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THE imperial throne was once more vacant (16-17 February 364), but the army had learned the danger of a tumultuous election, and after the troops had advanced by an eight days’ march to Nicaea, both the civil and military authorities weighed with anxious deliberation the rival claims of possible candidates. Aequitius, tribune of the first regiment of the scutarii, men knew to be harsh and uncultured, Januarius, a relative of Jovian in supreme command in Illyricum, was too far distant, and at length one and all agreed to offer the diadem to Valentinian. The new Emperor had not marched from Ancyra with the army, but had received orders to follow in due course with his regiment, the second schola of scutarii; thus, while messengers hastened his journey, the Roman world was for ten days without a master. Valentinian was a native of Pannonia; his father Gratian, a peasant rope-seller of Cibalae, had early distinguished himself by his strength and bravery. Risen from the ranks he had become successively protector, tribune, and general of the Roman forces in Africa; accused of peculation, he remained for a time under a cloud, only to be given later the command of the legions of Britain. After his retirement, hospitality shown to Magnentius led to the confiscation of Gratian's property by Constantius, but the services of the father made advancement easy for Valentinian. In Gaul, however, when acting under Julian's orders he was dismissed from the army by Barbatio, but on Julian's accession he re-enlisted. Valentinian’s military capacity outweighed even in the eyes of an apostate emperor his pronounced Christianity, and an important command was given him in the Persian War. Later he had been sent on a mission to the West, bearing the news of Jovian's election, and from this journey he had but recently returned. The life story of Gratian and Valentinian is one of the most striking examples of the splendid career which lay open to talent in the Roman army. The father, a peasant unknown and without influence, by his ability rises to supreme command over Britain, while his son becomes Emperor of Rome. It is hardly surprising that barbarians were ready to enter a service which offered to the capable soldier such prospects of promotion. It may also be noticed in passing that in the council at Nicaea only military officers were considered as successors of Jovian: we do not hear of any civil administrator as a possible candidate for the vacant throne.

From the very day of his accession the character of Valentinian was declared. When the crowd bade him name at once a co-Augustus, he replied that but an hour before they had possessed the right to command, but that right now belonged to the Emperor of their own creation. From the first the stern glance and majestic bearing of Valentinian bowed men to his will. Through Nicomedia he advanced to Constantinople, and here in the suburb of the Hebdomon on 28 March 364 he created his brother Valens co-Emperor; he looked for loyal subjection and personal dependence, and he was not disappointed; with the rank of Augustus, Valens was content in effect to play the part of a Caesar. At Naissus the military forces of the Empire were divided, and many Pannonians were raised to high office. The new rulers were, however, careful to retain in their posts men who had been chosen both by Julian and Jovian; they wished to injure no susceptibilities by open partisanship. But even though Valentinian remained true to his constant principle of religious toleration and refused to favour the nominees either of a Christian or a Pagan Emperor, yet men traced a secret distrust and covert jealousy of those who had been Julian's intimates; Sallust, the all-powerful praefect, was removed, and accusations were brought against the philosopher Maximus. When both Emperors were attacked with fever, a commission of high imperial officials was appointed to examine whether the disease might not be due to secret arts. No shred of evidence of any unholy design was discovered, but the common rumour ran that the only object of the inquiry was to bring into disrepute the memory and the friends of Julian. Those who had been loyal to the old dynasty began to seek a leader.

At Sirmium the brothers parted, Valentinian for Milan, Valens for Constantinople; they each entered on their first consulship in the following year (365), and as soon as the winter was past Valens travelled with all speed for Syria; it would seem that already the terms of the Thirty Years' Peace were giving rise to fresh difficulties; too many questions remained open between Rome and Persia.

But as yet it was not foreign invasion but domestic rebellion which was to endanger the life and throne of Valens. When Procopius had laid the corpse of Julian to rest in Tarsus, he himself discreetly vanished from the sight of kings and courtiers: it was a perilous distinction to have enjoyed the peculiar favor of the dead Emperor. Before long however he grew weary of his fugitive existence: life as a hunted exile in the Crimea was too dearly bought. In desperation he sailed secretly for the capital where he found shelter in the friendly house of a senator Strategius, while a eunuch, Eugenius by name, recently dismissed from the imperial service, put unlimited funds at his disposal. As he wandered unrecognized through the streets, on every hand he heard men muttering of the cruelty and avarice of Petronius, the father-in-law of Valens. The Emperor himself was no longer in Constantinople, and popular discontent seemed only to need its champion. The regiments of the Divitenses and the Tungritani Juniores, on their march from Bithynia for the defence of Thrace, were at the moment in the city. For two days Procopius negotiated with their officers; his gold and promises won their allegiance and in their quarters at the Anastasian Baths the soldiers met under cover of night and swore to support the usurpation. "Leaving the inkpot and stool of the notary" so ran the scornful phrase of the Court rhetorician, this stage figure of an emperor, hesitating to the last, assumed the purple and with stammering tongue harangued his followers. Any sensation was grateful to the populace, and they were content to accept without enthusiasm their new ruler. Those who had nothing to lose were ready enough to share the spoils, but the upper classes generally held aloof or fled to the Court of Valens; none of them met Procopius as he entered the deserted senate house. He relied for support upon men's devotion to the family of Constantine; as reinforcements bound for Thrace reached the capital, he came before them with Faustina, the widow of Constantius, by his side, while he himself bore her little daughter in his arms. He pleaded his own kinship to Julian and the troops were won. Gumoarius and Agilo who had served Constantius well were recalled from retirement and put at the head of the army, while to Julian's friend Phronemius was given the charge of the capital. Valentinian had advanced Pannonians, Procopius chose Gauls, for the Gallic provinces had most reason to remember Julian's services to the Empire. Nebridius, recently created praetorian praefect through the influence of Petronius, was held a prisoner and forced to write dispatches recalling Julius who was in command in Thrace; the stratagem succeeded and the province was won without a blow. The embassy to Illyricum, however, bearing the newly minted coinage of Procopius, was defeated by the vigilance of Aequitius, every approach, whether through Dacia, Macedonia, or the pass of Succi, being effectually barred.

The news of the revolt reached Valens as he was leaving Bithynia for Antioch, and he was only recalled from abject despair by the counsels of his friends. Procopius with the Divitenses and a hastily collected force had advanced to Nicaea, but before the approach of the Jovii and Victores he retreated to Mygdus on the Sangarius. Once more the soldiers yielded when he appealed to their loyalty to the house of Constantine: the troops of Valens deserting “the degenerate Pannonian”, “the drinker of miserable barley beer”, went over to the usurper. One success followed another: Nicomedia was surprised by the tribune Rumitalca, who forthwith marched to the north; Valens who was besieging Chalcedon was taken unawares and forced to fly for his life to Ancyra. Thus Bithynia was won for Procopius. His fleet under Marcellus attacked Cyzicus and when once the chain across the harbour’s mouth was broken the garrison surrendered. With the fall of Cyzicus, Valens had lost the mastery of the Hellespont, while he could expect no help from his brother, since Valentinian had determined that the safety of the whole Roman Empire demanded his presence on the western frontier. Thus during the early months of 366, while Procopius endeavoured to raise funds for the future conduct of the war, Valens could only await the arrival of Lupicinus. The Emperor’s final victory was indeed mainly due to an ill-considered act of his rival. Arbitio, the retired general of Constantius, had supported the usurper, but had declined an invitation to his court, pleading the infirmities of old age and ill-health. Procopius replied by an order that the general's house should be pillaged, thereby turning a friend into a bitter foe. Arbitio on the appeal of Valens joined the camp of Lupicinus; his arrival at once inspired the Emperor with fresh hope and courage, and gave the signal for wholesale defections from the usurper's forces. In an engagement at Thyatira, Gumoarius procured his own capture and carried with him many of his men. After the march of Valens into Phrygia, Agilo in his turn deserted when the armies met at Nacolia. The soldiers refused to continue the struggle (26 May 366). Procopius was betrayed to the Emperor by two of his own officers and was immediately put to death. Imperial suspicion and persecution had once again goaded a loyal subject to treason and to ruin. His severed head was borne beneath the walls of Philippopolis, and the city surrendered to Aequitius. The ghastly trophy was even carried to Valentinian through the provinces of Gaul, lest loyalty to the memory of Julian should awake treason in the West. Valens could now avenge his terror and sate his avarice. The suppression of the rebellion was followed by a train of executions, burnings, proscriptions, and banishments which caused men to curse the victory of the lawful Emperor.

The plea of kinship with the family of Constantine had induced some thousands of the Gothic tribesmen on the Danube to cross the Roman frontier in support of Procopius. Valens refused to recognize their defence, and depriving them of their weapons settled them in the cities along the northern boundaries of the Empire. When discontent declared itself, in fear of a general attack he acted on his brother's advice, and marched in person to the Danube, and for the three succeeding years (367-369) the Gothic campaign absorbed his attention. With Marcianople as his base of operations, he crossed the river in 367 and 369; in the latter year he conquered Athanarich, and during the autumn concluded an advantageous peace. The Emperor and the Gothic judex met on a ship in mid-stream, for Athanarich professed himself bound by a fearful oath never to set foot upon Roman soil. During these years Valens, pursuing in the East his brother's policy, strengthened the whole of the Danube frontier line with forts and garrisons.

