restricted access Epilogue

From: 428 AD

Princeton University Press colophon
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

• EPILOGUE • O  ends here. It is well known what would happen next.The western part of the Roman Empire survived for about a half century, and the new Rome would take on the mantle of the old one. We must, however, secure the image of   and its aftermath. The year  of the Common Era was of course also the year of the consuls Felix and Taurus and  from the foundation of Rome (and we could go on, given that several calendars and chronological systems existed at the time).1 We will restrict ourselves to recalling the fate of some of the main characters we have encountered. Artashes of Armenia ended his days on Persian soil, probably in the notorious “Fortress of Oblivion,” where some of his predecessors had also been locked up.2 The Sassanids did not persecute the Armenian Church and did not encroach upon its privileges, but rather they tried to control it in the same way as they had controlled the Christians of Iran. The elderly katholikós Sahak was restored to his position, but shortly afterwards he retired to a hermitage, where he died around . The loyal ambassador Flavius Dionysius continued his diplomatic activities after having held the position of consul. A few years later,Theodosius sent him to King Ruga of the Huns, who was Attila’s uncle and predecessor. Nestorius was repudiated in  at the Council of Ephesus, and summoned to appear before Theodosius, whose decision met with the support of Pope Celestine and Cyril of Alexandria. The pope died in , a year after Paulinus of Nola. Following a period in which Nestorius and his remaining loyal supporters put up some resistance, the former bishop’s works were publicly burnt.They eventually deported him to Egypt, where he was kidnapped by the Blemmyans, but managed somehow to return to Thebais in a rather poor state, and ended his days in the governor’s custody. In the meantime, the wars between Rome, the Blemmyans, and Noubades  E P I L O G U E continued until , when a peace treaty was signed with Governor Maximinus (Priscus of Panion, fr. ).3 Abbot Hypatius continued to impose his own brand of charismatic intransigence. Around  he managed to stop Leontius, the prefect of Constantinople, from restoring the Olympics. The games, which had regularly taken place until the fourth century, had been suspended because of the antipagan campaign. Leontius’s idea was to bring them closer to the capital by moving them from Olympia to Chalcedon, and the plan did not encounter any opposition from Nestorius; after all, the games at the hippodrome, which dominated life in Constantinople, followed the traditional pagan calendar. But Hypatius’s zeal against the “this terrible feast of Satan”(Callinicus,Life of Saint Hypatius,) meant that the games had no future, and would not have one until Baron de Coubertin successfully restored them in . In May , Gaiseric led his people into Mauretania, and from there to the Roman provinces of Numidia and Africa: the sources talk of eighty thousand men.4 Saint Augustine died of an illness in , a year before the fall of Hippo. Other clerics, such as Quodvultdeus and Salvian of Marseilles, would witness the barbarian government. Bonifacius , the count of Africa, stayed on in Africa until  in an attempt to halt the Vandal advance. On his return to Italy, he was killed in battle by his rival, Aetius,5 and after his death, his enemies spread rumors that he had been responsible for inviting the Vandals for some unspecified Machiavellian reason.6 This version, which was taken up in Byzantine sources such as Procopius and Jordanes, came to be believed: after all, Vortigern had done the same thing in Britannia when he invited the Saxons. The Vandal kingdom lasted for nearly a century, and in , Gaiseric led a contingent of Vandals and Mauri against Rome, which was plundered once again. Theodosius died at the age of fifty after falling from a horse. He never gave up on the idea of a war against Iran, which he did in fact launch in , but then had to suspend hostilities to go to the assistance of Valentinian III, who had been attacked by Vandal forces now stationed in Sicily.7 In , the virgin Pulcheria finally managed to free herself of her rival Eudocia, who in  withdrew to a convent. After her brother’s death, she attempted to maintain the legitimacy of the Theodosian dynasty by marrying General Marcian (without, however, E P I...


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