39 Facts About Theodosius I


Theodosius I, called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395.


Theodosius I held independent command in Moesia in 374, where he had some success against the invading Sarmatians.


Theodosius I soon regained his position following a series of intrigues and executions at Emperor Gratian's court.


In 386, Theodosius I signed a treaty with the Sasanian Empire which partitioned the long-disputed Kingdom of Armenia and secured a durable peace between the two powers.


Theodosius I was a strong adherent of the Christian doctrine of consubstantiality and an opponent of Arianism.


Theodosius I convened a council of bishops at Constantinople in 381, which confirmed the former as orthodoxy and the latter as a heresy.


Theodosius I sponsored several measures to improve his capital and main residence, Constantinople, most notably his expansion of the Forum Tauri, which became the biggest public square known in antiquity.


Theodosius I was said to have been a diligent administrator, austere in his habits, merciful, and a devout Christian.


For centuries after his death, Theodosius I was regarded as a champion of Christian orthodoxy who decisively stamped out paganism.


Theodosius I is fairly credited with presiding over a revival in classical art that some historians have termed a "Theodosian renaissance".


Theodosius I has received criticism for defending his own dynastic interests at the cost of two civil wars.


Theodosius I's father, called Theodosius, was a successful and high-ranking general under the western Roman emperor Valentinian I, and his mother was called Thermantia.


One modern historian instead thinks Theodosius I must have grown up among the army, participating in his father's campaigns throughout the provinces, as was customary at the time for families with a tradition of military service.


One source says he received a decent education and developed a particular interest in history, which Theodosius I then valued as a guide to his own conduct throughout life.


Theodosius I admitted large numbers of non-Roman auxiliaries into the army, even Gothic deserters from beyond the Danube.


Theodosius I brokered a peace agreement between Valentinian and Magnus Maximus which endured for several years.


Theodosius I died at Scotumis in Thrace and was buried at Constantinople, her funeral oration delivered by Gregory of Nyssa.


Galla and Theodosius I's first child, a son named Gratian, was born in 388 or 389.


Bowersock and authors Stephen Williams and Gerard Friell, think that Theodosius I ordered the massacre in an excess of "volcanic anger".


Wolf Liebeschuetz says "Theodosius I duly complied and came to church without his imperial robes, until Christmas, when Ambrose openly admitted him to communion".


Washburn says the image of the mitered prelate braced in the door of the cathedral in Milan blocking Theodosius I from entering is a product of the imagination of Theodoret who wrote of the events of 390 "using his own ideology to fill the gaps in the historical record".


Brown says Ambrose was just one among many advisors, and Cameron says there is no evidence Theodosius I favored him above anyone else.


Theodosius I was in his 40s, had been emperor for 11 years, had temporarily settled the Gothic wars, and won a civil war.


Theodosius I observes that the documents revealing the relationship between these two formidable men do not show the personal friendship the legends portray.


In 391, Theodosius I left his trusted general Arbogast, who had served in the Balkans after Adrianople, to be magister militum for the Western emperor Valentinian II, while Theodosius I attempted to rule the entire empire from Constantinople.


Theodosius I had to carry on governing without the ability to issue edicts and rescripts from a legitimate acclaimed emperor.


At least two embassies went to Theodosius I to explain events, one of them Christian in make-up, but they received ambivalent replies, and were sent home without achieving their goals.


Flavianus, the praetorian prefect of Italy whom Theodosius I had appointed, defected to their side.


The next day, the extremely bloody battle began again and Theodosius I's forces were aided by a natural phenomenon known as the Bora, which can produce hurricane-strength winds.


Theodosius I was interred in a porphyry sarcophagus that was described in the 10th century by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his work De Ceremoniis.


The Forum Tauri in Constantinople was renamed and redecorated as the Forum of Theodosius I, including a column and a triumphal arch in his honour.


In 390, Theodosius I oversaw the removal of the other to Constantinople.


Theodosius I had just been baptized, by bishop Ascholius of Thessalonica, during a severe illness.


Theodosius I seems to have adopted a cautious policy toward traditional non-Christian cults, reiterating his Christian predecessors' bans on animal sacrifice, divination, and apostasy, while allowing other pagan practices to be performed publicly and temples to remain open.


Theodosius I voiced his support for the preservation of temple buildings, but nonetheless failed to prevent the damaging of many holy sites, images and objects of piety by Christian zealots, some including even his own officials.


Theodosius I turned pagan holidays into workdays, but the festivals associated with them continued.


Theodosius I nominated the last pair of pagan consuls in Roman history in 391.


Theodosius I officially supported temple preservation, but Garth Fowden says Cynegius did not limit himself to Theodosius I' official policy, but instead, commissioned temple destruction on a wide scale, even employing the military under his command for this purpose.


For example, Malalas claimed Constantine destroyed all the temples, then he said Theodosius I did, then he said Constantine converted them all to churches.