|The Story of the Romans|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Rome, presenting short stories of the great heroes, mythical and historical, from Aeneas and the founding of Rome to the fall of the western empire. Around the famous characters of Rome are graphically grouped the great events with which their names will forever stand connected. Vivid descriptions bring to life the events narrated, making history attractive to the young, and awakening their enthusiasm for further reading and study. Ages 10-14 |
THE ROMAN EMPIRE DIVIDED
JULIAN became emperor when Constantius II. died. As
soon as the authority was entirely in his own hands, he
ordered that the Christian churches and schools should
all be closed, and encouraged the people to worship the
old pagan gods.
All the soldiers in his army were forced to give up
Christianity, under penalty of being dismissed; and he
made an attempt to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem so
as to prove to the Christians that the prophecy of
Christ was not to be believed. But an earthquake
frightened his builders away from the work, and a war
against the Persians prevented its ever being renewed.
During this campaign, Julian was mortally wounded, and
he is said to have died exclaiming: "Thou hast
conquered, Galilean!" The emperor's body was
 to Tarsus, and buried there; and, as Julian had
appointed no successor, the army at once gave the
empire to one of his officers, named Jovian.
A good man and a fervent Christian, Jovian quickly
reestablished the Christian religion. His reign,
however, was very brief, and he was succeeded by two
brothers, Valentinian and Valens, who again
divided the Roman world into two parts, intending to
make a final separation between the empires of the East
and the West (A.D. 364).
Valentinian kept back the northern barbarians as long
as he lived, but after his death Valens was forced to
allow the Goths to settle in Thrace. Here they found
some of their brothers who had been converted to
Christianity by the efforts of Ulfilas, a learned
man, who wrote a translation of the Bible for them in
their own Gothic language.
Valens failed to keep many of the promises which he had
made to the Goths, and they became so angry that they
revolted and killed him at Hadrianople.
The next emperor of the East was Theodosius. He was
so good a general, and still so very just, that he soon
succeeded in making peace with the Goths, many of whom
entered his army and became Roman soldiers.
After years of continual warfare against the barbarians
and the emperors of the West, Theodosius became sole
ruler of the whole Roman Empire, and thus won the
surname of Great. During his reign, he induced his
subjects to renounce all the pagan gods except Victory,
whom they would not consent to give up.
Many reforms were also made among the Christians, the
Arians were again said to be heretics, and then the
 true Christians for the first time took the name of
Catholics. Theodosius was the last Roman emperor whose
sway extended over the whole empire; and when he died
he left the rule of the East to his son Arcadius, and of the West to his son Honorius.
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