Praetorian prefecture of Italy

Praetorian prefecture of Italy

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The praetorian prefecture of Italy ) was one of four large Praetorian prefecture
Praetorian prefecture
The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman Empire, above the mid-level dioceses and the low-level provinces. Praetorian prefectures originated in the reign of Constantine I The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman...

s into which the Late Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 was divided. It comprised the Italian peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

, the Western Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, the Danubian provinces and parts of North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. The Prefecture's seat moved from Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to Mediolanum
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 and finally, Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

.

Structure and history


The prefecture was established in the division of the Empire after the death of Constantine the Great in 337, and was divided into dioceses
Roman diocese
A Roman or civil diocese was one of the administrative divisions of the later Roman Empire, starting with the Tetrarchy. It formed the intermediate level of government, grouping several provinces and being in turn subordinated to a praetorian prefecture....

. Initially these were the Diocese of Africa
Diocese of Africa
The Diocese of Africa was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of North Africa, except Mauretania Tingitana. Its seat was at Carthage, and it was subordinate to the Praetorian prefecture of Italy....

, the Diocese of Italy, the Diocese of Pannonia
Diocese of Pannonia
The Diocese of Pannonia , from 379 known as the Diocese of Illyricum, was a diocese of the Late Roman Empire. The seat of the vicarius was Sirmium.-History:...

, the Diocese of Dacia
Diocese of Dacia
The Diocese of Dacia was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, in the area of modern Serbia and western Bulgaria. It was subordinate to the Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum...

 and the Diocese of Macedonia
Diocese of Macedonia
The Diocese of Macedonia was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, forming part of the praetorian prefecture of Illyricum. Its capital was Thessalonica....

 (the last two were until ca. 327 united in the Diocese of Moesia
Diocese of Moesia
The Diocese of Moesia was one of the twelve dioceses in which Diocletian divided the Roman Empire during his administrative reforms. It encompassed most of the central Balkans and the Greek peninsula, stretching from the Danube to Crete...

).
Eventually the Diocese of Italy was split in two, the Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy (Italia suburbicaria: "Italy under the City", also referred to as "Diocese of the City of Rome") and the Diocese of Annonarian Italy (Italia annonaria: "provisioning Italy").

In 356, the praetorian prefecture of Illyricum
Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum
The praetorian prefecture of Illyricum was one of four praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.The administrative centre of the prefecture was Sirmium , and, after 379, Thessalonica...

 was established, comprising the dioceses of Pannonia, Dacia and Macedonia. The new prefecture was abolished in 361 by Julian and reestablished in 375 by Gratian. Its territory was contested between the two halves of the Empire, until the final partition in 395, when the Diocese of Pannonia
Diocese of Pannonia
The Diocese of Pannonia , from 379 known as the Diocese of Illyricum, was a diocese of the Late Roman Empire. The seat of the vicarius was Sirmium.-History:...

 was split off from the Illyricum and joined to the Western Empire and the prefecture of Italy as the Diocese of Illyricum.

Despite the end of the Western Empire in 476, the Germanic successor states under Odoacer
Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer , also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the first King of Italy. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the...

 and Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 continued to use the Roman administrative machinery, as well as being nominal subjects of the Eastern emperor at Constantinople. The Prefecture thus survived, and came again into Roman hands after Justinian's Gothic War
Gothic War (535–552)
The Gothic War between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy was fought from 535 until 554 in Italy, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica. It is commonly divided into two phases. The first phase lasted from 535 to 540 and ended with the fall of Ravenna and the apparent...

. However, with the Lombard
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 invasion in 568, Roman rule became reduced to fragmented and isolated territories, and the Prefecture gave its place to the Exarchate of Ravenna
Exarchate of Ravenna
The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a centre of Byzantine power in Italy, from the end of the 6th century to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards.-Introduction:...

, established by the emperor Maurice
Maurice (emperor)
Maurice was Byzantine Emperor from 582 to 602.A prominent general in his youth, Maurice fought with success against the Sassanid Persians...

.

Prefects continue however to be attested until well into the 7th century. The last attested holder occurs in 639, and a couple of seals bearing the title eparchos ("prefect" in Greek) survive from the late 7th century, although it has been suggested that they are a misprint for exarchos ("exarch").

List of known praefecti praetorio Italiae et Africae

  • Junius Annius Bassus
    Junius Annius Bassus
    Iunius Annius Bassus was an ancient Roman politician.- Life :He served as praetorian prefect from 318 to 331, during which time he also held the consulate - many of the laws in the Codex Theodosianus are addressed to him...

     (318-331)
  • Fabius Aconius Catullinus Philomathius
    Fabius Aconius Catullinus Philomathius
    Fabius Aconius Catullinus signo Philomathius was an aristocrat and a politician of the Late Roman Empire.- Biography :...

     (341)
  • Marcus Maecius Memmius Furius Baburius Caecilianus Placidus (342-344)
  • Vulcacius Rufinus
    Vulcacius Rufinus
    Vulcacius Rufinus was a Roman politician, related to the Constantinian dynasty.- Biography :A pagan, Rufinus was the brother of Neratius Cerealis, of Galla , and of the mother, of unknown name, of Maximus...

     (first time, 344-347)
  • Gaius Ceionius Rufius Volusianus Lampadius (355)
  • Taurus
    Taurus (consul 361)
    Flavius Taurus was a politician and a military officer of the Roman Empire.- Biography :His father was of humble origins. Taurus had three children, Armonius, died about 391, Eutychianus, praetorian prefect of the East and consul in 398, and Aurelianus, praetorian prefect of the East and consul in...

     (355-361)
  • Quintus Flavius Maesius Egnatius Lollianus Mavortius (356)
  • Claudius Mamertinus
    Claudius Mamertinus
    Claudius Mamertinus was an official in the Roman Empire. In late 361 he took part in the Chalcedon tribunal to condemn the ministers of Constantius II, and in 362, he was made consul as a reward by the new Emperor Julian; on January 1 of that year he delivered a panegyric in Constantinople by way...

     (361-365)
  • Vulcacius Rufinus
    Vulcacius Rufinus
    Vulcacius Rufinus was a Roman politician, related to the Constantinian dynasty.- Biography :A pagan, Rufinus was the brother of Neratius Cerealis, of Galla , and of the mother, of unknown name, of Maximus...

     (second time, 365-368)
  • Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
    Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
    Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus was a leading Roman aristocrat of the later 4th century, renowned for his wealth, power and social connections.-Family:...

     (first time, ca. 368-375)
  • Decimius Hilarianus Hesperius (378-380)
  • Flavius Afranius Syagrius
    Flavius Afranius Syagrius
    Flavius Afranius Syagrius was a Roman politician and administrator.- Life :Afranius' father was Clodoreius; it is unknown who his mother was. Afranius was also a member of the Gallic-Roman aristocratic family of the Syagrii, which originated in Lyon...

     (382)
  • Flavius Hypatius (382-383)
  • Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
    Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
    Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus was a leading Roman aristocrat of the later 4th century, renowned for his wealth, power and social connections.-Family:...

     (second time, 383)
  • Nonius Atticus Maximus
    Nonius Atticus Maximus
    - Life :Nonius belonged to the senatorial aristocracy, and was a Christian, even if he was friend of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus.He was Praetorian prefect of Italy between 383 and 384 and then Consul in 397. In 383 Emperor Gratian died, and his half-brother Valentinian II become the only Emperor...

     (383-384)
  • Vettius Agorius Praetextatus
    Vettius Agorius Praetextatus
    Vettius Agorius Praetextatus was a wealthy pagan aristocrat in 4th-century Roman Empire and a high priest in the cults of numerous gods...

     (384)
  • Neoterius
    Neoterius
    - Life :Probably born in Rome, he was notarius under Emperor Valentinian I when, in 365, he was sent to Africa to guarantee for the loyalty of that province during the usurpation of Procopius, who had rebelled against the Eastern Emperor Valens....

     (385)
  • Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
    Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus
    Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus was a leading Roman aristocrat of the later 4th century, renowned for his wealth, power and social connections.-Family:...

     (third time, 387)
  • Virius Nicomachus Flavianus
    Virius Nicomachus Flavianus
    Virius Nicomachus Flavianus was a grammarian, a historian and a politician of the Roman Empire.A pagan and close friend of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, he was Praetorian prefect of Italy in 390–392 and, under usurper Eugenius , again praetorian prefect and consul...

     (390-392)

Western Empire

  • Nummius Aemilianus Dexter (395)
  • Eusebius (395-396)
  • Mallius Theodorus (397-399)
  • Valerius Messala Avienus (399-400)
  • Rufus Synesius Hadrianus (400-405)
  • Flavius Macrobius Longinianus (1st time, 406)
  • Curtius (407-408)
  • Flavius Macrobius Longinianus (2nd time, 408)
  • Mallius Theodorus (408-409)
  • Caecilianus (409)
  • Jovius (409)
  • Melitius (410-412)
  • Seleucus (prefect for Africa, 412)
  • Ioannes (412-413)
  • Rufus Synesius Hadrianus (413-414)
  • Seleucus (414-415)
  • Iunius Quartus Palladius
    Iunius Quartus Palladius
    Flavius Iunius Quartus Palladius was a politician of the Western Roman Empire, who held the Praetorian prefecture of Italy, Illyricum and Africa for six years and was also consul in 416.- Life :...

     (416-421)
  • Anicius Auchenius Bassus
    Anicius Auchenius Bassus (consul 431)
    Flavius Anicius Auchenius Bassus was a high official of the Western Roman Empire. He was appointed as consul by the Western court with Antiochus Chuzon as a colleague...

     (possibly, 426)
  • Anicius Auchenius Bassus
    Anicius Auchenius Bassus (consul 431)
    Flavius Anicius Auchenius Bassus was a high official of the Western Roman Empire. He was appointed as consul by the Western court with Antiochus Chuzon as a colleague...

     (435)
  • Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus
    Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus
    Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus was an aristocrat of the later Roman Empire. He was Urban prefect three times before 437, consul in 438, and briefly Praetorian prefect of Italy in 442.- References :...

     (ca. 438)
  • Petronius Maximus
    Petronius Maximus
    Flavius Petronius Maximus was Western Roman Emperor for two and a half months in 455. A wealthy senator and a prominent aristocrat, he was instrumental in the murders of the Western Roman magister militum, Flavius Aëtius, and the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III...

     (439)
  • Caecina Decius Aginatius Albinus
    Caecina Decius Aginatius Albinus (consul 444)
    Flavius Caecina Decius Aginatius Albinus was an aristocrat of the Roman Empire; he was made consul for 444 as the junior partner of Emperor Theodosius II.- Life :...

     (443-448)
  • Caecina Decius Basilius
    Caecina Decius Basilius
    Flavius Caecina Decius Basilius was a politician of the Western Roman Empire, Consul and twice Praetorian prefect of Italy.- Biography :Basilius belonged to the Italian nobility, and was member of the influential gens Caecina....

     (458)
  • Caelius Aconius Probianus
    Caelius Aconius Probianus
    Caelius Aconius Probianus was a politician of the Western Roman Empire.He was Praetorian prefect of Italy under Emperors Leo I and Libius Severus; considering that his successor Caecina Decius Basilius was in office in 463, Probianus' mandate lasted between 461 and 463...

     (461-463)
  • Caecina Decius Basilius
    Caecina Decius Basilius
    Flavius Caecina Decius Basilius was a politician of the Western Roman Empire, Consul and twice Praetorian prefect of Italy.- Biography :Basilius belonged to the Italian nobility, and was member of the influential gens Caecina....

     (463-465)
  • Felix Himelco (473)

Germanic rule


Under Odoacer
Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer , also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the first King of Italy. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the...

:
  • Nar. Manlius Boethius
    Manlius Boethius
    Nar. Manlius Boethius was a Roman aristocrat, who was appointed consul for 487.- Life :He was probably the son of the Boethius who was the Praetorian prefect of Italy put to death by emperor Valentinian III in 454, and probably the father of the famous philosopher Boethius; if this identification...

     (between 480 and 486)
  • Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius
    Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius
    Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius , was a Roman politician. He was the first consul appointed under Odoacer's rule , and afterwards was Praetorian prefect of Italy. He is best known for presiding over the papal election of Pope Felix III....

     iunior (483)
  • Caecina Mavortius Basilius Decius
    Caecina Mavortius Basilius Decius
    Caecina Mavortius Basilius Decius was a Roman politician under Odoacer's rule. He was consul and Praefectus urbi of Rome in 486 and Praetorian prefect of Italy from 486 to 493.- Life :...

     iunior (486-493)


Under the Ostrogoths
Ostrogothic Kingdom
The Kingdom established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas lasted from 493 to 553. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its...

:
  • Liberius
    Liberius (praetorian prefect)
    Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius was a Late Roman aristocrat and official, whose career spanned seven decades in the highest offices of both the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and the Eastern Roman Empire...

     (494-500)
  • Cassiodorus the Elder (500-?)
  • Faustus (507-512)
  • Rufius Magnus Faustus Avienus
    Rufius Magnus Faustus Avienus
    Rufius Magnus Faustus Avienus was a politician of the Western Roman Empire. He was appointed consul for 502 with Flavius Probus as his colleague....

     (527-528)
  • Cassiodorus the Younger
    Cassiodorus
    Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

     (533-537)
  • Fidelis (537-538)
  • Reparatus
    Reparatus (praetorian prefect)
    Reparatus was a Roman aristocrat, and politician under Ostrogothic rule. He held the offices of Urban prefect and Praetorian prefect of Italy.- Life :...

    (538-539)