This name, of comparatively rare occurrence in the early imperial period, became more common in the later period of the empire, after the accession to the throne of the Flavian house in the person of Constantius Chlorus, father of Constantine the Great, and the assumption of the name Flavius by the successive dynasties that occupied the Byzantine throne.
A considerable number of officers of high rank during and between the reigns of Constantine the Great and Valentinian III. are enumerated in the Prosopographia
subjoined to the edition of the Codex Theodosianus
by Gothofredus (vol. vi. part ii. pp. 54, 55, ed. Leipzig, 1736-45).
The following persons of the name require distinct notice: --
1. T. Ampius
Flavianus, consular legate or governor of Pannonia during the civil wars which followed the death of Galba, A. D. 69, at which time he was old and wealthy, and reluctant to take part in the contest; and when the legions of his province (the Thirteenth and the Seventh or Galbian legions) embraced the party of Vespasian, he fled into Italy.
He returned, however, into Pannonia, and joined the party of Vespasian at the instigation of Cornelius Fuscus, procurator of the province, who was anxious to obtain for the insurgents the influence which the rank of Flavianus would give. His previous reluctance and a connection by marriage with Vitellius had however rendered the soldiersmistrustful, and they suspected that his return to the province had some treacherous object.
He appears to have accompanied the Pannonian legions on their march into Italy; and during the siege or blockade of. Verona, a false alarm having caused the smothered suspicions of the soldiery to break out, a tumultuous body of them demanded his death. His abject entreaties for life they interpreted as the mark of conscious treachery; but he was rescued by the intervention of Antonius Primus, the most influential general of the troops of Vespasian, and was sent off in custody the same evening to meet Vespasian, but before he reached him received letters from him relieving him from all danger of punishment. (Tac. Hist. 2.86
2. FLAVIANUS, one of the praefects of the praetorium under Alexander Severus.
He was appointed to the office on the accession of Alexander
, in conjunction with Chrestus (A. D. 222). They were both men of military and administrative ability ; but the appointment of Ulpian nominally as their colleague, but really as their superior, having led to conspiracies on the part of the praetorian soldiers against Ulpian, Flavian and Chrestus were deposed and executed, and Ulpian made sole praefect.
The year of their death is not ascertained, but it was not long before that of Ulpian himself, which took place at latest A. D. 228. (D. C. 80.2
; Zosim. 1.11; Zonar. 12.15
Flavianus, consular of the provinces of Aemilia and Liguria, in Italy, under Constantine the Great, A. D. 323. (Cod. Theodos. 11. tit. 16. s. 2; Gothofred. Prosop. Cod. Theod.
4. Proconsul of Africa, apparently under Constantius, son of Constantine the Great, A. D. 357-61.
It is probable that this is the proconsul Flavian, to whole some of the rhetorical exercises of the sophist Himerius are addressed; though Fabricius supposes the Flavian of Himerius to be No. 7. (Cod. Theod. 8. tit. 5. s. 10, 11. tit. 36. s. 14, 15. tit. 1. s. 1; Gothofred. Prosop. Cod. Theod.;
Himerius, ap. Phot. Bibl. Cod.
165, 243, pp. 108, 376, ed. Bekker; Fabric. Bibl. Graec.
vol. vi. p. 57.)
5. Vicarius of Africa, under Gratian, A. D. 377.
He was one of those commissioned to inquire into the malpractices of Count Romanus and his confederates ; and Ammianus Marcellinus records the uprightness of his conduct in the business.
It is probable that he is the Flavian mentioned by Augustin as an adherent of the sect of the Donatists, by whom, however, he was excommunicated, because, in the discharge of his office, he had punished some criminals capitally.
An inscription, belonging to a statue at Rome, "Virius Nicomachus, Consularis Siciliae, Vicarius Africae, Quaestor intra Palatium; Praef. Praetor iterum et Cos.," is by Gothofredus referred to this Flavian, but we rather refer it to No. 6. Gothofredus also regards this Flavian as the person mentioned by Himerius ; but the mention of his administration of Africa equally well suits No. 4, to whom the title ἀνθύπατος
determines the reference. (Amm. Marc. 28.6
; Augustin. ad Emeritum, Epist.
164 (or 87, ed. Paris, 1836); Cod. Theod. 16. tit. 6. s. 2; Gothofred. Prosop. Cod. Theod.
