The Church At The Beginning Of T
Although Theodosius the Great had been the dominating power in the
government of the Empire almost from his accession in 379, he was sole
ruler of the united Roman Empire for only a few months before his death in
395. The East and the West became henceforth permanently divided after
having been united, since the reorganization of the Empire under
Diocletian in 285, for only three periods aggregating twenty-eight years
in all. The imperial authority was divided between the sons of Theodosius,
Arcadius taking the sovereignty of the East and Honorius that of the West.
Stilicho, a Vandal, directed the fortunes of the West until his death in
408, but the Empire of the East soon began to take a leading part,
especially after the barbarians commenced to invade the West about 405,
and to establish independent kingdoms within the boundaries of the Empire.
The German tribes that settled within the Empire were either Arians when
they entered or became such almost immediately after; this Arianism had
been introduced among the West Goths from Constantinople during the
dominance of that creed. The Franks alone of all the Germanic tribes were
heathen when they settled within the Empire.
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