imperii tui possessionem idem pater, idem socer, idem imperator [sc. Maximianus] induxerit! ibid. filius similis adspectu, similis animo, par imperii potestate (‘a son similar in appearance, similar in character, and equal in imperial power.’). µέγιστος νικητὴς Κωνσταντῖνος σὺν παιδὶ Κρίσπῳ, βασιλεῖ θεοφιλεστάτῳ καὶ τὰ πάντα τοῦ πατρὸς ὁµοίῳ, cf. he 10.9.4. In the revised edition of he, Eusebius removed his praise of Crispus, after he had fallen from grace and had been executed.

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speeches, Nazarius’ oration in particular, although in the epigrams Crispus is far more extolled vis-à-vis his father than in official panegyric—a practice that concurs with the relatively independent position in coinage, not least because of the special position of the mint in Trier. Reviewing Crispus’ image as it appears in Nazarius’ speech, the most important literary source for Crispus’ life along with the figural poems by Porphyrius Optatianus, we must conclude that during his life Crispus—in companion with his younger brother Constantine ii—is mainly praised as a counterpart of his father’s excellence. As regards religion, a same hybrid portrait of Crispus appears as is seen in Constantine’s portraiture during these years. This situation changed drastically after Crispus’ death, when he had suffered a damnatio memoriae (see the inscription treated above, cil vi 40776) and became an example of his father’s cruelty. The murder was even employed as an explanation for Constantine’s Christian conviction, with Christ acting as the forgiver of all sins, if the version as given by Zosimus may be believed.67 In all stages of Crispus’ life, he was invoked as a kind of pledge of the continuation of Constantine’s house (although his existence was denied in the wedding speech vii[6] and the cameo at the occasion of Constantius’ appointment to Caesar), and if Crispus risked acquiring some individual traits, the emperor was there to overshadow his son’s budding qualities.68 All this made Crispus’ life even more of a tragedy than it already was: the presentation of the imperial son was hardly more glorious than his posthumous image, with notable exceptions in the poetry of Porphyrius Optatianus, and the coinage that Crispus was able to mint to his own glory. For the rest, he remains a paper hero, without much glory on his own account.

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See Frakes 2006, 94–5 for the different motivations as presented in the posthumous sources. Other inventories of sources about Crispus’ death:  Wienand 2012, 336 n.218 and 341 n.218; Ramskold 2013, 428. The latter dates the death of Crispus to July 317, following the appearance of a coin issued in Rome during the visit of Constantine and his sons at the occasion of his celebration of the vicennalia, and not, as is generally supposed, on the way to Rome in Northern Italy in April or May 326 (Barnes 2011, 147). If this date is correct, the dating as given by Zosimus would be possible (as explained, and rejected, by Paschoud 2000, 235–6). The cameo referred at is the one in the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, about which the debate is still going on, recently revived by Halbertsma 2015 (who identifies the young man depicted on the chariot as Crispus), to whom Stephenson 2015 reacted (reviving Bruns’ theory from 1948 that the boy is Constantius, Constantine’s third son, on the occasion of his being appointed Caesar in 324).

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Bibliography Bagnall, R., A.D.E. Cameron, S.R. Schwartz and K.A. Worp 1987. Consuls of the Later Roman Empire. Atlanta. Barnes, T.D. 1973. ‘Lactantius and Constantine’, JRS 63: 29–46. Barnes, T.D. 1982. The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine, Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 2011. Constantine. Dynasty, Religion and Power in the Later Roman Empire. Oxford. Barnes, T.D. 2015. ‘Constantine and the Imperial Succession’, in J. Vilella Masana (ed.), Constantino, el primer emperador cristiano? Religión y política en el siglo IV. Barcelona. 349–358. Börm, H. 2015. ‘Born to Be Emperor:  The Principle of Succession and the Roman Monarchy’, J. Wienand (ed.), Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. 239–264. Burgersdijk, D.W.P. 2016. ‘Qui vitas aliorum scribere orditur. Narratological Implications of Fictional Authors in the Historia Augusta’, in K. Demoen and K. De Temmerman (eds.) Writing Biography in Greece and Rome: Narrative Technique and Fictionalization. Cambridge. 240–58. Creed, J.L. 1984. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum. Oxford. Den Hengst, D. 2010. Emperors and Historiography. Collected Essays on the Literature of the Roman Empire by Daniël den Hengst (eds. D.W.P. Burgersdijk and J.A. van Waarden). Leiden. Domingo Gygax, M. 2016 Benefaction and Rewards in the Ancient Greek City: the Origins of Euergetism. Cambridge. Ehling, K. and G. Weber 2011 (ed.). Konstantin der Grosse. Zwischen Sol und Christus. Darmstadt. Frakes, R.M. 2006. ‘The Dynasty of Constantine down to 363’, in N. Lenski (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine. Cambridge. 91–107. Gregori, G.L. 2013. ‘Constantine in the Epigraphy of Rome’, in M. Barbera (ed.), Costantino 313 dC. Milan. 136–137. Guthrie, P. 1966. ‘The Execution of Crispus’, Phoenix 20: 325–331. Halbertsma, R.B. 2015. ‘Nulli laeti tam triumphi— Constantine’s Victory on a Reworked Cameo in Leiden’, BABESCH 90: 221–235. Hemelrijk, E. A. 2015. Hidden Lives, Public Personae: Women and Civic Life in the Roman West. Oxford. Hostein, A. 2012. La cité et l’Empereur. Les Éduens dans l’Empire romain d’après les Panégyriques latins (Histoire Ancienne et Médiévale 117). Paris. Jones, A.H.M. 1948. Constantine and the Conversion of Europe. London. Jones, A.H.M., J.R. Martindale and J. Morris 1971. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire Vol. I. Cambridge.

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Kienast, W. 1995. Römische Kaisertabelle: Grundzüge einer römischen Kaiserchronologie. Darmstadt. ——— 20115. Römische Kaisertabelle. Darmstadt. Kolb, F. 1997. ‘Politische Terminologie und historisches Milieu:  Kinderkaiser und parens principis in der Historia Augusta’, G. Bonamente and K. Rosen (eds.), Historia Augusta Colloquium Bonnense 1994. Bari. 153–160. Laudani, C. 2014. Nazario. Panegirico in onore di Costantino. Bari. Lenski, N. 2006. ‘The Reign of Constantine’, N. Lenski (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine. Cambridge. 59–90. Lindsay, H. 2010. Adoption in the Roman World. Cambridge. Lippold, A. 1975. ‘Crispus’, Der kleine Pauly V. Munich. Mynors, R.A.B. 1964. XII Panegyrici Latini. Oxford. Nixon, C.E.V. and B.S. Rodgers 1994. In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: The Panegyrici Latini. Introduction, Translation and Historical Commentary. Berkeley, ca. Omissi, A. 2016. ‘Damnatio memoriae or creatio memoriae? Memory sanctions as creative process in the Fourth Century AD’, The Cambridge Classical Journal 62: 170–199. DePalma Digeser, E. 2000. The Making of a Christian Empire. Lactantius and Rome. Ithaca/London. Paschoud, F. 2003 (ed.). Zosime. Histoire Nouvelle, Livres I et II. Paris. Pohlsander, H.A. 1984. ‘Crispus: Brilliant Career and Tragic End’, Historia 33, 79–106. Polara, I. 1973 I (ed.). Publilii Optatiani Porfyrii, carmina I: Textus. Turin. ——— 1973 II (ed.). Publilii Optatiani Porfyrii, carmina II: Commentarium criticum et exegeticum. Turin. Ramskold, L. 2013. ‘Constantine’s Vicennalia and the Death of Crispus’, Niš & Byzantium XI: 409–456. Rees, R.D. 2002. Layers of Loyalty in Latin Panegyric AD 289–307. Oxford. ——— 2004. ‘Praising in Prose; Vergil in the Panegyrics’, in R.D. Rees (ed.) Romane memento; Vergil in the Fourth Century. London, 33–46. ——— 2012 (ed.). Latin Panegyric. Oxford. Russell, D.A. and N.G. Wilson 1981. Menander Rhetor. Oxford. Squire, M. 2017. ‘POP-Art. The Optical Poetics of Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius’, in J. Elsner and J. Hernández Lobato (eds.) The Poetics of Late Latin Literature. Oxford, 25–99. Squire, M. and J. Wienand 2017. Morphogrammata / The Lettered Art of Optatian. Figuring Cultural Transformations in the Age of Const. Paderborn. Stephenson, P. 2009. Constantine. Unconquered Emperor, Christian Victor. London. ——— 2015. ‘A Note on the Constantinian Cameo, now in Leiden’, BABESCH 90: 237–240.

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Strauss, B.S. 1993. Fathers and Sons in Athens: Ideology and Society in the Era of the Peloponnesian War. London. Ware, C. 2014. ‘The Severitas of Constantine: Imperial Virtues in Pan.Lat. 7(6) and 6(7),’ Journal of Late Antiquity 7: 86–109. Wienand, J. 2012. Der Kaiser als Sieger. Metamorphosen triumphaler Herrschaft unter Constantin I. Berlin. Wienand, J. 2012a. ‘The Making of an Imperial Dynasty. Optatian’s carmina figurata and the Development of the Constantinian domus divina (317–326 AD)’, Giornale Italiano di Filologia: 225–265. Wienand, J. 2015 (ed.). Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. Oxford. Yun L. T. and N. Livingstone 1998 (ed.). Pedagogy and Power. Rhetorics of Classical Learning. Cambridge. Zöllner, E. 1970. Geschichte der Franken. Munich.

Chapter 7

Uncovering Constans’ Image George Woudhuysen In an academic paper, as in a panegyric, it is customary to begin with an apology for the difficulty of the topic and the writer’s inadequacy in its face: the mass of material baffles exposition, the author’s talent is thin, and (worse yet) people always make these excuses.1 So it might seem simply pro forma to say that trying to examine Constans in the light of his image, indeed in any light at all, is a daunting task: that does not make it any less true. Some emperors have many extant speeches in their praise or blame, some none, but Constantine’s youngest son—an Augustus for over a decade (337–350)—is unique in that half a panegyric about him survives, from the wrong half of the Empire: the 59th oration of Libanius, expertly explicated elsewhere in this volume by Alan Ross.2 The thought that our image of Constans hangs by the slender thread of what the Antiochene sophist believed was relevant in the middle of the 340s is of little comfort: Nicomedia was a very long way from the emperor’s stamping grounds on the Rhine and Danube and Libanius never evinced any other interest in him.3 This lack of materials for history is why Constans normally has only three fleeting roles in the history of the fourth century: as victor in a brutal civil war with his elder brother Constantine ii in 340, as the man who supplied a definitive riposte when Constantius ii asked Athanasius ‘you and whose army?’ one time too many, and as a failure who died hunted and alone, in flight from the forces of the usurper Magnentius.4 The history of his reign has to be pieced together from inscriptions, laws, and compressed and often

1 cf. Libanius Or. 59.5. 2 Chapter 8. cf. Ross 2016. 3 The date of Or. 59 is uncertain: Portmann 1989, argued for 344, but Malosse 2001 argued for 348 (repeated in Malosse 2003, 7–11). The precise date is not a matter of absolute importance for this piece. For Constans’ movements see Barnes 1993, 224–5. Libanius’ other mention of Constans is at Or. 14.10 (not complimentary). 4 For the civil war see Bleckmann 2003. On Constans’ role in the ecclesiastical politics of the 340s, Barnes 1993, 47–108, in particular 89 for the authenticity of Constans’ letter threatening war after the council of Serdica (that some such threat was made is strongly suggested by Lucifer of Cagliari, De sancto Athanasio i.29).

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_009

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considerably later narratives. What follows is, therefore, necessarily a little experimental.5 A second caveat:  Constans was probably only 14 when his father died in 337.6 He was a child emperor who grew up and he did at least some of that growing up as ruler of two-thirds of the Roman world, sitting astride a complex machine of government and ‘leading’ its massive armies. If it is exaggerated to call to mind Jean-Paul Laurens’ famous portrait of Honorius enthroned, feet pathetically unable to touch the floor, then the problem of agency still looms large when we think about Constans. It is obvious that for much of his early reign he was guided, or even directed, by some of the men his father had placed around him—experienced administrators like Fabius Titianus, many of them from Italy and powerful aristocrats in the sub-empire Constans was to rule.7 Despite this, reference is here made to Constans and his regime—the wider apparatus about him—interchangeably. This is because our evidence is simply not thickly-textured enough to be more subtle. It is a troublesome enough business to try to assemble the skeleton prosopography of his government, let alone to work out which factions swirled at any one time, who was really the power behind the throne, or when and why Constans changed his mind. It would be entertaining to speculate, but speculation is all it would be. That failure of Constans mentioned above has cast a long shadow over his reign. He was the only emperor of the neo-Flavian dynasty to die at the hands of his subjects (they generally preferred to keep murder a family affair) and the temptation to interpret everything about him through the lens of 350 is strong. It reaches its fullest expression in some of John Drinkwater’s articles, which may be summarised with only a little unfairness as stating that Constans was a failure because he was overthrown and was overthrown because he was a failure. We learn that Constans was ‘wholly discredited’, that the extent of his popularity led him to be branded a tyrant, that he was so weak he could have been destroyed at any time, that he was a political bankrupt, that he was extremely unpopular and even ‘probably deserved to be overthrown’.8 Others have hardly been kinder about his ‘ruthless and tyrannical manner’, and the fact he was ‘not a popular and widely respected ruler’.9 This impression of general ineptitude and unpleasantness has its roots in the poor reputation which Constans 5 For the basic outline of his reign, see now Maraval 2013, 39–62; Harries 2012, 189–96 is a rich and perceptive survey (one wishes it were longer). 6 Barnes 1982, 45 for the calculation. 7 ‘Fabius Titianus 6’, PLRE I, 918–9. 8 Drinkwater 2000, 131–6. 9 Šašel 1971, 205; Barnes 1993, 101. Harries 2012, 196 is more restrained.

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seems, like most emperors who were overthrown, to have rapidly acquired. His elevation as Caesar in 333 was, we are told, marked by prodigies which forecast turmoil in the state: the face of heaven was on fire.10 He was alleged to have been gay, to have shown undue favour to barbarians, to have loved drinking and carousing, and to have been ‘quite mad when it came to the chase’.11 He wasted time dashing through the woods with suspiciously good-looking barbarian boys: hostages acquired for a pretty price, the ‘live coals of licentiousness’ in Zonaras’ wonderfully vivid phrase.12 His ministers were hateful and oppressive, appointed after bribery, for the emperor was greedy. He himself could hardly be suffered by the provincials or the soldiers. He put the state at risk by his carousing, drunkenness, and unnatural love affairs.13 So debauched was he that, while still in his 20s, he had somehow managed to become afflicted by gout: ‘he had grown sick from an excess of pleasures because he lived licentiously’.14 Wafting over these accusations is a sense that he was irresponsible: the contrast with his grim and imperturbable brother in the East (an image hinted at already by Libanius in the 340s) is sharp.15 The final, devastating, charge was that his youth was to blame: ‘he was insufficiently cautious and violent in spirit because of his youth’.16 There was grudging acknowledgement of his military success, though the flavour of triumph is dulled by his softness on barbarians at home, but Constans, on many accounts, had behaved very badly indeed.17 Ammianus sniffily remarked that he knew a man who could have saved the emperor from himself: no doubt there were many keen after the fact to point out where he had gone wrong.18 This tradition of Constans as vice-filled princeps—a too-much, too-young story for Late Antiquity—runs through many of the sources for the fourth 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18

Aur. Vict. Caes. 41.14. Zonaras 13.6: ἐµεµήνει περὶ τὰ κυνηγέσια. Zonaras 13.6: ἀκολασίας ἐµπύρευµα. A composite picture from Aur. Vict. Caes. 41.23–4; Epitome 41.24; Eutropius x.9.3; Philostorgius iii.22-26a; Zonaras 13.5–6; John of Antioch, f. 197 (Mariev). Zonaras 13.6:  ἐξ ἡδονῶν ἀµετρίας ἐνόσησεν ἀκολάστως βιούς; Epitome 41.24 mentions that he was crippled by pain in his joints, Eutropius, x.9.3 his poor health. Zonaras calls the disease ἀρθρῖτις, and it has been a natural enough assumption to make him say that Constans had arthritis, e.g. Harries 2014, 205. The word actually suggests gout (as do the symptoms). Libanius, Or. 59.122. Aur. Vict. Caes. 41.23: per aetatem cautus parum, atque animi vehemens. Aur. Vict. Caes. 41.23 for the suppression of foreign peoples, with which Epitome 41.23 agrees. Amm. Marc. 16.7.5.

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century all the way to Zonaras.19 The tale is surprisingly uniform: the same vices, often in the same order, a parade of the expected debaucheries of the tyrant. This uniformity, indeed the very conventional nature of the outrages attributed to Constans, should make us suspicious. The picture was already present in outline by the time Aurelius Victor was composing his history around 360. He has the main lines of the indictment before him: Constans was proud, rash, had vicious ministers, maltreated the soldiers, was suspected of unnatural passions, and showed too much favour to those barbarian hostages.20 Victor, with rather more subtlety than he is generally believed to have possessed, turns Constans’ proclivities to good rhetorical effect. Having set them out, he jolts the reader awake: ‘would all the same that such vices had persisted!’ a sentiment calculated to shock.21 He explains that the reign of Magnentius, a barbarian after all, was so bad that men longed for the preceding one, despite its problems. By the mid-350s at the latest then, the story of Constans as bad-boy emperor had begun to solidify, so much so that an author could begin to play with it to make a startling, ethically troubling point about recent history. In contrast, Constans acquired in a few later texts a parallel reputation as stout defender of Nicene orthodoxy, a reputation canonised in the Greek ecclesiastical historians and their Latin translation:  Constans defeating the Franks, Constans sticking up for Athanasius, Constans defending his pious inheritance.22 He was the kind of man on whom medieval churchmen (unaware of his other activities) lavished stolid praise. So, for instance, Heriger of Lobbes explained that though the destruction caused by the Huns had made it impossible to investigate the early history of the bishopric of Tongres/Liège, he was certain that the wealth of all churches had overflowed in the era of Constans.23 This alternative view of the emperor cannot have encouraged the invention of further misdeeds: it was embarrassing enough for Athanasius’ great defender to have done some of the things of which he was accused without other ones being put into the mix. That Constans already had his bad reputation so soon after the civil war which followed his murder and that many thereafter had compelling reasons to want him to be an upstanding, even a virtuous figure suggests two things: that 19 20 21 22

23

Zonaras 13.5–9. Aur. Vict. Caes., 41.23–4. Aur. Vict. Caes., 41.24–5: Quae tamen vitia utinam mansissent. e.g. Socrates, 2.13.4 (defeating Franks), 2.23.1-7 and Theodoret, 2.8.54 (sticking up for Athanasius), Historia ecclesiastica Tripertita iv made much of this available for a Latin audience. Heriger, Gesta pontificum Tungrensium sive Leodicensium 15 (linked, it must be admitted, with Constantine and Constantius ii).

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surprisingly uniform account of his misdeeds has a common early origin and most of what is found in it (regardless of the date of the individual work) is a reasonably reliable witness to what was believed about the emperor soon after his death. Leaving, with regret, these salacious tales to one side for a moment, it might be better to try to work out how Constans was presented, perhaps presented himself, before a large number of people had a compelling need to blacken his name. We might be surprised by what we find if we try to read the reign of Constans from its start, without the presumption that his overthrow was a grim certainty, and then return to the question of those scandalous stories: to unearth an emperor, so to speak, from the accretions of later hostile tradition and then bury him under it again. To hear Constans speak, however faintly, with his own voice one has to turn first to the laws or, to speak strictly, the extracts of the laws issued in his name, preserved in the Theodosian Code.24 There are many and well-known hazards in trying to write history out of the Codes.25 What we have are not the bits of laws that would be most interesting to us, but those which contained some legal point which the fifth-century compilers were keen to preserve: not for them the portentous prologues, which (incidentally) tended to explain the reason for the law’s issue, nor all of material which told one who had issued the law and to whom. The laws of Constans—it is often far from easy to tell which those are—have been severely pruned.26 While their clipped tone is a refreshing contrast to the suffocating bombast of Constantine’s later legislation, we can see from some of the longer extracts that his son was not averse to a little bureaucratese, only a portion of which has survived: his longest law (C.Th. ix.17.2, 349) occupies 26 lines in Mommsen and Meyer’s edition of the Codex Theodosianus, but most are considerably shorter.27 More hazardous still, the Codes often just reflect the routine hum of administration, the workings of a bureaucracy which had its own time and its own internal logic: nothing to do with whoever might be in charge. It has always been worryingly easy to see government being carried on as normal in the Code and thus conclude that such and such an emperor, condemned by our other sources, was a good administrator and cannot have been so bad really. That is often rather optimistic. The very first laws issued by Constans’ government (c. 337–340) are a perfect example of these hazards. Most of them relate to the problems of the curial 24 25 26 27

On the process of editing, see Matthews 2000, 200–54. Corcoran 2000, 11–19 is succinct summary. In general, I follow Seeck 1919, 185–197 in identifying laws as issued by western emperors for 337–350; Cuneo, 1997 is a treasure-trove of information on the laws from 337–361. Mommsen and Meyer 1905, i.2 464.

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class in North Africa or are attempts to crack down on anonymous denunciations.28 We see the emperor pressing men into the councils and assuring them that all sorts of people who are evading their obligations on various pretexts will receive short-shrift from him: that they pretend to hold the ‘shadow and titles of dignities’ will not help them now.29 Equally, the emperor’s commitment to ‘strengthening innocence with security and restraining the shamelessness of certain men’ by protecting people from anonymous denunciations is emphasised.30 It is tempting to detect deliberate policy at work here, to see Constans trying to buy off key interest-groups early in his reign. The citycouncillors, ‘the sinews of the state’ as Majorian put it, were assured that the emperor had their interests close to his heart, while men of property, nervous in the period of turmoil which followed Constantine’s death, were reassured that he was not about to do anything rash (perhaps an implied contrast with the orgy of violence over which Constantius ii had presided in the East).31 That temptation to see these measures as carefully planned is strengthened by the fact that almost the only extant legislation of his brother Constantine ii is interested in the problems of the curial class, at exactly the same time and in exactly the same region, a region which we know was disputed between them only three years later.32 Tempting indeed, but real? We cannot, if we are honest, divine whether this is a true insight into one of the darkest portions of the fourth century, or simply a reflection of the well-ordered files of the two bureaucrats, Celsinus the proconsul and Catullinus the vicarius, to whom most of the laws are addressed. That the text of one hints that Celsinus was the man pushing for new legislation perhaps suggests that the initiative came from the locality, not the distant courts. Certainty, however, is impossible: we cannot tell whether this is the texture of the archives or of history.33

28 29 30 31 32

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Denunciations: C.Th. ix.34.5, x.10.4. Councils: C.Th. xv.1.5= c.j. x.48.7, xii.1.26, vi.22.2, xii.1.29. C.Th. vi.22.2: umbram et nomina adfectaverint dignitatum. C.Th. x.10.4: Innocentiam securitate firmantes et quorundam audaciam prohibentes. Majorian, Novels vii, praefatio: curiales nervos esse rei publicae. On events in the East see Burgess, 2008. C.Th. xii.1.27, issued at Trier; Zosimus 2.41.1 says Constantine ii and Constans fell out in a dispute over ‘Carthaginian Libya and Italy’ (τῆς ὑπὸ Καρχηδόνα Λιβύης καὶ Ἰταλίας γενοµένης ἀµφισβητήσεως), though the rest of his account does not encourage much confidence. This accepts the view of the sources of the Codex Theodosianus laid out in Matthews 2000, 280–93; he in fact considers some of the same laws, 245–7.

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But one has to persevere with the laws—there is not much of an alternative. What do they tell us about Constans and how he wished to be seen? First, running like a thread through all his legislation right up to mere months before he died, is a constant emphasis on dynasty and on Constantine in particular, reference to him like a ritual incantation: ‘our illustrious father’, ‘our venerable father’, ‘our deified begetter’, ‘the deified emperor our father’.34 The number of mentions of the former emperor in so small and summarised a corpus of texts is striking. Constans cannot but relate his actions to those of his father, even when he is modifying some of his hastier legislative measures. Constantine had specified punishments for abduction so vicious that it seems judges were unwilling to convict. We might expect Constans to avoid an admission that he was altering his father’s measures, but here still he related his own act to ‘the authority of an earlier law, by which our illustrious father ordered that there be the most savage punishments for abductors’, so important was the dynastic link.35 Constantine’s reign served as a fixed point of reference, through the lens of which any new measure could be seen and with which the actions of his son could be associated. The device is more subtle and effective than one might expect and it leads one to unthinkingly associate the actions of the son with those of the father, to see the reigns as a continuum and thus implicitly to see Constans’ regime as a legitimate continuation of what had gone before. It is worth pausing on the fact that most scholarly attention to Constans’ laws has focussed on what one of them, on pagan sacrifice, might tell us about his father—exactly the easy equivalence between before and after 337 for which the new emperor hoped.36 We are left in little doubt by all this that Constans is continuing his father’s work and thus suffused with the reflected glory of a family which had been on the imperial throne for over four decades—even longer if its spin doctors were to be believed. Lest the warm glow of familial piety grow a little too hot, we should note that one of the key points of the laws is that just as Constantine and Constans were family, he and Constantine ii were not. It is with some surprise that one realises that the ‘enemy of the public and ourselves’, the man whose immunities Constans is cancelling, is his elder brother, brutally killed in a scrappy engagement near

34 35 36

C.Th. ix.34.5 (inclytus pater noster), x.10.6 (divo genitore nostro), viii.12.6 (venerabili parente nostro), xvi.10.2 (divi principis parentis nostri). C.Th. ix.24.2: legis prioris extet auctoritas, qua inclytus pater noster contra raptores atrocissime iusserat vindicari. C.Th. xvi.10.2 has been central to debates about Constantine’s legislation against sacrifice since Barnes 1981, 210 n. 15; see also Bradbury 1994, esp. 126–7, Barnes 2011, 130.

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Aquileia.37 Constans evidently preferred to act as though he had never existed, or at least as though they were not brothers. This rhetoric of family is interesting because it could be invoked whatever the issue at hand actually was and so it gets us round a few of the problems with the Codes mentioned above. It must frequently have been hard to shoe-horn the main talking point of the regime into a tedious decision about precisely what the time limit for an appeal from the guardian of a minor in a case of intestate succession across provincial boundaries was when it had been improperly impetrated, and other such fascinating issues which coagulate in the legal material. If, however, the regime’s agenda was simply to point out that the emperor was the pious son of a great imperial father, then that could be mentioned pretty much regardless of the topic. This was exactly what Constans did, his father appearing in laws on anonymous denunciations, gifts from the res privata, the validity of donations lacking the donor’s signatures, and sacrifice, the sublime and the mundane equally arrayed.38 This blood relation was not lost on Lucius Crepereius Madalianus, a successful servant of the dynasty, ‘powerful by the exercise of faith and goodness’, who rose through the ranks of imperial administration to finish his career as proconsul of Africa and comes of the first rank.39 At Rome, he set up a dedication to advertise his loyalty to the Flavian family and his recent appointment as prefect of the grain supply. There, he too made the link between father and son: ‘to the deified and venerable Constantine, father of the greatest princes’.40 Father, son, and servant meet again in the most, the only, famous law which Constans issued (and Madalianus received), probably towards the end of 341. This thundered: ‘Let superstition cease, let the madness of sacrifices be abolished. For whoever has dared to celebrate sacrifices contrary to the law of the divine prince, our father, and this the order of our clemency, let the fitting vengeance and present sentence be stretched forth against him’.41 This is normally cited for what it can tell us about Constantine and in an incisive recent piece 37 38 39 40 41

C.Th. xi.12.1:  publicus ac noster inimicus; Epitome, 41.21, Eutropius x.9.2 provide the location, Zonaras 13.5 the most detail. See above, n. 37. ‘Lucius Crepereius Madalianus’, PLRE I, 530. cil vi, 31248 = EDR121708 (with photograph). C.Th. xvi.10.2: Cesset superstitio, sacrificiorum aboleatur insania. Nam quicumque contra legem divi principis parentis nostri et hanc nostrae mansuetudinis iussionem ausus fuerit sacrificia celebrare, competens in eum vindicta et praesens sententia exeratur. The year date is secure, but there is no transmitted day or month.

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Alexander Skinner suggests that it might be more relevant to the East in the early 340s than the West.42 Despite this and despite the law’s vagueness in its current form, it does have something interesting to tell us about the western Empire of the 340s. This is Constans as the pious Christian, a stern overseer for any of his subjects who might be inclined to indulge in some of the traditional practices of Roman religion: tough on paganism, tough on the causes of paganism. Perhaps too tough, for only a little later he hastened to legislate in defence of the actual temple buildings: ‘Although’ (that infallible sign in the Codes of the emperor screeching into reverse gear) ‘all superstition ought to be utterly destroyed’, the physical structures of paganism were not simply to be torn down as they were the scene of games, circuses, or contests.43 Towards the end of his reign, Constans’ longest extant law suggests that people had generously interpreted his earlier measure as giving them licence to pull down tombs on their land if they looked a little bit heathen: they were to be punished and the buildings repaired.44 That some eight years after he had railed against superstition and sacrifices, the same emperor was making provision for the urban prefect at Rome to tramp round inspecting monuments with the pontifices is an index of quite how messy the end of paganism was in practice. Still, this portrait of a pious and anti-pagan emperor neatly matches the man whom Athanasius met on those occasions when he absolutely, definitely did not say anything rude about the emperor Constantius at all.45 Often lost in the study of these episodes, concealed by the furious energy of the bishop of Alexandria’s self-defence, is what they tell us about Constans. He was baptised and filled the churches with generous offerings (the sight of which, the bishop added, did not deter Magnentius from murdering him).46 He engaged in pious study, writing to Athanasius to request copies of the Scriptures from him, perhaps in imitation of his father’s similar request to Eusebius of Caesarea.47 He was also observant: Athanasius once met him at an Easter service and Zonaras 42

43 44 45 46 47

Skinner 2015, 247. He slips in suggesting (247 n. 1) that the consuls for the year received it: Accepta Marcellino et Probino conss. is just a standard dated receipt clause, and does not suggest Marcellinus and Probinus received it. Since they were both westerners, even if they had received it, that would still not strengthen the case for eastern application. On generalitas, see Matthews 2000, 284 for a note of caution. C.Th. xvi.10.3: Quamquam omnis superstitio penitus eruenda sit. Seeck 1919, 49 was right to emend the date to 342. C.Th. ix.17.2. Refuting this charge is one of the central concerns of Athanasius, Apologia ad Constantium, programmatically 2.1, further 3.3. Athanasius Apol. ad Const., 7.2-3. Athanasius Apol. ad Const., 4.2; Eusebius, vc 4.36.

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suggests that at the end of his life he fled to a church, from which he had to be dragged to be murdered.48 His reign witnessed a surge in the number of Christians and the construction of huge new churches for them:  the massive, uniform basilica at Aquileia, built over the earlier, smaller patchwork church embodying the transformations of Constantinian Christianity.49 Both there and in Trier, Athanasius was present at festal services in half-finished churches, rapidly put up to accommodate the swelling mass of the faithful.50 It is significant in this regard that at Tours, perhaps the western city after Rome about whose late antique Christian history we are best informed, the reign of Constans was remembered as the historical foundation of the religion in that city.51 His was the era from which the succession of bishops could be known with some certainty, the period when the first basilica had been erected. This was the emperor on whom those pious medieval scholars mentioned above were so keen—a most Christian prince indeed—and other of his measures burnish the image. In a law of 342, Constans railed against homosexuals, demanding that ‘the laws rise up’ and justice ‘be armed with an avenging sword’, ‘so that those disreputable men may be subjected to special punishments’.52 Only a year later he hastened to assure clerics of their privileges and exemptions from the burdens of the state, a reaffirmation of an earlier measure.53 If we had more of his legislation, and at greater length too, we would surely find that just as one pillar of his rule was descent from a great father (and no mention of Constantine ii), so another was a moralistic and Christian legislative programme. That this won him many friends in the Church is suggested by the wistful way Hosius of Córdoba tried to use the example of Constans to encourage Constantius ii to take a more relaxed attitude to recalcitrant religious opponents:  he had never banished a bishop, or presided over ecclesiastical matters, or sent agents to make people subscribe to condemnations.54 He was, 48 49 50 51 52

53 54

Athanasius Apol. ad Const., 15.4; Zonaras 13.6. On Constans’ churchgoing in general, see McLynn 2004, 243–6 for illumination. McLynn 2004, 243. Athanasius Apol. ad Const., xv.4. Gregory of Tours, Decem libri historiarum x.31 (ii). On all aspects of late antique development, see the exhaustive work of Pietri 1983. C.Th. ix.7.3:  iubemus insurgere leges, armari iura gladio ultore, ut exquisitis poenis subdantur infames. The text of the start of the law has serious problems, and Mommsen and Meyer 1905, 447, by melding the version in the c.j. with that of the only manuscript witness to the C.Th., have further occluded matters. C.Th. xvi.2.8, the original probably mentioned Constantine as the originator of that former law. Athanasius Historia Arianorum 44.6.

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Hosius suggests, a more Christian emperor than his brother and more willing to listen to what his bishops had to say to him. Those prelates certainly liked him: the synod of Serdica expressed frustration at the way that some bishops were forever on their way to the comitatus, desperate for worldly dignities, and stipulated that only those summoned by the emperor should turn up.55 This legislative programme, which found so many ready supporters in pulpits across the Empire, was precisely what was urged on the emperor Constans, in the same overheated language of the laws, by a most curious text: the ‘On the error of the pagan religions’ or the De errore profanarum religionum of Iulius Firmicus Maternus. The sole manuscript of this is extremely poorly preserved, missing several folios at the start, and stained and damaged throughout.56 This treatise, which is formally directed to both Constans and Constantius, is part rabid denunciation of paganism, part learned disquisition on it, mixed with some fawning addresses to the emperors. It is vexing in more ways than one, but it could be extremely significant for the history of Constans. We are not oversupplied with texts from the 340s and few of those we do have are in Latin and speak to imperial politics directly. The question is what is the De errore and how does it relate to the emperor? Firmicus, who was born in Sicily, began his career as an advocate. Worn out by the constant struggles of this line of work, for which his probity (he assures us) ill-suited him, he abandoned the law and tried astrology instead.57 After discussions with Lollianus Mavortius, then consularis of Campania, he rashly promised a treatise on the subject.58 The result was the Mathesis, a massive eight-book synthesis of astrological learning.59 The contrast between this work and his attack on paganism is so apparently striking that it is normally assumed he converted in between writing them. The conventional story runs something like this: Firmicus was a pagan intellectual and astrologer active in the 330s. At some point, conscious of the secular advantages of the new religion, he made the switch to Christianity: ‘fear and opportunism made as many conversions as faith, as in every revolution’ is one editor’s comment.60 It has even been suggested that the senatorial dignity given to him in the manuscripts was the reward of a seasonable conversion.61 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

Council of Serdica, Canon viii. Turcan 1982, 63–6. Firmicus Mathesis 1.pr.4 for Sicilian origin, 4.pr.1–3 for his career in the law. Firmicus Mathesis 1.pr.1–6. A great deal has been written about Firmicus’ astrological work, but Dickie 2012 is an excellent place to start. Turcan 1982, 23: ‘La peur et l’opportunisme ont fait alors autant de conversions que la foi, comme dans toute révolution’. Monat 1992, 8.

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He became a fanatical opponent of his old faith, perhaps for psychological reasons: ‘He had the typical intolerance of a convert, who is reborn and finds in his own past very little that is positive’, as L.W. Barnard puts it, and his call for statesponsored forced conversion has been seen as a precursor of terrible developments for humanity.62 Either it was a combination of opportunistic conversion and fanatical rejection of his past, or else one might see in his later work a pledge of the sincerity of his new religion: converts have to be extremists to be believed, they are terrorists because they have been terrorised (so Turcan).63 The De errore then becomes a screed directed haphazardly to the emperor: its real targets lie elsewhere. It is a pamphlet or a tract, attacking the flagrant absurdities of paganism, praising tough measures taken against it, and urging still more grisly ones. Firmicus emerges as a ranting saloon-bar boor, normally, albeit often only implicitly, thought to be currying favour with a regime from which he was distant. He expresses the frustrations which Christians felt at the slow pace of the death of paganism, even as he ill-understands the delicate balancing act in which the emperors were engaged.64 They can hardly have welcomed his peremptory tone and the impossible course of action he urged on them.65 The De errore, in other words, tells us a good deal about Firmicus and not very much about Constans. As one might detect from this summary, there are reasons to be sceptical of this line of interpretation, attributing to Firmicus as it does all the vices of fanaticism and sincerity and mixing in some dubious psychological reasoning. For a start, we might question the rather Manichaean view of religious belief which accounts of his conversion often imply:  a world where pagans are pagans, Christians are Christians, and never the twain shall meet except for the purpose of religious strife. There were plenty of people in the middle. As Mark Edwards has recently suggested, we may be better off seeing Firmicus as a Janus-faced figure, a man who did not believe ‘that the paths which others shunned were forbidden to him’.66 The mere fact of astrological interest is often treated as proof-positive of Firmicus’ paganism, as though it was roughly on a level with a firm commitment to blood-sacrifice, but it is worth remembering that there was nothing inherently ‘pagan’ about star-gazing with intent. It is the Book of Genesis, after all, wherein the Almighty decrees ‘Let there 62 63 64 65 66

Barnard 1993, 98–9. Turcan 1982, 24. For the argument that, like Arnobius, Firmicus wished people to take his change of heart seriously see Drake 1998, Caseau 2007. Watts 2015, 87. Barnard 1993, 99. Edwards 2015, 73.

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be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs …’ (1.14).67 Origen seems to have known plenty of Christians with astrological inclinations and he was even prepared to concede that although the stars did not cause events, they did indicate that they would happen.68 On the other side, the Romans had long had a complex, one might even say abusive, relationship with astrology, one neatly summed up by the way that the emperor Augustus both banned it and issued an edict explaining the arrangement of the stars at the time of his birth.69 Diocletian, no Christian he, had also proscribed the ‘damnable art of astrology’.70 Tacitus, as ever, got to the heart of the matter when he said that astrologers were ‘a class of men who are treacherous to those in power and deceitful to those who hope: they will always be forbidden in our city and retained’.71 This ancestral suspicion and fascination was the reason why Firmicus was so keen to emphasise that the astrologer must be a respectable and upstanding citizen, a man who refused absolutely to enquire into the future of the emperor or the state.72 We might, then, be better off seeing Firmicus’ interests as esoteric and scholarly rather than primarily religious. In writing the Mathesis, he had embarked on a massive work of synthesis, one which required both technical expertise in astrology and encyclopaedic knowledge of the Greek literature on it.73 This should at least give us pause before riding any individual ‘pagan’ reference in the work too hard: we cannot be certain whether it gives us an insight into what Firmicus thought, or is a calque from some much older text. In its discursive sections, more securely his own work, Firmicus adheres to a vague monotheism, one which suggests that his conversion, if such it was, was more a gentle stroll than a precipitous leap.74 A crucial point is that Lollianus Mavortius, for whom the work was written, was a pagan, a public augur.75 At the time of writing Firmicus’ career as an advocate was (more or less by his own admission) not going well and the thickly-lathered flattery he applied to

67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75

σηµεῖα in the Septuagint, proper to astrological signs. Heine 2010, 110–112 is a convenient summary. Cassius Dio, 56.25.5. c.j. ix.18.2: Ars autem mathematica damnabilis interdicta est. Tacitus, Hist. 1.22:  mathematici genus hominum potentibus infidum sperantibus fallax, quod in civitate nostra et vetabitur semper et retinebitur. Firmicus Mathesis 2.30. Henry 1934, 25–43, especially 31–4 and P. Oxy. 4503–4507 with see Gonis 1999, 57–109 give an interesting insight into his working method. Chapot 2001. ‘Lollianus 5’, PLRE I, 512–4; for the inscription cil vi, 37112.

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Mavortius suggests he needed any patronage he could get. That is to say he may well have had reasons to dissemble when it came to his religious views, but in the Mathesis, not the De errore.76 Features of his vocabulary in the former do suggest that Firmicus had a more than passing acquaintance with Christianity, whatever it was he then believed.77 It is thus unsurprising that the De Errore is full of Biblical quotations and allusions (66 in all) and that Firmicus’ shows in it familiarity with the work of Cyprian of Carthage, Clement of Alexandria, and Arnobius.78 His barb that pagan places of worship ‘ought, most sacred emperors, to be called tombs not temples’ perhaps has its origin in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, while his deployment of the Ciceronian tag ‘counterfeit and fabricated gods’ may be borrowed from Lactantius (who made much of this remark by ‘the prince of Roman philosophy’).79 He had even gone to the trouble of reading the report which the younger Pliny had sent to Trajan on discovering that his province was riddled with Christianity, neatly applying its mention of the ‘infection of that superstition’ to pagan religion.80 Firmicus’ references to baptismal waters and the Eucharist might lead one to suppose that he had himself been baptised, while his account of the economy of salvation is an elegant summary of the topic.81 This depth of knowledge is not the kind of understanding hastily got up by someone hoping to take communion and pass straight into the governor’s chair. This is the work of someone ‘moulded by the doctrine of the sacred scriptures’, as he describes himself.82 If anything,

76 77 78

79

80

81 82

Cameron 2011, 173–4 brings out this aspect very well. Pointed out long ago by Skutsch 1910. Turcan 1982, 361 lists 66 biblical quotations or allusions in all; 51–2 for the authors he knew. Turcan suggests that his knowledge of Clement was indirect, but the verbal allusion in De errore 12.7 (Scaenam de caelo fecistis) to Clement of Alexandria Protrepticus 4.58.4 (Σκηνὴν πεποιήκατε τὸν οὐρανὸν) suggests to me that Firmicus had read the original. Firmicus De errore 16.3: busta sunt haec, sacratissimi imperatores, appellanda, non templa. Minucius Felix, 8.4: templa ut busta despiciunt. For commenticios et fictos deos compare Cicero, De natura deorum ii.70, Lact, Div. Inst. 1.17.1, 3, Firmicus De errore 17.4, Lact. Div. Inst. 1.17.3: Romanae philosophiae princeps. No Latin author between Cicero and Lactantius appears to have used these words, though Novatian, De Trinitate 10.5 was clearly inspired by them. Pliny Ep. 10.96.9:  superstitionis istius contagio. Firmicus De errore 12.1:  superstitionis istius metuenda contagio. A search in Brepols Cross Database Search Tool reveals no other uses of this collocation. Firmicus De errore 2.5 (baptismal water), 18.2 (Eucharist), 24.2–8 (economy of salvation). Firmicus De errore 8.4:  At ego nunc, sacrarum lectionum institutione formatus. This is often deployed as evidence for Firmicus’ conversion (e.g., Barnard 1993, 85, Lössl 2013, 74), which logic seems to rely on nunc … formatus (as in ‘just now moulded …’). However,

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the oddities of Firmicus’ account of cultic depravities may suggest that he was rather shakier on some ‘pagan’ topics than he was on Christian matters.83 All this is to say that we may be better off seeing Firmicus as the kind of Christian who gave his bishop palpitations: educated, rhetorically skilled, theologically idiosyncratic, a nightmare member of the congregation. We certainly should not make his hypothecated conversion the basis for all other arguments about him: the result rather resembles an inverted pyramid. If Firmicus was not merely a chancer, swept up in the swelling tide of Christianity, or a convert, trying to assuage the doubts of his recently acquired co-religionists, then a whole range of new questions swims into focus. If the address to the emperors is not simply a veil for other concerns, then perhaps his relationship with the regime of Constans was closer than is generally thought. Firmicus was certainly well-informed about the emperors’ activities. He gives us a resonant account of Constans’ visit to Britain in 343, when the emperor ‘trampled underfoot the swelling and raging waves of the Ocean’.84 His remark that ‘proud peoples have been sent under the yoke and the wishes of the Persians have collapsed’ plausibly alludes to the Frankish campaigns of the early 340s and the ongoing struggles in the East.85 The studiedly imprecise phrasing of what exactly had happened on the Persian frontier perhaps belongs a period before news of Constantius’ victory in 343 or the bloodily indecisive battle of Singara (344) had reached the West; we might otherwise expect Firmicus to make more of eastern events.86 All this suggests a date for the work of 343 or 344 and Firmicus thus appears to be at the forefront of the interpretation of events.87 What looks like a subtle allusion to the fate of

83 84 85 86 87

Firmicus has just finished speaking in the voice of the Sun, and At ego nunc merely marks the shift back to speaking for himself. This is implicit in Edwards 2015, 111–135, where Firmicus is often on his own in making some allegation against a cult. Firmicus De errore 28.6: tumentes ac saevientes undas calcastis Oceani. Barnes 1993, 225 for the date of the visit to Britain. Firmicus De errore 29.3: Missi sunt superbi sub iugum populi et Persica vota conlapsa sunt. Victory: Athanasius Historia Arianorum 16.2 with Burgess 1999, 241–4. Singara: Portmann 1989, established the date of the battle. This is a rather earlier date than generally suggested, and the work is normally put after 346/7 (Barnard 1993, 86; Chapot 2001, 63–4 e.g.). This is because Turcan 1982, 24–5 identified the persica vota as the failure of the siege of Nisibis in 346 (some discussions still rely on his dating, though it was calculated before Portmann revised the date of Singara), but the phrase seems to me to suit a non-event better than something specific. That is to say it comes from a time before definite events on the eastern front. cf., however, Barnes 1978, n. 100.

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Constantine ii—‘rebellious arms have fallen before your gaze’—suggests he was good at this indeed.88 Firmicus, as we would expect of a barrister, knew the legislation of his emperor and alluded to the recent prohibition of homosexuality, something ‘nowadays punished most severely by Roman laws’; the law (C.Th. 10.7.3) was issued in December 342, not long before Constans went to Britain.89 Yet he did more than merely recapitulate recent legislation. At two crucial points, Firmicus subtly alludes to the language of Constans’ legislative measures. That ‘avenging sword’ we met above, armed there against homosexuals, is said to have been raised by the consuls against the bacchanalian revels in Republican Rome. That was an era when ‘there were still wholesome morals in the city of Rome and no man longed with dissolute morals for foreign superstitions’, Firmicus ingeniously suggesting that paganism was not only wicked but un-Roman.90 At the end of the work, he reminds the emperors that Christians are enjoined to raise that sword even against idolatrous family members (a barbed comment for the sons of Constantine).91 The avenging sword— gladius ultor or gladius vindex—is a Judaeo-Christian idea, found in the books of Leviticus (26.25) and Job (19.29).92 It is not a particularly common phrase earlier than the latter half of the fourth century—only Tertullian used it before Firmicus—but it is a favourite tag of the laws of Constans: it occurs twice (in laws on different topics), a quarter of all its occurrences in the Code.93 It is sufficiently rare that its use by Firmicus immediately strikes one: he is deliberately exploiting the language of the laws, something suggested also by his call for the pagan practices to be penitus delenda, just as Constans had ordered superstition to be penitus eruenda.94 Firmicus seems less here a fanatical opportunist, catching the dull echoes of imperial priorities and attempting to shout them back, and more an insider, playing elegant verbal games with the rhetoric of the regime. In this connexion, it is interesting to note that in 342 his old patron 88 89

90 91 92 93

94

Firmicus De errore 29.3: rebellantia ante conspectum vestrum semper arma ceciderunt. Firmicus De errore 12.2:  hodie severissime Romanis legibus vindicatur. This is the only time (in all his works) Firmicus uses hodie, which strengthens the impression that this is a very recent measure. Firmicus De errore 6.9: Erant adhuc in urbe Roma integri mores nec quisquam peregrinas superstitiones dissolutis moribus appetebat. Firmicus De errore 29.2. The only use I  have found before the Christian era of the Empire is Lucan, Bellum civile v.206. Tertullian De patientia 3.  C.Th. ix.7.3, ii.1.1, for Constans; other uses are ix.34.10 (Arcadius, 406), ix.42.2 (Constantius ii, 356), xvi.10.4 (Constantius ii, 356, see Seeck 1919, 41–2), ix.6.3 (Arcadius, 397), xiv.17.6 (Valentinian I, 370). Firmicus De errore 16.4 and C.Th. xvi.10.2.

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Lollianus had been urban prefect at Rome.95 This was his first office after a break of several years and he was clearly back in favour. Firmicus may have trailed in his wake, perhaps even found a new and greater patron: Constans had a fondness for decorating his court with Christian intellectuals.96 Our astrologer turned polemicist now looks rather closer to the centre of power than conventionally assumed, interpreting and explaining policy and proclamation almost as soon as they appeared. That raises the question of the nature of the text, something normally skipped over. It is very hard to be certain about this:  the absence of the preface, lost in those missing folios, will mean it is always unclear. There is, however, a provocative possibility. Firmicus’ work is that classic item of Late-Roman literature: a justification of a policy (the ban on sacrifice and closure of temples) dressed up as a call for it and mixed in with suggestions about how it might be taken further. Throughout and frequently, Firmicus addresses the emperors:  uos, sacratissimi imperatores, he says, naming them in the vocative Constanti et Constans.97 This is the language of panegyric: sacratissimi imperatores or principes is an invocation that is rare outside of dedications and addresses and even there generally used only once.98 Its use with any frequency was the reserve of the panegyrist and the plural was appropriate when there was more than one emperor on the throne.99 Like the author of Pan. Lat. xi(3), Firmicus cannot stop himself from using it again, and again, and again, ramming home that he is speaking to (in reality or only imagination) the emperors. We have someone with apparently close links to the regime, someone with a rhetorical training who calls what he is doing a sermo, overuses the imperative, and adopts a hortatory, even a hectoring tone.100 Firmicus displays an extravagant learning, he indulges in word-play, he touches on recent imperial deeds and legislation. What we have seems, when put like that, awfully like a speech, delivered before (in posture, if not in fact) the emperor—like, in other words, one of those speeches which we loosely call panegyrics.

95 96 97 98 99

100

Chron. 354 (ed. Mommsen, 68). See his dealings with Prohaeresius: Eunapius, Vitae sophistarum x.72–6 (ed. Goulet). Sacratissimi imperatores: Firmicus De errore 3.2, 6.1, 7.7, 8.4, 16.3, 16.4, 20.7, 24.9, 25.4, 28.6, 29.1, 29.3, 29.4. Constanti et Constans: 20.7. See Marcellus ‘Empiricus’, De medicamentis, Ep. Vindiciani 1.22, Anonymous, De rebus bellicis 1.1, 21.1. Sacratissimi principes:  Panegyrici Latini xi(3)7.7; vii(6)1.1, 13.1. Sacratissime imperator: Ausonius, Gratiarum actio 12.58; Pan. Lat. x(2)1.1, 1.5, 8.6, 13.5; xi(3)1.1, 1.2, 2.3, 3.8, 5.1, 6.1, 8.4, 13.1, 15.3, 19.1; xii(9)1.1; v(8)1.1, 1.3, 2.2; vi(7)1.1. Firmicus De errore 13.1: mediocritatis nostrae sermo.

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Certainty is not obtainable here and it would be rash to push this idea too far; perhaps it is best to leave it in what Gibbon would refer to as the subjunctive mood of ‘maybe’. Certainly, the idea is a powerful reminder of the influence that a text’s transmission can have on its understanding and generic categorisation. Because it is missing the first few folios, which probably set out the scope and character of the work, the De errore has been marked down as a curio, a piece of literary ephemera, a pamphlet, or some other dismissive word which does not require us to think too hard about it. The reality might have been very different. If it is a panegyric, what we have is a Christianising of the genre, an attempt to turn it against paganism, the new object of imperial ire, and a delineation of what the role of the Christian emperor was now to be: the monarch as warrior against the devil, personified by idolatry.101 In his account of the Bacchanalian affair, Firmicus was trying to give Rome a past that was authentically and originally non-pagan; one has the sense that he was groping towards a new imperial account of Roman history. That in several respects it does not look very like the other extant Latin panegyrics is no real deterrent. In fact, that is a good reminder that we should be cautious about building our account of what Latin panegyric was on the basis of a tiny sample of the innumerable speeches of praise delivered in Late Antiquity. In any case, the work now looks as though it gives us a much greater insight into Constans and his regime. It might even be possible to extract from Firmicus some wider sense of what the regime was doing and why it was doing it. In its context in the early 340s, there are some suggestive connections that one can make between the concerns expressed by Firmicus, the matters Constans legislated about, and what the emperor did each campaign season. Jerome tells us that in 341 Constans fought against the Franks ‘with mixed results’ (he means he lost).102 Firmicus naturally omits any such unfavourable details, but, recounting the emperor’s triumphant campaigns against barbarians, he draws an explicit link between anti-pagan legislation and recent victories: ‘Since the destruction of the temples you have been raised by God’s strength even higher. You have conquered enemies, you have enlarged the Empire’.103 This might be a clue. Defeated or at least driven to stalemate by the Franks in 341, Constans was in some trouble. His legitimacy was probably vulnerable in the aftermath of a defeat on a frontier which he had only recently taken over from his dead brother, a man who knew what to do about 101 102 103

Firmicus De errore 20.7. Jerome Chronicon s.a. 341: vario eventu. Firmicus De errore 28.6: Post excidia templorum in maius dei estis virtute provecti. Vicistis hostes, propagastis imperium.

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Germans. On the Rhine, one suspects that they did not think of Constantine ii as a public enemy, whatever Constans’ laws said. Given the link in contemporary thought between divine favour and military success, Constans was no doubt urged to take measures to boost his standing with the Almighty, hence the order that superstition must cease, which was probably issued between the two campaign seasons. Constans was in fact victorious in the next campaign season and fixed a firm and apparently advantageous peace with the Franks, one which was vaunted in imperial rhetoric: ‘the Franks were utterly defeated by Constans and peace was made with them’, as Jerome put it.104 In its aftermath, the emperor continued to pursue his Christian and moralistic legislative agenda and he continued to enjoy success, crowned by his visit to Britain in the dead of winter. Firmicus might then be cast as the advocate of that anti-pagan policy to an imperial audience that may not have been particularly enthusiastic about it. If closing the temples brought victory over the Franks, what might melting down the idols let Constans achieve? In an environment where most of the very senior officials of Constans were pagan, such policy would have needed some rhetorical and ideological support.105 Firmicus perhaps provided the intellectual heft for the regime’s new rhetoric. The De errore thus further strengthens the view of Constans’ policy which emerges from his legislation. Firmicus adds to it a dash of the emperor as triumphant in war and though, for obvious reasons, this is absent from the laws, it seems likely that this too was one of the major aspects of Constans’ image. Almost the only good quality those negative later sources attribute to him is success in war:  Ammianus, for instance, emphasises that he was the object of particular fear to the Alamanni, matched only in reputation by Julian (high praise from the lonely historian).106 This had a dynastic edge to it. When Magnentius rashly allowed Flavius Philippus, the emissary of Constantius ii, to address his troops on the eve of Mursa, he laid in to them:  ‘it was not right for Roman subjects to make war on Romans, especially when a son of Constantine was on the throne, Constantine with whom they had raised so many monuments of their victories against the barbarians’.107 Firmicus mixed into his account some wonderfully baroque and vivid language, the kind of thing one paid an orator to do. He emphasised the emperor’s recent visit 104 105 106 107

Jerome Chronicon s.a. 342: Franci a Constante perdomiti et pax cum eis facta. For prominent pagans under Constans, see PLRE I, 918–9, ‘Titianus 6’; 747–8, ‘Proculus 11’; 705–6, ‘Placidus 2’; 187–8, ‘Catullinus 3’. Amm. Marc. 30.7.4. Zosimus ii.46.3: οὐ προσήκει Ῥωµαίοις ὄντας ὑπηκόους κατὰ Ῥωµαίων πόλεµον ἄρασθαι, καὶ µάλιστα Κωνσταντίνου παιδὸς βασιλεύοντος, µεθ’οὗ πολλὰ κατὰ βαρβάρων ἔστησαν τρόπαια.

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to Britain, crossing a perilous ocean in the dead of winter, to a land almost unknown (it was alleged) to the Romans, and stunning the Britons with the ‘unlooked for face of the emperor’.108 This was not an act devoid of significance for a grandson of Constantius i, who had also once crossed as a new Caesar into Britain.109 Firmicus also used some fascinating medical imagery: idolatry, whose ‘dying limbs still twitch’, is a disease, the emperor a doctor who will cure it.110 This takes a sinister turn, for Firmicus points out that doctors treat even those who are unwilling to be cured: ‘free those who are dying! … It is better that you liberate those who do not wish than that you concede death to those who wish for it’.111 Compulsion, it is clear, will have a role in this anti-pagan campaign—none of Constantine’s ‘if you like your foul customs, you can keep your foul customs’. In its closing invocation, the text emphasised the partnership which Constantius and Constans share, a subtle way of writing Constantine ii out of the picture. Athanasius, with his unerring eye for sore points, suggests that this rather fragile unity was also a feature of contemporary imperial rhetoric: he could scarcely have slandered one brother to another so similar did they look, ‘for brothers are naturally mirrors of each other’.112 These features are worth picking out not only because they are clearly components of the image Constans wished to project, but because they lead us finally to that half-panegyric of Libanius, mentioned at the start. It might seem curious to have delayed consideration of it for so long, but trying to use it for Constans is not easy. It does cover that emperor in some detail, though it pays less attention to him than to his brother Constantius, but what are we to suppose Libanius, a rather cloistered sophist, knew of events in the West? He never evinced any interest in Constans and he did not know Latin. Except insofar as the world on the other side of Greece impinged on the career of his hero Julian, he was remarkably uninterested in and often ill-informed about it: no amount of sophistic amplification can explain away a belief that to go outside in Italy in winter was to risk immediate death from frostbite.113 There can be little initial confidence that his account of Constans could be anything

108 109 110 111 112 113

Firmicus De errore 28.6: insperatam imperatoris faciem. Panegyrici Latini, viii(4), which has this as its main theme, see 11 ff. Firmicus De errore 20.5: et licet adhuc in quibusdam regionibus idolatriae morientia palpitent membra; 16.4-5. Firmicus De errore 16.4:  … liberate pereuntes … melius est ut liberetis invitos quam ut volentibus concedatis exitium. Athanasius Apol. ad Const. 10.2: ἀδελφοὶ γὰρ διὰ τὴν φύσιν ἀλλήλων εἰσὶ κάτοπτρα. Libanius Or. 18.40.

