Priscus Attalus was twice Roman usurper, against Emperor Honorius, with Visigothic support. He was the last non-Christian Roman emperor. Priscus Attalus was a Greek from Asia whose father had moved to Italy under Valentinian I. Attalus was an important senator in Rome, who served as praefectus urbi in 409, he was twice proclaimed emperor by the Visigoths, in an effort to impose their terms on the ineffectual Emperor Honorius, in Ravenna. He held the title of Emperor in Rome, during 409, in Burdigala in 414, his two reigns lasted only a few months. Attalus was obliged to participate in the triumph Honorius celebrated in the streets of Rome in 416, before finishing his days exiled in the Aeolian Islands. Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Media related to Priscus Attalus at Wikimedia Commons Elton, Hugh, "Attalus", De Imperatoribus Romanis
Eunapius was a Greek sophist and historian of the 4th century AD. His principal surviving work is the Lives of Philosophers and Sophists, a collection of the biographies of 23 philosophers and sophists, he was born at Sardis, AD 346. In his native city he studied under his relative, the sophist Chrysanthius, while still a youth went to Athens, where he became a favourite pupil of Prohaeresius the rhetorician, he possessed considerable knowledge of medicine. Eunapius was the author of two works, one entitled Lives of Philosophers and Sophists, Universal History consisting of a continuation of the history of Dexippus; the former work is still extant. It embraced the history of events from AD 270–404; the Lives of Philosophers and Sophists, a collection of the biographies of 23 older and contemporary philosophers and sophists, is valuable as the only source for the history of the Neoplatonism of that period. The style of both works is marked by a spirit of bitter hostility to Christianity. Photius had before him a "new edition" of the history in which the passages most offensive to Christians were omitted.
The Lives of Philosophers and Sophists consists of the biographies of the following philosophers and sophists: Plotinus, Iamblichus, Sosipatra, Aedesius the Cappadocian, Ablabius, Maximus, Julian of Cappadocia, Epiphanius, Sopolis, Parnacius, Acacius, Zeno of Cyprus, Oribasius and Chrysanthius. In his years he seems to have lived at Athens, teaching rhetoric. Initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, he was admitted into the college of the Eumolpidae and became hierophant. There is evidence. Edition of the Lives by JF Boissonade, with notes by D Wyttenbach History fragments in C. W. Müller, Fragmenta Hist. Graecorum, iv. V. Cousin, Fragments philosophiques, translation: W. C. Wright in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Philostratus's Lives of the Sophists; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Eunapius". Encyclopædia Britannica. 9. Cambridge University Press. P. 890. Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists. Eunapius, Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists.
Translated by Wilmer C. Wright. 1921. Loeb Classical Library. ISBN 978-0-674-99149-1 1568 editio princeps of the Vitae sophistarum English translation of the Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists and Introduction by Wilmer Cave Wright from the Tertullian Project. Greek Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Graeca with Analytical Indexes Βίοι Φιλοσόφων καὶ Σοφιστῶν Philostratorum et Callistrati opera, Eunapii vitae sophistarum, Himerii sophistae declamationes, A. Westermann, Jo. Fr. Boissoade, Fr. Dübner, editore Ambrosio Firmin Didot, 1849, pp. 453-505
Galerius was Roman emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign, he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299, he campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300. Although he was a staunch opponent of Christianity, Galerius ended the Diocletianic Persecution when he issued an Edict of Toleration in Serdica in 311. Galerius was born near Serdica, in Dacia Ripensis named Dacia Mediterranea, though some modern scholars consider the strategic site where he built his palace named after his mother – Felix Romuliana – his birth and funeral place, his father was a Thracian and his mother Romula was a Dacian woman, who left Dacia because of the Carpians' attacks. He followed his father's occupation, that of a herdsman, where he got his surname of Armentarius, he served with distinction as a soldier under Emperors Aurelian and Probus, in 293 at the establishment of the Tetrarchy, was designated Caesar along with Constantius Chlorus, receiving in marriage Diocletian's daughter Valeria, at the same time being entrusted with the care of the Illyrian provinces.
