Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Failure of EmpireValens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D.$

Noel Lenski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233324

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233324.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see http://california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice). Subscriber: null; date: 21 June 2018

The Revolt of Procopius

The Revolt of Procopius

(p.68) Chapter 2 The Revolt of Procopius
Failure of Empire

Lenski Noel

University of California Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a discussion on the revolt of Procopius. It then explores the way Valens and Valentinian provoked the revolt by their own harsh treatment of those who had supported Julian. Procopius wisely understood that if his revolt was to make any headway, it would need large amounts of capital, and from the outset, he acted on this knowledge. Moreover, it is shown that Valentinian was similarly manipulative in his attempts to graft his own house onto that of his predecessors. Furthermore, it reveals how Valentinian and Valens had already sowed the seeds for revolt by initially drawing the contrasts with their predecessors far too sharply and thus alienating some of the most powerful citizens of the eastern empire. It then describes how the revolt provided the proximate for Valens' war against the Goths, who had sent Procopius auxiliaries.

Keywords:   Procopius, revolt, Valens, Valentinian, Julian, Goths, eastern empire

Procopius’s Uprising

Valens faced a major challenge to his power as early as the second year of his reign. A usurper named Procopius, who claimed blood relations with the house of Constantine, had himself proclaimed in Constantinople and quickly assembled an army large enough to pose a serious threat. Over the next eight months, from late 365 until mid 366, Valens was forced to turn all of his attention to this problem. In a century filled with usurpation attempts, that of Procopius stands out as perhaps the least typical. It was unusual both because it arose in the east and because it did not germinate in the ranks of the military. It is also distinctive in that abundant sources survive to help reconstruct both the events of the revolt and how they were portrayed at the time. Narrative accounts in Ammianus and Zosimus are supplemented by fragments of Eunapius, brief notices in the ecclesiastical sources, and, most important, two contemporary panegyrics, by Themistius and Symmachus.1 These last give us a window into the propaganda generated in the aftermath of the revolt and the way it affected contemporary and therefore modern understandings of what happened. The attitudes that later sources take and the ambiguities that they leave unanswered are, as we shall see, rooted in contemporary discourse.2

(p.69) Procopius was a relative of Julian’s, although it remains uncertain precisely what his ties were. Otto Seeck contended that he was a maternal cousin. Seeck built his argument on silence: since the sources mention a blood relationship only to Julian, we can assume that there was none to the Constantines.3 The case is strengthened by a passage from Themistius that makes a point of deriding Procopius’s “pretense” to Constantinian ancestry and by Ammianus’s reference to Procopius as a cognatus of the Apostate, a maternal relation.4 Thus, while there is no doubt that Procopius was kin to Julian, it seems likely that he had no connection to the agnatic family of the emperor.5 This did not, of course, deter him from asserting one. On the contrary, his supposed Constantinian connections became a cornerstone in the fabric of his revolt.

This was not Procopius’s only pretense. There was also a rumor circulating that Julian had already invested his cousin with the symbols of empire prior to Valentinian’s and Valens’s accession. Before he set off down the Euphrates on his Persian expedition, Julian had left Procopius with a reserve force in Mesopotamia,6 and some said that he had even consigned to him a purple imperial robe (paludamentum purpureum) with the understanding that Procopius should take over the empire if he perished. Zosimus reports the story as a simple fact, but the more reliable accounts in both Philostorgius and Ammianus are careful to distance themselves from this “quite shadowy rumor.”7 In fact, a number of sources—including Julian’s admirer Libanius—make it explicitly clear that, when Julian was asked to name a successor on (p.70) his deathbed, he flatly refused.8 It seems likely that, here too, Procopius and his confidants invented the story to invest the usurpation with a patina of the legitimacy that it lacked at its core.

To say that Procopius’s claims to empire were dubious does not deny that he had enjoyed successes under the patronage of his Constantinian relatives. Under Constantius, Procopius served in the east as a tribunus et notarius, a high-level secretary. As an imperial favorite, he quickly advanced to the top ranks of this corps, and he was eventually sent on a crucial embassy to Persia in 358. The assignment certainly indicated a measure of advancement, but Procopius’s position at this point was hardly exalted. Indeed, Themistius would later poke fun of his job “in the eternal post of a secretary, eking out his living from pen and ink.”9 Only with the advent of his cousin did Procopius’s career take off.

Julian promoted him to comes and gave him joint command of his reserve army in Mesopotamia. Ammianus tells us that it was then that this normally morose and taciturn character began to aim at greater things.10 During his command, Procopius made some forays into Persian-controlled Media, but he never linked up with the expeditionary army until after Julian’s death and the installation of Jovian.11 By this time, the new emperor was firmly enough ensconced that any hopes, not to say claims, that Procopius may have had had become moot. He had little choice but to accept the election of the Illyrian from Singidunum. Perhaps as a reward for his cooperation—or simply to get him as far from the army as possible—Jovian charged Procopius with transporting Julian’s body to Tarsus and burying it there.12 This was his last official duty.

What exactly became of Procopius in the following year and a half is not entirely clear and must be pieced together from contradictory sources. Procopius was certainly in a dangerous position. Being a relative of Julian’s, he was naturally suspected of being a rival for the throne. If, as has been argued, he had also been considered as a candidate for the purple before Jovian acceded (p.71) to the throne in 363,13 his situation would have been doubly precarious, especially since Jovian had just executed another such rival, also a notarius. Jovian does not, however, seem to have driven Procopius into hiding, although this is far from evident from Ammianus’s account. According to Ammianus, Jovian made attempts to arrest Procopius following the obsequies for Julian but could not locate him.14 Zosimus reports conversely that, once he had buried Julian, Procopius renounced his office as count and judiciously retreated with his family to their estates near Cappadocian Caesarea (see map2). By his account, the order to arrest Procopius only came after the accession of Valentinian and Valens, who sent men to capture him there. In the event, Procopius narrowly escaped by intoxicating his would-be captors and fleeing, eventually to the Tauric Chersonese. Zosimus’s details about Procopius’ retirement seem convincing, but the story of wily escape and flight to the barbarians smacks of the Greek novel.15 If it is difficult to determine which account to believe, it must in part be credited to Procopius’s own skill in evading those who wished to eliminate him. Our ancient sources were probably as uncertain of Procopius’s movements in this period as were his hunters.

Moreover, very early on, the propaganda that colors all that we learn of Procopius affected the historiography. Ammianus reports that Jovian was already concerned about a usurpation by Procopius in 363, and that he hastened to strike his disastrous Persian treaty in order to forestall this.16 His account of Jovian’s motivations, however, appears to be based on the version of events propagated by Valens’s own court historians, Eutropius and Festus. In the epitomated Roman histories they wrote for Valens, both also charged that Jovian’s fear of Procopius drove him to agree to the Persian treaty.17 Whether Jovian’s usurpation worries were actually to blame for the giveaway of 363 thus becomes murky. Valens and his ministers—who themselves faced Procopius and then Jovian’s problematic treaty—certainly wanted to link the two, but more than likely, they were retrojecting their own anxieties onto Valens’s predecessor after vaguer fears of a usurpation became reality.

This is not to deny that both Valentinian and Valens feared Procopius and (p.72) other supporters of Julian’s from the beginning. We have already seen that they undertook investigations during their initial stay in Constantinople that were directed against Julian’s men. Perhaps at this point, the soldiers Zosimus speaks of were sent to capture Procopius. His escape was followed by over a year of life on the run, “in fear and hiding and in daily expectation of arrest, fleeing from the death he anticipated.”18 Finally, in desperation, the fugitive betook himself to Chalcedon, across the Bosporus from Constantinople.19 There he remained in hiding on the estates of friends, who sheltered him as he sounded out the situation in the capital, at times making his way furtively into the city disguised by his squalor. There he learned that Constantinople had been suffering in the iron grip of Valens’s father-in-law, Petronius, who was engaged in the relentless collection of debts.20 Petronius’s unmitigated extraction of money had created considerable unrest, uniting the masses and the elite in their openness to a change of administration. When he became aware of the opportunity created by this disquiet, Procopius decided it was time to “throw the dice” in a bid for the throne.21

Valens was, at the time, on his way to Antioch, where he hoped to secure the tenuous situation on the Persian frontier. On his way east, he had learned that a band of Goths was preparing an attack on the territory of Thrace, and he accordingly dispatched a pair of units, the Divitenses et Tungrecani Iuniores, to supplement forces already in the region.22 When these reached Constantinople on their way to Thrace and took up quarters there for two days’ rest, Procopius contacted their commanders and contrived to get the units to come over to his cause. He did so by promising a massive donative, paid by the eunuch and former court official Eugenius.23 By this time, Procopius had already assembled a considerable circle of confidants, which was soon to grow. On the night of September 28, in the Baths of Anastasia,24 he was brought (p.73) before the troops for what was, inevitably, a makeshift proclamation. Because a purple robe could not be found—the possession of imperial accoutrements was strictly forbidden—he was draped in a gold-bordered tunic like those of palace attendants and presented to the troops with a pair of purple slippers, a spear and a scrap of purple cloth in hand.25 Despite his motley appearance, the troops, acting on cue, promptly hailed their new emperor. They then marched him out onto the streets, with shields clanging above their heads as they attempted to protect their new ruler against potential tile throwers.26

The Constantinopolitans met this late-night procession with bleary-eyed confusion rather than hostility, and when the gaunt, timid new emperor mounted the imperial tribunal near the palace and delivered a half-hearted harangue, the dumbfounded crowd, prompted by criers, played along by hailing him with acclamations.27 In his speech, Procopius concentrated on his relationship to the imperial house, a theme that became a rallying cry in his power play. After this address, he was whisked on to the Senate, and, when no senators of high standing assembled for him, back to the palace.28

The account is largely that of Ammianus, who paints the whole picture in explicitly theatrical terms.29 At one point, he even mocks Procopius’s farcical appearance, “just as sometimes on the stage you might think that a splendidly decorated figure was suddenly made to appear as the curtain was raised or through some mimic deception.”30 As with the story of Jovian’s dread of a Procopian revolt, Ammianus’s imagery is rooted in contemporary discourse. Themistius had already portrayed the whole affair as a “comedy” gone wrong, a “multiform and variegated tragedy” whose lead character would have succeeded in his plot but for Valens, who stepped into the role of deus ex machina to foil him.31 The fact that Ammianus’s narrative is filtered (p.74) through the accounts offered by Valens’s own propagandists should alert us that we are hearing what the court would have wished. We should not let the contemporary rhetorical strategy of dismissing Procopius’s revolt as farcical lead us to underestimate its sophisticated organization.

Although Procopius was now “emperor,” much had to be done to keep him in power. His activities over the days and weeks following September 28 give us an interesting picture of the steps he took to secure his position. The key to his progress was above all his careful control of information, which he used to assemble the money and military manpower that rapidly made him a formidable opponent for the weak new emperor.32 The very night he was proclaimed, Procopius issued a series of arrest warrants for Valens’s officials in the city.33 Of particular importance was his arrest of Valens’s new praetorian prefect, Nebridius, and the urban prefect of Constantinople, Caesarius. These were imprisoned and replaced by Procopius’s own men, Phronimius and Euphrasius.34 Nebridius was eventually done in, but Procopius apparently kept him alive long enough to make him compose a missive—as if from Valens—ordering the comes Julius to proceed to Constantinople with the forces he was commanding in Thrace. On arrival, Julius was easily arrested and Procopius thereby won control of the “warlike peoples of Thrace.”35 Procopius also closed the harbors of Constantinople to traffic, ordered the garrisoning of the city fortifications and unleashed spies throughout the capital. This gave him effective control of the Bosporus and drove a wedge into the communication routes between Valens and his brother.36

Once he had gained control of communications, Procopius arranged for a series of embassies from eastern provinces and client territories offering him congratulations and thereby lending him an air of legitimacy. He also received “legates from Italy, Illyricum and the provinces of the western Ocean.”37 These latter, certainly impostors, were part of a larger effort to circulate the rumor that Valentinian was dead. It was clear to all that Valentinian (p.75) was the senior Augustus, and Procopius must have known that if people believed he were dead, they would be much more inclined to support his own bid against the junior colleague. To guarantee the neutralization of Valentinian, Procopius sent men to distribute money in Illyricum in hopes of buying support. Here, Procopius did not anticipate the alacrity of Valentinian’s Pannonian compatriot, the comes per Illyricum Aequitius, who captured Procopius’s agents and tortured them to death.38 Aequitius then fortified the three passes that would have allowed access to Illyricum and thus blocked any further encroachment on the west.39

The loss of Illyricum was important for Procopius, not just because it sealed off his access to the other half of the empire, but also because it closed a potential recruiting ground for troops. This failure set the stage early for what would be an ongoing problem for the usurper, military manpower. Even so, Procopius did a remarkable job of compensating for his deficit, given that he began with only 2,000 men. We have seen that he soon added the Thracian units formerly under the comes Julius, and Ammianus indicates that other cavalry and infantry units that were marching through Thrace joined as well.40 He also apparently drafted the urban rabble and slaves into his army in the early days of his venture.41 In gaining control of the Bosporus, Procopius acquired naval forces, which he would use in a siege of Cyzicus, and he later persuaded an advance army of Valens’s, the paired Iovii et Victores Iuniores, to join his cause.42 Finally, he had a number of foreign auxiliaries available already in 365, and the Goths sent 3,000 more men, although these arrived only after his death.43 A number of sources agree that Procopius assembled a sizeable force in remarkably short order.44 By the time he engaged Valens’s advance forces in late 365, only months after the start of the revolt, his fledgling army was nearly able to overwhelm the emperor’s men. Procopius (p.76) was thus remarkably resourceful at manufacturing an army almost out of thin air.

Procopius’s undertaking was also bolstered by the absence of a decisive reaction from the reigning emperors. When we last saw Valentinian, he had gone west in the late summer of 364 to establish his first capital at Milan.45 There he had remained until autumn of the following year, when Alamannic invasions across the Rhine forced him to move north into Gaul. By the time he arrived there, the Germans had crushed his advance force and killed its commander. As Valentinian was approaching Paris, around the first of November, he was apprised of the defeat of these forces and the revolt of Procopius on one and the same day.46 This double blow forced him to a decision, to defend the western provinces against the barbarians or to protect his brother’s and, by extension, his own position against the usurper.

By restricting the flow of information, Procopius had engineered the single biggest impediment to this decision. Western reports on the revolt were thirdhand and extremely vague. Initially, Valentinian did not even know whether his brother was still alive.47 In the event, he wavered, at first deciding to return to Illyricum and later determining to press on against the Alamanni. He made this final choice on the advice of close advisers and at the request of urban provincials, who, Valentinian must have known, would have been tempted to appoint their own usurper to face the Alamanni if he departed. Ultimately, then, Valentinian did little more than secure his own position. He quickly promoted the Illyrian commander Aequitius from comes to magister militum and probably ordered him to continue his blockade of the passes on the military roads westward.48 He also sent trusted confidants to Africa to hold that crucial province.49 Aside from this, Valens was left to fend for himself.

Ammianus tells us that, in justifying his decision to abandon his brother, Valentinian often said that “Procopius was only his own and his brother’s enemy, but the Alamanni were enemies of the whole Roman world.”50 We hear much the same sentiment in Symmachus’s first oration, delivered to Valentinian in 368. Symmachus presents an elaborate explanation of Valentinian’s conduct in which his failure to aid his brother is excused as a sign of his (p.77) confidence in Valens’s capacities and Procopius is portrayed strictly as a personal enemy. Valentinian, Symmachus says, often replied to those who insisted that he attack Procopius: “[T]hese [the Alamanni] are our common enemy; that one is only my private foe. Our first concern must be public victory; then we can worry about my private revenge.”51 Once again, contemporary propaganda has set the tone for later historiography.52

Valens was thus left to face this first challenge of his rule alone, and he did not immediately rise to the occasion. After inaugurating his first consulship at Constantinople in January 365, Valens had remained in the city until the late summer, when he set out for Antioch. After he had reached Cappadocian Caesarea, however, he stopped to wait out the stifling heat, and before he could resume his journey, his notarius Sophronius arrived with word of the revolt, probably in early October.53 Upon receiving the news, Valens is said to have considered renouncing his imperial robes, and he may even have considered suicide.54 Fortunately, his ministers were available to steady his shaky hand and help him begin to make efforts to rescue the situation. His first action was to dispatch an advance force consisting of the Iovii et Victores to confront Procopius’s fledgling army when it crossed the Hellespont into Bithynia. He also sent his comes domesticorum, Serenianus, to secure Cyzicus and its mint.55 Valens himself returned northwest to Ancyra, where he established his base.56

In the meantime, Procopius’s successes continued unabated. The usurper met the Iovii et Victores at Mygdus, east of Nicaea on the road to Ancyra, (p.78) and easily persuaded them to desert.57 He also secured Nicaea itself, along with Chalcedon, Nicomedia, and Helenopolis.58 He had already won the diocese of Thrace in the first days of his revolt, and with these acquisitions, he expanded his control into Bithynia. In the weeks that followed, the prize would be the wealthy diocese of Asiana.

