Fritigern


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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.
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 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.
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, 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.
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) 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).
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. 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.
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) restored peace. Fritigern is also known as Fridigern.
References in periodicals archive ?
The first major conflict occurred at the city of Marcianopolis, where the Roman general Lupicinus, trying to reestablish order, invited the two Gothic leaders, Alavivus and Fritigern, to a banquet to parlay.
As a result, Valens was now faced with a fateful choice: wait for Gratian's arrival, or hazard a battle himself with the Gothic host, led by Fritigern, now encamped nearby.
On August 8, Fritigern sent an emissary to Valens proposing terms for peace, which included the cession of Roman territory to the Goths.
Unbeknownst to Valens, a large Gothic cavalry at least several thousand strong was off raiding, and Fritigern expected them back as reinforcements.
They were led by a person that was supposedly a friend of Rome, his name was Fritigern, King of the Goths, and he asked permission to come into Rome with some [of] the Goths.
With this as backdrop, the Roman general in the province, one Lupicinus, invited Fritigern, the leader of the Goth immigrants and a warrior with a fearsome reputation, to a banquet.
This was Alaric, the head of those Goths who had once followed Fritigern. Desiring to live in Italy instead of the Balkans, Alaric led his followers into the Roman homeland, bent not on destruction, but on immigration.