Aspar (Flavius Ardabur Aspar) was an Alan that served as consul (434), patrician, and magister militum. He died Constantinople in 471. Together with his father Ardabourios, Aspar suppressed the rebel Joannes in 425 and secured the throne for Valentinian III. Aspar led a fleet against the Vandals in 431 and fought against the Huns in 441. Later he constructed a large cistern in Constantinople in 459, and led the inhabitants of the capital in combating a fire in 465. Representing the power of the Germanic soldiery, he dominated the Eastern court and, after the death of Marcian, secured the elevation of Leo I in 457. As an Arian Christian, however, he could not hope to gain the throne for himself. Aspar had his son Patrikios crowned as caesar in 469/70, but his influence was undercut by Leo's alliance with Zeno and the Isaurians. Aspar supported the campaign of Basiliscus against the Vandals, perhaps hoping to see it fail, and by 469 there was open rupture between Aspar and Zeno. Aspar may have sought the support of Ricimer, but he and his son Ardabur were captured and executed. Together with other members of Aspar's family, they are represented on a missorium in Florence.

See also: Cistern of Aspar, Missorium of Aspar 


Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium 

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016