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The Roman senate and the senatorial aristocracy in ostrogothic Italy

str. 1 of 14 P.P. Shkarenkov


The history of the Roman public institutions in barbaric kingdoms, in particular - in Ostrogothic, it is impossible to call poorly studied. This perspective is mentioned in works of many researchers who are engaged in the history of the power and the state tradition. [1] Especially it seems strange that nobody tried to consider in a complex position of the senate and the senatorial aristocracy in the Ostrogothic kingdom yet. Of course, any of the works devoted to this period does not do without more or less frequent references to "Variae" Kassiodora which are our main source on this perspective, but a task to consider the structure of the senate, its powers, completing, fully using "Variae", in science was not put yet.

- Rima and Constantinople

Kassiodor tells us many interesting details concerning the history of the senate and transformation of the Roman state tradition in the barbaric states. Let's consider as perhaps in detail everything that is connected with functioning of the senate and all traditional system of the Roman public administration.

The main distinctive feature of the Ostrogothic kingdom was extremely high degree of its Romanization. Being located in heart of the Roman civilization, ostrogothic lords were forced for maintenance of internal stability in the kingdom to proclaim themselves successors and defenders of a traditional Roman system of values. In it the ideas of the accurate organization by the state of social and political life of society took not the last place; "though the Roman world broke up, the universalist idea of the Roman statehood continued to live in public consciousness of an era". [2]

Considering guarantee of political stability in the kingdom the union is ready also the Romans united in one state, Theoderich in every way tried to emphasize natural continuity of the state with the late Roman Empire in all areas of the state and public life. In ostrogothic Italy in inviolability remained and the Roman system is right, and the organization of the central and local office, and large senatorial land tenure. [3] Addressing on behalf of the king the population of the country, Kassiodor wrote: "... All of you should submit without resistance to the Roman customs to which you return again after a long break because restoration of what, as we know, served prosperity of your ancestors has to be blessed. Having found on

to a divine pleasure ancient freedom, you dress attires of the Roman customs again...". [4] In other message Theoderich said that a main goal his politicians is "the .objedineniye not only possession, but also the shower is ready also Romans., the community of estates is a basis of peace and harmony., for a part of the field the Roman found to himself the defender...". [5] The king specified that ".got and Romans connect a uniform way of life, the uniform law, the uniform power". [6]

Except internal stability, such policy increased authority of the ostrogothic king both in the opinion of the Byzantine emperor, and among other barbaric kings.

Having kept in general all Roman system of public administration, Theoderich and his successors with special attention, and even respect, treated the Roman senate, having allocated it as the most authoritative and respectable institute in the kingdom. [7] In messages to the senate the king calls it "a wreath of the state", "freedom bosom", and senators - "ornament and pride of all other estates". [8]

Thus, coming to power in Italy of ostgot did not affect in a fatal way the future of the Roman senate, there were no significant changes and in a state management system. Practically in inviolability there were functions of the senate and structure of positions which departure continued to play an important role in office career of senators and at barbaric kings. The senate continued to play the same role what it had also at the Roman emperors in the state. Moreover, if in this sphere there were also any changes, then they were as we will try to show, is exclusive for the benefit of the senate.

As it was already told above, Theoderich and his successors tried to convince Italy that in its situation there were no serious changes. Continuity with the Roman Empire was the main political slogan. Gothic gain only replaced the emperor with the king. In all messages written on behalf of the king Kassiodor, without being sparing with praise to glorious past Rima, nevertheless, carries out the main idea: Theoderich is the true master of Romans. With the same purpose it is written them and "History it is ready" (her main ideas are known to us for Getika of Jordan): Gotha since the time of Domitsian were defenders of the Roman Empire, up in arms they ensured it a victory when the empire fulfilled the obligations undertaken in relation to them. Only with the consent of the emperor Zenon, they came to Italy for the only purpose - to exempt it from Odoakr's tyranny. The emperor recognized Theoderich as the king of Italy and as the throne was descended in the sort Amalov, Theoderich's successors will inherit rightfully his power, and Romans without any doubts can obey the lawful lord.

