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Theodosius I
Theodosius I
(Latin: Flavius Theodosius Augustus;[1] Greek: Θεοδόσιος Αʹ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
from AD 379 to AD 395, as the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths
Goths
and other barbarians who had invaded the empire. He failed to kill, expel, or entirely subjugate them, and after the Gothic War, they established a homeland south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the empire's borders. He fought two destructive civil wars, in which he defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
and Eugenius
Eugenius
at great cost to the power of the empire. He also issued decrees that effectively made Nicene Christianity
Nicene Christianity
the official state church of the Roman Empire.[2][3] He neither prevented nor punished the destruction of prominent Hellenistic temples of classical antiquity, including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi
Delphi
and the Serapeum
Serapeum
in Alexandria. He dissolved the order of the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the pagan rituals of the Olympics in Ancient Greece. After his death, Theodosius' young sons Arcadius
Arcadius
and Honorius inherited the east and west halves respectively, and the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was never again re-united, though Eastern Roman emperors after Zeno would claim the united title after Julius Nepos' death in 480 AD.

Contents

1 Career 2 Family 3 Diplomatic policy with the Goths 4 Civil wars in the Empire 5 Art patronage 6 Nicene Christianity
Nicene Christianity
becomes the state religion

6.1 Arians 6.2 Definition of orthodoxy and de-legitimation of non-orthodox Christian creeds 6.3 Proscription of Hellenistic religion

7 Death of Western Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Valentinian II, usurpation, and another civil war 8 Death and legacy 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Career[edit] Theodosius was born in Cauca, Gallaecia, Hispania
Hispania
(according to Hydatius and Zosimus)[4] or Italica, Baetica, Hispania
Hispania
(according to Marcellinus Comes, writing later), to a senior military officer, Theodosius the Elder.[5] Theodosius learned his military lessons by campaigning with his father's staff in Britannia where he went to help quell the Great Conspiracy
Great Conspiracy
in 368. In about 373, he became governor of Upper Moesia
Moesia
and oversaw hostilities against the Sarmatians
Sarmatians
and thereafter against the Alemanni.[6] He was military commander (dux) of Moesia, a Roman province on the lower Danube, in 374. However, shortly thereafter, and at about the same time as the sudden disgrace and execution of his father, Theodosius retired to Hispania. The reason for his retirement, and the relationship (if any) between it and his father's death is unclear. It is possible that he was dismissed from his command by the emperor Valentinian I
Valentinian I
after the loss of two of Theodosius' legions to the Sarmatians
Sarmatians
in late 374. The death of Valentinian I
Valentinian I
in 375 created political pandemonium. Fearing further persecution on account of his family ties, Theodosius abruptly retired to his family estates in the province of Gallaecia (present day Galicia, Spain
Spain
and northern Portugal) where he adopted the life of a provincial aristocrat.