Valentinian may indeed be styled the frontier Emperor; his title to fame is his restoration of the defenses of Rome in the West against the surging barbarian hordes. He was a hard-worked soldier prince, and the one purpose which inspires his reign is his fixed determination never to yield an inch of Roman territory. He had always before his eyes the terrible warning of his predecessor. In the year 364, when the Emperor was still at Milan, ambassadors from the Alemanni came to greet him on his accession, and to receive the tribute which Roman pride disguised under the fairer name of gifts. Valentinian would not squander state funds in bounty to barbarians; the presents were small, while Ursatius, the magister officiorum, who took his cue from his master, treated the messengers with scant courtesy. They returned indignant to their homes, and in the early days of the new year, 365 AD, the Alemanni burst plundering and ravaging across the frontier. Charietto, the count commanding in both Germanies, and the aged general Servianus, stationed at Cabillona (Châlons-sur-Saône), both fell before the barbarian onset. Gaul demanded Valentinian’s presence; the Emperor started for Paris in the month of October; and while on the march, news reached him of the revolt of Procopius. The report gave no details —he did not know whether Valens were alive or dead. But with that strong sense of imperial duty which dignifies the characters of the fourth century emperors, he subordinated utterly the personal interest to the common weal: “Procopius is but my brother’s enemy and my own” he repeated to himself; “the Alemanni are the foes of the Roman world”.

Arrived at Paris, it was from that city that he despatched Dagalaiphus against the Alemanni. Autumn was fast giving place to winter, the tribesmen had scattered, and the new general was dilatory and inactive; he was recalled to become consul with the Emperor's son Gratian (Jan. 366) and Jovinus, as magister equitum, took his place at the head of the Roman troops. Three successive victories virtually concluded the campaign; at Scarponna (Charpeigne) one band of barbarians was surprised and defeated, while another was massacred on the Moselle. In negligent security the Alemanni on the river bank were drinking, washing, and dyeing their hair red, when from the fringe of the forest the Roman legionaries poured down upon them. Jovinus then undertook a further march and pitched his camp at Châlons-sur-Marne; here there was a desperate engagement with a third force of the enemy. The withdrawal during the battle of the tribune Balchobaudes seriously endangered the army’s safety, but at length the day was won. The Alemanni lost six thousand killed and four thousand wounded; of the Romans two hundred were wounded and twelve hundred killed; in the pursuit Ascarii in the Roman service captured the barbarian king, and in the heat of the moment he was struck dead. After a few lesser encounters resistance was for the time at an end. It was probably his interest in this campaign which had led Valentinian to spend the early months of 366 at Rheims. He now returned to Paris and from the latter city advanced (end of June 366?) to meet his successful general, whom he nominated for the consulship in the succeeding year. At the same time the head of Procopius reached him from the East. But in the high tide of success he was struck down with a serious illness (winter 366-7).

The Court was already considering possible candidates for the purple when Valentinian recovered, but, realizing the dangers for the West which might arise from a disputed succession, at Amiens on 24 August 367 he procured from the troops the recognition of the seven year old Gratian as co-Augustus. It may well have been the necessity for defending the northern coast against raids of Franks and Saxons which had summoned Valentinian to Amiens; and now on his way from that town to Trier tidings reached him of a serious revolt in Britain. Fullofaudes, the Roman general, together with Nectaridus, the commander of the coast line (count of the Saxon shore?), had both met their deaths. In the autumn of 367 Severus, count of the imperial guards, was dispatched to the island only to be recalled. Jovinus, appointed in his place, sent Provertides in advance to raise levies, while in view of the constant reports of fresh disasters the Count Theodosius (the father of Theodosius the Great) was ordered to sail for Britain at the head of Gallic reinforcements. From Boulogne he landed at Rutupiae (Richborough: spring 368) and was followed by the BataviHeruliJovii, and Victores. Scenes of hopeless confusion met him on his arrival; Dicalydones and Verturiones (the two divisions of the Picts), Attacotti and Scotti (Irish) all ranged pillaging over the countryside, while Frank and Saxon marauders swept down in forays on the coast. Theodosius marched towards London, and it would seem made this city his head-quarters. Defeating the scattered troops of spoil-laden barbarians, he restored the greater part of the booty to the harassed provincials, while deserters were recalled to the standard by promises of pardon. From London, where he spent the winter, Theodosius prayed the Emperor to appoint men of wide experience to govern the island— Civilis as pro-praefect and Dulcitius as general; in this year too, he probably co-operated with imperial troops on the continent in the suppression of Frank and Saxon pirates in the Low Countries and about the mouths of the Rhine and Waal. Valentinian himself advanced as far north as Cologne in the autumn of 368. In the year 369 Theodosius everywhere surprised the barbarians and swept the country clear of their robber bands. Town-fortifications were restored, forts rebuilt, and frontiers regarrisoned, while the Areani, a treacherous border militia, were removed. Territory in the north was recovered, and a new fifth province of Valentia or Valentinia created. The revolt of Valentinus, who had been exiled to Britain on a criminal charge, was easily crushed by Theodosius, who repressed with a strong hand the treason trials which usually followed the defeat of an unsuccessful usurper. When he sailed for Gaul, probably in the spring of 370, he left the provincials “leaping for very joy”. On his return to the Court he was appointed to succeed Jovinus as magisier equitum (before end of May 370).

While his lieutenant had been restoring order in Britain, Valentinian had been actively engaged in Gaul. The winter of 367-8 the Emperor spent at Rheims preparing for his vengeance upon the disturbers of the peace in the West. But the new year opened with a disaster, for while the Christian inhabitants of Mainz were keeping festival (Epiphany? 368) the Aleman prince Rando surprised and sacked the town. The Romans, however, gained a treacherous advantage by the murder of King Withicab, and in the summer of the same year the Emperor together with his son invaded the territory between Neckar and Rhine. Our authorities give us no certain information as to his route, perhaps he advanced by the Rhine road and then turned off by Ettlingen and Pforzheim. Solicinium (near Rottenburg on the left bank of the Neckar) was the scene of the decisive struggle. The barbarians occupied a strong position on a precipitous hill; the Romans experienced great difficulty in dislodging them but were at length successful, and the enemy fled over the Neckar by Lopodunum towards the Danube. The advantage thus gained was secured by the building of a strong fort, apparently at Altrip, and for its erection it seems possible that the ruins of Lopodunum were employed. The Emperor spent the winter in Trier, and with the new year (369) began his great work of frontier defence extending from the province of Rhaetia to the ocean. Valentinian even sought to plant his fortresses in the enemy's territory. This was regarded by the Alemanni as a breach of treaty rights, and the Romans suffered a serious reverse at the Mons Piri (Heidelberg?). The Emperor accordingly entered into negotiations with the Burgundians, who were to attack the Alemanni with the support of the Roman troops. The Burgundians, long at feud with their neighbours over the possession of some salt springs on their borders, gladly accepted the Emperor's overtures and appeared in immense force on the Rhine: the confederate seemed more terrible than the foe. Valentinian was absent superintending the building of his new forts, and feared either to accept or refuse the assistance of such dangerous allies. He sought to gain time by inaction, and the Burgundians, infuriated at this betrayal, were forced to withdraw, since the Alemanni threatened to oppose their homeward march. Meanwhile Theodosius, newly arrived in Gaul from Britain, swept upon the distracted Alemanni from Rhaetia, and after a successful campaign was able to settle his captives as farmers in the valley of the Po. Macrian, king of the Alemanni, had been the heart and soul of his people's resistance to Rome; with the intention therefore of capturing this dangerous enemy by a sudden surprise, in September 371 Valentinian accompanied by Theodosius left Mainz for Aquae Mattiacae; but with the troops the opportunities for pillage outweighed the Emperor’s strictest orders. The smoke of burning homesteads betrayed the Roman approach; the army advanced some fifty miles, but the purpose of the expedition was defeated and the Emperor returned disappointed to Trier.

Meanwhile in the East time only served to show the futility of Jovian’s peace with Persia. Rome had sacrificed much but had settled nothing. Sapor claimed that under the treaty he could do as he would with Armenia, which still remained the apple of discord as before, and that Rome had relinquished any right to interfere. But it was precisely this claim that Rome could never in the last resort allow—Armenia under Persian rule was far too great a menace. The chronology of the events which followed the treaty must remain to some extent a matter of conjecture, but from the first Sapor seems to have enforced his conception of his rights, seeking in turn by bribes and forays to reduce Armenia to Persian vassalage. Valens as early as 365 was on his way to the Persian frontier when he was recalled by the revolt of Procopius. At the close of the year 368, or at the beginning of 369, Sapor got possession of King Arsaces, whom he put to death some years later. In 369, it would appear, Persia interfered in the affairs of HiberiaSauromaces, ruling under Roman protection, was expelled, and Aspacures, a Persian nominee, was made king. In Armenia the fortress of Artagherk (Artogerassa) where the queen Pharrantsem had taken refuge was besieged (369), while her son Pap, acting on his mother's counsel, fled to the protection of Valens; in his flight he was assisted by Cylaces and Artabannes, Armenian renegades, who now proved disloyal to their Persian master.

