Thursday, February 5, 2009

Flavius Honorius, Emperor of Rome 393–423

Ahem! Broadcasting live from my Byzantine History class. Last week we discussed the title of today's post, an emperor of Rome who should never be "honored" by the soundtrack from Gladiator. 

This painting (which makes excellent use of lighting to deliver a point) is called "The Favorites of Emperor Honorius," and depicts his typical behavior of being more interested in birds than in the affairs of state. The man was an imbecile. He let the empire fall apart, and it was under his rule that the city of Rome was first sacked (by the Visigoths). He seems to me to be one of those political people whose only talent is avoiding murder. Here's what a historian in my reading had to say about him:

"His name would be forgotten among the obscurest occupants of the Imperial throne were it not that his reign coincided with the fatal period in which it was decided that western Europe was to pass from the Roman to the Teuton." 

Hardly complimentary, eh? I do find it amusing that he is known still today as "Emperor Honorius." What an oxymoron.

1 comment:

Rachel EM said...

...and today I read in another history book that Honorius' wife (reportedly) died a virgin. ... after ELEVEN YEARS of marriage.

Oh boy.