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(188 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[English Version] Symmachus, Quintus Aurelius Eusebius (ca.345 – ca.402), einflußreicher Senator und Vertreter der heidnischen Partei in Rom. Als Stadtpräfekt (384) richtete er an Kaiser Valentinian II. in Mailand die Bitte um die Wiederaufstellung des Victoria-Altars in der röm. Kurie und die Wiedergewährung finanzieller Privilegien für die Priester der alten Kulte. Trotz des großen Eindrucks, den diese dritte Relatio (Eingabe) aufgrund ihres glänzenden Stils und ihres bewegenden Inhalts machte, er…


(367 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[English Version] Nero, röm. Kaiser (54–68), geb. 37 in Antium, Sohn des L. Domitius Ahenobarbus und der Augustusenkelin (Augustus) Agrippina, gelangte nach dem Tode des Claudius auf Betreiben seiner Mutter zur Herrschaft. In den ersten Jahren wurde das Reich von dem Philosophen Seneca, dem N. zur Erziehung anvertraut war, und dem Prätorianerpräfekten Burrus regiert. Der Vormundschaft von Mutter und Erzieher ledig, richtete der begabte, aber charakterlose und ruhmbegierige Jüngling sein vorwiegend…

Symmachus, Quintus Aurelius Memmius Eusebius

(208 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (c. 335 – c. 402), influential senator and representative of the pagan party in Rome. In 384, as prefect of the city, he petitioned Emperor Valentinian II in Milan to have the altar of Victoria re-erected in the Roman curia and the financial privileges of the priests of the old cult renewed. Despite the great impression made by this third relatio (“submission”) through its magnificent style and moving content, Symmachus was unsuccessful, since Bishop Ambrose of Milan insisted forcefully that the relatio be rejected. Shortly before the death of Symmachus, Prude…

Hypatia of Alexandria

(153 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (c. 370 ce–415 ce). The daughter of the mathematician Theon attained great respect through her scholarly studies and courageous performance as a teacher. As a pagan, according to the witness of her students Synesius of Cyrene and the neo-Platonist Damascius (Suda, Y 166), she continued the Platonic tradition nurtured at the Museion, although there is no evidence of her own philosophical system. Because of her influence, she fell into political disputes between Orestes, the imperial prefect, and Bishop Cyril of Alexandria. According to Socrates Scholasticus ( Histor…

Domitian, Titus Flavius

(240 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (Oct 24, 51 – Sep 18, 96), Roman emperor from 81 to 96 ce. The younger son of the emperor Vespasian, he demonstrated his ability ¶ through intelligent governance of the Empire and a cautious approach to securing its boundaries; his domestic policies were basically conservative, including promoting the worship of Roman deities. His representative building program centered on Rome, where one …

Marcus Aurelius

(600 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] Marcus Aurelius, (orig. Marcus Annius Verus; Apr 26, 121 – Mar 17, 180, Vindobona or Sirmium, Danube), the last exponent of a humanitarian imperial rule (161–180). Born into a provincial Roman family in Spain, he was chosen by Hadrian on account of his earnest, irreproachable character and adopted by Antoninus Pius. He initially shared imperial power with his co-emperor Lucius Verus, but became sole ruler upon the latter's death (169). His rule was marked by fierce defensive wars …


(429 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] Nero, Roman emperor (54–68), was born in Antium in 37 as the son of L. Domitius Ahenobarbus and Augustus’s granddaughter Agrippina; following the death of Claudius, he ascended the throne at the instigation of his mother. During the first years of his reign, the empire was ruled by the philosopher Seneca, to whom Nero’s education had been entrusted, and by the Praetorian prefect Burrus. Once freed from the guardianship of his mother and tutor, the talented but unprincipled and amb…


(341 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (Aurelius; died Dec 3, 313) was Roman Emperor from 284 to 305ce. Risen from humble circumstances, as emperor he initially conducted a series of successful wars against usurpers and external enemies on the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates. A streamlined central and provincial administration with strict separation of civilian and military authority served a new domestic order. In financial polic…

Hadrian, Publius Aelius

(139 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] Hadrian, Publius Aelius, Roman emperor (117–138). Hadrian, who was born in 76 ce in Italica (near Seville) and was “adopted” by Trajan as his successor, protected the empire with an active peace policy. An enthusiastic Philhellene, he adorned Athens with many structures. In Rome, the Pantheon, the temple for Venus and Roma and the Mausoleum (later the papal Castel Sant' Angelo) commemorate the highly educated ruler. The prohibition of circumcision issued throughout the empire and the attempt …

Caligula, Gaius

(238 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (Aug 31, 12 ce, Antium – Jan 24, 41, Rome), Roman emperor from 37 to 41 ce. The son of Germanicus and Augustus's granddaughter Agrippina, who received the nickname “Caligula” (soldier's boot) in his father's camp and grew up, following the early death of his parents, at the court of Tiberius, was quickly named Caesar by the people, the army and the Senate after Tiberius's death. After initial reticence, the young ruler, characterized by repeated illnesses, trans…

Theodosius II.

(152 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[English Version] Theodosius II., oström. Kaiser (408–450 n.Chr.), zeitlebens von Hofberatern, seiner Schwester Pulcheria und seiner Gattin Athenais/Eudokia abhängig, verhielt sich außenpolit. gegen den Hunnenkönig Attila und gegen die Perser im Osten recht passiv, obwohl dort die Christen heftig verfolgt wurden. Gegen Häretiker, Heiden und Juden erließ er scharfe Gesetze, was zur Zerstörung von Tempeln und Synagogen führte. Auf dem von ihm berufenen Konzil von Ephesus (431) trug er wesentlich zur…

Gregory Thaumaturgus (Saint)

(263 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] (“the miracle worker”; c. 210 ce, Neocaesarea, Pontus – c. 275 ce). The son of pagan parents, he studied rhetoric and Roman law together with his brother, Athenodoros, and met Origen in Caesarea, from whom he received an introduction to theology over about a five-year period. After completing their studies, the brothers were baptized and returned to their homeland, where they became distinguished bishops, Gregory in his hometown. He proved himself in the Decian persecution (Persecutions of C…

Theodosius II

(173 words)

Author(s): Klein, Richard
[German Version] East Roman emperor (408–450 ce). Throughout his life, Theodosius was dependent on court councilors, his sister Pulcheria, and his wife Athenais/Aelia Eudocia. His foreign policy was remarkably passive toward Attila, king of the Huns, and the Persians in east, even though Christians were suffering violent persecution there. He issued harsh laws against heretics, pagans, and Jews, leading to the destruction of temples and synagogues. At the Council of Ephesus (Ephesus, Councils of [431]…