After a few years campaigning against Sarmatians and Goths on the Danube, he received command of the legions on the eastern imperial limits. Soon after his appointment, Galerius was dispatched to Egypt to fight the rebellious cities Busiris and Coptos. In 294, Narseh, a son of Shapur I, passed over for the Sassanid succession, came into power in Persia. Narseh moved to eliminate Bahram III, a young man installed by a noble named Vahunam in the wake of Bahram II's death in 293. In early 294, Narseh sent Diocletian the customary package of gifts, but within Persia, he was destroying every trace of his immediate predecessors, erasing their names from public monuments, he sought to identify himself with the warlike reigns of Ardashir and Shapur, who had sacked Roman Antioch and captured Emperor Valerian. In 295 or 296, Narseh declared war on Rome, he appears to have first invaded western Armenia, retaking the lands delivered to Tiridates in the peace of 287. He occupied the lands there until the following year.
The historian Ammianus Marcellinus, circa 320-395, is the only source detailing the initial invasion of Armenia. Southern dates the invasion to 295. Narseh moved south into Roman Mesopotamia, where he inflicted a severe defeat on Galerius commander of the eastern forces, in the region between Carrhae and Callinicum. Diocletian may or may not have been present at the battle, but presented himself soon afterwards at Antioch, where the official version of events was made clear: Galerius was to take all the blame for the affair. In Antioch, Diocletian forced Galerius to walk a mile in advance of his imperial cart while still clad in the purple robes of an emperor; the message conveyed. Galerius' position at the head of the caravan was the conventional organization of an imperial progression, designed to show a Caesar's deference to his Augustus. Galerius's army was reinforced in the spring of 298 by new contingents collected from the empire's Danubian holdings. Narseh did not advance from Armenia and Mesopotamia leaving Galerius to lead the offensive in 298 with an attack on northern Mesopotamia via Armenia.
Diocletian may not have been present to assist the campaign. Narseh retreated to Armenia to fight Galerius' force, to Narseh's disadvantage. Local aid gave Galerius the advantage of surprise over the Persian forces, and, in two successive battles, Galerius secured victories over Narseh. During the second encounter, the Battle of Satala in 298, Roman forces seized Narseh's camp, his treasury, his harem, his wife. Narseh's wife would live out the remainder of the war in Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, serving as a constant reminder to the Persians of the Roman victory. Galerius advanced into Media and Adiabene, winning continuous victories, most prominently near Theodosiopolis, securing Nisibis before 1 October 298, he moved down the Tigris, taking Ctesiphon, gazing onwards to the ruins of Babylon before returning to Roman territory via the Euphrates. No source specifically claims that Ctesiphon was sacked, but it is assumed to have been due to the seizure of Narseh's wife and harem. Narseh had sent an ambassador to Galerius to plead for the return of his wife and children, but Galerius had dismissed this ambassador, reminding him of how Shapur had treated Valerian.
The Romans, in any case, treated Narseh's captured family well seeking to evoke comparisons to Alexander and his beneficent conduct towards the family of Darius III. Peace negotiations began with both Diocletian and Galerius presiding, their magister memoriae. The conditions of the Peace of Nisibis were heavy: Persia would give up territory to Rome, making the Tigris the boundary between the two empires. Further terms specified that Armenia was returned to Roman domination with the f
G. E. M. de Ste. Croix
Geoffrey Ernest Maurice de Ste. Croix, known informally as Croicks, was a British historian who specialised in examining the classical era from a Marxist perspective, he was Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at New College, Oxford from 1953 to 1977, where he taught scholars including Robin Lane Fox, Robert Parker and Nicholas Richardson. De Ste. Croix was born in Macau, his parents were born in China to British expatriates. His father, Ernest Henry de Ste Croix, who died when he was four, was an official in the Chinese Customs, their Huguenot ancestors fled to Jersey during the time of Louis XIV. His mother, née Florence Annie MacGowan, was the daughter of a Protestant missionary, he was educated in Bristol. He left school at the age of 15 and became an articled clerk, which allowed him to train as a solicitor, without a degree in law, he was admitted as a solicitor in 1932 and practised until 1940. He had a strong physique and was a talented tennis player, competing in the singles and doubles tournament at Wimbledon from 1930 to 1932.
During World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force, was stationed for a time in Egypt, where he had the opportunity to expand his knowledge of ancient languages. After the war ended, de Ste. Croix studied ancient history at University College, London. From 1950 to 1953 he taught at the London School of Economics and Birkbeck College, before being appointed a fellow of New College, Oxford, he lived at Oxford for the rest of his life. He had a daughter, he had two sons from his second marriage. Within the circles of classical scholarship, de Ste. Croix—as an exponent of a Marxist epistemological approach—was involved in debate with Sir Moses Finley, an advocate of Weberian societal analysis; the two exchanged letters and their disagreements were always civil. De Ste. Croix is best known for his books The Origins of the Peloponnesian War and The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World from the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests, he was a noted contributor on the issue of Christian persecution between the reigns of the Roman Emperors Trajan and Diocletian.
