Alaric Balthas King of the Visigoths (Alarico), I (c.370 - 410) MP

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Nicknames: "King Alarico I of the /Visigoths/"
Birthplace: Peuce Island, Danube, Romania
Death: Died in Cozenza, Calábria, Itália
Occupation: Army chief, King of Visgoths 395-410, Ier Roi des Wisigoths (395), King of the Visigoths, King of VISIGOTHS; invaded Greece and Italy, roi des Wisigoths, Roi des Wisigoths (396-410), [Baux], King 410- Aug 415. Conqueror Of Rome
Managed by: Nancy Sawalich
Last Updated:

About Alaric Balthas King of the Visigoths (Alarico), I

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alarico_I

Alarico I Nacido en la isla de Peuce, en el delta del Danubio en el año 370 y fallecido en Cosenza en el año 410, fue rey de los visigodos (395–410) de la dinastía baltinga, hijo del caudillo visigodo Rocesthes.

Biografía [editar]

La fecha de su nacimiento se discute, dando los estudiosos como fechas probables el 370 y el 375.

Su infancia transcurrió en el interior del Imperio Romano, pues su pueblo había conseguido un pacto con el emperador Teodosio I y estaban asentados como foederati en Moesia desde el año 382 (tras los acontecimientos que llevaron a la insurrección de los godos y la derrota y muerte del emperador de Oriente, Valente, en la Batalla de Adrianópolis en 379).[2]

Acaudilló un ejército visigodo aliado de los romanos (387–395), y se proclamó rey (395–410) coincidiendo con la muerte de Teodosio I y sin que sus herederos (Arcadio y Honorio) ciertamente se enteraran. Según las crónicas de San Isidoro, «Los godos, rehusando el patrocinio de foedus romano, constituyen en asamblea a Alarico en rey suyo, juzgando que era indigno ser súbdito del poder de Roma, de cuyas leyes y compañía se habrían separado vencedores en la batalla». El rey Alarico fue crucial en el proceso de descomposición del Imperio Romano de Occidente.[3]

En el año 396 condujo las hordas visigodas a través de Macedonia, Tracia, Fócida y Beocia, atacando y arrasando las ciudades griegas de Corinto, Esparta, Argos y Megara, amenazando al gobierno de Constantinopla, pero, atacado por Estilicón, se vio forzado a replegarse. Estilicón tenía problemas con Arcadio y con la creciente influencia de su favorito Rufino, que acabaría asesinado. El joven emperador Arcadio encontraría una solución pactando con los visigodos, y consigue asentar a Alarico y sus gentes en Iliria, zona que pertenecía por entonces al imperio oriental, pero que se disputaba con la parte occidental por su proximidad a Italia. Esto pasó el problema visigodo de la zona oriental del imperio a la occidental, al alejar al peligroso Alarico de Constantinopla, y enervó a Estilicón que acabó por desentenderse de cualquier problema oriental o de Arcadio. En el año 400, envalentonado y descontento con sus nuevas tierras, quizás ansioso de poder, Alarico marchó sobre Italia para ser detenido por Estilicón, quien lo derrotó en Verona y el 6 de abril de 402 en la definitiva batalla de Pollentia forzándolo a retirarse de Italia.

Es probable que Alarico y Estilicón tratasen una tregua o alianza para hacer frente a los problemas que estaban destruyendo la parte occidental del Imperio (vándalos y godos en el norte de Italia, insurrección de las tropas de Britania y pronunciamientos de militares que se proclamaban césares, y, además, suevos, vándalos y alanos cruzando el Rin en 406). Lo cierto es que Estilicón cayó finalmente en desgracia, y el emperador Honorio acabará por mandar su ejecución en 408. Los visigodos de Alarico, aprovechando la débil situación del Imperio de Occidente, fuerzan al emperador Honorio a refugiarse en la inexpugnable ciudad de Rávena y marchan de nuevo sobre Italia, llegando incluso a saquear la ciudad de Roma en agosto del año 410 (tras tres asedios e intentos frustrados de llegar a un acuerdo con Honorio). Alarico reclamó al emperador Honorio ser nombrado general de los ejércitos del Imperio (magister militum), pretensión que no vería jamás cumplida. Sin embargo, de Roma se llevó como botín a la hermanastra del emperador, a la princesa Gala Placidia.

Aquel primer saqueo de la Roma clásica conmocionó al mundo civilizado de aquel tiempo, como se desprende, por ejemplo, de la obra de San Agustín, obispo de la ciudad de Hipona. Alarico empezó a soñar con el norte de África, por lo que partió hacia la Reggiana con la intención de embarcar hacía el «granero de Roma». Quizás una gran tormenta se lo impidió, lo cierto es que los visigodos eran un pueblo aguerrido y endurecido, pero no destacaban precisamente por sus conocimientos náuticos, así que el paso a África no dependía de ellos. Además, la Fortuna no le sonrió, y Alarico encontrará la muerte prematuramente en Cosenza a la edad de 35 años.

Alarico se casó con una hija de su tío y anterior rey de los visigodos, Atanarico II, y fue suegro del futuro rey Teodorico I y padre de una hija que casó con Brond, rey de los anglosajones. Estos últimos fueron padres de Friwin de Morinie, bisabuelo de Cerdic de Wessex, fundador de la Casa Real de Wessex en Inglaterra.

Aunque se habla de él como el primero de los reyes visigodos, fue más bien un caudillo militar y nunca llegó a pisar la península Ibérica. La línea de reyes godos empieza propiamente con su sucesor, primo y cuñado, Ataúlfo, que, casado con Gala Placidia en 414, encontró la muerte en la ciudad de Barcino en 415. Sin embargo, lo cierto es que aunque el Reino visigodo de Tolosa como estado federado de Roma (418–476) estaba asentado en la Aquitania secunda, por lo que su política e intervenciones militares quedaban lejos de Hispania, las intervenciones de Teodorico I (418–453) en Hispania van a ser numerosas, ya sea como pueblo federado de Roma o por iniciativa propia. A pesar de todo, sólo tras la derrota visigoda en la batalla de Vouillé y el periodo llamado interregnum visigodo (507–549), tendrá lugar el nacimiento del Reino visigodo de Toledo.

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Los visigodos marcharon hacia Roma y apoyaron la proclamación de un usurpador llamado Prisco Atalo (409), que era de origen jonio y probablemente arriano, el cual concedió a Alarico el título de Magister Militum. Pero Atalo no quiso o no pudo cumplir sus promesas y el rey visigodo regresó a Roma poniéndole sitio, por primera vez en su historia desde la invasión gala Roma cae ante un rey extranjero, luego de ser tomada por Alarico, este depuso al usurpador (24 de agosto de 410) y sus hombres saquearon la Ciudad Eterna durante tres días, tras lo cual la abandonaron llevándose con ellos a Atalo y a Gala Plácida, hermana de Honorio.

"Desde que tomé Roma en mis manos, nadie ha vuelto a menospreciar el poder de los godos. Lo que impulsó el afán de conquistas y el deseo de aventuras dio grandeza a un pueblo necesitado de patria. "

                                                              Alarico I, rey de los visigodos

Alarico se casó con una hija de su tío y anterior rey de los visigodos, Atanarico II, y fue suegro del futuro rey Teodorico I y padre de una hija que casó con Brond, rey de los anglosajones. Estos últimos fueron padres de Friwin de Morinie, bisabuelo de Cerdic de Wessex, fundador de la Casa Real de Wessex en Inglaterra.

Aunque se habla de él como el primero de los reyes visigodos, fue más bien un caudillo militar y nunca llegó a pisar la península Ibérica. La línea de reyes godos empieza propiamente con su sucesor, primo y cuñado, Ataúlfo, que, casado con Gala Placida en 414, encontró la muerte en la ciudad de Barcino en 415. Sin embargo, lo cierto es que aunque el Reino visigodo de Tolosa como estado federado de Roma (418-476) estaba asentado en la Aquitania secunda, por lo que su política e intervenciones militares quedaban lejos de Hispania, las intervenciones de Teodorico I (418-453) en Hispania van a ser numerosas, ya sea como pueblo federado de Roma o por iniciativa própia. A pesar de todo, sólo tras la derrota visigoda en Vouillé y el periodo llamado interregnum visigodo (507-549), tendrá lugar el nacimiento del Reino visigodo de Toledo.

(http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alarico_I)

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Rey visigodo de la dinastía baltinga, hijo del caudillo visigodo Rocesthes. Nace en el año 375 en Peuce, una isla situada en el delta del Danubio.

Caudillo de un ejército visigodo aliado de los romanos (387-395), se proclamó rey (395-410) coincidiendo con la muerte de Teodosio I y sin que sus herederos (Arcadio y Honorio) ciertamente se enteraran. Según las crónicas de San Isidoro, «Los godos, rehusando el patrocinio de foedus romano, constituyen en asamblea a Alarico en rey suyo, juzgando que era indigno ser súbdito del poder de Roma, de cuyas leyes y compañía se habrían separado vencedores en la batalla». El rey Alarico fue crucial en el proceso de descomposición del Imperio Romano de Occidente.

Tras ser elegido rey, lucha contra Honorio (que se había quedado con el Imperio Romano de Occidente) para conseguir una tierra fija para su pueblo. En 401 pacta con Arcadio (que se había quedado el Imperio Romano de Oriente) una alianza pacífica, que permite al jefe godo surtir de armas a su gente, para así en 402 conducir al ejército visigodo a través de Macedonia, Tracia, Fócida y Beocia, atacando y arrasando las ciudades griegas de Corinto, Esparta, Argos y Megara, para llegar hasta la península Itálica donde es vencido por Estilicón el 6 de abril de 402 en la batalla de Pollentia. Como consecuencia firma con Honorio una paz efímera, ya que un año más tarde es nuevamente rota, vuelve a invadir Italia y establece su capital en la región de Dalmacia.

