Late Imperial Roman (West) II/78a: 307AD- 425AD

DBA list:
1x 3Cv (General): Valentinian I (321AD- 375AD)
1x 3Cv
2x 2LH
2x 4Bd
3x 4Ax
2x 2Ps
1x 4Kn or Art or 4Bd

Flavius Valentinianus, known in English as Valentinian I or Valentinian the Great, (321 – November 17, 375) was Roman Emperor with his brother Valens from 364 until his death in 375. He was born at Cibalis (probably Mikanovici), Pannonia, Hungary, of humble parents. He entered the army early, became a tribune of the Scutarii about 360, and accompanied Julian the Apostate to Antioch, but in 362 Julian sent him into exile to Thebes in Egypt because of his Christianity. Jovian, who succeeded Julian, died on 17 February 364, en route to Constantinople, after a reign of only eight months.

On Jovian's death Valentinian was proclaimed emperor (February 26, 364), and at once he appointed his brother Valens ruler of the East. In 365 he went again to Gaul to stop the inroads of the Alamanni and Burgundians; the former were defeated at Charpeigne and Chalons-sur-Marne, but in 367 captured Mainz. A little later they were overthrown by Valentinian at Solicinium (Sulz in the Neckar valley or Schwetzingen), but with heavy Roman losses. Later, in 374, he made peace with their king, Macrianus, who from that time remained a true friend of the Romans. The next three years he spent at Trier, which he chiefly made his headquarters, organizing the defence of the Rhine frontier, and personally superintending the construction of numerous forts.

In 368 the Picts and Scots were driven back from Britain, and the province of Valentia formed. While in Gaul Valentinian repudiated his first wife Valeria Severa, or at least he married a Sicilian, Justina, who became the mother of Valentinian II. In June, 374, the emperor was called to Illyricum by the incursions of the Quadi and Sarmatians; he made his headquarters at Bregetio, near Pressburg, where during the negotiations with the Quadi he died from apoplexy. He was buried at Constantinople. He was the last emperor to have de facto control of the entire empire.

Due to the successful nature of his reign and almost immediate decline of the empire after his death, he is often considered the "last great western emperor". He founded the Valentinian Dynasty, with his sons Gratian and Valentinian II succeeding him in the western half of the empire. Valentinian was also the last emperor to conduct campaigns across the Rhine and Danube rivers. He rebuilt and improved the fortifications along the frontiers – even building fortresses in enemy territory.

Valentinian I :Bust from Musei Capitolini

Valentinian coin portrait

 

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