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other than a series of recycled clichés—Libanius was, after all, a great intellectual environmentalist. Yet, precisely those points drawn from Firmicus above to illustrate the image which Constans put about find their match in Libanius. He had the advantage of the dual to make clear that there were now and only ever had been two Constantinian brothers, but the thought is the same as in Firmicus.114 Libanius dwelled on recent victories over the Franks, endowed with a false etymology: the Φρακτοί, or fortified people (jokes are not Libanius’ strong point).115 He too covered the expedition to Britain, like Firmicus emphasising the raging nature of the Ocean, that the emperor was not expected by the inhabitants, and that the place was almost unknown to the Roman world.116 That last point is important: official lies, and the notion that Britain was almost obscure before Constans penetrated it is certainly one of those, are like barium meal for tracing the flow of ideas. Libanius seems here to be drawing on the rhetoric of Constans’ regime, to which, despite the barriers of distance and language, he appears to be a good witness. Several other features point to Libanius’ contact with official pronouncement. He is emphatic about the hereditary claim which Constantius and Constans have to the Empire, dwelling at length on their relationship to Constantine and the fact that they are the third generation of emperor in their family.117 He goes so far as to draw up an interesting and interestingly explicit justification for child-emperorship: emperors were, he suggested, best caught young.118 In an extremely curious passage, he perhaps even alludes to reforms of appellate jurisdiction which Constans made some time before 345. The language is that of panegyric: the emperors have put appeals away from themselves because their clemency is so great they might be too merciful, but the reference is oddly specific.119 The idea of the emperor as physician, tough enough to administer bitter medicine, recurs.120 Libanius thus seems to have been surprisingly well-informed about matters 114 115 116 117 118 119

120

Signalled right at the head of the speech, 59. prologue: δυοῖν; 59.151 may contain a veiled allusion to Constantine ii. Libanius Or. 59.127–133. Libanius Or. 59.137–141. Libanius Or. 59.42, 46, 13. Libanius Or. 59.38. Libanius Or. 59.162. Sometime before 345, Constans had legislated to prevent senators from appealing against the judgement of the urban prefect, one of a select body of officials appeals from whom went to the emperor: C.Th. xi.30.23 is undoing this measure. This occurs after the section on Constans, but in a run of passages on the Empire as a whole, so could refer to an eastern measure (perhaps 1.5.4, as Malosse 2003, 214). Libanius Or. 59.94, 150.

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in the West. Where did he get his information? We can only speculate, but we might note the exchange of officials between the two halves of Empire: Ulpius Limenius, the man who expelled Libanius from Constantinople, for instance.121 Such men would have been able to tell tales of war on the Rhine, or crossing the channel in winter. It may be that the rousing image with which Libanius closes—a Mediterranean as a sea made safe for trade and travel, for the promiscuous exchange of goods and ideas—was more than just a good story.122 If Libanius is a good witness to what Constans wished people to think of him, then suddenly a whole new prospect opens up, that revealed in Libanius’ discussion of the emperor’s habits. His Constans is vigorous, he hardly sleeps, and chases through the forests after wild-animals with a few of his chosen companions. He barely touches alcohol, abhors the theatre, has banished licentiousness, so much so that beauty of womanhood itself has been restrained, and he is generally a sort of imperial superman, swooping down unexpectedly on his terrified (but extremely loyal) subordinates.123 It is time to draw to a close, but before that we might pause for a moment on this portrait of the ascetic, virile, Constans. He hardly sounds like the man sketched at the beginning from those condemnatory accounts. In fact, he almost seems the photographic negative of him and tracing back through Libanius, Firmicus, and the laws to the rumours which swirled around Constans in the 350s, we seem to see in the latter an inversion of the former. Constans presented himself as sober but was really a drunk, he legislated against homosexuality but was really gay, he conquered barbarians but really slept with them, he was extraordinarily active and fast moving but in truth was crippled by gout, his time was spent in pious activities, church-going, and conversation with bishops, but really he spent his days in carousal and revelry. This is too systematic and too orderly to be accidental, or even some pale reflection of Constans’ real behaviour. It has all over it the fingerprints of someone who wished to deliberately blacken Constans’ name. Who in the 350s wanted to do that? It could hardly be Constantius. Whatever feelings he may have had in private about his brother, official rhetoric rooted his right to rule the West in his hereditary claim to it: as he asked Vetranio, unanswerably, ‘when a brother has died to whom does the inheritance pass?’124 As Aurelius Victor was laying the first layers of an account of Constans as an emperor gone bad, Constantius was 121 122 123 124

PLRE I, ‘Limenius 2’, 510. Libanius Or. 59.171. Libanius Or. 59.149 (vigour), 144 (sober, naturally virtuous, shuns the theatre), 146 (beauty of women restrained), 145 (superhuman endurance), 148 (swooping). Athanasius Historia Arianorum 50.1.

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engaged in building him a monument.125 There is another culprit for this propaganda though, a man with a compelling interest in ensuring that Constans had a bad reputation, who wished to occlude his own origin in humble, probably barbarian, circumstances, who needed some way of shoring up his always tottering authority, a man who boasted that he was ‘the liberator of the Roman world, the restorer of Roman liberty and the saviour of the soldiers and provincials’.126 In the end, it seems that we have unearthed Constans, buried him again, and found Magnentius standing crowned upon the tomb there-of.127 Bibliography Barnard, L.W. 1993. ‘L’intolleranza negli apologisti cristiani con speciale riguardo a Firmico Materno’ in L’intolleranza cristiana nei confronti dei pagani, ed., P.F. Beatrice. Bologna: 79–99. Barnes, T.D. 1978. ‘Emperor and Bishops, A.D. 324–344:  Some Problems’, American Journal of Ancient History 3: 53–75. Barnes, T.D. 1981. Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 1982. The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 1993. Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire. Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 2011. Constantine: Dynasty, Religion and Power in the Later Roman Empire. Chichester. Bleckmann, B. 2003. ‘Der Bürgerkrieg zwischen Constantin II.  und Constans (340 n. Chr.)’. Historia 52: 224–250. Bradbury, S. 1994. ‘Constantine and the Problem of Anti-Pagan Legislation in the Fourth Century’. CP 89: 120–139. Burgess, R.W. 1999. Studies in Eusebian and Post-Eusebian Chronography. Stuttgart. Burgess, R.W. 2008. ‘The Summer of Blood:  The “Great Massacre” of 337 and the Promotion of the Sons of Constantine’, DOP 62: 5–51. Cameron, A.D.E. 2011. The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford. Caseau, B. 2007. ‘Firmicus Maternus un astrologue converti au christianisme ou la rhétorique du rejet sans appel’, in D. Tollet (ed.), La religion que j’ai quittée. Paris. 39–63. 125 126 127

Athanasius, Historia Arianorum 69.1. On many milestones: see Didu 1977, 45–6. contra Rubin 1998, I  see no reason to assume that Magnentius’ propaganda against Constans was driven by religious dynamics, the ‘pagan’ Magnentius against the Christian Constans.

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Chapot, F. 2001. ‘Prière et sentiment religieux chez Firmicus Maternus’. Revue des Étude Augustiniennes 47: 63–83. Corcoran, S. 2000. The Empire of the Tetrarchs:  Imperial Pronouncements and Government, AD 284–324 (Rev. ed). Oxford. Cuneo, P.O. 1997. La legislazione di Costantino II, Constanzo II e Costante (337–361). Milan. Dickie, M.W. 2012. ‘Julius Firmicus Maternus’ Defence of Astrology. Writing an Astrological Handbook in the Reign of Constantine the Great’, in F. Cairns (ed.), Papers of the Langford Latin Seminar 15. Prenton. 317–347. Didu, I., 1977. ‘Magno Magnenzio. Problemi cronologici ed ampiezza della sua usurpazione. I dati epigrafici’, Critica storica 14.1: 35–49. Drake, H.A. 1998. ‘Firmicus Maternus and the Politics of Conversion’ in G. Schmeling, J.D. Mikalson (eds.), Qui miscuit utile dulci. Festschrift Essays for Paul Lachlan MacKendrick. Wauconda. 133–149. Drinkwater, J.F. 2000. ‘The Revolt and Ethnic Origin of the Usurper Magnentius (350– 353), and the Rebellion of Vetranio (350)’, Chiron 30: 131–159. Edwards, M. 2015. Religions of the Constantinian Empire. Oxford. Gonis, N. 1999. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Volume LXVI. London. Harries, J. 2012. Imperial Rome, AD 284–363: The New Empire. Edinburgh. Harries, J. 2014. ‘The Empresses’ Tale, AD 200–360’, in C. Harrison, C. Humfress, I. Sandwell, G. Clark (eds.) Being Christian in Late Antiquity: A Festschrift for Gillian Clark. Oxford. 197–213. Heine, R.E., 2010. Origen. Scholarship in the Service of the Church. Oxford. Henry, P. 1934. Plotin et l’occident: Firmicus Maternus, Marius Victorinus, Saint Augustin et Macrobe. Louvain. Lössl, J. 2013. ‘Profaning and Proscribing. Escalating Rhetorical Violence in Fourth Century Christian Apologetic’ in A.J. Quiroga Puertas (ed.), The Purpose of Rhetoric in Late Antiquity: From Performance to Exegesis. Tübingen. 71–87. McLynn, N. 2004. ‘The Transformation of Imperial Churchgoing in the Fourth Century’, in S. Swain, M. Edwards (eds.), Approaching Late Antiquity. Oxford. 235–270. Malosse, P. 2001. ‘Enquête sur la date du Discours 59 de Libanios’, An.Tard. 9: 297–306. Malosse, P. 2003. Libanios: Discours T. 4. Paris. Maraval, P. 2013. Les fils de Constantin. Paris. Matthews, J.F. 2000. Laying Down the Law:  A Study of the Theodosian Code. New Haven. Mommsen, T. and P. Meyer 1905. Theodosiani libri XVI cum constitutionibus Sirmondianis et leges novella ad Theodosianum pertinentes. Volume I.2. Berlin. Monat, P. 1992. Firmicus Maternus. Mathesis I- II. Paris. Pietri, L. 1983. La ville de Tours du IVe au VIe siècle:  naissance d’une cité chrétienne. Rome.

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Portmann, W. 1989. ‘Die 59. Rede des Libanios und das Datum der Schlacht von Singara’, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 82: 1–18. Ross, A.J. 2016. ‘Libanius the Historian? Praise and the Presentation of the Past in Or. 59’, GRBS 56: 293–320. Rubin, Z. 1998. ‘Pagan Propaganda during the Usurpation of Magnentius (350–353)’, Scripta Classica Israelica 17: 124–141. Šašel, J. 1971. ‘The Struggle between Magnentius and Constantius II for Italy and Illyricum’, Ziva Antika 21: 205–216. Seeck, O. 1919. Regesten der Kaiser und Päpste. Stuttgart. Skinner, A. 2015. ‘Violence at Constantinople in A.D. 341–2 and Themistius, Oration 1’, JRS 105: 234–249. Skutsch, F. 1910. ‘Ein neuer Zeuge der altchristlichen Liturgie’. Archiv für Religionswissenschaft XIII: 291–305. Turcan, R. 1982. Firmicus Maternus. L’erreur des religion païennes. Paris. Watts, E.J. 2015. The Last Pagan Generation. Oakland.

Chapter 8

The Constantinians’ Return to the West: Julian’s Depiction of Constantius II in Oration 1 Alan J. Ross Introduction Constantius ii suffers from one of the most overtly hostile source traditions of any Roman emperor. One may consider this an unjust fate for a ruler who, during his long reign (second during the fourth century only to Constantine), made valiant attempts to consolidate the inheritance of his father by quashing usurpations and maintaining the boundaries of his Empire.1 His misfortune lies in the combination of his support for the losing side in a doctrinal dispute, and having a skilful and hostile propagandist as a successor. A host of authors from either side of the Mediterranean, both pagan and Christian, lined up to criticise him: Nicene bishops penned works of invective while he was alive,2 and Julian’s successful usurpation in 360 unleashed a wave of condemnatory texts that coloured the interpretations of secular historians for a generation following his death.3 It is an irony of Constantius’ reign (and source tradition), then, that the few positive depictions of him were composed by authors who would later be largely responsible for the creation of Constantius’ negative image: Julian and Libanius both addressed panegyrics to Constantius earlier in their careers, Libanius’ Oration 59 addresses both Constans and Constantius in the late 340s, 1 For a more rehabilitative interpretation of Constantius, see now Barceló 2004. 2 Namely Lucifer of Calaris, Athanasius of Alexandria, and Hilary of Poitiers, for whom see Flower 2013 and Flower 2016. 3 Julian’s most virulent propaganda may be observed in the Letter to the Athenians, one of four such texts sent to major cities of the Empire. Libanius swiftly followed his lead, and continued to defend Julian in anti-Constantian terms after his death (Orr. 17, 18, for which see now the overview given in Malosse 2014). Ammianus and Eunapius can both be placed in the ‘pro-Julianic’ and thus anti-Constantian camp. For Ammianus’ negative depiction of Constantius, see Whitby 1999. The fifth-century ecclesiastical historians are largely hostile on doctrinal grounds. Two more positive historiographic accounts are presented by Aurelius Victor, who composed his work in the last days of Constantius’ reign, and the fifth-century Eunomian church historian Philostorgius.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 010

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and Julian’s Orations 1 and 3 in the mid to late 350s.4 Modern scholarship’s reaction to this phenomenon has often been to excuse the content of Julian’s and Libanius’ speeches variously as insincere, composed out of compulsion, laden with hidden condemnatory messages, or re-written later.5 In comparison to Constantius, Julian has attracted more supporters in the modern era, to whom the idea that he was subservient or fawning towards his senior emperor has been unappealing.6 The ‘Apostate’ and rebel are retrojected onto the newly-promoted Caesar of the mid 350s, just as the staunchly pro-Julianic, Antiochene Libanius of the 360s is retrojected onto the itinerant sophist of the late 340s, who was buffeted from one teaching post to another through the jealousy of competitors or the intervention of Constantius himself.7 Irrespective of the author’s sincerity, panegyric provided one of the most potent ways to create a textual depiction of an emperor in Late Antiquity. Unlike works of historiography, panegyric created contemporary images of living emperors.8 Those images could be disseminated in more than one way, in the initial oral/aural form, as performed oratory, but also through circulation as written text, reaching a much wider audience than those gathered round the emperor himself.9 Those images, of course, served an immediate purpose 4 I follow the numbering of Bidez 1932. Julian also composed a further panegyric to Constantius’ wife Eusebia (Or. 2). For its relationship with Or. 1, see now García Ruiz 2015. 5 For Julian’s concealed messages, hidden behind an overly formulaic approach to panegyric: Browning 1975, 74–5, Athanassiadi 1992, 61–2; Curta 1995; García Ruiz 2015; for compulsion, see Boulenger 1927, 22; re-writing Geffcken 1914, 42–8. MacCormack’s comment is typical of attitudes to Libanius: ‘His subject did not appeal to Libanius, as one may gather when comparing this panegyric to his very different speeches on Julian. Its sheer length and comprehensiveness make the oration on Constantius ii and Constans one of the least convincing of panegyrics’. MacCormack 1981, 187. See also Seiler 1998. 6 For this view, see Tougher 2012, 19. 7 Libanius was driven out of Constantinople under a cloud of accusations of sexual misconduct in 343 (Eun. Vit. Soph. 495), but was subsequently appointed to the chair of rhetoric by imperial command in 349 (Lib. Or. 1. 74). He spent the intervening years in Nicaea and Nicomedia. See Van Hoof 2011 for Libanius’ careful presentation of his ‘career moves’ in Or. 1, which creates a more coherent curriculum than may actually have been the case. It is worth noting that Libanius revises his view of Constantius once his pro-Julianic fervour of the 360s has abated. Constantius is no longer the foil of Julian in On Avenging Julian (Or. 24, addressed to Theodosius in 379) and is held up as an exemplum of moderate rule in Or. 19.47-8 (to Theodosius in 387). 8 For historians’ avoidance of the current reign, see: Eutropius 10.18.3 and Ammianus 31.16.9, with discussion in MacCormack 1975, 153, Paschoud 2005, 111 and Kelly 2007, 219. 9 On the sending of speeches: Libanius Ep. 434 and Ep. 1430 (speeches by Themistius), and Cribiore 2013, 79–89.

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dictated by the circumstances and context of the speech’s composition or delivery, though the longevity of their message is a moot point.10 To what extent did a speech condition the later interpretation of an emperor either in subsequent panegyrics or in other works, be they historiography or otherwise? This chapter is concerned with some of these issues as they relate to Julian’s creation of a panegyrical image of his senior emperor Constantius ii. In particular I consider how Julian negotiates two important contexts in Or. 1: one literary (a tradition of Greek panegyrics addressed to Constantius) and the other historical (the political situation in which both Constantius and his newly appointed Caesar, Julian, found themselves in the West during the years following the suppression of Magnentius’ rebellion in 353). The speeches of Themistius and Libanius have variously been held to be Julian’s models or inspiration for his earliest extant piece of writing.11 I argue below that Libanius’ Or. 59 is the greater model in terms of Julian’s narrative of Constantius’ deeds, but it also serves as Julian’s greater rival. Specifically, Libanius’ panegyrical image of Constantius from the 340s was one that Julian sought to revise in the 350s. I hope to reveal Julian as both a careful politician and skilled literary practitioner, and to illustrate the need for a careful literary appreciation of Julian’s text before using it as source for the otherwise poorly attested, early period of Constantius’ reign. Regaining the West: The Political Context of Julian Oration 1 Both panegyrist and honorand in Julian’s Oration 1 shared the same political and cultural context, one in which they could both be considered out-of-place. Julian was a distinctly more ‘eastern’ figure than many other members of the Constantinian dynasty: born in Constantinople, raised and educated there and in the other great eastern intellectual centres of Nicomedia and Athens, he also endured an unwelcome stay (or, as he would have it, detention) in the imperial estate of Macellum in Cappadocia.12 Before his appointment to the position of Caesar at Milan in 355, he had set foot in the West only briefly.13 10 11 12

13

Cf. Libanius’ shifting attitude to Constantius across his career, n.7 above. E.g. Bouffartigue 1992, 298. A conclusion also reached by Gladis 1907. Constantinople Pan. Lat. iii(11).2.3; Nicomedia, Amm. Marc. 22.9.4; Macellum, Jul. Ep. ad Ath. 271c; Athens, Jul. Ep. ad Ath. 275A. For Julian’s early life see Browning 1975, 31–66; Bowersock 1978, 21–32; Athanassiadi 1992, 13–52; Barceló 2004, 70–93. Vanderspoel (2013) has recently raised the possibility that Julian had been present at Constantius’ celebration of his Vicennalia in Sirmium in 353. Even if so, both Julian’s

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Constantius, too, had spent all his time since the death of his father in 337 in the East and the majority of that time in Antioch, from where he co-ordinated campaigns against the Persians with intermittent success.14 But the rebellion of Magnentius against Constantius’ brother and co-Augustus Constans in 350 brought first Constantius then Julian westwards, and ensured they remained there for a number of years. Magnentius had led a coup against Constans in 350 while Constantius was safely distracted by a Persian attack on the Romanheld stronghold of Nisibis in Mesopotamia.15 He quickly seized Constans’ part of the Empire, with the exception of Illyricum, where the legions proclaimed their commander Vetranio emperor in a move that was later presented as a mark of loyalty to Constantius. Once he had extracted himself from Mesopotamia, Constantius engineered the abdication of Vetranio and, reinforced with the Illyrian armies, defeated Magnentius’ forces at the battle of Mursa in September 351.16 Retreating to Gaul Magnentius was defeated again at Mons Seleucus in 353 and shortly after committed suicide in Lyon. The death of Magnentius left Constantius in control of the West, while he had entrusted the East to his nephew, the Caesar Gallus. It is against the backdrop of Constantius’ successful campaign against Magnentius in the name of dynastic legitimacy and mission to stabilize the West that Julian composed his first panegyric. An allusion to his appointment as Caesar places the speech after his elevation in November 355, and a reference to not having undertaken a campaign on his own has been used by some to argue that it was composed before Julian besieged Cologne in 356.17 As I outlined above, the speech has prompted several, often contradictory readings of Julian’s intentions, most of which have been predicated upon assumptions about his state of mind during his Caesarship. Certainly Julian may well have harboured resentment towards Constantius for the latter’s murder of numerous members of his family (it is certainly a theme that Julian turns to in his bitter denunciations of Constantius after 360),

14 15

16

17

visits were fleeting, and closely connected to Constantius’ need to stabilise the West in the aftermath of Magnentius’ rebellion. For which, see Lightfoot 1981. With the absence of Ammianus’ early books, the main sources for Magnentius’ revolt are Zosimus 2.42–43 and the Epitome of 395, 41.22–42.8. For discussion see Šašel 1971 and Drinkwater 2000, and now Woudhuysen in this volume. The nature of Vetranio’s proclamation is obscure. Did he lead a real rebellion, which was only later repackaged as a move loyal to Constantius and designed to prevent the Illyrian legions from falling into Magnentius’ hands, or had this been the plan all along? Or. 1.45b; Bowersock 1978, 37.

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but the very recent example of Gallus must equally have offered an incentive to be cautious in showing any insubordination toward the Augustus, especially when Constantius was stationed in relative proximity. Those who have argued that the speech is outwardly hostile have often sought to get round this problem by suggesting the speech was composed for Julian’s private enjoyment, to while away the cold nights in Gaul and remind himself of the scholarly lifestyle that he had left behind in Athens. Certainly we can be sure that the speech was never delivered by Julian before Constantius— there are simply no opportunities other than the moment of his elevation in 355 in Milan, and the reference to some form of campaigning at Or. 1.45b would seem to suggest a later composition. Nonetheless, it is worth remarking that the speech was widely circulated; Libanius received a copy.18 The chances that a speech written by the new Caesar would find its way to the imperial consistory are high, regardless of whether it was sent directly or otherwise. Framing the Image of Constantius: Form and Perspective in Oration 1 Julian’s position as both a Caesar and a panegyrist is an unusual combination, and one that certainly had ramifications for the nature of his speech. To a certain extent, a panegyric is necessarily a statement of subservience: the orator places the honorand on a pedestal, elevating him above the rest society for his actions or his moral conduct.19 The few panegyric speeches that we possess from the late third and fourth centuries are no doubt a small proportion of what was actually delivered, but they indicate the sorts of people who typically composed imperial panegyrics and upon what occasions: local orators in provincial cities (the authors of the Panegyrici Latini, Ausonius, Themistius in Or. 1, and Libanius) or representatives of senates (Themistius and Symmachus), and on the occasions of anniversaries, moments of celebrations, or appointments of officials. We have no further examples of members of the imperial house composing panegyrics to one another. The very existence of such a panegyric by Julian speaks not only of his thorough education, unusual for 18

19

Lib. Ep. 369 dated by Foerster to 358. Célérier has suggested that Libanius then alludes to Julian’s Orations to Constantius in his later speeches to Julian as sole emperor (especially Lib. Or. 13). Célérier 2013, 19. Though in turn, the delivery of praise could also bring glory and renown to the orator, Pernot 1993, 661–4.

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a fourth-century emperor, and his willingness to show off his paideia during his Caesarship and later reign as emperor,20 but necessarily aligns him with a group of elite subjects of the emperor who would praise the Augustus; elite subjects they may have been, but it is worth emphasising that they were subjects nonetheless. Panegyrics, of course, could do far more than just offer praise. From senior officials, they could blend praise and thanks in a gratiarum actio for an official appointment (we have the examples from Mamertinus, Ausonius, and Themistius Or. 2), or from local rhetors they could carry messages of advice or requests to the honorand, particularly in a localized context where a visiting emperor arrived in a provincial city. Eumenius’ panegyrical ‘For the restoration of the schools’ of Autun is one of the most blatant examples (Pan. Lat. ix[5]).21 The ‘localized context’ is one which is often of great importance, and finds its way directly into to a speech through reference to the audience and place of delivery. To turn for a moment to the other panegyric to Constantius that will provide a major point of comparison for Julian’s first speech, Libanius consciously positions his oratorial persona firmly within the geographical context of Nicomedia when he addresses Constantius and Constans. The city is referred to as ‘here’22 and furthermore, Libanius distances himself from the members of the court and specifically remarks upon the effect this has on the composition of his speech: In many ways it seems to me difficult to match a eulogy with the virtues of the emperors. For there are those who have been judged worthy of the imperial palace and march away with the emperors on campaign and are well acquainted with what is done in peace day by day; these men experience the one difficulty of seeking what they should say that is worthy of what they know; whereas for the rest of us even if we have knowledge of many of the facts, yet we are ignorant of more things than we know. (Or. 59.8)23 Not only does Libanius distance himself from the emperors, but simultaneously he aligns himself with his audience in Nicomedia: both Libanius and his

20 21 22 23

Libanius praises Julian for maintaining his ‘interest in oratory’ despite his new military position as Caesar, Ep. 369.6. For which, see now Hostien’s (2012) definition of ix(5) also as an embassy speech. Or. 59.72. Translations of Libanius Or. 59 are taken from Dodgeon et al. in Lieu and Montserrat 1996.

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audience are outsiders to the imperial court, and thus ‘we’ have less information about the actions of the emperors.24 Julian avoids both authorial stances: his speech is certainly not a gratiarium actio (or, rather, a χαριστήριος λόγος) for his elevation. Only once does allude to his position as Caesar within a section of the speech that outlines Constantius’ virtue in bestowing gifts and offices on others. It comes near the conclusion, and is couched in an allusive reference in the third person (Or. 1.45b) which contrasts with the far more imposing (first-person) persona of Julian the panegyrist created at the outset of the speech and sustained throughout: ‘I have long desired (πάλαι µε προθυµούµενον), most mighty Emperor, to sing the praises of your valour and achievements, to recount your campaigns, and to tell how you suppressed the tyrannies’ (Or. 1.1). The programmatic aim of the speech stated emphatically at its opening is to offer praise to the emperor with no reference the identity of its author or his recent elevation by the emperor. I do not suggest that any reader of this text was unaware of the identity of its author, but this passage illustrates the careful orientation of the speech away from one that may stress too much the subservience of Julian to his benefactor. Julian, after all, was perfectly capable of writing a χαριστήριος λόγος if and when he wanted: his second oration (addressed to Eusebia) is just that, and opens with a statement of the obligation to repay kindnesses such as Julian has received from the empress.25 Likewise, Julian avoids creating a localized context for his speech. If his elevation is only elliptically referred to, then he certainly makes no reference to his current position in Gaul. Additionally, the identity of the audience is unclear, and certainly not nearly as well defined as in Libanius’ panegyric to Constantius and Constans as we saw above. Rather, Julian explicitly locates his speech in a literary rather than geographical context: specifically within a tradition of panegyrics addressed to Constantius. Julian is preoccupied with this theme throughout the proem (Or. 1.1-5b): That men versed in political debate, or poets, should find it easy to compose a panegyric on your career is not at all surprising. Their practice in speaking, their habit of declaiming in public supplies them abundantly 24

25

I have argued that Libanius’ use of a localized perspective in Nicomedia allows him to offer greater praise to the eastern Constantius than to the speech’s other honorand, the far more geographically remote Constans in the West. Ross 2016. Libanius maintains this localized perspective after he returns to Antioch, e.g. Or. 15. Or. 2.  102A. The speech to Eusebia does not address the empress directly (as Julian addresses Constantius with ‘you’ in Or. 1), a phenomenon that has led to several varying interpretations of its purpose and intended audience. See James 2012.

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with a well-warranted confidence. But those who have neglected this field and chosen another branch of literary study which devotes itself to a form of composition little adapted to win popular favour and that has not the hardihood to exhibit itself in its nakedness in every theatre, no matter what, would naturally hesitate to make speeches of the epideictic sort. (Or.1.1-2a)26 He goes on to criticize the poets who have praised Constantius for engaging in too much invention, the rhetors flattery. Julian defines his own approach in opposition to both groups: Since, on the contrary, the speech I am to make calls for a plain narrative of the facts and needs no adventitious ornament, I  thought that even I was not unfit, seeing that my predecessors (τοῖς προλαβοῦσιν) had already shown that it was beyond them to produce a record worthy of your achievements. For almost all who devote themselves to learning attempt to sing your praises in verse or prose (ἅπαντες γὰρ σχεδὸν οἱ περὶ παιδείαν διατρίβοντές ἐν µέτρῳ καὶ καταλογάδην ὑµνοῦσιν); some of them venture to cover your whole career in a brief narrative, while others devote themselves to a part only, and think that if they succeed in doing justice to that part they have proved themselves equal to the task. (Οr. 1.2d-3a). Julian’s proem creates a literary context for his speech that allows him to engage in aemulatio with his predecessors and thus provide an important justification for his own authority in delivering this panegyric:27 he will do it better than them. Specifically, he sets out his qualifications as someone who is neither a poet or a rhetor and thus he will neither invent or over-amplify his subject: instead, by implication, he will tell the truth, which so often is depicted as the casualty of praise.28 Julian’s qualification for writing panegyric, then, is 26 27

28

Translations of Julian Or. 1 are taken from Wright 1913. On one level, these predecessors are specifically orators who have written speeches to Constantius. The frequency of allusions to Isocrates’ Evagoras in Julian’s proem suggests that he also has a much longer continuum of panegyrical predecessors in mind. See Bouffartigue, 1992, 281–2 and Tantillo 1997, 140. Julian articulates the risk a little later in the proem:  ‘what embarrasses me is the fact that, if I  praise you, I  shall be thought simply to curry favour, and in fact, the department of panegyric has come to incur a grave suspicion due to its misuse, and is now held to be base flattery rather than trustworthy testimony to heroic deeds’ Or. 1.4b-c.

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that he is not a panegyrist but a philosopher.29 Julian’s adoption of this stance has often been used to suggest his indebtedness to another of Constantius’ panegyrists, Themistius, who in his own first oration to the emperor boldly proclaimed: ‘now, for the first time, your majesty, there comes on the scene for you both an independent speech and a truthful praise-giver (ἀψευδὴς ἐπαινέτης), and there is no word, however insignificant, that he would utter of his own free will for which he shall not render account to philosophy (τὰς εὐθύνας οὐχ ἕξει δοῦναι φιλοσοφίᾳ)’ (Them. Or. 1.1a).30 Julian indeed echoes this sentiment in his proem,31 but if Julian wants to copy Themistius’ philosophical pose, he does so in a far more allusive and indirect way. Julian nowhere labels himself as a philosopher,32 and in any case there is reason to believe that he may not have philosophy exclusively in mind as his guiding principle in his un-panegyric panegyric. Throughout the proem he talks of the need to offer ‘a plain narrative of the facts (τῶν πραγµάτων ἁπλῆν διήγησιν)’ (Or. 1.2d) and ‘true testimony of heroic deeds (µαρτυρίας ἀληθοῦς τῶν ἀρίστων ἔργων)’ (Or. 1.4c),33 perhaps more akin to a work of history than philosophy (and posing as the practitioner of the genre that made claims to offer a truthful account of the past was as useful for the panegyrist to construct his authority as a posing as a philosopher).34 In any case, the structure of the speech that follows is remarkably different from Themistius’, which avoids the narration of deeds

29

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31

32 33 34

Lucian distinguishes historiography and panegyric on the grounds that history should aim at reporting the truth, whereas panegyric, by offering praise, must also involve lying (Hist. conscr. 7). It was a commonplace slur that hung around panegyric well into Late Antiquity, as Augustine’s famous remark makes clear, Conf. 6.6. Pernot 2015, 72–7. In his claim to be an incompetent orator (Or. 1.2a, quoted above), Julian may borrow a topos from the greatest philosopher of them all, Socrates, who opens the Apology by claiming that his inadequacy as an orator guarantees he tells the truth (Apol. 17c), though as Tantillo points out, it is also a standard rhetorical topos (1997, 135) Tantillo 1997, 33–6. The date of the speech has recently been the subject of some debate. Skinner 2015 and Greenlee forthcoming both argue for 342, five years earlier than the date previously mooted. Importantly for our study of Julian, however, Themistius’ Or. 1 predates Julian’s speech. For Themistius as model for Julian, see Bouffartigue 1992, 298. Julian alludes directly to Themistius when he offers an exhortation to other orators that they should ‘give account of all they utter, and speak no word that cannot be referred to the standard of virtue and philosophy (ὑφέξουσιν εὐθύνας, ὧν ἂν τύχωσιν εἰπόντες, λέγειν δὲ οὐδὲν ὅ τι µὴ πρὸς ἀρετὴν καὶ φιλοσοφίαν ἀνοίσουσι)’ Or. 1.4b. First noted by Wyttenbach 1776. The quotation in n.31 criticises other panegyrists rather than stating exactly what Julian’s position is. Julian’s adherence to true narrative recurs within the body of speech e.g. Or. 1.23a. It is a theme that Libanius makes frequent use of in his Or. 59, Ross 2016.

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and the ‘biographical’ model of panegyric advocated by the theorist Menander Rhetor.35 Whereas Themistius goes out of his way to signal his departure from this structure that may have been expected by his audience (1.2a-b), Julian outlines a programmatic arrangement for his speech (τάξις τοῦ λόγου) that includes upbringing, education, achievements, and personal qualities (Or. 1.4c-5a), in other words a typically Menandrian structure. He is aware of the ‘law of panegyrics (τῶν ἐπαίνων νόµος)’ (Or. 1.5b) and, by and large, subscribes to it. It is on these grounds that Julian specifically wishes to surpass those other panegyrists who have attempted to praise Constantius but, according to Julian, have fallen short.36 As Tougher has recently pointed out, Julian does not slavishly imitate Menander’s scheme, but the way in which he deviates from it actually takes him still further away from Themistius. Particularly, Julian stretches the Menandrian pattern by devoting a disproportionately large amount of space to a narration of Constantius’ deeds: sections 17c-41c, more than two fifths of the speech that detail Constantius’ military record. 37 It is this narrative approach that brings Julian’s speech closely in line with Libanius’ depiction of Constantius in Oration 59. Libanius too presents his audience with an innovate structure (he has to vary his structure in order to address not one but two reigning emperors), although he also closely follows Menander’s topoi.38 He treats Constans’ and Constantius’ ancestry, birth, early life, education, and accession together (Or. 59.10-55), but divides the narrative of their deeds, starting first with Constantius’ actions in the East (Or. 59.56–123) before turning to Constans in the West (Or. 59.123-42). A short section of joint praise and an epilogue close the speech (Or. 59.150–73). Like Julian after him, Libanius dwells disproportionately on the narrative of Constantius’ deeds. The large proportion of narrative employed by both Libanius and Julian in their respective speeches raises the question of whether Julian chose to imitate the pattern set down by his predecessor (and thus to what extent his panegyrical image of Constantius is conditioned by existing speeches).39 In arguing for Julian’s awareness of Libanius’ speech, I am mindful of the perennial 35

36 37 38 39

Vanderspoel 1995, 79; Heather and Moncur 2001, 7; Skinner 2015, 236. Tougher rightly draws attention to another model for Julian’s pose of truth-telling philosopher, Dio of Prusa in his Kingship orations, Tougher 2012, 23. ‘It is in this respect that I think my speech will surpass those of all the others (τούτῳ γὰρ οἶµαι καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἁπάντων διοίσειν τὸν λόγον)’ Or. 1.5a. 28 out of 68 pages in the Budé edition (Bidez 1932). Malosse 2003, 12–13. Although there is some dispute, the probable date for Libanius’ Or. 59 is 348 (and certainly no later). See Callu 1987, 135–136; Malosse 2001, 297–306, contra Portmann 1989, who argues for the earlier date of 344.

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problem of dealing with panegyric of any period: there were no doubt far more panegyrics delivered to Constantius prior to 355 than those that survive.40 We have a fragment of speech to Constantius by Himerius, for example, and who knows how many further speeches we have lost.41 Nevertheless, Julian and Libanius were closely connected. Libanius later claimed that Julian had been in Nicomedia in the 340s while he held the chair there. He notes that Julian was banned from attending his speeches but that Julian bought copies afterwards (Or. 18.13-14). It suited Libanius to claim to be Julian’s teacher, but there is reason to believe that Julian was indeed influenced by the Antiochene sophist.42 Julian later saw fit to send some his speeches to Libanius from Gaul, as Libanius’ letter of reply attests (Lib. Ep. 369).43 There are other reasons why a reading of Julian’s panegyric against Libanius would be both valuable and justifiable, even without the contextual evidence of the letter. Not only does Julian seem to employ a similar approach to the form of panegyric as that used by Libanius in Or. 59 (one that follows a broadly Menandrian scheme, and favours large portions of narrative), but he sets just such a speech up as his principal rival, thus inviting comparison. Julian challenges descriptive or narrative panegyrics: It is in this respect that I think my speech will surpass those of all the others. For some limit themselves to your exploits (ἐπὶ τῶν πράξεων), with the idea that a description of these suffices for a perfect panegyric. (Or. 1.3a) More specifically, a further criticism of those earlier speeches is that they have failed to do justice to their subject in terms of scope and detail: Some of them [earlier panegyrists of Constantius] venture to cover your whole career (ἅπαντα περιλαβεῖν) briefly, while others devote themselves to a part only, and think that if they succeed in doing justice to that part they have proved themselves equal to the task. (Or. 1.3a) 40 41 42 43

Cf. ‘To limit the discussion of influence to surviving texts seems short-sighted, if understandable’, Tougher 2012, 23. For the identification of this fragment, see Barnes 1987, 211. Several others could claim to have had an influence on Julian’s education, including Salutius (Jul. Or. 8.241c) and Eusebius of Nicomedia (Amm. 22.9.4). Libanius expresses pleasure that Julian maintains his ‘interest in oratory (τὴν περὶ λόγους σπουδήν)’ while leading campaigns in Gaul. He also concedes that Julian has enjoyed a victory over him in his literary endeavours. Libanius was no doubt keen to flatter Julian, but his remark may suggest he saw Julian’s speech as indebted to his own, not least because claims Julian got from Libanius his ‘first steps towards writing’ (Ep. 369.2).

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The theme of selection and thoroughness is one that Libanius had dwelt upon himself and refers to explicitly in his methodology in Or. 59 (at the opening of his narrative of Constantius’ deeds): For it is our present intention not to compose a history which embraces everything (πάντα περιλαµβάνουσαν), nor to prolong a bare account (διήγησιν ψιλὴν) that leaves out anything of external interest, but to dedicate a panegyric to the saviours of the world. It is the duty of the composer of a history to go through all the accomplishments in sequence, but of the man trying to deliver and encomium to omit no form of eulogy, rather than to recount each detail throughout. (Lib. Or. 59.56-7) Julian twice alludes to this statement in his own proem—Julian declares he will offer τῶν πραγµάτων ἁπλῆν διήγησιν (Or. 1.2d) and he condemns narrative panegyric that seeks ἅπαντα περιλαβεῖν ἐν βραχεῖ (Or. 1.3a, quoted above).44 His remarks seem to offer a challenge to Libanius’ defense of the selectivity in his speech. I would suggest, then, as many have done before me, that Julian does indeed show his awareness of the models set down for him in the speeches to Constantius by both Themistius and Libanius. His attitude and response to each was not equal, however. Whereas Themistius’ pose of the truth-telling philosopher is adopted by Julian without comment and without an indication that it had been used before, Julian openly sets his speech in competition with the sort of panegyric composed by Libanius, while largely adhering to the same form. I leave aside the question whether Julian’s silence on the former or vocal dialogue with the latter provides the greater form of flattering imitatio. Instead, let us turn to how Julian arranges the narrative sections that form such a large portion of his speech, and consider how this compares to Libanius’ practice. Westernizing Constantius’ Military Achievements The presence of so much narrative in Libanius’ and Julian’s panegyrics allows both authors to locate Constantius as an actor within the geography of his empire in a far more precise way than the moralising abstractions of Themistius’ first oration.45 The Constantius that emerges from Libanius’ oration necessarily

44 45

Malosse (2003, 193) notes the allusion at Or. 1.2d but not that at Or. 1.3a. On the form of Or. 1 see Vanderspoel 1995, 77–83 and Heather and Moncur 2001, 73–4.

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is firmly rooted in the East, which he had controlled since 337.46 Other than a brief description of Constantius’ suppression of the Goths (Or. 59.89–93) and a riot in Constantinople (Or. 59.94–98), Constantius’ actions are focused on the Persian war that he had inherited from his father (Or. 59.59–82), and the capture of an unnamed city in the region of Adiabene (Or. 59.83–7).47 The greatest event, however, is the battle of Singara in Mesopotamia, which is treated as the culminating action of Constantius’ military career thus far (Or. 59.99–120).48 Libanius presents his audience in Nicomedia with a ‘local’ emperor who cares for their defence, and in turn his speech constructs a local audience that is grateful to him. The successful capture of the city in Adiabene, and the subsequent transportation of Persian prisoners via Nicomedia allows Libanius to draw the speech’s audience into his narrative and underline this point: Furthermore, he did not leave us who were dwelling further away from the enemy’s land to feast only on the report of what had happened, but he made us eye-witnesses of everything and filled us with much joy and good hope. We rejoiced at his successes and judged the future from his achievements. (Or. 59.86) The joy and hope constructed by Libanius for his audience plays a crucial role in his panegyrical discourse: it binds the provincial subjects in Nicomedia with their local emperor, Constantius, in a way that is markedly different from the more distant Constans, whose actions are confined to the far less well-known West.49 If Libanius confines his Constantius to the East, Julian presents his as an actor on an empire-wide stage. The content of his speech contains narrative of Constantius’ activities in both the East and the West, even though Constantius’

46

47 48 49

Libanius refers to a neat East-West division which ignores Constantine ii’s initial share in the division of power in 337:  ‘so [Constantine] now handed over their powers and despatched them, one to guard the East [Constantius] and the other to guard the West [Constans]’. Or. 59.43. The city was probably Nineveh, Dodgeon and Lieu 1991, 329 n.18. Portmann 1989 establishes the date of the battle of Singara as 344. Cf. the way in which Libanius introduces Constans’ campaigns in the West: ‘it is not right to pass over in silence his voyage to the island of Britain, because many are ignorant about the island. But the greater the degree of ignorance, the more will be told, so that all may learn that the emperor explored even beyond the known world …’ (Or. 59. 137). The West is presented as comparatively unknown and remote to Libanius’ audience. See further Ross 2016.

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comparatively recent deeds in the West are explicitly stated to be Julian’s main focus for the panegyric. He programmatically opens the speech: I have long desired, most mighty Emperor, to sing the praises of your valour and achievements, to recount your campaigns, and to tell how you suppressed the tyrannies; how your persuasive eloquence drew away one usurper’s bodyguard [Vetranio]; how you overcame another by force of arms [Magnentius] (Or. 1.1). As noted above, the immediate focus upon the suppression of Magnentius and Vetranio deflects from any thought entertained by the audience or reader that this speech could be a gratiarum actio.50 But by the same token, if this speech is designed to celebrate Constantius’ recent successes in the West, it may seem anomalous that Julian then devotes so much narrative space to Constantius’ earlier actions in the East. More than half the section (17c-40c) is devoted Constantius’ war with Persia (17c-30a) and its high points at the battle of Singara in 344 (22d-26a) and the siege of Nisibis in 350 (27a-d). The comparatively shorter space allotted to Constantius in the West includes a brief description of the removal of Vetranio (30b-33d) followed by a longer section on Magnentius (33d-40c), including the battle of Mursa in 351 (35d-38a) and Constantius’ subsequent operations to drive Magnentius from Aquileia (38c39d). The inclusion of those eastern deeds may seem doubly anomalous when one considers they took place more than a decade previously.51 Panegyrics tend to privilege more recent events, not least because the panegyrist may claim a greater degree of novelty, especially if deeds earlier in the reign had been the subject of panegyrics by other authors. Indeed, Julian’s choice of material creates a degree of ‘overlap’ with those in Libanius’ Or. 59, especially as both authors offer a narrative of the battle of Singara. I suggest, however, that Julian chooses to include these eastern events in order to present Constantius certainly as a successful military leader in the East, but as an even greater one in the West. Julian achieves this in two ways, firstly by engaging in a competitive reinterpretation of the Battle of Singara (the one significant event that he shares with Libanius) and then by privileging the narrative of two parallel pairs of military engagements to suggest Constantius’ successes in the West were the greater: an eastern battle (Singara) prefigures a western battle (Mursa), and an eastern siege (Nisibis) prefigures a western siege (Aquileia). 50 51

If anything, it would set the speech more within the context of a victory celebration such as that of 357 in Rome. See Portmann 1989 for the dating of the battle of Singara to 344.

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That first eastern battle at Singara was an encounter that required a certain amount of sophistry to weave into a panegyric. A  Persian army under Shapur ii crossed the Tigris and established a fortified camp on the Roman side. Marching towards Singara, they were met by the Romans under the command of Constantius. The Persians immediately turn round and retreated over a great distance (150 stades in Libanius, 100 in Julian) to their camp by the river. Whether this retreat was an intentional ruse or the result of the Persians’ fear is subject to differing interpretations, but both accounts agree it exhausted the pursuing Romans in the process. Nonetheless, reaching the Persian camp and unable to be restrained by Constantius, the Roman troops broke formation and continued to fight into the night, although they did manage to push the Persians back across the Tigris and slay Shapur’s son. Constantius’ loss of control of his army seems to have been a well-known detail of this engagement, and certainly later historians were to present it as one in a series of Constantius’ shortcomings on the eastern front.52 Libanius, in a rather forced way, manages to include Singara as the culminating event among Constantius’ deeds and presents it as a great success. This interpretation is carefully established at the outset of his narrative: Well then, let us also mention the final battle. We can call the same battle both the final and the great one, and much more deserving of the title of great than the celebrated battle at Corinth. I promise to demonstrate how the emperor defeated in this battle the Persians together with their allied forces. And let no one distrust the hyperbole before hearing the account, but let him await the arguments and then express judgement. (Or. 59.99) Libanius here adopts a noticeably deliberative mode, inviting his audience to judge the success of the battle for themselves but guiding them toward its true definition as a victory for Constantius.53 Julian, in turn, takes a rather different approach: Now I am well aware that all would say that the battle we fought before Singara was a most important victory for the barbarians. But I  should answer and with justice that this battle inflicted equal loss on both 52 53

Eutr. 10.10.1; Festus 27.2; Amm. Marc. 28.5.7. Libanius returns to this deliberative motif at the conclusion of the section, when he seeks to persuade his audience of his judgement via a summing-up of his evidence: ‘let us define three phases and so consider our judgement: firstly, the period before the battle, secondly, the engagement itself and thirdly, the period of the rout’ (Or. 59.115).

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armies, but proved also that your valour could accomplish more than their luck; and that the legions under you were violent and reckless men, and were not accustomed, like the enemy, to the climate and the stifling heat. I will relate exactly what took place. (Or. 1.23b) Once again Julian shows his awareness of a tradition of discourse surrounding an event in Constantius’ reign, and responds to it. He constructs that discourse in a way that initially challenges an interpretation of Singara as a success, and thus one could see this as another instance of his aemulatio of Libanius, whose positive view Julian side-lines. In any case, to introduce the ‘majority view’ that Singara was a failure colours the account that follows in which Julian is content to present Singara more as an even-match, contrary to Libanius’ outright triumph. Constantius gains less credit: in Julian’s account he does not foresee the Persian strategy as he had in Libanius’,54 and his troops disobey him because of their inexperience of his leadership in comparison to that of his father.55 Taken together, these points help cast Singara as an early military event in Constantius’ career, whose successful outcome is as much the result of luck than Constantius’ firm control and direction of the situation. Julian has transformed Singara from the ‘final and great battle’ (Or. 59.99) into something far more equivocal and preliminary for Constantius’ military career. He takes the opposite approach to the major pitched battle of Constantius’ time in the West. The emperor faced the troops of Magnentius near the Pannonian town of Mursa in September 351. Julian’s interpretation of this battle stands in stark contrast to the way in which historians would later treat it. Eutropius suggests the great losses incurred on both sides posed a danger to the security of the entire Empire (10.12.1), whereas Zonaras focuses on Constantius’ emotional reaction: gazing over a battlefield filled with corpses, the emperor weeps, ‘not so much pleased on account of his victory as much as stung by the destruction of those who had fallen’. (13.1.8[41]).56 But these later historians’ sense of a close-run affair has no place in Julian’s account. 54

55 56

Julian’s interpretation of the Persian manoeuvres differs from Libanius’: in Oration 59, the Persians march a portion of their army towards Singara from their base on the Tigris, meet the Roman forces, and stage a retreat in order to lure the Romans towards their remaining forces. Libanius’ Constantius foresees this plan. According to Julian, the Persian retreat is genuine and the result of their intimidation by the size of the Roman army. Constantius’ tactical planning goes unremarked. ‘For of your generalship they had had no experience so far and they could not believe that you were a better judge than they of what was expedient’. Or. 1.23. See John of Antioch, fr. 260 (Roberto) / fr. 200 (Mariev) for a similar assessment.

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The battle is a presented as a comfortable success for Constantius, with no hint of the great losses. In contrast to the earlier conflict at Singara, Constantius is in control of his strategy (Or. 1.36a) and his troops were loyal, ‘anxious to retain the good opinion of their comrades and of the emperor’ (Or. 1.36c). The emperor’s training is cited as the cause for the army’s victory (Or. 1.37c). As at Singara, the troops think back to previous campaigns, but instead of undermining their confidence and Constantius’ authority (when they had reminisced about the command of Constantine), this time they were ‘stimulated by their success in the past’ (Or. 1.36c). The western battle of Mursa sees Constantius performing far more competently than at the eastern battle of Singara. A similar pattern is apparent in a pair of sieges, whereby the western conflict (the siege of Aquileia) is presented as more glorious than the eastern (Nisibis). The Roman defence of Nisibis in Mesopotamia is certainly depicted as a remarkable feat— Constantius’ troops withstood the Persian attack, which included an attempt to overcome the walls by diverting a nearby river against them, but Constantius was not present himself. Instead Julian has to (rather feebly) connect the absent emperor to the victory by suggesting it was Constantius’ preparations that enabled the Romans to withstand the ferocious Persian attack (Or. 1.27b).57 A successful defence is perhaps always going to be inherently less glorious than the capture of a city. Constantius’ second major military encounter with Magnentius in the West was closer to the latter sort, and so naturally would stand in positive contrast to Nisibis. But Julian seems particularly keen to exploit this phenomenon. After Mursa, Julian tells us Magnentius took refuge in the city of Aquileia,58 where he celebrated games.59 Constantius’ final military action is to remove Magnentius from this stronghold via a campaign during which Constantius is conspicuously present:  ‘you lead the campaign (ἐστράτευες)’, ‘you found (ἐξεῦρες) a pathway previously unknown’, ‘you led the army forward in person (αὐτὸς ἀναλαβὼν ἦγες τὸ στράτευµα)’ (Or.1.39b-c). The focus on Aquileia comes at the expense of any details of the battle at Mons Seleucus in 353 where Magnentius was decisively defeated and was the event 57 58

59

‘The magnitude of your preparations made it manifest that their expectations were but vanity’ (Or. 1.27b) Although Julian does not mention it, Aquileia had been a Magnentian stronghold since the previous year. Its mint swiftly began producing his coinage (Bastien 1964). See also Sotinel 2005, 49–54. A typical charge laid against tyrannical rulers: Ammianus accuses Gallus of similar indulgence at time of danger at 14.11.12.

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that precipitated his suicide.60 Julian’s selection of material, then, is determined by his wish to create an image of Constantius as the successful liberator of the West, through contrast with his comparable if slightly less glorious activities in the East. That comparison is reinforced by the selection of the pairs of battles and sieges (one eastern, the other western) as the high points in his narrative. Conclusions There is much in Or. 1 other than just military narrative, some of which may have caused contemporary readers to raise their eyebrows. Julian appears to allude to the mass executions of 337 (Or. 1.16d-17a); he ignores the damnatio memoriae levelled against Constantine ii (Or. 1.9b-d); and he condemns Constantius’ policy on taxation (Or. 1.21d).61 But if those readers were to follow the lead set down by Julian in the proem and focus on Constantius’ military deeds in overcoming Magnentius, they would be invited to interpret Constantius’ recent activities in the West as the crowning achievements of his long and successful career as Augustus since 337.62 That westerners were intended to be a likely audience is suggested by their favourable treatment within the speech:  the inhabitants of Italy are sympathetically portrayed as the victims of a coup that had its roots among the Frankish and Saxon groups in Gaul (Or. 1.34d-35a); Julian reminds his reader of the shelter Constantius provided to those fleeing Magnentius from Italy, and the amnesty proclaimed after the usurper’s defeat at Mursa (Or. 1.38b-c). I would argue, then, that we should view Oration 1 as part of a Constantian propaganda drive ahead of the triumphal entry to Rome in 357, and specifically an attempt to rehabilitate Constantius in the eyes of the inhabitants of Italy, with whom the Augustus had had little contact during the thirteen years since the death of his father.63 Perhaps Julian reacted to Magnentius’ propaganda:  once the usurper had 60

61 62

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‘Like an Olympic victor, you threw him in the third encounter and forced him to pay a fitting penalty for his infamous career, namely to thrust into his own breast that very sword which he had stained with the slaughter of so many citizens’ (Or. 1.40b). See Tougher 2012, 26–8 for further discussion. Although we may have only a few of the many panegyrics that must have been composed for Constantius, we may also be sure that the majority, like Libanius’, focused on Constantius’ earlier eastern career. Julian’s was perhaps the earliest, western panegyric. I would not restrict the speech to the specific occasion of the adventus itself as Tantillo does (1997, 39–40), but rather see it as part of a longer process between 355 and 357 that prepared the way for Constantius’ entry to the ancient capital.

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realised that no deal could be struck with Constantius, he set about promoting his legitimacy in the West based upon Constantius’ remoteness.64 Even if not, Constantius’ own tradition of panegyrics, as exemplified by Libanius, presented audiences who had access to them with an image of an eastern monarch who was potentially out of context and out of touch in the West. The tradition needed ‘updating’ and this is what Julian seeks to do, in a speech that so consciously draws attention to its place within a corpus of similar, earlier speeches. Julian’s positive depiction and Constantius’ triumph over Magnentius is not without benefits for its author. Julian was a key element in the newly restored Constantian regime in the West (though he downplays in his speech). Specifically, he was now in control of the area that he presents as the epicentre of Magnentian support:  ‘every town in Galatia was like a camp preparing for war’ from where those troops ‘poured down’ into Italy (Or. 1.35a). Responsibility for re-establishing control lay heavily on him. The military success of the remaining members of the Constantinian regime was worth stressing, even if Julian had reason to hold a personal grudge against Constantius. Finally, this reading of Julian’s speech underlines the fact that panegyrics did not create ephemeral depictions that could be quickly and easily forgotten, at least during the remaining lifetime of the honorand. Julian’s ‘updating’ of Libanius’ panegyrical image of Constantius implicitly testifies to the perseverance of that earlier, eastern account. Bibliography Athanassiadi, P. 1992. Julian: an Intellectual Biography. London. Barceló, P. 2004. Constantius II und seine Zeit. Stuttgart. Barnes, T. D. 1987. ‘Himerius and the Fourth Century’, CP 82: 206–225. Bastien, P. 1964. Le monnayage de Magnence (350–353). Wetteren. Bidez, P. 1932. L’Empereur Julien, Oeuvres Complètes. T.1  pt. 1.  Discours de Julien César. Paris. Bouffartigue, J. 1992. L’Empereur Julien et la culture de son temps. Paris. Boulenger, F. 1927. ‘L’empereur Julien et la rhétorique grecque’, Melanges de Philosophie et d’Histoire publiés de la Faculté des letter de l’Université catholique de Lille 32: 17–32. Bowersock, G.W., 1978. Julian the Apostate. London. 64

Panegyrics to Magnentius must have existed and no doubt proved a later embarrassment to their authors. For a comparable situation one may think of Symmachus’ oration to failed usurper Maximus, Soc. 5.14.6; Symm Ep. 2.13 and 31.

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Browning, R. 1975. The Emperor Julian. London. Callu, J.P. 1987. ‘Un “mirror des Princes”:  le “Basilikos” libanien de 348’, Gerión 5: 133–152. Célérier, P. 2014. L’ombre de l’Empereur Julien. Nanterre. Cribiore, R. 2013. Libanius the Sophist. Ithaca. Curta, F. 1995. ‘Atticism, Homer, Neoplatonism, and Fürstenspiegel:  Julian’s Second Panegyric on Constantius’, GRBS 36: 177–211. Dodgeon, M.H. and S. Lieu 1991. The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars AD226-363. London. Drinkwater, J.F. 2000. ‘The Revolt and Ethnic Origin of the Usurper Magnentius (350– 353), and the Rebellion of Vetranio (350)’, Chiron 30: 131–159. Flower, R. 2013. Emperors and Bishops in Late Roman Invective. Cambridge. Flower, R. 2016. Imperial Invectives against Constantius II. Liverpool. García Ruiz, M. del P. 2015. ‘Una lectura conjunta del primer Encomio a Constancio y el Encomio a Eusebia de Juliano’, Exemplaria Classica 19: 5–23. Geffcken, J. 1914. Kaiser Julianus. Leipzig. Gladis, C. 1907. De Themistii Libanii Iuliani in Constantium orationibus, Diss. Vratislaviae. Greenlee, C.L. forthcoming. ‘The ideology of imperial unity in Themistius and Libanius’, in N. Baker-Brian and S. Tougher (eds.) Sons of Constantine. Heather, P. and D. Moncur 2001. Politics, Philosophy, and Empire in the Fourth Century. Select Orations of Themistius. Liverpool. Hostein, A. 2012. La cité et l’Empereur. Les Éduens dans l’Empire romain d’après les Panégyriques latins. Paris. James, L. 2012. ‘Is there an Empress in the Text? Julian’s Speech of Thanks to Eusebia’, in N. Baker-Brian and S. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate. Swansea. 47–60. Kelly, G. 2007. ‘The Sphragis and Closure of the Res Gestae’, in J. den Boeft, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teiter (eds.), Ammianus after Julian: the Reign of Valentinian and Valens in Books 26–31 of the Res Gestae. Leiden. 219–241. Lieu, S. and D. Montserrat 1996. From Constantine to Julian, Pagan and Byzantine Views. London. Lightfoot, C. S. 1981. The Eastern Frontier of the Roman Empire with Special Reference to the Reign of Constantius II. Diss. Oxford. Malosse, P. 2001. ‘Enquête sur la date du Discours 59 de Libanios’, An.Tard. 9 297–306. Malosse, P. 2003. Libanios: Discours T. 4. Paris. Malosse, P. 2014. ‘Libanius’ Orations’ in L. Van Hoof (ed.) Libanius: a Critical Introduction. Cambridge. 81–106. MacCormack, S. 1975. ‘Latin Prose Panegyrics’, in T. A. Dorey (ed.), Empire and Aftermath. London. 143–205. MacCormack, S. 1981. Art and Ceremony in Late Antiquity. Berkeley.