Ante la ofuscación del emperador, éste manda dar muerte a su general Estilicón en 408, lo que permite a los visigodos saquear de nuevo Italia e incluso asediar Roma. Entonces, reclamó al emperador Honorio ser nombrado general de los ejércitos del Imperio, pero atacado por las tropas de Sarón, se dirigió de nuevo a Roma saqueando la ciudad durante seis días en agosto de 410 y llevándose consigo como botín a la hermana del emperador, Gala Placidia.

Desde que tomé Roma en mis manos, nadie ha vuelto a menospreciar el poder de los godos. Lo que impulsó el afán de conquistas y el deseo de aventuras dio grandeza a un pueblo necesitado de patria. Alarico I, rey de los visigodos.

Entonces empieza a soñar con el norte de África (en esa época era el granero de Roma), por lo que parte hacia la Reggiana con la intención de embarcar, pero una gran tormenta se lo impide; además en el intento se queda apopléjico y muere en Cosenza tras una larga agonía a la edad de 35 años.

Alarico se casó con una hija de su tío y anterior rey de los visigodos, Atanarico II, y fue suegro del futuro rey Teodorico I y padre de una hija que casó con Brond, rey de los anglosajones. Estos últimos fueron padres de Friwin de Morinie, bisabuelo de Cerdic de Wessex, fundador de la Casa Real de Wessex en Inglaterra.

Aunque se habla de él como el primero de los reyes visigodos en Hispania, fue más bien un caudillo militar y nunca llegó a pisar la península Ibérica. La línea de reyes godos empieza propiamente con su sucesor Ataúlfo.

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Invaded Greece and Italy -------------------- Alaric Article from the 1911 Encyclopedia

ALARIC (Ala-reiks, "All-ruler"), (c. 370-410), Gothic conqueror, the first Teutonic leader who stood as a conqueror in the city of Rome, was probably born about 370 in an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube. He was of noble descent, his father being a scion of the family of the Balthi or Bold-men, next in dignity among Gothic warriors to the Amals. He was a Goth and belonged to the western branch of that nation --sometimes called the Visigoths--who at the time of his birth were quartered in the region now known as Bulgaria, having taken refuge on the southern shore of the Danube from the pursuit of their enemies the Huns. In the year 394 he served as a general of foederati (Gothic irregulars) under the emperor Theodosius in the campaign in which he crushed the usurper Eugenius. As the battle which terminated this campaign, the battle of the Frigidus, was fought near the passes of the Julian Alps, Alaric probably learnt at this time the weakness of the natural defences of Italy on her northeastern frontier. The employment of barbarians as foederali, which became a common practice with the emperors in the 4th century, was both a symptom of disease in the body politic of the empire and a hastener of its impending ruin. The provincial population, crushed under a load of unjust taxation, could no longer furnish soldiers in the numbers required for the defence of the empire; and on the other hand, the emperors, ever fearful that a brilliantly successful general of Roman extraction might be proclaimed Augustus by his followers, preferred that high military command should be in the hands of a man to whom such an accession of dignity was as yet impossible. But there was obviously a danger that one day a barbarian leader of barbarian troops in the service of the empire might turn his armed force and the skill in war, which he had acquired in that service, against his trembling masters, and without caring to assume the title of Augustus might ravage and ruin the countries which he had undertaken to defend. This danger became a reality when in the year 395 the able and valiant Theodosius died, leaving the empire to be divided between his imbecile sons Arcadius and Honorius, the former taking the eastern and the latter the western portion, and each under the control of a minister who bitterly hated the minister of the other.

In the shifting of offices which took place at the beginning of the new reigns, Alaric apparently hoped that he would receive one of the great war ministries of the empire, and thus instead of being a mere commander of irregulars would have under his orders a large part of the imperial legions. This, however, was denied him, and he found that he was doomed to remain an oflicer of foederati. His disappointed ambition prompted him to take the step for which his countrymen were longing, for they too were grumbling at the withdrawal of the "presents," in other words the veiled ransom-money, which for many years they had been accustomed to receive. They raised him on a shield and acclaimed him as a king; leader and followers both resolving (says Jordanes the Gothic historian) "rather to seek new kingdoms by their own labour, than to slumber in peaceful subjection to the rule of others."

Alaric struck first at the eastern empire. He marched to the neighbourhood of Constantinople, but finding himself unable to undertake the siege of that superbly strong city, he retraced his steps westward and then marched southward through Thessaly and the unguarded pass of Thermopylae into Greece. The details of his campaign are not very clearly stated, and the story is further complicated by the plots and counterplots of Rufinus, chief minister of the eastern, and Stilicho, the virtual regent of the western empire, and the murder of the former by his rebellious soldiers. With these we have no present concern; it is sufficient to say that Alaric's invasion of Greece lasted two years (395-396), that he ravaged Attica but spared Athens, which at once capitulated to the conqueror, that he penetrated into Peloponnesus and captured its most famous cities, Corinth, Argos and Sparta, selling many of their inhabitants into slavery. Here, however, his victorious career ended. Stilicho, who had come a second time to the assistance of Arcadius and who was undoubtedly a skilful general, succeeded in shutting up the Goths in the mountains of Pholoe on the borders of Elis and Arcadia.

From thence Alaric escaped with difficulty, and not without some suspicion of connivance on the part of Stilicho. He crossed the Corinthian Gulf and marched with the plunder of Greece northwards to Epirus. Next came an astounding transformation. For some mysterious reason, probably connected with the increasing estrangement between the two sections of the empire, the ministers of Arcadius conferred upon Alaric the government of some part--it can hardly have been the whole--of the important prefecture of Illyricum. Here, ruling the Danubian provinces, he was on the confines of the two empires, and, in the words of the poet Claudian, he "sold his alternate oaths to either throne," and made the imperial arsenals prepare the weapons with which to aim his Gothic followers for the next campaign. It was probably in the year 400 (but the dates of these events are rather uncertain) that Alaric made his first invasion of Italy, co-operating with another Gothic chieftain named Radagaisus. Supernatural influences were not wanting to urge him to this great enterprise. Some lines of the Roman poet inform us that he heard a voice proceeding from a sacred grove, "Break off all delays, Alaric. This very year thou shalt force the Alpine barrier of Italy; thou shalt penetrate to the city." The prophecy was not at this time fulfilled. After spreading desolation through North Italy and striking terror into the citizens of Pome, Alaric was met by Stilicho at Pollentia (a Roman municipality in what is now Piedmont), and the battle which then followed on the 6th of April 402 (Easter-day) was a victory, though a costly one for Rome, and effectually barred the further progress of the barbarians. Alaric was an Arian Christian who trusted to the sanctity of Easter for immunity from attack, and the enemies of Stilicho reproached him for having gained his victory by taking an unfair advantage of the great Christian festival. The wife of Alaric is said to have been taken prisoner after this battle; and there is some reason to suppose that he was hampered in his movements by the presence with his forces of large numbers of women and children, having given to his invasion of Italy the character of a national migration. After another defeat before Verona, Alaric quitted Italy, probably in 403. He had not indeed "penetrated to the city," but his invasion of Italy had produced important results; it had caused the imperial residence to be transferred from Milan to Ravenna, it had necessitated the withdrawal of the Twentieth Legion from Britain, and it had lirobably facilitated the great invasion of Vandals, Suevi and Alani into Gaul, by which that province and Spain were lost to the empire. We next hear of Alaric as the friend and ally of his late opponent Stilicho. The estrangement between the eastern and western courts had in 407 become so bitter as to threaten civil war, and Stilicho was actually proposing to use the arms of Alaric in order to enforce the claims of Honorius to the prefecture of Illyricum. The death of Arcadius in May 408 caused milder counsels to prevail in the western cabinet, but Alaric, who had actually entered Epirus, demanded in a somewhat threatening manner that if he were thus suddenly bidden to desist from war, he should be paid handsomely for what in modern language would be called the expenses of mobilization. The sum which he named was a large one, 4000 pounds of gold (about L. 160,000 sterling), but under strong pressure from Stilicho the Roman senate consented to promise its payment. Three months later Stilicho himself and the chief ministers of his party were treacherously slain in pursuance of an order extracted from the timid and jealous Honorius; and in the disturbances which followed the wives and children of the barbarian foederati throughout Italy were slain. The natural consequence was that these men to the number of 30,000 flocked to the camp of Alaric. clamouring to be led against their cowardly enemies. IIe accordingly crossed the Julian Alps, and in September 408 stood before the walls of Rome (now with no capable general like Stihcho to defend her) and began a strict blockade.

