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Failure of EmpireValens and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D.$
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Noel Lenski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233324

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233324.001.0001

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Valens’s First Gothic War

Valens’s First Gothic War

(p.116) Chapter 3 Valens’s First Gothic War
Failure of Empire

Lenski Noel

University of California Press

This chapter describes how Valens, in consultation with his brother, determined to launch a major expedition against the Goths to retaliate for this. In a three-year campaign, Valens succeeded in defeating the Goths but did little significant damage to their forces. It then devotes some time to examining further how the ideals of triumphal rulership affected Valens' choice to campaign against the Goths. Valens used a diplomatic infraction as an excuse for a foreign war designed to boost his position as emperor and to satisfy the policy demands of his aggressive brother. Moreover, some principles of late Roman foreign policy are presented. After Julian's death, when the Goths encountered the new and highly confrontational Valentinianic dynasty, Romano-Gothic relations continued to deteriorate.

Keywords:   Valens, Gothic War, Goths, triumphal rulership, Roman foreign policy, Julian, Romano-Gothic relations

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