Europe 365: Revolt of Procopius
In late summer of 365 Valens was marching east to fight the Persians when Gothia revolted and Julian’s alleged heir Procopius seized power in Constantinople. Busy engaging the Alemanni in Gaul, Valentinian rejected his brother’s call for support.
365? Rise of Ermanaric▲
By the 360s Ermanaric had become predominant leader of the Greuthungi and, according to the 6th century historian Jordanes (who conflated the Greuthungi with the later Ostrogoths), extended his power over all Scythia and Germania, from the Sea of Azov to the Baltic. Although modern historians regard Jordanes’ claims as greatly exaggerated, it is clear that the Grethungi became a significant power on the Ukrainian steppe in Ermanaric’s time.
365? Gepid arrival in Gothica▲
As late as c. 360 Roman records describe Gothica (the abandoned territories of Dacia north of the Danube) as being in the hands of the Taifals, the Victohali, and the Tervingi. However, this would be the last mention of the Victohali in ancient sources. Soon afterwards—still within the mid 4th century according to modern interpretations of the archaeological evidence—they seem to have been subjugated by the Gepids, who proceeded south into northern Gothica to occupy the region between the Tisza, Körös, and Mureș rivers.
365 Revolt of Gothia▲
While Valens was advancing to the East to face the Persians, he learned that Gothia had revolted and was threatening the Diocese of Thraciae. To handle this threat, he sent a division of cavalry and another of infantry against the Goths, only to have these units defect to the usurper Procopius when they crossed into Europe. Soon afterwards Gothia also joined Procopius, along with “other barbarian nations” beyond the Danube.
Sep 365 Revolt of Procopius▲
The general Procopius—who had allegedly been named as Julian’s successor when the latter invaded Persia in 363—was regarded with great suspicion by Valentinian and Valens and, soon after their accession, fled to Chersonesus (in Crimea). He secretly returned to Constantinople in the late summer of 365 and, discovering that Valens had left the city to face the Persians, seized power. In the following months Procopius bribed or defeated Valens’ forces to gain control of Thrace, Bithynia, Phrygia, Lycia, and Cyzicus.
Oct–Nov 365 Alemannic campaign of 365▲
In October 365, angered that Rome had reduced its gifts to them, the Alemanni crossed the Rhine into Gaul and pillaged the lands on the other side. Valentinian was informed of both these incursions and Procopius’ revolt as he entered Lutetia (Paris) on 1 November; in response, he sent his general Dagalaiphus to deal with the Alemanni while he consulted with his staff about Procopius. Although the Alemanni withdrew soon afterwards, Valentinian ultimately decided to remain in Gaul, declaring that “Procopius was the foe only of himself and his brother, but the Alemanni were the enemies of the whole Roman world”.