Theodisius I

Doctrinal strife continued in the East until the accession of Theodosius I, who became the last man to rule a unified Roman Empire.

Theodosius, who ruled the West from Milan, was baptized in 380 A.D. during a severe illness. He was orthodox.

Within a few months he entered Constantinople, deposed the Arian bishop, and called an ecumenical council, which met in 381 A.D.

This council also afforded the patriarchal see of Rome "primacy of honor," with Constantinople coming just after it.

Rome sent no delegates to the council and never accepted this canon.

Theodosius persecuted Arians, but was tolerant to Jews and pagans.

Beginning in 391 A.D., Theodosius began ordering the closing of some pagan temples and restricting practices at others.

This did not mean the end of paganism, but it was becoming an extreme minority.

Although no decree was issued making Christianity the official state religion, it certainly had the position by the death of the emperor in 395 A.D.

St. Ambrose Converting Theodosius by Pierre Subleyras, 1745

St. Ambrose Converting Theodosius by Pierre Subleyras, 1745

This council affirmed the Nicene Creed, with some modifications, and condemned the Arians. By imperial decree, Arian bishops were exiled and orthodoxy was restored.

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