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391CE

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§Egypt

Theophilus (according to Rufinus and Sozomen) discovered a hidden pagan temple. He and his followers mockingly displayed the pagan artifacts to the public which offended the pagans enough to provoke an attack on the Christians. The Christian faction counter-attacked, forcing the pagans to retreat to the Serapeum. A letter was sent by the emperor that Theophilus should grant the offending pagans pardon, but destroy the temple; according to Socrates Scholasticus, a contemporary of his, the latter aspect (the destruction of the temple) was added as a result of heavy solicitation for it by Theophilus.

Scholasticus goes on to state that :

“Seizing this opportunity, Theophilus exerted himself to the utmost ... he caused the Mithraeum to be cleaned out... Then he destroyed the Serapeum... and he had the phalli of Priapus carried through the midst of the forum. ... the heathen temples... were therefore razed to the ground, and the images of their gods molten into pots and other convenient utensils for the use of the Alexandrian church”

The destruction of the Serapeum was seen by many ancient and modern authors as representative of the triumph of Christianity over other religions. When the philosopher Hypatia was lynched by an Alexandrian mob, they acclaimed Theophilus's nephew and successor Cyril as "the new Theophilus, for he had destroyed the last remains of idolatry in the city".

This action terminated a four thousand year old tradition and the message of the ancient Egyptian language was lost for 1500 years.

§Roman Empire

February 27 - Theodosius promoted Nicene Trinitarian Christianity within the Empire. He declared "Catholic Church" the only legitimate Imperial religion, ending official state support for the traditional religion.

All non-Christian temples in the Empire are closed, as Theodosius establishes Christianity as the official state religion. The eternal fire in the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum was extinguished, and the Vestal Virgins were disbanded.

Quintus Aurelius Symmachus is urban prefect in Rome, and petitions Theodosius I to re-open the pagan temples. He is opposed by Ambrose.

§East Asia

Gwanggaeto the Great ascends to the throne.

§North Asia

A Rouran chief named Heduohan (曷多汗) is defeated and killed in battle against the Toba Northern Wei Dynasty. Surviving Rouran move west towards the Gaoche, led by Heduohan's son and successor, Shelun.

§Deaths

  • Zhai Liao

§Sources

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