Northern Africa 410: Death of Alaric

Political map of Northern Africa on 14 Dec 410 (Africa and Rome Divided: Death of Alaric), showing the following events: Constans II vs Gerontius; Deposition of Attalus; Alaric’s Sack of Rome; Death of Alaric.

In mid 410, having deposed Attalus, Alaric reopened negotiations with Honorius but again these fell through. Enraged, Alaric sacked Rome, then marched into southern Italy in the hope of crossing to Sicily and then Africa. However, his fleet was destroyed by storms and, on the way back north, he suddenly died of fever.

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Main Events

410 Constans II vs Gerontius

After crossing the Pyrenees in late 409, the Vandals, Alans, and Suebi joined with the forces of the usurper Maximus and his magister militum Gerontius to attack and arrest the remaining supporters of Constantine III in Hispaniae. Large areas were pillaged and reduced to famine, most probably in Gallaecia, Lusitania, and Baetica—the provinces in which Gerontius allowed the barbarians to settle. Perhaps in response to this, Constans II, Constantine III’s son and co-emperor, attempted to invade Hispaniae in early 410, but was defeated. Disappointed, Constans returned to Arelate (Arles), which he reached just as his father arrived back from his equally unsuccessful Italian campaign. in wikipedia

Jul 410 Deposition of Attalus

By the summer of 410 Heraclian’s blockade of Rome was causing a serious famine in the city, but Attalus still refused to agree to send a force Goths against the African governor. Finally losing patience with his appointed emperor, Alaric summoned Attalus to Ariminum (Rimini) and formally deposed him, sending his imperial regalia to Honorius in Ravenna as a peace offering. Attalus was then allowed to retire to his townhouse in Rome, to live on as a private individual. in wikipedia

24 Aug 410 Alaric’s Sack of Rome

After being attacked during talks with the Western Roman emperor Honorius outside Ravenna in August 410, the enraged Gothic king Alaric marched south and laid siege to Rome for the third time. His forces were soon let in through the Salarian Gate and proceeded to mount a systematic three-day plunder of the eternal city, although they generally did not violate the sanctity of churches or indulge in much bloodshed. Nonetheless, news of the sack of the imperial capital—the first in eight centuries—was received with shock and horror across the Roman world. in wikipedia

410 Death of Alaric

After the sack of Rome (August 410), Alaric and his Goths marched south through Italy, ravaging Campania and Lucania as they passed. By fall they had reached Bruttium, where they began preparing to cross the Strait of Messina to Sicily—and from there sail to Africa—when storms broke out and devastated their fleet. Despondent at this reverse, Alaric turned back north but soon fell ill and died. He was buried in secret near Cosentia (Cosenza) and succeeded as King of the Goths by his brother-in-law Athaulf. in wikipedia