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Governare e riformare l’impero al momento della sua divisione : Oriente, Occidente, Illirico

 | 
Umberto Roberto
, 
Laura Mecella

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1Sylvain Destephen, Rhétorique et politique au Ve siècle : éloge de la réforme, éloge de la restauration ou éloge de la réaction
À travers une étude détaillée des thèmes présents dans les panégyriques d’empereurs et de gouverneurs composés entre 363 et 518, une période considérée comme un « long Ve siècle », est examinée l’attitude des élites dirigeantes des deux moitiés de l’Empire romain à l’égard du concept de réforme. Du point de vue de la théorie politique comme de la pratique du pouvoir, la réforme est acceptable et appréciée dans la mesure où elle permet de garantir le maintien et la transmission d’un système de valeurs et de principes hérité de la tradition.
The paper aims to show the attitude of the elite group in the two halves of the Roman Empire to political reformism during the fifth century. An in-depth analysis is conducted in the panegyrics of the period between 363 and 518. From both a theoretical and a practical point of view, the political reformism is accepted and approved as a tool to ensure the preservation of a system of values and virtues inherited from tradition.


2Laura Mecella, L’amministrazione di Taziano e Proculo e il destino dei Lici tra Teodosio e Arcadio
Vengono analizzate le principali linee guida dell’amministrazione di Fl. Eutolmio Taziano e del figlio Proculo (rispettivamente praefectus praetorio Orientis e praefectus urbis Constantinopolitanae tra 388 e 392), soprattutto attraverso l’analisi delle costituzioni imperiali e della testimonianza di Libanio. La loro azione di governo – incentrata sulla tutela delle città, sul rispetto dei culti pagani e sull'autonomia dei poteri municipali – si inserisce perfettamente nella tradizione politica dell'Oriente ellenistico, ma appare in netto contrasto con quella dell’imperatore Teodosio: da qui la condanna subita dai due personaggi e la decisione imperiale di esautorare tutti i loro connazionali dagli uffici pubblici. La parabola di Taziano e Proculo non va letta solamente come l’esito di lotte religiose o di rivalità personali, ma esprime il conflitto tra le istanze dei ceti dirigenti locali e la politica accentratrice e autoritaria dell'imperatore e dei funzionari a lui più fedelmente legati.
The main guidelines of the administration of Fl. Eutolmius Tatianus and of his son Proculus (who were respectively praefectus praetorio Orientis and praefectus urbis Constantinopolitanae between 388 and 392) are analised, mostly in the light of imperial constitutions and the writings of Libanius. Their administration, based on protection of the cities, respect of pagan cults and the independence of municipal powers, connects perfectly with the political tradition of the Hellenistic Orient but it is in striking contrast with that of the emperor Theodosius: hence the sentence of both and the emperor's decision to deprive of authority their compatriots from public duties. The story of Tatianus and Proculus is not to be considered only a result of religious struggles or personal rivalries, but is explained by the conflict between the eastern ruling classes and the centralizing and authoritarian politics of the emperor and his most faithful officials.