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Paschoud, F. 2005. ‘Biographie und Panegyricus:  Wie spricht man vom lebenden Kaiser?’, in K. Vössing (ed.), Biographie und Prosopographie. Stuttgart. 103–118. Pernot, L. 1993. Le rhétorique de l’éloge dans le monde gréco-romain. Paris. Pernot, L. 2015. Epideictic Rhetoric: Questioning the Stakes of Ancient Praise. Austin. Portmann, W. 1989. ‘Die 59. Rede des Libanios und das Datum der Schlacht von Singara’, BZ 82: 1–18. Ross, A.J., 2016. ‘Libanius the Historian? Praise and the Presentation of the Past in Or. 59’, GRBS 56: 293–320. Šašel, J. 1971. ‘The Struggle between Magnentius and Constantius II for Italy and Illyricum’, Ziva Antika 21: 205–216. Seiler, E.-M. 1998. Konstantios II. bei Libanios. Frankfurt. Skinner, A. 2015. ‘Violence at Constantinople in A.D. 341–2 and Themistius, Oration 1’, JRS 105: 234–249. Sotinel, C. 2005. Identité civique et Christianisme: Aquilée du IIIe au VIe siècle. Rome. Tantillo, I. 1997. La Prima Orazione di Giuliano a Costanzo. Rome. Tougher, S. 2012. ‘Reading Between the Lines: Julian’s First Panegyric on Constantius II’, in N. Baker-Brian and S. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate. Swansea. 19–34. Van Hoof, L. 2011. ‘Libanius and the EU Presidency: Career Moves in the Autobiography’, in O. Lagacherie and P.-L. Malosse (eds.), Libanios, le premier humaniste: Études en homage à Bernard Schouler. Alessandria. 196–206. Vanderspoel, J. 1995. Themistius and the Imperial Court: Oratory, Civic Duty, and Paideia from Constantius to Theodosius. Ann Arbor. Vanderspoel, J. 2013. ‘The Longevity of Falsehood: Julian’s Political Purpose and the Historical Tradition’, D. Côté and P. Fleury (eds.), Discours Politique et Histoire dans l′ Antiquité (Dialogues d′ histoire ancienne. Supplément 8). Bescançon. 327–336. Whitby, M. 1999. ‘Images of Constantius’, in J.W. Drijvers and D. Hunt (eds.) The Later Roman Empire and its Historian. London. 68–78. Wright, W.C. 1913. The Works of the Emperor Julian Vol. 1. Cambridge, ma. Wyttebach, D. 1776. Epistola critica super nonnullis locis Iuliani Imperatoris. Göttingen.

Chapter 9

Julian’s Self-Representation in Coins and Texts María Pilar García Ruiz Julian’s official propaganda constitutes an exceptional phenomenon, perhaps unique in the history of the Roman emperors, since he was directly involved in creating his public image, and personally managed this endeavour, not only through the usual channels (inscriptions, altars, coins, statues, official speeches), but also and especially through his own writings.1 A  noteworthy element of the propaganda is the emperor’s image in a broader sense, encompassing both visual and conceptual representations.2 Recently Varner and Guidetti have completed exhaustive studies of the iconographic development of Julian’s image and traced its evolution from the perspective of the visual arts.3 These authors have rightly established four stages of visual representation corresponding with the periods of Julian’s political career: as Caesar in Gaul (355–360), as self-proclaimed Augustus (February 360February 361), as the challenger of Constantius (Spring 361-November 361), and as Augustus (December 361-June 363). The last stage offers what is often viewed as the most typical representation of Julian with a long and pointed beard. These two scholars have related the development of the image of Julian to certain events in his reign and to some of his texts. Guidetti is right in saying that Julian’s choice of self-representation was certainly innovative and revolutionary; that it was tied to his personality, to his particular philosophical ideas and his religious beliefs; and that this image effected a confrontation with the Constantinian imperial image.4 Varner notices certain ‘priestly’ features in Julian’s visual representations.5 But to grasp the symbolism of his visual characterizations and of 1 Bouffartigue 1978, 15–30. 2 Certainly, in an imagological sense ‘image’, ‘auto-image’ or ‘self-image’ should not be confused with visual depiction (Leerssen 2007, 342–344; Weststeijn 2007, 451–452); nevertheless, in MacCormack’s view 1990, 342–343, self-representation or self-fashioning includes visual images as well other means of expression, mainly texts. 3 Varner 2012; Guidetti 2015. 4 Guidetti 2015, 44. 5 Varner 2012, 191, based on Libanius’ passage, ‘he (Julian) rejoices in the title of priest no less than in that of emperor’ (Or. 12.80) and on Zanker’s observation that, in the portraits found in very different parts of the Empire, late antique philosophers and priests were an astonishingly homogeneous group (Zanker 1995, 310, 319).

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_011

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his self-image more broadly it is necessary to go deeper into Julian’s ongoing understanding of himself and his role as emperor. This chapter intends to fulfil this task through the detailed analysis of his principal writings. Specifically, we will examine Julian’s textual self-images in conjunction with those found on his coins for each of the four iconographic stages identified by Varner and Guidetti, contrasting them where appropriate with other ancient sources, such as Claudius Mamertinus, Ammianus Marcellinus, Libanius, Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen. It will be argued that during the fourth stage, when Julian was Augustus, there was an especially close interaction of Julian’s visual and textual images.6 Analysis of visual representations has been based only on numismatics, since coins offer a conscious, ordered, and abundant portrait sequence,7 while other representations (sculptures, cameos, etc.) present far more problems in attribution or dating.8 Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to examine what kind of (self)representations appear concurrently in numismatic and textual evidence, how the two media compare for Julian’s image and what both of them tell us about their intended audiences. In particular, special attention will be paid to Julian’s beard, since his facial appearance interpreted in the light of those sources reveal the evolution of his imperial self-representation: Julian as soldier, philosopher, emperor-priest and representative of Helios on earth in overlapping steps and targeting different audiences. Finally, we will examine a bronze coin with a long-bearded Julian and the reverse-type of a bull, standing, crowned by two stars, with the legend SECVRITAS REI PVBL(icae), arguing that it constitutes a symbol par excellence of Julian himself and of the consecration of his reign to Helios (which Varner and Guidetti did not take into account). First Stage. Julian, Caesar in Gaul (355–360): Clean-Shaven The image of Julian as Caesar attested on coins from 355 to 360 is an idealized bust of a youthful beardless profile in which the hair falls slightly on the neck. 6 There are some studies of Julian’s literary self-presentation in the early part of his reign— García Ruiz 2015 on orationes 1 and 3, Caltabiano 1974 and Labriola 1974 on the Letter to the Athenians—although a comprehensive study still needs to be undertaken. 7 For a detailed analysis of Julian’s coins, in which there are still many open questions: Kent 1954, Gilliard 1964, Arce 1984, Fleck 2008, López-Sanchez 2012. 8 For example, two sculptures previously thought to represent Julian (preserved in the Louvre and Cluny Museums) are now doubted to belong to the late antique period: Guidetti 2015, 12; Fittschen 1992–1993; Fittschen 1997.

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Figure 9.1

Julian Caesar, solidus, Antioch, 355–360. London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. 1960,1203.1 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

He invariably wears military dress, paludamentum and sometimes a cuirass, and without the diadem reserved for the Augustus (fig. 9.1). This represents a standard depiction which Constantine had set almost fifty years before, following Augustan and Trajanic imagery, and breaking with the aesthetic model of the Tetrarchs. The Constantinian dynastic prototype is evident in the traces of the profiles of Constantine and his sons Constantine ii, Constans, Constantius ii, and in Gallus, the half-brother of Julian (fig. 9.2 and fig. 9.3).9 At this stage Julian’s numismatic representation cannot be defined as a ‘selfrepresentation’, since Constantius and his entourage controlled the coinage. The uniformity of the traits conveys the idea of belonging to the Constantinian dynasty and also the legitimacy against the usurpers of the time, such as Vetranio or Magnentius, who represented themselves in a different iconographic tradition.10 The absence of a crown expresses Julian’s subordination to Constantius. Julian makes no reference to his physical appearance in his writings from 355 to 360. In the encomia addressed to Constantius and Eusebia, probably written in the Winter of 356–357, he describes himself as a lover of philosophy.11 In his encomium to Eusebia he presents himself as an inexperienced charioteer, overwhelmed by responsibility, whom the true charioteer (Constantius) has placed at the head of a chariot (symbolizing Gaul) and has dressed the other in a garment the same as his own (Jul. Or. 3.122c). In the passage a specific 9 10 11

Varner 2012, 183. Guidetti 2015, 16–20. Portraits of Julian at the Rome’s mint constitute an exception to this scheme. Jul Or. 1. 3d; 3. 120ab.

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Figure 9.2

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Constantine I Augustus, solidus, Nicomedia. RIC 7 166, 628 (330). Museum number 1844, 1015.311, 659742001 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

Figure 9.3 Constantius II, Augustus, solidus, Aquileia. RIC 8 5, p.315 (337–340). London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. 1974, 0904.6 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

reference to the dress shows that Julian presents himself in the same way as in the coins: a simulacrum of Constantius. Years later, Julian evokes the days of his appointment as Caesar in November of 355, before he was given access to the court (Jul. Ep. to Ath. 274d, tr. Wright): Some of them [i.e. Constantius’ courtiers]… cut off my beard and dressed me in a military cloak, and transformed me [i.e. from a student of Philosophy, who wore a beard and dressed the Greek pallium] into a highly ridiculous soldier, or so they thought it at the time.

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In 361, he complained that the only mission that Constantius had entrusted to him by sending him to Gaul was conveying emperor’s image (Jul. Ep. to Ath. 278a, tr. Wright, rev. García Ruiz): About the summer solstice he allowed me to join the army and to carry about with me his dress and image. And indeed he had both said and written that he was not giving the Gauls an emperor but one who should convey to them his image. Julian had become reluctantly (or so he stated years after) the spitting image of Constantius, in both coins and texts. The military successes of Julian in Gaul, especially the Battle of Strasbourg (August, 357), in which the Roman army commanded by Julian Caesar defeated the Alamanni, constituted a first turning point in the relations between Julian and Constantius. The main evidence of this is the retrospective account is found in the Epistle to the Athenians,12 in which Julian appears as a valiant general from whom Constantius snatched the triumph, while the emperor, instead of challenging the barbarians, concluded a peace with them.13 In The heroic deeds of Constantius (traditionally dated in the winter of 357/ 358)14 Julian sets out a theoretical and philosophical conceptualization of what a good king should be, drawing on well-known texts of Dio Chrysostom and Plato. Some authors, such as Athanassiadi and Curta have considered this encomium close to a ‘self-eulogy’ and Bidez speaks of a ‘veiled political manifesto’.15 Certainly its vivid description constitutes in some respects a preview of what will be his idea and praxis of kingship later.16 Especially significant are his comments on religious issues: he laments the destruction of temples, emphasizes the ruler’s role as mediator between the supreme deity and his subjects, 12 13

14 15 16

Also in The heroic deeds of Constantius, Or. 3.49c-50c, Julian alludes to it with a Homeric image, the wrath of Achilles. Jul. Ep. to Ath. 279b-280d, vid. Tougher 2007, 31–36 and bibliography cited there. Julian’s lost relatio on his exploits would be at the base of the accounts of Amm. Marc. 16.12 and Libanius Or. 12 and 18. Its date of composition and whether or not it was delivered are still matters for debate, Drake 2012, 39. Athanassiadi 1992,64; Curta 1995, 209; Bidez 1965, 113. This text displays an intermediate position between the sophistic tradition of Dio. Chr. On kingship, which focuses on the good works of the king, and the philosophical (neo) platonic tradition, in which the good ruler must be inaccessible and be endowed with a special, divine soul. Julian comes close to the latter in the Letter to Themistius, Bouffartigue 1978, 22–23.

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and insists on the role of the emperor as a priest and prophet of the gods,17 announcing in some way his unusual behaviour as Pontifex Maximus. Curta understands that Julian’s encomium was addressed to ‘a particular audience including highly cultured individuals’,18 an option that seems plausible in other works, as we will see later. From our perspective, however, it is necessary to underline that, formally, the ‘philosophical praise’ cannot be considered a selfrepresentation, since is written in third person and addressed to the Augustus.19 After the battle of Strasbourg, Ammianus depicted Julian as hirsutus in 358 when the latter was target of jokes at court in Milan (17.11.1): ‘this fellow, a nanny-goat (capella) and no man, jibing at him for being hairy (hirsutum), calling him a “chattering mole” and “an ape in purple” and “a Greekish pedant” and other names like these’. Was Julian hirsutus at that time or could Ammianus’ characterization be a rhetorical strategy,20 reflecting Julian’s self-representation later in his career? It could be argued either way. Whatever the case, the second coin type (fig. 9.4) suggests that Julian wanted to maintain a beardless public image as a policy of ‘collaboration’ with Constantius almost until 361. Second Stage. Julian Self-Proclaimed as Augustus, February 360 February 361: The Double Pearl Diadem In February 360, Julian proclaimed himself Augustus21 and took control of at least two mints in Gaul, Arles and Lyons.22 He issued new portraits, which added a double-round pearl diadem, the most common design on Constantius’ coins,23 also the corresponding tituli to signal his new rank of Augustus; while the idealized beardless profile of the Constantinian dynasty still remained. The 17

18 19 20 21 22 23

Julian had recommended:  ‘it is only proper, in my opinion, that a general or emperor should always serve the god with the appointed ritual, like a priest or prophet, and not neglect this duty nor think it more fitting for another, and depute it as though he thought such a service beneath his own dignity’. Jul. Or. 2.68bc, see also 70c-d, 80c, 90a. Curta 1995, 209. Labriola 1986, 124–126. Cf. Sabbah 1978, 406–407. Eunap. Vit. Soph. 476; Amm. Marc. 20.4.12-22; Lib. Or. 18.96–102; Zos. 3.8.3-9.2. Fleck 2008, pp. 36–37, 154; cat. nn.8–10. Constantine added the diadem to the imperial iconography after the defeat of Licinius in 324, recalling Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic kings. Over time it was enriched with pearls and precious stones. The sons of Constantine also wore this kind of headband, which remained—with slight variations—until the end of the Roman Empire, Bardill 2012, 11–19.

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Figure 9.4 Julian, self-procalimed Augustus, gold coin, Trier. London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. 1860, 0329.86 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

diadem similar to that used by Constantius would show him as Augustus and a legitimate descendant of the second Flavian dynasty.24 The reverse contains the scene of Rome and Constantinople as a sign of concordia. (fig. 9.4) These series were the result of Julian’s decisions about his self-representation and contain a political message. The Constantinian dynastic features in his own representation, the repeatedly minted concordia scene on the reverse, and the production of coins of Constantius as Augustus suggest Julian’s attempt to reach an agreement with the emperor and to be recognized as co-Augustus.25 This analysis is consistent with the supposedly official letter from Julian to Constantius cited by Ammianus (20.8.11):26 Receive [sc. Constantius] with good faith the equitable condition which I propose, considering in your mind that such things are for the interest of the Roman state, and of us also who are united by affection of blood, and by an equality of superior fortune.27 24

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Ammianus notes that Julian wore the diadem in the games held on the occasion of the quinquennalia in Vienne in November, 360, Amm. Marc. 21.1.4: ‘Being now an Augustus [Julian] celebrated quinquennial games; and he wore a magnificent diadem, set with gleaming gems, whereas at the beginning of his principate he had assumed and worn a cheap crown, like that of the director of a gymnasium attired in purple’ (tr. Rolfe). Varner 2012, 184; Guidetti 2015, 20–21. Vid. also Amm. Marc. 20.8.12; 17 Although Julian wrote another harder and biting private one, to which Ammianus had no access (20.8.18).

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It is intriguing to observe that the texts which mention Julian’s acclamation consistently state that Julian refused to use the title of Augustus, claiming instead that he was a victim of the circumstances and the uprising of the soldiers.28 His coinage reveals a figure who was more willing to be considered as Augustus in a Constantinian mould. Third Stage. Julian Augustus from Spring 361 to Spring 362: Short-Bearded Julian’s image on coins experienced significant changes in the spring of 361, when Julian began the march eastwards to face Constantius. A new series of solidi for soldiers’ pay was minted probably first at Arles and afterwards at Lyons, then at Siscia, Sirmium, and Thessalonica during Julian’s stay in Sirmium from spring to autumn 361, when he was waiting for the confrontation with Constantius. Julian appears with a short bearded and the features of his face become less idealistic. The double pearl diadem similar to that used by Constantius remained.29 What was the symbolism of bearded profile? This portrait recalls the aesthetics of the Tetrarchs—Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius and Constantius I—and before them, that of the Illyrian emperors. The long tradition of

Figure 9.5 Julian Augustus, gold coin, Thessalonica, 360–363. London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. 1964, 1203.155 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

28 29

Jul. Ep. to Ath. 283a-286d. Guidetti 2015, 21, 22–23.

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Figure 9.6 Claudius II Gothicus Augustus, aureus, Rome. RIC 5.1 p. 211, 7. London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. 1896, 0608.72 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

soldier-emperors offered an austere and military appearance.30 To Varner, the short-bearded portrait particularly evokes the style of Claudius Gothicus’ coins, thus visually substantiating Julian’s putative ancestral links to Gothicus (fig. 9.6).31 Certainly, Julian praises Claudius as a model for Constantius ii in his first Panegyric (Jul. Or. 1.6d.): How righteously and justly he [Claudius Gothicus] won the Empire! How plainly he lived while on the throne! How simple was his dress, as may be seen to this day in his statues! In the second Panegyric, he does so as the founder of the dynasty (Jul. Or. 2.51c, tr. Wright): … but the story of our family began with Claudius; then its supremacy ceased for a short time, till your two grandfathers [Constantius I  and Maximian] succeeded to the throne.32 30 31 32

Guidetti 2015, 34. Varner 2012, 186. Themistius and Libanius did not mention the Constantinians’ claim of Claudian descent (Them. Or. 1.2b; Lib. Or. 59.13). I am grateful to A. Ross for this information.

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But in The Caesars he only shows his esteem for Claudius as a worshiper of the gods (Caes. 313d; 336b). Julian was following in the steps of Constantine, who had created his own lineage from Claudius Gothicus, although this was probably apocryphal.33 Although there is no firm evidence, it is nonetheless possible that Julian had Claudius Gothicus in mind when he presented himself with the same short beard. It can only be affirmed that Julian rejected the Constantinian beardless image34 and chose a portrait that set him into a longstanding iconographic tradition, in order to present himself to the soldiers as commander of the army and conqueror of the enemies of Rome, in the same way as he was promoting himself in the Letter to the Athenians at that time. Claudius Mamertinus, eyewitness of Julian’s expedition across the Danube at the spring of 361, supports the chronology of the bearded representation before the Senate of Constantinople in early 362:  ‘amid the coating of dust which covered his beard and hair, his eyes flashing starry flames’ (Pan. Lat. iii[11]6.4, tr. Nixon-Rodgers). Eventually after Constantius’ death in November 361, this short-bearded portrait spread to all the Empire’s mints and became Julian’s habitual image on the coins during the first months of the year 362. The reverse of the coin completes the symbology:35 most frequently there is a cuirassed figure holding a trophy, which recalls the traditional prototype of the tropaiophoros, ‘trophy bearer’ with a defeated barbarian at his feet,36 dressed in trousers and caught by the hair; the legend is VIRTVS EX- ERC GALL in Lyons and Arles, VIRTVS EXERCITVS ROMANI in the East’s mints.37 Varner argued that Julian’s tropaiophoros recalled the depiction of Romulus with the spolia opima from the Forum of Augustus in Rome and also Aeneas carrying his father Anchises and his son Julus.38 Actually, this tropaiophoros with the trousered barbarian—frequent on 4th-century coins—may be just as a re-issue of the classical scene of the tropaiophoros.39 The fact that Constantine did produce that coin in the Illyrian mints leads Guidetti to suppose that Julian chose Constantine as his iconographical model 33 34 35 36

37 38 39

Pan. Lat. VI(7)2.2 (AD 310), V(8)4.2-3 (AD 311); Nixon-Rodgers 1994, 25. Jul. Or. 5.274D (vid. supra). On the symbolism of the eagle in coins of the mints of Arles, Lyon, and Rome, see Gilliard 1964, 137–138. The scene of the soldier carrying the trophaeum and the captive kneeling at his side was a traditional iconographic model for the representation of the conquests on the barbarians, common on coins since the Republic, in the Imperial times constitutes a symbolic representation of the conquest of a province, Daremberg-Saglio, s.v. tropaeum, 516–517. Kent 1954, 112–113; Arce 1984, 195. On Varner’s thesis on Julian’s iconographic models see more infra. Belloni 1976, 227–228 notes that this representation was habitual in the late Panegyrici latini.

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during his march eastwards against Constantius, creating a parallelism with the confrontation between Constantine and Licinius.40 Choosing Constantine as an inspiring model on the reverse and simultaneously breaking with the familiar aesthetic on the obverse does not seem a plausible option, although the relationship of emulation (and rejection) of Constantine by Julian deserves a thorough study. The Letter to the Athenians is again the most relevant text for our research. Julian needed to justify his uprising in Paris (February, 360) and his march against Constantius (spring, 361)  before the wider Empire, especially those populations and armies in Constantius’ East. The Letter is a request to the people of Athens, who were well-known for their wisdom and love for justice, to judge his conduct. Julian appears as the victim of the crimes and intrigues of Constantius. At the same time, he represented himself as Constantius’ legitimate successor (Ep. ad Ath. 270C-273B) and as a brilliant soldier who, chosen by the gods, was seeking to destroy a tyrant (Ep. ad Ath. 279B-280D).41 Fourth Stage. Julian Augustus, December 361—June 363: Long-Bearded Julian, by now Augustus and confirmed in power without opposition, began to implement his idea of the State. At this time, now unhindered by a need to define himself in opposition to Constantius and the Constantinians, he issued his most genuine self-representations, both in coins and in writings. In the obverses of 362 until Julian’s death in June 363, his beard starts to grow progressively and becomes pointed, an unconventional stereotype for an emperor during the third or fourth centuries. This particular long-bearded portrait is Julian’s most famous and characteristic representation. The emperor always appears with the double-pearled diadem and a round or square jewel in the centre, similar to many of Constantius’ obverses as Augustus, which he used to present himself as his legitimate heir. He mostly dresses in military clothing, cuirass and paludamentum, and occasionally a helmet. The exceptions to this image are the two series of solidi minted in Antioch for his fourth consulate of 363,42 in which the emperor is wearing 40 41 42

Guidetti 2015, 24. Jul. Ep. ad Ath. 279B-280D. For a detailed analysis of this characterization, see Humphries 2012, esp. 81–86. ric viii Antioch nn. 204–206; cf. Wiemer 1995, 152.

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Figure 9.7 Julian Augustus, gold coin, Antioch. London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. 1921, 0107.3 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

the traditional apparel of a consul, the trabea and the mappa.43 Solidi were minted to pay soldiers and were usually accompanied by military scenes and legends and these series were issued presumably for the payment of soldiers participating in the Persian campaign,44 although in this case the symbolism conspicuously lacked a military theme. The reverses repeat familiar scenes, most of them of a military character, such as the tropaiophoros with the legend VIRTVS EXERC(itvs) ROMANORVM (now in the plural including the western and eastern armies); and the VOTA usually accompany Julian’s figure on the cuirass and helmet. In the two series which commemorate his fourth consulate, both reverses show Julian in consular costume, one seated in a throne and the other one standing. One might have thought that Julian would have wanted to promote a martial image on the eve of such an important campaign but he preferred to emphasize his role as consul. Is this a visual representation of his civilitas? Since there are no references in Julian’s writings to his representation as consul,45 it is not possible to answer this question for certain. At this time, an innovative reverse on a series of bronze coins began to be minted, which showed the bronze series with a standing bull, crowned by two stars, invariably with the legend SECVRITAS REI PVBL(icae). 43

44 45

Emperors dressed in consular clothes on the occasion of the consulate were no novelty in the fourth century, though the mappa was introduced only from Constantius’ times, Grabar 1971, 12. Lib. Or. 18-168-170 (cf. Greg. Naz. Or. 4.82.1). Amm. Marc. 23.1.1; Lib. Or. 12 (passim).

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Figure 9.8 Julian Augustus, bronze, Sirmium. RIC 8, 106, p.392. 362–363. London, British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals, inv. B.3808 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

Large amounts of these were minted in the Empire, except in the cities of Trier, Rome and Alexandria.46 Its meaning, clearly part of the theological and political programme of the emperor, has been widely studied and debated. Here, however, we study it in close connection to Julian’s self-image contemporary texts and especially in the Misopogon.47 Across Julian’s sole reign, it is possible to detect a chronological sequence for his growing self-consciousness as ruler that culminates in the Misopogon. I have defined each stage of this sequence under five headings: 1) ‘The philosopher on the throne’: Julian defines the role of the emperorphilosopher in a response to Themistius’ letter; 2)  ‘an autobiographical myth’: Julian defends myth as a way to reach the ‘hidden truths’ of philosophy and exposes his own autobiographical myth as an example in To the Cynic Heraclius; 3)  ‘A model emperor’:  by narrating a fictitious competition, he exposes in The Caesars who his model of good emperor is; 4) ‘Helios’ representative on earth’: in the Hymn to Helios Julian proclaims Helios as the supreme divinity of the Empire and aligns himself as the god’s representative, 5) ‘Julian’s 46

47

ric viii, p.  195 (Lyon, 236–238); p.  229 Arles (313–317; also with an eagle in 318– 323); p.  337 (Aquileia 242–243); p.  380 (Siscia 411–413, 417–419); p.  392 (Sirmium, 105–107); p.  423 (Thessalonica, 222–226); p.  438 (Heraclea 101–104); pp.  462–463 (Constantinople, 161–164); pp. 483–484 (Nicomedia, 118–122); p. 500 (Cyzicus 125– 128); p. 532 (Antioch 216–218). Following Szidat’s (1981) lead. See below, ‘Julian in the eyes of the Antiochenes’ and ‘The coin of the bull and the stars: a symbol of Julian and his emperorship’.

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self-image in the Misopogon:  finally, reacting to the jokes some Antiochians have spread against him, he composes his own self-portrait as a ruler in the Misopogon. As will we see, his representations are not homogeneous across these texts, yet analysing each one will lead us to consider whether what he calls the ‘hidden truths’ of his philosophy—his more personal religious and intellectual identity—were only disclosed to restricted audiences, or intended for wider consumption. Finally we will concentrate specifically on the reception of Julian’s image among the Antiocheans, and consequently propose an interpretation for the bull and stars coin. The Philosopher on the Throne Shortly after his proclamation as Augustus, probably in December 361,48 Julian  responded to Themistius’ Letter which contained advice on how a leader must act. He defined himself as a philosopher who had been invested with power (Jul. Ep. ad Them. 254a).49 Following Platonic doctrines (Plat. Laws 709b, 713c), Julian argues that, since the leader governs other human beings, he must be better than the governed ones, not only in terms of his behaviour but also of his nature, and that he must allow the divine part of his being to dominate in his governing (Jul. Ep. ad Them. 259a, 260c). There was a time when Julian believed that he ought to rival Alexander for his courage or Marcus (Aurelius) for his virtue, but now he is willing to emulate them or anyone ‘that had stood out for his virtue’ (Jul. Ep. ad Them. 253ab). He clearly prioritizes the philosophical model based on virtue over the military one only based on courage.50 In the opposite of the model of an active life proposed by Themistius,

48

49 50

There is a school of thought that dates the Letter to Themistius from late 355 to early 356 (see Swain 2013, 53–68), but Julian could hardly have acquired such self-awareness as ruler by then. The Letter should be understood as a declaration of principles from a position of newly acquired authority addressed to a prominent intellectual who did not enjoy his sympathies (see Vanderspoel 1995, 115–134 with related texts and bibliography). Before he had defined himself as ‘lover of philosophy’ in Jul. Or. 1.3d, 3.120ab. Julian admired Alexander for his courage, mastery, and victories, but he did not consider him model due to his arrogance (Jul. Or. 1.45d-46a; 3.107bc; Jul. Ep. ad Them. 257a; 264ad; 8.250d-251c; Caes. 318c, 319d; 324d; 330c-331b); Jul. Ep. ad Them. 264d: ‘Who, I ask, ever found salvation through the conquest of Alexander? What city was ever more wisely governed because of them, what individual improved?’ The clearest testimony of Julian’s opinion can be found in a letter just before his march to Persia in 363 (Ep. 82, 446a), in which he emphasizes Alexander’s many mistakes over his military virtues, vid. Lane Fox 1997, 251.

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Julian praises the model of the contemplative life guided by wisdom, moderation, and knowledge of the divine essence that Socrates embodied (Jul. Ep. ad Them. 264c-265b).51 An Autobiographical Myth After the arrival of the Neoplatonist philosopher and theurgist Maximus of Ephesus in Constantinople in 362, Julian’s writings started to reflect more deeply his philosophical position based on an amalgam of the Platonic doctrines with Iamblichus’ Neoplatonic approach, and Julian’s own experience as an initiate in the mysteries of Hecate, Eleusis, and Mithras.52 Julian composed a long discourse, To the Cynic Heraclius (March, 362), in which he reflected on, among other issues, what true Philosophy was for him, who should access different levels of knowledge, and what place myths occupied in Philosophy.53 According to Julian, myth, as traditionally understood by philosophers, has its proper place within Philosophy, in ‘that theological department that has to do with initiation and the Mysteries. For Nature loves to hide herself (Heracl., fr. 123 Diels-Kranz), and she does not suffer the hidden truth about the essential nature of the gods to be flung in naked words to the ears of the profane’ (Jul. Or. 7.216bc). And ‘under the guidance of gods those hidden things become plain, and so initiate or rather perfect our intelligence or whatever we possess that is more sublime than the intelligence’.54 Thus, he distinguishes different philosophical levels from myth up to ‘full knowledge’, which are related to intelligence and with initiation in the Mysteries. As Plato and Iamblichus, Julian believes that myths have to been used to express the deepest and most serious truths of philosophy, especially those that deal with divine matters (Jul. Or. 7.217c). In order to illustrate how to make correct use of myths, Julian writes in To the Cynic Heraclius an autobiographical parable, in which he sets out the mission the gods have entrusted to him:  ‘A certain rich man had numerous 51

52 53 54

This theoretical concept was common among contemporary philosophers, Swain 2013, 1–9. Julian describes the true philosopher as someone who practices the divine precept ‘know thyself’, explores the divine part of himself and tries to resemble the gods (cf. Plat. Tht. 176b) (Jul. 6.183a-184d); he is simple in appearance and manners, although appearance is not enough, he has to entrust their affairs to right reason and expel from his soul all passions (Or. 6.200d-201a, 201d) Maximus exercised great influence over the Emperor Julian, catering to the emperor’s love of magic and theurgy. Jul. Ep. 26; Amm. Marc. 22.7.3-4; Bidez 1930, 261–262. He continued elaborating these ideas in To the Mother of Gods (March, 362) and in To the Uneducated Cynics (June, 362). Jul. Or. 7.217c.

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flocks of sheep …’ (Jul. Or. 7.227c). Julian narrates that Constantine was the rich man who multiplied his possessions and, believing that having children was sufficient, he did not ensure that they were virtuous. He left the gods, and his sons tore down the ancestral shrines (227c-228c). One day Zeus commissioned Helios to watch over the rich man’s nephew and the cousin of his heirs, ‘this child (i.e. Julian) is thine own offspring’ (229c). ‘Father Helios bade Athene share with Helios the task of bringing up the child’ (230a). When Julian was a child, he had a vision in which Helios told him that he was the progeny of Helios and Athena, and one day Julian would replace Constantius as the legitimate heir of the dynasty. His duty was to purify the lineage of their parents who had fallen into atheism and a life of debauchery. Julian declares he subjected himself to the will of God, when he grew up, he was initiated into the mysteries of Helios and everything happened as it had been announced (230b-234c). The objective of this myth was to show that Julian had been put in charge of the Empire by the will of the gods, that his main genealogy was that of HeliosMithras,55 and his mission according to the gods was to purify the dynasty of his predecessors, thus restoring their worship.56 According to Julian’s statements (see supra Jul. Or. 7.216c), this revelation would be for the benefit of pagan intellectuals, albeit in varying degrees for those within the Mysteries (Jul. Or. 7.217cd). The Caesares: Marcus Aurelius Versus Constantine In The Caesares, a satire written on the occasion of the Saturnalia in midDecember of 362, Julian presents and criticizes a select group of Roman emperors,57 with the aim of highlighting possible imperial ideals of virtue.58 First, the candidates and their deeds are presented, then they are asked what guided them in their actions. The fact that Alexander, although not an emperor, was admitted in the Caesars’ competition can be interpreted as a sign of Julian’s admiration for the Macedonian king as the model for all Roman emperors to come.59 But it soon became clear that military virtues were not exclusive nor the most important for being a good emperor. From the beginning, Marcus Aurelius stood out among all others, ‘showing the effect of his studies in his physical appearance and the depth of his soul (Jul. Caes. 317cd, tr. Wright): 55 56 57 58 59

On Helios-Mithras syncretism, vid. Beck 2002. Athanassiadi 1992, 173; Hidalgo de la Vega 1997, 326, 333, 336–7; Elm 2012, 114–116. Wright II, 1913, 343; Lacombrade 1964, 7; Weiss 1978, 134–135; Bowersock 1982; García Blanco 1982, 149. Hidalgo de la Vega 1997, 339. See n.50.

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Accordingly Marcus was summoned and came in looking excessively dignified and showing the effect of his studies in the expression of his eyes and his lined brows. His aspect was unutterably beautiful from the very fact that he was careless of his appearance and unadorned by art; for he wore a very long beard (ὑπήνη βαθεῖα), his dress was plain and sober, and from lack of nourishment his body was very shining and transparent, like light most pure and stainless. Asked by Hermes what he thought to be the noblest ambition in his life, in a low voice Marcus answered modestly: ‘to imitate the gods’ (333c) ‘in their minds’ (334a), ‘having the fewest possible needs and doing good to the greatest possible number’ (334a). The gods had no hesitation in proclaiming Marcus winner of the competition between the Caesars: they had found in Marcus an emperor who understood what the true nature and purpose of the authority of an emperor was (333c, 334b). It would seem that ‘thanks to the virtuous example of his predecessor (i.e. Marcus), Julian is able to recognize that the true mission of an emperor is to become the best of all possible princes’;60 but, as Hunt said, the sense of analogy is the reverse: ‘The Marcus seen in Julian’s Caesars is thus not— beyond the conventional image of the philosopher-ruler—a depiction of the second-century emperor, but a contemporary creation … the role of Marcus in the Caesars is a projection of Julian’s own self-identification, embodying the austere asceticism and practising piety which were the hallmarks of his own regime, and of the religious crusade over which he sought to preside. Even down to his long beard (317c) the Marcus of The Caesars is cast, not as his real self, but in the image of Julian. His part in the fable finds its ideal exemplum in Julian, and not the other way round’.61 Julian’s beard is long and trimmed in goatee fashion (Amm. Marc. 22.14.3; 25.4.22), whereas Marcus’ is shorter and crimped with shorter growth and curling hair. In fact, this Marcus has all the external features and moral qualities with which Julian characterizes himself in the Misopogon.62 Moreover, the Caesars also offers an antimodel of princes in the person of Constantine: while the other emperors are criticized on some issues, Constantine is condemned at every point where Marcus is praised (Jul. Caes. 336ab): He (Constantine) could not discover among the gods the model of his own career, but when he caught sight of Pleasure … he ran to her. She 60 61 62

Guidetti 2015, 43; also Sterz 1977. Hunt 1995, 297–8. Vid. infra.

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Figure 9.9 Marcus Aurelius, aureus, Roma. ric 3 407, p.244. Museum Number: 1856, 1101.75, 658774001 (© The Trustees of the British Museum).

received him tenderly and embraced him … dressing him in raiment of many colours … and led him away to Incontinence. There too he found Jesus who had taken up his abode with her … To him Constantine came gladly, when he had conducted his sons forth from the assembly of the gods. But the avenging deities none the less punished both him and them for their impiety, and exacted the penalty for the shedding of the blood of their kindred, until Zeus granted them a respite for the sake of Claudius [Gothicus] and Constantius [Chlorus]. Against Constantine and his children weighs the guilt of the murder of their relatives. Constantine executed both his eldest son (by his first wife) Crispus and his second wife, Fausta. Julian’s father, his eldest brother and his cousins were slain in the massacre by which the sons of Constantine secured the Empire for themselves on the death of their father Constantine.63 For Julian, the forgiveness Jesus offers to sinners, in this case Constantine and his sons, is a mockery to those who suffered for their cause (cf. 336b). In terms of representation, it should be stressed that Julian presents Marcus as an ideal philosopher-emperor and an imitator of the gods who acts as an antithesis to the godless wastrel, the Christian Constantine.64 63 64

The idea of Constantine becoming a Christian in order to feel absolved of unpardonable crimes is also found in other pagan authors as Eutr. 10.6 and Zos. 2.29. Hunt 1995, 297; Smith 1995, 187.

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Julian, Helios’ Representative on Earth Julian’s philosophical, religious and political thought reaches its apex in the Hymn to Helios, written to celebrate the dies natalis of Sol Invictus, on the 25th of December of 362 (Jul. Or. 4.131d). In this text Julian expresses his worldview in the most intricate and abstract language of all his works.65 He declares himself follower of King Helios (130c), referring to his initiation into the cult of Helios-Mithras. Julian presents Helios as the second principle of the Platonic triad (intelligible, intellectual, and sensible world); although he does not explain the substantial difference between the ‘intelligible world’ of the One and the ‘intellectual world’ of Helios, but directly states that Helios has been located for the Good to rule and reign in the intellectual world and the sensible world (133ab). This primacy makes Helios midmost of the intellectual gods and he initiates blessings of all sorts for the world which we can perceive (142a). In the region beneath the moon Helios protects the entire human race, Rome, and his protégé Julian (cf. 157ab). The emperor represented himself as personally linked to Helios, in the form of a very young worshiper (130bc, 131d) and by a dynasty which has been serving this god for over three generations (131c), thus excluding Christian Constantine and his descendants. He also redefines the divine genealogy and the myths that sustain the history of Rome in a heliocentric approach (153d156c). Helios is the true founder of ‘Our City’ (the name of Rome is omitted) and traditional Roman characters only count as his descendants:  Aeneas was born from Aphrodite, who was a subordinate and relative of Helios; the divine Quirinus (otherwise called Romulus), was not the son of Ares, but a noble divinity with the aspect of Ares, whose soul descends directly from Helios (153d-154d); and the ‘most divine Numa’, who was entrusted with the unquenchable flame that comes from Helios and established the Vestals to guard it, he created the solar calendar that only we (meaning the citizens of the Empire) and Egyptians follow. He, Julian, offspring of Romulus and Aeneas (153d), presented himself as the latest representative of this genealogy from Helios commanding the Roman Empire (157a, 157b, 158b).66 In the Hymn to Helios Julian drew up a theological doctrine connecting the Platonic philosophy of ‘the One’ with Mithraism; he changed HeliosMithras from a tutelary deity of his dynasty to supreme deity of the Roman 65 66

Smith 2012. Varner 2012, 200–201 relied on this passage about Romulus, Aeneas, and Numa to argue that they became iconographic models for Julian. He is probably right in saying that Numa could have inspired Julian’s concept of the king-priest via Plutarch’s Life of Numa. See. Jul.

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Empire.67 From this perspective, being Roman meant accepting a worldview that included beliefs related to the ordination of the Universe and the emperor as a representative of Helios on Earth.68 He aimed to unite the subjects of the Empire in a common project: a Rome maintained by Helios that acted as an instrument of Providence. This served the cause of paganism in a way similar to the doctrine of Eusebius of Caesarea, who considered the Empire as an instrument of Providence for the cause of Christianity.69 Julian’s Self-Image in the Misopogon The emperor had settled in Antioch in June 362 with the intention of implementing his political and religious agenda and preparing his expedition against the Persians from there. But in the following months, issues surrounding the food supply (speculation on basic and luxury articles as well as the massive presence of troops preparing for the campaign) and religious problems (the conflict between Julian and Christians aggravated by the episode of the temple of Daphne, Amm. Marc. 22.13.1-3) increasingly set the mood for a confrontation.70 During the New Year feast in 363 a series of satirical anapaests criticizing the emperor circulated throughout the city. It was traditional for the crowd to ridicule the chief magistrates with impunity on this occasion, using comic impersonations as well as pamphlets.71 Julian answered those taunts by writing the Misopogon before his departure to Persia in early March of 363. Misopogon literally means ‘Beard-Hater’ and formally is a satirical dialogue between the emperor and the people of Antioch. Following the light-hearted tone of the Kalends festival,72 Julian makes fun of himself, but, as argued by Van Hoof and Van Nuffelen, the self-rebuke is in reality a thinly veiled

67 68 69

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Against the Galileans 193cd: ‘Zeus set over her (i.e. Rome) the great philosopher Numa’; for the analysis of the sculptures that may follow this pattern, see Varner 2012, 196–199. Romulus and Aeneas do not function as models but have been subsumed by the Hellenic and Mithraic viewpoint, for the criticism on the tropaiophoros reverses related to Romulus and Aeneas see above. Athanassiadi 1992, 160, 178. Elm 2012, 291–292. Athanassiadi 1992, 123; Hidalgo de la Vega 1997, 333, 344, 348; Simons 2011, 500–501. In Against the Galileans Julian intends to refute the essence of Christianity and its biblical roots, vid. Against the Galileans 201e-202a; 191de. Bowersock 1978, 94–105. Gleason 1986, 109, based on the testimony of John Lydus De Mensibus, 74. Gleason 1986, 108–113; Hawkins 2012.

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opportunity to adapt or distort the criticism of him by the Antiochenes.73 Therefore, Julian’s self-image in the Misopogon should be distinguished from Julian’s image mocked in the Antiochean verses. The exact nature of the latter may be reconstructed from some comments in Julian’s satire and from other ancient works, mainly Socrates Scholaticus, Sozomen and Ammianus. Firstly, we will examine Julian’s self-representation in the Misopogon. Heading off criticism of his beard, Julian provides a complete mockery of his physical appearance (338c-339a, tr. Wright): For though nature did not make this any too handsome or well-favoured or give it the bloom of youth, I myself out of sheer perversity and ill temper have added to it this long beard of mine, to punish it (…) But you (the Antiochenes) say that I ought to twist ropes from it! Well I am willing to provide you with ropes if only to have the strength to pull them and their roughness (…) and let no one suppose that I am offended by your satire. For I myself furnish you with an excuse for it by wearing my chin as goats do.74 He continues by condemning his austere way of life, his absence from theatres, the hippodrome and dances in town (339c, 340ab), his piety towards the gods and frequent visits to the temples (346b), his constant attendance at trials and his trying to banish the greed of gain from the market place (363d, 365d). On the contrary, according to Julian, the temper of the city is the opposite:  the Antiochenes, young and old, enjoy shaving their cheeks (339a, 349c), they love luxury and debauchery, participate in festivals and dances (345d-346a, 346c, 347a-349b, 362d-363b, 365b), have left the worship of the gods (344c, 345c, 362c-363c), have chosen as their protector Christ instead of Zeus (357cd); their ingratitude does not value the efforts of the emperor to provide for their welfare (366d, 368bc, 369d, 370c, 371b).75 The Misopogon is designed to create the impression of a strong ideological antithesis between Julian and the Antiochenes.76 Julian constructs his image— bearded, sober, tempered and worshiper of the gods, as the true philosopher should be—in opposition to the Antiochenes as libertines who have Christ as their protector and hate Julian’s beard and everything it means. This antithesis could even echo that found in The Caesars between Marcus Aurelius and 73 74 75 76

Van Hoof and Van Nuffelen 2011, 175. Italics added. Amm. Marc. 22.14.2 regretted the excessive and malicious criticism of the city contained in the diatribe. Van Hoof and Van Nuffelen 2011, 175; also Hawkins 2012, 171–172 and Quiroga 2009, 130.

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Constantine. Thus, the title of the satire, Misopogon, points to the beard as symbol par excellence of Julian’s conceptual and visual representation. It depicts him as a philosopher-king and a model of all the philosophical virtues. Favourable sources strive to maintain this depiction in their narratives of his death.77 Julian in the Eyes of the Antiochenes But which of Julian’s features were derided and why? Julian names two: ‘You insult your own Sovereign, yes even the very hairs on his chin and the devices engraved on his coins’ (Jul. Misop. 355D, tr. Wright).78 The Misopogon makes numerous references to the beard, but does not mention any coin; meanwhile the ecclesiastical authors Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen speak precisely of both as a matter of jesting (Soc. he 3.17, 3–6, tr. A.C. Zenos, rev. García Ruiz; Soz. he 5.19, 2–3, tr. A.C. Zenos, rev. García Ruiz): The Antiochenes not bearing the insult—for they are a people naturally impatient with insult—instantly broke forth into invectives against Julian; caricaturing his beard also, which was a very long one, and saying that it ought to be cut off and manufactured into ropes;79 they added that the bull which was impressed upon his coin was a symbol of his having desolated the world. For the emperor, being excessively superstitious, was continually sacrificing bulls on the altars of his idols; and had ordered the impression of a bull and altar to be made on his coin. [Socrates] A scarcity in consequence ensued, for which the people blamed the emperor, and their resentment found vent in ridiculing the length of his beard and the bull he had stamped upon his coins,80 and they satirically remarked that the world in his reign had been completely turned around like a bull on its back. [Sozomen] In all probability, these coins were part of the bronze series with the reversetype of a standing bull, crowned by two stars, the left one being right up to of the spine; the right one, slightly above and between the horns, and with the legend SECVRITAS REI PVBL(icae) (vid. fig. 9.8). 77 78 79 80

Accounts Julian’s death reminding Socrates’s, Lib. Or. 18.272 and Amm. Marc. 25.3.15-20. On this passage, I agree with Szidat 1981. Jul. Misop. 338d: ‘you say that I ought to twist ropes from it! Well I am willing to provide you with ropes if only to have the strength to pull them …’ Socrates stated wrongly in another passage that Julian had mint a bull and an altar, Sozomen corrected the inaccuracy.

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According to the ecclesiastical historians, the Antiochenes understood that the bull was a symbol of Julian himself. The Antiochenes’ comments made a linguistic play based on the ambivalence of τὸν κόσµον referring to ‘the stars on the thrones of the bull’, but also in a wide sense to ‘the world’: ‘They say that Julian had gone around the world (καὶ τὸν κόσµον ἀνατετραφθαι)’ (Socrates) or ‘they remarked satirically that the world in his reign had been completely turned around like a bull on its back’ (τὸν γὰρ κόσµον ἐπίσης τῶν ὑπτίων ταύρων ὑπ᾽ αὐτῷ ἡγεµόνι ἀνατετράφαθαι ἐπετώθαζον, Sozomen). The authors of these lines, most certainly Christians, criticized the bull as an image of Julian himself, the abundant sacrifices he made, as well as the promise in the legend SECVRITAS REI PVBL(icae).81 Those criticisms are echoed in the Misopogon without naming the coin, the bull or the legend (Jul. Misop. 360d, tr. Wright): you (i.e. the Antiochenes) have sent them tidings from here in return, that in the first place the affairs of the whole world have been turned upside down by me—though indeed I am not conscious of turning anything upside down, either voluntarily or involuntarily.82 When Ammianus refers to the taunts of the Antiochenes, he also mentions Julian’s peculiar ‘goat beard’, and that they laughed at his many offerings, calling him victimarius instead of sacricola (Amm. Marc. 22.14.3, tr. Rolfe): For he was ridiculed (by Antiochenes) as a dwarf (cercops), spreading his narrow shoulders and displaying a billy-goat’s beard, taking mighty strides as if he were the brother of Otus and Ephialtes, whose height Homer describes as enormous. He was also called by many a slaughterer (victimarius) instead of high priest (sacricola), in jesting allusion to his many offerings. And in fact he was fittingly criticised, because for the sake of display he improperly took pleasure in carrying the sacred emblems in place of the priests and in being attended by a company of women. Therefore, it seems clear that the Antiochenes’ criticism of this unusually long beard was related to Julian’s many sacrifices (victimarius). The historian agreed with them, since he had previously chastised Julian for immolating an excessive number of bulls and other animals,83 usurping the functions reserved for 81 82 83

Szidat 1981, 26. Italics added. Amm. Marc. 22.12.6:  Hostiarum tamen sanguine plurimo aras crebritate nimia perfundebat, tauros aliquotiens inmolando centenos et innumeros varii pecoris greges avesque

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priests and, and letting himself be accompanied by retinues of women through the streets of Antioch for the celebration of the rites, contrary to the dignity of his imperial position.84 Libanius also highlights Julian’s image as a priest in the very first days of 363, when the teasing took place (Lib. Or. 12. 69, 80, 82). The speech describes how the cultic practices occupied a central role in Julian’s government, confirming that Julian showed himself as the Pontifex Maximus of the new paganism. In sum, the growing number of sacrifices that the emperor offered to propitiate the gods ahead of the campaign against the Persians, the wasteful spending of meat and other excesses (cf. Amm. Marc. 22.12.6) in times of famine, the extravagances of the emperor-priest, disturbed a group of Christian Antiochenes, degenerating into social and religious criticism in the context of the New Year feasts during which satire and verbal excess were permitted. Julian’s manipulation of the upside-down logic of the Kalends and his reinterpretation of the image of his beard sought to reassert his authority outside the festival setting.85 The Coin of the Bull and the Stars: A Symbol of Julian and His Emperorship What was the intended symbolism of the coin? The most accurate explanation should consider that the bull’s standing position (not the sacrificial one of the taurobolia) and also the stars are consistent with Julian’s ideas in his writings.86

84 85 86

candidas terra quaesitas et mari, adeo ut in dies paene singulos milites carnis distentiore sagina victitantes incultius, potusque aviditate corrupti, umeris inpositi transeuntium per plateas ex publicis aedibus, ubi vindicandis potius quam concedendis conviviis indulgebant, ad sua diversoria portarentur, Petulantes ante omnes et Celtae, quorum ea tempestate confidentia creverat ultra modum. (‘Nevertheless, he drenched the altars with the blood of an excessive number of victims, sometimes offering up a hundred oxen at once, with countless flocks of various other animals, and with white birds hunted out by land and sea; to such a degree that almost every day his soldiers, who gorged themselves on the abundance of meat, living boorishly and corrupted by their eagerness for drink, were carried through the squares to their lodgings on the shoulders of passers-by from the public temples, where they indulged in banquets that deserved punishment rather than indulgence; especially the Petulantes and the Celts, whose wilfulness at that time had passed all bounds’, tr. Rolfe), cf. 25.4.17. Wiemer 1995, 182; Célérier 2013, 196–199. Hawkins 2012, 170. For the main arguments and bibliography, see Kent 1954; Gilliard 1964; Szidat 1981; Arce 1984; Vanderspoel 1998; Wood 2000; Tougher 2004 and García Ruiz 2006. This section is in an abridged update of García Ruiz 2006.

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As Gilliard argues, the most attractive solution to the problem is that the bull was intended as an astrological representation of the emperor, a symbolic language that in the fourth century posed no problems for either Christians or pagans. The emperor was born in May, it seems likely under the zodiacal sign of Taurus.87 This constellation, which is represented as only the forepart of a bull, is composed of two major star clusters, the Hyades (on the face) and the Pleiades (in the neck). The star between the horns of the bull on the coin probably stands for Aldebaran (a constituent of the Hyades and the only first magnitude star in the constellation Taurus), while the other star represents the entire group of the Pleiades. In the fourth century, as today, the easiest method of locating the constellation Taurus would have been to find the Hyades and Pleiades.88 An enthusiast of astrology,89 Julian would have taken advantage of the broad influence of astrology among pagans and Christians to express allegorically his relationship with the god Helios. For him symbols (as myths) also brought closer the hidden truth of the Mysteries (Jul Or. 7.216c, 217c-218a), when he stated that ‘ordinary people derive benefit enough from the irrational myth which instructs them through symbols alone’ (To the Mother of Gods, 170b). Defender of a worldview in which Helios dominates among the intelligent gods and planets,90 he would have depicted himself on coins as his zodiac sign like a star which revolves around the god Helios.91 Final Remarks When Julian was Caesar, the absence of the beard in his representation both in coins and writings (until February 361) seems to be a sign of subordination and collaboration with Constantius. The short-bearded prototype, which referred to pagan military models used before Constantine, underlines the break with the aesthetics of the Constantinian dynasty, principally with Constantius. As for his conceptual self-representation in texts supposedly 87

88 89 90 91

The precise date of Julian’s birth is not absolutely certain, but Neumann, based on Amm. Marc. 25.3.23 and in extracts in Anth. Pal. 14.148, established that it fell sometime in May of the year 332. Gilliard 1964, 141. Jul. Or. 5.171d-173a; 4.130d; 148cd; Amm. Marc. 21.2.2.; Pan. Lat. iii(11) 2.3; 22.42-3.5; 23.6. Jul. Or. 4.146c-147c. For this argument explained in detail, García Ruiz 2006, 301–304.

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written from 355 to 361, Julian starts from a situation of subjection to Constantius and from his concealment of his identity as a pagan. He gradually reveals his identity as the confrontation with the emperor grows. The result is a series of consistent portraits that justify and anticipate his later image. This reflection reinforces the need for an overall study on whether these early writings were written for specific audiences and/or modified in some respect once he became Augustus with the intention of creating a favourable image of himself. As Julian starts to develop his thoughts and carry out reforms on the state and religion, his beard grows and becomes pointed on coins. He continues to be represented as a successful military commander, except on the consulate series, which was probably also minted in a military context. Could this long bearded Julian on coins have been designed for ambivalent interpretation by a wide audience as either soldierly/Tetrarchic or a philosopher emperor, whereas in texts it was a symbol of his philosophical credentials? It seems unlikely, since in the context of fourth century life and visual arts that striking pointed beard was commonly the identifying feature of philosophers and priests.92 Julian’s writings suggest that he wanted to be seen as a philosopher from the beginning. Julian manifests himself as emperor-philosopher in his public selfrepresentation, the Misopogon, making the physical attribute of his extremely long beard the symbol of suppression of passions, cultivation of the virtues of good government, and devotion to the gods. However, this is not the only self-image Julian transmits in his later writings. Julian also describes himself in a soteriological and political viewpoint, mainly in To the Cynic Heraclius and Hymn to Helios, as an initiate into the mysteries of Helios and as his son designated by the gods to restore paganism and purify the Constantinian dynasty of its ‘atheism’ and its crimes. Likely this more complex philosophical image was addressed to a select group of intellectuals who participated in a deeper knowledge of his heliocentric philosophy. On the other hand, to the people, he prefers to transmit the ‘hidden truths’ through symbols (To the Mother of Gods, 170b). The reverse of the bull and the two stars with the legend SECVRITAS REI PVBL(icae) seemed to be a public symbol of Julian himself, probably of his zodiac; theoretically a sign for all, but, in the light of his writings, the emblem of the consecration of his reign and the Roman Empire to the god Helios. The Antiochean case is an interesting episode in the flow and control of imperial images. Libanius, Ammianus, Socrates, and Sozomen show that the 92

Zanker 1995, 310, 319, see n.5

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aesthetics of the elongated pointed beard was perceived among pagan and Christian Antiocheans as an element of Julian’s public identity as a priest of Helios and Pontifex of the new religion; whereas in the Misopogon Julian wishes to leave aside those features of his personality related to his heliocentric and Mithraic beliefs and practices.93 Bibliography Arce, J. 1984. Estudios sobre el emperador F. Cl. Juliano. Madrid. Athanassiadi, P. 1992. Julian. An Intellectual Biography. London and New-York. Bardill, J. 2012. Constantine, Divine Emperor of the Christian Golden Age. New York. Barnes, T.D. 1998. Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical Reality. Ithaca. Beck, R. 1977. ‘Cautes and Cautopates:  Some astronomical observations’, Journal of Mithraic Studies 1: 1–17. Beck, R. 2002. s.v. ‘Mithraism’. Encyclopædia Iranica. London. Belloni, G.G. 1976. ‘Aeternitas e annientamento dei barbari sulle monete’, in M. Sordi (ed.) I canali della propaganda nel mondo antico. Milano. 220–228. Bidez, J. 1965 [1930]. La vie de l’Empereur Julien. Paris. Boeft, J. den, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst, and H.C. Teitler 1995. Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXII. Groningen. Bouffartigue, J. 1978. ‘Julien par Julien’, in R. Braun, J. Richer (eds.), L’empereur Julien. De l’histoire à la légende (331–1715). Paris. 15–30. Bowersock G.W. 1978. Julian the Apostate. Cambridge, ma. Bowersock G.W. 1982. ‘The Emperor Julian on his Predecessors’, Yale Classical Studies 27: 159–172. Caltabiano, M. 1974. ‘La propaganda de Giuliano nella lettera agli Ateniensi’, in M. Sordi (ed.), Storiografia e propaganda:  Contributi dell’ Istituto di storia antica. Milan. II. 123–138. Calza, R. 1972. Iconografia romana imperiale. Da Carausio a Giuliano (287–363 d.C.). Roma. Célérier, P. 2013. L’ombre de l’empereur Julien:  le destin des écrits de Julien chez les auteurs païens et chrétiens du IVe au VIe siècle. Paris. 93

This paper was written as part of the research Project ‘Romanitas and Interculturality in the Late Antique Imperial Self-representation: Constantine, Julian, Theodosius’, funded by the Spanish MINECO (ffi 2013–41327). I would like to thank José B. Torres, Álvaro Sánchez-Ostiz, Alberto Quiroga, Fabio Guidetti, Alessandro Maranesi, and, especially, Alan Ross for their careful reading comments and suggestions. Remaining shortcomings are my own responsibility.

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Curta, F. 1995. ‘Atticism, Homer, Neoplatonism, and Fürstenspiegel:  Julian’s second panegyric on Constantius’, Greek Roman and Byzantine Studies 36: 177–211. Drake, H. A. 2012. ‘“But I  Digress …”:  Rhetoric and Propaganda in Julian’s Second Oration to Constantius’, in N. Baker-Brian and S. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate. Swansea. 35–46. Elm, S. 2012. Sons of the Hellenism, Fathers of the Church. Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus and the Vision of Rome. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London. Fittschen, K. 1992–1993. ‘Ritratti maschili privati di epoca adrianea: Problemi della Ioro varieta’, ScAnt 6–7: 445–485. ——— 1997. ‘Privatporträts hadrianischer Zeit,’ in J. Bouzek and I. Ondrejová, (eds.), Roman Portraits: Artistic and Literary, Mainz am Rhein: 32–36. Fleck, T. 2008. Die Portraits Julianus Apostatas, Hamburg. García Blanco, J. 1982. Juliano. Discursos VI–XII. Madrid. García Ruiz, Mª P. 2006. ‘Quasi quoddam salutare sidus (PL III (11) 2.3): el tópico y su contexto histórico’, in E. Calderón Dorda, A. Morales Ortiz, and M. Valverde Sánchez (eds.), Koinòs lógos. Homenaje al profesor José García López, Murcia. 293–304. ——— 2015. ‘Una lectura conjunta del primer Encomio a Constancio y el Encomio a Eusebia de Juliano’, Exemplaria Classica. 19: 5–23. Gilliard, F.D. 1964. ‘Notes on the Coinage of Julian the Apostate’, JRS 54: 135–141. Gleason, M.W. 1986. ‘Julian’s Misopogon and the New Year at Antioch’, JRS 76: 106–119. Guidetti, F. 2015. ‘I ritratti dell’imperatore Giuliano’, in A. Marcone (ed.), L’imperatore Giuliano: Realtà storica e rappresentazione. Firenze. 12–49. Grabar, A. 1971 (=1936). L’empereur dans l’art byzantine. London. Hawkins, T. 2012. ‘Jester for a Day, Master for the Year’, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 13: 161–174. Hidalgo de la Vega, Mª J. 1997. ‘Helenismo y basileia en Juliano’, in D. Plácido, J. Alvar, J.M. Casillas and C. Fornis (eds.), Imágenes de la polis. Madrid. 317–353. Humphries, M. 2012. ‘The Tyrant’s Mask? Images of Good and Bad Rule in Julian’s Letter to the Athenians’ in N. Baker-Brian and S. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate. Swansea. 75–90. Hunt, D. 1995. ‘Julian and Marcus Aurelius’, in D. Innes, H. Hine, and C. Pelling (eds.), Ethics and Rhetoric: Classical Essays for Donald Russell on his Seventy-Fifth Birthday. New York. 287–298. Kaegi, W.E. 1967. ‘Domestic military problems of Julian the Apostate’, Byzantinische Forschungen 2: 247–261. Kent, J.P.C. 1954. ‘Notes on Some Fourth-Century Coin Types’, NC 6: 216–217. Labriola, I. 1986. ‘In margine al Secondo panegirico a Costanzo’, in B. Gentili, Giuliano imperatore, Atti del Convegno S.I.S.A.C. (Messina, 3 aprile 1984). Urbino. 121–126. Labriola, I. 1974. ‘I due autoritratti de Giuliano imperatore’, Belfagor 29: 547–554.

