Theodosius: The Empire at Bay
Theodosius I, a towering figure in the history of the late Roman Empire and the early Church, was the last Roman emperor to rule a unified empire of East and West. His reign from 379 to 395 represents a turning point in the policies and fortunes of the late Roman Empire. In this fascinating biography, Stephen Williams and Gerard Friell examine Theodosius's life and character, placing the military, religious, and political struggles of his reign in the context of the troubled times of the empire.
Drawing on literary, archaeological, and numismatic evidence, the authors describe how Theodosius was summoned to the throne after the disastrous Roman defeat by the Goths at Adrianople and was called upon to rebuild the armies and put the shattered state back together. They show how Theodosius instituted a new policy toward the barbarians, in which diplomacy played a larger role than military might at a time of increasing frontier dangers and acute manpower shortages, and how a series of political misfortunes led to the separation of the Eastern and Western empires despite his efforts. They also discuss Theodosius's importance in the Christian Church. Baptized in 380, Theodosius established the Apostolic Catholic Church as the only State religion; unlike Constantine and the other Christian emperors, he suppressed both heresy and paganism and enforced orthodoxy by law.
By fully exploring these various facets of Theodosius's life and reign, Williams and Friell present a new and absorbing picture of this important emperor.
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List of plates
The Burdens of Empire
S Victory in the West
The Changed Background
from Laeti to Foederati
The Topheavy Empire
The Roman Army in the Later Fourth Century
Valentinian and Theodosius
References and Notes
IO Triumph and Death
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Adrianople Alans Alaric already Ambrose Ammianus Arbogast Arcadius Aristocracies army authority barbarian battle became bishop campaign cavalry century certainly Christian church cities civil command Constantine Constantinople continued course court Danube defeat earlier early East Eastern effective emperor empire enemy especially established face father favour field fighting figure forces Fritigern frontier Gaul Germanic given Gothic Goths Gratian groups Honorius Huns immediately imperial Italy Jones kings land late later leaders least losses major Matthews Maximus Milan military moved naturally needed numbers officers pagan perhaps period Persian political position Prefect probably provinces reason recruits regional Rhine Roman Roman army Rome rule secure seems settled settlement soldiers status Stilicho successful suggests supply territory Theodosius third threat traditional treaty tribal troops units Valens Valentinian victory Visigoths wealth West Western whole Wolfram
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