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BY the death of Theodosius the Eastern throne passed to his incapable elder son, Arcadius, then 17 years old, while the practical administration was in the hands of the praetorian praefect, Rufinus of Aquitaine, a man of vigour and ability who in the pursuit of ambition and avarice was not limited by scruples. Under these circumstances a conflict was likely to arise between Rufinus and Stilicho, who was the guardian of the Western Emperor Honorius, and husband of Theodosius' niece, who also asserted that Theodosius had on his death-bed committed both his sons to his care. Rufinus proposed to counterbalance the advantage which his rival possessed in his connection with the imperial family by marrying Arcadius to his own daughter; but, unfortunately for him, he had a rival at Court in the eunuch Eutropius, a former slave who had risen to the position of praepositus sacri cubiculi; who now profited by the praefect's absence to thwart his scheme. Lucian, whom Rufinus had made count of the East, had refused a request of Eucherius, the Emperor's great-uncle; and, upon Arcadius complaining of this, the praefect, to show his own loyalty, made a hasty journey to Antioch and put Lucian to a cruel death. Meanwhile Eutropius induced Arcadius to betroth himself to Eudoxia, daughter of Bauto the Frank, who had been brought up by a son of Promotus, an enemy of Rufinus; who thus had the mortification of seeing his master united not to his own daughter but to one who from her upbringing would be bitterly opposed to him (27 Apr. 395).

The inferiority of Rufinus was increased by the fact that the best of the Eastern troops had accompanied Theodosius to the West, and of these only some of the less efficient had been sent back. The Visigothic foederati had however returned to Moesia; and their leader Alaric, who was now proclaimed king, was quick to profit by the weakness of the government. Professing indignation at not being appointed magister militum, he invaded Thrace and advanced to Constantinople, while Rufinus, having also to meet an incursion of Caucasian Huns into Asia Minor and Syria (July), where Antioch was threatened and Old Tyre abandoned by its citizens, had no forces to oppose to him. He therefore went to the Gothic camp, and, after some negotiations, Alaric withdrew to Macedonia, and after a check from local forces at the Peneus passed into Thessaly. Stilicho, who, besides desiring to overthrow Rufinus, wished to reunite eastern Illyricum to the Western power, treated this as a pretext for interference; and, starting in early spring, he marched with considerable forces to Thessaly, and met the Goths in a wide plain. Probably, however, he did not wish to crush them; and, after some months had been spent in skirmishes or negotiations, Rufinus, who feared Stilicho more than Alaric, sent him in the Emperor's name an order to evacuate the dominions of Arcadius and send back the Eastern troops. To break openly with the East at this time did not suit Stilicho's purpose; and, as the Eastern forces, which comprised a large Gothic contingent, were devoted to him, he could attain his primary object in another way. He therefore returned at once, while the Eastern army under Gainas the Goth marched to Constantinople. In accordance with custom the Emperor, accompanied by Rufinus, came out to meet the troops, and the soldiers, at a signal from Gainas, fell upon the praefect and cut him in pieces (27 Nov.).

The Emperor's chief adviser was now Eutropius, who appropriated a large part of Rufinus' property and procured the banishment of the two most distinguished generals in the East, Abundantius and Timasius (396), while he entrusted positions of power to such obscure men as Hosius the cook and Leo the wool-comber. He also gained much obloquy by selling offices, though as the prices were fixed and there was no system of public loans, this was only a convenient method of raising money. As a eunuch, he could not hold any state office; but for this he partly compensated by transferring some of the powers of the praefect to the master of the offices and by interfering in matters altogether outside the functions of a chamberlain. Thus he is said to have acted as a judge, probably on a special commission, and to have gone on embassies to the Goths and Huns, from which he returned with military pomp. Finally he was made a patrician and assumed the consulship (399), though his name was not admitted to the Western Fasti. At first he was necessarily on good terms with the army, and therefore with Stilicho; but he was no more inclined than Rufinus had been to allow the Western regent to direct Eastern affairs, and the previous position therefore soon recurred.

After Stilicho’s retreat Greece lay at Alaric’s mercy, for, perhaps because the army was too much under Stilicho's influence, no force was sent against him, and through the unguarded Thermopylae he marched plundering into Boeotia. Thebes indeed was too strong to take, and Athens he entered only under a capitulation. Megara however was taken, and, the Isthmus being left undefended, Corinth, Argos, and Sparta also. During 396 Peloponnesus lay under his heel; but early in 397 Stilicho, secure in the support of the Eastern army, thought that the time had come for another campaign. This time he came by sea to Corinth, and, marching westwards, blockaded the Goths at Pholoe in Elis. But Eutropius opened negotiations with Gildo, count of Africa, whose loyalty had long been doubtful, to induce him to transfer his allegiance to Arcadius; and, the threatening state of affairs making it necessary for Stilicho to return, he allowed Alaric to withdraw to Epirus, probably on the understanding that he would keep the Eastern Court occupied. Eutropius however preferred to satisfy him by the post of magister militum in Illyricum, and on these terms peace was concluded. Such being the relations between the two Courts, it is not surprising to find that some of the eunuch's enemies conspired with the Gothic soldiers, the allies of Stilicho, against his life, and that, with the fate of Rufinus before him, he tried to prevent such plots by a law of extraordinary severity (4 Sept.). Perhaps for the same reason that no army was sent against Alaric no support was given to Gildo; but his revolt occupied Stilicho's attention during most of 398. The pacification of Africa was however soon followed by Eutropius' fall.

Gainas, now magister militum, had been strengthening his own position by filling the army with Goths from Moesia; and in spring 399 an opportunity for action presented itself. Tribigild, commander of the Gothic colonists in Phrygia, having been refused a donative by Eutropius, revolted and ravaged the country, upon which Eutropius offered the money; but Tribigild raised his demands and insisted upon the eunuch's deposition. Gainas, with Leo, the satellite of Eutropius, was sent against him; but, while Leo advanced toward the disturbed district, Gainas remained at the Hellespont. Tribigild on hearing of Leo's approach marched through Pisidia into Pamphylia, where a large part of his army was cut to pieces by a rustic force under Valentinus, a citizen of Selga, and the rest blockaded between the Eurymedon and the Melas. Leo moved to the support of the local force: but, as he was too indolent and dissolute to maintain discipline, Tribigild was able by an unexpected attack to make his way through, while the disorderly force scattered in all directions, Leo himself perishing in the flight. Tribigild then returned to Phrygia, which he again plundered. Nor was he the only enemy with whom the Empire had to contend; for, besides the constant incursions of the desert tribes into Egypt and Libya, the Huns were ravaging Thrace, and Vram Shapuh of Armenia was, at the instigation of the Persian king, attempting to annex the five satrapies north of the Tigris.

Accordingly Gainas with much show of reason represented to Arcadius that his best course was to grant Tribigild’s demand; and, as Eudoxia urged the same, his consent was easily obtained. Eutropius was deposed from his office, and, though he had abolished by legal enactment the right of sanctuary possessed by the churches, fled to the altar of St Sophia, where the bishop, John Chrysostom, who owed his appointment to the eunuch, made use of his presence to preach on the vanity of earthly things, but resisted all attempts to remove him. Finally he left the church on a promise that his life should be spared, but was deprived of property and honours, and banished to Cyprus (July or Aug.). As however Gainas insisted upon the necessity of his death, he was, on the pretext that the promise applied only to Con­stantinople, brought back to Chalcedon, tried on a charge of using imperial ornaments, and beheaded.

The fall of Eutropius had been effected by a combination between Eudoxia and Gainas; and during the absence of the Goth, who had returned to Phrygia, the Empress secured the appointment of Aurelianus to the praefecture in preference to his brother Caesarius, who was supported by Gainas. After Eutropius’ death she further had herself proclaimed Augusta (9 Jan. 400); and by an innovation which called forth a protest from Honorius her busts were sent round the provinces like those of emperors. But Gainas had not designed to set Eudoxia in the place of Eutropius; accordingly he sent Tribigild, with whom he had joined forces, to Lampsacus, while he himself returned to Chalcedon, and demanded the surrender of three of the principal supporters of the empress, Aurelianus the praefect, Saturninus an ex-consul, and Count John, her chief favourite. Resistance was useless; and Aurelianus and Saturninus crossed to Chalcedon, while John hid himself, probably in a church; but his hiding-place was discovered, and the bishop’s enemies afterwards asserted that he had betrayed him. The three men were ordered to prepare for death; but, when the executioner’s sword was at their necks, Gainas stayed his hand and had them conveyed by sea towards the Adriatic, perhaps intending to place them in the hands of Stilicho or Alaric. He next demanded a meeting with the Emperor; which took place at Chalcedon, where they gave mutual oaths of good faith in the church of St Euphemia. Both the Gothic leaders then crossed to Europe. Caesarius was made praefect, and in consequence of the recent troubles was compelled to increase the taxation; but in systematizing the sale of offices by limiting the tenure of each he seems to have performed an act of advantage to the State and justice to the purchasers. Meanwhile Gainas was so distributing the Roman troops in the city as to place them at the mercy of the Goths; and then, thinking his will law, he asked that a church within the walls should be given to the Arians. This time however the strong orthodoxy of Arcadius and the influence of the bishop caused the demand to be refused. The violent hostility aroused by these events made men believe that the Goths intended to attack the palace; while they on their side were seized with a panic which led them to expect an attack from forces which did not exist. Accordingly Gainas, alleging ill-health, retired to the suburban church of St John, instructing his men to come out singly and join him. After the greater part had left the city, a trivial occurrence brought on a scuffle between the Goths and the citizens, who attacked the already panic-stricken barbarians with any weapons they could find, and at last the gates were shut, and the Goths, enclosed within the city, without cohesion and without leaders, offered little resistance and were mercilessly massacred, while Arcadius found courage to declare Gainas a public enemy and send his guards to support the populace. Next day the survivors, who had fled to a church that the bishop had given to the orthodox Goths, were surrounded by the soldiers; and, though none dared to attack them in the church, the roof was stripped off and burning wood thrown in until all perished, in spite of the appeals of Caesarius for a capitulation (12 July).

