First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Julian (Julianus) was a brother of Gallus the emperor. When Constantius became sole emperor, he made of this Julian, his uncle, a Caesar against the Gauls, who had revolted; and to him he espoused his sister. At that time a great number of Germans (Alamanni) at Strasbourg (Argentinam) were slain by him with but a few men. And when not long afterwards the German army was driven back with the assistance of the Gauls, Julian, with the sanction of the army, was raised to imperial honors. Hearing this, Constantius was afflicted with the dropsy, so that he died of pain and depression; for he learned that Julian was antagonistic. Now this Julian was an excellent man, and versed in the liberal arts; but he was yet more learned in Greek letters. He was a strong and alert orator, had a powerful memory, was kind to his friends, upright to his countrymen, and zealous for honor and renown. But all these qualities he obscured and reversed when he turned against the Christians. He was a more cunning persecutor than others had been; for he did not invoke new punishments, but with rewards, honors, faunings, flattery and advice, he aroused the people, more so than if he had been otherwise more cruel. He forbade that Christians be taught by pagan masters, and ordered that the schools should not be open to those who would not acknowledge the gods and goddesses. Some say that he was consecrated a Christian, and afterward abandoned the faith. Afterwards he undertook several wars; but these he conducted so unwisely that he was slain on the 6th day of the Kalends of July in the seventh year of his reign and the 31st year of his life.[Julianus, usually called Julian, and surnamed the Apostate, was Roman emperor 361-363 CE. He was born at Constantinople, 331 CE, and was the son of Julius Constantius by his second wife, Basilina, and the nephew of Constantine the Great. Julian and his brother Gallus were the only members of the imperial family whose lives were spared by the sons of Constantine the Great, on the death of the latter in 337. The two brothers were educated with care and brought up in the Christian religion; but as they advanced to manhood they were watched with jealousy and suspicion by the emperor Constantius. After the execution of Gallus in 354, the life of Julian was in great peril; but he succeeded in pacifying the suspicions of the emperor, and was allowed to go to Athens, in 355, to pursue his studies. Here he devoted himself with ardor to the study of Greek literature and philosophy, and attracted universal attention by his attainments and ability. Julian had already abandoned Christianity in his heart and returned to the pagan faiths of his ancestors; but fear of Constantius prevented him from making an open declaration of his apostasy. He did not remain long at Athens. In 355 he received from Constantius the title of Caesar, and was sent into Gaul to oppose the Germans, who had crossed the Rhine and were ravaging some of the provinces of Gaul. During the next five years he carried on war against the two German confederacies of Alamanni and Franks with great success, and gained many victories. His internal administration was distinguished by justice and wisdom; and he gained the good will and affections of the provinces entrusted to him. This aroused the jealousy of Constantius, who ordered him to send some of his best troops to the East to serve against the Persians. His soldiers refused to leave their favorite general and proclaimed him emperor in Paris in 360. After several fruitless negotiations between Julian and Constantius, both parties prepared for war. In 361 Julian marched along the valley of the Danube toward Constantinople; but Constantius, who set out for Syria to oppose his rival, died on his march in Cicilia. His death left Julian master of the empire. Julian entered Constantinople on December 11th. He lost no time in avowing himself a pagan, but proclaimed that Christianity would be tolerated equally with paganism. He did not, however, act impartially toward the Christians. He preferred pagans as his military and civil officers, forbade the Christians to teach grammar and rhetoric in the schools, and, in order to annoy them, allowed the Jews to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem (or, he allowed this rebuilding because he was interested in promoting all non-Christian religions in his Empire). In 363 Julian set out against the Persians and boldly marched into the interior of the country in search of the Persian king. His army suffered much from heat, lack of water and provisions, and he was at length compelled to retreat. The Persians fearfully harassed his rear, and although the Romans remained victorious in many a bloody engagement, Julian was mortally wounded in the last battle on June 26, 363, and died the same day. Jovian, on the field of battle, was chosen emperor in his place. Julian was an extraordinary character. As a monarch he was attentive to business, upright, and broad in his views. As a man he was virtuous in the midst of a profligate age. In consequence of his apostasy he has been slandered by Christian writers, but for the same reason extolled by pagan authors. He wrote a large number of works. His style is remarkably pure and is a close imitation of classical Greek.]

