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by the last edict of Theodosius in 390 (Cod. Theod. 16. tit. 10. s. 12), which in harsh and intolerant terms, censured by a modern Christian writer, forbade, under severe penalties, in some cases ex­tending to death, " the worship of an inanimate idol by the sacrifice of a guiltless victim." The spirit of the Theodosian edicts was that of the most bitter persecution ; and while we commend his wishes to purge society of gross and debasing superstitions, we cannot reconcile the laws of the emperor with the religion which he professed, nor admit that persecution would have been so efficient a cure of idolatry as the inculcation of the doctrines of Christ, and the example of a practice conformable to them. But he who could order the massacre of Thessalonica was ill adapted to teach a faith which was contradicted by his practice.

The reign of Theodosius is one of the most im­ portant periods of the later empire. Gibbon has sketched it in a masterly manner, but too favourably for the character of Theodosius ; who was probably a voluptuary, a sensualist, certainly a persecutor, cruel and vindictive. That he possessed some great qualities cannot be denied; and his natural temper may have been mild, but it was unequal and uncer­ tain; it wanted sufficient consistency to entitle him to the name of a truly great and good man. Tillemont has, with unwearied industry which allows nothing to escape it, collected, in his dry, annalistic fashion, all the materials for the reign of Theodosius ; and Gibbon has largely availed himself of the labours of the learned ecclesiastic. [G. L.]


THEODOSIUS II., was the only son of the emperor Arcadius, who died on the first of May, A. d. 408. Theodosius was born early in a. d. 401, and was declared Augustus by his father in January a. d. 402. There is a story that Arcadius, by his testament, made Yezdigerd, king of Persia, the guardian of his son ; but it hardly deserves notice, and certainly not refutation. On the death of Arcadius, the government was given to or assumed by the praefect Anthemius, the grandson of Philip, a minister of Constantius, and the grandfather of the emperor Anthemius. In a. d. 405 Anthemius was made consul and praetorian praefect of the East. He faithfully discharged his duty as guardian of the empire and the infant emperor. In the year in which Arcadius died, the Huns and the Scyrri entered Thrace under Uldin, who rejected all terms of accommodation, but, being deserted by some of his officers, he recrossed the Danube, after losing a great number of his Huns. The Scyrri, who loitered in his rear, were either killed or made prisoners, and many of the captives were sent to cultivate the lands in Asia. Anthemius strength­ened the Illyrian frontiers, and protected Constan­tinople, by building what were called the great walls, probably in A. d. 413.

Theodosius had a sister, Pulcheria, born A. d. 399, who, in a. d. 414, became the guardian of her


brother and the administrator of the empire, before she was sixteen years of age : she was declared Augusta on the fourth of July, a. d. 414. Pul­cheria was undoubtedly a woman of some talent, though of a peculiar kind. She superintended the education of her brother, and directed the govern­ment at the same time ; nor did her influence cease with the minority of Theodosius. [pulcheria.] She educated her brother after her own ascetic notions ; and though his literary instruction was riot neglected, nor the exercises proper to form his health and strengthen his body, his political education was limited to the observance of the forms and ceremonials of the court. It may be that Pulcheria, with some vigour of understanding, had no knowledge of the more important duties of a man who is at the head of a nation. Pulcheria and her sisters, Arcadia and Marina, had publicly dedicated themselves to the service of God and to a life of chastity ; and the whole imperial household was regulated in con­formity to this principle. " Pulcheria," says Tille­mont, a great admirer of this saint. " accustomed Theodosius to pray incessantly, to visit the churches often, and to make them presents ; to respect the bishops and other ministers of the altar, &c." But if the young emperor was carefully protected against the dangers to which a youth in an-exalted station is exposed, he was not trained in those studies which befit a man and an emperor. To excel in mechanical occupations, to write a fine hand, which, in a private station, may give amusement, and are at least harmless, imply in a prince a want of taste and of talent for more important things, or an ill-directed education. Theodosius had, in fact, little talent, and his education was not adapted to im­prove it. He passed a blameless youth, for he was shut up in his palace, except when he went a hunt­ing ; and he possessed the negative virtues of a retired and austere life. The ecclesiastics extol him for his piety and his respect to the church ; and he prosecuted the work which his grandfather commenced, by demolishing to their foundations the temples of idols, the monuments of the super-, stition and of the taste of the pagans. It was his ambition not to leave a vestige of the ancient re­ligion behind him.

, He published various edicts against heretics, and an edict specially directed against Gamaliel, the last patriarch of the Jews. By an edict of the 16th May, 415, he declared it incest for a widower to marry his wife's sister, and the children of such a marriage were made bastards. Constantius, in a. d. 355, had already enacted the same law, which, though enacted again in our own times, is protested against by the common understanding of mankind.

The great event of the life, of an emperor who was a nullity, was his marriage, which was ma­naged by his sister, who managed every thing. The woman whom his sister chose for his wife, and whom Theodosius married (probably in a. d. 421), was the accomplished Athenais, who, after her baptism, for she was a heathen, received the name of Eudocia. Her life from this time is intimately connected with the biography of her husband, and is told at length elsewhere. [eudocia.]

About the close of a. d. 421 war broke out between the emperor of the East and Varanes or Bahrain, the successor of Yezdigerd. A Christian bishop had signalized his zeal by burning a temple of the fire-worshippers at Susa, and this excess was followed by a persecution of the Christians by the

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