Nummus of Theodosius I

From 364 to 375, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was governed by two co-emperors, the brothers Valentinian I
Valentinian I
and Valens; when Valentinian died in 375, his sons, Valentinian II
Valentinian II
and Gratian, succeeded him as rulers of the Western Roman Empire. In 378, after the disastrous Battle of Adrianople where Valens
Valens
was killed, Gratian
Gratian
invited Theodosius to take command of the Illyrian army. As Valens
Valens
had no successor, Gratian's appointment of Theodosius amounted to a de facto invitation for Theodosius to become co- Augustus
Augustus
of the East Roman Empire. After Gratian
Gratian
was killed in a rebellion in 383, Theodosius appointed his own elder son, Arcadius, to be his co-ruler in the East. After the death in 392 of Valentinian II, whom Theodosius had supported against a variety of usurpations, Theodosius ruled as sole Emperor, appointing his younger son Honorius Augustus
Augustus
as his co-ruler of the West (Milan, on 23 January 393) and by defeating the usurper Eugenius
Eugenius
on 6 September 394, at the Battle of the Frigidus
Battle of the Frigidus
(Vipava river, modern Slovenia) he restored peace.[7] Family[edit] By his first wife, the probably Spanish Aelia Flaccilla
Aelia Flaccilla
Augusta, he had two sons, Arcadius
Arcadius
and Honorius, and a daughter, Aelia Pulcheria; Arcadius
Arcadius
was his heir in the East and Honorius in the West. Both Aelia Flaccilla and Pulcheria
Pulcheria
died in 385. His second wife (but never declared Augusta) was Galla, daughter of the emperor Valentinian I
Valentinian I
and his second wife Justina. Theodosius and Galla had a son Gratian, born in 388 and who died young, and a daughter Aelia Galla Placidia
Galla Placidia
(392–450). Placidia was the only child who survived to adulthood and later became an Empress. Diplomatic policy with the Goths[edit] The Goths
Goths
and their allies (Vandals, Taifals, Bastarnae
Bastarnae
and the native Carpians) entrenched in the provinces of Dacia
Dacia
and eastern Pannonia Inferior consumed Theodosius' attention. The Gothic crisis was so dire that his co-Emperor Gratian
Gratian
relinquished control of the Illyrian provinces and retired to Trier
Trier
in Gaul
Gaul
to let Theodosius operate without hindrance. A major weakness in the Roman position after the defeat at Adrianople was the recruiting of barbarians to fight against other barbarians. In order to reconstruct the Roman Army of the West, Theodosius needed to find able bodied soldiers and so he turned to the most capable men readily at hand: the barbarians recently settled in the Empire. This caused many difficulties in the battle against barbarians since the newly recruited fighters had little or no loyalty to Theodosius.

Roman provinces along the Ister (Danube), showing Dacia, Moesia
Moesia
and Thrace, with Sarmatia
Sarmatia
to the north and Germania
Germania
to the northwest.

Federico Barocci, Saint Ambrose
Saint Ambrose
forces Emperor Theodosius I
Theodosius I
to make penance for the Thessaloniki massacre (1603), left-side nave, Saint Ambrose
Ambrose
Altar, Milan
Milan
Cathedral.

Theodosius was reduced to the costly expedient of shipping his recruits to Egypt
Egypt
and replacing them with more seasoned Romans, but there were still switches of allegiance that resulted in military setbacks. Gratian
Gratian
sent generals to clear the dioceses of Illyria ( Pannonia
Pannonia
and Dalmatia) of Goths, and Theodosius was able finally to enter Constantinople
Constantinople
on 24 November 380, after two seasons in the field. The final treaties with the remaining Gothic forces, signed 3 October 382, permitted large contingents of barbarians, primarily Thervingian Goths, to settle south of the Danube
Danube
frontier and largely govern themselves. The Goths
Goths
now settled within the Empire had, as a result of the treaties, military obligations to fight for the Romans as a national contingent, as opposed to being fully integrated into the Roman forces.[8] However, many Goths
Goths
would serve in Roman legions and others, as foederati, for a single campaign, while bands of Goths switching loyalties became a destabilizing factor in the internal struggles for control of the Empire. In 390 the population of Thessalonica rioted in complaint against the presence of the local Gothic garrison. The garrison commander was killed in the violence, so Theodosius ordered the Goths
Goths
to kill all the spectators in the circus as retaliation; Theodoret, a contemporary witness to these events, reports:

... the anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down.[9]

Theodosius was excommunicated by the bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose, for the massacre.[10] Ambrose
Ambrose
told Theodosius to imitate David in his repentance as he had imitated him in guilt; Ambrose
Ambrose
readmitted the emperor to the Eucharist only after several months of penance. In the last years of Theodosius' reign, one of the emerging leaders of the Goths, named Alaric, participated in Theodosius' campaign against Eugenius
Eugenius
in 394, only to resume his rebellious behavior against Theodosius' son and eastern successor, Arcadius, shortly after Theodosius' death. Civil wars in the Empire[edit]

The administrative divisions of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 395, under Theodosius I.

