Aspar

Flavius Ardabur Aspar (c. 400 – 471) was an Eastern Roman patrician and magister militum ("master of soldiers") of Alanic-Gothic descent.[1] As the general of a Germanic army in Roman service,[2][3][4][5] Aspar exerted great influence on the Eastern Roman Emperors for half a century, from the 420s to his death in 471, over Theodosius II, Marcian and Leo I, who, in the end, had him killed. His death led to the ending of the Germanic domination of Eastern Roman policy.[2]

Piatto di ardaburio, argento fuso, 434 d.c. (found in 1769) 03
A detail of the Missorium of Aspar, depicting Aspar and his elder son Ardabur (c. 434).

Biography

Aspar was born the son of the magister Ardaburius,[6] and was of Alanic-Gothic descent.[1] The name Aspar (Avestan aspari)[7] in Iranian languages means "Horse-rider".[8][9] Aspar played a crucial role in his father's expedition in 424 to defeat the Western usurper Joannes of Ravenna and to install Galla Placidia and her son, Valentinian III, in his place. He also helped to negotiate a peace treaty with Geiseric after the Vandal invasion of Africa.

Aspar attained the consulship in 434 after campaigning in Africa.[10] However, Aspar could not become emperor because of his Arian religion. Instead, he played the role of kingmaker with his subordinate Marcian, who became emperor by marrying Theodosius II's sister Pulcheria.

On 27 January 457 Marcian died, and the political and military establishment figures of the Eastern court took eleven days to choose a successor. Despite the presence of a strong candidate to the purple, the magister militum and Marcian's son-in-law Anthemius, the choice was quite different. Aspar, who in this occasion was probably offered the throne by the senate but refused,[11] could have chosen his own son Ardabur, but instead selected an obscure tribune of one of his military units, Leo I.[12]

In 470, in an episode of the struggle for power between Aspar and the Isaurian general Zeno, Aspar persuaded the emperor to appoint his second son, Patricius, as caesar and give him in marriage his daughter Leontia. However, since the clergy and people of Constantinople did not consider an Arian eligible to become emperor, at the news of the appointment riots broke out in the city hippodrome, led by the head of the Sleepless Monks, Marcellus: Aspar and Leo had to promise to the bishops that Patricius would convert to Orthodoxy before becoming emperor, and only after the conversion would he marry Leontia.

In 471 an imperial conspiracy organized by Leo I and the Isaurians caused the death of Aspar and of his elder son Ardabur: it is possible that Patricius died on this occasion, although some sources report that he recovered from his wounds. His death led to the ending of the Germanic domination of Eastern Roman policy.[2]

Aspar was the teacher of Theodoric the Great, who later became King of the Ostrogoths. Aspar had another son, Ermanaric, with the sister of Theodoric Strabo and daughter of Triarius.[13] Aspar's wife was an Ostrogoth, as the Ostrogoth King Theodoric was her nephew.[10] A cistern attributed to him still exists today in Istanbul.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Wolfram, Herwig (1997). The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples. University of California Press. p. 197. ISBN 0-5200-8511-6. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Flavius Ardaburius Aspar". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  3. ^ "Leo I (Roman emperor)". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  4. ^ "Zeno (Eastern Roman emperor)". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Byzantine Empire (historical empire, Eurasia): Relations with the barbarians". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Williams, p. 45.
  7. ^ Kanga, Kavasji Edalji; Dhabhar, Bamanji Nasarvanji (1909). An English-Avesta Dictionary. Printed at the Fort Printing Press. p. 260.
  8. ^ Bachrach, Bernard S. 1973. A history of the Alans in the West; from their first appearance in the sources of classical antiquity through the early Middle Ages. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p.98
  9. ^ Basirov, Oric: The Origin of the Pre-Imperial Iranian Peoples. in: SOAS, 26/4/2001
  10. ^ a b Bunson, 38.
  11. ^ The episode was told by Theodoric the Great at a synod held in Rome in 501; Aspar refused, cryptically stating, "I fear I would launch an imperial tradition", (Croke, p. 150).
  12. ^ Croke, p. 150.
  13. ^ Herwig Wolfram, p. 32.

References

  • Bunson, Matthew (1994). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. New York: Facts on File Inc.
  • Croke, Brian, "Dynasty and Ethnicity: Emperor Leo and the Eclipse of Aspar", Chiron 35 (2005), 147-203.
  • Williams, Stephen, and Gerard Friell, The Rome That Did Not Fall, Routledge, 1999, ISBN 0-415-15403-0.
  • Wolfram, Herwig, History of the Goths, trans. Thomas J. Dunlap. University of California Press, 1988, ISBN 0-520-06983-8.

External links

Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XIV,
Petronius Maximus
Consul of the Roman Empire
434
with Flavius Areobindus
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XV,
Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus IV
1947 Indianapolis 500

The 31st International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 30, 1947. The 1946 winner, George Robson, had been killed in the meantime.

Late in the race, Lou Moore teammates Bill Holland and Mauri Rose were running 1st and 2nd. The pit crew displayed a confusing chalkboard sign with the letters "EZY" to Holland, presumably meaning for him to take the final laps at a reduced pace to safely make it to the finish. Mauri Rose ignored the board, and charged to catch up to Holland. Holland believed he held a lap lead over Rose, and allowed him to catch up. The two drivers waved as Rose passed Holland, with Holland believing it was not more than a congratulatory gesture.

In reality, the pass Rose made was for the lead, and he led the final 8 laps to take the controversial victory. The race was marred by a 41st lap crash that claimed the life of Shorty Cantlon.

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Cistern of Aspar

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Marcian reversed many of the actions of his predecessor, Emperor Theodosius II, in religious matters and the Eastern Roman Empire's relationship with the Huns under Attila. Marcian almost immediately revoked all treaties with Attila, ending all subsidy payments to him. In 452, while Attila was raiding Italy, then a part of the Western Roman Empire, Marcian launched expeditions across the Danube into the Hungarian plain, defeating the Huns in their own heartland. This action, accompanied by the famine and plague that broke out in northern Italy, allowed Marcian to bribe Attila into retreating from the Italian peninsula.

After the death of Attila in 453, Marcian took advantage of the resulting fragmentation of the Hunnic confederation, settling numerous tribes within Eastern Roman lands as foederati (subject tribes which gave military service in exchange for various benefits). Marcian also convened the Council of Chalcedon, which reversed the outcome of the previous Second Council of Ephesus, and declared that Jesus had two natures, divine and human. Marcian died on 26 January 457, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire with a treasury surplus of seven million solidi. After his death, Aspar had Leo I elected as Eastern Roman Emperor.

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