History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Volume 3
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Death Of Gratian.—Ruin Of Arianism.—St. Ambrose.—
First Civil War, Against Maximus.—Character,
Administration, And Penance Of Theodosius.—Death Of
Valentinian II.—Second Civil War, Against Eugenius.—
Death Of Theodosius.
The fame of Gratian, before he had accomplished the twentieth year of his age, was equal to that of the most celebrated princes. His gentle and amiable disposition endeared him to his private friends, the graceful affability of his manners engaged the affection of the people: the men of letters, who enjoyed the liberality, acknowledged the taste and eloquence, of their sovereign; his valor and dexterity in arms were equally applauded by the soldiers; and the clergy considered the humble piety of Gratian as the first and most useful of his virtues. The victory of Colmar had delivered the West from a formidable invasion; and the grateful provinces of the East ascribed the merits of Theodosius to the author of his greatness, and of the public safety. Gratian survived those memorable events only four or five years; but he survived his reputation; and, before he fell a victim to rebellion, he had lost, in a great measure, the respect and confidence of the Roman world.