Northern Africa 413: Revolt of Heraclian

Political map of Northern Africa on 20 Apr 413 (Africa and Rome Divided: Revolt of Heraclian), showing the following events: Athaulf’s march to Gaul; Revolt of Jovinus; Treaty of Hispaniae; Revolt of Heraclian; Siege of Valence; Battle of Utriculum.

After the fall of Constantine III and Gerontius (411), the usurper Jovinus took power in Gaul only to be defeated and captured by the Gothic king Athaulf in early 413. Meanwhile, taking advantage of the confusion in Gaul, Heraclian, commander in Africa, revolted and invaded Italy, but was completely defeated north of Rome.

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Main Events

411–412 Athaulf’s march to Gaul

After succeeding Alaric as king of the Goths around the end of 410, Athaulf marched back north through southern Italy, returning to Rome sometime in 411. At this point, or probably in one of the earlier sieges of Rome, the Goths captured Galla Placidia—the daughter of Emperor Theodosius I and sister of Honorius—who Athaulf would later marry. The Goths then followed the coastal route on into Gaul, which they seem to have reached in the spring of 412. in wikipedia

411 Revolt of Jovinus

In the summer of 411, while Constantine III was being besieged in Arelate (Arles), a revolt broke out on the Rhine and Jovinus, a local nobleman, was proclaimed emperor in the town of Mundiacum (probably Mogontiacum/Mainz). Strongly supported by the Burgundian king Gundahar and the Alan general Goar, Jovinus quickly gathered a force of Burgundians, Alemanni, Franks, and Alans, before marching south to threaten the army of Honorius in southern Gaul. However, he was unable to stop Honorius’ general Constantius from either capturing Arelate (Arles) or launching a reprisal against Jovinus’ supporters in the southern Gallic province of Aquitania II. in wikipedia

411? Treaty of Hispaniae

Left politically isolated by the fall of Gerontius in mid 411, the Alans, Vandals, and Suebi in Hispaniae soon reached out to the emperor Honorius in Ravenna, offering him military support in return for peace. With his regime itself in no position to reconquer Spain, Honorius grudgingly accepted these terms, even though the barbarians dominated the diocese and continued to host the former usurper Maximus. in wikipedia

Mar 413 Revolt of Heraclian

In early 413, despite having been named Western consul for that year, the comes Africae Heraclian revolted against the Western emperor Honorius and cut the supply of African grain to Rome. Ancient historians do not give a reason for this revolt, but it is probable that Heraclian was trying to displace Flavius Constantius—who needed the grain supply to pay Athaulf’s Goths—and gain dominance over Honorius (Olympius, Heraclian’s former benefactor, had successfully mounted a similar coup against Stilicho in 408). in wikipedia

413 Siege of Valence

In the spring of 413 the Gothic king Athaulf marched north and besieged the Gallic usurper Jovinus in Valentia (Valence), where the latter had taken refuge after the defeat of his army. Athaulf stormed the town and captured Jovinus, dispatching him in chains to Dardanus, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, in Narbo (Narbonne). There Jovinus was executed and his head—along with that of his brother Sebastianus—sent to the Western Roman emperor Honorius in Ravenna, signaling the end of the usurpation in Gaul. in wikipedia

413 Battle of Utriculum

In the spring of 413, after cutting the African grain supply to Rome, the rebel comes Africae Heraclian embarked from Carthage for Italy with a sizeable fleet. Landing near Rome, he marched towards the Appenines with a small army in an apparent attempt to reach Honorius in Ravenna but was routed by local troops under the command of the comes Marinus at Utriculum (probably modern Otricoli). Defeated, Heraclian commandeered a ship and fled back to Africa with his few remaining followers. in wikipedia