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Rome and the transformation of the imperial office in the late fourth–mid-fifth centuries AD1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2011

Meaghan McEvoy
Corpus Christi College, Merton Street, Oxford, OX1 4JF, Great


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Questo articolo identifica una ragione finora non riconosciuta circa la crescente presenza imperiale a Roma dall'ascesa di Onorio nel 395 d.C. fino all'assassinio di Valentiniano III nel 455, nella forma della trasformazione dell'ufficio imperiale stesso, che stava prendendo piede in questo periodo, come risultato della ripetuta ascesa degli imperatori-bambini nel Occidente tardo-romano. Questi prolungati governi dei minori, che si verificano a un certo punto nella storia tardo-romana quando la crescita della cerimonializzazione e owiamente della cristianizzazione andarono a costituire un importante parte del ruolo delrimperatore, portarono con loro anche una piu grande necessita che la citta di Roma agisse come stage politico chiave per l'esposizione del cerimoniale imperiale, in particolare tanto il supporto della ricchezza deH'aristocrazia senatoria fondata a Roma, divenne ancora piu cruciale quanta le fonti delle entrate imperiali andarono perdute all'impero d'Occidente per via delle invasioni barbariche. In aggiunta, la fondazione del mausoleo di Onorio, adiacente alia basilica di San Pietro, e l'estesa costruzione delle chiese e gli sforzi decorativi della famiglia imperiale durante il regno di Valentiniano III, illuminarono le credenziali cristiane dell'imperatore d'Occidente, e contestano la vecchia visione che i vescovi di Roma avevano gia preso il soprawento sul ruolo delrimperatore' all'interno della citta a partire dal V secolo d.C.

Copyright © British School at Rome 2010


2 For example, Krautheimer, R., Three Christian Capitals: Topography and Politics: Rome, Constantinople, Milan (Berkeley, 1983), 93Google Scholar; also Krautheimer, R., ‘The architecture of Sixtus III: a fifth century renascence?’, in Meiss, M. (ed.), Essays in Honour of Erwin Panofsky (De Artibus Opuscula XL), 2 vols (New York, 1961), I, 291301, esp. p. 301Google Scholar; Lançon, B., Rome in Late Antiquity: Everyday Life and Urban Change, AD 312–609 (trans. Nevill, A.) (Edinburgh, 2000), 18, 35–6Google Scholar; and, to a lesser extent, Curran, J., Pagan City and Christian Capital (Oxford, 2000), 43–4Google Scholar.

3 And, indeed, Maxentius's residence in Rome from 306 to 312 has long been noted as extraordinary, even at this early stage: see Curran, Pagan City (above, n. 2), 68–9.

4 As Fergus Millar stated, the use of provincial capitals was already common in the tetrarchic period: Millar, F., The Emperor in the Roman World (31 BC–AD 337) (London, 1977), 1357Google Scholar. Although, as Bertrand Lançon pointed out, members of the imperial family might still be resident in the city even when the emperor himself was not: Rome in Late Antiquity (above, n. 2), 36.

5 See especially Gillett, A., ‘Rome, Ravenna and the last Christian emperors’, Papers of the British School at Rome 59 (2001), 131–67Google Scholar. Gillett also has pointed out that some scholars have in the past noted fifth-century imperial residence in Rome, but have seldom discussed it (p. 131, n. 2). See also Humphries, M., ‘From emperor to pope? Ceremonial, space, and authority at Rome from Constantine to Gregory the Great’, in Cooper, K. and Hillner, J. (eds), Religion, Dynasty and Patronage in Early Christian Rome, 300–900 (Cambridge, 2007), 2158Google Scholar.

6 Gillett helpfully has charted the visits and residences of late Roman emperors in Rome from Honorius (395–423) to Romulus Augustulus (475–6) ('Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 137–55). Humphries's important forthcoming article on the court of Valentinian III at Rome (see n. 1) also deals specifically with this issue.

7 The well-known catalogue of fourth-century imperial visits by Demandt, A., Die Spätantike: Römische Geschichte von Diocletian bis Justinian, 284–565, n. Chr. (Handhuch der Altertumswissenschaft 3.6) (Munich, 1989), 376 and n. 7Google Scholar, presented a rather more generous list, but rightly has been questioned by Humphries, M., ‘Roman senators and absent emperors in late antiquity’, Acta ad Archaeologiam et Artium Historiam Pertinentia 17 (n.s. 3) (2003), 28Google Scholar. On fourth-century Rome generally, its place in the imperial consciousness, and the relations between emperor, senators and papacy, see Testa, R.L., Senatori, popolo, papi: il governo di Roma al tempo dei Valentiniani (Bari, 2004), 381460Google Scholar. Further detailed analysis of this point is a crucial part of Humphries's forthcoming article ‘Emperors and usurpers’.

8 Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5).

9 Visits of Emperor Honorius to Rome are recorded from October 403 to July 404; January 405; January to March 407; November 407 to March 408; possibly in August 414; and May 416. See Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 137–8, for a summary of the source material. See also, specifically on the visits of Honorius to Rome, with a higher estimate of their number: Lejdegård, H., Honorius and the City of Rome. Authority and Legitimacy in Late Antiquity (Uppsala, 2002), 4559Google Scholar.

10 Valentinian III's accession occurred at Rome in October 425, and he is thereafter recorded as visiting from January to February 426; possibly in July 437; from January to March 440; August 440; March 443; December 443; and was in residence consistently from January 445 to June 447, and from February 450 to March 455, when he was assassinated. As Gillett has pointed out, the gap in the western legal records of the Theodosian Code between 432 and 438 makes it difficult to discover whether or not the young emperor's court also visited Rome during this period, but it is possible there were visits for consular celebrations in 435, and prior to Valentinian III's journey to Constantinople for his marriage in 437: see again Gillett ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 142–5, for the source material.

11 For example, the restoration of the city wall under Honorius between 401 and 403, undertaken by the prefect Longinianus (CIL VI 1188–90). Various repairs to the Colosseum were carried out as a result of earthquake damage during the fifth century – see Chastagnol, A., Le fin du monde antique (Paris, 1976), 133–4Google Scholar; also Lançon, Rome in Late Antiquity (above, n. 2), 5–6, 23; Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 42–3; and now also Orlandi, S., Epigrafia anfiteatrale dell'Occidente Romano VI. Roma. Anfiteatri e strutture annesse – iscrizioni del Cohsseo (Rome, 2004), 42–6Google Scholar.

12 On the mausoleum of Honorius and imperial church benefactions at Rome, see farther below, pp. 178–87.

13 Humphries, ‘Roman senators and absent emperors’ (above, n. 7), 43; Humphries ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 40.

14 Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 163–5. Also hinted at by Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 39.

15 See below, pp. 170–5.

16 The period from the reign of Valentinian I down to 476 in the west has, of course, received attention in the past from scholars, for example: Seeck, O., Regesten der Kaiser und Päpste für die Jahre 311 bis 476 n.Chr. (Stuttgart, 1919)Google Scholar; Bury, J.B., History of the Later Roman Empire: from the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian (AD 395–565), 2 vols (London, 1923)Google Scholar; Stein, E., Histoire du Bas-Empire I. De l'éxstat romain à l'état Byzantin (284–476), 2 vols (trans. Palanque, J.-R.) (Paris, 1959)Google Scholar; and Jones, A.H.M., The Later Roman Empire 284–602: a Social, Economic and Administrative Survey, 3 vols (Oxford, 1964)Google Scholar, as well as more recently scholars such as Matthews, J.F., Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court AD 364–425 (Oxford, 1975)Google Scholar, all of whose seminal work has contributed tremendously to our knowledge and understanding of the period. Nevertheless the child-emperors of the west, from Gratian in 367 down to Valentinian III in 425, and their consecutive and lengthy reigns rarely have been viewed as worthy of investigation in their own right, or examined as a part of an overarching development in the nature of imperial rule – not even by the appealingly but inaptly named Römische Kinderkaiser: eine Strukturanalyse Römischen Denkens und Daseins (by Hartke, W. (Berlin, 1951))Google Scholar, which is concerned primarily with dating the Historia Augusta, rather than the nature of imperial rule. It is this gap in modern scholarship that I am seeking to address.

