Byzantine Midterm

Byzantine Midterm - Patrick Kennedy November 1, 2007...

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Patrick Kennedy November 1, 2007 Byzantines and Their World Byzantine Midterm Theodosius I- Theodosius I or Theodosius the Great was born in Spain in 346 to Thermantia and Theodosius. Theodosius’s father was a valiant general who had been one of Valentinian’s right hand men and top commanders in his army. Tragically, his father was executed in 375. Theodosius served under his father, but retired to his Spanish estate once his father was executed. Theodosius likely feared for his safety, and did not appear again until Gratian “recalled him and proclaimed him emperor at Sirmium on January 19, 379” (Gregory 82). Theodosius succeeded the emperor Valens and now controlled all of the Eastern Empire, in addition to Dacia and Macedonia. Although Theodosius was now king, he inherited an empire facing many problems. His first mission as emperor was to restock the army. Theodosius inherited a weak and depleted army, which can mainly be attributed to the terrible losses at the battle of Adrianople. Theodosius enlisted an estimated 20,000 soldiers and now was prepared to face his first challenge as emperor, the Goths. The Goth’s were viciously raiding the villages and farms of the Balkans, and were a huge thorn in Theodosius’s side. They were in a section which was traditionally part of the Western Empire, so Theodosius had to have the territories annexed to him by Gratian. Once this was taken care of Theodosius was finally capable of dealing with the Goths, and they signed a treaty on October 3, 382 which stated that the Goths could settle in
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Roman territory but, they must serve in the army. Extremely large numbers of Goths were now located in the Northern section of Thrace and along the southern bank of the Danube. This move bolstered Theodosius’s army with another 20,000 troupes, but the Goth’s were allowed to serve under their own tribal leaders. The decision differed from traditional Roman policy, and I feel it was an error in judgment on behalf of Theodosius because this allowed internal instability to bolster which ultimately would lead to revolt. Although they were experiencing problems with the Goth’s, the rest of the empire was now relatively tranquil. The East was very peaceful as relations with Persia and its kings ran very smoothly during Theodosius’ reign. The only possible conflict between the two powers lied between Armenia, but it was split up between the Persians and the Romans. Things turned quite hectic in 383 when a revolt led by Magnus Maximus erupted, and Gratian was assassinated. Once Gratian was assassinated, the thirteen year old emperor Valentinian II was now in power. Valentinian II was too young to exercise his power, but he was heavily supported by Theodosius, which could have been a plot to eventually take over the West. Magnus Maximus was rumored to be behind Gratian’s death, and this would be the opportunity Theodosius needed to go into a bloody civil war with him. Although during his initial reign of power Maximus was recognized by
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course HIST history 99 taught by Professor Davidproctor during the Spring '08 term at Tufts.

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Byzantine Midterm - Patrick Kennedy November 1, 2007...

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