The exile was well received, and accorded a home at Neocaesarea. But when Muschegh, the Armenian general, prayed that the Emperor would take effective action and stay the ravages of Persia, Valens hesitated: he felt that his hands were tied by the terms of the peace of Jovian. Terentius, the Roman dux, accompanied Pap on his return to Armenia, but without the support of the legions the prince was powerless. Artagherk fell in the fourteenth month of the siege (winter 370), Pharrantsem was hurried away to her death, and Pap was forced to flee into the mountains which lay between Lazica and the Roman frontier. Here he remained in hiding for five months; Persian pillage and massacre proceeded unchecked, until Sapor could leave his generals in command of the army, while two Armenian nobles were entrusted with the civil government of the country and with the introduction of the Magian religion. At length Valens took action, and the Count Arinthaeus, acting in concert with Terentius and Addaeus, was sent to Armenia to place Pap upon the throne and to prevent the commission of further outrage by Persia. In May 371 the Emperor himself left Constantinople, slowly journeying towards Syria. Sapor 's next move was an attempt to win Pap by promises of alliance, counselling him to be no longer the puppet of his ministers; the ruse was successful and the king put to death both Cylaces and Artabannes. Meanwhile a Persian embassy complained that the protection of Armenia by Rome was a breach of her obligations under the treaty. In April 372 Valens reached Antioch. His answer to Persia was further interference in Hiberia. While Muschegh invaded Persian territory, Terentius with twelve legions restored Sauromaces as ruler over the country bordering on Lazica and Armenia, Sapor on his side making great preparations for a campaign in the following spring, raising levies from the surrounding tribes and hiring mercenaries. In 373 Trajan and Vadomar marched to the East with a formidable army, having strict orders not to break the peace but to act on the defensive. The Emperor himself moved to Hierapolis in order to superintend the operations from that city. At Vagobanta (Bagavan) the Romans were forced to engage and in the result were victorious. A truce was concluded at the end of the summer, and while Sapor retired to Ctesiphon, Valens took up his residence in Antioch.

Here in the following year 374, so far as we can judge from the vague chronology of our authorities, a widespread conspiracy was discovered in which Maximus, Julian's master, Eutropius the historian, and many other leading philosophers and heathens were implicated. Anxious to discover who was to succeed Valens, some daring spirits had suspended a ring over a consecrated table upon which was placed a round metal dish; about the rim of the dish was engraved the alphabet. The ring had spelt out the letters THEO, when with one voice all present exclaimed that Theodorus was clearly destined for empire. Born in Gaul of an old and honourable family, he had enjoyed a liberal education and already held the second place among the imperial notaries; distinguished for his humanity and moderation, in every post alike his merits outshone his office. Absent from Antioch at the time, he was at once recalled, and the enthusiasm of his friends seems to have shaken his loyalty. The life of Valens had previously been threatened by would-be assassins, and when the conspirators' secret was betrayed the Emperor's vengeance knew no bounds; he swept the whole of the Roman East for victims and, as at the fall of Procopius, so now his avarice ruled unchecked. If the accused’s life was spared, proscription in bitter mockery posed as clemency and the banishment of the innocent as an act of royal grace. For years the trials continued: “We all crept about as though in Cimmerian darkness” writes an eyewitness, “the sword of Damocles hung suspended over our heads”.

Of Western affairs during those years when the long drawn game of plot and counterplot was being played between Valens and Sapor we know but little. Valentinian remained in Gaul (autumn 371—spring 373), doubtless busied with his schemes for the maintenance of security upon the frontiers, but detailed information we have none. Where Valentinian governed in person we hear of no rebellions: the constitutions even show that a limited relief was granted from taxation and that measures were taken to check oppression, but elsewhere on every hand the Emperor's good intentions were betrayed by his agents. In Britain a disorganized army and a harassed population could offer no effective resistance to the invader: gross misgovernment in the Pannonian provinces made it doubtful whether the excesses of imperial offices or the forays of the barbarian enemy were more to be dreaded, while the story of the woes of Africa only serves to show how terrible was the cost which the Empire paid for its unscrupulous bureaucracy. Under Jovian (363-4) the Austoriani had suddenly invaded the province of Tripolis, intending to avenge the death of one of their tribesmen who had been burned alive for plotting against the Roman power. They laid waste the rich countryside around Leptis, and when the city appealed for help to the commander-in-chief, Count Romanus, he refused to take any action unless supplied with a vast store of provisions and four thousand camels. The demand could not be met, and after forty days the general departed, while the despairing provincials at the regular annual assembly of their city council elected an embassy to carry statues of victory to Valentinian and to greet him upon his accession. At Milan (364-5) the ambassadors gave (as it would seem) a full report of the sufferings of Leptis, but Remigius, the magister officiorum, a relative and confederate of Romanus, was forewarned and contradicted their assertions, while he was successful in securing the appointment of Romanus upon the commission of inquiry which was ordered by the Emperor. The military command was given for a time to the governor Ruricius, but was shortly after once more put into the hands of Romanus. It was not long before news of a fresh invasion of Tripolis by the barbarians reached Valentinian in Gaul (365 AD). The African army had not yet received the customary donative upon the Emperor's accession; Palladius was accordingly entrusted with gold to distribute amongst the troops, and was instructed to hold a complete and searching inquiry into the affairs of the province. Meanwhile for the third time the desert clansmen had spread rapine and outrage through Roman territory, and for eight days had laid formal siege to the city of Leptis itself. A second embassy consisting of Jovinus and Pancratius was sent to the Emperor who was found at Trier (winter 367). On the arrival of Palladius in Africa, Romanus induced the officers to relinquish their share of the donative and to restore it to the imperial commissioner, as a mark of their personal respect. The inquiry then proceeded; much evidence was taken and the complaints against Romanus proved up to the hilt; the report for the Emperor was already prepared when the Count threatened, if it were not withdrawn, to disclose the personal profit of Palladius in the matter of the donative. The commissioner yielded and went over to the side of Romanus; on his return to the Court he found nothing to criticize in the administration of the province. Pancratius had died at Trier but Jovinus was sent back to Africa with Palladius, the latter being directed to hold a further examination as to the truth of the allegations made by the second embassy. Men who on the showing of the Emperor's representative had given false witness on the inquiry were to have their tongues cut from their mouths. By threats, trickery, and bribes Romanus once more achieved his end. The citizens of Leptis denied that they had ever given any authority to Jovinus to act on their behalf, while he, endeavouring to save his life, was forced to confess himself a liar. It was to no purpose: together with Ruricius the governor and others he was put to death by order of the Emperor (369?).

Not even this sacrifice of innocent lives gave peace to Africa. Firmus, a Moorish prince, on the death of his father Nebul, had slain his brother; that brother however had enjoyed the favour of Romanus, and the machinations of the Roman general drove Firmus into rebellion. He assumed the purple, while persecuted Donatists and exasperated soldiers and provincials gladly rallied round him. Theodosius, fresh from his successes in Britain and Gaul, was dispatched to Africa by (Valentinian as commander-in-chief, charged with the task of reasserting imperial authority. On examining his predecessor's papers, a chance reference caused the discovery of the plots of the last eight years, but it was not till the reign of Gratian that the subsequent inquiries were concluded. Palladius and Remigius both committed suicide, but the arch-offender Romanus was protected by the influence of Merobaudes. The whole story needs no comment: before men's eyes the powerlessness of the Emperor and the might of organized corruption stood luridly revealed.

For at least two years Theodosius fought and struggled against odds in Africa; at length discipline was restored amongst the troops, the Moors were defeated with great loss, and the usurper driven to take his own life: the Roman commander entered Sitifis in triumph (374?). Hardly however was his master Valentinian removed by death when Theodosius fell a victim to the intrigues of his enemies (at Carthage, AD 375-6); baptized at the last hour and thus cleansed of all sin, he walked calmly to the block. We do not know the ostensible charge upon which he was beheaded, nor do our authorities name his accuser. But the evidence points to Merobaudes, the all-powerful minister of Gratian. Theodosius had superseded Romanus and disclosed his schemes, and Romanus was the friend and protégé of Merobaudes, while it is clear that Gratian held in his own hands the entire West including Africa, for as yet (376) the youthful Valentinian II was not permitted to exercise any independent authority. Possibly Merobaudes may have been assisted in the attainment of his ends by timely representations from the East, for the general's name began with the same letters which had only recently (374?) proved fatal to Theodorus.

In 373 Valentinian had left Gaul for Milan, but returned in the following year (May 374), and after a raid upon the Alemanni, while at the fortress of Robur near Basel, he learned in late autumn that the Quadi and Sarmatae had, burst across the frontier. The Emperor with his passion for fortress-building had given orders for a garrison station to be erected on the left bank of the Danube within the territory of the Quadi, while at the same time the youthful Marcellianus through the influence of his father Maximinus, the ill-famed praefect of Illyricum, had succeeded the able general Aequitius as magister armorum. Gabinius, king of the Quadi, came to the Roman camp to pray that this violation of his rights might cease. The newly appointed general treacherously murdered his guest, and at the news the barbarians flew to arms, poured across the Danube upon the unsuspecting farmers, and all but captured the daughter of Constantius who was on her journey to meet Gratian her future husband. Sarmatae and Quadi devastated Moesia and Pannonia, the praetorian praefect Probus was stupefied into inactivity, and the Roman legionaries at feud between themselves were routed in confusion. The only successful resistance was offered by the younger Theodosius—the future Emperor—who compelled one of the invading Sarmatian hosts to sue for peace. Valentinian desired to march eastward forthwith, but was dissuaded by those who urged the hardships of a winter campaign and the danger of leaving Gaul while the leader of the Alemanni was still unsubdued. Both Romans and barbarians were, however, alike weary of the ceaseless struggle, and during the winter Valentinian and Macrian concluded an enduring peace. In the late spring of 375 the Emperor left Gaul; from June to August he was at Carnuntum, endeavouring to restore order within the devastated province, and thence marched to Acincum, crossed the Danube, and wasted the territory of the invading tribesmen. Autumn surprised him while still in the field: he retired to Sabaria and took up his winter quarters at Bregetio. The Quadi, conscious of the hopelessness of further resistance, sent an embassy excusing their action and pleading that the Romans were in truth the aggressors. The Emperor, passionately enraged at this freedom of speech, was seized in the paroxysm of his anger with an apoplectic fit and carried dying from the audience hall (17 November 375).

