The great historical importance of Ravenna begins early in the 5th century, when Honorius, alarmed by the progress of Alaric in the north of Italy, transferred his court hither.
The Saxon fort of Alaric was replaced by a Norman castle built by William de Mohun, first lord of Dunster, who founded the priory of St George.
In 408 we find Rufinus at the monastery of Pinetum (in the Campagna ?); thence he was driven by the arrival of Alaric to Sicily, being accompanied by Melania in his flight.
On the one hand, as a transcriber of the philo-Goth Cassiodorus, he magnifies the race of Alaric and Theodoric, and claims for them their full share, perhaps more than their full share, of glory in the past.
- xlvii.) traces the history of the West Goths from the Hunnish invasion to the downfall of the Gothic kingdom in Gaul under Alaric II.
In 39 6 he fought in Greece against the Visigoths, but an arrangement was effected whereby their chieftain Alaric was appointed master of the soldiery in Illyricum (397).
He thwarted the efforts of Alaric to seize lands in Italy by his victories at Pollentia and Verona in 402-3 and forced him to return to Illyricum, but was criticized for having withdrawn the imperial forces from Britain and Gaul to employ against the Goths.
That Stilicho was plotting with Alaric and with Germans in Gaul and taking other treasonable steps in order to make his own son Eucherius emperor.
During this period the revolt of the African prince Gildo was suppressed (398); Italy was successfully defended against Alaric, who was defeated at Pollentia (402) and Verona (403); and the barbarian hordes under the Goth Radagaisus were destroyed (406).
In the same year Rome was besieged, and in 410, for the second time in its history, taken and sacked by Alaric, who for a short time set up the city prefect Attalus as a rival emperor, but soon deposed him as incapable.
Alaric died in the same year, and in 412 Honorius concluded peace with his brother-in-law and successor, Ataulphus (Adolphus), who married the emperor's sister Placidia and removed with his troops to southern Gaul.
It was able to resist Alaric in 410 and to preserve its existence during the general ruin.
267 and a temporary occupation by Alaric in 395, Athens spent the remaining centuries of the ancient world in quiet prosperity.
At the instance of Euric's son, Alaric II., an examination was made of the Roman laws in use among Romans in his dominions, and the resulting compilation was approved in 506 at an assembly at Aire, in Gascony, and is known as the Breviary of Alaric, and sometimes as the Liber Aniani, from the fact that the authentic copies bear the signature of the referendarius Anian.
The custom of subterranean interment gradually died out, and entirely ceased with the sack of Rome by Alaric, A.D.
395 a Gothic horde under Alaric devastated Laconia, and subsequently it was overrun by large bands of Slavic immigrants.
On the death of Alaric his followers acclaimed his brother-in-law Ataulphus as king.
He sought refuge with Alaric II., king of the Visigoths, at Toulouse, but Alaric imprisoned him instead of granting him refuge, and delivered him up to Clovis.
410 Alaric fell in battle here and was buried, it is said, in the bed of the Busento, which was temporarily diverted and then allowed to resume its natural course.
Alaric (410), Genseric (455) and Totila (J45) successively laid Puteoli in ruins.
Alaric Alexander Watts >>
The first years of the reign were marked by the ravaging of the Greek peninsula by the West Goths under Alaric in 395-396.
The tempest descended on the pope and on Rome with a violence which cannot be paralleled, even in the days of Alaric and Genseric, or of the Norman Robert Guiscard.
The Theodosian Code and the Breviary of Alaric alike seem to imply a continuance of the municipal system which had been established by the Romans; nor does the later Lex Visigothorum, though avowedly designed in some points to supersede the Roman law, appear to have contemplated any marked interference with the former fora, which were still to a large extent left to be regulated in the administration of justice by unwritten, immemorial, local custom.
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 Peucb (the Fir) at the mouth of the Danube.
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.
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.
Alaric struck first at the eastern empire.
From thence Alaric escaped with difficulty, and not without some suspicion of connivance on the part of Stilicho.
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.
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.
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."
After spreading desolation through North Italy and striking terror into the citizens of Rome, 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.
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 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.
No blood was shed this time; hunger was the weapon on which Alaric relied.
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.
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 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.
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.
However this may be - for our information at this point of the story is miserably meagre - on the 24th of August Oro 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.
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.
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.
Alaric II >>
531), king of the Visigoths, son of Alaric II., was a child when his father fell in battle against Clovis, king of the Franks (507).
Alaric thought of a Sicilian expedition, but a storm hindered him.
Euphemius, a puppet emperor, was led about by his Saracen allies much as earlier puppet emperors had been led about by Alaric and Ataulf, till he was slain in one of the many sieges.
The amir Abul-afar became a Roman vassal, and, like Alaric of old, became magister militum in the Roman army.
Laibach is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Emona or Aemona, founded by the emperor Augustus in 34 B.C. It was besieged by Alaric in 400, and in 451 it was desolated by the Huns.
In religion Alaric was an Arian, but he greatly mitigated the persecuting policy of his father Euric towards the Catholics and authorized them to hold in 506 the council of Agde.
This is generally known as the Breviarium Alaricianum, or Breviary of Alaric. Alaric was of a peaceful disposition, and endeavoured strictly to maintain the treaty which his father had concluded with the Franks, whose king Clovis, however, desiring to obtain the Gothic province in Gaul, found a pretext for war in the Arianism of Alaric. The intervention of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths and father-in-law of Alaric, proved unavailing.
The revolution in which Alaric, Theodoric and Clovis figured did not set the problem for the middle ages only, as is frequently stated; its full meaning did not appear until the Peninsular War, the Prussia of Stein and Scharnhorst, and even Solferino and Sedan.
He witnessed the chequered career of Stilicho as actual, though not titular, emperor of the West; he saw the hosts of Radagaisus rolled back from Italy, only to sweep over Gaul and Spain; the defeats and triumphs of Alaric; the three sieges and final sack of Rome, followed by the marvellous recovery of the city; Heraclian's vast armament dissipated; and the fall of seven pretenders to the Western diadem.
The relations, however, between Alaric and Stilicho had been closer and more mysterious than those between Alaric and Theodosius, and men who had seen Stilicho surrounded by his body-guard of Goths not unnaturally looked on the Goths who assailed Rome as Stilicho's avengers.
Dissensions arose between them and the ministers of Arcadius; the Goths threw off their allegiance, and chose Alaric as their king.
But under Alaric the Goths make no lasting settlement.