In 10 commentaries alternating between affairs in the eastern and the western parts of the empire, he brings a systematic account of events in the west to an end with the death of Valentinian I, and the nomination of his infant son, Valentinian II
In 385 and 386, influential adherents of Arianism pressured Emperor Valentinian II
to suppress the faith of those who confessed the Nicene Creed--which included the three basilicas of Milan.
In 375, moreover, after the death of Valentinian I and the acclamation of the four-year-old Valentinian II
as Augustus by his father's military generals, the child-emperor, his mother Justina, and their court established themselves in Milan.
Philostorgius' narrative of the eastern Roman empire covered the period from Constantine in the early fourth century to the proclamation of Valentinian II
as emperor in 425, and he published his account presumably shortly afterward.
His funeral orations for emperors Valentinian II
and Theodosius I, and for his brother Satyrus, along with his 91 surviving Letters, are a mine of information for 4th-century political, religious, and social history.
It is a serious error to depict Theodosius as sending the praetorian prefect of the East to Alexandria `in order to announce the appointment of Maximus as coemperor and set up statues of the new Augustus' (70): Maximus proclaimed himself Augustus in 383, Cynegius probably came to Egypt in late 386 and, while Theodosius certainly recognized Maximus as a member of the imperial college and had Cynegius announce the fact in Alexandria (Zosimus 4.37.3), Maximus was a usurper who never received any initial `appointment' as Emperor from Gratian, Valentinian II
Under pressure from the pro-Homoian court of Valentinian II
and his mother Justina, Ambrose articulated his first attack on Arianism (and defense of himself) in the first two books of De fide in 378.
serious threat to its final domination as the Christian faith of the Roman Empire." Much to the contrary, Williams argues, the anti-Nicene position was supported by numerous clergy as well as by Valentinian II
; it was often presented in deceptive manners; and was not struck down until A.D.
I concentrate here on the funeral orations for Ambrose's brother Satyrus, written in 378, and for Valentinian II
, from 391, orations which frame Ambrose's work on the sacraments in the 380s; I will refer only occasionally to Ambrose's oration on the death of Theodosius in 395.
A touch of sceptical doubt may also be aroused by the theses that by his widely diffused funeral oration on Valentinian II
Ambrose imparted to this miserable emperor an importance that actually provoked the bid for power by Eugenius, and that Ambrose overstates Eugenius' sympathy for the paganism of the aristocrats whose support he so quickly won in Italy.
363-4, he helped organize the accession of Valentinian II