Battle of Arelate
Part of Majorian's campaigns
DateLate 458 CE
Arelate, Gallia Viennensis II (modern-day Arles, France)
43°40′37″N 4°37′41″E / 43.677°N 4.628°E / 43.677; 4.628
Result Roman victory
Western Roman Empire Visigothic Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Theodoric II

The Battle of Arelate was fought in 458 near Arelate (Arles)[1] between Western Roman Emperor Majorian and Visigothic king Theodoric II.[2] After the assassination of Flavius Aetius in 454, the Visigoths began to expand their kingdom at the expense of the crumbling Roman administration in Gaul and Hispania. When Majorian became emperor in 457, the Visigoths under king Theodoric II had just recently defeated the Suebic Kingdom in north-west Hispania and were consolidating their hold on the rest of the peninsula.[citation needed]

Majorian, a young, capable general in his late thirties, inherited a collapsing empire consisting of only Italy, Dalmatia, and some fractured territories in northern Gaul.[citation needed] He decided the first step towards consolidating the empire would be to confront the Visigoths in Septimania.[2] Traveling with his generals Aegidius and Nepotianus, Majorian encountered the Visigothic king and his army at Arelate, at the mouth of the Rhodanus River (Rhone). The ensuing battle was an overwhelming Gothic defeat. Theodoric II was forced to flee Arelate, abandon Septimania, and conclude a hasty peace treaty. The treaty returned all Visigothic territory in Hispania to the Romans,[citation needed] and the Visigoths were reduced to federate status.[1]

The battle allowed Majorian to campaign deeper in Gaul against the Burgundian Kingdom, and later in Hispania against the Suebic Kingdom.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Timothy Venning (10 February 2011). A Chronology of the Roman Empire. A&C Black. p. 744. ISBN 978-1-4411-5478-1.
  2. ^ a b Spencer C. Tucker (23 December 2009). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East [6 volumes]: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-85109-672-5.