Valentinianus was the third child of the emperor Valens and Albia Dominica, and their only son. He was born, possibly in Galatia, on January 18, AD 366. As a three-year-old, he was appointed consul prior alongside Flavius Victor in AD 369. As the year started, Valentinianus was probably with his father at Marcianopolis, as Valens was wintering there during his war against the Goths.
Around AD 370, Valentinianus grew ill. According to Socrates of Constantinople, Dominica told her husband that she had been having visions that their son’s illness was a punishment for Valen’s ill treatment of the bishop Basil of Caesarea. Basil was a prominent orthodox leader who opposed the emperor's Arianism. When asked to pray for Valentinianus, Basil is said to have responded by demanding that Valens give a commitment to orthodoxy as the condition for the boy’s survival. Valens refused to comply and baptize Valentinianus Catholic, instead giving his son an Arian baptism. Basil replied by saying that God’s will would be done, and Valentinianus died soon after at Caesarea in Cappadocia.
- Martindale, J. R.; Jones, A. H. M, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I AD 260-395, Cambridge University Press (1971)
- Vanderspoel, John, Themistius and the Imperial Court: Oratory, Civic Duty, and Paideia from Constantius to Theodosius (1995)
- Martindale & Jones, pg. 381
- Vanderspoel, pg. 171
- Socrates; Walford, Edward; de Valois, Henri, The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates (1853), pgs. 211–261
- Banchich, Thomas, Domnica Augusta, Wife of the Emperor Valens De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and Their Families (1997)
- Vanderspoel, pg. 172
Flavius Valentinianus Augustus II,
Flavius Iulius Valens Augustus II
|Consul of the Roman Empire
with Flavius Victor
Flavius Valentinianus Augustus III,
Flavius Iulius Valens Augustus III