|394||Battle of Frigidus||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||Victory of Theodosius against the usurpers of the throne of the West||6 September 394|
|War & Enemy:||
Romans (Civil War)
Later Roman Military Civil Wars
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Frigidus river in modern Slovenia, near the Italian borders
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Theodosius I the Great)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||Emperor Theodosius I (& Stilich, Alaric)||Eugenius & Arbogast|
|Forces:||20,000-30,000 Romans & 20,000 Goths||35,000 to 50,000|
|Losses:||Heavy + 10,000 Goths||Heavy|
|Background story:|| In May of 392, the Western Emperor Valentinian II was found dead at his residence in Gaul. Arbogast, who was the magister militum and the de facto ruler of Western Empire, informed the Eastern Emperor Theodosius that the young emperor had committed suicide. Theodosius apparently did not believe him.
Arbogast, being a barbarian, did not dare to make himself emperor. Instead, he elevated Flavius Eugenius, chief secretary of the Western court, to the throne. Eugenius was a well-respected scholar of rhetoric and he was supported by the majority of the pagan members of the Roman Senate.
The new emperor promoted the return to Roman pagan religion, restoring pagan ceremonies and privileges and important shrines such as the Altar of Victory. Theodosius was upset by the pagan revival in the West. Moreover, there was the issue of Valentinian's death. He refused to recognize Eugenius as the Western Emperor and declared his own son Honorius as Augustus of the West, in January of 393, and decided to invade the West.
The first day of the battle, the western forces seemed to win. But the next day a fierce storm blew along the valley. The high winds blew clouds of dust towards the Western troops. Legend says, that the strong winds even blew the Western troops' own arrows back at them. Buffeted by the winds, Arbogast's lines broke and Theodosius won the decisive victory. Eugenius was captured and beheaded. Arbogast escaped and fled into the mountains, but after a few days committed suicide.
|Noteworthy:||Before the battle, the usurpers placed a statue of Jupiter on the edge of the battlefield, and images of Hercules on the army banners.|
|Aftermath:||The whole empire was again under a single emperor, for the last time in Roman history. It was also the terminal defeat of the last Roman pagans.|