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N.S. Gill

The Emperor Honorius

By January 23, 2014

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On This Day in Ancient History - January 23

"The Byzantine Emperor Honorius," by Jean-Paul Laurens, 1880, at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk. Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

On this day in A.D. 393, Honorius became co-ruling emperor. He was 8-years old. At the time Honorius became Augustus, his father, Theodosius I, was still emperor. After Theodosius' death in A.D. 395, the Roman empire was split between Honorius in the West and Arcadius in the East. The most notable event during Honorius' 30 years in power was the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in A.D. 410. Although Honorius is depicted as foolish, he recovered from that sack (granted, it was probably easier to do so than after the Gallic sack in 390 B.C., since the capital of the Western Roman empire was no longer in Rome, but in Ravenna) and actually managed to die of natural causes.

"This day in ancient history" caveat: please see Unreliability of Dates.


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