Unfortunately, this new building was extremely fragile. Its force was rather seeming, than real. Theoderich could lean approximately on 200,000 is ready [9] which were settled across all Apennine Peninsula where the local community hated them both as barbarians and as Arian heretics. They did not support as francs, they had no direct connections with the historical homeland of Avstraziya from where the help could come.

In many respects the persistent aspiration of Theoderich to pursue policy of peaceful co-existence and continuity is also explained by it. With the greatest efforts, skillfully using diplomatic levers, he protected the country from franksky invasion. Its state was threatened from all directions, and especially dangerous this threat was from Byzantium.

Emperors did not reconcile to loss of Italy - hearts of the Roman civilization. Legally Theoderich remained only the representative of Zenon who charged to it to expel Odoakr. [1P] Zenon's Successor emperor Anastasius recognized Theoderich only in 498 g, having granted him royal vestments ("vestem regiam"). [11] At the same time the emperor considered Theoderich the deputy of Italy subordinated to him, patrikiy and magister utriusque militiae. However, Theoderich still was able to afford to build the relations with Byzantium, proceeding from requirements of a present situation. Having powerful army, he captured Pannoniya, pursued foreign policy, independent of the emperor.

But after his death the contradictions between Ghats and Romans became aggravated as the Ostrogothic kingdom more and more weakened. In 535 g Teodat refused to recognize himself as completely dependent on Byzantium, and Justinian was not slow to declare the intention to exempt Italy from the power is ready, to expel them from this country which already became their homeland, not in view of former

contracts, Zenon and Anastasius's promises. [12]

War with Byzantium, thus, was inevitable, and its result in many respects depended on that position which will be taken by the population of Italy which opinion was defined by the most influential, notable and rich part of inhabitants - the senatorial aristocracy and the highest clergy. Theoderich could undertake the same measures which were taken by vandals in relation to the aristocracy of North Africa concerning the Italic aristocracy. The main losses from vandal gain were suffered by the nobility. This moment is noted by all authors - the simple people did not suffer, and owners of large estates together with the highest clergy were the victims of cruelty of Genzerikh. [13] It is reproached mainly with it by Sidony Apollinary. [14] On the contrary, following the example of franksky leaders and proceeding from local features of Italy, Theoderich first of all tried to get support of senatorial estate which personified glorious past Rima and was the main carrier and the keeper of a traditional Roman system of values. The senatorial aristocracy delivered it statesmen, educated officials, talented administrators and managers, and in case of need rendered moral and financial (to be fair it is worth recognizing that very reluctantly) support in fight against external enemies.

Follows from all aforesaid that the value and a role of the Roman senate did not decrease at all, and during certain periods even grew during all board of ostgot.

Especially considerable this role became after Theoderich's death. The senatorial aristocracy which was almost not affected by the changes connected with coming to power of ostrogothic kings continued to nominate the major functionaries from the environment, kept the rights, the influence, legal and illegal privileges, still held management of provinces in the hand. Ostrogothic kings had no enough power in the hands to change or force to obey completely to themselves that social system which developed in the Western Roman Empire.

Ostrogothic kings the price still of big concessions could achieve full support of the Italic aristocracy, its final reconciliation with a new order? Hardly. Remains too much the bases to doubt such opportunity: former glory to Italy, still too live memory of the Roman Empire, proximity of Byzantium, its strengthening, strengthening of the imperial power by Justinian, lack of common interests at two people - it is ready also Romans who lived side by side, but without mixing up and keeping a constant reason for the various conflicts, at last, distinction of religions.

In the Ostrogothic kingdom the structure of the senate was approximately same what we see it at the end of the 5th century. In "Variae" Kassiodor resolutions of the Roman emperors of the previous period and also the resolution of emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire, contemporaries of gothic kings are reproduced.

