Roman Empire

Gratian, Co-Emperor AD 367-383

RIC 5d; Depeyrot 1/1, Superb Mint State

Mediolanum, AD 378-383. D N GRATIA-NVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Gratian right. Reverse: VICTO-RIA AVGG, the two co-emperors seated facing, together holding globe between them; behind, Victory standing facing; (palm)//COM.

The son of Valentinian I, Gratian was elevated to the status of Augustus by his father in AD 367. Gratian successfully ruled the Western Empire after the death of Valentinian I, winning several notable victories against the Germanic Lentienses. He moved to assist his uncle, the Eastern Emperor Valens, in halting a Gothic invasion, but only arrived after the major defeat at Adrianople (AD 378) and the death of Valens. Gratian appointed the retired military commander Theodosius I to rule Valen’s former territories as co-Augustus before returning to the West. In the years that followed, Gratian alienated his army by withdrawing from active administration and favoring his body of Scythian archers. At last, in AD 383, the general Magnus Maximus raised the banner of revolt in Britannia and invaded Gaul. Gratian was abandoned by his troops and killed.