Roman Empire

Valentinian II, Co-Emperor AD 375-392

RIC 69b.1; Depeyrot 47/5, Mint State

Constantinople, AD 388-392. D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Valentinian II right. Reverse: CONCORDI-A AVGGG, Constantinopolis seated facing, head right, resting foot on prow, holding scepter and globe; ?//CONOB.

Valentinian II, the young half-brother of Gratian, was proclaimed Augustus by the Pannonian legions at the death of Valentinian I (AD 375) and Gratian accepted him as co-emperor in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. However, by AD 386/7, Valentinian II was forced to flee his capital at Milan at the advance of the usurping Magnus Maximus. After arranging an imperial marriage alliance, the Eastern Emperor Theodosius I agreed to restore the young Western Emperor and defeated Magnus Maximus. With the usurper out of the way, Valentinian II was installed at Lausanne in Gaul under the guardianship of Theodosius’ trusted Frankish general Arbogast and prevented from taking command of the Gallic armies. Valentinian II despaired at his virtual imprisonment and hanged himself, although some suspected that he was actually murdered by Arbogast.