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From: Settipani <>
Subject: RE : FLAVIUS AFRANIUS SYAGRIUS
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 19:57:33 +0200


There are, at best, three problem with this man (the genealogists are
interested
by him because he is the ancestor of the Ferreoli, given in late
medieval texts as
ancestors of Charlemagne).
First, the distinction between him and another Syagrius. One was consul
in 381,
the other in 382. Many important fonctions were attested to a Syagrius
in this
years, but it is very difficult to determine to which one. See the
recent
synthesis of the papers of these last years (by Martindale, Demandt and
Clauss) in
J. Fitz, Die Verwaltung Pannoniens in der Römerzeit, 4 vols, Budapest,
1993-5,
III, p. 1222-1223 (the view in PLRE is that of Martindale, not
necessarly the more
accurate).
Second, the link between Syagrius and emperor Theodosius. In 382, the
orator
Themistius thanks emperor Theodosius to make consul a best friend of
him. At this
occasion, he praises the emperor for have given consulate in the last
years to his
paternal uncle (patradelphos) and his brother-in-law (kedestes). The
paternal
uncle is Eucherius, consul in 381, so the brother-in-law could be
Syagrius, cos.
382. This is the general assumption since 1883, and even today. But in
1967,
J.Martindale have argued that the brother-in-law was in fact Claudius
Antonius,
consul in 382, who have a brother Marius and so could be a brother of
Maria, wife
of Honorius, brother of Theodosius. The argument is good, but the word
"kedestes"
doesn't fit very well for this relation. Most scholars think that
Afranius
Syagrius is actually the consul of 382 AND the brother-in-law of
Theodosius, so
the brother of Aelia Flavia Flacilla.
Last the origins of Syagrius are unknows. Sidonius Apollinaris praises
agnatic his
great-grand-son as a very noble Gallo-Roman in Lyon. But Flacilla,
Theodosius'
wife, was born in Spain. The names Syagrius and Afranius are very rare.
The first
points to a patrician italian family of the third century who give an
imperatrice.
We met the second in South France (Vaison), at the beginning of Empire,
and in
Orient in late third century. In my book, I give epigraphical and
onomastical
reasons for an oriental origin both for Afranius Syagrius and Flacilla
(with links
in Gaul and Spain). They COULD be issued of an important family of
Tralleis, and
so of an ancient family of Thera, of a Commagenian princess, and of the
greatest
sacerdotal athenian family who attested ancestors were Themistocles,
Conon,
Pericles and Alexander the Great (and implicitely, many others of
course).

CS

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