The Roman troops were now collected and placed under Fravitta, a loyal pagan Goth who had distinguished himself in the time of Theodosius. The attempts of Gainas on the Thracian cities failed, Tribigild was killed, and lack of provisions compelled the Goths to withdraw to the Chersonese in order to cross to Asia; but Fravitta had already placed a fleet on the Hellespont to intercept them. They were however forced to attempt the passage in rafts, and, these being sunk, most of them were drowned, while Gainas with the survivors retreated across the Danube, where he was attacked and killed by Uldin the Hun (23 Dec.), who sent his head to Constantinople, where it was carried through the city (3 Jan. 401). Shortly before the victory Aurelianus and the other hostages escaped from their guards in Epirus, and returned to the capital; and early in 401 Caesarius was deposed and imprisoned, and Aurelianus restored. Some deserters and fugitive slaves, who continued to ravage Thrace, were put down by Fravitta. But he was accused of not pressing his advantage against the Goths, and, though acquitted, incurred Eudoxia’s enmity, and afterwards fell a victim to the machinations of her satellites.

Stilicho’s hopes of directing Eastern affairs through the army were thus destroyed; and soon afterwards the government was delivered from Alaric, who, having exhausted eastern Illyricum, invaded Italy, and after an indecisive battle at Pollentia (402) was established in western Illyricum as magister militum, probably on the understanding that he would help Stilicho to annex eastern Illyricum when opportunity arose. In other directions things went less fortunately. By the annihilation of the Goths the East was left almost without an army; and the Isaurian robbers terrorized eastern Asia Minor and Syria, where they took Seleucia (Feb. 403), and even crossed to Cyprus. Arbazacius the Armenian indeed gained some successes; but he was suspected of corruption and recalled, though by the influence of the empress he escaped punishment (404).

The chief power in the State was now Eudoxia; but there was one man who dared to oppose her, John Chrysostom. As early as 401 he offended her by complaining of some act of oppression; and not only was he constantly preaching against the prevailing luxury and dissipation among the ladies of fashion of whom she was leader, but he used the names Herodias and Jezebel, and in one of his sermons employed the word “adoxia”, with an application that could not be mistaken. His popularity was so great that she would hardly have attacked him on this ground alone; but, with the help of the ecclesiastical jealousy of the bishop of Alexandria and the discontent which his high-handed proceedings in the cause of discipline aroused among some of the clergy, she procured his deposition (c. July 403). Popular clamour however and a building collapse in the imperial chamber frightened her into recalling him after a few days and excusing herself by throwing the blame upon others. This reconciliation did not last long. Two months later a statue of Eudoxia was erected on a spot adjoining the church of St Irene during divine service, and John, regarding the festivities as an insult to the church, preached a violent sermon against those responsible for them, which the empress took as an attack upon herself. The bishops were therefore again assembled; but the proceedings were protracted, and Arcadius, who in religious matters had something like a will of his own, was hard to move. On 20 June 404 however the bishop was finally expelled. That night some of his fanatical partisans set fire to St Sophia, which was destroyed with the adjoining Senate-house: in which many ancient works of art perished.

Less than four months afterwards Eudoxia died from a miscarriage (6 Oct.); and the period of active misrule from which the East had suffered since 395 came to an end. The praefecture was now entrusted to the capable hands of Anthemius: but the government had still no force to repress the incursions of the Libyan tribes or the Isaurian brigands, whose raids continued to the end of the reign. The relations with the West had been further embittered by the affair of John Chrysostom; and, while Stilicho lived, a good understanding was impossible. After delays not easy to explain Stilicho prepared to carry out his compact with Alaric, and, as an earnest of his intention, closed the ports against Eastern ships, while Alaric invaded Epirus. But, hearing that the usurper Constantine had crossed to Gaul, Stilicho again postponed his Eastern expedition, and Alaric in anger evacuated the dominions of Arcadius and threatened Italy. At this juncture Arcadius died (1 May 408), leaving a son, Theodosius, aged seven, who since 10 Jan. 402 had been his father's colleague, and three (perhaps four) daughters; and Stilicho, thinking the time come to carry out his old project of bringing the East under his rule, proposed to send Alaric to Gaul and go himself to Constantinople as the representative of Honorius; but a hostile party secured the Emperor’s ear, and he was put to death (Aug. 408). The ports were then opened and amity restored.

The care of the Emperor’s person was in the hands of Antiochus, a eunuch with Persian connections; but the direction of affairs fell to Anthemius, whose chief adviser was the sophist Troilus; and the period of his administration was one of the most fortunate in the history of the East. The danger from the West had been removed by Stilicho’s fall; and on the eastern side the best relations were maintained with Yezdegerd the Persian king, with whom a commercial treaty was made. The military power of the Empire had suffered too much to be quickly restored; but we hear no more of Isaurian raids, and it was found possible to send a small force to support Honorius against Alaric. It was only however by a combination with subject tribes that the Huns were driven across the Danube, while their tributaries the Sciri were captured in vast numbers, and enslaved or settled as coloni in Asia Minor (409). To prevent such incursions the fleet on the Danube was strengthened (412). Other salutary measures were the relief given to the taxpayers of Illyricum and the East (413-14), the restoration of the fortifications of the Illyrian cities (412), and the re-organization of the corn supply of Constantinople (409). But the work for which the name of Anthemius was most remembered is the wall built from the Propontis to the Golden Horn to enclose the portion of the city that had grown up outside the wall of Constantine, a wall which substantially exists to this day (413).

In 414 the administration of Anthemius came to an end, probably by death; and on 4 July Pulcheria, the daughter of Arcadius, was proclaimed Augusta, a title that had not been granted to an emperor’s sister since Trajan's time; and henceforth, though only two years older than Theodosius, she exercised the functions of regent, and her bust was placed in the Senate-house with those of the emperors (30 Dec.). At the same time Antiochus was removed from the palace.

The Court of Pulcheria was a strange contrast to her mother's. For political rather than religious reasons she took a vow of perpetual virginity and induced her sisters to do the same, and the princesses spent their time in spinning and devout exercises. She herself was a ready speaker and writer in Greek and Latin; and she had her brother trained in rhetoric, as well as horsemanship and the use of arms, in ceremony and deportment, and the observances of religion. Hence he grew up a strict observer of ecclesiastical rules, a fair scholar with a special interest in natural science and medicine, a keen huntsman, an excellent penman, exemplary in private life, mild and good-tempered; but, as everything likely to make him a capable ruler was excluded from his education, the Emperor remained all his life a puppet in the hands of his sister, his wife, and his eunuchs.

The transference of the regency to a girl of 15 could not be effected without a change in the methods of administration; and it is therefore not surprising to find the government accused of fiscal oppression, while the sale of offices, which was restricted under Anthemius, became again a matter of public notoriety. In Alexandria, which, being almost equally divided between Christians, Jews, and heathens, was always turbulent, the change gave occasion for a serious outbreak. After prolonged rioting between Jews and Christians the bishop Cyril instigated his followers to expel the Jews. This the praefect Orestes reported to the Emperor, while Cyril sent his own account; and, Orestes refusing to yield, some fanatical monks attacked and stoned him. The chief perpetrator was tortured to death, whereupon Cyril treated him as a martyr, and both parties appealed to Constantinople. It now came to be believed among Cyril's partisans that Orestes was acting under the influence of the celebrated mathematician and philosopher, Hypatia, who was in constant communication with him: accordingly a party of parabolani (sick-attendants) pulled her from her chariot, dragged her into the church called Caesarium, and beat or scraped her to death with tiles (Mar. 415). At first the government acted with some vigour. No personal punishment was inflicted, but the parabolani were limited to 500, and the selection made subject to the approbation of the Augustal and praetorian praefects, while they were forbidden to appear in the council-house or law-courts or at public spectacles (29 Sept. 416). It was not long however before the influence or bribes of Cyril procured the restoration of the freedom of selection (3 Feb. 418). The increase of anti-pagan feeling was also shown by a law excluding pagans from high administrative office and from the army (7 Dec. 416). Other disturbances were the rebellion of Count Plintha in Palestine (418), an attack on the city praefect Aetius (23 Feb. 419), and a mutiny in the East (420). In Armenia, Yezdegerd having appointed his brother as king, the Roman portion of the country was definitely annexed and placed under a count (415-16).

It was now time for Theodosius to marry; and it was Pulcheria’s object to prevent the choice of a wife with powerful connections, who would be likely to endanger her ascendancy. She had by some means made the acquaintance of Athenais, daughter of the Athenian sophist Leontius, a woman of high education and literary ability, who had come to Constantinople through a dispute with her brothers about their father's property. As a friendless girl dependent on herself, yet fitted by education for the part of an empress, she seemed exactly suited for the purpose. The Augusta therefore introduced her to Theodosius, who declared himself willing to make her his wife; Athenais made no objection to accepting Christianity, and was baptized under the name of Eudocia, Pulcheria standing sponsor; and on 7 June 421 the marriage was celebrated. The new empress bore no malice against her brothers, but summoned them to Court, where one became praefect of Illyricum and the other master of the offices; in this however she perhaps showed worldly wisdom rather than Christian charity. After the birth of a daughter she received the title of Augusta (2 Jan. 423).