However some rules underwent significant changes. Viri clarissimi and viri spectabiles are a part of senatorial estate, can be present at meetings of the senate, but do not possess either special places, or the right to vote there. [15] Only sometimes by tradition behind them the name of senators [16] remained (senator the same here, as ordo sacer). We see similar confusion in names between the senate institution and senatorial estate from the middle of the 5th century. Full members of the senate are now only viri illustres coming most often from ancient (for the 6th century) senatorial surnames. Their noble origin is emphasized with Kassiodor at each opportunity. [17] Kings constantly specified that replenishment of the senate by new members has to happen taking into account sort antiquity.

But did not get to the senate just by the right of the birth, being a son an illyustriya as a part of researchers believes, coming to such conclusion on the basis of some ambiguous formulations in "Variae" Kassiodora. It is necessary to specify one very important circumstance: the right of the birth opens access to senatorial estate, but not in the senate. [18] Sons of senators are, as before, clarissimi pueri since the birth, but to use the privileges appropriate to their origin (origo) they can, having only reached certain age (adulti), perhaps, after receiving toga virilis. Right after it they were entered in senatorial lists (which, apparently, included in strictly hierarchical order only of those clarissimi and spectabiles who lived directly in Rima), placing them in album senatorium after all illyustriyev. Pretura also does not grant more right of entry into the senate in spite of the fact that her execution is assigned to natives of senatorial estate. [19]

So, senators became the next ways.

The first - when receiving the position corresponding to vir illustris rank. In this case the senate was always notified on appearance of new senator by the special message in which the dignity of the new member on the basis of which the king considered it worthy to sit at so high meeting are in detail described. The king asked the senate to give the consent and to favourably accept the new colleague. Then the prefect of the city carried out voting procedure. [20]

The second - a way of direct cooptation of new members by the senate. Theoderich, wishing to enter into the senate of one of the proteges, said that he did not want to encroach on the rights of the senate at all. [21] In other case from ordered to the prefect of the city to include the royal candidate for the referendi curiae list. [22] From a formula which concerns to these persons it is visible that they do not hold yet those high posts which would allow them to enter into the senate on a position. [2Z] B the small fragment of the biographic records Kassiodora known in science under the name "Anecdoton Holderi" (by name the German scientist A. Holder who published it), we read that patriky Simmakh made in the senate the speech of "pro allectiis". The senate itself, thus, could choose new members. And, most likely, from representatives of those surnames which entered into it. [24] We see that the right of cooptation of new members which was available for the senate in the IV-V centuries strongly extended: election of new senator did not require the consent of the king any more.

The third - a way of representation of the king's candidates to the senate. When the king did not want to give to the applicant the position corresponding to a rank an illyustriya, he suggested the senate to accept the new candidate by vote. Most often in such a way sons illyustriyev were entered into the senate, but also also viri clarissimi, lawyers, some Gotha. [25] in fact meet, Theoderich and his successors included in the senate [26] and in senatorial estate [27] is much more ready, than usually consider. Each such message was followed by a large number of reservations, the king always took a form of the applicant apologizing to the senate for the caused trouble and nevertheless in certain cases the senate firmly refused to grant the king's request. Thanking Kassiodora we were reached by correspondence between Theoderich and the prefect Rima Argolicom concerning inclusion in the senate of several new members recommended by the king, but rejected by senators. However, the speech in this case went not about Ghats, and about several young aristocrats, children of viri clarissimi. [28]

Newly elected senator took out the special patent certifying it a rank. Kassiodor gives a standard formula of this document. [29]

But in general the senate, as before, represented a meeting of representatives of the most notable and richest Italic surnames. However a certain ambiguity of its situation remained. Gothic kings, as it was already told, showed to it the maximum respect, but did not forget to undertake at the same time and precautionary measures: without the highest permission senators had no right to leave Rome. The formulas relying in this case remained in "Variae". [Z0] also the provincial young aristocrats (especially from Sicily, to which Theoderich felt extreme mistrust) coming to the city for education Were late in Rima. Theoderich appointed by [Z1] For supervision of them the special senators answering to it for their behavior. Along with the prefect of the city to Rome it was appointed and comets it is ready to which the city police and whose orders concerning national security the senate had to execute was subordinated. [Z2]

