Front Page Titles (by Subject) 7.: THE DEATH OF COUNT THEODOSIUS — ( P. 236 ) - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4
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7.: THE DEATH OF COUNT THEODOSIUS — ( P. 236 ) - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 4.
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THE DEATH OF COUNT THEODOSIUS — (P. 236)
The cause of the sudden execution of Theodosius at Carthage in 396 is obscure. We can only suppose that he had powerful enemies — friends of the governor Romanus. H. Richter (das weströmische Reich, p. 401) imputes the responsibility to Merobaudes. But Merobaudes was the minister of Gratian in Gaul, and not of Justina and Valentinian in Mediolanum (as Mr. Hodgkin observes). Mr. Hodgkin conjectures that the blow came not from Mediolanum but from Antioch. The name of Theodosius began with the four fatal letters Θ ε ο δ, “and it seems therefore allowable to suppose that the incantation scene at Antioch four years previously — the laurel tripod, the person in linen mantle and with linen socks, who shook the magic cauldron and made the ring dance up and down among the twenty-four letters of the alphabet — were links in the chain of causation which led the blameless veteran to his doom” (Italy and her Invaders, i. p. 292). And certainly we can well imagine that the superstitious Valens watched with apprehension the career of every eminent officer whose name began with those four letters, and observing the distinguished services of the Count of Africa used influence at Milan to procure his fall.