segunda-feira, outubro 20, 2003

ROMULUS AUGUSTULUS Esta é uma das poucas moedas existentes do reinado do último imperador romano, o jovem Rómulo Augustulo ("Romulus Augustulus"), i.e., o pequeno Augusto. A sua deposição, em 476 d.C., foi mais tarde considerada o marco final da existência do Império Romano do Ocidente. Encontrei um site que fala da sua ascenção ao trono imperial, da sua deposição ainda criança, e da sua vida como mero privatus numa villa da Campânia, que em tempos pertencera a Lúculo e a Tibério:

"On 28 August 476, Orestes was captured and killed by Odovacar near Piacenza -- the site of the defeat of the emperor Avitus in 456. Odovacar then occupied Ravenna, where on either 31 August or 4 September he killed Orestes' brother Paulus. As for young Romulus, the Anonymous Valesianus (8.38) reports, "Entering Ravenna, Odovacar deposed Augustulus from the rule, and taking pity on his youth he granted him his life, and because he was comely he even granted to him an income of six thousand solidi and sent him to Campania to live freely with his relatives." The chronicler Count Marcellinus painted a rather less rosy picture of Romulus' fate: "Odovacar, king of the Goths, occupied Rome. Odovacar immediately killed Orestes. Odovacar condemned Augustulus, the son of Orestes, to exile in the castle of Lucullus in Campania" ("Odoacar rex Gothorum Romam obtinuit. Orestem Odoacer ilico trucidavit. Augustulum filium Orestis Odoacer in Lucullano Campaniae castello exilii poena damnavit": s.a.476). And Jordanes similarly related, "After Augustulus had been established as emperor at Ravenna by his father Orestes, not long afterward Odovacer, king of the Torcilingi, who had with him the Scirians, Heruls, and auxiliaries from diverse peoples, occupied Italy and, after killing Orestes, deposed his son Augustulus from the rule and condemned him to exile in the Lucullan castle in Campania" ("Augustulo vero a patre Oreste in Ravenna imperatore ordinato non multum post Odoacer Torcilingorum rex habens secum Sciros, Herulos diversarumque gentium auxiliarios Italiam occupavit et Orestem interfectum Augustulum filium eius de regno pulsum in Lucullano Campaniae castello exilii poena damnavit": Getica 242). This castellum has sometimes been identified as the estate of the late-Roman Republican general Lucullus."

Segundo parece, foi a compaixão de Odoacro que salvou a vida do pequeno imperador ("Odovacar deposed Augustulus from the rule, and taking pity on his youth he granted him his life, and because he was comely he even granted to him an income of six thousand solidi and sent him to Campania to live freely with his relatives").

A deposição de Rómulo deve ter passado despercebida à maioria dos seus contemporâneos. O Senado continuou a existir, e o bárbaro Odoacro governava a Itália em nome do imperador romano do Oriente, Zenão.

Antes da sua abdicação, Augustulo teve ainda de enviar uma carta a Zenão, em que lhe entregava as insígnias imperiais e confiava a Itália a Odoacro:

"The Byzantine historian Malchus, moreover, suggests that Romulus was required to perform one final official act before going into retirement: the dispatching of a "letter of resignation" to the eastern emperor Zeno returning the imperial regalia and saying that the empire now needed but a single emperor, in Constantinople.

"When Augustus, the son of Orestes, heard that Zeno, having expelled Basiliscus, had again gained the kingship of the east, he caused the Senate to send an embassy to tell Zeno that they had no need of a separate empire but that a single common emperor would be sufficient for both territories, and, moreover, that Odovacar had been chosen by them as a suitable man to safeguard their affairs, since he had political understanding along with military skill; they asked Zeno to award Odovacar the patrician honor and grant him the government of the Italies. The men from the Senate in Rome reached Byzantium carrying these messages. On the same day messengers from Nepos also came to congratulate Zeno on the recent events concerning this restoration, and at the same time to ask him zealously to help Nepos, a man who had suffered equal misfortunes, in the recovery of his empire. They asked that he grant money and an army for this purpose and that he co-operate in his restoration in any other ways that might be necessary. Nepos had sent the men to say these things. Zeno gave the following answer to those arrivals and to the men from the Senate: the western Romans had received two men from the eastern Empire and had driven one out, Nepos, and killed the other, Anthemius. Now, he said, they knew what ought to be done. While their emperor was still alive, they should hold no other thought than to receive him back on his return. To the barbarians he replied that it would be well if Odovacar were to receive the patrician rank from the emperor Nepos and that he himself would grant it unless Nepos granted it first. He commended him in that he had displayed this initial instance of guarding good order, suitable to the Romans, and trusted for this reason that, if he truly wished to act with justice, he would quickly receive back the emperor [sc. Nepos] who had given him his positon of honor. He sent a royal epistle about what he desired to Odovacar and in this letter named him a patrician. Zeno gave this help to Nepos, pitying his sufferings because of his own, and holding to the principle that the common lot of fortune is to grieve with the unfortunate. At the same time Verina also joined in urging this, giving a helping hand to the wife of Nepos, her relative" (fr. 10: Gordon trans., pp.127-128)"