The Historia

Seeking Veracity

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



"In 391 Theodosius returned to Constantinople by way of Thessalonica and Valentinian was left to rule the West.  He did not reach Gaul till the autumn of 391; it was too late.  Three years of undisputed power had left Arbogast without a rival in Gaul.  It was not the troops alone who looked to their unconquered captain with blind admiration and unquestioning devotion: he was surrounded by a circle of Frankish fellow-countrymen who owed to him their promotion, while his honourable character, his generosity, and the sheer force of his personality had brought even the civil authorities to his side.  There was one law in Gaul, and that was the will of Arbogast, there was only one superior whom Arbogast acknowledged, and he was the Emperor Theodosius who had given the West into his charge." - 18,  p.  245

"Maximus in his turn fell to Theodosius in 388, and shortly afterwards the young Valentinian II must have entered Gaul: gold issued in his name at Trier tells of FELIX ADVENTUS AUG(USTI), and he may have spent part of his unhappy reign in that city (Trier).       - 9,  p. 68

For nearly ten years power in the West was concentrated in the hands of the Frank Arbogast, the guardian of Valentinian, until the latter died in dubious circumstances, perhaps by his own hand. - 9,  p. 68

"In Italy, Nicomachus Flavianus remaned in office as praetorian prefect.  The unfortunate Valentinian, who had not appeared with Theodosius and Honorius to be presented at Rome, had been sent off to Gaul, and was surrounded by a court that was clearly intended to be master of its emperor; its most notable personality was the Frankish general, Fl. Arbogastes. - 8,  p.  238

"He (Valentinian II) seems to have taken up his residence at Trier, the defence of the Gaulish provinces being doubtless recognised as at this time the chief duty of an Emperor of the West.  But the actual functions of supreme ruler were discharged, not by this young and somewhat pliable Emperor, but by a Frankish veteran (Arbogast) who stood beside his throne, moving legions and appointing and displacing generals at his will. - 19,  p.  128

"I mentioned that during the sickness of Theodosius the war in Thrace was successfully conducted by two Frankish lieutenants of Gratian, by name Bauto and Arbogast.  Bauto died about the year 385, and from that time onwards supreme power in the dominions of Valentinian had been more and more accumulating itself in the hands of the other great Frankish general, Arbogast, a man adorned by his soldiers for his valour and experience in war, and for his noble disdain of riches.  This man was apparently true to the Empire, true at first in his own rough way to the house of Valentinian.  He had followed the young Emperor to exile, and after the victory at Aemona, it was his hand that deprived the young Victor, son of the usurper, of life.  But knowing his infinite superiority in all the arts of war and government to the young Adonis who was nominally his master, he took no pains to conceal that superiority, and sometimes in the council chamber itself openly opposed and scoffed at the proposals of the Emperor.  In short, this Frankish warrior was already anticipating by three centuries the attitude of the Frankish Mayors of the Palace towards the Merovingian monarchs." - 19,  p.  128


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