On This Day
382 – Roman Emperor Theodosius I concludes a peace treaty with the Goths and settles them in the Balkans.
Theodosius I (Greek: Θεοδόσιος Αʹ, Theodósios I; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the Empire. His resources were not sufficient to destroy them or drive them out, which had been Roman policy for centuries in dealing with invaders. By treaty, which followed his indecisive victory at the end of the Gothic War, they were established as foederati, autonomous allies of the Empire, south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the Empire’s borders. They were given lands and allowed to remain under their own leaders, not assimilated as had been normal Roman practice. Theodosius I was obliged to fight two destructive civil wars, successively defeating the usurpers Magnus Maximus in 387–388 and Eugenius in 394, at great cost to the power of the Empire. He is well known for effectively made the Nicene Christianity the official state church of the Roman Empire.
During his reign he neither prevented nor punished the destruction of prominent Hellenistic temples of classical antiquity, including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and the Serapeum in Alexandria. He dissolved the Order of the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the pagan rituals of the Olympics in Ancient Greece. After his death, Theodosius’s young and incapable sons Arcadius and Honorius inherited the east and west halves of the empire respectively, effectively partitioning the Roman Empire in two for the next 80 years.
Theodosius is considered a saint by the Armenian Apostolic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, and his feast day is on January 17.
Born On This Day
1906 – Natalie Savage Carlson, American author (d. 1997)
Natalie Savage Carlson (October 3, 1906 – September 23, 1997) was a 20th-century American writer of children’s books. For her lifetime contribution as a children’s writer, she was United States nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1966.
She was born in Kernstown, Virginia of French Canadian descent, and worked many old family stories and folktales into early books like The Talking Cat and Other Stories of French Canada (1952). Carlson published her first story at age eight on the children’s page of the Baltimore Sunday Sun. For The Family Under the Bridge, she was a runner-up for the 1959 Newbery Medal from the professional librarians, which annually recognizes the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”.
Carlson died on September 23, 1997 in Rhode Island.
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