I’m trying to have something to say about every emperor I have a coin for, but Valentinian I has been difficult, even though he was a pretty good emperor. He is known as the last great emperor of the West. After his death, the Western Roman Empire accelerated in its decline, while the Eastern Empire continued to thrive.
The best I got is this: Valentinian had a long career as a successful general. However, in 375, visiting envoys to his count enraged him so much a blood vessel burst in his head, and he dropped over dead.
Far more amusing are his relatives.
Valentinian appointed his brother Valens as Emperor of the East. Valens lost at the Battle of Adrianople, one of the greatest military defeats in the history of Rome. Two third of the army was killed, and Valens body was never found.
Valentinian made his son, Gratian, a junior emperor at the age of 8, and he became a full emperor at 16 at the death of his father. His younger brother, Valentinian II, joined him as emperor at the age of 4. He was found hanged at the age of 21. Gratian had already been assassinated at the age of 24.
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