About the time of the marriage the peace with Persia was broken. Yezdegerd had always shown himself friendly to the Christians; but at the end of his reign the fanatical act of a bishop drove him to severe measures. Some Christians fled to Roman territory, and when their surrender was refused, the position became so critical that permission was given to the inhabitants of the exposed provinces to fortify their own lands (5 May 420). After Yezdegerd’s violent death (late in 420) a more extended persecution was begun by Warahran V; and the Court of Constantinople began the war by sending the Alan Ardaburius through Roman Armenia into Arzanene, where he defeated the Persian Narsai (Aug. or Sept 421), who retreated to Nisibis. Ardaburius with numerous prisoners advanced to Amida to prevent an invasion of Mesopotamia; and here, as the prisoners were starving, Bishop Acacius melted the church plate, ransomed them with the price, gave them provisions, and sent them home. Ardaburius then besieged Nisibis, and Warahran prepared to march to its relief, while he sent Al Mundhir, sheikh of Al Hira, to invade Syria. Many of the Arabs were however drowned in the Euphrates, and the rest defeated by the general Vitianus. On the king's approach Ardaburius burnt his engines and retreated, and the Persians, crossing the frontier, vainly attacked Rhesaina for over a month; but, though the Romans gained some successes, no decisive victory was obtained, and Theodosius thought it best to propose terms. Warahran was also inclined for peace; but, wishing to gain a success first, he ordered an attack upon a Roman force, while he kept the ambassador with him. The Romans were surprised; but during the battle another division under Procopius, the son-in-law of Anthemius, unexpectedly appeared, and the Persians, taken on both sides, were defeated. Warahran then took up the negotiations in earnest; and, on his undertaking to stop the persecution and each party binding itself not to receive the Arab subjects of the other, peace was made for 100 years (422). This victory was celebrated by Eudocia in an epic poem. It was probably a result of the transference of troops from Europe to meet the Persians that the Huns this year invaded Thrace, though in consequence of the prudent measures of Anthemius the Danubian frontier was rarely violated before 441. The provinces had however not recovered from the calamities of Arcadius' time, and constant remissions of taxation were necessary.

The relations with the West were again disturbed through the refusal of Theodosius to recognize the elevation of Constantius (421); and when, after the death of Honorius (Aug. 423) the obscure John was proclaimed emperor in prejudice of the claims of the young Valentinian the son of Placidia, there was an open breach. When John’s envoys arrived to ask for recognition, Theodosius threw them into prison. Placidia now received anew the title of Augusta (424), which Theodosius had before ignored, Valentinian was declared Caesar at Thessalonica, mother and son were sent to Italy with a large army under Ardaburius, his son Aspar, and Candidianus; and, John having been overthrown, Valentinian was invested with the empire (Oct. 425). The concord between the two divisions of the Empire was confirmed by the betrothal of Valentinian to Theodosius' daughter Eudoxia, and the victory celebrated by the building of the Golden Gate, through which the emperors made their formal entries into Constantinople. In 431, when Placidia needed assistance against the Vandals, an army under Aspar was sent to Africa; but Aspar returned three years later without success, probably after an understanding which made him ever after a friend of the Vandals.

In 427 some Ostrogoths who had seceded from the Huns were settled in Thrace, and other tribes were received in 433; while a raid was made by the Huns, and a more serious attack only prevented by abject submission to their demands (434). At sea a pirate fleet entered the Propontis, but in 438 the pirate Contradis was captured. At home stones were thrown at Theodosius in a riot after a famine in 431, and there were bitter complaints of the extortion of the eunuchs.

Two matters of internal administration deserve special mention—the codification of the law (438), and the foundation of a university at Constantinople as a counterpoise to the schools of Athens (27 Feb. 425). In this university there were 28 professors of Greek and Latin grammar and rhetoric, and two of law, but only one of philosophy, and all other public teaching in the city was forbidden.

Eudocia was at first of necessity subservient to her sister-in-law; but that she would always accept this position was not to be expected. A difference appeared at the time of the synod of Ephesus (431), when Pulcheria was victorious; but afterwards her influence declined, and at last a palace intrigue drove her to retire from court. Under Eudocia’s patronage a large share in the administration fell to Cyrus, an Egyptian poet and philosopher, who became city-praefect in 435, and in 439 combined this office with the praetorian praefecture. Cyrus was the first praefect who published decrees in Greek, and he also distinguished himself by renovating the buildings of the city, especially by an extension of the sea-wall to join the wall of Anthemius, which the capture of Carthage by the Vandals had made desirable (439). Antiochus, the emperor's old guardian, was restored to favour and made praepositus.

The capture of Carthage caused the dispatch of a fleet to Sicily in 441: but in consequence of an irruption of Huns into Illyricum the force was recalled in 442 and peace made; but not before the expedition had led to a war with Persia. Under the capable direction of Anatolius, the magister militum per Orientem, the defence of the eastern frontier had been strengthened by stricter rules of discipline in the army (25 Feb. 438) and by the building of the fortress of Theodosiopolis in Armenia. This last the new king, Yezdegerd II, probably considered a menace; and he therefore took advantage of the troubles in the West to begin war, crossing the frontier from Nisibis and sacking several towns, while another force raided Roman Armenia (441). He was however hampered by bad weather and threatened by the Ephthalites beyond the Caspian; hence, though the Romans had no army to oppose to him, Anatolius and Aspar by a large sum of money and a promise to surrender some Christian refugees persuaded him to make a truce for a year. As the troubles with the Ephthalites continued, this was followed by a definite peace on the terms that neither party should build a fort within a certain distance of the frontier, and the Romans should renew an undertaking made by Jovian to contribute to the defences of the Caucasian Gates. One of the last acts of Cyrus was to provide that the Armenian frontier lands should be held on condition of supplying horses, wagons, and pikemen for the army (26 June 441).

After her daughter’s marriage (21 Oct. 437), for which Valentinian came to Constantinople, Eudocia went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem (438), and on the way gained much popularity at Antioch by a speech in which she boasted of her Greek blood. She returned in 439; and meanwhile some hostile influence seems to have been at work, for in 440 Paulinus, ex-master of the offices, was beheaded at Caesarea in Cappadocia on suspicion, as was popularly believed, of an intrigue with her, and soon afterwards she asked leave to retire to Jerusalem, and left Constantinople for ever (441?). With her fell Cyrus, who through the popular acclamation, “Constantine founded, Cyrus restored”, had incurred the Emperor’s jealousy. Being charged with paganism, he took orders to save his head, and was made bishop of Cotyaeum, where four bishops were said to have been murdered. By his discreet conduct he succeeded in retaining his see till the time of Leo, when on some unknown charge he was deprived and came back to Constantinople, where he remained in possession of large property. Antiochus was also deposed and compelled to take orders. Pulcheria returned to Court; but the chief influence was for the rest of the reign exercised by the eunuch Chrysaphius. Eudocia was not left in peace at Jerusalem; but Saturninus, count of the domestici, was sent to spy upon her, and for some reason beheaded two clergymen who attended upon her (444). She in revenge assassinated Saturninus and was deprived of her imperial train, though she still disposed of ample revenues, which she spent on the erection of churches and monasteries. She composed  several poems, of which large portions are extant, and died in 460 (20 Oct.).

The good administration introduced by Anthemius had been in some measure maintained under the ascendancy of Pulcheria and Eudocia; but under Chrysaphius the days of Arcadius seemed to have returned. The Huns overran Thrace and Illyricum, and the murder of the magister militum of Thrace, John the Vandal (apparently by order of Chrysaphius), did not strengthen the resistance. The Romans suffered a severe defeat (447), and Chrysaphius could only grant Attila’s terms and send emissaries to assassinate him. In 447 the walls of Constantinople were shattered by an earthquake, and in consequence of the terror caused by the Huns the praefect Constantine rebuilt them in 60 days, and the Isaurians, who had renewed their raids in 441, were called in under their leader Zeno to defend the city. Zeno afterwards extorted the office of magister per Orientem, and demanded the surrender of Chrysaphius; and, though this was not granted, the danger from the Huns prevented an intended campaign against the marauders. Bands of Tzani, Saracens, and Caucasian Huns had invaded the Empire during the Persian war, and we hear of Saracen raids again several years later (448), while Yezdegerd showed signs of a desire to renew hostilities. Libya too was again harassed by the frontier tribes, and the Vandals terrorized the Ionian sea.

On 26 July 450 Theodosius broke his spine by a fall from his horse while hunting, and died two days later. The appointment of a successor was left to the Augusta Pulcheria; and her choice fell upon Marcian, a veteran soldier from Thrace of high character who had held the post of domesticus (chief of the staff) to Aspar, to whose influence the selection must be ascribed. Pulcheria crowned Marcian in the presence of the Senate (24 Aug.), and gave him her hand in nominal marriage.

The first act of the new rulers was to put Chrysaphius to death. The sale of offices was prohibited, though it is unlikely that the prohibition was strictly carried out; and attempts were made to lighten the burden of taxation by a remission of arrears, by reducing the number of praetors to three and relieving non-resident senators from the burden of the office (18 Dec. 450), and by enacting that the consuls instead of squandering money on the populace should make a contribution towards the repair of the aqueducts (452), an obligation which was extended to honorary consuls by the Emperor Zeno. Marcian also put an end to a system under which the possessors of certain lands which had been sold by the State in the time of Valens escaped their share of taxation. The popularity of his rule is shown by the words “Reign like Marcian”, with which the citizens in 491 greeted Anastasius.