But despite everything, powers of the senate were not reduced, and even increased. It remained the full owner Rima, and these his functions were extraordinary important because if the residence of ostrogothic kings was in Ravenna, then value Rima as the ancient capital of the empire as keeper of the Roman traditions increased incessantly. The senate together with the prefect of the city directed municipal services, municipal police (the separate formations existing along with the city police submitting a comet it is ready), behind it also judicial functions remained. The senate knew the organization of shows and circus games which quite often were a reason for the turmoil which sometimes was coming to an end with slaughters, the senate directed all educational institutions Rima, monitored appointments of teachers, exercised supervision of city treasury and of treasury of various corporations. The office of the senate was engaged in consideration of private legal disputes. The senate monitored maintenance in good condition of city walls, public buildings, city plumbing and sanitary. For the direct solution of all arising questions the senate appointed special officials: architectus publicorum, comes Romanus, comes formarum.^H]

were Not so frequent

also abuses. Sometimes the king was forced to interfere personally with questions of the municipal government, in particular, to return public buildings as some senators captured them to treasury and arranged the residences there, or to call to order those officials who began to use city treasury as own. [Z4]

As for lawmaking, theoretically the senate kept the right of the publication of laws. In any case one of formulas in "Variae" behind it recognizes such right. [Z5] the Senate issued the regulations regulating activity of schools as well as some questions of taxation. [Z6] Besides, is known to us the important senatus-consultum forbidding simony. [Z7]

As before, the approval by the senate of royal edikt gave them law force, and this circumstance allows us to consider one rather old, but still debatable question.

It is about whether ostrogothic kings had the right to issue laws in exact sense of this word, or this right remained for emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire and in relation to Italy. More precisely whether the laws issued by the Byzantine emperors had validity in Italy. The researchers answering in the negative in confirmation of the correctness often refer to several enough dark places in "Variae" Kassiodora [Z8], reading from them desirable sense. Nevertheless, it is impossible to deny that many of the imperial resolutions issued at the time of domination of ostgot on the Apennine Peninsula extended also to Italy, being valid in it the law.

To a large extent it concerns those acts which regulated a management system. For example, Theoderich founded comes patrimonii position by an example of the emperor Anastasius, and the appointment formula a patrikiya underwent changes in connection with the law issued by the emperor Justinian. But all other certificates convincingly prove that ostrogothic kings possessed legislature, not limited to neither the people, nor the nobility with the same freedom, as the Byzantine emperors. They used all known samples: the pragmatical sanctions addressed to various groups of persons or corporations, most often concerning taxes; legislative orders in the form of letters to the prefect Pretoria or to other magistrate [Z9] which can be integrated under the general name programma edictale; the various edikta regulating everything aspects of life of society including administrative law, to nobody specifically not addressed, such as, Edikt Theoderich, or turned to a certain magistrate, corporation and the Roman people. [40] Many of them are also called programma edictale, repeating the name given by Atalarikh to the two major edikta.

[41] These acts usually contain special point on their distribution and on sanctions for their non-execution in the end.

At last, the most numerous group of normative documents are rescripts which usually do not contain any legislative innovations, and give interpretation of laws, report about grant of special privileges or about some other royal favor. [42] We find almost exclusively various variations of former Roman precepts of law as the Roman right quite corresponded to public policy of ostrogothic kings in all these documents and it was well known to local community. At the same time kings reserved the right to change this legislation, adapting it for the current needs. We see examples of the similar changes designed to react to changes in life of the population, caused by the new ideas and circumstances in Edikte Theoderich.