As winter set in, Valens marched west to challenge Procopius personally. He left a force under Vadomarius to besiege Nicaea and himself continued past Nicomedia and on to Chalcedon, which he besieged.59 Here his efforts proved fruitless, indeed dangerous. Procopius’s garrison commander at Nicaea, Rumitalca, successfully broke out of the city, defeated Vadomarius, and moved up the peninsula toward Chalcedon in an effort to trap Valens. The emperor, who had learned of Rumitalca’s advance, narrowly managed to escape with a maneuver around the Sunonian Lake.60 With these victories, Procopius secured his claim to Bithynia. He then continued his successes by taking the city of Cyzicus by siege, and with it Valens’s count of the domestici.61 This victory, which quickly became a rallying cry for the rebels, gave Procopius control over Hellespontus, from which he expanded southward through the diocese of Asiana.62

After his close call at Chalcedon, Valens beat a retreat to Ancyra. The fact that a mere garrison commander had worsted his general at Nicaea and nearly captured the emperor himself implies that, in this early stage, Valens’s available forces were exiguous. Prior to this, his use of the commander of his bodyguard to garrison Cyzicus and of only two field units against Procopius’s initial eastward march both point to the same problem.63 In fact, it is likely that the emperor had sent much of his army ahead to Antioch before he learned of the revolt.64 His initial efforts to block Procopius’s expansion (p.79) into Bithynia and Asia were thus hindered by the lack of available troops. This situation changed only at the very end of 365, when the master of the cavalry, Lupicinus, got troops back to Valens in Ancyra.65 Once these had swelled his ranks, the emperor sent them with Arinthaeus up to the border of Galatia and Bithynia, where they met a force under the command of the completely inexperienced Hyperechius at Dadastana. Arinthaeus easily persuaded Hyperechius’s men to desert and thus finally put a halt to the eastward advance of the usurper’s army.66 He dared not, however, continue the pursuit since by now cold weather prevented further action. Both sides fell back to winter quarters, Valens to Ancyra and Procopius apparently to Cyzicus.67

Thus far, Procopius had met almost entirely with success. By now he would also have sensed that Valentinian did not intend to take direct action against him. He was thus free to concentrate his attention east of the Bosporus.68 It was perhaps this confidence that led Procopius to dally in Asia into the following spring trying to win support from hesitant poleis there and money from their wealthy aristocrats.69 Those who refused to cooperate were punished. Maximus of Ephesus was apparently penalized, and Procopius confiscated the estates of Constantius’s former commander, Arbitio. These heavy handed tactics drove Arbitio to Valens, who appointed him ad hoc magister militum.70

This last move on Procopius’s part proved entirely unadvisable. Arbitio, a venerable senior officer dearly loved by the soldiery, was able to shore up Valens’s sagging support among the troops and rally them against the usurper. Boosted by this good fortune and by the arrival of the auxiliaries from Syria, Valens finally began taking decisive action. He advanced from Ancyra to Pessinus, in western Galatia and, after fortifying this town as his new base, set off through Phrygia to intercept Procopius’s army. Ammianus’s notice that he moved toward “Lycia” should probably be emended to “Lydia,” (p.80) since Zosimus and Eunapius indicate that he eventually reached that province. Eunapius’s rather jejune fragments even give us some clue about Valens’s route: “[T]he emperor moved into Lydia, Procopius into upper Phrygia,” and “Procopius and the emperor Valens, mistakenly taking different roads, missed each other.”71 From Galatia and upper Phrygia, there were, in fact, three major routes Valens could have taken to Lydia, and, per contra, three Procopius could have taken in the opposite direction. A milestone of Valens’s near Docimium may mark his route along the easternmost of the three, the most direct road to Lydia from his base in Pessinus.72 Procopius, who had split his forces and left half in Asia under Gomoarius and Hormisdas,73 must have taken one of the other two into Phrygia, perhaps that leading directly to Nacoleia, where he would confront Valens’s army a few weeks later.74

Because the two did not cross paths, Valens made it into Lydia undeterred. After passing through Sardis, he first met resistance around the town of Thyateira, perhaps in early April.75 There, he came up against Procopius’s Asian division led by the master of the cavalry Gomoarius and the governor-cum-general Hormisdas. Fortunately for the emperor, Gomoarius was easily persuaded by Arbitio, an old friend, to desert to Valens with all his men.76 Hormisdas, however, seems to have resisted and, after being narrowly routed, fled through Phrygia and escaped captivity.77 With this success, Valens had neutralized half of Procopius’s army. It remained for him to pursue the rest, whose plans he had discovered from the captured Gomoarius.78 After regrouping in Sardis, Valens marched back toward Phrygia and Galatia and eventually met Procopius and his master of the infantry, Agilo, outside Nacoleia.79 Like his counterpart Gomoarius, Agilo and his men deserted with-out (p.81) a fight.80 Both seem to have arranged in advance to surrender, and the lives of both were spared.81 Procopius, now utterly helpless, took refuge in the nearby woods, where he remained overnight. The following morning, May 27, his attendants, Florentius and Barchalba, bound him and turned him over to Valens.82 These betrayers, unlike their higher-ranking counterparts, were quickly executed.83 So too Procopius. The tradition that he was tied to two trees that had been flexed to the ground and then split apart when the trees were released is a fanciful invention of ecclesiastical historians eager to make Valens look gruesome. As Ammianus tells us, he was simply beheaded and his head sent to Valentinian in Gaul.84

On its way west, the head was shown at the walls of cities still loyal to Procopius to convince the inhabitants that the usurper was no more. This had been the practice for centuries and proved particularly useful in persuading the citizens of Thracian Philippopolis to abandon the hopes they had placed in the rebel.85 The city had been under siege by Valentinian’s master of the soldiers, Aequitius, for some time. Once Aequitius learned that the center of action had shifted east of the Bosporus, he advanced from his defensive position at the Succi pass and laid siege to the town.86 While he was engaged (p.82) in the assault, Procopius was killed, and the news reached Aequitius before the town had fallen. Nevertheless, the revolt was not yet over. Earlier, Procopius had invested a relative named Marcellus with the tokens of empire, and when Marcellus learned what had happened at Nacoleia, he continued the fight from Chalcedon.87 He had no idea that Aequitius was at his back in Thrace and hoped he could resist Valens by turning to the Gothic auxiliaries who had been sent at Procopius’s request. Aequitius, however, sent agents to arrest the rebel and had him tortured and executed.88 Only eight months after it had started, the revolt was at an end. Oddly, however, the final blow had been struck by a general of Valentinian’s who had earlier refused any aid. In his panegyric congratulating Valens on the victory, Themistius does not mention Marcellus and concludes with the mass desertion at Nacoleia.89 His silence may reflect Valens’s vexation that Aequitius had stolen the finale to a revolt that the emperor had otherwise single-handedly quashed without western aid.

Although usurpation attempts were common in the fourth-century empire,90 Procopius’s had been far from typical. Because usurpations usually took place where troops were available, mobile, and isolated from imperial power, every major fourth-century usurpation except that of Procopius occurred in the western half of the empire. The east, which lacked large numbers of mobile units and rarely went without the presence of legitimate emperors, was not as conducive an environment to revolt. Procopius’s power grab was thus unusual in its location.91 It was also unusual in that Procopius held no official military command at the time of his rebellion. The army was the ultimate arbiter of imperial power and had repeatedly proclaimed emperors illegally, mostly from its own ranks; it was, in fact, inconceivable for an emperor to be made without its approval.92 Even Procopius, whose military career had been quite limited, felt obliged to engineer his proclamation by a body of soldiers, albeit a mere 2,000 men. For any pretender to make a bid for power without the force of arms was suicide. It seems strange, then, that Procopius rose up with what was initially only a handful of soldiers.

The strains of undertaking a revolt from outside the army are especially (p.83) clear at the command level of Procopius’s forces. He faced serious difficulties coordinating his army under the direction of experienced leaders. Aside from his magister equitum, Gomoarius, and his magister peditum, Agilo, most of his leaders lacked military experience, and many were asked to double up in both civilian and military positions.93 Rumitalca served him as both cura palatii and military tribune; Hyperechius, who was given command of some auxiliaries, had formerly risen only to castrensianus, a “servant of his commander’s belly and gullet”; and Hormisdas, Procopius’s proconsul of Asia, was given a military command along with his civilian capacities.94 In this last instance, the piggybacking of functions does not reflect a nostalgic return to the days of combined military and civil posts.95 Rather, it represents a lack of support from the upper echelons of the army. Procopius had never been a military man until Julian’s reign and, although he had no trouble assembling a following among civilian aristocrats, his lack of backing from the military brass always proved an impediment.

Despite this crucial weakness, though, Procopius had a number of other advantages to fall back on. We have already seen that discontent with Valens ran high and that Procopius was a master at capitalizing on this with his manipulation of the lines of communication and his skilled deployment of propaganda. These issues will be treated in more detail in what follows. For now, it is important to look only at a single element, which was key to every usurpation, money.96 Procopius wisely understood that if his revolt was to make any headway, it would need large amounts of capital, and from the outset, he acted on this knowledge. He began with the suborning of the Divitenses et Tungrecani, using money provided by the eunuch Eugenius.97 Next, he occupied the treasury and mint of Constantinople and began minting coins in his own name.98 With these he paid to recruit troops from among the urban masses, to buy officials over to his side, and to co-opt other army units.99 With the acquisition of Thrace, he took the mint of Heraclea, which also issued his coins, and he later acquired the mints and treasuries of Bithynia and Hellespontus at Nicomedia and Cyzicus.100 In the end, this “counterfeit emperor,” as Themistius calls him, struck coins in his name from four of the (p.84) five eastern mints that issued gold in the late fourth century.101 Procopius also obtained money through confiscations and by accepting payment for offices, practices used by all rulers, legitimate and illegitimate.102 Moreover, he exacted a double levy on the senators of Constantinople in the winter of 365/66 and used the grain stores of Constantinople to supply his own troops.103 In all, then, Procopius was a remarkably resourceful financier.

This adroit use of money nearly helped Procopius to buy his way out of his military deficit. In the end, however, his need to collect money from wealthy aristocrats in Asia during the spring of 366 impeded the speed of his response to Valens’s counterattacks and contributed to his defeat. After the revolt, this scramble for funds encouraged the tendency of contemporary sources—here again following Valens’s court—to refer to Procopius as “the criminal,” and “the late night burglar” and to portray him as a Spartacus redivivus leading a gaggle of misfits and brigands.104 Although it was common to deride usurpers as “robbers of power,”105 contemporary propagandists probably found the stereotype particularly useful against a usurper who, because he initially lacked the force of arms, was compelled to fall back on the strength of money. In what follows, we shall see that this was far from his only resource.

Valens and the Ideal Emperor

The later empire is rich in models for rulership. In contemporary panegyrics, epitomized imperial biographies, coins, and inscriptions, we find catalogs of stock virtues by which an emperor could be measured. These attributes had been codified already in the second century, and by the fourth century, they were so fixed as to seem immovable.106 By these standards, the ideal ruler (p.85) would spring from a famous homeland, his family would be noble, he would be well educated, he would demonstrate martial valor and achieve victories, and he would show clemency, justice, and equity in his affairs. Although the perfect emperor was never a reality, the model itself was very real, and it was probably evident to all in what respects a particular ruler achieved or fell short of it. Unfortunately for modern historians, contemporary rhetoric tended to gloss over a ruler’s shortcomings and thus to obscure candid assessments until after he had died. Because of this, we are often ill informed about how an emperor’s failure to match the ideal affected public opinion during his lifetime. One point where we can catch a glimpse into the dissatisfaction of subjects with their less than ideal rulers is, however, during revolts. How, then, did Valens measure up to the standards of ideal rulership? To what extent did his evident mediocrity affect reactions to him during his lifetime?

When a fourth-century orator set out to compose an imperial panegyric, a basilikos logos, he fully expected to focus on the themes of ideal rulership. This is clear from the late third-century rhetorical handbook attributed to Menander Rhetor.107 Menander provides a formula for the basilikos logos, following which the panegyrist would map out his address along two broad structural axes—character attributes (ēthē) and actions (praxeis). Building on this grid, the speaker would fill in his oration with details of a particular emperor’s attributes and accomplishments: in the first part, focusing on character, he retailed the ruler’s native land (patris), his family background (genos) and birth (genesis), and his upbringing (anatrophē) and education (paideia); in the second, he enumerated the emperor’s deeds according to which of the four canonical virtues—courage, justice, temperance, and wisdom—each best reflected.108 Menander thus offered a template by means of which any rhetor could highlight the deeds and attributes of any ruler so as to make him reflect the “ideal.” Of course, Menander knew that not all emperors were possessed of all the virtues he identified. Keeping this in mind, and remaining aware of the delicacy with which one handled a monarch, he counseled wisely that a basilikos logos should “embrace a generally agreed amplification of the good things attaching to the emperor but allow no ambivalent or disputed features.”109 If the orator could find nothing positive to say on a particular theme, Menander advised that he refrain from discussing it altogether. In this sense, Menander’s template constituted a sort of checklist of possible subjects, which could either be glorified as examples of virtue or omitted as silent testimonies of shortcomings.110

(p.86) When Valens arrived in Caesarea the summer before the revolt, he was probably greeted with a panegyric much like the one that Menander describes. This was the first time he had passed through the city as emperor, and his arrival would have been celebrated with the ceremonies of adventus—including a panegyric—which were as formulaic as Menander’s basilikos logos.111 At this early date, Valens had yet to fight a war, he had yet to put down a usurpation, he had yet to institute any political or legal reforms, and he had only just begun his major building program. In other words, he had yet to accomplish any of the sorts of “actions” (praxeis) that would have redounded to his glory. Whoever delivered the panegyric in Caesarea would thus have been forced to concentrate on Valens’s “qualities of character” (ēthē). Even here, however, he would have found it difficult to offer the unqualified praise that Menander prescribes.112 Valens simply did not have much to recommend him.

Whoever undertook the task would have begun, as Menander advises, with Valens’s native land (patris). As we have seen, little is now known of Cibalae, and even in Valens’s day, it was hardly renowned. Pannonia, however, and by extension Illyricum would have offered a broader canvas with which to work. Here our hypothetical panegyrist could have praised Valens as the son of a region noted for producing men of a strong, martial nature. Indeed, we have already seen that both Valentinian and Valens received precisely such accolades, and that they themselves propagated the stereotype of their warlike Pannonian origins.113 Pannonian birth was not, however, a distinction that brought unambiguous acclaim. The counterpoint to the courageous Pannonian was the brutish Pannonian, a stereotype applied in antiquity to all Illyrians. Ammianus, for example, characterizes the Pannonian Aequitius, Valentinian’s master of the cavalry, as “rude and rather boorish” (“asper et subagrestis” [AM 26.1.4]). He uses the same word to describe Valens’s “boorish character” (“subagrestis ingenii”) and Valentinian’s “boorish manner of speech” (“subagresti verbo”),114 and he attributes a similar lack of culture to Valentinian’s first magister officiorum, the Dalmatian Ursacius.115 Ammianus’s fellow Antiochene John Chrysostom, who evidently accepted the same stereotype, (p.87) alludes to Valens a “rustic tyrant.”116 Julian, himself of Illyrian background, was also aware of what Balkan origins meant to contemporaries. In his Misopogon, he argued that “those who dwell between the Thracians and Pannonians, I mean the Moesians, on the very banks of the Danube, from whom my own family is derived, [are] a stock wholly boorish, austere, awkward, without charm, and abiding immovably by its decisions; all of which qualities are proofs of terrible boorishness.”117 Aurelius Victor and the anonymous author of the Epitome de caesaribus applied the same stereotypes to the Illyrian emperors of the third century. The latter described the emperor Maximianus, for example, as “wild by nature, burning with lust, stupid in counsels, of rustic [agresti] and Pannonian birth.”118 “Of Pannonian birth” thus encoded a series of associations readily decipherable to the fourth-century audience.119

As the last quotation implies, the stereotype extended from the presumption of brutish manners to that of savage behavior. Leo, Valentinian’s master of the offices, was attacked by Ammianus as a “Pannonian, a robber of tombs [bustuarium latronem], snorting forth cruelty from the gaping maw of a wild beast [ ferino rictu] and no less insatiable for human blood [than Maximinus].”120 Maximinus, himself a Pannonian, was savaged as a “brigand with the heart of a wild beast [spiritus ferini latronem]”, and Valens’s father-in-law, Petronius, was “inexorable, cruel and fearlessly hard-hearted.”121 Serenianus, Valens’s Pannonian comes domesticorum, was described as a “man of rude nature, burning with a cruel desire to hurt,” qualities that Ammianus tells us appealed to Valens as a fellow countryman.122 This is not to say that Pannonians alone came in for such slurs,123 or that we can speak of evidence for “racial” prejudice as we now understand it.124 However, the evidence indicates (p.88) that regional stereotyping, a phenomenon deeply rooted in the Greek and Roman intellect, informed people’s understanding of the world out of which Valentinian and Valens sprang. A Syrian like Ammianus, an African like Aurelius Victor, and even a man of Illyrian background, Julian, all readily accepted the assumption that Illyrians were savage brutes.

If we accept that the stereotype was widely held and played a role in forming preconceptions, we must still ask whether it affected people’s reactions to Valens as emperor. It is difficult to imagine that the depth of distaste found in the writings of people like Ammianus did not manifest itself in their dealings with real people. We have already seen that abundant evidence exists that such judgments influenced relations between the Pannonian ministers of Valentinian and Valens and the Italian, Asian, and Syrian aristocrats with whom they had dealings.125 But there is also good evidence that similar assessments affected attitudes to the emperor himself, and that Procopius, skilled propagandist that he was, harnessed these attitudes to his advantage. Seeking to persuade the Iovii et Victores to desert to his side, Ammianus reports, he harangued them, demanding: “Can it be your wish, my brave men, that our people should draw their swords in such numbers for strangers, and that we should have to groan under your and my wounds to enable a degenerate Pannonian [Pannonius degener] who ruins and tramples everything to win a throne for which he never dared to entertain the faintest hope?”126 This rhetoric evidently achieved the desired effect, for the units defected. The same rhetoric apparently formed a broader motif in Procopius’s campaign for power. When Valens laid siege to Chalcedon, Ammianus tells us, the inhabitants insulted him as a sabaiarius from their walls, sabaia being a beer commonly drunk by Illyrian peasants.127 Insults in the face of siege were, of course, common, but in this case, they were directed specifically at Valens’s origins. Similar insults were publicly posted on bills (famosi) in Constantinople at the instigation of Procopius, Libanius reports.128 The previous winter, such famosi had been forbidden by Valens on pain of death.129 By blatantly denying the order, the Constantinopolitans drove home the pointed nature of their attacks: in their judgment, Valens was by his very origin disqualified for rule.130

(p.89) If country of origin provided the raw material for empire, good birth could shape it into recognizably regal form. Our hypothetical panegyrist would have turned to this topic next, and here too, his task would have been complicated. In any period, dynastic claims rendered an emperor’s position more secure by providing a guarantee of inherited authority. Of course, by the fourth century, many rulers had come and gone who could hardly have claimed distinguished birth, but when Valens came to power in 364, the sons of emperors had ruled for nearly six decades. The unbroken chain of Constantines had habituated the empire to dynasties, such that, for Valens to have conformed to the ideal, he would have had to be born to the purple.