High-complexioned, with a strong and muscular body cast in a noble and majestic mould, his steel-blue eyes scanning men and things with a gaze of sinister intensity, the Emperor stands before us as an imposing and stately figure. Yet his stern and forbidding nature awakes but little sympathy, and it is easy to do less than justice to the character and work of Valentinian. With a strong hand Diocletian had endeavoured by his administrative system and by the enforcement of hereditary duties to weld together the Roman Empire which had been shattered by the successive catastrophes of the third century; to Valentinian it seemed as though the same iron constraint could alone check the process of dissolution. If it were possible, he would make life for the provincials worth the living, for then resistance to the invader would be the more resolute: he would protect them with forts and garrisons upon their frontiers, would lighten (if he dare) the weight of taxation, would accord them liberty of conscience and freedom for their varied faiths, and would to the best of his power appoint honest and capable men as his representatives: but a spirit of dissatisfaction and discontent among his subjects was not merely disloyalty, it was a menace to the Empire, for it tended to weaken the solidarity of governors and governed: to remove an official for abusing his trust was in Valentinian’s eyes to prejudice men's respect for the State, and thus the strain of brutality in his nature declared itself in his refusal to check stern measures or pitiless administration: to save the Roman world from disintegration it must be cowed into unity. Without mercy to others he never spared himself; as a restless and untiring leader with no mean gifts of generalship and strategy it was but natural that he should give preferment to his officers, till contemporaries bitterly complained that never before had civilians been thus neglected or the army so highly privileged. It could indeed hardly be otherwise, for with every frontier threatened it was the military captain who was indispensable.

The Emperor’s efforts to suppress abuses were untiring; simplicity characterized his Court and strict economy was practiced. His laws in the Theodosian Code are a standing witness to his passion for reform. He regulated the corn supply and the transport of the grain by sea, he made less burdensome the collection of the taxes levied in kind on the provincials, he exerted himself to protect the curials and the members of municipal senates, he settled barbarians as colonists on lands which were passing out of cultivation, he endeavoured to put a stop to the debasement of the coinage, while in the administration of justice he attempted to check the misuse of wealth and favour by insisting upon publicity of trial and by granting greater facilities for appeals. As a contemporary observes, Valentinian’s one sore need was honest agents and upright administrators, and these he could not secure: men only sought for power in order to abuse it. Had the Emperor been served by more men of the stamp of Theodosius, the respect of posterity might have given place to admiration. Even as it was, in later days when men praised Theodoric they compared him with two great Emperors of the past, with Trajan —and Valentinian.

At the time of the Emperor’s death, Gratian was far distant at Trier, and there was a general fear that the fickle Gallic troops now encamped on the left bank of the Danube might claim to raise to the throne some candidate whom they themselves had chosen, perhaps Sebastianus—a man by nature inactive but high in the favour of the army. Merobaudes, the general in command, was therefore recalled as though by order of Valentinian on a pretext of fresh disturbances upon the Rhine, and after prolonged consultation it was decided to summon the late Emperor's four year old son Valentinian. The boy’s uncle covered post-haste the hundred Roman miles which lay between Bregetio and the country house of Murocincta, where the young prince was living with his mother Justina. Valentinian was carried back to the camp in a litter, and six days after his father's death was solemnly proclaimed Augustus. Gratian's kindly nature soon dispelled any fear that he would refuse to recognize this hurried election: the elder brother always showed towards the younger a father's care and affection. No partition of the West however took place at this time, and there could as yet be no question of the exercise of independent power by Valentinian II; Gratian ruled over all those provinces which had been subject to Valentinian I, and his infant colleague’s name is not even mentioned in the constitutions before the year 379. Of the government of Gratian however we know but little; its importance lies mainly in the fact that he was determined to be first and foremost an orthodox Christian Emperor, and even refused to wear the robe or assume the title of Pontifex Maximus (probably 375).

Meanwhile in the East the fidelity of Pap grew suspect in the eyes of Rome. The unfavourable dispatches of Terentius, the murder of the Katholikos Nerses, and the consecration of his successor by the king without the customary appeal to Caesarea (Mazaca) led Valens to invite Pap to Tarsus, where he remained virtually a prisoner. Escaping to his own country he fell a victim to Roman treachery (375?). Still Rome and Persia negotiated, and at length (376) Valens dispatched Victor and Arbicius with an ultimatum; the Emperor demanded that the fortresses which of right belonged to Sauromaces should be evacuated by the beginning of 377.

The claims of Rome were ignored, and Valens was planning at Hierapolis (July—August 377) a great campaign against Persia when the news from Europe made it imperative to withdraw the Roman army of occupation from Armenia. For several years the European crisis engaged all the Emperor’s energies, and he was unable to interfere effectually in Eastern affairs. The Huns had burst into Europe; had conquered the Mans, subjected the East Goths (Ostrogoths) and driven the West Goths (Visigoths) to crave admission within the territory of Rome. Athanarich and Fritigern had become leaders of two distinct parties among the West Goths; Athanarich, driven before the Huns, had lost much of his wealth, and, as he was unable to support his followers, the greater number deserted their aged leader and joined Fritigern.

It seems possible too that religious differences may have played their part in these dissensions: Athanarich may have stood at the head of those who were loyal to the old religion, Fritigern may have been willing to secure any advantage which the profession of the Christian faith might win from a devout Emperor. Whether this be so or not, it was the tribesmen of Fritigern who appealed to Valens. It was no unusual request: the settling of barbarians as colonists on Roman soil was of frequent occurrence, while the provision of barbarian recruits for the Roman army was a constant clause in the treaties of the fourth century. Valens and his ministers congratulated themselves that, without their seeking, so admirable an opportunity had presented itself of infusing new life and vigour into the northern provinces of the Empire. The conditions for the reception of the Goths were that they should give up their arms and surrender many of their sons as hostages. The church historians add the stipulation that the Goths should adopt the Christian faith, but this would seem to have been only a pious hope and not a condition for the passage of the Danube, although it was only natural that the Goths should affect to have assumed the religion of their new fellow-countrymen. The conditions were stern enough, but the fate which threatened the barbarians at the hands of the Huns seemed even more unrelenting. The Goths accepted the terms: but for the Romans the enforcement of their own requisitions was a work which demanded extraordinary tact and unremitting forethought.

In face of this immense and sobering responsibility, which should have summoned forth all the energy and loyalty of which men were capable, the ministers of Valens (so far as we can see) did nothing —they left to chance alone the feeding of a multitude which none could number. It is not in their everyday peculations, nor in their habitual violence and oppression of the provincials, that the degradation of the bureaucracy of the Empire is seen in its most hideous form: the weightiest count in the indictment is that when met by an extraordinary crisis which imperilled the existence of the Empire itself the agents of the State, with the danger in concrete form before their very eyes, failed to check their lust or bridle their avarice. Maximinus and Lupicinus kept the Goths upon the banks of the Danube in order to wring from them all they had to give—except their arms. Provisions failed utterly: for the body of a dog a man would be bartered into slavery. As for the Goths who remained north of the river, Athanarich, remembering that he had declined to meet Valens on Roman soil, thought it idle to pray for admission within the Empire and retired, it would seem, into the highlands of Transylvania; now however that the imperial garrisons had been withdrawn to watch the passage of the followers of Fritigern, the Greutungi under Alatheus and Saphrax crossed the Danube unmolested, although leave to cross the frontier had previously been refused them. Meanwhile Fritigern slowly advanced on Marcianople, ready if need be to join his compatriots who were now encamped on the south bank of the river. Still the Goths took no hostile step, but their exclusion from Marcianople led to a brawl with Roman soldiers outside the walls; within the city the news reached Lupicinus who was entertaining Alavio and Fritigern to a feast. Orders were hurriedly given for the massacre of the Gothic guardsmen who had accompanied their leaders. Fritigern at the head of his men fought his way back to camp, while Alavio seems to have fallen in the fray, for we hear of him no more.

The peace was at an end: nine miles from Marcianople Lupicinus was repulsed with loss; the criminal folly of the authorities of Hadrianople forced into rebellion the loyal Gothic auxiliaries who were stationed in the town; barbarians bartered as slaves rejoined their comrades, while laborers from the imperial gold mines played their part in spreading havoc throughout Thrace. Thus at last the Goths took their revenge, and only the walls of cities could resist their onset. From Asia Valens dispatched Profuturus and Trajan to the province, and they at length succeeded in driving back the barbarian host beyond the Balkans. The Roman army occupied the passes. Gratian had sent reinforcements from the West under Frigeridus and Richomer, and the latter was associated with the generals of Valens; the barbarians drawing together their scattered bands formed a huge wagon laager (carrago) at a spot called Ad Salices, not far from Tomi. The Romans were still much inferior in numbers, and anxiously awaited an opportunity to pour down upon the enemy while on the march. For some time however the Goths made no move; when at length they attempted to seize the higher ground the battle began. The Roman left wing was broken and the legionaries were forced to retreat, but neither side gained any decisive advantage: the Goths remained for seven days longer within the shelter of their camp while the Romans drove other troops of barbarians to the north of the mountain chain (early autumn 377). At this time Richomer returned in order to secure further help from Gratian, while Saturninus arrived from Asia with the rank of magister equitum, in command, it would seem, of reinforcements. But the tide of fortune which had favoured the Romans during the previous months now ebbed. The Goths, de­spairing of breaking the cordon or piercing the Balkan passes, by promises of unlimited booty won over hordes of Huns and Alans to their side. Saturninus found that he could hold his position no longer, and was thus forced to retire on the Rhodope chain. Save for a defeat at Dibaltus near the sea-coast he successfully masked his retreat, while Frigeridus, who was stationed in the neighbourhood of Beroea, fell back before the enemy upon Illyricum, where he captured the barbarian leader Farnobius and defeated the Taifali; as in Valentinian’s day the captives were settled in the depopulated districts of Italy. The help however which was expected from the West was long delayed; in February 378 the Lentienses chanced to hear from one of their fellow-tribesmen who was serving in the Roman army that Gratian had been summoned to the East. Collecting allies from the neighbouring clans, they burst across the border some 40,000 strong (panegyrists said 70,000). Gratian was forced to recall the troops who had already marched into Pannonia, and in command of these as well as of his Gallic legionaries he placed Nannienus and the Frankish king Mallobaudes. At the battle of Argentaria, near Colmar in Alsace, Priarius the barbarian king was slain and with him, it is said, more than 30,000 of the enemy: according to the Roman estimate only some 5000 escaped through the dense forests into the shelter of the hills. Gratian in person then crossed the Rhine and after laborious operations among the mountains starved the fugitives into surrender; by the terms of peace they were bound to furnish recruits for the Roman army. The result of the campaign was a very real triumph for the youthful Emperor of the West.

