Chapter XV.—Of the Letter written by the Emperor Theodosius concerning the same.
When the illustrious emperor Theodosius had heard of the emperors doings and what the tyrant Maximus had written to him he wrote to the fugitive youth to this effect: You must not be astonished if to you has come panic and to your enemy victory; for you have been fighting against piety, and he on its side. You abandoned it, and are running away naked. He in its panoply is getting the mastery of you stripped bare of it, for He who hath given us the law of true religion is ever on its side.
So wrote Theodosius when he was yet afar off; but when he had heard of Valentinians flight, and had come to his aid, and saw him an exile, taking refuge in his own empire, his first thought was to give succour to his soul, drive out the intruding pestilence of impiety, and win him back to the true religion of his fathers. Then he bade him be of good cheer and marched against the tyrant. He gave the lad his empire again without loss of blood and slew Maximus. For he felt that he should be guilty of wrong and should violate the terms of his treaty with Gratianus were he not to take vengeance on those who had caused his allys death. 869
Zosimus (iv. 44) represents Theodosius, now for two years widowed, as won over to the cause of Valentinian by the loveliness of the young princess Galla, whom he married.
“He was some time in preparing for the campaign, but, when it was opened, he conducted it with vigour and decision. His troops passed up the Save Valley, defeated those of Maximus in two engagements, entered Æmona (Laybach) in triumph, and soon stood before the walls of Aquileia, behind which Maximus was sheltering himself.…The soldiers of Theodosius poured into the city, of which the gates had been opened to them by the mutineers, and dragged off the usurper, barefooted, with tied hands, in slaves attire, to the tribunal of Theodosius and his young brother in law at the third milestone from the city. After Theodosius had in a short harangue reproached him with the evil deeds which he had wrought against the Roman Commonwealth, he handed him over to the executioner.” Hodgkin, “Dynasty of Theodosius,” p. 127.