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GRATIANUS, the son of Valentinian I and Val. Severa, was born at Sirmium, in Pannonia, in A.D. 359, whilst his father was still a private citizen. In A.D. 367, when eight years old, he was declared Augustus at Ambianum (Amiens), having for colleagues his father Valentinian I and his uncle Valens. Gratianus was sixteen years of age when his father died in A.D. 375.----He immediately acknowledged as his colleague Valentinianus (Valentinian II), his natural brother, whom on the death of his father the legions had proclaimed Augustus, though he was scarcely five years old. The empire was then so divided between them, that Gratianus had for his share Hispania, the Galliae and Britain, and Valentinian II Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, but under the regency of his brother, while Valens retained the East. He was victorious over the Lentiani Alamanni, a people inhabiting Rhaetia (the Tyrol), in a memorable battle fought at Argentovaria, or Argentaria (at or near Colmar, in Alsace). He went to reinforce Valens, who was hard pressed by the Goths in Thrace, but arrived only in time to find him overpowered and slain, in A.D. 378. The barbarians completely overrunning and devastating this region, he recalled Theodosius from his exile in Hispania, and for his services against those tribes on the Ister, gave him the title of Augustus, at the beginning of the year 379, and appointed him governor of the eastern provinces held by Valens. Having set out on an expedition against Magnus Maximus, a man of energy and reputation (who, elected by the legions in Britain, had assumed the purple in that island, and invaded Gallia), he found himself abandoned by his troops near Paris, at the moment of his being about to attack the usurper’s army, who put him to death in his flight near Lugdunum (Lyon), in A.D. 383, in the 24th year of his age.
GOLD MEDALLIONS.----GLORIA ROMANORVM. Rome seated. Engraved in Steinbuchel’s notice of the Vienna Medallions. (Mionnet values this at 600 fr. and another, with the same legend and type, at 800 fr.)----Same legend, Rome and a turreted woman seated (at 200 fr.)
SILVER MEDALLIONS.----GLORIA ROMANORVM. Emperor with globe and hasta. (Mt. 30 fr.)----VICTORIA AVGG. Gratian and Valentinian jun. (Valentinian II) seated. (Tovey sale, 1 pound 6s. Mt. 50 fr.)----VIRTVS EXERCITVS. (15s. Thomas. Engraved in Akerman, ii. p. 324).----VOTIS V. MVLTIS X.----VOTIS XV. MVLTIS XX. (Mt. 30 fr. each).
GOLD.----CONCORDIA AVGGGE. (sic.) Rome helmed and seated. In exergue CONOB. (Mt. 24 fr., Brumell, 13s.)----VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM. Victory seated and writing VOT. V. MVLT. X. (Mt. 24 fr.)----VICTORIA AVGG. The emperor and his father Valentinian I seated. Struck A.D. 367. (Brought only 17s. at Campana sale).----GLORIA NOVIS (sic.) or NOVI SAECVLI. Emperor stands in a military dress, supporting a victoriola on a globe, and holding the labarum, adorned with the monogram of Christ. (Mt. 30 fr.)----PRINCIPIVM IVVENTVTIS. RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE.----VOTA PVBLICA. (Mt. 30 fr. each.)
SILVER.----GLORIA NOVI SAECLI. (sic.) The emperor holding the Christian labarum.----VOTA PVBLICA. Hercules stands with right hand upon the mouth. (Mt. 24 fr.)
BRASS MEDALLION.----VRBS ROMA. (20 fr.)
SMALL BRASS.----VOTA PVBLICA. Isis holding the sistrum.----Same legend. Isis in a car drawn by two mules.----Same legend. Anubis standing, with caduceus and branch.