Meanwhile Sebastian, appointed in the East to succeed Trajan in the command of the infantry, was raising and training a small force of picked men with which to begin operations in the spring. In April 378 Valens left Antioch for the capital at the head of reinforcements drawn from Asia: he arrived on 30 May. The Goths now held the Schipka Pass and were stationed both north and south of the Balkans at Nicopolis and Beroea. Sebastian had successfully freed the country round Hadrianople from plundering bands, and Fritigern concentrating the Gothic forces had withdrawn north to Cabyle. At the end of June Valens advanced with his army from Melanthias, which lay some 15 miles west of Constantinople. Against the advice of Sebastian the Emperor determined upon an immediate march in order to effect a junction with the forces of his nephew, who was now advancing by Lauriacum and Sirmium. The eastern army entered the Maritza Pass, but at the same time Fritigern would seem to have dispatched some Goths southwards. These were sighted by the Roman scouts, and in fear that the passes should be blocked behind him and his supplies cut off, the Emperor retreated towards Hadrianople. Fritigern himself meanwhile marched south over the pass of Bujuk-Derbent in the direction of Nike, as though he would intercept communication between Valens and his capital. Two alternative courses were now open to the Emperor: he might take up a strong position at Hadrianople and await the army of the West (this was Gratian’s counsel brought by Richomer who reached the camp on 7 August), or he might at once engage the enemy. Valens adopted the latter alternative; it would seem that he underestimated the number of the Goths, and it is possible that he desired to show that he too could win victories in his own strength as well as the western Emperor; Sebastian, who had at his own request left the service of Gratian for that of Valens, may have sought to rob his former master of any further laurels. At dawn on the following morning (9 August) the advance began; when about midday the armies came in sight of each other (probably near the modern Demeranlija) Fritigern, in order to gain time, entered into negotiations, but on the arrival of his cavalry he felt sure of victory and struck the first blow. We cannot reconstruct the battle: Valens, Trajan, and Sebastian all fell, and with them two-thirds of the Roman army. In the open country no resistance could be offered to the victorious barbarians, but they were beaten back from the walls of Hadrianople, and a troop of Saracen horsemen repelled them from the capital. Victor bore the news of the appalling catastrophe to Gratian. 

In the face of hostile criticism Valentinian had chosen Valens as his co-Augustus, intending that he should carry out in the East the same policy which he himself had planned for the West. His judgment was not at fault, for in the sphere of religion alone did the two Emperors pursue different ends. Like an orderly, with unfailing loyalty Valens obeyed his brother's instructions. He too strengthened the frontier with fortresses and lightened the burden of taxation, while under his care magnificent public buildings rose throughout the eastern provinces. But Valentinian’s masterful decision of character was alien to Valens: his was a weaker nature which under adversity easily yielded to despair. Severity, anxiously assumed, tended towards ferocity, and a consciousness of insecurity rendered him tyrannical when his life or throne was threatened. His subjects could neither forget nor forgive the horrible excesses which marked the suppression of the rebellion of Procopius or of the conspiracy of Theodorus. He was hated by the orthodox as an Arian heretic and by the Pagans as a Christian zealot, while it was upon the Emperor that men laid the responsibility for the overwhelming disaster of Hadrianople. Thus there were few to judge him with impartial justice, and it is probable that even later historians have been unduly influenced by the invectives of his enemies. His imperious brother had made of an excellent civil servant an Emperor who was no match for the crisis which he was fated to meet.

On the news of the defeat at Hadrianople Gratian at once turned to the general who had shown such brilliant promise a few years before in the defence of Moesia. The young Theodosius was recalled from his retirement in Spain and put in command of the Roman troops in Thrace. Here, it would appear, he was victorious over the Sarmatians, and at Sirmium in the month of January 379 (probably 19 January 379) Gratian created him co-Augustus. It was only after long hesitation that Theodosius accepted the heavy task of restoring order in the eastern provinces, but the decision once taken there was no delay. Before the Emperors parted company their joint forces seem to have defeated the Goths; Gratian then relinquished some of his troops in favour of Theodosius and himself started with all speed for Gaul, where Franks and Vandals had crossed the Rhine. After defeating the invaders Gratian went into winter quarters at Trier. Theodosius was left to rule the Eastern prefecture, while it must perhaps remain a doubtful question whether eastern Illyricum was not also included within his jurisdiction.

The course of events which led up to the final subjection of the Gothic invaders by Theodosius is for us a lost chapter in the story of East Rome. Some few disconnected fragments can, it is true, be recovered, but their setting is too often conjectural. Many have been the attempts to unravel the confused tangle of incidents which Zosimus offers in the place of an ordered history, but however the ingenuity of critics may amaze us, it rarely convinces. Even so bald a statement as that of the following paragraphs is, it must be confessed, in large measure but a hypothetical reconstruction.

A pestilence had broken out among the barbarians besieging Thessalonica, and plague and famine drove them from the walls. The city could therefore be occupied without difficulty by Theodosius, who chose it for his base of operations. Its natural position made it an admirable centre: from it led the high roads towards the north to the Danube and towards the east to Constantinople. Its splendid harbour offered shelter to merchant ships from Asia and Egypt, and thus the army’s stores and provisions could not be intercepted by the Goths; while from this point military operations could be undertaken alike in Thrace and in Illyricum. The first task to which Theodosius directed his commanding energy was the restoration of discipline among his disorganized troops; no longer did the Emperor hold himself aloof—an unapproachable being hedged about with awe and majesty: the conception which had since Diocletian become a court tradition gave place to the liberality and friendliness of a captain in the midst of his men. Early in June Theodosius reached Thessalonica, and dispatched Modares, a barbarian of royal blood, to sweep the Goths from Thrace. Falling upon the unsuspecting foe, the Romans massacred a host of marauders laden with the booty of the provinces. The legionaries recovered confidence in themselves, and the main body of the invaders was driven northwards. The Emperor himself, with Thessalonica secured and garrisoned, marched north towards the Danube to Scupi (Uskub: 6 July 379) and Vicus Augusti (2 August). From the first he was determined to win the victory, if it were possible, rather by conciliation than armed force. It would seem probable that even in the year 379 he was enrolling Goths among his troops and converting bands of pillagers into Roman subjects. But in his winter quarters at Thessalonica the Emperor was struck down by disease, and for long his life hung in the balance (February 380). He prepared himself for his end by baptism—the magical sacrament which obliterated all sin and was therefore postponed till the hour when life itself was ebbing. Military action was paralyzed, and the fruits of the previous year's campaign were lost. The Goths took fresh courage; Fritigern led one host into Thessaly, Epirus, and Achaia, another under Alatheus and Saphrax devastated Pannonia, while Nicopolis was lost to the Romans. Gratian hastened perforce to the help of his disabled colleague; Baufo and Arbogast were dispatched to check the Goths in the north, and in the summer Gratian himself marched to Sirmium, where he concluded a truce with the barbarians under which the Romans were to supply provisions, while the Goths furnished recruits for the army. It is probable that Gratian and Theodosius met in conference at Sirmium in September. The danger in the south was averted by the death of Fritigern; without a leader the Gothic host turned once more northwards. In the autumn Theodosius was back in Thessalonica, and in November he entered Constantinople in triumph. This fact of itself must signify that the immediate peril was past.

Fortune now favoured Theodosius: Fritigern his most formidable opponent was dead, and, at length, the pride of the aged Athanarich was broken. Wearied out by feuds among his own people he, together with his followers, sought refuge amongst his foes. On 11 January 381 he was welcomed beyond the city walls by Theodosius and escorted with all solemnity and kingly pomp into the capital. Fourteen days later he died, and was buried by the Emperor with royal honours. The magnanimity of Theodosius and the respect paid to their great chieftain did more than many military successes to subdue the stubborn Gothic tribesmen. We hear of no more battles, and in the following year peace was concluded. Saturninus was empowered to offer the Goths new homes in the devastated districts of Thrace, and the victors of Hadrianople became the allies of the Empire, pledged in the event of war to furnish soldiers for the imperial army. Themistius, the Court orator, could express the hope that when once the wounds of strife were healed Rome's bravest enemies would become her truest and most loyal friends.