17 Ammianus Marcellinus [hereafter AM] 27.6.8: Gratianum hunc meum adultum, quem diu versatum inter liberos vestros, commune diligitis pignus, undique muniendae tranquillitatis publicae causa, in augustum assumere commilitium paro, si propitia caelestis numinis vestraeque maiestatis voluntas parentis amorem iuverit praeeuntem … As translated by Rolfe, J.C., Ammianus Marcellinus, 3 vols (Cambridge (MA), 19351939)Google Scholar. The date is given at Cons.Const. s.a. 364; Socrates 4.11.3; Chronicon Paschale p. 557. For reports of the accession in other sources, see PLRE 1.401.

18 Augustus himself had been a youth of only eighteen years when Julius Caesar died, while Gaius Caligula and Nero were young men at the time of their accessions, and Elagabalus, Alexander Severus and Gordian III had all been teenage emperors. Yet none of these youthful emperors achieved reigns of anything like the longevity of the child-emperors of the late fourth–mid-fifth centuries AD. And while the Emperor Macrinus (emperor 217–18) may have made his son Diadumenianus co-Augustus during his lifetime, and Philip the Arab (244–9) attempted the same arrangement with his son Philip, both boys were simply murdered along with their fathers when rebellions took place. The third century also had seen a number of youthful Caesars acclaimed, such as Saloninus, the son of Gallienus, and Tetricius II, the son of Tetricius I, but it is noteworthy that these young Caesars rarely survived their fathers, and, in the fourth century, the young Caesar Licinius had a sadly short life. For a general account, see Wells, C., The Roman Empire (Glasgow, 1984)Google Scholar; and for the period from 180 onwards, Potter, D.S., The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180–395 (London, 2004)Google Scholar.

19 See Barnes, T.D., The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine (Cambridge (MA), 1982), 45CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

20 AM 27.6.4; Zosimus 4.12.2.

21 Jones, Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 141.

22 Sidonius lamented a cruel fortune that had long harassed the state with many hardships principe sub puero (‘under a boy-emperor’): Carmina 7.533.

23 Unlike the hapless sons of the third-century emperors Philip the Arab and Macrinus: see Potter, Roman Empire at Bay (above, n. 18), 236–41, on Philip and the disappearance of his son on his father's death; and pp. 150–1 on Macrinus and his son Diadumenianus.

24 AM 30.6.3; also Socrates 4.31; Zosimus 4.17.1–2.

25 The accession of Valentinian II, when the sources are examined, looks very much like a political coup, whereby competent generals serving at the time in the western army, such as Sebastianus and Fl. Equitius (and possibly even the elder Theodosius, though the circumstances surrounding his sudden execution around this date are notoriously murky), were carefully put out of the way in order to make way for the four-year-old's accession. For a detailed account of these events and the individuals involved, see AM 30.10.1–6. For discussion of the accession of Valentinian II in secondary sources, see McLynn, N.B., Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital (Berkeley, 1994), 84–5Google Scholar; Potter, Roman Empire at Bay (above, n. 18), 543. See generally on sources for Valentinian II, PLRE 1.934–5.

26 For sources for Arcadius's life and reign, see PLRE 1.99: Arcadius became sole eastern emperor at the age of eighteen in 395, when Theodosius 1 died; Arcadius himself died in 408 at the age of 31, having held the rank of emperor for 25 years.

27 For sources on Honorius's life and reign, see PLRE 1.442.

28 Theodosius II was proclaimed Augustus on 10 January 402: see PLRE 2.1100. He enjoyed an extraordinarily long reign, from his accession as a nine-month-old in 402 until his death following a horse-riding accident in 450.

29 For sources on the life and reign of Valentinian III, see PLRE 2.1138–9. For a detailed analysis of the regimes of the boy-emperors of the late Roman west, see my D.Phil, thesis: McEvoy, M., ‘Spes Rei Publicae: the Hope of the State? Child-emperors and the Late Roman West, AD 367–455 (Oxford, 2008Google Scholar; forthcoming as Child-Emperors in the Late Roman West, AD 367–455 (Oxford)Google Scholar. The analysis of the regimes of eastern child-emperors in the late Roman period forms my ongoing research.

30 For example, Oost, S.I., Galla Placidia Augusta: a Biographical Essay (Chicago, 1968), 194Google Scholar; Drinkwater, J.F., ‘The usurpers Constantine III (407–411) and Jovinus (411–413)’, Britannia 29 (1998), 270Google Scholar.

31 See in general on emperors and dynasty in the late fourth century, Errington, R.M., Roman Imperial Policy from Julian to Theodosius (Chapel Hill, 2006), 1342Google Scholar, and specifically on the efforts of Valentinian I and Valens, pp. 24–5, and Theodosius I, pp. 37–42. On the promotion of Gratian and of Valens's young son Valentinian Galates (who died aged three, having already held a consulship and been named nobilissimus puer), see Lenski, N., Failure of Empire: Valens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century AD (Berkeley, 2002), 30–2Google Scholar.

32 Gratian and Valentinian II were the sons of Valentinian I; Arcadius and Honorius were the sons of Theodosius I; Theodosius II was the son of Arcadius; and Valentinian III the son of Constantius III (and nephew of Honorius). Of the western emperors, only Gratian and Honorius became emperors during their fathers’ lifetimes. And although Gratian, Valentinian II, Arcadius and Honorius were all sons of emperors, only Theodosius II and Valentinian III were the grandsons (and Valentinian III the great-grandson) of emperors.

33 Or, in the case of Valentinian III, his uncle.

34 These individuals often can be identified also from the sources, such as the general Merobaudes in the case of Valentinian II, and the general Aetius in the case of Valentinian III.

35 AM 30.10.3.

36 Errington, Roman Imperial Policy (above, n. 31), 29–30.

37 For example, Ambrose, De Obitu Theodosii 8, 11, 12.

38 For details on the usurpation of John, see PLRE 2.594–6; for analysis of the usurpation, see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 379–81.

39 On the death of Jovian in 364, his infant son Varronianus clearly was not considered a viable successor (see AM 25.10.11; also 25.10.17 on Varronianus's consulship), and although Jovian's reign was short and not rooted in an imperial dynasty, similarly when Valentinian I fell ill in 367, as noted above, even his eight-yearold son was not seen by court factions as a suitable successor to his father.

40 Though Neil McLynn has suggested that Theodosius I may not even have had a successful military campaign behind him at the time of his accession, and, as Silvan also argued, that Theodosius I may in fact have been a usurper whose illegal bid for power was smoothed over due to military necessities (McLynn, N.B., ‘Genere Hispanis: Theodosius, Spain and Nicene orthodoxy’, in Bowes, K. and Kulikowski, M. (eds), Hispania in Late Antiquity: Current Perspectives (Leiden, 2005), 77120, esp. pp. 88–94Google Scholar; Sivan, H., ‘Was Theodosius I a usurper?’, Klio 78 (1) (1996), 198211Google Scholar). See also, on the details of Theodosius I‘s accession, Errington, M.R., ‘The accession of Theodosius I’, Klio 78 (2) (1996), 438–53Google Scholar.

41 All of the Tetrarchs, as well as Maxentius (306–12), Constantine I (306–37) and all of his reigning sons, Constantine II (337–40), Constantius II (337–61) and Constans (337–50), and also Julian (360–3) and Jovian (363–4), could make justified claims to be military emperors. The emperor Valens died in battle at Adrianople in 378, while the fathers of these late fourth-century western boy-emperors – Valentinian I and Theodosius I – were distinctly military-style emperors.

42 Although Valentinian I did take his young co-emperor Gratian on his Solicinium campaign in 368, in which the nine-year-old child can have played only a ceremonial role (AM 27.10.6).

43 Symmachus, Oration 3.

44 Millar's invaluable book, The Emperor in the Roman World (above, n. 4), made a detailed and varied study of the many diverse functions of a Roman emperor (with the exception of his military function), and many of the conclusions drawn there can be carried over also to analyses of the functions still expected of a later Roman emperor. These ‘cardinal virtues’ of course dated back much earlier than the late Roman empire: even back to Hellenistic concepts of kinship – see Dvornik, F., Early Christian and Byzantine Philosophy: Origins and Background (Washington, 1966), 276Google Scholar; also Noreña, C., ‘The communication of the Emperor's virtues’, Journal of Roman Studies 9 (2001), 146–68Google Scholar.

