I’ve started reading Vanished Kingdom’s by Norman Davies. It is pretty interesting, and I think it merits a similar treatment to the Notable Trials – a chapter by chapter discussion.
The book itself is about kingdoms and nations in Europe that existed in the past but are now gone – some without much trace, others with more of a current impact.
The first chapter is on the Visigothic kingdom in France. After Alaric‘s sack of Rome and his death, the new king Ataulf accepted an alliance to fight in Gaul against other invaders with a view to getting land for a settlement. Around 415, they got it, and settled in the area of Aquitaine. After some expansion they made Tolosa, modern Toulouse, their capital.
The Goths in Gaul made their biggest impact in history by helping to drive off Atilla’s invasion in 451 at the Battle of Catalunian Fields. Their king was killed in the battle, but Gaul was saved. As the Western Empire faded, their power grew until a good third of Gaul was under their control. At one point, their puppet Emperor Avitus was ruling the West as well. Around this time the Goths were allowed to expand into Spain, finally taking most of it to rule.
After the final fall of the Western Empire, there were only two powers in Gaul – the Goths and the Franks. In 507, Alaric II the king fought Clovis the Frank and was defeated and killed. The disaster let the Franks occupy virtually all of the kingdom’s lands in Gaul, leaving the Visigoths to rule in Spain until the Moslem invasions a few centuries later. They never were able to recover their position, and the Franks were masters of Gaul, or rather Francia – France.
- The Huns and the Vandals – Thomas Hodgkin (kilobooks.wordpress.com)
- Case of vanished states and a Republic which lasted just one day!! (mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com)