No blood was shed this time; hunger was the weapon on which Alaric relied. When the ambassadors of the senate in treating for peace tried to terrify him with their hints of what the despairing citizens might accomplish, he gave with a laugh his celebrated answer, "The thicker the hay, the easier mowed!" After much bargaining, the famine-stricken citizens agreed to pay a ransom of more than a quarter of a million sterling, besides precious garments of silk and leather and three thousand pounds of pepper. Thus ended Alaric's first siege of Rome. At this time, and indeed throughout his career, the one dominant idea of Alaric was not to pull down the fabric of the empire but to Secure for himself, by negotiation with its rulers, a regular and recognized position within its borders. His demands were certainly large---the concession of a block of territory 200 m. long by 150 wide between the Danube and the Gulf of Venice (to be held probably on some terms of nominal dependence on the empire), and the title of commander-in-chief of the imperial army. Yet large as the terms were, the emperor would probably have been well advised to grant them; but Honorius was one of those timid and feeble folk who are equally unable to make war or peace, and refused to look beyond the question of his own personal safety, guaranteed as it was by the dikes and marshes of Ravenna. As all attempts to conduct a satisfactory negotiation with this emperor failed before his impenetrable stupidity, Alaric, after instituting a second siege and blockade of Rome in 409, came to terms with the senate, and with their consent set up a rival emperor and invested the prefect of the city, a Creek named Attalus, with the diadem and the purple robe. He, however, proved quite unfit for his high position; he rejected the advice of Alaric and lost in consequence the province of Africa, the granary of Rome, which was defended by the partisans of Honorius. The weapon of famine, formerly in the hand of Alaric, was thus turned against him, and loud in consequence were the murmurs of the Roman populace. Honorius was also greatly strengthened by the arrival of six legions sent from Constantinople to his assistance by his nephew Theodosius II. Alaric therefore cashiered his puppet emperor Attalus after eleven months of ineffectual rule, and once more tried to reopen negotiations with Honorius. These negotiatio1(s would probably have succeeded but for the malign influence of another Goth, Sarus, the hereditary enemy of Alaric and his house. When Alaric found himself once more outwitted by the machinations of such a foe, he marched southward and began in deadly earnest his third, his ever-memorable siege of Rome. No defence apparently was possible; there are hints, not well substantiated, of treachery; there is greater probability of surprise. However this may be--for our information at this point of the story is miserably meagre----on the 24th of August 410 Alaric and his . Goths burst in by the Salarian gate on the north-east of the city, and she who was of late the mistress of the world lay at the feet of the barbarians. The Goths showed themselves not absolutely ruthless conquerors. The contemporary ecclesiastics recorded with wonder many instances of their clemency: the Christian churches saved from ravage; protection granted to vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge therein; vessels of gold and silver which were found in a private dwelling, spared because they "belonged to St. Peter"; at least one case in which a beautiful Roman matron appealed, not in vain, to the better feelings of the Cothic soldier who attempted her dishonour; but even these exceptional instances show that Rome was not enlirely spared those scenes of horror which usually accompany the storming of a besieged city. We do not, however, hear of any damage wrought by fire, save in the case of Sallust's palace, which was situated close to the gate by which the Goths had made their entrance; nor is there any reason to attribute any extensive destruction of the buildings of the city to Alaric and his followers.

His work being done, his fated task, and Alaric having penetrated to the city, nothing remained for him but to die. He marched southwards into Calabria. He desired to invade Africa, which on account of its corn crops was now the key of the position; but his ships were dashed to pieces by a storm in which many of his soldiers perished. He died soon after, probably of fever, and his body was bulied under the river-bed of the Busento, the stream being temporarily turned aside from its course while the grave was dug wherein the Gothic chief and some of his most precious spoils were interred. When the work was finished the river was turned back into its usual channel, and the captives by whose hands the labour had been accomplished were put to death that none might learn their secret. He was succeeded in the command of the Gothic army by his brotherin-law, Ataulphus., Our chief authorities for the career of Alaric are the historian Orosius and the poet Claudian, both strictly contemporary; Zosimus, a somewhat prejudiced heathen historian, who lived probably about half a century after the death of Alaric; and Jordanes, a Goth who wrote the history of his nation in the year 551, basing his work on the earlier history of Cassiodorus (now lost), which was written about 520. (T. II.)

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King Alaric of the Visigoths I Alaric was born in 0370 in Romania.1 Birth Notes B: Abt. 370 He died at the age of 40 in August 0410.1 General Notes Alaric I (about 370-410), king of the Visigoths (395-410), born on an island in the delta of the Danube River. During his youth, the Visigoths migrated westward, under attack from the Huns at their rear. The Visigoths were used as auxiliary mercenary troops by the Roman emperor Theodosius I, and Alaric first appears in history in 394 as a leader of these troops. Upon the death of Theodosius in 395, the Visigoths renounced their allegiance to Rome and acknowledged Alaric as king. He led his troops into Greece; sacked Corinth, Árgos, and Sparta; and spared Athens only in return for a heavy ransom. After being defeated by the Roman general Flavius Stilicho, Alaric retired with his plunder and secured from the new Eastern Roman emperor, Arcadius, a commission as prefect of the Roman province of Illyricum. In 402 Alaric invaded Italy but was again defeated by Stilicho. Later Alaric was persuaded to join forces with the Western Roman emperor Honorius, who was planning war with the Eastern Empire.

When Arcadius died in 408, Rome abandoned its plan to move against the East, whereupon Alaric demanded 1814 kg (4000 lb) of gold as indemnity. On the insistence of Stilicho, the Roman government agreed to this demand, but soon afterward Honorius had Stilicho executed and abrogated the agreement. Alaric then invaded Italy, besieged Rome, and exacted a vast ransom. In 410 his troops captured and sacked Rome. A disastrous storm forced Alaric to abandon his next campaign, an invasion of Sicily and North Africa. He died shortly afterward and was succeeded by his brother, Ataulf.

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Alaric, (also known as Alaricus, Alaric the Goth, Alaric, King of the Visigoths and Alaric I) (about AD 370-410), the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome, was likely born about 370 on an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube. He was wellborn, his father kindred to the Balthi or Bold-men, next in worth among Gothic fighters to the Amals. He was a Goth and belonged to the western branch, or Visigoths- who at the time of his birth dwelt in the land now known as Bulgaria, having fled beyond the wide estuary marshes of the Danube to its southern shore, so as not to be followed by their foe from the steppe, the Huns.

In the year 394 Alaric served as a leader of foederati (Germanic irregular troops under Roman command, organized by their own tribal structures) under the emperor Theodosius I in the campaign in which he crushed the usurper Eugenius. As the Battle of Frigidus, which terminated this campaign, was fought at the passes of the Julian Alps, Alaric probably learnt at this time the weakness of the natural defences of Italy on her northeastern frontier at the head of the Adriatic.

The employment of barbarians as foederati, became a common practice with the emperors in the 4th century. The provincial population, crushed under a load of taxation, could no longer furnish soldiers in the numbers needed for the defence of the empire; and on the other hand, the emperors, ever fearful that a brilliantly successful general of Roman extraction might be proclaimed Augustus by his followers, preferred that high military command should be in the hands of a man to whom such an accession of dignity was as yet impossible. But there was obviously a danger that one day a barbarian leader of his own troops in the service of the empire might turn his armed force and the skill in war that he had acquired in that service, against his trembling masters, and without caring to assume the title of Augustus might ravage and ruin the countries which he had undertaken to defend. This danger became a reality when in the year 395 the able and valiant Theodosius died, leaving the empire to be divided between his incapable sons Arcadius and Flavius Augustus Honorius, the former taking the eastern and the latter the western portion, and each under the control of a minister who bitterly hated the minister of the other.

In the shifting of offices which took place at the beginning of the new reigns, Alaric apparently hoped that he would receive one of the great military commands of the empire, and thus instead of being a mere commander of foederati would have under his orders a large part of the imperial legions. This, however, was denied him. His disappointed ambition prompted him to take the step for which his countrymen were longing, for they too were grumbling at the withdrawal of the "gifts", in other words the veiled ransom-money, which for many years they had been accustomed to receive. They raised him on a shield and acclaimed him as a king; leader and followers both resolving (says Jordanes the Gothic historian) "rather to seek new kingdoms by their own work, than to slumber in peaceful subjection to the rule of others." Alaric struck first at the Eastern Empire. He marched to the neighbourhood of Constantinople, but finding himself unable to undertake the siege of that superbly strong city, he retraced his steps westward and then marched southward through Thessaly and the unguarded pass of Thermopylae into Greece. The details of his campaign are not very clearly stated, and the story is further complicated by the plots and counterplots of Rufinus, chief minister of the Eastern Empire, and Stilicho, the virtual regent of the western empire, and the murder of the former by his rebellious soldiers. Alaric's invasion of Greece lasted two years (395-396), when he ravaged Attica but spared Athens, which at once capitulated to the conqueror, when he penetrated into Peloponnesus and captured its most famous cities, Corinth, Argos, and Sparta, selling many of their inhabitants into slavery. Here, however, his victorious career ended. Stilicho, who had come a second time to the assistance of Arcadius and who was undoubtedly a skilful general, succeeded in shutting up the Goths in the mountains of Pholoe on the borders of Elis and Arcadia in the peninsula. From thence Alaric escaped with difficulty, and not without some suspicion of connivance on the part of Stilicho. He crossed the Gulf of Corinth and marched with the plunder of Greece northwards to Epirus.

