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On this page: Rom An Us – Romanus – Romanus Hispo – Romanus I

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ROMANUS.

of the Greeks. (Plut. Romul. 1 ; Tzetz. ad Ly-coph. 921.)

3. A daughter of Italus and Lucania, or a daughter of Telephus. In some traditions she was said to have been the wife of Aeneas or Ascanius, and to have given her name to the city of Rome. (Plut. Romul. 2.) [L.S.]

ROM AN US, a friend of the younger Pliny, to whom several of his letters are addressed (JEp. iv. 29, vi. 15, 33, viii. 8, ix. 7). Pliny had two friends of this name, Romanus Firmus and Voco-nius Romanus, and it is probable that some of the above letters are addressed to one of these persons, but it is impossible to say to which.

ROMANUS, FIRMUS, a friend and muni-ceps of the younger Pliny, with whom the latter had been brought up, and to whom he addresses one of his letters, in which he offers to give him a sufficient sum of money to raise him to the eques­trian rank. (Ep. i. 19.)

ROMANUS, FA'BIUS, one of the friends of the poet Lucan, accused Mela, the father of the poet, after the death of the latter, because Nero was anxious to obtain his property. (Tac. Ann. xvi. 17.)

ROMANUS HISPO, a Roman rhetorician, who earned an infamous character by undertaking prosecutions to please the early emperors. He is first mentioned at the commencement of the reign of Tiberius, when he supported the accusation of Caepio Crispinus against Granius Marcellus. In a. d. 62, he accused Seneca as one of the associates of C. Piso, but the accusation was retorted upon him by Seneca (Tac. Ann. i. 74, xvi. 17). Ro­manus Hispo constantly occurs as one of the declaimers in the Controversiae of the elder Seneca.

ROMANUS, JU'LIUS, a Roman poet, whoss name is prefixed to an epigram on Petronius Ar­biter in the Latin Anthology (ii. 235, ed. Bur-mann, No. 1544, ed. Meyer). This Julius, how­ever, as Niebuhr points out (Kleine Schriften^ p. 347), is not an ancient writer, but Julius Sa-binus, otherwise called Julius Pomponius Laetus, who died in the year 1497. (Comp. Meyer, Annot. ad Anthol. Lat. vol. ii. p. 122.)

ROMANUS, VOCO'NIUS, a fellow-student and an intimate friend of the younger Pliny, was the son of an illustrious Roman eques, and his mother belonged to one of the most distinguished families in Nearer Spain (Plin. Ep. ii. 13). If we may trust the testimony of his friend, Voco-nius was a distinguished orator, and possessed great skill in composition. Several of Pliny's let­ters are addressed to him. (Ep. i. 5, ii. 1, ix. 28.)

ROMANUS I., LECAPE'NUS ('Pc^a^s 6 Aa/caTTTji/os), Byzantine emperor from a. D. 919 —944, was the son of Theophylactus Abastactus, a brave warrior, who had once saved the life of the emperor Basil. Romanus served in the im­perial fleet, distinguished himself on many occa­sions, and enjoyed the esteem of his fellow-soldiers on account of his rare bravery. One of his men having been attacked by a lion, Romanus, who was near, rushed to his assistance and killed the monster in single combat. When the young Constantine VII. Porphyrogenitus, ascended the throne, Romanus was high admiral, and com­manded the fleet on the Danube in the war with the Bulgarians, but as he suddenly withdrew with

ROMANUS.

his ship and made sail for Constantinople, he was accused of treachery by Leo Phocas. It must, however, be understood that both the accused and the accuser aimed at supreme power, and Romanus left the theatre of the war, probably for the pur­pose of being within reach of the throne, as well as of the man who wanted to place himself thereon. A civil war was on the point of breaking out, when Romanus, patronised and perhaps loved by the dowager empress, seized upon the chamberlain Constantine, one of the most influential adherents of Phocas, who avenged the captivity of his friend by taking up arms. Romanus, who had been appointed Magnus Hetaeriarcha, or commander in chief of the foreign body-guard of the emperor, worsted Phocas, and in reward was made Caesar in September, and crowned as Augustus and emperor on the 17th December, 919. He had previously given his daughter Helena in marriage to the young em­peror Constantine, and shortly after his accession he conferred the rank of Augustus and Augusta upon his son Christopher and his wife Theodora. Romanus was now the legitimate colleague of Constantine VII., over whom he exercised such authority as to cause many plots against his life, and sometimes open rebellions, which he succeeded in quelling.

The following are the principal events of his reign. The great schism of the church, which had lasted ever since the deposition of the patriarch Euthymius and the famous fourth wedlock of the emperor Leo VI., was at last healed, in 920, through the intervention of Pope JohnX. ; and by an edict of Constantine VII. of the same year, a fourth marriage was declared anti-canonical, and made punishable. In 921 another of those inter­minable wars with the Bulgarians, or perhaps only a fresh and formidable invasion, drew the attention of Romanus towards the Danube, but the Bul­garians saved him the trouble of going so far away from Constantinople by advancing thither with all their force, and ravaging the country. This war became still ,more formidable when Simeon, the king of the Bulgarians concluded, in 923, an al­liance with the Arabs. But we purposely refrain from giving the details of these barbarous wars, presenting little more than an uninterrupted series of bloodshed and devastations without profit to either party. A remarkable interview between Romanus and Simeon, which took place in 926, under the walls of Constantinople, put a temporary end to these troubles. In the previous year the patrician John Radinus worsted and destroyed the fleet of the famous pirate chief Leo, of Tripolis, who had sacked Thessalonica twenty-two years pre­viously. In 927 King Simeon died, after having ruined Bulgaria through his very victories, and was succeeded by his son Peter, who was less warlike, though not less courageous than his father ; for he entered the Byzantine territory at the head of a strong army, proposing to the emperor to choose between war and peace, on condition of his giving him his grand-daughter in marriage, a proposition which Romanus the more eagerly accepted, as he wanted all his forces to check the progress of the Arabs. His possessions in Italy also required pro­tection against the petty Lombard princes. In 901 Christopher died, the eldest son of Romanus and hus­band of Sophia, the daughter of Nicetas magister palatii, who a short time previously had been sent, into a convent for a conspiracy against the emperor.

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