Western Civilization lesson 75

Discuss the relationship between Rome and the Visigoths.

In 376, the people known as the Visigoths were finally allowed into the Roman Empire by Emperor Valens. Upon entry they were forced to give up their weapons and children as hostages. The Roman officials then plundered their camps and proceeded to treat them so horribly that they nearly had to sell their children to survive. By 378 they had rioted after an attempt was made on their leader’s life and managed to conquer the Eastern Roman Empire, burning and killing all the way. Valens’s successor was able to satisfy the Visigoths by giving them places in the army, land to settle within the Western Roman Empire and decent treatment for once. Finally, tired of Roman subjugation and seeking better land, in 410 the Visigoths mange to enter Rome itself. The Visigoths’ leader was unable to control his men and the slaughter that ensued littered the streets with corpses. At the death of their leader, the Visigoths were forced to retreat and settle in Spain and small portions of Gaul.

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