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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

AT this time Theodosius was universally held in the highest honour on account of his valour and of his illustrious birth. To evade the envy of those who were his equals in rank, he resided in Spain, the place of his birth and of his education. The emperor, perceiving that the barbarians were highly inflated with their late victory, thought that the most effectual method of arresting the evils of war would be to place Theodosius at the head of the army. Having therefore sent for him from Spain, and promoted him to the rank of general, he sent him with the troops against the enemy. Being encouraged and animated by faith, he marched onwards with corresponding alacrity. As soon as he arrived in Thrace he ranged his troops in order of battle. He fell upon the barbarians with an impetuosity which they could not withstand; he broke their ranks, compelled them to take flight, and hotly pursued them. Many of the barbarians were slain, not only by the Romans, but also by their own countrymen. The greater number of them fell, while a few succeeded in effecting an escape by crossing the Danube. After obtaining this complete victory, the illustrious general hastened to convey the intelligence of his own achievements, and of the laurels he had gained, to the emperor: but the whole relation seemed so incredible, that the emperor would scarcely give credit to it, while certain persons, stimulated by envy, were led to declare that he had taken to flight, and that the army had been destroyed. To confute his adversaries, he requested that messengers might be dispatched to the field of battle, where the dead bodies of the barbarians were lying. “It will be easy,” said he, “to compute the number of the slain by the spoils left on the field.” The emperor assented to this request, and sent persons to inspect the spot, and to ascertain the truth of the report.








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