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Lacombrade, C. 1964. Julien. Oeuvres complètes 2,2, Discours de Julien Empereur: Les Césars, Sur Hélios-Roi, Le Misopogon. Paris. Lane Fox, R. 1997. ‘The itinerary of Alexander’, CQ 47: 239–252. Leerssen, J., s.v. ‘image’, in Beller, M. and J. Leerssen (eds.), Imagology:  The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters. A  critical survey. Amsterdam. 2007. 342–344. López Sánchez, F. 2012. ‘Julian and his coinage:  A very Constantinian prince’; in N. Baker-Brian and S.F. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian ‘the Apostate’. Swansea. 159–182. MacCormack, S. 1990. Art and Ceremony in Late Antiquity. Berkeley. Marcone, A. 1984. ‘Un panegirico rovesciato. Pluralitá di modelli e contaminazione letteraria nel Misopogon giulianeo’, REA 30: 226–239. Neumann, K. J. 1891: ‘Das Geburtsjahr Kaiser Iulians’, Philologus 50: 761–762. Nixon, C.E.V. and B.S. Rodgers 1994. In Praise of Later Roman Emperors: the Panegyrici Latini. Introduction, Translation and Historical Commentary, with the Latin text of R.A.B. Mynors, Berkeley. Norman, A.F. 1969. Libanius. Selected Works. Cambridge, ma. Quiroga, A. 2009. ‘Julian’s Misopogon and the Subversion of Rhetoric’, AnTard 17: 127–135. Sabbah, G. 1978. La méthode d’Ammien Marcellin: recherches sur la construction du discours historique dans les Res Gestae. Paris. Simons, B. 2011. ‘Kaiser Julian, Stellvertreter des Helios auf Erden’, Gymnasium 98: 483–502. Smith, A. 2012. ‘Julian’s Hymn to king Helios:  the Economical Use of Complex Neoplatonic Concepts’, in N. Baker-Brian and S.F. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate. Swansea. 231–237. Smith, R. 1995. Julian’s Gods: Religion and Philosophy in the Thought and Action of Julian the Apostate. London. Stertz, S.A. 1977. ‘Marcus Aurelius as Ideal Emperor in Late-Antique Greek Thought’, The Classical World 70: 433–439. Swain, S. 2013. Themistius, Julian and Greek Political Theory Under Rome. Cambridge. Szidat, J. 1981. ‘Zur Wirkung und Aufnahme der Münzpropaganda (Iul. Misop. 335.d)’. Museum Helveticum 38: 22–33. Tougher, S. 2004. ‘Julian’s bull coinage: Kent revisited’, CQ 54: 327–330. ——— 2007. Julian the Apostate, Edinburgh. Turcan, R. 2001. Los cultos orientales en el mundo romano, Madrid. Van Hoof L. and P. Van Nuffelen 2011. ‘Monarchy and Mass Communication: Antioch a.d. 362/3 Revisited, JRS 101: 166–184. Vanderspoel, J. 1995. Themistius and the Imperial Court. Ann Arbor. ——— 1998. ‘Julian and the Mithraic Bull’, AHB 12: 113–119.

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Varner, E. R. 2012. ‘Roman Authority, Imperial Authoriality and Julian’s Artistic Program’, in N. Baker-Brian and S.F. Tougher (eds.), Emperor and Author: The Writings of Julian the Apostate. Swansea. 183–211. Weiss, J.P. 1978. ‘Julien, Rome, et les Romains’, in R. Braun and J. Richer, L’empereur Julien. De l’histoire à la légende (331–1715). Paris. 125–140. Weststeijn, T. 2007. ‘Visual arts’, in M. Beller and J. Leerssen (eds.), Imagology:  The Cultural Construction and Literary. Representation of National Characters. A Critical Survey. Amsterdam. 451–455. Wiemer, H.-U. 1995. Libanios und Julian. Studien zum Verhältnis von Rhetorik und Politik im vierten Jahrhundert n. Chr. Munich. Woods, D. 2000. ‘Julian, Gallienus, and the Solar Bull’, American Journal of Numismatics 12: 157–169. Wright, W. C. 1913–1923. The Works of the Emperor Julian, Volumes I- III. Cambridge, ma. and London. Zanker, P. 1995. The Mask of Socrates. The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity (transl. A. Shapiro). Berkeley.

Chapter 10

Jovian between History and Myth Jan Willem Drijvers Introduction No fourth-century emperor (not counting usurpers) reigned for a shorter time than Jovian: less than eight months. He was acclaimed Augustus on the battlefield in Persia on 27 June 363, after the sudden death of Julian the previous day, and remained in power until his own death on 17 February 364. Flavius Iovianus1 was born in Singidunum (modern Belgrade) in 331 as son of Varronianus.2 Like his father, Jovian followed a military career. Under Constantius ii and Julian he was protector domesticus and at the time of his proclamation as emperor he was primicerius domesticorum.3 His father-in-law was Lucillianus,4 also a soldier, and his wife was perhaps Charito. He had two sons, one of them named Varronianus after his grandfather, the name of the other is unknown. Jovian’s reign is generally not thought to be of much interest by scholars of Late Antiquity and his person and rule have in general not received a good press. Edward Gibbon calls him an ‘unworthy successor of Julian’ and an emperor who was ‘exalted to the throne by fortune rather by merit’. He was not ‘conspicuous for any of the ambitious qualifications which excite the admiration and envy of mankind’. His strongest recommendation for the throne was ‘the merit of his father’. Gibbon furthermore qualifies Jovian as a ‘timid monarch’ who was irresolute, had an indulgence for wine and women, and suffered from a ‘savage insensibility’; he was ‘displeased with freedom and offended with truth’. The only good thing of his reign was his legislation on religious toleration. Gibbon concludes his account of Jovian by remarking that ‘his person and reign were soon forgotten’.5 1 His full name is known from e.g. cil 5.8037 (= Dessau 757) and cil 8.4647 (= Dessau 756). 2 PLRE I, Varronianus 1. 3 The story that he had been a military tribune and in that capacity confessed his faith before Julian, as related by several sources (Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.13.1-4, 3.22.2; Eun. fr. 29.1 (Blockley); Suda I 401; Photius 484a; Theoph. a.m. 5855) is probably without foundation; PLRE I, Fl. Iovianus 3; Lenski 2002b. 4 PLRE I, Lucillianus 3. 5 Gibbon 1903, 2.581 ff.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 012

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Jovian did not fare much better in more modern scholarly literature. Otto Seeck calls him ‘a completely untried newcomer’ and criticizes him for the speed with which he had concluded the peace treaty with Shapur ii.6 Interestingly enough, he characterizes him as Germanic: ‘his unusual height betrayed his Germanic origin’ and ‘as a true Germanic figure he ate heartily and drank even more heartily. He was not at all ill-disposed towards women’.7 A.H.M. Jones typified him as ‘a nonentity’.8 Only since the 1980s has opinion about Jovian’s person and reign become slightly more positive.9 Nevertheless, most historians consider his reign as an unimportant interlude between the provocative rule of Julian and the regime of Valentinian I   and Valens, and hardly show any interest in it.10 A new evaluation of Jovian’s reign is needed, but that is not the aim of this chapter. This contribution deals with the various images that have been created of Jovian in the late antique sources, of which there is a relative abundance for such a short reign. I will make a distinction between auto-image and hetero-image, that is the image that Jovian created or intended to create of himself through coinage, legislation, statues and inscriptions, and the image that others created of him in various literary genres. The literary genres I will discuss are: secular historiography, in particular Ammianus Marcellinus; Christian testimonies, predominantly the fifthcentury Church Histories; rhetoric, especially Themistius’ Oration 6 held on the occasion of Jovian’s acceptance of the consulship at 1 January 364. Although Themistius’ oration reflects official imperial self-representation, and hence could be considered (or contain elements of) the emperor’s auto-image, the fact that it was composed and delivered by an outsider classifies it as heteroimage. Special attention is devoted to the Syriac Julian Romance, a historical legend from the beginning of the sixth century in which Jovian is most prominently present. I would like to emphasize that it is not my aim to present a reliable historical interpretation of Jovian’s emperorship according to the rules of source criticism and historical analysis. My main objective is to demonstrate how and why

6 7

8 9 10

‘ein ganz unerprobter Neuling’. ‘sein ungewönhlich hoher Wuchs verriet das germanische Blut’ and ‘wie ein echter Germane ass er tüchtig und trank noch tüchtiger; auch war er den Weibern durchaus nicht abhold’. Seeck 1909–1921, 4. 358–371. Jones 1964, 138. Wirth 1984 made an attempt to re-evaluate Jovian’s reign. This is, for instance, reflected in the disappointing discussion of his reign by Curran 1998, 78–80 in the Cambridge Ancient History.

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various sources created different, even contradictory images and discourses of one and the same emperor and his reign. Auto-Image Since Jovian was emperor for such a brief period there is a limited number of expressions of auto-image or self-presentation. Among manifestations of selfpresentation, which are created and communicated by the imperial apparatus, I count legislation, coinage, portraiture (of which no examples have been preserved apart from portraits on coins) and inscriptions, although it can be debated whether the latter always communicate a self-image.11 Inscriptions No statues of Jovian have been preserved but the available inscriptions from his reign are likely to have all related to statues. cil 5.8037 (= Dessau 757) from the area of Verona reads: d. n. Iov[i]ano / victori ac triumfatori semper Augusto / b. [r.] p. n. xv. cil 8.4647 (= Dessau 756) from Thagora in Numidia and set up by Clodius Octavianus, proconsul of Africa, has the following: pro beatitudine felicium temporum d. n. Fl. Ioviani v. … / Clodio Octaviano v.c. proconsule p. A., Ulpius Faventinus v …. The Last Statues of Antiquity Database lists two statue bases with inscriptions; the statues themselves have been lost. In Apamea Cibotus in the province of Phrygia Pacatiana the following text on a base statue was found: d. n. / Fla(vio) Iobi/ano, pi(o), C(aesari) / [inv]ic[t]o.12 Another inscription was found in Cuicul in Numidia: d. n. Fl Ioviano, / victori ac tri/ umphatori, / semper Augusto.13 In the inscriptions Jovian is presented as bringer of good times, as a Constantinian (cf. also ‘Coinage’ below), and especially as invincible conqueror and triumphator. This is remarkable because Jovian never fought a war; he only retreated from the one started by his predecessor against the Persians. Jovian presents this retreat and the peace treaty with Shapur ii as a victory and a triumph. This becomes even clearer from Jovian’s coinage.

11 12 13

For further discussion, see Introduction p. 10–12. lsa-648. lsa-2247.The fact that two out of four inscriptions/statues come from Numidia may indicate that Jovian had been active there earlier in his career.

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Coinage There is a clear correspondence between the inscriptions and the legends on the coinage of Jovian (D N IOVIANUS P F PERP AVG).14 The recurring coin legends are: 1. secvritas rei publicae: Rome and Constantinople enthroned with Rome holding a spear and Constantinople a sceptre. Or: with emperor in military dress and a diadem holding the labarum (i.e. standard with Chi-Rho sign) and a globe; there is a bound captive wearing a pointed cap and face turned to the emperor. Or: with Rome and Constantinople enthroned; between them they support a shield inscribed VOT / V / MVL / X; Rome holds a spear and Constantinople a sceptre and rests her foot on a prow. 2. RESTITVTOR REI PVBLICAE:  Jovian diademed and in military dress; he is holding the labarum in his right hand and a Victory on globe in his left. 3. GLORIA REI PVBLICAE:  Rome and Constantinople enthroned, and between them a wreath inscribed VOT / V or VOT / V / MVLT / X. Rome holds a spear and Constantinople a sceptre. 4. VICTORIA ROMANORUM: Jovian diademed and in military dress, holding standard with cross on banner, and Victory holding wreath and palm-branch standing on globe. 5. GLORIA ROMANORUM:  emperor in military dress holding spear and globe, beneath an arch with fluted decoration on columns. 6. GAVDIVM ROMANORVM:  Constantinople enthroned and diademed; she holds a sceptre and extends her hand to a kneeling suppliant who brings offerings; beside the throne is a shield, and behind stand Victory holding a wreath and a palm-branch. 7. VICTORIA AUGUSTI:  Victory standing on cuirass behind which is a shield; on her knee is a shield inscribed VOT / V / MVL / X; a small winged genius supports the shield with both hands. The overall message of the legends, which are clearly inspired by and represent a return to Constantinian coinage, is clear and unsurprising: Jovian presents himself firmly as the emperor of Rome, making use of traditional and recognizable legends and typology. He presents himself as restorer of the Empire

14

The following is based on ric viii (1981), 48–49, 196, 229, 230–231, 304–305, 338–339, 393–394, 424–425, 438–439, 463–465, 484–485, 532–534.

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who brings victory, glory and prosperity to the Empire. The bound captive on the securitas rei publicae type and the suppliant on the gaudium romanorum type are likely to refer to a Persian which makes it more than likely that Jovian presents his peace treaty with Shapur ii as a victory,15 as is the case in the inscriptions. Apart from his characterization as a victorious emperor, Jovian also presents himself as a Christian as exemplified by the sign of the labarum and the symbol of the cross. Legislation It has recently been convincingly argued that legislation can function as a communicative vehicle promoting new imperial rule and creating loyalty and support for the new regime.16 During his short reign Jovian issued a considerable number of laws on a variety of topics. His legislation, however, has never been the subject of thorough research.17 Although identifying laws as issued by Jovian is sometimes problematic,18 the following laws can reliably be ascribed to Jovian: CTh 7.4.9 (ci 12.37.2) issued in Edessa, on the conveying of straw by soldiers no farther than the twentieth milestone; CTh 9.25.2 (ci 1.3.5) prohibits the raping of maidens and widows consecrated to God; CTh 10.19.219 rules that because the price of marble has gone up everyone who wishes to quarry this stone shall have the license to do so; CTh 11.20.1 rules that those who endured the lot of proscription and retained restitution of their property shall not be liable to the payment of gold and silver as those persons who possess farms obtained by imperial generosity;20 CTh 13.3.6 dictates that any man suitable in character and eloquence for teaching the youth shall either 15 16 17

18

19 20

Eling 1996. Schmidt-Hofner 2015. I am relying partly on the Master thesis of Brendel 2010, 82–114 which scrutinizes the laws. Clearly more research has to be done on this topic. I would like to thank Raphael Brendel for sending me his thesis. Although the date of issue of several laws falls within the reign of Jovian according to the Codex Theodosianus and Codex Justinianus, several of these laws are attributed to Julian and Valentinian I and Valens, on good grounds because they have the names of these Augusti, specifically: Julian: CTh 1.22.3, 8.1.8, 8.5.15, 8.5.16, 11.28.1, 12.1.56, 14.4.3, 15.1.10, 15.3.2, ci 8.10.7; Valentinian and Valens:  CTh 10.1.8, 11.30.32 (= ci 7.62.24), 11.36.15, 14.3.5, 14.3.6. According to the title this law was issued by Julian in Antioch but because of the date (22 October 363) it must have been issued by Jovian during his stay in Antioch. Although ascribed by the compilers of the Theodosian Code to Julian, this was a constitution of Jovian issued on 12 November 363 in Mampsysta, i.e. most likely Mopsuestia which Jovian may have visited on his way from Antioch to Constantinople.

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establish a new auditorium or seek an abandoned one;21 ci 1.40.5 decrees that although judges of lower rank should respect the decisions of those of higher rank, except when the welfare of the state is involved.22 Jovian’s legislation concerns a variety of topics and seems to reflect a response to problems he was confronted with. The laws are therefore not intended as a form of communication in order to promote his position as a new emperor. Clearly Jovian does not hide his Christian stance considering his protection of virgins and widows of God. His Christianity is also revealed in measures which are not incorporated in the Theodosian and Justinianic Code but are mentioned by the fifth-century Church Historians. Exiled bishops were called back,23 Christian clerics were made exempt again from munera as was the case under Constantine and Constantius ii,24 and a law ascribed to Constantine about free corn supplies to churches was renewed.25 Moreover, the provincial governors were instructed that Christians could without fear assemble again in the churches.26 Jovian’s auto-image as exemplified in epigraphy, coinage, and legislation is clearly inspired by Constantinian imagery. Jovian presents himself as a restorer of the state, a bringer of good times, a triumphator and, above all, in contrast to Julian’s reign, as the protector of the Christian religion, individual Christians and the interests of the Church. Hetero-Image Images by others, that is those created from outside the imperial system, comprise the writings of secular historians and Christian literary sources, foremost among them the ecclesiastical histories, and orations in honour of the emperor—in the case of Jovian, Themistius’ speech on the occasion of his acceptance of the consulship. In case of official orations we have to take into

21 22

23 24 25 26

The law mentions to have been issued by Valentinian and Valens but was to all likelihood issued by Jovian on 11 January 364. This law, dated 28 December 363, has been attributed to Valentinian and Valens but is probably by Jovian. CTh 11.30.30 (ci 7.67.2) issued by Julian has also been ascribed to Jovian by some, but I see no reason why Julian could not have issued this law. Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.24.4. Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3.4. Thdt. Hist. Eccl. 4.4.1-2. Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3.3.

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account that they also play along with, reflect and respond to official imperial policy and are therefore rather a mixture of auto- and hetero-image than an exclusive hetero-image. The unfavourable image of Jovian which is reflected in modern scholarly publications, was created in the decades after his reign by secular historians Eutropius, Festus, Ammianus Marcellinus and Zosimus. They focus on his rise to power and the peace treaty with the Persians, which will also be the emphasis in my discussion of these sources.27 The Christian sources are far less negative about Jovian and approve of his policy towards the Church. Themistius On 1 January 364 Themistius delivered in Ancyra an oration in the presence of Jovian on the occasion of the emperor’s first consulship together with his infant son Varronianus. This short panegyric, which apart from reflecting Themistius’ own interests in regaining his lost authority as philosophical advisor after Julian’s death,28 focuses on three main issues: Jovian’s election, his peace treaty with the Persians, and religious tolerance. As one might expect from an oration of praise, Themistius is extremely positive about Jovian. It could well be that it was Themistius’ positive approach and the official line of Jovian’s representation which Ammianus wanted to challenge in his Res Gestae.29 As to Jovian’s accession to power, Themistius observes that although unexpectedly, he owed the kingship to his virtue and his descent; it was his ancestral due to become emperor. His election by the army was unsolicited and unpremeditated without favouritism and bribery, and by unanimous vote from both the West and the East, meaning that not only the Romans but also the Persians agreed to his accession to imperial power.30 Moreover, there was no bloodshed because no one was ill-disposed towards Jovian or considered himself more deserving as emperor. Jovian himself was not prejudiced against those who were once his superiors nor dismissive to those who had been passed over for the emperorship. Justice ruled again and the best men were restored to office. Themistius spoke only very briefly about the peace treaty with Shapur (66a-c). The brevity may be explained by the humiliating conditions of the

27 28 29 30

Eutropius and Ammianus also discuss, for instance, the circumstances of his death. The first part of the oration (63c-64b) about the relationship between philosophy and kingship. Sabbah 1978, 354–358. See also 66a-b. Cf. Vanderspoel 1995, 143–144 who argues that it is a reference to the eastern and western parts of the Roman Empire.

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settlement for Rome.31 Themistius presents the treaty as a victory and the orator is thus in line with the official imperial policy as represented on Jovian’s coinage. The key theme of the oration is religious tolerance (67c-70c). Themistius was here on safe ground because Jovian seems to have already advocated religious toleration in the autumn of 363.32 Although himself a Nicene Christian, Jovian advocated tolerance between diverse groups of Christians and between pagans and Christians. He allowed lawful sacrifices but banned magic (and possibly blood sacrifice), and he does not seem to have closed temples, as Christian sources claim. Because the Creator of the universe takes pleasure in religious diversity (70a) the way people worship should depend on personal inclination and not on compulsion (68a). Jovian’s religious policy has similarities with that of Constantine and clearly differs from that of Constantius who was a partisan Arian. Themistius even says of Jovian that he is compared to Constantine (70d). So, Jovian is presented as a new Constantine who, for example, by his so-called Edict of Milan (313), his legislation, and his letters, also advocated universal religious toleration. Taking also in consideration his coinage, as discussed above, there seems to be a wellconsidered programme of creating an image of Jovian as a genuine successor of Constantine and continuator of his policies. Secular Historiography Possibly in response to Themistius’ positive picture of Jovian, the secular historians sketch a negative image of the emperor. This destructive representation has been taken over by Gibbon and his followers (see Introduction). The historians focus on two topics in particular: Jovian’s rise to power and his peace treaty with the Persians; minor topics are his return to Roman territory and his death. Eutropius and Festus, who wrote their breviaria c. 370 in the reign of Valens and dedicated their works to him, have concise accounts of Jovian’s reign. The most elaborate account is presented by Ammianus Marcellinus, written c. 390, followed in length by that of Zosimus (c. 500). Eutropius was probably the first historian to write about Jovian.33 He sketches a rather negative picture: Jovian was particularly known through the accomplishments of his father, which was the main reason that he was chosen emperor by the soldiers.34 Because the army was suffering from lack of 31 32 33 34

Heather and Moncur 2001, 152–153. Heather and Moncur 2001, 154 ff.. Cf. Vanderspoel 1995, 148–153 who argues that Themistius’ oration stimulated Jovian to adopt a policy of religious toleration. On Eutropius and his work, see Den Boer 1972, 114–172; Rohrbacher 2002, 49–56. Eutr., Brev. 10.17.

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provisions and had been defeated by the Persian army in one or two battles, Jovian made a necessary but shameful peace for which he surrendered a part of the Roman Empire.35 Eutropius remarks that a territorial surrender such as this had not happened in 1118 years since the founding of Rome. The peace terms were dictated by the Persians and would have not been completely reprehensible if Jovian had been willing to change them. However, he lacked concern for his reputation and wanted to leave the East as soon as possible out of fear for a rival for the emperorship. Eutropius ends his account with an elaboration about the circumstances of the emperor’s death, and he concludes with the observation that in other times Jovian would have been neither an incompetent nor an imprudent emperor. Probably shortly thereafter Festus wrote his Breviarium.36 His account of Jovian’s reign may be a response to and revision of Eutropius’ narrative.37 The work deals in particular with Rome’s wars in the East,38 which is not coincidental since Valens may have been planning a war with Persia. This may also have coloured Festus’ image of Jovian since the latter withdrew from a Persian war by consenting to an unprecedented peace treaty; Festus adds that he was more eager for power than glory, and was ignorant of the responsibility of command.39 Here we probably encounter the official position of Valens’ administration which wanted the Roman-Persian peace treaty to be represented in a negative way.40 For the rest, the report is fairly neutral: Jovian took the army in hand (Iovianus … suscepit exercitum), which had fallen into disarray by the sudden death of Julian; although the Persians harried the retreating Roman army, they still had such reverence for it that they opened peace talks, and the army, suffering from starvation, was permitted to return to Roman territory under the condition of surrendering Nisibis and a part of Mesopotamia. Criticism of Jovian by the two breviarists is paralleled in Ammianus Marcellinus’ Res Gestae. Although there is clearly intertextuality of the Res 35

36

37 38 39 40

Eutr. 10.17: ‘In the current confusion, as the army was also suffering from lack of provisions and he had been defeated by the Persians in one or two battles, he made what was, in fact, a necessary but shameful peace with Sapor, for he was punished territorially and surrendered a certain portion of the Roman empire.’ Festus may be identical with the Festus referred to by Amm. Marc. 29.2.22.; Kelly 2010, 73–75; Den Boeft, Drijvers, Den Hengst and Teitler 2013, 106–109. On Festus and his work, see Den Boer 1972, 173–223; Rohrbacher 2002, 59–63. Festus 29. The second half of the work (chs. 15–29) present a chronological survey of the RomanPersian confrontations. Festus 29: quibus cupidior regni quam gloriae Iovianus in imperio rudis adquievit. Lenski 2002, 190–191.

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Gestae with Festus’ Breviarium,41 Ammianus explicitly alludes to Eutropius in his presentation of Jovian’s reign.42 Like Eutropius and Festus, Ammianus does not sketch a favourable picture of Jovian, starting with his first appearance in the Res Gestae as director of Constantius’ funeral procession to Constantinople:  signs foretold his reign which Ammianus characterizes as empty and shadowy.43 A considerable part of Book 25 is dedicated to Jovian’s reign (25.5-10). The account opens with his sudden and unexpected proclamation as Julian’s successor.44 The day after Julian’s death the generals of the army assembled to elect a new emperor (25.5.1-3). These, however, were divided into two factions: the officers and palace officials who had served under Constantius were headed by Arintheus and Victor, and wanted a suitable man from their party; the commanders of the Gauls, led by Dagalaifus and Nevitta, looked for a successor among their own. In the end praetorian prefect Salutius Secundus was put forward as a compromise candidate. He, however, declined because of old age and ill health. During the delay that followed a few hotheaded soldiers, whose identities are not revealed, chose Jovian as emperor,45 dressed him in the purple, brought him out from his tent and presented him to the soldiers who were ready to march, thus presenting their superiors with a fait accompli. Because the army extended for some four miles, those in the vanguard heard their fellow-soldiers shouting ‘Iovianus Augustus’ but misheard this as ‘Iulianus Augustus’ and thought that Julian had recovered. But when they saw a tall and bent man approaching in purple they realised that this was not Julian and suspected what had happened. They burst out in tears and lamentation honouring the deceased Julian but possibly also bemoaning the nomination of Jovian. Ammianus considers Jovian’s elevation to imperial power as due to ‘a particularly blind judgment of Fortuna’.46 In contrast to Festus and Eutropius, Ammianus describes Jovian’s unexpected ascent to imperial power as a rather disorderly and tumultuous event, even giving the impression that it was a coup d’état.47 Neither Festus nor Eutropius mention political machinations behind Jovian’s rise to power that 41 42 43 44 45 46 47

Kelly 2010, 85–89. Kelly 2008, 242–250. For example, there are clear verbal similarities between for instance the description of Jovian’s death in both authors as Kelly shows (p. 243). Amm. Marc. 21.26.20-21. For a detailed discussion see Den Boeft, Drijvers, Den Hengst and Teitler 2005, 169–196. Amm. Marc. 25.5.4 tumultuantibus paucis … Iovianus eligitur imperator. Amm. Marc. 25.5.8: caeco quodam iudicio fortunae. It has been argued that Ammianus’ account of Jovian’s elevation was tendentious and partisan. For the discussion see J.W. Drijvers 2011, 282–283.

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Ammianus seems to imply. Although Ammianus never characterises Jovian’s elevation as illegal and his reign as illegitimate,48 he omits to mention that Jovian was elected with the consent of the entire army. Jovian’s promotion to the purple cannot have been the act by tumultuantibus paucis as Ammianus wants us to believe (25.5.4), but clearly had the approval of the high officers as well as the common soldiers. The fact that Arintheus and Victor, supporters of Constantius, and Dagalaifus, leader of the Gauls, continued their careers under Jovian and were even promoted, is a clear indication of their support for Jovian. Only Nevitta disappears from the historical records which may suggest that he disagreed with giving Jovian the purple.49 As mentioned, Jovian was certainly not the insignificant person that especially Ammianus and Eutropius portray him as. They both emphasize that he was better known through his father’s reputation than by his own.50 However, it seems to have become not uncommon that the reputation of the father also reflected on the son; it applies to Valentinian upon his election some eight months later,51 and later to Theodosius. But Jovian was far from being an indistinct officer. As mentioned, he had overseen the funeral cortège to bring the Constantius’ remains to Constantinople, an assignment of considerable political importance.52 According to Themistius Jovian had even been considered as candidate for the throne after the death of Constantius ii,53 although this may be flattery on the part of Themistius. And as primicerius domesticorum Jovian had been close to Julian.54 Ammianus reports the treaty with Shapur ii in detail, which Jovian welcomed because the retreating Roman army was under permanent attack by the Persian army, and suffered from a lack of supplies and low morale. An agreement with the Persians was also welcome to Jovian because he needed 48 49 50

51 52 53 54

Cf. Heather 1999, 107–108. That Jovian’s election was an act of Christian opposition against Julian’s pagan regime is unlikely; cf. Lenski 2000, 514. Also Valentinian I was commendable for the throne because of his father’s merits according to Ammianus (30.7.4). The cases of Jovian and Valentinian indicate that not only the military accomplishments and career of the nominee himself, but also those of his father had become an important condition for candidacy for the imperial throne, especially when there was no heir or designated successor; Drijvers 2015. Amm. Marc. 30.7.4. According to Barnes 1998, 139, Jovian may have been related to Constantius ii and therefore a suitable candidate for the imperial throne. Them. Or. 5.65b. Amm. Marc. 21.16.21 imperium cassum et umbratile ut ministro rerum funebrium portendebant.

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to consolidate his power in particular in the western part of the Empire.55 Like Eutropius, Ammianus mentions that the Persians made the first move to come to an agreement (25.7.5). Clearly Ammianus omits to mention that Shapur feared the Roman military presence (25.7.1-2) and was likewise eager to end the war.56 Jovian, however, lost the diplomatic advantage he initially had by remaining at one site for four days to negotiate with the Persians. Ammianus severely criticizes him for this:  the army not only ran out of supplies but also could have reached Roman territory within four days if it had moved on (25.7.8). The treaty Jovian concluded with Shapur is considered by Ammianus as extremely shameful (25.7.13). In exchange for an unopposed withdrawal Rome had to surrender fifteen fortresses, the border towns Nisibis, Singara and Castra Maurorum, and five transtigritane regions57 that had been part of the Roman Empire since 298/9.58 Jovian, according to Ammianus, was more concerned with safeguarding his own position (25.8.8-12) than securing Roman territory, and wanted to return to Roman soil as quickly as possible. Zosimus, who reports that Jovian was made emperor by common vote, is rather matter-of-fact about the peace agreement and does not assess it in terms of value judgements. He also mentions that the Persians made the first move to come to an agreement, although the Roman army was in dire straits.59 He discusses in some detail the contents of the agreement but the surrender of Nisibis and the evacuation of its inhabitants receive special attention.60 The Nisibenes beseech Jovian not to forsake them and to withdraw his agreement to hand over their city. Yielding the city was disgraceful in the eyes of Zosimus. Even Constantius, who had been defeated by the Persians several times, had retained Nisibis and exerted every effort to save it, even when it was besieged and in extreme danger. Jovian, however, who was under no such pressure, had 55

56 57 58

59 60

Errington 2006, 46 argues that Jovian had set his priority on the West because of Julian’s neglect of that part of the Empire after he had moved to the East in 361; see also Raimondi 2001, 41–45. This eagerness is expressed by the sending of the Surena, the second after the Persian king himself, to Jovian to negotiate an agreement (25.7.5). Arzanena, Moxoena, Zabdicena, Rehimena, Corduena. Blockley 1992, 24–30. For an explanation of the details of the treaty, see Den Boeft, Drijvers, Den Hengst and Teitler, 2005, 233–239 with references to relevant sources and recent studies on the subject. Zos. 3.30–32. Cf. Eunapius fr. 29 (Blockley), who mentions that Jovian was mocked in ditties, parodies and lampoons for his surrender of Nisibis. Eunapius also sketches and unfavourable portrait of Jovian, although he adds that as a leader he seems to have been affable and open-handed.

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handed the city over to the Persians.61 The surrender of Nisibis and other cities created great anxiety and anger in the East, and forced Jovian to leave for Antioch in a temper and in great haste.62 Ammianus and Zosimus do not comment on the practicalities of the surrender of the transtigritane regions, the border towns, and the fortresses. Both authors present a dramatic account of the cession of Nisibis (25.9).63 Ammianus reports that when the Nisibenes heard that their city had been surrendered, they feared Shapur’s anger for the losses he had suffered in his past attempts to take the city and put their hope in Jovian. The emperor, however, who was present at Nisibis, did nothing to help them. After the Persian flag was raised on the top of the citadel, the people of Nisibis were instructed to leave their homes. Ammianus reports that they left their city in tears while lamenting loudly, that the roads were filled with people carrying as much of their personal belongings as they could and that they were going wherever they could find refuge (25.9.6). Eutropius, Festus, Ammianus, and Zosimus present Jovian as an inexperienced soldier and negotiator, who was responsible for a disgraceful capitulation to the Persians which did not have its comparison in the history of Rome; moreover, he let the establishment of his own position prevail over that of the state and therefore wanted a quick settlement with the Persians, the price of which was secondary. Ammianus in particular seems to be responsible for creating a new interpretative paradigm in making Jovian responsible for the disaster in Persia in order to save the reputation of his hero Julian.64 Reality, however, was different. The Roman army was in real dire straits because of lack of food, still many marches to go to Roman territory, and the permanent surprise attacks by the troops of Shapur. Withdrawal was not an option despite what Ammianus argues. An agreement with the Persians was therefore a necessity in order to avoid the complete devastation of the army and to bring it home safely. However, the Persians for reasons not revealed by our authors also seem to have desired a peace treaty since they took the first step to come to an agreement. For the Roman Empire the peace treaty itself was not a bad deal and a temporary measure, designed to last only thirty years (25.7.14). Essentially it was a return to the situation before the treaty of 298/9. Hence regions, border towns and fortresses that had belonged to the Sassanid Empire in the third century were returned to Shapur while there was no additional 61 62 63 64

Zos. 3.33. Zos. 3.34. On Jovian’s surrender of Nisibis see Belcher 2013. Heather 1999, 109–110.

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extension of Persian territory. The treaty was therefore probably more a symbolic victory than a real victory for Shapur over Rome. Although the agreement implied some loss of prestige on the Roman side, it was, considering the circumstances the Roman army was in, in fact it was an acceptable arrangement without much loss of face for Jovian: an agreement which he could present as a victory on his coinage and in his inscriptions. In his brief necrology (25.10.14-15), Ammianus considers Jovian of mediocre erudition, an immoderate eater and given to wine and women.65 He took Constantius as his model, an emperor about whom Ammianus was not particularly positive.66 He was, however, of a kindly nature and inclined to select state officials with care. In general, the historians present a rather negative image of Jovian, but Ammianus excels them all: Jovian lacked the superiority to be an emperor, was of second-rate stature, especially compared with his predecessor, and was responsible for a shameful peace with the Persians.67 From Nisibis Jovian went via Edessa to Antioch where he arrived on 22 October. At the beginning of November he continued via Tarsus, where he paid his respects to Julian and ‘adorned his tomb’,68 to Ancyra where he arrived sometime in December. In Ancyra he assumed the consulship on 1 January with his baby son Varronianus as his colleague. Christian Sources Ammianus mentions that Jovian was devoted to the Christian doctrine which was not a good thing in the eyes of the pagan historian. Contrary to the secular historians the Christian sources have a favourable view of Jovian.69 Gregory of Nazianzus, for instance, considers him a suitable successor of Julian and praises his courage in situations of war.70 Socrates calls him an excellent sovereign and eminent person, whose election was by unanimous consent of the whole army; had he not died suddenly he would have been a very good ruler in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs. He is furthermore distinguished by birth and already a well-known person before his election as emperor. The peace treaty with the Persians, criticized so heavily by Ammianus and other 65 66 67 68 69 70

For paideia as a basic quality of statesmen in the eyes of Ammianus, see J.W. Drijvers 2012, 94–97. Kelly 2008, 304–305. Barnes 1998, 141. On p. 138 Barnes remarks: ‘Ammianus’ verdict on Jovian is simple: he was never really emperor at all.’ Amm. 25.10.5. For Julian’s tomb see Johnson 2009, 103–104. For the assessment of Jovian’s reign, see Leppin 1996, 86–90. Greg. Naz. Or. 5.15.

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secular historians, is presented more sympathetically in Christian writings and, although the terms of the peace were not honourable the agreement is explained by the dire straits the Roman army found itself in due to Julian’s strategy.71 Unlike the secular historians, the ecclesiastical historians have the remarkable story of Jovian’s recusatio imperii. After having been put forward as emperor by the army he declined to become Julian’s successor because, being a Christian himself, he did not want to command an army consisting of pagans. Thereupon the soldiers replied that they were like him Christians but that they had to hide their religious conviction under Julian.72 Although there are differences in detail, all fifth-century church historians consider Jovian an excellent sovereign who restored peace to the church. He recalled bishops from exile, and restored the privileges and allowance to the Christians which had been abolished by Julian. His meeting in Hierapolis with Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, who had returned to his see after having heard of Julian’s death, seems to have been important in order to anathematize Arianism and to return to the Nicene creed as established under Constantine. At a council in Antioch Arianism and anomoeans were condemned and the Nicene faith creed officially adopted again.73 Jovian commended others without forcing them to adopt the faith of Nicaea.74 However, when doctrinal dissensions flared up again, he seems to have adopted a policy of nonintervention; the same is probably true for his stance towards the traditional cults. Although he is said to have closed down temples, prohibited sacrifices and forced philosophers to lay aside their palliums and dress again in ordinary attire, this is doubtful.75 All church historians lament Jovian’s early death. Clearly he was considered by them as an emperor who brought peace again to the Church and restored privileges to the clergy. Religiously he returned to the

71 72

73 74 75

Ruf. Hist. Eccl. 11.1; Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.22.6-7; Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3.2; Thdt. Hist. Eccl. 4.2.1-3; Oros. Hist. 7.31.1-2. Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.22.2; Ruf. Hist. Eccl. 11.1; Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3.1; Thdt. Hist. Eccl. 4.1.4-6. Several Christian, but also some non-Christian, sources report that Jovian when still a military tribune confessed his faith before Julian. Julian gave him the option of either sacrificing or resigning his rank in the army. Jovian refused to sacrifice because of his Christianity and chose to lay down his commission. However, Julian, pressed by the urgency of war, did not let him go. See Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.13.1-4, 3.22.2; Eun. fr. 29.1 (Blockley); Suda I 401; Photius 484a; Theoph. a.m. 5855; Lenski 2002b. Soz. Hist. Eccl. 3.25.10-17. Barnes 1993, 159. Socr. Hist. Eccl. 33.22, 24–26; Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3-5; Thdt. Hist. Eccl. 4.1-4. On Jovian’s religious policy see Brennecke 1988, 164 ff.

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policy of Constantine by abolishing not only Julian’s measures but also those of Constantius. The Julian Romance A text in which Jovian figures prominently is the so-called Julian Romance.76 This text is only known in Syriac and was also originally written in that language. The Romance as we have it dates from the early decades of the sixth century. It was only brought to scholarly attention in 1874 by Theodor Nöldeke.77 Since then only few scholars have shown interest in the text and overall the Julian Romance is an understudied source. The Julian Romance fits into the Christian polemical literature against Julian which began to appear immediately after the death of the pagan emperor. In these writings Julian is characterized as the worst emperor ever and as the anti-Christ.78 The anonymous author or authors present the text as a historically reliable work but the Julian Romance is clearly a work of historical fiction and invention. It is likely to have been composed in the city of Edessa in northern Mesopotamia. The narrative is divided into three parts, which may have been written separately before they were compiled into the Julian Romance. The first part reports how Julian took over the government from the Christian-loving emperors Constantine and his son, that he reopened temples, built altars and ordered that the images of the gods be worshipped. In addition, he started a persecution of the Christians but was opposed by Eusebius, bishop of Rome. The second part, which I prefer to call ‘History of Eusebius’, tells at considerable length about Julian’s many vain attempts to have the ninety-seven-year-old Eusebius, bishop of the city of Rome, renounce his Christianity and become a venerator of the old gods.79 The senators and people of Rome, except for the pagans and Jews, support Eusebius, and refuse to recognise Julian’s rule. Julian is unsuccessful and leaves Rome for his war against Persia. Eusebius prophesies the emperor’s death in this campaign as an act of God’s justice.

76 77

78

79

This part of the article is based on my previous work on the Julian Romance; for references see note 78. Nöldeke 1879. The text was published by Hoffmann 1880. An English translation was made available by Gollancz 1928. Recently a new English translation (including the Syriac text) was published by Sokoloff 2016. Studies on the Julian Romance: Van Esbroeck 1987; H.J.W. Drijvers 1994; Muraviev 1999; J.W. Drijvers 2010; J.W. Drijvers 2011b; J.W. Drijvers 2011; Schwartz 2011; Wood 2010, 132–162. Gollancz 1928, 10–65; Sokoloff 2016, 16–124. See J.W. Drijvers 2007.

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The third part of the Romance, the ‘History of Jovian’, is the longest and most complex of the three. According to its introduction the text was written as a letter by a certain Aploris/Apollinaris, who is called ‘confidential minister to Jovian the King’ at the request of Abde`el, ‘chief of the convent’.80 It tells the story of Julian’s journey from Rome via Constantinople, Antioch, Harran and Nisibis to Persia, in order to wage war on Shapur for the reason that the Persian king has stopped persecuting the Christians. The other key-figure of Romance is Julian’s general Jovian, or Jovinian as he is called in the narrative. Jovian secretly favours the Christian cause and through Julian’s confidence in him he is able to restrain the emperor’s anti-Christian measures and come to the help of individual Christians. Jovian stays in regular contact with Shapur’s chief general, Arimhar, who, through his exchange of information with Jovian, converts to Christianity. When in the fatal campaign Julian is killed by an arrow sent by God, Jovian is made emperor. Both Julian’s death and Jovian’s emperorship are predicted and are seen as acts of God. Subsequently Shapur and Jovian enter on a peace treaty, which includes the voluntary cession of Nisibis and eastern provinces to Shapur, together with the cessation of the persecution of Christians in the Sassanian Empire for a period of hundred years. The Julian Romance presents a very favourable image of Jovian. He is a man of knowledge and intelligence,81 who is able to talk sense into Julian and mitigate the initial harsh anti-Christian measures that the emperor has decided upon. Jovian is favoured by God and he is an instrument in His plan which implies Jovian’s rule over the Empire, the restoration of Christianity and peace between the Romans and Sassanians.82 The three themes figuring prominently in secular and Christian historiography and Themistius—Jovian’s election, the peace treaty with the non-Christian Shapur, and his religious policy—also occur in the Romance, but in a completely different light. On his deathbed Julian designated Jovian as his successor.83 Jovian is also favoured by Shapur as Julian’s successor and makes his preference obvious by way of a letter which is read to the Roman army.84 When the assembly of generals and officers had decided in favour of Jovian as their new emperor, Jovian escaped and went into hiding: his modesty did not allow him to aspire toward 80 81 82 83 84

Gollancz 1928, 66; Sokoloff 2016, 124. Gollancz 1928, 67; Sokoloff 2016, 126. Gollancz 1928, 197 and Sokoloff 2016, 376 about the divine wish for a peaceful coexistence of the two empires. Gollancz 1928, 198; Sokoloff 2016, 378. The only other source that mentions that Julian had nominated Jovian as his successor is John the Lydian (Mens. 4.118). Gollancz 1928, 205–207; Sokoloff 2016, 392.

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imperial dignity but, more importantly, he refused to rule over pagans—the recusatio imperii theme which also occurs in the ecclesiastical historians. When he was finally found, he insisted that he only consented to become emperor on the condition that all soldiers would abjure their paganism, become Christians and adore the sign of salvation, that is, the Cross. The soldiers consented willingly85 and in a great ceremony, at which the whole army was present, Jovian bowed deeply before the Cross,86 while the royal crown descended and placed itself on his head. The soldiers being in complete awe at this miracle cried out: ‘Henceforth, Christ is our King in heaven, and Jovian is our king on earth’.87 The Romance has a quite different explanation of the Roman-Persian peace treaty than the other sources. Soon after Jovian had come to power he entered into a peace treaty with Shapur. Central to the settlement was the fortified city of Nisibis. The city is said to have originally belonged to the Persians and Jovian is therefore more than willing to cede to the Persians which was rightfully theirs, even more so because in exchange liberty of religion for a hundred years was granted to the Christians in the Persian Empire. Apart from religious freedom, Shapur restored the churches, possessions, and relics of martyrs to the Christians in his realm.88 Jovian’s selfishness to have a settlement with Persia at all costs so that he could return to Roman territory to shore up his position as

85 86

87

88

Greg. Naz. Or. 4.64–65 reports that there were many Christians among Julian’s soldiers who claimed to have resisted Julian’s religious policy. Gollancz 1928, 212; Sokoloff 2016, 404–406. The cross is identical to the labarum which since Constantine’s time preceded the army. Remarkably, Julian seems not to have abrogated the custom that the cross-shaped military standard should precede the army; see also Greg. Naz. Or. 4.66. Gollancz 1928, 214; Sokoloff 2016, 408. The story of Jovian’s elevation manifestly resembles the versions retailed in the church histories, and is evidently the Christian version of Jovian’s acceptance of imperial power. Although all ecclesiastical historians have a similar story, Theodoret’s version (Hist. Eccl. 4.1.4-6) comes closest to that in the Romance: ‘Jovian … said: “I am a Christian. I cannot govern men like these. I cannot command Julian’s army trained as it is in vicious discipline. Men like these, stripped of the covering of the providence of God, will fall an easy and ridiculous prey to the foe.’ On hearing this, the troops shouted with one voice, ‘Hesitate not, O emperor; think it not a vile thing to command us. You shall reign over Christians nurtured in the training of truth; our veterans were taught in the school of Constantine himself; younger men among us were taught by Constantius …’ (tr. NPNF 3, 107–108). See also Ruf. Hist. Eccl. 11.1; Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.22.2; Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3.1; Zon. 13.14.2-4. Gollancz 1928, 233–235; Sokoloff 2016, 446450.

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emperor, which we find in secular historiography, is completely absent in the Romance. In the latter, Jovian’s only interest is that of the Christian faith and individual Christians. The author of the ‘History of Jovian’ clearly builds upon the good press Jovian received in the Christian sources. The comparison of Jovian to Constantine, as we also find it in Themistius’ oration and the church histories, is an essential element in the Romance.89 Reminiscent of Constantine, Jovian had visions and dreams, and like Constantine he honoured the Cross.90 The idealised Christian reign that had started with Constantine and was interrupted by Julian, was restored again by Jovian. The Romance emphasises that Jovian ‘walked in the ways of Constantine’.91 He returned the treasures that Julian had taken from the churches and he restored the tax privileges for the Christian clergy. He wrote letters to the churches as well as to other governments regarding the peace of the Church, and he ordered the release of believers and ended pagan sacrifices.92 Like Constantine, Jovian gradually develops into a saintly figure, which gives the Romance the air of hagiography. Jovian is even able of performing healing miracles. When in Edessa he cures a woman by the name of Maria who had been seriously ill for eight years and prayed for death. Through his prayers, his faith in God and God’s support of him, Jovian is able to heal the woman.93 Jovian’s visit to Edessa again emphasises the return to the time of Constantine. The Romance reports that Constantine had visited Edessa too, had blessed the city, and emphasised its unique Christian character in a letter to the Edessan community, a letter which was treasured by the Christians in Edessa.94

89 90 91 92

93 94

Drijvers 2010, 232–233. E.g. Eus. vc 1.28–32 about Constantine’s vision of the Cross. Gollancz 1928, 252–253; Sokoloff 2016, 484. With these measures Jovian reactivates Constantine’s enactments: e.g. CTh 16.2.2.; Eus. vc 2.63–73, 3.16–20, 4.8–13, 3.44–45, 4.23. Socr. Hist. Eccl. 3.24.4-6 and Soz. Hist. Eccl. 6.3. 3–4 mention inter alia that Jovian closed pagan temples, prohibited pagan sacrifice, and restored immunities to the churches and clergy which had been granted by Constantine and his sons. Gollancz 1928, 247–251; Sokoloff 2016, 476–484. Constantine never visited Edessa and never wrote a letter to the Edessan Christians. The idea of Constantine’s letter is almost certainly derived from the letter Jesus had allegedly written to Edessa, copies of which were preserved in Edessa as we know, e.g., from Egeria’s account; It. Eger. 19.9.

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Concluding Remarks The sources discussed in this paper represent different media and therefore, not surprisingly, present different, sometimes contradictory perceptions of the person and reign of Jovian. In his self-presentation Jovian portrays himself as a restorer of empire, bringer of joy and wealth, a victorious emperor, and as a Christian ruler in the line of Constantine. The Julian Romance presents Jovian as new or second Constantine who can only do well and whose reign is beneficial to both Romans and Persians. The author(s) of the Romance were inspired by the ecclesiastical historians who focus on the emperor’s Christian policy which returns to Constantine. They characterize Jovian as a benevolent and religiously tolerant emperor; his peace treaty with the Persians was concluded out of necessity and Jovian could not be blamed for that. Themistius has a similarly positive picture and ensuing from the nature of panegyric, presents the peace treaty as a victory and not a defeat as the secular historians do. The latter, notably Ammianus Marcellinus, present a negative image of Jovian, as an emperor not fit for the job that he should never have gotten. In particular, the surrender of Roman territory to the Persians in order to secure a safe retreat for his army out of the dire straits for which his predecessor Julian can be hold responsible, earned Jovian a bad press. The depiction of Jovian by Ammianus, and to a lesser extent by Eutropius, Festus and Zosimus, is conditioned by the authors’ attitude toward the person and reign of Julian. Jovian was doomed to be a foil to Julian. The negative image as created by Ammianus, the breviarists, and Zosimus found its way into the scholarly literature, not only in Gibbon and Seeck, but also in more recent studies. Moreover, the prevailing attitude to the person and reign of Jovian is that they are considered historically insignificant and without any impact in the longer term. That view needs reconsideration. Apart perhaps from political and military loss of face, the peace settlement with the Persians was a necessity for the Romans as well as desired by the Persians. In the long run the treaty, which was a return to the situation as it stood before 298/99, restored the balance of power between the two empires after decades of warfare under Constantius ii and Julian, and heralded a lengthy period of relative peace and stability. Jovian’s religious policy of comparative tolerance and nonintervention set the tone for his successors Valentinian I and Valens. His return to the Nicene creed may have inspired Theodosius I who had the Nicene faith reconfirmed at the Council of Constantinople in 381. Despite his image of a ‘unworthy successor of Julian’, a ‘unerprobter Neuling’ and a ‘non-entity’, Jovian was an emperor who took significant decisions in both the secular and ecclesiastical sphere during a crucial phase in the history of the Roman Empire.

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Bibliography Barnes, T.D. 1993. Athanasius and Constantius. Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire. Cambridge, ma. Barnes, T.D. 1998. Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical Reality. Ithaca-London. Belcher, S. 2013. ‘Ammianus Marcellinus and the Nisibene Handover of 363 A.D.’, in A. Sarantis and N. Christie (eds.), War and Warfare in Late Antiquity: Current Perspectives. Leiden. 631–652. Blockley, R.C. 1992. East Roman Foreign Policy. Formation and Conduct from Diocletian to Anastasius. Liverpool. Brendel, R. 2010. Kaiser Flavius Claudius Iovianus (363–364). Ein Beitrag zur Kaisergeschichte des vierten Jahrhunderts und ihrer Quellen. Magisterarbeit Alte Geschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München (unpublished). Brennecke, H.C. 1988. Studien der Geschichte der Homöer. Der Osten bis zum Ende der homöischen Reichskirche. Tübingen. Curran, J. 1998. ‘From Jovian to Theodosius’, in A. M. Cameron and P. Garnsay (eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History XIII. Cambridge. 78–110 Den Boeft, J., J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler. 2005. Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXV. Leiden. Den Boeft, J., J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler. 2013. Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXIX. Leiden. Den Boer, W. 1972. Some Minor Roman Historians. Leiden. Drijvers, H.J.W. 1994. ‘The Syriac Romance of Julian. Its Function, Place of Origin and Original Language’, in R. Lavenant (ed.), VI Symposium Syriacum 1992 (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 247). Rome. 201–214. Drijvers, J.W. 2007. ‘Julian the Apostate and the City of Rome: Pagan-Christian Polemics in the Syriac Julian Romance’, in W.J. van Bekkum, J.W. Drijvers, A.C. Klugkist (eds.), Syriac Polemics. Studies in Honour of Gerrit Jan Reinink (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 170). Louvain. 1–20. Drijvers, J.W. 2010. ‘The Emperor Jovian as New Constantine in the Syriac Julian Romance’, Studia Patristica 45: 229–233. Drijvers, J.W. 2011. ‘Ammianus, Jovian and the Syriac Julian Romance’, Journal of Late Antiquity 4.2: 280–297. Drijvers, J.W. 2011b. ‘Religious Conflict in the Syriac Julian Romance’, in Peter Brown, Rita Lizzi Testa (eds.), Pagans and Christians in the Roman Empire (IVth-VIth Century A.D.). The Breaking of a Dialogue. Proceedings of the International Conference at the Monastery of Bose (October 2008). Berlin. 131–162. Drijvers, J.W. 2012. ‘The Decline of Political Culture: Ammianus Marcellinus’ Characterization of the Reigns of Valentinian and Valens’, in D. Brakke, D. Deliyannis, and E. Watts (eds.), Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity. Farnham. 85–97.

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Drijvers, J.W. 2015. ‘Ammianus Marcellinus 30.7.2-3. Observations on the Career of Gratianus Maior’, Historia 64: 479–486. Eling, K. 1996. ‘Der Ausgang des Perserfeldzuges in der Münzpropaganda des Jovian’, Klio 78: 186–191. Errington, R.M. 2006. Roman Imperial Policy from Julian to Theodosius. Chapel Hill. Gibbon, E. 1903. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Worlds Classics, 7 vols. Oxford. Gollancz, H. 1928. Julian the Apostate. Now translated for the first time from the Syriac original. Oxford. Heather, P. 1999. ‘Ammianus on Jovian: History and Literature’, in J.W. Drijvers and E.D. Hunt (eds.), The Late Roman World and Its Historian. Interpreting Ammianus Marcellinus. London/New-York. 105–116. Heather, P. and D. Moncur. 2001. Politics, Philosophy, and Empire in the Fourth Century. Select Orations of Themistius. Liverpool. Hoffmann, J.G.E. 1880. Iulianos der Abtrünnige. Syrische Erzählungen. Leiden. Johnson, M.J. 2009. The Roman Imperial Mausoleum in Late Antiquity. Cambridge. Jones, A.H.M. 1964. The Later Roman Empire 284–612. A Social Economic and Administrative Survey. Oxford. Kelly, G. 2008. Ammianus Marcellinus. The Allusive Historian. Cambridge. Kelly, G. 2010. ‘The Roman world of Festus’ Breviarium’, in C. Kelly, R. Flower and M. S. Williams (eds.), Unclassical Traditions I. Alternatives to the Classical Past in Late Antiquity. Cambridge. 72–89. Lenski, N. 2000. ‘The Election of Jovian and the Rome of the Late Imperial Guards’, Klio 82: 492–515. Lenski, N. 2002. Failure of Empire. Valens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D. Berkeley and Los Angeles. Lenski, N. 2002b. ‘Were Valentinian, Valens and Jovian Confessors for Julian the Apostate?’, Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum 6: 253–276. Leppin, H. 1996. Von Constantin dem Grossen zu Theodosius II. Das christliche Kaisertum bei den Kirchenhistorikern Socrates, Sozomenus und Theodoret. Göttingen. Muraviev, A. 1999. ‘The Syriac Julian Romance and its Place in the Literary History’, Khristianskii Vostok 1(7): 194–206. Nöldeke, T. 1879. ‘Über der syrischen Roman von Kaiser Julian’, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 28: 263–292; ‘Ein zweiter syrischer Julianusroman’, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 28: 660–674. Raimondi, M. 2001. Valentiniano I e la scelta dell’ Occidente. Alessandria. Rohrbacher, D. 2002. The Historians of Late Antiquity. London/New York. Sabbah, G. 1978. La méthode d’Ammien Marcellin. Recherches sur la construction du discours historique dans les Res Gestae. Paris. Seeck, O. 1909–1921. Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt. 12 vols. Berlin.

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Schmidt-Hofner, S. 2015. ‘Ostentatious Legislation: Law and Dynastic Change, AD 364–365’, in J. Wienand (ed.), Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. Oxford. 67–99. Schwartz, D.L. 2011. ‘Religious Violence and Eschatology in the Syriac Julian Romance’, Journal of Early Christian Studies 19: 565–587. Sokoloff, M. 2016. The Julian Romance. A New English Translation. Piscataway. Vanderspoel, J. 1995. Themistius and the Imperial Court. Oratory, Civic Duty, and Paideiea from Constantius to Theodosius. Ann Arbor. Van Esbroeck, M. 1987. ‘Le soi-disant roman de Julien l’Apostat’, in H.J.W. Drijvers et al. (eds.), IV Symposium Syriacum 1984. Literary Genres in Syriac Literature (Orientalia Christiana Analecta 229). Rome. 191–202. Wirth, G. 1984. ‘Jovian. Kaiser und Karikatur’, in E. Dassmann, K. Thraede (eds.), Vivarium. Festschrift Theodor Klauser zum 90. Geburtstag. Münster. 353–384. Wood, P. 2010, ‘We have no King but Christ’. Christian Political Thought in Greater Syria on the Eve of the Arab Conquest (c. 400–585). Oxford.

