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There was also a Theodosius II of Abkhazia.
Theodosius II
Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire
Theodosius II Louvre Ma1036.jpg
Bust of Theodosius II
Reign January 402 - 1 May 408 (with Arcadius);
1 May 408 – 28 July 450
(alone, with his sister acting as regent from 408 to 416)
Full name Flavius Theodosius Augustus
Born 10 April 401
Died 28 July 450(450-07-28) (aged 49)
Predecessor Arcadius
Successor Pulcheria
Wife Aelia Eudocia
Issue Licinia Eudoxia
Father Arcadius
Mother Aelia Eudoxia

Theodosius II (Latin: Flavius Theodosius Junior Augustus;[1] 10 April 401 – 28 July 450),[2] commonly surnamed Theodosius the Younger,[3] or Theodosius the Calligrapher, was Eastern Roman Emperor from 408 to 450. He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and for the construction of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople. He also presided over the outbreak of two great christological controversies, Nestorianism and Eutychianism.

Life[edit]

Theodosius was born in 401 as the only son of Emperor Arcadius and his Frankish-born wife Aelia Eudoxia. Already in January AD 402 he was proclaimed co-Augustus by his father, thus becoming the youngest person ever to bear this title in Roman history.[4] In 408, his father died and the seven-year-old boy became Emperor of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire.

Government was at first by the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius, under whose supervision the Theodosian land walls of Constantinople were constructed.

In 414, Theodosius' older sister Pulcheria was proclaimed Augusta and assumed the regency. By 416 Theodosius was declared Augustus in his own right and the regency ended, but his sister remained a strong influence on him. In June 421, Theodosius married Aelia Eudocia, a woman of Greek origin.[5][6][7][8][9] The two had a daughter named Licinia Eudoxia.

Theodosius' increasing interest in Christianity, fueled by the influence of Pulcheria, led him to go to war against the Sassanids (421–422), who were persecuting Christians; the war ended in a stalemate, when the Romans were forced to accept peace as the Huns menaced Constantinople.[10]

In 423, the Western Emperor Honorius, Theodosius' uncle, died and the primicerius notariorum Joannes was proclaimed Emperor. Honorius' sister Galla Placidia and her young son Valentinian fled to Constantinople to seek Eastern assistance and after some deliberation in 424 Theodosius opened the war against Joannes. On 23 October 425, Valentinian III was installed as Emperor of the West with the assistance of the magister officiorum Helion, with his mother acting as regent. To strengthen the ties between the two parts of the Empire, Theodosius' daughter Licinia Eudoxia was betrothed to Valentinian.

University and Law Code[edit]

In 425, Theodosius founded the University of Constantinople with 31 chairs (15 in Latin and 16 in Greek). Among subjects were law, philosophy, medicine, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music and rhetoric.

In 429, Theodosius appointed a commission to collect all of the laws since the reign of Constantine I, and create a fully formalized system of law. This plan was left unfinished, but the work of a second commission that met in Constantinople, assigned to collect all of the general legislations and bring them up to date was completed, and their collection published as the Codex Theodosianus in 438. The law code of Theodosius II, summarizing edicts promulgated since Constantine, formed a basis for the law code of Emperor Justinian I, the Corpus Juris Civilis, in the following century.

Wars with the Huns, Vandals, and Persians[edit]

The war with Persia proved indecisive, and a peace was arranged in 422 without changes to the status quo. The later wars of Theodosius were generally less successful.

The Eastern Empire was plagued by raids by the Huns. Early in Theodosius II's reign Romans used internal Hun discord to overcome Uldin's invasion of the Balkans. The Romans strengthened their fortifications and in 424 agreed to pay 350 pounds of gold to encourage the Huns to remain at peace with the Romans. In 433 with the rise of Attila and Bleda to unify the Huns, the payment was doubled to 700 pounds.

When Roman Africa fell to the Vandals in 439, both Eastern and Western Emperors sent forces to Sicily, intending to launch an attack on the Vandals at Carthage, but this project failed. Seeing the Imperial borders without significant forces, the Huns and Sassanid Persia both attacked and the expeditionary force had to be recalled. During 443 two Roman armies were defeated and destroyed by the Huns. Anatolius negotiated a peace agreement; the Huns withdrew in exchange for humiliating concessions, including an annual tribute of 2,100 Roman pounds (ca. 687 kg) of gold.[11] In 447 the Huns went through the Balkans, destroying among others the city of Serdica (Sofia) and reaching Athyra (Büyükçekmece) on the outskirts of Constantinople.

Theological disputes[edit]

Theodosius welcomes the relics of John Chrysostom. Miniature from early 11th century.