Next came an astounding transformation. For some mysterious reason, probably connected with the increasing estrangement between the two sections of the empire, the ministers of Arcadius conferred upon Alaric the government of some part- it can hardly have been the whole- of the important prefecture of Illyricum. Here, ruling the Danubian provinces, he was on the confines of the two empires, and, in the words of the poet Claudian, he "sold his alternate oaths to either throne," and made the imperial arsenals prepare the weapons with which to arm his Gothic followers for the next campaign. It was probably in the year 400 (but the dates of these events are rather uncertain) that Alaric made his first invasion of Italy, co-operating with another Gothic chieftain named Radagaisus. Supernatural influences were not wanting to urge him to this great enterprise. Some lines of the Roman poet inform us that he heard a voice proceeding from a holy grove, "Break off all delays, Alaric. This very year thou shalt force the Alpine barrier of Italy; thou shalt penetrate to the city." The prophecy was not at this time fulfilled. After spreading desolation through North Italy and striking terror into the citizens of Rome, Alaric was met by Stilicho at Pollentia, modern-day Piedmont), and the battle which then followed on April 6, 402, (coinciding with Easter), was a victory for Rome, though a costly one, and effectually barred the further progress of the Goths. Alaric was an Arian Christian who trusted to the sanctity of Easter for immunity from attack, and the enemies of Stilicho reproached him for having gained his victory by taking an impious advantage of the great Christian festival. The wife of Alaric is said to have been taken prisoner after this battle; and there is some reason to suppose that he was hampered in his movements by the presence with his forces of large numbers of women and children, having given to his invasion of Italy the character of a national migration. After another defeat before Verona, Alaric left Italy, probably in 403. He had not indeed "penetrated to the city," but his invasion of Italy had produced important results; it had caused the imperial residence to be transferred from Milan to Ravenna, it had necessitated the withdrawal of the Twentieth Legion from Britain, and it had probably facilitated the great invasion of Vandals, Suevi and Alani into Gaul, which lost Gaul and the provinces of Spain to the Empire.

We next hear of Alaric as the friend and ally of his late opponent Stilicho. The estrangement between the eastern and western courts had in 407 become so bitter as to threaten civil war, and Stilicho was actually proposing to use the forces of Alaric in order to enforce the claims of Honorius to the prefecture of Illyricum. The death of Arcadius in May 408 caused milder counsels to prevail in the western cabinet, but Alaric, who had actually entered Epirus, demanded in a somewhat threatening manner that if he were thus suddenly bidden to desist from war, he should be paid handsomely for what in modern language would be called the expenses of mobilization. The sum which he named was a large one, 4000 pounds of gold, but under strong pressure from Stilicho the Roman senate consented to promise its payment.

Three months later Stilicho himself and the chief ministers of his party were treacherously slain in pursuance of an order extracted from the timid and jealous Honorius; and in the disturbances which followed the wives and children of the barbarian foederati throughout Italy were slain. The natural consequence was that these men to the number of 30,000 flocked to the camp of Alaric, clamouring to be led against their cowardly enemies. He accordingly crossed the Julian Alps, and in September 408 stood before the walls of Rome (now with no capable general like Stilicho to defend her) and began a strict blockade.

No blood was shed this time; hunger was the weapon on which Alaric relied. When the ambassadors of the Senate in treating for peace tried to terrify him with their hints of what the despairing citizens might accomplish, he gave with a laugh his celebrated answer, "The thicker the hay, the easier mowed!" After much bargaining, the famine-stricken citizens agreed to pay a ransom of more than two thousand pounds in weight of gold, besides precious garments of silk and leather and three thousand pounds of pepper. Thus ended Alaric's first siege of Rome.

At this time, and indeed throughout his career, Alaric's primary goal was not to pull down the fabric of the empire but to secure for himself, by negotiation with its rulers, a regular and recognized position within its borders. His demands were certainly large- the concession of a block of territory 200 miles long by 150 wide between the Danube and the Gulf of Venice (to be held probably on some terms of nominal dependence on the empire), and the title of commander-in-chief of the imperial army. Great as the terms were, the emperor would probably have been well advised to grant them; but Honorius was one of those timid and feeble folk who are equally unable to make either war or peace, and refused to look beyond the question of his own personal safety, guaranteed as it was by the dikes and marshes of Ravenna. As all attempts to conduct a satisfactory negotiation with this emperor failed before his impenetrable stupidity, Alaric, after instituting a second siege and blockade of Rome in 409, came to terms with the senate, and with their consent set up a rival emperor and invested the prefect of the city, a Greek named Priscus Attalus, with the diadem and the purple robe. He, however, proved quite unfit for his high position; he rejected the advice of Alaric and lost in consequence the province of Africa, the granary of Rome, which was defended by the partisans of Honorius. The weapon of famine, formerly in the hand of Alaric, was thus turned against him, and loud in consequence were the murmurs of the Roman populace. Honorius was also greatly strengthened by the arrival of six legions sent from Constantinople to his assistance by his nephew Theodosius II. Alaric therefore cashiered his puppet emperor Attalus after eleven months of ineffectual rule, and once more tried to reopen negotiations with Honorius. These negotiations would probably have succeeded but for the malign influence of another Goth, Sarus, the hereditary enemy of Alaric and his house. When Alaric found himself once more outwitted by the machinations of such a foe, he marched southward and began in deadly earnest his third, his ever-memorable siege of Rome. No defence apparently was possible; there are hints, not well substantiated, of treachery; there is greater probability of surprise. However this may be--for our information at this point of the story is miserably meagre--on August 24, 410 Alaric and his Goths burst in by the Salarian gate on the north-east of the city, and she who was of late the mistress of the world lay at the feet of the Goths. The Goths showed themselves not absolutely ruthless conquerors. The contemporary ecclesiastics recorded with wonder many instances of their clemency: the Christian churches saved from ravage; protection granted to vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge therein; vessels of gold and silver which were found in a private dwelling, spared because they "belonged to St. Peter"; at least one case in which a beautiful Roman matron appealed, not in vain, to the better feelings of the Gothic soldier who attempted her dishonour; but even these exceptional instances show that Rome was not entirely spared those scenes of horror which usually accompany the storming of a besieged city. We do not, however, hear of any damage wrought by fire, save in the case of Sallust's palace, which was situated close to the gate by which the Goths had made their entrance; nor is there any reason to attribute any extensive destruction of the buildings of the city to Alaric and his followers.

His work being done, his fated task, and Alaric having penetrated to the city, nothing remained for him but to die. He marched southwards into Calabria. He desired to invade Africa, which on account of its corn crops was now the key of the position; but his ships were dashed to pieces by a storm in which many of his soldiers perished. He died soon after, probably of fever, and his body was buried under the river-bed of the Busento, the stream being temporarily turned aside from its course while the grave was dug wherein the Gothic chief and some of his most precious spoils were interred. When the work was finished the river was turned back into its usual channel, and the captives by whose hands the labour had been accomplished were put to death that none might learn their secret. He was succeeded in the command of the Gothic army by his brother-in-law, Ataulphus.

Our chief authorities for the career of Alaric are the historian Orosius and the poet Claudian, both strictly contemporary; Zosimus, a somewhat prejudiced pagan historian, who lived probably about half a century after the death of Alaric; and Jordanes, a Goth who wrote the history of his nation in the year 551, basing his work on the earlier history of Cassiodorus (now lost), which was written about 520. (T. II.) ---- See also: Alaric II ----- 1911 Category:Ancient Roman enemies and allies -------------------- Alaric I (Alareiks in the original Gothic; Alarik or Alarich in modern Germanic languages; Alaricus in Latin; and Alarico in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish), was likely born about 370 on an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube. He was king of the Visigoths from 395–410 and the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome. Having originally desired to settle his people in the Roman Empire, he finally sacked the city, marking the decline of imperial power in the west.

Alaric, whose name means literally "king of all" was well-born, his father kindred to the Balti, a tribe competing with the Amali among Gothic fighters. He belonged to the western Gothic branch, the Visigoths. At the time of his birth the Visigoths dwelt in Bulgaria, having fled beyond the wide estuary marshes of the Danube to its southern shore so as not to be followed by their foe from the steppe, the Huns. -------------------- Alaric I (Alareiks in the original Gothic; Alarik or Alarich in modern Germanic languages; Alaricus in Latin; and Alarico in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish), was likely born about 370 on an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube. He was king of the Visigoths from 395–410 and the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome. Having originally desired to settle his people in the Roman Empire, he finally sacked the city, marking the decline of imperial power in the west.

Alaric, whose name means literally "king of all" was well-born, his father kindred to the Balti, a tribe competing with the Amali among Gothic fighters. He belonged to the western Gothic branch, the Visigoths. At the time of his birth the Visigoths dwelt in Bulgaria, having fled beyond the wide estuary marshes of the Danube to its southern shore so as not to be followed by their foe from the steppe, the Huns. -------------------- Visigoth King. First Germanic leader to take the city of Rome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaric_I -------------------- Alaric I (about 370-410), king of the Visigoths (395-410), born on an island in the delta of the Danube River. During his youth, the Visigoths migrated westward, under attack from the Huns at their rear. The Visigoths were used as auxiliary mercenary troops by the Roman emperor Theodosius I, and Alaric first appears in history in 394 as a leader of these troops. Upon the death of Theodosius in 395, the Visigoths renounced their allegiance to Rome and acknowledged Alaric as king. He led his troops into Greece; sacked Corinth, Árgos, and Sparta; and spared Athens only in return for a heavy ransom. After being defeated by the Roman general Flavius Stilicho, Alaric retired with his plunder and secured from the new Eastern Roman emperor, Arcadius, a commission as prefect of the Roman province of Illyricum. In 402 Alaric invaded Italy but was again defeated by Stilicho. Later Alaric was persuaded to join forces with the Western Roman emperor Honorius, who was planning war with the Eastern Empire.

