The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX.
HOW DURING THE REIGN OF GRATIAN, MAXIMUS BEING CREATED
EMPEROR IN BRITAIN, RETURNED INTO GAUL WITH A MIGHTY
ARMY.

In the year of our Lord's incarnation 377, Gratian, the fortieth from Augustus, held the empire six years after the death of Valens; though he had long before reigned with his uncle Valens, and his brother Valentinian. Finding the state of the commonwealth much impaired, and almost gone to ruin, he looked round for some one whose abilities might remedy the existing evils; and his choice fell on Theodosius, a Spaniard. Him he invested at Sirmium with the royal robes, and made him emperor of Thrace and the Eastern provinces. At which time, Maximus, a man of valour and probity, and worthy to be an emperor, if he had not broken the oath of allegiance which he had taken, was made emperor by the army, passed over into Gaul, and there by treachery slew the Emperor Gratian, who was in a consternation at his sudden invasion, and attempting to escape into Italy. His brother Valentinian, expelled from Italy, fled into the east, and was entertained by Theodosius with fatherly affection, and soon restored to the empire. Maximus the tyrant, being shut up in Aquileia, was there taken and put to death.


CHAPTER X.
HOW IN THE REIGN OF ARCADIUS, PELAGIUS, A BRITON, INSO
LENTLY IMPUGNED THE GRACE OF GOD.

In the year of our Lord 394, Arcadius, the son of Theodosius, the forty-third from Augustus, taking the empire

-19-

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