Europe 371: Battle of Bagavan
Although the Roman–Persian Treaty of Dura (363) had ended the Roman alliance with Armenia, the Armenians continued to resist Persian advances into the 370s, encouraging Valens to send troops to aid them. Angered at this breach of the treaty, Shah Shapur II attacked the combined Roman–Armenian army, but was defeated at Bagavan.
369? Treaty of Noviodunum▲
After the end of his Gothic campaign in 369, the eastern Roman emperor Valens opened up negotiations with the Tervingi Goths. As the Tervingi leader Athanaric refused to set foot on Roman soil, Valens met him in the middle of the Danube, where the two signed a treaty aboard ships. By the terms of the treaty, the Romans relinquished their claim to Gothia and the Tervingi once again became Roman clients.
370? Huns enter Europe▲
In c. 370, in their first mention by the Romans, the Huns emerged from “beyond the Maeotian Swamp near the frozen ocean” (i.e. somewhere between the Sea of Azov and the Arctic) and “made their violent way amid the rapine and slaughter of the neighboring peoples as far as the Alans”. Most likely it was at this time that the Huns migrated from the steppe in the north of Central Asia and descended on the Volga river region, where, at least according to the 6th-century historian Jordanes, they overran the otherwise unknown tribes of the Alpidzuri, Alcildzuri, Itimari, Tuncarsi, and Boisci.
370 Count Arintheus’ expedition▲
In response to the crisis in Armenia, Valens sent Count Arintheus to the East with an army in 370. By this point Prince Pap had lost hope, desperately executing the turncoat generals Cylaces and Arrabannes in an attempt to appease Shapur II. Arintheus’ arrival restored the situation, but drew condemnation from the Persians, who saw it as a violation of the Treaty of Dura (363).
370 Deuso Massacre▲
In early 370 a great force of Saxons descended on northern Gaul by sea, inflicting heavy casualties on the legions posted there. A concerned Valentinian dispatched his magister peditum Severus with an army to deal with the situation, persuading the Saxons to sue for peace. After agreeing and accepting many young Saxon men as hostages, the Romans treacherously ambushed the retiring invaders as they withdrew through the Frankish settlement of Deuso, slaughtering them all.
370 Restoration of Saurmag II▲
Having arrived in Armenia, Count Arintheus sent the general Terentius with twelve legions to restore Sauromaces II to the Iberian throne. When they reached the Cyrus (Kura) river, Terentius and Sauromaces were met by envoys from the incumbent Aspacures of Iberia, who asked that they split the kingdom to avoid bloodshed. After consultation, Emperor Valens agreed to this request and the Romans partitioned Iberia into two parts along the Cyrus river.
370 Burgundo-Alemannic War▲
In 370 Valentinian persuaded the Burgundi to attack their long-term enemies the Alemanni, assuring them that the Romans would join them in their invasion. The Burgundi swiftly marched south to reach the Rhine, but eventually withdrew in fury when the Romans failed to provide the promised support. However, while the Alemanni were preoccupied with the Burgundian threat, magister equitum Theodosius invaded their territory from the south, taking many Alemannic captives back to Italy, where they were settled on the Po.
371 Battle of Bagavan▲
Accusing the Romans of violating the Treaty of Dura, Shah Shapur II of Persia marched into Armenia in force in the spring of 371. To ward off the invaders, but under strict orders not to break the peace by shedding first blood, a Roman–Armenian army under the general Traianus, the former Alemannic leader Vadomar, and the Armenian prince Pap advanced to the plains of Bagavan, where they were suddenly attacked by the Persian cavalry. Forced into battle, the Romans and Armenians defeated their opponents, then chased them back across the mountains of Armenia.