He was the elder son of Theodosius I and Flacilla, and brother of Honorius, who was emperor of the Western half of the empire. Honorius was under the control of Flavius Stilicho while Arcadius was dominated by Rufinus. Stilicho wanted to control both emperors, and had Rufinus assassinated in 395, but Arcadius' new advisor Eutropius simply took Rufinus' place. Arcadius was also dominated by his wife Eudoxia, who convinced her husband to dismiss Eutropius in 399. Eudoxia was strongly opposed by John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who felt that she had used her family's wealth to gain control over the emperor. Eudoxia used her influence to have Chrysostom deposed in 404, but she died later that year.
Arcadius was dominated for the rest of his rule by Anthemius, the Praetorian Prefect, who made peace with Stilicho in the West. Arcadius himself was more concerned with appearing to be a pious Christian than he was with political or military matters, and he died, only nominally in control of his empire, in 408.
|Byzantine emperors||Followed by: