Ataulf

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Ataulf

(ăt`āəlf), d. 415, Visigothic king (410–15). Succeeding his brother-in-law, Alaric IAlaric I
, c.370–410, Visigothic king. He headed the Visigothic troops serving Emperor Theodosius I. After the emperor's death (395) the troops rebelled and chose Alaric as their leader (see Visigoths). Alaric devastated Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece.
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, he abandoned Alaric's scheme of southward expansion and led the Visigoths out of Italy into S Gaul (France) in 412. He sought the alliance of the Western emperor, HonoriusHonorius,
384–423, Roman emperor of the West (395–423). On the death (395) of Theodosius I, the Roman Empire was divided; Arcadius, the elder son, received the East, and Honorius, the younger son, received the West. This division proved to be a permanent one.
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, whose sister Galla PlacidiaGalla Placidia
, c.388–450, Roman empress of the West, daughter of Theodosius I. Captured by Alaric I in the course of his Italian campaign, she was held by the Visigoths as a hostage and married (414) Alaric's successor Ataulf.
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 he married in 414. However, the general Constantius (later Emperor Constantius IIIConstantius III,
d. 421, Roman emperor of the West (421). In 411, as general of Honorius, he defeated Gerontius and Constantine; thereafter he was the virtual ruler of the West.
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), jealous of Ataulf, turned Honorius against him. Constantius blockaded the Gallic ports, and Ataulf, cut off from supplies, led his people into N Spain (see VisigothsVisigoths
(West Goths), division of the Goths, one of the most important groups of Germans. Having settled in the region W of the Black Sea in the 3d cent. A.D., the Goths soon split into two divisions, the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths.
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). He was assassinated at Barcelona.