Europe 417: Wallia’s Spanish War

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 05 Jun 417 (Theodosian Dynasty: The West Besieged: Wallia’s Spanish War), showing the following events: Wallia’s first Spanish campaign; Marriage of Constantius and Placidia; Bonifatius’ Mauri campaigns; Wallia’s second Spanish campaign.

Soon after making peace with Rome in early 416, the Gothic king Wallia turned on his rivals in Hispaniae: the Alans and the Siling Vandals. This pleased the Romans, who agreed to support Wallia’s wars if he would regain most of the peninsula for them—a process which he would finally complete in 418.

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

416 Wallia’s first Spanish campaign

Soon after making peace with Rome in early 416, Wallia and his Goths turned on the Alans of Lusitania and the Siling Vandals of Baetica. These attacks seem to have been a continuation of hostilities from the year before, but this time the Goths were well-supplied and, like the Alans and Silings, official Roman allies. Frustrated that the Romans were effectively supporting the Goths against them, the Alans and Silings complained to the Western emperor Honorius, but to no avail. in wikipedia

1 Jan 417 Marriage of Constantius and Placidia

On 1 January 417—the day his second consulship began—Flavius Constantius married Honorius’ sister Galla Placidia, taking him a step closer to supreme power. Apparently having preferred life as a Gothic queen, Placidia had to be forced into the arrangement by her brother. Despite this, she would give Constantius two children within the next few years: a daughter Justa Grata Honoria and a son Valentinian (later emperor Valentinian III). in wikipedia

417–418 Bonifatius’ Mauri campaigns

In 417–418 the tribune Bonifatius led a number of campaigns against the “barbarous tribes” (probably the Mauri) inhabiting the border regions of Roman Africa. According to St Augustine, he effectively subjugated his opponents “by storming their strongholds… and menacing them with his small band of brave confederates”, restoring stability to the frontier. in wikipedia

417 Wallia’s second Spanish campaign

By 417 the Western Roman regime had come out firmly in support of the Gothic king Wallia in his wars against the Alans and the Siling Vandals in Hispaniae. That year when Wallia embarked on a new campaign, he marched “in the name of Rome” and “inflicted a vast slaughter upon the barbarians”. Even so, it would take Wallia another year to conclusively defeat his enemies and restore Roman rule to Hispaniae. in wikipedia