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date: 21 January 2020


Alaric, Gothic leader c. 395–410 ce who created the Visigoths. By 408 he had united the Tervingi and Greuthungi who had crossed the Danube in 376 with survivors of Radagaisus' force which had invaded Italy in 406. He approached the Roman state with a mixture of force and diplomacy to extract an advantageous, but above all permanent, settlement. In search of this, he switched the focus of his operations from the Balkans and the eastern half of the empire, to Italy and the west (first in 402, then permanently after 408). He sacked Rome on 24 August 410 when the emperor Honorius refused to negotiate; he died a few months later, after briefly threatening to transfer his Goths to Africa.


H. Wolfram, History of the Goths (1988), pt. 2.Find this resource:

W. Liebeschuetz, Barbarians and Bishops (1990), ch. 3.Find this resource:

P. J. Heather, Goths and Romans 332–489 (1991), chs. 5–6.Find this resource:

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