Chapter 11

Valentinian as Portrayed by Ammianus: A Kaleidoscopic Image Daniël den Hengst Ammianus Marcellinus devoted books 26 to 30 of his Res Gestae (158 pages in the Teubner edition) to the Pannonian emperors. This makes him by far the most important source for Valentinian. Other authors, such as Symmachus, Themistius, the Church Historians, and the epitomators do not add substantially to Ammianus’ account. As a narrative history Zosimus’ Nea Historia, although based on the near contemporary account by Eunapius, is clearly inferior to the Res Gestae. Not surprisingly, 20th-century handbooks on the reign of the Pannonian brothers from Seeck’s Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt, vol. 5 of 1920, via Nagl’s article in Pauly Wissowa of 1948, to the cah vol. 13 of 1997 can be traced almost line by line to Ammianus’ account of the events during their dual reign. What is surprising, is the diversity of the images of Valentinian presented by modern historians. Seeck, who simply puts the two brothers in one box, sharply criticizes their hot-headedness and their indolence. While Seeck’s confidence in the reliability of Ammianus is unassailable, Alföldi, in his A Conflict of Ideas in the Late Roman Empire of 1952 is very critical of the historian, who ‘[has painted] Valentinian and his brother as black as onesided hatred can contrive’; ‘[w]hen we study the text of the great historian of Late Rome we are astounded by the wild prejudice with which he treats the Pannonians’. Alföldi’s love for his Pannonian fellow countryman leads him to astonishingly naïve remarks like ‘It helped little that Valentinian, from the top of his head to the tip of his toes, was decent’ and ‘To assume that the Emperor broke his word is impossible for us who know his character’.1 A faint echo of this dispute was to be heard at the end of last century, when Paschoud in a mischievous article with the allusive title ‘Valentinien travesti, ou De la malignité d’Ammien’ argued that Ammianus tried to discredit Valentinian in the eyes of his reader by means of ‘réticences, ambiguïtés et insinuations’.2 To discern suppressions, ambiguities and insinuations one 1 Alföldi 1952, 4, 67, 44, 79. 2 Paschoud 1992, 67, 71.

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needs to do a lot of reading between the lines, which is possibly more intriguing, but certainly less verifiable than reading the lines themselves. During a conference in 2005 my fellow commentator Teitler replied to Paschoud’s article.3 He concluded from a close reading of the opening chapters of book 26 about the procedure by which Valentinian was elected and of his behaviour during and immediately after his election that the account of Ammianus was free of irony and innuendo and on the whole decidedly positive. Teitler’s contribution can also be read as a rebuttal of a paper given by Leppin during the same conference about ‘die Selbstdarstellung der Valentinianischen Dynastie’.4 Leppin compared Ammianus’ description of Valentinian’s ‘Regierungsantritt’ to inter alia Themistius’ sixth Oratio and Symmachus’ first panegyric on Valentinian.5 Ammianus’ account had struck Leppin as lukewarm and so devoid of any enthusiasm for the new emperor that he called it ‘mit vielen ironischen Elementen gewürzt’.6 One of these lukewarm statements was, according to Leppin, that Valentinian was elected nulla discordante sententia and nullo renitente, ‘without a dissenting voice’ and ‘without contradiction’ (26.1.5),7 which is simply Ammianus’ formula for the consensus omnium, a standard element in the description of a ‘Kaiserwahl’. In the same breath Ammianus speaks about numinis aspiratio caelestis the ‘divine inspiration’ by which Valentinian was chosen, a phrase he had used earlier for the protection of Julian, Ammianus’ hero, by the empress Eusebia (15.2.8), so that there can be no reasonable doubt about the positive manner in which Ammianus describes Valentinian’s election. What is more important, Ammianus carefully keeps his distance from panegyric, and for that reason a more measured and shaded account is only to be expected from him. This even applies to the treatment of his hero Julian. The often quoted phrase at the outset of the narrative about Julian ad laudativam paene materiam pertinebit, ‘[it] will almost belong to the domain of the panegyric’ (16.1.3), does not mean that Ammianus’ account will be almost panegyrical, but that his subject matter is such that it will almost belong to the genre of panegyric.8

3 4 5 6 7

Teitler 2007, 53–70. Leppin 2007, 33–51. See on this subject also Neri, 1985. ‘Seasoned with many ironic elements’. Unless otherwise indicated I have used Rolfe’s translation in the Loeb series for quotations from Ammianus, adapting it where necessary. 8 So, correctly, Ross, 2016, 137. For an excellent discussion of this passage see Sabbah, 1978, 40–47.

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However, it must be admitted that, just as the correspondences between modern narratives about Valentinian can be traced to Ammianus, his balanced description has also given rise to the divergences in the images constructed by modern scholars on the basis of his text. One of the reasons for his high standing as a historian is precisely his avoidance of completely positive or negative assessments of his characters. This has often been noted in the case of Julian, whom he greatly admired, but nevertheless severely criticized on central issues of his reign, such as his religious and fiscal policies. In Blockley’s memorable phrase: ‘If we set aside Julian’s apostasy and his treatment of the Christians, we find in Ammianus’ narrative more varied condemnation than in any one ecclesiastical writer’.9 Where Valentinian is concerned, the contrasts between positive and negative qualifications are much sharper, so that the reader, following the different stages and aspects of his career as an emperor, gets the impression of looking through a kaleidoscope at an image which shifts with every turn of the cylinder. Ammianus describes Valentinian as a conscientious and able military commander. His fortification of the Rhine frontier showed noble ambition and served the interests of the state:  At Valentinianus magna animo concipiens et utilia Rhenum omnem a Raetiarum exordio ad usque fretalem oceanum magnis molibus communibat (28.2.1).10 There is a veiled criticism of his forward defence strategy in building outposts in barbarian territory. Ammianus calls these efforts praiseworthy, but carried too far: Valentinianus enim studio muniendorum limitum glorioso quidem, sed nimio ab ipso principatus initio flagrans (29.6.2).11 He reports twice, in 28.2 and 29.6, that such provocative measures led to unrest and had grave consequences for Rome. In the field Valentinian showed great personal courage, at times bordering on recklessness. This aspect is again slightly modified by the observation that the emperor was occasionally prey to irrational fears and delusions: ad pavores irritos aliquotiens abiectius pallens et, quod nusquam erat, ima mente formidans (30.8.11),12 but it is absurd to conclude that Ammianus suggests that he was a coward, as Seeck does.13 All in all the description of Valentinian as a military commander is flattering. 9 10 11 12 13

Blockley 1975, 77. ‘But Valentinian, meditating important and useful plans, fortified the entire Rhine from the beginnings of Raetia as far as the Ocean into which the river flows out’. ‘Valentinian from the very beginning of his reign burned with a desire of protecting his frontiers, which was indeed praiseworthy, but carried too far.’ ‘He himself, in the presence of empty terrors, sometimes turned abjectly pale and dreaded in his inmost soul something that did not exist at all.’ Seeck 1920, 17.

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By contrast Ammianus is bitterly critical of the main defects in Valentinian’s character, his anger and ruthlessness towards his subjects. He is portrayed as totally devoid of the imperial virtues of lenitudo and clementia. Ammianus opens his indictment in the short chapter  27.7, which comes as a surprise after the account of the emperor’s successful actions against the Alamans in 27.2. He is called ferus, asper and trux, ‘savage, fierce and cruel’, ‘a damning triad’ to quote the Quadriga ad loc. The attack is particularly venomous because the historian goes on to explain that weak people, women, children, elderly and sick persons are prone to anger, which is the result of frustration and impotence. This may sound modern, but is in fact derived from Seneca, who wrote in De ira 1.20.3 Iracundia nihil amplum decorumque molitur; contra mihi videtur veternosi et infelicis animi, imbecillitatis sibi conscii, saepe indolescere.14 These personal defects come to the fore in the emperor’s maintenance of justice. In the very long opening chapter of Book 28 the historian describes what we may call a purge of the Roman senatorial aristocracy. Hundreds of men and women, seventeen of them mentioned by name, were executed on charges of adultery, poisoning, and magic directed against the emperor. The chapter is a devastating indictment, but if we compare it to the parallel chapters 29.1-2 about a similar purge in Antioch by Valens, Valentinian comes off slightly better than his brother. The main culprit in the Roman purge is Valentinian’s Pannonian protégé Maximinus, who bears the brunt of Ammianus’ attacks. Admittedly, Maximinus acted under the orders of the emperor, but in a way he serves as a kind of lightning rod, diverting the reader’s attention from the emperor himself, who was successfully fighting on the western front against the Alamans during the purge in Rome, whereas Valens took an active part in the judicial terror in Antioch. Ammianus follows the same tactics in his renewed attack on Valentinian’s irascibility in chapter 29.3, which opens with the words: inter multa et saeva Maximinum reperiens iam praefectum, qui potestate late diffusa scaevum imperatori accesserat incentivum maiestati fortunae miscenti licentiam gravem. quisquis igitur dicta considerat, perpendat etiam cetera, quae tacentur, veniam daturus ut prudens, si non cuncta complectimur, quae consiliorum pravitas crimina in maius exaggerando commisit.15 The words consiliorum 14

15

‘Anger aims at nothing splendid or beautiful. On the contrary, it seems to me to show a feeble and harassed spirit, one conscious of its own weakness and oversensitive’, (tr. Basore, adapted). ‘We find Maximinus, who is now prefect in the midst of many cruel deeds; for, being in possession of extensive power, he was added as a sinister incentive to the emperor, who united with the majesty of his position an oppressive wilfulness. Therefore, whoever ponders what I have told, should also carefully weigh the rest which are passed over in

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pravitas are misinterpreted in almost all translations. The expression is an abstractum pro concreto and refers back to scaevum incentivum, that is to Maximinus. The idea that wicked advisors incite emperors to cruelty by exaggerating criminal charges is a topos in the Res Gestae, and here Maximinus is given the same role as the villain Paulus Catena had under Constantius ii. In the next sentence Ammianus calls Valentinian trux suopte ingenio, ‘cruel by his own nature’, but goes on immediately to say that after Maximinus arrived on the scene, the emperor practically lost his head. Ammianus is in a tight spot here, asking his readers to forgive him for leaving painful matters out, after declaring two chapters earlier: fallere non minus videtur, qui gesta praeterit sciens, quam ille, qui numquam facta fingit (29.1.15).16 He admits in so many words that he feels uncomfortable in criticizing Valentinian: Horrescit animus omnia recensere simulque reformidat, ne ex professo quaesisse videatur in vitia principis, alia commodissimi (29.3.9).17 We conclude for the moment that Ammianus shows some reluctance in reporting instances of Valentinian’s cruelty, and that he does his best to shift at least part of the responsibility on his scapegoat Maximinus. However, the next moment we are in for a new surprise: these words serve as an introduction to the notorious anecdote about the two man-eating shebears Mica ‘Gold Kid’ and Innocentia kept by Valentinian close to his bedroom and fed with the bodies of condemned criminals. The fact that there is ample reason to reject this story as malicious slander only enhances our amazement that Ammianus incorporated it in his work. It is, in fact, another turn of the cylinder. Ammianus concludes this embarrassing chapter with the assurance that these indications of the emperor’s character and inclinations were completely trustworthy, immediately adding that not even the most obstinate critic could criticize Valentinian’s unfailing shrewdness in matters of state: Et haec quidem morum eius et propositi cruenti sunt documenta verissima. sollertiae vero circa rem publicam usquam digredientis nemo eum vel obtrectator pervicax incusabit

16 17

silence; and, like a reasonable person, he will pardon me for not including everything which his wicked advisors committed by exaggerating the importance of the charges’ (Rolfe, adapted). ‘That man does not seem less deceitful who knowingly passes over what has been done, than one who invents things that never happened.’ ‘My mind shrinks from enumerating all the cases, and at the same time I dread seeming to give the impression of purposely having investigated the defects of a prince who was in other respects very capable.’

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(29.4.1).18 The word sollertia implies high praise. Ammianus had previously used sollers and sollertia five times as a characteristic of Julian.19 So far I have mentioned Julian just once, but he is constantly present in the background of Ammianus’ description of Valentinian’s reign, sometimes explicitly, more often indirectly by verbal allusion.20 The contrast between the two emperors is sharpest in the description of their characters, and their dispensation of justice. Whereas Valentinian is called ferus, asper and trux, Julian was civilis, lenis and clemens, so much so that he even showed clemency to people who had plotted against his life:  ut poenarum asperitatem genuina lenitudine castigaret.21 By contrast, Valentinian hortabatur assidue, ut noxas vel leves acerbius vindicarent.22 Another instance of this technique of bringing out the contrast by verbal allusion concerns the fiscal policy of the two emperors. In the obituary of Julian we read:  numquam augendae pecuniae cupidus fuit,23 whereas about Valentinian it is said:  aviditas plus habendi sine honesti pravique differentia … exundavit in hoc principe flagrantius adolescens. 24 As in the case of the emperor’s anger and injustice, where some of the blame was diverted to Maximinus, Ammianus diverts part of his criticism of Valentinian’s fiscal severity to another scapegoat, the Roman aristocrat Petronius Probus. The consequences of the strangling taxation are spelled out in chapter 5 of book 30. Rich and poor are driven to despair, emigration, suicide even. It is Petronius Probus, not the emperor himself, who is blamed for this. The passage in question opens with the remark that Valentinian hated Petronius ever since their very first meeting. According to Ammianus, the reason for this is perfectly clear: in order to humour Valentinian, Petronius did nothing to correct the emperor, who tried to collect money from every quarter without regard for right and wrong. Instead, as a prefect Petronius was himself merciless in levying taxes. This does not seem very plausible. One would

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‘These are indubitable indications of Valentinian’s character and bloodthirsty disposition. But even his harshest critic cannot find fault with his unfailing shrewdness in matters of state’ (Hamilton). 17.1.12, 17.2.3, 21.8.3, 21.12.16, 24.7.2. For a detailed analysis see Kelly 2008, 306–310. ‘(so merciful) that he corrected the severity of their punishment by his inborne mildness’ (25.4.9). ‘often urged (judges) to punish even light offences with greater severity’ (30.8.13). ‘he was never anxious to increase his wealth’ (25.4.15). ‘greed for gain regardless of right and wrong (…) welled up in this emperor and burned ever fiercer’ (30.8.8, a bad case of mixed metaphors).

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expect Valentinian to appreciate such a dedicated collector of taxes. The somewhat twisted reasoning here betrays Ammianus’ intention to shift some of the blame for this unpopular aspect of Valentinian’s reign onto someone else, in this case Petronius, whom Ammianus disliked as much as he hated Maximinus. It is in Ammianus’ treatment of Valentinian’s fiscal policy that we find the most glaring inconsistency. Contrary to what he had said in 30.8.8, quoted above, we read in 30.9.1: in provinciales admodum parcus, tributorum ubique molliens sarcinas.25 I see no way to accommodate these diametrically opposed statements, but I  am not tempted either to endorse Weisweiler’s thesis in a recent article that Ammianus parades as an unreliable witness who deliberately undermines (sit venia verbo) his own account in order to demonstrate his epistemological scepticism.26 This approach may be suited to a highly sophisticated fictional work like Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, or to the burlesque playfulness of the Historia Augusta, but not, in my opinion, to the utterly serious and sober historian Ammianus (whether we like him for it or not). With regard to the relationship between narrative and obituary in the case of Valentinian it has been observed by Schlumberger that the obituary is strikingly similar to the much shorter account in the Epitome de Caesaribus.27 It suffices to put two texts next to other to illustrate this: epit. 45.2 Huius pater Gratianus, mediocri stirpe ortus apud Cibalas, Funarius appellatus est, eo quod venalicium funem portanti quinque milites nequirent extorquere.

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30.7.2 Natus apud Cibalas, Pannoniae oppidum, Gratianus maior ignobili stirpe cognominatus est a pueritia Funarius ea re, quod nondum adultus venalem circumferens funem quinque militibus eum rapere studio magno conatis nequaquam cessit.28

‘he treated the provincials indulgently, and everywhere lightened the burden of tribute’. Weisweiler, 2014. Schlumberger 1974. Epit. 45.2 ‘His father, Gratianus, born from a modest family at Cibalae, was called Funarius [‘Rope Pedlar’], because five soldiers were unable to wrest from him a rope which he was carrying round for sale.’ 30.7.2 ‘His father, the elder Gratianus, was born at Cibalae, a town of Pannonia, of a humble family, and from his early boyhood was surnamed Funarius because when he was carrying round a rope for sale, and five soldiers tried with all their might to tear it from him, he gave way not an inch.’

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As Schlumberger has argued, a direct dependence of Ammianus on the Epitome and vice versa may be excluded, so he correctly concluded that Ammianus and the author of the Epitome made use of a common source. I  shall not venture to suggest a name for this. I  do, however, subscribe to Schlumberger’s conclusion,29 the more so because chapters 30.7 and 30.9 are written in a concise, and at times elliptical, style that seems to echo the dry and factual language of an epitomator. It seems probable to me that Ammianus made use of this anonymous source when writing his obituary and it may well be that he was happy to incorporate some positive remarks he found there in order to establish a better balance between the emperor’s virtues and vices. The last aspect of Valentinian’s reign that I should like to touch upon is his religious policy:  Postremo hoc moderamine principatus inclaruit, quod inter religionum diversitates medius stetit nec quemquam inquietavit neque, ut hoc coleretur, imperavit aut illud; nec interdictis minacibus subiectorum cervicem ad id, quod ipse voluit, inclinabat, sed intemeratas reliquit has partes, ut repperit (30.9.5).30 This is one hundred percent positive. Ammianus clearly prefers Valentinian’s neutral stance regarding religious matters to that of Julian, whom he had severely criticized in his obituary (25.4) for his anti-Christian Grammatikerverbot. With religionum diversitates the author hints not only at the differences of opinion between Christians and pagans, but also at the opposition between Arian and orthodox Christians. In this respect Valentinian was to be preferred to his brother Valens, who gave preferential treatment to Arians and treated the orthodox harshly. It has plausibly been suggested that in praising this aspect of Valentinian’s reign Ammianus obliquely criticized the anti-pagan decrees issued by the emperor Theodosius in the years during which he was writing his Res Gestae.31 I will end by discussing an aspect of Valentinian’s paideia. The subject has recently been treated by my fellow commentator Drijvers, who concentrated on the emperor’s behaviour in politics and compared him unfavourably to Julian.32 Whereas Julian is characterized as a philosopher in his own right, who surprised the world by his military and administrative gifts, the Pannonian brothers are called rudis and subagrestis, ‘unsophisticated’ and ‘a 29 30

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As Paschoud had done on p. 81 of his article quoted in n. 3. ‘Finally, his reign was distinguished by toleration, in that he remained neutral in religious differences neither troubling anyone on that ground nor ordering him to reverence this or that. He did not bend the necks of his subjects to his own belief by threatening edicts, but left such matters undisturbed as he found them.’ Stein 1928, 332; Thompson 1947, 116. Drijvers 2012, 85–99.

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little boorish’. This is undoubtedly correct, but I  intend to concentrate on a minor but fascinating detail: did Valentinian know Greek? Scholars are divided on this point. According to some he did, and even spoke the language, others flatly deny it. There is one passage in book 30.5 which in my opinion sheds some light on this question.33 In this chapter Ammianus describes the reception of a delegation from Epirus at the court of Valentinian. The scene is set in Carnuntum in Pannonia, the emperor’s native region. The people of Epirus, like the rest of the provincials, were compelled by the ppo Petronius Probus to send a message to the emperor expressing their gratitude to the prefect. The philosopher Iphicles was forced to undertake this mission. When he came before the emperor, Valentinian recognized him:  agnitus adventusque sui causam interrogatus Graece respondit atque ut philosophus veritatis professor quaerente curatius principe, si hi, qui misere, ex animo bene sentiunt de praefecto, ‘gementes’ inquit ‘et inviti’. quo ille verbo tamquam telo perculsus actus eius ut sagax bestia rimabatur genuino percunctando sermone, quos [Valesius. quod V] noscitabat etc.34 The philosopher acted against his will; small wonder, for leading an embassy was an arduous and costly burden. More importantly, Iphicles, like his fellow provincials, hated the man for whom he would have to thank the emperor. The fact that Ammianus expressly states that Iphicles answered in Greek proves, if proof were needed, that the emperor had asked him the question in Latin. The court etiquette would certainly have demanded the philosopher to answer in the same language. However, Iphicles may not have known Latin, or perhaps he felt free to address the emperor in his own language (Greek), because the two men were on familiar terms (agnitus). This would presuppose that Iphicles knew that the emperor would understand him. The suggestion by Colombo that use was made of an interpreter has no basis in the text.35 The next question is asked by the emperor curatius, that is Valentinian did not restrict himself to polite routine conversation, but wished to be informed in detail about Probus’ reputation among the inhabitants of his prefecture. Given the emperor’s hatred of Probus this was only to be 33 34

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For references see Den Boeft et  al. 2015, 116–121, where the episode is discussed in detail. ‘Valentinian recognized him and asked the nature of his mission. Iphicles answered in Greek and showed himself true to his philosophical principles. In reply to an explicit question whether those who had sent him genuinely thought well of the prefect, he answered: “With groans and against their will”. These words cut Valentinian to the heart, and he set about tracking the course of the prefect like a keen-scented hound, inquiring in his native tongue after people he knew’ etc. (tr. Hamilton). Colombo 2007, 396–406.

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expected. The fact that Ammianus gives Iphicles’ answer ‘gementes et inviti’ in oratio recta does not necessarily mean that Iphicles switched to Latin. In 23.5.3 Ammianus reports that an actress on the stage in Antioch, when she saw Persian soldiers approach, exclaimed ‘nisi somnus est … en Persae’ (‘unless I’m dreaming … the Persians are here’), which she certainly said in Greek. We have only to translate the words gementes et inviti (‘groaning and against their will’) into Greek to realize that this was also the case here, since the equivalent στένοντες καὶ ἄκοντες is a set phrase in Greek, unlike gementes et inviti in Latin. The phrase is attested four times, three of which are in philosophical prose.36 In all probability this is what Iphicles really said, which implies that Iphicles persisted in speaking Greek, obviously knowing that the emperor understood him. There are good parallels for bilingual dialogues like the conversation between Iphicles and Valentinian. In the Theodosian Code 8.15.1 a lady, Agrippina, pleads her cause in Greek before the emperor Constantine, who gives his answer in Latin. Under the heading ‘Code-switching, language choice and power’ Adams, in his magisterial book on bilingualism, discusses a number of records of similar exchanges in Greek papyri, in which a magistrate allows soldiers or citizens to bring their arguments forward in Greek, after which he pronounces his decisions in Latin. 37 As Adams observes about a dux in Egypt, ‘the supreme military official in Egypt was willing to receive a petition in Greek, but he responds in Latin, thus apparently symbolising his authority’.38 This use of Latin as a ‘language of power’ goes back to Republican times, as witness Valerius Maximus 2.2.2 Magistratus vero prisci quantopere suam populique Romani maiestatem retinentes se gesserint hinc cognosci potest, quod … magna cum perseverantia custodiebant, ne Graecis umquam nisi Latine responsa darent.39 But the story does not end here. Valentinian goes on to interrogate his fellow Pannonians about some prominent citizens. He does this 36

37 38 39

Favorin. F. 96.2, ἄκοντες καὶ σ̣ τενοντες καὶ ἀναγκαζόµενοι (‘against their will and groaning and under constraint’); Epict. Ench. 2.20.16 ἡ φύσις ἕλκουσα ἐπὶ τὸ αὑτῆς βούληµα ἄκοντα καὶ στένοντα, ‘nature, which forces a man again his will and groaning to do what she wants’ 4.1.12. Οὐδέν σοι φαίνεται εἶναι τὸ ἄκοντά τι ποιεῖν, τὸ ἀναγκαζόµενον, τὸ στένοντα πρὸς τὸ δοῦλον εἶναι; ‘do you think that doing something against your will, under constraint and groaning, has nothing to do with being a slave?’, Greg. Naz. De vita sua 14 σ̣ ύρων (dragging a horse) ἄκοντα καὶ στένοντα. Adams 2003, 545–563. Adams 2003, 557. ‘How carefully the magistrates of old regulated their conduct to keep intact the majesty of the Roman people and their own can be seen from the fact that to preserve their dignity they steadfastly kept to the rule never to make replies to Greeks except in Latin’, (tr. Shackleton Bailey).

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genuino sermone ‘in his native language’. Most scholars have interpreted this as meaning ‘in Latin’, but Colombo has argued convincingly that the emperor, being in Pannonia, made use of his mother tongue, Pannonian. Rochette’s objection that it is difficult to verify whether Pannonian was still spoken in the fourth century,40 can be rejected by statements of Valentinian’s contemporary and fellow Pannonian Jerome, who uses Pannonian words in his bible commentaries.41 It is also in keeping with the meaning of genuinus, which Ammianus uses several times to refer to the native country and the habits of non-Romans. Moreover, the use of a langue confidentielle would have stimulated the delegate to speak out plainly. The end of the obituary offers two pleasant surprises. The old war-horse Valentinian turns out to have tried his hand at painting, modelling and calligraphy, and to have had a taste for haute cuisine. The description of his outward appearance is to his advantage too:  Corpus eius lacertosum et validum, capilli fulgor colorisque nitor, cum oculis caesiis, semper obliquum intuentis et torvum, atque pulchritudo staturae liniamentorumque recta compago maiestatis regiae decus implebat (30.9.6).42 This could hardly be better, but for one jarring detail: oculi caesii ‘blue-grey eyes’ according to the physiognomists betray a lack of human kindness and an uncouth character.43 This is the final turn of the kaleidoscope. All in all, it seems justified to characterize the image of Valentinian as depicted by Ammianus as predominantly positive, probably because the former protector domesticus was of the opinion that Valentinian’s military excellence outweighed his shortcomings. However, Ammianus allows his readers the opportunity to focus on a different configuration of his kaleidoscopic image, not because he lives in ‘a world in which virtues and vices happily coexist in

40 41

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Rochette 2010, 460. E.g. in Is. 7.19.5 ζύθον transtulerunt, quod genus est potionis ex frugibus aquaque confectum, et vulgo in Dalmatiae Pannoniaeque provinciis, gentili barbaroque sermone appellatur sabaium, ‘they translated this as ζύθος, a kind of drink made from grain and water which in the provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia is generally called in the native and barbarian language sabaium’. ‘His frame was strong and muscular, and he had gleaming hair and a high complexion. His eyes were grey, with a stern sidelong glance. He was of a good height and perfectly well built, and all in all presented a splendid figure as an emperor’, tr. Hamilton. Polemo Phgn. p. 246 glaucus in oculo color defectum humanitatis et indolis rigorem indicat (‘a blue-grey colour of the eye is a sign of a lack of kindness and an inflexible character’). Also the detail of the stern sidelong glance is unflattering. According to Seeck, 1920, 2 his blue eyes with their wild and threatening look betrayed his barbarian descent.

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sublime disharmony’,44 but because he considers it his duty to provide his readers with sufficient information to form their own judgment. Bibliography Adams, J.N. 2003. Bilingualism and the Latin Language. Cambridge. Alföldi, A. 1952. A Conflict of Ideas in the Late Roman Empire. The Clash between the Senate and Valentinian I. Oxford. Blockley, R.C. 1975. Ammianus Marcellinus. A Study of his Historiography and Political Thought. Brussels. Cameron, A.D.E. 2011. The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford. Colombo, M. 2007. ‘Il bilinguismo di Valentiniano I’, RhM 150: 396–406. Curran, J. 1997. ‘From Jovian to Theodosius’, in A.M. Cameron and P. Garnsey (eds.) Cambridge Ancient History Vol. XIII: The Late Empire, 337–425, Cambridge. 78–110. Den Boeft, J. et  al. 2015. Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXX. Leiden-Boston. Drijvers, J.W. 2012. ‘Decline of Political Culture. Ammianus Marcellinus’ Characterization of the Reigns of Valentinian and Valens’ in D. Brakke, D. Deliyannis, and E. Watts (eds.), Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity, Farnham, 85–99. Hamilton, W. and A. Wallace-Hadrill. 1986. Ammianus Marcellinus: The Later Roman Empire (AD 354–378), Harmondsworth. Kelly, G. 2008. Ammianus Marcellinus. The Allusive Historian. Cambridge. Leppin, H. 2007. ‘Der Reflex der Selbstdarstellung der valentinianischen Dynastie bei Ammianus Marcellinus und den Kirchhistorikern’ in J. den Boeft, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler (eds.), Ammianus after Julian. The reign of Valentinian and Valens in Books 26–31 of the Res Gestae, Leiden. 33–51. Nagl, A. 1948. ‘Valentinianus I’, RE 7A, Stuttgart-München. 2158–2204. Neri, V. 1985. ‘Ammiano Marcellino e l’Elezione di Valentiniano’, RSA 15: 153–182. Paschoud, F. 1992. ‘Valentinien travesti, ou: De la malignité d’Ammien’, in J. den Boeft, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler (eds.), Cognitio gestorum. The Historiographic Art of Ammianus Marcellinus, Amsterdam. 67–84. Pomeroy, A.J. 1991. The Appropriate Comment: Death Notices in the Ancient Historians. Frankfurt. Rochette, B. 2010. ‘À propos du bilinguisme de l’empereur Julien:  un réexamen’, Latomus 69: 456–478. Ross, A.J. 2016. Ammianus’ Julian: Narrative and Genre in the Res Gestae, Oxford.

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Pomeroy 1991, 247.

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Sabbah, G. 1978. La méthode d’Ammien Marcellin, Recherches sur la construction du discours historique dans les Res Gestae. Paris. Schlumberger, J. 1974. Die Epitome de Caesaribus. Untersuchungen zur heidnischen Geschichtsschreibung des 4. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. Munich. Seeck, O. 1920-1923. Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt, Vol. 5. Stuttgart. Stein, E. 1928. Geschichte des spätrömischen Reiches I. Vienna. Teitler, H.C. 2007. ‘Ammianus on Valentinian. Some Observations’, in J. den Boeft, J.W. Drijvers, D. den Hengst and H.C. Teitler (eds.), Ammianus after Julian. The Reign of Valentinian and Valens in Books 26–31 of the Res Gestae. Leiden. 53–70. Thompson, E.A. 1947. The Historical Work of Ammianus Marcellinus. Cambridge. Weisweiler, J. 2014. ‘Unreliable Witness. Failings of the Narrative in Ammianus Marcellinus’ in L. Van Hoof and P. Van Nuffelen (eds.), Literature and Society in the Fourth Century, Performing Paideia, Constructing the Present, Presenting the Self. Leiden. 103–134.

Chapter 12

Gratitude to Gratian: Ausonius’ Thanksgiving for His Consulship Bruce Gibson Ausonius’ speech of thanks to Gratian for his consulship, for which he was named as consul prior with Q.  Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius as his colleague,1 was delivered in Trier in the presence of the emperor in the second half of a.d. 379. Though this day was not the beginning of Ausonius’ consulship, the emperor was nevertheless present, having travelled from the Danube via Milan.2 This chapter will explore how Ausonius is able to negotiate praise of Gratian amid a complex and difficult political situation prevailing at the time. It will additionally reopen the question of links between Ausonius’ speech and Pliny’s Panegyric, which have hitherto tended to be downplayed,3 even though the panegyric tradition itself can very much be seen as playing a part in shaping discourse about rulers. At the start of the speech, Ausonius establishes an initial dichotomy between the ruler and the ruled, whilst also drawing a contrast between public and private (Gratiarum actio 1.1–2):4 Ago tibi gratias, imperator Auguste; si possem, etiam referrem. sed neque tua fortuna desiderat remunerandi vicem neque nostra suggerit restituendi facultatem. privatorum ista copia est inter se esse munificos: tua beneficia ut maiestate praecedunt, ita mutuum non reposcunt. quod solum igitur nostrae opis est, gratias ago; verum ita, ut apud deum fieri amat, sentiendo copiosius quam loquendo. atque non in sacrario 1 PLRE 1.640–2 s.v. Olybrius 3. I am most grateful to Diederik Burgersdijk and to Alan Ross for their helpful editing and comments on this chapter. 2 For the date and the details of Gratian’s travels, see Green 1991, 537. On the background to Ausonius’ consulship and his career and legislative activities, see Matthews 1975, 56–87, Kaster 1988, 130–1, Sivan 1993, 119–41; on the social status of grammarians in Bordeaux, including Ausonsius, see Kaster 1988, 100–6. 3 Most recently by Gibson and Rees 2013, 158–9. 4 The text cited here for the Gratiarum actio is the Oxford Classical Text of Green 1999.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 014

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modo imperialis oraculi, qui locus horrore tranquillo et pavore venerabili raro eundem animum praestat et vultum, sed usquequaque gratias ago, tum tacitus, tum loquens, tum in coetu hominum, tum ipse mecum, et cum voce patui et cum meditatione secessi, omni loco actu habitu et tempore. I render you thanks, august emperor; if I  could, I  would even make repayment of them. But neither does your fortune need any exchange of reciprocal giving, and nor does mine provide the opportunity of making restitution. For private men, there is that opulence of being munificent amongst themselves: your acts of kindness, just as they are in the first place because of your royal state, so too do they not ask for anything in return. Therefore, the one thing that is in my power, I  render you thanks: but in such a way, as one loves it to be done in the presence of god, being expansive more in thought than in speech. And not only in the shrine of the imperial oracle, a place which though its serene mood of trembling and ancient awe only rarely manifests the same feelings and expression in relation to you; but I everywhere render thanks, sometimes silently, sometimes in words, sometimes in the throng of men, sometimes with myself, both when my thoughts have been laid open in words, and when I have been set apart in reflection, in every place, activity, custom and time. The speech thus opens with Ausonius drawing a distinction between the ruler and the ruled, emphasizing how normal conventions of reciprocity cannot apply between Gratian, the ruler, and his subjects. At the same time, Ausonius underlines the concord of both public and private discourse in the case of Gratian:  what is said about the emperor in public matches what is thought about him in private. Here is an early attempt in the speech to freeze panegyric, to set it in stone as the unique utterance about Gratian from Ausonius, where public discourse and private reflection about the emperor are one and the same thing. This passage also includes an early appearance of the deity, who will play a part further on, in what is effectively a triangular configuration of emperor, panegyrist, and the deity, with a supporting cast of the rest of the Empire.5 That supporting cast also gets a mention in the first chapter of the speech when Ausonius comments that the senate is now delighted to be making honorific decrees, pointing at the possibility of spontaneous praise

5 On Gratian’s Christianity and this speech of Ausonius, see Lolli 2006, 711.

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of emperors arising from their subjects without any spur or intervention from above (1.3). Moreover, Ausonius’ praise suggests that public praise of the emperor from an individual can reflect a private delight that can be felt in every place and which seems to include everyone (Gratiarum actio 1.5): ades enim locis omnibus, nec iam miramur licentiam poetarum, qui omnia deo plena dixerunt. spem superas, cupienda praevenis, vota praecurris; quaeque animi nostri celeritas divinum instar affectat beneficiis praeeuntibus anteceditur. praestare tibi est quam nobis optare velocius. For you are present in every place, and no longer do we wonder at the freedom of the poets, who have spoken of ‘everything being full of god’. You surpass hope, you pre-empt desires, you overtake prayers: the swiftness of our minds, which lays claim to something of the divine, is preceded by your acts of kindness that run on ahead of you. It is swifter for you to give, than it is for us to wish. Here Ausonius underlines the way in which, under Gratian, the kind of language of divinity which poets had previously used about rulers now can become plausible (omnia deo plena). A little later on (Gratiarum actio 7.34-5), Ausonius again emphasises the uniformity of public discourse about Gratian, even across locations as far removed from each other as Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Carthage, Alexandria, as well as Trier (7.35): loca inter se distant, vota consentiunt. unus in ore omnium Gratianus, potestate imperator, virtute victor, Augustus sanctitate, pontifex religione, indulgentia pater, aetate filius, pietate utrumque. The places are apart from each other, but in their prayers they are in agreement. One Gratian is on the lips of everyone, imperator through his power, victor through his courage, Augustus through his sanctity, Pontifex through his religious devotion, father through his indulgence, son through his age, and both in view of his piety. A key concern of the speech, then, is to establish the idea that there are shared views of the merits of Gratian throughout the Empire. Ausonius, however, has a further objective:  to underline his own qualifications to praise a uniquely impressive emperor.

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Gratian as Optimus: The Panegyric Tradition In the second chapter of the speech, Ausonius goes on to mention an issue which confronts all those who have to compose panegyric, the possibility of its endlessness.6 Ausonius explicitly admits that the word optimus almost says all that there is to say about Gratian (Gratiarum actio 2.6): Ago igitur gratias, optime imperator; ac si quis hunc sermonem meum isdem verbis tam saepe repetitum inopiae loquentis assignat, experiatur hoc idem prosequi, et nihil poterit proferre facundius. Therefore I  render thanks, excellent emperor; and if anyone attributes this language of mine that is so often repeated to the poverty of the speaker, let him try to accomplish this very same thing, and he will be able to offer nothing more eloquent. There are two possible phrases which might seem to be covered by tam saepe repetitum. One is ago gratias, which directly recalls the opening of the speech, ago tibi gratias, imperator Auguste, ‘I render thanks to you, august emperor’, which, as Lolli has noted, sets up a straightforward and simple opening.7 As we shall see one of Ausonius’ strategies in the speech is to take up the concept of rendering thanks as a return for the emperor’s kindness—the emphasis on gratiae also puns nicely on the name of Gratian. But there is additionally a sense here in which optime imperator might be a phrase which could also be repeated endlessly, even though it is used twice of Gratian in Ausonius’ speech, here and at 6.29 (imperator optime). The phrase serves as a shorthand for the characteristic problem faced in panegyric of how to avoid saying the same thing over and over again, how to avoid repetition. And yet, repetition is also something which is to be seen as inevitable, perhaps even desirable, in order to make praise intelligible. The simplicity of optimus also enables Ausonius to convey a sense of a widespread discourse about Gratian as the best of emperors, as he suggests that others too would not be well placed to come up with any improvement on this kind of language. More broadly, optimus also reflects a historical tendency to perceive emperors in the light of how they may be compared with the past community of emperors. Optimus as an epithet has a history in earlier panegyric, most 6 For this issue, see e.g. Gibson 2010, esp. 127–33. 7 Lolli 2006, 707. Note however that Green 1991, 593 refers to this as a ‘disarmingly simple opening’.

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notably its identification with Trajan in the course of Pliny’s oration in praise of Trajan.8 Trajan, moreover, is an emperor whose high reputation enabled him to become a point of comparison for later emperors: famously, the historian Eutropius (Breviarium 8.5.3) notes that emperors would be acclaimed as felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, ‘more fortunate than Augustus, better than Trajan’, where melior, ‘better’, the grammatical comparative paradoxically trumps optimus, ‘best’, the grammatical superlative applied to Trajan.9 The fact that Pliny’s Panegyric would also become part of the tradition of later Latin panegyrics in the collection of the Panegyrici Latini also sets up the possibility of Trajan as a point of reference in a speech such as Ausonius’.10 Since Schenkl in the 1880s, who noted a few verbal parallels, the dominant tendency has been to see the Panegyricus of Pliny as having little to do with Ausonius’ speech.11 However, as Gavin Kelly has discussed in his 2013 treatment of Pliny and Symmachus, Kroll in 1891 noted the similarity between the opening of Symmachus Letter 1.20, addressed to Ausonius, and the opening of the Panegyricus.12 Compare Plin. Pan. 1.1: Bene ac sapienter, patres conscripti, maiores instituerunt ut rerum agendarum ita dicendi initium a precationibus capere, quod nihil rite nihil providenter homines sine deorum immortalium ope consilio honore auspicarentur. Rightly and wisely, conscript fathers, did our ancestors lay down that just as the beginning of actions should take its beginning from prayers, so too should the beginning of speaking, because men inaugurate nothing 8

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On optimus, which as Durry 1938, 231–2 notes seems to have been used unofficially before the first appearance of the legend OPTIMO PRINCIPI on Trajan’s coins after ad 103, and the conferral of the agnomen of Optimus in ad 114, see further the discussions of Rees 2001, 160–2, Seelentag 2004, 240–7, Gibson 2010, 130–3. For Trajan as a point of comparison with later emperors, see further Gibson and Rees 2013, 157–8. On the role of Pliny and the broader nature of the collection of the Panegyrici Latini, see Rees 2011 and 2012, 23–8. The edition of Ausonius by Schenkl 1883 claimed parallels between Pliny’s and Ausonius’ panegyrics as follows: Plin. Pan. 94.2 ~ Aus. Grat. act. 1.3; Plin. Pan. 58.1~ Aus. Grat. act. 6.27; Plin. Pan. 88.6 ~ Aus. Grat. act. 7.38. Green 1991, 544 and 551–2 also has Plin. Pan. 37–40 ~ Aus. Grat. act. 16.73, Plin. Pan. 13.3 ~ Aus. Grat. act. 17.76, and Plin. Pan. 79.1~ Aus. Grat. act. 6.25. Kelly 2013, 269–70, citing Kroll 1891, 93. See also Gibson and Rees 2013, 158–9. On Symmachus’ correspondence with Ausonius, see the remarks of Cameron 2010, 372.

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rightly and nothing with foresight without the help, guidance and honour of the immortal gods. with Symmachus, Ep. 1.20.1: Bene ac sapienter maiores nostri, ut sunt alia aetatis illius, aedes Honori atque Virtuti gemella facie iunctim locarunt, conmenti, quod in te vidimus, ibi esse praemia honoris, ubi sunt merita virtutis. Rightly and wisely did our ancestors, just as there are other examples from that age, place temples to Honour and to Virtue with a twin frontage side by side, with the view that (which we have seen in you) the prizes of honour are situated there where the rewards of virtue are. This passage, from the very opening of a letter from Symmachus to Ausonius from late in 378, just before Ausonius was to take office as consul, should perhaps encourage us to be more open to consider Plinian influence more widely in Ausonius’ speech, which is after all an actio gratiarum, even if the speech is not given on the occasion of Ausonius’ inauguration. Trajan, moreover, features among the various emperors whom Gratian is said to eclipse: thus at 16.73-4, after praising Gratian’s remission of financial burdens (condonatis residuis tributorum, ‘the remission of the arrears of tribute’), Ausonius suggests that this surpassed similar ameliorative financial measures undertaken by Trajan and Marcus Aurelius (for praise of Trajan’s financial measures, see Pan. 37–40); likewise at 17.76, Ausonius relates how whereas Trajan was accustomed to visit his friends (cf. Pan. 13.3 for Trajan’s help to those who were sick in the army), Gratian goes far beyond this. The word optimus is moreover a key part of Pliny’s praise for Trajan, right from the outset:  thus Pliny refers at Pan. 1.2 to the aim of thanking Trajan:  ad agendas optimo principi gratias, ‘to render thanks to the best princeps’, a passage which also offers the same combination of optimus and agere gratias as we find in Ausonius’ ago igitur gratias, optime imperator (Gratiarum actio 2.6, cited above). A further important passage is found in the second chapter of Pliny’s speech, where Optimus is highlighted as an epithet that is peculiarly Trajan’s, in spite of the various claims on the title made by other emperors (Pan. 2.7): iam quid tam civile tam senatorium, quam illud additum a nobis Optimi cognomen? quod peculiare huius et proprium adrogantia priorum principum fecit.

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For what is so characteristic of his attitude as a citizen and as a senator than that name Optimus which was conferred by us? This the arrogance of previous principes has made a particular and personal quality of this princeps. In Pliny’s use of the single word Optimus, which stands in tension with the Panegyricus’ great length and exhaustiveness, there is of course not just a challenge to previous emperors, but also perhaps a gauntlet laid down for future emperors as well. Can they match up to the weight of the example which has been so emphatically created? Pliny makes explicit the challenge offered by the word Optimus in Pan. 88.9-10: adsecutus es nomen, quod ad alium transire non possit, nisi ut adpareat in bono principe alienum, in malo falsum, quod licet omnes postea usurpent, semper tamen agnoscetur ut tuum. etenim ut nomine Augusti admonemur eius cui primum dicatum est, ita haec Optimi adpellatio numquam memoriae hominum sine te recurret, quotiensque posteri nostri Optimum aliquem vocare cogentur, totiens recordabuntur quis meruerit vocari. You have obtained a name, which cannot pass to another, without it appearing to belong to someone else in the case of a good emperor, and to be false in the case of a bad one, and though everyone subsequently may usurp it, it will always however be recognized as your own. For just as we are reminded by the name of Augustus of the man on whom it was first decreed, so this title of Optimus will never occur to the memory of men without you, and as often as later generations of us are compelled to call someone Optimus, so often will they remember who deserved to be called it. In the case of Gratian, Ausonius’ use of the word optimus so early on in the speech, following on indeed from Ausonius’ use of the other honorific title identified by Pliny, the name of Augustus, which is Ausonius’ opening address to Gratian in 1.1 and used repeatedly of Gratian throughout the speech,13 13

The word Augustus is used eleven times straightforwardly of Gratian in the speech: 1.1, 1.3, 3.13, 3.14, 4.17, 4.20, 7.30, 7.35, 9.42, 16.74 and 18.79. The only other appearances of the word Augustus are at 6.25 cognominis tui Augusti, where Ausonius refers to the thirteen consulships of the Emperor Augustus but associates the name with Gratian’s own nomenclature, 7.32, where Fronto is referred to as his emperor’s teacher (Augusti

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might therefore be seen as a response to the Plinian challenge. Pliny, it should be noted, envisaged the word optimus as one which will be passed to future emperors just as the title Augustus is, even though such later emperors might not actually deserve to be called Optimus in the way Trajan was. The reference to repetition that Ausonius makes with tam saepe repetitum (Gratiarum actio 2.6) might thus refer not only to the repetition of phrases such as agere gratias and optimus in connection with praise of Gratian, but also the challenge offered by past panegyric which seems to offer unassailable superlatives. Discourse about a current ruler has to participate in previous discourses of praise about rulers, in order to be comprehensible, but at the same time it has to surpass it as well.14 Indeed, Ausonius confronts the issue of past panegyric elsewhere in the speech. Ausonius’ reference to Fronto in 7.32-3 explicitly sets up the possibility of competition:15 unica mihi [et] amplectenda est Frontonis imitatio, quem tamen Augusti magistrum sic consulatus ornavit ut praefectura non cingeret. sed consulatus ille cuius modi? ordinario suffectus, bimenstri spatio interpositus, in sexta anni parte consumptus, quaerendum ut reliquerit tantus orator, quibus consulibus gesserit consulatum. ecce aliud quod aliquis opponat:  ‘in tanti ergo te oratoris fastigium gloriosus attollis?’ cui talia requirenti respondebo breviter:  non ego me contendo Frontoni, sed Antonino praefero Gratianum. The one imitation that I must embrace is that of Fronto, whom, however, the consulship adorned as the teacher of an Augustus in such a way that the prefecture did not garland him. But of what kind was that consulship? As a suffect consul he followed an ordinarius, put in place for a twomonth span, used up in the sixth part of a year, one must ask how so great an orator left it unclear who were the consuls [when] he held the consulship. But look let someone raise another point: ‘Are you not in your vainglory then raising yourself to the pinnacle of so great an orator?’ I will

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magistrum), and 11.54, where the word refers both to Constantius ii and to Gratian. The index of Green’s Oxford Classical Text, though listing specific instances of the word Augustus used of Gratian in other Ausonian works, simply gives the word ‘passim’ for the Gratiarum actio: Green 1999, 301. See also Ross in this volume, on Julian surpassing other panegyrists of Constantius in his own orations. On this passage, see Rees 2011, 185.

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reply briefly to the person who asks such a question: I do not set myself up in opposition to Fronto, but I prefer Gratian to Antoninus.16 Here, context is important if we are to understand the reference to imitation of Fronto, whose speech does not survive, though Letter 2.4.1 (van den Hout) refers to an actio gratiarum which Fronto was about to give in honour of Antoninus Pius. It is not necessarily the case, however, that Ausonius is explicitly seeking to cast himself as an imitator of Fronto’s speech. Ausonius makes his claims as part of a discussion in 7.30-1 which examines the role of various imperial advisors. Seneca appears as the teacher of Nero, as does Quintilian, who had been teacher of the children of Domitian’s relation, Clemens. Thus the reference to Fronto should be seen in the light of Fronto’s role as a mentor to Marcus Aurelius, but it does not rule out the possibility of a Plinian dimension to the speech. It is also striking that, when Ausonius affirms his own more distinguished status as one of the two consules ordinarii whose names would be given to the dating of the year, his dismissal of Fronto as a mere suffect consul is a point that could be made about Pliny too, whose suffect consulship began on 1 September ad 100. If Pliny is evoked through the early reference to optime imperator (which is also used by Pliny in his Letters to Trajan at Ep. 10.1.2, imperator optime; 10.14.1, optime imperator), Ausonius also shows his ability to make use of other Plinian themes. The opening emphasis on praise of Gratian being something that is not only manifested on public occasions but also in private thought is a good example (Gratiarum actio 1.2): … sed usquequaque gratias ago, tum tacitus, tum loquens, tum in coetu hominum, tum ipse mecum, et cum voce patui et cum meditatione secessi, omni loco actu habitu et tempore. … but I  everywhere render thanks, sometimes silently, sometimes in words, sometimes in the throng of men, sometimes with myself, both when my thoughts have been laid open in words, and when I have been set apart in reflection, in every place, activity, custom and time. Here Ausonius emphasises that his view of Gratian is one which he not only feels in public, but in private as well. This point draws on a crucial distinction

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Contrast the way in which the sha looks back regularly to the period of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius in favourable terms.

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between types of utterances about the emperor which occurs at the opening of Pliny’s speech, when Pliny declares that it is now the case, after the end of Domitian’s tyranny, that private views of the emperor match those that are offered in public (Pan. 2.2–3): Quare abeant ac recedant voces illae quas metus exprimebat. Nihil quale ante dicamus, nihil enim quale antea patimur; nec eadem de principe palam quae prius praedicemus, neque enim eadem secreto quae prius loquimur. Discernatur orationibus nostris diversitas temporum, et ex ipso genere gratiarum agendarum intellegatur, cui quando sint actae. Therefore let those words go in retreat which fear used to express. Let us say nothing of the kind we used to say before, for we endure nothing of the kind we endured before; nor let us proclaim openly about our emperor what we used to say before, for neither do we say in secret now what we used to say before. Let the difference in the times be discerned in our speeches, and from the very kind of thanks which we must render, let it be understood who has been thanked, and when. In these lines, Pliny draws attention to the concord between private and public speech about Trajan as emperor—there is no discrepancy between what is said and what is thought about him. Public and Private in Ausonius’ Speech This is an angle which Ausonius explores further in the opening of his speech. Pliny had used the dichotomy of private and public as a means of approaching the contrast effected by the transition from Domitian to the reigns of Nerva and Trajan, where private thoughts about Trajan combine with sincere public praise, as opposed to the insincere flattery that was obligatory under Domitian. Ausonius’ approach, however, allows him to emphasise a different kind of private dimension in his speech, the personal character of Gratian himself. It is almost as if Ausonius wishes to surpass a commonplace discourse about Gratian, and have recourse instead to something much rarer and unique, the speech that his own close acquaintance with the emperor enables him to deliver. It is true that Ausonius begins his speech by noting the concord and the unity that characterizes the shared positive discourse about Gratian which reflects the views of all his subjects. His answer, however, to the problem of originality and individuality of praise, something essential given the speech’s

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emphasis on his role as a literary man and as a teacher, is to offer a personal praise of Gratian which is nevertheless in harmony with a more widespread, but less well-informed, enthusiastic response to the emperor’s rule from the community of the Empire. Though a reader of Ausonius’ speech might easily forget it, the political context of a.d. 379 was one of some considerable uncertainty. In the East, the defeat and death of Valens at Adrianople had taken place only in the previous year. In response to this crisis, Gratian, who himself was not yet twenty, and already co-ruling with his younger brother Valentinian ii, elevated Theodosius to the rank of Augustus in January 379, appointing a military man to take charge of the Gothic threat to the Empire in the Balkans.17 Ausonius’ consulship thus took place at a moment of great tension, with the imperial family forced to look beyond itself for a new colleague for Gratian who could be effective in dealing with the crisis after Adrianople.18 Of this, however, there is little in Ausonius’ speech. Perhaps the most direct mention of the crisis comes at 9.42: tu, Auguste venerabilis, districtus maximo bello, assultantibus tot milibus barbarorum quibus Danuvii ora praetexitur, comitia consulatus mei armatus exerces. You, venerable Augustus, engaged in a massive war, when so many thousands of barbarians who dwell on the shore of the Danube were attacking, hold the elections for my consulship while under arms. Ausonius goes on (9.42) to explain that the elections were held in Sirmium, but this is not the cue for a discussion of the situation on the Danube frontier.19 Instead Ausonius provides an elaborate discussion of whether the elections were held in the comitia tributa or in the comitia centuriata or even in the comitia pontificalia,20 in view of Gratian’s status as a pontifex who has the involvement of God in the process.21 This then allows Ausonius to quote 17 18 19

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For Ausonius’ connection with Theodosius, see Matthews 1975, 54. See further Matthews 1975, 91–6, Sivan 1993, 120–2 on this political context. Ausonius was not present at the moment of his election to the consulship:  Matthews 1975, 98 sees this as an indication that Ausonius’ influence over Gratian should not be exaggerated; see also Cameron 2010, 34–5. On the significance of this passage in relation to the debate about whether Gratian refused the title of pontifex maximus, see Cameron 2010, 52. See also Gratiarum actio 3.13, where Ausonius however contrasts the simplicity of the process of his own appointment as consul with the arduous nature of Republican electoral

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Gratian’s letter to him explaining how he appointed Ausonius in response to divine prompting, before then going on (10.45–50) to go over each phrase of the same letter and comment on it. Thus, instead of considering Gratian in the light of the concerns of imperial grand strategy in the face of crisis, Ausonius instead moves, in keeping with a focus on his own private thoughts about Gratian, to a corresponding emphasis on the emperor’s own private deliberations, even with God, about how Ausonius might be appointed as consul. This reflects a wider tendency in the speech to resort to the private rather than the public sphere for the raw material of praise, even though the work, especially as it is the utterance of a consul in office, might be felt to have a public dimension to it. Ausonius therefore explores the boundaries between private and public in his approach to Gratian, not only through his own connection with the emperor, but also through considering another private dimension, the relationship between his speech’s recipient, Gratian, and God. In part this arises from Ausonius’ decision to mention his own sense of debt to the emperor. Ausonius turns the expression of public thanks which it is customary for a consul to offer into a means for exploring his individual association with the emperor. Here the Plinian model provides both an example and a point of departure. Pliny’s concern, understandably, in a speech given in the senate, is very much with a public expression of thanks to Trajan, establishing the theme that he is acting in obedience to the senate’s command (Pan. 1.2). Nevertheless, Pliny’s speech also includes an apparently personal dimension with a passage in which Pliny explains how it is also the custom for a consul to add in an element of personal thanks to the emperor. Pliny explains this custom right at the end of his speech (Pan. 90.3): Quia tamen in consuetudinem vertit, ut consules publica gratiarum actione perlata, suo quoque nomine quantum debeant principi profiteantur, concedite me non pro me magis munere isto quam pro collega meo Cornuto Tertullo clarissimo viro fungi. Because it has however become a custom, that the consuls, when the public rendering of thanks has been completed, should also in their procedure, with the discussion of Lolli 2006, 709. The contrast with Republican elections is also made by Claudius Mamertinus when praising Julian (Pan. Lat iii[11].30.3–4), on which see further Gibson 2013, 236–8. The theme of elections in both Ausonius and in Claudius Mamertinus arguably recalls Pliny’s mention of Trajan’s taking a proper part in elections in his own reign (Pan. 63.2-3).

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own name acknowledge how much they owe to the princeps, allow me to use that practice no more on my own account than on behalf of my colleague, Cornutus Tertullus, a most eminent man. In the passage that follows, Pliny turns back to the public dimension, as he underlines the difficulties which he and his colleague had experienced in the reign of Domitian, with Pliny continuing in chapter  91 by describing how Trajan offered the consulship to the pair (who had previously been prefects of the treasury of Saturn).22 Nevertheless, the sense of the private relationship between Trajan and Pliny that emerges in this chapter and its successor is very marginal, and largely resides in Pliny’s affirmation of his gratitude for being appointed to the consulship. Ausonius is able, however, to exploit the private dimension in much more depth during his speech.23 This may reflect a desire to affirm the reality of his own connection with Gratian. This arises in part from having been Gratian’s teacher and instructor,24 which gives Ausonius a real connection to make something of, which reflects highly favourably on himself, and can be seen as a prestigious involvement of his in paideia,25 with Ausonius the teacher and Gratian his pupil. Ausonius’ connection with Gratian through his involvement in his education gives a particular edge here, especially as Ausonius also mentions how Gratian claims that he is indebted to him, which leads (5.24) to a reference to Ausonius’ role as Gratian’s teacher. The theme of imperial indebtedness is one that Ausonius is able to pursue repeatedly in the course of the speech:  thus in 4.17–18, Ausonius explains that Gratian has honoured him: quartum hunc gradum novi beneficii tu, Auguste, constituis:  deferre tibi ipsi quo alter ornetur, bona animi tui ad alienam referre praestantiam, eruditionemque naturae quam deo et patri et tibi debes ad alterius

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Note that Ausonius and his son had previously been appointed to prefectures (Gratiarum actio 2.7), though these offices were not the same as those held by Pliny and his colleague. There is of course also a public dimension to Ausonius’ presentation of himself, as Sivan 1993, 119 notes: ‘In this Gratiarum actio he presented his public image and unknowingly bade a lasting farewell to politics.’ On Gratian’s education, see Fortina 1953, 22–4, Matthews 1975, 51–2, McEvoy 2013, 64–6, 106–7. See further Lolli 2006, 726, and also the important paper of Van Hoof 2013, one of whose concerns is an examination how the dynamics of paideia can be explored in the relations between emperors and men of letters in the fourth century.

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efficaciam gratius retorquere quam verius. tua haec verba sunt a te mihi scripta: solvere te quod debeas et adhuc debere quod solveris. o mentis aureae dictum bratteatum, o de pectore candidissimo lactei sermonis alimoniam! You set out this fourth step of a new benefit, Augustus: to turn against your own account what another person might be adorned by, to set down the good qualities of your spirit to someone else’s excellence, and the innate learning which you owe to God and to your father and to yourself, you twist this more pleasingly than truly to another person’s achievements. These are your words that were written by you to me: that you are settling what you owe, and that you still owe what you have settled. O what a gilded saying of a golden mind, o the nourishment of the milk of those words from a most pure heart! Notable is the use of direct quotation from Gratian’s words to Ausonius in this letter, which attests to the intimacy of Gratian’s relations with Ausonius, especially as Gratian mentions the emperor’s feeling of indebtedness to his teacher. By quoting the words of Gratian here (which Ausonius does again in 4.19, with slightly different wording: solvere te dicis quod debeas, et debiturum esse cum solveris, ‘You say that you are settling what you owe, and that you will be owing when you have settled’), especially in a context where he praises not just the sentiment but also the words in which it is made, Ausonius also indirectly confers distinction on himself as the teacher who had given Gratian instruction, and who has merited the emperor’s gratitude. This is especially true if we recall how the speech opens with the much more conventional idea of the vastness of the gap between ruler and ruled which rules out any possibility of reciprocity between them. But, having evoked this concept of the impossibility of reciprocity between ruled and ruler, the panegyrist effectively singles himself out from this as somehow different by speaking of Gratian’s sense of a debt that he owed to Ausonius. The theme of quotation from Gratian is also at issue elsewhere in the speech: thus in 9.43, Ausonius gives the very text of Gratian’s letter to him in which he explained his decision to appoint Ausonius as consul with reference to his private consultation of God: cum de consulibus in annum creandis solus mecum volutarem, ut me nosti atque ut facere debui et velle te scivi, consilium meum ad deum rettuli. eius auctoritati obsecutus te consulem designavi et declaravi et priorem nuncupavi.

