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Virius Nicomachus Flavianus, Der Praefectus und Consul des Carmen contra paganos

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

After a general caveat concerning the interpretation of polemical pamphlets, various chronologically relevant aspects of the so-called Carmen contra paganos are revisited. In particular, the recent identification of the anonymous praefectus and consul with Vettius Agorius Praetextatus is challenged by reasserting the classical identification with Virius Nicomachus Flavianus. Thus the composition of the poem can be dated to the aftermath of the battle at the Frigidus (5-6/9/394) on firm grounds. At the same time, new light can be shed on the careers of Leucadius rationalis rei privatae fundorum domus divinae per Africam ca. 388/90 and Marcianus proconsul Campaniae ca. 393/94. This way, the author's methods of distorting as well as various modern misconceptions emerge. As a conclusion, some new paths of further research on the poem and on late Roman religious conflicts can be suggested.


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