Posted by: ken98 | March 1, 2010

Strong Surprised Clergy, Stronger Women, and Sexual Victories

Day 171 – Ken here (M)(3-1-2010)
(DEF II, v.3, ch.27, pp.40-50)(pages read: 1140)

The Story
 
Ambrose and Justina – Empress against Saint

  • Ambrose, bishop of Milan (374-397), born into a very rich Italian/Roman family, is a governor, and a civilian, not wanting to have career in the Church
  • In a VERY COMMON MOVE during this time, the populace (Milan – the Western Imperial capital) spontaneously acclaim Ambrose as their bishop – a very surprised Ambrose is baptised, and leaves civil life for a life in the highest circles of the Church – in the capital city working with the Empress/Emperor
  • Sign of Beginning of Dark Ages and a Sea-Change in the Roman Empire. Civil dignities are less and less powerful, the key engines of social power lie increasingly with the bishop and not the empire – a bad sign for civil society. Society is beginning to lose confidence in itself. Theocracy is on the rise
  • The empress Justina, former young wife of Valentinian, mother of Valentinian II and Galla, is regent for the child Val II. and a devout Arian – Ambrose is a rabid Tritheist – Catholic. The West is mostly Tritheist, the East, Arian
  • Justina asks for one cathedral for the Arians to use in the capital Milan – Ambrose refuses. He says he is loyal to the empire, but gives outrageous, inflaming sermons to the (sympathetic) people of Milan. The public in incenses at Justina and Val II.
  • Valentinian II proclaims an Edict of Toleration in the West – all Christian faiths are free to worship as they please
  • Justina comes back with an order to forcibly gain one church – imperial guards are sent (Goths – who are Arians also) – Ambrose takes possession of the cathedral personally and with a mob of citizens camps out there preventing the take-over (Apr 3 – 10, 385)
  • It seem particularily hard on the part of the Catholics not to allow ONE SINGLE ARIAN church in all of Milan. That is what Justina was asking
  • During his sit-in at the church, Ambrose miraculously finds the remains of 2 Christian martyrs buried under the pavement of the church – a miracle – and uses the martyrs as evidence of God’s will – Ambrose is right. The mob is crazy with enmity for Justina and Val II – the city is in a state of riot and a stand-off
  •  
    Maximus Invades, Risks All, and Loses All

  • Maximus uses the wealth of Spain, Britain, Gaul to invade Italy
  • City after City fall before him
  • He easily takes Milan, Justina and Val. II forced to flee before him to Aquilea -thence by sea and land to Thessalonica, where they beg Theodosius to make things right
  • The West is Maximus’s – Milan opens its gates to him (Maximus is a Catholic)
  • (BYZANTINE MOVE) Justina sends in her daughter Galla to plead her case, Galla ends up by wedding Theodosius
  • Theodosius agrees to send soldiers in to get back the West from Maximus
  • In a series of lightning strikes he moves in on Italy, with the HUNS, ALANI, GOTHS as his cavalry he destroys Maximus and pursues him into Aquilea (Jun – Aug 388)
  • Maximus is thrown out by the citizens of Aquilea, the soldiers of Theod. quickly behead him, Victor, Maximus’s son in beheaded quickly also
  •  

     
    The Rise of Cavalry over Infantry Topples Empires – as Big as the Use of Iron Against Bronze

    Map of the Hittite kingdom - starting from a small nucleus in Asia Minor - the innovation of iron brought the great empire of its time (approx 1500 BCE) to their knees

    Map of the Hittite kingdom - starting from a small nucleus in Asia Minor - the innovation of iron brought the great empire of its time (approx 1500 BCE) to their knees

     
    Egypt, Babylon, and Iron
     
    Revolutions come from unlikely places. A empire-breaker happened in human civilization about 1500-1300 BCE when peoples in Asia Minor (Anatolia) began making iron weapons that cut through bronze like butter. It wasn’t long before the old key players – Babylonia and Egypt were on their knees, and the new players – Hittites and the Doric Greeks – were firmly in control. Although, as
    with any military advance, everyone in the game quickly adopted the new technology and the playing field was evened out again.
     
    This from Wiki:
     

    The Iron Age in the Ancient Near East is believed to have begun with the discovery of iron smelting and smithing techniques in Anatolia or the Caucasus and Balkans in the late 2nd millennium BC (circa 1300 BC).
    The use of iron weapons instead of bronze weapons spread rapidly throughout the Near East or the southwest Asia by the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. Anatolians had begun forging weapons out of iron, which was a superior metal to bronze, by 1500 BC at the latest.

