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Valentinian III
as Caesar under Theodosius II  AD 424 - 425
as Augustus (Western Roman Empire)  AD 435 - 455

Flavius Placidius Valentinianus (AD 419 - 450):
Son of Constantius III and Galla Placidia;
First husband of Licinia Eudoxia;
Father of Eudocia the Younger and Placidia the Younger (wife of Olybrius);
Brother of Honoria;
Son-in-law of Theodosius II and Aelia Eudocia;
Half-cousin of Theodosius II and Aelia Pulcheria;
Brother of Honoria;
Half-Nephew of Honorius and Arcadius;
Grandson of Theodosius I and Galla;
Great-Grandson of Valentinian I.

AD 424 - 425 - Caesar under Theodosius II
AD 425 - 455 - Augustus (western Roman Empire)
Paralel rulers of the Eastern Roman Empire:
Theodosius (AD 408 - 450)
Marcian (AD 450 - 457)

Flavius Placidus Valentinianus III was designated as heir apparent by his half-uncle Honorius, who lacked natural children. He changed his mind, however, and the youngster and his mother went to Theodosius II in Constantinople. After the accession of Johannes Theodosius II decided that Valentinian served his needs better and dispatched an army to depose Johannes. In 425 the latter was dead and Valentinian was installed as Augustus in Rome. For the next twelve years his mother Placidia acted as a regent, but the commanding personality at the court was the great general and Master of Soldiers, Flavius Aetius. Aetius’s main headache was Geiseric, the Vandal king who conquered Roman Africa and established a predatory maritime polity in the western Mediterranean. Unable to stop him, Aetius acquitted himself well on the continent, where he crushed repeated incursions by Burgundians, and won the greatest battle of his career and of the fifth century by beating off the Huns under Attila at the Catalaunian Plains in central Gaul in 451. Aetius’s power now at unprecedented heights, Valentinian was persuaded to act himself. In September 454, he personally surprised and stabbed Aetius to death as the latter was making a financial report. One of the instigators of the murder, Petronius Maximus, expected to take Aetius’s position, but as Valentinian bypassed him, he hired two henchmen who assassinated the emperor on March 16, 455. Valentinian was a ruler interested in matters of religion and the one who supported papal ascendance over the provincial churches. He was also a great sponsor of church building, and among the gems of his time is Santa Maria Maggiore and the mausoleum of his mother Galla Placidia in Ravenna. His principal concern, however, seems to have been to enjoy his good time, running, riding, and shooting the bow.

Mints: Aquileia, Constantinopolis, Cyzicus, Mediolanum, Ravenna, Rome, Thessalonica, Treveri.

List all Valentinian III coins in the Catalog.

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