In external relations the reign was a fortunate one. As Attila was preparing for his western expedition, his demands for money could safely be refused; and, when after his return he repeated them with threats, death prevented him from carrying these out (453). From Zeno, who was appealing to heathen support, the Emperor was delivered by his death following a fall from his horse. Envoys from the Armenian insurgents had come before Theodosius’ death to ask for help; but Marcian refused to break the peace with Persia. With the Vandals also peace was maintained; for, though after the sack of Rome (455) Marcian tried to obtain the release of Eudoxia and her daughters, the possession of these hostages as well as Aspar’s influence secured Gaiseric from attack. In Syria the magister militum, Aspar’s son Ardaburius, was in 452 fighting with Arab raiders near Damascus, after which negotiations were begun, but with what result is not known. At the same time Egypt was suffering from incursions of the Blemmyes, who gave hostages to the imperial envoy Maximin, and made peace for 100 years, but on his sudden death recovered the hostages by force and renewed their raids till put down by Florus, praefect and count of Egypt. A more serious position arose on the Danubian frontier, where after the collapse of the Hun empire (454) some of the Huns and other tribes were settled in the north of Illyricum and Thrace as foederati. Of these the most important was a body of Ostrogoths, who under three brothers of the Amal family, Walamir, Theodemir, and Widimir, settled in eastern Pannonia, of which they received a grant from Marcian, who did not recognize Valentinian III’s successors: they also received pay as foederati.

In 453 Pulcheria died, leaving all her property to the poor, a bequest which Marcian faithfully carried out. By a former wife Marcian had a daughter, whom he had given in marriage to Anthemius, grandson of the praefect Anthemius; but, when he died (27 Jan. 457) at the age of 65, he had taken no steps to secure his son-in-law's succession, and the throne lay at the disposal of Aspar the patrician and magister militum, who as an Arian and barbarian could not himself assume the crown, but might reign in the name of some puppet-emperor. He therefore chose Leo, a military tribune from Dacia and his own steward, a man of some capacity but little education; and the choice was ratified by the Senate. As there was no elder emperor or Augusta to perform the coronation, Leo was crowned by the patriarch Anatolius (7 Feb.). This precedent was henceforth followed whenever an emperor was not merely being associated with a senior colleague.

One of the first acts of the new reign was the recognition of Majorian (April), after whose death (461) Leo, though not recognizing Severus, accepted the Western consuls, and, while sending an embassy to Gaiseric to secure the liberation of the widow and daughters of Valentinian, urged him to cease attacking Italy and Sicily. Gaiseric refused to make peace with the West or to release Eudoxia, whom he married to his son, but on receiving a share of Valentinian’s property released his widow and her other daughter Placidia, who came to Constantinople. Some years later Eudoxia escaped (471) and ended her days at Jerusalem. Leo also induced Marcellinus, who had set up an independent power in Dalmatia, to keep peace with the Western Emperor; but further embassies to Gaiseric effected nothing.

About this time the migration of the Avars from the east caused a movement among the Hunnic tribes of the Caucasus, in consequence of which the Saragurs asked for Roman protection, and obtained it, though some trouble with the fugitive peoples followed. But when the Saragurs invaded Persian territory, an embassy arrived from King Piroz to complain of the treatment of Magians in the Empire and the reception of fugitives, and to ask for the stipulated contribution in money or men towards the defence of the Caucasian Gates, and money for the war against the Ephthalites; to which an answer was sent through the ex-praefect Constantine that the complaints were unfounded and the contribution could not be given. Meanwhile Gobazes, king of Lazica (Colchis), had offended the government, and a campaign in his country was undertaken (464), the troops returning to Roman territory for the winter. The coast-road was however so difficult that the Romans were thinking of asking leave to pass through Persian territory; accordingly, on receiving an embassy from Gobazes, Leo granted peace on the nominal condition that he and his son should not reign conjointly; and Gobazes, having failed to obtain help from Piroz on account of the Ephthalite war, consented to retire in his son's favour. A certain Dionysius, who was known to Gobazes from previous negotiations, was at his request sent to Lazica and brought the king back with him to Constantinople (466), where by plausible words and the wearing of Christian emblems he obtained favour, so that his abdication was not insisted on. His submission drew upon him the enmity of Piroz, and a force under Heraclius was sent to his support; but, as the Persians were occupied elsewhere and the maintenance of the troops was expensive, Gobazes sent them back. Leo was mean­while negotiating with Piroz through Constantine; but Piroz, having overcome the Ephthalites, sent to announce the fact and turned against Gobazes, who had meanwhile taken some forts from his north-eastern neighbours, the Suani, who were in alliance with Persia. Gobazes asked that part of the Armenian frontier force might be sent to his support; but Leo, being occupied with the African expedition, refused assistance (468).

Meanwhile the relations between Leo and Aspar had become strained. A difference between them had arisen in 459, when Leo appointed Vivianus praefect in preference to Aspar’s candidate, Tatianus; and again in 460 Leo expelled the patriarch Timothy of Alexandria in spite of Aspar's opposition. Another dispute arose over the affairs of Illyricum. The Pannonian Ostrogoths, whose subsidy had been withheld by Leo, raided Illyricum and took Dyrrachium (459), but were obliged to give Theodemir’s son, the boy Theodoric, as a hostage before obtaining the pay which they claimed. They then turned against the neighbouring tribes, and after a time became involved in a war with the Sciri. Both parties appealed to the Emperor for help, and, though Aspar advised neutrality, Leo insisted on supporting the Sciri, who gained a victory, Walamir falling in the battle.

The Emperor was alarmed by the condition of the West, which after Majorian’s death fell under the domination of Ricimer; and he determined, if possible, to save the East from a similar fate: but, as Aspar was surrounded by a large body-guard of Goths and other dependants and the Thracian Goths, whose chief, Theodoric, son of Triarius, was his wife's nephew, were in alliance with him, it was necessary to raise a force from some other quarter to overthrow him. Accordingly Leo turned his eyes towards the Isaurians, who had done so much injury to the Empire in the days of Arcadius and Theodosius, but might now be used to rescue it from more dangerous enemies. His elder daughter, Ariadne, was therefore given in marriage to the Isaurian Tarasicodissa, who in memory of his countryman of the time of Theo­dosius took the name of Zeno and brought with him an Isaurian body-guard to set against that of Aspar (467?).

Meanwhile disturbances had arisen in Thrace. From about 460 the command there was held by Ardaburius, but it was afterwards transferred to Basiliscus, brother of Leo's wife Verina. In 467 trouble arose with Attila's son Dengizic, and a force of Huns crossed the Danube with a large body of Goths ; but the two nations were surrounded by a Roman army, and induced by a trick to fight one another, so that a general slaughter followed, from which only a few escaped.

In 467 Ricimer, requiring the Eastern fleet for protection against the Vandals, asked Leo to nominate an emperor; whereupon he chose Marcian’s son-in-law, Anthemius, and, having persuaded Marcellinus to submit to the new emperor, prepared a great expedition by land and sea (468): but the fleet was by the mismanagement of Basiliscus almost annihilated; and Aspar, the Vandals' friend, was believed to have induced him to betray his trust. After his return he took refuge in St Sophia, but at Verina’s intercession escaped punishment.

Meanwhile Zeno was sent to Thrace; and the soldiers, instigated, as was supposed, by Aspar, tried to murder him, and he with difficulty escaped to Sardica. The command was then given to Anagast, who soon afterwards rebelled (469). Having been persuaded to submit, he accused Ardaburius of prompting his rebellion. Zeno now strengthened the Isaurians in Constantinople by introducing a band of marauders who had been driven from Rhodes (469), and their arrival was, on account of the unpopularity of the Isaurians, followed by a riot. He was then sent to the East, as magister militum, and as such was compelled to remove the Isaurian robber Indacus, son of Papirius, from his hereditary stronghold of Cherris.

The rise of Zeno and the strength of the Isaurians forced Aspar to act vigorously if he was not to be altogether ousted from power; and he pressed Leo to make his second son Patricius Caesar and give him his daughter Leontia in marriage. In spite of the opposition of the monks, who were horrified at the prospect of an Arian emperor, Leo thought it best to comply (470), and the new Caesar for some reason went to Alexandria, where he displayed himself with great pomp. Something more than titles was however needed to make Aspar secure; and Ardaburius tried to cut the ground from under the Emperor's feet by tampering with the Isaurians in Constantinople. This was revealed to Zeno, who had returned to Constantinople in the latter half of 471; and it was resolved to make an end of the supremacy of the Alans. Aspar and his two elder sons were accordingly treacherously cut down in the palace, though Patricius is said to have recovered from his wounds (471): the youngest son, Hermanric, had received warning from Zeno and was not there. Some of Aspar's guards under Ostrui broke into the palace, but were expelled by the excubitores, a new force instituted by Leo, perhaps for same such purpose. They succeeded however in escaping, and after doing some damage in Thrace joined Theodoric; but an attack on the city by the Goths was repulsed. Leontia was now given in marriage to Marcian the son of Anthemius.

