Augustus (Western Roman Empire) AD 364 - 375
Flavius Valentinianus (ca. AD 321 - 375):
Brother of Valens;
Husband of Severa and Justina;
Father of Gratian (by Severa);
Father of Valentinian II and Galla (by Justina);
Father-in-law of Theodosius I and Constantia (wife of Gratian and daughter of Constantius II);
Grandfather of Galla Placida;
Great-Grandfather of Valentinian III and Honoria.
Paralel ruleres of the Eastern Roman Empire:
Valens (AD 364 - 378)
Procopius (AD 365 - 366)
Flavius Valentinianus hailed from Panonnia and after a rather undistinguished career found himself acclaimed emperor by the army commanders upon the death of Jovian in 364. A couple of months later he appointed his brother Valens as emperor in the east and took the western portion of the empire for himself. This division was to be permanent for from now on the unification of the empire under a single ruler was only temporary and a matter of expediency. The division was prompted by the necessity to deal effectively with grave military emergencies, and Valentinian saw plenty of those while in the purple. For seven years he battled with attackers in German lands and in Britain, building a complex line of fortifications on the Rhine and trying to entice different German groups into alliances with Rome. In 374 he moved down to the Danube, where Raetians and Sarmatians threatened his limes. It was during that activities that he became so enraged by the insolent conduct of a delegation of the Quadi, which came to see him at Brigetio, that he broke a blood vessel and died. He was his troops’ man trying hard to strengthen the army, raise the salaries of the soldiers and secure their status. Taxes had to be raised to meet the military expenditures, but Valentinian never forgot the common man and attempted to shift them onto the more prospering members of the communities, appointing Defenders of the People to see to that task. A Christian himself, he adopted a policy of religious toleration, which earned him the hostility of later Church authors. This along with his dislike of the senatorial class earned him a reputation slanted towards the negative; the man himself appears to had been a rather capable ruler.
Mints: Alexandria, Antioch, Aquileia, Arelate, Constantinopolis, Cyzicus, Heraclea, Lugdunum, Mediolanum, Nicomedia, Rome, Sirmium, Siscia, Thessalonica, Treveri.
List all Valentinian I coins in the Catalog.