Of particular note in this regard are the articles written by de Ste. Croix and A. N. Sherwin-White, each challenging the opinions of the other. There were four in total, displaying the light-hearted banter evident in de Ste. Croix's correspondence with Moses Finley. De Ste. Croix's influential article The Character of the Athenian Empire, which first appeared in Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, provoked a fresh debate about the nature of the Delian League and the Athenian Empire which continues to this day; the article was based on a paper The Alleged Unpopularity of the Athenian Empire delivered to the London Classical Association on 14 June 1950. The Origins of the Peloponnesian War made several major contributions to scholarship on the subject, the major one being a reinterpretation of the Megarian Decree, passed by the Athenian Ekklesia in 432 BC. Most scholarship hitherto had considered the decree to involve economic sanctions by excluding the Megarian state and Megarian traders from access to ports throughout the Athenian Empire.
De Ste. Croix instead interpreted it as a religious sanction. De Ste. Croix maintained that the sanction was exercised not to hurt the Megarians—which it could not do, given the nature of trade and economics in the ancient world, but on religious grounds felt to be genuine by the Athenians; this argument has not achieved general acceptance among historians. The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World was an attempt to establish the validity of a historical materialist analysis of the ancient Greek and Roman world, it covers the period from Greek pre-classical times to the Arab conquest. Part one addresses fundamental topics. After an expository plan chapter II begins with an apologia of De Ste. Croix's understanding of basic classical Marxist theory and some specific terms; the remainder of Part One is a detailed analysis of these concepts applied to the Ancient Greek World. Part II contains the historical analysis per se and begins with an exposition of how the economic processes addressed in part I lead to a gradual but complete eradication of Greek democracy by the middle of the Roman principate.
The remaining chapters focus on Rome and put forth the thesis that it was the increasing dependence on slave labor and diminishment of what would be considered in a modern context the middle classes, the actual cause of the collapse. There is a lengthy discussion of the significance of the mode by which surplus value is generated. De Ste. Croix makes the point that the mode of surplus extraction is not the same as the mode of production engaged in by a majority of the population; that while a small portion of the work force were slaves, Rome under the principate nonetheless became a slave society. "The character of the Athenian empire" in Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, 1954, 3, pp. 1–41. "Greek And Roman Accounting" 1956. The Origins of the Peloponnesi
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail. The work describes the rise of the Roman Republic to the status of dominance in the ancient Mediterranean world and includes his eyewitness account of the Sack of Carthage in 146 BC. Polybius is important for his analysis of the mixed constitution or the separation of powers in government, influential on Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws and the framers of the United States Constitution. Polybius was born around 200 BC in Megalopolis, when it was an active member of the Achaean League, his father, was a prominent, land-owning politician and member of the governing class who became strategos of the Achaean League. Polybius was able to observe first hand the political and military affairs of Megalopolis, he developed an interest in horse riding and hunting, diversions that commended him to his Roman captors. In 182 BC, he was given quite an honor when he was chosen to carry the funeral urn of Philopoemen, one of the most eminent Achaean politicians of his generation.
In either 169 BC or 170 BC, Polybius was elected hipparchus, an event which presaged election to the annual strategia. His early political career was devoted towards maintaining the independence of Megalopolis. Polybius’ father, was a prominent advocate of neutrality during the Roman war against Perseus of Macedon. Lycortas attracted the suspicion of the Romans, Polybius subsequently was one of the 1,000 Achaean nobles who were transported to Rome as hostages in 167 BC, was detained there for 17 years. In Rome, by virtue of his high culture, Polybius was admitted to the most distinguished houses, in particular to that of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, the conqueror in the Third Macedonian War, who entrusted Polybius with the education of his sons and Scipio Aemilianus. Polybius remained on cordial terms with his former pupil Scipio Aemilianus and was among the members of the Scipionic Circle; when Scipio defeated the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War, Polybius remained his counsellor.
