Valentinian I, Roman Emperor
VALENTINIAN I, ROMAN EMPEROR
Ruled 364–375; b. Pannonia. A career soldier elected by military and civil officials to succeed Jovian, he named his brother Valens co-emperor and resigned the East to him. Valentinian personally directed the war against the barbarians on the Rhine and Danube and tried unsuccessfully to prevent governmental corruption. Personally professing Catholicism, he proclaimed full freedom of religion and, to demonstrate his neutrality, successively confirmed the Arian Auxentius and the Catholic St. ambrose for the See of Milan. He repealed the apostate julian's anti-Christian legislation but allowed pagan worship, except for bloody sacrifices. He enacted about 30 laws touching on the privileges of the Church and clergy, and clerical abuses. martin of tours visited his court at Trier and received many favors. Because of civil strife resulting from the disputed papal election of 366, Valentinian reluctantly intervened on behalf of Pope damasus i and exiled antipope Ursinus. In 372, at Damasus' request, he confirmed the synodal decision that cleared the Pope of charges of immorality.
Bibliography: a. nagl, Paulys Realenzyklopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, ed. g. wissowa, et al. (Stuttgart 1893–) 7a.2:2158–2204. j. r. palanque et al., The Church in the Christian Roman Empire, tr. e. c. messenger (New York 1953). e. stein and j. r. palanque, Histoire du bas-empire, 2 v. (Paris 1949–59) v.1.
[r. h. schmandt]