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Ioannes, (Latin: Iohannes Augustus) known in English as Joannes
Joannes
or even John, was a Roman usurper (423–425) against Valentinian III. On the death of the Emperor Honorius (15 August 423), Theodosius II, the remaining ruler of the House of Theodosius hesitated in announcing his uncle's death. In the interregnum, Honorius's patrician at the time of his death, Castinus, elevated Joannes
Joannes
as emperor. History[edit] Joannes
Joannes
was a primicerius notariorum or senior civil servant at the time of his elevation. Procopius
Procopius
praised him as "both gentle and well-endowed with sagacity and thoroughly capable of valorous deeds."[1] Unlike the Theodosian emperors, he tolerated all Christian sects. From the beginning, his control over the empire was insecure. In Gaul, his praetorian prefect was slain at Arles
Arles
in an uprising of the soldiery there.[2] And Bonifacius, Comes
Comes
of the Diocese of Africa, held back the grain fleet destined to Rome.[3] "The events of Johannes' reign are as shadowy as its origins," writes John Matthews, who then provides a list of the ruler's known actions in a single paragraph. Joannes
Joannes
was proclaimed at Rome
Rome
and praetorian games were provided at the expense of a member of the gens Anicia. Johannes then moved his base of operations to Ravenna, knowing full well that the Eastern Empire
Eastern Empire
would strike from that direction. There is a mention of an expedition against Africa, but its fate, presumed unsuccessful, is unrecorded. In Gaul, he appears to have caused offense by submitting clerics to secular courts. And that is all.[4] Joannes
Joannes
had hoped that he could come to an agreement with the Eastern Emperor, but when Theodosius II
Theodosius II
elevated the young Valentinian III, first to Caesar, then to co-emperor as an Augustus
Augustus
(undoubtedly influenced by Valentinian's mother Galla Placidia), he knew he could only expect war. Late in 424, he gave to one of his younger and most promising followers, Aëtius, an important mission. Aëtius, Governor of the Palace at the time, was sent to the Huns, with whom he had lived as a hostage earlier, to seek military help.[5] While Aëtius was away, the army of the Eastern Empire
Eastern Empire
left Thessalonica
Thessalonica
for Italy, and soon camped in Aquileia. Although the primary sources state that Ravenna
Ravenna
fell to their assault – John of Antioch states that a shepherd led the army of Aspar
Aspar
safely through the marshes that protected the city[6]– Stewart Oost believes that Aspar's father, Ardaburius, who had been captured by Joannes' soldiers, convinced the garrison of Ravenna
Ravenna
to betray the city.[7] The fallen emperor was brought to Aquileia
Aquileia
where first his hand was cut off, then he was paraded on a donkey in the Hippodrome
Hippodrome
to the insults of the populace. After further insults and injuries, Joannes
Joannes
was finally decapitated in June or July 425.[8] Three days after Joannes's death, Aëtius returned at the head of a substantial Hunnic army. After some skirmishing, Placidia, regent to her son, and Aëtius came to an agreement that established the political landscape of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
for the next thirty years. The Huns
Huns
were paid off and sent home, while Aetius received the position of magister militum (commander-in-chief of the Roman army).[9] The historian Adrian Goldsworthy
Adrian Goldsworthy
writes that "it took a hard-fought campaign by strong elements of the East Roman army
Roman army
and navy, in addition to a fair dose of betrayal," to defeat Joannes.[10] References[edit]

^ Procopius, De Bellus III.3.6. Translated by H.B. Dewing, Procopius (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1979), vol. 2 p. 25 ^ Stewart Oost Galla Placidia
Galla Placidia
Augusta: A biographical essay (Chicago: University Press, 1968), p. 186 ^ Olympiodorus, fragment 40. Translated by C.D. Gordon, Age of Attila: Fifth Century Byzantium and the Barbarians (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1966), pp. 44f ^ John Matthews, Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court AD 364 – 425 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), pp. 379f ^ Renatus Frigeridus, cited in Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, II.8; translated by Lewis Thorpe, History of the Franks (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974), pp. 118f ^ John of Antioch, fragment 195; translated by C.D. Gordon, Age of Attila, p. 47 ^ Oost, Galla Placidia
Galla Placidia
Augusta, pp. 188f ^ Procopius, III.3.9; translated by Dewing, pp. 75ff ^ Oost, Galla Placidia
Galla Placidia
Augusta, pp. 189f ^ Adrian Goldsworthy, The Fall of the West: The Slow Death of the Roman Superpower, Orion Books Ltd, Paperback Edition 2010, London, pp. 305 and 436

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ioannes.

Hugh Elton, "Ioannes", from De Imperatoribus Romanis"

Joannes Non-dynastic Born: 16 March

Regnal titles

Preceded by Honorius and Constantius III Western Roman Emperor 423–425 Succeeded by Valentinian III

Political offices

Preceded by Flavius Castinus, Victor Consul of the Roman Empire 425 with Flavius Theodosius Augustus
Augustus
and Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Caesar Succeeded by Flavius Theodosius Augustus, Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Caesar

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIA

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