[[*]] I owe a debt of gratitude to Professor T. D. Barnes for subjecting an earlier draft of this paper to his scrupulous examination. In the notes that follow I use several common ancient abbreviations for high officials of the later empire: QSP, quaestor sacri palatii; CSL, comes sacrarum largitionum; PVR, praefectus urbi; PPO, praefectus praetorio.

[[1]] This paper proposes a new set of dates for the offices held by Flavianus. Some earlier scholars have held that the term as QSP was followed immediately in 382/383 by a term as PPO; and that second and sometimes third terms as PPO are to be assigned to the years 390-394 (this position was advanced by Seeck in his edition of Symmachus; defended by W. Hartke, Klio 31 [1938] 430-436; and most recently held by J. P. Callu, Mélanges d'histoire ancienne offerts à William Seston (1974) 73-80 -- on which see note 40 below). The alternative position was also first proposed by Seeck, in his Regesten (1919), developed by H. L. Levy, The Invective in Rufinum of Claudius Claudianus (1935) 27-31 (reprinted in his Claudian's In Rufinum [1971] 245-249). These authors dated the terms as QSP and PPO all to the years 389-394. PLRE ostensibly adopted the second position, but did not do so consistently; see note 27 below. Finally, every history of the period treats (in often almost identical terms) Flavianus' actions in 393-394; the most recent is J. F. Matthews, Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court, A. D. 364-425 (1975) 237-246.

[[2]] CIL 6.1782 (ILS 2947); this Symmachus is son of the orator and letter-writer.

[[3]] Symm. Ep. 4.14, 9.93-94. PLRE 1.347, following Dessau, dates the inscription to 394, erroneously.

[[4]] Both the ordinary quaestorship and the praetorship were very young men's honors at this time; Symmachus' son may have been about 9 and 17 respectively when he received them.

[[5]] This is the only religious post attributed to Flavianus, the same one attributed to Symmachus in CIL 6.1699 (ILS 2946); the parallel is discussed by J. F. Matthews, JRS 63 (1973) 187-188.

[[6]] In 365, as shown by Symm. Ep. 2.44; cf. also Ep. 2.27, alluding to the same office.

[[7]] In 376-377: Amm. Marc. 28.6.28. The citizens of Lepcis Magna honored Flavianus with an inscription (Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania, 475: from 377-378); while in office he received CTh 16.6.2 against Donatism. But he seems to have sided with the Donatists to such an extent that Augustine, writing in 405, mistook him for a Donatist himself (Aug. Ep. 87.8). See further J. Guey, REA 52 (1950) 77-89.

[[8]] That is, QSP, the lowest-ranking position carrying status as illustris.

[[9]] He wrote Annnales (CIL 6.1783) and translated Philostratus' Life of Apollonius of Tyana (Sid. Apoll. Ep. 8.3.1).

[[10]] CIL 6.1783 (ILS 2948).

[[11]] ILS 8985; before 431, since no mention is made of his service as praetorian prefect.

[[12]] AE 1934.147 (under Arcadius, therefore between 395 and 408).

[[13]] In the subscription at the end of book eight of Livy in the Codex Mediceus of the tenth/eleventh century.

[[14]] In 394, attested even in Christian inscriptions, e. g., ICUR 1.419-421.

[[15]] It should be added here (and will be expanded upon later) that there is other, debatable evidence that Nicomachus Flavianus was not very intimately involved in the usurpation as such (and a fortiori his son would not have been) and had little to fear from imperial ire: Rufinus, HE 2.33. The possibility must be kept in mind.

[[16]] Dates and addressees of laws are given without comment when there is no controversy.

[[17]] Cf. note 7 above.

[[18]] This escape is not possible after A. H. M. Jones, "Collegiate Prefectures," JRS 54 (1964) 78-89; Callu, (above, n. 1) 74-75, attempts to make space, without success, for a PPO of eastern Illyricum alone.

[[19]] Sozomen, HE 7.25.7.

[20]] The 81 letters to the younger Flavianus in the sixth book of Symmachus' collection virtually all date from after the father's death and offer little to us.

