Europe 416: Wallia–Euplutius Treaty
In the winter of 414/415, facing famine and a naval blockade by Flavius Constantius, Athaulf and his Goths fled Gaul for Hispaniae. Here Athaulf was assassinated and eventually succeeded by Wallia, who negotiated a treaty with Constantius’ representative Euplutius to return Honorius’ sister Galla Placidia to the Romans in return for a supply of grain.
414? Gothic African expedition▲
About a year before Wallia became King of the Goths in 415, a large party of Goths attempted to sail from Gaul or Spain to Africa. However, their ships were sunk in a storm off the Strait of Gades (Strait of Gibraltar) and almost all of them perished.
415 Athaulf’s withdrawal to Spain▲
Throughout 414 Honorius’ patricius Flavius Constantius exerted military pressure on Athaulf’s Goths in Gaul, most crucially using his navy to prevent any supplies from reaching the Goths. Faced with famine, Athaulf led his people across the Pyrenees into Hispaniae, abandoning his puppet emperor Attalus to Constantius. The Goths then established control in Barcino (Barcelona), where Athaulf suffered tragedy when Theodosius, his infant son with Placidia, died.
Mar 415 Murder of Hypatia▲
Hypatia was a renowned neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician who lived in Alexandria in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, and the first female mathematician whose life is recorded in some detail. In her later life she became an advisor to Orestes, the moderate Roman prefect of Alexandria, bringing her into political conflict with Orestes’ rival, Bishop Cyril of Alexandria. In response, Cyril started a smear campaign against Hypatia and on March 415 she was attacked and killed by a Christian mob, led by the lector Peter. The murder shocked the Roman Empire and led to an investigation of Cyril, but did little to stop the bishop’s continued rise to power in Alexandria.
Aug 415 Death of Athaulf▲
Despite Athaulf’s move to Hispaniae in early 415, the Goths continued to face famine and became dependent on buying overpriced supplies from the Alans and Vandals. Reduced to desperation, Athaulf mounted a number of raids on the Vandals only to be assassinated by one of his servants that summer and succeeded as king by Segeric, brother of Athaulf’s former rival Sarus. Segeric, however, lacked wide support and within a week he too was assassinated, to be replaced by another Goth, Wallia.
416 Wallia–Euplutius Treaty▲
In late 415 Wallia, the new king of the Goths, attempted to return to Gaul with his followers but was driven back by the army of Flavius Constantius. With his people facing starvation, Wallia opened up talks with Constantius, who sent his agens in rebus Euplutius to a pass in the Pyrenees to negotiate. This led to a treaty in early 416, whereby Wallia agreed to return Honorius’ sister Placidia and give high-ranking hostages to the Romans in return for a supply of 600,000 measures of grain.