Thus, before us the original legislation. And if these innovations most often were called such indistinct concepts as jussio, auctoritas, praeceptum, edictum, then it is worth to remember, as the Roman legislation already almost did not use the word lex, being limited to edikta. The best certificate that ostgota were engaged in legislative activity is the fact of carrying out the majority of their resolutions through the Roman senate, as well as need to get support of the most authoritative public authority. Edikt Atalarikh it was presented in the senate as ancient oratio principis, in the same way was considered also it edikt against simony. [4Z]

In the field of lawmaking of power of the senate were limited as we already saw, to the municipal sphere. But it, as before, remains the highest court on hearing of cases of senators, sitting at such cases as in full strength, and on the commissions. Powers of the senate as judicial authority at ostgota even extended, but he did not receive as O. Bertolini believes, the right of pardon [44].

We will manage to understand better a role of the senate and the senatorial aristocracy in life of the goto-Roman society of the first half of the 6th century, having considered in general the relationship which developed between Ghats and the Roman nobility.

For a start it is necessary to try to answer the following question: whether the Roman aristocracy underwent any losses from settlement it is ready in Italy and if yes, that as far as they were serious? In the works devoted to the history of stay it is ready on the Apennine Peninsula, usually just note that ostgota took a third of land fund. In this case they, according to a widespread hypothesis, repeated experiment of the gerul of Odoakr which occupied the third part of lands. The similar way of fixing to itself of land possession limited to gerula the territory of only several provinces extended in a case from ostgota almost to all Italy except for the South.

Besides nobody proved that gerula really occupied a third of land fund. It would be difficult for rather small group of barbarians to be located in such territory. The text of Prokopy which is cited usually in confirmation of this hypothesis can mean as well a duty at a rate of one third of the product received from the earth. [45] Besides, were transferred to ostgota the earth of gerul [46] as well as the earth of the fisc, passed from Odoakr to Theoderich. [47]

Of course, Gotha owned the allotments as full property: they were not just the tenants paying the rent, they were full owners and on this basis paid a land tax. [48] Under such circumstances similar withdrawal of a third of the earth would be very painful for owners. But all texts concerning time of establishment of gothic domination in Italy unanimously claim that this process took place extremely softly, without any violent acts is from outside ready. Ennody notes that the population of Italy hardly noticed them. [49]

It is not enough to tell to remove this contradiction that the section passed not everywhere. In that case it would be even more painful for those owners who would be affected by it. It is possible to assume that the section concerned or the lands which only are not processed, or these lands were a private property, and also violent withdrawal took place, or these lands were returned to the state. And then before us the picture absolutely opposite to the first hypothesis appears.

We know, fisc acreage throughout the Roman history how was big. She was especially great in Italy. Decline of agriculture led only to their bigger increase. The thrown lands got out of the control of curia and were returned to maintaining the fisc.

On this matter we can get some data from & lt; ^апае" Kassiodora. In one of messages Theoderich permits to Kataliya's inhabitants to pay annual _e ііі aye under the guise of a land tax, assigning, thus, to them this duty. [50] What exact meaning of these _e ііі aye and permission? Undoubtedly, it is about payment of the land tax expressed by different terms. Speaking about a land tax, Kassiodor usually uses such words as ііі and іі about _e ііі and, a _kh_pa of PYyu, and they should not be mixed with _eg іі aye. [51] It is a special duty at a rate of one third of the comprehensive income gained from the lands belonging to the king of which he could dispose personally, and from which it spent income including on keeping of management personnel. And not to be endangered to lose them, Kataliya's population asked the king to return their lands to category of a private property, or more likely а§ег ri Іі ssh, paying instead of _e ііі aye a usual land tax.

The same treats also the second text. [52] Theoderich tells residents of Trent that it provides the earth (bogb) to the gothic priest Butilian. That it did not lead to unfair increase in the size of the duties paid by the population, the king reduces cumulative taxation by the corresponding sum. Here too it is not about a private property, but about the royal lands leased to the population.

