Infobox Roman emperor
name =Anthemius
full name=
title=Emperor of the
Western Roman Empire

caption =Anthemius on a gold coin. His title is "Our Lord, Anthemius, Pious, Fortunate, Augustus".
reign =April 12 467 -
July 11 472
predecessor =Libius Severus
successor =Olybrius
spouse 1 =Marcia Euphemia
issue =Alypia (wife of Ricimer), Anthemiolus, Marcian, Procopius Anthemius and Romulus
date of birth=c. 420
date of death=death date|472|7|11|mf=y|
:"See Anthemius of Tralles for an architect of Hagia Sophia. For the Praetorian prefect and grandfather of the Emperor, see Anthemius (praetorian prefect)."

Procopius Anthemius or Prokopios Anthemios (c. 420 – 11 July 472) was a Western Roman Emperor from 12 April 467 until his death.

One of the "shadow emperors" of the 5th century, he was perhaps the last able emperor. Anthemius attempted to solve the two primary military challenges facing the remains of the Western Roman Empire: the resurgent Visigoths, under Euric, whose domain straddled the Pyrenees; and the unvanquished Vandals, under Geiseric, in undisputed control of North Africa.

Anthemius was of the gens Procopia. His reign began on a hopeful note. Anthemius had the backing of Leo I, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, and had married his daughter to the chief military strongman of Italy, Ricimer. A skilled general in Illyricum, Marcellinus, ceased his active opposition and pledged his allegiance to the new emperor. Anthemius also gained support from a backer far outside of the existing circle of possible supporters: one Riothamus with a Romano-British army joined with Anthemius, and the alliance attempted to encroach on Euric. However, Euric was able to defeat not only Riothamus's army and the various Roman forces, but annexed numerous Gallic cities that still remained in Roman hands.

Meanwhile, the kingdom of the Vandals had presented a constant threat to Roman seafare in the Mediterranean, and Anthemius and his Eastern Roman colleague Leo I undertook a concerted effort to dislodge them from North Africa (468). As commanders were appointed the western patrician Marcellinus and the eastern general Basiliscus. Although the campaign against Gaiseric initially made significant gains, Basiliscus allowed his fleet to be destroyed before Carthage by Gaiseric. Thus the expedition ended in utter failure, and in its wake, Marcellinus was murdered that same year on Sicily.

In 470, following all of this misfortune, Anthemius fell into a serious sickness, and believing that it was caused by sorcery, exacted vengeance on numerous prominent men. The "magister militum", Ricimer, lost patience with Anthemius, summoned 6000 men who had been enlisted for the war against the Vandals, and began armed opposition in Milan against Anthemius in Rome. This conflict between emperor and military strongman ended five months later with Ricimer's conquest of Rome, and the capture and execution of Anthemius.

Sources for Anthemius's life are richer than for most fifth century Western Emperors, partly because of his origin in Constantinople, where the tradition of court histories was kept alive, and partly because of the details that can be extracted from a panegyric delivered January 1 468 by the Gallo-Roman poet Sidonius Apollinaris. A son of Anthemius, Anthemiolus, is mentioned in the near-contemporary "Chronica Gallica of 511".

Marriage and children

Anthemius married Marcia Euphemia, the only known daughter of Marcian, Byzantine Emperor. The identity of her mother is unknown. [ [ Geoffrey S. Nathan, "Marcian (450-457 A.D.)"] ] [ [ Profile of Marcian and his daughter in "Medieval Lands" by Charles Cawley] ] [ [ R. B. Stewart, "My Lines: Aelia Marcia Euphemia"] ] Her stepmother was Pulcheria, second wife of her father. [ [ Geoffrey Greatrex, "Pulcheria (Wife of the Emperor Marcian)"] ]

Euphemia and Anthemius would have five known children, one daughter and four sons. Their daughter Alypia is known as the wife of Ricimer. Their sons were Anthemiolus, Marcian, Procopius Anthemius and Romulus. Marcian married Leontia, a daughter of Leo I and Verina. The couple led a failed revolt against Zeno in 478-479. They were exiled to Isauria following their defeat. [Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. 2]


External links

* [ De Imperatoribus Romanis website:] Anthemius, Ralph W. Mathisen (University of South Carolina)
* [,M1-- Profile of his wife in the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire]

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