Because he and his brother did not spring from an imperial family, every effort was made to create an aura of dynasty to strengthen their tenure. Even Constantine, who could claim imperial birth,131 felt compelled to invent a longer dynastic pedigree for himself at one point by pretending descent from Claudius Gothicus.132 In the section which follows, we shall see that Valentinian was similarly manipulative in his attempts to graft his own house onto that of his predecessors. Here, however, it suffices to examine how even their father, Gratian, a man of low birth,133 was magnified as a dynastic forebear. At the celebration of his first consulship in Constantinople, Valens dedicated a statue of his father and delivered a speech in praise of his virtues, which Themistius duly echoed.134 About the same time, across the empire in Africa, a similar statue was raised in Numidian Cirta “to a man of most blessed memory who should be celebrated through all ages, Gratian, father of our emperors.”135 By 367, the troops were familiar enough with Gratian that, when his grandson and namesake was promoted to Augustus, Valentinian could recommend the boy on the basis of the “honors of his family and the outstanding deeds of his ancestors.”136 The troops played along, readily acclaiming: “The family of Gratian merits this!” (“familia Gratiani hoc meretur!” [AM 27.6.14]). Resonances of the same acclamation occur in a speech of Symmachus the following year: “You merited, O renowned (p.90) Gratian [meruisti…inclute Gratiane], you merited that at some point, you would generate imperial offspring, that you would be a seedbed of the principate, that you would become a royal vein.”137 In 379, Ausonius sounded the same theme once again with Gratian’s homonymous grandson: “You, Gratian, who have merited [meruisti] your name not by isolated deeds but by the continual kindliness of your gracious life, you who would have received this as a surname by general consent had you not inherited it from your grandfather.”138 As time passed, then, the empire grew accustomed to acknowledging the name Gratian as a dynastic title.

In 365, by contrast, the message may not have been so clear. At this early date, Valens’s position in the east was quite wobbly, especially with Julian’s cousin Procopius still on the loose. Valens not only lacked regal ancestors but had as yet no male offspring, another essential element of dynastic security. Jovian, whose own claims to empire were extremely tenuous, had taken steps to remedy his dynastic weaknesses by naming his infant son consul for 364 and according him the title nobilissimus puer, an indication that the boy was slated to be proclaimed emperor.139 Valentinian followed suit when he named his own son consul for 366 and granted him the same title at age seven.140 He then sealed the case by proclaiming Gratian Augustus in Ambiani (Amiens) on August 24, 367.141 This proclamation secured the family’s claim to the empire by binding empire and family as one. In this sense, the boy became the repository of hopes both for dynastic continuity and for the continued strength of Rome: “the exuberance of things present and the guarantee of things to come.”142 The connection is clear in the stereotyped propaganda of coins that associated Gratian with the “Glory of the New Age” (p.91) (GLORIA NOVI SAECVLI) and the “Hope of the State” (SPES R[ei] p[ublicae]) (Fig. 9).143

The Revolt of Procopius

Figure 9. Gratian, the SPES R(ei) P(ublicae), between Valentinian and Valens. Solidus of Antioch. RIC 9.277.20b. Courtesy American Numismatic Society.

Not until after he had quashed Procopius’s revolt could Valens have hoped for similar security. His first son, Valentinian Galates, was born in the midst of the rebellion on January 18, 366.144 At that point, Valens and his army were waiting out the winter in Galatian Ancyra before moving to face the usurper. Imperial propaganda later played up the connection between the boy’s birth and the revolt by hailing him with his topographical nickname—taken from Valens’s winter headquarters—and by heralding the felicitous coincidence between Valentinian’s birth and the suppression of the usurper.145 The latter was emphasized in Themistius’s oration 9, delivered on the occasion of Galates’ first consulship in 369. His appointment to this office at the age of three and designation in his turn as nobilissimus puer make it clear that, but for his untimely death ca. 372, Galates would soon have followed in his cousin’s footsteps.146 Gregory of Nazianzus tells us that Galates’ fatal illness (p.92) nearly crushed his father, literally bringing the emperor to his knees in tears.147 Valens’s grief must have been heightened by his awareness that the boy’s death ended his hopes for dynastic security.148 The failure to produce another male descendant continued to weaken Valens’s position throughout his rule and no doubt increased fears of challenges to his power.

Having covered Valens’s homeland and birth, our panegyrist would have turned to his education, and, once again, the Pannonian would have fallen short of the ideal. Fourth-century panegyrics and epitomized histories were insistent on the importance of education and rhetorical skills to the ideal ruler.149 More important for Valens, during the half century prior to his accession, the Constantinian emperors had come reasonably close to achieving this ideal. Constantine was a man of considerable learning and rhetorical ability. Above all, his knowledge of both Latin and Greek helped him to communicate with all his subjects, in west and east.150 Constantius II was, like his father, bilingual and was reputed to be quite learned. He placed great personal stock in paideia and, pace Ammianus, was praised as a man of considerable rhetorical talent.151 Julian, of course, carried imperial learning to precipitous new heights. In his reign, the significance of paideia hypertrophied (p.93) into an obsession so large that volumes have been written on it.152 Here it suffices to recall the respect that the emperor’s learning commanded in precisely the region of Procopius’s greatest support, Asia Minor. Asians honored Julian in inscriptions as the “emperor revered for his philosophia,”153 and their philosophoi welcomed his invitation to join the imperial court.154 After his death, many of the same cities that so admired his abilities must have been correspondingly dismayed at the rise of a new crop of Illyrians whose meager scholastic attainments rendered them much less amenable to the values they cherished. In a world where “learning” in the broadest sense provided those in authority not just with the proper refinement but with a veritable code of conduct, an undereducated emperor was both unseemly and threatening.155

Of course, Valentinian and Valens enjoyed some education, and both seem to have agreed that paideia should number among the qualities of a good ruler. Both undertook educational reforms, and both proved remarkably generous to teachers.156 Valentinian in particular is portrayed as a man of moderate learning and considerable talent—a sculptor, painter, and armorer.157 In the introduction to his Cento nuptialis, Ausonius, the erudite Bordelais who served Valentinian as court poet, called his patron a “learned man, in my estimation.”158 Indeed, Ausonius composed his Cento in an effort to match Valentinian’s ability to quote Vergil, which has tempted some to credit the emperor with great erudition. The contents, however, raise doubts. As its name implies, the Cento nuptialis is a wedding poem, a genre that calls for ribaldry. In this case, however, Ausonius reshapes Vergil’s lines into an epyllion so sodden with violent, pornographic images that one questions his purported admiration of Valentinian’s cultural attainments.159 As we have seen, from a young age, Valentinian spent much of his life in military camps, where (p.94) he is unlikely to have been steeped in books. Unlike his Constantinian predecessors, too, he never learned Greek.160 In his native Latin, Valentinian’s manner of speech was vigorous but laconic, approaching eloquence without, apparently, attaining it.161 He was thus moderately learned. To judge by contemporary sources, however, he fancied himself more a soldier than a scholar, and, if Ammianus can be believed, he even harbored active resentment of the erudites.162

Valens was even less well trained.163 In terms of positive evidence for his education, we know only that he could write.164 Like his brother, he spoke scant Greek, a great disadvantage to the ruler of the eastern empire. This difficulty was already clear in the first words that Themistius addressed to him, an elaborate apology for the orator’s inability to communicate in his native tongue. In subsequent speeches, Themistius repeated similar apologies for addressing philologically fine-tuned speeches to a man who could not understand them.165 When Libanius delivered such a panegyric to Valens, imperial ministers actually cut him off in mid speech, perhaps a reflection of Valens’s distaste for such exercises.166 Valens was certainly no orator himself. He seems to have been extremely diffident about delivering public addresses, given that we hear of only one occasion on which he did so.167 Themistius marveled that Valens matched Pericles as a mediator, even though he was “not of equal ability with Pericles as a demagogue.”168 Valens (p.95) was also short on historical knowledge, leading both Eunapius and Ammianus to lament the mistakes he could have avoided with a modicum of learning.169 Even so, in keeping with the protocol of empire, few hesitated to flatter the emperor’s wisdom. In nearly every speech he made to Valens, Themistius gushed with praise for the “true philosopher,” and Valens’s praetorian prefect, Modestus, went so far as to call Valens’s “rough, crude words ‘choice Ciceronian posies.’”170

With such wheedling, Modestus and Themistius did little more than confirm the inadequacy of Valens’s education by drawing attention to it. Even Valens and Valentinian would have been aware that they fell short of the ideal. The fact that they both engaged the most learned of tutors for their children indicates that they felt compelled to make up for their own deficiencies in the next generation. Valentinian enlisted Ausonius to teach his son from a very early age, winning for the boy the highest praise in subsequent panegyrics.171 In the east, Themistius was slated to fill the same role for Galates had the child survived: he actually told the three-year-old in 369 that he already surpassed his father in the teachers he had at his disposition.172 A similarly learned tutor was engaged for Valens’s daughters.173 This interest in retaining great scholars as imperial tutors offers a clear sign that the Pannonian brothers accepted the ideal of the educated emperor, while no doubt remaining aware that they themselves fell short of it. Their subjects probably understood the same. The late fourth-century “Life of Maximinus” in the Historia Augusta mocks the stereotypically rough-hewn Illyrian emperor for engaging great minds to teach his son, perhaps an allusion to the rustic Valentinian and his overeducated son Gratian.174

(p.96) Valens would certainly have felt the scrutiny of an eastern public that had known educated emperors for forty years before he came to power. Indeed, as with his birthplace and family background, Procopius drew attention to Valens’s educational deficiencies by emphasizing his own superiority in this arena. Ammianus tells us that Procopius was “born in Cilicia of distinguished family and correspondingly educated.”175 Having been raised in the east, Procopius naturally spoke Greek, and Ammianus indicates that he knew Latin as well.176 Ammianus also transmits an encrypted message sent by Procopius in the wake of his embassy to Persia, which is larded with allusions to historical literature, again implying considerable learning.177 Well aware of the advantages of his education, Procopius apparently put these to work in his propaganda war against Valens. His wish to advertise his philosophical pose is nowhere more evident than in his coinage, where he had himself portrayed wearing a philosopher’s beard (fig. 10). This attribute is unusual in the fourth century and was certainly meant to evoke memories of Procopius’s cousin, Julian, who advertised his own philosophical pretensions with a studiously overgrown beard (fig. 11).178 For this reason, after the end of the revolt, Themistius was anxious to praise Valens, “who had been raised among weapons,” as a true devotee of philosophy by contrasting him with that ruler, “who grew out his beard and laid claim to being the most philosophical of kings” but ultimately proved reluctant to defend philosophia.179 Nor would Procopius’s philosophical posturing have been lost on his eastern supporters. This was a world where a man’s worth was judged by his education, where aristocrats, pagan or Christian, strove above all to be considered philosophoi, where the culture of Hellenism, a culture founded on the Greek language, was the primary guarantor of unity among a vast sea of peoples.180 To this audience, Procopius was much more palatable than Valens, and it was with this in mind that Procopius scripted his performance.

Thus, on three counts, Valens and his brother were not ideal emperors. As men of Pannonian origin, they could be praised for their martial background but also derided as stereotypically brutish. This latter is precisely what happened when Procopius revolted. As men of common birth, their right to rule could also be challenged, and, as we shall see in what follows, Valens’s actually was. As men of little education, they could be scorned as (p.97) unworthy of the responsibilities of empire and upstaged by a man who deliberately played up his cultural attainments. We have seen that in each of these “qualities of character,” Valentinian’s and Valens’s cognition of the dissonance between ideal emperorship and the reality of their own rule led them to compensate, to mould themselves to an ideal that they did not entirely represent. These efforts helped them over time to strengthen their claims to legitimacy. During this early period, however, these claims were still dangerously tenuous.

The Revolt of Procopius

Figure 10. A bearded Procopius proclaims the REPARATIO FEL(icium) TEMP(orum). Solidus of Cyzicus. RIC 9.239.1. Courtesy American Numismatic Society.

The Revolt of Procopius

Figure 11. Bearded Julian. Solidus of Antioch. RIC 8.530.196. Courtesy American Numismatic Society.

The Long Shadow of Constantine

A dynasty had a life of its own. Once a family had secured for itself the prize of empire, the aura of power continued to surround its members until their dying days. This had been true since the first century, and even in the chaos of the mid third century, rulers generally took faltering steps to ensure dynastic succession. The webs of interrelation established by Diocletian and his fellow tetrarchs, following the former’s stabilization of the empire, continued to affect dynastic links through the first quarter of the fourth century. Thus, when Constantius I died in 306, it seemed natural that his son would be promoted to fill his place. Constantine’s accession marked the first in a series of dynastic proclamations that would dominate much of the fourth century. Even after his death, Constantine’s name continued to command respect among the troops, and some people even came to worship him as a virtual deity despite his Christianity.181 By the time his nephew Julian died (p.98) in 363, the “New Flavian” dynasty, the second longest to rule Rome up to that day, had acquired an indelible glow of empire.182

Julian’s successors were aware of the importance of dynasty and thus anxious to glorify their own families and highlight their connections to the imperial family that had preceded them. Even when racing west to shore up his position, Jovian was careful to make a stop in Tarsus and pay his respects at Julian’s tomb.183 This gesture was especially important because Julian’s remains had been deposited there only a short while earlier by his cousin, which would have strengthened public awareness that the family lived on.184 When Valentinian and Valens succeeded Jovian, they must have kept this in mind, for they too “showed great concern about [Julian’s] tomb and for the expense it involved.”185 They could not afford to ignore the respect owed to the last member of a dynasty that had defined emperorship since before their birth.

When Procopius revolted, he was certainly aware that claiming the Constantinian name offered him his strongest argument for legitimacy. From the beginning, he played this trump card, boasting of his “relationship with the imperial family” (AM 26.6.18) and giving out that Julian had named him as his successor. Neither claim being entirely justified, however, Procopius needed further evidence. This he obtained through Constantius’s former wife, Fausta, and baby daughter, Constantia. Early on, he garnered support among the troops by carrying the baby about in his arms and boasting of his familial connection to her. He also saw to it that Fausta was present at a ceremony during which he received some of the imperial emblems.186 In the field, Procopius harangued his troops to the effect that he was fighting on behalf of the “imperial stock,” using Fausta and Constantia, who followed him as living emblems of his dynastic claim, to drive home the point.187

In the speech during which he mocked Valens as a “base Pannonian,” Procopius stressed the same connections: “Nay, follow rather the offspring of the loftiest royal line, one who has taken up arms with the greatest justice, (p.99) not in order to seize what belongs to another, but to restore himself to the possession of his ancestral majesty.”188 Zosimus confirms that such claims won support among the soldiery.189 They certainly struck a chord with the Divitenses et Tungrecani—the first units to join the revolt—and their commanders, who knew Procopius personally. These had initially been formed as crack mobile units by Constantine and thus owed their existence and allegiance to Procopius’s “family.”190 The connection to Constantine also enabled Procopius to persuade the Goths to send him auxiliaries. As we shall see, these firmly believed that they owed the usurper the same loyalty that they had accorded his “family” ever since they struck a treaty with Constantine in 332.191 Procopius’s Constantinian connections also apparently played a role in winning over high-level commanders. His purported relations probably helped secure the support of his magistri militum, Gomoarius and Agilo; the careers of both had been advanced in the reign of Constantius. Once in office under Procopius, Agilo also won the praetorian prefecture for his father-in-law, Araxius, another man who owed his career to Constantius.192 So, too, Rumitalca, whose acuity won Procopius a foothold in Asia, was probably the son of a Thracian with long-standing connections to Constantine’s house, and Vitalianus, a tribune who had probably served under Julian in Gaul, transferred his loyalty and his units to Procopius as a personal friend.193 Procopius’s dynastic claims thus constituted one of his chief weapons in the war to assemble an army from scratch.

These claims were, of course, built around the successful use of propaganda. Here, as we have seen, the usurper’s skill was uncanny. Further evidence is readily available in Procopius’s coinage. He was undoubtedly aware that coins offered the quickest way to reach the largest audience with physical confirmation of his rule, and having seized control of most of the eastern mints, he sent men to distribute coins “bearing the image of the new emperor” (p.100) into Illyricum.194 These would have carried messages that reinforced his dynastic propaganda with their reverse legend REPARATI-O FEL(icium) TEMP(orum), a patent evocation of the famous legend of Constantius’s prolific bronze type, FEL(icium) TEMP(orum)-REPARATIO (figs. 10, 1213).195 To drive home the link, Procopius also shifted his bronze denominations back to a standard initiated under Julian.196 Furthermore, as noted earlier, his obverses portrayed him with a beard, an attribute meant simultaneously to evoke Procopius’s own philosophical pretensions and his dynastic connections with the Apostate. Unlike Julian, however, Procopius was apparently Christian—a fact also advertised on his coinage with the labarum. By juxtaposing these seemingly contradictory symbols, Procopius played all available angles of dynastic politics, concurrently portraying himself as rightful heir of both the Christian Constantius and the philosopher-king Julian.

The Revolt of Procopius

Figure 12. Aes of Procopius holding a labarum with ChiRho in field. Double-sized. RIC 9.215.17a. Courtesy British Museum.

