Contents

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1. Laying the Foundations of a Political Career: The Orationes

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pp. 1-30

The first phase of Symmachus’ career before he achieved the urban prefectureship in 384 is well documented by the Orationes. His appointment as senatorial ambassador in 368 marked a turning point in his life. It was at the court of Valentinian I that Symmachus established his reputation as orator and, for the first time, acted as mediator between senate and ...

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2. The Rise and Fall of an Urban Prefect: The Relationes

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pp. 31-57

In late spring of 384,1 Symmachus was appointed to the praefectura urbis, the highest offi ce in a senatorial career. 2 His term of office began under the best auspices: the new urban prefect could count on the support at court of the praetorian prefect, his good friend Vettius Agorius Praetextatus. But the tenure proved to be a very diffi cult one, and Praetextatus’ untimely death ...

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3. Maintaining Friendships, Building Alliances, and Protecting the Family: The Epistulae

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pp. 59-85

The correspondence of Symmachus covers the entire span of his career. It begins with a letter addressed to Nicomachus Flavianus at the time of Symmachus’ correctorship of Lucania and Bruttii and Flavianus’ governorship of Sicily (364–65) 1 and ends with a group of letters written upon Symmachus’ return from his last embassy to the imperial court in Milan (402).2 ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 87-89

This book begins with Symmachus’ embassy to the imperial court in Trier in the winter of 369 and ends with his embassy to the besieged court in Milan in the winter of 402. These two embassies mark the beginning and end of Symmachus’ political career (and, presumably, of his life), and other ...

Notes

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pp. 91-130

References

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pp. 131-136

Index

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pp. 137-140