During this time period Valentinian II does not appear to have had any real authority, and performed as a figurehead only, for others with various powerful interests. Such as his co-emperors, powerful generals, and even his mother. The empire had been ruled by powerful generals since the Crisis of the Third Century, this state of affairs having been created byand his collegiate system. Constantine and his sons had been strong military figures, but they had also re-established the practice of hereditary succession, which was also used adopted by . The obvious flaw in these two competing requirements came in the reign of , a child. His reign was a foretold the coming ruling of the fifth century, when children or other nonentities, seated as emperors, were often controlled by powerful generals , officials or other interests.