People - Ancient Rome: Jovian Born Flavius Jovianus, he was Roman Emperor from 363 to 364.
Ioviānus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
Ioviānus, Flavius Claudius
A Roman emperor, born A.D. 331, the son of Veronianus, of an
illustrious family of Moesia, who had filled important
offices under Constantine. Iovianus served in the army of
Julian , in his unlucky expedition against the Persians; and
when that emperor was killed, A.D. 363, the soldiers
proclaimed him successor. His first task was to save the
army, which was surrounded by the Persians, and in great
distress for provisions. After repelling repeated attacks of
the enemy, he willingly listened to proposals for peace, and
accepted conditions offensive to Roman pride. Iovianus gave
up the city of Nisibis to the Persians, the inhabitants
withdrawing to Amida. On his arrival at Antioch, Iovianus,
who was of the Christian faith, revoked the edicts of Julian
against the Christians. He also supported the orthodox or
Nicene creed against the Arians, and showed his favour to
the bishops who had previously suffered from the Arians, and
especially to Athanasius, who visited him at Having been
acknowledged over the whole Empire, Iovianus set off during
the winter to Constantinople. At Ancyra he assumed the
consular dignity; but, a few days after, being at a place
called Dadastana, in Galatia, he was found dead in his bed,
having been suffocated, as some say, by the vapour of
charcoal burning in his room; according to others, by the
steam of the plaster with which it had been newly laid;
while others, again, suspected him of having been poisoned
or killed by some of his guards. He died February 16, A.D.
364, after a reign of only seven months. The army proclaimed
Valentinianus as his successor (Amm. Marcell. xxv. 5 foll.).
Jovian in Roman Biography
Jo'vi-an, [Lat. Jovia'nus; Fr. Jovien, zho've-4N r
It. Gioviano, jo-ve-4'no,] or, more fully, Jo-vl-a'nus
Fla'vi'-us Clau'dl-us, Emperor of Rome, was born in
Pannonia, 331 A.D. He early distinguished himself as
a commander in the Roman army, and, though an avowed
Christian, received many marks of distinction from Julian
the Apostate, whom he accompanied on his unsuccessful
expedition into Persia. At the death of that sovereign,
in 363, Jovian was elected emperor by the army. The
Roman troops were at that time in imminent clanger,
both on account of the superior Persian forces by which
they were hemmed in, and the great scarcity of provisions.
Jovian, after bravely repelling several attacks of
the enemy, formed a treaty, by which he agreed to give
up the Roman conquests west of the Tigris. Returning,
he spent some time at Antioch, where he annulled
Julian's laws against the Christians and re-established
the orthodox religion. He died in 364, at Dadastana,
in Galatia, as he was proceeding to Constantinople.
See Le Beau, "Histoire du Bas-Kmpire ;" Tillemont, "
des Empereurs ;" Schenkel,
Historia Joviaui," 1617; La
Histoire de PEmpereur Jovien," 2 vols., 1748.
Jovian in Wikipedia
Flavius Jovianus (331 – 17 February 364), commonly known as Jovian, was Roman Emperor from 363 to 364.
Upon the death of emperor Julian during his Sassanid campaign, Jovian was hastily declared emperor by his
soldiers. Jovian sought peace with the Persians on humiliating terms, and reestablished Christianity as
the favored religion of the Empire.
Rise to power -
Jovian was born at Singidunum (today Belgrade, Serbia) in 331, son of (Flavius?) Varronianus, the
commander of Constantius II's imperial bodyguards (comes domesticorum). He also joined the guards, and by
363 had risen to the same command that his father had once held. In this capacity, Jovian accompanied the
Roman Emperor Julian on the Mesopotamian campaign of the same year against Shapur II, the Sassanid king.
After a small but decisive engagement the Roman army was forced to retreat from the numerically superior
Persian force. Julian was mortally wounded during the retreat and died on 26 June 363. The next day, after
the aged Saturninius Secundus Salutius, praetorian prefect of the Orient, declined the purple, the choice
of the army fell upon Jovian. His election caused considerable surprise, and it is suggested by Ammianus
Marcellinus that he was wrongly identified with another Jovianus, chief notary (primicerius notariorum),
whose name also had been put forward, or that during the acclamations the soldiers mistook the name
Jovianus for Julianus, and imagined that the latter had recovered from his illness.
Restoration of Christianity -
Jovian, a Christian, reestablished Christianity as the favoured religion of the Roman Empire ending the
brief revival of paganism under his predecessor Julian. Upon arriving at Antioch, he revoked the edicts of
Julian against the Christians. The Labarum of Constantine the Great again became the standard of the
army. He issued an edict of toleration, to the effect that, while the exercise of magical rites would
be punished, his subjects should enjoy full liberty of conscience.
However, in 363 he issued an edict ordering the Library of Antioch to be burnt down, and another on 11
September subjecting the worship of ancestral gods to the death penalty, which, on 23 December, he also
applied to participation in any pagan ceremony (even private ones). Jovian entertained a great regard
for Athanasius, whom he reinstated on the archiepiscopal throne, desiring him to draw up a statement of
the orthodox faith. In Syriac literature Jovian became the hero of a Christian romance. From Jovian's
reign until the 15th century Christianity remained the dominant religion of both the Western and Eastern
Roman Empires, until the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453.
Jovian continued the retreat begun by Julian and, continually harassed by the Persians, succeeded in
reaching the banks of the Tigris where Jovian, deep inside Sassanid territory, was forced to sue for a
peace treaty on humiliatingly unfavourable terms. In exchange for his safety, he agreed to withdraw from
the five Roman provinces conquered by Galerius in 298, east of the Tigris, that Diocletian had annexed and
allow the Persians to occupy the fortresses of Nisibis, Castra Maurorum and Singara. The Romans also
surrendered their interests in the Kingdom of Armenia to the Persians and the Christian king of Armenia,
Arshak II, was to stay neutral in future conflicts between the two empires and was forced to cede part of
his kingdom to Shapur. The treaty was widely seen as a disgrace and Jovian rapidly lost popularity.
After arriving at Antioch, Jovian decided to rush to Constantinople to consolidate his political position
He died on 17 February 364 after a reign of only eight months. During his return to Constantinople, Jovian
was found dead in bed in his tent at Dadastana, halfway between Ancyra and Nicaea. His death has been
attributed to either a surfeit of mushrooms or the poisonous carbon monoxide fumes of a charcoal warming
Jovian was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.