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Headword: Λέων
Adler number: lambda,267
Translated headword: Leon, Leo
Vetting Status: high
[Leo], emperor of [the] Romans; [nicknamed] the Butcher.[1] He seemed to be luckier than all the emperors before him and [to be] frightening to all who lived through his reign and [to any] of the barbarians themselves who had heard of him. At least, this is the reputation[2] he has left behind for the common people. But, as for me, says Malchus,[3] I do not consider it luck, if one strips his subjects of their property, keeps slanderers continually on his payroll to accuse them, makes personal accusations whenever he cannot find someone else [to do it], and stockpiles the gold from all the earth to deposit only for his personal wealth, while causing the cities to be drained of the prosperous abundance which they had before so that they can no longer easily bear the tribute which they used to pay. And, to put it simply, Malchus[4] maintains that he was a lodging-house of every villainy. At any rate [it was he] who also exiled Hyperechius the grammarian, and once too, when he declared that a food stipend be granted to Eulogius the philosopher, one of the eunuchs said that the funds would be appropriately spent on the soldiers, but Leo replied: "I wish it would happen in my lifetime that the [money] of the soldiers be provided to the teachers." In his time Acacius[5] was patriarch [sc. of Constantinople].
See also concerning his expenses under the entry "management."[6]
Greek Original:
Λέων, βασιλεὺς Ῥωμαίων, ὁ Μακέλλης: ὃς ἔδοξε τῶν πρὸ αὐτοῦ βασιλέων ἁπάντων εὐτυχέστατος εἶναι καὶ φοβερὸς ἅπασι τοῖς τε ὑπ' ἐκείνου τὴν βασιλείαν τελοῦσι καὶ τῶν βαρβάρων αὐτῶν, ὅσοις εἰς φήμην ἀφίκετο. καὶ ταύτην μὲν τοῖς πολλοῖς καταλέλοιπε δόξαν. ἐγὼ δέ, φησὶ Μάλχος, εὐτυχίαν οὐκ οἶμαι, εἴ τις τῶν ἀρχομένων τὰ ὄντα διασυλῶν καὶ μισθούμενος ἀεὶ συκοφάντας ἐς τοῦτο καὶ κατηγορῶν αὐτός, ὅτε μὴ ἄλλον ἀνηύρισκε, καὶ τὸν χρυσὸν ἐξ ἁπάσης τῆς γῆς συλλεξάμενος, ἑαυτῷ μόνῳ κατάθοιτο, ἐρήμους μὲν τὰς πόλεις ἧσπερ ἔμπροσθεν εἶχον εὐπορίας ποιήσας, ὡς μηκέτι τοὺς φόρους, οὓς ἐτέλουν, δύνασθαι μετ' εὐχερείας ἀπενεγκεῖν. καὶ ἁπλῶς πάσης κακίας ἀπισχυρίζεται ὁ Μάλχος γενέσθαι αὐτὸν καταγώγιον. ὅς γε καὶ Ὑπερέχιον τὸν γραμματικὸν ἐφυγάδευσε καί ποτε καὶ τῷ Εὐλογίῳ τῷ φιλοσόφῳ σιτηρέσιον εἰπὼν δοθῆναι, τινὸς τῶν εὐνούχων λέγοντος, ὅτι ταῦτα εἰς στρατιώτας προσήκοι δαπανᾶσθαι, εἶπεν: εἴθε γένοιτο ἐπὶ τοῦ ἐμοῦ χρόνου, ὥστε τὰ τῶν στρατιωτῶν εἰς διδασκάλους παρέχεσθαι. ἐπὶ τῶν χρόνων αὐτοῦ Ἀκάκιος ἐγένετο πατριάρχης. ζήτει καὶ περὶ δαπάνης αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ κεχειρικότες.
[1] Leo I, ruled 457-74 AD. See Hugh Elton's DIR entry at web address 1 for a discussion of his reign, with bibliography. See Blockley [below] for another translation of most of this entry (vol. 2: 409 & 411) and for a brief discussion of the Suda's use of Malchus (vol. 1: 125), who is cited twice in this entry.
[2] The Greek word for "reputation" here, δόξαν , links this statement clearly back to "he seemed" which is ἔδοξε in the Greek.
[3] This, as well as the second mention of Malchus below, indicates that much of this account goes back to him: Malchus fr.2a Cresci. See note 1.
[4] See notes 1 and 3.
[5] See alpha 783 and web address 2 (Catholic Encyclopedia) for more on Acacius.
[6] The entry for χειρίζω or κεχειρικότες : chi 245.
Blockley, R. C. The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire. Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus. 2 vols. Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1983
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; definition; economics; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; imagery; military affairs; philosophy; religion
Translated by: Abram Ring on 17 May 2005@14:55:47.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, cross-reference) on 18 May 2005@00:52:31.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 18 May 2005@03:01:35.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 4 December 2005@08:30:12.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaking) on 5 April 2013@03:41:58.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 6 April 2013@00:33:07.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes) on 28 November 2014@23:53:52.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 31 January 2015@08:28:29.


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