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Honorius

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History, Facts and Information about Honorius
The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about the Emperor Honorius who ruled the empire of Ancient Rome. Read about the life of Honorius who can be described or remembered as:

 "The End of the Gladiators and the Sack of Rome..."

Short Biography about the life of Honorius
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of Honorius, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.

  • Name commonly known as: Honorius
  • Latin Roman Name: Flavius Honorius Augustus
  • Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: 23 January 393 - 395 as Augustus under his father and 395 - August 15, 423 as emperor in the west, with his brother, Arcadius in the east
  • Dynasty / Historical Period: The Valentinian dynasty (364 - 394) derives its name from the first of the dynasty's Emperors - Valentinian I. Orthodox Christianity became the officially tolerated variant of the faith and the Empire became irrevocably split into two halves.
  • Place and Date of Birth: Born September 9, 384 in Spain
  • Name of previous Emperor: His predecessor or the Emperor before Honorius was Theodosius I
  • Family connections / Genealogy
    • Name of Father: Theodosius I
    • Name of Mother: Aelia Flaccilla
    • Married: Maria and Thermantia
  • Place and Date of Death: Died August 15, 423 (aged 38)
  • For the names of the next Roman emperors in the East and the West of the Empire refer to the Timeline of Roman Emperors

Interesting facts about the life of Honorius
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor Honorius from the following facts and information about his life. Why was Honorius famous? Accomplishments, achievements and important events. Honorius was the younger son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla. His older brother was called Arcadius. The sons of Theodosius I were, like almost all the children of the Roman Emperors, vain and weak  and thoroughly spoiled by growing up as princes. Honorius who was only eleven, reigned at Rome under the care of Stilicho, who was by birth a Vandal, one of those Teutonic nations who were living all round the northern bounds of the empire, and whose sons came to serve in the Roman armies and learn Roman habits. Stilicho was brave and faithful, and almost belonged to the imperial family, for his wife Serena was niece to Theodosius, and his daughter Maria was betrothed to the young Honorius. Stilicho was a very active, spirited man, who found troops to check the enemies of Rome on all sides of the Western Empire.

The Reign of Honorius - Alaric the Goth
The brother of Honorius, Arcadius, asked for help against the Goths. Stilicho, the commander of Honorius, marched through Thrace and quelled the Goths. Arcadius grew afraid of Stilicho, sent him back to Italy with many gifts and promises, and engaged Alaric the Goth to be the guardian of his empire, not only against the wild tribes, but against his brother and Stilicho. Alaric seized his chance again and led his forces through the Alps into Italy, and showed himself before the gates of Milan. The weak boy Honorius was taken for safety to Ravenna, while Stilicho gathered all the troops from Gaul, and left Britain unguarded by Roman soldiers, to protect the heart of the empire. With these he attacked Alaric, and gained a great victory at Pollentia. The Goths retreated. Stilicho followed and beat them again at Verona in June 403, driving them out of Italy.

The Reign of Honorius - Telemachus and the End of the Gladiators
It was the last Roman victory, and it was celebrated by the last Roman triumph. There had been three hundred triumphs of Roman generals, but it was Honorius who entered Rome in the car of victory and was taken to the Capitol, and afterwards there were games in the amphitheatre as usual and fights of gladiators. In the midst of the bloodshed a voice was heard bidding it to cease in the name of Christ, and between the swords there was seen standing a monk in his dark brown dress, holding up his hand and keeping back the blows. He was stoned by the outraged 'mob' and killed. It was found that he was an Egyptian monk named Telemachus, newly come to Rome. No one knew any more about him, but this noble death of his in 404AD put an end to shows of gladiators  as three days after his death the Emperor issued a decree that the gladiatorial games were to stop. Chariot races and games went on, though the good and thoughtful disapproved of the wild excitement they caused; but the terrible sports of death and blood were ended for ever. The last known gladiatorial fight therefore took place during the reign of Honorius.

The Reign of Honorius - Alaric and the Sack of Rome
Alaric had been driven back for a time, but there were swarms of Germans who were breaking in where the line of boundary had been left undefended by the soldiers being called away to fight the Goths. A fierce heathen chief named Radegaisus advanced with at least 200,000 men as far as Florence, but was there beaten by the brave Stilicho, and was put to death, while the other prisoners were sold into slavery. Stilicho was nor trusted by the Emperor Honorius or the people and was then put to death. And at that very time Alaric was crossing the Alps. There was no one to make any resistance. Honorius was at Ravenna, safe behind walls. Alaric encamped outside the walls of Rome, but he did not attempt to break in, waiting till the Romans should be starved out. When they had come to terrible distress, they offered to ransom their city. The ransom the Romans agreed to pay was 5000 pounds' weight of gold and 30,000 of silver, 4000 silk robes, 3000 pieces of scarlet cloth, and 3000 pounds of pepper. They stripped the roof of the temple in the Capitol, and melted down the images of the old gods to raise the sum, and Alaric drew off his men; but he came again the next year, blocked up Ostia, and starved them faster. This time he brought a man named Attalus, whom he ordered them to admit as Emperor, and they did so; but as the governor of Africa would send no corn while this man reigned, the people rose and drove him out, and thus for the third time brought Alaric down on them. The gates were opened to him at night, and he entered Rome on the 24th of August, 410.

The Death of Honorius
Honorius continued to live his idle life at Ravenna and the Pope came back and helped them to put matters into order again. Alaric promised to protect the empire for Honorius, and led his tribe away from Italy to Spain, which they conquered. They were therefore known as the Visigoths, or Western Goths. Honorius only remained at Ravenna by the support of the kings of the Teutonic tribes. Honorius did not care, as long as he was left alone. Honorius died of dropsy in 423, after thirty-seven years of a wretched reign, leaving no heir. In the subsequent interregnum Ioannes, the Chief Secretary, was nominated emperor. In 424 the Eastern Emperor Theodosius II elected emperor his cousin Valentinian III, the son of Constantius III restoring the legitimate dynasty.

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