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Chapter XXVI.—Illness and Death of Theodosius the Elder.

The Emperor Theodosius was in consequence of the anxiety and fatigues connected with this war thrown into bodily illness; and believing the disease which had attacked him would be fatal, he became more concerned about the public affairs than his own life, considering how great calamities often overtook the people after the death of their sovereign. He therefore hastily summoned his son Honorius from Constantinople, being principally desirous of setting in order the state of things in the western parts of the empire. After his son’s arrival at Milan, he seemed to recover a little, and gave directions for the celebration of the games of the hippodrome on account of his victory. Before dinner he was pretty well, and a spectator of the sports; but after he had dined he became suddenly too ill to return to them, and sent his son to preside in his stead; when the night came on he died, it being the seventeenth of January, during consulate of Olybrius and Probus. 815 This was in the first year of the two hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad. The emperor Theodosius lived sixty years, 816 and reigned sixteen. This book therefore comprehends the transactions of sixteen years and eight months.



395 a.d.


There is some doubt as to the length of Theodosius’ life; most of the ancient historians (Sozomen, Theophanes, Cedrenus) agree with Socrates in giving it as sixty years. Am. Marcellinus Rerum Gestarum, XXIX. 6. 15, and Victor, Epit. XLVII., leave the impression that he was fifty.

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