One Man Army
In 441 AD, during the reign of Theodosius II in the Eastern Roman Empire, the Sassanid Persian Empire once again set its sights on conquering its rich lands in Rome's easternmost provinces. The Persian king, Varanes, had aspirations to conquer these areas and invaded with a strong army to do so. However there would be no battles fought here, as the Persian army turned back from Roman borders upon the appearance of Anatolius, the Magister Militum per Orientem (Master of soldiers in the East), who also concluded a favorable treaty with the Persians. The 6th century AD historian Procopius of Caesarea records the event as follows:
"Anatolius, General of the East, had, as it happened, been sent by the Emperor Theodosius as ambassador to the Persians, alone and unaccompanied; as he approached the Median army, solitary as he was, he leapt down from his horse, and advanced on foot towards Varanes. And when Varanes saw him, he enquired from those near him who this man could be who was coming forward. And they replied that he was the general of the Romans. Thereupon the king was so dumbfounded by this excessive degree of respect that he himself wheeled his horse about and rode away, and the whole Persian host followed him. When he had reached his own territory, he received the envoy with great cordiality, and granted the treaty of peace on the terms which Anatolius desired of him; one condition, however, he added, that neither part should construct any new fortification in his own territory in the neighborhood of the boundary line between the two countries."
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