Ecclesiastical history (Philostorgius)/Epitome of book VIII

Chapter 8 edit

The emperor Jovian, having arrived at Ancyra, on his way to Constantinople, gave the title of "most noble" to one of his two sons, named Varronianus, who was then quite a child. Thence he set out with his army on a further expedition, though it was the very depth of winter, and lost many of his men upon the road ; reaching Dadastana itself together with a few survivors. Having put up at a certain station on the way, he laid down to take his rest in a bedchamber, the walls of which had been recently white-washed ; and when a fire was lit, and the heat diffused itself through the room, the moisture of the newly-stained walls began to exude, and being drawn in by the nostrils in breathing, choked up the passages of the lungs, and suffocated the emperor, after he had held the imperial throne about ten months complete. His corpse was afterwards brought to Constantinople. The army on its arrival at Nicaea, after a lapse of twelve days, proclaimed Valentinian emperor, according to a suggestion of Datian the patrician, communicated in letters from Galatia, where he had been left, partly on account of his old age, and partly on account of the severity of the winter. Secundus, prefect of the Praetorium, and Arinthaeus, master of the horse, together with Dagalairus, chamberlain of the household, joined in effecting this matter. And when forthwith after his proclamation, the army, as it carried along the emperor on a shield, demanded of him that he would choose some one to share with him the imperial power, Valentinian lifted up his hand and commanded them to hold their peace; and no way alarmed, he thus addresed them with all the firmness of an emperor. "It was your own free choice and vote, my soldiers, which raised me from a private state to the dignity of emperor. Henceforth, however, to discern and to arrange what is to be done, is the place of the emperor only, and not that of his subjects." As soon, however, as he had entered Constantinople, he took his brother Valens to share his throne, and having made this appointment, went as far as Sirmium in the regions of the West; here he divided with his brother all the imperial ornaments, and the other insignia of state and court, and sent him back to Constantinople, assigning to him all those parts of the East which had been formerly subject to Constantius. The emperor himself, however, took in hand the other two portions of the empire, and so possessed himself of the entire West. And not long afterwards he began to train up, in imitation of his own character, his son Gratian, whom he advanced to the regal dignity at a very early age.