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  1. Visigoths

    The Visigoths and Ostrogoths were branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread during the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or the Migration Period. The Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire, beginning in 376, 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 time, at least the elite were Arian Christians, but regarded as heretics by the main church. Their long history of migration led the Visigoths to compare themselves to the Biblical Hebrew people who had wandered for forty years in the Sinai Desert. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and eventually in Spain and Portugal, where they founded the Kingdom of the Visigoths. The Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati of the Romans- a relationship established in 418. However, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse. They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Suevi and Vandals. In 507, however, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, and they never again held territory north of the Pyrenees other than Septimania. A small, elite group of Visigoths came to dominate the governance of that region at the expense of those who had previously ruled there, particularly in the Byzantine province of Spania and the Suebic Kingdom of Galicia.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Visigoths

    a branch of the Goths that settled in the South of France and in Spain.

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