If to compare these texts with where it is about yoershayo _e ііі att during establishment of gothic domination, then it is possible to assume two options: or _e ііі aye represented that third of lands which was given to Ghats (but sometimes these lands remained at the disposal of former owners provided that profit will go in whole or in part to the income of the king), or it is about lands

the fisc, partially sent to Ghats to full property, partially left to local community under the obligation to give for it a third of income.

It is difficult to us to agree with the first assumption as it means real withdrawal of a third of lands. But, can object us, this third of lands often remained with its owners on condition of payment of the corresponding taxes. How then it happened what in "^агіае" Kassiodora is not available more than any mentions of this tax, especially for the South of Italy where gothic settlements were very not numerous? On the contrary, the speech never goes only about a land tax. It is necessary to notice except that Kassiodor uses a word _e ііі aye in two different meanings: in one case it means a third of lands [53], in another - a third of income. [54]

The second assumption seems to us more convincing. After coming to power in Italy the gothic government needed to aggregate the earth of the fisc and waste lands. One their part was transferred to the full possession to Ghats, remained or returned to former imperial tenants, or was leased to the cities with a condition of payment of a third of the made product. Can notice that this concept does not explain why Theoderich's actions touched the interests of owners. If everything occurred so without serious consequences why Kassiodor speaks about losses and about withdrawal of the earth? However it is known that earth of the imperial fisc were often self-willedally taken and began to be considered in families of tenants as hereditary property. Thus, they could regard the partition of lands of the fisc as real withdrawal of a part of land property.

At the same time we will notice, as before the sum of payments for use of imperial lands was a third of the gained income. The same ratio occurs both in Burgundian, and in vestgotsky laws.

The last Roman emperors could lease lands of the fisc to barbarians on the terms of payment of a third of income. Theoderich, having collected the earth of the fisc, gave part of them to the soldiers in full property, and remained told to the cities and tenants on former conditions what did not prevent former long-term lease agreements to remain in force in many places of Italy, and especially in the south.

Thus, we do not consider that ostgota made real redistribution of land. To satisfy their requirements, there was enough and the empty lands. At the same time, of course, you should not deny that took place and violence, and robberies that the huge land possession belonging to notable Ghats, such as, to Teodat who created to himself the real principality in Tuscany. [56] were illegally formed

But large owners of land, the Roman aristocrats, generally, were not affected by these measures. The nobility maintained the boundless possession, the incalculable riches. To it we see confirmation in each line Kassiodora. Besides, the senatorial aristocracy kept, at least in the south, and those huge estates which were illegally occupied from imperial lands, and, quite perhaps, these territories were already considered as a private property.

The Roman aristocracy managed to keep also other privileges. First of all its ranks, as before, leave practically all major officials of the state. Theoderich kept all system of the Roman administration in inviolability. [57] All most considerable and honourable positions were from generation to generation held by representatives of the same notable Roman surnames (Anition, Detion and some other). [58] Only they, behind the most rare exception, are prefects Pretoria and prefects Rima, palace kvestor, comets of finance, та§ і B_eg oy§s_ott, consuls [59], etc. Pretoria exclusively Roman aristocrats became prefects, and the value of this position constantly grew in the Ostrogothic kingdom [60] whereas in the east it more and more turned into honourable. [61] Of course, when assigning to any given post, both personal merits, and education, including legal were considered, and oratorical abilities, but the origin remained the decisive factor defining the choice of the king.

The career of senator passed approximately as well as in the Late Roman Empire. Young people from notable surnames began the office activity in offices of the highest officials, for example assistants to the prefect Pretoria, secretaries at governors of provinces or komit is ready. Then they headed provinces [62] or held new positions of komit of the cities. [63]