[[21]] Dates of letters are given according to my own researches (and justified in notes), but I have of course studied carefully the dates and arguments of Seeck (in his edition, MGH. AA.VI) and of J. P. Callu (in his Budé edition of the first two books).

[[22]] L. Ruggini, Economia e Societá nell' "Italia Annonaria" (1961) 159-161. It would be convenient to agree with R. Syme, Ammianus and the Historia Augusta (1968) 6, followed by Callu ad Ep. 2.7, in dating that letter to the fall of 384 (leaving Flavianus more time in office), but I do not insist on the point.

[[23]] CTh 4.4.2 (23 Jan. 389) is spoken of there as a fairly recent enactment.

[[24]] The letter mentions a quarrel with one Hephaestio also discussed in Epp. 5.34 -- 37, where the only firmly dated correspondence is from 389/390.

[[25]] Magnillus is vicar of Africa in 391, Romanus comes of Egypt in the same year (PLRE 1.769 wrongly identifies a separate Romanus).

[[26]] For it now seems likely that the younger Flavianus was already in office by 27 February 383 (CTh 7.18.8 + 9.29.2; discussed above).

[[27]] Licinius is probably vicar of Africa in 385, CSL in 387; note that PLRE 1.508 dates Symm. Ep. 2.65 to 383, even though that date depends upon the questorship of Flavianus, which PLRE elsewhere (1.347) postpones to 389.

[[28]] Seeck, MGH./1/1. VI, pp. LVIII LIX.

[[29]] I make much of this letter and give, therefore, its full text, which cannot be dated, I hold, to much later than 383 by its allusion to the younger Flavianus' term as proconsul (note emphasis below). dominum meum et fratrem nostrum Flavianum celsum virtutibus et honoribus virum iustitiae tuae exsortem esse non patior. merito pro honoribus eius, quae causa poscit, allego sciens sine tua auctoritate commissa, quae sub obtentu tuo a quibusdam scaevis dissignata dicuntur. unde mihi maiorfiducia, posse rem graviter vindicari, cum tua quoquefama pulsata sit. querellae autem genus hominum eius suggestio, si iusseris, persequetur, quia multiplex iniuria modum epistulae familiaris excedit. non minora etiam filius inlustris viri, et ipse iam honoris et meriti, in sua proconsulari possessione toleravit, quae ad unius quidem pertinent noxam sed ad utriusque contemptum. ergo ut mos est tibi, auditis eorum allegationibus, qui tuentur absentium facultates, primo famam, quae optimo cuique pretiosa eft, tune amicitiamfidei indicem, postremo leges, pro quibus excubas, dignare defendere, ut ad inlustrem virum, qui per absentiam suorum nescit incommoda, prius gratia beneficii tui quam suorum dolor a querella perveniat. Something in the authoritative tone Symmachus affects makes me suspect that he writes, albeit privately, in character as urban prefect (384-385). I would also date Symm. Epp. 3.58 and 3.66 to the same time (Richomer's post in this period is known from eastern sources; see PLRE 1.765-766).

[[30]] Symm. Epp. 2.24 and 3.69; Ep. 2.22 very probably alludes to the proconsulship of the younger Flavianus and the pregnancy of Symmachus' wife, and would then similarly date Flavianus' first illustris office to 383. But note that Flavianus was probably back in Campania in the fall of 383 (Epp. 2.4-7, and note 22 above). It is a debatable point whether he served as quaestor in Milan or Constantinople; his son's promotion (and a vague allusion in Ep. 2.23) makes Constantinople more likely (see further below).

[[31]] Ep. 2.65.

[[32]] Epp. 2.13, 2.18, 2.20, 3.90.

[[33]] Epp. 2.76-78, 2.81, 2.83-85, 5.53.

[[34]] Consideration should be given to the possibility that Flavianus went to court in 381, especially if Symm. Ep. 2.24 finds him already in office by late February 382. Whether the court in question is at Milan or Constantinople, he would have been unlikely to make the journey from Rome in the winter months.

