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Subject and Keywords:

Chrysaphius   emperor Theodosius II   Priscus of Panium


EOS Organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Filologicznego


The aim of the article is to analyse the sources of the black legend of the eunuchChrysaphius, the powerful minister of the emperor Theodosius II. Unquestionably, in most sources(e.g. Suda, John of Antioch, Theophanes, Malalas, Evagrius Scholasticus, Theodor Lector) biasedreporting and introduction of fabricated and exaggerated facts are found, directed against Chrysaphiuswith the intention of creating a distorted and negative image of him as a powerful eunuch. Thesehistorical texts present him as a wicked creature that controlled everything, seizing everyone’s possessionsand being hated by everyone. It is generally accepted that this historiographical traditionoriginated mainly from the historian Priscus of Panium. However, the careful analysis of Priscus’extant fragments shows that this view cannot be correct. From the famous account of the failed assassinationattempt against Attila one can conclude that Priscus deemed Chrysaphius as a far-sightedpolitician who could count on strong support by his friends and other important figures of the EasternRoman Empire.

Place of publishing:



Polskie Towarzystwo Filologiczne i Uniwersytet Wrocławski



Resource Type:


Detailed Type:

czasopisma (wydawnictwa ciągłe)



Rights holder:

Copyright by Polskie Towarzystwo Filologiczne