Alaric II

.

Reign

. Alarmed by a summons from Clovis, Alaric imprisoned and repatriated Syagrius back to Clovis I, where he was decapitated.

In 506, the Visigoths captured the city of Dertosa in the Ebro valley. There they captured the Roman usurper Peter and had him executed.

In religion Alaric was an Arian, like all the early Visigothic nobles, but he greatly mitigated the persecuting policy of his father Euric toward the Catholics and authorized them to hold in 506 the council of Agde. He was on uneasy terms with the Catholic bishops of Arles as epitomized in the career of the Frankish Caesarius, bishop of Arles, born at Châlons and appointed bishop in 503. Caesarius was suspected of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, whose king had married the sister of Clovis, so Alaric exiled him for a year safely at Bordeaux in Aquitania before allowing him to return unharmed when the crisis had passed ( [http://www.ccel.org/w/wace/biodict/htm/iii.iii.iv.htm Wace, "Dictionary"] ).

He displayed similar wisdom and liberality in political affairs by appointing a commission to prepare an abstract of the Roman laws and imperial decrees, which should form the authoritative code for his Roman subjects. This is generally known as the "Breviarium Alaricianum" or Breviary of Alaric.

Battle of Vouillé and aftermath

Alaric endeavoured strictly to maintain the treaty which his father had concluded with the Franks. The Frankish king Clovis I, however, desired to obtain the Gothic province in Gaul and he 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 two armies met in 507 at the Battle of Vouillé, near Poitiers, where the Goths were defeated and their king, who took to flight, was overtaken and slain, it is said, by Clovis himself. As a consequence of their defeat the Visigoths lost all their possessions in Gaul to the Franks, except Septimania (i.e. the western region of Gallia Narbonensis, which includes the contemporary Arles and the Provence). Alaric was succeeded by his illegitimate son, Gesalec, because his legitimate son Amalaric was still a child.

References

*1911
*Edward Gibbon, [http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/g/g43d/chapter38.html "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"] Chapter 38


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