The Historia

Seeking Veracity

Historical Excerpts on the 4th & 5th Century  Arbogast  Family Origins



"The Goths took fresh courage;  Fritergern led one host into Thessaly, Epirus, and Achaia, another under Alatheus and Saphrax devastated Pannonia, while Nicopolis was lost to the Romans.  Gratian hastened perforce to the help of his disabled colleague;  Bauto and Arbogast were despatched to check the Goths in the north . . . " - 18,  p.  236

"The campaign of 380 was such a hard one that Theodosius had to solicit reinforcements from his colleague Gratian, which were sent to him under the command of Bauto and Arbogast, two Frankish chiefs who had entered the Imperial Service.  Indeed all along the line, in the West as in the East, the characteristic feature of this period was the number of barbarians who attained high rank in the legions of Rome, and who upon the whole served her with marked fidelity." - 19,  p.  110

"Fitigern, satiated apparently with the ravage of Moesia and Thrace, directed his course southward to Epirus, Thessaly and Achaia: while his old allies, the Ostrogothic chiefs Alatheus and Saphrax, marked down a new prey, crossing over the Danube where it flows from north to south, and attacking the Western Empire in its frontier province, Pannonia. - 14,  p.  304

With all these barbarous hordes pouring in upon the devastated Empire, and himself still unable from physical weakness to ride forth at the head of his legions, Theodosius was constrained to call upon his Western colleague for help.  Gratian did not himself take the field against the Goths, but he seems to have journeyed from Trier to Milan and Aquileia.  From the latter place he doubtless superintended the defence of Pannonia (as to which our authorities tell us nothing), and the attack upon the Goths in Thessaly and Macedonia.  The latter duty was entrusted to two Frankish chiefs named Bauto and Arbogast.  It is a striking proof of the extent to which Teutonic soldiers had already succeeded in establishing themselves in the service of the Empire, to find such a high command as this, at a most critical period for the State, entrusted to two Franks from the forests beyond the Scheldt.  Both were destined to rise even higher in the Roman commonwealth.  Bauto was to be an Emperor's chief minister, and this daughter was --after his death -- to be hailed as Augusta;  Arbogast was to place one of his humble friends and dependents on the Imperial throne.  But both were at this time steadfastly loyal to the great civilised Empire under whose eagles they had enlisted, and the fact that they were men of war, whose hands were soiled by no ignoble gains, not venal hucksterers like Lupicinus and Maximus, had gained for them the enthusiastic love and confidence of their soldiers. - 14,  p.  304

We hear little or nothing as to the details of the campaign conducted by the two Frankish generals, but from its result we may conclude that it was entirely successful.  Macedonia and Thessaly appear to have been freed from their barbarian invaders, who were now probably for the most part ranged along the southern shore of the Danube, in the regions where four years previously they had been peacefully settled by Valens." - 14,  p.  305

It appears that Gratian sent Theodosius his "crack" Western army troops - 15,  fam. tree.  This we can say because in hindsight, they were successful in defeating the Goths, and later on in history, both of the commanders attained high military offices.  Gratian was the son of Valentinian I, half brother of Valentinian II, and nephew of Valens.  When the later was killed in battle, Gratian appointed Theodosius Emperor of the East while retaining Imperial control of the Western Roman Empire.  He must have had a high regard for his Frankish soldiers and this gave Bauto and Arbogast plenty of opportunity to gain positions of importance.  After all, they were his choice to lead the "rescue" of  Theodosius as was stated above.

We hear nothing of these two franks from the historians for the next 3 years.  But, It would appear that perhaps Bauto was assigned as military Advisor, or Minister to aid the young Emperor, Valentinian II, his mother-Regent, and Bishop, Ambrose in ruling the West when Gratian was murdered by Maximus' agents.  Arbogast seems to have stayed in the Eastern legions of Theodosius with his uncle Richomer.


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