During a visit to Syria, Theodosius met the monk Nestorius, who was a renowned preacher. He appointed Nestorius Archbishop of Constantinople in 428. Nestorius quickly became involved in the disputes of two theological factions, which differed in their Christology. Nestorius tried to find a middle ground between those who, emphasizing the fact that in Christ God had been born as a man, insisted on calling the Virgin Mary Theotokos ("birth-giver of God"), and those who rejected that title because God, as an eternal being, could not have been born. Nestorius suggested the title Christotokos ("birth-giver of Christ") as a compromise, but it did not find acceptance with either faction. He was accused of separating Christ's divine and human natures, resulting in "two Christs", a heresy later called Nestorianism. Though initially supported by the emperor, Nestorius found a forceful opponent in Archbishop Cyril of Alexandria. At the request of Nestorius, the emperor called a council, which convened in Ephesus in 431. This council affirmed the title Theotokos and condemned Nestorius, who returned to his monastery in Syria and was eventually exiled to a remote monastery in Egypt.

Almost twenty years later, the theological dispute broke out again, this time caused by the Constantinopolitan abbot Eutyches, whose Christology was understood by some to mingle Christ's divine and human nature into one. Eutyches was condemned by Archbishop Flavian of Constantinople but found a powerful friend in Cyril's successor Dioscurus of Alexandria. Another council was convoked in Ephesus in 449, later deemed a "robber synod" by Pope Leo I because of its tumultuous circumstances. This council restored Eutyches and deposed Flavian, who was mistreated and died shortly afterwards. Leo of Rome and many other bishops protested against the outcome, but the emperor supported it. Only after his death in 450 would the decisions be reversed at the Council of Chalcedon.

Death[edit]

Theodosius died in 450 as the result of a riding accident. In the ensuing power struggle, his sister Pulcheria, who had recently returned to court, won out against the eunuch Chrysaphius. She married the general Marcian, thereby making him Emperor.

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

References
  1. ^ Consular diptych of 430
  2. ^ "Theodosius II" in The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, New York & Oxford, 1991, p. 2051. ISBN 0195046528
  3. ^ Gibbon, Edward. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapters 32 & 34
  4. ^ http://www.roman-empire.net/constant/theodosius-II.html
  5. ^ Duncan, Alistair (1974). The noble heritage: Jerusalem and Christianity, a portrait of the Church of the Resurrection. Longman. p. 28. ISBN 0-582-78039-X. "In 438 the Empress Eudocia, wife of Theodosius II, visited Jerusalem. On her return to Constantinople, after donating towards the building of new churches, she was displaced in court circles by her sister-in-law because of her Greek origin. Only one part of her churches remains." 
  6. ^ Morgan, Robin (1996). Sisterhood is global: the international women's movement anthology. Feminist Press. p. 270. ISBN 1-55861-160-6. "Greek women also were visible during the Byzantine period. In 421 CE, Emperor Theodosius II married a pagan Athenian woman, Athenais; after baptism she became Eudocia." 
  7. ^ Mahler, Helen A. (1952). Empress of Byzantium. Coward-McCann. p. 106. OCLC 331435. "Athenais, daughter of the Athenian scholar, Leontius. Before the wedding she would receive in holy baptism the name of his mother, the exalted Empress Eudoxia but because of Athenais' Greek origin the name would be pronounced Eudocia." 
  8. ^ Cheetham, Nicolas (1981). Mediaeval Greece. Yale University Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-300-10539-8. "Immensely proud of her Hellenic ancestry and culture, Eudocia dominated her…" 
  9. ^ Cuming, G. J. ; Baker, Derek ; Ecclesiastical History Society (1972). Popular belief and practice: Volume 8 of Studies in church history. CUP Archive. p. 13. ISBN 0-521-08220-X. "Eudocia herself, the daughter of a pagan Athenian philosopher, embraced the new faith in a mood of total acceptance. Very conscious of her Hellenic heritage, as her famous address to the citizens of Antioch showed," 
  10. ^ Warren T. Treadgold, A history of the Byzantine state and society, Stanford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8047-2630-2, p. 90.
  11. ^ Bury, J.B., History of the Later Roman Empire vol. 1, Dover, New York, 1958, p. 271f
Sources
  • S. Crogiez-Pétrequin, P. Jaillette, J.-M. Poinsotte (eds.), Codex Theodosianus V. Texte latin d'après l'édition de Mommsen. Traduction, introduction et notes, Brepols Publishers, 2009, ISBN 978-2-503-51722-3
  • Fergus Miller: A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief Under Theodosius II. University of California Press, Berkeley 2006.
  • Vasiliki Limberis, Divine Heiress: The Virgin Mary and the Creation of Christian Constantinople (London: Routledge, 1994) has a significant section about Theodosius II and his sister Pulcheria.
  • Hugh Elton, "Imperial politics at the court of Theodosius II," in Andrew Cain (ed), The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity: The Power of Religion in Late Antiquity (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2009), 133–142.