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When I was alone and turning over with myself the matter of appointing consuls for the year, I referred my plan to God, as you know I do, and as I was obliged to do, and knew that you want me to. Following his authority, I have designated you as consul and have made this known and have declared you to be the first consul. Here Ausonius adopts a very different approach from Pliny’s treatment of the emperor’s decision to appoint a consul. Pliny had declined, on the grounds of modesty, to give the details of Trajan’s words of recommendation for the consulships of Pliny and his colleague Tertullus (Pan. 91.3–4): Obstat verecundia quo minus percenseamus, quo utrumque nostrum testimonio ornaris, ut amore recti amore rei publicae priscis illis consulibus aequaveris. merito necne, neutram in partem decernere audemus, quia nec fas est adfirmationi tuae derogare, et onerosum confiteri vera esse quae de nobis praesertim tam magnifica dixisti. A sense of modesty stands in the way of our going through the testimonial with which you honoured both of us, and how you made us equal to the consuls of old for our love of what is right and our love of the state. Whether you praised us deservedly or not, we do not dare to determine on either side, because neither is it right to deprecate your affirmation of us, and it is a burden to acknowledge that the magnificent words that you spoke specifically about us are true ones. Ausonius, however, not only praises Gratian by referring to the closeness of his relation to God, to whom is attributed the guidance lying behind the appointment of Ausonius, but also associates himself with this praise for having being appointed on the basis of divine counsel given to the emperor; he then reveals his closeness to the emperor through actual quotation of his words (with a brief acknowledgement in 10.45 that he has to be careful in giving Gratian’s words). However, for all this modest caution, Ausonius does rather more than this with the text of Gratian’s letter from 9.43, since in 10.45–9 he goes through the text of the letter, offering comments on each phrase of it. Here we see Ausonius using the private context of his past role as Gratian’s teacher to affirm a closeness to the emperor, commenting on the emperor’s utterance enthusiastically. But there is also something of the teacher in this chapter, as Ausonius goes through each phrase of the letter, so once again we are reminded of the teacher’s role in providing exegesis of a text for his pupil. The passage neatly

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provides juxtaposition of discourse from the top, in the form of the emperor’s words, placed alongside the words of the panegyrist, seeking to communicate to the emperor above him, whilst also assimilating to himself something of the hierarchical position enjoyed by a teacher with a successful former pupil. Conclusion Ausonius’ emphasis on the private character of the emperor is striking in view of the contemporary political context. An intriguing point of contrast is offered by a passage on Gratian in Ammianus, rg 31.10.18-19.26 Here, Ammianus has recorded Gratian’s successes against the Lentienses after crossing the Rhine, where he had returned while on his way to give help to Valens. Ammianus then offers a summing up of Gratian’s character:  he is noted for his vigour and speed,27 and described as facundus et moderatus et bellicosus et clemens, ‘eloquent, and moderate, and warlike and merciful’, all of which are positive qualities, before Ammianus remarks that Gratian was too much affected by his enthusiasm for hunting (in interesting contrast with Ausonius’ praise of Gratian’s horsemanship in 14.64–5, on which see below).28 In Ammianus, the direction of travel moves from a list of praiseworthy qualities towards a criticism of Gratian, but even though Ammianus is not seeking to provide unmitigated panegyric here, he is still able to identify positive military qualities for Gratian. With this in mind, Ausonius’ lack of emphasis on the military dimension in a speech of praise may initially seem odd. Though he does briefly allude to Gratian’s successes on the western frontier at 2.8–9, where he notes Gratian’s titles of Germanicus, Alamannicus, and Sarmaticus, the lack of detailed discussion is striking.29 Instead, Ausonius chooses to pursue other avenues. Thus, at 13.62, he explains that he is concentrating on more mundane matters, cotidiana: 26 27 28

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On this passage, see further Matthews 1989, 471, Sivan 1993, 215 n.  127, Kelly 2008, 232–4. Though note that Lenski 2003, 365–6 sees Ammianus’ reference to celeritas in this passage as an ironic glance at dilatoriness on the part of Gratian. On Ammianus’ association of Gratian with Commodus in respect of his enthusiasm for hunting, see further Kelly 2008, 232–4, who suggests an intertextual relationship with Herodian 1.15.1-6. For discussion of Gratian’s military qualities, and Ausonius’ approach to them in the speech, see McEvoy 2013, 109–13.

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sed maioribus separatis tenuiora memorabo, nulla spe ad plenum exequendi, sed universi ut intellegant eorum quae in te praedicanda sunt a me poscendam esse notitiam, ab aliis dignitatem. nec excellentia, sed cotidiana tractabo. But having put aside greater matters, I will relate those that are smaller, with no expectation of following things through to the full, but so that everyone may understand that knowledge of the things which are to spoken of in relation to you must come from me, but embellishment must come from others. And I  will not treat of outstanding matters, but of everyday ones. This represents an intriguing angle for the speaker to take in the speech. We are used to seeing praise as designed to praise individuals in the highest terms, a tradition that after all goes back to traditional comparisons in earlier Greek and Latin literature between a human monarch and the ruler of the gods: familiar examples would include Theocritus’ praise of Ptolemy ii as the equivalent to Zeus (Id. 17.1–8), or the regular association of the emperor and Jupiter in a whole range of earlier Latin texts.30 Ausonius, however, takes refuge in the cotidiana as a means of praising Gratian.31 What are the advantages of praise of the cotidiana? In the first place, Ausonius’ knowledge of the personality of the emperor means that he has insights to offer into the emperor’s private world—he is a correspondent of the emperor and even able to quote the emperor’s private letter to him. Through Gratian, Ausonius has an indirect link to God as well. But the praise of the mundane is also useful in other ways. Praising Gratian from the point of view of the teacher means that Ausonius can praise him for the typical activities of young men who have not accomplished very much; in the case of Gratian, Symmachus’ Oratio 3, written to honour Gratian as child of around

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On the association of emperors with Jupiter, see e.g. Gibson 2006, 93–5 on Stat. Silv. 5.1.38. Strikingly, Ausonius’ approach here can be contrasted with Ammianus 26.1.1, who explains that history does not have to concern itself with minor details: historiae … discurrere per negotiorum celeritudines assuetae, non humilium minutias indagare causarum, ‘history … that habitually passes swift overviews of affairs, rather than hunting out the trivia of lowly matters.’ Note too that cotidiana in this passage of Ausonius perhaps reminds the reader of the common phrase sermo cotidianus (on which see further e.g. Müller 2001, 167–78), but Ausonius’ distinction here is not between types of utterance but between types of content.

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ten years old, is confronted by this difficulty even more so.32 Ausonius’ praise of Gratian’s athletic prowess and horsemanship in 14.64–5 is classic material to use for young man at such a stage: compare e.g. Statius, Silvae 5.2 where Crispinus, a young man of sixteen, is praised for similar activities.33 With Gratian, Ausonius faced an exceptional problem: an emperor who was senior through having appointed a colleague, yet junior in terms of age and military experience. Though Ausonius glances at Gratian’s military achievements, as we have seen, this is not a path which commends itself. The Empire’s defeat in the previous year at the hands of the Goths, even though Gratian was not personally involved, would make lavish praise difficult. Even more difficult is the fact that Gratian had appointed Theodosius as a co-emperor. Faced with these difficulties, Ausonius’ choice of the personal and private as major themes of his speech allows him to direct his audience’s attention elsewhere, and also to emphasise the emperor’s gratitude to him for his role as a teacher, and therefore his own importance.34 Bibliography Cameron, A.D.E. 2010. The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford. Durry, M. 1938. Pline le Jeune. Panégyrique de Trajan. Paris. Fortina, M. 1953. L’imperatore Graziano. Turin. Gibson, B. 2006. Statius, Silvae 5.  Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford. Gibson, B. 2010. ‘Unending praise:  Pliny and ending panegyric’, in D. Berry and A. Erskine (eds.), Form and Function in Roman Oratory. Cambridge. 122–136. Gibson, B. 2013. ‘Managing the Past:  Plinian Strategies in the Panegyrici Latini’, in Gibson and Rees 2013: 217–240. Gibson, B. and R.D. Rees (eds.) 2013. Pliny the Younger in Late Antiquity, Arethusa 46.2.

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On this speech, see the online translation and commentary of Saylor Rodgers 2015. See Gibson 2006, 232–8 on Stat. Silv. 5.2.111-124. McEvoy 2013, 127–30 offers an important discussion of how an emperor’s youth can be a cue for panegyrists such as Ambrose to find reasons for either exaltation or offering excuses. For further discussion of Gratiarum actio 14.64–5, see Lolli 2006, 712. For self-praise as an aspect of Ausonius’ speech, see esp. Lolli 2006, 724–6, esp. his concluding sentences on the way in which the speech honours not only Gratian but also Ausonius himself. Cf. Hutchinson 2013, on Ausonius’ self-praise in Ep. 18, a letter which offers praise of Paulinus of Nola.

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Green, R.P.H. 1991. The Works of Ausonius. Edited with Introduction and Commentary. Oxford. Green, R.P.H. 1999. Ausonii opera. Oxford. Hutchinson, E.J. 2013. ‘Praise and Self-Promotion in Ausonius’ Epistula 18’, Journal of Late Antiquity 6, 308–324. Kaster, R.A. 1988. Guardians of Language:  The Grammarian and Society in Late Antiquity. Oxford. Kelly, G. 2008. Ammianus Marcellinus. The Allusive Historian. Cambridge. Kelly, G. 2013. ‘Pliny and Symmachus’, in Gibson and Rees 2013: 261–287. Kroll, W. 1891. De Q. Aurelii Symmacchi Studiis Graecis et Latinis. Breslau. Lenski, N.E. 2003. Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D. Berkeley. Lolli, M. 2006. ‘Ausonius: die “Gratiarum actio ad Gratianum imperatorem” und “De maiestatis laudibus”. Lobrede auf den Herrscher oder auf den Lehrer?’, Latomus 65: 707–726. Matthews, J. 1975. Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court AD 364–425. Oxford. Matthews, J. 1989. The Roman World of Ammianus. London. McEvoy, M.A. 2013. Child Emperor Rule in the Late Roman West, AD 367–455. Oxford. Müller, R. 2001. Sprachbewußtsein und Sprachvariation im lateinischen Schrifttum der Antike, Zetemata 111. Munich. Rees, R.D. 2001. ‘To Be and Not To Be; Pliny’s Paradoxical Trajan’, BICS 45: 149–68. Rees, R.D. 2011. ‘Afterwords of Praise. The ancient afterlife of Pliny’s Panegyricus’, in P. Roche (ed.), Pliny’s Praise. The Panegyricus in the Roman World. Cambridge. 175–88. Rees, R.D. 2012. Latin Panegyric. Oxford. Saylor Rodgers, B. 2015 [2009]. Symmachus, Oration 3 to Gratian, published online at: http://www.uvm.edu/~bsaylor/rome/Symmachus3.pdf Schenkl, K. 1883. D. Magni Ausonii Opuscula (MGH, Auctores Antiquissimi 5.2). Berlin. Seelentag, G. 2004. Taten und Tugenden Traians: Herrschaftsdarstellung im Principat (Hermes Einzelschriften 91). Stuttgart. Sivan, H. 1993. Ausonius of Bordeaux. Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy. London. Van Hoof, L. 2013. ‘Performing paideia: Greek culture as an instrument for social promotion in the fourth century A.D.’, CQ 63: 387–408.

Chapter 13

Authorising Freedom of Speech under Theodosius Roger Rees Freedom of speech is so thoroughly enshrined as a core principle of modern democratic discourse that celebrations of or appeals to it are frequently divorced from the text which gives it authority—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations General Assembly, Paris 1948), Article 19 ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’. Of course, there was no such declaration or code in the ancient world, although the strong association between democracy and freedom of speech in classical Athens, identified for example by Socrates in Plato’s Republic, can be seen as a forerunner for modern philosophising about the relationship between State and individual. He says of a democratic city: ‘And so, first, aren’t they free, and doesn’t the city abound in freedom and freedom of speech, and can’t someone there do whatever they want?’ (Rep. 8. 557B).1 The Roman world has directly contributed rather less than the Greek to modern political philosophy about liberties, and certainly has little to say about democracy. However, freedom and freedom of speech were subject to occasional contestation and determination in the Roman Republic and Empire. The concept of freedom of speech seems to have had particular prominence in texts addressed to Theodosius, and it is the ambition of this chapter to consider how competing definitions of libertas dicendi (‘freedom of speech’) in two such texts constructed related but ultimately incompatible images of imperial responsibility and authority. Although some of the circumstances of Theodosius’ accession to the throne in January 379 are lost to us, what is beyond doubt is that, born of Spanish origin, he became emperor in Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) and then remained in the East for the next nine years, largely attending to military affairs.2 Our ignorance about the stages and legitimacy of his path to power 1 Οὐκοῦν πρῶτον µὲν δὴ ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ ἐλευθερίας ἡ πόλις µεστὴ καὶ παρρησίας γίγνεται, καὶ ἐξουσία ἐν αὐτῇ ποιεῖν ὅτι τις βούλεται; 2 Orosius 7.34.2; De Caesaribus 48.1; Theodoret he 5.5–6; for scholarly controversies about Theodosius’ progress to the throne, see Matthews 1975, 91–2; Burns 1994, 43; Errington 1996; Sivan 1996; McLynn 2005, 93; Kulikowski 2007, 147–50.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_015

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is despite the fact that speeches from two of his panegyrists refer to his promotion:  speaking in his Oration 14 (Thessalonica, spring/summer 379)  of Theodosius’ suitability for imperial office, Themistius emphasizes his virtue and strength as better qualifications for office than kinship (182b-183a); addressing him again, in Constantinople in January 381, Themistius briefly mentions two military positions Theodosius had held before his accession, but signals resemblance to God as the key quality of kingship (Or. 15.188c); and Pacatus Drepanius, addressing Theodosius in Rome in the summer of 389 (a full decade after his accession), identifies as the virtues which equipped him for the throne his boundless energy, experience and his reluctance to rule (Pan. Lat. ii[12]10–11.3). Perhaps Themistius and Pacatus Drepanius were not privy to certain details—such as why Theodosius’ father has been executed in 375, why Theodosius seems immediately to have gone to ground in his family estate in rural Spain, and why he ended that retreat to resume the military career which quickly led to his accession—but it seems more likely that they knew such matters were too delicate for mention in court oratory, and so glossed over them with silences, euphemism, and cleverly managed deflection of attention. In this climate of cautious talk, it is ironic, therefore, that ‘free speech’ is said to have flourished. In the same address of 381, Themistius vaunts the security that freedom of speech (parrhēsia) enjoyed under Theodosius: For see, o wisest of men, how I have come here today neither to flatter nor to fawn. It would not be proper for such a man who has already associated with such great emperors, both of recent and of more distant times, to dance attendance and fawn on one whom he knew to be the mildest of them all, the most tolerant and gentlest. When freedom of speech is most secure, then to choose base and unfree speech is absurd; just as one should check a thoroughbred colt when it is skittish, but he who attempts to break one which is naturally tame from the outset, without using its good breeding is absurd. (Or. 15. 190a-b, trans. Heather and Moncur).3

3 ἄθρει γάρ, ὦ σοφώτατε, ὡς ἐγὼ εἰσελήλυθα τήµερον οὐ κολακεύσων οὐδὲ θωπεύσων. οὐ γὰρ ἂν πρέποι ἀνδρὶ τηλικῷδε καὶ ὁµιλήσαντι ἤδη πρὸς τοσούτους αὐτοκράτορας νέους τε καὶ πρεσβυτέρους, ὃν πάντων ἠπίστατο ἠπιώτατον καὶ ἀνεξικακώτατον καὶ πρᾳότατον, τοῦτον καὶ ὑποτρέχειν καὶ θωπεύειν· καὶ ὅτε µάλιστα ἀνεπισφαλὴς ἡ παρρησία, τότε τὴν κακοῦργόν τε καὶ ἀνελεύθερον φωνὴν ἀνθαιρεῖσθαι, ὥσπερ πῶλον εὐγενῆ ἀγριαίνοντα µὲν ἡµεροῦν προσήκει, ἥµερον δὲ φύντα ἐξ ἀρχῆς γελοῖος ὁ καταψήχειν ἐπιχειρῶν καὶ µὴ τῷ φύσει ἀγαθῷ ἀποχρώµενος. Heather 1998, 136–7; Heather and Moncur 2001, 232.

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Perhaps the claim follows the contours of Theodosian rule—his time as emperor until this point is said to have featured no capital condemnations, a point which Themistius elaborates to illustrate Theodosius’ openness, accessibility and fairness (190b-c). More pointedly, identification of these qualities in Theodosius would perhaps have triggered recognition of their absence in his predecessor Valens, to Theodosius’ advantage. Comparison with previous rulers, be it implicit or explicit, was standard fare in the rhetoric of imperial panegyric, but Themistius’ moral argument is characteristic of his self-presentation as a philosopher, and this particular example would urge that identification forcefully, since ‘freedom of speech’ had long been associated with philosophical discourse, from classical Athens onwards. Ammianus Marcellinus, for example, described Iphicles, on embassy to Valentinian I from the city of Epirus, as ‘a philosopher, one who professes the truth’, (30.5.9).4 Because it was not bound by ties of patronage, it seems ‘philosophy’ had considerable leverage as a defence for ‘freedom of speech’ which otherwise might be thought to be brash outspokenness.5 However, while Themistius is upheld as a leading light among pagan orators, it should be noted too that by the late fourth century ‘freedom of speech’ with its authority derived from a very different source could also be asserted. A good example is the response to the Riot of the Statues in Antioch in 387, as narrated by Theodoret in his Religious History. Said to be in response to taxation levels, the riot in Antioch saw imperial statues overturned. This was inflammatory and illegal, and Theodosius dispatched senior figures to investigate and administer justice. Theodoret uses the episode as an illustration of the instinct for parrhēsia in a Syrian monk named Macedonius (13.5–8). Macedonius is said to have confronted the two men Theodosius had sent: he spoke in Syrian and as his words were translated into Greek for them, the imperial delegates ‘shuddered’ (ἔφριττον). The reader is left to wonder if this was at the sheer force of the words or at the prospect of relaying them back to the emperor, because Macedonius challenged them to report back to the emperor that he [Theodosius] was a man just like the Antiochenes who had caused him offence and that his anger at their rioting had been disproportionate. Because Macedonius was uneducated and of rural upbringing, Theodoret surmises that ‘everyone would agree that these words came from the grace of the holy Spirit’ and so neatly aligns the monk’s ‘spiritual wisdom … and the freedom of speech appropriate to a just man’ (καὶ τὴν πνευµατικὴν αὐτοῦ σοφίαν … καὶ

4 philosophus veritatis professor. See also 22.4.1. See also Den Hengst in this volume, p.265. 5 Brown 1992, 52–65.

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τὴν δικαίῳ πρέπουσαν παρρησίαν, 8).6 That is, in the case of Macedonius, freedom of speech is presented as deriving not from the particular political culture nor from the speaker’s status as a philosopher, but from divine (Christian) inspiration. It was certainly not the case, therefore, that when Theodosius first headed west as emperor and soon heard two men claim their own freedom of speech in addressing him, he was unfamiliar with the principle or the logic and traditions underpinning it; however, two features make these claims particularly notable. First, the texts are in Latin, and so stand as a counterpoint to the Greek conventions of parrhēsia; and secondly, although they rely on different authorities in their construction of freedom of speech under Theodosius, the two texts resonate very distinctively with each other. In the winter of 388 at Callinicum, an otherwise rarely mentioned fortified town on the Euphrates, Christians had rioted and burnt the synagogue down.7 Theodosius, who was in northern Italy at the time, gave instruction to the comes Orientis to have the local bishop pay to rebuild the synagogue and to have the rioters put on trial; the emperor’s ambition here, it seems, was to insist that even Christians must behave within the law. However, Ambrose, bishop of Milan, objected that in rebuilding a synagogue, a bishop would be acting contrary to Christian principles:  in fact, he suggests, a bishop might reasonably refuse to comply. Theodosius recognised the strength of the argument and withdrew the order for the rebuilding. Buoyed by his success to date, Ambrose wrote a letter to Theodosius in which he urged that the prosecution of the rioters should be rescinded; Letter 74 strikes a counterfactual pose in that it also petitions the emperor to withdraw the order for the rebuilding of the synagogue, an instruction Theodosius had already given. This was not an oversight on Ambrose’s behalf, but a strategy, in the words of Neil McLynn ‘to help establish the framework for his present bid’.8 Crucially, Ambrose was to seek further rhetorical leverage by publishing an edited version of this letter in his collected correspondence, so giving the text a wider readership.9 Wolfgang 6 Translation adapted from Price. Of this Christian appropriation of freedom of speech, Peter Brown (1992, 106–7) observes ‘The wind of παρρησία had plainly come to blow from a different quarter’. 7 McLynn 1994, 298–303. 8 1994, 300. 9 There are a few differences between this published version (Ep. 74  =  Maur. 40)  and Ep. Ex. 1a (see Zelzer csel 82.10.3, xx–xxiii); the most striking is the addition at the end of Ep. Ex. 1a of a threat that if Theodosius did not heed Ambrose’s words, the bishop would repeat his demands in the more public environment of a church. This addition characterises Ambrose as more bullish and less diplomatic than originally appears to have been the case (see Liebeschuetz 2005, 95–6, 111).

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Liebeschuetz observes that ‘this strongly suggests that the letter, at least in the form in which it has come down to us, was from the first intended for a general public as well as for the emperor. This would mean that … it is essentially a set piece rhetorical argument’.10 This letter includes a sustained assertion of the Ambrose’s right to freedom of speech. The argumentative nature emerges immediately, with Ambrose raising possible objections to his case, only to dismiss them: [1] exercitus semper iugibus fere curis sum, Imperator beatissime, sed numquam tanto in aestu fui quanto nunc; cum video cavendum ne quid sit, quod ascribatur mihi etiam de sacrilegii periculo. itaque peto ut patienter sermonem meum audias. nam si indignus sum qui a te audiar, indignus sum qui pro te offeram, cui tua vota, cui tuas committas preces. ipse ergo non audies eum quem pro te audiri velis? non audies pro se agentem quem pro aliis audisti? nec vereris iudicium tuum, ne cum indignum putaris quem audias, indignum feceris qui pro te audiatur? I am always harassed by an almost ceaseless succession of worries, most blessed Emperor: but I have never been in a state of such perplexity as now, when I see that I must take care that there is nothing ascribed to me which has a risk of sacrilege. So I beg you to listen patiently to what I have to say. For if I am unworthy to be heard by you, I am also unworthy to offer sacrifice for you, to be trusted with your vows, with your prayers. Will you really not hear the man you want to be heard praying for you? Will you not hear speaking for himself one you have heard speaking for others? And are you not nervous of your own judgement, that when you think me unworthy to be heard by you, you render me unworthy to be heard on your behalf? (trans. Liebeschuetz, adapted). The rhetorical mode is conspicuous, with the balanced phrasing (tanto … quanto …; si indignus sum qui … indignus sum qui …; cum … audiatur) and frequent repetitions of vocabulary (indignus … indignus … indignum … indignum; tua vota … tuas preces …; pro te … pro te … pro se … pro aliis … pro te; audias … audiar … audies … audiri … audies … audisti … audias … audiatur) and clause structure (cavendum ne … vereris … ne; qui … qui; cui … cui). The opening note of personal anxiety (curis … aestu) quickly turns out to be caused by a nonspecific religious issue (sacrilegii); this dilemma prompts Ambrose’s request

10

2005, 96.

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to be heard, itself reinforced with the series of three rhetorical questions. At the centre of this closely choreographed opening is the bishop’s key petition, itself simply expressed: ‘So I beg you to listen patiently to what I have to say’. Since part of Ambrose’s appeal had already proved successful, the letter re-enacts and publicises the emperor’s concession to the bishop, at least over the issue of the rebuilding of the synagogue. This is manipulative—even coercive—of Ambrose whose confident opening tone sets him up to define some imperial and episcopal duties as a development of his theme. [2] sed neque imperiale est libertatem dicendi denegare, neque sacerdotale quod sentias non dicere. nihil enim in vobis imperatoribus tam populare et tam amabile est, quam libertatem etiam in iis diligere qui obsequio militiae vobis subditi sunt. siquidem hoc interest inter bonos et malos principes, quod boni libertatem amant, servitutem improbi. nihil etiam in sacerdote tam periculosum apud Deum, tam turpe apud homines, quam quod sentiat, non libere denuntiare. siquidem scriptum est: et loquebar in testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum, et non confundebar (Psal. cxviii, 46); et  alibi:  Fili hominis, speculatorem te posui domui Israel, in eo, inquit, ut si avertatur iustus a iustitiis suis, et fecerit delictum quia non distinxisti ei, hoc est, non dixisti quid sit cavendum, non retinebitur memoria iustitiae eius, et sanguinem eius de manu tua exquiram. tu autem si distinxeris iusto, ut non peccet, et ipse non peccaverit, iustus vita vivet quia dixisti ei et tu animam tuam liberabis (Ezech. iii, 17-19). [3] malo igitur, Imperator, bonorum mihi esse tecum, quam malorum consortium; et ideo clementiae tuae displicere debet sacerdotis silentium, libertas placere. nam silentii mei periculo involveris, libertatis bono iuvaris. non ergo importunus indebitis me intersero, alienis ingero: sed debitis obtempero, mandatis Dei nostri obedio. quod facio primum tui amore, tui gratia, tuae studio conservandae salutis. si id mihi vel non creditur, vel interdicitur: dico sane divinae offensae metu. nam si meum periculum te exueret, patienter me pro te offerrem, sed non libenter; malo enim te sine meo acceptum Deo esse et gloriosum periculo. sin autem silentii mei dissimulationisque culpa et me ingravat, nec te liberat; malo importuniorem me, quam inutiliorem aut turpiorem iudices. siquidem scriptum est, dicente sancto apostolo Paulo, cuius non potes doctrinam refellere:  insta opportune, importune; argue, obsecra, increpa in omni patientia et doctrina (ii Tim. iv, 2). [2] But as it is not the part of an emperor to deny freedom of speech (libertas dicendi), so it is not that of a bishop to refrain from saying

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what he thinks. For no quality is so popular and loveable in you who are emperors as your cherishing of freedom (libertas), even in the case of those who are your subordinates in the imperial service. In fact this is the difference between good and bad princes, that the good love freedom (libertas), the bad slavery. But in a bishop nothing is so dangerous before God or so disgraceful among men as not to state freely (libere) what he thinks. As indeed scripture has it: And I used to speak of thy testimonies before kings, and I was not put to shame; and elsewhere: Son of man, I have made you watchman for the house of Israel; the point being that if the just man turns away from justice, and does wrong, because you have not told him the difference, that is because you did not tell him what must be shunned, his righteous deed will not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because you pointed out the difference, and you will have saved your own life. [3] Therefore, emperor, I would rather be your partner in good than in evil, and for the same reason a bishop’s silence ought to be displeasing to your Clemency, his freedom [of speech] (libertas) pleasing. For you will be implicated in the danger of my silence, while you will benefit from the good of my freedom [of speech] (libertas). I  am not therefore being a nuisance by intervening where I ought not, intruding on another’s business, but doing my duty, obeying the commands of our God. And I am doing this chiefly from love of you, for your sake, desiring to preserve your safety. But if you either do not believe me, or you forbid me to act on this motive, then I will certainly speak out from fear of offending God. For if my danger could acquit you, I  would expose myself patiently, though not gladly, on your behalf; for I would prefer you to be accepted and glorified by God without any danger to myself. But if the guilt of my silence and my dissembling inculpate me without freeing you, I  would prefer you to think me rude rather than useless and dishonourable. For as scripture has it, in the words of saint Paul the Apostle whose teaching you cannot refute: Be urgent in season and out of season, convince, exhort and rebuke, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. This claim for freedom of speech as a matter of episcopal principle appears early in the letter and so in effect makes possible what is to follow—all five of the occurrences of libertas in the letter are in chapters 2 and 3. From its carefully structured opening sentence, this passage balances imperial and episcopal obligations. Various texts of the fourth century feature the adjective

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imperialis, a late antique equivalent of imperatorius;11 unusually, Ambrose uses the term in a text addressed directly to an emperor, whom he calls Imperator (1 and 2) to make the connection explicit. The originality of the formulation underscores the audacity of the bishop’s message, since he here presumes to describe imperial obligation (imperiale est …). In expression and powerplay, this is bold. Further, the imperiale … sacerdotale … equivalence associates imperial and episcopal offices in their responsibilities, and by their complementarity artfully coerces Theodosius to accept the bishop’s terms. This is effectively reprised in the similarly poised et ideo clementiae tuae displicere debet sacerdotis silentium, libertas placere (‘for the same reason a bishop’s silence ought to be displeasing to your Clemency, his freedom [of speech] pleasing’, 3) with the chiastic arrangement of antonymic infinitives and nominatives juxtaposing ‘silence’ and ‘freedom [of speech]’. The contrast between the two is then given an explicitly moral dimension, again in heavily patterned phrasing: nam silentii mei periculo involveris, libertatis bono iuvaris (‘For you will be implicated in the danger of my silence, while you will benefit from the good of my freedom [of speech]’, 3). Ambrose’s silence is a danger, his freedom of speech a benefit.12 The argument is unequivocal: Ambrose’s position as a bishop grants him libertas dicendi which extends to an obligation to speak frankly. A bishop’s claim to freedom of expression would serve to engineer what Richard Flower, writing about the dangers of invective in the fourth century, termed the bishops’ ‘spiritual authority’ over the emperor.13 The Bible is repeatedly cited as authority and quotations are explicitly signalled with scriptum est (2 and 3), making sure they could not be missed.14 Yet there is also further polemical edge to this argument, when Ambrose distinguishes between episcopal libertas dicendi and that granted to imperial administrators (2). Himself a former governor of Liguria and Emilia, Ambrose 11 12 13 14

tll 7.563.62-81, including Ausonius, the Historia Augusta, Symmachus, and Ammianus. silentii meo periculo resonates with sacrilegii periculo (1). 2013, 25; Colclough 2005, 82–84. Ambrose’s selections are interesting:  the words from Psalm 118 inflect the Vulgate’s loquar and confundar from the future tense to the imperfect, a possible effect of which is the implication that something had changed in Theodosius’ practice and needed to be addressed; the passage from ii Timothy continues ‘For there will be a time when they will not hold fast to good doctrine but for their own desires will gather towards them teachers with itchy ears, and they will turn their hearing away from the truth and be turned to fables’ (erit enim tempus cum sanam doctrinam non sustinebunt sed ad sua desideria coacervabunt sibi magistros prurientes auribus et a veritate quidem auditum avertent ad fabulas autem convertentur). Unsurprisingly, Ambrose did not extend his quotation this far, but attentive and knowledgeable readers may have understood.

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would have had first-hand experience of the oratorical conventions and culture within the civil and military services, and his remark here seems designed to urge the greater claim to such libertas a bishop should have over bureaucrats. Ambrose returns to the point in the following chapter: [4] quod ergo in iis libenter accipitis, qui vobis militant, num hoc in sacerdotibus potest molestum videri, cum id loquamur, non quod volumus, sed quod iubemur? scis enim lectum:  cum stabitis ante reges et praesides, nolite cogitare quid loquamini; dabitur enim vobis in illa hora quid loquamini:  non enim vos estis qui loquimini, sed Spiritus Patris vestri, qui loquitur in vobis [Matth. X, 19-20]. et tamen si in causis reipublicae loquar, quamvis etiam illic iustitia servanda sit, non tanto astringar metu, si non audiar; in causa vero Dei quem audies, si sacerdotem non audias, cuius maiore peccatur periculo? quis tibi verum audebit dicere, si sacerdos non audeat? Therefore, surely what you readily accept in those men who are in your service cannot seem offensive in bishops, since we say not what we want but what we are ordered to say? For you know what is written: When you stand before kings and governors, do not think about what to say, for when the hour comes you will be given what to say; for its not you who speak but the Spirit of the father speaking in you. And however, if I were speaking of political issues, although justice is to be observed in that area as well, I would not be gripped by such anxiety if I were not heard [by you]. But in a case involving God, whom will you hear if you will not hear the bishop, who incurs greater danger by his sin? Who will dare tell you the truth, if the bishop does not? This insistence on the special attention that a bishop’s appeal (sacerdotibus … sacerdotem … sacerdos) must have is all the bolder when the advice he goes on to give is on a very particular judicial issue—the prosecution of rioters at Callinicum. Ambrose certainly labours the wider point of the comparison between his own claims to a bishop’s freedom of speech and that which he sees granted to others; Neil McLynn sees in this signs of his resentment of the privileged rights of access to Theodosius that civil servants enjoyed.15 What can be identified here is an attempt by Ambrose to lever towards the bishopric privileges of attending and advising the emperor he associated with the

15

1994, 300.

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more secular political elite; in doing so he was engaging with the reputation for freedom of speech under Theodosius which (the pagan) Themistius had celebrated a few years before, but in this case, with the authority that religious leadership brings. The model of emperorship presented in the letter—tractable, docile, observant of the higher authority of Christian doctrine as mediated by a bishop whose authority derives from God and is witnessed in Scripture—is very particular.16 The critical opening note of the argument is libertas dicendi but the freedom Ambrose demands is very specifically circumscribed—it is a bishop’s right, not a universal one.17 Towards the letter’s close, Ambrose entertains the possibility that he does not have the emperor’s trust: ‘And if you have insufficient faith in me, order those you consider bishops to attend: Emperor, let them work out what ought to be done, with faith preserved intact. If you consult your financial officials in matters of finance, how much more right it is that in a religious matter you consult God’s bishops’ (27).18 We need hardly suppose this is sincere, but the principle holds good that unlike Themistius with his philosophic demeanour or Theodoret and the inspiration of the holy Spirit on a monk, Ambrose is only claiming libertas dicendi for bishops. This claim to freedom of speech predicated on religious authority was to prove influential many centuries later, in, for example, the church of sixteenthcentury England.19 However, there is a nicety about Ambrose’s phrasing. Although it was to become more common in Renaissance political thought, especially with reference to democratic Athens and the Roman Republic, Ambrose’s particular terminology—libertas dicendi—is rare in classical Latin. According to Quintilian, licentia was what Greeks called παρρησία (Instit. Orat. 9.2.27);20 the Rhetorica ad Herennium defined licentia as ‘when we say something according to our own rights in front of those we ought to revere or fear’ (4.36 [48]).21 By contrast, the phrase libertas dicendi was not a standard term for ‘freedom of speech’. In the Republican period, Cicero used it twice: in reference to Lentulus (ipse adhibere consuevit in amicorum periculis cum fidem 16 17 18

19 20 21

‘God is feared more than men, God who of right is preferred even to emperors’ (plus hominibus Deus timetur, qui etiam imperatoribus iure praefertur, 28). 6 of the letter’s 10 occurrences of the lexis of sacerdos, sacerdotalis appear in chapters 2–4. certe si mihi parum fidei defertur, iube adesse quos putaveris episcopos: tractetur, Imperator, quid salva fide agi debeat. si de causis pecuniariis comites tuos consulis, quanto magis in causa religionis sacerdotes Domini aequum est consulas! Colclough 2005, 83–87. See also Ad Herenn. Lausberg §761; Colclough 2005, 15, 27–28; tll 7.1356.4-11. cum apud eos quos aut vereri aut metuere debemus tamen aliquid pro iure nostro dicimus.

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et diligentiam tum vim animi libertatemque dicendi; ‘when his friends are in danger, he himself is used to employing good faith and diligence, and also strength of mind and freedom of speech’, Pro Cluent. 118); and to Marcus Cato (ei dicendi in posterum de extraordinariis potestatibus libertatem ademisses; ‘you deprived him for the future of his freedom of speech about extraordinary commands’, de Domo sua 22).22 The phrase next appears in Ambrose’s letter to Theodosius; the fact that it then features in another text addressed to him only a few months later is unlikely to have been coincidental. The Callinicum riot occurred when, for the first time as emperor, Theodosius was in the West, in the aftermath of his defeat of the usurper Magnus Maximus. Maximus had held power in Britain, Gaul and Spain since 383, and in the summer of 387 had crossed the Alps and into north eastern Italy, where he hoped to secure a foothold strong enough to withstand any counterpunch from Theodosius in the East. The inevitable clash did not take place until the following year, but turned out to be one-sided, with Theodosius’ troops prevailing in two battles, at Siscia and Poetovio; Maximus was captured alive and executed, leaving Theodosius to consolidate his rule in the West. The same Letter 74 from Ambrose to Theodosius preserves some details of the campaign against Maximus and its aftermath, but a fuller source is the prose panegyric to Theodosius given by Pacatus Drepanius. After his victory, Theodosius spent some time in northern Italy, including Milan, and went to Rome in the summer of 389.23 No doubt the romance of the city’s great ancestry and its topographical and architectural reality had their draw, but this visit was more political than recreational. In the closing chapter of his panegyric, Pacatus Drepanius recalls Theodosius’ conduct at the Senate House and the Rostra; that he visited public and private buildings; and how he processed through the city in what seems to have been a triumph (see below, 46.5, 47.3). The dates of his stay in Rome would have seen the first anniversary of the victory over Maximus: a triumph, if such there was, and even the delivery of Pacatus Drepanius’ speech itself, could have been part of the anniversary celebrations. The speech was later published, probably by Pacatus Drepanius himself, as the latest in date in the xii Panegyrici Latini collection, but the second in its sequence.24

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tll 7.2.1314.29-34. A detail preserved by the historian Socrates reasonably complements dates given in later chronicles to allow a picture of some focus: that Theodosius visited Rome with his son Honorius (Socrates he 5.14.3) between 13 June (see the year 389 for Cons. Const. 389, Fasti Vindobonenses, and the Chronicon Marcellini Comitis) and 30 August / 1 September. It is therefore referred to as Pan. Lat. ii(12); see Rees 2012b, 24.

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Like Ambrose’s letter, the speech opens with an expression of the speaker’s anxiety: ‘Emperor Augustus, if anyone has ever been justifiably fearful as he was about to speak in your presence, I  both feel for sure that I  am that man and I  see that I  can appear so to those who share your counsel’ (Pan. Lat. ii[12]1.1).25 This trepidation is said to be the result of a combination of factors—the location of the speech in Rome itself; the attendance of the Senate as audience; and the orator’s provincial Latin (1.2–3). So typical is this captatio benevolentiae it reprises language from a panegyric addressed to Constantine over 70 years before (Pan. Lat. xii[9]1.2), but what must have been the keenest anxiety the orator felt is not explicitly articulated—that a spokesperson from Gaul might be subject to a hostile reception in Rome in the light of the fiveyear rule of Britain, Spain and Gaul by Magnus Maximus. Pacatus Drepanius might reasonably have worried that Theodosius’ court and the Senators of Rome suspected Gallic complicity in Maximus’ reign from 383 to 388, but to speak of that possibility would have been to give it credibility. Instead, early in the speech, Pacatus Drepanius explains that he had travelled to Rome from western Gaul to address Theodosius, ‘I had hastened from the furthest corner of Gaul, where the shore of the Ocean receives the setting sun, and its companion element mixes with the land as it runs out, to behold and adore you’ (2.1).26 It is not made explicit in what capacity he delivered his speech, but it is safe to assume the political ambition of reassuring the emperor of Gaul’s unbroken loyalty to him: much space is devoted to images of Gaul’s suffering under the tyrannical Maximus (chapters 23–29), and the celebratory narrative of the campaign which culminated in his capture and death (30–45.6). Overall, the speech presents Gaul as a victim rather than supporter of Maximus’ reign, and the orator’s initial posture as a little cowed in his circumstances supports this image of a man—and province—deserving of a sympathetic hearing. A particular example of Gallic victimhood under Maximus concerns speech-making. Pacatus Drepanius speaks of the ‘freedom of speech’ under Theodosius: [2.2] ita dum obsequio interpretor impudentiam, dum in eundem hominem non puto convenire gaudium et silentium, duas res diversissimas iunxi metum et temeritatem. quin et illud me impulit ad dicendum quod ut dicerem nullus adigebat; non enim iam coacta laudatio et expressae 25 26

si quis umquam fuit, imperator Auguste, qui te praesente dicturus iure trepidaverit, eum profecto me esse et ipse sentio et his qui consilium tuum participant videri posse video. ab ultimo Galliarum recessu, qua litus Oceani cadentem excipit solem et deficientibus terris sociale miscetur elementum, ad contuendum te adorandumque properassem.

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metu voces periculum silentii redimunt. [3] fuerit abieritque tristis illa facundiae ancillantis necessitas, cum trucem dominum auras omnes plausuum publicorum ventosa popularitate captantem mendax adsentatio titillabat, cum gratis agebant dolentes et tyrannum non praedicasse tyrannidis accusatio vocabatur. [4] nunc par dicendi tacendique libertas, et quam promptum laudare principem, tam tutum siluisse de principe. libet igitur redditam postliminio securitatem loquendo experiri; libet, inquam, quia neminem magis laudari imperatorem decet quam quem minus necesse est. And so, while I interpret my impudence as allegiance, while I think that joy and silence do not come together in the same individual, I have combined two extremes—fear and temerity. Moreover, the fact that nobody was forcing me to speak compelled me to speak; for praise-giving is not under coercion, and utterances extorted by fear no longer redeem the danger of silence. [3] May it be past and gone, that grim obligation of servile eloquence, when lying flattery tickled a fierce tyrant as he sought to capture every breath of public applause with his fickle popular-appeal, when those in grief gave thanks and not to have praised the tyrant was said to be an accusation of tyranny. [4] Now, freedom of speech and freedom of silence are equal and it is as safe to have said nothing about the leader as it is easy to praise the leader. So, it is pleasing that from its exile safety from anxiety has been restored to speaking; it is pleasing, I  say, because it better befits no emperor to be praised than one whom it is less necessary to praise. The insistence that the praise is genuine and freely given has much in common with the argument raised by Themistius (Or. 15.190a-b, see above): claims for ‘freedom of speech’ can neatly circumvent the crisis of sincerity that beleaguers formal praise-giving; and where Themistius is assumed to be implying a contrast between Theodosius and Valens, Pacatus Drepanius explicitly draws comparison between ‘now’ and ‘then’. Although he is not named, the ‘fierce tyrant’ whose oppressive regime is here characterised and denounced can only be Maximus.27 For the senators in attendance at the speech, this contrast between Theodosius and Maximus would have been very welcome: in January 388, Symmachus had led a senatorial delegation from Rome to Maximus in

27

Humphries 2008, 85, ‘the term tyrannus designated emperors who had been defeated in civil war and whose regimes were retrospectively condemned as illegal’.

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Milan, where he delivered a panegyric.28 Pacatus Drepanius was surely aware of the awkwardness of this in the light of Maximus’ subsequent defeat. In his later defence of the delivery of his panegyric, Symmachus associated tyranny with extorted praise (Ep. 2.31 [postscript]). If Symmachus was in attendance to hear Pacatus Drepanius, the sentiment would have been very welcome to him in particular.29 Therefore, it seems that Pacatus Drepanius’ words could have served the dual purpose of excusing both the Gauls and the Roman senators for their involvement in praising Maximus—such praise had been extorted and insincere, much more an index of the regime’s oppressiveness than of its victims’ loyalty. However, despite the apologetic note which seems a reasonable interpretation of the specific political context of Pacatus Drepanius’ argument, attention to his lexis opens a wider critical perspective. Like Ambrose had done as little as six months previously, Pacatus Drepanius uses the phrase libertas dicendi, in this case extended to include the corollary silence as well (tacendi). The phrase is perhaps less conspicuous than, for example, echoes of Virgil at 4.4, or of earlier Panegyrici Latini, such as in the orator’s opening confessional pose of his inferior Gallic Latinity;30 against that, however, iteration of the distinctive phrase libertas dicendi so soon after Ambrose had elaborated upon it would surely have struck Theodosius and members of his consistorium.31 And further to this iteration, identical terms for the dangers of silence also appear: where Ambrose wrote to Theodosius nam silentii mei periculo involveris, libertatis bono iuvaris (‘For you will be implicated in the danger of my silence, while you will benefit from the good of my freedom [of speech]’, 3), Pacatus Drepanius said expressae metu voces periculum silentii redimunt (‘utterances extorted by fear no longer redeem the danger of silence’, 2.2). This ‘danger of silence’ motif 28 29

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Socrates he 5.14.6. On Symmachus’ attendance at the speech, see Sogno 2006: 68–76, but cf. Kelly 2015: 221– 22; Sogno suggests that in 389 Pacatus Drepanius was not yet personally acquainted with Symmachus and that therefore the influence of Ausonius, friend to both men, underlies this apologetic. Pan. Lat. ii(12)4.4 adde tot egregias civitates, adde culta incultaque omnia vel fructibus plena vel gregibus, adde auriferorum opes fluminum, adde radiantium metalla gemmarum (‘Add so many outstanding cities, add all the cultivated and uncultivated fields, full either of crops or of flocks, add the wealth of gold-bearing rivers, add the mines of radiant jewels’) recalling Virg. Georg. 2.155 and Auson. Mos. 454–8; see Rees 2013: 248–50; Pan. Lat. ii(12)1.3 facundiam quam de eorum fonte manantem in nostros usque usus derivatio sera traduxit (‘my eloquence, which flows from their wellspring and which a side-ditch has lately channelled right up for our use’) recalling Pan. Lat. xii(9)1.2. Pacatus Drepanius’ usage features in the tll, but not Ambrose’s.

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links the two texts as much as ‘freedom of speech’ and so confirms that the orator’s appeal to dicendi tacendique libertas would have had significance beyond the demonization of the ‘tyrant’ Maximus, important as making clear that political choice was for Pacatus Drepanius: that is, lexical and tropical similarities between the two texts suggest a degree of continuity in the representation of the imperial ideology of ‘freedom of speech’.32 However, the manner and effect of the two constructions of libertas dicendi have notable differences. Whereas Ambrose quotes the Bible as authority for his assertion of a bishop’s right to libertas dicendi, and does so explicitly (scriptum, lectum), Pacatus Drepanius appeals to a different type of authority, and by allusion. The language and style of expressae metu voces periculum silentii redimunt. fuerit abieritque tristis illa facundiae ancillantis necessitas (‘utterances extorted by fear no longer redeem the danger of silence. May it be past and gone, that grim obligation of servile eloquence’ 2.3) reprise the second chapter of Pliny’s Panegyricus: quare abeant ac recedant voces illae, quas metus exprimebat: nihil, quale ante, dicamus; nihil enim, quale antea, patimur:  nec eadem de principe palam, quae prius, praedicemus; neque enim eadem secreto loquimur, quae prius. discernatur orationibus nostris diversitas temporum, et ex ipso genere gratiarum agendarum intellegatur, cui, quando sint actae. So let those voices which fear exacted be gone and fade away: may we say nothing such as we said before, since we experience nothing such as we experienced before; may we not proclaim in public the same things about the emperor as we proclaimed before, for we do not say the same things in secret as we said before. May the change in the times be evident in our speeches, and let it be understood from the form of thanksgiving to whom and when they have been given. (Pliny, Panegyricus 2.2-3).33 The subjunctive doublets in initial positions (abeant ac recedant:  fuerit abierit) and the clear lexical echoes (voces illae, quas metus exprimebat: expressae metu uoces) align Pacatus Drepanius’ speech to Theodosius alongside Pliny’s to Trajan. Orthodox understanding has Pacatus Drepanius

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Note also the language of oratorical servility in both texts:  boni [principes] libertatem amant, servitutem improbi (‘good [princes] love freedom, the bad slavery’, Ep. 74.2); illa facundiae ancillantis necessitas (‘that grim obligation of servile eloquence’, Pan Lat ii[12]2.3). On this passage, see Gibson in this same volume p.279; Rees 2011, 2013; Kelly 2015.

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as the editor of the Panegyrici Latini, at the head of which sits Pliny’s Panegyricus.34 Even if Pacatus Drepanius was not the editor, the editor admired his work, putting it second in the collection, and so providing the collection’s reader with the means easily to identify and interpret the dynamic between the two.35 Much of Pliny’s speech works comparison of political culture under Domitian with that of Trajan to the latter’s benefit; this model well suited Pacatus Drepanius, who amongst other things, was accounting for the actions and loyalty of the Gauls during Maximus’ reign and welcoming the regime change brought about in battle in 388. The casting of both Pliny’s Domitian (2.3) and Pacatus Drepanius’ Maximus (2.3) as tyranni adds further weight to the characterisation of Theodosius as neo-Trajanic. Thus, rather than using the Christian God, Pacatus Drepanius constructs an image of emperorship premised on imperial precedent as recorded and canonised in political oratory. Both bishop and orator were in delicate situations and both claim libertas dicendi. Ambrose does so as a special licence granted to him and his fellow bishops, based on their status as religious leaders answerable ultimately to an authority higher than the emperor: by contrast, the claim to ‘freedom of speech’ by Pacatus Drepanius is based not on his own status, but in more celebratory mode, on the political climate now to be relished after the tyrannical regime of Maximus it had replaced (2.4). And so, despite their common theme and their similar and distinctive language, Ambrose and Pacatus Drepanius construct very different images of imperial authority. For Ambrose, freedom of speech was the condition under which he, a bishop, could without fear give informed Christian advice against Theodosius’ condemnation of the events at Callinicum; according to Ambrose the ultimate authority is God who inspires the bishop to express his opinion freely. By contrast, Pacatus Drepanius presents freedom of speech (or the licence to stay silent) as an index of a non-oppressive regime under which political laudation is sincere because not extorted. According to Pacatus Drepanius, dicendi tacendique libertas is guaranteed by Theodosius’ good government; according to Ambrose, libertas dicendi is demanded for bishops by God. Marta Sordi (1988) identified several lexical echoes between the letters of Ambrose and Pacatus Drepanius’ panegyric. These letters are 30 (of 386–7), 68 (384–7) and 74. The echoes occur in passages concerning the death under Maximus in Gaul of a triumphalis by the name of Vallio, attested only

34 35

Pichon 1906. On the sequence of the speeches, see Rees 2012c.

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in Ambrose and Pacatus Drepanius; the Priscillianist affair and its punishment (mid 380s, in Spain and Gaul, but with recourse to jurisdiction in Italy and, ultimately, Gaul); and some details about the military campaign against Maximus, such as problems in corn supply for the troops or Maximus’ madness in not fleeing when he had the chance, attributed by Ambrose to Christ’s direct intervention and by Pacatus Drepanius to Fortuna’s direct intervention.36 These correspondences between the texts are striking and can be supplemented by libertas dicendi which, as noted above, was not the standard Latin phrase for ‘freedom of speech’ but appears in both Letter 74 and the panegyric. Sordi suggested that on his journey to Rome, Pacatus Drepanius met Ambrose at Milan and that from that meeting sprang those lexical echoes. Of course, the fact that Ambrose published his letters means that no personal acquaintance between the men need be posited to account for the intertexts, but in any case Sordi’s biographical speculation heightens appreciation of the ideological differences in the texts. Of particular interest is religion because Pacatus Drepanius’ engagement with and redirection of Ambrose’s libertas dicendi tag from a Christian discourse with its authority in the Bible to an imperial discourse with its authority in Trajanic political oratory, is problematized if we accept that Pacatus Drepanius was also the author of the Christian poem De cereo Paschali. The reattribution of this poem to Pacatus Drepanius by Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk was seized upon by Alan Cameron as a decisive argument in his monumental broadside against a simplistic separation of pagan and Christian in elite fourth century discourse.37 In the single person of Pacatus Drepanius, the genres of Christian poetry or non-Christian prose panegyric could be exercised without embarrassment or contradiction according to circumstance. In fact, the religious outlook of the panegyric is mercurial:  for example, although Pacatus Drepanius is fulsome in his condemnation of Maximus for his role in the Priscillianist affair, his focus is firmly non-doctrinal and is not even explicitly Christian (although presumably his audience recognised it as such). The orator went out of his way not to name the Christian faith, with vague phrasing, such as, for example, nimia religio et diligentius culta divinitas (‘excessive religiosity and a divinity too closely worshipped’, ii(12)29.2). Instead, he emotively describes the lawless brutality of Maximus and his

36

37

Vallio: Ambrose Ep. 30.11 and Pan Lat ii(12)28.4; the Priscillianists: Ambr. Ep. 68.3 and ii(12)29; the military campaign against Maximus: Ambr. Ep.74.22 and ii(12)32.5, 38.1, 38.4, 40.3. Turcan-Verkerk 2003; Cameron 2011, 227–30.

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henchmen (29.3). If the echoes of Ambrose’s letters 30 and 68 informed the account, as Sordi suggested, the influences are stripped of any explicitly Christian material.38 In fact, content of a traditionally pagan nature features in the speech: for example, Theodosius is presented as an object of adoration and prayer, and a source of auspice: ‘that he ought to be such a man who is venerated by everyone, to whom across the whole world personal and public prayers are given, from whom the man about to sail seeks calm weather, the man about to travel seeks return, the man about to fight seeks an omen’ (6.4).39 Perhaps more striking is ‘Spain has given us a god we can see’, (4.5).40 Barbara Saylor Rodgers sums up, ‘The orator defines the emperor as someone who … is different from human beings’.41 However, elsewhere in the speech, Christianity may be identifiable as the underlay of some details:  the first concerns the Christian custom of orientation—that is, constructing churches with the altar at the eastern end, and facing the East to pray. The phrase ‘we are involved in religious affairs and we turn our faces to that part of the sky from where the light originates’ (3.2) has been cited in support of his Christian faith.42 Nixon and Saylor Rodgers cautiously insist that the orator’s personal faith should not be inferred from this public assertion;43 nonetheless, by referring to the practice, he might at least be giving Christianity a sympathetic notice. Less conspicuous is a detail in the imaginative picture of Brutus the Avenger restored to life and approving of Theodosius’ reign: one feature of Theodosius’ lifestyle said to be worthy of this imaginary approval is his castitate pontificum (‘chasteness of priests’, 20.5); this appears to be a reprisal of Ausonius’ non pontificis cubile castius (‘the bed of a priest [is] not more chaste’, Grat. Act. 14.66). Ausonius was a Christian, and so too his addressee Gratian, and given that chastity was not required of pagan priests, Alan Cameron observed of the comparison that ‘to treat them [pontifices] as exemplars of chastity … seems to be a Christian perspective’.44 If that holds, the reprisal of the phrase by Pacatus

38 39 40 41 42 43 44

1988, 95. talem esse debere qui gentibus adoratur, cui toto orbe terrarum privata vel publica vota redduntur, a quo petit navigaturus serenum peregrinaturus reditum pugnaturus auspicium. deum dedit Hispania quem videmus; in delivery, the effect of the wordplay on the name ‘Theodosius’ (‘god-given’) might have been to dilute the theological content. Saylor Rodgers 1986, 93. divinis rebus operantes in eam caeli plagam ora convertimus a qua lucis exordium est. The position of Liebeschuetz 1979, 301 has gained strength since Turcan-Verkerk 2003. Nixon and Saylor Rodgers 1994, 450. 2011, 229.

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Drepanius might disclose the same ideology. But unlike Ambrose’s appeal to Theodosius, Pacatus Drepanius’ speech is lacking in Biblical references or explicit Christian doctrine. It seems possible then that Pacatus Drepanius was a Christian, but in the context and genre of his delegation from Gaul chose not to rely on or advertise that in his construction of a model of good emperorship. Calibration of the effect of his use of the libertas dicendi tag cannot be precise—dicendi tacendique libertas and periculum silentii echo Ambrose, but the echoes of the lexis and rhetoric of Pliny are both more apposite (as both are ‘new regime’ panegyrics) and by the juxtaposition of the Panegyricus with Pacatus Drepanius’ speech, are more strident. Of course, a libertas dicendi which only applied to bishops would not in any way have served Pacatus Drepanius’ agenda; by keeping the distinctive phrase and applying it instead to the complete range of Theodosian political culture, his text puts face to face the very different models of emperorship promoted by Trajanic and Christian authorities. The libertas dicendi tag is unusual in classical Latin, and so its appearance in Ambrose’s Letter 74 and Pacatus Drepanius’ panegyric, written within months of each other in 388–89 by men who could have been acquaintances, is arresting: in each case, the claim for ‘freedom of speech’ is simply an excerpt from a much longer whole, but in each case too it is programmatic and fundamental to the wider text’s chances of success. The tag invites us to interrogate image-making or manipulation while the emperor was still alive. This demonstrates that literary representation of Theodosius was not fixed and clear, but subject to contestation and redirection. The relationship between the two texts is revealing of the function and valency of intertextuality in rhetorical discourse at the time; the claim for ‘freedom of speech’ could be appropriated for a particular cause and authorised by different means: Ambrose, basing his claim’s authority on the Bible could excuse what he was about to say; and Pacatus Drepanius, basing his claim’s authority on a key text addressed to an exemplary but pagan emperor, could excuse the sorts of things that had been said (by men such as Symmachus) to Maximus; in both cases, there is an apologetic, self-defensive quality, but one which would be difficult to gainsay. As such, libertas dicendi was perhaps not so much a description of religious and political discourse under Theodosius as an aspiration towards which Ambrose and Pacatus Drepanius were seeking to coerce the emperor. In fashioning their own right to speak, the texts seek to fashion the emperor as audience. Ambrose said he could not be silent, and he was not; Pacatus Drepanius said he could be silent, but was choosing not to be. This was a culture of refined, self-reflexive, self-defensive,

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self-regarding political noise and one wonders if Theodosius wished once more for the quiet otium of his Spanish estate.45 Bibliography Brown, P. 1992. Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity. Madison. Burns, T. S. 1994. Barbarians within the Gates of Rome: a Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, ca. 375–425 A.D. Bloomington. Cameron, A.D.E. 2011. The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford and New York. Colclough, D. 2005. Freedom of Speech in Early Stuart England. Cambridge. Errington, R.M. 1996. ‘The Accession of Theodosius’, Klio 78: 438–453. Flower, R. 2013. Emperors and Bishops in Late Roman Invective. Cambridge. Frend, W.H.C. 1984. The Rise of Christianity. London. Heather, P. 1998. ‘Themistius. A Political Philosopher’, in M. Whitby (ed.) The Propaganda of Power. The Role of Panegyric in Late Antiquity Leiden. 125–150. Heather, P. and D. Moncur. 2001. Politics, Philosophy, and Empire in the Fourth Century. Select Orations of Themistius. Liverpool. Humphries, M. 2008. ‘From Usurper to Emperor. The Politics of Legitimation in the Age of Constantine’, JLA 1: 82–100. Kelly, C. 2015. ‘Pacatus and Pliny: Past and Present in Imperial Panegyric’, in J. Wienand (ed.) Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the Fourth Century AD. Oxford. 215–238. Kulikowski, M. 2007. Rome’s Gothic Wars. Cambridge. Lausberg, H. 1990. Handbuch der literarischen Rhetorik:  eine Grundlegung der Literaturwissenschaft. Stuttgart. Liebeschuetz, J.H.W.G. 1979. Continuity and Change in Roman Religion. Oxford. ——— 2005. Ambrose of Milan: Political Letters and Speeches. Liverpool. Matthews, J.F. 1975. Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court AD 364–425. Oxford. McLynn, N. 1994. Ambrose of Milan. Church and Court in a Christian Capital. Berkeley. ——— 2005. ‘genere Hispanus: Theodosius, Spain and Nicene Orthodoxy’, in K. Bowes and M. Kulikowski (eds.) Hispania in Late Antiquity. Leiden. 77–120. Nixon, C.E.V. and B. Saylor Rodgers. 1994. In Praise of later Roman Emperors, The Panegyrici Latini. Berkeley.

