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Adrianople (378 CE)

Battle of Adrianople (378 CE): important battle in which an army of Germanic tribes defeated a Roman army.


On 9 August 378, the East-Roman emperor Valens, commanding his elite troops, met with an army consisting of Germanic rebels, led by Fritigern. It consisted of Tervingi, with Greutingi, (non-German) Alans and Huns, and some minor groups. The two armies met thirteen kilometers north of the city of Adrianopel (modern Edirne), close to a village that is now called Büyükdöllük.

When negotiations failed, the two armies clashed and the Romans were defeated. Valens was killed in action. His successor, Theodosius, had to offer land to the victorious Germans and their allies.

The Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus believed the battle was a turning point, an analysis that many later authors have accepted, but is not necessarily correct.

This page was created in 2017; last modified on 14 May 2017.