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Alaric I was the first king of the Visigoths, from 395 to 410. He rose to leadership of the Goths who came to occupy Moesia—territory acquired a couple of decades earlier by a combined force of Goths and Alans after the Battle of Adrianople.

Alaric began his career under the Gothic soldier Gainas and later joined the Roman army. Once an ally of Rome under the Emperor Theodosius, Alaric helped defeat the Franks and other allies of a would-be Roman usurper. Despite losing many thousands of his men, he received little recognition from Rome and left the Roman army disappointed. After the death of Theodosius and the disintegration of the Roman armies in 395, he is described as king of the Visigoths. As the leader of the only effective field force remaining in the Balkans, he sought Roman legitimacy, never quite achieving a position acceptable to himself or to the Roman authorities.

He operated mainly against the successive Western Roman regimes, and marched into Italy, where he died. He is responsible for the sack of Rome in 410, one of several notable events in the Western Roman Empire's eventual decline....
 
 
Alaric I was the first king of the Visigoths, from 395 to 410. He rose to leadership of the Goths who came to occupy Moesia—territory acquired a couple of decades earlier by a combined force of Goths and Alans after the Battle of Adrianople.

Alaric began his career under the Gothic soldier Gainas and later joined the Roman army. Once an ally of Rome under the Emperor Theodosius, Alaric helped defeat the Franks and other allies of a would-be Roman usurper. Despite losing many thousands of his men, he received little recognition from Rome and left the Roman army disappointed. After the death of Theodosius and the disintegration of the Roman armies in 395, he is described as king of the Visigoths. As the leader of the only effective field force remaining in the Balkans, he sought Roman legitimacy, never quite achieving a position acceptable to himself or to the Roman authorities.

He operated mainly against the successive Western Roman regimes, and marched into Italy, where he died. He is responsible for the sack of Rome in 410, one of several notable events in the Western Roman Empire's eventual decline....

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