Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Alaric I
(983 words)

The greatest Germanic chieftain of the early 5th century CE, Alaric led the Gothic army that sacked Rome in 410 CE, a catastrophe that has become a symbol of the “decline and fall” of the Western Roman Empire. He was born circa 370 CE north of the Danube River (the account of his noble ancestry in Jordanes ‒ see Jor. Get. 29.146 ‒ cannot be relied upon) and first appears in our sources as a Gothic war leader in the early 390s CE. The Tervingi and Greuthungi Goths, who had defeated and killed the eastern Roman emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople …

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Gwynn, David M. , “Alaric I”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 23 April 2019 <>
First published online: 2018
First print edition: 20180827

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