While Theodosius was making preparations for a war against Maximus, his son Honorius was born. On the completion of these warlike preparations, he left his son Arcadius to govern at Constantinople, and proceeded to Thessalonica, where he received Valentinian. He refused either to dismiss openly, or to give audience to the embassy sent by Maximus, but continued his journey at the head of his troops towards Italy.
About this period, Agelius, bishop of the Novatians at Constantinople, feeling his end approaching, nominated Sisinius, one of the presbyters of his church, as his successor. The people, however, murmured that the preference had not rather been given to Marcian, who was noted on account of his piety, and Agelius therefore ordained him, and addressed the people who were assembled in the church in the following words: |After me you shall have Marcian for your bishop, and after him, Sisinius.| Agelius died soon after he had uttered these words. He had governed his church forty years with the greatest approbation from his own heretical party; and some assert that during the times of Pagan persecution, he had openly confessed the name of Christ.
Not long after Timothy and Cyril died; Theophilus succeeded to the see of Alexandria, and John to that of Jerusalem. Demophilus, leader of the Arians at Constantinople, likewise died and was succeeded by Marinus of Thrace; but he was superseded by Dorotheus, who soon after arrived from Antioch in Syria, and who was considered by his sect to be better qualified for the office than Marinus.
Theodosius, having in the meantime entered Italy, various conflicting reports were spread as to the success of his arms. It was rumored among the Arians that the greater part of his army had been cut to pieces in battle, and that he himself had been captured by the tyrant; and assuming this report to be true, these sectarians became bold and ran to the house of Nectarius and set it on fire, from indignation at the power which the bishop had obtained over the churches. The emperor, however, carried out his purpose in the war, for the soldiers of Maximus, impelled by fear of the preparations against them, or treachery, seized and slew the tyrant. Andragathius, the murderer of Gratian, no sooner heard of the death of Maximus, than he leaped into the river with his armor, and perished. The war having been thus terminated, and the death of Gratian avenged, Theodosius, accompanied by Valentinian, celebrated a triumph in Rome, and restored order in the churches of Italy, for the Empress Justina was dead.