Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Day in Late Roman History...January 19

Exactly 1,631 years ago today, in AD 379, Theodosius was elevated to the rank of co-emperor at the age of 32. His elevation occurred only a few months after the disastrous defeat and slaughter of a Roman field army at Adrianople by the Goths. Theodosius was given the unenviable task of quelling the Gothic invasion and restoring order, all while rebuilding the shattered army. He accomplished these goals admirably.

A Spaniard by birth, Theodosius was last emperor to rule the entire Roman Empire, both east and west. As a result of his accomplishments in both the political and religious arenas, he is known to history as Theodosius the Great.

Saint Ambrose of Milan offered the following praise of Theodosius in the funeral oration offered a few days after the emeperor's death: "I loved the man, for he preferred those who told him the strictest truth, rather than the flatterers."

For more on Theodosius, have a look at the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry. The Wikipedia entry is also instructive, but as in all things wiki, read but verify.

No comments: