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Ioviānus, Flavius Claudius

A Roman emperor, born A.D. 331, the son of Veronianus, of an illustrious family of Moesia, who had filled important offices under Constantine. Iovianus served in the army of Julian , in his unlucky expedition against the Persians; and when that emperor was killed, A.D. 363, the soldiers proclaimed him successor. His first task was to save the army, which was surrounded by the Persians, and in great distress for provisions. After repelling repeated attacks of the enemy, he willingly listened to proposals for peace, and accepted conditions offensive to Roman pride. Iovianus gave up the city of Nisibis to the Persians, the inhabitants withdrawing to Amida. On his arrival at Antioch, Iovianus, who was of the Christian faith, revoked the edicts of Julian against the Christians. He also supported the orthodox or Nicene creed against the Arians, and showed his favour to the bishops who had previously suffered from the Arians, and especially to Athanasius, who visited him at Having been acknowledged over the whole Empire, Iovianus set off during the winter to Constantinople. At Ancyra he assumed the consular dignity; but, a few days after, being at a place called Dadastana, in Galatia, he was found dead in his bed, having been suffocated, as some say, by the vapour of charcoal burning in his room; according to others, by the steam of the plaster with which it had been newly laid; while others, again, suspected him of having been poisoned or killed by some of his guards. He died February 16, A.D. 364, after a reign of only seven months. The army proclaimed Valentinianus as his successor (Amm. Marcell. xxv. 5 foll.).

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