The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Valens – Valentinianus I

VALENTINIANUS.

Although they were more jealous of one another than ever, they agreed in one point, which was to obtain all the property they could lay their hands on, while their besotted master was indulging in every kind of debauchery. But the approach of Antonius Primus, who had espoused the cause of Vespasian, and was marching into Italy at the head of the Pannonian and Moesian legions, com­pelled Caecina and Valens to prepare again for war. As Valens was at the time only just beginning to recover from a severe illness, he was obliged to remain at Rome, while his colleague marched against Primus. The treachery of Caecina, who deserted Vitellius and joined Primus, has been related elsewhere. [caecina.] Valens remained faithful to Vitellius, almost the only fact recorded in his favour. He had left Rome a few days after Caecina, and might perhaps have prevented the revolt of the latter, if the indulgence of his pleasures had not delayed him on the march. He was still in Tuscany when he heard of the victory of Primus and the capture of Cremona [primus], and as he had not sufficient troops to oppose the enemy, he resolved to sail to Gaul and rouse the Gallic pro­vinces to espouse the cause of Vitellius : but he was taken prisoner by some ships sent after him by Suetonius Paulinus at the islands of the Stoechadae (the Hieres) off Massilia. He was kept in con­finement for a time, but about the middle of Sep­tember was slain at Urbinum (Urbino) and his head shown to the Vitellian troops, to contradict the report that he had escaped to Germany and was there collecting an army. (Tac. Hist. i. 7, 52, 57, 61, 66, ii. 24,27—30, 56, 59, 71, 92, 95, 9.9, iii. 15, 36, 40, 43, 62 ; Plut. Otho, c. 6.)

2. A friend of the younger Pliny, who addressed a letter to him (Ep. iv. 24), from which we gather that he was a young man at the time.

VALENS, MA'NLIUS, legatus of a legion in Britain in the reign of Claudius, A. d. 50. He is afterwards mentioned as the legatus of the Italica legion in the civil wars in A. D. 69, and is pro­bably the same as the C. Manlius Valens, who was consul with C. Antistius Vetus in the last year of Domitian's reign, and who died in the same year in the ninetieth year of his age. (Tac. Ann. xii. 40, Hist. i. 64 ; Dion Cass. Ixvii. 14.)

VALENS, PINA'RIUS, was named praefect of the praetorians upon the elevation of Maximus and Balbinus. He was paternal uncle of the former. (Capitolin. Max. et Ball. 4, 5). [W. R.]

VALENS, VE'CTIUS. See above valens, physicians, No. 1.

VALENS, VFNNIUS, a centurion in the praetorium of Augustus, memorable for his extraor­dinary strength. (Plin. H. N. vii. 19. s. 20.)

VALENTINIANUS I., Roman emperor a. d. 364—375, was the son of Gratianus, and was born A. d. 321, at Cibalis in Pannonia. [gra­tianus.] He bore also the name of Flavius, which was common to all the emperors after Con-stantine. His first wife was Valeria Severa, by whom he became the father of the emperor Gra­tianus. Valentinian entered the army when young, and showed military talents ; but the emperor Constantinus for some reason or other deprived him of his rank A. d. 357. Under Julian he held the office of tribune of the guard, or of the Scutarii, as Orosius terms the body (vii. 32), and in this ca­pacity he was with Julian at Antioch, a. d. 362, and accompanied him to a heathen temple. Julian,

1207

VALENTINIANUS.

it is said, commanded him to sacrifice to the idol, or resign his office ; but Valentinian, who had been baptized in the Christian faith, refused. Ac­cording to most of the historians, Valentinian was exiled for his adherence to his religion.

Jovian succeeded Julian a. d. 363, and Lu-cilianus, the father-in-law of Valentinian, took him with him to Gaul. Lucilianus lost his life in a disturbance at Rheims, and Valentinan only saved himself by flight. Returning to the East he was rewarded by Jovian with the office of captain of the second company of Scutarii. When Jovian died suddenly at Dadastana, on the borders of Galatia and Bithynia, on the 16th of February, A. d. 364, Valentinian was at Ancyra. For ten days the empire was without an emperor, but it was at last agreed by the officers of the army of Jovian, who were at Nicaea, that Valontinian should be the successor of Jovian. Valentinian came to Nicaea, and on the 26th of February ho assumed the imperial insignia in the presence of the army in the plain of Nicaea.

Valentinian maintained the pure Catholic faith, though his'brother Valens was an Arian. Pie for­bade, under pain of death, all pagan ceremonials, magical arts and sacrifices by night; but this was a prudent measure of police, and nothing more. He restored the figure of the cross and the name of Jesus Christ on the Labarum or chief standard of the armies, for Julian had removed these Chris­tian symbols. He also renewed and perhaps ex­tended a law of Constantine, which forbade any judicial proceedings, or the execution of any judicial sentence on Sunday. However, Valentinian did not meddle with religious disputes, and either from in­difference or good sense, he said it was not for him, a layman, to deal with difficulties of that descrip­tion. Though a Catholic, he did not persecute either Arians or heathens : he let every man follow his own religion, for which Ammianus Marcellinus (xxx. 9) has commended him ; and certainly his moderation in this respect must be considered a remarkable feature in his character. Though there were some enactments made by him against Ma-nichaeans, Donatists and the other heretics, the general religious freedom which he allowed is un­disputed (Cod. Theod. 9. tit. 16. s. 9), and the emperor set an example which even now is not completely followed in modern Europe. This is the most unequivocal evidence of the good,sense and the courage of Valentinian. Ecclesiastical writers, like Baronius, as a matter of course blame that toleration which they suppose to be con­demned by the religion which they profess.

Ammianus and other writers have spoken par­ticularly of the personal merits and defects of Valentinian. He was robust and handsome ; he had a natural eloquence, though he had no literary acquirements ; he was neat in his apparel, but not expensive ; and his chastity is specially re­corded. He possessed good abilities, prudence, and vigor of character. He had a capacity for military matters, and was a vigilant, impartial, and laborious administrator. Ammianus sums up by saying that he had so many good qualities that, if every thing had been equal in him, he would have been as great a man as Trajan or Marcus Aurelius. Among his faults was that of having a very good opinion of himself, and he punished sometimes with excessive severity. Yet he is accused of behaving with too much lenity

4 h 4

Pages
About | First

1205

1206

1207
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.