Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Comes Orientis - Count of the East

I have bemoaned before the loss of information (or more correctly the loss of access to information) caused by the sinking of important theses into the mists of time. The most prominent examples being Stinespring and Haddad in the world of Antiochene studies. But then again how many other studies have disappeared and we don't even know that we have lost them.

Curiously the most recent example I have found of lost theses is actually that of the mid-century doyen of Antioch studies, Glanville Downey. He pretty much "wrote the book" on Antioch but far fewer would know that the subject of his thesis at Princeton was a sort of prosography of the holders of the title of Counts of the East. This title holder had his seat in Antioch and as I have mentioned before was given the former Temple of the Muses to serve as his praetorian prefecture. All I found of the thesis, which presumably resides in the bowels of Princeton somewhere, is an abstract of around 15 pages that was published as a pamphlet and was somehow embedded in a volume of disparate pamphlets dating from the 1930s in the New York Public Library. Truly praise must go to whatever intrepid librarian more than 70 years ago that decided to bind all these scraps together.

The abstract, despite its seeming flimsiness, is actually a very detailed work and tells enough for our current purposes. I have previously published a list of the governors. The Downey discovery now provides us with a fairly comprehensive list of the Comes Orientis holders and also a more limited list of the Consulares Syriae and finally some surmising on others who may have served in the latter role. 

The information in parentheses indicates that their is a firm "sighting" of the individual in that role on that date, month or season.

Felicianus 335

Vulcacius Rufinus 342 (5 April)

Leontius 349 (6 April)

Marcellinus 349 (3 Oct)

Honoratus 353-354

Nebridius 354-357 (358?)

Fl. Domitius Modestus 358-362

Iulianus 362-363 (Feb or March)

Aradius Rufinus 363 (Feb or March) - 364 (Spring)

Iulianus 364 (17 April) different from the aforementioned Iulianus

C. Valerius Eusebius between 364 and 380-82

Fl. Eutolmius Tatianus Sept 370 and Feb 374

Felix 380 (8th July)

Tuscianus 381 (31 March)

Glycerius 381 (19 July)

Philagrius 382 (20 Sept)

Proculus  383 (8 March) - 384 (Summer)

Icarius 384 (summer) - 385

Deinias 386

Palladius  390

Martinianus  392 (10 Nov)

Lucianus 392 (Nov) 393 (Summer)

Infantius 393 (30 Dec)

Claudianus 396 (24 April)

Eleutherius ca 400

Abthartius 435 (29 Jan)

Theodorus (reign of Zeno)

Calliopus 494/5

Constantius 494/5

Basilius 507 (until July)

Procopius 507 (July)

Irenaeus 507 (after July)

Theodotus in or before 522/3

Ephraemius 522/3-524 (Nov)

Anatolius 525 (Oct)

Ephraemius  526 (May)

Zacharias 527 (Aug-Oct)

Patricius 527 (Oct)

Cerycus before 529

Lazarus 542 (1st May)

Zemarchus 561 (?)

Asterius 588 (until June or earlier)

Johannes 588 (after June or earlier)

Paulus (?) 588/9

Bonosus 608/9 (?)

It can be noted that after the death of Libanius in the 390s the record becomes more patchy (i.e. bigger gaps between firm information) for the sources are not as good as Libanius who "moved and shook" with the great and powerful and whose letters represented a great source on the incumbents in this and other important offices in the East. We have a mere five names for the totality of the 5th century. 

Downey also lists the following as possibly being either Comes Orientis or Consulares Syriae:

Anatolius possibly cons Syr 349 or before 354-55 and possibly com. Or. before 354-355

Protasius 378 or earlier 

Iullus before 392

Romulianus 393 (?)

Memnonius (reign of Theodosius II)

Zoilus (reign of Theodosius II)

Callistus (reign of Theodosius II)


The Consulares Syriae

Downey goes on to list the holders of this title. Many of these graduated to become the Comes Orientis. 

Hierocles 344 (9th Dec)
Theodorus 347 (8 March) 
Hierocles 348 (24 April)
Honoratus (date unknown)
Theophilus 354
Nicentius 358 (Summer)
Sabinus  358-359 (Autumn)
Tryphonianus 359-360
Italicianus 360
Siderius 361
Alexander 363 (Feb or Mar until July)
Celsus 363 (Summer)
Marcianus 364
Festus 365 or 368
Aetherius before Fall of 371
Tatianus between 370 and 374
Marcellinus 382
Pelagius 382 or 383
Eumolpius 384
Tisamenus 386
Timocrates after 382 possibly in 387
Celsus 387
Lucianus 388 (until March - August)
Eustathius 388 (March - August) - 389 (January - June)
Eutropius 389 (after January - June)
Infantius between 389 -392
Florentius 392 (after Sept)
Severus before 393

Downey also these these individual that may have held the office:

Dionysius 355
Gymnasius 355-6
Capitolinus 391
Polemius before 392