45 See Lenski, Failure of Empire (above, n. 31), 86.

46 Jones, Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 403–4, 410; Kelly, C., Ruling the Later Roman Empire (Cambridge (MA), 2004), 186, 190Google Scholar; Heather, P.J., ‘New men for new Constantines? Creating an imperial elite in the eastern Mediterranean’, in Magdalino, P. (ed.), New Constantines (Aldershot, 1994), 1133, esp. p. 20Google Scholar.

47 I am grateful to Noel Lenski for pointing out to me that the virtual disappearance of rescripts in the post-Constantinian era, as reflected in the Codex Justinianus, also indicates that the emperor himself was making fewer personal responses, presumably because the bureaucracy was now making more of the responses itself.

48 Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 77.

49 On the development of the office of quaestor over this period, see Harries, J., ‘The Roman imperial quaestor from Constantine to Theodosius’, Journal of Roman Studies 78 (1988), 148–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

50 McCormick, M., ‘Emperor and court’, in Cameron, A., Ward-Perkins, B. and Whitby, M. (eds), Cambridge Ancient History XIV (Cambridge, 2000), 135–63, at p. 143Google Scholar.

51 J. Harries, ‘Pius Princeps: Theodosius II and fifth-century Constantinople’, in Magdalino (ed.), New Constantines (above, n. 46), 35–44, esp. pp. 35–6; Millar, F., A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408–450) (Berkeley, 2006) generally, and esp. pp. 138Google Scholar.

52 Honoré suggested Valentinian III emerges from the laws of the period 438–55 in partcular as ‘volatile and opinionated’: Honoré, T., Law in the Crisis of Empire, 379–455 AD: the Theodosian Dynasty and its Quaestors (Oxford, 1999), 259Google Scholar; see also generally pp. 258–74. The extent to which Valentinian Ill's magister militum Aetius may or may not have been involved in legislation is debatable: Aetius was absent on campaign in Gaul throughout much of the 430s, when there is of course a hiatus in the legal records of the Theodosian Code for the west, between 432 and its promulgation in 438 – though he was notably present in Rome at the senate meeting for the promulgation of the Theodosian Code (Gesta 5). Records for Aetius's whereabouts during the 440s are less complete, but as far as we can tell he appears to have been more consistently in Italy at the imperial court during this decade (see Zecchini, G., Aezio: l'ultima difesa dell'occidente romano (Rome, 1983), 239)Google Scholar, although a law was addressed to him in Gaul in 445 (Valentinian III, Novellae [hereafter NVal.] 17.1). The legal records at least show Aetius taking action on civilian issues such as the appointment of Gallic bishops, impoverished children and meat supplies to Rome – see NVal. 17 (July 445); NVal. 33 (January 451); NVal. 36 (June 452).

53 Ammianus provides a valuable account of Gratian's campaign against the Lentienses in 378, while the young emperor was leading the western army to join his uncle Valens prior to Adrianople (AM 31.10.9–20).

54 For details on all of these generals, see PLRE: Merobaudes (PLRE 1.598–9); Bauto (PLRE 1.159–60); Arbogast (PLRE 1.95–7); Stilicho (PLRE 1.853–8); Fl. Constantius (PLRE 2.321–5); Aetius (PLRE 2.21–9).

55 Numerous examples of this presentation pervade the works of Claudian – as particularly in the panegyric for Honorius's fourth consulship, delivered in 398, when Honorius was thirteen years old. For the emphasis on Honorius's youthful promise, see, for example, Claudian, De Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti [hereafter IV Cons.] 353–68, 523–9; and for Stilicho's proven ability and their partnership, see IV Cons. 430–44, 453–9. This approach was somewhat fore-shadowed by the dominance of generals like Merobaudes, Bauto and Arbogast at the courts of Gratian and Valentinian II, but nowhere near to the same extent, and these past generals lacked Stilicho's ability to claim kinship with the young emperor and his father. O'Flynn, J.M., Generalissimos of the Western Roman Empire (Alberta, 1983)Google Scholar, made a collective study of these dominant generals in the fourth- and fifth-century west, but with little attention to the causes of their rise.

56 Elton, H., ‘Defence in fifth-century Gaul’, in Drinkwater, J.F. and Elton, H. (eds), Fifth Century Gaul: a Crisis of Identity? (Cambridge, 1992), 167–76, at p. 170Google Scholar.

57 On Stilicho's claims to the ‘regency’ of both imperial brothers, and the antagonism of the eastern court, see Cameron, A., ‘Theodosius the Great and the regency of Stilicho’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 73 (1969), 247–80Google Scholar, and also Cameron, A., Claudian: Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius (Oxford, 1970), 65155Google Scholar; also Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 106–26; Stein, , Histoire du Bas-Empire I (above, n. 16), 228–37Google Scholar.

58 Codex Theodosianus [hereafter CTh] 16.10.10 banned all pagan sacrifices, both public and private, and prohibited all access to pagan temples, probably in part aiming to protect the sites from attack for the sake of their artistic heritage, as well as forbidding pagan worship.

59 See Porter, Roman Empire at Bay (above, n. 18), 435–9.

60 For Constantine I's convening of the Council of Nicaea in 325, see Eusebius, Vita Constantini 3.5.3–6.1; also Jones, A.H.M., The Decline of the Ancient World (London, 1966), 43Google Scholar. Constantius II hosted more councils than any other emperor – see generally Barnes, T.D., Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire (Cambridge (MA), 1993))Google Scholar; also Lenski, Failure of Empire (above, n. 31), 234–6. On Theodosius I's calling of the council of Constantinople in 381, see CTh 16.5.5; also McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 124.

61 For discussion of this famous incident, see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 235; and especially McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 323–30; Liebeschuetz, J.H.W.G., Ambrose of Milan: Political Letters and Speeches (Liverpool, 2005), 19Google Scholar; and Leppi, H.n, Theodosius der Grosse (Darmstadt, 2004), 153–67Google Scholar.

62 As, for example, in the case of Theodosius I's victory at Frigidus: see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 246; also McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 352–5.

63 ILCV 1801; see McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 363–4; and for Serena, PLRE 1.824. The women of the Theodosian house in particular had an important role in creating the pious persona of the emperors of the period, a role much celebrated in modern scholarship – see, for example, Holum, K.G., Theodosian Empresses: Women and Imperial Dominion in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, 1982)Google Scholar.

64 Gratian's anti-pagan laws directed at the Roman cults have not survived, but are referred to by Ambrose in 384 (Epistle 72[17]. 10). For discussion, see Cameron, A., ‘Gratian's repudiation of the pontifical robe’, Journal of Roman Studies 58 (1964), 96102Google Scholar, and, more recently, Cameron, A., ‘The imperial pontifex’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 103 (2007), 341–84Google Scholar, and Testa, R.L., ‘Christian emperor, vestal virgins and priestly colleges: reconsidering the end of Roman paganism’, Antiquité Tardive 15 (2007), 251–62Google Scholar. Under Valentinian II, the famous debate between Symmachus, the urban prefect, and Ambrose of Milan took place over the plea for the restoration of the altar: see Symmachus, Relatio 3; Ambrose, Epistles 72[17], 73[18]. For discussion, see McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 151–2, 166–8.

65 On the Council of Aquileia called by Gratian, see McLynn, N.B., ‘The ‘Apology’ of Palladius: nature and purpose’, journal of Theological Studies 42 (1991), 5672Google Scholar; also Williams, D.H., Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Nicene-Arian Conflicts (Oxford, 1995), 169–84Google Scholar. On the Council of Carthage, which ruled against the Donatists in north Africa and prompted further penal laws against them, see Honore, Law in the Crisis of Empire (above, n. 52), 228. On the First and Second Councils of Ephesus, see Millar, A Greek Roman Empire (above, n. 51), 157–60, 189–90.

66 See below, pp. 185–7.

67 On the betrayal of Gratian, see Ambrose, De Obitu Valentiníani 3; on Valentinian II's fasting habits, see Ambrose, De Obitu Valentiniani 16.

