Now at this time Theodosius, on account alike of the splendour of his ancestry, and of his own courage, was a man of high repute. For this reason being from time to time stricken by the envy of his rivals, he was living in Spain, where he had been born and brought up. The emperor, being at a loss what measures to take, now that the barbarians, puffed up by their victory, both were and seemed well nigh invincible, formed the idea that a way out of his difficulties would be found in the appointment of Theodosius to the supreme command. He therefore lost no time in sending for him from Spain, appointing him commander in chief and despatching him at the head of the assembled forces.
Defended by his faith Theodosius marched confidently forth. On entering Thrace, and beholding the barbarians advancing to meet him, he drew up his troops in order of battle. The two lines met, and the enemy could not stand the attack and broke. A rout ensued, the foe taking to flight and the conquerors pursuing at full speed. There was a great slaughter of the barbarians, for they were slain not only by Romans but even by one another. After the greater number of them had thus fallen, and a few of those who had been able to escape pursuit had crossed the Danube, the great captain dispersed the troops which he commanded among the neighbouring towns, and forthwith rode at speed to this emperor Gratianus, himself the messenger of his own triumph. Even to the emperor himself, astounded at the event, the tidings he carried seemed incredible, while others stung with envy gave out that he had run away and lost his army. His only reply was to ask his gainsayers to send and ascertain the number of the barbarian dead, |For,| said he, |even from their spoils it is easy to learn their number.| At these words the emperor gave way and sent officers to investigate and report on the battle.