    The use of iron weapons by the Hittites was believed to have been a major factor in the rapid rise of the Hittite Empire. Because the area in which iron technology first developed was near the Aegean, the technology expanded into both Asia and Europe simultaneously, aided by Hittite expansion. The Sea Peoples and the related Philistines are often associated with the introduction of iron technology into Asia, as are the Dorians with respect to Greece

    Babylon sank into chaos, Egpyt survived, but dynasties fell, and Egypt only came back in an altered, greatly strengthened form as the New Kingdom. This from Wiki (on Babylon):

    The date of the sack of Babylon by the Hittite king Mursilis I is considered crucial to the various calculations of the early chronology of the ancient Near East, since both a solar and a lunar eclipse are said to have occurred in the month of Sivan that year, according to ancient records.
    The fall of Babylon is taken as a fixed point in the discussion of the chronology of the ancient Near East. Suggestions for its precise date vary by as much as 150 years, corresponding to the uncertainty regarding the length of the “Dark Age” of the ensuing Bronze Age collapse, resulting in the shift of the entire Bronze Age chronology of Mesopotamia with regard to the chronology of Ancient Egypt

    Roman Soldier - Late 3rd century - Northern Provinces - his was a dying breed, the next century would bring cavalry forces to the fore and make the foot soldier an afterthought for the next 1000 years or so.  This is the beginning of Dark Age technology - the mounted armored man

    Roman Soldier - Late 3rd century - Northern Provinces - his was a dying breed, the next century would bring cavalry forces to the fore and make the foot soldier an afterthought for the next 1000 years or so. This is the beginning of Dark Age technology - the mounted armored man

    The Cavalry and the Roman Empire

    The 300’s saw the rise of the cavalry (as opposed to the use of foot soldiers – legions, cohorts, Alexander’s phalanxes, etc) in warfare. Partly from encounters with the Persians, and partly from the now-continuous infiltrations/migrations of mounted steppes peoples (Huns, etc) into the Empire and the barbarian nations bordering the empire, the key forces in the modern (4th century/5th century army) are the mounted troops. Theodosius wipes out the “usurper” Maximus of Britian’s cohorts due in a large part to his use of the deadly mounted barbarian troops – Huns, Alani, Goths.

    It is a new era, a new empire. Barbarians loyal in battle, and loyal because they are given land by the empire are fighting under nominal Roman rule against other barbarians who have a similar stake in another part of the Roman world under another Roman ruler. It all sounds suspiciously like a poor-man’s Feudalism – mounted knights with land given in return for military service fighting other knights out of loyalty to a man/ruler (not racial, national concerns). Can the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages be far behind?

    The old world has passed, the new has come. But no on has recognized it yet.

    19th century painting of Huns fighting on horseback with bow and arrow.  These guys were the ones who put the nail in the coffin for the old-style Roman legions.  Emperors increasingly used barbarian mounted (and foot) troops to wage war.   The old empire is passing away, the new one is still a few centuries in the future

    19th century painting of Huns fighting on horseback with bow and arrow. These guys were the ones who put the nail in the coffin for the old-style Roman legions. Emperors increasingly used barbarian mounted (and foot) troops to wage war. The old empire is passing away, the new one is still a few centuries in the future

     

     
     

    Valentinian II - his mother Justina sacrificed and plotted to maintain his power, even marrying her daughter to the Eastern emperor Theodosius so that an army would restore her son to his usurped throne

    Valentinian II - his mother Justina sacrificed and plotted to maintain his power, even marrying her daughter to the Eastern emperor Theodosius so that an army would restore her son to his usurped throne

     

    Last Word…

     
    Strong Women – the empress Justina
    Remember Justina? She was the one Valentinian I had heard about from his wife – how beautiful, young, and alluring she was. She was the one whom Valentinian I either divorced his wife for, OR made a law allowing Romans to have 2 wives. A very strong, young lady.

    Here she is, after Valentinian is dead, protecting her young son and current and future emperor Valentinian II. She is also managing to anger an entire half-empire, and the whole capital city and defying the strongest prelate in the land to his face – all for the sake of religious beliefs (Arianism) and to protect/promote her son’s rule. She is a strong woman.

    After the public turns against her, she flees to the West, on her own, and manages to get her daughter Galla, in for many a private interview with Theodosius, emperor in the East. Galla ends up by marrying Theodosius, and, wonders never cease, Theodosius musters the full strength of the East (even though Theodosius has significant barbarian problems of his own to deal with – and Persia to worry about – and a capital city of his own that hates his religion (Theodosius is Catholic, the East is Arian, and Theodosius is forcing the conversion of the East at knifepoint – much like Justina tried to get an Arian church for herself in Milan)). But… Galla is victorious, Justina is victorious, Theodosius marches and wins, and Valentinian II is restored to the West, Maximus dies. And Justina’s story comes to an end, she died shortly after the battle was won. A remarkable woman.

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    Responses

    1. […] beautiful the young Justina was bathing in the nude (in the public baths) (for the full story see here). Justina had a daughter by Valentinian named Galla. Galla ended up marrying the emperor Theodosius […]


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