After the death of Gratian
Gratian
in 383, Theodosius' interests turned to the Western Roman Empire, where the usurper Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
had taken all the provinces of the West except for Italy. This self-proclaimed threat was hostile to Theodosius' interests, since the reigning emperor Valentinian II, Maximus' enemy, was Theodosius' ally. Theodosius, however, was unable to do much about Maximus due to his still inadequate military capability and he was forced to keep his attention on local matters. Maximus hoped to share the Empire with Theodosius, but when Maximus began an invasion of Italy in 387, Theodosius felt compelled to take action. Both sides raised large armies which included many barbarians. The armies of Theodosius and Maximus fought at the Battle of the Save in 388, which saw Maximus defeated. On 28 August 388 Maximus was executed.[11] Now the de facto ruler of the Western empire as well, Theodosius celebrated his victory in Rome
Rome
on June 13 389[12] and stayed in Milan
Milan
until 391, installing his own loyalists in senior positions including the new magister militum of the West, the Frankish general Arbogast. Valentinian II
Valentinian II
was a very young man, little more than a figurehead, with Arbogast as the true power behind the throne. Trouble arose again, after Valentinian quarreled publicly with Arbogast, and was found hanging in his room. Arbogast announced that this had been a suicide. Arbogast, unable to assume the role of Emperor because of his non-Roman background, elected Eugenius, a former teacher of rhetoric. Eugenius
Eugenius
made some limited concessions to the Roman religion; like Maximus he sought Theodosius' recognition in vain. In January 393, Theodosius gave his son Honorius the full rank of "Augustus" in the West, citing Eugenius' illegitimacy.[13] Theodosius gathered a large army, including Goths
Goths
and other barbarians, and marched against Eugenius. The two armies faced at the Battle of Frigidus
Battle of Frigidus
in September 394.[14] The battle began on 5 September 394, with Theodosius' full frontal assault on Eugenius' forces. Theodosius was repulsed on the first day, and Eugenius
Eugenius
thought the battle to be all but over. However, in Theodosius' camp, the loss of the day decreased morale. It is said that Theodosius was visited by two "heavenly riders all in white" who gave him courage. The next day, the battle began again and Theodosius' forces were aided by a natural phenomenon known as the Bora, which produces cyclonic winds. The Bora blew directly against the forces of Eugenius
Eugenius
and disrupted the line. Eugenius' camp was stormed; Arbogast committed suicide and Eugenius was captured and soon after executed. Thus Theodosius became sole Emperor. Art patronage[edit]

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Theodosius offers a laurel wreath to the victor, on the marble base of the Obelisk
Obelisk
of Thutmosis III
Thutmosis III
at the Hippodrome of Constantinople.

