Valens in Roman Biography

Valens, (Flavius,) Emperor of the East, born about 328 A.D., was a brother of Valentinian I., to whom he was indebted for the imperial power. He began to reign, in 364, over Thrace, Asia, and Egypt. In 366 he suppressed a rebellion of Procopius. He was an Arian, and persecuted the orthodox. He defeated the Goths in 369, after which he waged war against Sapor, (Shapoor,) King of Persia. His dominions were invaded by the Goths, by whom he was defeated and killed in a great battle near Adrianople in 378 A.D. See Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;" Tillemont, " Histoire des Empereurs ;" " Nouvelle Biographie Generale."

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Valens in Wikipedia

Flavius Julius Valens (328 – 9 August 378) was Roman Emperor from 364 to 378, after he was given the Eastern part of the empire by his brother Valentinian I. Valens, sometimes known as the Last True Roman, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Adrianople, which marked the beginning of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Life - Appointment to emperor - Valens and his brother Valentinian were both born in Cibalae in 328 and 321 respectively. They had grown up on estates purchased by their father Gratian the Elder in Africa and Britain. While Valentinian had enjoyed a successful military career prior to his appointment as emperor, Valens apparently had not. He had spent much of his youth on the family's estate and only joined the army in the 360s, participating with his brother in the Persian campaign of Emperor Julian...

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Valens in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

An emperor of the East A.D. 364-378, born about A.D. 328, and made emperor by his brother Valentinian. (See Valentinianus.) The greater part of Valens's reign was occupied by his wars with the Goths. At first he gained great advantages over the barbarians, and concluded a peace with them in 370, on the condition that they should not cross the Danube. In 376 the Goths were driven out of their country by the Huns, and were allowed by Valens to cross the Danube and settle in Thrace and the country on the borders of the Danube. Dissensions soon arose between the Romans and these dangerous neighbors, and in 377 the Goths took up arms under Fritigern. Valens collected a powerful army, and marched against the Goths, but he was defeated by them with immense slaughter, near Adrianople, on the 9th of August, 378. Valens was never seen after the battle: some say he died on the field; and others relate that he was burned to death in a peasant's house, to which he was carried, and which the barbarians set fire to without knowing who was in it (Amm. Marc. xxxi. 13). The reign of Valens is important in the history of the Empire on account of the admission of the Goths into the countries south of the Danube-the commencement of the decline of the Roman power. Furious contests between the rival creeds of the Catholics and the Arians also characterize this reign.

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