Procopius not only understood how to capitalize on visual propaganda, he also had an acute sense of location. He probably knew that his best hopes for easy support lay in Constantinople. The eastern capital had, of course, been refounded by Constantine and owed its name and prestige to the Constantinian family.197 Constantine and Constantius had filled the city with art and monuments such as the baths of Anastasia, named after the emperor’s sister, where Procopius had himself proclaimed.198 The Senate of Constantinople was also a creation of Constantine, and its membership had been (p.101) greatly increased by Constantius, who further expanded the number of senators and increased the importance of offices available to the city’s aristocrats.199 Moreover, Julian had been born in the capital and was initially educated there. During his stay in the city in the winter of 361/62, he made it eminently clear that he felt great attachment to his patria, and the Constantinopolitans returned his affection.200 It is little wonder, then, that Constantinople provided the springboard for the revolt. Its population consisted of people like Andronicus, Procopius’s vicar of Asia, whose families had come there to take advantage of the opportunities created by Procopius’s “forebears.”201 Themistius indicates that Andronicus was by no means alone among Constantinopolitan senators who joined the cause.202

The Revolt of Procopius

Figure 13. Aes of Constantius proclaiming FEL(icium) TEMP(orum) REPARATIO. RIC 8.523.135. Courtesy American Numismatic Society.

In response to the revolt, Valens, of course, employed propaganda of his own. We have already seen that his official rhetoric downplayed the supposed connections of Procopius, the lowly secretary, to Constantine’s family and labeled him a brigand and criminal. Once Valens had secured support from the general Arbitio, he could also provide a foil to counter the usurper’s family connections. Although Arbitio was not a Constantinian dynast, he had been Constantius’s trusted commander, and his claims to authority with the (p.102) army were assured by his seniority among living generals. Before the showdown at Thyateira, he was able to persuade Procopius’s forces to desert by begging them “to obey him as a parent who was known for his successful campaigns” rather than following the “public brigand.”203

Later, Themistius would flatter Valens with favorable comparisons to the Constantinian dynasts, no doubt a reflection of Valens’s official stance toward his predecessors.204 Nevertheless, while Valens took delight in his purported superiority to the Constantinians, he also recognized their importance for his own legitimacy and made efforts to connect himself with their glory. Sensing this, Themistius also told Valens that he had taken over rule from the Constantinian dynasts “without letting anyone perceive a change of dynasty.”205 To prove the connection, Valens took responsibility for completing Constantine’s Church of the Holy Apostles and apparently played a role in connecting it with the adjacent imperial mausoleum, where both Constantine and Constantius had been buried.206 When Valentinian died in 375, his body was interred there among the remains of his predecessors. Valens, whose body was lost, seems to have prepared a sarcophagus there for himself as well.207 Valens also completed the cistern and aqueduct begun by Constantius at Constantinople and affixed his own name to the latter. And he finished both the Thermae Constantinianae208 and the Anastasian baths, where Procopius was proclaimed, which he rechristened “Anastasianae,” this time after his own daughter.209

The attempts to rival the Constantinians or, better yet, to join their family to the Valentinians, went even deeper. The moment she reached marriageable age in 374, Constantia, who had served as Procopius’s dynastic talisman in her infancy, was sent west to marry Valentinian’s son Gratian.210 Themistius (p.103) later assured Gratian that Constantinople was rendered secure by his mingling of blood with that of the Constantines. By 378, a Roman church council referred to Constantine as “your ancestor” in a missive to Gratian, and in the same year Gratian himself sent Ausonius a consular robe embroidered with an image of Constantius, whom the young emperor called parens noster.211 Valentinian apparently sought a similar connection for himself. At some point, perhaps in 369, he divorced his first wife, Severa (or Mari[a]na?) and married an Italian named Justina.212 Some sources report that he had turned on Severa after she unjustly used her influence to buy an estate fraudulently; be that as it may, his underlying reason for the divorce was no doubt dynastic.213 By the time Valentinian remarried, Severa had not born Valentinian any children since Gratian, ten years earlier. Justina bore him four over the next six years, one of them another son, Valentinian II.214 More important, these children could claim a royal pedigree on their mother’s side. Justina’s father, Justus—probably from the aristocratic family of the Neratii215—was apparently the nephew of the princess Galla, former wife of Julius Constantius and the mother of Gallus Caesar.216 As a child, Justina had already been drafted for a similar dynastic marriage to the usurper Magnentius, who was seeking recognition from Constantius.217 With the Constantinian dynasty all (p.104) but extinct, Justina must have seemed once again an attractive mate to an emperor hoping to bolster his dynastic connections.

Valentinian and Valens thus eventually compensated for the disparities between their own family and their predecessors’ by competing with, but also absorbing the earlier dynasty. Unfortunately for Valens, the contrasts between the two families still stood out much more starkly than the connections in the second year of his reign. Procopius capitalized on these contrasts to cobble together a revolt with remarkable ingenuity. In what follows, however, we shall see how Valentinian and Valens had already sowed the seeds for revolt by initially drawing the contrasts with their predecessors far too sharply and thus alienating some of the most powerful citizens of the eastern empire.

A Changing of the Guard: Punishment and Concessions Before and After the Revolt

Any change in emperors necessarily brought with it a shift in imperial personnel. At times this was carried out with a minimum of reprisals, at others not. After taking over Constantius’s court in 362, Julian, for example, had employed the familiar tool of a formal judicial inquest to facilitate the cashiering of those whom he regarded as threatening. When all was said and done, at least six of Constantius’s top officials had been exiled and four more executed, two by burning alive.218 Despite the attempts of sources favorable to Julian to absolve him of culpability,219 his actions did not go unnoticed. The year after his death, Themistius contrasted Julian’s ruthlessness with the mildness of his successor: “But receiving the empire under compulsion and in its entirety, you [Jovian] kept it more bloodless than those who received it by inheritance, since you did not suspect anyone as ill-willed or fear anyone as more worthy.”220 Themistius was, of course, right. By comparison with his predecessor, Jovian had been a model of tolerance. Aside from dismissing a few generals, including Procopius himself,221 Jovian kept most of Julian’s commanders and bureaucrats in place.222 Of course this soft touch won praise (p.105) from the panegyrist, but it was as much a function of Jovian’s desperate situation as of any commitment to appease the friends of his predecessor. Only after the army had been extracted from Persia and marched back to the center of the empire could an emperor have hoped to shed himself of undesirables. Jovian never even made it to Constantinople and was thus never in a position to initiate a purge.

Valentinian, by contrast, was. Having reached the eastern capital, appointed his brother co-Augustus, and cemented his administration with fellow Pannonians, Valentinian had amassed sufficient political capital to undertake the dirty business of weeding out Julian’s cronies. We have already noted that he used the fever that afflicted him and his brother in the first months of their reign as an excuse to launch witchcraft investigations with the hidden purpose of “rousing hatred against the memory of the emperor Julian and his friends.”223 Julian’s old confidant Sallustius was able to stave off a full-scale witch-hunt, but at least one minister, the praepositus sacri cubiculi Rhodanus, was immolated in the hippodrome, and the message got round that Julian’s friends were now personae non gratae. Julian’s admirer and panegyrist Libanius, for example, learned quickly that “none of our old friends has any influence at court”224 for these had lost ground to “men who had been of no account in time past but who gained influence as a result of Julian’s murder.”225

Because the narratives for this early purge are thin on specifics, we cannot say precisely how many were investigated and how many punished. From other sources, however, we can document several instances of people who held offices under Julian but seem not to have continued under Valentinian and Valens, or at least not past their first year.226 To take just one example, the historian and littérateur Sextus Aurelius Victor, who served as Julian’s governor of Pannonia II, was apparently dismissed by Valentinian and, although he eventually regained office under Theodosius, was not accorded a post during the remainder of Valentinian’s rule. Valentinian might have known Victor personally, because the latter had been serving in Sirmium (p.106) when the future emperor apparently resided there. Given that Victor’s career saw a hiatus that neatly spans the years of Valentinian’s reign, and that it resumed under Theodosius, indicating an ongoing interest in office-holding, it is almost certain that the favor shown by Julian provoked disfavor from Valentinian.227

More pointedly, several men who had been close to Julian are known to have been forced out of their posts shortly after his death. Already under Jovian, Alexander of Heliopolis was prosecuted for excesses he had committed as Julian’s governor of Syria. Although he was eventually acquitted, he is not known to have held office again.228 Vindaonius Magnus, who had burned a Christian church in Beirut to show solidarity with the Apostate, only escaped with his life after agreeing to pay for its reconstruction; and Libanius, who had been nauseatingly unctuous toward Julian, was physically attacked and later prosecuted while Jovian was in Antioch in October 363.229 Later, Entrechius, twice governor under Julian, was forced to abandon his post because of the “envy” of opponents.230 Even Saturninius Secundus Sallustius, Julian’s praetorian prefect, who had played a key role in the election of Valentinian, lost his post in 365 because of intrigues by Valens’s father-inlaw.231 Although he was later drafted back to help Valens with the Procopius crisis,232 Sallustius was again forced into retirement in 366, this time permanently.233 Two letters of Libanius’s reveal that Julian’s prefect of Constantinople, Domitius Modestus, who would eventually return to service under Valens, was also forced out under tense circumstances in 364.234 The first (p.107) year of the new administration thus witnessed a housecleaning. This does not mean that all of Julian’s and Constantius’s men were sacked. Indeed, some came to number among Valens’s most trusted officials.235 Nevertheless, all who had benefited under the Apostate, even those who continued to serve the new regime, were made anxious by a palpable air of hostility.

Their fears would have been piqued by the awareness that there was more to fear than simple dismissal. Many were also severely punished. In these cases we hear not about charges of sorcery, as Ammianus and Zosimus would lead us to expect, but peculation. Valentinian seems to have been digging for peculation charges when he called for accusers of the public conduct of Sallustius Secundus.236 Sallustius proved squeaky clean, but to prove his loyalty to the peculation craze, he lodged his own charges against Julian’s cubicularius Rhodanus. We also know that Julian’s ex-consul and panegyrist Mamertinus was dismissed from his post as praetorian prefect of Italy, Africa, and Illyricum and charged with peculation.237 Seleucus, a close friend of Julian’s since his student days, was dismissed from his post, prosecuted, fined, and exiled to Pontus.238 Evagrius, who had held a governorship and then perhaps a vicariate under Julian, was dismissed, flogged, and fined the value of his estates.239 Clematius, a learned polytheist whom Julian had appointed high priest of his native province, was stripped of his property and imprisoned.240 Julian’s former teacher Nicocles, a sophist in Constantinople, was similarly harassed by Valens’s officials.241 Clodius Octavianus, the Roman pagan who had visited Julian in Antioch and won from him the proconsulship of Africa, was forced into hiding.242 Oribasius, Julian’s court doctor, who had helped his friend win proclamation, had his property confiscated and was exiled to (p.108) the barbarians.243 Finally, Maximus and Priscus, the flamboyant philosophical attendants of the apostate, were arrested and investigated. Priscus was acquitted, but Maximus, whom the crowds had hoped to dismember, was initially fined a tremendous sum and later tortured to the brink of death.244 What we have, then, is evidence for a period of political terrorism directed against Julian’s friends and former officials. Those who had enjoyed his bene-factions, particularly those who shared his cultural and intellectual interests, were made to pay for the rewards they had received with flight, flesh, and above all fines.

Our sources note that Julian had been particularly liberal to his friends.245 This liberality, coupled with his generous tax measures and his monumentally expensive Persian expedition, had cost the empire dear. When Valentinian and Valens took over the government, they were thus in desperate need of capital. The law codes and coinage of the period give ample evidence of a scramble to make good on Julian’s debt.246 Ammianus tells us that, in 365, Valens’s father-in-law, Petronius, was in the process of carrying out a sweeping campaign to collect money from those who owed the emperor when Procopius revolted.247 Petronius’s methods were apparently ruthless, an indication not only of the desperate state of imperial finances but also, perhaps, of an ulterior, political motive. Given that many of the victims of this early purge were brought up on peculation charges and fined great sums, the evidence hints at an effort to couple administrative reshuffling with a money-making scheme. By prosecuting the men whom Julian had remunerated, Valens and his brother could simultaneously assemble capital and drive Julian’s confidants into a squalid impotence.

Ultimately, of course, the scheme backfired. Among Procopius’s considerations when he chose to revolt was his awareness that the public was outraged at Valens’s ruthlessness in the collection of debts.248 In these circumstances, he could rely on general support from the broader populace, which was unhappy with its moneygrubbing new emperor. Given his connections with Julian, (p.109) he could expect even firmer backing from those whom Valens had been terrorizing as former friends of Julian’s. Thus, for example, Helpidius, who had apostatized under Julian and had been rewarded with the post of comes rei privatae, was easily persuaded to ally himself with Procopius.249 So was Araxius, whom Julian had called “my comrade” in his Letter to Themistius.250 Also in this circle was Eunomius, a first-rate logician and radical theologian with connections to Julian’s family stretching back for years.251 When Procopius was preparing his revolt, Eunomius helped hide him on his estates outside Chalcedon. Similar aid was offered by another propertied easterner and former palatine official named Strategius.252 So, too, the Persian Hormisdas, whose father and namesake had marched with Julian to Ctesiphon, gladly joined the new “Constantinian dynast” as governor of Asia.253 Procopius expected similar support from Julian’s associate the philosopher Maximus, who had, however, already suffered enough and prudently chose to stay clear of the contest.254

Even Libanius, a thousand miles from any territory controlled by Procopius, was accused of composing a panegyric in favor of the usurper. Although the charge never stuck, it serves to highlight the kind of person contemporaries associated with the rebels.255 Those who joined Procopius tended to be former adherents of Julian’s, whose cultural attainments had forged strong bonds with the pagan emperor. Such men were apparently abundant in 365. Indeed, some were even westerners. We know of several adherents of Procopius from Gaul who fit a similar profile.256 Euphrasius and Phronemius, who win praise from Ammianus as “most outstanding for their learning in the liberal arts,” were among those—like Sallustius—who followed Julian’s court to the east and remained there after his death. Procopius made one his magister officiorum and the other prefect of Constantinople.257 Also in their number was the Gallic poet and rhetorician Attius (p.110) Delphidius Tiro, who had caught Julian’s eye while debating a law case in 359 and apparently also followed him east.258 All three fit the same mould as their eastern counterparts: educated members of the elite whose careers had blossomed under Julian, and, we may assume, wilted again under Valens. When Procopius offered himself to them as a leader, they happily joined the cause.

All of these connections between the supporters of Procopius and Julian’s former confidants have led some to speculate that Procopius headed up a pagan reaction against the new Christian emperors.259 This seems unlikely for several reasons. First and foremost, all indications are that Procopius was himself a Christian.260 He had been born and raised in the town of Korykos, on the coast of Cilicia.261 There he would have lived amid a thriving Christian community, which is well attested in inscriptions and the remains of churches.262 Like Julian’s mother, his parents were probably Christian, and like his cousins Gallus and Julian, Procopius was probably raised Christian as well.263 During his usurpation, Procopius continued to advertise his Christianity on his coinage by portraying himself holding a labarum and standing in front of a field emblazoned with the “Chi-Rho” (fig. 12),264 symbols unthinkable on Julian’s coinage after 361. Although the same coins portray Procopius with what might be regarded as a pagan attribute—his philosopher’s beard—we have already seen that this ambiguous amalgam of signs was designed to promote Procopius to all supporters of the Constantinian family, whether pagan or Christian.265 Indeed, Procopius’s appeals for support always portrayed him as a representative of the broader Constantinian dynasty rather than a reincarnation of the pagan Julian.266

We must also be careful of identifying Procopius’s revolt as a pagan reaction, (p.111) because, while we know that many of Procopius’s supporters were pagans, we know that some were Christian and lack explicit testimony about the religious beliefs of most.267 On the opposing side, many of Valens’s men, both during and after the revolt, were themselves pagans.268 Given the hybrid nature of both sides, it is difficult to see any clear demarcations along religious lines. Finally, and most important, none of our sources, pagan or Christian, portray the revolt as a religious conflict. If Procopius had wished to parade himself as the paladin of paganism, our pro-pagan sources, such as Ammianus and Zosimus would certainly report this, much as they do for Julian. In light of their silence, it is certainly preferable to regard the factions, if such they should be called, as aligning themselves along different poles: supporters of Constantine’s dynasty against the upstart house of Valentinian.269 Better still, we might regard the revolt as a reaction to a variety of tensions—economic, cultural, dynastic, and political—with only a weak focus of positive support in Procopius and a very firm target for negative reaction in Valens. The east was uncomfortable with its new emperor for a variety of reasons, which united a varied group of people behind a man who seemed very much his opposite. In this sense, the revolt was as much a reaction against Valens as a push for Procopius.

