Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: Of the death of the Emperor Theodosius.
p. 151 Chapter XXV.—Of the death of the Emperor Theodosius. 905
After this victory Theodosius fell sick and divided his empire between his sons, assigning to the elder the sovereignty which he had wielded himself and to the younger the throne of Europe. 906
He charged both to hold fast to the true religion, “for by its means,” said he, “peace is preserved, war is stopped, foes are routed, trophies are set up and victory is proclaimed.” After giving this charge to his sons he died, leaving behind him imperishable fame.
His successors in the empire were also inheritors of his piety.
Theodosius died of dropsy at Milan, Jan. 17, 395. “The character of Theodosius is one of the most perplexing in history. The church historians have hardly a word of blame for him except in the matter of the massacre of Thessalonica, and that seems to be almost atoned for in their eyes by its perpetrators penitent submission to ecclesiastical censure. On the other hand the heathen historians, represented by Zosimus, condemn in the most unmeasured terms his insolence, his love of pleasure, his pride, and hint at the scandalous immorality of his life.” “It is the fashion to call him the Great, and we may admit that he has as good a right to that title as Lewis XIV., a monarch whom in some respects he pretty closely resembles. But it seems to me that it would be safer to withhold this title from both sovereigns, and to call them not the Great, but the Magnificent.” Hodgkin, Dynasty of Theodosius. 133.
The great champion of orthodoxy, he was no violent persecutor, and received at his death from a grateful paganism the official honours of apotheosis.151:906
Arcadius was now eighteen, and Honorius eleven. Arcadius reigned at Constantinople, the puppet of Rufinus, the Eunuch Eutropius, and his Empress, Eudoxia.
Honorius was established at Milan, till the approach of Alaric drove him to Ravenna. (402.)
Next: Of Honorius the emperor and Telemachus the monk.
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