External links[edit]

Media related to Theodosius II at Wikimedia Commons

Theodosius II
Born: April 401 Died: 28 July 450
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Arcadius
Roman Emperor
402–450
with
Arcadius
(402-408)
Succeeded by
Pulcheria
Political offices
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Arcadius Augustus V,
Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus V
Consul of the Roman Empire
403
with Flavius Rumoridus
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus VI,
Aristaenetus
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Arcadius Augustus VI,
Anicius Petronius Probus
Consul of the Roman Empire
407
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus VII
Succeeded by
Anicius Auchenius Bassus,
Flavius Philippus
Preceded by
Anicius Auchenius Bassus,
Flavius Philippus
Consul of the Roman Empire
409
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus VIII
Imp. Caesar Flavius Claudius Constantinus Augustus
Succeeded by
Varanes,
Tertullus
Preceded by
Varanes,
Tertullus
Consul of the Roman Empire
411
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus IX,
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus V
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus IV
Consul of the Roman Empire
412
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus IX
Succeeded by
Flavius Lucius,
Heraclianus
Preceded by
Flavius Constantius,
Flavius Constans
Consul of the Roman Empire
415
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus X
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus VII,
Flavius Iunius Quartus Palladius
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus X,
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus VI
Consul of the Roman Empire
416
with Flavius Iunius Quartus Palladius
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus XI,
Flavius Constantius II
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus XI,
Flavius Constantius II
Consul of the Roman Empire
418
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus XII
Succeeded by
Flavius Monaxius,
Flavius Plinta
Preceded by
Flavius Monaxius,
Flavius Plinta
Consul of the Roman Empire
420
with Flavius Constantius III
Succeeded by
Flavius Eustathius,
Flavius Agricola
Preceded by
Flavius Eustathius,
Flavius Agricola
Consul of the Roman Empire
422
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Honorius Augustus XIII
Succeeded by
Flavius Asclepiodotus,
Flavius Avitus Marinianus
Preceded by
Flavius Castinus,
Flavius Victor
Consul of the Roman Empire
425
with Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Caesar
Imp. Caesar Iohannes Augustus (only in Rome)
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XII,
Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus II
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XI,
Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Caesar,
Imp. Caesar Iohannes Augustus (only in Rome)
Consul of the Roman Empire
426
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus II
Succeeded by
Flavius Hierius,
Flavius Ardabur
Preceded by
Flavius Florentius,
Flavius Dionysius
Consul of the Roman Empire
430
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus III
Succeeded by
Flavius Anicius Auchenius Bassus,
Flavius Antiochus
Preceded by
Flavius Aetius,
Flavius Valerius
Consul of the Roman Empire
433
with Petronius Maximus
Succeeded by
Flavius Ardaburius Asparus,
Flavius Areobindus
Preceded by
Flavius Ardaburius Asparus,
Flavius Areobindus
Consul of the Roman Empire
435
with Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus IV
Succeeded by
Flavius Anthemius Isidorus Theophilus,
Flavius Senator
Preceded by
Flavius Aetius II,
Flavius Sigisvultus
Consul of the Roman Empire
438
with Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XVII,
Festus
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XVI,
Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus
Consul of the Roman Empire
439
with Flavius Rufius Postumius Festus
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus V,
Anatolius
Preceded by
Petronius Maximus II,
Flavius Paterius
Consul of the Roman Empire
444
with Fl. Caecina Decius Aginatius Albinus
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus VI,
Flavius Nomus

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodosius_II — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:02:19 -0700

It is thought that they were all part of the necropolis before the reign of Theodosius II. “Recently a few people came here, saying they were going to dig in this garden. I sent them away. They came back a few days later and dug up the whole place. I ...

NumisMaster.com

NumisMaster.com
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:30:00 -0700

Another highlight of the DNW sale will be one of only three known surviving examples of a gold double solidus that depicts Aelia Eudocia, wife of Emperor Theodosius II. The EF-graded coin will go to the block with an estimate of £80,000 to £100,000 ...
 
Cleveland Jewish News (blog)
Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:37:30 -0700

412: Roman emperors Honorius and Theodosius II command that Jews should not be persecuted because of their religion or have their property confiscated without cause but Jews are warned not “to disrespect Christianity.(As reported by Austin Cline).
 
Svenska Dagbladet
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:18:01 -0700

... utan att han hade förvandlats till en marmorstaty av en Herrens ängel och att denna staty placerats i en grotta vid Porta Aurea, den kejserliga triumfport som var en kopia av Porta Triumphalis i Rom och som uppförts av Imp. Theodosius II under på ...
 
مصر اليوم
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 23:45:00 -0700

تعد قلعة ييديكولي Yedikule Hisari من معالم اسطنبول الأثرية التي تستحق الزيارة فعلا , وذلك بسبب أهميتها التاريخية حيث بناها الامبراطور ثيودوسيوس الثاني Theodosius II في القرن الخامس وذلك بقصد الدفاع عن القسطنطينية. من أكثر الأمور البارزة في هذه القلعة هو ...
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