Europe 412: Athaulf and Jovinus

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 02 Jul 412 (Theodosian Dynasty: Athaulf and Jovinus), showing the following events: Fall of Arelate; Treaty of Hispaniae; Death of Sarus; Elevation of Sebastianus.

Jovinus gained control in Arelate (Arles) in late 411 and early the following year accepted the alliance of the Goths, who had entered Gaul under Alaric’s successor Athaulf. However, relations between the two soon soured, especially after Athaulf killed Sarus, another of Jovinus’ new Gothic allies, and Jovinus appointed his own brother Sebastianus as co-emperor.

This map has in-depth notes in the Journal, exclusive to Patrons on Classical Tier and above. Find them in the events descriptions, marked with the Journal icon .

Akatziri and the “Scythian Kingdom” (Kuban Huns)

Little is known about the region north and east of the Black Sea in the first half of the fifth century, except that in c. 400 a “Scythian King” (almost always assumed to be a Hun) lived in the Kuban region and by the 440s a Hunnic people known as the Akatziri lived east of the Dniester. Although fragmented, the Akatziri were powerful enough that, when the Eastern Romans aligned with all but one of their kingdoms in 447, it took over a year for Attila’s armies to crush them and install his son as their king. After this, Attila contemplated invading Persia, implying that suppressing the Akatziri had bought the periphery of his empire close to the Caucasus. All this suggests that the Akatziri may have extended into the North Caucasus and that the “Scythian King” may have been part of the Akatziri, although this is of course conjecture.

Main Events

411 Fall of Arelate

In late 411, with Jovinus and his allies advancing from northern Gaul and Athaulf and his Goths approaching from the Italian coast, Flavius Constantius decided his position in Arelate (Arles) was untenable and withdrew to Ravenna. Jovinus occupied Arelate soon afterwards, apparently making it his headquarters. However, many Romans in Gaul remained loyal to Honorius and even conducted a counteroffensive against Jovinus and his Frankish allies in Auvergne. 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

412 Death of Sarus

In early 412 Athaulf and his Goths crossed from Italy into Gaul and became allies of the Gallic usurper Jovinus. However, at about the same time, Sarus, Athaulf’s bitter rival and fellow Goth, broke with Honorius’ court at Ravenna and also made his way across the Alps with the intention of joining Jovinus. Seizing this opportunity, Athaulf ambushed and captured Sarus as he was entering Gaul, then had him killed. in wikipedia

412 Elevation of Sebastianus

Athaulf’s killing of Sarus in early 412 displeased Jovinus, who did not like his allies fighting and was already disturbed by the presence of the former usurper Attalus in Athaulf’s party. This would not have helped the Gothic king gain influence in Jovinus’ court and soon afterwards, going against Athaulf’s advice, Jovinus appointed his own brother Sebastianus as co-augustus. Angered, Athaulf secretly entered into negotiations with Dardanus, Honorius’ Praetorian Prefect of Gaul. in wikipedia