3Salvatore Cosentino, Provenienza, cultura e ruolo politico della burocrazia costantinopolitana tra Teodosio II e Zenone
Il contributo mira a mettere in luce alcune caratteristiche della burocrazia costantinopolitana nel V secolo. Dopo l’età di Teodosio I si assistette ad una riduzione della mobilità dei funzionari tra una parte e l’altra dell’impero romano. In Oriente, la stabile presenza dell’imperatore nella capitale attirò a Costantinopoli rappresentanti delle aristocrazie provinciali dotati di competenze gestionali e – in taluni casi – di una cospicua preparazione culturale. Gli alti dignitari di origine egiziana, siriaca, persiana, frigia, licia, cappadoce, attica, tracia, isaurica contribuirono alla formazione di una aristocrazia costantinopolitana culturalmente imbevuta dei valori dell’ellenismo, anche se in larga parte cristiana. Tale ceto era composito per quanto riguarda la provenienza geografica, ma unitario nel servizio al sovrano. Allo stesso tempo, l’età compresa tra Teodosio II e Zenone vide nella pars Orientis il potenziamento dei dignitari eunuchi, che divennero un elemento importante della struttura amministrativa. In Oriente, a differenza dell’Occidente, la burocrazia civile riuscì a competere con gli alti vertici militari nella lotta politica. Il V secolo visto nello specchio della burocrazia costantinopolitana riflette certamente la divaricazione tra le società latinofone e grecofone dell’impero romano. Ma sbaglieremmo ad enfatizzare il processo di omogeneizzazione sociale del Greek-Roman empire, come è stato chiamato, e a minimizzare la vivacità e le novità che in esso vi furono nelle sperimentazioni del potere e nella ricerca dell’egemonia sociale. Le sue componenti aristocratiche nel secolo in questione furono tanto fluide e variegate quanto quelle del contemporaneo Occidente romano.
The paper aims at highlighting some features of the bureaucracy of Constantinople in the fifth century. After the age of Theodosius I a reduction in the mobility of officials from one side to the other of the Roman Empire is witnessed. In the East, the stable presence of the emperor in Constantinople attracted in this city representatives from provincial aristocracies endowed with management skills and - in some cases - with significant cultural preparation. High dignitaries coming from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Phrygia, Lycia, Cappadocia, Greece, Thrace and Isauria contributed to the formation of a Constantinopolitan elite that, although Christian for the most part, was culturally imbued of Hellenic values. This class was composite as far as its country of origin, but socially unified in the service to the sovereign. At the same time, the age between Theodosius II and Zeno experienced in the pars Orientis the strengthening of court eunuchs, who became an important element of the administrative apparatus. In the East, unlike the West, civil bureaucracy was able to compete with the military leaders in the political struggle. Seen in the mirror of the Constantinopolitan bureaucracy, the fifth century certainly reflects the gap between Latin and Greek-speaking societies of the Roman empire. But one would be wrong to emphasize the process of social homogenization of the Greek-Roman empire, as it has been called, and minimize the vitality and new trends at work in the political arena and in the search of social hegemony. Aristocratic components in fifth century Constantinople were so fluid and varied than those of the contemporary western Roman Empire.


4Mario Mazza, L’autorità della legge e la cristianizzazione dell’impero : qualche (breve) considerazione sul libro XVI del Teodosiano
Attraverso una puntuale analisi di alcune delle sue più significative costituzioni e la discussione delle più recenti posizioni della critica sul tema, il contributo mira ad evidenziare il significato squisitamente politico sotteso alla composizione del XVI libro del Codice Teodosiano : la difesa della fides catholica da parte della corte cela il difficile intento di salvaguardare l’unità imperiale.
Through a careful study of some of the most relevant constitutions and of the most recent critical analyses on the subject, the present work aims to highlight the strictly political meaning behind the composition of the 16th book of the Codex Theodosianus : the defense of the fides catholica carried on by the Court conceals the difficult purpose of protecting the imperial unity.


5Fiona Haarer, Developments in the Governance of Late Antique Cities
The paper considers the debate about whether the changes within the cities of Late Antiquity might be labelled decline, transition or transformation, or developments, from the point of view of the changes taking place in local government. It focuses on the cities of the eastern empire down to the end of the sixth century, and considers four main aspects. The first is the role of the curia or boule. It is argued that wealthy curiales continued to play a prominent role alongside the provincial governor, although the importance of the bishop and wealthy land owners was increasing. Secondly, the aims and achievements of the emperor Anastasius are reconsidered, and it is suggested that the idea that the emperor had lost faith in the city councils (leading to an inevitable decline in the quality of urban life in the provinces) is based on an erroneous understanding of evidence of his legislation. So too, thirdly, the legislation of Justinian : this shows a continuing concern not to abandon the curiales, while recognising that a certain reconfiguration of local governance had taken place and that a new landowning aristocracy and the Church now filled many of the leading positions in provincial cities. Fourthly, an examination of the nature of post-curial government leads to the conclusion that, while the dominant landowners of the fourth century were replaced as the municipal elite by the imperial administrators, they too were replaced in turn, by the seventh century, by a small number of very powerful landowners (the very highest level of imperial administrator and institutions such as the Church and monasteries). Although the governance of cities was transformed, with different people holding different offices, these changes do not by themselves imply that the cities were less flourishing than before.


