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Information about reign: Emperors Gratian and Valentinan II

CountryEastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire)
From9 August 378
To19 January 379
Persons Emperor Gratian of the Roman Empire (359 - 383)
Emperor Valentinian II of the Roman Empire (371 - 392)
Description

Gratian (Latin: Flavius Gratianus Augustus) was Roman emperor from 367 to 383. The eldest son of Valentinian I, during his youth Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers.

Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers. In 378, Gratian's generals won a decisive victory over the Lentienses, a branch of the Alamanni, at the Battle of Argentovaria. Gratian subsequently led a campaign across the Rhine, the last emperor to do so, and attacked the Lentienses, forcing the tribe to surrender.

That same year, his uncle Valens was killed in the Battle of Adrianople against the Goths – making Gratian essentially ruler of the entire Roman Empire. He favoured Christianity over traditional Roman religion, refusing the divine attributes of the Emperors and removing the Altar of Victory from the Roman Senate.

Gratian reigned:
4 August 367 – 17 November 375 as junior Augustus of the west under his father, Valentinan I;
17 November 375 – 9 August 378 as senior Augustus of the west, with his brother Valentinan II as junior;
9 August 378 – 19 January 379 as senior Augustus of the whole empire, with his brother;
19 January 379 – 25 August 383 as senior Augustus in the west with his brother.