68 Ambrose, De Obitu Theodosii 6: Nee moveat aetas! Fides militum imperatoris perfecta aetas est; est enim perfecta aetas, ubi perfecta est virtus. For detailed analyses of the speech and its themes, see McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 357–60; Liebeschuetz, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 61), 174–203; and also MacCormack, S., Art and Ceremony in Late Antiquity (Berkeley, 1981), 145–50Google Scholar.

69 Ambrose, De Obitu Theodosii 55. For a similar contemporary view on the particular divine blessing of the Christian God upon the youthful Honorius, see Orosius 7.36, writing of the crisis in north Africa in 397 upon the rebellion of Gildo. Some 30 years later, the historian Sozomen would invoke similar claims of divine blessing for the realm of the eastern emperor Theodosius II in his youth (Sozomen 9.16.3–4).

70 Peter Chrsyologos, Sermon 130.3; also Sermon 85B.3.

71 Eusebius declared that Constantine had planted seeds of godliness in his sons and carefully appointed men of approved piety as their teachers (Vita Constantini 4.51.2).

72 Sozomen 9.1.

73 Socrates 7.22.

74 Socrates 7.42.

75 See MacCormack, Art and Ceremony (above, n. 68), 221. On his coinage, too, Honorius frequently was depicted in military attire, and for his tricennalia issue in 422 is shown wearing a helmet, carrying a spear and with a small shield displaying a Chi-Rho: J. Kent, Roman Imperial Coinage 10. The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395–491 (London, 1994), 48, 133Google Scholar.

76 Cameron also has written that the diptych is unique for its double representation of Honorius as soldier-emperor rather than the conventional representation of the consul himself (Probus) presiding at consular games, and has suggested that the diptych was a special issue commemorating a specific victory – over Radagaisus in the late summer of 406, which was presented as a Christian victory over pagan hordes (Cameron, A., ‘The Probus diptych and Christian apologetic’, in Amirav, H. and Romeny, B. ter Haar (eds), From Rome to Constantinople: Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron (Leuven, 2007), 191202)Google Scholar. The emphasis on linking such a military victory specifically to the piety of the civilian emperor Honorius should be considered also.

77 Socrates 7.22.

78 According to Merobaudes (a different individual than the general of the 370s/380s), in their splendour the emperor and his wife were like the bright stars of heaven, the salvation of the land (Carmina 1.5–10), and Valentinian III shone with a youthful light (Carmina 2.1–4).

79 AM 16.10.9–11; for discussion, see Matthews, J.F., The Roman Empire of Ammianus (London, 1989), 231–4Google Scholar.

80 Of the four boy-emperors of the west who ruled between 375 and 455, only Honorius died a natural death, and he alone among them seems to have made little attempt to take on independent rulership upon reaching adulthood. An argument can be made for Gratian, Valentinian II and Valentinian III all attempting to take on a greater active role in ‘their’ governments, with little obvious success, and not surviving long after these attempts. See further McEvoy, ‘Spes Rei Publicae’ (above, n. 29).

81 On the humiliation of Priscus Attalus (the puppet-usurper of Alaric following the sack of 410), see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 354; and specifically on its ideological significance and staging at Rome, see Lejdegård, Honorius and the City of Rome (above, n. 9), 137–58.

82 See generally on the development of Constantinople as the principal imperial residence in the east, Dagron, G., Naissance dune capitals: Constantinople et ses institutions de 330 à 451 (Paris, 1974)Google Scholar.

83 On Theodosius bringing Honorius to Rome in 389, see Cameron, ‘Theodosius the Great’ (above, n. 57); also Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 227; Oost, Galla Placidia (above, n. 30), 51.

84 I am grateful to Mark Humphries for discussion on this point, and for the chance to read his forthcoming ‘Emperors and usurpers’, which deals directly with this issue.

85 Barnes, T.D., ‘Constans and Gratian in Rome’, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 79 (1975), 325–30Google Scholar, suggested Gratian had visited the city in 376: there is little reliable contemporary evidence for such a visit and Barnes has since revised his opinion on this: Barnes, T.D., ‘Ambrose and Gratian’, Antiquité Tardive 7 (1999), 165–74Google Scholar, esp. pp. 168–9, n. 17.

86 Recent debates over the numbers of pagan Roman aristocrats during this period have suggested that they were few in number by the fifth century and unlikely to be disgruntled by Christian imperial display (see, for example, Salzmann, M.R., The Making of a Christian Aristocracy: Social and Religious Change in the Western Roman Empire (Harvard, 2002), esp. pp. 178200Google Scholar; also Barnes, T.D., ‘Statistics and the conversion of the Roman aristocracy’, Journal of Roman Studies 65 (1995), 135–47Google Scholar). There are still hints, however, that pagan aristocrats should not be discounted entirely as a political force in the late fourth and early fifth centuries — in 394 the prominent pagan Flaviani family was involved in the usurpation of Eugenius in the west. On the usurpation of Eugenius and the involvement of pagan aristocrats, see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 238–50; and specifically on Virius Nicomachus Flavianus, see PLRE 1.347–9; McLynn also commented on the ‘paganism’ of the regime of Eugenius (Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 350–3). Other prominent Roman aristocrats remained staunchly pagan, such as Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, whose famous Relatio 3 of 382, written in his capacity as urban prefect, asserted that a majority vote of the senate had ruled to retain the pagan altar of victory in the senate house (Symmachus, Relationes 3.1–2; see again Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 205–11, on the famous report). In general on senatorial conversion to Christianity, see Brown, P., ‘Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman aristocracy’, Journal of Roman Studies 51 (1961), 111Google Scholar.

87 Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 40; Humphries, ‘Roman senators and absent emperors’ (above, n. 7), 43; Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 163–5.

88 Gratian's legislation in favour of senatorial privileges came after a period of particularly poor emperor—senate relations under Valentinian I, whose reign had seen a series of senatorial trials for magic and misconduct (see Alfbldi, A., A Conflict of Ideas in the Late Roman Empire (trans. Mattingly, H.) (Oxford, 1952), 50–1Google Scholar; Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 56–63; and most recently Testa, Senatori, popolo, papi (above, n. 7), 209–323). Upon his father's death Gratian's administration swiftly removed the officials seen as the principal agents of this ‘terror’, recalled certain senators accused during the trials, and passed a series of laws favourable to senators during 376–7 (for example, CTh 1.1.13, 9.6.1–2, 9.35.3). Symmachus hailed Gratian's full accession in 375 as the dawn of a ‘new era’ (Symmachus, Epistulae 1.13).

89 This issue is explored by Humphries's forthcoming ‘Emperors and usurpers’.

90 General pardons were issued in April and May 395 (CTh 15.14.9, 15.14.11, 15.14.12).

91 CTh 15.14.11.

92 On his being allowed to retain the salary, see Symmachus, Epistulae 4.19.51; on the prefecture, see CTh 14.10.3. The younger Nicomachus Flavianus was the son of the pagan senator who committed suicide after Eugenius's defeat at Frigidus: see PLRE 1.345–7.

93 The influential aristocrat Manlius Theodorus was made prefect of Italy from 397 to 399 and consul in 399; and his son Theodorus and brother Lampadius shared in similar honours. For a detailed study of the individuals found in office during this period, see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 258–64.

94 Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis 1.325–52.

95 CTh 7.13.12, 7.13.13, 7.13.14.

96 Zosimus 5.29.5–9; also Olympiodoms, Fragments 5.2.1–2. See, generally, Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 252–70, on court and senate under Stilicho's regime. Stilicho's relations with the senate sometimes have been seen as cajoling or threatening, but it should be remembered that he did nevertheless choose to consult them, though it may not have been absolutely necessary, and he clearly hoped this would be seen as evidence of his respect for their role.

