Europe 373: Battle of the Tanais River

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 25 Jan 373 (Valentinianic Dynasty: Battle of the Tanais River), showing the following events: Firmus of Mauretania; Shapur II’s Second Chionite War; Campaign against Macrian; Battle of the Tanais River.

In the early 370s the Huns crossed the Volga onto the Don steppe, where they attacked and defeated the Alans near the Tanais River (Don). Their power broken, many Alans were incorporated into ranks of the Huns while others fled either west to the Goths or south into the Caucasus.

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Main Events

372–375 Firmus of Mauretania

After the death of his father Nubel in c. 370, the Berber Numidian prince Firmus killed his illegitimate brother Zammac, a favorite of the corrupt comes Africae Romanus. Realizing that he stood no chance of justice in Roman Africa under Romanus, Firmus launched a revolt in 372 and, gaining support from local tribes, captured or sacked a number of major Roman cities, including Iol Caesarea. Firmus’ rebellion lasted until 375 when, defeated and hunted down by Valentinian’s magister equitum Count Theodosius, he hung himself to avoid falling into Roman hands. in wikipedia

372–375 Shapur II’s Second Chionite War

Possibly angered by the abolition of the Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom by Kidara I of the Chionite Huns in c. 367, Shah Shapur II of Sasanian Persia attacked the Chionites as early as 368, making use of Armenian troops. However, Shapur’s attention was still dominated by the struggle with Rome over Armenia and it was only after the truce that followed the Battle of Bagavan in 371 that the Persians were able to launch a serious effort against the Chionites. This war would last until 375 and seems to have ended in Shapur’s recognition of Kidara’s claim. in wikipedia

372 Campaign against Macrian

In 372 Valentinian led an expedition across the Rhine, but his attempt to capture the powerful Alemannic leader Macrian in a night raid failed when the Alemanni were alerted by undisciplined Roman troops. Furious, the emperor razed Alemannic territory up to 80 km from the Rhine and appointed Fraomar as king of the Alemannic tribe of Bucinobantes in opposition to Macrian. However, Fraomar soon proved unpopular with his people and Valentinian had him transferred to Britain the following year. in wikipedia

373? Battle of the Tanais River

In the early 370s, after subjugating the peoples of the Volga, the Huns turned on the Alans of the Don steppe. Although the Alans were also skilled horse warriors, the Huns eventually wore them down with incessant attacks in the vicinity of the Tanais River (Don). Many of the surviving Alans were then incorporated into the Huns by treaty, while others either fled west to the Goths or south into the Caucasus. in wikipedia