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I would like to thank fellow delegates for their immensely useful comments from the floor; Diederik Burgersdijk and his colleagues for organising and hosting an extremely successful and enjoyable conference at Ravenstein; and the editors for their patience and insight.

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Pichon, R. 1906. ‘L’origine du recueil des Panegyrici Latini’ REA 8: 229–49 [also published in id. 1906 Les Derniers Ecrivains Profanes, les panégyristes—Ausone—le Querolus—Rutilius Namatianus. Paris. 270–91; and translated into English in Rees 2012a, 55–74.] Price, R.M. 1985. A History of the Monks of Syria by Theodoret of Cyrrhus. Kalamazoo. Rees, R.D. 2011 ‘Afterwords of Praise’, in P. Roche (ed.) Pliny’s Praise. The Panegyricus in the Roman World. Cambridge. 175–188. Rees, R.D. 2012a (ed.). Latin Panegyric. Oxford Readings in Classical Studies. Oxford. Rees, R.D. 2012b. ‘The modern history of the Panegyrici Latini’, in R. Rees (ed.) Latin Panegyric. Oxford Readings in Classical Studies. Oxford. 3–48. Rees, R.D. 2012c. ‘Bright Lights, Big City. Rome and the Panegyrici Latini’ in G. Kelly and L. Grig (eds.) Two Romes. From Rome to Constantinople. New York. 203–222. Rees, R.D. 2013. ‘Pacatus the Poet doing Plinian Prose’ in B. J. Gibson and R. D. Rees (eds.) Pliny the Younger in Late Antiquity. Arethusa Special Edition 46: 241–259. Saylor Rodgers, B. 1986. ‘Divine Insinuation in the Panegyrici Latini’ Historia 35: 69–104 [reprinted in Rees 2012a, 289–334] Sivan, H. 1996. ‘Was Theodosius I a usurper?’, Klio 78: 198–211. Sogno, C. 2006. Q. Aurelius Symmachus: a political biography. Ann Arbor. Sordi, M. 1988. ‘I rapporti fra Ambrogio e il panegirista Pacato’ Rend. Ist. Lomb. Sc. Lett 122: 93–100. Turcan-Verkerk, A.-M. 2003. Un poète latin chrétien redécouvert:  Latinius Pacatus Drepanius, panégyriste de Théodose. Brussels.

Chapter 14

Claudian’s Stilicho at the Urbs: Roman Legitimacy for the Half-Barbarian Regent Álvaro Sánchez-Ostiz Introduction1 Despite being neither an emperor nor a usurper, Flavius Stilicho deserves his own place in an exploration of emperors’ images in the Late Roman Empire, as dominant political actor and de facto regent in the western Empire from 395–408. As a son of a Vandal father and a Roman mother, it was his barbarian lineage that probably prevented him from ruling as emperor,2 but he was still able to rise to power through military prestige and kinship ties.3 Stilicho enjoyed the confidence and trust of Theodosius, whose daughter Serena he married in 384, and by whom he was appointed magister utriusque militiae in 392.4 A later arrangement of Theodosius in 395 designated him epitropos of Honorius, who was coming of age by that time.5 This position was further reinforced in the same year by the wedding of his own daughter Maria to Honorius,6 which would enhance his influence over the young Augustus’ entourage.7 His control over the western half of the Empire and his command of its army was in principle accepted. However, based on a supposed last will of Theodosius, Stilicho also claimed to be entrusted with a similar position over Arcadius and the eastern army as he had over Honorius. This broad claim to

1 This study was carried out as a part of the project ‘Romanitas e interculturalidad en la (auto)representación de emperadores tardoantiguos:  Constantino, Juliano, Teodosio’ (Ref. FFI2013-41327-P; Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad). I am very grateful to the organizers and participants of the Conference ‘Images and Emperors in the 4th century ad’ for their suggestions and remarks, as well as to the editors and peer reviewers for their comments. All errors and shortcomings remaining are mine. 2 Cameron 1969, 274; 1970, 38. 3 O’Flynn 1983, 14–62; Liebeschuetz 1992, 23–25. 4 plre 1.853–858, Flavius Stilicho. 5 Cameron 1969, 267–272. 6 Cameron 1970; Matthews 1975, 258. 7 Matthews 1975, 20–22.

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2018 | DOI 10.1163/9789004370920_ 016

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power would generate a chain of conflicts between both parts of the Empire during the years 395–400. The main strengths of his position were his family ties, innate political qualities, and, for a few years at least, success in continuing Theodosius’ strategy of diplomatic arrangements with the Goths and of incorporating alien forces into the army. On the other hand, considerable weaknesses threatened his political dominance. His title was precarious in an official sense, as neither Arcadius nor Honorius needed a legal supervisor after Theodosius’ death, both of them being Augusti.8 He was suspected of collusion with Alaric, especially after his unsuccessful campaigns in 395 and 397, and even more so after his victories at Pollentia and Verona in 402.9 Finally, the excessive costs of his policies seriously weighed on the senatorial elite.10 This being the situation, it can easily be imagined that Honorius’ father-inlaw in his guise as magister was keen to establish a justification for his share of the emperorship.11 In literary texts, he might be portrayed as invested with imperial qualities, but without the rigour and risks of official titles and responsibilities. This kind of unofficial legitimacy was provided mainly by Claudian’s verse panegyrics,12 which operated as ‘communication descendante’, an authorized interpretation of the aims and feats of the magister utriusque militiae intended to reach a wide audience among the western elite.13 Claudian’s politically loaded poetry is not only a key historical source about Stilicho and the first years of Honorius’ reign, but it also turns the magister utriusque militiae into one of the best-documented and skilfully modelled figures of the Late Roman Empire. In recent decades, decoding Claudian’s intricate narrative has become a central issue in Claudianic scholarship. However, little attention has been paid to how the poet deployed traditional stereotypes of Rome and the barbarians as rhetorical devices. His panegyrics, on the human and on the divine level, are placed in a fictional space and time that constitute a coherent image shared by poet and audience, derived from a traditional Roman ‘self-image’. In terms of literary space, the scene of Claudian’s political poems is a cosmopolitan empire, both Roman and Greek, stretching from Mount Helicon, Mount 8 9 10 11 12 13

Among other reasons, there was no official title for Stilicho’s regency: McEvoy 2013, 142–144. Cameron 1970, 156–159; Liebeschuetz 1992, 57–68. Matthews 1975, 269–270. McEvoy 2013, 162–169. With the exception of the Panegyricus Olybrio et Probino dictus. On Claudian’s audience, Cameron 1970, 228–252; Charlet 2009; Gualandri 2012; Coombe 2014.

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Olympus, or the battlefields, to the Milanese court and the Roman Senate. Chronologically the setting is primeval and timeless: thus Rome is presented with its Republican attributes, while Greece is presented as the soil of the Olympians and the Athenian philosophers.14 By contrast, Claudian also described or suggested a negative image of his non-Roman characters that can be labelled a ‘barbarian ethnotype’.15 Gildo, Alaric, or the Vandals16 were impious, savage and cruel.17 In addition, Rufinus and the oriental Eutropius became ‘denationalized’ figures after their betrayal of Roman ideals.18 Nevertheless other barbarians could renounce their hostility and find a place in cosmopolitan Rome, as the multi-ethnic armies of In Ruf. 2.101–119,19 or the encomium of Rome in De cons. Stil. 3.150–159 show. This chapter analyses how Claudian used traditional national and foreign stereotypes in his Liber Tertius De consulatu Stilichonis and its Preface, delivered in 400 before the Roman Senate. The poems formed a unity, and grounded their laudatory discourse in the traditional self-image of the Urbs, the stereotyped values expected for a Roman ruler by the senate of Rome and its people. It can hardly be overlooked that the poet kept his narrative open for revision,20 varying the explanations of events from one panegyric to another, by placing emphasis on new nuances, breaking silences to cast light upon what had previously been shameful, or responding to the ever-changing circumstances and adapting to the needs of the regent. An exhaustive investigation of the entire Claudianic work would exceed the scope and limits of this chapter. This study’s aim is not to revise the narrative of a very well-known figure, but to show how an enquiry into stereotypes can help us to interpret particular passages of Claudian’s panegyrics, and to better understand the idea of emperorship that Stilicho wanted to communicate. In addition, this approach will also shed light on whether the Claudianic Stilicho and the concurrent images crafted by other authors correspond to one another. At this point, an overview of the information provided by other sources will be expedient for my argument.21 Eastern and western writers hint at the fact 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

E.g. in Pan. Mallio Theodoro 84–99, 133–158. On ‘self-image’ and ‘ethnotype’, terms from imagological studies, see Leerssen 2007, 26–30 and the Glossary entries ‘Barbarian’ and ‘Image’ in Beller and Leerssen 2007. De bello Get. 166–193. In this regard, the barbaric portrayal of Gildo is perhaps the most remarkable example, Döpp 1980, 142–144. See also Dewar 1994. Cameron 1970, 133–135; Döpp 1980, 151–152; O’Flynn 1983, 27. Dewar 2003. De vi Hon. 53–72 could be considered in this regard as well. Müller 2011, 423–424. Cracco Ruggini 1968; Matthews 1975, 270–283; plre 1.853–858, Flavius Stilicho.

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that opinions hostile to Stilicho were already circulating both in the East and the West during his regency. In these writings two different lines of censure can be discerned: greedy ambition and connivance with Alaric. Both traits relate to circumstances that endangered Stilicho’s position: rapacity shows the reverse side of his pretensions to rule over East and West, while the alleged collusion with the Goths is a misinterpretation of Stilicho’s foreign policy. In any case the barbarian stock of the magister utriusque militiae had apparently not been a matter of debate earlier than the year 408, when his disgrace came about. In the Greek historical tradition, developed independently from Claudian’s poetry, Eunapius provided the earliest known criticism of Stilicho’s ambition  in the same terms as Zosimus used a century later.22 John of Antioch belongs to this same tradition.23 Nevertheless, at the point in his narrative where Zosimus changes his source and starts to follow Olympiodorus from chapter 5.26 onwards, from Stilicho’s last year until his fall from grace, he justifies his actions and defends his subject’s honesty.24 As preserved, Olympiodorus’ work does not seem to provide relevant information about what happened before 408. However, despite its fragmentary condition and our indirect knowledge, his history offers two relevant details of the political situation, regardless of the reasons that could have urged him to write, either if he did so as a reliable historian,25 or by following a propagandistic agenda.26 From what is known of his work, it can be deduced that for years there had been an uneasy atmosphere between Stilicho’s supporters and detractors, and a live issue about the costs of foreign policy.27 For his part, Sozomen, who used Olympiodorus as a source for his Historia Ecclesiastica between 439 and 450, highlighted that Stilicho had attained almost absolute power and that he was accused of conspiring against Honorius 22

23

24 25 26 27

Eun. fr. 62: … τὸ δὲ ἔργον τῶν µὲν κατὰ τὴν ἑᾠαν Ῥοφφἰννου, τὰ δὲ ἑσπἐρια Στελἰχωνος εἰς ἅπασαν ἐξουσίαν (‘… but actually Rufinus had absolute power in the East, and Stilicho in the West’). Zos. 5.1, 12. Joh. Ant. fr. 213 Mariev:  ῞Οτι οἱ ἐπίτροποι Ἀρκαδίου καὶ Ὁνωρίου Ῥουφῖνος καὶ Στελίχων ἄµφω τὰ πάντων συνήρπαζον, ἐν τῷ πλούτῳ τὸ κράτος τιθέµενοι. Καὶ οὐδεὶς εἶχεν ἴδιον οὐδὲν εἰ µὴ Ῥουφίνῳ καὶ Στελίχωνι ἔδοξε … Ἑκάτερός τε αὐτῶν τὴν βασιλείαν περιεσκόπει (‘The two guardians of Arcadius and Honorius, Rufinus and Stilicho, plundered the possessions of everybody, since they held wealth to be power. And no one kept any of his possessions unless Rufinus and Stilicho permitted it … . Each of them cast his eye about the Empire’, Mariev). Zos. 5.34. Liebeschuetz 2003, 201–206. Van Nuffelen 2013. Matthews 1970.

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to raise his son to the throne, but exonerated Stilicho from any connivance with Alaric.28 Also in Olympiodorus’ wake, Philostorgius, in so far as the epitome of Photius suggests, insisted that Stilicho desired the post for his son Eucherius,29 but also that he was guilty of usurpation and conspiracy against Honorius, and he opened the Alps to Alaric.30 Judging from these testimonies, the view that Stilicho betrayed Rome because of his ‘Vandal blood’ only arose in a diffuse manner during the crisis that triggered his death, as Olympius’ accusations of conspiracy reveal, and this claim took shape in the following years. Theodosius’ decree of 22 November 408, closest to the events, termed him praedo, and took for granted that he had appropriated public funds to enrich and inflame the barbarians.31 One year later, a letter by Jerome called him proditor semibarbarus.32 For his part, Rutilius Namatianus, who follows his own opinion rather than a particular tradition,33 also deploys the term proditor in De reditu suo, 34 composed in 417.35 Similarly, Orosius’ bold statements about Stilicho’s Vandal origin (‘Count Stilicho, offspring of that effete, greedy, treacherous, and sorrow‐bringing race, the Vandals’) might have been a personal evaluation of a view common in these years, that of Stilicho’s ambition to gain Constantinople’s throne for his son Eucherius (sicut a plerisque traditur),36 a dynastic aspiration that was not illegitimate.37 Therefore, the non-Claudianic sources do not necessarily indicate that Stilicho’s Roman-ness had been questioned before his downfall in 408. However, not so much is known about the opinion of the senatorial circles between 395 and 408, given that the dates of the subsequent editions of Eunapius’ Histories 28 29 30 31

32

33 34 35 36 37

Soz. 8.14, 9.4. Philost. 11.3. Philost. 12.1–2. Cod. Theod. 9.42.22: ‘We order that every avenue for the recovery of property shall be closed to those persons who have given their resources, either incorporeal or corporeal, to the public brigand (praedoni publico) or to his son or other satellites …’ Vid. also 9.42.21, dated on 25 October 408, which made mention of those involved in the appropriation of Stilicho’s facultates. Jer. Ep. 123.16: quod … scelere semibarbari accidit proditoris, qui nostris contra nos opibus armauit inimicos (‘what … happened due to the crime of a half-barbarian traitor, who armed the enemy with our resources against us’). Cracco Ruggini 1968. Rut. Nam. de red. suo, 2.41–42. As firmly established by Cameron 1967. Oros. 7.38.1–2. For their part, Zos. 5.32.1–2; Olymp. frg. 5.2.12–21; Philost. 12.1-2 also report Stilicho’s ambitions for Eucherius to the detriment of Honorius. Cameron 1970, 47.

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are unclear.38 Furthermore, critical views on the regent’s hereditary ambitions could also have been fabricated after his death. So, an examination of De cons. Stil. 3, delivered in the Roman senate and coloured in Republican tones, can be illustrative of possible interferences between Claudian’s poetry and critical opinions about the magister utriusque militiae. At first sight, Claudian’s third panegyric on Stilicho’s consulate might have been intended as an antidote to a previous anti-barbarian sentiment among the Roman elite,39 as it accentuated the Roman-ness of the new consul. Nevertheless, the hypothesis of a western anti-Germanism between 395 and 40840 rests on an indirect interpretation of Claudian’s poetry,41 or of Symmachus’ letters addressed to Stilicho,42 which could be betraying some sense of hostility.43 It has also been conjectured that Claudian’s panegyric was intended as a preventive measure against the prevailing anti-barbarian sentiments in the Constantinopolitan court.44 Thus, the poem would be planned for a Roman audience, which, being related to the Senate of Constantinople by family, friendship, or mutual interests, was therefore exposed to contagion from opinions that could weaken Stilicho’s position vis-à-vis Italian landowners. However, it is highly questionable that the conflict in Constantinople between Gainas and Aurelian (399–400) was caused by a rivalry between pro and anti-Germanic parties or feelings.45 In the following pages, it will be argued that De cons. Stil. 3 praises Stilicho for different virtues, some of which belonged to the Roman republican tradition. Others, however, overlapped with the qualities usually attributed to the emperor, particularly his military courage fighting the barbarians and his munificence in favour of the Romans. The particular emphasis on these virtues indirectly legitimates Stilicho’s quasi-emperorship, but might have cooperated also in creating Stilicho’s semi-barbarism and greed in sources from later decades, which could reflect responses to the discourse that pervades De cons.

38 39 40 41 42 43

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Lenski 1997, 160, n. 64. Christiansen 1966, who questions the anti-barbaric hostility of the Roman elite as such, but identifies it in Claudian’s verses, as a result of the poet’s subjective impressions. Mazzarino 1942, 238–239; Cracco Ruggini 1968; Christiansen 1966. Cf. Gluschanin 1989. Bayless 1976 detects an anti-barbaric public opinion ‘beneath the surface’ of Claudian’s poems. Symm. Ep. 4.1–14. Salzman 2006, with tenuous evidence for Stilicho’s case; more cautious Matthews 1975, 265–268. Döpp 1980, 177, however, points out that the senators’ good acceptance of Stilicho in March 400 might have been sincere. Döpp 1980, 185. Liebeschuetz 1992, 105–107; Cameron and Long 1993.

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Stil. 3. This interpretation draws out some nuances about the effectiveness of this panegyric, and of Claudian’s panegyrics in general.46 In the second section of this chapter, an outline of the third consular panegyric to Stilicho, and its preface, is presented. The third section deals with the major lines of thought that intertwine Roman self-image and the barbarian ethno-type, while the fourth section focuses on how the poet stressed the praising of the honorand’s munificence. Finally, a brief concluding section recapitulates the implications of this study for the understanding of Claudian’s political poetry. De Cons. Stil. 3 and Its Preface Liber Tertius De consulatu Stilichonis and its praefatio, poems numbered 23 and 24 by Gessner, adapted specific ideas of the Roman self-image to the political moment, and especially to the place and audience of their recitation: in the Roman Senate in March (or the end of February) of the year 400. At the beginning of that year, Stilicho had entered his first consulate in Milan, and Claudian presented a proper consular panegyric in two books. About two months later, the new consul paid his first visit to the Urbs in five years and made a processus consularis, the festive parade ending on the Capitoline hill, where the so-called third panegyric was delivered. Therefore, it is not surprising that Claudian presented Honorius and the regent Stilicho as paying all due respect to the senatorial elite. Stilicho carefully chose his moment to encounter the senators, whose financial support he depended on. The visit took place a few months after Eutropius’ downfall in the East, and Aurelian’s appointment in Constantinople. This was two years after Gildo’s crisis in Africa, which Claudian had managed to present in the De bello Gildonico as a military success for Stilicho. He shrewdly involved the Roman senate in the affair, transferring to them the responsibility for the most unpopular measures.47 Further, the poem was composed and delivered during a relatively peaceful period of time,48 when Stilicho could at last present his successes in the East and in foreign policy. These successes occurred while he was still in full command of the political situation in the West with Honorius already fifteen, but after he had given up his ambitions with regard to Arcadius and the 46 47 48

As suggested to by Cameron 1970, 385, who hinted that the praise of Stilicho’s generosity in De cons. Stil. 3.223–236 might have been off target. Ware 2004. Cameron 1970, 151–152. Between 397 and 401, Alaric remained in Illyria.

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East. Both books of the previous panegyric to Stilicho had followed the line of a basilikos logos: the former focusing on his military deeds, the latter on his virtues. Although Book 3 repeats several motifs of Books 1 and 2, it differed from them by referring to the adventus of the new consul in the city.49 From a formal  point of view, the following three parts can be distinguished in the poem: the 24 verses of the preface, the alternating apostrophes to Rome and to Stilicho in verses 1–236, and the extended section on the consular games in verses 237–369. In the middle part Claudian follows his usual technique of subsequently associating different ideas with one another, so that the panegyric is a chain of subjects rather than a systematic exposition of arguments. In addition, the messages are transmitted in two directions, as Claudian’s words directed to Stilicho are of interest for the Roman public, and the contents directed to Rome are in turn honouring Stilicho. Thus, the arrangement of De cons. Stil. 3 can be summarized as follows: A. 1–50: Address to Rome. 1–14: Stilicho at Rome. 15–29: Imaginary pompa triumphalis. 30–50: Stilicho compared to other Roman champions. B. 51–88: Address to Stilicho. 51–71: The Senate and the crowd greet Stilicho as saviour and father of Rome. 72–88: Stilicho deserves one corona civica for every citizen of Rome. C. 89–129: Address to Rome. 89–112: Stilicho has restored Rome’s genuine dignity. 113–129: Stilicho has taught Honorius and has become a father to the Augustus. D. 130–201: Address to Stilicho. 130–176a: ‘Hymn to Rome’. 176b-194: Stilicho’s kinship ties with Rome. 195–201: Main stations of the processus consularis. E. 202–222: Address to goddess Victory. F. 223–369: Consular games. 223–236: Praise of Stilicho’s liberality. 237–369: Beast-hunting ekphrasis. 49

So Keudel 1970, 119; Müller 2011, 332–333. Menander mentions the joyful consensus at the greeting of the governor among the elements of the ‘Speech on Arrival’ (epibaterios, 382,15–20), as well as the architectonic wonders the visitor is to contemplate in the ‘Speech of Invitation’ (kletikos, 427, 10–16).

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Some elements are particularly relevant to the argument here. First, in the preface the poet alludes to the communicative triangle in which the panegyric is recited: the dedicatee, the new Stilicho-Scipio who had defeated a new Hannibal, even crueller than the original; the poet, characterized as a new Ennius, underscoring the epic and narrative tone that Claudian wanted to create; and the Roman audience, apostrophized in the last verses. Second, some parts of the main poem referred to the consular procession:50 so, verses 14–50 are a rhetorical play about an imaginary triumph rejected by Stilicho; verses 195–202 review the main stations of the march, and verses 202–222 a prayer to Victoria, goddess of the Curia, the senate building which the new consul entered. Thirdly, two sections simultaneously praise the city of Rome and Stilicho: verses 64–112 describe how Stilicho has saved and restored the dignity of the Urbs, while the verses 130–176 hold the so-called hymn to Rome, almost an independent poem, but subordinate to the applause of Stilicho’s figure. Fourthly, verses 113–129 acclaim Stilicho for having been a father for Honorius, teaching him how to be a princeps egregius, whose rule had woken up Rome from self-oblivion. Finally, the last third of the poem in verses 223– 369 is an encomium of the magister utriusque militiae’s liberality that led to an extended ekphrasis on the hunting of the beasts from all over the Empire for the consular games. Scholarship has paid due attention to Stilicho’s Third Panegyric. As a whole it has been treated as evidence within general discussion on Claudian’s intertextuality and on his intended audience. The poem also comprises passages that have particularly excited modern critics, such as the verses 237–369 perì basileías, or the ‘Hymn to Rome’ in verses 130–176. In addition, specific controversies worth highlighting have been the unity or autonomy of De cons. Stil. 3 from De cons. Stil. 1–2,51 and whether Claudian was alluding to the Altar or to a statue of Victory in verses 202–222.52 Nevertheless, the description of the hunt at the end of the poem has attracted less curiosity. Some scholars see in this part a simple literary exercise or an irrelevant tirade.53 Others suggest that the capture of the beasts allegorically alluded 50 51

52 53

Keudel 1970, 119–120. De cons. Stil. 3 is not a complement to the previous De cons. Stil. 1 and 2, but an autonomous unity that assumes ideas already used in the two poems recited in Milan, and reworks them for specifically Roman public and communicative situation. Cameron 1970, 77–78; Keudel 1970, 118; Müller 2011, 332–333; cfr. Döpp 1980, 182–198. An assumption rightly rejected by Cameron 1970, 237–239; see also Cameron 2011, 341–342 and Müller 2011, 434–344. Keudel 1970, 133; Döpp 1980, 182; Ware 2012, 50.

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to the subjugation of foreign peoples by Stilicho,54 in line with the topical assimilation of barbarians with wild animals that made its appearance in several contemporary sources.55 So far, however, an argumentative function of the ekphrasis has not been considered by modern scholarship. The following pages examine how verses 1–222 develop the praise of Stilicho’s traditional Roman virtues in general, and verses 223–369 the praise of munificence in particular. While the apostrophes detailed the ultra-Roman qualities of the magister utriusque militiae, the depiction of beast-hunting displays before the senators the grandiose consular games which Stilicho paid or was about to pay on his own expenses. From the New Scipio to Augusti genitor De cons. Stil. 3 portrayed the new consul before a fourth-century senate clothed in a poetic trabea of Republican mores, which the audience accepted as signs of Roman self-image, rather than as attitudes taken by fourth-century aristocrats. The poet either directly praised some virtues, or exaggeratingly compared his honorand with exemplary figures, some of whom had already appeared in previous poems. At first sight, then, there are no differences with the consular image presented at the Court of Milan in De cons. Stil. 1 and 2. A prominent exemplum rooted in the past is the presentation of Stilicho as a new Scipio and of Gildo’s crisis in the frame of the Punic wars in the preface, where he is named Scipiades noster, and in the panegyric itself through further allusions to Hannibal and the bella Carthaginiensium.56 While it is clear that the praefatio gives it a particular significance, continued in the panegyric itself, one cannot ignore that Claudian had already used the Scipionic comparison

54

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The presence of several undeniable parallels of this section with epic models, especially with the Aeneid, implies that the hunt carried out by the nymphs in Libya would be an allegory of the warlike deeds of Stilicho in Africa: Müller 2011, 344–350. See for instance, Eus. V. Const. 4.5; Lact. dmp. 9.2; Prud. c. Symm. 2.816–817; Aug. Civ. Dei 1.14; Lib. Or. 15.26, cited by Quiroga 2013, 58–59, and Amm. Marc. 14.4.1; 19.5.3, 6.4; 22.8.30; 31.2.2, 11; 8.9, and 15.5: see Barnes 1998, 108–110, Vergin 2013, 261–264 and Burgersdijk 2016. De cons. Stil. 3.6–8: ‘Honour the consul who has restored dignity to the consulship; grasp the hand which has made the Carthaginians pass once more under the Roman yoke’; 70–71: ‘All this would live but in the memory were the African still master of the South’.

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in De cons. Stil. 2.57 Moreover, the mention of other figures from the Roman past indicates that Claudian’s Stilicho embodied Republican heroes’ virtues in general, from the love of letters58 to ancient military fortitudo,59 and civil temperantia, insofar as the new consul had shown deep respect of the ordines.60 This technique of general reference is in keeping with the hyperbolic drift of epic panegyrics, and with Claudian’s use of exempla. In a sort of ‘literary metempsychosis’—to use Ware’s expression61—or a typological reference,62 Stilicho’s predecessors are paraded as different avatars of the magister utriusque militiae: he did not as much reappear as a new Scipio, he actually was Scipiades noster, ‘our Scipio’, and, at the same time, ‘our Fabricius’, ‘our Paulus’, ‘our Marius’ and ‘our Pompeius’.63 In other words, Claudian depicted Stilicho’s arrival to Rome in a timeless or cyclical setting, in which the glorious remote past meld together with the present. Thus, if compared with previous panegyrics recited in Milan that paraded figures of the past,64 De cons. Stil. 3 does not seem to add specific content, in so far as the senatorial colour of the processus consularis is predictable.65 However, a close examination supports the hypothesis that two specific accents were added to the occasion: the promise of singing great feats of war, and the peaceful consensus caused by Stilicho among the Senate and people of Rome. The preface provides the most relevant information regarding the first point. In those verses Claudian identified Stilicho with Scipio (Scipiades noster), put the audience at the height of the victorious Rome after the Punic Wars, and characterized himself as a new Ennius (De cons. Stil. 3 Praef. 1–6, 11–12, 21–24):66 57 58 59

60 61 62 63

64 65 66

De cons. Stil. 2.384. De cons. Stil. 3.124. In this regard, the hyperbole on the numerous coronae civicae that Stilicho would have deserved also provides a Republican flavour to Stilicho’s military victories: De cons. Stil. 3.72–76. De cons. Stil. 3.27–29, 48–50, 113–129. Ware 2012, 150. Gualandri 1998, 135–136. See also Cameron 1970, 267–268. Through poetic allusions to Virgil, Claudian also associates Stilicho with Augustus (Müller 2011, 348–350; Ware 2012, 149–151), an identification certainly unusual in the fourth century. De bello Gild., Pan. Mallio Theodoro, De cons. Stil. 1–2. There are similarities in the Roman context of the panegyric delivered by Pacatus Drepanius in Rome 389: see Rees in this volume. 1–6: Maior Scipiades, Italis qui solus ab oris/ in proprium vertit Punica bella caput,/ non sine Pieriis exercuit artibus arma:/ semper erat vatum maxima cura duci./ gaudet enim virtus testes sibi iungere Musas;/ carmen amat quisquis carmine digna gerit. 11–12: haerebat doctus

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The elder Scipio, who single-handed turned the Punic wars back from Italy’s coasts to their own home, fought not his battles unmindful of the Muse’s art: poets were ever the hero’s special care. For valour is always fain to seek alliance with the Muses that they may bear witness to her deeds … the poet Ennius was ever at his side and in all his campaigns followed the trumpet’s call into the midst of the fray … Thee, Stilicho, our new Scipio (noster Scipiades), conqueror of a second Hannibal more terrible than the first Hannibal, thee after five long years Rome has given back to me and bidden me celebrate the completion of her vows.67 The first verse clearly alludes to the beginning of the Aeneid, and together with allusions to the final lines of Silius Italicus’ Punica68 and to the poetic persona of Ennius69 raises expectations of a grand epic about the great feats of a military hero. That purpose made sense in the political situation in which the first consulship of Stilicho took place. Claudian was facing the challenge of composing a laudatory poem on the basis of military exploits that had not taken place. Actually, in March of the year 400, Stilicho could not realistically claim the authorship or responsibility for any military action that deserved praise in epic tones,70 and, more important, that could demonstrate to the supporting senatorial elite, that Stilicho’s strategy was effective protection for the northern borders.71 So the

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lateri castrisque solebat/ omnibus in medias Ennius ire tubas … 21–24:  Noster Scipiades Stilicho, quo concidit alter/ Hannibal antiquo saevior Hannibale,/ te mihi post quinos annorum Roma recursus/ reddidit et votis iussit adesse suis. The English translation of Claudian’s On Stilicho’s Consulship iii and its Preface is taken from Platnauer 1922, with a few minor adjustments. Specifically through the mention of Scipio and Camillus in Pun. 17.625–654. Keudel 1970, 118–119; Felgentreu 1999, 139–140 (Claudian might have presented himself as a new Ennius and a new Virgil, as he considered these two poems the summit of his poetical production); Ware 2012, 149–151; Gualandri 2013b, 124–127. The notion that Claudian’s bombastic and hollow insistence on Stilicho’s exploits reveals the poet’s difficulty to find genuine facts to praise is treated in detail among others by Cameron 156–188 (on the indiscipline of the Roman troops during the campaigns against Alaric), Matthews 1975, 270–274 and O’Flynn 1983, 25–42. For the warless, but uneasy time for Stilicho between Gildo’s crisis and the battles of Pollentia and Verona, see McEvoy 2013, 166–167. De cons. Stil. 1.91–385 also deals with Stilicho’s military victories, before and after Theodosius’s death.

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panegyric blurred Stilicho’s deeds, avoided any significant detail, and reiterated general ideas. In this sense Claudian’s silences are also remarkable. Neither Mascezel nor Arcadius were mentioned or alluded to.72 The poet exploited Gildo’s crisis and the recruiting expeditions in northern Germania and the Danube area in 39673 to portray Stilicho as a military hero that had subdued barbarian peoples (11–13): ‘Behold the warrior successful in every field, the defender of Africa, the conqueror of Rhine and Danube’.74 The emphasis is laid on the subjugation of the barbarian peoples, in the context of opposition from some of Roman senators, who stood against the expensive policy of agreements with the Goths and the assimilation of barbarian forces into the army. In a tour de force the poet connected Roman supremacy with the integration of the barbarians: praising and exaggerating Stilicho’s military deeds as domitor gentium obviously reinforced the national self-image by stressing Rome’s superiority over other peoples. However, beneath the surface of the patriotic ‘Hymn to Rome’ (130–173), which singularized Rome and Stilicho equally, the generalissimo remained solely responsible for the victory over the Carthaginians, and for the restoration of the city, so that Rome was the only city in history that had received other peoples (150–153): 75 It is she alone who has received the conquered into her bosom and like a mother, not an empress, protected the human race with a common name, summoning those whom she has defeated to share her citizenship and drawing together distant races with bonds of affection.76 Consequently, Claudian’s new accent was to mould a Roman self-image that integrated external ethno-types.77 In his poetic imagination Rome was a unique multicultural empire that owed its peace to a unique man: West and East, North and South, Rome had become only one gens—needless to say,

72 73 74 75 76

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There are allusions to Eutropius rather than to the situation in the East in De cons. Stil. 3.6–7, 81. Matthews 1975, 270–274; Liebeschuetz 1992, 36–37. Hic est pro te bellator ubique,/ defensor Libyae, Rheni pacator et Histri. As justly remarked by Ware 2012, 87. Haec est in gremium victos quae sola recepit/ humanumque genus communi nomine fovit/ matris, non dominae ritu, civesque vocavit/ quos domuit nexuque pio longinqua revinxit; see also 159–161. A motif to be found also in Rutilius and Orosius: Gualandri 2013a, 9.

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destined to be governed in unity. And in that light, the semi-barbarian Stilicho could be flawlessly accommodated.78 The panegyric added also a second specific nuance to the ultra-Roman presentation of the protagonist. It was a requirement of the genre that the honorand was singled out by a hyperbolic exaggeration above those to whom he is compared. On this occasion, the generalissimo surpassed all previous Republican exempla in that they were not able to avoid resentment (48–50): ‘In Stilicho’s case alone class rivalry has not raised its head: the knights welcome him with joy, the senate with enthusiasm, while the people’s prayers rival the goodwill of the nobles’.79 By contrast Stilicho was accepted and loved by Senate and people, by patricians and plebeians: he was the only one who prevented any envy, and united the diverse parts of empire. This idea is further developed in an interesting chain of thought that turns the flattery of Republican institution into an open praise of monarchical rule. So, according to lines 188–192, Stilicho was daily acclaimed by Roman people as their pater or parens, an honour that many before him had tried to achieve through gifts and flattery: ‘For what prince has not sought with every blandishment to be called lord and father, titles which the amphitheatres echo back to thee day after day? Hail, consul, to thy new titles!’80 The poet used an expression not identical with the imperial title of pater patriae, which the magister utriusque militiae has not been awarded, but unequivocally close to it.81 In the same vein of diffusely rephrasing established titulature, Stilicho is said to have created such a consensus that Roman citizens liked to be ruled by Honorius’ monarchic sceptre, as this was taught by Stilicho and Stilicho was taught before by Theodosius (113–123): He errs who thinks that submission to a noble prince is slavery; never does liberty show more fair than beneath a good king. Those he himself appoints to rule he in turn brings before the judgement-seat of people and senate, and gladly yields whether they claim reward for merit or seek for punishment. Now the purple lays aside its pride and disdains

78 79 80 81

Similarly De cons. Stil. 1.384–385. Omnis in hoc uno varios discordia cessit/ ordinibus:  laetatur eques plauditque senator/ votaque patricio certant plebeia favori. Quis enim princeps non omnibus egit/ obsequiis dominum sese patremque vocari,/ quod tibi continuis resonant convexa diebus?/ macte novis consul titulis!. See also 61: “Blessed mortal, whom the Rome that thou hast saved calls her father” (O felix servata vocat quem Roma parentem!).

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not to have judgement passed upon itself. Such were the principles of rule taught by Stilicho to his son-in-law, Honorius; it was thus he guided his youth with the reins of prudence, and with precepts such as these directed his tender years, a truer father to the emperor than Theodosius, his stay in war, his adviser in peace. 82 Thus, as Honorius’ institutor, Stilicho had become not only his father-in-law, but also a verior Augusti genitor. This expression has several simultaneous connotations. It stressed on the one hand Stilicho’s expectations of a dynastic continuity in the children of his daughter Maria and Honorius,83 or even in their son Eucherius, born in the Urbs,84 and on the other hand recalled Theodosius’ moral heritage, or even the idea of imperial adoption. This point ultimately legitimates Stilicho’s corporate emperorship85 with the 15-year-old emperor, who can still be portrayed as depending on Stilicho’s loyalty and action.86 Although the poem did not exactly use the expression principum parens, it seems clear that Claudian was alluding to it. Stilicho had deployed that term in previous years,87 in an intentionally vague manner, since there was no proper magistracy for the regent of a child emperor. In this case, the idea of a parens principum / Augusti genitor strengthens his Roman legitimacy next to the emperor, but also reveals an idea of emperorship beloved by the Roman senators: the magister utriusque militiae has taught Honorius to behave as a popularis, civilis and pius princeps that respects the Senate’s traditional prerogatives. Moreover, this popular emperorship presented Stilicho as gladly submissive to the Senate and the plebs, and insists on Stilicho’s Romanitas. Obviously, such statements must not be understood as Claudian’s political manifesto, but as a message relevant especially before the Senate of Rome. As mentioned, the fanciful portrait of republican Stilicho was presented not long after the magister utriusque militiae had transferred to the senators the responsibility for unpopular measures during Gildo’s crisis. In this same line, 82

83 84 85 86 87

Fallitur egregio quisquis sub principe credit/ servitium. numquam libertas gratior extat/ quam sub rege pio. quos praeficit ipse regendis/ rebus, ad arbitrium plebis patrumque reducit/ conceditque libens, mentis seu praemia poscant/ seu punire velint. posito iam purpura fastu/ de se iudicium non indignatur haberi./ sic docuit regnare socer, sic cauta iuventae/ frena dedit, teneros sic moribus induit annos/ verior Augusti genitor, fiducia belli,/ pacis consilium. Already pointed out in De cons. Stil. 2.236–240. De cons. Stil. 3.176–178. McEvoy 2013, 162–169. Gualandri 2010, 48–53. Straub 1952; Cameron 1969, 275–276; Marcone 1987, 222–224.

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the other passage by Claudian usually considered a perì basileías, De iv Hon. 214–352, is also of conventional content, and shows the same remarkable similarities with Synesius’ De regno.88 Finally, before praising the honorand’s generosity, the poet brings the goddess Victory to the fore in verses 202–222. Stilicho was supposed to revere her, as the Empire’s guardian, in the future, without giving way to cruelty and arrogance, as an authentic Roman consul (216–218): ‘Always has he brought thee home in a spirit of mercy and kept thee kindly to the vanquished nor ever stained thy laurels with cruelty …’ 89 Taken together, both particular nuances mentioned—subjugation of the barbarians and civil consensus—can be found also in other Claudianic panegyrics, that is to say, the stress on Roman-ness and traditional values was part of the due etiquette and expected of any panegyric delivered at the Urbs. The highlighting of Stilicho’s liberality, however, must be considered under another light. Stilicho’s Liberality and Western ‘Anti-Barbarism’ After the compliment on the honorand’s military prowess, civilizing leadership, and political paternity, lines 223–236 praise Stilicho for generously organizing games for the army and for his son-in-law, which will be copiously outstripped by those that are to be enjoyed by the Urbs (223–225). Predictably the protagonist is portrayed both as parcus to himself and endowed with such a generosity for the other that surpasses outstanding mythological examples (231–232): ‘thy liberality exceeds the waters of Hermus, the touch of Midas, the Thunderer’s shower’.90 In accordance with the allusions to the title of pater patriae and pater principum in previous lines, Claudian deployed a calculated fuzziness about Stilicho’s liberality. His munificence apparently belongs to a long tradition of Roman virtues, as his hand overshadowed the ancients in magnanimity and bravery (233–234): ‘Thy hands, as prodigal of gifts as of daring deeds, o’ershadow the past and will o’ershadow the future’. 91 At the same 88

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For example, the remarks on the prince’s clemency (Synes. Regn. 11; Claud. De iv Hon. 296–319), or the exhortation to fortitude (Synes. Regn. 12–14; Claud. De iv Hon. 319– 351):  Cameron, Long 1993, 137–138. For the ‘anti-Scythian tirade’ of Synesius, see Heather 1988. Semper placidis te moribus egit/ servavitque piam victis nec polluit umquam/ laurum saevitia … . Tua copia vicit/ fontem Hermi tactumque Midae pluviamque Tonantis. Obscurat veteres obscurabitque futuros/ par donis armisque manus.

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time, liberalitas had also become an imperial virtue,92 although it could be shared by consuls and magistrates.93 In this sense, previous poems by Claudian had already prized the liberality of other aristocrats: Probus, father of Probinus and Olybrius,94 and Mallius Theodorus as sponsor of scenic games.95 In this panegyric for Stilicho at the Urbs, liberalitas is represented as both an aristocratic and an imperial virtue, for a figure who is represented like a senator and even a quasi-emperor. That context served as a gentle introduction and framework to the ekphrasis of the hunting of wild beasts. Following a pattern present also in his other panegyrics,96 Claudian offered an open conclusion in the poem for the new consul at the Urbs: an extended ekphrasis of a hunt of wild beasts that had to be a highpoint of the circus suggests that these kind of games were organized in Rome by Stilicho on the occasion of his consulate. Strategically placed after the mention of Stilicho’s liberalitas, the scene of Diana and her hunting party reinforces the praise of that virtue in the magister utriusque militiae. Under a surface of virtuosity, these 132 lines anticipated the events that the new consul himself had had to organize well in advance,97 and opened the senators’ eyes to the great expenses that Stilicho had paid.98 According to Claudian, Diana urges her companions stating that their expedition is a payment for the services to Rome carried out by Stilicho: ‘from us too let Stilicho receive the favour we justly owe him’ (267–268). The description slows down using the usual hyperboles of the genre. In vignettes scattered throughout all corners of the world, the beast hunt reaches such dimensions that the Empire’s roads collapse (317–332). However, specifically regarding the argument discussed here, a minor detail reveals that these verses attempted to impress their audience with the generosity of the new consul. Indeed, the goddesses also took care of providing ivory to manufacture luxurious diptychs with the consul’s name to be distributed among the notables and the Plebs of Rome (346–349):

92 93 94 95 96 97 98

See Pan. Lat. i(1)25.3–5, 27.3, 28.4; iv(10)33.4; v(8)14.1; vi(7)22.4; x(2)9.3; Kloft 1970, 85–89. See De iv Cons. Hon. 118–119: Kloft 1970, 161–167. Olybr. et Prob. 38–54. Pan. Mallio Theodoro 270–340. Pan. Mallio Theodoro, 270–340, De cons. Stil. 2.424–476. See in this regard Symm. Ep. 4.12, 7.8. Matthews 1975, 277–278; Sguaitamatti 2012, 170–171, 191.

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Then Latonia collected … huge ivory tusks which, carved with iron into plaques and inlaid with gold to form the glistening inscription of the consul’s name, should pass in procession among lords and commons. 99 Therefore, it might be considered that on the whole this panegyric praised the liberality of the new consul more than his courage, given that the space dedicated to it, one-third of the poem, is comparatively much larger than the others, and that verses are strategically placed at the end and solemnly introduced by the last apostrophes to Rome and Diana. On this assumption, if Claudian’s propaganda-strategy sought to emphasize Stilicho’s largesse above other qualities, the question arises as to what reactions it could have caused in his audience, and, considering the opposing traits in De cons. Stil. 3 and the sources hostile to Stilicho, what influence might have occurred between both sides. As mentioned before, there is no definite proof that Stilicho’s semibarbarousness had started to become an issue before his death. The codex Theodosianus mentions only that the fall of the magister utriusque militiae was due to his enrichment and incitement of the barbarians with public funds. Likewise, the tradition that goes back to Eunapius only attacks the regent’s rapacity and ambition. Therefore, it is feasible that the presentation of an ultra-Roman and liberal quasi-emperor was provocative for some traditional aristocratic sectors of the Urbs, recently forced to provide resources for war. Most probably Claudian’s exaggerated propaganda may have awoken unsympathetic reactions. This suggestion supposes three stages: a previous state of opinion contrary to the financial demands of Stilicho to cover his foreign policy of agreements with Alaric’s Goths; a subsequent ‘communication descendante’ materialized in Claudian’s panegyric, and an over-reaction of some senators, that paved the way for Olympius’ rebellion in 408. Thus, De cons. Stil. 3 deepened the crevasse between the magister utriusque militiae and the senators, nurturing the image of the greedy Stilicho. This interpretation of De cons. Stil. 3 indirectly confirms that at least in 400 there was neither an antiGermanic party in Rome, nor any particular concerns about the rise of such a faction.

99

Tum … colligit … inmanesque simul Latonia dentes,/ qui secti ferro in tabulas auroque micantes/ inscripti rutilum caelato consule nomen/ per proceres et vulgus eant.

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Conclusion Summing up the results of this analysis of the Liber tertius de consulatu Stilichonis, it is feasible that the regent and Honorius’ father-in-law was acutely interested in showing his acceptability as a Roman before the senators of the Urbs, given the particular state of affairs in 400, rather than by any urgent need for an actual Roman pedigree. In this poem Claudian built up the portrayal of his patron relying on a traditional self-image of the Empire that characterized both Stilicho and the idea of emperorship that this conveyed. Throughout the panegyric, Stilicho presents himself endowed with ancestral virtues, understood rather as marks of continuity than as actual values esteemed by fourth-century senators; the exaggerated display of Stilicho’s military actions redefines the Roman selfimage that now includes all peoples. Moreover, at the peak of this Republican position, Stilicho had prepared Honorius to rule with full deference to ancient institutions. However, this ultra-Roman image is not the message, but the language to underscore a particular virtue, Stilicho’s liberality. Undoubtedly, this propagandistic programme is only properly understood against the background of the resources that the magister needed from the senators. Later events and accusations on other sources reveal that De cons. Stil. 3 had an unintended effect on a part of the Urbs’ elite. So far, scholarship had paid attention mainly to the Roman context that determines Stilicho’s portrayal vis-à-vis the Senate. Considering the deployment of national and foreign stereotypes in Claudian’s poetic discourse, the focus can be redirected now towards new nuances. The reader may better appreciate the whole poem and grasp some points in particular, like the literary function of the descriptive beast hunt that had been so far considered a playful excrescence. Bibliography Barnes, T.D. 1998. Ammianus Marcellinus and the Representation of Historical Reality. Ithaca. Bayless, W.N. 1976. ‘Anti-Germanism in the Age of Stilicho’, Byzantine Studies. Etudes Byzantines 3: 70–76. Beller, M. and J.T. Leerssen (eds.) 2007. Imagology: the Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters: a Critical Survey. Amsterdam. Burgersdijk, D. 2016. ‘Creating the Enemy: Ammianus Marcellinus’ Double Digression on Huns and Alans (Res Gestae 31.2)’, BICS 59: 112–133.

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Cameron, A.D.E. 1967. ‘Rutilius Namatianus, St. Augustine, and the Date of the De Reditu’, JRS 57: 31–39. Cameron, A.D.E. 1969. ‘Theodosius the Great and the Regency of Stilico’, HSCPh 73: 247–280. Cameron, A.D.E. 1970. Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius. Oxford. Cameron, A.D.E. 2011. The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford. Cameron, A. and J. Long 1993. Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius. Berkeley. Charlet, J.-L. 2009. ‘Claudien et son public’, in H. Harich-Schwarzbauer and P. Schierl (eds.), Lateinische Poesie der Spätantike: Internationale Tagung in Castelen bei Augst, 11.-13. Oktober 2007. Basel. 1–10. Christiansen, P.G. 1966. ‘Claudian versus the Opposition’, TAPhA 97: 45–54. Coombe, C. 2014. ‘A Hero in our Midst: Stilicho as a Literary Construct in the Poetry of Claudian’, in L. Van Hoof and P. Van Nuffelen (eds.), Literature and Society in the Fourth Century AD. Leiden. 157–179. Cracco Ruggini, L. 1968. ‘De morte persecutorum e polemica antibarbarica nella storiografia pagana e cristiana: a proposito della disgrazia di Stilicone’, RSLR 4: 433–447. Dewar, M. 1994. ‘Hannibal and Alaric in the Later Poems of Claudian’, Mnemosyne 47: 349–372. ——— 2003. ‘We’re All Romans Now (Except for the Foreigners): Multi-Ethnic Armies and the Ideology of Romanitas in the Poetry of Claudian’, SyllClass 14: 143–159. Döpp, S. 1980. Zeitgeschichte in Dichtungen Claudians. Wiesbaden. Felgentreu, F. 1999. Claudians praefationes: Bedingungen, Beschreibungen und Wirkungen einer poetischen Kleinform. Stuttgart. Gluschanin, E.P. 1989. ‘Die Politik Theodosius’ I. und die Hintergründe des sogenannten Antigermanismus im oströmischen Reich’, Historia 38: 224–249. Gualandri, I. 1998. ‘La poesia di Claudiano tra mito e storia’, Cultura latina pagana fra terzo e quinto secolo dopo Cristo, Atti del Convegno, Mantova 9–11 ottobre 1995. Florence. 113–143. ——— 2010. ‘Un “generalissimo” semibarbaro suocero e genero di imperatori: Stilicone in Claudiano’, ACME 63: 33–61. ——— 2012. ‘Claudiano e il suo pubblico: esempi di allusività nei carmi politici’, in M.E. Consoli (ed.), Sapientia et eloquentia. Omaggio ad Antonio Garzya offerto dall’AST sez. di Lecce. Galatina. 113–142. ——— 2013a. ‘Introduction: Linguistic and Cultural Alterity in the Roman Empire: Historiography and Panegyrics’, ΤΑΛΑΝΤΑ 45: 9–12. ——— 2013b. ‘Claudian, from Easterner to Westerner’, ΤΑΛΑΝΤΑ 45: 115–129. Heather, P.J. 1988. ‘The Anti-Scythian Tirade of Synesius’ De Regno’, Phoenix 42: 152–172.

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Keudel, U. 1970. Poetische Vorläufer und Vorbilder in Claudians De consulatu Stilichonis: Imitationskommentar. Göttingen. Kloft, H. 1970. Liberalitas Principis: Herkunft und Bedeutung. Studien zur Prinzipatsideologie. Cologne. Leerssen, J. 2007. ‘Imagology: History and Method’, in M. Beller and J.T. Leerssen (eds.), Imagology: the Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters: a Critical Survey. Amsterdam. 17–32. Lenski, N. 1997. ‘Initium mali Romano imperio: Contemporary Reactions to the Battle of Adrianople’, TAPA 127: 129–168. Liebeschuetz, J.H.W.G. 1992. Barbarians and Bishops: Army, Church, and State in the Age of Arcadius and Chrysostom. Oxford. ——— 2003. ‘Pagan Historiography and the Decline of the Empire’, in G. Marasco (ed.), Greek and Roman Historiography in Late Antiquity: Fourth to Sixth Century A.D. Leiden. 177–218. Marcone, A. 1987. ‘Stilicone Parens Publicus’, ZPE 70: 222–224. Matthews, J.F. 1975. Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court A.D. 364–425. Oxford. ——— 1970. ‘Olympiodorus of Thebes and the History of the West (A.D. 407–425)’, JRS 60: 79–97. Mazzarino, S. 1942. Stilicone: la crisi imperiale dopo Teodosio. Rome. McEvoy, M. 2013. Child Emperor Rule in the Late Roman West, AD 367–455. Oxford. Müller, G.M. 2011. Lectiones Claudianeae: Studien zu Poetik und Funktion der politischzeitgeschichtlichen Dichtungen Claudians. Heidelberg. O’Flynn, J.M. 1983. Generalissimos of the Western Roman Empire. Edmonton. Platnauer, M. (trans.) 1922. Claudian. London. Quiroga, A.J. 2013. ‘The Others: Cultural Monotheism and the Rhetorical Construction of “Cultural Alterity” in Libanius’ Panegyrics’, ΤΑΛΑΝΤΑ 45: 55–66. Salzman, M.R. 2006. ‘Symmachus and the “Barbarian” Generals’, Historia 55: 352–367. Sguaitamatti, L. 2012. Der spätantike Konsulat. Fribourg. Straub, J. 1952. ‘Parens Principum: Stilichos Reichspolitik und das Testament des Kaisers Theodosius’, La nouvelle Clio 4: 94–115. Van Nuffelen, P. 2013. ‘Olympiodorus of Thebes and Eastern Triumphalism’, in C. Kelly (ed.), Theodosius II: Rethinking the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. Cambridge. 130–152. Vergin, W. 2013. Das Imeerium Romanum und seine Gegenwelten: Die geographischrthnographischen Exkurse in den Res Gestae des Ammianus Marcellinus. Berlin. Ware, C. 2004. ‘Gildo tyrannus: Accusation and Allusion in the Speeches of Roma and Africa’, in W.-W. Ehlers, F. Felgentreu, and S. Wheeler (eds.), Aetas Claudianea. Eine Tagung an der Freien Universität Berlin vom 28. bis 30. Juni 2002. Munich. 96–103. Ware, C. 2012. Claudian and the Roman Epic Tradition. Cambridge.

