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132Book V.

Chapter I.—Of the piety of the emperor Gratianus

How the Lord God is long suffering towards those who rage against him, and chastises those who abuse his patience, is plainly taught by the acts and by the fate of Valens. For the loving Lord uses mercy and justice like weights and scales; whenever he sees any one by the greatness of his errors over-stepping the bounds of loving kindness, by just punishment He hinders him from being carried to further extremes.

Now Gratianus, the son of Valentinianus, and nephew of Valens, acquired the whole Roman Empire. He had already assumed the sceptre of Europe on the death of his father, in whose life-time he had shared the throne. On the death of Valens without issue he acquired in addition Asia, and the portions of Libya.809809    Gratian was proclaimed Augustus by Valentinian in 367. (Soc. iv. 11. Soz. vi. 10.) He came to the throne on the death of Valentinian at Bregetio, Nov. 17, 375. He associated his brother Valentinian II. with him, and succeeded his uncle Valens Aug. 9, 378. On Jan. 19, 379 he nominated Theodosius Augustus.


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