97 Stilicho's execution as the result of a palace coup in August 408 saw a complete breakdown of negotiations with Alaric and the Goths, who had previously come to an agreement with Stilicho to invade eastern Illyricum on behalf of Honorius's government, and now that those plans had fallen through they were on Italian territory demanding reparations. In desperation, as the rapidly changing political cliques at Honorius's court refused to come to terms, the Goths marched on Rome, besieging the city three times between 408 and 410. Forced to attempt an arrangement themselves, as the imperial government at Ravenna showed no interest in their plight, the Roman senators entered into negotiations with Alaric, and undertook a number of embassies to the emperor's court to seek ratification of the terms they had established. In 409, after these attempts proved fruitless, Alaric had even induced the senators to choose a new emperor from among their own ranks — Priscus Attalus. When even this plan failed and Alaric finally sacked Rome in August 410, senatorial goodwill towards an imperial government too embroiled in its own political intrigues to save the ancient capital must have sunk to an all-time low. See, generally, Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 284–306; Heather, P., The Fall of the Roman Empire (London, 2005), 224–9Google Scholar.

98 The extraordinary appointment of the nineteen-year-old aristocrat Petronius Maximus as comes sacrarum largitionum from 415 to 418 and then urban prefect in 420 suggests such a case of attempting reconciliation with the senatorial élite. On Petronius Maximus, see PLRE 2.749–51.

99 One of the earliest pieces of legislation from Valentinian Ill's new regime, in January 426, assured senators of the respect with which their rights and privileges were regarded by the new government (CTh 10.10.33), and a further constitution issued in February 426 graciously remitted to the Senate part of the aurum oblaticium (CTh 6.2.25). Members of major Roman aristocratic families often were found holding high rank also under Valentinian III – such as Anicius Auchenius Bassus, praetorian prefect in 426 (CTh 10.26.1, 4.10.3, 16.7.7, 16.8.28), and Nicomachus Flavianus in 431/432 (CTh 11.1.36, 6.23.3; ILS 2948). Again, for analysis of early office-holders under Valentinian Ill's regime, see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 358–60. Also for the aristocratic family connections linking some of Valentinian Ill's prefects, see Weber, R.J., ‘Albinus: the living memory of a 5th-century personality’, Historia 38 (1989), 476–82Google Scholar. Humphries's important forthcoming article, ‘The city of Rome and Valentinian III (425–455)’ explores this issue thoroughly.

100 In October 439, King Geiseric and the Vandals had taken Carthage, and soon took to the seas after this, raiding Sicily in early 440 (Marcellinus comes s.a. 439(3); Hydatius 115, 119, 120; Prosper 1339; Chronicon Paschale 583.5–7; Theophanes, Chronographia, AM 5941; Cassiodorus, Variae 1.4.14). By January 440, Valentinian III (who had been in Ravenna in August 439 – NVal. 3.1) was back in Rome (NVal. 4.1), and in March 440 the city walls of Rome were repaired hastily (NVal 5.3). See also Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 164.

101 NVal. 5.1 (given at Rome, 3 March 440): … urbis Romae, quam merito caput nostri veneramur imperil.

102 Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 39.

103 Humphries, ‘Roman senators and absent emperors’ (above, n. 7), 34–6.

104 As scholars have suggested may have taken place in the 440s; see, for example, Twyman, B.L., ‘Aetius and the aristocracy’, Historia 19 (1970), 480503Google Scholar; Weber, ‘Albinus’ (above, n. 99), 472–92; also Humphries, ‘Roman senators and absent emperors’ (above, n. 7), 44.

105 Claudian devoted his poem Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti [hereafter VI Cons.] to a detailed description of Honorius's adventus into Rome to take up his sixth consulship in 404. For the most detailed commentary on the poem, see Claudian, Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti, edited with an introduction, translation and literary commentary by Dewar, M. (Oxford, 1996)Google Scholar. The poem was analysed also by Cameron, Claudian (above, II. 57), 382–9, and MacCormack, Art and Ceremony (above, n. 68), 52–5.

106 For Honorius's majesty and splendour, see Claudian, VI Cons. 560–7; for his deference to the senators, 543–54; and for his reverence for the city and her traditions, 356–60, 407–24, 578–91.

107 On the need for an emperor to adapt his behaviour to his specific context, see Matthews, Roman Empire of Ammianus (above, n. 79), 237–8; and on the citizen-prince image, see Wallace-Hadrill, A., ‘Civilis princeps: between citizen and king”, Journal of Roman Studies 72 (1982), 3248CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On the difference between Claudian's presentation of Honorius during an adventus at Milan in 398, and at Rome in 404, see Cameron, Claudian (above, n. 57), 382–3.

108 Claudian, VI Cons. 587–91. See also McCormick, M., Eternal Victory: Triumphal Rulership in Late Antiquity, Byzantium, and the Early Medieval West (Cambridge, 1986), 88–9Google Scholar.

109 Cameron, Claudian (above, II. 57), 382.

110 McCormick asserted that there was evidence for six victory celebrations between 411 and 422, which may well have been held at Rome, though the details are very unclear (McCormick, Eternal Victory (above, n. 108), 56–7). The Theodosian Code does record visits of the emperor to the city in 407/8 (CTh 16.5.40, 16.5.41, 16.2.38, 14.4.8, 1.20.1), 408 (CTh 16.5.43), 409 (CTh 7.20.13) and 414 (CTh 16.5.55) — and all of these occasions must have involved some imperial ceremonial.

111 See Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 144–5. Again, Humphries's forthcoming article, ‘The city of Rome and Valentinian III (425-455)’ deals with this point. Valentinian III was consul in 425, 426, 430, 435, 440, 445, 450 and 455 (for details see Bagnall, R.S., Cameron, A., Schwartz, S.R. and Worp, K.A. (eds), Consuls of the Later Roman Empire (Atlanta, 1987)Google Scholar [hereafter CLRE], 386–445).

112 For details on Honorius's birth and upbringing, and Stilicho's involvement, see Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 106–73; Stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire (above, n. 16), I, 225–8; Cameron, ‘Theodosius the Great’ (above, n. 57), and also Cameron, Claudian (above, n. 57), 37–45.

113 Again, for details on Valentinian III's accession and his eastern backing, see Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 240–64; Stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire (above, n. 16), I, 282–5, 317–19; Oost, Galla Placidia (above, n. 30), 176–93; Kaegi, W.E., Byzantium and the Decline of Rome (Princeton, 1968), 1929CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

114 The Gesta of the promulgation of the Code at Rome record Valentinian accepting the initiative of his cousin with the loyalty of a colleague and son (Gesta 2). On the creation of the Theodosian Code and eastern and western input, see generally Matthews, J.F., Laying Down the Law: a Study of the Theodosian Code (London, 2000)Google Scholar.

115 The marriage took place at Constantinople on 29 October 437. For primary source accounts of the wedding, see Gesta 2; Merobaudes, Carmina 1.10; Socrates 7.44 (though Socrates gave the wrong year); Marcellinus s.a. 437; Prosper 1328; Cassiodoms, Chronicle 1229; Theophanes, Chronographia, AM 5926.

116 Kaegi, Byzantium and the Decline of Rome (above, n. 113), 28; Holum, Theodosian Empresses (above, n. 63), 209; Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 24. The records of the initial promulgation of the Theodosian Code in the west (which took place in December 438 according to the surviving minutes of the senate) also show a markedly paternalistic attitude towards the eastern emperor's new son-in-law Valentinian III (see Gesta 2).

117 Demougeot, E., De I'unité à la division de I'Empire romain 395–410 (Paris, 1951), esp. pp. 235–6Google Scholar.

118 Including between 395 and 400 and from c. 407–8, when the actions of Stilicho caused considerable suspicion at the eastern court. (For relations between the two courts in general, see A. Cameron and J. Long with a contribution by Sherry, L., Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius (Berkeley, 1993), 165–7Google Scholar, 246–50, 323–36.) Yet in 410 the eastern court sent military support to the west in an attempt to help the government of Honorius deal with Alaric, while the reign of Valentinian III saw not only the substantial and costly military campaign to establish the child as emperor in 425, but also lengthy and expensive eastern military campaigns in north Africa against the Vandals through the 430s. On the continuing eastern interest in the west, see Kaegi, Byzantium and the Decline of Rome (above, n. 113), esp. pp. 3–58.

119 Stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire (above, n. 16), I, 225–6.

120 Theodosius's victorious visit to Rome in 389 was celebrated with a panegyric by Pacatus (Panegyrici Latini II), and also written of by Zosimus (4.59.1–4) and Claudian (VI Cons. 53–72), while numerous laws record his presence in the city (for example, CTh 15.1.25, 14.4.6).

