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Eastern Roman Empire

Ruler: Arcadius
Reigned: Eastern Augustus 383 - 408 AD
Denomination: Bronze double Centenionalis or Maiorina
Mint: Constantinople
Date of Issue: 383 - 386 AD
Obverse: Pearl-diademed,draped and cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield; above hand holding wreath.
Reverse: Arcadius standing, facing, head left, holding standard and leaning on shield; at feet, left, captive seated facing, head right. "GLORIA RO-MANORVM".
Mint marks:
Reference: RIC IX 53b, RCVM 20783
Weight: 8.6 gms
Nominal Weight: 4.5 - 5.0 gms extremely variable
Diameter: 22.4 mm

ARCADIUS (Flavius Arcadius)

  • Arcadius was the elder son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla and was raised to the rank of Augustus by his father in 383, as co-emperor in the east.
  • When Theodosius died in 395, Arcadius was left as emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire and Theodosius' other son, Honorius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
  • Arcadius was married to Eudoxia, an intelligent and powerful woman, who wielded much political influence.
  • Arcadius was a weak emperor. After Arcadius' Praetorian Prefect Rufinus was murdered on the orders of Flavius Stilicho, Master General of the west, Eutropius, a palace eunuch who had been Arcadius' chamberlain gained power.
  • Gainas, leader of the Ostrogoths, revolted, causing much destruction throughout the east. This was probably the result of the corrupt methods of Eutropius.
  • Eutropius was removed from power for the crime of harnessing the royal mules to his carriage.
  • Gainas forced Arcadius to declare him Magister Militum or Master General and allow him to move his Gothic troops into Constantinople, where they caused mayhem.
  • Gainas's troops demanded a church where they could worship their own Arian brand of Christianity. The citizens of Constantinople rioted and managed to trap the troops in their church and burn it down.
  • Gainas managed to flee with the remains of his army but they were drowned when they tried to cross the Hellespont, where the Romans sunk their boats.
  • Uldin, King of the Huns, captured Gainas and sent his head as a present back to Arcadius in Constantinople.
  • Arcadius died at Constantinople from illness on 1st May 408. His son, Theodosius II, succeeded him on the throne.

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