Easy to See Why Romans Lost at Adrianople

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?

While this battle is often viewed as a decisive battle that accelerated the decline of the Roman Empire, it would be more accurate to say that the Roman defeat indicated the Empire's growing inability to assert its authority over its porous borders. Historians often refer to this period in Roman history as the “Barbarian Invasions.” However, these “invasions” were little more than migration of people south and west in to the Roman Empire, what the more astute historians refer to as the “Age of Migration” between 370-568. With this in mind, the Battle of Adrianople is really more of a story of refugees revolting against their host. Far from accelerating the destruction of the Roman Empire, which lasted at least another 600 years by even the strictest standards, the Goths and other “barbarian” migrants settled within the Empire and became a transformative part of it.

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