Jovian (Jovinianus), born in Pannonia, was physically attractive, of a happy disposition, and devoted to learning. He was elected to the sovereignty by the common consent of the army, not so much at his own instigation, as at the request of his father who was better acquainted with the soldiers. And although he was thus elected emperor, he did not wish to be acknowledged such until the people had acknowledged themselves Christians. When this occurred he took the government, and relieved the army of the barbarians. Afterwards things changed; he was twice defeated by the Persians due to his army's dissension and lack of supplies. And so he followed the dictates of necessity, making a peace by ceding territory previously taken—something that had not happened for many years. After that he marched to Greece; and he died in the vicinity of Galatia. He was otherwise not an unruly or unwise man. Some say he died of starvation; others, that he died of the odor of fresh plaster in his bedchamber, etc. He died in the seventh month of his reign on the fourteenth day of the Kalends of March in the thirty-third year of his life.[ Jovian (Jovianus), was a Roman emperor (363-364 CE). As captain of the imperial bodyguard, he accompanied Julian in his Persian expedition, and on the latter's death was unexpectedly chosen emperor by the army. He at once continued the retreat begun by Julian, and continually harassed by the Persians, succeeded in reaching the banks of the Tigris, where he concluded a humiliating peace. Five provinces that had been conquered by Galerius in 298 were surrendered, together with Nisibis and other cities. The Romans also gave up all interests in Armenia and abandoned its Christian prince Arsaces to the Persians. During his return to Constantinople Jovian was found dead in his bed half way between Ancyra and Nicaea. Under Jovian, Christianity was established as a State religion, although paganism was tolerated.]

Valentinian (Valentinianus), born at Cibalia, in Pannonia, was a captain of the shield-bearers, and fully a Christian man. Julian the Apostate ordered him to sacrifice to the gods or stay out of the army. And although he willingly gave up military honors for the Christian faith, nevertheless, upon the slaying of Julian and the death of Jovian he was elected emperor as successor. He was an excellent emperor, of honest countenance, courageous disposition, prudent proposals, timely speech, and hateful of vice and avarice. He was sparing in his words, earnest and emphatic, etc.

Valentinian (Valentinianus), Roman emperor (364-375 CE), was the son of Gratianus. He was born in 321, at Cibalis, in Pannonia. He was the father of Gratianus, the emperor, and held important military commands under Julian and Jovian. On the death of Jovian he was elected emperor by the troops at Nicaea. A few weeks after his elevation he elected his brother Valens as co-emperor, assigning to him the East, while Valentinian himself governed the West. Valentinian was a Catholic, though his brother was an Arian. However, he did not persecute either Arians or pagans. He possessed ability, prudence, and vigor of character, had a capacity for military matters, and was a vigilant, impartial, and laborious administrator. However, he sometimes punished with excessive severity. The greater portion of his reign was taken up by the wars against the Alamanni, and the other barbarians along the Roman frontiers. His great qualities entitle him to a place among the most distinguished Romans.

The Latin edition of the Chronicle continues for several more sentences (not given in the translation), covering specific details concerning his brother Valens, his brother's Arianism, military campaigns, etc.

Valens held the Eastern Empire for four years after Valentinian's death, during which time Gratian (Graciano), Valentinian's son, ruled in the West. This Valens, rebaptized by Lucius of Constantinople, persecuted our people with enmity; nor did he spare those of our number who had gone to the desert, but commanded that these hermits should enter the military service; and if they refused, they were to be slain. Of these there were countless numbers in the wildernesses and hermitages of Egypt. At this time the Goths were driven out of their country and scattered all over Thrace. Valens armed against them; but later, at the instigation of the bishop and hermits, he was shot; and he was carried to a miserable hut, which was set on fire by the Goths. Valens was burned to death in the fourth year of his reign. This outbreak of the Goths resulted in disaster for the Roman Empire and all Italy.

Valens, emperor of Rome (364-378 CE), was born in 328, and was made emperor by his brother Valentinian. Much of his reign was occupied in wars with the Goths. At first he gained great advantages over the barbarians, concluding a peace in 370 that stipulated that they would not cross the Danube. But in 376 the Goths were driven out of their country by the Huns, and Valens allowed them to cross the Danube and settle in Thrace and the country on the borders of the Danube. Dissention soon arose between the Romans and these dangerous neighbors, and in 377 the Goths took up arms. Valens marched against them with a powerful army, but was defeated with great slaughter near Adrianople in 378. Valens was never seen after the battle. Some say he died on the field, others that he was burned to death in a peasant's home, to which he was carried, and which the barbarians set on fire without knowing who was in it. It was during the reign of Valens that the Goths were for the first time were admitted to the countries south of the Danube. The Battle of Adrianople is one of the great turning points in the late history of the Roman Empire. As part of a more extended series of campaigns known as the Gothic War (376–382), the Battle of Adrianople is often considered the start of the final collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. Ironically, Adrianople actually was fought between the Goths and the Eastern Roman Empire, which ultimately withstood the Gothic invasions and developed into the Byzantine Empire.

The furious contests between Catholics and Arians also marked this reign.