Ancient History

Who was Alaric?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Alaric was a Visigoth king who revolted against Rome and sacked the city. Born in what is now Romania in about the year 370 A.D., he became a commander of a western Goth (commonly called "Visigoth") army in the pay of the Romans under Emperor Theodosius I. While serving the Romans, he quelled a rebellion in northern Italy. The Visigoths had not been paid for their military service, and the land promised them was not forthcoming. When Alaric was elected king in 395, he led his people in revolt against Rome and laid the Greek peninsula to waste, until he was stopped at the Peloponnesus in 396 by the Vandal general Stilicho, who was in the pay of Western Roman emperor Honorius. Discontented with Rome again, Alaric invaded northern Italy in 400; in 402 his army was defeated by Stilicho at Pollentia. Alaric again retuned to Italy and besieged Rome during 408 and 409, finally entering the city in 410. His army pillaged Rome for three days and then moved toward Sicily. Soon after, Alaric died in Cosenza in southern Italy.

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