Roman Empire

Valentinian I, Co-Emperor AD 364-378

RIC 17e.4; Depeyrot 43/2, Mint State

Treveri, AD 373-375. D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Valentinian I right. Reverse: VICTOR-IA AVG, the two co-emperors seated facing, together holding globe between them; behind, Victory standing facing; (palm)//TROBT.

Upon learning of the death of Jovian in AD 364, the troops at Nicaea proclaimed their commander Valentinian I as Emperor. Once he reached Constantinople, Valentinian appointed his brother Valens as co-Emperor and divided the Empire between them. Valens was to rule the Eastern Empire and Valentinian took control of the West. He spent the bulk of his reign conducting punitive campaigns against the Alemanni who had invaded Gaul, even going so far as to cross the Rhine and devastate their Germanic homeland. In AD 375, Valentinian I moved on to deal with Quadi invasions into Pannonia in contravention of established peace treaties. During an audience with representatives of the Quadi, the Emperor was informed that while he had made treaties with their chiefs, individual bands of Quadi were not bound by them. At this, Valentinian I flew into a rage and berated the envoys with such violence that he burst a blood vessel and immediately keeled over and died. Who knew that temper tantrums could be fatal?