121 I am grateful to Mark Humphrie s for discussion on this point.

122 The accession was recorded by Olympiodorus, Fragments 43.1, 43.2; Marcellinus s.a. 425(2); Hydatius 85; Socrates 7.2.5; Philostorgius 12.13; Chronicon Paschale 580.13–15; Theophanes, Chronographia, AM 5916. See also Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 381–3.

123 After John's capture at Ravenna, he was brought to Aquileia and paraded on a donkey in the hippodrome, before being mutilated and then executed before the six-year-old Caesar in June or July of 425, at least three months before Valentinian was mad e Augustus at Rome: see Olympiodorus, Fragments 43.1, 43.2; also Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 380.

124 See Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 223, n. 1, and also Wilkes, J.J., ‘A Pannonian refugee of quality at Salona’, Phoenix 26 (4) (1972), 377–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 391.

125 Constantino I was proclaimed at York (PLRE 1.223). Of Constantine I's three sons who succeeded him, only Constantius was at or near Constantinople at the time of their father's death. Ammianus Marcellinus provided a detailed account of the accessions of Julian (proclaimed at Paris by his troops (AM 20.4.1–22)), Jovian (hastily made emperor on campaign in Persia after the death of Julian (AM 25.5.1–8)), Valentinian I (chosen emperor at Nicaea in his absence while on campaign at Ancyra, and when he reached Nicaea proclaimed on tribunal before soldiers (AM 26.1.1-11)), Gratian (raised as emperor before the soldiers by his father (AM 27.6.1-16)) and Valentinian II (brought to Brigetio for acclamation by soldiers (AM 30.10.1-6)). The acclamation of Julian as Caesar provides an exception — his elevation before the soldiers and journey back into the city in the carriage of the senior emperor (as reported by Ammianus Marcellinus) looks much more like a later eastern accession (AM 15.8.2–17).

126 Ammianus again reported the accession of Valens at the Hebdomon (AM 26.4.1–3) and stated that after Valens was adorned with the imperial insignia and a diadem, Valentinian I took him in his own carriage into the city. See further PLRE 1.930–1.

127 Arcadius's accession is reported at Consularia Comtantinopolitana s.a. 383; Socrates 5.10.5; Sozomen 7.12.2; Philostorgius 10.5. For Honorius's accession, see Claudian, IV Cons. 203–9; Socrates 25.5; Philostorgius 11.2; Sozomen 7.24.1.

128 Claudian described the scene after Honorius's accession — the imperial chariot driving through Constantinople from the Hebdomon back to the palace, the new young emperor with his father and brother, all clothed in gold and wearing crowns (Claudian, IV Cons. 203–9).

129 Few details survive of Theodosius II's accession in 402 — see PLRE 2.1100.

130 Helion, the eastern magister officiorum, crowned the young emperor. The eastern emperor Theodosius II had intended to crown his cousin himself, but had fallen ill on the journey west, and returned home instead (Olympiodorus, Fragments 46; Socrates 7.24.25). See also Wilkes, ‘A Pannonian refugee’ (above, n. 124), 391–2.

131 The death of Maria, first wife of Honorius, probably occurred in early 408 (see PLRE 2.720; Zosimus 5.28.1 noted her death in 407 or 408) and she was buried in the mausoleum at Rome, which was presumably at least partially complete by this date (Mark Johnson suggests a construction date between 400 and 415: Johnson, M.J., The Roman Imperial Mausoleum in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2009), 171Google Scholar). On the little available evidence regarding the mausoleum, see Gem, R., ‘The Vatican rotunda: a Severan monument and its early history, c.200 to 500’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 158 (2005), 13, 36–7Google Scholar; also Alchermes, J.D., ‘Petrine politics: Pope Symmachus and the rotonda of St Andrew at Old St Peter's’, The Catholic Historical Review 81 (1995), 89Google Scholar.

132 Maxentius's son Romulus (PLRE 1.772) predeceased his father, dying c. 309, and was buried in the mausoleum complex his father constructed on the Via Appia; Maxentius (PLRE 1.571), who was defeated at Saxa Rubra by Constantine in 312, drowned in the Tiber but his body may still have been buried at Rome — though not in the grand mausoleum he had constructed for himself (see Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 92–3, 201). Constantine I's mother, Helena, who died c. 329, was buried in a newly-built basilica by the Via Labicana at Rome (Liber Pontificalis 34.44.26; PLRE 1.410-11; see also Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 110–18); Constantina, the daughter of Constantine I, died in Bithynia in 354 and was buried by the Via Nomentana and the church of Sant'Agnese at Rome (AM 21.1.5; PLRE 1.222; also Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 139–56); Helena, Constantine I's other daughter and the wife of Julian, died c. 360 and was buried with her sister on the Via Nomentana (AM 21.1.5, 25.4.2; PLRE 1.409–10). The debate over Julian's place of burial and the suggestion of Rome as an appropriate location also indicates that the possibility of imperial burial in the old capital had not been forgotten entirely: see Kelly, G., ‘The new Rome and the old: Ammianus Marcellinus’ silences on Constantinople’, Classical Quarterly n.s. 53 (2) (2003), 588607CrossRefGoogle Scholar, esp. pp. 590–4.

133 Much has been written on the structure and intent behind Constantine's Apostoleion; for the most recent analysis, see Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 119–28.

134 Eusebius, Vita Constantini IV.60.2, IV.71.2; Dagron, G., Emperor and Priest: the Imperial Office in Byzantium (trans. Birrell, J.) (Cambridge, 2003), 139Google Scholar. Although in 359 Constantius II had his father's body moved into a mausoleum adjacent to the church: Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals (above, n. 2), 59–60.

135 AM 30.10.1.

136 Chronicon Paschale s.a. 383; also PLRE 1.221. Constantia was the posthumous daughter of Constantius II, and burial with her father's family may have been a factor.

137 Bishop Ambrose of Milan, who undertook two embassies to the court of Magnus Maximus between 383 and 387 (for details, see McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 161–3, 217), requested the return of Gratian's body to his half-brother Valentinian II for burial (Ambrose recounted his embassy at Epistle 30 (24)). It is not clear when Gratian's body was in fact returned, but later arrangements for Valentinian H's burial indicate that Gratian most likely eventually was buried at Milan. See Johnson, M.J., ‘On the burial places of the Valentinian dynasty’, Historia 40 (1991), 503–5Google Scholar.

138 Valentinian II committed suicide at Vienne and Ambrose of Milan communicated with the eastern emperor Theodosius I over arrangements for the young emperor's burial (Ambrose, Epistle 53.4), while Ambrose's funeral oration implies the brothers Gratian and Valentinian II were buried beside one another (Ambrose, De Obitu Valentiniani 72, 78, 80), probably in the mausoleum now called Sant'Aquilino attached to San Lorenzo; yet much speculation remains as to the date of construction of this mausoleum, and it does not appear to have been planned or used as an extra-dynastic mausoleum: Johnson, ‘On the burial places’ (above, n. 137), 503–5; also now Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 156–67.

139 Alchermes, ‘Petrine politics’ (above, n. 131), 8; Koethe, H., ‘Zum Mausoleum der westromischen Dynastei bei Alt-Sankt-Peter’, Romische Mitteilungen 46 (1981), 1011Google Scholar.

140 The so-called ‘South Stoa’ built c. 404: see, most recently, Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 127; Grierson, P., ‘Tombs and obits of the Byzantine Emperors (337–1042)’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 16 (1962), 163CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

141 Paulinus of Nola, Carmina 19.317-41; see also Mango, C., ‘Constantine's mausoleum and the translation of relics’, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 83 (1990), 5161Google Scholar, esp. pp. 51–4.

142 In the building of the new basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura in the 380s, and imperial gifts and the building of the imperial mausoleum at Saint Peter's basilica, discussed below.

143 The eastern consuls for the years 399 and 400 had not been acknowledged in the west, but the eastern consulship of the general Fravittas in 401 was acknowledged; moreover, the joint imperial consulship of 402 was the first held by Arcadius and Honorius since 396: see CLRE 338-9; Cameron, Claudian (above, n. 57), 38–1; Heather, P.J., Goths and Romans (Oxford, 1991), 210Google Scholar; Bayless, W.N., ‘The Visigothic invasion of Italy in 401Classical Journal 72 (1) (1976), 65–7Google Scholar.

