Arbogast (general)


Arbogast (general)

Flavius Arbogastes (died September 6 394), or Arbogast was a Frankish general in the Roman Empire. It has been stated by some ancient historians that he was the son of Flavius Bauto, Valentinian II's former magister militum and protector before Arbogast, but modern scholars largely discount this claim [A.H.M. Jones: The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire] .

Life

Little is known of Flavius Arbogastes other than his career as the Western Roman Empire's magister militum following the death of his predecessor, general Flavius Bauto 385. He aided Bauto in defeating the usurper Magnus Maximus and personally defeated Victor, the usurper's son. At Bauto's death, he was likely hailed as Bauto's replacement by the troops, and this was ratified by Theodosius I under the reign of Emperor Valentinian II in 388. Arbogast soon became the "de facto" ruler of the Western Roman Empire, and Valentinian II, age 20, had little say in any matters. Arbogast is personally credited as the mastermind of pagan senatorial uprising in Rome following the academic debates between Christian and pagan senators for generations regarding abandoning Christianity and returning to paganism. After his death his son Arigius succeeded in setting up a hereditary countship in Trier which lasted until Clovis. The county was largely supported by Franks. Arbogastes had an uncle and colleague called Richomeres and a nephew Theudemeres, who was king of the Franks.

Rise to power

Following Valentinian II's death on May 15 392, a new leader of the Western Roman Empire was needed. Arbogast, a Frank, was not a pure blooded Roman, and could not be an Emperor.

On August 22 392, Arbogast, with the support of the Rome Senate, elected Eugenius, a Christian administrator of Rome with pagan sympathies [Gerard Friell (1998). "Theodosius: The Empire at Bay (Roman Imperial Biographies)". (Routledge; 1 edition (May 28, 1998)). ISBN-10: 0415170400] , as his puppet emperor to appeal to Theodosius I. At the same time of Valentinian II's death, Theodosius named his son Honorius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire. After numerous efforts by the Western Roman Empire to appease Theodosius I following Eugenius's appointment, Theodosius I begun preparing to retake the West from Aborgast and Eugenius.

Battle of the Frigidus

On September 5 394, Theodosius attacked Arbogast in the Battle of the Frigidus on the banks of the Frigidus (Vipava) River. The battle lasted two days with heavy losses on both sides. On September 6, Arbogast committed suicide immediately following his defeat in the Julian Alps. Co-Ruler Emperor Eugenius was killed in his camp on the same day.

This civil war ultimately ended pagan Roman senatorial opposition to the Christianization of the Roman Empire.

Rumors

It is widely speculated that Flavius Arbogastes hanged Valentinian II in his villa, however, it was deemed a suicide. Both Valentinian II and Arbogastes frequently disputed rulership over the Western Roman Empire. Likely these allegations were propaganda used by Theodosius I to justify a hostile takeover of the Western Roman Empire for treason and heresy.Fact|date=February 2007

References

Related links

*Battle of the Frigidus
*Valentinian II
*Theodosius I
*Eugenius
*Flavius Stilicho
*Magnus Maximus

External links

* [http://www.roman-emperors.org/eugene.htm Walter E. Roberts of Emory University lectures on Aborgast]


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