Valentinian I through Theodosius II and Valentinian III (AD 364 - 450/455) - References
        For the primary numismatic references, see the main page.

    Some numismatic references have basic biographies of the imperial families.

Vagi, David. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, Coin World, 1999
    Volume 1 (of 2) has the history and devotes 46 pages to this period. Volume 2 covers the coins and has 29 pages devoted to the period.

Sear, David, Roman Coins and Their Values, Seaby Press
    This has concise biographical notes.

    Some non-numismatic references give short biographies of all the the emperors.

Grant, Michael, The Roman Emperors, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1985
    Devotes 45 pages to this period. Each person is illustrated by a portrait coin (obverse only).


Scarre, Chris.  Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. Thames and Hudson, 1995. Not very deep, but colorful with many images.


History books emphasizing the period:

Ammianus Marcellinus: The Later Roman Empire (AD. 354-378)  translated by Walter Hamilton, Penguin Books, 1986
    Books 26-31 cover Valentinian I through the death of Valens at the Battle of Adrianople. This is 130 pages of an original ancient source. Highly recommended.

Bury, J. B. History of the Later Roman Empire, From the death of Theodosius to the death of Justinian, in 2 volumes. Dover Books. (date? References are not newer than 1917, but it is very readable.) Volume 1 has its first 300 pages on our time period, 100 pages on government, administration, Constantinople, and the neighbors of the empire, and the next 200 pages are imperial history.  No plates.

Jones, A. H. M. The Later Roman Empire, 284-604.  Johns Hopkins University Press, 1964.
     A major 2-volume work, of which volume 2, chapters 5 and 6 cover the stories of the emperors of this time period. Much of the rest of the work covers topics suggested by its sub-title "A social, economic, and administrative survey."  No plates.

Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Knopf, 1989.  Volume 1 of 3 in a series by Norwich. Beginning with Constantine, Norwich gives a biographical history of each emperor, with our period covered on pages 101-159.

Alessandro Barbero  The Day of the Barbarians.  2005, very well translated into English by John Cullen. 180 pages, paperback, no plates. It is not a coin book or a picture book, but an excellent history of the events leading up to the battle of Adrianople in 378 in which Valens was killed.  It then has a bit on the changes introduced by Theodosius, but the focus is on the Balkans under Valens.

Duckett, Eleanor Shirley, Medieval Portraits from East and West,  U. Michigan press, 1972.

    The "portraits" are not pictures, rather word portraits, including biographies of Theodosius, Eudoxia, Honorius, Galla Placidia, Pulcheria, Theodosius II, and Valentinian III (as well as a few non-imperial people).  Very readable. No plates.

Hollum, Kenneth G., Theodosian Empresses: Women and Imperial Dominian in Late Antiquity. U. California Press, 1982
    Biographies of the women who ruled because their husbands were non-entities.Very good. 16 Figures.

Oost, Stewart Irvin, Galla Placidia Augusta, U. Chicago press, 1967
    A biography. She had an amazing life! 8 plates.

Cameron, Alan, and Jacqueline Long. Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius. U. California Press, 1993.


    Your opinions/reviews of these works, as well as other works about the period, are solicited. Please write me:  e-mail

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