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The Rule of Arcadius

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Early Life

Arcadius was born in Spain in 377. His teachers were Themistius and Saint Arsenius the Great. Proclaimed by Augustus on January 16, 383 in the locality of Eud, near Constantinople. He reigned from 395 – 408.

When, after the death of Theodosius the Great, the Roman Empire was divided, he became emperor in the East, and his brother Honorius received the West. Arkady’s possessions stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Tigris and from the Danube to the Nile. The actual ruler of the East was the prefect of Praetoria of the East, Rufin, a gall by descent. Rufin tried to marry Arkady to his daughter, but he preached a holy bedchamber, the eunuch Eutropius violated his plans, showing the emperor a portrait of the beautiful daughter of commander Bauton Eudoxia. The emperor married Eudoxia on April 27, 395. In addition to his son and heir, Theodosius II, Arkady had four daughters: Flacilla, Pulcheria, later recognized as a saint and having a great influence on public affairs, as well as Arkady and Marina.

On November 27, 395, Rufin was killed by soldiers of the Gothic commander Gaina in the presence of the emperor. In the fall of Rufins, Stilicho and his wife Serena played a significant role. They arrived in Constantinople for the funeral of Emperor Theodosius I. who seized power.

In 400, the rebellious inhabitants of Constantinople killed several thousand ready, and Gaina was forced to flee the empire. However, reigning over the Huns north of the Danube, Uldin, an ally of the empire, killed Gayna; he sent his severed head to Constantinople. These events in allegorical form are set forth in the work of Synesius of Kirensky “On Providence”.

The influence of Eudoxia at the court remained predominant. In 403, she achieved the expulsion of the Bishop of Constantinople John Chrysostom, believing that when he spoke of some women’s excessive love of luxury, he meant it. Numerous protests forced the imperial couple to return John to Constantinople, but soon the conflict broke out with a new force; John was expelled forever and died three years later. The unexpected and painful death of the empress during childbirth on October 3, 404, was considered a punishment for her role in the fate of John. The case of John contributed to the exacerbation of the conflict between the western and eastern courtyards, since both Pope Innokenty and Emperor Honorius actively defended John.

During the life of the empress, Egyptian Antemy, who in 404 served as the Master of Office at the Eastern Courtyard, began to use the influence of the court. Antemy, who became consul for 405 and was appointed pretori prefect in the same year, served as a de facto ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire until 414 years. Arkady died on May 1, 408 ; the exact cause of his death is unknown. He was succeeded by a minor son, Theodosius II. The news of the death of Arkady played a fatal role in the development of the conflict in the top of the government of the Western Roman Empire, becoming one of the reasons for the fall of Stilicho, accused of trying to seize power and the desire to put his son Euheria on the throne of Constantinople.

Appearance and character

According to the historian Philostorgia, Arkady “had a small growth, a lean body, weak forces, a dark face. The lethargy of his soul was exposed by his speech and the property of his eyes, which were drowsy and painfully closed in him. He characterizes the emperor Sinezius even more sharply.

Church historians emphasized the piety of Arcadius; Socrates Scholastic talks about a case where, allegedly thanks to his prayer, thousands of people did not die as a result of the collapse of a huge building in Constantinople and called the emperor “a gentle and peaceful peace husband.” On the other hand, some sources speak of Arcadia’s cunning and irritability. The Chronicle of Marcellinus reports that in 390, 13-year-old Arcadius drove his stepmother Gall from the palace. The same Philostorgy describes an attack of rabies that seized Arkady when his wife complained to him about Eutropius. Zonara says that when Theodosius ordered Honorius and Arkady to stand in the presence of his teacher Arseny during classes, and Arseny punished Arkady for some offense, Arkady hated him so much that he decided to kill and even hired a hired killer; Arseny was saved only by immediate escape.

In honor of Arkady was named the Roman province, created in northern Egypt between 386 and 395 years and existed before the Arab conquest of Egypt in the 640s.

Arkady // Encyclopedic dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron
Cameron A., Long J. Cameron, Alan. Barbarians and politics at the Court of Arcadius.
Demougeot E. De l’unité à la division de l’empire romain
Güldenpennig A. Geschichte des Oströmischen Reiches unter den Kaisern Arcadius und Theodosius II
Liebeschuetz JHWG: Barbarians and Bishops

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