Battle of Adrianople, 378
Emperor Flavius Valens versus Fritigern: A Gothic army under Fritigern fights for not only its own but its families’ lives as well against a Roman army under Valens. Can Fritigern delay Valens long enough for his cavalry to turn the tides? Click on images below to view; first image opens video presentation and second image opens PowerPoint presentation. | Legend |
A battle that makes Western historians shiver for it accelerated the fall of the Roman Empire and all the order it represented.
Valens was so outgeneraled that it is arduous to consider how he could have won. He should have ensured the battle was decided by infantry, which the Romans always held an advantage, and assaulted the Gothic hill immediately. He did not and Fritigern was able to delay the attack further and wear down the Romans by spreading fire in the fields.
This battle widely varies in its numbers and events. Unfortunately, my honest nature requires I point out that my original sources for animating this battle were relatively unreliable, all of which being websites or books describing over seventy battles. Well, maybe I should not knock the reliability of websites, considering I am using the website medium for educational purposes. Regardless, I would not keep an erroneous animation on the site if I did not truly believe it was accurate and dependable as a source of its own. I compared my original sources to more professional sources when they became available to me and can say that this animation portrays a probable account of this battle.
- Jonathan Webb
Black, Jeremy. The Seventy Great Battles in History. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004.
Davis, Paul K. 100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Dupuy, Trevor N. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 BC to the Present, Fourth Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
“The Battle of Adrianople (Hadrianopolis)” Illustrated History of the Roman Empire. http://www.roman-empire.net/army/adrianople.html (accessed Jan. 27, 2008).
United States Military Academy History Department. “Atlas for Ancient Warfare.” United States Military Academy. http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/AncientWarfare/index.htm (accessed Jan. 27, 2008).
Warry, John. Warfare in the Classical World. London: Salamander, 1980.
Zentner, Joe. “Adrianople: The Last Great Battle of Antiquity.” Military History October 2005, http://www.historynet.com/adrianople-last-great-battle-of-antiquity.htm (accessed Jan. 27, 2008).
Emperor Flavius Valens: http://www.livius.org/va-vh/valentinian/gratianus.html
Gothic cavalry: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?page=9&t=87324
Gothic infantry: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?page=9&t=87324
Roman cavalry: http://www.angelfire.com/pe/ATSTOYSOLDIERS/AXXS/ITALERI.html
Roman infantry: http://www.legionarybooks.net/the_imperial_legions
Tags: 300s, Ancient Era, attack from a defensive position, cavalry, Emperor Flavius Valens, envelopment of both flanks, Fritigern, Gothic War, Goths, infantry, land, modern day Turkey, Romans, Season 1, Western Asia
Weider History Group