Cases when officials received the positions in those provinces from where they were a sort or where there were their estates were very frequent. So, the father Kassiodora at the very beginning of gothic gain headed provinces in the south of Italy (Brutty and to Lukany) where there were family possession of his family. [64] One more proofreader, Lukany Venantsy, can be identified with Venantsy mentioned at Procopius of Scythopolis -the largest land owner of this province,

promoting thanks to the influence to transition of the province under the power of Byzantium during Gothic war. [65] Comitiaci managing various services at governors of provinces often complained if they had to carry out judgments concerning notable persons of the province who then could become their heads. [66] Governors were chosen by the king from among the most notable and richest people of the province that not least guaranteed their real influence on the solution of the arising problems. The similar policy of selection of local shots which was more and more extending from 4th century by 6th century became already the rule. Ostrogothic kings, following the example of the Roman emperors, often gave to senators various extraordinary instructions: diplomatic missions on the East, check of correctness of taxation in provinces, supervision of construction of public buildings. [67]


Not only in provincial administrations, but also in royal council the Roman aristocracy showed the influence. Consistories or komitat (comitatus) as it was called officially, being the central authority in the new state, played a key role in political life of the kingdom, as well as consistories in the Late Roman Empire.

Thus, it is absolutely senseless how it is often done by researchers-germanists, to resort to various German analogies to explain its exclusive situation in the state.

[68] It is indisputable that it also is the Roman tradition going from a principate, and which is finally issued in the 4th century [69] Besides komitat always included several representatives of the senatorial aristocracy, and at Atalarikh it consisted only of representatives of the most notable Roman surnames. Except the largest government officials the king often entered in komitat extraordinary members - patrikiyev, the former consuls, influential senators, etc. [70]

The way of formation of royal council considered above is important also in terms of functioning of a system of legal proceedings as it komitat was, as well as in the Late Roman Empire, the supreme judicial authority either as court of first instance, or as Court of Appeal. Senators kept all the legal privileges. Researchers quite often try to find the aspiration to soften severe laws in favor of bigger justice and the natural right in Theoderich's activity. By means of it explain fast folding of legends of Theoderich as about the mercy and fair sovereign and the judge.

To some extent this opinion can be considered reasonable, but you should not forget that we see examples of similar behavior also in activity of the Roman emperors, as well as the fact that the majority of decisions such which are often put down to credit to Theoderich were accepted for the benefit of the senatorial nobility. In particular, senators with benefit for themselves could use establishment of a 30-year limitation period in an edikta about assignment of public property as restitutio in integrum acted only for the benefits of the largest land owners, that is the senatorial aristocracy. [71] If the king was also considered as the defender of all the citizens if he also declared the impartial attitude towards everyone, despite of its rank, nationality, religion if he also demanded the same impartiality and justice from the officials and even urged officials of the fisc to show moderation [72], he nevertheless was first of all a defender of interests of the senate and the senatorial aristocracy.

Thus, the Roman aristocracy did not lose any of the rights, any of prerogatives. It still remained in the head of the government and operated provinces which were practically under her complete control, still, however, under the supervision of gothic military leaders. The most part of senatorial estate lived out of Rima, in Italy or in Gallia where their huge estates were located. Theoderich reproached Lukaniya's aristocrats that they abandoned the cities and preferred to live in the manors where also the young people who finished the education sought to return. Viri clarissimi, spectabiles, senators, illustres, retired officials [73] - all of them still sat at provincial and city councils which not only still existed, but also actively functioned.

Extremely curious fact concerning power of the Roman nobility and her influence, in particular in provinces and among country people is reported by Procopius of Scythopolis. [74] During Gothic war Tullian, the son Venantion, the largest land owner of Lukaniya, lifted the peasants, made of them army and with its help returned the South of Italy under influence of the Eastern Roman Empire. The aristocracy played the leading role and in church affairs. When choosing bishops its will was decisive. So, in Akviley in 504 g there were two parties, everyone with the candidate. One of groups patriky Libery headed, another - senator Avitus. [75]

Gothic gain did not lead to any significant changes, and time of government of Theoderich was natural continuation of traditions of the late Roman Empire. Theoderich had to face the same problems, as to the Roman emperors. As before, that social group which served as a natural support of the government for which benefits the governor had to act reaped

Josef Reinhold
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