[[35]] Levy (above, n. 1 [1971] 248-249. I accept Levy's point for purposes of this article, that all Rufinus/Symmachus correspondence is from 389 or later; to be sure Symmachus did not waste much time corresponding with minor functionaries. The possibility of some correspondence dating to 383 cannot be ruled out and would redate the summoning of the younger Flavianus to court (Symm. Ep. 3.89) to a time when the summons can be shown to have led to advancement (namely appointment as proconsul of Asia). Rufinus is, after all, a westerner whose career is obscure.

[[36]] Other westerners in this post at this period (e. g., Eutropius) are known followers of Theodosius whose careers lie chiefly in the east.

[[37]] Not. Dig., Or. 1.25-34 Seeck.

[[38]] See note 35 above.

[[39]] CIL 6.1783 (A. D. 431) attributes the Annales to Flavianus as quaestor and prefect, therefore assigning their completion to the period 390-392 (before Flavianus sided with Eugenius).

[[40]] Rufinus, HE 2.33. My argument has been directed chiefly against the most commonly held position on these dates, that of the later Seeck, Levy, and PLRE (see above, note 1). The most recent study of the question deserves some separate refutation for attempting to re-establish the first dates proposed by the earlier Seeck. J. P. Callu, (above, note 1) 73-80, is not convincing, however. He hypothesizes a possible place on the fasti for a separate PPO for eastern Illyricum (because there is evidence of one such term for Eutropius ending in 381), in spite of the way in which this directly contradicts the epigraphic evidence as interpreted in this article, and completely in the face of the plain meaning of CTh 11.13.1 (19 Aug. 383), which addresses Sextus Petronius Probus over matters per omne Illyricum (which Callu quotes but does not understand, art. tit., 74-75); he simply glosses over the difficulties created by Symm. Ep. 3.90 (75-76); and finally he limits the total number of terms as PPO to two by insisting (77: "nous avons insiste") that Flavianus held office continually from 390 to 394, even though there is no evidence whatever for his activity between early 392 and mid-393 at the earliest and even though activity is attested for Apodemius as Theodosius' appointee to the post during that very time. The argument is thus by turns circular and arbitrary, but never convincing, while awkward evidence is ignored or browbeaten, never faced honestly.

[[41]] The classic presentation is H. Bloch, "A New Document of the Last Pagan Revival in the West, 393-394 A. D.," Harvard Theological Review 38 (1945) 199-244; essentially the same conclusions restated by Bloch appear in A. Momigliano, ed., The Conflict Between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century (1963) 193-218. More recently, the traditional story appears unchallenged in J. Ziegler, Zur religiösen Haltung der Gegenkaiser im 4. Jahrh. n. Chr. (1970) 85-104.

[[42]] Paulinus, Vita Sancti Ambrosii 27.

[[43]] F. X. Murphy, Rufinus of Aquileia (1945) 233.

[[44]] Flavianus' suicide is not mentioned in Sozomen, HE 7.22, as Bloch (above, note 41) 239 and PLRE 1.348 claim.

[[45]] Aug. D.c.D. (Ed. Dombart-Kalb, CCSL), 5.26.31-32 (probably written about 413415).

[[46]] A. Chastagnol, La préfecture urbaine a Rome sous le bas-empire (1960) 443, and often elsewhere.

[[47]] He has an identical misquotation, for example, from Claudian, III Cons. Hon. 96 ff.

[[48]] Bloch's 1945 article published an inscription discovered at Ostia in 1938 showing the restoration of a temple of Hercules in 394 by Numerius Proiectus, praefectus annonae and one "of the circle of Flavianus himself' (234). Of the inscription several things need to be said: that the dating is plausible but uncertain in the restoration of an extremely fragmentary inscription; that it is not clear that what Proiectus did was in any way counter to the laws against the ancient cults as laid down by Theodosius (merely restoring a building was not culpable at that time -- and for that matter, the crucial verb describing what Proiectus did to the Cellam Herc. is entirely missing from the inscription); and that if we restore cellam Herc[uleam] (cf. ILS 622, porticu Herculea), the structure could easily become a granary dating to the reign of Maximian. The inscription was discovered "not far from the temple of Hercules" (about 50 to 60 yards away) in the "via degli Horrea Epagathiana," (Bloch, 201), which was smack in the middle of a large group of grain facilities (cf. R. Meiggs, Roman Ostia [1960], maps at 284 -- granaries-and 382 -- temples). Nor should we, moreover, conclude that simply because two things took place in Italy at the same time they were intimately connected. Proiectus may have decided entirely on his own that the new regime would not act against him. That he served as prefect of the annona does not in itself prove that he was "in the circle" of the younger Flavianus as prefect of the city.