Valens must have understood this brutal reality. Indeed, it was probably for this reason that the reprisals he took in the aftermath of the revolt were surprisingly mild compared to his iron-fisted policies leading up to it. As we would expect, the sources are divided on the question of Valens’s harshness or clemency. Neither would be surprising. An emperor’s primary concern was to guarantee security; if he felt this could be done through severity, he would have been severe, but more often clemency prevailed.270 There are a number of reasons for this. Given the technologies of communication and bureaucracy in the ancient world, investigating and punishing everyone implicated in a revolt would have been tremendously expensive. Then, too, because participation was often a matter of geography—with those inside a usurper’s sphere of control generally following that usurper—it would have been ridiculous to punish all “supporters.” All of this meant that rulers and ruled shared the expectation of leniency.271 Valens certainly knew the etiquette, if for no other reason than that Themistius reminded him of it in an (p.112) address delivered the winter after the revolt had ended.272 By this time, reprisals had begun to abate, and Themistius could still claim that Valens alone had truly won glory from his victory, since he alone had shown philanthropia.273 He had, according to Themistius, proven himself the true philosopher by placing reason above passion and distinguishing those who plotted the revolt from those who were dragged along by force.274 Now all would be more loyal, for all owed to Valens the debt of their misdeeds, which he had forgiven.275

Such was the language of panegyric.276 For all its rhetoric, however, Themistius’s account probably had some basis in reality. Valens had every reason to promote concord, which, after such a rocky start, was possible only with a considerable measure of clemency. This does not deny that he fined, proscribed, exiled, tortured and executed a fair number. Zosimus, for example, claims that “he kept raving furiously against one and all for no just cause, with the result that there were destroyed both those who participated in the insurrection and those who, wholly innocent themselves, were relatives or friends of the guilty.”277 This portrayal is, however, no less rhetorical than that of Themistius, and what evidence we have indicates that Themistius’s panegyric is as close to the truth as Zosimus’s history. Writing safely after Valens’s death, Libanius, for example, praised his clemency, even despite his general animosity toward the Pannonian.278 Indeed, Libanius himself may have benefited from this period of détente, for a passage in Eunapius hints that in ca. 368, Valens offered him an honorary praetorian prefecture, which he declined.279 What we know of the fate of the participants in the revolt tells the same story. We have already seen that Procopius and his fellow (p.113) usurper Marcellus were executed.280 This was only natural. Also executed were Procopius’s betrayers, Barchalba and Florentius—the latter quite justly for his ruthless conduct—and Andronicus, a victim of court intrigues.281 No doubt many others also lost their lives, but many who could easily have been killed were not. Procopius’s wife, for example, seems to have lived on, as did enough of his family that a descendant later came to occupy the western throne.282 The tribune Aliso and the commanders Gomoarius and Agilo were spared, as was Agilo’s father-in-law, the prefect Araxius, who was merely exiled. The Gallic participants Euphrasius and Phronimius were sent for judgment to Valentinian, who punished only the latter, as a close confidant of Julian’s, and then only with exile. Close ties with Julian also resulted in the imprisonment of Helpidius, but other men with such connections, like Hormisdas, were let free. If we can believe Themistius, Valens was quite moderate with soldiers and commanders more broadly: he at least seems to have avoided disbanding any of the units that had sided with the usurper, because even the Divitenses et Tungrecani, with whom the revolt had begun, remained intact.283

In addition, Valens’s eased his intransigence against the supporters of Julian whom he had attacked before the revolt. Thanks to the pleading of Clearchus, Maximus of Ephesus saw his property restored in recompense for his loyalty. Similarly, Oribasius, then in exile, was allowed to return.284 Eunomius was likewise, for the time being, acquitted of harboring Procopius. These middle years in Valens’s reign even saw the return of some of Julian’s key officials to power, particularly Domitius Modestus and Vindaonius Magnus. Moreover, it witnessed a relaxation of the policies that had helped provoke unrest in the first place. The unrelenting exactions were brought to an end, taxes were cut, and efforts were made to take account of the financial concerns of wealthy aristocrats.285 The revolt thus effected a change in the way Valens conducted affairs, making him milder in the middle years of his reign than he had been initially.

(p.114) Even despite this reprieve, the event left a bitter taste in Valens’s mouth. This is especially evident in the ongoing resentment he harbored against the cities of Constantinople and Chalcedon. The Senate of Constantinople waited for about nine months after Procopius’s death before sending Themistius to congratulate Valens on his success. The orator naturally felt compelled to apologize for taking so long to offer thanks for the suppression of a revolt begun within his own city.286 At some point around this time, the citizens of Constantinople also saw their tax privileges (ius italicum) revoked. Although Valens eventually forgave most Constantinopolitans and restored this perquisite,287 he never forgot what they had done and the insults they had heaped on him. In the coming years, he studiously avoided the eastern capital, choosing to reside instead at Marcianople (367–70) and then Antioch (370–78). From the time of the revolt until his death, he spent only a total of about one year in Constantinople, and never more than six months at a time.288 When he made his final visit in 378, en route to deal with the Gothic uprising, he was greeted with riots in the Hippodrome, and within two weeks, he stormed out swearing that he would return to level the city for its insolence and support of Procopius.289 Who knows what would have happened had he survived, especially given that he was inclined to keep such promises. He certainly did in the case of Chalcedon. When the Chalcedonians had flagrantly mocked Valens from their walls, he took an oath that he would one day dismantle those walls and transport the stones to Constantinople for his construction projects. This he actually did, although Socrates reports that legations from Constantinople, Nicaea, and Nicomedia, pleading on behalf of their neighbor, persuaded him to relax his wrath by rebuilding the dismantled ramparts in smaller fill after carting off the ashlars.290 His anger clearly ran deep, even if the necessities of imperial decorum dictated moderation.

(p.115) These feelings also affected broader policies in the course of Valens’s reign. In what follows, we shall see how the revolt provided the proximate cause for Valens’s war against the Goths, who had sent Procopius auxiliaries. Over the long term, it also awakened in Valens a nagging fear of usurpers.291 Following the revolt, he issued a series of particularly harsh laws against the distribution of famosi like those spread in Constantinople during the revolt, and he took measures to restrict the production of gold coinage and the manufacture of imperial gold brocade.292 This fear eventually resurfaced in the magic trials of 372, during which, as we shall see, persecutions were renewed against those who had enjoyed favor under Julian.293 The early experience of revolt thus had profound and lasting effects. In many ways, it had been less dangerous than other usurpations in the fourth century: because it was not a military revolt, it did not cost tremendous manpower resources or tie up the army for long periods. On the other hand, precisely because it was peculiar, it must have been doubly disorienting. Unlike military revolts, which were dangerous but somewhat predictable, this civilian uprising was eerily insidious. Valens’s clash with it at the beginning of his reign must have left him with a feeling that he was not safe on any front.


(1) . AM 26.5.8–10.19; Zos. 4.4.2–8.4; Eunap. Hist. fr. 34–37 (Blockley); Philostorg. 9.5–8; Soc. 4.3, 5; Soz. 6.8.1–4; Epit. 46; Joh. Ant. fr. 184; Oros. 7.32.4; Them. Or. 7; Symm. Or. 1. See also Cons. Const. s.a. 365–66; Jer. Chron. s.a. 366; Prosper Chron. 1131; Jord. Rom. 308; Chron. pasch. p. 556–57; Cedrenus, p. 542–43; Zon. 13.16; Theoph. a.m. 5859.

(2) . For secondary work, see Seeck, Untergang, 46–58; Köhler 1925, 13–24; Solari 1932d; 1933; Nagl, “Val.,” 2100–2106; Ensslin 1957, 252–56; Kurbatov 1958; Stein 1959, 175–76; Piganiol 1972, 171–74; Salamon 1972; Austin 1972b; 1979, 88–92; Blockley 1975, 55–61; Grattarola 1986; Matthews 1989, 191–205; Wiebe 1995, 3–85.

(3) . Seeck, Untergang, 443. Seeck cites AM 26.7.10, but he fails to mention that this passage actually does imply that Procopius claimed (praetendebat) relations with Constantius. Even so, because Ammianus portrays the claim as a pretense, Seeck’s argument remains valid. It is accepted at Ensslin 1957, 252–53; PLRE I, Procopius 4. For other sources on Procopius’s relationship to Julian, see AM 23.3.2, “propinquo suo…Procopio”; cf. 26.6.18, 7.10, 16, 9.3; Lib. Or. 24.13: The Revolt of Procopius; Philostorg. 9.5: The Revolt of Procopius; Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.3 (Blockley): The Revolt of Procopius Zos. 3.35.2, 4.4.2, 7.1; Zon. 13.16: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius cf. Symm. Or. 1.22, “usurpator tanti nominis.”

(4) . Them. Or. 7.92b; AM 26.6.1.

(5) . Despite her name, Julian’s mother, Basilina had no royal blood (PLRE I, Basilina). If PLRE I is correct that Procopius 1 = Procopius 2 was a relative, the case would be strengthened, since Procopius’s 1 position as praeses Ciliciae was hardly worthy of imperial blood and Libanius’s mentions of Procopius 2 at Ep. 194 and 319 also indicate circumscribed authority.

(6) . AM 23.3.5, 6.2, 24.8.16–17; Zos. 3.12.5, 4.4.2; Lib. Or. 18.214, 260; Malalas 13.21 (p. 329). On this division of forces, see pp. 161 and 308.

(7) . AM 23.3.2: “dicitur…nullo arbitrorum admisso occulte paludamentum purpureum propinquo suo tradidisse Procopio…“; 26.6.2: “mandaratque (ut susurravit obscurior fama, nemo enim dicti auctor extitit verus)…si subsidia rei Romanae languisse sensisset, imperatorem ipse se provideret ocius nuncupari”; Philostorg. 9.5: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius;; cf. Zos. 4.4.2–3. For a similar assessment of this rumor, see Wiebe 1995, 11–20, with bibliography at n. 107, to which add Bowersock 1978, 109. Procopius himself gave a purple robe to his relative Marcellus (Zos. 4.8.4).

(8) . Lib. Or. 18.273; AM 25.3.20; Epit. 43.4. AM 26.6.3 reports that, in the period after Julian’s death, a falsus rumor was spread that Julian had named Procopius to succeed him with his dying breath. See esp. Béranger 1972, 77, 87–92.

(9) . Them. Or. 7.86c: The Revolt of Procopius; cf. Or. 7.90b; AM 26.6.1. On the embassy to Persia, see AM 17.14.3, 18.6.17–19. On the post of notarius et tribunus, see A. H. M. Jones 1964, 572–75; Teitler 1985, passim, esp. 27–29 for carping at notarii.

(10) . AM 26.6.1. On Procopius’s morose nature, cf. Them. Or. 7.90b–c, with Sabbah 1978, 362.

(11) . AM 25.8.16; cf. 24.7.8, 25.8.7; Lib. Or. 18.260, with Barnes 1998, 205.

(12) . AM 25.9.12–13. Pace Curran 1998, 79, Zos. 3.34.3 is wrong to assert that most of the army accompanied Julian’s funeral cortege to Tarsus; cf. Paschoud 2.1: 233 n. 102.

(13) . Neri 1985b, 157–63.

(14) . AM 26.6.3–4 is explicit that Procopius went into hiding for fear of Jovian, but the chronology seems shaky, since it implies that Procopius had already reached Chalcedon while Jovian was still alive. Cf. Philostorg. 9.5.

(15) . Zos. 4.4.3–5.2. Zosimus is favored over Ammianus at Piganiol 1972, 172, but the scholarship has tended to prefer Ammianus’s version, as in Köhler 1925, 18–20; Ensslin 1957, 253; Paschoud 2.2: 340 n.114; Grattarola 1986, 88; Matthews 1989, 191. Pace Paschoud, Philostorg. 9.5 does not offer enough detail to determine precisely when Procopius was driven underground.

(16) . AM 25.7.10–11; cf. 25.9.8, esp.: “dum extimescit aemulum potestatis.”

(17) . Eutr. 10.17, esp.: “dum aemulum imperii veretur”; cf. Festus 29.

(18) . Lib. Or. 24.13; cf. AM 26.6.4,12; Philostorg. 9.5; Symm. Or. 1.17: “rebellis exul.”

(19) . AM 26.6.4–6; Philostorg. 9.5, 8. Zos. 4.5.2 implies that he returned directly to Constantinople.

(20) . AM 26.6.6–9; cf. pp. 291–92.

(21) . This trope recurs in the sources; cf. Lib. Or. 24.13: The Revolt of Procopius; Philostorg. 9.5: The Revolt of Procopius AM 26.6.12: “aleam periculorum omnium iecit abrupte.” It no doubt traces to Julius Caesar’s bon mot, Suet. Iul. 32: “[I]acta alea est.”

(22) . AM 26.6.11. On this Gothic threat, see p. 116.

(23) . AM 26.6.12–13. On Eugenius and his funding for the revolt, see Zos. 4.5.3–4; cf. AM 26.6.13, 16. Zosimus reports that Eugenius paid off “the garrison of Constantinople, which consisted of two units” (The Revolt of Procopius). As Dagron 1974, 108–13, notes, Constantinople lacked a permanent garrison, thus Zosimus must be referring confusedly to the two mobile units mentioned by Ammianus. Constantinople’s lack of a garrison to defend the interests of the emperor rendered the city all the more suitable as a staging point for the revolt.

(24) . For the date, see Cons. Const. s.a. 365; cf. Theoph. a.m. 5859. For the place, see AM 26.6.14; cf. Them. Or. 7.91c. See p. 399. AM 26.6.14 reports that the proclamation occurred “ubi excanduit radiis dies,” i.e., at daybreak. Other sources, especially the eyewitness Themistius, indicate that it was still night, Them. Or. 7.91a–b: The Revolt of Procopius; 92 b:The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius; Zos. 4.5.5: The Revolt of Procopius s.a. 365: “latro nocturnus.”

(25) . AM 26.6.15; cf. Them. Or. 7.91a–c, esp.: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius. On purple imperial garments, see CTh 10.20.18, 10.21 with Steigerwald 1990, esp. 218–19.

(26) . AM 26.6.16. On the urban masses using tiles as weapons, see Barry 1996.

(27) . AM 26.6.17–18; Zos. 4.5.5, 6.3. The tribunal at AM 26.6.18, described at Zos. 4.6.3 as The Revolt of Procopius was probably the “tribunal purpureis gradibus extructum in regio” of Not. urb. Consp. 3.9.

(28) . AM 26.6.18.

(29) . Matthews 1989, 193–95, “a ridiculous piece of burlesque.” Matthews’s account is a masterful analysis of Ammianus’s historiography. Blockley 1975, 55–61, treats many of the same themes. Straub 1939, 22–25, also emphasizes theatricality and regards Ammianus’s account “fast als Musterbeispiel für die literarische Darstellung einer Usurpation.”

(30) . AM 26.6.15; cf. 26.6.19; Zos. 4.5.5.

(31) . Them. Or. 7.91a–c is filled with new comic elements: note esp. 7.91a: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius, 92c: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius, 86c. Cf. Sabbah 1978, 362–63, on these images.

(32) . On the importance of information and propaganda, see Austin 1972b, 1979, 90; Matthews 1989, 198–99; cf. Elton 1996b, 230, on the control of information during all usurpations.

(33) . See the vivid description at Them. Or. 7.91a–b.

(34) . AM 25.7.4; Zos. 4.6.2; Them. Or. 7.91b.

(35) . AM 26.7.5; cf. Zos. 4.6.2. Them. Or. 7.92c implies that Nebridius was killed or died in captivity but Caesarius survived. Procopius took over the entire Thracian diocese and eventually appointed Andronicus as vicar; cf. Lib. Or. 62.59.

(36) . Them. Or. 7.91d–92a.

(37) . On embassies, see Them. Or. 7.92a. On legates, see AM 26.7.3; Them. Or. 7.91d. Procopius may even have circulated coinage with phony mint marks of Arelate (Arles: const and sconst) to bolster his pretense of western support (Pierce RIC 9.215 n. 18, followed by Wiebe 1995, 76; cf. Kent 1957).

(38) . Even so, at least some of Procopius’s gold eventually reached as far west as Vindobona (Vienna); cf. Polascheck 1925, 127–29.

(39) . AM 26.7.11–12. See pp. 81–82.

(40) . AM 26.7.9.

(41) . AM 26.7.1, 5, 7, 14; Zos. 4.5.5; Them. Or. 7.86d. It is difficult to know how to assess these passages, since it was a historiographical topos to assert that the slaves and urban rabble had been drafted into the army of a rebel. Even so, they have led some to adopt a Marxist interpretation of the usurpation as a popular revolt (e.g., Hahn 1958). Such arguments are countered at Salamon 1972.

(42) . On naval forces, see AM 26.8.8; Zos. 4.6.5. On the Iovii et Victores, see AM 26.7.13–17; cf. Zos. 4.7.1.

(43) . On the Goths, see pp. 116 and 151. On the other auxiliaries, AM 26.8.5 tells us that Hyperechius commanded auxilia, although it is not clear from where. Zos. 4.7.1 also indicates that barbarian auxiliaries were actually available and not just on their way, as with the Goths.

(44) . AM 26.7.8; Zos. 4.6.4, 7.1; Eunap. VS 7.5.2; Soz. 6.8.1; Soc. 4.3.1. Themistius Or. 7.85d–86a, 97d. Or. 8.111a also implies that large numbers of commanders and troops sided with Procopius.

(45) . See p. 27.

(46) . AM 26.5.7–8, 27.1; Zos. 4.9. On the chronology, see Baynes 1928, 222–24. Cf. Tomlin 1973, 496.

(47) . AM 26.5.9–10. Symm. Or. 1.17 implies that a decision was postponed until reliable information became available. Zos. 4.7.3 does indicate that Valens made an effort to communicate with Valentinian.

(48) . AM 26.5.11–12; cf. 10.4. On Aequitius’s initial rank as comes, see AM 26.5.3.

(49) . AM 26.5.14. This precaution was standard; cf. AM 21.7.2; SHA Pesc. Nig. 5.4.

(50) . AM 26.5.13: “hostem suum fratrisque solius esse Procopium, Alamannos vero totius orbis Romani.”

(51) . Symm. Or. 1.17–22, esp. 19: “hic communis hostis est, ille privatus; prima victoriae publicae, secunda vindictae meae causa est.” Zos. 4.7.4 offers a much harsher, but perhaps more realistic explanation: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius.

(52) . I withhold judgment on the advisability of Valentinian’s choice, on which, see Seeck, Untergang, 51; Nagl, “Vt.,” 2169–70; Paschoud 2.2: 347 n. 120; cf. Austin 1979, 88.

(53) . AM 26.7.2; cf. Greg. Naz. Or. 43.21–23. The heat wave is confirmed at Them. Or. 7.86c; Lib. Ep. 1524. Valens issued CTh 12.6.5 from Caesarea on Nov. 2, 365; cf. Seeck, Regesten, 227, with 33. Letters from Libanius in Antioch to Valens’s court at Caesarea are catalogued at Seeck, Briefe, 440–41. Other sources confirm Valens’s intention of reaching Antioch; cf. Zos. 4.4.1; Philostorg. 9.5. Zos. 4.7.3 mistakenly places Valens in Galatia when he learned of the revolt.

(54) . AM 26.7.13; Zos. 4.7.3; Soc. 4.3.2; Theoph. a.m. 5859. Zos. 4.7.3’s notice that Arbitio encouraged Valens in Galatia is apparently to be connected with Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.4 (Block-ley). It does not, however, apply to Valens’s initial reaction, since Arbitio did not join Valens until later (AM 26.8.13–14). No source testifies that Valens contemplated suicide, but Eutropius was especially careful to catalog instances when great leaders had; cf. Brev. 6.12 Mithradates; 6.23 Cato, Scipio, Petreius, Iuba; 6.24 Caesar; 7.7 Antony; 7.17 Otho. Perhaps he was responding to his patron’s experience in 365. Them. Or. 7.86b is naturally obliged to paint a more sanguine picture. See Staesche 1998, 105–8, on imperial suicide.

