Patricius also Patriciolus; Greek: Πατρίκιος; floruit 459–471) was a son of the powerful general Aspar, for almost two decades the effective power behind the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire. Of mixed Roman and barbarian origin, Patricius was destined for the imperial throne by his father. He rose to the rank of caesar under Emperor Leo I, before his father's murder in 471 led to his own downfall and possibly death.
|Spouse||Leontia (daughter of Leo I)|
annulled c. 471
|Dynasty||Leonid (by marriage)|
|Father||Aspar (magister militum)|
The name "Patricius", of ostentatious Roman origin, suggests that the father had plans for him, up to the imperial throne. Patricius was appointed consul in 459 by the Eastern court.
In 470, in an episode of the struggle for power between Aspar and the Isaurian general Zeno, Aspar persuaded the Emperor to appoint Patricius as caesar and give him in marriage his daughter Leontia. However, the clergy and people of Constantinople believed an Arian was not eligible to become an Emperor, and on hearing of the appointment riots broke out in the city hippodrome, led by the head of the Sleepless Monks, Marcellus. Aspar and Leo had to promise to the bishops that Patricius would convert to Chalcedonian Orthodoxy before becoming Emperor, and that he would marry Leontia only after his conversion.
In 471 an imperial conspiracy caused the death of Aspar and of his eldest son Ardabur: it is possible that Patricius also was killed on this occasion, although some sources report that he recovered from his wounds; in any case, after this episode, Patricius disappears from the sources. The marriage with Leontia was annulled, and later she married Marcian.
- Brian Croke, "Dynasty and Ethnicity: Emperor Leo and the Eclipse of Aspar", Chiron 35 (2005), 193.
- Alemany, Agustí, Sources on the Alans: A Critical Compilation, Brill Academic Publishers, 2000, ISBN 90-04-11442-4, p. 114.
- Amory, Patrick, People and Identity in Ostrogothic Italy, 489-554, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-521-52635-3, p. 284, 288.
- Bury, John Bagnall, "X.1 Leo I (A.D. 457‑474)", History of the Later Roman Empire, 1958, Dover Books, pp. 389–395
- Thiele, Andreas, Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte Band III Europäische Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser Ergänzungsband, R.G. Fischer Verlag 1994 Tafel 490
- Williams, Stephen, The Rome That Did Not Fall: the survival of the East in the fifth century, Routledge, 1999, ISBN 0-415-15403-0, p. 180.