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Amalaric
Amalaric
(Gothic: *Amalareiks[1]), or in Spanish and Portuguese, Amalarico, (502–531) was king of the Visigoths
Visigoths
from 511 until his death in battle in 531. He was a son of king Alaric II
Alaric II
and his first wife Theodegotha, daughter of Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great
King of the Ostrogoths. When Alaric II
Alaric II
was killed fighting Clovis I, king of the Franks, in the Battle of Vouillé
Battle of Vouillé
(507), his kingdom fell into disarray. "More serious than the destruction of the Gothic army," writes Herwig Wolfram, "than the loss of both Aquitanian provinces and the capital of Toulose, was the death of the king."[2] Alaric had made no provision for a successor, and although he had two sons, one was of age but illegitimate and the other, Amalaric, the offspring of a legal marriage but still a child. Amalaric
Amalaric
was carried for safety into Spain, which country and Provence
Provence
were thenceforth ruled by his maternal grandfather, Theodoric the Great, acting through his vice-gerent, an Ostrogothic nobleman named Theudis.[3] The older son, Gesalec, was chosen king but his reign was disastrous. King Theoderic of the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
sent an army, led by his sword-bearer Theudis, against Gesalec, ostensibly on behalf of Amalaric; Gesalec
Gesalec
fled to Africa. The Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
then drove back the Franks
Franks
and their Burgundian allies, regaining possession of "the south of Novempopulana, Rodez, probably even Albi, and even Toulose". Following the 511 death of Clovis, Theoderic negotiated a peace with Clovis' successors, securing Visigothic control of the southernmost portion of Gaul for the rest of the existence of their kingdom.[4] In 522 the young Amalaric
Amalaric
was proclaimed king, and four years later, on Theoderic's death, he assumed full royal power, although relinquishing Provence
Provence
to his cousin Athalaric.[3] His kingdom was faced with a threat from the north from the Franks; according to Peter Heather, this was his motivation for marrying Chrotilda, the daughter of Clovis.[5] However, this was not successful, for according to Gregory of Tours, Amalaric
Amalaric
pressured her to forsake her Roman Catholic faith and convert to Arian Christianity, at one point beating her until she bled; she sent to her brother Childebert I, king of Paris
Paris
a towel stained with her own blood.[6] It is worth noting Ian Wood's advice that although Gregory provides the fullest information for this period, where it touches Merovingian affairs, he often "allowed his religious bias to determine his interpretation of the events."[7] Peter Heather agrees with Wood's implication in this instance: "I doubt that this is the full story, but the effects of Frankish intervention are clear enough."[5] Childebert defeated the Visigothic army and took Narbonne. Amalaric fled south to Barcelona, where according to Isidore of Seville, he was assassinated by his own men.[8] According to Peter Heather, Theoderic's former governor Theudis was implicated in Amalaric's murder, "and was certainly its prime beneficiary."[9] As for Chrotilda, in Gregory's words she died on the journey home "by some ill chance". Childebert had her body brought to Paris
Paris
where she was buried alongside her father Clovis.[6] Media related to Amalarico at Wikimedia Commons Notes[edit]

^ Kelsie B. Harder, Names and their varieties: a collection of essays in onomastics, American Name Society, University Press of America, 1984, pp. 10-11 ^ Herwig Wolfram, History of the Goths, translated by Thomas J. Dunlap (Berkeley: University of California, 1988), p. 244 ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Amalaric". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 777.  ^ Wolfram, History of the Goths, p. 245 ^ a b Peter Heather, The Goths (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996), p. 277 ^ a b Gregory of Tours, Decem Libri Historiarum, III.10; translated by Lewis Thorpe, History of the Franks
Franks
(Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974), pp. 170f. ^ Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms: 450-751 (London: Longman, 1994), p. 171 ^ Isidore of Seville, History of the Goths, chapter 40. Translation by Guido Donini and Gordon B. Ford, Isidore of Seville's History of the Goths, Vandals, and Suevi, second revised edition (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970), p. 19 ^ Heather, The Goths, p. 278

Further reading[edit]

Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 39

King Amalaric
Amalaric
of the Visigoths Balti dynasty  Died: 531

Regnal titles

Preceded by Gesalec King of the Visigoths 511–531 with Theoderic III (511–526) Succeeded by Theudis

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 80322

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