ARCADIUS, emperor 377 408. Eldest son of Theodosius, educated by the pagan philosopher Themistius and by the Christian Arsenius. Appointed Augustus as a child 383, he ruled the empire in the East during Theodosius’s campaign against Eugenius 394. On his father’s death he inherited the Eastern part of the empire Illyria, Thrace, Pontus, Asia, Egypt, and his younger brother, Honorius, the West. From this point the empire, though nominally one, would remain definitively divided. Alaric, king of the Visigoths, constituted a major threat to Arcadius’s kingdom, which he was able to allay temporarily by naming the barbarian leader magister militum of Illyricum. In religious matters, Arcadius continued the policies of Theodosius, aimed at affirming the orthodoxy established at Nicaea and Constantinople. From some evidence we know that Arcadius wanted to reserve imperial judgment as a discretionary power over all ecclesiastical matters, attributing to himself the right to intervene, ultimately, even over conciliar decisions. In 398 he issued a constitution CI 1, 4, 7 that also bore his brother Honorius’s name, in which the sphere of application of ecclesiastical jurisdiction was restricted, and immediately afterward a constitution in which powers of legal intervention in the Jewish ethnarch were specified CTh II, 1, 10. Arcadius died 1 May 408; his son Theodosius II succeeded him. J. Straub, Parens principum. Stilichos Reichspolitik und das Testament des Kaisers Theodosius: NClio 4 1952 94-115; E. Stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire, I, fr. ed. J.-R. Palanque, Amsterdam 1968, 219-252; J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, Barbarians and Bishops: Army, Church, and State in the Age of Arcadius and Chrysostom, Oxford 1990; A. Cameron – J. Long, Barbarians and Politics at the court of Arcadius, Berkeley 1993.Arcadius – Livius holidaymapq

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Today in History: 17 June 397: Emperors Arcadius and Honorius … holidaymapq

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