Theodosius oversaw the removal in 390 of an Egyptian obelisk from Alexandria
Alexandria
to Constantinople. It is now known as the obelisk of Theodosius and still stands in the Hippodrome, the long racetrack that was the center of Constantinople's public life and scene of political turmoil. Re-erecting the monolith was a challenge for the technology that had been honed in the construction of siege engines. The obelisk, still recognizably a solar symbol, had been moved from Karnak
Karnak
to Alexandria
Alexandria
with what is now the Lateran obelisk by Constantius II. The Lateran obelisk was shipped to Rome
Rome
soon afterwards, but the other one then spent a generation lying at the docks due to the difficulty involved in attempting to ship it to Constantinople. Eventually, the obelisk was cracked in transit. The white marble base is entirely covered with bas-reliefs documenting the imperial household and the engineering feat of removing it to Constantinople. Theodosius and the imperial family are separated from the nobles among the spectators in the imperial box, with a cover over them as a mark of their status. The naturalism of traditional Roman art in such scenes gave way in these reliefs to conceptual art: the idea of order, decorum and respective ranking, expressed in serried ranks of faces. This is seen as evidence of formal themes beginning to oust the transitory details of mundane life, celebrated in Roman portraiture. The Forum Tauri in Constantinople
Constantinople
was renamed and redecorated as the Forum of Theodosius, including a column and a triumphal arch in his honour. Nicene Christianity
Nicene Christianity
becomes the state religion[edit] In 325, Constantine I
Constantine I
convened the Council of Nicea, which affirmed the doctrine that Jesus, the Son, was equal to God the Father, one with the Father, and of the same substance, or "co-essential."(homoousios in Greek) The Council condemned the teachings of Arius: who believed Jesus to be inferior to the Father. He was declared a heretic. Despite the council's ruling, controversy continued for decades. By the time of Theodosius' accession, different un-orthodox, or "un-Nicene", individuals began to bring forth alternative Christologies
Christologies
and views of the Persons of the Trinity. Arians[edit] While the Nicene council paved the way for the homoousian doctrine, there remained many closer to the Arian school who attempted to bypass the Christological debate by saying that Jesus was merely like (homoios in Greek) God the father, without speaking of substance (ousia). These non-Nicenes were frequently labeled as Arians
Arians
(i.e., followers of Arius) by their opponents, though not all would necessarily have identified themselves as such.[15] The Emperor Valens
Valens
had favored the group who used the homoios formula; this theology was prominent in much of the East and had under Constantius II
Constantius II
gained a foothold in the West. Theodosius, on the other hand, steadfastly held to the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
which was the interpretation that predominated in the West and was held by the important Alexandrian church. Definition of orthodoxy and de-legitimation of non-orthodox Christian creeds[edit] On 27 February 380, together with Gratian
Gratian
and Valentinian II, Theodosius issued the decree "Cunctos populos", the so-called "Edict of Thessalonica", recorded in the Codex Theodosianus
Codex Theodosianus
xvi.1.2. This declared the Nicene Trinitarian Christianity
Christianity
to be the only legitimate imperial religion and the only one entitled to call itself Catholic. Other Christians he described as "foolish madmen".[16] He also ended official state support for the traditional polytheist religions and customs.[17] On 26 November 380, two days after he had arrived in Constantinople, Theodosius expelled the non-Nicene bishop, Demophilus of Constantinople, and appointed Meletius patriarch of Antioch, and Gregory of Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian Fathers
Cappadocian Fathers
from Cappadocia (today in Turkey), patriarch of Constantinople. Theodosius had just been baptized, by bishop Ascholius of Thessalonica, during a severe illness, as was common in the early Christian world.[citation needed] In May 381, Theodosius summoned a new ecumenical council at Constantinople
Constantinople
(see First Council of Constantinople) to repair the schism between East and West on the basis of Nicene orthodoxy.[18] "The council went on to define orthodoxy, including the mysterious Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who, though equal to the Father, 'proceeded' from Him, whereas the Son was 'begotten' of Him."[19] The council also "condemned the Apollonarian and Macedonian heresies, clarified jurisdictions of the state church of the Roman Empire according to the civil boundaries of dioceses and ruled that Constantinople
Constantinople
was second in precedence to Rome."[19] The death of Valens, the Arians' protector, probably damaged the standing of the Homoian faction. Proscription of Hellenistic religion[edit] Main article: Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I

Saint Ambrose
Saint Ambrose
barring Theodosius from Milan
Milan
Cathedral, Anthony van Dyck, c. 1620

