Valens

c.328-378. Co-emperor from 364. At the unexpected death of Julian,* the army had compromised on Jovian*; his equally sudden demise saw the choice fall to Valentinian (364), who a month later associated his younger brother Valens as co-augustus for the East. The brothers were from Christian peasant stock of Pannonia-Valentinian the more able militarily, Valens in finance. While both operated within Jovian's principle of broad religious toleration, Valens sought to deal with the internal dissension within Christianity which stemmed from the Arian* controversy. The synodical sessions since Nicea* (325) had in the East moved away from the homoousion position, and Valens undertook from 371 to suppress or remove from office remaining supporters. But the chief problems were at the frontiers. The Huns pushing behind the Goths had set the latter in motion. Valens received a petition for their resettlement in the empire, but before the matter could be negotiated they broke over the Danube. Without awaiting reinforcements coming from the West, Valens attempted to stop them at Adrianople, where in the ensuing disaster for the Roman legions he also met death.