144 As, for example, Koethe, ‘Zum Mausoleum’ (above, n. 139), 10–11; Alchermes, ‘Petrine politics’ (above, n. 131), 35.

145 For the most recent scholarly study, see Paolucci, F., ‘La tomba dell'imperatrice Maria e altre sepolture di rango di eta tardoantica a San Pietro’, Temporis Signa: Archeologia della Tarda Antichita e del Medioevo 3 (2008), 225–52Google Scholar. See also Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 167–74.

146 Paul the Deacon, Historia Romana 13.7. Although there is no contemporary record of the burial of Honorius at Saint Peter's, and Oost, Galla Placidia (above, n. 30), 178, claimed that evidence that the emperor was at Ravenna three weeks before his death suggests he was laid to rest there instead, it still seems more likely that the emperor was buried beside his late wife in the imperial mausoleum at Rome (Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 202).

147 It was also sometimes called the ‘Capella de’ Franchi’: see Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 167; Paolucci, ‘La tomba deH'imperatrice Maria’ (above, n. 145), 225.

148 The discovery of late antique sarcophagi beneath the chapel of Saint Petronilla occurred in three phases, with the first find of a marble sarcophagus in 1458, several more being unearthed in 1519, and finally the finding of Maria's sarcophagus in 1544. The discoveries were recorded in a number of contemporary Italian chronicles, such as that of Niccola della Tuccia of Viterbo. This and other sources for the discoveries are discussed in Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 171–4, and Paolucci, ‘La tomba dell'imperatrice Maria’ (above, n. 145), 225–31.

149 Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 173–4; Paolucci, ‘La tomba dell'imperatrice Maria’ (above, n. 145), 223, 232. The bulla is now in the Louvre, Paris. According to Paolucci, the other surviving item from Maria's burial treasure is an agate ladle, now in the Museo degli Argenti in Florence.

150 Augustine, Saint, Cum pagani ingrederentur 26, in Vingt-six sermons au peuple d'Afrique, ed. Dolbeau, F. (Paris, 1996), 266Google Scholar. See also Liverani, P., ‘Victors and pilgrims in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages’, Fragmenta 1 (2007), 83102Google Scholar, at p. 83.

151 On Junius Bassus, and also members of the high profile Probi-Anicii family being buried at Saint Peter's, see Paolucci, ‘La tomba dell'imperatrice Maria’ (above, n. 145), 246–9. The sarcophagus of Junius Bassus was discovered in 1597 (C/L VI 1737; PLR E 1.155).

152 The Liber Pontificalis records the burial places of each pope from Saint Peter (Liber Pontificalis [hereafter Lib. Pont.] 1) onwards, with Victor (died 195; Lib. Pont. 15) being the last until Leo I (died 461; Lib. Pont. 47) to be buried on the Vatican Hill near the tom b of Saint Peter. Th e reliability of the Liber Pontificalis as an accurate historical source often has been questioned, and reasonably so, but in this case in recording at least the tradition of where each pontiff was believed to have been buried, it is very useful. For a recent study on the source in general, see Geertman, H., Hie Fecit Basilicam: studi sul Liber Pontificalis e gli edifici ecclesiastic! di Roma da Silvestro a Silverio (Leuven, 2004)Google Scholar. The Chronography of 354, part 13 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Chronica Minora I (1892), 73–6Google Scholar) also provides a very useful list of bishops of Rome from Peter to Liberius (died 352), but does not provide information on their burial sites.

153 The Liber Pontificalis records sixteen papal burials at the cemetery of Callistus on the Via Appia, from Anicetus (died c. 160; Lib. Pont. 12) to Miltiades (died 314; Lib. Pont. 33). Similarly, the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria was credited with being the resting-place of six popes, from Marcellinus (died 303; Lib. Pont. 30) to Celestine (died 432; Lib. Pont. 45). On the attestation of Leo's burial, see Alchermes, ‘Petrine politics’ (above, n. 131), 12.

154 My estimate of members of the imperial family potentially buried in the mausoleum of Honorius includes: Empress Maria (died 408); Empress Thermantia (died 415); Emperor Constantius III (died 421); Emperor Honorius (died 423); Theodosius, the first son of Galla Placidia and the Visigothic king Athaulf, who died in 416, and was reinterred at Rome in 450; Empress Galla Placidia (died 450); Empress Justa Grata Honoria (died 450-5?); Emperor Valentinian III (died 455); and possibly also the later emperors Libius Severus (died 465) and Olybrius (died 472). See similarly the list of Johnson, who, however, omits Justa Grata Honoria from among the possible imperial burials (Johnson, The Roman Imperial Mausoleum (above, n. 131), 202). Although the question of where some of these individuals were buried remains debatable, I believe a case can be made that the location for each was the imperial mausoleum adjacent to Saint Peter's in Rome; with three attested imperial burials in the mausoleum, and other imperial family members in need of burial in the fifth century and whose burial sites remain largely unknown, it seems likely that more than three such burials took place in the mausoleum adjacent to Saint Peter's.

155 Between 400 and 500, twelve papal deaths occurred. Of these, according to the Liber Pontificalis, the burials of Anastasius I (died 401/2; Lib. Pont. 41) and Innocentius (died 417; Lib. Pont. 42) took place at the cemetery Ad Ursum Pileatum. Pope Zosimus (died 418; Lib. Pont. 43), Sixtus III (died 440; Lib. Pont. 46) and Hilarus (died 468; Lib. Pont. 48) were all buried at San Lorenzo fuori le mura. Boniface I (died 422; Lib. Pont. 44) was buried in the cemetery of Saint Felicity on the Via Salaria, and Celestine (died 432; Lib. Pont. 45) in the cemetery of Priscilla. Felix III (died 492; Lib. Pont. 50) was buried at San Paolo fuori le mura. Only with the death of Pope Leo the Great (died 461; Lib. Pont. 47) was a bishop of Rome certainly buried at the Vatican. Simplicius (died 483; Lib. Pont. 49), Gelasius (died 496; Lib. Pont. 51), Anastasius II (died 498; Lib. Pont. 52) and many bishops in the centuries to follow thereafter would be buried at Saint Peter's (Alchermes, ‘Petrine politics’ (above, n. 131), 12; see also Picard, J.-C., ‘Étude sur l'emplacement des tombes des papes du IIIe au Xe siècle’, Mélanges d'Archéologie et d'Histoire de I'École Française de Rome 81 (1969), 746–55)Google Scholar.

156 As Krautheimer observed, from its foundation onwards Saint Peter's was constantly competing with the Lateran as the focus of Christian Rome and the seat of the papacy: Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals (above, n. 2), 117.

157 Such as Boniface I, who built an oratory in the cemetery of Saint Felicity (Lib. Pont. 44), Hilarus who built a monastery at San Lorenzo (Lib. Pont. 48), and, indeed, Leo I, who renewed the apse-vault at Saint Peter's (Lib. Pont. 47). And admittedly, provincial bishops during this period were not necessarily being buried at their cathedral churches either — see, for example, Perpetuus of Tours, in Gregory of Tours X.31.

158 See specifically on this McLynn, N.B., ‘The transformation of imperial churchgoing in the fourth century’, in Swain, S. and Edwards, M. (eds), Approaching Late Antiquity: the Transformation from Early to Late Empire (Oxford, 2004), 235–70Google Scholar. Also Dagron, Emperor and Priest (above, n. 134), 127–57.

159 On the blurring of the issue of an emperor's role in the church, particularly as revealed by relations between Theodosius I and Ambrose of Milan, see McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 298–309. According to Sozomen, at one service Theodosius I took up a place in the sanctuary and was ordered out by the bishop (Sozomen 7.25.9). See further McLynn, ‘The transformation of imperial churchgoing’ (above, n. 158), 263–5.

160 Ambrose described Honorius as ‘assistente sacris altaribus’ Ambrose, De Obitu Theodosii 3). See further McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 357–8.