When Arcadius died in 408, Rome abandoned its plan to move against the East, whereupon Alaric demanded 1814 kg (4000 lb) of gold as indemnity. On the insistence of Stilicho, the Roman government agreed to this demand, but soon afterward Honorius had Stilicho executed and abrogated the agreement. Alaric then invaded Italy, besieged Rome, and exacted a vast ransom. In 410 his troops captured and sacked Rome. A disastrous storm forced Alaric to abandon his next campaign, an invasion of Sicily and North Africa. He died shortly afterward and was succeeded by his brother, Ataulf.

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Alaric, (also known as Alaricus, Alaric the Goth, Alaric, King of the Visigoths and Alaric I) (about AD 370-410), the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome, was likely born about 370 on an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube. He was wellborn, his father kindred to the Balthi or Bold-men, next in worth among Gothic fighters to the Amals. He was a Goth and belonged to the western branch, or Visigoths- who at the time of his birth dwelt in the land now known as Bulgaria, having fled beyond the wide estuary marshes of the Danube to its southern shore, so as not to be followed by their foe from the steppe, the Huns.

In the year 394 Alaric served as a leader of foederati (Germanic irregular troops under Roman command, organized by their own tribal structures) under the emperor Theodosius I in the campaign in which he crushed the usurper Eugenius. As the Battle of Frigidus, which terminated this campaign, was fought at the passes of the Julian Alps, Alaric probably learnt at this time the weakness of the natural defences of Italy on her northeastern frontier at the head of the Adriatic.

The employment of barbarians as foederati, became a common practice with the emperors in the 4th century. The provincial population, crushed under a load of taxation, could no longer furnish soldiers in the numbers needed for the defence of the empire; and on the other hand, the emperors, ever fearful that a brilliantly successful general of Roman extraction might be proclaimed Augustus by his followers, preferred that high military command should be in the hands of a man to whom such an accession of dignity was as yet impossible. But there was obviously a danger that one day a barbarian leader of his own troops in the service of the empire might turn his armed force and the skill in war that he had acquired in that service, against his trembling masters, and without caring to assume the title of Augustus might ravage and ruin the countries which he had undertaken to defend. This danger became a reality when in the year 395 the able and valiant Theodosius died, leaving the empire to be divided between his incapable sons Arcadius and Flavius Augustus Honorius, the former taking the eastern and the latter the western portion, and each under the control of a minister who bitterly hated the minister of the other.

In the shifting of offices which took place at the beginning of the new reigns, Alaric apparently hoped that he would receive one of the great military commands of the empire, and thus instead of being a mere commander of foederati would have under his orders a large part of the imperial legions. This, however, was denied him. His disappointed ambition prompted him to take the step for which his countrymen were longing, for they too were grumbling at the withdrawal of the "gifts", in other words the veiled ransom-money, which for many years they had been accustomed to receive. They raised him on a shield and acclaimed him as a king; leader and followers both resolving (says Jordanes the Gothic historian) "rather to seek new kingdoms by their own work, than to slumber in peaceful subjection to the rule of others." Alaric struck first at the Eastern Empire. He marched to the neighbourhood of Constantinople, but finding himself unable to undertake the siege of that superbly strong city, he retraced his steps westward and then marched southward through Thessaly and the unguarded pass of Thermopylae into Greece. The details of his campaign are not very clearly stated, and the story is further complicated by the plots and counterplots of Rufinus, chief minister of the Eastern Empire, and Stilicho, the virtual regent of the western empire, and the murder of the former by his rebellious soldiers. Alaric's invasion of Greece lasted two years (395-396), when he ravaged Attica but spared Athens, which at once capitulated to the conqueror, when he penetrated into Peloponnesus and captured its most famous cities, Corinth, Argos, and Sparta, selling many of their inhabitants into slavery. Here, however, his victorious career ended. Stilicho, who had come a second time to the assistance of Arcadius and who was undoubtedly a skilful general, succeeded in shutting up the Goths in the mountains of Pholoe on the borders of Elis and Arcadia in the peninsula. From thence Alaric escaped with difficulty, and not without some suspicion of connivance on the part of Stilicho. He crossed the Gulf of Corinth and marched with the plunder of Greece northwards to Epirus.

Next came an astounding transformation. For some mysterious reason, probably connected with the increasing estrangement between the two sections of the empire, the ministers of Arcadius conferred upon Alaric the government of some part- it can hardly have been the whole- of the important prefecture of Illyricum. Here, ruling the Danubian provinces, he was on the confines of the two empires, and, in the words of the poet Claudian, he "sold his alternate oaths to either throne," and made the imperial arsenals prepare the weapons with which to arm his Gothic followers for the next campaign. It was probably in the year 400 (but the dates of these events are rather uncertain) that Alaric made his first invasion of Italy, co-operating with another Gothic chieftain named Radagaisus. Supernatural influences were not wanting to urge him to this great enterprise. Some lines of the Roman poet inform us that he heard a voice proceeding from a holy grove, "Break off all delays, Alaric. This very year thou shalt force the Alpine barrier of Italy; thou shalt penetrate to the city." The prophecy was not at this time fulfilled. After spreading desolation through North Italy and striking terror into the citizens of Rome, Alaric was met by Stilicho at Pollentia, modern-day Piedmont), and the battle which then followed on April 6, 402, (coinciding with Easter), was a victory for Rome, though a costly one, and effectually barred the further progress of the Goths. Alaric was an Arian Christian who trusted to the sanctity of Easter for immunity from attack, and the enemies of Stilicho reproached him for having gained his victory by taking an impious advantage of the great Christian festival. The wife of Alaric is said to have been taken prisoner after this battle; and there is some reason to suppose that he was hampered in his movements by the presence with his forces of large numbers of women and children, having given to his invasion of Italy the character of a national migration. After another defeat before Verona, Alaric left Italy, probably in 403. He had not indeed "penetrated to the city," but his invasion of Italy had produced important results; it had caused the imperial residence to be transferred from Milan to Ravenna, it had necessitated the withdrawal of the Twentieth Legion from Britain, and it had probably facilitated the great invasion of Vandals, Suevi and Alani into Gaul, which lost Gaul and the provinces of Spain to the Empire.

We next hear of Alaric as the friend and ally of his late opponent Stilicho. The estrangement between the eastern and western courts had in 407 become so bitter as to threaten civil war, and Stilicho was actually proposing to use the forces of Alaric in order to enforce the claims of Honorius to the prefecture of Illyricum. The death of Arcadius in May 408 caused milder counsels to prevail in the western cabinet, but Alaric, who had actually entered Epirus, demanded in a somewhat threatening manner that if he were thus suddenly bidden to desist from war, he should be paid handsomely for what in modern language would be called the expenses of mobilization. The sum which he named was a large one, 4000 pounds of gold, but under strong pressure from Stilicho the Roman senate consented to promise its payment.

Three months later Stilicho himself and the chief ministers of his party were treacherously slain in pursuance of an order extracted from the timid and jealous Honorius; and in the disturbances which followed the wives and children of the barbarian foederati throughout Italy were slain. The natural consequence was that these men to the number of 30,000 flocked to the camp of Alaric, clamouring to be led against their cowardly enemies. He accordingly crossed the Julian Alps, and in September 408 stood before the walls of Rome (now with no capable general like Stilicho to defend her) and began a strict blockade.

No blood was shed this time; hunger was the weapon on which Alaric relied. When the ambassadors of the Senate in treating for peace tried to terrify him with their hints of what the despairing citizens might accomplish, he gave with a laugh his celebrated answer, "The thicker the hay, the easier mowed!" After much bargaining, the famine-stricken citizens agreed to pay a ransom of more than two thousand pounds in weight of gold, besides precious garments of silk and leather and three thousand pounds of pepper. Thus ended Alaric's first siege of Rome.

At this time, and indeed throughout his career, Alaric's primary goal was not to pull down the fabric of the empire but to secure for himself, by negotiation with its rulers, a regular and recognized position within its borders. His demands were certainly large- the concession of a block of territory 200 miles long by 150 wide between the Danube and the Gulf of Venice (to be held probably on some terms of nominal dependence on the empire), and the title of commander-in-chief of the imperial army. Great as the terms were, the emperor would probably have been well advised to grant them; but Honorius was one of those timid and feeble folk who are equally unable to make either war or peace, and refused to look beyond the question of his own personal safety, guaranteed as it was by the dikes and marshes of Ravenna. As all attempts to conduct a satisfactory negotiation with this emperor failed before his impenetrable stupidity, Alaric, after instituting a second siege and blockade of Rome in 409, came to terms with the senate, and with their consent set up a rival emperor and invested the prefect of the city, a Greek named Priscus Attalus, with the diadem and the purple robe. He, however, proved quite unfit for his high position; he rejected the advice of Alaric and lost in consequence the province of Africa, the granary of Rome, which was defended by the partisans of Honorius. The weapon of famine, formerly in the hand of Alaric, was thus turned against him, and loud in consequence were the murmurs of the Roman populace. Honorius was also greatly strengthened by the arrival of six legions sent from Constantinople to his assistance by his nephew Theodosius II. Alaric therefore cashiered his puppet emperor Attalus after eleven months of ineffectual rule, and once more tried to reopen negotiations with Honorius. These negotiations would probably have succeeded but for the malign influence of another Goth, Sarus, the hereditary enemy of Alaric and his house. When Alaric found himself once more outwitted by the machinations of such a foe, he marched southward and began in deadly earnest his third, his ever-memorable siege of Rome. No defence apparently was possible; there are hints, not well substantiated, of treachery; there is greater probability of surprise. However this may be--for our information at this point of the story is miserably meagre--on August 24, 410 Alaric and his Goths burst in by the Salarian gate on the north-east of the city, and she who was of late the mistress of the world lay at the feet of the Goths. The Goths showed themselves not absolutely ruthless conquerors. The contemporary ecclesiastics recorded with wonder many instances of their clemency: the Christian churches saved from ravage; protection granted to vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge therein; vessels of gold and silver which were found in a private dwelling, spared because they "belonged to St. Peter"; at least one case in which a beautiful Roman matron appealed, not in vain, to the better feelings of the Gothic soldier who attempted her dishonour; but even these exceptional instances show that Rome was not entirely spared those scenes of horror which usually accompany the storming of a besieged city. We do not, however, hear of any damage wrought by fire, save in the case of Sallust's palace, which was situated close to the gate by which the Goths had made their entrance; nor is there any reason to attribute any extensive destruction of the buildings of the city to Alaric and his followers.

