of BERYTUS, afterwards P. P. (praefectus praetorio
) of Illyricum, received a legal education in the distinguished law-school of his native place, and soon acquired great reputation in his profession of jurisconsult. Not content, however, with forensic eminence, from Berytus he proceeded to Rome, and gained admission to the palace of the emperor. Here he rapidly obtained favour, was respected even by his enemies, and was successively promoted to various honours.
He became consularis
of Galatia, and we find him named vicarius
of Asia under Constantius, A. D. 339. (Cod. Th. 11. tit. 30. s. 19.)
A constitution of the same year is addressed to him, according to the vulgar reading, with the title vicarius Africae ;
but the opinion of Godefroi, that here also the true reading is Asiae,
has met with the approbation of the learned. (Cod. Th. 12. tit. 1. s. 28.)
He appears with the title P. P. in the years 346 and 349, but without mention of his district. (Cod. Th. 12. tit. 1. s. 38, ib.
He is, however, distinctly mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus as P. P. of Illyricum, A. D. 359 (Am. Marc. 19.11.2), and his death in that office is recorded by the same author, A. D. 361. (21.6.5.) Whether he were at first praefect of some other district, or whether he held the same office continuously from A. D. 346 to A. D. 361, cannot now be determined. His administration is mentioned by Marcellinus as an era of unusual improvement, and is also recorded by Aurelius Victor (Trajan
) as a bright but solitary instance of reform, which checked the downward progress occasioned by the avarice and oppression of provincial governors.
He is often spoken of in the letters of Libanius; and several letters of Libanius are extant addressed directly to Anatolius, and, for the most part, asking favours or recommending friends. We would refer especially to the letters 18, 466, 587, as illustrating the character of Anatolius. When he received from Constantius his appointment to the praefecture of Illyricum, he said to the emperor, "Henceforth, prince, no dignity shall shelter the guilty from punishment ; henceforth, no one who violates the laws, however high may be his judicial or military rank, shall be allowed to depart with impunity."
It appears that he acted up to his virtuous resolution.
He was not only an excellent governor, but extremely clever, of very various abilities, eloquent, indefatigable, and ambitious. Part of a panegyric upon Anatolius composed by the sophist Himerius, has been preserved by Photius, but little if anything illustrative of the real character of Anatolius is to be collected from the remains of this panegyric. (Wernsdorff, ad Himerium,
xxxii. and 297.) If we would learn something of the private history of the man, we must look into the letters of Libanius and the life of Proaeresius by Eunapius.
In the 18th letter of Libanius, which is partly written in a tone of pique
it is difficult to say how far the censure and the praise are ironical. Libanius seems to insinuate, that his powerful acquaintance was stunted and ill-favoured in person ; did not scruple to enrich himself by accepting presents voluntarily offered; was partial to the Syrians, his own countrymen, in the distribution of patronage ; and was apt, in his prosperity, to look down upon old friends.
Among his accomplishments it may be mentioned that he was fond of poetry, and so much admired the poetic effusions of Milesius of Smyrna, that he called him Milesius the Muse. Anatolius himself received from those who wished to detract from his reputation the nickname Ἀρυτρίων
, a word which has puzzled the whole tribe of commentators and lexicographers, including Faber, Ducange, and Toup.
It is probably connected in some way with the stage, as Eunapius refers for its explanation to the κακοδαίμων τῶν Δυμελῶν χορὸς
He was a heathen, and clung to his religion at a time when heathenism was unfashionable, and when the tide of opinion had begun to set strongly towards Christianity.
It is recorded, that, upon his arrival in Athens, he rather ostentatiously performed sacrifices, and visited the temples of the gods.
An error of importance concerning Anatolius occurs in a work of immense learning and deservedly high authority. Jac. Godefroi states, in the Prosopographia
attached to his edition of the Theodosian Code, that 16 letters of St. Basil the Great (viz. letters 391-406) are addressed to Anatolius.
This error, which we have no doubt originated from the accidental descent of a sentence that belonged to the preceding article on Amphilochius,
has been overlooked in the revision of Ritter.
Work on Agriculture
The Anatolius who was P. P. of Illyricum is believed by some to have been skilled in agriculture and medicine as well as in law.
It is possible that he was identical with the Anatolius who is often cited in the Geoponica by one or other of the three names, Anatolius, Vindanius, (or Vindanianus,) Berytius.
These names have sometimes been erroneously supposed to designate three different individuals. (Niclas, Prolegom. ad Geopon.
p. xlviii. n.)
The work on Agriculture written by this Anatolius, Photius (Phot. Bibl. 163
) thought the best work on the subject, though containing some marvellous and incredible things.
concerning Sympathies and Antipathies
Our Anatolius may also be identical with the author of a treatise concerning Sympathies and Antipathies
(περὶ Συμπαθειῶν καὶ Ἀντιπαθειῶν
) the remains of which may be found in Fabricius (Bibl. Gr.
iv. p.29); but we are rather disposed to attribute this work to Anatolius the philosopher, who was the master of Iamblichus (Brucker, Hist. Phil.
vol. ii. p. 260), and to whom Porphyry addressed Homeric Questions.
Other contemporaries named Anatolius
Other contemporaries of the same name are mentioned by Libanius, and errors have frequently been committed from the great number of Anatolii who held office under the Roman emperors. Thus our Anatolius has been confounded with the magister officiorum who fell in the battle against the Persians at Maranga, A. D. 363, in which Julian was slain. (Am. Marc. 20.9.8, 25.6.5.)