Between the years 364 and 375 AD, Valentinian became the ruler of the Roman empire where he can be found on the Biblical Timeline Chart. At the time of his reign, he also appointed Valens, his brother as his co-emperor. During his rule, he was in control of the western provinces while Valens served in the East.
Valentinian was remembered for his victorious battle against the Sarmatians, Quadi, and Alamanni. He was also a significant figure during the Battle of Solicinium against the Alamanni in 367 AD. Valentinian was the last emperor who aimed to initiate and strengthen campaigns across the Danube and Rhine rivers. He enhanced the forts situated along the Roman empire’s frontiers so that there were stronger fortresses in the territory of their opponents.
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During the time of his rule, he did many things to take control of the empire. He was noted as the last great emperor in the western provinces. He was also responsible for establishing a dynasty, and his sons Valentinian II and Gratian became his successors.
Valentinian hailed from the town of Cibalae, a place in the southern part of Pannonia. His father was Gratianus Major a brilliant and renowned commander during the time of Constans and Constantine I. He was educated in sculpting and painting, among other subjects along with his brother, Valentinian.
In about 320 or the early part of 330, he joined his father during a trip to Africa. However, it was not long after Gratianus had to retire when he received accusations of embezzlement. By 330, Valentinian decided to join the army and gained the title Protector Domesticus. Gratianus went back to Cibalae during his retirement years.
Valentinian as an Emperor
In 364, Valentinian was proclaimed as an emperor. His main objective was to take his army. In fact, the soldiers were quite impressed because of Valentinian’s boldness and the decision to serve as an emperor. He also opted to have a co-ruler, as this ensured officials in the eastern provinces that the imperial authority would always serve to their advantage. Valentinian chose Valens as his co-ruler, although this was objected by his magister equitum, Dagalaifus.
He spent much of his reign during 364 in appointing military commands and administrative tasks. Valens became the prefect of Oriens while Valentinian ruled in Illyricum, Africa, Gaul, and Italy. His court was established in Milan.
In November 365, Valentinian learned about the revolt of the Procopius and the Alamanni. He ordered Dagalaifus to take part in a battle against the Alamanni while Valentinian set off to the eastern provinces to support Valens. However, he was advised by his court to remain in Gaul, so he could protect the people against the invaders. He proceeded to Durocortorum and commanded Severianus and Charietto to fight the Alamanni, but they both died during the battle.
In 374, he traveled to Brigetio and continued his campaigns. Upon his arrival to Brigetio, he was met with the Quadi and allowed them to leave the town peacefully after a supply of more recruits to the empire’s army was given. Before they left, they complained that there was a conflict caused all because of the construction of Roman forts in Brigetio. This, among other political concerns, caused the death of Valentinian when a blood vessel in his skull burst while he was yelling at the envoys. Valentinian’s rule ended when he died in 375.
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