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Encyclopedia > Emperor Honorius
Bronze coin bearing the profile of Honorius
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Bronze coin bearing the profile of Honorius

Flavius Augustus Honorius (September 9, 384August 15, 423) was Emperor of the Western Roman Empire from 395 until his death. He was the younger son of Theodosius I and his first wife Aelia Flaccilla, and brother of the Eastern emperor Arcadius.


Honorius was declared Augustus in 393 by his father and became western emperor at the age of 10, following his father's death in January 395. For the first part of his reign he depended on the military leadership of the Vandal general Stilicho. To strengthen his bonds to the young emperor, Stilicho married his daughter Maria to him.


At first Honorius based his capital in Milan. When the Visigoths entered Italy in AD 402, Honorius moved his capital to Ravenna, which was protected by a ring of marshes.


The most notable event of his reign was the assault and sack of Rome on August 24, 410 by the Visigoths under Alaric. The city had not been under the control of a foreign force since an invasion of Gallic Celts some seven centuries before. The shock of this event reverberated from Britain to Jerusalem, and inspired Augustine to write his magnum opus, The City of God.


There is a story that when he heard the news that Rome had "perished", Honorius was initially shocked; thinking the news was in reference to a favorite chicken he had named "Rome", he recalled in disbelief that the bird was just recently feeding out of his hand. It was then explained to him that the Rome in question was the city.


His reign of twenty-eight years was one of the most disastrous in the Roman annals; the weakness and timidity of the emperor combined with the attacks of the Visigoths and Vandals contributed to the rapid disintegration of the empire. His influence on the current of events was purely negative.


Preceded by:
Theodosius I
Western Roman Emperor
with Constantius III
Succeeded by:
Valentinian III

  Results from FactBites:
 
Honorius (emperor) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (635 words)
Honorius was declared Augustus in 393 by his father and became western emperor at the age of 10, following his father's death in January 395.
At first Honorius based his capital in Milan, but when the Visigoths entered Italy in 402 he moved his capital to the coastal city of Ravenna, which was protected by a ring of marshes and strong fortifications.
Honorius' supposed weakness and timidity in the face of internal dissension and the attacks of the Visigoths and Vandals is often said to have contributed to the rapid disintegration of the western half of the empire.
The Dominate (1605 words)
Honorius: The younger son of Theodosius I (emperor 379-395) and Aelia Flacilla, Honorius was elevated to the rank of augustus by Theodosius on Jan. 23, 393, and became sole ruler of the West at age 10, upon his father’s death (Jan. 17, 395).
Honorius was one of the weakest of the Roman emperors.
Ricimer and Anthemius quarrelled, and, in 472, the patrician besieged the Emperor in Rome.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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