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The article deals with the events of Emperor Valens’ war against the Goths during AD 367–369. The author believes that the Goths did not plan this war. Valens started military actions, seeking to strengthen his power in the state. Taking into account the fact that the Goths occupied a key position in the structure of the buffer zone of the Roman Empire in the Northern Black Sea Region, it is very diffi cult to determine some specifi c purpose of the war which began at the Roman initiative, which would be consistent with the strategic interests of the Romans in the region. Most likely, the internal processes in the state associated with the revolt of Procopius, prevented the emperor to hold a rational strategy in the region. It is necessary to remind, that starting the rebellion with a handful of his revolt supporters, the rebel had a huge army within a relatively short period of time, and it was mainly the troops of Valens. Only by sheer luck Procopius failed to win a complete victory and eliminate Valens. All of this is quite clear evidence of the extremely precarious position of the emperor on the throne. That’s why Valens waged war with the Goths was more like an action, which, although was at odds with the Roman strategy in the region, but, nevertheless, had to raise his authority in the armed forces and thus strengthen the supreme power in the state. Nor should we assume that the end of hostilities Roman-Gothic war ended. The treaty of AD 369 between the Goths and the emperor was only an intermediate step in this confrontation with barbarians which passed to a new level of struggle. Of course, its purpose, according to the Valens, was to become a major transformation of the Northern Black Sea buffer zone of the empire. It was rather to change the barbaric rulers for more loyal to Rome, and perhaps even in the complete destruction of all these associations. The ultimate goal of combating the barbarians, according to the Valens, was to transform seriously the buffer zone in the Northern Areas of the Black Sea Coasts of the Empire. Apparently, according to Valens’ plan only agricultural population and population dependent on the Roman authorities, focused on Tyre and Olbia was to stay.


Northern Areas of the Black Sea Coasts, the Roman Empire, Emperor Valens, Procopius, the Goths

Sergey V. Yartsev Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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