Europe 436: Battle of Worms

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 17 Oct 436 (Theodosian Dynasty: Fall of Africa: Battle of Worms), showing the following events: Aetius’ First Burgundian Campaign; Tibatto; Treaty of Margus; Valips; Aetius’ Pannonian cession; Second Revolt of Gundahar; Siege of Narbonne; Battle of Worms.

Rugila the Hun died in c. 435, leaving his nephews Bleda and Attila to dictate their peace terms to the Romans. At about the same time, the Western generalissimo Aetius ceded parts of Pannonia to the Huns in return for Hunnic troops. With these reinforcements, Aetius then returned to Gaul, where he crushed the Burgundians so severely that the cultural memory of this massacre would later form the basis for the medieval German epic, the Nibelungenlied.

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Main Events

435 Aetius’ First Burgundian Campaign

In 435 the Western Roman magister militum Flavius Aetius marched against the Burgundian king Gundahar (a.k.a. Gunther), who had revolted and overrun parts of Belgica. The Burgundians were swiftly crushed and a new peace treaty was imposed on them. in wikipedia

435–437 Tibatto

In 435, while the Western Roman magister militum Aetius was campaigning against the Burgundians, an individual named Tibatto led the Bagaudae—armed peasants, slaves, and other members of the lower classes—in revolt against Roman rule in “Farther Gaul” or Armorica (roughly the region bounded by the Loire and Seine rivers and the Atlantic). Concerned by the rapid gains of these Bagaudae, Aetius dispatched his second-in-command Litorius to deal with the uprising. Litorius gradually wore the Bagaudae down and by 437 he had captured Tibatto and other rebel leaders, bringing the revolt to an end. in wikipedia

435 Treaty of Margus

In around 435 the Hunnic king Rugila died and was succeeded by his nephews Bleda and Attila. Shortly afterwards, the two new kings marched to Margus, in the north of the Diocese of Dacia, where they concluded a treaty with the Eastern Roman consul Flavius Plinta, bringing an end to the current crisis between the Huns and the Romans. As the price for peace, the Romans agreed to double their annual tribute from 350 to 700 pounds of gold, to return all fugitives from the Huns, and to not form alliances with barbarian enemies of the Huns. in wikipedia

435?–441? Valips

At an unknown date, probably around 435 or 436, the mysterious Rugian chieftain Valips seized control of the Eastern Roman port of Noviodunum on the Lower Danube. It is unclear whether he was a defector from the Huns or a rebellious foederati, or even acting on behalf of the Huns, but he managed to withstand the prolonged Roman siege that followed, in part by placing the children of Noviodunum on the city walls to deter attacks. Following this, he concluded a peace treaty with the Romans, planned raids on Thrace and Illyricum, and then abruptly disappeared from history. in wikipedia

435 Aetius’ Pannonian cession

In around 435 the Western Roman generalissimo Flavius Aetius sent his son Carpilio on an embassy to the Huns, probably to secure more troops for his upcoming campaigns but also to establish diplomatic relations with the new Hunnic king Attila. It is likely that it was at this time that Aetius formally ceded large parts of Pannonia to the Huns in return for their support. Much of this territory—which was desired by Hunnic herders—was in any case by now only loosely controlled by the Romans, who had long since abandoned the major Pannonian cities of Aquincum (Budapest) and Intercisa. in wikipedia

436 Second Revolt of Gundahar

In 436 war broke out again between the Burgundians of King Gundahar (Gunther) and the Western Roman Empire, breaking a peace treaty the two nations had signed just months earlier. It is possible that the Burgundians revolted to take advantage of the Bagaudae rebellion in Armorica and/or because they had a secret treaty with the Visigoths, who also revolted that year. in wikipedia

436–437 Siege of Narbonne

In 436 the Visigoths revolted against the authority of Rome and, overrunning a number of towns in southwest Gaul, besieged the major port of Narbona (Narbonne). The city held out through the winter and into 437, when the comes Litorius arrived and put the Visigoths to flight. At the same time, Litorius saved Narbona from starvation by having his troops each bring grain with them. in wikipedia

436 Battle of Worms

In 436 the Western Roman generalissimo Aetius, commanding a force with a significant number of Huns, attacked and decisively defeated the Burgundians near their capital Borbetomagus (Worms). In the ensuing massacre, which may have continued into 437, an alleged 20,000 Burgundians were killed, including their king Gundahar (a.k.a. Gunther). The story of Gundahar’s demise soon passed into legend, to eventually form the basis of the 12th century German epic, the Nibelungenlied. in wikipedia