Free Download Aspar and the Struggle for the Eastern Roman Empire, AD 421-71
by Ronald A. Bleeker
English | 2022 | ISBN: 1350279269 | 248 Pages | True ePUB | 2.3 MB
The first full-length biography in English of Aspar, the eastern Roman general and statesman, this book explores his central role in the history and politics of the fragmenting Roman Empire in the fifth century. It also considers what his life and career may suggest as to the differing fates of the eastern and western parts of the empire.
Taking a chronological approach, Bleeker guides us through what is known of Aspar's life and his changing influence in the eastern Roman army and court. Born and raised in Constantinople, Aspar primarily viewed and presented himself as a Roman general, consul, and senator. Yet he also stood outside the Roman mainstream in two important ways-as a member of the empire's "barbarian" military leadership and as a devout Arian Christian. Early chapters treat his formative military experiences with the Persians, a Roman usurper in Italy, the Vandals in Africa, and the Huns of Attila, while later chapters focus on Aspar's political role in resolving the two imperial succession crises that struck the eastern Roman empire in the mid-fifth century and his extended struggle to control the succession to Leo I.
Bleeker builds on earlier studies in three ways. First, previous work has largely concentrated on the role of "barbarian" generals in the western Roman empire, while much less attention has been paid to similar figures (such as Aspar) in the east. Secondly, while important recent work has explored the prevalence of "child-emperors" in the late-fourth and early-fifth centuries, this book suggests a further evolution of the imperial role in the mid-fifth century. Finally, while previous studies of this period have focused on Aspar's late career role in the succession struggles, a full study allows us to see how and why his relations with other key figures within and outside the eastern Roman government changed over the course of his lengthy career.
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