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Why Was Theodosius I Called Theodosius the Great?

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Saint Ambrose and Emperor Theodosius, by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641).

Saint Ambrose and Emperor Theodosius, by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641).

Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Question: Why Was Theodosius I Called Theodosius the Great?
Answer: Ecclesiastical writers gave Theodosius I the label of Great. They applauded his suppression of paganism and support for the Nicene Creed. Emperor Theodosius had been tolerant of most pagan practices, but then in 391 he sanctioned the destruction of the Serapeum at Alexandria, enacted laws against pagan practices, and put an end to the ancient Olympic games. He is also credited with putting an end to the power of the Arian and Manichean heresies in Constantinople, while establishing Catholicism as the state religion.

Theodosius was noteworthy for a secular reason as well: Theodosius was the last Roman emperor to control both eastern and western divisions of the Empire.

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