Peace was hardly won in the East before usurpation and murder threw the West into turmoil. In the early years of the reign of Gratian Christian and Pagan alike had been captivated by the grace and charm of their youthful ruler. His military success against the Lentienses, his heroic efforts to bring help to the East in her darkest hour and the loyal support which he had given to Theodosius only served to heighten his popularity. The orthodox found in him a fearless champion of their cause: the incomes of the vestal virgins were appropriated in part for the relief of the imperial treasury and in part for the purposes of the public post; in future the immemorial sisterhood was to hold no real property whatever. The altar and statue of Victory which Julian had restored to the senate house and which the tolerance of Valentinian had permitted to stand undisturbed were now ordered to be removed (332). Damasus, bishop of Rome, and Ambrose, bishop of Milan, claiming to represent a Christian majority in the senate, prevailed upon the Emperor to refuse to receive an embassy, headed by Symmachus, of the leading Pagans in Rome, and the church was overjoyed at the uncompromising zeal of their Emperor. But the radiant hopes which men had formed of Gratian were not fulfilled; his private life remained blameless, and he was still liberal and humane, but affairs of state failed to interest him and he devoted his days to sport and exercise. His love for the chase became a passion, and he would take part in person in the wild-beast hunts of the amphitheatre. Emergencies which, in the words of a contemporary, would have taxed the statesmanship of a Marcus Aurelius were disregarded by the Emperor; he alienated Roman sentiment by his devotion to his German troops, and although he might court popularity amongst the soldiers by permitting them to lay aside breastplate and helm and to carry the spiculum in place of the weighty pilum, yet the favors shown to the Alans outweighed all else and jealousy awoke disaffection amongst the legionaries. The malcontents were not long in finding a leader. Magnus Clemens Maximus, a Spaniard who claimed kinship with Theodosius and had served with him in Britain, won a victory over the Picts and Scots. In spite of his protests the Roman army in Britain hailed him as Augustus (early in 383?) and leaving the island defenceless he immediately crossed the Channel, determined to strike the first blow. From the mouth of the Rhine where he was welcomed by the troops Maximus marched to Paris, and here he met Gratian. For five days the armies skirmished, and then the Emperor’s Moorish cavalry went over to the usurper in a body. Gratian saw his forces melting away, and at length with 300 horsemen fled headlong for the Alps; nowhere could he find a refuge, for the cities of Gaul closed their gates at his approach. The accounts of his death are varied and inconsistent, but it would seem that Andragathius was sent by Maximus hot-foot after the fugitive; at Lugdunum by a bridge over the Rhone Gratian was captured by means of a stratagem and was murdered within the city walls. Assured of his life by a solemn oath and thus lulled into a false security, he was treacherously stabbed by his host while sitting at a banquet (25 August 383). The murderer (who was perhaps Andragathius himself) was highly rewarded by Maximus.

Forthwith the usurper sent his chamberlain to Theodosius to claim recognition and alliance. The historian notices as a remarkable exception to the customs of the time that this official was not a eunuch, and further states that Maximus would have no eunuchs about his court. Theodosius had planned a campaign of vengeance for the death of the young ruler to whom he owed so much, but on the arrival of the embassy he temporized. It would be dangerous for him to leave the East: in Persia Ardaschir (379-383) had just died and the policy of the new monarch Sapor III (383-388) was quite unknown; troubles had arisen on the frontier: the nomad Saracens had broken their treaty of alliance with Rome, and Richomer had marched on a punitive expedition. Although the Goths were now peacefully settled on Haemus and Ilebrus and had begun to cultivate their allotted lands, although it was once more safe to travel by road and not only by sea, yet for many years the Scyri, the Carpi, and the Huns broke ever and again across the boundaries of the Empire and gave work to the generals of Theodosius; the newly won quiet and order in Thrace might easily have been imperilled by the absence of the Emperor. With the deliberate caution that always characterized his action save when he was seized by some gust of passion, Theodosius acknowledged his co-Augustus and ordered statues to be raised to him throughout the East. Africa, Spain, Gaul, and Britain, it would seem, acknowledged Maximus, while even in Egypt the mob of Alexandria shouted for the western Emperor.

Meanwhile upon his brother’s death Valentinian II began his personal rule in Italy. For the next few years Ambrose and Justina fight a long-drawn duel to decide whether mother or bishop shall frame the young Emperor’s policy: on Justina's death there remained no rival to challenge the influence of Ambrose. The latter was indeed throughout Valentinian's reign the power behind the throne; born probably in 340, the son of a praetorian praefect of Gaul, he had been educated in Rome until in the year 374 he was appointed consularis of Aemilia and Liguria. In this capacity he was present at the election (autumn 374) of a new bishop in Milan; while he was taking anxious precautions lest the contest between Arian and orthodox should end in bloodshed, a child’s cry (says the legend) of Bishop Ambrose! suggested a candidate whom both factions agreed to accept. The city would take no refusal: against his will the statesman governor became the statesman bishop. Thus in the winter of 383-4, although Valentinian looked to Theodosius for help and counsel, Constantinople seemed to the Court at Milan to lie at a hopeless distance, while Maximus in Gaul was perilously near. The Emperor instinctively turned to Ambrose, his one powerful protector, while even Arianism forgot its feud with orthodoxy. At Justina’s request the bishop started on an embassy to secure peace between Gaul and Italy. Maximus, however, desired that Valentinian should leave Milan and that together they should consider the terms of their agreement. Ambrose objected that it was winter: how in such weather could a boy and his widowed mother cross the Alps? His own authority was only to treat for peace — he could promise nothing. Accordingly Maximus sent his son Victor (shortly afterwards created Caesar) to Valentinian to request his presence in Gaul. But the net had been spread in the sight of the bird, and Victor returned from his mission unsuccessful; when he arrived at Mogontiacum, Ambrose left for Milan and met on the journey Valentinian’s envoys bearing a formal reply to the proposals of Maximus. If the bishop’s diplomacy had achieved nothing else, precious time had been gained, for Bauto had occupied the Alpine passes and thus secured Italy from invasion.

In the year 384 the Pagan party in Rome had taken fresh heart; the Emperor had raised two of their number to high office—Symmachus had been made urban praefect and Praetextatus praetorian praefect. Men began to hope for a repeal of the hostile measures of Gratian, and a resolution of the senate empowered Symmachus to present to Valentinian their plea for toleration and in especial for the restoration of the altar of Victory. Gratian had thought (the praefect contended) that he was fulfilling the senate’s own desires, but the Emperor had been misled; the senate, nay Rome herself, prayed to retain that honoured symbol of her greatness before which her sons for countless generations had pledged their faith. It was the loyalty to their past and to that Godhead before whom their ancestors had bowed that had made the Romans masters of the world and had filled their lands with increase. It was a high and noble argument, but it availed nothing before the scornful taunts of Ambrose, and Valentinian dismissed the ambassadors with a refusal.

At this time a Persian embassy arrived in Constantinople (384) announcing the accession of Sapor III (383-388), and bringing costly gifts for Theodosius—gems, silk, and even elephants—while in 385 the Emperor secured the submission of the revolted eastern tribes. In the following years the disputed question of predominance in Armenia was revived: Stilicho was sent to represent Rome at the Persian Court and in 387 a treaty between the two great powers was concluded, whereby Armenia was partitioned. Some districts were annexed by Rome and some by Persia, while two vassal kings were in future to govern the country, some four-fifths of which was to acknowledge the supremacy of Persia, and the remaining one-fifth the lordship of Rome. Modern historians have condemned Theodosius for his acceptance of these terms, but he needed peace on the eastern frontier if he were to march against his western rival, and his predecessors had all experienced the extreme difficulty of retaining the loyalty of Armenian kings: better a disadvantageous partition with security, he may have argued, than an independent State in secret alliance with the enemy. The Emperor was, in fact, forced to recognize the strength of Persia's position. In the West Ambrose once more travelled to Gaul at Valentinian’s request upon a diplomatic mission probably at the end of 385 or in 386. He sought the consent of Maximus to the burial of Gratian's corpse in Italian soil, but permission was refused. Maximus was heard to regret that he had not invaded Italy on Gratian's death: Ambrose and Bauto, he muttered, had foiled his schemes. When the bishop returned to Milan he was convinced that the peace could not endure.

Indeed, events showed the profound suspicion and mistrust which underlay fair-seeming concord. Bauto was still holding the Alpine passes when the Juthungi, a branch of the Alemanni, entered Rhaetia to rob and plunder. Bauto desired that domestic pillage should recall the tribesmen to their homes. And at his instigation the Huns and Alans who were approaching Gaul were diverted and fell upon the territory of the Alemanni. Maximus complained that hordes of marauders were being brought to the confines of his territory, and Valentinian was forced to purchase the retreat of his own allies.

Preparations for the coming struggle with Maximus absorbed the attention of Theodosius in the East, and the exceptional expenditure placed a severe strain upon his resources. In one and the same year, it would seem (January 387), the Emperor celebrated his own decennalia and the quinquennalia of his son Arcadius who had been created Augustus in the year 383. On the occasion of this double festival heavy sums in gold were needed for distribution as donatives among the troops. In consequence, an extraordinary tax was laid upon the city of Antioch, and the magnitude of the sum demanded reduced the senators and leading citizens to despair. But with the inherited resignation of the middle classes of the Roman Empire they yielded to inexorable fate. Not so the populace: turbulent spirits with little to lose and led by foreigners clamoured round the bishop Flavian’s house; in his absence, their numbers swollen by fresh recruits from the city mob, they burst into the public baths intent on destruction, and then overturning the statues of the imperial family dashed them to pieces. One house was already in flames and a move had been made towards the imperial palace when at length the authorities took action, the governor (or comes orientis) interfered and the crowd was dispersed.