His work being done, his fated task, and Alaric having penetrated to the city, nothing remained for him but to die. He marched southwards into Calabria. He desired to invade Africa, which on account of its corn crops was now the key of the position; but his ships were dashed to pieces by a storm in which many of his soldiers perished. He died soon after, probably of fever, and his body was buried under the river-bed of the Busento, the stream being temporarily turned aside from its course while the grave was dug wherein the Gothic chief and some of his most precious spoils were interred. When the work was finished the river was turned back into its usual channel, and the captives by whose hands the labour had been accomplished were put to death that none might learn their secret. He was succeeded in the command of the Gothic army by his brother-in-law, Ataulphus.

Our chief authorities for the career of Alaric are the historian Orosius and the poet Claudian, both strictly contemporary; Zosimus, a somewhat prejudiced pagan historian, who lived probably about half a century after the death of Alaric; and Jordanes, a Goth who wrote the history of his nation in the year 551, basing his work on the earlier history of Cassiodorus (now lost), which was written about 520. (T. II.) ---- See also: Alaric II ----- 1911 Category:Ancient Roman enemies and allies

-------------------- Roi des Wisigoths -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaric_I -------------------- Died of a stroke (a fit of apoplexy?) at the siege of Reggio. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaric_I

Alaric I (Alareiks in the original Gothic) was likely born about 370 on an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube in present day Romania. King of the Visigoths from 395–410, Alaric was the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome. Having originally desired to settle his people in the Roman Empire, he finally sacked the city, marking the decline of imperial power in the west.

Alaric, whose name means "king of all" was well-born, his father kindred to the Balti, a tribe competing with the Amali among Gothic fighters. He belonged to the western Gothic branch, the Visigoths. At the time of his birth, the Visigoths dwelt in Bulgaria, having fled beyond the wide estuary marshes of the Danube to its southern shore so as not to be followed by their foes from the steppe, the Huns. There is evidence, however, as suggested by Peter Heather, that the Huns were not near the Danube until closer to the 5th century. What is certain is that the Visigoths' westward migration occurred in response to the threat posed by the Huns. Heather asserts, "Mysterious as the Huns' origins and animating forces may remain, there is no doubt at all that they were behind the strategic revolution that brought the Goths to the Danube in the summer of 376." Moreover, concerning the Huns displacement of the Goths, ancient historian Ammianus Marcellinus concluded, "The seed-bed and origin of all this destruction and of the various calamities inflicted by the wrath of Mars, which raged everywhere with extraordinary fury, I find to be this: the people of the Huns." Ammianus Marcellinus was right - the Huns were behind the military revolution that had brought the Tervingi and Greuthungi to the Danube sometime in the late summer or autumn of 376. It now presented Emperor Valens with a huge dilemma- tens of thousands of displaced Goths had suddenly arrived on his borders requesting asylum.

Contents

[hide]

   * 1 In Roman service
   * 2 In Greece
   * 3 First invasion of Italy
   * 4 Second invasion of Italy
         o 4.1 Second siege of Rome
         o 4.2 Third siege of Rome
         o 4.3 Death and funeral
         o 4.4 Sources
   * 5 See also
   * 6 Notes
   * 7 References
   * 8 External links

[edit] In Roman service

An 1894 photogravure of Alaric I taken from a painting by Ludwig Thiersch

During the fourth century, the Roman emperors commonly employed foederati: Germanic irregular troops under Roman command, but organized by tribal structures. To spare the provincial populations from excessive taxation and to save money, emperors began to employ units recruited from Germanic tribes. The rich balked at furnishing recruits from their own estates in the numbers needed for the empire's defense and ordinary folk were reluctant to serve. Instead, the rich paid a special tax to fund the hiring of mercenaries. Moreover, the emperors—ever fearful that a brilliantly successful general of Roman extraction might be proclaimed Augustus by his followers—preferred that high military command should be in the hands of one to whom such an accession of dignity was impossible. The largest of these contingents was that of the Goths, who in 382, had been allowed to settle within the imperial boundaries, keeping a a large degree of autonomy.

In 394, Alaric served as a leader of foederati under Theodosius I in the campaign which crushed the usurper Eugenius. As the Battle of the Frigidus, which terminated this campaign, was fought at the passes of the Julian Alps, Alaric probably learned the weakness of Italy's natural defences on its northeastern frontier at the head of the Adriatic.

Theodosius died in 395, leaving the empire to be divided between his two sons Arcadius and Honorius, the former taking the eastern and the latter, the western portion of the empire. Arcadius showed little interest in ruling, leaving most of the actual power to his Praetorian Prefect Rufinus. Honorius was still a minor; as his guardian, Theodosius had appointed the magister militum Stilicho. Stilicho also claimed to be the guardian of Arcadius, causing much rivalry between the western and eastern courts.

According to Edward Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, during the shifting of offices that took place at the beginning of the new reigns, Alaric apparently hoped he would be promoted from a mere commander to the rank of general in one of the regular armies. He was denied the promotion, however. Among the Visigoths settled in Lower Moesia, the situation was ripe for rebellion. They had suffered disproportionately great losses at Frigidus. And according to rumour, exposing the Visigoths in battle was a convenient way of weakening the Gothic tribes. This, combined with their post-battle rewards, prompted them to raise Alaric "on a shield" and proclaim him king; according to Jordanes (a Gothic historian of varying importance, depending upon who is asked), both the new king and his people decided "rather to seek new kingdoms by their own work, than to slumber in peaceful subjection to the rule of others."

[edit] In Greece

Alaric struck first at the eastern empire. He marched to the neighborhood of Constantinople but, finding himself unable to undertake a siege, retraced his steps westward and then marched southward through Thessaly and the unguarded pass of Thermopylae into Greece.

The armies of the eastern empire were occupied with Hunnic incursions in Asia Minor and Syria. Instead, Rufinus attempted to negotiate with Alaric in person, which only aroused suspicions in Constantinople that Rufinius was in league with the Goths. Stilicho now marched east against Alaric. According to Claudian, Stilicho was in a position to destroy the Goths when he was ordered by Arcadius to leave Illyricum. Soon after, Rufinus' own soldiers hacked him to death. Power in Constantinople now passed to the eunuch Chamberlain Eutropius.

Rufinus' death and Stilicho's departure gave free rein to Alaric's movements; he ravaged Attica but spared Athens, which capitulated at once to the conqueror. In 396, he wiped out the last remnants of the Mysteries at Eleusis in Attica, ending a tradition of esoteric religious ceremonies that had lasted since the Bronze Age. Then he penetrated into the Peloponnesus and captured its most famous cities—Corinth, Argos, and Sparta—selling many of their inhabitants into slavery.

Here, however, his victorious career suffered a serious setback. In 397, Stilicho crossed the sea to Greece and succeeded in trapping the Goths in the mountains of Pholoe, on the borders of Elis and Arcadia in the peninsula. From there Alaric escaped with difficulty, and not without some suspicion of connivance by Stilicho, who supposedly had again received orders to depart. Alaric then crossed the Gulf of Corinth and marched with the plunder of Greece northward to Epirus. Here his rampage continued until the eastern government appointed him magister militum per Illyricum, giving him the Roman command he had desired, as well as the authority to resupply his men from the imperial arsenals.

[edit] First invasion of Italy

It was probably in 401 that Alaric made his first invasion of Italy,[1] Supernatural influences were not lacking to urge him to this great enterprise. Some lines of the Roman poet Claudian inform us that he heard a voice proceeding from a sacred grove, "Break off all delays, Alaric. This very year thou shalt force the Alpine barrier of Italy; thou shalt penetrate to the city." But the prophecy was not to be fulfilled at this time. After spreading desolation through North Italy and striking terror into the citizens of Rome, Alaric was met by Stilicho at Pollentia, today in Piedmont. The battle which followed on April 6, 402 (coinciding with Easter), was a victory for Rome, though a costly one. But it effectively halted the Goths' progress.

Stilicho's enemies later reproached him for having gained his victory by taking impious advantage of the great Christian festival. Alaric, too, was a Christian, though an Arian, not Orthodox. He had trusted to the sanctity of Easter for immunity from attack.

Alaric's wife was reportedly taken prisoner after this battle; it is not unreasonable to suppose that he and his troops were hampered by the presence of large numbers of women and children, which gave his invasion of Italy the character of a human migration.

After another defeat before Verona, Alaric left Italy, probably in 403. He had not "penetrated to the city" but his invasion of Italy had produced important results. It caused the imperial residence to be transferred from Milan to Ravenna, and necessitated the withdrawal of Legio XX Valeria Victrix from Britain.

