In the ancient times, Balkans was an arena of many important wars and battles. Due to its localization, numerous important fights took place in Balkans. This area saw the armies of Alexander The Great, Darius the Great and many other famous ancient leaders. However, one of the most important fights took place in the 4th century AD, when the Goths decided to stand up for their rights and defend the Roman Empire. Between the 376 and 382 Goths and the Roman Empire fought for the domination. Here is a list of a few interesting facts you should know about this period in the history of Balkans:
1. Gothic War is a name given to several uprisings that took place between circa 376 and 382 between Goths and the Eastern Roman Empire.
It was one of the most spectacular fights against the Empire that covered most of Europe. If you believed that the Slavic tribes just accepted the conquers of the Roma Empire, you were wrong. They were able to kill the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, win numerous battles and fight with a very powerful enemy. Although they lost, the story of this long and cruel war is full of exciting stories.
2. It is believed that the most important battle was the Battle of Adrianople.
It is also known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis. The battle was fought in 378, 13 km of Adrianople (modern Edirne in European Turkey). It ended with spectacular victory for the Goths. During the battle died Emperor Valens. Can you imagine that Goths were able to win with such a powerful army? People who lived in Balkans had always been strong and impressive.
3. The names of the Gothic leaders survived until our times.
Fritigern, Alatheus, Saphrax led the most important battles that changed the history of Goths. Fritigern is remembered as an impressive soldier and leader who fought numerous impressive battles. It is unknown what happened to him after the war, but he continued to battle the Romans with mixed success for at least two years after the battle of Adrianople. Alatheus was a chieftain of the Greuthungi, who fought during the war with Romans, but also in the other wars until at least 387. Saphrax lived until at least 400 year AD, known as a powerful and famous warrior.
4. The one who finished off this conflict was Theodosius I.
The peace was declared on October 3rd, 382. Th Romans recognized no overall leader of the Goths and the Goths became the part of the Roman Empire. Theodorus was a wise ruler, whose rules were fruitful to the Empire. The Goths converted to Christianity, many of them became the Arians.
5. Some chronicles that described the fights during the Gothic war.
For example, according to Ammianus Marcellinus (XXXI.6.7–8.): For without distinction of age or sex all places were ablaze with slaughter and great fires, sucklings were torn from the very breasts of their mothers and slain, matrons and widows whose husbands had been killed before their eyes were carried off, boys of tender or adult age were dragged away over the dead bodies of their parents. Finally, many aged men, crying that they had lived long enough after losing their possessions and their beautiful women, were led into exile with their arms pinioned behind their backs and weeping over the glowing ashes of their ancestral homes.The conflict between Goths and the Roman Empire changed the history forever. Although the importance of the Gothic War is unquestionable, it is still debated if it had any importance to the eventual fall of the Empire.