Arcadius





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ARCADIUS (Flavius), son of Theodosius the Great, and Flacilla, was born in Spain about A. D. 377--declared Augustus by his father (A.D. 383, whom he succeeded, as Emperor of the East (395), he abandoning all claims to the empire of the West, in favour of his brother Honorius. Arcadius died at Constantinople A.D. 408.  Himself of an equally weak and contemptible character, his government was quite as disgraceful, and nearly as calamitous, as that of his brother. An odius favourite of his father's named Rufinus, early exercised an absolute authority over the effeminate person and imbecile mind of Arcadius. It was under the administration of this avaricious traitor, that the provicinces were oppressed with exactions, and laid waste by barbarian invaders. But he met his death (A.D. 395) under horrible circumstances, in the presence of the emperor, from the troops of Gainas the Goth, whom Stilico, the general of Honorius, and charged with the plan of his destruction. Eutropius and Eudoxia afterwards held divided sway over the indolent and feeble Arcadius; until the audacious eunuch fell a victim to the revenge of the empress. The unsuccessful revolt of Gainas, whose conspiracy cost him his life (A.D. 401) and Eudoxia's cruel persecution of the venerable Chrysostom, soon followed by her own decease, form the only remaing incidents of importance in the disastrous annals of this most incapable prince.--

"In the 31st year of his age, after a reign (if, says Gibbon, we may abuse that word) of thirteen years, three months, and fifteen days, Arcadius expired in the palace of Constantinople."

The name and titles of the Emperor on his coins (which in every metal, of the ordinary module, are common) always read, D.N. ARCADIVS. P.F. AVG. (very rarely AVGVSTVS)--his head encircled with a diadem of pearls.--The bust is also seen clothed in the paludamentum. On a medallion of pure gold, and of the largest size, published by Vaillant, from the French cabinet, Arcadius is so represented, holding in his left hand a globe surmounted by the small figure of Victory, extending a wreath towards the Emperor.--On the reverse of this splendid piece, Arcadius is represented full-faced, and adorned with the nimbus, standing with the globe in his left hand, and the right hand elevated, in a triumphal car, drawn by six horses. The legend GLORIA ROMANORVM. In the field, the monogram of Christ. On the exergue CO.OB.--See Praest. Impp. Rom. III. 262.

Coin illustrated is from Corduba's FORVM Gallery.



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