[edit] Second invasion of Italy

Alaric became the friend and ally of his late opponent, Stilicho. By 407, the estrangement between the eastern and western courts had become so bitter that it threatened civil war. Stilicho actually proposed using Alaric's troops to enforce Honorius' claim to the prefecture of Illyricum. The death of Arcadius in May 408 caused milder counsel to prevail in the western court, but Alaric, who had actually entered Epirus, demanded somewhat threatening manner that if he were thus suddenly bidden to desist from war, he should be paid handsomely for what modern language would call the "expenses of mobilization". The sum which he named was a large one, 4,000 pounds of gold. Under strong pressure from Stilicho, the Roman senate consented to promise its payment.

But three months later, Stilicho and the chief ministers of his party were treacherously slain on Honorius' orders. In the unrest that followed throughout Italy, the wives and children of the foederati were slain. Consequently, these 30,000 men flocked to Alaric's camp, clamouring to be led against their cowardly enemies. He accordingly led them across the Julian Alps and, in September 408, stood before the walls of Rome (now with no capable general like Stilicho as a defender) and began a strict blockade.

No blood was shed this time; Alaric relied on hunger as his most powerful weapon. When the ambassadors of the Senate, entreating for peace, tried to intimidate him with hints of what the despairing citizens might accomplish, he laughed and gave his celebrated answer: "The thicker the hay, the easier mowed!" After much bargaining, the famine-stricken citizens agreed to pay a ransom of 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of silver, 4,000 silken tunics, 3,000 hides dyed scarlet, and 3,000 pounds of pepper.[2] Thus ended Alaric's first siege of Rome.

[edit] Second siege of Rome

Throughout his career, Alaric's primary goal was not to undermine the empire, but to secure for himself a regular and recognized position within the empire's borders. His demands were certainly grand— the concession of a block of territory 200 miles long by 150 wide between the Danube and the Gulf of Venice (to be held probably on some terms of nominal dependence on the empire) and the title of commander-in-chief of the imperial army—. Immense as his terms were, the emperor would have been well advised to grant them. Honorius, however, refused to see beyond his own safety, guaranteed by the dikes and marshes of Ravenna. As all attempts to conduct a satisfactory negotiation with this emperor failed, Alaric, after instituting a second siege and blockade of Rome in 409, came to terms with the senate. With their consent, he set up a rival emperor, the prefect of the city, a Greek named Priscus Attalus.

Alaric cashiered his ineffectual puppet emperor after eleven months and again tried to reopen negotiations with Honorius. These negotiations might have succeeded had it not been for the malignant influence of another Goth, Sarus, an Amali, and therefore hereditary enemy of Alaric and his house. Alaric, again outwitted by an enemy's machinations, marched southward and in deadly earnest, began his third siege of Rome. Apparently, defence was impossible; there are hints, not well substantiated, of treachery; surprise is a more likely explanation. However, this may be—for our information at this point of the story is meagre—on August 24 410, Alaric and his Visigoths burst in by the Porta Salaria on the northeast of the city. Rome, for so long victorious against its enemies, was now at the mercy of its foreign conquerors.

The contemporary ecclesiastics recorded with wonder many instances of the Visigoths' clemency: Christian churches saved from ravage; protection granted to vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge therein; vessels of gold and silver which were found in a private dwelling, spared because they "belonged to St. Peter"; at least one case in which a beautiful Roman matron appealed, not in vain, to the better feelings of the Gothic soldier who attempted her dishonor. But even these exceptional instances show that Rome was not entirely spared the horrors which usually accompany the storming of a besieged city. Nonetheless, the written sources do not mention damages wrought by fire, save the Gardens of Sallust, which were situated close to the gate by which the Goths had made their entrance; nor is there any reason to attribute any extensive destruction of the buildings of the city to Alaric and his followers. The Basilica Aemilia in the Roman Forum did burn down, which perhaps can be attributed to Alaric: the archaeological evidence was provided by coins dating from 410 found melted in the floor. The pagan emperors' tombs of the Mausoleum of Augustus and Castel Sant'Angelo were rifled and the ashes scattered.

[edit] Death and funeral

The burial of Alaric in the bed of the Busento River. 1895 lithograph

Alaric, having penetrated the city, marched southwards into Calabria. He desired to invade Africa, which, thanks to its grain, had become the key to holding Italy. But a storm battered his ships into pieces and many of his soldiers drowned. Alaric died soon after in Cosenza, probably of fever,[3] at the early age of about forty (assuming again, a birth around 375), and his body was, according to legend, buried under the riverbed of the Busento. The stream was temporarily turned aside from its course while the grave was dug wherein the Gothic chief and some of his most precious spoils were interred. When the work was finished, the river was turned back into its usual channel and the captives by whose hands the labor had been accomplished were put to death that none might learn their secret.

Alaric was succeeded in the command of the Gothic army by his brother-in-law, Ataulf, who married Honorius' sister Galla Placidia three years later .

[edit] Sources

The chief authorities on the career of Alaric are: the historian Orosius and the poet Claudian, both contemporary, neither disinterested; Zosimus, a pagan historian who lived probably about half a century after Alaric's death; and Jordanes, a Goth who wrote the history of his nation in 551, basing his work on The Trojan War. The legend of Alaric's burial in the Buzita River comes from Jordanes. -------------------- (Alaric Amales) Titres: Roi des Wisigoths (409-410) http://gw.geneanet.org/nobily?lang=fr;pz=elisabeth+therese+marie+helene;nz=de+belgique;ocz=0;p=alaric;n=amales -------------------- http://gw.geneanet.org/nobily?lang=fr;pz=elisabeth+therese+marie+helene;nz=de+belgique;ocz=0;p=alaric;n=amales -------------------- Sources:

Abbrev: LDS: Pedigree Resource File CD-Rom Title: "Pedigree Resource File - CD-Rom" Author: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Publication: (Salt Lake City, UT: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., 2001) Date: 12 Feb 2001

Abbrev: European Heraldry #2 Crests by Arnaud Bunel Title: "Héraldique européenne" Author: Arnaud Bunel Publication: Coats of Arms for European Royalty and Nobility (http://www.heraldique-europeenne.org, Arnaud Bunel, 1998) , Internet

1 -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaric_I

Alaric I (Alareiks in the original Gothic) was likely born about 370 on an island named Peuce (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube in present day Romania. King of the Visigoths from 395–410, Alaric was the first Germanic leader to take the city of Rome. Having originally desired to settle his people in the Roman Empire, he finally sacked the city, marking the decline of imperial power in the west.

Alaric, whose name means "king of all" was well-born, his father kindred to the Balti, a tribe competing with the Amali among Gothic fighters. He belonged to the western Gothic branch, the Visigoths. At the time of his birth, the Visigoths dwelt in Bulgaria, having fled beyond the wide estuary marshes of the Danube to its southern shore so as not to be followed by their foes from the steppe, the Huns. There is evidence, however, as suggested by Peter Heather, that the Huns were not near the Danube until closer to the 5th century. What is certain is that the Visigoths' westward migration occurred in response to the threat posed by the Huns. Heather asserts, "Mysterious as the Huns' origins and animating forces may remain, there is no doubt at all that they were behind the strategic revolution that brought the Goths to the Danube in the summer of 376." Moreover, concerning the Huns displacement of the Goths, ancient historian Ammianus Marcellinus concluded, "The seed-bed and origin of all this destruction and of the various calamities inflicted by the wrath of Mars, which raged everywhere with extraordinary fury, I find to be this: the people of the Huns." Ammianus Marcellinus was right - the Huns were behind the military revolution that had brought the Tervingi and Greuthungi to the Danube sometime in the late summer or autumn of 376. It now presented Emperor Valens with a huge dilemma- tens of thousands of displaced Goths had suddenly arrived on his borders requesting asylum.

Contents

[hide]

   * 1 In Roman service
   * 2 In Greece
   * 3 First invasion of Italy
   * 4 Second invasion of Italy
         o 4.1 Second siege of Rome
         o 4.2 Third siege of Rome
         o 4.3 Death and funeral
         o 4.4 Sources
   * 5 See also
   * 6 Notes
   * 7 References
   * 8 External links

[edit] In Roman service

An 1894 photogravure of Alaric I taken from a painting by Ludwig Thiersch

During the fourth century, the Roman emperors commonly employed foederati: Germanic irregular troops under Roman command, but organized by tribal structures. To spare the provincial populations from excessive taxation and to save money, emperors began to employ units recruited from Germanic tribes. The rich balked at furnishing recruits from their own estates in the numbers needed for the empire's defense and ordinary folk were reluctant to serve. Instead, the rich paid a special tax to fund the hiring of mercenaries. Moreover, the emperors—ever fearful that a brilliantly successful general of Roman extraction might be proclaimed Augustus by his followers—preferred that high military command should be in the hands of one to whom such an accession of dignity was impossible. The largest of these contingents was that of the Goths, who in 382, had been allowed to settle within the imperial boundaries, keeping a a large degree of autonomy.

In 394, Alaric served as a leader of foederati under Theodosius I in the campaign which crushed the usurper Eugenius. As the Battle of the Frigidus, which terminated this campaign, was fought at the passes of the Julian Alps, Alaric probably learned the weakness of Italy's natural defences on its northeastern frontier at the head of the Adriatic.

Theodosius died in 395, leaving the empire to be divided between his two sons Arcadius and Honorius, the former taking the eastern and the latter, the western portion of the empire. Arcadius showed little interest in ruling, leaving most of the actual power to his Praetorian Prefect Rufinus. Honorius was still a minor; as his guardian, Theodosius had appointed the magister militum Stilicho. Stilicho also claimed to be the guardian of Arcadius, causing much rivalry between the western and eastern courts.

