Valens, Roman Emperor
VALENS, ROMAN EMPEROR
Born in 364, Valens governed the East as colleague of his brother valentinian i. Indecisive and impressionable, he possessed administrative ability but little military competence. After a successful campaign against the Visigoths, 367–369, he allowed them to cross the Danube into Moesia as foederati in 376; but when they rebelled, he lost his life in a terrible defeat at Adrianople, Aug. 9, 378. The last Arian emperor, his religious policy was guided by Bishop Eudoxius of Constantinople until 370, and thereafter by Demophilus of Beroea. In 365 he ordered the expulsion of all (Catholic) bishops expelled by constantius ii but reinstated by julian the apostate. However, when faced with rebellion in Egypt after he exiled athanasius, he yielded; and basil of caesarea overawed him. In 367 he blocked attempts of the semi–Arians to reunite with the Catholics; but he was about to moderate his program in the face of rising popular discontent when he died.
Bibliography: a. nagl, Paulys Realenzyklopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, ed. g. wissowa et al. (Stuttgart 1893–) 7A.2:2097–2137. j. r. palanque et al., The Church in the Christian Roman Empire, tr. e. c. messenger (New York 1953–). e. stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire, tr. j. r. palanque, 2 v. in 3 (Paris 1949–59).
[r. h. schmandt]