Gratianus emperor of Rome, son of Valentinian I, was born in 359, and on the death of his father, A.D. 375, succeeded to a share of the Western Empire. On the death of his uncle Valens, A.D. 378, he obtained control of the whole empire; but in 379 he appointed Theodosius his colleague, giving him the Eastern provinces. He was killed A.D. 383, in a revolt in Gaul. Gratian was tolerant towards the various sects which divided Christianity, but he displayed a stern determination against the remains of the heathen worship. At Rome he overthrew the altar of Victory, which continued to exist; he confiscated the property attached to it, as well as the property belonging to the other priests and the Vestals. He also refused to assume the title and the insignia of Pontifex Maximus, a dignity till then considered as annexed to that of emperor. These measures gave a final blow to the old worship of the empire; and although the senators, who for the most part were still attached to it, sent him a deputation, at the head of which was Symmachus, they could not obtains any mitigation of his decrees. Engl. Cyclopaedia; Mosheim, Church Hist. cent. 4, part 2, chapter 5, § 15.

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