Being only fours years old at the time of his uncle Honorius’ death, Valentinian III could not have learned his ruling skills from him. He did, however, develop many of Honorius’ habits of ruling.
While a child emperor his mother, Galla Placidia, was regent and ruled in his stead. Although emperor for many years, Valentinian continued this delegation of the actual ruling, with General Aetius following his mother in the role. During his reign the western empire experienced steady dissolution, Africa was lost to the Vandals; Attila invaded, and except for the great General Aetius, would have conquered Gaul. The strongest stance taken by Valentinian III was in his support of Pope Leo I to enforce ecclesiastical order in the western empire.