Athanagild


Athanagild

Athanagild (died 567) was Visigothic King of Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, today, Spain and Portugal).

With the help of a Roman force, including a fleet to watch the coasts, sent from Gaul in 551 by the emperor of the eastern Roman empire, Justinian, Athanagild defeated and killed his predecessor, King Agila, near Seville in 554. Athanagild then became king.

But the ports and coastal fortifications taken in the name of Athanagild weren't swiftly turned over by his Byzantine allies. Athanagild was able to recover a few cities but was forced to cede a large portion of Hispania Baetica (Andalusia) to a Byzantine governor of high standing but advanced years named Liberius. Liberius set about enlarging the gift.

Athanagild then endeavoured to drive his Roman allies out of Iberia but was unsuccessful. He had invited the establishment of a Byzantine exclave in the south, that would last for a further seventy years. It seems clear that the Roman population of Baetica was solidly behind this orthodox patrician Roman governor.

There are few details about this far western extension of Byzantine power, which is overlooked by Justinian's historians Procopius and Agathius. It straddled the Straits of Gades and included major cities: New Carthage (Cartagena), Corduba (Córdoba), and Assionia.

Although throughout his rule he had to fight the Byzantines, the Franks, and the Suevi, and was harassed in the Pyrenees by the Basques, Athanagild strengthened his kingdom internally by conciliating the Catholics, whom his Arian predecessors had oppressed. When the king of the Suevi declared for Catholic Christianity about 560, Athanagild and the Visigothic nobility found themselves isolated in their Arianism.

Athanagild's court at the city he founded, Toledo, was famed for its splendor. His queen was Goiswintha, who gave him two daughters: Brunhilda and the tragically murdered Galswintha, who married the Frankish brother-kings Sigebert of Austrasia and Chilperic, king of the Neustrian Franks, who set aside his first wife in favor of Galswintha, then had her strangled.

Athanagild died peacefully in his bed, a fact his chronicler didn't overlook, and was succeeded by his brothers Liuva I and the powerful restorer of Visigothic unity, Liuvigild, last of the Arian Visigoths.

ee also

* Spania

External links

* [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/BURLAT/19D*.html#Athanagild J.B.Bury, "History of the Later Roman Empire,"] , 1923, ch. XIX


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  • Athanagild Ier — Athanagild Athanagild est un roi wisigoth d Hispanie de l an 554 à sa mort, en 567. Élu roi par ses partisans contre le roi Agila Ier, il obtient l appui des Byzantins qui lui livrent des soldats, et monte sur le trône après l assassinat d Agila… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Athanagilde — Athanagild Athanagild est un roi wisigoth d Hispanie de l an 554 à sa mort, en 567. Élu roi par ses partisans contre le roi Agila Ier, il obtient l appui des Byzantins qui lui livrent des soldats, et monte sur le trône après l assassinat d Agila… …   Wikipédia en Français

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