Battle of Orléans
Part of the Germanic Wars

Image of the Visigoth king, Theodoric II.
Date463 CE
Aurelianum (Today Orléans, France)
47°54′09″N 1°54′32″E / 47.9025°N 1.9090°E / 47.9025; 1.9090
Result Roman, Frankish and Alan victory
Salian Franks
Kingdom of Soissons
Commanders and leaders
Childeric I
Theodoric II

The Battle of Orléans took place in the year 463 pitting the forces of the Kingdom of Soissons, under the command of the magister militum Aegidius, against those of the Visigoths who were commanded by the Visigoth King Theodoric II and his brother Federico.


Aegidius, who had proclaimed the secession of the northern part of Gaul in 461 after the assassination of Emperor Majorian by Ricimer, a magister militum of Germanic origin who wanted greater control over the Western Empire. Ricimer installed what he hoped would be a more easily controllable emperor, Flavius Libius Severus Serpentius, a move that backfired as he was not recognized by a few of the provinces or by the eastern half of the empire.

The battle

Aegidius, having been stripped of his title by Ricimer, threatened to attack the Italian Peninsula with his considerable army. The Visigoths, sensing an opportunity to extend the frontier of their northern kingdom past the Loire River which was the contemporary boundary of their empire, and having been encouraged by Ricimer to attack the Alans, then allied to the Romans, to deflect their attention away from Italy, mobilized their army for an attack. The two armies met at Orléans in 463. The conflict ended in a costly defeat and rout of the Visigothic army and the death of their commander, Federico, the brother of Theodoric II.[1]


This defeat halted for some time the ambitions of the Visigoths with respect to this northern region of Gaul. This was fortunate for Aegidius and the Roman rump state as they were also being constantly harassed by the Saxons under Odoacer. This Visigoth timidity ended with the Roman provocation at Battle of Déols where a Romano-British invasion army under Riothamus was defeated by the Visigoths from 470-71.

In historical literature

The existence of this battle is referred to in various texts throughout the ages:

See also


  1. ^ Bachrach, Bernard S. (1973). A History of the Alans in the West. U of Minnesota Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780816656998.