161 Leo, Epistulae 55.1; Pietri, C., Roma Christiana: recherches sur I'Église de Rome, son organisation, sa politique, son idéologie de Miltiade à Sixte III (311–330) (Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome 224), 2 vols (Rome, 1976), I, 382Google Scholar; Seeck, Regesten der Kaiser (above, n. 16), 384; Oost, Galla Placidia (above, n. 30), 287–9; Clover, F.M., ‘The family and early career of Anicius Olybrius’, Historia 27 (1978), 178–9Google Scholar.

162 Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 147. There is also a report of the imperial family's attendance at a service, along with the pope and members of the senate, for the reinterment of the infant son of Galla Placidia and the Visigoth Athaulf, Theodosius, who had died in Spain in 415, and originally had been buried in Barcelona (Prosper Tironis, Addimenta Altera A. 446–57, in Chronica Minora I, 489; also Oost, S.I., ‘Some problems in the history of Galla Placidia’, Classical Philology 60 (1965), 78Google Scholar.

163 For example, Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals (above, n. 2), 99, 121. Scholars such as Humphries have pointed out that this dating is premature: Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 25, 46–7, 54–7. Sotinel's important forthcoming article (‘La Domus Pinciana, résidence impériale de Rome’) will also examine imperial-church relations at Rome in the fifth century.

164 As Jane Merdinger demonstrated, assertions of papal primacy during this period did not meet with success everywhere: north African resistance to papal interference in local affairs during this period can be seen particularly in the case of Apiarius: see Merdinger, J.E., Rome and the African Church in the Time of Augustus (Yale, 1997), esp. pp. 183–99Google Scholar.

165 Lançon, Rome in Late Antiquity (above, n. 2), 30.

166 For details, see Lançon, Rome in Late Antiquity (above, n. 2), 30–1.

167 Collectio Avellana 3; also Krautheimer, R., Corpus Basilicarum Christianum Romae, 5 vols (Vatican City, 19371977), V, 97–8, 161–2Google Scholar.

168 Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 145.

169 Sixtus III is credited with the building of the basilica of Saint Mary (now Santa Maria Maggiore) (Lib. Pont. 46), and Leo I with renewing Saint Peter's basilica (Lib. Pont. 47). For further details, see Krautheimer, ‘The architecture of Sixtus III’ (above, n. 2), 291–302; Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals (above, n. 2), 96–100; Pietri, Roma Christiana (above, n. 161), I, 503–14.

170 Lib. Pont. 46.

171 Lib. Pont. 46.

172 ILS 817; see also Krautheimer, Corpus Basilicarum Christianum Romae (above, n. 167), I, 167; Oost, Galla Placidia (above, n. 30), 269–71.

175 Lib. Pont. 46.

174 Prudentius, Peristephanon 12.49.

175 ILCV 1761, a, b, c; ICUR II, 28, 68 note; see also Krautheimer, Corpus Basilicarum Christianum Romae (above, n. 167), V, 99.

176 Krautheimer Corpus Basilicarum Christianum Romae (above, n. 167), III, 181.

177 ILS 819; Krautheimer, Corpus Basilicarum Christianum Romae (above, n. 167), III, 181.

178 On the imperial court's church benefactions at Ravenna, see Agnellus, Liber Pontificalis 17, 41–3; also Oost, Galla Placidia (above, n. 30), 273-87; Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 146, n. 55.

179 And as Bryan Ward-Perkins has pointed out, imperial patronage of church building efforts at Rome during the reign of Valentinian III far outstrips the more famous imperial church benefactions at Ravenna during the same period (B. Ward-Perkins, From Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages: Urban Public Building in Northern and Central Italy, AD 300-850 (Oxford, 1984), 241Google Scholar). This point is emphasized also by Humphries in his forthcoming ‘The city of Rome and Valentinian III (425-455)’.

180 As Gillett has pointed out in connection with the building projects of Sixtus III and Leo I: ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 145.

181 Lib. Pont. 44; Jones, Later Roman Empire (above, n. 16), I, 210-11; Chastagnol, A., La prefectaire urbaine a Rome sous le Bas-Empire (Paris, 1960), 172–7Google Scholar; Honoré, Law in the Crisis of Empire (above, n. 52), 245.

182 Pope Leo's appeal to Valentinian III in 445 over the issue does not survive, but his ruling on the case does (Leo, Epistulae 10), and the surviving law of Valentinian III deals explicitly with the case, making Leo's appeal to the emperor undisputed. O n the case of Hilary of Aries, see M. Heinzelmann, ‘The affair of Hilary of Aries (445) and Gallo-Roman identity in the fifth century’, in Drinkwater and Elton (eds), Fifth Century Gaul (above, n. 56), 239–51.

183 NVal. 17.2: his talibus et contra imperil maiestatem et contra reverentiam apostolicae sedis admissis …

184 Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 149, 152–4. Also Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 40–1.

185 Humphries, ‘From emperor to pope?’ (above, n. 5), 40.

186 Ongoing excavations on the Pincian Hill in the last decade have uncovered what appears to be the remains of a fifth-century imperial palace, which the excavators have suggested may have been built following the sack of 410, and prior to Honorius's visit to Rome in 416. See Broise, H., Dewailly, M. and Jolivet, V., ‘Rome: Pincio (Jardins de Lucullus)’, Melanges de I'Ecole Francaise de Rome. Antiquite 112 (2000), I, 432–53Google Scholar, esp. p. 448. Such a palace — and indeed the proximity of such an imperial residence to the Vatican — would have direct significance to this argument regarding the character of fifth-century imperial presence in the city. Sotinel's forthcoming article, ‘La Domus Pinciana, residence imperiale de Rome’, explores this issue more thoroughly.

187 MacCormack, Art and Ceremony (above, n. 68), 150.

188 It is worth considering the possibility (suggested to me by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill) that after Theodosius I's famous anti-pagan legislation of 391 (for details, see Matthews, Western Aristocracies (above, n. 16), 232, 236; McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (above, n. 25), 331-3), Rome became a ‘safer’ location for the courts of Christian child-emperors: however, I do not think this would explain sufficiently the trend of imperial visits and residencies in the city after 395. In 389 Theodosius I had happily brought his five-year-old son Honorius to Rome for victory celebrations, and furthermore the regimes of both Honorius and Valentinian III, despite this anti-pagan legislation, showed no aversion to involving and encouraging pagan aristocrats, such as Symmachus and Virius Nicomachus Flavianus, at their courts.

189 The accession of Flavius Constantius in 421 is the obvious counter-argument to any such claim.

190 For details, see Drinkwater, ‘The usurpers’ (above, n. 30), 269–98; and Kulikowski, M., ‘Barbarians in Gaul, usurpers in Britain’, Britannia 31 (2000), 325–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar. And, indeed, Sidonius Apollinaris, in a speech delivered in 455 at Rome, for the consulship of Avitus, expressed a candidly unfavourable contemporary opinion of child-emperorship: see Carmina 7.532–42.

191 On Anthemius, see, for example, Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina 2.199–201; on Majorian, Carmina 5.470–2; and most conspicuously on Avitus, Carmina 7.241–63.

192 Anthemius, emperor from 467 to 472, spent the whole of his reign at Rome, as Gilletfs charting of his court's movements has shown (Gillett, ‘Rome, Ravenna’ (above, n. 5), 152–3); similarly Olybrius's short reign (472) was spent entirely at Rome (Gillett, pp. 153–4), and the longer reign of Libius Severus (emperor from 461 to 465) shows the emperor probably resident at Rome from 463 to 465 (Gillett, p. 151). The very recent monograph of Deborah Deliyannis (Ravenna in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 2010), at p. 104Google Scholar) makes the interesting point that after Valentinian III, emperors with stronger senatorial connections tended to focus on Rome during their short reigns (for example Petronius Maximus and Anthemius), while emperors who were backed by generals or were generals themselves (for example Majorian and Libius Severus) still spent significant amounts of time at Ravenna. This development is genuine and significant; nevertheless, it is worth remembering that even these general-backed emperors usually spent time at Rome, while the interests of emperors like Honorius and Valentinian III in the city of Rome clearly emerged well before the rapidly changing ‘shadow-emperors’ of the last two decades of the western Roman empire.

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