6Umberto Roberto, Politica, tradizione e strategie familiari : Antemio e l’ultima difesa dell’unità dell’impero (467-472)
Nel volgere di pochi mesi, tra 471 e 472, falliscono le strategie matrimoniali che dovevano garantire l’integrazione tra Romani e barbari ai più alti livelli della società. Aspar viene ucciso in Oriente per ordine di Leone ; Ricimero rinnega il vincolo di adfinitas con l’imperatore Antemio e avvia una guerra civile, che termina con il terzo sacco di Roma. Si tratta di vicende che rappresentano un epilogo drammatico al tentativo di formare una élite romano-barbarica al vertice dell’impero.
In a short time, a few months between 471 and 472, marriage strategies between Romans and Barbarians as a way for the integration failed at the highest level. Aspar, whose son was waiting to marry the daughter of Leo I, was killed at behest of the Emperor ; in the western part of the empire, Ricimer refused the adfinitas with emperor Anthemius and began a civil war in Italy, which eventually ended with the third sack of Rome. These facts represent a terrible failure for the project to form a mixted élite, composed by Romans and Barbarians, which could govern the empire and assure peace.


7Peter J. Heather, East & West in the Fifth Century
Purpose of the paper is to reconsider the commitment of the eastern empire to the cause of empire in the west during the fifth century. The author presents a list of known Constantinopolitan interventions in west Roman affairs which shows a substantial engagement in support of the west between 400 and 468 A.D. This commitment to the west transcended changes of regime in Costantinople and was not dependent on close familial ties between rulers of east and west. Substantial changes in eastern behaviour are evident after Basiliscus’ defeat in 468. After 468 no further major eastern interventions in west Mediterranean affairs are known. The decision to make peace with the Vandals in 473/4 is itself a clear sign that Constantinople had given up hope that there was any serious possibility of a western imperial survival. The deposition of Romulus Augustus in late summer 476 marked a major break in established East Roman policy lines towards the political situation in the western Mediterranean.


8Ariel S. Lewin L’esercito del vicino Oriente nel V secolo
Nella Tarda Antichità le tribù arabe divengono un importante alleato dei Romani nel confronto militare contro i Persiani. Vengono qui discusse le loro differenti vie d’integrazione nel mondo romano.
In late antiquity the Arab tribes became an important ally of the Romans in the military confrontation against the Persians. Some different ways of their integration into the Roman world are here discussed.


9Sylvain Janniard, Les adaptations de l’armée romaine aux modes de combat des peuples des steppes (fin IVe-début VIe siècle apr. J.-C.)
Les nomades proto-turcs (Huns, Bulgares…), arrivés aux frontières de l’Empire romain à la fin du IVe siècle apr. J.-C., ont posé aux armées impériales de considérables problèmes militaires. Leur armement, mais surtout leur organisation et leurs capacités opérationnelles, expliquent les difficultés des forces romaines à les vaincre. Ces dernières ont toutefois rapidement mis au point des solutions pour faire face à ces nouvelles menaces : l’emploi de supplétifs recrutés parmi ces peuples pour favoriser les transferts de techniques militaires vers la cavalerie romaine ; la transformation des doctrines d’emploi des forces impériales au profit d’opérations et de tactiques indirectes et de la cavalerie. Pour affronter les nomades proto-turcs, l’institution militaire réoriente en profondeur ses pratiques, tout en conservant la capacité de s’adapter à d’autres contextes tactiques. La rapidité et l’ampleur des mutations survenues dans l’outil militaire révèlent in fine les qualités préservées de son encadrement à l’époque tardive.
The early Turkic people (Huns, Bulgarians), who reached the frontiers of the Roman Empire at the end of the 4th Century AD, created great military difficulties for the armies of the Empire. Their armament and especially their organization and their operational capacities, explain these difficulties. However, the Roman armies found solutions to face these new threats: the use of Turkic auxiliaries in order to transfer their military techniques to the Roman cavalry; the growing use of the cavalry and of the irregular operations and tactics. The military institution thus reoriented in depth its practices, but kept the capacity to adapt itself to other tactical contexts. The speed and the scale of theses transformations finally reveal the qualities of the officers’ corps in the Late Roman Army.