The Achaean hostages were released in 150 BC, Polybius was granted leave to return home, but the next year he went on campaign with Scipio Aemilianus to Africa, was present at the Sack of Carthage in 146, which he described. Following the destruction of Carthage, Polybius journeyed along the Atlantic coast of Africa, as well as Spain. After the destruction of Corinth in the same year, Polybius returned to Greece, making use of his Roman connections to lighten the conditions there. Polybius was charged with the difficult task of organizing the new form of government in the Greek cities, in this office he gained great recognition. In the succeeding years, Polybius resided in Rome, completing his historical work while undertaking long journeys through the Mediterranean countries in the furtherance of his history, in particular with the aim of obtaining firsthand knowledge of historical sites, he interviewed veterans to clarify details of the events he was recording and was given access to archival material.
Little is known of Polybius' life. He wrote about this war in a lost monograph. Polybius returned to Greece in his life, as evidenced by the many existent inscriptions and statues of him there; the last event mentioned in his Histories seems to be the construction of the Via Domitia in southern France in 118 BC, which suggests the writings of Pseudo-Lucian may have some grounding in fact when they state, " fell from his horse while riding up from the country, fell ill as a result and died at the age of eighty-two". Polybius’ Histories cover the period from 264 BC to 146 BC, its main focus is the period from 220 BC to 167 BC, describing Rome's efforts in subduing its arch-enemy and thereby becoming the dominant Mediterranean force. Books I through V of The Histories are the introduction for the years during his lifetime, describing the politics in leading Mediterranean states, including ancient Greece and Egypt, culminating in their ultimate συμπλοκή or interconnectedness. In Book VI, Polybius describes the political and moral institutions that allowed the Romans to succeed.
He describes the Second Punic Wars. Polybius concludes the Romans are the pre-eminent power because they have customs and institutions which promote a deep desire for noble acts, a love of virtue, piety towards parents and elders, a fear of the gods, he chronicled the conflicts between Hannibal and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus such as the Battle of Ticinus, the Battle of the Trebia, the Siege of Saguntum, the Battle of Lilybaeum, the Battle of Rhone Crossing. In Book XII, Polybius discusses the worth of Timaeus’ account of the same period of history, he asserts Timaeus' point of view is inaccurate and biased in favor of Rome. Therefore, Polybius's Histories is useful in analyzing the different Hellenistic versions of history and of use as a credible illustration of actual events during the Hellenistic period. In the seventh volume of his Histories, Polybius defines the historian's job as the analysis of documentation, the review of relevant geographical information, political experience.
Polybius held that historians should only chronicle events whose participants the historian was able to interview, was among the first to champion the notion of factual integrity in historical wri
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great known as Constantine I, was a Roman Emperor who ruled between 306 and 337 AD. Born in Naissus, in Dacia Ripensis, town now known as Niš, he was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman Army officer, his mother was Empress Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia. Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum after his father's death in 306 AD, he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial and military reforms to strengthen the empire, he restructured the government, separating military authorities.
To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, the Sarmatians—even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Although he lived much of his life as a pagan, as a catechumen, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia, he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the forged Donation of Constantine, he has been referred to as the "First Christian Emperor", he did promote the Christian Church. Some modern scholars, debate his beliefs and his comprehension of the Christian faith itself; the age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He renamed the city Constantinople after himself, it became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, with the eastern Roman Empire now being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians. His more immediate political legacy was that he replaced Diocletian's tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession by leaving the empire to his sons, his reputation for centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity.
Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign, due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. Constantine was a ruler of major importance, he has always been a controversial figure; the fluctuations in his reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. These are abundant and detailed, but they have been influenced by the official propaganda of the period and are one-sided; the nearest replacement is Eusebius's Vita Constantini—a mixture of eulogy and hagiography written between 335 AD and circa 339 AD—that extols Constantine's moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, modern historians have challenged its reliability; the fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini, a work of uncertain date, which focuses on military and political events to the neglect of cultural and religious matters.
Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum, a political Christian pamphlet on the reigns of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, provides valuable but tendentious detail on Constantine's predecessors and early life. The ecclesiastical histories of Socrates and Theodoret describe the ecclesiastic disputes of Constantine's reign. Written during the reign of Theodosius II, a century after Constantine's reign, these ecclesiastic historians obscure the events and theologies of the Constantinian period through misdirection, misrepresentation, deliberate obscurity; the contemporary writings of the orthodox Christian Athanasius and the ecclesiastical history of the Arian Philostorgius survive, though their biases are no less firm. The epitomes of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. Although not Christian, the epitomes paint a favourable image of Constantine but omit reference to Constantine's religious policies.
The Panegyrici Latini, a collection of panegyrics