Aurelianus (consul 400)

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For the Roman emperor, see Aurelian.

Aurelianus (floruit 393-416), also known as Aurelian, was a prominent politician of the Eastern Roman Empire.


Aurelianus was the son of the Consul of 361, Taurus, and brother of Caesarius; he had a son called Taurus, Consul in 428. Aurelianus was a Christian, and erected a church to protomartyr Stephen.

Aurelianus was Praefectus urbi of Constantinople between 393 and 394. When the Gothic Magister militum Gainas obtained by Emperor Arcadius the supreme power and the removal of all his opponents in the court, he knew he needed a man of his in Constantinople; discarded all those who had been supporters of his enemy Eutropius, he chose Aurelianus, and had him elevated to the rank of Praetorian prefect of the East (August 399), replacing Eutychianus, Eutropius' choice.[1] Aurelianus, therefore, became the most powerful civilian official of the court of Arcadius, and was involved in the trial against Eutropius, which started at Chalcedon in September of that year, and his execution.[2] He was appointed consul for the year 400, but his colleague in the West, the magister militum Stilicho, did not recognize him in an act of open confrontation with the Eastern court and particularly with Gainas. He was still Prefect at the beginning of 400, when he received the order to confiscate the properties of Eutropius and destroy his statues.[3] In mid-April 400, Gainas, who had rebelled with his Goths, went to Constantinople, where he forced Arcadius to hand him Aurelianus and Saturninus; Aurelian was deposed and into exile (although his properties were not confiscated) and the East was left without a consul.[2]

After the defeat of the Goths at Constantinople (July 12 400), Aurelianus made a triumphant return to the capital, although he did not get back his consular title. It was an important figure in the Senate until late in life, so that the Senate dedicated him a statue in gold; it is known from the laws sent to him and preserved in the Theodosian Code that he was Praetorian prefect of the East a second time between the 414 and 416.

Aurelianus in literature[edit]

The character of Osiris in the work Aegyptus sive de providentia by Synesius has been identified with Aurelianus; in this work Osiris is opposed to Typhon, representing Caesarius[4] or Eutychianus,[5] while Horus should represent Taurus. Synesius was an aristocrat and an African writer, who had gone to Constantinople to an embassy, during which he met Aurelianus.


  1. ^ Burns, p. 171.
  2. ^ a b Burns, p. 172.
  3. ^ Burns, p. 172, while Jones has Eutychianus again Praetorian prefect of the East from December 11, 399 to July 12, 400.
  4. ^ Burns, p. 345.
  5. ^ Jones.


See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mallius Theodorus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Stilicho
Succeeded by
Flavius Vincentius
Preceded by
Praetorian prefect of the East
399, August 17 – October 2
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Praetorian prefect of the East
Succeeded by