10Timo Stickler, Aspar und die westlichen Heermeister : ein Vergleich
Das 5. Jh. n.Chr. war ein Jahrhundert folgenreicher Entwicklungen für das römische Reich in Ost und West. Während das in Ravenna situierte westliche Kaisertum im Jahre 476 n.Chr. erlosch, vermochte das von Konstantinopel aus regierte Ostreich allen Krisen zum Trotz seine Existenz aufrechtzuerhalten und sie in das byzantinische Mittelalter überzuleiten. Eine besondere Bedeutung kommt in dieser wichtigen Phase der spätantiken Geschichte dem präsentalen Heermeisteramt zu. Im Westen entwickelte es beträchtliche Macht und vermochte unter bedeutenden Repräsentanten wie z.B. Stilicho, Aëtius und Ricimer zumindest phasenweise sogar das Kaisertum zu dominieren. Im Osten hat es insbesondere unter Aspar ebenfalls Ansätze zu einer solchen Entwicklung gegeben. In dem vorliegenden Beitrag soll das Verhältnis zwischen Kaisertum und Heermeisteramt in Ravenna und Konstantinopel einer detaillierten Analyse unterzogen werden. Ausgehend von einem Vergleich zwischen den magistri utriusque militiae Aetius und Aspar soll gezeigt werden, daß ungeachtet der Macht militärischer Beamter bei Hofe die Rolle des Kaisers nicht unterschätzt werden darf. Die Dominanz der präsentalen Heermeister war immer prekär, der Spielraum ihrer jeweiligen kaiserlichen Dienstherren größer als auf den ersten Blick sichtbar.
The 5th c. AD was a century of momentous developments for the Roman Empire in East and West. While the in Ravenna situated western emperorship lapsed in the year 476 AD, the eastern empire, governed from Constantinople, was, despite all crises, in the position to preserve its existence and to lead it over into the Byzantine Middle Ages. In this important period of late antique history the office of the magister militum praesentalis attains special distinction. In the West it developed substantial power and was in the position, under prominent representatives such as Stilicho, Aetius and Ricimier, to even dominate the emperorship. In the East especially under Aspar, rudiments of such a development were given. In the present contribution the relationship between the emperorship and the office of the magister militum in Ravenna and Constantinople shall be analysed in detail. Starting from a comparison between the magistri utriusque militae Aetius and Aspar, it shall be shown that, despite the power military officers had at court, the role of the emperor must not be underrated. The dominance of the magister militum praesentalis has always been precarious, the scope of their imperial masters wider than the first glance pretends.


11Giuseppe Zecchini, La politica dell’impero d’Oriente nei Balcani dal 453 al 518
La politica dell’impero d’Oriente nei Balcani dal 453 al 518 si divide in tre fasi: a) dal 453 al 469 domina il contrasto con l’impero d’Occidente per il controllo dell’Illirico ; Goti e Unni restano extra fines ; b) dal 469 al 488 domina il conflitto tra Goti (di Teoderico Strabone e di Teoderico l’Amalo) intra fines ; c) dal 488 al 518 i Goti di Teoderico l’Amalo sono in Italia e torna il conflitto per il controllo dell’Illirico : in un certo senso a) e b) si trovano riunite in c).
The policy of the Eastern Roman Empire in the Balkans between 453 and 518 A.D. can be divided in three phases: a) from 453 to 469 the conflict against the Western Roman Empire to maintain the control of Illyricum prevails ; Goths and Huns are settled extra fines ; b) from 469 to 488 the conflict between the Goths of Theoderich Strabo and the Goths of Theoderich the Amalian – a conflict intra fines – prevails ; c) from 488 to 518 the Goths of Theoderich the Amalian are settled in Italy and the conflict to maintain the control of Illyricum is back: so we could say that a) and b) coexist in c).


12Avshalom Laniado, Aspar and his phoideratoi : John Malalas on a Special Relationship
The exceptionally powerful position held by the magister militum praesentalis Aspar in the Eastern Roman Empire under the reign of Leo I (457-474) was due, first and foremost, to a ‘special relationship’ with a considerable group of followers who were, just like him, Arians of barbarian origin. The most important piece of evidence for this matter is the description of Aspar's retinue given by the 6th-century chronicler John Malalas (XIV, 40-41). In his account of Aspar's murder (in 471), this author says that the latter had at his disposal a large number of Goths, many comites (here probably in the sense of ‘commanders of military units’), paides (valets) and paramenontes anthropoi (people in the service of others). Moreover, Aspar is said to have given to his retinue the name of phoideratoi, a loan word derived from the Latin term foederatus (ally). As the verb καλέω (to call) is often used by John Malalas for instances in which a ruler officially gives a name to a city or a province, to an institution, to a building or a monument, or even to a military unit, it follows that, in this author's mind, Aspar gave the name of phoideratoi to his retinue following an official act such as the conclusion of a foedus. Aspar, who was the hero of the expedition initially led by his father Ardabur against the Western usurper John (423-425), may have concluded such a foedus with the Pannonian Goths who, according to a controversial passage in the Chronicle of Theophanes (A.M. 5931), settled in Thrace in the 420s. This article also deals with the use of the Latin term foederatus in early Byzantine Greek.

© Publications de l’École française de Rome, 2015

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