Immediately the citizens were seized with hopeless dismay as they realized the horror of their crime. A courier was forthwith dispatched with the news to the Emperor, while the authorities, attempting to atone by feverish violence for past neglect, began with indiscriminate haste to condemn to death men, women, and even children: some were burned alive and others were given to the beasts in the arena. The glory of the East saw her streets deserted and men awaited in shuddering terror the arrival of the imperial commissioners. While Chrysostom in his Lenten homilies endeavoured to rouse his flock from their anguish of dread, while Libanius strove to stay the citizens from headlong flight, the aged Flavian braving the hardships of winter journeyed to Constantinople to plead with Theodosius. On Monday of the third week of the fast the commissioners arrived—Caesarius magister officiorum and Hellenicus magister militiae— bearing with them the Emperor’s edict: baths, circus, and theatres were to be closed, the public distribution of grain was to cease, and Antioch was to lose her proud position and be subjected to her rival Laodicea. On the following Wednesday the commission began its sittings; confessions were wrung from the accused by torture and scourgings, but to the unbounded relief of all no death sentences were passed, and judgment upon the guilty was left to the decision of Theodosius. Caesarius himself started with his report for the capital: sleepless and unresting, he covered the distance between Antioch and Constantinople in the incredibly short space of six days. The prayers of Flavian had calmed the Emperor's anger and the passionate appeal of Caesarius carried the day: already the principal offenders had paid the forfeit of their lives, the city in its agony of terror had drained its cup of suffering: let Theodosius have mercy and stay his hand! The news of a complete amnesty was borne hot-foot to Antioch, and to the joy of Easter were added the transports of a pardoned city.

At length in the West the formal peace was broken, and in 387 the army of Gaul invaded Italy. Of late Justina’s influence had gained the upper hand in Milan, and the Arianism of Valentinian afforded a laudable pretext for the action of Maximus; he came as the champion of oppressed orthodoxy:—previous warnings had produced no effect on the heretical Court; it must be chastened by the scourge of God. It would seem that Valentinian’s opposition to Ambrose had for the time alienated the bishop, and the Emperor no longer chose him as his ambassador. Domninus sought to strengthen good relations between Trier and Milan, and asked that help should be given in the task of driving back the barbarians who threatened Pannonia. The cunning of Maximus seized the favourable moment; he detached a part of his own army with orders to march to the support of Valentinian. He himself however at the head of his troops followed close behind, and was thus able to force the passes of the Cottian Alps unopposed. This treacherous attack upon Valentinian was marked by the murder of Merobaudes, the minister who had carried through the hasty election at Bregetio (autumn 387). From Milan Justina and her son fled to Aquileia, from Aquileia to Thessalonica, where they were joined by Theodosius, who had recently married Galla, the sister of Valentinian II. Here it would seem that the Emperor of the East received an embassy from Maximus, the latter doubtless claiming that he had only acted in the interests of the Creed of Nicaea, of which his co-Augustus was so staunch a champion. The action of Theodosius was characteristic; he gave no definite reply, while he endeavoured to convert the fugitive Emperor to orthodoxy. The whole winter through he made his preparations for the war which he could no longer honourably escape. Goths, Huns, and Alans readily enlisted; Pacatus tells us that from the Nile to the Caucasus, from the Taurus range to the Danube, men streamed to his standards. Promotus, who had recently annihilated a host of Greutungi under Odothaeus upon the Danube (386), commanded the cavalry and Timasius the infantry; among the officers were Richomer and Arbogast. In June Theodosius with Valentinian marched towards the West; he could look for no support from Italy, for Rome had fallen into the hands of Maximus during the preceding January, and the usurper's fleet was cruising in the Adriatic. Theodosius reached Stobi on June 14 and Scupi (Uskub) on June 21. It would seem that emissaries of Maximus had spread disaffection among the Germans in the eastern army, but a plot to murder Theodosius was disclosed in time and the traitors were cut down in the swamps to which they had fled for refuge. The Emperor advanced to Siscia on the Save; here, despite their inferiority in numbers, his troops swam the river and charged and routed the enemy. It is probable that in this engagement Andragathius, the foremost general on the side of Maximus, met his death. Theodosius won a second victory at Poetovio, where the western forces under the command of the usurper's brother Marcellinus fled in wild disorder. Many joined the victorious army, and Aemona (Laibach), which had stubbornly withstood a long siege, welcomed Theodosius within its walls. Maximus retreated into Italy and encamped around Aquileia. But he was allowed no opportunity to collect fresh forces wherewith to renew the struggle. Theodosius followed hard on the fugitive's track. Maximus with the courage of despair fell upon his pursuers, but was driven back into Aquileia and forced to surrender. Three miles from the city walls the captive was brought into the Emperor's presence. The soldiers anticipated the victor's pity and hurried Maximus off to his death (probably 28 July 388). Only a few of his partisans, among them his Moorish guards, shared their leader's fate. His fleet was defeated off Sicily, and Victor who had been left as Augustus in Gaul was slain by Arbogast. A general pardon quieted unrest in Italy, and Theodosius remained in Milan during the winter. Valentinian was restored to power, and with the death of his mother Justina his conversion to orthodoxy was completed.

Maximus had fallen, and for a court orator his character possessed no redeeming feature. But from less prejudiced authorities we seem to gain a picture of a man whose only fault was his enforced disloyalty to Theodosius, and of an Emperor who showed himself a vigorous and upright ruler, and who could plead as excuse for his avarice the pressure of long-threatened war with his co-Augustus. From these exactions which were perhaps unavoidable Gaul suffered severely, and on his departure from the West, while Nannienus and Quintinus were acting as joint magistri militum, the Franks burst across the Rhine under GenobaudesMarcomir, and Sunno and threatened Cologne. After a Roman victory at the Silva Carvonaria (near Tournai?) Quintinus invaded barbarian territory from Novaesium, but the campaign was a disastrous failure. On the fall of Victor Arbogast remained, under the vague title of Comes or Count, the virtual ruler of Gaul, while Carietto and Syrus succeeded as magistri militant the nominees of Maximus. Arbogast on his arrival counselled a punitive expedition, but it would seem that Theodosius did not accept the advice. A peace was concluded, Marcomir and Sunno gave hostages, and Arbogast himself retired to winter quarters in Trier.

Valentinian remained with Theodosius in Milan during the winter of 388-9 and was with him on 13 June 389 when he made his solemn entry into Rome, accompanied by his five year old son Honorius. On this, apparently his only visit to the western capital he anxiously endeavoured to weaken the power and influence of Paganism, while he effected reforms both in the social and municipal life of the city. To the stern and haughty Diocletian the familiarity of the populace had been insufferable: Theodosius was liberal with his gifts, attended the public games, and won all hearts by his ready courtesy and genial humanity. In the autumn of 389 he returned to Milan, and there he remained during 390—that memorable year in which Church and State met as opposing powers and a righteous victory lay with the Church. In fact, he who would write of affairs of state during the last years of the fourth century must ever go borrowing from the church historians; he dare not at his peril omit the figure of the counsellor of Emperor after Emperor, the fearless, tyrannous, passionate, and loving bishop of Milan. Though the conduct of Ambrose may at times be arbitrary and repellent, the critic in his own despite admits perforce that he was a man worthy of a sovereign’s trust and confidence. The facts of the massacre of Thessalonica are well known. Popular discontent had been aroused by the billeting upon the inhabitants of barbarian troops, and resent­ment sought its opportunity. Botherich, captain of the garrison, imprisoned a favourite charioteer for gross immorality and refused to free him at the demand of the citizens. The mob seized the occasion: disappointed of its pleasure, it murdered Botherich with savage brutality. The anger of Theodosius was ungovernable, and the repeated prayers of Ambrose for mercy were of no avail. The court circle had long been jealous of the bishop's influence and had endeavoured to exclude him from any interference with state policy. Ambrose knew well that he no longer enjoyed the full confidence of the Emperor. Theodosius listened to his ministers who urged an exemplary punishment, and the order was issued for a ruthless vengeance upon Thessalonica. The message cancelling the imperial command arrived too late to save the city. The Emperor had decreed retribution and his officers gave rein to their passions. Upon the people crowded in the circus the soldiers poured and an indiscriminate slaughter ensued; at least 7000 victims fell before the troops stayed their hand. Ambrose, pleading illness, withdrew from Milan and refused to meet Theodosius. With his own hand he wrote a private letter to the Emperor, acknowledging his zeal and love for God, but claiming that for such a crime of headlong passion there must be profound contrition: as David listened to Nathan, so let Theodosius hear God’s minister; until repentance he dare not offer the sacrifice in the Emperor's presence. The letter is the appeal of undaunted courage to the essential nobility of the character of Theodosius. The gusts of fury passed and remorse issued in penitence. With his subjects around him in the Cathedral of Milan the Emperor, stripped of his royal purple, bowed himself in humility before the offended majesty of Heaven. Men have sought to heighten the victory of the Church and fables have clustered round the story, but the dignity of fact in its simplicity is far more splendid than the ornate fancies of any legend. Bishop and Emperor had proved each worthy of the other.

