Arvandus Politician

Arvandus was a Gaul who rose through the hierarchy of Imperial Roman society to twice be appointed Praetorian prefect of Gaul. On the first occasion, 461, he was appointed by Emperor Libius Severus. This appointment ended when Severus died in 465. Two years later, in 467, he was appointed by Anthemius. His friend and chronicler, Sidonius Apollinaris, records that his first term was successful and he himself well liked. However, in his second term he found himself widely hated, and in 472 was removed from office and brought to Rome in chains. Here he was accused by envoys from a commission of influential Gauls of committing treason. The envoys brought with them a letter which Arvandus' secretary attested had been dictated by Arvandus. In it, Arvandus set out to dissuade Euric, king of the Visigoths, from concluding peace with the Eastern Roman Emperor, urging that instead he should attack the Bretons north of the Loire. The letter asserted that the Law of Nations called for a division of Gaul between the Visigoths and Burgundians. Riothamus, King of the Britons, was allied to Roman Emperor Anthemius, so this was tantamount to declaring war on the Emperor.


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