The Historia

Seeking Veracity

Historical Excerpts on the 4th & 5th Century  Arbogast  Family Origins



The Pagan party considered that at length the influence of Arbogast might procure for them the restoration of the altar of Victory, but the disciple of Ambrose refused the ambassador's request." -   18,  p.  245

"Rome saw a feverish revival of the old faith with strange processions of oriental deities, while Flavianus, a leading pagan, was made praetorian praefect.  The altar of Victory was restored, but Eugenius sought to respect Christian prejudices, and the temples did not recover their confiscated revenues; these were granted as a personal gift to the petitioners.  But in the fourth century none save minorities would hear of toleration, and men drew the inference that he who was no partisan was little better than a traitor.  The orthodox Church in the person of Ambrose withdrew from Eugenius as from an apostate." - 18,  p.  246

"It is, then perhaps unlikely that Eugenius and Arbogastes were themselves anxious from the outset to present their rebellion in the form of outright pagan resistance to Theodosius.  This tone was given to it above all by one man -- Nicomachus Flavianus, whose influence, when the usurping court came down into north Italy, was paramount.  Flavianus retained under Eugenius the prefecture of Italy which he had received from Theodosius; and his son, the younger Nicomachus Flavianus, was prefect of Rome in 393-4." - 8,  p.  241

"Now, after the accession of Eugenius, they again appeared, preferring the same request.  Liberty to re-erect the altar seems to have been at once conceded.  The closed temples of the gods were also opened without delay.  It was a harder matter to obtain the restoration of the revenues which had formerly been devoted to the service of the temples, but which had perhaps now been confiscated to the Imperial exchequer.  Twice did a deputation plead in vain for this concession,. but at length, when Arbogast also condescended to endorse the petition, Eugenius unbent from his sternness and granted the Temple-revenues, not ostensibly to the Temple-service, but to the petitioners themselves, leaving it to them to bestow those revenues on the gods of the heathen if they were disposed so to do." - 14,  p.  560

"These two years of waiting were employed by Arbogast and his puppet-Emperor doubtless for the most part in warlike preparations.  They were occupied partly by a campaign beyond the Rhine which compelled the Alamanni and the Franks to sue once more for peace with the Empire.  But they were also signalized by an attempt such as that which Julian had made thirty years before to roll back the current of men's thoughts into the deserted channels of Paganism.  Eugenius, nominally a Christian, but essentially a rhetorician, was willing as a matter of policy to give another lease of existence to the Olympian gods whose names and rivalries and amours he had himself doubtless interwoven many a time as conventional commonplaces in his orations.  And his patron Arbogast, probably still, like the rest of his Frankish countrymen, a heathen, certainly no friend to Christian Bishops and the Christian clergy, was also willing, nay eager, to conciliate the old Conservative aristocracy of Rome by rebuilding the fallen altars and opening again the dust begrimed temples of their ancestors.  Thus did Odin lend a helping hand to the battered Jupiter of the Capitol and assist him to rescind, and for a little while to maintain, his tottering throne." - 14,  p.  559


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