Like many other emperors of late antiquity, Valentinian I was an emperor absent from Rome. Nevertheless, he often intervened directly in the life of the ancient capital through legislation. The Theodosian Code preserves 31 constitutions directed by Valentinian to his first prefect, Avianus Symmachus, who remained in office for about eleven month. The emperor evidently considered what was happening in Rome to be of great importance. To understand such a degreee of interest in the City, we have to consider that, when Valentinian come to throne, the empire was going though a particularly delicate moment. After the brief but intense reign of Julian, many problems (variously economics, social and military in nature) created by the Constantinian turn suddenly came like "knots to the comb". At first Valentinian's government remained along the lines of that of Julian. Thus some dispositions directed to the restoration of ancient monuments in Rome can be seen as a continuation of a policy supportetd by the pagan aristocracy. At other times th emperor is forced to intervene in the violent struggle for the papacy between Damasus and Ursinus. In the background there emerges, either way, the clash between the old pagan aristocracy and the new Christian one that becomes increasingly important. Valentinian seeks to orient himself among the competing factions, but ends up becoming an instrument in the hands of some particularly skilled people.

Loschiavo, L. (2017). "L'asino che salì al tribunale e ragliò ostinatamente". Il governo di Roma all'epoca di Valentiniano I fra lotte politiche, tradizione giuridica e innovazioni legislative. ANTIQUITÉ TARDIVE(25), 223-234.

"L'asino che salì al tribunale e ragliò ostinatamente". Il governo di Roma all'epoca di Valentiniano I fra lotte politiche, tradizione giuridica e innovazioni legislative

Luca Loschiavo
2017-01-01

Abstract

Like many other emperors of late antiquity, Valentinian I was an emperor absent from Rome. Nevertheless, he often intervened directly in the life of the ancient capital through legislation. The Theodosian Code preserves 31 constitutions directed by Valentinian to his first prefect, Avianus Symmachus, who remained in office for about eleven month. The emperor evidently considered what was happening in Rome to be of great importance. To understand such a degreee of interest in the City, we have to consider that, when Valentinian come to throne, the empire was going though a particularly delicate moment. After the brief but intense reign of Julian, many problems (variously economics, social and military in nature) created by the Constantinian turn suddenly came like "knots to the comb". At first Valentinian's government remained along the lines of that of Julian. Thus some dispositions directed to the restoration of ancient monuments in Rome can be seen as a continuation of a policy supportetd by the pagan aristocracy. At other times th emperor is forced to intervene in the violent struggle for the papacy between Damasus and Ursinus. In the background there emerges, either way, the clash between the old pagan aristocracy and the new Christian one that becomes increasingly important. Valentinian seeks to orient himself among the competing factions, but ends up becoming an instrument in the hands of some particularly skilled people.
Loschiavo, L. (2017). "L'asino che salì al tribunale e ragliò ostinatamente". Il governo di Roma all'epoca di Valentiniano I fra lotte politiche, tradizione giuridica e innovazioni legislative. ANTIQUITÉ TARDIVE(25), 223-234.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/384791
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