According to Edward Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, during the shifting of offices that took place at the beginning of the new reigns, Alaric apparently hoped he would be promoted from a mere commander to the rank of general in one of the regular armies. He was denied the promotion, however. Among the Visigoths settled in Lower Moesia, the situation was ripe for rebellion. They had suffered disproportionately great losses at Frigidus. And according to rumour, exposing the Visigoths in battle was a convenient way of weakening the Gothic tribes. This, combined with their post-battle rewards, prompted them to raise Alaric "on a shield" and proclaim him king; according to Jordanes (a Gothic historian of varying importance, depending upon who is asked), both the new king and his people decided "rather to seek new kingdoms by their own work, than to slumber in peaceful subjection to the rule of others."

[edit] In Greece

Alaric struck first at the eastern empire. He marched to the neighborhood of Constantinople but, finding himself unable to undertake a siege, retraced his steps westward and then marched southward through Thessaly and the unguarded pass of Thermopylae into Greece.

The armies of the eastern empire were occupied with Hunnic incursions in Asia Minor and Syria. Instead, Rufinus attempted to negotiate with Alaric in person, which only aroused suspicions in Constantinople that Rufinius was in league with the Goths. Stilicho now marched east against Alaric. According to Claudian, Stilicho was in a position to destroy the Goths when he was ordered by Arcadius to leave Illyricum. Soon after, Rufinus' own soldiers hacked him to death. Power in Constantinople now passed to the eunuch Chamberlain Eutropius.

Rufinus' death and Stilicho's departure gave free rein to Alaric's movements; he ravaged Attica but spared Athens, which capitulated at once to the conqueror. In 396, he wiped out the last remnants of the Mysteries at Eleusis in Attica, ending a tradition of esoteric religious ceremonies that had lasted since the Bronze Age. Then he penetrated into the Peloponnesus and captured its most famous cities—Corinth, Argos, and Sparta—selling many of their inhabitants into slavery.

Here, however, his victorious career suffered a serious setback. In 397, Stilicho crossed the sea to Greece and succeeded in trapping the Goths in the mountains of Pholoe, on the borders of Elis and Arcadia in the peninsula. From there Alaric escaped with difficulty, and not without some suspicion of connivance by Stilicho, who supposedly had again received orders to depart. Alaric then crossed the Gulf of Corinth and marched with the plunder of Greece northward to Epirus. Here his rampage continued until the eastern government appointed him magister militum per Illyricum, giving him the Roman command he had desired, as well as the authority to resupply his men from the imperial arsenals.

[edit] First invasion of Italy

It was probably in 401 that Alaric made his first invasion of Italy,[1] Supernatural influences were not lacking to urge him to this great enterprise. Some lines of the Roman poet Claudian inform us that he heard a voice proceeding from a sacred grove, "Break off all delays, Alaric. This very year thou shalt force the Alpine barrier of Italy; thou shalt penetrate to the city." But the prophecy was not to be fulfilled at this time. After spreading desolation through North Italy and striking terror into the citizens of Rome, Alaric was met by Stilicho at Pollentia, today in Piedmont. The battle which followed on April 6, 402 (coinciding with Easter), was a victory for Rome, though a costly one. But it effectively halted the Goths' progress.

Stilicho's enemies later reproached him for having gained his victory by taking impious advantage of the great Christian festival. Alaric, too, was a Christian, though an Arian, not Orthodox. He had trusted to the sanctity of Easter for immunity from attack.

Alaric's wife was reportedly taken prisoner after this battle; it is not unreasonable to suppose that he and his troops were hampered by the presence of large numbers of women and children, which gave his invasion of Italy the character of a human migration.

After another defeat before Verona, Alaric left Italy, probably in 403. He had not "penetrated to the city" but his invasion of Italy had produced important results. It caused the imperial residence to be transferred from Milan to Ravenna, and necessitated the withdrawal of Legio XX Valeria Victrix from Britain.

[edit] Second invasion of Italy

Alaric became the friend and ally of his late opponent, Stilicho. By 407, the estrangement between the eastern and western courts had become so bitter that it threatened civil war. Stilicho actually proposed using Alaric's troops to enforce Honorius' claim to the prefecture of Illyricum. The death of Arcadius in May 408 caused milder counsel to prevail in the western court, but Alaric, who had actually entered Epirus, demanded somewhat threatening manner that if he were thus suddenly bidden to desist from war, he should be paid handsomely for what modern language would call the "expenses of mobilization". The sum which he named was a large one, 4,000 pounds of gold. Under strong pressure from Stilicho, the Roman senate consented to promise its payment.

But three months later, Stilicho and the chief ministers of his party were treacherously slain on Honorius' orders. In the unrest that followed throughout Italy, the wives and children of the foederati were slain. Consequently, these 30,000 men flocked to Alaric's camp, clamouring to be led against their cowardly enemies. He accordingly led them across the Julian Alps and, in September 408, stood before the walls of Rome (now with no capable general like Stilicho as a defender) and began a strict blockade.

No blood was shed this time; Alaric relied on hunger as his most powerful weapon. When the ambassadors of the Senate, entreating for peace, tried to intimidate him with hints of what the despairing citizens might accomplish, he laughed and gave his celebrated answer: "The thicker the hay, the easier mowed!" After much bargaining, the famine-stricken citizens agreed to pay a ransom of 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of silver, 4,000 silken tunics, 3,000 hides dyed scarlet, and 3,000 pounds of pepper.[2] Thus ended Alaric's first siege of Rome.

[edit] Second siege of Rome

Throughout his career, Alaric's primary goal was not to undermine the empire, but to secure for himself a regular and recognized position within the empire's borders. His demands were certainly grand— the concession of a block of territory 200 miles long by 150 wide between the Danube and the Gulf of Venice (to be held probably on some terms of nominal dependence on the empire) and the title of commander-in-chief of the imperial army—. Immense as his terms were, the emperor would have been well advised to grant them. Honorius, however, refused to see beyond his own safety, guaranteed by the dikes and marshes of Ravenna. As all attempts to conduct a satisfactory negotiation with this emperor failed, Alaric, after instituting a second siege and blockade of Rome in 409, came to terms with the senate. With their consent, he set up a rival emperor, the prefect of the city, a Greek named Priscus Attalus.

Alaric cashiered his ineffectual puppet emperor after eleven months and again tried to reopen negotiations with Honorius. These negotiations might have succeeded had it not been for the malignant influence of another Goth, Sarus, an Amali, and therefore hereditary enemy of Alaric and his house. Alaric, again outwitted by an enemy's machinations, marched southward and in deadly earnest, began his third siege of Rome. Apparently, defence was impossible; there are hints, not well substantiated, of treachery; surprise is a more likely explanation. However, this may be—for our information at this point of the story is meagre—on August 24 410, Alaric and his Visigoths burst in by the Porta Salaria on the northeast of the city. Rome, for so long victorious against its enemies, was now at the mercy of its foreign conquerors.

The contemporary ecclesiastics recorded with wonder many instances of the Visigoths' clemency: Christian churches saved from ravage; protection granted to vast multitudes both of pagans and Christians who took refuge therein; vessels of gold and silver which were found in a private dwelling, spared because they "belonged to St. Peter"; at least one case in which a beautiful Roman matron appealed, not in vain, to the better feelings of the Gothic soldier who attempted her dishonor. But even these exceptional instances show that Rome was not entirely spared the horrors which usually accompany the storming of a besieged city. Nonetheless, the written sources do not mention damages wrought by fire, save the Gardens of Sallust, which were situated close to the gate by which the Goths had made their entrance; nor is there any reason to attribute any extensive destruction of the buildings of the city to Alaric and his followers. The Basilica Aemilia in the Roman Forum did burn down, which perhaps can be attributed to Alaric: the archaeological evidence was provided by coins dating from 410 found melted in the floor. The pagan emperors' tombs of the Mausoleum of Augustus and Castel Sant'Angelo were rifled and the ashes scattered.

[edit] Death and funeral

The burial of Alaric in the bed of the Busento River. 1895 lithograph

Alaric, having penetrated the city, marched southwards into Calabria. He desired to invade Africa, which, thanks to its grain, had become the key to holding Italy. But a storm battered his ships into pieces and many of his soldiers drowned. Alaric died soon after in Cosenza, probably of fever,[3] at the early age of about forty (assuming again, a birth around 375), and his body was, according to legend, buried under the riverbed of the Busento. The stream was temporarily turned aside from its course while the grave was dug wherein the Gothic chief and some of his most precious spoils were interred. When the work was finished, the river was turned back into its usual channel and the captives by whose hands the labor had been accomplished were put to death that none might learn their secret.

Alaric was succeeded in the command of the Gothic army by his brother-in-law, Ataulf, who married Honorius' sister Galla Placidia three years later .

[edit] Sources

The chief authorities on the career of Alaric are: the historian Orosius and the poet Claudian, both contemporary, neither disinterested; Zosimus, a pagan historian who lived probably about half a century after Alaric's death; and Jordanes, a Goth who wrote the history of his nation in 551, basing his work on The Trojan War. The legend of Alaric's burial in the Buzita River comes from Jordanes.

view all 11

Alaric the Goth's Timeline

365
365
370
370
370
Peuce Island, Danube, Romania
390
390
Age 20
Dacia (south of the Danube River), Roman Empire
395
395
Age 25
410
August 25, 410
Age 40
Cozenza, Calábria, Itália
410
Age 40
Near Cosenza in the bed of the Busento River
????
????
????