Before the attack on Aspar, Leo had thought it desirable to gain the support of the Goths of Pannonia, and therefore released Theodoric (the Amal), who returned with great gifts to his father. His first act was to defeat the Sarmatians and recover Singidunum, which however he did not restore to the Emperor. So far from assisting Leo, Theodemir, now released from restraint, thought the disturbances in both divisions of the Empire a good opportunity to acquire new territories. Accordingly he sent Widimir to Italy, while he himself marched south­east and occupied Naissus. Leo thereupon sent Hilarianus, master of the offices, to offer him settlements in Lower Moesia. On these terms peace was made; and soon afterwards Theodemir died and was succeeded by Theodoric (471).

As Theodoric the son of Marius remained in arms, an ambassador was sent to ask his terms (473), and through his envoys whom he sent to Constantinople he demanded Aspar’s property, his post of magister militum, and a grant of the whole of the province of Thrace. As Leo would only agree to the second of these demands, Theodoric sent a force to Philippi, which however only burned the suburbs, while he himself reduced Arcadiopolis. But, as the Goths were straitened for food, he sent another embassy, and peace was made on the conditions that he was made magister militum and paid 2000 lbs. of gold a year, and that Leo recognized him as chief of all the Thracian Goths and did not receive deserters from them, while he undertook to assist the Emperor against all enemies except the Vandals, who had been Aspar’s friends.

The reign of Leo was afterwards remembered for the law by which all legal process and all spectacles in the theatre, amphitheatre, and circus were forbidden on Sundays (9 Dec. 469). Similar laws had been passed by Constantine, Theodosius, and Arcadius, but had probably remained little more than dead letters; and it is unlikely that even this law, at least the latter portion, was ever fully carried out. But in spite of the increasing Christian tendency of the government and of laws to the contrary, heathens continued to hold high offices of state and enjoy the favour of the Court. Prominent among these was James the physician, philosopher, and man of letters, son of a Syrian father and Greek mother, whose medical skill made him indispensable. Isocasius also, a Cilician philosopher, was made quaestor. Being deprived of his post and arrested under the law which forbade the tenure of office by a heathen, he was at the intercession of James sent for trial before Pusaeus the praefect, who was known to be in sympathy with him, and allowed to escape by submitting to baptism. The philosopher Eulogius also received a pension.

One of Leo’s last acts was to surrender the island of Jotaba at the northern end of the Red Sea to the Arab Amrul Kais. This man, coming from Persian territory, had reduced several Arab tribes and occupied the island, driving out the Roman tax-collectors. He then sent the bishop of his tribe to ask for a grant of the island and the chieftainship of the tribes in the province of Palestine III; and, though this was contrary to the treaty of 422, Leo sent for him, treated him with honour, and granted his requests (473). During this year the Emperor was attacked by a serious illness, which made it necessary to settle the succession. Fearing (on account of the unpopularity of the Isaurians) to declare Zeno his successor, he made his grandson, Zeno's son Leo, a boy of five, Caesar, and later crowned him Augustus in the circus (18 Nov.). Less than three months afterwards he died at the age of 63 (3 Feb. 474); and, as it was probably known that the child was unlikely to live, he was directed by Ariadne and Verina to place the crown upon his father's head (9 Feb.). On his death nine months later (10 Nov.) Zeno became sole emperor in the East.

The new government began with a great success, the end of the disastrous Vandal war. One of the last acts in this war was the capture of Nicopolis by the Vandals very soon after Leo's death; and about the same time Zeno sent Severus to treat for peace, who greatly impressed Gaiseric by refusing to accept presents for himself and saying that the most acceptable present would be the release of the captives; whereupon the king gave him all the captives belonging to himself and his sons, and allowed him to ransom as many more as he could. Shortly afterwards a perpetual peace was made (474), which after Gaiseric's death (477) was confirmed by his son. The Vandal danger was at an end.

The peace was the more necessary on account of the disturbances in other quarters. The Arabs were making one of their raids in Syria, the Bulgarians appeared for the first time south of the Danube, and the accession of the Isaurian led to a serious rising of the Thracian Goths, who took prisoner Heraclius, the magister militum of Thrace, and held him to ransom. Zeno levied the sum from the general’s kinsmen and sent it to the Goths; but after receiving it they killed their captive. Illus, one of the many Isaurians who came to Constantinople after Zeno's accession, a man whose large native following and influence with his countrymen made him a power in the State, was now appointed to the command and succeeded in holding the Goths in check. But the favour with which these Isaurian adventurers were received increased the Emperor’s unpopularity; and his son's death was soon followed by a plot. Verina’s brother Basiliscus, who was living in retirement at Heraclea, opened negotiations with Illus, and no doubt by large promises induced him to betray his patron; and Verina joined the conspiracy, which the son of Triarius also supported. Verina frightened Zeno into escaping by night with his wife and mother (9 Jan. 475) and fleeing to Isauria; and the conspirators gained possession of the city without fighting. The Empress had been led to believe that she would be allowed to raise Patricius, master of the offices, to the throne, which she intended to share as his wife; but Basiliscus did not intend to act for anyone but himself, and, having the strongest support, was proclaimed emperor, the proclamation being followed by a massacre of Isaurians. Patricius was put to death; and Verina tried to get up a conspiracy for Zeno's restoration. This being discovered, she fled to St Sophia; but her nephew, Armatus, conveyed her away and kept her in safety till Zeno’s return. Meanwhile Illus and his brother Trocundes were sent against Zeno, blockaded him in Sbide, and captured his brother Longinus.

But soon things turned again in his favour. In the first place Basiliscus had offended Theodoric by transferring the post of magister militum to his own nephew Armatus, a man of fashion who posed as a soldier and was supported by the favour of the Empress Zenonis; and in the second place he favoured the Monophysites, and, not content with abrogating the theological decree of Chalcedon, was induced by Timothy of Alexandria to abolish the patriarchate of Constantinople created by that synod, thereby making a bitter enemy of the bishop Acacius, a man who cared little about theology, but knew well how to stir up popular fanaticism. So threatening was the aspect of affairs that Basiliscus recalled his decrees: but it was too late; Illus and Trocundes went over to Zeno, and the combined force marched on Constantinople while Trocundes with some Isaurian guards was sent to Antioch. Armatus marched to Nicaea to oppose Zeno's advance; but he had no mind to fight in a losing cause, and on receiving the promise of the office of magister militum for life and the rank of Caesar for his son Basiliscus, left the road open; and as Theodoric held aloof, Zeno entered Constantinople without opposition (Aug. 476). Basiliscus and his family fled to St Sophia; but they were handed over to some of his enemies, who took them to Cappadocia and beheaded them all. The promise to Armatus was kept; but, as he was entering the circus, where Zeno and the young Caesar were watching the games, he was assassinated by Onoulf, a man who had received great kindness from him and been raised by his influence to the military command of Illyricum. His son was ordained a reader, and afterwards became bishop of Cyzicus. Theodoric the Amal, who from rivalry with his namesake had supported Zeno, was made magister militum and adopted in Teutonic fashion as Zeno's son in arms. It was perhaps these commotions which enabled the Samaritans to set up as emperor the robber Justasa, who took Caesarea, but was defeated and killed by the duke of Palestine.

Leo left the treasury full; and at the beginning of Zeno’s reign the burdens were considerably lightened by the praefect Erythrius; but, as the sums wanted for the Isaurian favourites could not be raised without extortion, he resigned, and his successor Sebastian earned a bad reputation by selling offices to the highest bidder. His administration was however distinguished by an act providing that all civil and military governors should remain in their districts for fifty days after the termination of office, in order that anyone with a grievance might prefer an accusation against them (9 Oct. 479).

One of Zeno’s first tasks after his return was to decide what policy to follow with regard to the affairs of the West. The concord between the Courts had been broken by the murder of Anthemius (472); but Leo shortly before his death nominated as emperor Nepos, the nephew and successor of Marcellinus, and gave him Verina’s niece in marriage. The fiction of the unity of the Empire was however in part abandoned, since Nepos' name does not appear in Eastern laws. After his expulsion (475) and the dethronement of his successor (476) the Roman Senate asked Zeno to grant Odovacar the title of patrician, and Nepos begged for help to recover his throne. Zeno advised Odovacar to apply to Nepos for the title, but styled him patrician in a letter, while declining to help Nepos.

The son of Triarius, wishing to obtain pay for his men, sought to make his peace (477): but the Senate, to which Zeno referred the matter, said they could not pay both Theodorics and left it to him to choose between them. Zeno then made a violent speech to the army against the son of Triarius. He did not however immediately break with him, but protracted negotiations. At last, finding that his strength was increasing, while that of his rival was diminishing, he summoned troops from all quarters and announced the appointment of Illus to the command; which was however, probably because of his growing jealousy of Illus, afterwards transferred to Martinianus. As this change led to disorder among the Isaurian soldiery, Zeno summoned the Amal to his aid, promising that, if he would take the field, Martinianus should meet him at the passes of Mt Haemus and another force at the Hebrus, and on this understanding Theodoric set out; but either from treachery or from lack of discipline no army met him, and his Roman guides led him to a place where he found the heights in front occupied by his rival, who then easily persuaded him to make common cause against the Emperor. Both sent to Constantinople to state their terms, the Amal demanding land and provisions for his men and the emoluments of his office, and the son of Triarius the terms granted by Leo with the arrears of pay and the restoration of any living members of Aspar’s family. Zeno promised the former in case of victory a large sum down, a yearly pension, and the hand of Valentinian’s granddaughter Juliana, or any other lady whom he might name, and, this offer being refused, announced that he would lead the army himself. But circumstances now caused a change of plan.