Index Locorum AE

1914.249 45n31 1986.236 23n15 1991.1508 23n15 1995.1463a 23n15 1996.1358 23n15 1998.1000 23n15 1999.295 23n15 1999.1425 23n15 2000.546 23n15 2004.1253 23n15 2005.1434 23n15 2008.1270 23n15 2008.1307 23n15 2010.1625 23n15 2012.178 23n15 2012.1705 23n15 2013.775 23n15 Ambrose of Milan Ep. 30 304 306 30.11 305n36 68 304, 306 68.3 305n36 74 292, 299, 304, 305, 307 74.1 293, 296, 296n12 74.2 294, 295, 296, 303n32 74.2–4 298n17 74.2.2 302 74.3 295, 296, 302 74.4 297 74.22 305nn36 74.27 298 74.28 298n16 Ep. Ex. 1a 292n9 Ammianus Marcellinus 14.4.1 319n55 14.11.12 199n59 15.2.8 258 16.1.3 258 16.7.5 160n18 16.12 208n13 17.1.12 262n19 17.2.3 262n19 17.11.1 209 19.5.3 319n55 19.6.4 319n55

20.4.12–22 209n21 20.8.11 210 20.8.12 210n26 20.8.17 210n26 20.8.18 210n27 21.1.4 210n24 21.2.2 228n89 21.6.20–21 243n43 21.8.3 262n19 21.12.16 262n19 21.16.21 244n54 22.4.1 292n4 22.7.1 215n45 22.7.3–4 218n52 22.8.30 319n55 22.9.4 185n12, 193n42 22.12.6 226n83, 227 22.13.1–3 223 22.14.2 224n75 22.14.3 220, 226 23.5.3 266 24.7.2 262n19 25.3.15–20 225n77 25.3.23 228n87 25.4 264 25.4.9 262n21 25.4.15 262n23 25.4.17 226n83 25.4.22 220 25.5–10 243 25.5.1–3 243 25.5.4 243n45, 244 25.5.8 243n46 25.7.1–2 245 25.7.5 245, 245n56 25.7.8 245 25.7.13 245 25.7.14 246 25.8.8–12 245 25.9 246 25.9.6 246 25.10.5 247n68 25.10.14–15 247 26 258 26–30 257

332 Ammianus Marcellinus (Cont.) 26–31 202 26.1.1 286n31 26.1.5 258 27.2 260 27.7 260 28.2 259 28.2.1 259 28.5.7 197n52 29.1.15 261 29.2.22 242n36 29.3 260 29.3.9 261 29.4.1 262 29.6 259 29.6.2 259 30.5 262, 265 30.5.9 291 30.7 264 30.7.2 263, 263n28 30.7.2–3 255 30.7.4 176n106, 244n50, 244n51 30.8.8 262n24, 263 30.8.11 259 30.8.13 262n22 30.9 264 30.9.1 263 30.9.5 264 30.9.6 267 31.2 64n12, 328 31.2.2 319n55 31.2.11 319n55 31.5.16 33n47 31.8.9 319n55 31.10.18–19 285 31.13.13 33n47 31.15.5 319n55 31.16.9 12n28, 184n8 Anonymus, De rebus bellicis 1.1 174n98 6.1 65n19 21.1 174n98 Anon. Val. 4.10 142n22 Anon. post Dionem fr. 3 27n28 Anth. Pal. 14.148 228n87 Athanasius Apol. ad Const. 2.1 166n45 3.3 166n45 4.2 166n47

Index Locorum 7.2–3 166n46 10.2 177n112 15.4 167n48, 167n50 50.1 178n124 Historia Arianorum 16.2 172n86 44.6 167n54 69.1 180n125 Augustine Conf. 6.6 190n28 De civ. D. 1.14 319n55 3.6 86n17 Augustus, Res Gestae 20 131n57 Aurelius Victor, Caes. 39.13 45n30 39.30 41n11 29.4 33n46 32 31n39 41.11 139n7 41.14 160n10 41.23 160n16, 160n17 41.23–4 160n13, 161n20 41.24–5 161n21 Ausonius Ep.18 287n34, 288 Grat. act. 1.1 276, 276n13 1.1–2 270 1.2 278 1.3 274n11, 276n13 1.5 272 2.6 273, 275, 277 2.7 282n22 2.8–9 285 3.13 276n13, 280n21 3.14 276n13 4.17 276n13 4.17–18 282 4.19 283 4.20 276n13 5.24 282 6.25 274n11, 276n13 6.27 274n11 6.29 273 7.30 276n13 7.30.1 278 7.32 276n13 7.32–3 277 7.34–5 272 7.35 272, 276n13 7.38 274n11

333

Index Locorum 9.41 280 9.42 276n13, 280 9.43 283, 284 10.45 284 10.45–9 284 10.45–50 281 11.54 276n13 12.58 174n99 13.62 285 14.64–5 285, 287, 287n33 14.66 306 16.73 274n11 16.73–4 275 16.74 276n13 17.76 274n11, 275 18.79 276n13 Mos. 454–8 302n30 Bede, Arte met. 233.3

125n43

Caesar, BC 2.1 127n47 Calpurnius Siculus 4.100 125n43 Chronicle of 354 174n95 Chron. Marc. com. 299n23 Chron. Min. I 104n98 Chron. Min. III 104n98 Cicero, Div. 1.3 86n16 Dom. 2 76n75 22 299 85–86 76n75 Nat. D., II.70 171n79 Part. 73 132n58 Phil. 5.43 76n73 11.21 76n74 Pis. 3.1. 3n6 Pro Cluent. 118 299 Red. in Sen. 3 76n77 Sest. 78 76n76 Tusc., 5.17.49 70n40 CIL 5 803 45n31 5 8017 72n50 5.8037 234n1, 236 6.1130 99n76 6.1139 5, 107n114, 145, 148n45 6.1492 100n80 6.31242 99n76 6. 31248 165n40 6.33856 101n84 6.33856a 84n5, 96, 96n63

6.33856b 97 6.33857b 98, 101n82, 104, 107n111 6. 37112 170n75 6.40776 146, 147, 154 8.4647 234n1, 236 8.4764 73n55 8.9041 73n55 8.18698 73n55 Claudian Cons. Stil. 1 317, 319 1.91–385 321n71 1.384–385 323n78 1–2 318, 320n64 2 317, 319, 320 2.236–240 324n83 2.384 320n57 2.424–476 326n96 3 312, 315, 316, 317, 318n51, 319, 320, 321n67, 327, 328 3 Praef. 316, 321n67 3 Praef. 1–6 320, 320n66 3 Praef. 11–12 320, 320n66 3 Praef. 21–24 320, 320n66 3.1–14 317 3.1–15 317 3.1–50 317 3.1–222 319 3.1–236 317 3.6–7 322n72 3.6–8 319n55 3.11–13 322 3.14–50 318 3.15–29 317 3.27–29 320n60 3.30–50 317 3.48–50 320n60, 323 3.51–71 317 3.51–88 317 3.61 323n61 3.64–112 318 3.70–71 319n55 3.72–76 320n59 3.81 322n72 3.89–112 317 3.89–129 317 3.113–123 323 3.113–129 317, 318, 320n60 3.124 320n58 3.130–173 322

334 Claudian (Cont.) 3.130–176 318 3.130–176a 317 3.130–201 317 3.150–153 322 3.150–159 312 3.159 65n13 3.159–161 322n76 3.176–178 324n84 3.176b–194 317 3.188–192 323 3.194–201 317 3.195–202 318 3.202–222 317, 318, 325 3.216–218 325 3.223–225 325 3.223–236 316n46, 317, 325 3.223–369 317, 318, 319 3.231–232 325 3.233–234 325 3.237–369 317, 318 3.267–268 326 3.317–332 326 3.346–349 326 De bello Get.166–193 312n16 De bello Gild. 320n64 De VI cons. Hon. 53–72 312n19 118–119 326n93 214–352 325 296–319 325n88 319–351 325n88 Epith. 319 125n43 In Ruf. 2.101–119 312 Pan. Mallio Theodoro 320n64 84–99 312n14 133–158 312n14 270–340 326n95, 326n96 Panegyricus Olybrio et Probino dictus 311n12 38–54 326n94 Clement of Alexandria Protr. 4.58.4 171n78 Cod. Iust. 1.3.5 238 1.40.5 239 7.62.24 238n18 8.10.7 238n18 9.18.2 170n70 10.48.8 163n28 12.37.2 238

Index Locorum Cod. Theod. 1.22.3 238n18 2.1.1 173n93 2.19.2 147n40 6.22.2 163n29 7.4.9 238 8.1.8 238n18 8.5.15 238n18 8.5.16 238n18 8.12.6 164n34 8.15.1 266 9.6.3 173n93 9.7.3 167n52, 173n93 9.17.2 162, 166n44 9.24.2 164n35 9.24.21 314n31 9.24.22 314n31 9.25.2 238 9.34.5 163n28, 164n34 9.34.10 173n93 9.38.1 138n6 9.42.1 147n40 9.43.2 173n93 10.1.8 238n18 10.7.3 173 10.10.4 163n28, 163n30 10.10.6 164n34 10.19.2 238 11.12.1 165n37 11.20.1 238 11.28.1 238n18 11.30.23 178n119 11.30.30 239n22 11.30.32 238n18 11.36.15 238n18 12.1.27 163n32 12.1.56 238n18 13.3.6 238 14.3.5 238n18 14.3.6 238n18 14.4.3 238n18 14.17.6 173n93 15.1.5 163n28 15.1.10 238n18 15.3.2 238n18 16 181 16.2.2 252n92 16.2.8 167n53 16.10.2 164n34, 164n36, 165n41, 173n94

335

Index Locorum 16.10.3 166n43 16.10.4 173n93 Codex Vindobonensis Hist. Gr. 73 fol. 192v–193r 25n23, 37 73 fol. 194r–194v 24n20, 26n25 73 fol. 194r 29–30—194v 30 26n25 73 fol. 195r 1–10 26n25 Coll. leg. Mos. et Rom. 6.4 46 6.4.1 45n35 6.4.6 46n37 15.3 45, 46n40 15.3.3 46 Commodianus Carm. Apolog. 1000 76n79 Consul. Constant. 389 299n23 Constantine Or.sanct. 25.2 55 Orat. 18–21 126n45 24.1 30n35 24.2 30n37 Council of Serdica, Canon VIII 168n55 Cyprian Quod idola dii non sint 5, 86n17 Ep. 11.1.2 20n5 80–81 20n5 Laps. 1.1 20n5 7.1 20n5 Cyprianus Gallus Heptateuchos 222, 76n79 258 76n79 267 76n79 553 76n79 Demetrius, On Style 152–3 151n57 Dexippus fr. 12 26n26 fr. 13 26n26 fr. 14 26n26 fr. 15 26n26 fr. 16 26n26 fr. 17 26n26, 26n27 fr. 21a 26n26 fr. 23 26n26, 26n27 fr. 24 25n22 fr. 25 26n24 fr. 29 25n22, 26n25 fr. 31 26n24, 26n25 Dio Chrysostom On kingship 208n16 Diomedes Ars gramm. 2.430 125n43

Edictum Diocletiani I.1 41n9 Epitome de Caesaribus 29.3 33n46 32. 1 31n38 40.3 142n22 40.13 145n31 41.11 139n7 41.21 165n37 41.22–42.8 186nn15 41.24 160n13, 160n14, 160n17 45.2 263, 263n28 Ennius 32. 5–6 31n38, 93 Epictetus 4.1.12 266n36 48.1 289n2, 266n36 Eunapius Hist. fr. 29 245n60 fr. 29.1 234n3, 248n72 fr. 62 313n22 VS 476 209n21 495 184n7 Eusebius HE 6.40.1–2 20n6 6.41.9–10 20n6 7 21n7 7.1 20n6 7.10.3–4 20n6, 21n7 7.13 28n30 8.6.6 55 8.13.9 47n44 9.1.1–6 59 9.2.1 59 10.9.4 153n66 10.9.6 153 13.1 21n7 Vit. Const.1.28–32 252n90 2.63–73 252n92 3.16–20 252n92 3.44–45 252n92 4.5 319n55 4.8–13 252n92 4.11.2 29n33 4.23 252n92 4.36 166n47 Eutropius 8.5 91 8.5.3 274 9.4 33n46 10.6 221n63 10.9.2 165n37 10.9.3 160n13, 160n14 10.10.1 197n52

336 Eutropius (Cont.) 10.12.1 198 10.17 241n34, 242n35 10.18.3 184n8 Fasti Vindobonenses 299n23 Favorinus Fr. 96.22 266n36 Festus 27.2 197n52 29 242n37, 242n39 30.1 12n28 Firmicus Maternus De errore 2.5 171n81 3.2 174n97 6.1 174n97 6.9 173n90 7.7 174n97 8.4 174n97 12.1 171n80 12.2 173n89 12.7 171n78 13.1 174n100 16.3 171n79, 174n97 16.4 173n94, 174n97, 177n110 16.4–5 177n110 17.4 171n79 18.2 171n81 18.4 171n82 20.5 177n110 20.7 174n97, 175n101 24.2–8 171n81 24.9 174n97 25.4 174n97 28.6 172n84, 174n97, 175n103, 177n108 29.1 174n97 29.2 173n91 29.3 172n85, 173n88, 174n97 29.4 174n97 Mathesis 1–2 181 1.pr.1–6 168n58 1.pr.4 168n57 2.30 170n72 4.pr.1–3 168n57 Florus 2.34/4.12.66 92 Fronto Ep. 2.4.1 278 Gregory of Nazianzus De vita sua 14 266n36

Index Locorum Or. 4.64–65 251n85 4.66 251n86 4.82.1 215n44 5.15 247n70 Gregory of Tours Decem libri historiarum X.31(II) 167n51 Heraclitus fr. 123 218 Heriger Gesta pontificum Tungrensium sive Leodicensium 15 161n23 Herodian 5.6.1–3 74n63 Historia Augusta Aurel. 44.4–5 132n60 Car. 13.1 44 Claud. 1.1 132n60 2.8 132n60 3.1 132n60 9.9 132n60 10.7 132n60 13.1–4 132n60 13.8 32n43 16.1 32n43 Elag. 35.2 132n60 35.4 40n7 35.6 84n9 Gall. 7.1 132n60 Geta 1.1 145n32 Hadr. 6.4 3n6 Macr. 10.6 145n32 Quadr.Tyr. 15.10 12n28 Val. 5.4–6.8 32n43 Historia ecclesiastica Tripertita iv, 161n22 Horace Carm. 1.2.41 129n52 4.5.1–2 125 Serm. 2.5.62 129n52 ILS (Dessau) 613 46 627 73n55 636 72n50 644 73n55 646 99n76 694 5, 107n114 756 234n1, 236 757 234n1 6106 100n80 8922 19n3 8935 84n5, 96, 96n63 It. Eger. 19.9 252n94

337

Index Locorum Jerome Chron. Praef.p.7.3–6 12n28 s.a.341 175n102 s.a.342 176n104 De Vir. Ill. 80 47, 139n7 Ep. 123.16 314n32 In Is. 7.19.5 267n41 Praef. ad Didym. spir. 23.107 86n17 John Lydus Mens. 4.118 350n83 74 223n71 John of Antioch (Mariev) fr. 197 160n13 fr. 213 313n23 fr. 260 198n56 Jordanes Get. 101–3 26n25 103 32n45 Julian Romance 249, 249n76, 249n78, 250, 251, 251n87, 252, 253 Julian Caes. 313 b–c 31n41 313c 132n60 313d 212 317c 220 317cd 219 318c 217n50 319d 217n50 324d 217n50 330c–331b 217n50 333c 220 334a 220 334b 220 336ab 220 336b 212, 220 C. Gal. 191de 229n69 193cd 222n66 201e–202a 223n69 Ep. 26 218n52 82.446a 217n50 Ep. ad Ath. 270c–273b 214 271c 185n12 274d 207 275a 185n12 278a 208 279b–280d 208n13, 214, 214n41 283a–286d 211n28 284d 214n41 Ep. ad Them. 208n16 250d–251c 217n50 253ab 217

254a 217 257a 217n50 259a 217 260c 217 264ad 217n50 264c–265b 218 264d 217n50 Misopogon 216, 217, 220, 223, 225, 229, 230 338–339a 224 338d 225n79 339a 224 339c 224 340ab 224 344c 224 345c 224 345d–346a 224 346b 224 346c 224 347a–349b 224 349c 224 355d 225 357cd 224 359c 224 360d 226 362c–363c 224 362d–363b 224 363d 224 365b 224 365d 224 366d 224 368bc 224 369d 224 370c 224 371b 224 Or. 1 183, 184, 184n4, 185, 187, 189n25, 190n26, 200 1.1 189, 196 1.1–2a 190 1.1–5b 189 1.2a 191n29 1.2d 191, 194, 194n44 1.2d–3a 190 1.3a 193, 194, 194n44 1.3d 206n11, 217n49 1.4b 191.31 1.4b–c 190n28 1.4c 191

338 Julian (Cont.) 1.4c–5a 192 1.5a 192n36 1.5b 192 1.6d 212 17c–41c 192 1.9b–d 200 1.16d–17a 200 1.17c–30a 196 1. 17c–40c 196 1.21d 200 1.22d–26a 196 1.23 198n55 1.23a 191n33 1.23b 197–198 1.27a–d 196 1.27b 199, 199n57 1.30b–33d 196 1.33d–40c 196 1.34d–35a 200 1.35a 201 1.35d–38a 196 1.36a 199 1.36c 199 1.37c 199 1.38b–c 200 1.38c–39d 196 1.39b–c 199 1.40b 200 1.45b 186n17, 187, 189 1.45d–46a 217n50 2 184n4 2.49c–50c 208n12 2.51c 212 2.68bc 209n17 2.70c–d 209n17 2.80c 209n17 2.90a 209n17 2.102a 189n25 3 184 3.107bc 217n50 3.120ab 217n49 3.122c 206 3.120ab 206n11 4.130bc 222 4.130c 222 4.130d 228n89 4.131c 222 4.131d 222

Index Locorum 4.133ab 222 4.142a 222 4.146c–147c 228n90 4.148cd 228n89 4.153d 222 4.153d–154d 222 4.153d–156c 222 4.157a 222 4.157ab 222 4.157b 222 4.158b 222 5.171d–173a 228n89 5.274d 213n34 6.183a–184d 218n51 6.200d–201a 218n51 6.201d 218n51 7.216c 219, 228 7.216bc 218 7.217c 218, 218n54 7.217cd 219 7.217c–218a 228 7.227c 219 7.227c–228c 219 7.229c 219 7.230a 219 7.230b–234c 219 8.241c 193n42 To the cynic Heraclius, 216, 218, 229 To the Mother of the Gods 170b, 228, 229 Lactantius DMP 1.3 49 1.4 49 1.7 50 2.5–9 56 2.5–6.2 51 3.5 60 4.1–3 56 4.3 29n31, 33n47 5.1–6 29n32 6.3 51 7.1 51, 55, 56 7.2 51, 52, 60 7.3–4 53 7.4 52 7.4–5 54 7.5 52 7.8–9 54 7.10 54 7.12 54, 74n62, 75n65, 77n84

339

Index Locorum 7.17.1–19.6 51n58 7.29 51 8.1–9.10 55 8.2 55 8.4 54 8.6 55 8.7 56 9.1 55 9.2 55, 319n55 9.3 55 9.7 55 9.9 106n109 9.11 48, 51 10.1 55 10.1–4 48 10.4 55 10.6 56 10f., 48 11.1–2 55 11.3 55 11.5 56 11.7 55 11.8 56 12.4 55 13.1 55 14.1–7 56 14.3–7 55 15 55 15.6 55, 57, 74n60 15.7 57 15.8 75n66, 77n84 16.1 56, 57 17.1 54 17.1–3 95n58 18.5 41 18.7 56 18.8 143n27 18.9 53 18.10 53 18.12 53 18.13 53 19.4 53 19.6 53 21.7 56 21.7–22.3 55 22.4 56 24.8–9 57 24.9 59 27.2 54, 75n67

27.8 57 31.1 49, 55 31.2–6 53 32.4 56 37.3–6 53 38.1–41.3 51 38.3 56 38.4 51 39.3 56 41.1–3 58 42.1–3 58 43.4–44.9 53 50.2–51.2 58 Inst. 1 51 1.3.19 60 1.3.20–21 60 1.9.1–11 51 1.9.4 51 1.10.10–11.49 51 1.15.29 86n18 1.17.1 171n79 1.17.3 171n79 1.21.31–37 52 1.22.3–4 52 1.22.21–28 51 5.2.3–3.26 47 5.2.7 46 7.24 126n45 7.24.7–8 53 Libanius Ep. 369 187n18, 193 369.2 193n43 369.6 188n20 434 184n9 1430 184n9 Or. 1 184n7 1.74 184n7 12 208n13 12.69 227 12.80 227 12.82 227 13 187n18 14.10 158n3 15 189n24 15.26 319n55 17 183n3 18 183n3, 208n13 18.13–14 193

340 Libanius (Cont.) 18.40 177n113 18.96–102 209n21 18.168–170 215n44 18.272 225n77 19.47–8 184n7 24 184n7 59 158n3, 185, 188n23, 191n34, 192, 192n39, 193, 196, 198n54, 202, 203 59.5 158n1 59.8 188 59.10–55 192 59.13 178n117, 212n32 59.38 178n118 59.42 178n117 59.43 195n46 59.46 178n117 59.56–7 194 59.56–123 192 59.59–82 195 59.72 188n22 59.83–7 195 59.86 195 59.89–93 195 59.94 178n120 59.94–98 195 59.99 197, 198 59.99–120 195 59.115 197n53 59.122 160n15 59.123–42 192 59.127–133 178n115 59.137 195n49 59.137–141 178n116 59.144 179n123 59.145 179n123 59.146 179n123 49.148 179n123 59.149 179n123 59.150 178n120 59.150–73 192 59.162 178n119 59.171 179n122 Livy 1.6 143n26 1.7 89n32 1.12.3–6 90n36 1.58.8 75n71

Index Locorum 4.20.7 91n41 5.24.11 86n16, 89n30 6.19.5–6 76n72 10.23.12 102 29.18.4 78n89 33.3 143n26 Lucan, 5.206 173n92 Lucian Hist. conscr. 7 190n28 Lucifer of Cagliari De sanct. Athan. 1.29 158n4 Macrobius Sat. 1.7.7–68 129n50 Mela 1.43 75n68 Menander Rhetor, 371.17–372.2 141n16 382, 15–20 317n49 427, 10–16 317n49 Minucius Felix Octavius 8.4 171n79 10.4 76n79 25.2 86n17 New Testament, 2 Timothy 4.2 294 Novatian De Trinitate 10.5 171n79 Old Testament Ezechiel 3.17–9 294 Job 19.29 173 Leviticus 26.25 173 Psalms 118 46, 294 118 296n14 Olympius fr. 5.2.12–21 314n36 Optatian carm. 5, 149 7 149 8 149, 150, 150n52 9 149 9.24 149n47 10.25 149n47 10.29 149n47 14 150, 150n52 16 149 19 150n52 20 149 23 150 24 150, 150n52 Orac. Sib. 13.81–102 24n17 13.103–141 24n18 13.155–161 24n16 13.164–5 21n10 Origo Constantini Imperatoris 4.12 Orosius, 5.2.1–2 65n13

145n31

341

Index Locorum 7.21.3: t 33n46 7.22.4 31n42 7.31.1–2 248n71 7.34.2 289n2 7.38.1–2 314n36 Ovid Am. 3.1.20 125n43 Fast. 5.465 99n73 Met. 8.465–470 75n69 Pan. Lat. I(1)1.1 274 I(1)1.2 275, 281 I(1)2.2–3 279 I(1)2.3 304 I(1)2.7 275 I(1)5.1–3 119n22 I(1)10.2 119n22 I(1)13.3 274n11, 275 I(1)25.3–5 326n92 I(1)27.3 326n92 I(1)28.4 326n92 I(1)37–40 274n11, 275 I(1)58.1 274n11 I(1)63.2–3 280n21 I(1)79.1 274n11 I(1)84.6 3n6 I(1)88.6 274n11 I(1)88.9–10 276 I(1)90.3 281 I(1)91.3–4 284 I(1)94.2 274n11 II(12), 299n24 II(12)1.1 300 II(12)1.2–3 300 II(12)1.3 302n30 II(12)2.1 300 II(12)2.2–3 303 II(12)2.2–4 300 II(12)2.3 303, 303n32, 304 II(12)2.4 304 II(12)3.2 306 II(12)4.4 302, 302n30 II(12)4.5 306 II(12)6.4 306 II(12)10–11.3 290 II(12)11.6 122n30 II(12)20.5 306 II(12)23–29 300 II(12)28.4 305n36

II(12)29 305n36 II(12)29.2 305 II(12)29.3 306 II(12)30–45.6 300 II(12)32.5 305n36 II(12)33.3 122n31 II(12)38.1 305n36 II(12)38.4 305n36 II(12)40.3 305n36 II(12)46.5 299 II(12)47.3 299 II(12)47.6 13n30 III(11), 94n55, 95n60, 113 III(11)2.3 185n12, 228n89, 231 III(11)6.4 213 III(11)22.4–23.5 228n89 III(11)28–30 215n45 III(11)28.1 94n55 III(11)28.5 71n40 III(11)30.3–4 280n21 IV(10), 94n55, 113, 147, 150, 153 IV(10)1.1 147 IV(10)2.2 147, 147n41 IV(10)2.3 147 IV(10)3.1 152 IV(10)3.3 144n29 IV(10)3.4 152 IV(10)3.6 152 IV(10)4.1 152, 152n61 IV(10)4.2 152, 152n61 IV(10)4.5 151 IV(10)6.1 124n40 IV(10)6.6 85n12 IV(10)14.6 151 IV(10)14.6–7 151n59 IV(10)17.1 138n5 IV(10)19.3 148n45 IV(10)27.5 148n45 IV(10)29.5 71n40 IV(10)33.4 326n92 IV(10)36.3 148 IV(10)36.3–37.6 148 IV(10)37.4 138n5 IV(10)37.5 148 IV(10)38.6 147 V(8) 40, 94n55, 113, 113n4, 120n25, 144n29 V(8)1.1 174n99 V(8)1.3 174n99

342 Pan. Lat. (Cont.) V(8)2.2 174n99 V(8)4.2–3 213n33 V(8)14.1 326n92 V(8)14.4 144n29 VI(7) 40, 77, 82, 88n28, 114, 118, 122, 125, 144 VI(7)1.1 88n28, 174n99 VI(7)1.1–2 133 VI(7)1.2 120 VI(7)1.4–5 119, 123 VI(7)1.5 124, 131n55 VI(7)2.1 114n8 VI(7)2.1–2 120 VI(7)2.2 121, 132, 144n29, 213n33 VI(7)2.3–4.6 119 VI(7)4.2 119 VI(7)4.3 119n21 VI(7)4.5 119, 119n21 VI(7)5–6 118 VI(7)7.4 119 VI(7)8.2 119 VI(7)8.4 126 VI(7)9.1 126 VI(7)9.2 126 VI(7)12 118n19 VI(7)13 118n19 VI(7)14.1 78n91 VI(7)14.2 77 VI(7)14.2–6 79n92 VI(7)15.1 77 VI(7)15.1–3 79n92 VI(7)15.2 78n91, 79n92, 118 VI(7)15.6 79n92 VI(7)16.2 78n91, 79n92 VI(7)16.5 78n91 VI(7)16.6 125 VI(7)18.1 78n87 VI(7)20.4 77 VI(7)21.3–6/7 124, 128 VI(7)21.6 129n52 VI(7)21.4 122, 144n29 VI(7)21.5 114n8, 120 VI(7)21.7 131 VI(7)22.1 131 VI(7)22.2 131 VI(7)22.4 88n28, 131, 326n92 VI(7)22.5 132 VI(7)22.6 131

Index Locorum VI(7)23.2 133 VII(6) 40, 77, 82, 113, 115, 133, 135, 142, 154 VII(6)1.1 73n57, 77n80, 116, 174n99 VII(6)1.3 132 VII(6)3.3 117 VII(6)1.4 116n12, 117 VII(6)2.1 141n19, 142n20, 143 VII(6)2.1–5 142 VII(6)2.2 114 VII(6)2.5 95n57, 114, 117, 142n20, 143 VII(6)3.2 116n13 VII(6)3.3 117, 118, 119n21 VII(6)4–5 77n81 VII(6)4.1 118, 126 VII(6)4.2 116, 118n19 VII(6)4.4 116 VII(6)5.1 151n59 VII(6)5.3 115n10 VII(6)6.4 118 VII(6)7.1 73n57 VII(6)8.2–3 121 VII(6)8.7 88n29 VII(6)10–13 121 VII(6)10.1 77n82 VII(6)10.5 121 VII(6)11.2 116, 122 VII(6)11.5 116 VII(6)11.7 77n81 VII(6)12.4 116 VII(6)12.7 77n82 VII(6)13.1 73n57, 174n99 VII(6)13.4 116, 122 VII(6)14.4 153 VII(6)14.7 117, 119n23 VIII(4) 40, 94n55, 177n109 VIII(4)1.4 64n8 VIII(4)3.2 117n16 VIII(4).3.3 40 VIII(4)4.1 45n33 VIII(4)4.2 44 VIII(4)10.1–3 35n54 VIII(4)13.2 64n8 VIII(4)20 60 VIII(5)20.1 141, 145 IX(5) 40, 188, 118n21 IX(5)4.1 146 X(5)6.3 71n40

343

Index Locorum IX(5)8.1 141 IX(5)18.5 53 X(2) 9, 40, 63n2, 64, 88, 94n55, 113 X(2)1 73n57 X(2)1.1 88, 88n27, n28, 92, 92n44, 174n99 X(2)1.2 73n57, 89 X(2)1.2–3 105n106 X(2)1.3 45n33, 89, 106 X(2)1.4 48, 88n28, 93 X(2)1.5 44, 88n28, 92, 94, 174n99 X(2)2.1 73n57, 86n16, 88n28, 89, 89n33, 96, 105n106 X(2)2.4 94n55 X(2)3.1–4 42 X(2)3.2 73n57, 88, 94 X(2)4 80 X(2)4.2 71 X(2)4.2–3 65 X(2)4.4 71 X(2)5 40 X(2)5.1 64n8, 68 X(2)5–7 127n46 X(2)7 40 X(2)7.3 68n68n27 X(2)7.6 68n24, 70n38 X(2)8.6 73n57, 174n99 X(2)9 40 X(2)9.1 117n16 X(2)9.1–3 117n16 X(2)9.3 42, 43, 117, 326n92 X(2)11.1 117n16 X(2)11.3–4 117n16 X(2)11.4 68n24, 71 X(2)13 45n33 X(2)13.1 89, 91 X(2)13.1–3 90 X(2)13.2 92, 93, 100 X(2)13.3 93 X(2)13.4 88n28, 96 X(2)13.5 89, 174n99 X(2)14.1 96, 141, 141n19 X(2)14.1–2 95, 119n23 X(2)14.2 73n57, 95 X(2)14.3 88, 88n28, 93, 94, 95 X(2)14.4 95 X(2)14.5 73n57 X(2)17.4 68n27 X(10)6.6 87n21

XI(3)

40, 63n2, 64, 94n55, 113, 113n4, 174 XI(3)1.1 174n99 XI(3)1.2 174n99 XI(3)2.3 174n99 XI(3)2.4 44 XI(3)3 45n33 XI(3)3.2–4 44 XI(3)3.8 174n99 XI(3)3.9 43, 70n37 XI(3)4.1 44 XI(3)5.1 174n99 XI(3)5.3 40, 72 XI(3)5.4 71n39 XI(3)5.4–61 73 XI(3)6.1 72n48, 174n99 XI(3)6.1–2 46 XI(3)6.3 42, 43, 72n48, 91n38, 117n16 XI(3)6.7 44, 72n48 XI(3)7.4 117n16 XI(3)7.5–7 43 XI(3)7.7 174n99 XI(3)8.1 72n48 XI(3)8.4 72n48, 174n99 XI(3)10.5 44n26, 124n37 XI(3)11 44 XI(3)11.1 72n48 XI(3)11.4 117n16 XI(3)13.1 73, 174n99 XI(3)13.5 60, 73n57 XI(3)14.1 64n8 XI(3)14.2–3 71n42 XI(3)15.3 40, 174n99 XI(3)16.1 64n8, 68 XI(3)16.2 69 XI(3)16.3 70, 71n40 XI(3)16.5 68 XI(3)19.1 44, 174n99 XI(3)19.2–4 44 XII(9) 40, 113, 137, 145, 146 XII(9)1.1 174n99 XII(9)1.2 300, 302n30 XII(9)3.4 145n31 XII(9)4.3 145 XII(9)4.4 145n31 XII(9)7.5 75n64 XII(9)9.6 105n105 XII(9)10.1 122n31 XII(9)14.4 105n105

344 Pan. Lat. (Cont.) XII(9)18.1 90n34 XII(9)18.1–2 85 XII(9)22 138n5 XII(9)23.1 64n8 XII(9)24.4–25.1 151n59 XII(9)25.1 151n59 XII(9)26 145n33, 146n34 XII(9)26.5 113 Palladius 1.5.6 75n68 Petrus Patricius fr. 13 28n29 Philostorgius 3.22–26a 160n13 11.3 314n29 12.1–2 314n30, 314n36 Photius 484a, 234n3, 248n72 Pindar N. 4.79–81 124n40 O. 6.1–4 124n40 P. 6.5–10 124n40 Plato Apol. 17c, 191n29 Laws 709b, 217 713c 217 Rep. 8.577b 289 Tht. 176b, 218n51 Pliny the Elder NH 7.169 75n68 11.65 75n68 15.77 92n42 Pliny the Younger Ep. 2.4.1 278 10.1.2 278 10.4.1 278 10.96.9 171n80 Pan. [see Pan. Lat. 1(1)] P.Lips.2.152 21n11 P.Meyer 14 22n12 10 22n12 15 22n12 16 22n12 17 22n12 P. Oxy. 1464 21n11 4503–4507 170n73 P. Rylands 2.112a 22n12 2.112b 22n12 2.112c 22n12 Plutarch Vit. Num. 222n66 Polemo Phgn. p. 246 267n43 Prudentius, c. Symm 1.215 110 1.215–244 105n102

Index Locorum 1.237 110 2.816–817 319n55 2.816–819 69n33 Quintilian 3.7.26 9.2.27 298

89n30

Rhet. Her. 4.36[48] 298 Rufinus 11.1 248n71, 248n72, 251n87 Rutilius Namatianus De red. 1.63–66 65n13 2.41–42 314n34 Sallust Cat. 51.25 86n18 52.36 78n88 SB 1.4440 22n12 1.4448 22n12 1.1449 22n12 Seneca Apocol. 4.1 130 Ben. 2.14.4 75n69 Clem. 1.3.3 75n69 4.3 72n47 De Ira 1.20.3 260 Servius Buc. 4.11 126n45 4.13 126n45 Aen. 6.779 86n17 Sidonius Pan. Maior pr. 8, 131 Silius Italicus Pun. 17.625–654 321n68 Socrates Hist. eccl. 2.13.4 161n22 2.23.1–7 161n22 3.13.1–4 234n3, 248n72 3.17 3–6, 225 3.22.2 234n3, 248n72, 251n87 3.22.6–7 248n71 3.24.4 239n23 3.24.4–6 252n92 5.14.3 299n23, 302n28 5.14.6 201n64 33.22 248n74 33.24–46 248n74 Sozomen Hist. Eccl. 3.25.10–17 248n73 5.19 2–3, 225 6.3–5 248n74 6.3.1 248n72, 251n87 6.3.2 248n71 6.3.3 239n26 6.3.3–4 252n92 6.3.4 239n4

345

Index Locorum 8.14 314n28 9.4 314n28 Statius Silv. 4.3.128 125n43 5 287 5.1.38 286n30 5.2 287 5.2.111–124 287n33 Suda I 401 234n3, 248n72 Suetonius Calig. 24.1 74n63 Div. Aug. 7.2 91n41 105n104 7.2 3n6 58.2 3n6 Dom. 22.1 74n63 Ner. 28–20 74n63 Vit. 13.2 74n63 Symmachus Ep. 1.20 274 1.20.1 275 2.13 201n64 2.31 201n64, 302 4.1–14 315n42 4.12 326n97 7.8. 326n97 Or. 3 286, 288 Synesius Regn. 11 325n88 12–14 325n88 Tacitus Agr. 2.2f 56 Ann. 1.29.1 152n61 15.41 90n36 16.13.1 78n89 Germ. 46 69n32 Hist. 1.22 170n71 Terence Eun. 943 78n89 Tertullian Ad nat. 2.7.7 86n17 De patientia 3 173n93 Themistius Or. 1 187 191n30, 194n45 1.1a 191 1.2a–b 192 1.2b 212n32 2 188 5.63c–64b 240n28 5.65b 244n53 5.66a–b 240n30 5.66a–c 240 5.67c–70c 241

5.68a 241 5.70a 241 5.70d 241 6 235, 258 14 290 14.182b–183a 290 15.188c 290 15.190a–b 290, 301 15.190b–c 291 Theocritus 17.1–8 286 Theodoret Hist. eccl. 2.8.54 161n22 4.1–4 248n74 4.1.4–6 248n72, 251n87 4.2.1–3 248n71 4.4.1–2 239n25 5.5–6 289n2 13.5–8 291 13.8 292 Theophanes a.m. 5855 234n3, 248n72 Tibullus 2.5.23–24 92 Valerius Maximus 2.2.2 266 Vegetius Vet. III.191 75n68 III.192 75n68 Vergil Aen. 1 123n34 1.1 130n53 1.286–8 123n35 1.291–6 126 3.183 130n53 3.559 130n53 6 123n34 6.345 130n53 6.755 125 6.760 125n42 6.760–805 124 6.771 125n42 6.779 125n42 6.788 125n42 6.791 125 6.791–3 125 6.847–9 124 7.561–563 75n69 8.184–305 89 8.270 89n32 8.339–341 89n33 8.362–363 89n32 8.362–365 89 8.680–1 129n52

346 Vergil (Cont.) Ecl. 1.40–2 130 1.42 129n52 2.38 130 3.60 71n42 4 123n34 4.5–9 126 4.7 126 4.10 126, 129 4.15 126 4.17 127 4.49 126 4.87 129 6.2 127 8.2 127 11.1 127 9.4 127 9.5 126 G. 1.500 129n52 2.155 302n30 2.458–3.48 135 3 122 3.13–48 124 3.16 124 3.34–6 124

Index Locorum Zonaras 12.21 33n48 12.23 26n26 13.1.8 198 13.2.48 139n7 13.5 165n37 13.5–6 160n13 13.5–9 161n19 13.6 160n11, 160n12, 160n14, 167n48 13.14.2–4 251n87 Zosimus 1.23 33n49 1.36.2 31n40 2.29 221n63 2.29.2 139n7 2.41.1 163n32 2.42–43 186n15 2.46.3 176n107 3.8.3–9.2 209n21 3.30–32 245n59 3.33 246n61 3.34 246n62 5.1 313n22 5.12 313n22 5.26 313 5.32.1–2 314n36 5.34 313n24

Index Nominum Geographical names Abrittus 18, 23, 26, 27, 29, 32 Adrianople 280 Alamanni 68, 149, 176, 208, 260 Alexandria 20, 166, 171, 183, 216, 248, 272 Alps 4, 299, 314 Ancyra 240, 247 Antioch or Antiocheans 20, 21, 25, 158, 160, 184, 186, 189, 193, 198, 214, 216–7, 223, 227, 230, 238, 246–8, 250, 260, 266, 272, 291, 313 Aphrodisias 22 Aquileia 54, 165, 167, 196, 199, 216 Athens or Athenian 26, 185, 187, 214, 289, 291, 298, 312 Augusta Treverorum (see Trier) Autun 113, 120, 122, 129–34, 188 Bagaudae 65, 68, 72 Balkans 280 Belgrade 234 Britain 118, 126, 130, 132, 141, 17–3, 176– 8, 195, 299, 300 Bulgaria 18 Burgundians 68 Callinicum 292, 297, 299, 304 Cappadocia 25, 185 Caria 22 Carnuntum 5, 45, 140, 265 Carthage 20, 171, 272 Cologne 118, 186 Constantinople 59, 83, 108, 179, 184–5, 195, 210, 213, 216, 218, 237–8, 243–4, 250, 253, 272, 290, 314–6 Crete 51 Danube 27, 33, 138, 158, 213, 270, 280, 322 Daphne 223 East Roman Empire 4, 21, 24, 29, 31, 48, 49, 50, 57, 116, 140, 142, 143, 146, 148, 150, 160, 163, 166, 172, 178,

185–6, 189, 192, 195–7, 199–201, 213–5, 240, 242, 245, 246, 250, 280, 289, 299, 306, 310, 313, 316, 317, 322 Edessa 18, 25–7, 238, 247, 249, 252 Egypt 4, 21, 62, 150, 266 Emilia 296 Epirus 265, 291 Frankish 30, 172, 200 Franks 118, 138, 149, 161, 175–6, 178 Gaul or Gallic 56–57, 64–73 passim, 77, 87–9, 94–5, 115–8 passim, 120–2, 127, 129, 132–4, 146, 186–9 passim, 193, 200, 204–9 passim, 299–307 passim Germania 89, 94, 322 Goths 18–9, 24–6, 30, 35, 120–1, 195, 280, 287, 311, 313, 322, 327 Helicon Mount 311 Huns 64, 161 Illyricum 186 Italy 4, 148, 154, 159, 163, 177, 200–1, 292, 299, 305, 321 Libya 163, 319 Liège 161 Liguria 296 Lyon 186, 213, 216 Macellum 185 Massilia 127, 132 Mesopotamia 186, 195, 199, 242, 249 Milan 47, 54, 185, 187, 209, 241, 270, 292, 299, 302, 305, 316, 318, 319, 320 Mursa 176, 186, 196, 198–200 Nicomedia 29, 46–8, 54, 59, 158, 184–5, 188–9, 193, 195, 216 Nisibis 172, 186, 196, 199, 242, 245–7, 250–1 North Africa 163

348 Ocean 172, 178, 259, 300 Olympus Mount 312 Ostia 87, 104 Pannonian 198, 257, 260, 264, 266267 Paris 214, 289 Persia or Persian(s) 8, 18, 24–35 passim, 46, 48, 52, 55, 172, 186, 195–9 passim, 215, 217, 223, 227, 234–8 passim, 240–51 passim, 253, 266 Philippopolis 18, 24, 25, 27 Ravenna 54 Roman Empire 1–7 passim, 15, 17, 40, 42, 46, 60, 69–70, 141, 144, 147, 209, 222, 229, 240, 242, 245–6, 253, 257, 310–1 Rhine 64, 69, 118, 127, 138, 158, 176, 179, 259, 285, 322 Rome 1, 3, 4, 5, 18–9, 30, 32, 34–5, 46, 49, 51, 54, 56, 58–60, 62, 69–70, 75, 77, 83–108 passim, 113–6 passim, 120–5 passim, 130, 132, 141–2, 145–8, 154, 165–7, 173–5, 196, 200, 206, 210, 213, 216, 222–3, 237, 241–2, 245–50 passim, 257–60 passim, 272, 290, 299–301, 305, 311–2, 314, 317–8, 320–7 passim Samosata 27 Sardinia 4 Seleucus Mons 186, 199 Serdica 54, 138, 147–9, 158, 168 Sicca Veneria 47 Sicily 4, 78, 168 Singara 172, 195–9, 245 Singidunum 234 Sirmium 54, 149, 185, 211, 216, 280, 289 Smyrna 21 Tarsus 247 Thermopylae 25 Thessalonica 54, 211, 216, 290 Tiber 31, 85–6, 108, 146 Tongres 161 Trier 47, 49, 54, 64–5, 83–8 passim, 94, 96, 101, 118, 123, 131, 142–150 passim, 154, 163, 167, 216, 270, 272 Troy 124

Index nominum Vandal

310, 314

West Roman Empire 4, 49–50, 57, 83, 95, 141–3, 146, 162, 166–7, 172, 177, 179, 183–9 passim, 192–201 passim, 215, 240, 245, 260, 285, 299–300, 310–316 passim, 322 Personal names Aeneas 85–6, 89, 90, 106, 125, 213, 222–3 Agrippa 116, 122 Agrippina 266 Alexander Magnus 151, 209, 217, 219 Alexander Severus 34 Anchises 124, 213 Antoninus Pius 278 Aphpharban 28 Aphrodite 222 Apollo 114–5, 121–33 passim, 144 Ares 222 Arimhar 250 Arintheus 243–4 Arnobius 47, 62, 169, 171 Athanasius 9, 158, 161, 166–7, 172, 177, 179, 183, 248 Athena 219 Augustus (emperor) 1, 3, 84, 89, 91–3, 99, 105–6, 112, 114, 115, 121–7, 129–34 passim, 148, 170, 213, 274, 276, 320. Aurelius Hermas 21 Aurelius Serenas 21 Catullinus 163, 176 Celsinus 163 Cacus 89 Caesar, see: Julius Caesar Caligula 74 Charito 234 Christ 57, 60, 126, 150, 154, 224, 249, 251, 305 Cicero 3, 72, 75–6, 171, 298 Claudian 7, 64, 123, 151, 212, 310–28 passim Claudius 19, 32, 59, 114, 120–2, 125–6, 132–3, 144, 205, 212–3, 221, 281 Clodius 76, 236, 270 Constans 5, 8, 14, 158–180 passim, 183–4, 186, 188–9, 192, 195, 206

349

Index nominum Constantine i 3, 5, 6, 10, 13–4, 19, 24, 29, 30–35 passim, 40, 43, 47–50 passim, 53–64 passim, 75–9 passim, 83–7 passim, 94, 107–8, 113–36 passim, 137–158 passim, 161–7, 173, 176–8, 183, 195, 199–200, 206, 209, 212–14 passim, 219–22, 225, 228, 230, 239, 241, 248–9, 251–3, 266, 300 Constantine ii 147–50, 154, 157, 159, 163, 167, 173, 176–8, 195, 200, 206 Constantius i (Chlorus) 35, 42, 49, 52–9 passim, 105, 108, 114, 137–45 passim, 149–1, 151–5 passim, 177, 187, 192, 206, 211, 212, 251. Constantius ii 5, 6, 13, 38, 108, 146, 150, 152, 154, 158, 159, 161, 163, 166, 167, 168, 172, 173, 176–9, 183, 184, 185, 198, 206–9, 211–2, 234, 239, 241, 243–5, 247, 249, 251, 253, 261, 277 Collatinus 75 Crispus 48, 137–54 passim, 221 Cyprian 20, 21, 28, 76, 86, 171 Decius 7, 14, 18–36 passim, 47, 51, 56, 62 Dexippus 18, 23–36 passim Diocletian 14, 20, 34, 40–63 passim, 71–4 passim, 87, 91–5 passim, 99–100, 116–7, 140–4 passim, 170, 211 Dionysius 18, 20–1, 24, 28–9 Domitian 74, 278–9, 282, 304 Gratian 108, 270–87 passim, 306 Gregory of Nazianzus 247 Hannibal 318–9, 321 Helena 138–9 Helios 205, 216, 219, 222–3, 228–30 Herculean 73, 77, 103 Hercules 45, 51–3, 57, 59, 65–6, 68–9, 73, 76, 89–90, 92, 99, 103, 106, 114, 121, 124, 128–9 Herculius 44, 45, 55, 60, 74, 120 Herennius Etruscus 23, 26 Heriger 161 Hermogenianus Olybrius 270 Honorius 108, 151, 159, 299, 310–1, 313–4, 316–8, 323–4, 328 Hosius 167–8 Hostilianus 24

Iovianus 234, 242–3 Iphicles 265–6, 291 Jovian 5, 8, 12, 14, 60, 234–53 passim Julian 2, 5, 9, 12, 14, 17, 31, 34, 36, 94, 108, 113, 132, 176, 177, 183–201, 204–34 passim, 235, 238–259 passim, 262, 264, 277, 281 Julius Caesar 3, 6, 86, 124 Jupiter 44, 45, 51, 53, 57, 66, 68–9, 90, 92, 119, 123–4, 286 Licinius 47–8, 50, 57–8, 113, 140, 146–150 passim, 209, 214 Lollianus 168, 170, 174 Lucillianus 234 Lucius Verus 4, 42 Lucretia 75 Macedonius 291–2 Macrianus 21, 27–8 Madalianus Lucius Crepereius, 165 Magnentius 6, 158, 161, 166, 176, 180, 185–6, 196–201 passim, 206 Majorian 163 Marcus Aurelius 4, 32, 42, 217, 219, 224, 275, 278 Marcus Manlius 75 Marcus Menenius 76 Maria 252, 310, 324 Mariades 24 Marius Maximus 6 Mark Antony 76 Mars 84, 97–100, 103–4, 107 Maxentius 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 53–4, 83–8, 95–108 passim, 116, 119, 141–8 passim Maximian 4, 9, 14, 30, 40–5 passim, 55, 58–9, 63–82 passim, 83, 87–100 passim, 105–107, 113–22, 127–8, 132–3, 139, 141–145, 211–2 Maximinus 53, 58, 143, 260–3 Maximus 6, 51, 132, 209, 218, 227, 266, 299, 300–7 Minervina 138, 139 Minos 51 Mithras or Mithraism, 218, 219, 222

350

Index nominum

Nero

19, 51, 56–7, 74, 93, 125, 129–130, 151, 278 Nestor 128, 130 Nevitta 243–4 Numa 98, 222–3 Octavian 76, 124, 130–2 Odaenathus 21, 26

Valentinian 14, 108, 173, 235, 238, 239, 244, 253, 257–67 passim, 280, 291 Valerian 7, 8, 14, 18–21, 24–35, 47 Varronianus 234, 240, 247 Vetranio 6, 179, 186, 196, 206 Victor, supporter of Constantius 243–4 Vitellius 74

Paulus Catena 261 Petronius 262–5 passim Petronius Probus 262, 265 Philip 20, 24, 29, 151 Philostratus of Athens 27 Pionius 21 Pompey 127 Porphyrius 47, 138, 149, 153–4 Ptolemaios the Athenian 25

Zeus

Quintus Publilius Quirinus 222

bishop 9, 18, 20, 21, 29, 166–8, 172, 179, 183, 248–9, 292, 294–8, 304, 307

76

Remus 86, 89–93 passim, 99–100, 102, 106 Romulus 14, 85–107 passim, 125, 213, 222–3 Sapor 18, 25–31 passim, 35 Scipio 318–21 Septimius Severus 4 Servius 89, 124, 126 Severus (co-emperor) 4, 53, 98, 142–3 Sextus Tarquinius 75 Shapur ii 197, 235–8 passim, 244 Socrates (Greek philosopher) 191, 217, 225, 289 Sol Invictus 121, 128–9, 133, 222 Sossianus Hierocles 47 Stilicho 7, 11, 14, 310–28 passim Tarquinius Superbus 75 Theodoret 161, 251, 289, 291, 298 Theodosius 5, 6, 34, 113, 184, 230, 244, 253, 264, 280, 287, 289–311 passim, 314, 321–4 passim Trajan 3, 4, 19, 91, 100, 113, 119, 171, 274–84 passim, 303–4 Valens

30, 36, 235, 238–42 passim, 253, 260, 264, 280, 285, 291, 301

219, 221–4 passim, 286

Varia apologetic 50, 302, 307 army 24–30 passim, 33, 43, 48, 51–3, 56, 59, 118–9, 121, 127, 158, 197–9, 208, 213, 240–8, 250–1, 253, 275, 310–1, 322, 325

Christian(s) 7–9, 20, 27–40 passim, 46–63 passim, 74–5, 76, 79, 148, 150, 154, 166–76 passim, 183, 221–3, 226, 227, 228, 230, 235–53 passim, 259, 264, 292, 298, 304–7 Christianity 2, 7, 14, 19, 47–8, 59–62 passim, 124, 167–8, 171–2, 223, 239, 248–50, 271, 306 Church 50, 60, 167, 235, 239–40, 248, 252, 257 commander 186, 213, 229, 259 concordia 42, 46, 71–2, 76, 92, 116–7, 210 cosmological 44, 51 deus praesens

122, 124, 126, 130–4 passim

ecclesiastical 2, 13–4, 32, 158, 161, 167, 183, 225–6, 239, 247–8, 251, 253, 259 economic 40, 47, 53, 65 education 15, 95, 141, 151–2, 187, 192–3, 282 episcopal 294–6 Eternal City 83–4, 92–100 passim, 104, 108 Flavian family Golden Age

165 40, 53, 123–30 passim

351

Index nominum Hellenistic 147, 209 Homoians 14 intellectuals 46, 59, 60, 69, 71, 174, 219, 229 justice

5, 49, 50, 65, 167, 190, 193, 197, 214, 249, 262, 291, 295, 297

Late Antiquity 2, 11, 91, 129, 160, 175, 184, 191, 234 liberty 180, 251, 323 Manicheans 45–48 passim military 3, 4, 40–1, 43, 52–3, 55, 78, 89, 94, 129, 138, 160, 176, 188, 192–201 passim, 206–8, 212–9 passim, 228–9, 234, 237, 244–5, 251, 253, 259, 264, 266–7, 280, 285–90 passim, 297, 305, 310, 315–7, 320–8 passim monarchical 102, 323 negotiation 1, 40, 134, 147 Nicene 9, 14, 161, 183, 241, 248, 253 paganism 47, 166, 168, 169, 173, 175, 223, 227, 229, 251 paideia 64, 151, 188, 247, 264, 282 panegyric 2–3, 8, 9, 12–7 passim, 30, 35, 62–5, 75–9 passim, 84–96 passim, 101, 106–7, 114–31 passim, 137, 141–58 passim, 174–8 passim, 184–200 passim, 212, 240, 253, 258, 270–7 passim, 285, 299, 300–7 passim, 312–28 passim panegyrical 5, 40, 138, 146, 149, 153, 185, 188, 190, 195, 201, 258 panegyrics 44, 63–79 passim, 114, 124, 132, 142, 174–5, 183–9 passim, 193–6 passim, 200–1, 274, 307, 311–2, 316, 320, 326 panegyrist(s) 7, 11, 13, 40, 42–3, 51, 53, 63, 65, 70, 74, 77–9, 85–96, 99, 105–6, 108, 114, 116, 131, 133, 144, 174, 185, 187, 189, 191–3, 196, 271, 277, 283, 285, 287, 290. papyri 18, 21, 22, 266 philosopher(s) 6, 44, 191–2, 194, 204–5, 216–25 passim, 229, 248, 264–5, 291–2, 312

philosophy 47, 171, 191, 206–7, 217–8, 222, 229, 240, 289, 291 poems 149, 150, 153–4, 311–9 passim, 321, 326 polytheism 14, 51 praise 7, 12, 73, 88, 94, 116, 120, 123, 124, 129, 131, 133, 137, 141, 145, 148, 151, 153, 158, 161, 175–6, 187–92 passim, 209, 240, 262, 270–87 passim, 301–2, –26 passim prefect 21, 165–6, 174, 178, 243, 260, 262, 265 priests 204, 226–9 passim, 306 religious 8, 11, 13, 18, 19, 22, 23, 28, 35, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 51, 52, 73, 74, 150, 167–71 passim, 208, 217, 220–7 passim, 234, 240, 241, 248–59 passim, 264, 272, 293, 298, 304–7 passim rhetoric 50, 58, 63–79 passim, 83–95 passim, 114, 126, 137–8, 146, 161, 165, 173– 9 passim, 184, 191, 209, 235, 291, 307, 311, 318 secular 2, 28, 34, 94, 183, 235, 239–41 passim, 247–53 passim, 298 soldier(s) 26, 53, 70, 160–1, 180, 205, 207, 211–5, 227, 234–51 passim, 246, 263, 266 Syriac 14, 235, 249 tradition 9, 11, 19, 26–35 passim, 41, 45, 74, 83, 93, 99–108 passim, 125, 141, 146–8, 160–2, 183–5, 189, 198, 201, 208, 211–3, 270, 274, 286, 313, 325–7 Imperial Augusta (as a title) 4, 139 Augusti 4, 5, 42, 79, 92, 137, 142–4, 146, 238, 276–7, 311, 319, 324 Augustus (as a title) 4, 5, 40–2, 45, 56, 97–8, 113–6, 122, 127, 137, 139, 140–6 passim, 158, 186–8, 200, 204–6, 209–211, 214, 217, 229, 243, 272, 276–7, 280, 283, 300, 310, 317.

352

Index nominum

Caesar (as a title) 3–6, 23, 40, 66–7, 71, 86, 115, 124–9, 137–9, 142–50 passim, 154, 160, 177, 184–9, 204–8 passim, 228 Caesares 31, 34, 42, 45, 137, 144, 148, 219 capital 54, 59–60, 83, 87, 93–4, 108, 118, 200, 291 Comitium 96, 101–7 passim conqueror 213, 236, 321–2 consulship 104–5, 138, 148, 150, 235, 239–40, 247, 270, 277–82 passim, 321 court, imperial 1, 9, 11, 14, 29, 30, 34, 44, 47–52 passim, 56, 94, 116, 118, 132–3, 147, 149–50, 174, 188–9, 207, 209, 265, 290, 300, 312, 315 damnatio memoriae 58, 107, 137, 146, 154, 200 Dyarchy 87, 91–3, 106 dynastic 5, 41–2, 57, 59, 60, 96, 98, 100, 117, 119, 127, 139, 143, 164, 176, 186, 206, 210, 314, 324 emperorship

1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 15, 140

government 6, 20, 40, 41, 54, 56, 60, 71, 127, 141, 159, 162, 227, 229, 249, 304 imperium 41, 90, 92, 105, 114, 115, 119, 126, 142, 143, 175, 244, imperial college 114, 119, 123, 137, 151 imperial court: see ‘court’ imperial house 142, 153, 187 legitimacy 1, 7, 8, 42, 63, 73, 96, 119, 120, 144, 175, 186, 201, 206, 289, 311, 324 predecessor 6, 14, 21, 192, 220, 236, 247, 253, 291 Senate 103–4, 213, 299–300, 312–28 passim succession 7, 40–1, 59, 98, 119, 139, 140– 5, 165, 167, 293 successor 4, 5, 14, 90, 98, 108, 113, 119, 137–53 passim, 183, 214, 234, 241–53 passim, 282 Tetrarchic 41, 62, 79, 84, 88, 90–9 passim, 103–7 passim, 114, 117, 119–20, 124, 132, 134, 143–4, 229

Tetrarch(s) 40–6 passim, 50–7 passim, 60, 65, 87, 95, 103, 113, 117–9, 124, 206, 211 Tetrarchy 1, 4, 40–53 passim, 72, 88, 99– 100, 104, 113–5, 119–24 passim, 127, 130–2, 137, 140 triumph 91, 160, 201, 208, 236, 299, 318 tyrannical 108, 159, 199, 300, 304 tyranny or tyrants 4, 40, 51, 56, 279, 301–4 usurpers

4, 6, 7, 42, 44, 58, 84, 206, 234

Imagology, Depiction and Representation audience 2, 10, 11, 64, 76, 87, 88–9, 95–6, 115–6, 118, 120–3 passim, 127, 129, 133, 161, 176, 184, 188–9, 192, 195–7, 200, 209, 229, 287, 300, 305, 307, 311, 315–9 passim, 320, 326–7 authority 3, 4, 14, 41, 58–9, 121, 123, 164, 180, 190–1, 199, 217, 220, 227, 240, 266, 289, 291, 296, 298, 303–7 passim auto-image 12, 15, 84, 204, 235, 236, 239 barbarian(s) 21, 24–34 passim, 53, 64–72 passim, 113, 116, 121, 127, 160–1, 176, 179–80, 197, 208, 213, 259, 267, 280, 310–27 passim barbarism 11, 58, 64, 315 ceremony 22, 48, 83, 94, 105, 251 Code(s) 162, 165–6, 173, 238–9, 266 coin types 9, 73 coinage 1, 8, 9, 40, 43, 63–70 passim, 70, 73, 87, 92, 95, 98–102 passim, 106–8, 121, 128, 144–5, 149–, 50, 154, 199, 204–7, 211–5, 225, 228–9, 235–41 passim, 2477 communication 9, 40, 52, 64–5, 84, 115, 121, 132–4, 149, 239, 311, 327 communicative 9, 64, 68, 71, 146, 238, 318 counter-image 40 depiction(s) 7, 11, 12, 68, 149, 183–4, 192, 201, 204, 206, 213, 220, 225, 253, 319 depictions 2, 6, 7, 13–8 passim, 40, 149, 183, 201

353

Index nominum description 2, 6, 10, 41, 56, 65, 68–9, 74, 76–7, 138, 152, 193, 195–6, 208, 243, 258–9, 262, 267, 307, 318, 326 discourse 10–1, 14, 29, 60, 153, 195, 198, 218, 270–9 passim, 285, 289, 291, 305, 307, 312, 315, 328 epigraphic

73, 138

genre 12 hetero-image 12, 84, 235, 240 hierarchy 45, 147–8, 150 historiography 2, 8, 12–4, 19, 34, 184–5, 191, 235, 241, 250, 252 iconic 63 identity 10, 56, 63, 70, 73, 85, 114, 117, 189, 217, 229–30 ideology (imperial) 18, 50, 69, 90, 105, 122, 133, 140, 303 ideological 10, 42, 45, 58, 59, 63, 68, 70, 79, 83, 84, 105, 133, 176, 224, 305 image 1–18 passim, 25, 28, 40–8 passim, 52, 58, 63–4, 70–9 passim, 84–5, 105, 108, 113–8 passim, 120–137 passim, 151, 154, 158, 160, 167, 176–9, 183–5, 192, 200–1, 204–5, 208–17 passim, 220, 223–, 9 passim, 235–42 passim, 247–50, 253, 257, 259, 267, 282, 289, 300, 304, 307, 310–9 passim, 322, 327–8 image (imperial) 2, 11, 12, 129, 132–3, 137–8, 204 imagery 5, 14, 40, 63, 70, 74, 77–9, 84, 106, 114, 117, 122, 126, 177, 206, 239 Imagology 10–1, 17, 84 inscription(s) 5, 40, 46, 65, 72, 73, 85, 96–102, 106–7, 128, 132, 146–9, 152, 154, 158, 170, 204, 235, 236, 247, 327

laws

9, 46, 51, 158, 162–8 passim, 173, 176, 179, 238–9legislation 1, 8, 9, 163–4, 167–8, 173–6, 234–9 passim, 241, 270 literary 2, 10, 11, 40, 70, 84–5, 101, 104, 106, 108, 127, 154, 175, 185, 189, 190, 193, 205, 235, 239, 280, 307, 311, 318, 320, 328 material culture 40 message 2, 9, 22, 50, 98, 100, 152, 185, 210, 237, 265, 296, 324, 328 monument 10, 54, 83–4, 95–108 passim, 180, 166, 176 myth 51–2, 90, 92, 104, 216–9 passim, 222, 228 mythologizing, 85 picture 8, 25–6, 41, 58, 74, 96, 106, 149, 160–1, 177, 241, 243, 253, 299, 306 propaganda 8, 35, 41, 116, 117, 140, 183, 200, 204, 327 representation 1, 2, 10, 11, 13, 17, 40, 63, 68, 71, 74, 83–4, 97, 107, 204–15 passim, 221, 224–30 passim, 225–30 passim, 235, 240–1, 303, 307 reputation 23, 35, 51, 159, 161, 176, 180, 242, 244, 246, 265, 274, 298 sculptures 63, 68–9, 99, 205, 223 statues 1, 43, 58, 97, 101, 124–5, 204, 212, 235–6, 291 stereotype(s) 10, 11, 35–6, 63–9 passim, 214, 311–2, 328 textual 7, 9, 13, 184, images 2, 11–2, 205 visual 1, 40, 44, 79, 101, 204, 215, 225, 229, representation(s), 2, 205