Online Encyclopedia

ALARIC II

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 472 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALARIC II. (d. 507), eighth king of the Goths in Spain, succeeded his father Euric or Evaric in 485. His dominions not only included the whole of Spain except its north-western corner, but also Aquitaine and the greater part of Provence. In religion Alaric was an Arian, but he greatly mitigated the persecuting policy of his father Euric towards the Catholics and authorized them to hold in 506 the council of Agde. He displayed similar wisdom and liberality in political affairs by appointing a commission to prepare an abstract of the Roman laws and imperial decrees, which should form the authoritative code for his Roman subjects. This is generally known as the Breviarium Alaricianum, or. Breviary of Alaric (q.v.). Alaric was of a peaceful disposition, and endeavoured strictly to maintain the treaty which his father had concluded with the Franks, whose king Clovis, however, desiring to obtain the Gothic province in Gaul, found a pretext for war in the Arianism of Alaric. The intervention of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths and father-in-law of Alaric, proved unavailing. The two armies met in 507 at the Campus Vogladensis, near Poitiers, where the Goths were defeated, and their king, who took to flight, was overtaken and slain, it is said, by Clovis himself. ALA-SHEHR (anc. Philadelphia), a town of Asia Minor, in the Aidin vilayet, situated in the valley of the Kuzu Chai (Cogamus), at the foot of the Boz Dagh (Mt. Tmolus) 83 m. E. of Smyrna (105 by railway). Pop. 22,000 (Moslems, 17,00o; Christians, 5000). Philadelphia was founded by Attalus II. of Pergamum about 150 B.C., became one of the " Seven Churches " of Asia, and was called " Little Athens " on account of its festivals and temples. It was subject to frequent earth-quakes. Philadelphia was an independent neutral city, under the influence of the Latin Knights of Rhodes, when taken in 1390 by Sultan Bayezid I. and an auxiliary Christian force under the emperor Manuel II. after a prolonged resistance, when all the other cities of Asia Minor had surrendered. Twelve years later it was captured by Timur, who built a wall with the corpses of his prisoners. A fragment of the ghastly structure is in the library of Lincoln cathedral. The town is connected by railway with Afium-Kara-Hissar and Smyrna. It is dirty and ill-built; but, standing on elevated ground and commanding the extensive and fertile plain of the Hermus, presents at a distance an imposing appearance. It is the seat of an archbishop and has several mosques and Christian churches. There are small industries and a fair trade. From one of the mineral springs comes a heavily charged water known in commerce as " Eau de Vals," and in great request in Smyrna. See W. M. Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches (1904).
End of Article: ALARIC II
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ALARIC (Ala-reiks, " All-ruler "), (c. 370-410)
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