The part played by Illus in 475, together with his retention of Longinus as a hostage and his influence with the Isaurian soldiers, made him something of a thorn in Zeno's side, and the jealous ambition of Verina rendered her his deadly enemy. In the summer of 477 Paul, one of the Emperor's slaves, tried to assassinate him and was surrendered for punishment. In 478 another attempt was made by an Alan, who under torture confessed that he had been instigated by Epinicus the praefect, a client of Urbicius the eunuch-chamberlain and favoured by Verina. Zeno thereupon surrendered Epinicus also to Illus, who sent him to Isauria, and then, having obtained leave on the ground of the death of a brother, withdrew to his native country. Fearing a rebellion on the part of Illus, Zeno now resolved to secure the support of the son of Triarius and renounced his intention of taking the field; and, as this caused disaffection in the army, he on Martinianus’ advice recalled it to winter quarters. Peace was then made. The son of Triarius was to receive food and pay for 13,000 men, the command of two regiments of scholarii, the office of magister militum, and the property that had been taken from him, while any surviving members of Aspar’s family were to retain their property and live in any city that Zeno might choose.

The imperial troops succeeded in expelling the Amal from Thrace; but Macedonia was left to his mercy (479). He sacked Stobi; and on his approaching Thessalonica the citizens, thinking themselves betrayed, transferred the keys from the praefect to the bishop. Heraclea he was at first persuaded by large gifts to spare; but on the refusal of a demand for corn and wine burnt the greater part of it. He was repulsed from Lychnidus, but took Scampia, which was deserted, and occupied Dyrrachium, which a confederate had induced the garrison by a trick to abandon. Meanwhile Zeno had again opened negotiations, and the patrician Adamantius, the son of Vivianus, was sent to treat. At Thessalonica he put down a military tumult directed against the praefect; and at Edessa handed to Sabinianus the Emperor's commission as magister of Illyricum in place of Onoulf. From Lychnidus he invited Theodoric either to come to Lychnidus or to send hostages for his own safety if he went to Dyrrachium. As Sabinianus, who accompanied him, refused to secure the return of the hostages by oath, this plan failed; but Adamantius went with a small escort to a wild spot near Dyrrachium and invited Theodoric to meet him. Theodoric came and stood on the opposite bank of a river, and Adamantius offered him a settlement in the district of Pautalia in Dardania, where he would act as a check on his namesake and be between the Thracian and Illyrian armies. Theodoric refused to move before spring, but offered, if supported by a Roman army, to destroy the Thracian Goths on condition that he might then be made magister militum and live in Constantinople, or, if preferred, to go to Dalmatia and restore Nepos. Adamantius however declined to make terms until he left Epirus. Meanwhile Sabinianus, having received reinforcements, captured 5000 Goths, and Zeno was encouraged to break off negotiations. For the next two years Sabinianus held the Goths in check.

On 25 Sept. 479 the walls of Constantinople were greatly damaged by an earthquake; Zeno in fear of the Goths begged Illus to return, in order that his Isaurians might assist in defending the city; and the Emperor and the chief officials came out beyond Chalcedon to meet him. Having learned from Epinicus that Verina was the author of the plot against his life. Illus refused to enter Constantinople unless she was surrendered; and Zeno, who was clearly in fear of him and was perhaps not sorry to be rid of his mother-in-law, complied. She was conveyed by Illus’ brother-in-law, Matronianus, to Tarsus, where she was compelled to become a deaconess, and kept in custody at the Isaurian Dalisandus. Illus was made master of the offices, Epinicus was at his request recalled, and his client, Pamprepius the philosopher, who had been expelled on account of his open paganism and the suspicion of inciting his patron to treason, returned with him and was made quaestor.

The predominance of Illus soon led to a vigorous attempt to throw off the Isaurian rule. On the pretext of Verina’s banishment Marcian, the son-in-law of Leo, having secured the adhesion of the son of Triarius and the support of a force of barbarians and a large number of citizens, rose against Zeno and claimed the crown for himself on the ground that Leontia was born in the purple while Ariadne was born before Leo’s accession (end of 479). During the day the insurgents, aided by the people, who hurled missiles from the houses at the soldiers, carried all before them; but in the night Illus brought some Isaurians over from Chalcedon, and on the next day the rising was suppressed, though Illus’ house was burnt. Marcian, who fled to the church of the Apostles, was compelled to take orders and sent to Caesarea in Cappadocia, while his brothers, Procopius and Romulus, escaped to Theodoric's, camp, and Leontia sought refuge in a convent. Marcian however escaped and with a rustic force attacked Ancyra, but was captured by Trocundes and confined in the castle of Cherris, whither his wife and daughters were now brought to join him. Immediately after the rising Theodoric the son of Triarius appeared before Constantinople under pretence of assisting the Emperor, thinking that, as the towers and battlements had been overthrown by the earthquake, he could easily take it; but, finding the Isaurians manning the wall and ready to burn the city in case of defeat, he accepted Zeno's gifts and promises and withdrew. He refused however to surrender the fugitives, and was thereupon superseded in the office of magister militum by Trocundes. He then plundered Thrace, and Zeno could only call in the Bulgarians against him. Having defeated the Bulgarians, Theodoric again appeared before the capital (481); but, finding the gates strongly guarded by Illus and his Isaurians, tried to cross to Bithynia and was defeated at sea. Receiving news of a con­spiracy against him, he returned home and put the conspirators to death; after which he marched towards Greece to seek new territory, but on the way was accidentally killed. His son Rekitach, who by killing his uncles became sole ruler of his people, returned to Thrace and continued to ravage the country. In 481 Sabinianus died a violent death, some said by Zeno's contrivance, and Theodoric (the Amal) plundered Macedonia and Thessaly and sacked Larissa (482). John the Scythian and Moschianus were sent against him; but no great success was obtained. In consequence of the threatened revolt of Illus Theodoric was invited to Constantinople, made patrician and magister militum, and designated consul, and received territory in Dacia and Lower Moesia (483). His rival Rekitach, who was in the city at the same time, he was allowed to assassinate, and the Thracian Goths ceased to maintain a separate existence.

Ariadne, urged by her mother, pressed Zeno to recall Verina; but he referred her to Titus, who refused compliance. A third attempt upon the life of Illus was then made by a scholarian, who succeeded in cutting off his ear, while he was going to the palace to receive some barbarian envoys at the Emperor’s request. The assassin was put to death, and Zeno denied on oath all knowledge of the matter; but Illus, feeling himself unsafe, asked for leave of absence on the ground of needing change of air. Zeno then made him magister militum per Orientem with the right of appointing dukes, and, taking with him MatronianusMarsus, who had commanded the land force in the expedition against the Vandals, Pamprepius, and other powerful men, and a large military force, he withdrew to Antioch (early in 482), where he set himself to gain popularity by largesses and lavish expenditure on public buildings. The patrician Leontius, who was sent to ask for Verina’s release, was induced to remain.

That a civil war was imminent must have been cleat to both parties; and after the accommodation with Theodoric Zeno demanded the surrender of Longinus, and on receiving a refusal, sent John the Scythian to supersede Illus, expelled his friends, and confiscated their property, which he gave to the Isaurian cities. Illus now openly revolted, proclaimed Marcian emperor, and sent envoys to Odovacar, who refused assistance, and to the Persians and the satraps of the five provinces annexed in 298, who promised support to any force that appeared in their neighbourhood (484). It is clear that he did not intend to head a mere Isaurian revolt, which could not have any lasting success, but to form a powerful combination against the Emperor; for which purpose he held out hopes to the heathens through Pamprepius, while he was also on friendly terms with the Chalcedonians, who had been offended by the issue of the Henoticon, whereby Zeno soon after his departure tried to placate the Monophysites (482).

At first, to prevent a revolt in Isauria, Zeno sent a small force under Illus’ bastard brother, Linges, and the Isaurian Conon, who had exchanged a military life for the bishopric of Apamea; whereupon Illus for some reason dropped Marcian, and brought Verina, who as Augusta might advance some claim to appoint an emperor, to Tarsus, where she formally crowned Leontius (19 July), who eight days later entered Antioch. The inhabitants of Chalcis refused to accept the new Emperor's busts, and he attacked the city for 45 days; while at Edessa the citizens shut the gates against Matronianus. About the same time the great victory of the Ephthalites precluded all hope of support from Persia.

Theodoric was now sent with a force of Romans and Goths to join John the Scythian; but Zeno changed his mind and recalled him, though his Goths remained with the army; and in his place Hermanric the son of Aspar, who had once revealed a conspiracy to Zeno and had married a daughter of his illegitimate son, was sent with a contingent of Rugians. When the force which Illus sent against the imperial army Was defeated, he hastily summoned Leontius from Antioch (Sept.), and they fled to the stronghold of Cherris, to which Verina had already been sent. His confederates then shut themselves up in different fortresses, and many of his men deserted. Zeno recalled the Goths, who were no longer needed, and made the Isaurian Cottomenes magister militum in place of Theodoric, while another Isaurian, Longinus of Cardala, was made master of the offices. Nine days after the beginning of the siege Verina died, and a month later Marsus, and Illus left the defence to the owner of the fortress, IndacusTrocundes' brother-in-law. Trocundes, who had been sent to collect reinforcements, was captured by John and beheaded, and Zeno's brother Longinus was allowed to escape (485).

