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Headword: Τριβωνιανός
Adler number: tau,956
Translated headword: Tribonian, Tribonianus, Tribonianos
Vetting Status: high
[Son] of Macedonianus, [descended?] from advocates of the prefects.[1]
This Tribonian was a Greek and an atheist, disinclined toward the faith of the Christians in all respects; he was also a flatterer and a rogue, persuading Justinian the emperor that he would not die, but that he would be taken up into the heavens with [his] body.[2] And he was Justinian’s quaestor.
This man enjoyed natural strength and had arrived at the pinnacle of education less than that of no one at his time: and he, bizarrely enthusiastic in his love of money, was always able to sell justice for profit. Concerning laws, on each day, as far as was in his power, he used to annul some and write others, selling one or the other to those who asked according to their desire.[3] But having survived for many years in this post, he died from disease, having suffered nothing disagreeable from anyone. For he was both wily and especially likable and he was most capable of overshadowing the disease of avarice by the abundance of his education.[4]
Greek Original:
Τριβωνιανός, Μακεδονιανοῦ, ἀπὸ δικηγόρων τῶν ὑπάρχων. οὗτος ὁ Τριβωνιανὸς Ἕλλην ὑπῆρχε καὶ ἄθεος, ἀλλότριος κατὰ πάντα τῆς τῶν Χριστιανῶν πίστεως: κόλαξ δὲ καὶ ἀπατεὼν καὶ πείθων Ἰουστινιανὸν τὸν βασιλέα, ὡς ὅτι οὐκ ἀποθανεῖται, ἀλλ' εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς μετὰ σαρκὸς ἀναληφθήσεται. ἦν δὲ κοϊαίστωρ Ἰουστινιανοῦ. οὗτος φύσεως μὲν δυνάμει ἐχρῆτο καὶ παιδείας ἐς ἄκρον ἀφίκετο τῶν κατ' αὑτὸν οὐδενὸς ἧσσον: ἐς δὲ φιλοχρηματίαν δαιμονίως ἐσπουδακὼς οἷός τε ἦν κέρδους ἀεὶ τὸ δίκαιον ἀποδίδοσθαι, τῶν τε νόμων ἡμέρᾳ οἱ ἐκ τοῦ ἐπιπλεῖστον ἑκάστῃ τοὺς μὲν ἀνῄρει, τοὺς δὲ ἔγραφεν, ἀπεμπολῶν τοῖς δεομένοις κατὰ τὴν χρείαν ἑκάτερον. ἔτη δὲ πολλὰ ἐπιβιοὺς τῇ τιμῇ ἐτελεύτησε νόσῳ, οὐδὲν ἄχαρι πρὸς οὐδενὸς παθών. ἦν γὰρ αἱμύλος τε καὶ τἄλλα ἡδὺς καὶ τῆς φιλοχρηματίας τὸ νόσημα ἐπισκιάσαι ἱκανώτατος τῆς παιδείας περιουσίᾳ.
Τριβωνιανός (Tribonianus/Tribonian) is also written Τριβουνιανός ; see tau 951. The same Tribonian is also the subject of tau 957 and is mentioned in alpha 112.
[1] This phrase, also used of of Tribonian in tau 957 and of Sergius of Zeugma in sigma 246, may refer to rank rather than descent. The term ὕπαρχος (translated here as 'prefect') can be used of prefects, proconsuls and provincial legates, and in the late Roman empire "Expraefect" (ἀπὸ ὑπάρχων ) existed as an honorary rank.
[2] A paraphrase of Hesychius of Miletus (fr. 7 Müller), whose source in turn seems to be Procopius, Secret History 13.11-12.
[3] = Procopius, History of the Wars of Justinian 1.24.16 (though the Suda begins this section with οὗτος instead of τριβουνιανὸς δὲ ).
[4] = Procopius, History of the Wars of Justinian 1.25.2 (though Procopius has ἄλλο before οὐδὲν , producing the meaning "...suffered nothing else disagreeable").
Keywords: biography; Christianity; definition; economics; ethics; historiography; history; law; medicine; politics; religion
Translated by: John Mulhall on 16 October 2011@11:14:38.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (tweaked hw, modified translation and notes, cosmetics, added keywords) on 17 October 2011@09:14:32.
David Whitehead (expanded n.2; another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 17 October 2011@10:09:17.
David Whitehead on 15 January 2014@05:48:13.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics) on 28 November 2014@14:32:27.


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