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Chapter 4

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with Valentinian's attempt to capture the Alamannic king Macrianus in the late summer of 371. It is the only account available on the subject. The attempt to capture Macrianus has the character of an "Überraschungsangriff" with a limited number of soldiers, rather than a large scale expedition into Alamannic territory. The surprise attack had to be kept hidden from the Alamanni for as long as possible. This may be inferred from several remarks: the Rhine was crossed as quietly as possible; initially a small number of soldiers, sent ahead under command of Severus, was involved; scurrae were killed because they were apparently a security risk and could betray the military action to the Alamanni; no pack animals and tents were brought along, and the campaign required swift action.

Keywords: Alamannic territory; Macrianus; Roman soldiers; Valentinian



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