Theodoric had perhaps been occupied during 485 by a Bulgarian invasion; but in 486 he raided Thrace, and Odovacar in spite of his previous refusal showed signs of wishing to assist Illun, who now in vain made proposals for peace, while Zeno stirred up the Rugians against Odovacar. In 487 Theodoric advanced close to Constantinople, and an agreement was made under which he set out to wrest Italy from Odovacar, who had defeated the Rugians, and the East was rid of the Goths for ever (488).

All hope for the besieged was now at an end; Pamprepius, who had prophesied success, was put to death, and at last Indacus and others betrayed the fort. Illus’ requests with regard to the burial of his daughter, who had died during the siege, and the treatment of his family were granted, and he and Leontius were beheaded, and their heads exposed at Constantinople (488). The traitors were all killed during the assault, perhaps by the besieged. Verina’s body was taken to Con­stantinople and buried with Leo's. Most of the Isaurian fortresses were dismantled. As the satraps of the five provinces had been in communication with Illus, the hereditary tenure of the four most important satrapies was abolished, though the satraps retained their native forces.

Zeno had by his first wife a son, Zeno; but he had killed himself by his excesses at an early age, and the Emperor wished to leave the crown to his brother Longinus. The infamous character of Longinus and the unpopularity of the Isaurians hindered him from declaring him Caesar; but he appointed him magister militum, in the hope that his military authority and the strength of the Isaurians in the army would secure him the succession. On 9 April 491 Zeno died of dysentery at the age of 60.

In accordance with the precedent of 450 the choice of a successor was left to thy Augusta Ariadne; and on the next morning, by the advice of Urbicius, she nominated the silentiary Anastasius of Dyrrachium, a man of 61, who had shortly before been one of the three candidates selected for the see of Antioch. He was crowned the next day; and, when he appeared before the people, they greeted him with the acclamation “Reign as you have lived”. On 20 May he married Ariadne.

The new Emperor began by the popular measures of remitting arrears of taxation and refusing facilities to informers, and he is credited with abolishing the sale of offices; but his reign was constantly disturbed by serious outbreaks. No immediate opposition was offered to his elevation; but in Isauria a revolt on a small scale broke out, and at Constantinople some unpopular action on the part of Julian the city-praefect led to an uproar; and on an attempt to restore order by force the rioters threw down the pedestals on which stood the busts of the Emperor and Empress in front of the circus, and many were killed by the soldiers. To avoid more bloodshed Anastasius deposed Julian, who had been appointed by Ariadne on the day of Zeno's death, and named his own brother-in-law Secundinus to succeed him. Thinking that peace was impossible while the Isaurians were in the city, he expelled them and deprived them of the pay assigned by Zeno. Longinus the brother of Zeno was compelled to take orders and exiled to the Thebaid, where he died, it is said, of hunger, eight years later, while his wife and daughter retired to Bithynia and lived the rest of their life on charity. The property of the late Emperor, even his imperial robes, was sold by auction, and the castle of Cherris, which had not yet been occupied by the rebels, was dismantled. Longinus of Cardala and a certain Athenodorus, who were among those who had been expelled from the capital, joined the insurgents in Isauria, among whom were now to be found Linginines, count of Isauria, Conon the ex-bishop, and another Athenodorus. Reinforced by discontented Romans and others who served under compulsion, they advanced to Cotyaeum. Here John the Scythian and John the Hunchback, who had succeeded Longinus as magister militum in praesenti met and defeated them. Linginines fell in the battle, and the Isaurians fled to their native mountains (end of 492): but the generals waited till spring before crossing the Taurus. In 493 Diogenes, a kinsman of Ariadne, took Claudiopolis, but was besieged in it by the Isaurians, and his men were nearly starved. John the Hunchback however forced the passes, and by a sudden attack, aided by a sortie on the part of Diogenes, routed the enemy, Bishop Conon being mortally wounded. The Isaurians were henceforth confined to their strongholds, and a certain Longinus of Selinus, who resided in the strong coast town of Antioch and had a large fleet, supplied them with provisions by sea.

The Emperor's attention was now distracted by an incursion of barbarians, perhaps Slavs, in Thrace, during which Julian, the magister militum of Thrace, was killed. Moreover, as his Monophysite opinions made his rule distasteful to the Chalcedonians, who were strong in Constantinople, there was perhaps communication between them and the insurgents, a charge on which the patriarch Euphemius was deprived in 495. At last in 497 Longinus of Cardala and Athenodorus were taken and beheaded by John the Scythian and their heads sent to Constantinople, while the head of the other Athenodorus, who was captured the same year, was exhibited at the gates of Tarsus. Longinus of Selinus held out till 498, and was then made prisoner by Priscus, an officer serving under John the Hunchback, exhibited in chains at Constantinople, and tortured to death at Nicaea. Large numbers of Isaurians were settled in Thrace, and the population of Isauria, which had been greatly thinned by the two wars, was thereby yet further reduced, so that the necessity which had made the mountaineers the terror of Asia Minor no longer existed. The Isaurians had done their work of saving the East from the fate of the West; and, though they still provided useful recruits for the army, their day of political power was over. The importance of looking at home for soldiers instead of trusting to the barbarians had been learned and was never forgotten.

Besides the Isaurian war Anastasius had also been troubled by incursions of Blemmyes in Egypt (491); and in 498 bands of Saracens invaded the eastern provinces. The followers of Numan of Al Hira, who owed allegiance to Persia, were after an inroad into Euphratesia defeated by Eugenius, a duke stationed at Melitene, and parties of Taghlibi and Ghassani Arabs under Hugr and Gabala, the latter at least a Roman subject, were routed by Romanus, duke of Palestine, who also recovered Jotaba, which was leased to a company of Roman traders for a yearly tribute. In 502 a more successful raid was made by Hugr's brother, Madi Kharb; but the outbreak of the Persian war made it possible to turn the raids in another direction, and peace was made with the Taghlibi chief, Al Harith, father of Madi Kharb (503). In 502 the Tzani also raided Pontus.

Immediately after the accession of Anastasius, Kawad, who became king of Persia in 488, demanded a contribution towards the defences of the Caucasian Gates. This was refused; but the Armenian rising prevented further action, though Anastasius refused to aid the insurgents. Kawad took advantage of the Isaurian troubles to repeat his demand, but was soon afterwards deposed (496). Having been restored by the king of the Ephthalites under a promise of paying a large sum of money (499), he again applied to Anastasius for help. The Emperor would only agree to lend the money on a written promise of payment; and Kawad, refusing this, entered Roman Armenia (22 Aug. 502) and took and sacked Theodosiopolis, which was surrendered by the treachery of Constantine, the count of Armenia, who went over to the Persian service. Having occupied Martyropolis, he passed on to Amida (5 Oct.), where, though there was no military force in Mesopotamia except the garrison of Constantina, a stubborn defence was made by the citizens. Anastasius sent Rufinus to offer him money to withdraw, but he kept the ambassador in custody. A Persian force, accompanied by Arabs and Ephthalites, was sent to the district of Constantina, and, after a small party had been cut to pieces (19 Nov.), routed Eugenius of Melitene and Olympius, duke of Mesopotamia, while Numan’s Arabs plundered the territory of Carrhae (26 Nov.) and advanced to Edessa. Eugenius however retook Theodosiopolis. Meanwhile Kawad, despairing of taking Amida, was willing to retire for a small sum; but the governor and the magistrates refused this and demanded compensation for the crops that had been destroyed. The siege therefore continued, until on a dark night the Persians found access by some aqueducts to a part of the wall which was guarded by some monks who were in a drunken sleep. They thereupon scaled the wall, and after hard fighting made themselves masters of the town (11 Jan. 503), which for three days was given up to massacre. Rufinus was then released, and Kawad at the beginning of spring retreated to the neighbourhood of Singara, leaving 3000 men under Glon in Amida. Further demands for money were rejected by Anastasius (April), who, having immediately after the fall of Amida sent men to defend the fortified places, now despatched a considerable army from Thrace to Mesopotamia under Patriciusmagister militum in praesentiAreobindusmagister militum per Orientem, great-grandson of Aspar, and his own nephew Hypatius (May), accompanied by Appion the praefect, who took up his quarters at Edessa to look after the commissariat. Patricius and Hypatius laid siege to Amida, while Areobindus encamped near Dara to stop a new invasion, and for some time prevented an advance on the part of the Persians from Singara, and even drove them in confusion to Nisibis; but, when the enemy, reinforced by Arabs and Ephthalites, prepared to attack him in greater strength under the traitor Constantine (July), he retreated to Harram near Mardin to be near his colleagues: his request for assistance being however disregarded, he was compelled to abandon his camp and flee to Constantina and Edessa. Patricius and Hypatius on hearing of Areobindus’ flight raised the siege of Amida and met the Persians under Kawad himself at the neighbouring fort of Apadna (Aug.), but were routed and fled to Samosata. Hypatius was then recalled. Kawad’s attempts to take Constantina, Edessa, and Carrhae by assault were unsuccessful, and Patriciolus, who was bringing reinforcements, destroyed a small Persian force at the Euphrates, while the Persian Arabs, having ravaged the country up to the river near Batnae, crossed into Syria. A second attempt upon Edessa fared no better than the first, and Kawad then advanced to the Euphrates.

