Europe 374: Hunno-Greuthungian War
After absorbing the Alans, the Huns moved west to attack the Greuthungi Goths in the mid-370s. After a succession of Greuthungi leaders—notably Ermanaric and Vithimiris—attempted and failed to stem the Hunnic advance, the surviving Greuthungi forces fled across the Dniester to take refuge in the lands of their fellow Goths, the Tervingi.
373–375 Count Theodosius’ African Campaign▲
In 373 Valentinian responded to the collapse of Roman rule in much of Africa by sending his magister equitum Count Theodosius from Gaul to deal with the situation. Theodosius landed at Igilgili and marched on Sitifis—where he had the corrupt Count Romanus arrested—before turning west to relieve Tipasa and liberate Iol Caesarea. Having restored some degree of Roman authority in the region, he spent the following year campaigning in the mountains of North Africa as he hunted down the Numidian Berber leader Firmus, who ultimately hung himself in 375 to avoid falling into Roman hands. Theodosius was still in Africa when Valentinian died in November 375 and, probably as a result of the subsequent change in the political environment, was executed in Carthage in early 376.
374?–376? Hunnic attack on Bosporans▲
In the 370s the Huns descended on the Bosporan Kingdom, destroying many of its cities. Some, such as Tanais, held on in a reduced state for a few more decades until finally being abandoned in the 5th century, while the capital Panticapaeum would eventually recover its prosperity by the 530s, when it was incorporated into the resurgent Roman Empire of Justinian. Whether the Bosporan Kingdom itself continued to exist between the 370s and the 530s is uncertain, but there is a trace of evidence that at least one king—Tiberius Julius Duptun—may have reigned during this period.
374?–375? Hunno-Greuthungian War▲
In around 374 the Huns, ostensibly under the chieftain Balamber, moved west from their suppression of the Alans to invade the lands of the Greuthungi Goths. The Greuthungi leader Ermanaric did his best to resist their advance, but eventually seems to have lost the support of his followers and committed suicide. He was succeeded by Vithimiris, who managed to exploit tensions among the Goths and Alans to prolong the war a little longer before he too was killed. By now, their situation hopeless, the remaining Greuthungi forces fled across the Danastius (Dniester) to take refuge in the territory of the Tervingi Goths.
374 Quadi and Sarmatian raids▲
In the early 370s, in an effort to remove obstacles to building a garrison camp across the Danube, the Roman general Marcellianus invited the Quadian leader Gabinius to a banquet and had him murdered. Enraged at this treachery, the Quadi and neighboring Sarmatians rose up against the Romans and overran the provinces of Valeria and the two Pannonias in the Diocese of Pannoniae in the summer of 374. Two legions sent to intercept the invaders were also destroyed, with only the hastily reinforced capital of Sirmium holding out against them. The attacks continued for several months until the defeat of a Sarmatian attack into neighboring Moesia I, in the Diocese of Dacia, by Count Theodosius’ son Thedosius the Younger (who would later become emperor) and the arrival of Gallic troops in the region persuaded the barbarians to sue for peace.
374 Assassination of Pap of Armenia▲
Valens never forgave the young king Pap of Armenia’s brief support of Shah Shapur II of Persia during the Armenian crisis of 370 and a few years later summoned the king to meet him in Syria. Arriving in Tarsus, Pap learned that the meeting was a trap and fled back to Armenia, but did not break with Rome or make the plot public. This attempt at reconciliation did not save Pap, who, under Valens’ orders, was stabbed to death by a barbarian at a banquet thrown by Trajanus, commander of the Roman forces in Armenia, in 374.