Full Version: What did Poemenius do wrong now?
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I'm wondering if any history buffs can help me understand why Constantius II tortured Poemenius to death in the mop-up after the assassination of "Emperor" Claudius Silvanus when, if anything, Poemenius had shown his loyalty to the Constantine by slamming the gates of, and refusing access to, the Treverorum mint to Decentius, brother of the rebel Magnentius.
Do we know anything else about Poemenius vis a vis Silvanus that would make him an enemy rather than an ally of Constantius II?
All we know about Poemenius is the brief line in Ammianus Book 15 about his death and his earlier resistance to Decentius.

Presumably he was implicated in the usurpation of Silvanus, or was named by one of the many informers as having been involved. Most of those accused and executed following the affair seem to have been loyal officers right up to the moment of revolt.

Ammianus suggests there was something fishy about the whole thing, and that the trials, tortures and executions were more of a panicked witch-hunt. Probably the upper hierarchy of the Gallic aristocracy and military command was taking the opportunity to settle some old personal scores.
Which begs the question how Laniogaisus, who was right on the spot advising Silvanus not to turn to the Franks across the Rhine, escaped censure, torture and execution to go on to recorded fame, while these other characters, e.g. Asclepiodotus, Lutto and Maudio get the chop. Who'dey?
Did Laniogaisus go on to fame? I can't find a record of him beyond the Silvanus incident - Ammianus says he was 'at that time a tribune', but perhaps only to indicate his promotion since the earlier episode at the death of Constans, when he was a candidatus.

However, he isn't explicitly mentioned as being punished, which might suggest that he decided to turn state's evidence, as they say, and inform on his superiors. The comment of Malarich (15,5) that 'men devoted ot the imperial service' should not be 'sacrificed to the machinations of a cabal' indicates both the relative innocence of the accused and the broader workings of conspiracy - perhaps Laniogaisus was in on it from the start, as a sort of agent provocateur?
Yes, Laniogaisus was a candidatus/bodyguard under Constans, and the author of Emperors Don't Die in Bed goes so far as to describe him as a blond lover of Constans, which I can't find corroborated anywhere else. That might be a reason why Constantius spared him,(for his loyalty to his late brother,) or possibly because of lobbying by the very strong contingent of loyal Franks dominating the court in Milan at the time, such as Malarich or Mallobaudes. There is less evidence that he was an agent provocateur or testifed against Silvanus, but of course, its possible.
What a messy tale overall.
Quote:the author of Emperors Don't Die in Bed goes so far as to describe him as a blond lover of Constans

What a bizarre idea! Fik Meijer is (according to Amazon) a 'professor of Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam, translator and author', but how he's managed to translate candidatus as 'blond lover' truly escapes me...
Yes, Fik Meijer seems to have done a 2+2=9 there, as we know that Constans 'favored' blond German archers among his retinue over genuine officers, and Meijer assumes that Laniogaisus was both blond and an archer and not a Franco-Roman but a German captive. I guess we'll let him take his own Pfeifer-esque Leap to the Island of Conclusions on his own.

In answer to your previous question, I made an incautious leap myself in overtrusting Bowersock perhaps, attached here, where he lumps Langiogaisus in with 'subsequent Frankish commanders who exercised enormous power within the western empire.' I would love to know what his source is for including Laniogaisus in that list, as you are right, it's not in A.M. But he must have seen something.
Yet, perhaps our friend Fik isn't completely off base and merely did a 2+2=5. AM says Laniogaisus urged Silvanus not to cross the river, whence Laniogaisus "unde oriebatur", i.e. where he'd been raised, meaning that he had crossed into Roman territory possibly as a prisoner of war. If he was a prisoner of war during Constans' reign, then his position as the last bodyguard to accompany the doomed emperor as far as the Pyrenees does look compromising, given Constans' particular tastes.