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Germanus was a ''
Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey Caesar's C ...
'' of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
. He married Charito, a daughter of
Tiberius II Constantine Tiberius II Constantine ( la, Constantinus; grc-gre, Τιβέριος Κωνσταντῖνος, ; died 14 August 582) was Byzantine emperor, Eastern Roman emperor from 574 to 582. Tiberius rose to power in 574 when Justin II, prior to a mental ...
and
Ino Anastasia Ino ( el, ), renamed Aelia Anastasia (died 593) was the Empress consort of Tiberius II Constantine (r. 578–582) of the Byzantine Empire, and ''Augusta (honorific), Augusta'' from 578 until her death. Life Early life and marriages According to ...
. According to
Michael Whitby L. Michael Whitby is a British ancient historian Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWo ...
, Germanus was a
patrician Patrician may refer to: * Patrician (ancient Rome), the original aristocratic families of ancient Rome, and a synonym for "aristocratic" in modern English usage * Patrician (post-Roman Europe), the governing elites of cities in parts of medieval a ...
and governor of the
praetorian prefecture of Africa The praetorian prefecture of Africa ( la, praefectura praetorio Africae) was a major administrative division of the Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation ...
. He was chosen by the dying Tiberius II as a viable heir for his throne in 582. "In a dual ceremony on 5 August Germanus ... and Maurice were elevated to the rank of Caesar and betrothed to Tiberius' two daughters, Charito and
Constantina Constantina (also named ''Constantia'' and ''Constantiana''; b. after 307/before 317 – d. 354), and later known as Saint Constance, was the eldest daughter of Roman emperor Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constan ...
.".Whitby (1988), p. 7 Whitby regards the arrangement as indicating Tiberius' plans to have two co-rulers as successors. He suggests that the dying emperor might have even been trying to reintroduce the concept of a Western and Eastern Roman Emperor, with Germanus and Maurice chosen for their respective connections to the western and eastern provinces of the Empire. Whitby identifies this Germanus with a similarly named son born to Germanus (d. 550) and
Matasuntha Mataswintha, also spelled Matasuintha, Matasuentha, Mathesuentha, Matasvintha, or Matasuntha, (fl. 550), was a daughter of Eutharic Eutharic Cilliga (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic br ...
.Whitby (1988), p. 7 According to a statement in
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century Eastern Roman The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces durin ...
' ''
Getica ''De origine actibusque Getarum'' (''The Origin and Deeds of the Getae oths'), commonly abbreviated ''Getica'', written in Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
'', the senior Germanus was a descendant of the noble Roman clan of the
Anicii The gens Anicia (or the Anicii) was a plebs, plebeian family at ancient Rome, mentioned first towards the end of the fourth century BC. The first of the Anicii to achieve prominence under the Roman Republic, Republic was Lucius Anicius Gallus, who ...
. The exact nature of his connection however, if it is anything more than a literary device to indicate noble descent, is unclear.
Theodor Mommsen Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (; 30 November 1817 – 1 November 1903) was a German classical scholar Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world traditionally refers to the study of Anci ...

Theodor Mommsen
hypothesized that his mother could have been a daughter of
Anicia Juliana Anicia Juliana (Constantinople, 462 – 527/528) was a Late Antique Roman imperial princess, wife of the ''magister militum'' of the eastern Roman empire, Areobindus Dagalaiphus Areobindus, patron of the great Church of St Polyeuctus in Constantin ...

Anicia Juliana
.Bury (1958), p. 255 Matasuntha was a daughter of
Eutharic Eutharic Cilliga (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the R ...
and
Amalasuntha Amalasuintha (30 April 534/535) ruled the Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaí ...
. She was a sister of
Athalaric Athalaric (; 5162 October 534) was the king of the Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era Germanic peoples, Germanic people. In the 5th century, they followed the Visigoths in creating one of the two great Go ...
, King of the
Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a Roman-era The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: P ...
. Their maternal grandparents were
Theodoric the Great Theodoric (or Theoderic) the Great (454 – 30 August 526), also called Theodoric the Amal ( la, Flāvius Theoderīcus; el, Θευδέριχος, Theuderichos), was king of the Ostrogoths The Ostrogoths ( la, Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were a ...
and
Audofleda Audofleda was a Gothic queen. She was the sister of Clovis I Clovis ( la, Chlodovechus; reconstructed Old Frankish, Frankish: ; – 27 November 511) was the first List of Frankish kings, king of the Franks to unite all of the Franks, Frankish ...
. Whitby suggests that a dual origin from the Anicii and Ostrogoth royalty would indeed give the new Caesar a strong claim to ruling Africa and the
Praetorian prefecture of Italy The praetorian prefecture of Italy ( la, Praefectura praetorio Italiae, in its full form (until 356) ) was one of four Praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided. It comprised the Italian peninsula, the Western Balkans, t ...
.Whitby (1988), p. 7 However, the common name "Germanus" may hint to these figures being related to each other but there are insufficient evidence for identifications. The Chronicle of
John of NikiûJohn of Nikiû (fl. ''Floruit'' (), abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor.), Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
records on the death of Tiberius: "He died in peace in the third year of his reign. It was owing to the sins of men that his days were so few; for they were not worthy of such a Godloving emperor, and so they lost this gracious and good man. Before he died he gave orders that his son-in-law, named Germanus, should be raised to the imperial throne. Now he had formerly been patrician. But owing to his humility of heart he refused to be emperor. Thereupon Maurice, who was of the province of
Cappadocia Cappadocia (; also ''Capadocia''; grc, label=Ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past events
, was made emperor." Whitby considers this to be the only primary source for Tiberius preferring Germanus over Maurice. He feels it has more to do with John's bias against Maurice than accuracy. John of Nikiû vehemently criticizes the religious policies of Maurice and even calls him a
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, includ ...
Whitby (1988), p. 7 The narrative of John of Nikiû is contradicted by the ''Historia Francorum'' of
Gregory of Tours Gregory of Tours (30 November 538 – 17 November 594 AD) was a Gallo-Roman Gallo-Roman culture was a consequence of the Romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of langu ...
which also records Byzantine events. He depicts Maurice as hand-picked to be heir, first by dowager empress
Sophia Sophia means "wisdom" in Greek language, Greek. It may refer to: *Sophia (wisdom) *Sophia (Gnosticism) *Sophia (given name) Places *Niulakita or Sophia, an island of Tuvalu *Sophia, North Carolina, an unincorporated community in Randolph County * ...
and then by Tiberius II.Whitby (1988), p. 7 Germanus disappears from sources following his marriage. He may have resurfaced as the ''patricius'' Germanus mentioned in the 7th century, whose daughter married Maurice's eldest son
Theodosius Theodosius (Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisation in the Soviet Union, the campaign in the USSR during the 1920s and 1930s to replace ...
. Once again, the identification is uncertain.Lynda Garland, "Constantina, Wife of Maurice". 1999 article
/ref>


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External links


The Emperor Maurice and his historian: Theophylact Simocatta on Persian and Balkan warfareGold medallion commemorating Germanus' marriage to Charito
{{DEFAULTSORT:Germanus Justinian dynasty 6th-century Byzantine people Caesars (heirs apparent) Anicii