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Commentary On Chapter 5

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Chapter Summary

This chapter contains the report on Valens' attempts to square the accounts with the Goths for having lent unacceptable support to the usurper Procopius. The emperor invaded the enemys territory north of the Danube three times during the years 367369, without any spectacular military success. The Goths avoided open battle and the Roman army proved unable to cope effectively with these tactics. Nevertheless, the increasing shortage of the necessities of life caused by the war forced the enemy to press for peace. Because the Romans regarded peace as desirable, they had to accept this. On the other hand, it would have been beneath the dignity of a Roman emperor to cross the river into Gothic territory for the completion of the peace negotiations. For this reason it was decided that Valens and Athanaric would meet midstream on a boat. This meeting achieved the aim of both parties.

Keywords: Danube; Goths; Valens



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