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An emperor of the East A.D. 364-378, born about A.D. 328, and made emperor by his brother Valentinian. (See Valentinianus.) The greater part of Valens's reign was occupied by his wars with the Goths. At first he gained great advantages over the barbarians, and concluded a peace with them in 370, on the condition that they should not cross the Danube. In 376 the Goths were driven out of their country by the Huns, and were allowed by Valens to cross the Danube and settle in Thrace and the country on the borders of the Danube. Dissensions soon arose between the Romans and these dangerous neighbors, and in 377 the Goths took up arms under Fritigern. Valens collected a powerful army, and marched against the Goths, but he was defeated by them with immense slaughter, near Adrianople, on the 9th of August, 378. Valens was never seen after the battle: some say he died on the field; and others relate that he was burned to death in a peasant's house, to which he was carried, and which the barbarians set fire to without knowing who was in it (Amm. Marc. xxxi. 13). The reign of Valens is important in the history of the Empire on account of the admission of the Goths into the countries south of the Danube—the commencement of the decline of the Roman power. Furious contests between the rival creeds of the Catholics and the Arians also characterize this reign.

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