6. Praetorian praefect of Italy and Illyricum A. D. 382-3.
He was the intimate friend of Q. Aurelius Symmachus, many of whose letters (nearly the whole of the second book) are addressed to him. Symmachus continually addresses him as his "brother Flavian," which moderns (we know not for what reason) understand as expressive of close intimacy, but not of actual relationship. Gothofredus appears to distinguish between this Flavian and one who was praetorian praefect in 391 and 392 ; but we concur with Tillemont in identifying the two. Tillemont also (and we think justly) refers to this Flavian the inscription given above [No. 5], in which his second praefecture and consulship are recorded.
He was, like Symmachus, a zealous pagan, and a supporter of the usurper Eugenius, from whom he and Arbogastes the Frank solicited and obtained the restoration of the Altar of Victory at Milan.
It is probable that he was the person mentioned by Paullinus of Milan, as having threatened that, if they were successful in the war with Theodosius, they would turn the church of Milan into a stable.
The text of Paullinus has, in the notice of this incident, the name Fabianus, which is probably a corruption of Flavianus.
He was eminent for his political sagacity, and his skill in the pagan methods of divination, in the exercise of which he assured Eugenius of victory; and when Theodosius had falsified his predictions, by forcing the passes of the Alps, he, according to Rufinns, "judged himself worthy of death," rather for his mistake as a soothsayer than his crime as a rebel. Eugenius had appointed him consul (A. D. 394), though his name does not appear in the Fasti; and Tillemont infers from the passage in Rufinus that he commanded the troops defeated by Theodosius in the Alps, and that he chose to die on the field rather than survive his defeats; but this inference is scarcely authorized.
It is more likely that, as Gothofredus gathers from the letters of Symmachus, he survived the war, and that his life was spared, though he was deprived of his praefecture and his property.
It is difficult, however, to distinguish from each other the Flaviani mentioned by Symmachus, whose letters are very obscure; and possibly this Flavian has been confounded with No. 7. (Symmach. Epist.
passim; Sozom. Hist. Ecc.
7.22 ; Rufin. Hist. Ecc.
2.33; Paullin. Mediol. Vita Ambros.
100.26, 31, in Galland. Bibl. Patr.
vol. ix.; Cod. Theod. 1. tit. 1. s. 2; 3. tit. 1. s. 6; 7. tit. 18. s. 8; 9. tit. 28. s. 2; and tit. 40. s. 13; 10. tit. 10. s. 20; 11. tit. 39. s. 11; 16. tit. 7. s. 4, 5; Gothofred. Prosop. Cod. Theod.;
Tillemont, Hist. des Emp.
7. Proconsul of Asia, A. D. 383, one of the Flaviani of Symmachus, and apparently the son of No. 6. Either he or his father was praefect of the city (Rome) A. D. 399, and was sent by Honorius (A. D. 414) into Africa to hear the complaints of the Provincials, and examine how far they were well-founded. Fabricius regards this proconsul of Asia as the Flavian of Himerius; but see Nos. 4 and 5. (Cod. Theod. 12. tit. 6. s. 18; Gothofred and Tillemont, as above.)
An inscription in Gruter, 170.5, speaks of "Vir inlustris Flavianus" as the founder of a secretarium for the senate, which was destroyed by fire, and restored in the time of Honorius and Theodosius II.
The inscription possibly refers to No. 6, or No. 7.
8. Praefect of the praetorium under Valentinian III., A. D. 431 and 432. (Cod. Theod. 10. tit. 1. s. 36; 6. tit. 23. s. 3; Gothofred. Prosop. Cod. Theod.
9. an advocatus fisci in the time of Justinian, by whom he was nominated one of the general judges (κοινοὶ πάντων δικασταί
), who were appointed in lieu of the special judges, formerly attached by a constitution of Zeno to patticular tribunals.
The names of the general judges so appointed by Justinian in A. D. 539 are Anatolus, Flavianus, Alexander, Stephanus, Menas, a second Alexander, Victor, and Theodorus, of Cyzicum.
At the same time the following persons were appointed superior judges, with high rank : Plato, Victor (different from the former Victor), Phocas, and Marcellus. To these the administration of justice at Constantinople was confided, in subordination to the emperor's ministers of state (ἄρχοντες
). Their powers, duties, and emoluments, are prescribed by the 82nd Novell.