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  • ID: I04725
  • Name: Valentinian I Emperor of Western Roman EMPIRE 1
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 321 in Cibalis Pannonia, Roman Empire 1
  • Death: 17 NOV 375 in Brigetio, Pannonia-Inferior, Yugoslavia 1
  • Event: Ruled 364-375 (West only) 2
  • Note:
    Valentinian I, Latin in full Flavius Valentinianus (b. 321 - d. 17 Nov 375, Brigetio, Pannonia Inferior), Roman emperor from 364 to 375 who skillfully and successfully defended the frontiers of the Western Empire against Germanic invasions.

    Valentinian, the son of an army officer stationed in Pannonia (in central Europe), joined the army and served with his father in Africa. According to some sources, when Valentinian was a tribune in the forces of Julian the Apostate (emperor 360-363), he was disgraced for refusal to renounce Christianity. He did serve, however, in Julian's Persian expedition of 363, and was promoted by Julian's successor, Jovian, who died soon afterward (17 Feb 364).

    Nine days later the commanders of the army proclaimed Valentinian emperor at Nicaea (modern Iznik, Turkey). On March 28 he appointed his younger brother Valens as co-ruler and assigned him to govern the East, while Valentinian retained the West. Both agreed to allow religious toleration, which, unlike Valens, Valentinian maintained throughout his reign.

    Displaying inexhaustible energy, Valentinian set about fortifying and defending the borders. In January 365, his generals in Gaul were defeated by the Germanic Alemanni; by October, Valentinian had set up residence in Paris from which he directed operations against the invaders. His general Jovinus defeated them three times. At Durocatalaunum (modern Chalons-sur-Marne, France), the third engagement, Jovinus inflicted heavy casualties on the Alemanni, securing Gaul for years to come. Meanwhile, in 367, the Emperor moved to Ambiani (modern Amiens, France) to be in closer communication with his general Theodosius (father of the Later Emperor Theodosius I), who was defending Britain from Saxon, Pictish, and Scottish invaders.

    In order to strengthen the line of succession, Valentinian proclaimed (24 Aug 367) his nine-year-old son, Gratian, as co-emperor. Two months later Valentinian took up residence at Trier (now in Germany). He remained there for seven years, devoting his attention to the construction of an elaborate system of fortifications on the Rhine. Then, an invasion of Pannonia by the Quadi in 275 brought Valentinian to Sirmium (modern Sremska Metrovica, Yugoslavia), where he soon fell sick and died.

    Despite his achievements, Valentinian gained a reputation for irritability and cruelty. He frequently chose ministers of the worst character who ruthlessly oppressed provincials.

    [Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1995]

    Father: Gratian of Pannonia Roman EMPIRE b: ABT 295

    Marriage 1 Justina b: ABT 325
      1. Has Children Galla of Western Roman EMPIRE b: ABT 350

      1. Title: Encyclopedia Britannica, Treatise on
        Page: Valentinian I
      2. Title: Encyclopedia Britannica, Treatise on
        Page: Roman Emperors
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