(55) . On the Iovii et Victores, see AM 26.7.13. On Cyzicus, see AM 26.8.7; Zos. 4.6.4. Two milestones of Valentinian and Valens from around Cyzicus may trace to this period (RRMAM 214, 218).

(56) . AM 26.7.2–3, 13.

(57) . AM 26.7.14–17.

(58) . AM 26.8.1–2. Procopius probably won support in Chalcedon early on given that it was from this city that he had planned the revolt.

(59) . This march may be marked by a series of five milestones of Valentinian and Valens found along the road between Dadastana and Nicaea (RRMAM 222, 227, 245, 250, 262).

(60) . AM 26.8.2–3. A law received by Sallustius on Dec. 1, 365, at Chalcedon may attest Valens’s presence in the area at this late date; cf. CTh 7.4.14, with Seeck, Regesten, 33. On the lake, see Pliny Ep. 10.41, 61.

(61) . AM 26.8.7–11; Zos. 4.6.4–5, with Paschoud 2.2: 344–45 on discrepancies.

(62) . On Cyzicus as a rallying cry, see Them. Or. 7.87b: The Revolt of Procopius; cf. AM 26.8.13; Zos. 4.7.1. On Procopius’s control of Asiana, see AM 26.8.14. Procopius must have acquired Asia when Valens’s proconsul Asiae, PLRE’s Helpidius 6, deserted to him. Procopius apparently replaced him with Hormisdas, AM 26.8.12. He also appointed governors for the Aegean islands (Philostorg. 9.6) and probably a vicarius Asiae in succession to Valens’s vicar, PLRE I’s Clearchus 1.

(63) . AM 26.7.13, 26.8.6–7; Zos. 4.6.4: The Revolt of Procopius.

(64) . Valens had sent Petronius to assemble recruits in Antioch by April 365 (CTh 7.22.7) and preparations were being made for his own arrival there (Lib. Ep. 1499, 1505). Soc. 4.2.6–3.1 5.2 and Soz. 6.7.10–8.2 actually report that Valens was already in Antioch when he learned of the revolt, clearly a mistake, but perhaps based on the presence of comitatensian forces there already in 365. This appears to be born out by Theod. HR 13.15, which describes the general Lupicinus’s provisioning efforts in Antioch.

(65) . AM 26.8.4, 9.1–2. Valens even drafted into his comitatenses former garrison units like the I Isaura (Not. dign. or. 7.56), on which, see Lenski 1999a, 313 n. 21.

(66) . AM 26.8.4–5.

(67) . On Valens at Ancyra in winter 365/66, see AM 26.8.4. See Mitchell 1993, 2: 84–95, on Ancyra in this period. On Procopius at Cyzicus, see AM 26.8.11; cf. Philostorg. 9.6.

(68) . AM 26.10.4: “conversam molem belli totius in Asiam”; cf. 26.8.14.

(69) . AM 26.8.14–15. Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.1 (Blockley) may be related; cf. Blockley 1981–83, 2: 137 n. 72.

(70) . On Maximus, see Them. Or. 7.99c, 100b–c. Maximus is not named directly but must be the referent of The Revolt of Procopius. Cf. Eunap. VS 7.4.14–15, 5.7–8. See Seeck, Briefe, 209, Maximus X. On Arbitio, see AM 26.8.13–14, 9.4–5; Zos. 4.7.4. On his office, see Demandt 1970, 705.

(71) . AM 26.9.1–2; cf. Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.6–7 (Blockley); Zos. 4.8.1. Seeck, Untergang, 446, first argued that Ammianus’s “Lycia” should be read as “Lydia.” Eunapius—a native of Lydia and contemporary of these events—should be trusted here.

(72) . CIL 3.7172 = RRMAM 33 (a. 364/67).

(73) . Seeck, Untergang, 53–55, with 446.

(74) . Procopius may have hoped to win support from troops permanently garrisoned in this city (Drew-Bear 1977, 269 n. 60).

(75) . Seeck, Regesten, 229, with 109, referring to CTh 4.12.6 (Apr. 4, 366). Cf. CIL 3.475 = RRMAM 477 (a. 364/367) and AE 1995, 1465d, two milestones of Valentinian and Valens from Smyrna and RRMAM 694 and 711, two more from around Thyateira on the road between Pergamum and Sardis.

(76) . AM 26.9.5–6; Zos. 4.7.4–8.2. Zosimus is the only source to name the battle site, although AM 26.9.2 says that Valens approached Gomoarius praeter radices Olympi montis excelsi, only 50 km to the northwest.

(77) . Zos. 4.8.1; Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.8 (Blockley). Ammianus does not mention Hormisdas in the context of Thyateira, although 26.8.12 appears to describe the aftermath of the battle.

(78) . Zos. 4.7.4.

(79) . Zos. 4.8.3 indicates that Valens regrouped at Sardis, an assertion borne out by a milestone of Sardis dating from 364/67 (AE 1995, 1465d). Valens’s route may be marked by a mile stone (a. 364/67) near ancient Aezanoi (AE 1989, 699), along the most direct road between Thyateira and Nacoleia.

(80) . AM 26.9.7; Zos. 4.8.3; Them. Or. 7.87b, which implies that Valens was still some way off when Agilo’s forces surrendered. Nacoleia is also named at Joh. Ant. fr. 184; Soz. 6.8.2; Soc. 4.5.2; Cons. Const. s.a. 366; Chron. pasch., p. 557; Theoph. a.m. 5859; cf. Jer. Chron. s.a. 366 (apud Phrygiam Salutarem) followed by Prosper Chron. 1131; Jord. Rom. 308. Julian had spent considerable time in the area of Pessinus and Nacoleia only four years earlier (Christol and Drew-Bear 1986, 53–55; Mitchell 1993, 2: 89).

(81) . Agilo was certainly spared (AM 26.10.7); Gomoarius probably was (AM 26.9.6). Agilo cannot have lived too long after the revolt, however, because Gregory of Nyssa (Vita Macrinae 988) tells us that his wife, Vetiana, was widowed after only a short marriage.

(82) . AM 26.9.8–9. Philostorg. 9.5 claims that Procopius took refuge in Nicaea and that Florentius, who was garrison commander there, betrayed him. This seems unlikely, since AM 26.10.1 reports that Marcellus commanded the garrison at Nicaea when Procopius was killed. The date is given at Cons. Const. s.a. 366. I take “VI kal Iun.” to refer to the day of Procopius’s death rather than the day of the surrender at Nacoleia; cf. Soc. 4.9.8. Chron. pasch., p. 557, mistakenly reports the date as The Revolt of Procopius.

(83) . AM 26.9.10; Philostorg. 9.5 reports that the army burned Florentius alive. Some ecclesiastical sources, confusing the paired betrayers Florentius and Barchalba with Gomoarius and Agilo, charge that these latter were sawn in two (Soc. 4.5.4; Soz. 6.8.3; Theoph. a.m. 5859).

(84) . AM 26.9.9; Philostorg. 9.5. Zos. 4.8.4 says only that Procopius was killed. Soc. 4.5.4; Soz. 6.8.3; Joh. Ant. fr. 184; Zon. 13.16; and Theoph. a.m. 5859 claim that Procopius was split in two. Seyfarth 1968–71, 4: 311–2 n. 114, points out that this mode of execution is a topos in folklore and also recurs in the SHA.

(85) . AM 26.10.6. Valentinian received the head in Paris (AM 27.2.10). For other instances of this gruesome practice, see Elbern 1984, 136. On the practice in subsequent centuries, see McCormick 1986, 57, 60, 134, 180–81, 235.

(86) . AM 26.10.4.

(87) . AM 26.10.1 reports Marcellus was Procopius’s relative (cognatus) but not that he was named successor. This notice comes in Zos. 4.8.4. AM 26.10.3 does say that he claimed the throne; cf. Joh. Ant. fr. 184.2.

(88) . AM 26.10.3, 5; Zos. 4.8.3–4. Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.10 (Blockley) may refer to the period after Procopius’s death, Blockley 1981–83, 2: 138 n. 78.

(89) . Them. Or. 7.87a–b.

(90) . On fourth-century usurpations, see Wardman 1984; Elbern 1984; Elton 1996b, 193–98, 227–33; Paschoud and Szidat 1997; Shaw 1999, 147–50.

(91) . AM 18.9.3 describes the Oriens as a place “ubi nihil praeter bella timetur externa”; cf. Crump 1975, 55; Elbern 1984, 38–41; Lee 1998, 225–26.

(92) . Elbern 1984, 61–63; cf. Straub 1939, 8–10.

(93) . AM 26.7.4; cf. 9.6–8. On Gomoarius and Agilo, see also Zos. 4.8.2; Soz. 6.8.1; Soc. 4.5.3; Philostorg. 9.5; Theoph. a.m. 5859. All Greek sources give the name The Revolt of Procopius rather than Ammianus’s Gomoarius. See Demandt 1970, 703.

(94) . AM 26.8.1–3, 5, 12.

(95) . Pace AM 26.8.12.

(96) . MacMullen 1985, 70–72.

(97) . AM 26.6.13–14: “spe praemiorum ingentium”; “vendibilium militum”; 16: “opesque pollicitus amplas”; 18: “paucorum…pretio inlectorum”; Zos. 4.5.4.

(98) . Them. Or. 7.91c–d: The Revolt of Procopius.

(99) . AM 26.7.8, 11; Zos. 4.6.4.

(100) . Cyzicus was especially flush at the time (AM 26.8.6).

(101) . Them. Or. 7.91c: The Revolt of Procopius. On Procopius’s minting, see pp. 99–100.

(102) . On confiscations, see AM 26.8.13; Them. Or. 7.86c; cf. 91c. On money for offices, see AM 26.7.6.

(103) . Them. Or. 7.92b. This was presumably the collatio lustralis, normally collected every five years.

(104) . Themistius is particulary harsh on Procopius, calling his men a group of “ruffians” (7.91b The Revolt of Procopius) and never referring to Procopius by name, but only as “the criminal” (The Revolt of ProcopiusThe Revolt of Procopius), in his speeches to Valens (7.90a, 8.111a, 9.122c, 11.148c); cf. MacCormack 1975, 160 n. 97, on this commonplace. Themistius (Or. 7.86b–87a) also compares Procopius (and Marcellus?) to Spartacus and Crixus. Ammianus portrays Arbitio using this rhetoric already in the height of the rebellion; cf. 26.9.5: “publicum grassatorem”; cf. 26.7.1, 9.10, 10.3, 5. It also recurs in Symmachus’s oratory (Or. 1.21: “illius latronis iustus occasus”) and in the Cons. Const. (s.a. 365: “latro nocturnus hostisque publicus; s.a. 366: idem hostis publicus et praedo”), in passages compiled in Constantinople contemporaneously with the unfolding of the revolt.

(105) . MacMullen 1963.

(106) . Wallace-Hadrill 1981; 1983, 142–74; Kelly 1998, 145–50; Noreña 2001. On Valens and Procopius specifically, see Wiebe 1995, 23–35.

(107) . Russell and Wilson 1981, with xxxiv–xl on date and authorship.

(108) . Men. Rhet. 2.369–76. See pp. 137–38 and 264.

(109) . Ibid., 368.

(110) . Each panegyric was naturally unique to its author and circumstances. Many extant panegyrics follow Menander’s model, but many others obviously do not (cf. Russell and Wilson 1981, xi–xxxiv, esp. xxv–xxix; MacCormack 1975, passim, esp. 144–46; id. 1981, passim, esp. 1–14; Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 10–13, 21–35). On panegyrics and ideal rulership more broadly, see Straub 1939, 149–60; L’Huillier 1992, 325–60.

(111) . See p. 27.

(112) . Cf. Lib. Or. 18.7 and Blois 1986 for rhetorical aporia in the face of emperors with similarly undistinguished backgrounds.

(113) . See pp. 48–49.

(114) . AM 31.14.5, 29.3.6; cf. 29.1.11: “Valentem, subrusticum hominem”; cf. 27.5.8: “imperator rudis.” For subagrestis in AM, usually used for soldiers, especially of barbarian origin, see Chiabó 1983, 750.

(115) . AM 26.4.4: “Delmatae crudo”; cf. 26.5.7: “iracundo quodam et saevo.”

(116) . Joh. Chrys. Adv. opp. vit. mon. 1.7 (PG 47.328–29).

(117) . Mis. 348c–d.

(118) . Epit. 20.10; cf. Aur. Vict. Caes. 40.17, “agrestibus ac Pannonicis parentibus.”

(119) . Aur. Vict. Caes. 39.17, 26, 40.12–13, 17, 41.26. The same stereotype is found in Dio Cass. (49.36.1–6), who served as governor of Pannonia. Eutropius, writing for Valens, tends not to mention an emperor’s country of origin unless he was Illyrian. Other than Trajan, Hadrian, and Septimius Severus (8.2, 6, 18), all provincials, he reports only on Illyrians (e.g., 9.4, 13, 19, 22; 10.4) and then avoids the disparaging stereotypes in Aurelius Victor. Where, for example, most sources savage Maximinus Thrax, Eutr. 9.1 has none of this.

(120) . AM 28.1.12.

(121) . On Maximinus, see AM 28.1.38; cf. Symm. Or. 4.13, “externis moribus.” On Petronius, see AM 26.6.8.

(122) . AM 26.10.2: “incultis moribus homo, et nocendi acerbitate conflagrans, Valentique ob similitudinem morum et genitalis patriae vicinitatem acceptus”; cf. 26.10.5. On Valens’s own cruelty, see p. 231.

(123) . See Ammianus’s stereotyping of Gauls as rough and rude (15.12.1, 19.6.3–4, 27.6.1, 27.9.2, 28.1.53) and Egyptians as unruly and dirty (22.6.1, 11.4–5, 16.23; cf. Eunap. VS 6.3.1–3; Hist. fr. 71.2). See also Jul. Con. Gal. 116a, 138b. On the stereotyping of Illyrians, see Straub 1939, 29–30; cf. Barnes 1998, 109–11, on the problem in Ammianus.

(124) . Thompson 1989; Amory 1997, 13–42; Hall 1997.

(125) . See pp. 63–66.

(126) . AM 26.7.16.

(127) . AM 26.8.2; cf. Soc. 4.8.1. Jerome, himself an Illyrian, confirms the name’s origins and its “barbarous” connotations in Comm. ad Isaiam 7.19.11–15 (CCSL 73.280). On Illyrian beer drinking, see Dio Cas. 49.36.2–3. Julian himself had composed an epigram in mockery of beer (Anth. pal. 9.368).

(128) . Lib. Or. 19.15, 20.25–26.

(129) . CTh 9.34.7 (Feb. 16, 365) with Seeck, Regesten, 33, on the date. Valens’s law against famosi is much harsher than those of previous emperors (CTh 9.34.1–6). Cf. Wiebe 1995, 68–69; Matthews 2000, 193–95.

(130) . On the power of the mob to adjudicate imperial legitimacy, see Lendon 1997, 120–29.

(131) . Indeed, Pan. Lat. 6 [7].2.5–4.6 obsesses on Constantine’s imperial pedigree.

(132) . First mentioned in 310 at Pan. Lat. 6 [7].2.1–2; Julian perpetuated the myth, Or. 1.6d–7a, 3.51c. On the fabrication of the claim, see Syme 1971, 204, 234; 1974, 240–42; contrast Lippold 1992a. Eutr. 10.2 is quick to impugn this pseudo-geneology, no doubt to please his patron.

(133) . AM 30.7.2; cf. Epit. 45.2. Of course, Valentinian and Valens never attempted to portray their father as anything but a civilian (cf. Them. Or. 9.124b–c), but the rhetoric implied that his achievements merited the reward of empire.

(134) . On the statue, see Them Or. 6.81d. On Valens’s speech, see Them. Or. 6.81a–b, 82d.

(135) . CIL 8.7014 = ILS 758. The date can be inferred from a law received at Cirta by its dedicant, Dracontius, on Aug. 31, 365 (CTh 12.6.9). Similar statues were dedicated by Theodosius I to his father; cf. CIL 9.333 = ILS 780 (Apulia); Symm. Rel. 9.4 (Rome); AE 1966, 435 (Ephesus).

(136) . AM 27.6.8–9.

(137) . Symm. Or. 1.3. Cf. Aus. XVIII Cento nup. l. 9: “nomine avum referens.” On these parallels between Ammianus and Symmachus, see Sabbah 1978, 340–42.

(138) . Aus. XXI Grat. act. 8 [39].

(139) . On Varronian’s consulate, see p. 19 and esp. Them. Or. 5.71b. See also Them. Or. 5.64d–65a, which implies the intent to make Varronian Caesar. On Varronian as nobilissimus puer, see Philostorg. 8.8. On the title nobilissimus puer and its connotations, see Instinsky 1952, 98–103; Pabst 1986, 57–58.

(140) . For evidence of Gratian’s consulship and the title nobilissmus puer, see Bagnall et al. 1987, 266–67, to which add AE 1955, 52. See also Pabst 1989, 218–23, and Doignon 1966, which, however, builds on the incorrect assumption that Gratian was the first to receive the title.

(141) . For the date, see Cons. Const. s.a. 364; Soc. 4.11.3; Chron. pasch., p. 557. For other sources on the proclamation, see AM 27.6.1–16, 30.7.7; Symm. Or. 1.3, 2.31–32, 3.1–6; Soz. 6.10.1; Epit. 45.4; Zos. 4.14.4; Jer. Chron. s.a. 367; Prosper Chron. 1135; Philosotorg. 8.8; Theoph. a.m. 5857; Zon. 13.15. The sources agree that Gratian’s mother played a role in influencing Valentinian’s decision to make Gratian Augustus; cf. AM 27.6.1; Zos. 4.12.2; Epit. 45.4. On Gratian’s proclamation, see esp. Seeck, Untergang, 37; Straub 1939, 17–19, 67; Fortina 1953, 19–32; Pabst 1986, 94–97.

(142) . Symm. Or. 3.2: “laetitia praesentium, securitas posterorum”; cf. Pabst 1989, 223–26, with Del Chicca 1987 on the date (a. 370). It also initiated the practice of appointing child emperors with full honors as Augustus, a practice that, like the use of the Hebdomon for Valens’s proclamation, became standard in the Byzantine empire.

(143) . These epithets were heralded on the coinage (GLORIA NOVI SAECVLI = RIC 9.45 [Lugdunum 15]; 64, 66 [Arelate, 10, 15]; SPE-SRP = RIC 9.277 [Antioch 20]) and in panegyric (Symm. Or. 3.2: “novi saeculi spes sperata”; 4: “spe electus es”; 9: “novo saeculo”; 12; cf. Or. 2.31 and Aus. XVIII Cent. nupt. praef. 7).

(144) . Cons. Const. s.a. 366; Chron. pasch., p. 556. Soc. 4.10, followed by Soz. 6.10.1, mistakenly claims that Valentinian’s second son, Valentinian II, was born in 366. In his edition of Themistius 1965–74, 1: 181–82, Downey is misled by this notice and assumes that Or. 9 was addressed to “Valentiniano Valentiniani filio, annos tres nato.” In fact, Valentinian II had not been born when the oration was delivered in 369. His birth must have fallen in 371, because a number of sources claim that he was four years old when he came to the throne in 375 (AM 30.10.4; Epit. 45.10; Philostorg. 9.16; Zon. 13.17; Theoph. a.m. 5867; cf. Oaks 1996).

(145) . Them. Or. 9.121a, 122c. On the other side of the empire, Symmachus Or. 3.7 offered similar praise to Gratian, whose consulship coincided with Procopius’s defeat.

(146) . For evidence of Galates’s consulship and designation as nobilissimus puer, see Bagnall et al. 1987, 272–73, to which add P Oxy 4377–80. Themistius Or. 9, esp. 128a–c, also spread the word that Galates’s proclamation was in the offing. On the death of Galates, see Greg. Naz. Or. 43.54; Ruf. HE 11.9; Soc. 4.26.22–24; Soz. 6.16.8–9; Theod. HE 4.19.8–10; BP 4.5; Theoph. a.m. 5868. The exact date is not secure. Galates was alive when Themistius addressed him in 369, but not in 373, when Them. Or. 11.153c asked Zeus for a son for Valens, implying that his first was no longer alive. Greg. Naz. Or. 43.54 implies that Galates’s death fell after Valens’s encounter with Basil at the feast of Epiphany, which we have dated to 372. The boy’s death probably occurred later that year; cf. Seeck, Untergang, 460, which misdates Them. Or. 11 to 374.

(147) . Greg. Naz. Or. 43.54.

(148) . In keeping with the customary rhetoric, contemporaries portrayed Galates’s birth as guaranteeing the well-being of the state (Them. Or. 8.120a; DRB praef. 8). See similar rhetoric of Gratian, pp. 90–91. Valens’s “dynasty” seems not to have survived his death; it is unknown whether his daughters, Anastasia and Carosa, married. Valentinian’s was subsumed by that of Theodosius. Neither of Valentinian’s sons bore children, but his daughter Galla married Theodosius, and their daughter Galla Placidia eventually gave birth to the emperor Valentinian III.

(149) . For panegyrics, see Pan. Lat. 9[4] passim, esp. 9[4].2.3–4, 19.1–4; Lib. Or. 59.32–38; cf. Straub 1939, 174–94; Lendon 1997, 117; Staesche 1998, 236–65. See Bird 1984, 71–80, on the great importance of education in Aurelius Victor’s epitomated history. No similar study exists for the Epitome de caesaribus, but see 1.16–17, 24, 2.4, 8.6, 10.2, 13.8, 14.2, 16.6, 20.8, 29.2, 40.15, 18, 41.8–9, 14, 25, 42.7, 10, 18–19, 43.5, 44.3, 45.5, 47.4, 48.9, 11. Similar praise in SHA Hadr. 14.8–9, 15.10–13, 20.6–7; Marc. 27.6–7; Gall. 11.4–9; Carus 11.1–3. Bird 1993, xliii, notes that education was largely neglected by Eutropius in his epitome for Valens, but see 7.21, 8.7, 11–12, 19, 10.7, 10, 16.

(150) . On Constantine’s education, see Corcoran 1996, 259–60, 263–64. Eus. Vit. Const. 4.8, 29, 32, 47 tells us that Constantine had speeches translated into Greek and delivered them thus and Vit. Const. 3.13 compliments him on his efforts to use Greek. He seems to have understood Greek but to have spoken it with diffidence, as the interesting court case at CTh 8.15.1 would indicate. See Millar 1977, 205–6; Barnes 1981, 73–75; Corcoran 1996, 260–65.

(151) . On Constantius’s interest in education, see Zon. 13.11; CTh 14.1.1 (a. 360); Them. Or. 3.45b; Constantiou demegoria passim, esp. 20d (Themistii orationes 3: 121–28). On his rhetorical skill, see Jul. Or. 1.32a, 3.75b–d; Them. Or. 2.29a, 34b, 37a–b, 3.45c, 4.54a; Aur. Vict. Caes. 42.1–4, 23; Lib. Or. 59.97; cf. AM 21.16.4; Epit. 42.18. On Constantius’s education more broadly, see Teitler 1992, 119–20.

(152) . Esp. Lib. Or. 12.27–31, 18.11–30; Soc. 3.1. See Bowersock 1978, 21–32; Athanassiadi 1981, esp. 13–51; R. B. E. Smith 1995, 23–36.

(153) . IEph. 313a: “philosophiae princeps venerandus”; 3021; The Revolt of Procopius 5.1 (1885) 61 n. The Revolt of Procopius (Iasos) The Revolt of Procopius; CIL 3.14218 (near Smyrna): “filosofiae m[agi / stro veneran]do”; CIL 3.7088 = ILS 751 (near Pergamum): “filosfi[ae] magistro / venera[nd]o.”

(154) . Jul. ELF 26–39; Eunap. VS 7.3.10–4.10; Greg. Naz. Or. 5.20; cf. Penella 1990, 119–21.

(155) . On the culture of paideia in the east and its social and political function, see Straub 1939, 146–74; Wolf 1952, 75–92; Brown 1992, 35–74; Gleason 1995.

(156) . See pp. 269–70.

(157) . AM 30.9.4; Epit. 45.6; but see Zos. 3.36.2: The Revolt of Procopius. An assessment of Valentinian’s education and interest in culture is not easy to arrive at, given the contradictory sources. See the varied assessments in Seeck, Untergang, 2–3, 15–16, 41; Stein 1959, 173; Tomlin 1973, 42–47; Matthews 1975, 49–55.

(158) . Aus. XVIII Cento nupt. heading: “vir meo iudicio eruditus.”

(159) . Green 1991, 518–19: “[N]otwithstanding the thin veil of allegory, it is one of the most detailed descriptions of sexual intercourse in Latin Literature, and also one of the most violent. The frankness is found in some of [Ausonius’s] epigrams; the violence, which is not, could have been a concession to Valentinian’s tastes.” Contrast Sivan 1993, 105–6.

(160) . AM 30.5.9–10 indicates that Valentinian spoke only Latin, pace Tomlin 1973, 43, 253, and Vanderspoel 1995, 157 n. 10. Them. Or. 6.71c, although probably delivered only to Valens, implies the same with: The Revolt of Procopius. Sotiroff 1972, who charges that both Valentinian and Valens knew Latin, Greek, and “Pannonian,” is not at all careful with the evidence. The author of SHA Aurel. 24.2–4 certainly assumed that Pannonians knew only Latin, although epigraphy around Sirmium confirms that some at least spoke Greek (Balla 1989). On fourth-century bilingualism, see Matthews 1989, 67–74.

(161) . AM 30.9.4: “memoria sermoneque incitato quidem sed raro, facundiae proximo vigens”; cf. Epit. 45.5; Symm. Or. 2.29–30.

(162) . AM 30.8.10.

(163) . AM 31.14.5: “subagrestis ingenii, nec bellicis nec liberalibus studiis eruditus”; cf. 27.5.8: “imperator rudis”; 31.14.8: “ut erat inconsummatus et rudis”; Zos. 4.4.1.

(164) . Theod. HE 4.19.15.

(165) . Them. Or. 6.71c–d. Cf. 8.105c–d, 9.126b, 10.129c, 11.144c–d.

(166) . Lib. Or. 1.144. Valens’s impatience with court oratory may be alluded to at Them. Or. 10.129a, 11.144a. Contrast the positive reactions of Constantine (Eus. Vit. Const. 4.33) and Julian (Lib. Or. 15.7) to lengthy oratorical displays. More on proper imperial behavior on such occasions at L’Huillier 1992, 116–20.

(167) . See p. 28. AM 31.11.1 implies that Valens spoke to troops individually in 378 but does not mention a general harangue.

(168) . Them. Or. 7.94b; cf. 7.93b, 9.123c, 10.134b. Valens’s ministers were also derided for their inability to speak Greek or to speak it properly; see Lib. Or. 1.156 (Festus); AM 30.4.2 (Modestus); Greg. Naz. Or. 43.47 (Demosthenes), followed by Theod. HE 4.19.12 and Theoph. a.m. 5868. Cf. Zos. 5.9.3–5 (Valens’s relative Procopius).

(169) . Eunap. Hist. fr. 44.1 (Blockley); AM 26.10.12, 29.2.18; cf. AM 30.8.4–6, 9, of Valentinian. Contrast Julian’s good use of historical knowledge once he was emperor (Lib. Or. 18.53, 233, 245–46; Jul. Or. 4.244c–246a). Like Valentinian and Valens, Jovian was far from a model of the educated emperor (cf. AM 25.10.15; Joh. Ant. fr. 177, 181).

(170) . On Modestus, see AM 29.1.11: “horridula eius verba et rudia, flasculos Tullianos appellans.” On Themistius, see Or. 8.105c–d, 110d–111a, 11.144d–145a, 146d–147a. The author of DRB also seems to have regarded Valens as a man of limited intellect (cf. 1.10, 3.4, 5.2, 6.5).

(171) . Sivan 1993, passim, esp. 101–6. Sivan contends that Ausonius began tutoring Gratian in 367. For praise of Gratian’s education, see Symm. Or. 3.7; Ep. 1.20.2, 10.2.5; Them. Or. 9.125c; Aus. XXI Grat. actio 15 [68–71]; XX Prec. var. 1; AM 27.6.9, 31.10.18; cf. Pabst 1989, 200–202.

(172) . Them. Or. 8.120a, 9.122d–124b, 125d–126d. In both cases, Themistius prays that he may play the role of Aristotle to Galates’s Alexander. Themistius had similar aspirations with Arcadius, Or. 16.204b–d, 212c–213b, 18.224b–225b; cf. Dagron 1968, 11–12.

(173) . Soc. 4.9.5; Soz. 6.9.3.

(174) . SHA Max. 27.2–5. Like Gratian, Maximinus’s son was supposed to have been granted a dynastic marriage (to the sister of Severus Alexander [SHA Max. 29.1–3]). More on the younger Maxim[in]us’s education at Lippold 1991, 593–605.

(175) . AM 26.6.1: “insigni genere Procopius in Cilicia natus et educatus.”

(176) . AM 26.7.15: “latine salute data.”

(177) . AM 27.6.15, 18.6.17–19.

(178) . On Julian’s beard, see Jul. Mis. 355d; cf. AM 25.4.22; Soc. 3.17.4. For the beard as an attribute on obverses, see Kent 1959, 109–17; Bastien 1992, 36–37.

(179) . Them. Or. 7.99c–d, esp. The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius. Here Themitius is referring to Julian but must also intend a double allusion to his cousin Procopius.

(180) . See esp. Bowersock 1990, 29–33, 61–68.

(181) . Jul. Or. 1.8a. On worship paid to Constantine’s statue at his porphyry column, see Philostorg. 2.17; Malalas 13.8 (p. 322); Chron. pasch., p. 530; Cedrenus, p. 518; Theod. HE 1.34.3; cf. Fowden 1991, 125–31. See Corcoran 1996, 68–69, on Constantine’s normative role in later imperial law.

(182) . On the importance of dynastic propaganda in cementing the authority of Constantine’s family, see MacCormack 1981, 185–88.

(183) . AM 25.10.4; Soc. 3.26.1–2; Zon. 13.14.

(184) . AM 25.9.12; cf. 23.2.5. Zos. 3.34.4 and Zon. 13.13 record the epigram on Julian’s tomb. See also Lib. Or. 1.132, 15.4–5, 77, 16.53, 18.306, 24.8; Greg. Naz. Or. 5.18, 21.33. Philostorg. 8.1 tells us that Julian’s tomb was next to that of Maximin Daia.

(185) . Lib. Or. 24.10. Greg. Naz. Or. 21.33 states that Julian’s tomb was destroyed in an earthquake, perhaps the earthquake of 365. If so, Libanius may imply that Valentinian and Valens had it rebuilt. Julian’s remains were later transferred to Constantinople; cf. DiMaio 1978.

(186) . AM 26.7.10. Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.2 (Blockley) may be related to the same claims, see Blockley 1981–83, 2: 137 n. 73.

(187) . AM 26.9.3.

(188) . AM 26.7.16. Ironically, the latter part of this passage has a tenuous textual pedigree of its own. Them. Or. 2.33d–34a, 3.43a–c used similar rhetoric to justify Constantius’s defense of his ancestral rights to the throne against Magnentius; cf. Lib. Or. 59.10–28, 30, 49–55.

(189) . Zos. 4.7.1; cf. Them. Or. 7.90a, 92b. For further examples of dynastic loyalty among the soldiery, see Lendon 1997, 254.

(190) . AM 26.6.12–13: “per quosdam ex isdem numeris notos.” On the formation of the Divitenses et Tungrecani under Constantine, see Hoffmann 1969–70, 1: 177–79.

(191) . AM 26.10.3, 27.5.1; Eunap. Hist. fr. 37 (Blockley); Zos. 4.7.1; see pp. 147–52.

(192) . PLRE I, Gomoarius; Agilo. Both Gomoarius and Agilo appear to have been dismissed by Julian. Gomoarius had actually been sent by Constantius to halt Julian’s advance through Moesia in 361. On Araxius, see AM 26.7.6, 10.7; and see PLRE I on his earlier career.

(193) . On Rumitalca, see PLRE I, which associates Procopius’s tribune Rumitalca with Val. Rometalca, DUX AEG ET THEB UTRAMQUE LIBB under Constantine, CIL 3.12073 = ILS 701. His family may also be attested in a dedication at the Moesian villa of Mediana, often associated with the family of Constantine (Petrovic 1993, 72–73). On Vitalianus, see AM 26.7.15, if this Vital-ianus is to be associated with the one mentioned at AM 25.10.9, as at PLRE I, Vitalianus 3.

(194) . AM 26.7.11; cf. p. 96.

(195) . On Procopius’s issues, see RIC 9.192–93 (Heraclea 6–8); 215 (Constantinople 17–19); 240 (Cyzicus 4–7); 251 (4–8). On Constantius’s issues, see Mattingly 1933; Kent 1967. See also Austin 1972b, 193; Matthews 1989, 200–201; Wiebe 1995, 73–81.

(196) . Elmer 1937, 41–42.

(197) . See esp. Dagron 1974, 29–42, 319.

(198) . AM 26.6.14. On Constantinian building and benefaction, see Dagron 1974, 88–90, 300–305.

(199) . Petit 1957, 347–82; A. H. M. Jones 1964, 545–62; Dagron 1974, 119–90; Chastagnol 1976, 341–56; 1982, 180–84; Vanderspoel 1995, 62–70, 105–8.

(200) . AM 22.9.2, 25.3.23; Zos. 3.11.2; Pan. Lat. 3 [11].2.3, 14.6; Them. Or. 4.58d–59a; Jul. Ep. 59 (Bidez): The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius. See Dagron 1974, 193–94.

(201) . PLRE I, Andronicus 3, esp. Lib. Or. 62.58–60. See Seeck, Briefe, 74 (Andronicus II), on the entry of Andronicus’s family into the Senate of Constantinople from Italy. On the repopulation of the city and Senate by Constantine and his successors, see Dagron 1974, 120–35, 519–20.

(202) . Or. 7.97d. For more on connections between Procopius and those with links to the house of Constantine, see pp. 99 and 109.

(203) . AM 26.9.4–5; Zos. 4.7.4. For Arbitio’s career, see PLRE I, Flavius Arbitio 2. Procopius himself had courted Arbitio (AM 26.8.13) as a potential link in his chain of Constantinian generals.

(204) . Them. Or. 6.76a, 83b, 8.113c, 115c–d, 11.151a–b; cf. 9.128c. Themistius’s criticism of Constantine’s betrayal of Licinius is echoed at Eutr. 10.5; cf. 10.6. Themistius Or. 5.70d had used such rhetoric before Jovian.

(205) . Them. Or. 7.92b: The Revolt of Procopius.

(206) . Jer. Chron. s.a. 370; Cons. Const. s.a. 370 and Chron. pasch., p. 559, with Mango 1990a; cf. Dagron 1974, 401–5 on the complications of dating the phases of construction for the monument.

(207) . On Valentinian, see Cons. Const. s.a. 376; AM 30.10.1; cf. Marcellinus Comes Chron. s.a. 382. See also Grierson 1962, 23–26, 42; Johnson 1991, 501–2, who notes that Valentinian’s wives were also buried there.

(208) . On the cistern, aqueduct, and Thermae Constantinianae, see app. D, catalog nos. Co 2, 4, 5.

(209) . See app. D, catalog no. Co 8.

(210) . AM 29.6.7; cf. Aus. XXI Grat. act. 11 [53]; Them. Or. 13.168a and Fortina 1953, 26–27. The dating to 374 seems to be confirmed by the dedication of a bath complex in Calabria on June 27, 374 [AE 1913, 227], by the emperors to their queens (REGINIS SUIS), apparently in honor of the recent marriage. Gratian was fifteen and Constantia was twelve at their marriage (cf. Seeck, Untergang, 38–40). After the marriage, Gratian was left in charge at Trier while Valentinian moved east to Pannonia, implying that Gratian was now acting with greater independence from his father (cf. AM 30.10.1; Zos. 4.19.1). His first law at Trier fell in 376 (CTh 15.7.3).

