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Headword: Eutropios
Adler number: epsilon,3777
Translated headword: Eutropius
Vetting Status: high
The chamberlain of the emperor Arcadius.[1] There was nothing dreadful that he failed to do. He sold government offices publicly, falsely accused people with power, got rid of the leading men through exile, and brought all manner of outrageous force against the members of the Senate. Nor did he even hold himself back from alliance with foreigners, as if he was hoping to take over the position of the emperor. And once, wanting to arrest those who had taken refuge in the churches, he gave a command ordering that these people be dragged out from the altars. And, while the law had been written, yet justice followed straightway after his savagery. For, not much later Eutropius, after quarreling with the emperor, himself became a refugee and was lying under the altar, while John Chrysostom was bishop.[2] After being pulled away from there, within a night he was beheaded. Thus, then, Eutropius paid the penalty for his sin and was erased from the very list of the consuls, for Theodorus, his fellow consul, has been recorded as the only one.
[It is said that] under this Eutropius eunuchs[3] as a class increased and grew so great in number because of his importance and power that then even some of those who already had beards wanted to become eunuchs and were deprived of their life[4] along with their testicles.
Greek Original:
Eutropios, ho tou Arkadiou tou basileôs prokoitos: hos ouden tôn deinôn apelimpanen, tas te archas dêmosiai pipraskôn kai tous tês dunameôs sukophantôn exoriais te tous megistanas hupoballôn kai pasan hubrin tois tês sunklêtou boulês epagôn. all' oude tês tôn barbarôn apeicheto summachias, hôs an autos elpizôn es tên tou basileôs metabainein axian. kai pote kai tous en tais ekklêsiais pepheugotas sullambanein boulomenos prouthêken epitrepôn toutous ek tôn thusiastêriôn aphelkesthai. kai ho men nomos egegrapto, dikê de eutheôs tês ômotêtos êkolouthei. met' ou polu gar proskrousas tôi basilei Eutropios en tois prosphuxin egeneto kai hupo to thusiastêrion ekeito, Iôannou episkopountos tou Chrusostomou, ekeithen te aphairetheis nuktos tês kephalês apotemnetai. houtô men ho Eutropios dikas tês hamartados hupostas kai ex autou tou katalogou tôn hupatôn êmeiphthê, monou tou sunupateusantos Theodôrou gegrammenou. hoti epi toutou tou Eutropiou to tôn eunouchôn ethnos dia tên ekeinou barutêta kai dunasteian es tosouton epedôke kai paretathê plêthous, hôste tines êdê kai tôn geneiadas echontôn eunouchoi boulêthentes genesthai, sun tois orchesin kai tês psuchês aphêirethêsan.
On Eutropius, see Claudian, In Eutropium (web address 1); J.B. Bury History of the Later Roman Empire I.5.2-4 (web address 2); and already epsilon 3776.
The first paragraph of the present entry is derived from John of Antioch fr.189 FHG (4.610), now 283 Roberto. Much of it is repeated, with slight changes, at upsilon 169.
[1] Arcadius ruled 395-408. On Arcadius and Eutropius’ role in his reign, see G.B. Nathan’s De Imperatoribus Romanis article 'Arcadius' (web address 3).
[2] For John Chrysostom’s defense of Eutropius, see his two homilies on Eutropius (web address 4) and the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Chrysostom (web address 5).
[3] See epsilon 3776 for bibliography on eunuchs in the ancient world. Though often they held positions of authority in ancient households, cultural prejudices usually kept them from holding high political office. Thus it was thought scandalous that Eutropius gained the consulship.
[4] Whether yuxh/ is here meant to mean 'life' or 'soul' is unclear. Perhaps both meanings are implied. See also sigma 897 which repeats this last paragraph with minor additions.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; historiography; history; law; medicine; politics; religion
Translated by: Abram Ring on 19 December 2007@13:32:00.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation, added cross-reference) on 19 December 2007@21:35:07.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 20 December 2007@03:41:43.
Abram Ring (tweaked translation and x-ref) on 4 May 2009@14:52:54.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 15 November 2012@06:50:00.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 28 November 2014@10:25:08.
Catharine Roth (removed italics) on 29 November 2014@01:12:06.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 29 January 2015@08:58:18.


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