The Workshop on Late Antiquity and Byzantium is pleased to announce our last meeting of Winter 2017:
A military and social elite in the Later Roman Empire:
protectores Augusti (3rd-6th c. CE)
Missorium of Theodosius, 4-5th c. CE. Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid.
Visiting Ph. D. Student, University of Rouen
High-ranking soldiers called protectores Augusti can be traced from the mid-3rd to the late 6th century in inscriptions, papyri, law codes, and literary sources. Their historic importance cannot be understated: several emperors were former protectores (e.g. Constantius I, Jovian, Valens), and the historian Ammianus Marcellinus also served in this corps. A strictly military analysis allows an overview of the various important roles of protectores in the Late Roman army as staff officers and imperial bodyguards, but fails to take into account Roman perceptions of this title. In this paper, it will be argued that protectores, by virtue of their proximity with the emperor, were considered as holders of a dignitas, precisely situated in a social and symbolic hierarchy. Traces of what distinguished them as members of the Late Roman social elite (wealth, cultural practices, participation in politics) will also be investigated.
Tuesday, February 28 — 4:30 pm in CWAC 156
We look forward to seeing you there!