Anastasius now sent Celer, the master of the offices, with large reinforcements; and, though he had hitherto followed a civil career and was not formally appointed to the chief command, his personal position gave him practical authority over the other generals and replaced division by unity. On his approach Kawad marched down the river to Callinicus, where a detachment was cut to pieces by Timostratus, duke of Osrhoene. Hearing of an invasion of Caucasian Huns, Kawad then returned home, upon which Patricius, who was wintering at Melitene, returned to Amida and routed a force sent against him by KawadCeler, and afterwards Areobindus, then joined Patricius before Amida, where Glon had been captured by a stratagem and put to death. Seeing how things were going, Constantine returned to his allegiance (June 504) and was allowed to take orders and live at Nicaea. Adid the Arab and Mushel the Armenian also went over to the Romans. The whole army was now no longer needed at Amida; accordingly Areobindus raided Persian Armenia, while Celer crossed into Arzanene, where he cut some cavalry to pieces, and burnt the villages, killing the men and taking the women and children prisoners. Similar raids were made by the Roman Arabs. Kawad then sent his spahpat (commander-in-chief) to Celer to propose peace, returning the most important prisoners. Celer at first refused terms in the hope of taking Amida, and an attempt to revictual it failed; but during the winter, which was a severe one, there were many desertions in the army, and he agreed to pay a sum of money for the surrender of the town, a definite peace being postponed till the Emperor's pleasure should be known. Hostilities were however considered to be ended, and some Arab sheikhs on the Persian side who had raided Roman territory were put to death by the Persian marzban, and some sheikhs of the Roman Arabs who had raided Persian territory were treated in the same way by Celer, who after a visit to Constantinople had returned to Syria. Anastasius granted remissions of taxes throughout Mesopotamia, gave largesses to the districts which had suffered most, restored the fortifications, and built a new fortified position on the frontier at Dara. As this was contrary to the treaty of 442, the Persians tried to prevent it; but Kawad, being engaged in war with the Huns and the Tamuraye, a tribe of unknown geographical position, was unable to take active steps in the matter. In April 506 Celer came to Edessa on his way to meet the spahpat, but, hearing from Persian envoys of his death, he waited till a successor should be appointed, while his Gothic soldiers caused much trouble to the citizens: he then went to Dara (Oct.) and made peace for seven years with the new spahpat (Nov.), the Emperor agreeing to pay compensation for the breach of faith involved in the fortification of Dara.

In Thrace and Illyricum the departure of the Goths left the way open to the more savage Bulgarians. In 499 they inflicted a disastrous defeat on Aristusmagister militum of Illyricum, at the Tzurta; and in 500 Anastasius thought it wise to give a donative to the Illyrian army. At an unknown date his nephew Pompeius was defeated by some enemy at Hadrianople; and in 507 the long wall across the peninsula on which Constantinople stands was built to secure the city from attack by land. In 512 the Heruli after their defeat by the Lombards were settled in the Empire, but afterwards rebelled and had to be put down by force of arms. In 517 the Slays plundered Macedonia, Thessaly, and Epirus, and carried off captives, whom Anastasius ransomed. Libya also suffered from the incursions of the Mazices.

Though there was little serious hostility with the Goths, relations were for a large part of the reign unfriendly. In 493 the Emperor refused Theodoric's request for confirmation of his title to Italy, though by accepting his consuls he tacitly recognized him. In 498 however he gave the desired recognition and returned the imperial insignia which Odovacar had sent to Zeno. But in 505 a conflict was brought about by a certain Mundo, who had been expelled by the king of the Gepids and received as a foederatus in the Empire, but afterwards became a captain of robbers, and being attacked by Sabinianus, magister militum of Illyricum (son of the Sabinianus who held the same office under Zeno), with Bulgarian allies, called in a Gothic force which had been fighting the Gepids. In the battle which followed at Horrea Margi the Romans were routed; but no further fighting seems to have taken place, and Mundo entered Theodoric's service. The assistance given to Mundo caused ill-feeling at Constantinople, and in 508 a fleet raided the coast of Italy, by which Theodoric was hindered from supporting the Visigoths against the Frankish king, on whom Anastasius conferred the insignia of the consulship. Shortly afterwards peace was restored, no doubt by concessions on the side of Theodoric, who wished to be free to deal with the Franks.

The domestic administration of Anastasius was distinguished by several popular measures. The most celebrated of these was the abolition of the chrysargyron (May 498), a tax on all kinds of stock and plant in trade, instituted by Constantine, which pressed heavily on the poorest classes. Instead of this he imposed a land-tax called chrysoteleia, which he applied to the support of the army, abolishing the right of requisition. He also attempted by several enactments to ensure that the soldiers received their full pay. But his chief financial reform was the abolition, by the advice of the Syrian Marinus, of the system under which the curiales were responsible for the taxes of the municipalities, and the institution. of tax-collectors called vindices. The burdens of the curiales were not however wholly removed, for they existed in some form under Justinian. These measures were no doubt primarily intended to increase the revenue, and at the end of his reign under the administration of Marinus complaints were made of heavy extortion; but the immediate financial success of the policy is proved by the fact that at the time of his death the treasury was full. His humanity was shown by the abolition of fights between men and beasts (Aug. 499); but this did not extend to the practice of exposing criminals to beasts, which existed as late as the time of Maurice.

But, although Anastasius is almost universally praised for mildness and good administration, his Monophysite opinions were distasteful to the population of the capital, and the peace was constantly disturbed by serious riots. In 493 his refusal to release some stone-throwers of the Green faction who had been arrested by the city-praefect produced an outbreak, during which a stone was thrown at the Emperor, part of the circus buildings burnt, and the statues of Anastasius and Ariadne dragged through the streets. Many of the rioters were arrested and punished, and the, thrower of the stone, a Moor, was killed by the excubitores; but the Emperor was compelled to appoint a new praefect in the person of Plato. An occasion for rioting was also provided by the ancient pagan festival of the Brytae, which was celebrated by dancing performances every May. Such a riot occurred in the praefecture of Constantine (501), when the Greens attacked the Blues in the theatre and many were killed, among them an illegitimate son of Anastasius. After this an order was issued that the celebration of the Brytae should cease throughout the Empire (502). In 512 the Monophysite addition to the Trisagion, made at the instigation of Marinus, caused the most dangerous outbreak of the reign (6 Nov.). The rioters killed the Monophysite monks, threw down the Emperor's statues, and proclaimed emperor the unwilling Areobindus, whose wife Juliana represented the Theodosian house. When Celer and Patricius were sent to appease them, they drove them away with stones, burnt the houses of Marinus and Pompeius, and plundered Marinus' property. On the third day Anastasius showed himself in the circus without his crown and begged them to refrain from massacre, whereupon they demanded that Marinus and Plato should be thrown to the beasts; but the Emperor by promising concessions persuaded them to disperse. The banishment of Ariadne's kinsman, Diogenes, and the ex-praefect Appion (510) may, as they were recalled by Justin, have been caused by religious troubles. In Alexandria and Antioch also riots were frequent.

In 513 the religious differences culminated in an armed rising. The military administration of Hypatius (not the Emperor’s nephew) had caused discontent in the Thracian army, especially among the Bulgarian foederati. These foederati were commanded by Vitalianus (son of the Patriciolus who held a command in the Persian war); who had a grievance on account of the expulsion of the patriarch Flavianus of Antioch (512), with whom he was on terms of close friendship. Making use of the discontent in the army, he murdered two of the general's staff, bribed the duke of Moesia, and, having seized Carinus, one of the chief confidants of Hypatius, forced him to place the town of Odessus in his hands. By means of the money there found he collected a large force of soldiers and rustics, and, with the cry of justice for the banished patriarchs and abolition of the addition to the Trisagion, marched on Constantinople, whither Hypatius had fled. Anastasius, having no army at hand, could only provide for the defence, while he set up crosses on the gates and announced the remission of one-fourth of the animal-tax in Asia and Bithynia. Patricius the magister militum, to whom Vitalianus in large measure owed his promotion, was sent to confer with him; and next day some of Vitalianus’ chief officers entered the city; who on receiving a promise that just grievances should be remedied and the Pope asked to send representatives to settle the religious differences took the oath of allegiance, returned to Vitalianus, and compelled him to withdraw. Cyril, a man of some capacity, was now appointed to succeed Hypatius, and, having entered Odessus, from which Vitalianus had retired, was believed to be planning an attack on him. Hearing of this, Vitalianus made his way into the town by night, surprised Cyril while asleep in his house, and killed him. He was thereupon declared a public enemy by decree of the Senate, and a large force collected and sent against him under Hypatius, the Emperor's nephew, though the office of magister militum of Thrace was given to the barbarian AlatharHypatius fought for some time with varying success, and gained at least one victory (autumn 513). Finally he encamped at Acris on the coast, where, being attacked by the enemy and routed, he was captured in the sea, into which he had fled. Alathar was also captured, and was ransomed by Vitalianus himself from the Bulgarians, whom he permitted to sell the prisoners. Vitalianus occupied all the fortresses in Scythia and Moesia, among them Sozopolis, in which he captured some envoys sent with a ransom for Hypatius. It was now expected that he would be proclaimed emperor; and further rioting occurred at Constantinople, in which the praefect of the watch was killed. Meanwhile he advanced on the capital by land and sea; but on receiving 5000 lbs. of gold, the Thracian command, and a promise of satisfaction upon the religious question, he again retired and released Hypatius, though he refused to disband his army (514). It was clear that neither party was likely to observe the peace; and in 515 Vitalianus, having probably promises of support from inside the city, where another riot had occurred, again appeared before Constantinople, but was defeated by land and sea and retired to Anchialus, though still remaining at the head of his barbarian force. Hypatius was sent to the East as magister militum, and in July 517 went on an embassy to Persia.

On 9 July 518 Anastasius died suddenly, Ariadne having died three years before.