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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: Chapter I

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter I.—On the Death of Theodosius his Two Sons divide the Empire. Rufinus is slain at the Feet of Arcadius.

After the death of the Emperor Theodosius, in the consulate of Olybrius and Probinus or the seventeenth of January, his two sons undertook the administration of the Roman empire. Thus Arcadius assumed the government of the East, and Honorius of the West. 819 At that time Damasus was bishop of the church at Imperial Rome, and Theophilus of that of Alexandria, John of Jerusalem, and Flavian of Antioch; while the episcopal chair at Constantinople or New Rome was filled by Nectarius, as we mentioned in the foregoing book. 820 The body of the Emperor Theodosius was taken to Constantinople on the 8th of November in the same consulate, and was honorably interred by his son Arcadius with the usual funeral solemnities. 821 Not long afterwards on the 28th day of the same month the army also arrived, which had served under the Emperor Theodosius in the war against the usurper. When therefore p. 138 according to custom the Emperor Arcadius met the army without the gates, the soldiery slew Rufinus the Prætorian prefect. For he was suspected of aspiring to the sovereignty, and had the reputation of having invited into the Roman territories the Huns, 822 a barbarous nation, who had already ravaged Armenia, and were then making predatory incursions into other provinces of the East. On the very day on which Rufinus was killed, Marcian bishop of the Novatians died, and was succeeded in the episcopate by Sisinnius, of whom we have already made mention. 823



Cf. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Rom. Empire, chap. 29.


V. 8.


See Bennett, Christian Archæology, p. 210 seq., and Bingham, Christ. Antiq. XXII. 1 and 2, for details on the burial of the dead in the early Church.


Zosimus (V. 5) says Rufinus invited Alaric and the Goths to invade the Roman territories; Valesius reconciles Socrates’ and Zosimus’ statements by assuming that they are partial and supplementary to one another; Rufinus, according to him, invited both the Huns and the Goths.


V. 10, 21, et al.

Next: Death of Nectarius and Ordination of John.

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