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Fritigern(frĭt`ĭgûrn), d. 380, Visigothic chieftain. An intermittent rival of AthanaricAthanaric
, d. 381, Visigothic chieftain. He led the Visigoths against Emperor Valens and negotiated a favorable peace in 369. A pagan, he persecuted the Christians, and, possibly for that reason, he was involved in a civil war with Fritigern.
..... Click the link for more information. for leadership of the 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , he adopted Arian Christianity (see ArianismArianism
, Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and thus gained the support of Emperor ValensValens
, c.328–378, Roman emperor of the East (364–78). Brother and coregent of Valentinian I, Valens followed in most respects his brother's policies but, unlike him, embraced Arian Christianity (see Arianism).
..... Click the link for more information. . Fleeing the invading Huns, Fritigern was given permission (376) by Valens to cross the Danube and enter Roman territory. After being badly mistreated, the Goths rebelled and in 378 Fritigern defeated and killed Valens at the battle of Adrianople. The Goths subsequently ravaged the Balkan Peninsula until the Roman general Theodosius (later Theodosius ITheodosius I
or Theodosius the Great,
346?–395, Roman emperor of the East (379–95) and emperor of the West (394–95), son of Theodosius, the general of Valentinian I.
..... Click the link for more information. ) restored peace. Fritigern is also known as Fridigern.
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