2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Theodosius (347-395 CE) was the son of the Spanish general Flavius Theodosius. He was working as a military commander when his father was executed by Valentinian in 376. After his father's death, Theodosius withdrew from military life until 379, when the emperor Gratian named him Augustus, or co-ruler, of the east. In 381, he established a treaty of alliance with the Visigoths, who had been invading areas of the empire since 375. He also worked to establish a common faith in the empire. In 380, he issued an edict stating that only those who believed in the Nicene Creed were to be considered Catholic Christians. In 391 and 392, Theodosius began to do away with paganism by first prohibiting sacrifices and later prohibiting the worship of pagan gods. In 394, he fought his pagan enemies, who were led by Nicomachus Flavianus, and was victorious. After his conflict with the pagans, Theodosius became ill and died in 395.
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