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Easter and the Battle of Pollentia
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Auteur:  Bran map Maclou [ 03 Mar 2010, 10:27 ]
Sujet du message:  Easter and the Battle of Pollentia

Easter and the Battle of Pollentia
By admin, 2 March, 2010, No Comment

Easter and the Battle of Pollentia

By Geoffrey Dunn

Journal of Religious History, Vol.34:1 (2010)

Abstract: Interest in the battle of Pollentia in recent years has been confined to the issue of dating the year in which it occurred, the extent to which either Claudian or Prudentius, the two late Roman poets who mention it, depended on the other’s work, and the significance of the battle in the political and military careers of its two chief protagonists, Stilicho, the Vandal regent of the emperor Honorius, and Alaric, the Visigothic leader and rebellious Roman agent. In this paper, I consider religion as a tactic in the conduct of the battle. We know from Orosius that it was fought at Easter, something for which he chastised Stilicho. While scholars refer to its Easter date and Vanderspoel has found Easter allusions in another of Claudian’s poem written in the light of the battle, none has investigated the significance of the battle taking place at Easter. It is argued here that religious considerations were crucial in determining the moment of engagement and not just coincidental and that, by attacking Alaric at Easter, we have another indication of just how precarious Stilicho’s position was.

Introduction: The battle of Pollentia was one incident in a series that occurred over a decade and a half in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, which involved the Gothic leader Alaric attempting, through both negotiations and military operations, to improve the Gothic position, which had been established by a treaty with the Roman empire in October 382. This paper examines the literary accounts of that battle in Claudian, Prudentius, and Orosius. Rather than concentrate on issues that have preoccupied scholars recently, like the date of the battle and the ways in which each author’s construct reflects their perspectives and propagandist agenda, my main interest here is to consider how the celebration of Easter was used as a tactic in the conduct of the battle.

We know from Procopius that, more than a century later, Belisarius attacked the Persian army of Alamoundaras and Azarethes at Callinicus in 531 on the night of the Easter vigil. At first, he was reluctant to engage the enemy, but the enthusiasm of his troops for combat and their taunting of his attitude changed his mind. His hesitancy is explained by Procopius not in terms of respect for the religious festival but in tactical terms of not wanting to put his army at unnecessary risk in engaging an enemy who was fleeing already. Such a caution ought to have prevailed, given the result. However, the point to be made is that it is entirely coincidental that this battle was fought at Easter. It shall be argued here that this was not the case at Pollentia. Instead, the timing of the battle was chosen deliberately for the Roman army under Stilicho to obtain an advantage over the forces commanded by Alaric, and Stilicho’s taking Easter celebrations into account tactically reveals just how precarious his own position was. The religious affiliation and practice of the two armies was a significant factor, and it is this fact that makes the battle worthy of study within the context of not only military history but religious history as well. We shall begin by reviewing the disputed scholarship to date about Pollentia before turning attention to the importance of its Easter dating. ... 1&SRETRY=0

Auteur:  Stilicon [ 03 Mar 2010, 20:01 ]
Sujet du message:  Re: Easter and the Battle of Pollentia

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhh me voici la lange pendante (sisi, il faut bien regarder mon avatar) :P
Merci à toi Map bran Maclou pour ces quelques lignes. Cependant ton lien ne marche pas (sur mon pc en tout cas). J'ai été appâté sur cette étude du choix de Pâques comme déroulement de la bataille livrée par Stilicho, mais j'aimerai bien savoir ce qu'en déduit cet anglo-saxon quant à la précarité de la situation politique de mon héros à moi tout plein :D

Auteur:  Bran map Maclou [ 04 Mar 2010, 10:44 ]
Sujet du message:  Re: Easter and the Battle of Pollentia ... 1&SRETRY=0

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