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Keyword: lateantiquity

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  • "Noble in person and excellent in royal manners" ~ Baptism of Desire and Valentinian II

    05/15/2019 1:31:13 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 5 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | May 15, 2019 | Florentius
    On May 15, anno domini 392, the young Western Roman Emperor Valentinian II was found dead in the imperial residence at Vienne in southern Gaul. It is said he was hanged using his own handkerchief. Son of the great warrior emperor, Valentinian I, the younger Valentinian had been declared emperor when he was only four years old upon the premature death of is father in AD 375, even though his half-brother, Gratian, already ruled as co-emperor in the West. Under the regency of his mother, the forceful Empress Justina, and the protection of the army, Valentinian II came to an...
  • "We are to be thrown overboard by the Empire" ~ The short reign of...Julius Nepos

    05/10/2019 6:49:10 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 12 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | May 9, 2019 | Florentius
    May 9 is one of several possible dates given for the death of the last Western Roman emperor, Julius Nepos, in the year AD 480. “Wait,” you say. “I thought the last Western Emperor was Romulus Augustulus who was deposed by Odoacer the Scirian in AD 476.” Well, about that... Julius Nepos was named Western Emperor by the ailing Eastern Roman emperor Leo in AD 473. Leo did this because he opposed the puppet emperor Glycerius who had been raised by the Burgundian general Gundobad. According to the Chronicle of John of Antioch, this Gundobad had personally beheaded the Western...
  • A passionate longing to acquire (and destroy) books~ The cognitive dissonance of Julian the Apostate

    04/11/2019 6:24:41 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 9 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | April 10, 2019 | Florentius
    In doing some research on the previous post, I ran across this intriguing letter from Julian the Apostate to Ecdicius, the Prefect of Egypt. Julian wrote the letter at the end of January in AD 362 and it follows up on the assassination of George, the Arian bishop of Alexandria, by a pagan mob in his city. Here is the brief letter in full: Some men have a passion for horses, others for birds, others, again, for wild beasts; but I, from childhood, have been penetrated by a passionate longing to acquire books. It would therefore be absurd if I...
  • "He hated the entire city intensely" ~ St. Eupsychius and Julian the Apostate's reaction...

    04/09/2019 5:31:12 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 24 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | 4/9/19 | Florentius
    April 9 is the traditional feast day of the little known saint, Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Though he lived after the time of Constantine, Eupsychius was a martyr who suffered during the reign of Julian the Apostate. His crime, apparently, was his role in the destruction of the Temple of Fortune in Caesarea ca. AD 362 immediately after the accession of Julian to the imperial throne. The historian Hermias Sozomen, writing about 80 years after the event, provides the only close-contemporary account of Eupsychius’s death: It is said that about this period, Basil, presbyter of the church of Ancyra,...
  • "I condemn Agape and Chionia to be burnt alive." ~ April 3, AD 303

    04/03/2019 12:17:40 PM PDT · by Antoninus · 41 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | April 3, 2017 | Florentius
    April 3 is the Catholic feast day of three sisters who were executed during the persecution of Diocletian in AD 303: Agape, Chionia and Irene. The three were citizens of the city of Thessalonica in Macedonia which was also the hometown of Diocletian's Caesar, or junior emperor, Galerius. It was Galerius who first instigated Diocletian to commence an empire-wide persecution of Christians, so it is perhaps not surprising to find the attack being pressed so vigorously there. We are fortunate that the authentic acts of these martyrs have come down to us from antiquity largely intact. The transcript of their...
  • March 23, AD 536 ~ Mutiny of Justinian's Army in Africa

    03/23/2019 10:09:36 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 14 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | Florentius
    After his stunning re-conquest of Roman north Africa, and destruction of the Vandalic kingdom, Belisarius returned to Constantinople late in AD 534. He left prematurely because a conspiracy had sprung up accusing him of seeking to usurp the imperial power and set himself up as king of Africa. To defuse suspicion, he packed up his household and returned to the capital, his ships laden with the Vandal royalty as captives and the legendary Vandal treasure. Once in Constantinople, Belisarius received a traditional Roman triumph. But while the imperial court celebrated, the situation in Africa deteriorated. Belisarius had left his former...
  • Constantine's Vision of the Cross ~ Early Accounts and Backstory

    03/19/2019 7:07:09 AM PDT · by Antoninus · 13 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | 10/27/17 | Florentius
    Constantine's great victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge took place on October 28, AD 312. The day before — October 27 — is the date traditionally given for the miraculous vision and dream which Constantine experienced prior to the battle. This vision has been the subject of debate in both scholarly and popular imagination for hundreds of years. But what really happened on that day 1,705 years ago that changed forever the course of human history? As a prelude to the famous accounts of this vision, it should be noted that Constantine also seems to have had pagan...
  • "This scoundrel does not even have a bone in his body" ~ Theodoric becomes king of Italy

    03/05/2019 9:56:14 AM PST · by Antoninus · 8 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | 3/4/18 | Florentius
    On March 5 in AD 493, Theodoric the Ostrogoth entered Ravenna, having forced Odoacar the Scirian, who had ruled Italy as rex for 17 years, to agree to joint rule. This agreement ended the war between them which had been ongoing for nearly four years. Odoacar had deposed the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, in AD 476 and had ruled Italy himself since then. Attempts by the Eastern Roman emperor Zeno to get Odoacar to recognize even the appearance of Roman suzerainty over Italy were continually rebuffed. In 489, when faced with a dangerous Ostrogothic horde outside the walls...
  • These are the triumphs of the Goths and Sarmatians. Destruction of the Church at Nicomedia in AD 303

    02/26/2019 9:51:03 AM PST · by Antoninus · 12 replies
    Gloria Romanorum ^ | 2/26/19 | Florentius
    In AD 303 on February 23, the Christian church of Nicomedia in Roman Bithynia was utterly destroyed. In this case, by “church” I am referring to the physical building as opposed to the human beings of Nicomedia who professed the Christian faith. Their destruction would come later. The pulling down of the church of Nicomedia marked the beginning of a violent, Roman Empire-wide repression of Christianity known to future generations as the Great Persecution. This state-sponsored attack would be the most violent, wide-ranging, and longest-lasting effort of the Roman government to wipe out the hated Christian sect. It would also...
  • Two volcanoes trigger crises of the late antiquity

    04/19/2016 11:42:49 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 33 replies
    Geology Page ^ | April 2016 | unattributed
    Contemporary chroniclers wrote about a "mystery cloud" which dimmed the light of the sun above the Mediterranean in the years 536 and 537 CE. Tree rings testify poor growing conditions over the whole Northern Hemisphere - the years from 536 CE onward seem to have been overshadowed by an unusual natural phenomenon. Social crises including the first European plague pandemic beginning in 541, are associated with this phenomenon. Only recently have researchers found conclusive proof of a volcanic origin of the 536 solar dimming, based on traces of volcanic sulfur from two major eruptions newly dated to 536 CE and...