(211) . Them. Or. 13.167c: The Revolt of Procopius; Epistula romani concilii sub Damaso habiti 11 (PL 13.583): “apud parentem vestrum Constantinum”; Aus. XXI Grat. act. 11 [53]: “palmatam tibi misi in qua divus Constantius parens noster intextus est.” See also CTh 16.6.2 (a. 377): “lege divali parentum nostrum Constantini, Constanti, Valentiniani decreta sunt.”

(212) . PLRE I, Iustina.

(213) . Chron. pasch., p. 559 (a. 369); Malalas 13.31 (p. 341); John of Nikiu, p. 82 all of which report the name of Valentinian’s first wife as Mari[a]na. These same sources report that Gratian recalled his mother after the death of his father; cf. AM 28.1.57. Soc. 4.31.13 calls her Severa. D. Woods has a paper in progress on the question. More on Valentinian’s divorce on p. 267.

(214) . PLRE I, Flavius Valentinianus 8; Iusta; Grata; Galla 2. Within a month of Valentinian II’s birth, Justina had acquired the title Augusta, CJ 4.22.7 (Aug. 7, 371). Cf. Tomlin 1973, 90–91.

(215) . PLRE I, Iustus 1.

(216) . First argued at Rougé 1958; accepted at PLRE I, Galla 1; cf. Sabbah 1992, 99–100. The connection is deduced from the names of Justina’s brothers, Constantius and Cerealis, and one of her daughters, Galla. All were names characteristic of the Neratii. Galla’s brother, PLRE I, Vulcacius Rufinus 25, served as Valentinian’s praetorian prefect of Italy from 365 to 368. Barnes 1982, 44, 103, argues that Justina was a great-grandaughter of Crispus Caesar. Justina had considerable family estates which she left to her daughters. Ownership of these was contested by an orphanus, who eventually won his claim in a trial before Valentinian II (Amb. De obit. Val. 37). This was perhaps a son of one of Justina’s brothers, Constantianus (d. 369) or Cerealis (d. ?).

(217) . Zos. 4.43.1; cf. 4.19.1; Joh. Ant. fr. 187, which indicates that Justina was so young when she married Magnentius that she could not bear children. Rougé 1974 argues that Soc. 4.31.11–13 should be construed to mean that Justus was put to death for consenting to his daughter’s marriage to Magnentius.

(218) . AM 22.3.1–12; Lib. Or. 18.152; Jul. Ep. 33 (Bidez). Executed were PLRE I, Ursulus 1 (comes sacrarum largitionum), Apodemius 1 (agens in rebus), Paulus “Catena” 4 (notarius), Eusebius 11 (praepositus sacri cubiculi). Exiled were Palladius 4 (ex magister officiorum), Flavius Taurus 3 (praetorian prefect), Florentius 3 (magister officiorum), Evagrius 5 (comes rei privatae), Flavius Saturninus 10 (cura palatii), Cyrinus (ex notarius). Cf. also PLRE I, Thalassius 2 (ex proximus libellorum).

(219) . E.g., AM 22.3.8–9; Lib. Or. 18.152–53.

(220) . Them. Or. 5.66d; cf. Vanderspoel 1995, 147–48. See also Eunap. VS 7.4.11.

(221) . PLRE I, Flavius Nevitta; Hormisdas 2; Procopius 4.

(222) . On military officials, see PLRE I, Flavius Arinthaeus; Sebastianus 2; Victor 4; Dagalaifus; and Flavius Iovinus 6 (on whom, see AM 25.10.7–9). On civilian ministers, see PLRE I, Saturninius Secundus Salutius 3, Flavius Mamertinus 2, Domitius Modestus 2, Aradius Rufinus 10, Helpidius 6, and Caesarius 1.

(223) . AM 26.4.4; Zos. 4.1.1, 2.1–4; see p. 25.

(224) . Lib. Ep. 1459; cf. 1148, 1154, 1193, 1209.

(225) . Lib. Or. 1.167; cf. Ep. 1220, 1264: The Revolt of Procopius The Revolt of Procopius.

(226) . PLRE I, Dulcitius 5, Priscianus 1, Aristophanes, Ambrosius 2, Leontius 9, and Ulpi-anus 3. Of course, some may have been uninterested in further advancement. Then, too, many of the gaps in our knowledge of eastern careers are attributable to the gap in Libanius’s correspondence between the years 366 and 388. Even this, however, reflects Libanius’s discomfort with Valens—and later Theodosius—under whom he believed it was dangerous to send and preserve letters, as Lib. Ep. 1264.

(227) . PLRE I, Sextus Aurelius Victor 13; cf. Bird 1984, 5–15; 1994, vii–xi; 1996. For other such instances, see PLRE I, Aradius Rufinus 11 and Philagrius 2 (probably identical with Philagrius 4). Barnes 1987, 220–25, indicates that the orator Himerius probably also compromised his career by excessive attachment to Julian. Barnes 1998, 63, even speculates that Ammianus’s career may have been halted because of his enthusiasm for Julian.

(228) . PLRE I, Alexander 5, esp. Lib. Ep. 1456, to Clearchus, who helped procure his acquittal.

(229) . PLRE I, Vindaonius Magnus 12, esp. Theod. HE 4.22.10. For Libanius, see his Or. 1.136–38, with Norman 1965, 188–89; cf. Ep. 1220.6.

(230) . PLRE I, Entrechius 1, esp. Lib. Ep. 1252. Cf. Lib. Ep. 901, which traces Entrechius’s career up to 388 and makes it clear that there was a cessation of office after Julian.

(231) . AM 26.7.4. The last recorded law Sallustius received was CTh 12.6.5, July 4, 365, with Pergami 1993, 237; cf. 301.

(232) . CTh 7.4.14, issued to Sallustius as PPO on Dec. 1, 365, indicates that he was already back in office by this date.

(233) . Eunap. VS 7.5.9; Zos. 4.10.4. The dismissal probably fell in winter 366/67. The last recorded law he received was CTh 4.12.2 (Apr. 4, 366), but the first recorded law received by his successor was CTh 10.16.1 (Sept. 1, 367). Sallustius ultimately retired with honor, receiving a gilded statue in the Roman Forum (CIL 6.1764 = ILS 1255) and possibly the title patricius (Chron. pasch., p. 555). He was already old and was apparently suffering from ill-health, Lib. Ep. 1428.

(234) . Lib. Ep. 1216. The letter describes Modestus’s retirement to an estate furnished by Valentinian and Valens and implies that the retirement followed some sort of acquittal on an unspecified charge. Similar insinuations of mischance and forced retirement are found at Ep. 1483.

(235) . In addition to Modestus, see PLRE I, Vindaonius Magnus 12, Clearchus 1, and Fl. Eutolmius Tatianus 5, to which add Roueché 1989, nos. 25–27, 37. Cf., in the west, PLRE I, Vulcacius Rufinus 25. Tritle 1994 even argues that Constantius’s former court ran affairs under Valens. This ignores the influence of men with little or no connection to Constantius, e.g., Festus, Sophronius, Fortunatianus, Aburgius, Serenianus, etc. If Brauch 1993 is right to assert that Themistius was urban prefect of Constantinople under Julian, he too could be numbered among the officials of Julian who remained in favor. I remain skeptical, however, that Themistius held such a post.

(236) . Suid. 64; Malalas 13.29 (p. 338); cf. Zos. 4.2.4.

(237) . AM 27.7.1–2; cf. PLRE I, Claudius Mamertinus 2; Nixon and Rodgers 1994, 386–88; Wirbelauer and Fleer 1995.

(238) . PLRE I, Seleucus 1, esp. Lib. Ep. 1473, 1508.

(239) . PLRE I, Evagrius 6, esp. Lib. Ep. 1287, 1290, 1310–12, 1314, 1317, 1319–22. Evagrius was eventually released and joined the clergy at Antioch.

(240) . Seeck, Briefe, Clematius III, esp. Lib. Ep. 1458, 1503, 1504, 1526. Clematius was later released.

(241) . PLRE I, Nicocles, esp. Lib. Ep. 1266, 1487, 1533.

(242) . PLRE I, Clodius Octavianus 2, esp. Jer. Chron. s.a. 371; cf. AM 29.3.4.

(243) . PLRE I, Oribasius, esp. Eunap. VS 21.1.5. See also Baldwin 1975, 85–97. Tension against Oribasius seems to be alluded to at Them. Or. 6.72a.

(244) . PLRE I, Priscus 5 and Maximus 20, esp. Eunap. VS 7.4.11–6.1; Them. Or. 7.100a; cf. Zos. 4.2.2. PLRE’s entry on Maximus is especially weak. See the much fuller details in Seeck, Briefe, 208–10, Maximus X, and the narrative at Penella 1990, 72–73. Vanderspoel 1995, 166 n. 40, argues briefly that Them. Or. 7.100a refers not to Maximus but to Sallustius. The case remains open.

(245) . On Julian’s liberality with his friends, see Jul. Ep. 4 and 114 (Bidez); Lib. Or. 1.125; Ep. 1154; Eunap. VS 7.3.9; Greg. Naz. Or. 4; Philostorg. 9.4. On his liberal economic policies more broadly, see pp. 288–90.

(246) . See pp. 290–92.

(247) . AM 26.6.6–9, 17, 8.14.

(248) . Cf. Elbern 1984, 46–49, on other revolts motivated by economic pressures. Add Zos. 1.20.2.

(249) . PLRE I, Helpidius 6, esp. Philostorg. 7.10; cf. Malcus 1967, 109. For more on adherents of Procopius, see Delmaire 1997, 118–20; Wiebe 1995, 36–56.

(250) . PLRE I, Araxius, esp. Jul. Ep. ad Them. 259c–d: The Revolt of Procopius.

(251) . Greg. Nys. Eun. 35 claims that Eunomius bragged of his connections to the emperors.

(252) . AM 26.6.5 reports that Procopius stayed at the estate of Strategius, and Philostorg. 9.5, 8 that Eunomius was exiled on a charge of harboring Procopius on his own estate in Chalcedon. Philostorgius 9.6 denies this charge against his hero, but it seems plausible, since Eunomius knew Procopius well enough to exercise considerable influence with him during the revolt. Cf. Zos. 4.5.3.

(253) . PLRE I, Hormisdas 3; Malcus 1967, 110.

(254) . Them. Or. 7.99c, 100b–c.

(255) . Lib. Or. 1.163–65, with Norman 1965, 196–98.

(256) . See Sivan 1993, 20–22.

(257) . AM 26.7.4, 10.8. On Julian’s intellectual circle in Gaul, see Lib. Or. 12.55; cf. Sivan 1993, 98–99.

(258) . Booth 1978, 237–39, with bibliography at n. 10; accepted at Sivan 1993, 91–93, 98–99. Both argue against PLRE I, Attius Tiro Delphidius, which holds that he joined Magnentius’s revolt. The case is built around Aus. XI Prof. 5.19–24, 29–31, which speaks of an unnamed tyrranus.

(259) . Solari 1932d; Wiebe 1995, 3–86; cf. Blockley 1975, 56.

(260) . Cf. pp. 96 and 100.

(261) . Them. Or. 7.86c; cf. AM 26.6.1; Philostorg. 9.5.

(262) . Hill 1996, 115–47; MAMA 3: 118–219.

(263) . On Gallus’s and the young Julian’s Christian piety, see Greg. Naz. Or. 4.24–5; Soz. 5.2.12, 19.12–14; cf. 3.15.8; Philosotorg. 3.27. More on Julian’s early adherence to Christianity at R. B. E. Smith 1995, 180–85.

(264) . RIC 9.193 (Heraclea 7–8); 215 (Constantinople 17–18); 240 (Cyzicus (6–7, 9); 252 (Nicomedia 10); cf. Brennecke 1988, 214. Wiebe 1995, 8, 40, 48, 291 n. 22, must strain to argue away this evidence.

(265) . See pp. 91–101. Magnentius also cast himself with an ambiguous combination of pagan and Christian propaganda (Salzman 1990, 210–11, with bibliography).

(266) . As such, Procopius distinguished himself from Julian’s propaganda, which largely dis-avowed his dynastic past; cf. Béranger 1972; MacCormack 1981, 192–96.

(267) . Wiebe 1995, 36–56, argues to the contrary, but his case had been anticipated at Grattarola 1986, 90–94. Procopius’s supporter Eunomius was certainly Christian and his general Gomoarius may have been as well, given that he was cashiered by Julian and later opposed his usurpation (AM 21.8.1, 13.16).

(268) . PLRE I, Serenianus 2, Saturninius Secundus Salutius 3, and Clearchus 1; cf. Haehling 1977. See p. 216 on other pagans in Valens’s administration later in the reign.

(269) . Grattarola 1986, 90–94.

(270) . MacMullen 1985, 75–76; Elton 1996b, 197–98.

(271) . E.g., Aur. Vict. Caes. 39.13–16; cf. 22.11–13.

(272) . On the date, see Dagron 1968, 21; Vanderspoel 1995, 162; cf. 161–67 and Errington 2000, 881–83, on this speech.

(273) . Or. 7.87c–88a.

(274) . Them. Or. 7.93b. As we would expect, in the aftermath of the revolt, the participants often offered compulsion as their excuse, and Valens generally accepted this in order to perpetuate the notion that his subjects had only turned on him out of necessity (Them. Or. 11.148b–c; AM 26.7.1, 6, 9.8; Lib. Or. 20.26, 62.58–59).

(275) . Them. Or. 7.95c–d. On Valens’s clemency after the revolt, see also Them. Or. 8.110d–111a, 9.122c, 11.148b–c; cf. Symm. Or. 1.21.

(276) . Similar language recurs at Pan. Lat. 2 [12].45.5–7, 12 [9].13.1–5; Jul. Or. 1.48c–d, 3.99a–100c; cf. Aur. Vict. Caes. 22.11–13, 39.13–16.

(277) . Zos. 4.8.4–5; cf. 10.1. Eunap. Hist. fr. 34.9 (Blockley) is probably from Eunapius’s account of Valens’s reprisals. Ammianus paints an equally terrible tableau at 26.10.6–14; cf. 26.8.10, which is, like Zosimus, too light on specifics and too heavy in rhetoric to be of great probative value. See also AM 26.6.5; Joh. Ant. fr. 184; Jer. Chron. s.a. 366, followed by Prosper Chron. 1131; Jord. Rom. 308; Oros. 7.32.4. On the aftermath of the revolt, see Grattarola 1986, 101–5; Wiebe 1995, 56–61.

(278) . Lib. Or. 1.171, 19.15, 20.25–26, 46.30; but cf. Or. 24.13.

(279) . Eunap. VS 16.2.8 with Banchich 1985. Lib. Or. 1.171 also indicates a period of reprieve in the middle years of Valens’s rule.

(280) . All information on the punishment of Procopius’s officials can be found in the PLRE I references already given for each personality.

(281) . On schemes against Andronicus, see Lib. Or. 1.171. On Florentius’s cruelty, see Philostorg. 9.5.

(282) . Procopius’s wife is probably referred to at Joh. Chrys. Ad vid. iun. 4; cf. PLRE I, Artemisia. On his descendants, see PLRE II, Anthemius 3; Procopius 2.

(283) . Hoffmann 1969–70, 1: 398; cf. Tomlin 1972, 258. More broadly, see Them. Or. 7.97c–d, 8.110d–111a.

(284) . On the return of Maximus’s estates, see Eunap. VS 7.6.1. On Oribasius’s return, see Eunap. VS 21.1.5. The exact date is unknown. Oribasius was probably recalled under the influence of his son, Eustathius, who became an archiatros under Valens. Cf. Basil Epp. 151 (a. 373), 189 (a. 374/75, probably by Gregory of Nyssa), which confirm that Eustathius, unlike his father, had converted to Christianity.

(285) . See pp. 292–95.

(286) . Them. Or. 7.84b–c, 85d–86a. See also Lib. Or. 19.15, which seems to allude directly to Themistius’s speech; cf. Or. 20.25–26.

(287) . CTh 14.13.1 (ca. 373); cf. Them. Or. 14.183c–d, 15.196c. On the date of the law, see Pergami 1993, 257.

(288) . Seeck, Regesten, 239, 241, 251; Dagron 1974, 84; Barnes 1998, 250–54. It is unclear how much time Valens spent in Constantinople in the winter after the revolt (a. 366/67). Pace Barnes 1998, 250, no source mentions his stay there and Zos. 4.10.3 indicates that he moved to Marcianople fairly quickly, where he is attested from May 10, 367 (CTh 12.18.1). However, Them. Or. 7 seems to have been delivered while Valens presided over the Senate of Constantinople (Dagron 1968, 21). It would be logical to assume that Valens prosecuted the participants in the revolt in the capital, and Soc. 4.8.11 seems to confirm this.

(289) . Soc. 4.38.5; Soz. 6.39.2–4; with Vanderspoel 1995, 191–92. Cf. p. 335.

(290) . Soc. 4.8.1–14; Zon. 13.16; Cedrenus, pp. 542–43; Joh. Ant. fr. 184. Chalcedon’s walls had been built by Constantine, providing all the more reason for Valens to have punished the city (Cedrenus, pp. 496–97). Valens must have confiscated a good deal of the prime property in the area, at least some of which—an entire village—wound up in the hands of his praepositus sacri cubiculi Mardonius (Soz. 7.21.2–3). Valens was also harsh with Philippopolis (AM 26.10.6).

(291) . AM 29.1.11.

(292) . On gold brocade, see CTh 10.21.1 (a. 369). On the coinage reform, see pp. 299–302.

(293) . For Julian’s men killed in 372, see AM 29.1.5–2.28, esp. 29.1.42, 44; cf. 29.3.7; Eunap. VS 7.6.3–6; Lib. Or. 1.158, 24.13; Zos. 4.15.1.