The Christian persecution of Roman religion under Theodosius I
Theodosius I
began in 381, after the first couple of years of his reign in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the 380s, Theodosius I
Theodosius I
reiterated Constantine's ban on former customs of Roman religion, prohibited haruspicy on pain of death, pioneered the criminalization of magistrates who did not enforce laws against polytheism, broke up some pagan associations and tolerated attacks on Roman temples. Between 389–392 he promulgated the "Theodosian decrees"[20] (instituting a major change in his religious policies),[21]:116 which removed non-Nicene Christians from church office and abolished the last remaining expressions of Roman religion by making its holidays into workdays, banned blood sacrifices, closed Roman temples, confiscated temple endowments and disbanded the Vestal Virgins.[22] The practices of taking auspices and witchcraft were punished. Theodosius refused to restore the Altar of Victory
Altar of Victory
in the Senate House, as asked by non-Christian senators.[21]:115 In 392 he became sole emperor (the last one to claim sole and effective rule over an empire including the western provinces). From this moment till the end of his reign in 395, while non-Christians continued to request toleration,[23][24] he ordered, authorized, or at least failed to punish, the closure or destruction of many temples, holy sites, images and objects of piety throughout the empire.[25][26][27][28][29][30] In 393 he issued a comprehensive law that prohibited any public non-Christian religious customs,[31] and was particularly oppressive to Manicheans.[32] He is likely to have disbanded the ancient Olympic Games, whose last record of celebration was in 393, though archeological evidence indicates that some games were still held after this date.[33] Death of Western Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Valentinian II, usurpation, and another civil war[edit] On 16 May 392, Valentinian II
Valentinian II
was found hanged in his residence in the town of Vienne
Vienne
in Gaul. The Frankish general Arbogast, Valentinian's protector and magister militum, maintained that it was suicide. Arbogast and Valentinian had frequently disputed rulership over the Western Roman Empire, and Valentinian was also noted to have complained of Arbogast's control over him to Theodosius. Thus when word of his death reached Constantinople, Theodosius believed, or at least suspected, that Arbogast was lying and had engineered Valentinian's demise. These suspicions were further fueled by Arbogast's elevation of Eugenius, from Roman commander and official to the position of Western Emperor. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, spoke some veiled accusations against Arbogast, in his funeral oration for Valentinian II. Valentinian II's death sparked a civil war between Eugenius
Eugenius
and Theodosius over the rulership of the west, resulting in the Battle of the Frigidus in 394. The eastern victory there led to the final brief unification of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
under Theodosius, and the ultimate irreparable division of the empire after his death. Death and legacy[edit] Theodosius died, after suffering from a disease involving severe edema, in Milan
Milan
on 17 January 395. Ambrose
Ambrose
delivered a panegyric titled De Obitu Theodosii[34] before Stilicho
Stilicho
and Honorius in which Ambrose
Ambrose
praised the suppression of paganism by Theodosius. Theodosius was finally buried in Constantinople
Constantinople
on 8 November 395.[35] Theodosius' army rapidly dissolved after his death, with Gothic contingents raiding as far as Constantinople. As his heir in the East he left Arcadius, who was about eighteen years old,[36] and in the West Honorius, who was ten.[37] Neither ever showed any sign of fitness to rule, and their reigns were marked by a series of disasters. As their guardians Theodosius left Stilicho, who ruled in the name of Honorius in the Western Empire, and Flavius Rufinus who was the actual power behind the throne in the East. See also[edit]

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
portal

De Fide Catolica Galla Placidia, daughter of Theodosius List of Byzantine emperors Roman emperors family tree Saint Fana Serena, niece of Theodosius and wife of Flavius Stilicho Zosimus, pagan historian from the time of Anastasius I

References[edit]

