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Gothic Cavalry return from foraging to attack the rear of the Roman army of Emperor Valens at the battle of Adrianople, AD 378. Artwork by Giuseppe Rava.

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Valens was co-emperor with his brother Valentian I (and later co-emperor with other members of the Theodosian Dynasty). Emperor of the East from 364, his reign was constant battle against the Persians and the Goths. He was killed at or immediately after the Battle of Adrianople against the Goths in 378.

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The victorious Gothic horsemen now wheeled inward, attacking the flanks and rear of the Roman infantry. At that moment, the Gothic foot sallied forth from their camp and assailing the Romans from the front; driving them back to the base of the slope. Valens and his men found themselves surrounded, assailed from every direction.

The Battle of Adrianople, AD 378. The Roman Emperor Valens attempts to escape the disaster but is later killed by the Goths when he is surrounded. Giuseppe Rava

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Battle Of Adrianople A.D. 378 Historians have called this the battle the starting point of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

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Gratian, the eldest son of Valentian I, was Roman Emperor from 375 to 383. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's half-brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by Valentinian I's soldiers, and the two ruled together. After his uncle Valens, emperor of the East, was killed in the Battle of Adrianople, Gratian essentially became ruler of the entire empire. When this task proved too daunting, he appointed Theodosius I to govern the Eastern empire. He was assassinated in 383.

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and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The Visigoths under Alaric I invaded Italy and sacked Rome in 410; by this t...

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