In 391 Theodosius returned to Constantinople by way of Thessalonica and Valentinian was left to rule the West. He did not reach Gaul till the autumn of 391; it was too late. Three years of undisputed power had left Arbogast without a rival in Gaul. It was not the troops alone who looked to their unconquered captain with blind admiration and unquestioning devotion: he was surrounded by a circle of Frankish fellow-countrymen who owed to him their promotion, while his honourable character, his generosity, and the sheer force of his personality had brought even the civil authorities to his side. There was one law in Gaul, and that was the will of Arbogast, there was only one superior whom Arbogast acknowledged, and he was the Emperor Theodosius who had given the West into his charge. From the first Valentinian’s authority was flouted: his legislative power was allowed to rust unused, his orders were disobeyed and his palace became his prison: not even the imperial purple could protect Harmonius, who was slain by Arbogast's orders at the Emperor’s very feet. Valentinian implored support from Theodosius and contemplated seeking refuge in the East; he solemnly handed the haughty Count his dismissal, but Arbogast tore the paper in pieces with the retort that he would only receive his discharge from the Emperor who had appointed him. A letter was dispatched by Valentinian urging Ambrose to come to him with all speed to administer the sacrament of baptism; clearly he thought his life was threatened. He hailed the pretext of barbarian disturbances about the Alpine passes and himself prepared to leave for Italy, but mortification and pride kept him still in Vienne. The Pagan party considered that at length the influence of Arbogast might procure for them the restoration of the altar of Victory, but the disciple of Ambrose refused the ambassador's request. A few days later it was known that Valentinian had been strangled. Contemporaries could not determine whether he had met his death by violence or by his own hand (15 May 392). Ambrose seems to have accepted the latter alternative, and the guilt of Arbogast was never proven; with the longed-for rite of baptism so near at hand suicide certainly appears improbable, but perhaps the strain and stress of those days of waiting broke down the Emperor's endurance, and the mockery of his position became too bitter for a son of Valentinian I. His death, it must be admitted, did not find Arbogast unprepared. He could not declare himself Emperor, for Christian hatred, Roman pride, and Frankish jealousy barred the way; thus he became the first of a long line of barbarian king-makers: he overcame the reluctance of Eugenius and placed him on the throne.

The first sovereign to be at once the nominee and puppet of a barbarian general was a man of good family; formerly a teacher of rhetoric and later a high-placed secretary in the imperial service, the friend of Richomer and Symmachus and a peace-loving civilian—he would not endanger Arbogast’s authority. Himself a Christian, although an associate of the Pagan aristocrats in Rome, he was unwilling to alienate the sympathies of either party, and adopted an attitude of impartial tolerance; he hoped to find safety in half measures. Rome saw a feverish revival of the old faith with strange processions of oriental deities, while Flavianus, a leading pagan, was made praetorian praefect. The altar of Victory was restored, but Eugenius sought to respect Christian prejudices, and the temples did not recover their confiscated revenues; these were granted as a personal gift to the petitioners. But in the fourth century none save minorities would hear of toleration, and men drew the inference that he who was no partisan was little better than a traitor. The orthodox Church in the person of Ambrose withdrew from Eugenius as from an apostate. The new Emperor naturally recognized Theodosius and Arcadius as co-Augusti, but in all the transactions between the western Court and Constantinople the person of Arbogast was discreetly veiled; his name was not suggested for the consulship, and it was no Frankish soldier who headed the embassy to Theodosius: the wisdom of Athens in the person of Rufinus and the purity of Christian bishops attested the king-maker's innocence, but the ambiguous reply of Theodosius hardly disguised his real intentions. The nomination of Eugenius was, it would seem, disregarded in the East, while in West and East alike diplomacy was but a means for gaining time before the inevitable arbitrament of war. To secure Gaul during his absence Arbogast determined to impress the barbarians with a wholesome dread of the power of Rome; in a winter campaign he devastated the territories of Bructeri and Chamavi, while Alemanni and Franks were forced to accept terms of peace whereby they agreed to furnish recruits for the Roman armies. Thus freed from anxiety in the West, Arbogast and Eugenius left with large reinforcements for Italy, where it seems that the new Emperor had been acknowledged from the time of his accession (spring 393?). In the following year Theodosius marched from Constantinople (end of May 394); Honorius, who had been created Augustus in January 393, was left behind with Arcadius in the capital. The Emperor appointed Timasius as general-in-chief with Stilicho for his subordinate; immense preparations had been made for the campaign—of the Goths alone some 20,000 under the leadership of Saul, Gaïnas, and Bacurius had been enlisted in the army. Arbogast, either through the claim of kinship or as virtual ruler of the West, could bring into the field large forces of both Franks and Gauls, but he was outnumbered by the troops of Theodosius. Eugenius did not leave Milan till 1 August. Flavianus, as augur, declared that victory was assured; he had himself undertaken the defence of the passes of the Julian Alps, where he placed gilded statues of Jupiter to declare his devotion to Paganism. Theodosius overcame all resistance with ease and Flavianus, discouraged and ashamed, committed suicide. At about an equal distance between Aemona and Aquileia, on the stream of the Frigidus (Wipbach), the decisive battle took place. The Western army was encamped in the plain, awaiting the descent of Theodosius from the heights; Arbogast had posted Arbitio in ambush with orders to fall upon the unsuspecting troops as they left the higher ground. The Goths led the van and were the first to engage the enemy. Despite their heroic valor, the attack was unsuccessful; Bacurius was slain and 10,000 Goths lost their lives. Eugenius, as he rewarded his soldiers, considered the victory decisive, and the generals of Theodosius counselled retreat. Through the hours of the night the Emperor prayed alone and in the morning (6 September) with the battle-cry of "Where is the God of Theodosius?" he renewed the struggle. Arbitio played the traitor’s part and leaving his hiding-place joined the Eastern army. But it was no human aid which decided the issue of the day. A tempestuous hurricane swept down upon the enemy: blinded by clouds of dust, their shields wrenched from their grasp, their missiles carried back upon themselves, the troops of Eugenius turned in panic flight. Theodosius had called on God, and Heaven had answered. The moral effect was overwhelming. Eugenius was surrendered by his own soldiers and slain; Arbogast fled into the mountains and two days later fell by his own hand.

Theodosius did not abuse his victory; he granted a general pardon—even the usurper’s ministers lost only their rank and titles, which were restored to them in the following year. But the fatigues and hardships of the war had broken down the Emperor’s health; Honorius was summoned from Constantinople and was present in Milan at his father's death (17 January 395).

From the invective of heathen critics and the flattery of court orators it is no easy task rightly to estimate the character and work of Theodosius. To the Christians he was naturally first and foremost the founder of an orthodox State and the scourge of heretics and pagans, while to the worshippers of the older faith it was precisely his religious views and the legislation inspired by them which inflamed their furious resentment. The judgment of both parties on the Emperor's policy as a whole was determined by their religious preconceptions. Rome at least was his debtor; in the darkest hour after the disaster at Hadrianople he had not despaired of the Empire, but had proved himself at once statesman and general. The Goths might have become to the provinces of the East what the Alemanni had long been to Gaul; the fact that it was otherwise was primarily due to the diplomacy of Theodosius. Retrenchment and economy, a breathing space in which to recover from her utter exhaustion, were a necessity for the Roman world; a brilliant and meteoric sovereign would have been but an added peril. To the men of his time the unwearying caution of Theodosius was a positive and precious virtue. His throne was supported by no hereditary dynastic sentiment, and he thus consciously and deliberately made a bid for public favour; he abandoned court tradition and appealed with the directness of a soldier to the sympathies of his subjects. In this he was justified: throughout his reign it was only in the West that usurpers arose, and even they would have been content to remain his colleagues, had he only consented. But this was not the only result of his refusal to play the demigod; Valentinian had often been perforce the tool of his ministers, but Theodosius determined to gather his own information and to see for himself the abuses from which the Empire suffered. His legislation is essentially detailed and practical:

the accused must not be haled off forthwith on information laid against him, but must be given thirty days to put his house in order;

provision is to be made for the children of the criminal, whether he be banished or executed, for they are not to suffer for their father's sins, and some share of the convict's property is to pass to his issue;

men are not to be ruined by any compulsion to undertake high-priestly offices, as that of the high-priesthood of the province of Syria which entailed the holding of costly public games;

provincials should not be driven to sell corn to the State below its market price, while corn from sea-coast lands is to be shipped to neighbouring sea-coast towns and not to distant inland districts, in order that the cost of transport may not ruin the farmer.

Fixed measures in metal and stone must be used by imperial tax collectors, that extortion may be made more difficult, while defensores are to be appointed to see to it that through the connivance of the authorities robbers and highwaymen shall not escape unpunished.

Theodosius himself had superintended the work of clearing Macedonia from troops of brigands, and he directed that men were to be permitted to take the law into their own hands if robbed on the high-roads or in the villages by night, and might slay the offender where he stood. Examples might be increased at will, but such laws as these suffice to illustrate the point. In a word, Theodosius knew where the shoe pinched, and he did what he could to ease the pain. Even when claims of Church and State conflicted, he refused to sacrifice justice to the demands of orthodox intolerance; in one case the tyrannous insistence of Ambrose conquered, and Christian monks who had at Callinicum destroyed a Jewish synagogue were at last freed from the duty of making reparation; but even here the stubborn resistance of the Emperor shows the general principles which governed his administration. Though naturally merciful, so that contemporaries wondered at his clemency towards the followers of defeated rivals, yet when seized by some sudden outburst of passion he could be terrible in his ferocity. He himself was conscious of his great failing, and when his anger had passed, men knew that he was the readier to pardon: Praerogativa ignoscendi erat indignatum fuisse.

But with every acknowledgment made of his weaknesses he served the Empire well; he brought the East from chaos into order; and even if it be on other grounds, posterity can hardly dispute the judgment of the Church or deny that the Emperor has been rightly styled: “Theodosius the Great







AD 378-412