The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Shorter Notes

The Early Career of the Magister Equitum Jacobus

David Woodsa1

a1 The Queen's University of Belfast

Claudian's carm. min. 50 which is addressed ‘In Jacobum Magistrum Equitum’ has recently been the subject of a detailed study by J. Vanderspoel. In it he reviews what little we know about the career of Jacobus using as his second source in this matter the letter of Vigilius, bishop of Tridentum, to John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, the heading of which reports that the relics of the martyrs Sisinnius, Alexander and Martyrius reached Constantinople ‘per Jacobum virum illustrem’. Whilst I am willing to accept the argument that the relics must have been delivered by about A.D. 400, if not earlier, and that Jacobus received the office of magister equitum subsequent to this, I have some misgivings about the treatment afforded the earlier career of Jacobus, and it is to this matter which I wish to draw attention here.