Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-bjz6k Total loading time: 0.209 Render date: 2022-05-18T13:36:14.992Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

The Advocacy of an empress: Julian and Eusebia*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

Shaun Tougher
Affiliation:
Cardiff University, toughersf@cardiff.ac.uk

Extract

The importance of the role of the empress Eusebia1 in the watershed years (354–5) of the life of Julian is not in question. The narrative runs as follows. When Julian was summoned to Milan in 354 to the court of his Christian cousin Constantius (337–61) in the aftermath of the execution of his half-brother Gallus for treason and was questioned about his loyalty to the emperor, it was the empress who secured an audience for him with the emperor and who effected his liberation in 355. His subsequent residency at Athens was also the suggestion of the empress. Not much later in the same year, when Julian was again recalled to the court at Milan to be appointed Caesar on 6 November, the empress supported his promotion, if not indeed being the very proponent of it. Thus began Julian's imperial career, which led him to succeed Constantius as emperor in 361.

Type
Shorter Notes
Copyright
Copyright © The Classical Association 1998

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 For details on Eusebia and her life seeJones, A. H. M., Martindale, J. R., ANDMorris, J., The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire I, AD.260395 (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 300–1;Szidat J., Histohscher Kommentar zu Ammianus Marcellinus, Buch XX XXI, III, Historia, Einzelschriften 89 (Stuttgart, 1996), pp. 54–5.Google Scholar

2 For Julian's evidence see his Letter to the Senate and People of Athens (Ep. ad Ath.) and his Speech of Thanks to the Empress Eusebia (Or. III). The kind-hearted Eusebia appears also in Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae, 21.6.4. For modern opinion subscribing to this image see especially Browning R., The Emperor Julian(London, 1975), pp. 74–5Google Scholar

3 Browning, op. cit. (n. 2), p. 84, dismisses the story of the killing of Julian's child at the instigation of Eusebia as ‘unverifiable’ and ‘symptomatic of the way the man in the street saw the imperial family’;Matthews, J., The Roman Empire of Ammianus(London,1989), p.86, dismisses the story of the empress preventing Helena from having a child as ‘an unsupported fragment of court gossip’.Google Scholar

4 Amm. Marc. 15.8.3.

5 Amm. Marc. 15.8.3

6 Amm. Mare. 16.10.18–19. Ammianus's attitude to Eusebia's brothers Eusebius and Hypatius is also striking and I hope to explore it elsewhere.

7 Zosimos, III.1.2–3, ed. trans.Paschoud, F., Zosime. Histoire Nouvelle II.1 (Paris, 1979), pp.8–9Google Scholar

8 Paschoud, op. cit. (n. 7), p. 62.

9 Drinkwater, J. F., ‘The pagan “underground”, Constantius II's “secret service”, and the survival, and the usurpation of Julian the Apostate’, inDeroux, C. Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History II, Collection Latomus 180 (Brussels, 1983), pp.348–87, esp. p.368.Google Scholar

10 See also Tougher, S., ‘In praise of an empress: Julian's Speech of Thanks to Eusebia’, in Mary Whitby (ed.), The Propaganda of Power (Leiden,1998), pp.105–23.Google Scholar

11 Aujoulat, N., ‘Eusebie, Helene et Julien’, Byzantion, 58 (1983), I, ‘Le temoignage de Julien’, pp.78–103, II, ‘Le temoignage des historiensRsquo;, pp.421–52.Google Scholar

12 Ep. adAth., 273D–274D.

13 Or. Ill, 121B-C.

14 Matthews, op. cit. (n. 3), p. 85.

15 Leedom J. W., ‘Constantius II: three revisions’, Byzantion 48 (1978), 132–45, explores the question of Constantius's involvement in the deaths that followed that of Constantine the Great and concludes that the evidence is not good enough to convict Constantius

16 See the comments Seager f R., Ammianus Marcellinus. Seven Studies in his Language and Thought (Columbia,1986), p.102

17 Drinkwater, op.cit.(n. 9), p.348.

18 And perhaps more realistic as a late antique empress: see R. W. Burgess, ‘The accession of Marcian in the light of Chalcedonian apologetic and monophysite polemic’, BZ 86/87 (1993–94), 47–68, esp. 68, who concludes that Pulcheria was in fact manipulated by Aspar and, ‘far from being a proto-Irene’, Pulcheria was ‘in reality, one of the last of the Roman aristocratic wives and daughters, mere tools in the dynastic plans of the men who married them and gave them away’.

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Advocacy of an empress: Julian and Eusebia*
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Advocacy of an empress: Julian and Eusebia*
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Advocacy of an empress: Julian and Eusebia*
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *