Becoming Roman? the not-so-curious case of Aspar and the Ardaburii

Meaghan McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the office-holding, property-accumulation, and patronage of the Ardaburii, the family of the powerful eastern magister militum Fl. Ardaburius Aspar, across the course of the fifth century. It highlights the ways in which the family not only accumulated considerable wealth, influence, and property but also deployed it in traditional Roman ways, such as through civic and ecclesiastical patronage, thereby using wealth as a means to build and maintain power. In this way the Ardaburii were able to counter views of their family as "outsiders," despite their non-Roman ethnic origins and their non-orthodox Christian faith, issues which had little to do with the murder of Aspar and his sons in 471. In addition, it will be argued that the Ardaburii built up such a solid basis of prestige and wealth across the course of the fifth century that, despite the major crisis of Aspar's death, this standing and property were successfully transmitted to their descendants into the sixth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-511
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Late Antiquity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Becoming Roman? the not-so-curious case of Aspar and the Ardaburii'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this