Valentinian III

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Valentinian III,

419–55, Roman emperor of the West (425–55). Two years after the death of his uncle, HonoriusHonorius,
384–423, Roman emperor of the West (395–423). On the death (395) of Theodosius I, the Roman Empire was divided; Arcadius, the elder son, received the East, and Honorius, the younger son, received the West. This division proved to be a permanent one.
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, he was placed on the throne by his cousin Theodosius II, who deposed the usurper John. Valentinian's mother, Galla PlacidiaGalla Placidia
, c.388–450, Roman empress of the West, daughter of Theodosius I. Captured by Alaric I in the course of his Italian campaign, she was held by the Visigoths as a hostage and married (414) Alaric's successor Ataulf.
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, was regent during his minority, but from 433 to 454 the general AetiusAetius,
c.396–454, Roman general. At first unfriendly to Valentinian III, he later made his peace with Valentinian's mother, Galla Placidia, and was given a command in Gaul.
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 was the actual ruler in the West. In Africa, BonifaceBoniface
, d. 432, Roman general. He defended (413) Marseilles against the Visigoths under Ataulf. Having supported Galla Placidia in her struggle with her brother, Emperor Honorius, Boniface fled to Africa in 422.
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 was defeated (430) by the Vandals under GaisericGaiseric
or Genseric
, c.390–477, king of the Vandals and Alani (428–77), one of the ablest of the barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire. He led (429) his people from Spain into Africa, possibly at the request of Boniface, and quickly subdued a large
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; by 442 Aetius was obliged to acknowledge Vandal independence. The empire was also disturbed by the war between Aetius and Boniface, by general barbarian unrest, and by peasant revolts. Valentinian proved an indolent and ineffectual ruler, although he supported the efforts of Pope Leo I (see Leo I, SaintLeo I, Saint
(Saint Leo the Great), c.400–461, pope (440–61), an Italian; successor of St. Sixtus III. A Doctor of the Church, he was one of the greatest pontiffs of the early years of the church. He waged a firm campaign against schism and heresy.
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) to enforce ecclesiastical order in the West. The terrible invasions of the Huns under AttilaAttila
, d. 453, king of the Huns (445–53). After 434 he was coruler with his brother, whom he murdered in 445. In 434, Attila obtained tribute and great concessions for the Huns in a treaty with the Eastern Roman emperor Theodosius II, but, taking advantage of Roman wars
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 began in 441; although defeated (451) in Gaul by Aetius, Attila briefly invaded N Italy in 452. In 454, Valentinian murdered Aetius, and shortly afterward Valentinian was himself assassinated. He was succeeded by Maximus.

Valentinian III

, Valentinianus III
?419--455 ad, emperor of the Western Roman Empire (425--455). His government lost Africa to the Vandals. With Pope Leo I he issued (444) an edict giving the bishop of Rome supremacy over the provincial churches