Favourite Emperor of the Fifth Century (395-491)

Who are your favourite emperors from the years AD 395-491 (up to two choices)?

  • Arcadius

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Honorius

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Theodosius II

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Constantine III

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Priscus Attalus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jovinus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Constantius III

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Joannes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Valentinian III

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Marcian

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Petronius Maximus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Avitus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Majorian

    Votes: 6 66.7%
  • Leo I

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Libius Severus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Anthemius

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Julius Nepos

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Romulus Augustulus

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zeno

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Basiliscus

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9
#1
As with the previous four polls, you can choose an emperor because you admire them, because you find them interesting or for entertainment value.

You can choose up to two emperors.

I had to leave some emperors off the list due to the 20-option limit, but if someone wants to announce a vote for, say, Olybrius, you can do so in the comments.
 
Feb 2011
942
Scotland
#2
Another good set! Some of them are pretty much walking disaster areas (which is of course enigmatically a reason to choose them). Theodosius had a lot to answer for- called 'The Great' for his religious work, not his military - he seemed only to perform well against fellow Romans, not hostiles like Goths. Then foisted the entire Roman world with his less-than competent progeny for 50 years after, just when they didn't need this!

So I went for Constantine III - another British based chap who did surprisingly well, albeit his withdrawal of forces brought about the final end of Roman Britain. Also, he featured in Alfred Duggan' 'The Little Emperors' which is a jolly good book.

Also Constantius III, as the only Roman commander who really made genuine headway toward saving the West- what if he'd survived 15-20 years longer, as well he might?

Serious mentions for Avitus, for being written about by Sidonius Appolinaris and really trying to make a meaningful relationship with the Goths- and for Majorian, who may well be a winner here for his last-ditch efforts unaided by the East.
 
#3
Excellent choices, benzev. I must admit that I had trouble selecting my own choices from this selection. I'm more fascinated with the generalissimos (Stilicho, Aetius, Ricimer, etc) and 'barbarian' kings (Alaric, Geiseric, Attila, etc) than with the emperors themselves. But in the end I picked Honorius for his beautifully disastrous reign (the sack of Rome, the Visigoths in Gaul, the great migration across the Rhine, internal power struggles) and Zeno for ruling when the last Roman bastions in the west were replaced with Germanic-run kingdoms and seemingly managing to benefit from it (although I wish I knew more about Zeno). Constantius III is a great choice as a generalissimo who managed to make himself emperor.
 
Likes: benzev
Feb 2011
942
Scotland
#4
Excellent choices, benzev. I must admit that I had trouble selecting my own choices from this selection. I'm more fascinated with the generalissimos (Stilicho, Aetius, Ricimer, etc) and 'barbarian' kings (Alaric, Geiseric, Attila, etc) than with the emperors themselves. But in the end I picked Honorius for his beautifully disastrous reign (the sack of Rome, the Visigoths in Gaul, the great migration across the Rhine, internal power struggles) and Zeno for ruling when the last Roman bastions in the west were replaced with Germanic-run kingdoms and seemingly managing to benefit from it (although I wish I knew more about Zeno). Constantius III is a great choice as a generalissimo who managed to make himself emperor.
Thank you! I agree a disastrous reign seems a good reason to pick somebody. Honorius is a good 'un/ Also has this very long-faced, gormless look on some of his coins. As you say, it's mainly generalissimos rather than emperors here. Basiliscus deserves brownie points for losing the African expedition at Cape Bon. Still became emperor though for a little. Wasnt Zeno an Isuarian chieftain called Taracodissa or something similar? He seems to have been pretty shrewd.
 
#5
Thank you! I agree a disastrous reign seems a good reason to pick somebody. Honorius is a good 'un/ Also has this very long-faced, gormless look on some of his coins. As you say, it's mainly generalissimos rather than emperors here. Basiliscus deserves brownie points for losing the African expedition at Cape Bon. Still became emperor though for a little. Wasnt Zeno an Isuarian chieftain called Taracodissa or something similar? He seems to have been pretty shrewd.
Poor Basiliscus. Yes, his name was Tarasikodissa and he was an Isaurian-born general - the Isaurians appear to have developed a great martial tradition by the time of Early Byzantium. His rise reminds me a bit of that of Diocles to become Diocletian, back when Balkan officers were the greatest military men in the empire.
 
Feb 2011
942
Scotland
#6
Poor Basiliscus. Yes, his name was Tarasikodissa and he was an Isaurian-born general - the Isaurians appear to have developed a great martial tradition by the time of Early Byzantium. His rise reminds me a bit of that of Diocles to become Diocletian, back when Balkan officers were the greatest military men in the empire.
Yes, the mountainous regions seemed to develop semi-independently with stronger martial traditions.
I think the Majorian bloom is beginning!
 
#7
Yes, the mountainous regions seemed to develop semi-independently with stronger martial traditions.
I think the Majorian bloom is beginning!
I was not expecting Majorian to be winning this poll! Incidentally, on the Isaurians, book 1 of Zosimus includes a great story in which an Isaurian rebellion occupies a Roman army for some time during the reign of Probus. There is a lot of drama.
 

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