Theodosius: The Empire at Bay

Theodosius: The Empire at Bay

by Stephen Williams, Gerard Friell

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Theodosius I, a towering figure in the history of the late Roman Empire and the early Church, was the last Roman emperor to rule a unified empire of East and West. His reign from 379 to 395 represents a turning point in the policies and fortunes of the late Roman Empire. In this fascinating biography, Stephen Williams and Gerard Friell examine Theodosius's life and character, placing the military, religious, and political struggles of his reign in the context of the troubled times of the empire.

Drawing on literary, archaeological, and numismatic evidence, the authors describe how Theodosius was summoned to the throne after the disastrous Roman defeat by the Goths at Adrianople and was called upon to rebuild the armies and put the shattered state back together. They show how Theodosius instituted a new policy toward the barbarians, in which diplomacy played a larger role than military might at a time of increasing frontier dangers and acute manpower shortages, and how a series of political misfortunes led to the separation of the Eastern and Western empires despite his efforts. They also discuss Theodosius's importance in the Christian Church. Baptized in 380, Theodosius established the Apostolic Catholic Church as the only State religion; unlike Constantine and the other Christian emperors, he suppressed both heresy and paganism and enforced orthodoxy by law.

By fully exploring these various facets of Theodosius's life and reign, Williams and Friell present a new and absorbing picture of this important emperor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300074475
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 04/20/1998
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of plates
List of maps
Acknowledgements 9(4)
Part I The Crucible 13(62)
1 Adrianople and After
2 The Burdens of Empire
3 Imperial Divisions
4 Catholic Ascendancy
5 Victory in the West
Part II The Changed Background 75(44)
6 The War Machine
7 The Barbarian Settlements: from Laeti to Foederati
8 The Topheavy Empire
Part III Confrontation 119(23)
9 Contra Paganos
10 Triumph and Death
Part IV The Unravelling 142(34)
11 Stilicho: Last Guardian of a United Empire
12 The Inevitable?
Appendices 176(19)
I The Battle of Adrianople 176(6)
II The Roman Army in the Later Fourth Century 182(7)
III Dynastic Stemmata: Valentinian and Theodosius 189(1)
IV Barbarian Settlements 190(2)
V Fourth-Century Barbarians in the Roman Army 192(3)
References and Notes 195(32)
Bibliography 227(6)
Index 233

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