Wallia - King of the Visigoths

Wallia was responsible for their settlement in Roman territory . In September of 415, the Visigoth monarch Athaulf was stabbed to death and replaced by Singeric, a cruel and brief-reigning usurper.

Singeric was also slain, after only a week, and an election was held to find a legitimate successor. The Visigoths chose a little-known warrior, Wallia, who was selected because of his desire to have nothing to do with Rome, ironic given his subsequent actions.

Wallia first restored Galla Placidia, Athaulf ’s Roman widow, to her rightful position of respect within the Visigoth community , making up for the harsh treatment meted out to her by Singeric. The most pressing problem, however, was securing the site of permanent Visigothic settlement.

Spain, their current home, was overcrowded and blockaded by the Roman navy . When ships designed to carry the Visigoths to Africa were wrecked in a storm, Wallia looked northward to Gaul and began negotiations with the Roman government, resulting in a treaty in 416 between Wallia and Constantius III.

The Visigoths pledged to serve as clients or federates of Rome, which meant making war upon the Vandals, Suebi, and Alans in Spain. In return the Visigoths received massive amounts of badly needed corn and, ultimately, permission to take up residence in Gallia Aquitania and large sections of Gallia Narbonensis as well.

Over the next year, Wallia waged relentless war upon the barbarians in Spain and was so successful that by 418 the Visigoths were able to move into Gaul, according to their agreement with the Romans. This was Wallia’s legacy, for he died in 418. He was succeeded by Theodoric I, a grandson of Alaric.

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