[[49]] T. Mommsen, "Carmen codicis Parisini 8084," Hermes 4 (1870) 350-364; repr. in his Gesammelte Schriften 7 (1909) 485-498; the earliest reliable text and commentary for the poem.

[[50]] Two other poems of this period have been thought to be by the same anonymous author: the Carmen ad quendam senatorera (printed at CSEL 3.3.302 and again at CSEL 23.1.227) and the so-called poema ultimum attributed to Paulinus of Nola in the MSS (CSEL 30.329); for identification of authorship, see E. Dekkers, Clavis Patrum Latinorum (ed. 2) (1961) nos. 206, 1432. These poems have nothing to offer as evidence for our problems.

[[51]] Pace J. F. Matthews, Historia 19 (1970) 466: "To reserve judgement is the least defensible of attitudes." The evidence here simply cannot be forced to admit confident and responsible judgement.

[[52]] For a recent treatment arguing for Symmachus (PVR 365, father of the famous orator), S. Mazzarino, in the first volume of his Antico, tardoantico, ed éra costantiniana (1974); for Praetextatus, Silvio A. D'Ostilio, Carmen Codicis Parisini 8084 (unpublished thesis in the Catholic University of America, 1957); for Flavianus, J. F. Matthews, "The Historical Setting of the 'Carmen Contra Paganos' (Cod. Par. Lat. 8084)," Historia 19 (1970) 464-479; for Pompeianus (PVR 408- 409), G. Manganaro, "La reazione pagana a Roma nel 408-9 d. c. e il poemetto anonimo 'Contra Paganos'," Giornale Italiano di Filologia 13 (1960) 210-224, and elsewhere.

[[53]] Leucadius must have been either rationalis rei privatae per Africam or rationalis rei privatae fundorum domus divinae per Africam, both of which offices were under the supervision of the comes rerum privatarura (Not. Dig., Occ. 12.11, 12.16 [ed. Seeck]); Marcianus was proconsul of Africa, an anomalous position under no direct jurisdiction.

[[54]] This description fits Praetextatus' widow perfectly (cf. CIL 6.1779), but Flavianus' widow is known to have survived him as well (Symm. Ep. 4.71, from 397).

[[55]] Line 112 (te consule) is a reasonably strong point if taken literally, weighing against Praetextatus and Pompeianus.

[[56]] Symm. Epp. 4.19, 4.51.

[[57]] J. F. Matthews, Historia 19 (1970) 478, a considerable advance in the argument for identifying Flavianus with the poem's subject.

[[58]] But even Rufinus, as quoted earlier (HE 2.33), indicates that Flavianus' involvement in the usurpation was so irrelevant as to leave him hope for imperial mercy.

[[59]] T. D. Barnes, "The Historical Setting of Prudentius' Contra Symmachum," AJP 97 (1976) 373-386.

[[60]] A convenient table of priesthoods held by late fourth-century senators is printed in Bloch (above, note 41), following 244. My conclusions on this point resemble those of J. F. Matthews, JRS 63 (1973) 187-190, but are much more deliberately stated and are not so colored by the Carmen's propaganda.

[[61]] For example, Symm. Ep. 2.49. Contrary to the opinion of Seeck and others, there is no reason to believe the letters of Symmachus were censored to cover up pagan sentiments: J. A. McGeachy, "The Editing of the Letters of Symmachus," CP 44 (1949) 222-229.

[[62]] Symm. Epp. 2.34, 2.53.

[[63]] Symm. Ep. 2.36.2-3; Symmachus' opposition was unavailing, as shown by CIL 6.2145 (ILS 1261).