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Theodosius the Great 379 AD

Theodosius served Rome as its emperor from the years 379 to 395 AD where he is listed on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History. He was the last ruler that governed the empire’s western and eastern halves. Theodosius the Great was focused on the control of invaders that threatened the empire, specifically the Goths. However, he failed to expel them. This led to their success in establishing a base in the southern part of Danube after the historic Gothic War. Nevertheless, Theodosius did the best he could on his campaigns during the two civil wars. In fact, he defeated Eugenius and Magnus Maximus, who were usurpers and threatened the Roman Empire.

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Early Life and Career

Born in the land of Hispania, Theodosius was the son of a renowned military officer. It was because of his father’s experience in the military that he gained techniques in this field. This allowed him to participate in his father’s campaigns in 368. By 373, he was appointed as Upper Moesia’s governor. His initial successes included overseeing the hostilities that existed against the Alemanni and the Samaritans. Theodosius was Moesia’s military commander, but he decided to go back to Hispania after his father was executed. One of the possible reasons why this happened was the supposed dismissal of Theodosius from his command which was ordered by Emperor Valentinian I. This was due to the defeat of Theodosius’ army in 374 when they fought against the Samaritans.

Rise in Politics

During the years 364 to 375, Valentinian I and Valens ruled the Roman Empire. However, Gratian and Valentinian II replaced their father after his death. In the major battle that occurred in Adrianople, Valens died. Theodosius was then asked to head the Illyrian army, under the request of Gratian. Since there was no one to take Valens’ place after his death, Theodosius was appointed as the co-Augustus of eastern Rome.

Theodosius
“There was a significant problem among the Romans from recruiting barbarians.”

However, Gratian died in the rebellion during 383. This gave Theodosius the chance to appoint Arcadius, who was his elder son, to become the East’s co-ruler. Also, Honorius, the younger son of Theodosius, was proclaimed the West’s co-ruler. This occurred after the death of Valentinian.

Theodosius was focused on defeating the Gothic invasion, as well as their allies that were then situated in eastern Pannonia Inferior and Dacia. However, the crisis caused Gratian to leave for Trier. This allowed Theodosius to put his plans into action with greater effectiveness. There was a significant problem among the Romans from recruiting barbarians to go into battle against their fellow barbarians. He decided to look for healthy and able-bodied soldiers, yet there was a risk involved since the fighters were not loyal to him.

This great Roman ruler handled issuing a decree that the Roman Empire’s official state church was Nicene Christianity. He also did his part in preserving some important structures known throughout history including the Temple of Apollo, Serapeum in Alexandria and other famous Hellenistic temples constructed centuries ago. The Roman Empire soon reached its decline in power after his death when the west and east halves failed to reunite due to political reasons and menacing invaders.

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