^ In Classical Latin, Theodosius' name would be inscribed as FLAVIVS THEODOSIVS AVGVSTVS. ^ Cf. decree, infra. ^ "Edict of Thessalonica": See Codex Theodosianus
Codex Theodosianus
XVI.1.2 ^ Hydatius Chronicon, year 379, II ^ Zos. Historia Nova 4.24.4. ^ "Theodosius".  ^ Carr, John (2015). Fighting Emperors of Byzantium. Pen & Sword. pp. 40–43. ISBN 1783831162.  ^ Williams and Friell, p34. ^ Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History ^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4. ^ Williams and Friell, p 64. ^ " Theodosius I
Theodosius I
– Livius".  ^ Williams and Friell, p129. ^ Williams and Friell, p 134. ^ Lenski, Noel, Failure of Empire, University of California Press, 2002, ISBN 0-520-23332-8, pp235–237. ^ "Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI".  ^ Noel Harold Kaylor; Philip Edward Phillips (3 May 2012), A Companion to Boethius in the Middle Ages, BRILL, pp. 14–, ISBN 978-90-04-18354-4, retrieved 19 January 2013  ^ Williams and Friell, p54. ^ a b William and Friell, p55. ^ N Lewis; Reinhold Meyer (1990). Empire. Columbia University Press. pp. 614–. ISBN 978-0-231-07133-8. Retrieved 1 April 2013.  ^ a b Charles Freeman (26 January 2010). A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Christian State. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-59020-522-8. Retrieved 1 April 2013.  ^ Madeleine Pelner Cosman; Linda Gale Jones (1 January 2009). Handbook to Life in the Medieval World, 3-Volume Set. Infobase Publishing. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-1-4381-0907-7. Retrieved 1 April 2013.  ^ Zosimus 4.59 ^ Symmachus Relatio 3. ^ Grindle, Gilbert (1892) The Destruction of Paganism in the Roman Empire, pp.29–30. Quote summary: For example, Theodosius ordered Cynegius ( Zosimus 4.37), the praetorian prefect of the East, to permanently close down the temples and forbade the worship of the deities throughout Egypt
Egypt
and the East. Most of the destruction in the East was perpetrated by Christian monks and bishops. ^ "Life of St. Martin".  ^ Gibbon, Edward The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch28 ^ R. MacMullen, Christianizing The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
A.D.100–400, Yale University Press, 1984, ISBN 0-300-03642-6 ^  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1912). "Theophilus (2)". Catholic Encyclopedia. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  ^ Ramsay McMullen (1984) Christianizing the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
A.D. 100–400, Yale University Press, p.90. ^ "A History of the Church", Philip Hughes, Sheed & Ward, rev ed 1949, vol I chapter 6. ^ "The First Christian Theologians: An Introduction to Theology
Theology
in the Early Church", Edited by Gillian Rosemary Evans, contributor Clarence Gallagher SJ, "The Imperial Ecclesiastical Lawgivers", p68, Blackwell Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-631-23187-0 ^ Tony Perrottet (8 June 2004). The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-1-58836-382-4. Retrieved 1 April 2013.  ^ Williams and Friell, p.139. ^ Williams and Friell, p. 140. ^ "Arcadius".  ^ "Honorius – Roman emperor". 

Bibliography

Carr, John (2015). Fighting Emperors of Byzantium. Pen & Sword. ISBN 1783831162.  Williams, Stephen; Friell, Gerard (1995). Theodosius: The Empire at Bay. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300061730. 

Further reading[edit]

Brown, Peter, The Rise of Western Christendom, 2003, p. 73–74 King, N.Q. The Emperor Theodosius and the Establishment of Christianity. London, 1961.  Caspari, Maximilian Otto Bismarck (1911). "Theodosius (emperors)". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.   Stokes, George Thomas (1911). "Theodosius I., the Great". In Wace, Henry; Piercy, William C. Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century (third ed.). London: John Murray. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Theodosius I.

De Imperatoribus Romanis, Theodosius I Josef Rist (1996). "Theodosios I., römischer Kaiser (379–395)". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 11. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 989–994. ISBN 3-88309-064-6.  This list of Roman laws of the fourth century shows laws passed by Theodosius I
Theodosius I
relating to Christianity.

Regnal titles

Preceded by Valens Roman Emperor 379–395 Served alongside: Gratian, Valentinian II, Arcadius
Arcadius
and Honorius Succeeded by Arcadius
Arcadius
and Honorius

Political offices

Preceded by Ausonius, Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius Consul of the Roman Empire 380 with Gratian Succeeded by Flavius Syagrius, Flavius Eucherius

Preceded by Valentinian II, Eutropius Consul of the Roman Empire 388 with Maternus Cynegius and Magnus Maximus Succeeded by Timasius, Promotus

Preceded by Arcadius, Rufinus Consul of the Roman Empire 393 with Eugenius
Eugenius
and Abundantius Succeeded by Imp. Caesar Arcadius
Arcadius
Augustus
Augustus
III, Imp. Caesar Honorius Augustus
Augustus
II, Virius Nicomachus Flavianus

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 31978444 LCCN: n83045220 ISNI: 0000 0001 1615 4512 GND: 118621742 SELIBR: 280167 SUDOC: 050559109 BNF:

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