Valens’s First Gothic War

Lenski Noel

in Failure of Empire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233324
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928534 | DOI:
Valens’s First Gothic War

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This chapter describes how Valens, in consultation with his brother, determined to launch a major expedition against the Goths to retaliate for this. In a three-year campaign, Valens succeeded in defeating the Goths but did little significant damage to their forces. It then devotes some time to examining further how the ideals of triumphal rulership affected Valens' choice to campaign against the Goths. Valens used a diplomatic infraction as an excuse for a foreign war designed to boost his position as emperor and to satisfy the policy demands of his aggressive brother. Moreover, some principles of late Roman foreign policy are presented. After Julian's death, when the Goths encountered the new and highly confrontational Valentinianic dynasty, Romano-Gothic relations continued to deteriorate.

Keywords: Valens; Gothic War; Goths; triumphal rulership; Roman foreign policy; Julian; Romano-Gothic relations

Chapter.  18982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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