Europe 368: Battle of Solicinium

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 20 Jul 368 (Valentinianic Dynasty: Battle of Solicinium), showing the following events: Count Theodosius’ British Campaign; Third Austoriani Raid; Rando’s Sack of Mogonticaum; Betrayal of Arshak II; Battle of Solicinium.

After dispatching Count Theodosius to recover Britain in late 367, Valentinian moved to put an end to the repeated Alemannic raids on Gaul. Crossing into their territory with a large army, the emperor routed the Alemanni in a great battle at Solicinium in the summer of 368.

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Main Events

367–369 Count Theodosius’ British Campaign

In late 367, having been dispatched by Valentinian to deal with the crisis in Britain, Count Theodosius crossed Dover Strait to land at Rutupiae (Richborough). Marching west, he cleared the barbarian raiders from the vicinity of Londinium (London), where he spent the winter and gathered more troops by pardoning deserters. The following year, and into 369, he marched north, expelling the remaining invaders and restoring Roman rule in the island. in wikipedia

368? Third Austoriani Raid

In c. 368, the Austoriani, emboldened by their earlier successes, invaded Roman Africa and attacked Leptis Magna, which they besieged for eight days before giving up and returning home. Some time after this raid, Valentinian’s inspector Palladius finally arrived in Africa, but immediately accepted bribes from the region’s commanding general, Count Romanus. Thus corrupted, Palladius, despite being shown first-hand the devastation that the Austoriani had caused, denounced those who had reported the raids to the emperor as liars and they were instead put to death. in wikipedia

368 Rando’s Sack of Mogonticaum

In early 368 the Alemannic chieftain Rando crossed the Rhine with a lightly armed band and attacked the ungarrisoned city of Mogontiacum (Mainz) during the celebration of a Christian festival (probably Easter). Sacking the city, the Alemanni carried off men and women of all classes and much plunder. Although the Romans were unable to catch the marauders, they achieved some degree of vengeance about a month later when they orchestrated the assassination of the main Alemannic leader Vithicab by one of his attendants. in wikipedia

368 Betrayal of Arshak II

By 368, after four years of warfare, Shah Shapur II of Persia had finally gained control over most of Armenia, but the Armenian king Arsaces II still held out in the core province of Ayrarat. In order to end the struggle, the Shah invited Arsaces to the Persian capital of Ctesiphon for peace talks and then, when the king arrived, had him treacherously seized, along with his general Vasak I Mamikonian. Blinded, Arsaces was cast into the fortress of Agabana (the ‘Castle of Oblivion’), where he was later put to death. in wikipedia

368 Battle of Solicinium

In the early summer of 368 Valentinian and his son Gratian led an army across the Main into the territory of the Alemanni while a supporting force under Count Sebastianus moved in with legions from Italy and Illyricum. The Romans faced no opposition until they reached a mountain near Solicinium (perhaps Hechingen), where the Alemanni had gathered in a strong position. After Valentinian himself narrowly escaped an ambush while reconnoitering the position, the Romans stormed the mountain and defeated their enemy in a long, hard battle. Fleeing for the forests, many Alemanni were cut down as they clambered down the mountain or as Sebastianus and his reserves ran them down. in wikipedia