Sabinianus Magnus

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Sabinianus Magnus (died 481) was a general of the Eastern Roman Empire, who fought in the rebellion of Theodoric Strabo against Emperor Zeno.


In 479, in Edessa, he received the codicils with his appointment to the rank of Magister militum per Illyricum from the hands of the patricius Adamantius, succeeding to Onoulphus.

At that time, the Eastern Emperor Zeno had to manage the revolt of his former general, the Ostrogoth chieftain Theodoric Strabo, who did not recognise Zeno's succession in 474. He hampered the negotiations between Theodoric and Adamantius, refusing to swear that the hostages exchanged would be safe from harm, officially for religious reasons, but actually because he opposed the reconciliation policy with the Goths. In fact, as the negotiations went on, he decided to attack the Goths: moving with his army at the back of the enemy, he succeeded in killing many of them and in capturing a great part of their baggages. Once he had returned to Lychnidus, he obtained the support of the Praetorian prefect of Illyricum, Iohannes, and successfully suggested the Emperor to reject the truce signed with Theodoric and to keep fighting him.

Sabinianus' presence in Illyricum prevented Theodoric from pillaging that territory (479), but later he fell out of favour at court, and Emperor Zeno had him killed.

Sabinianus was the father of Sabinianus, who held the prestigious office of Consul in 505. The 6th-century historian Marcellinus Comes states that he was a severe commander, but a true defender of the Roman State.


  • Arnold Hugh Martin Jones, John Robert Martindale, John Morris, "Sabinianus Magnus 4", The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Cambridge University Press, 1971, ISBN 0-521-20159-4, p. 967.