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Moved from the Alans thread

Quote:We have no idea of the true dispositions of the battle only a rough sketch by Jordanes but if you want a classic comparison look at Hannibal's dispositions in the battle of Cannae

If you want a classical disposition look at the Battle of Marathon. The Huns are the Persians, the Romans are the Plateans, the Alans the Athenian center and the Goths the Athenian Regulars. Thorismund is Militiades and Theodoric is Callimachus (who perishes in the battle) and Thorismund/Militiades leads the Gothic/Athenian right to save the day.

Then the Athenians rush home to secure it from Athenian Traitors aiding the Persian Navy/Thorismund goes home to secure his throne from sedition.

Also Gregory of Tours bases his account of Jordanes, even claiming that the Franks also went home like Thorismund to secure their throne (in the case of the Franks though it's actually true).

Quote:In regards to the Strategikon why would Attila send in his vulnerable horse archers against the Alans in the centre if he knew that they would be vulnerable to heavy lancers, why not the Ostrogoths who at least had some experience with the Alannic way of fighting and in some cases probably fought the same way.

Attila probably expected the Romans to be in the center like they always were, or at least an infantry center since both armies were predominately infantry which the Huns could massacre and rout.

Also really since both sides were deployed on either side of a ridge it would be hard to know each other's dispositions anyways.
According to Richardot, Theodoric II accompanied his father & older brother to the battle & was with his father on the right wing during the battle & he was Thorismund's main rival as proven 2 years later when he assassinated his older brother so why would Thorismond race home. Anyway the battle was a bit more complex than one charge & consisted of stages but the first move Attila wanted to make was to grab the centre hill or higher ground to split Aetius's army in two I assume. I also think Attila was very aware of the dispositions of the Romans as he deliberately placed the Ostrogoths and the Gepids opposite the Visigoths.I am aware of Kim's comparison to Marathon in his book but you asked in earlier post what commander would place his weaker forces in the centre of his battle line? & I was just answered the question. Maybe this should be moved to Chalons or topographical map of battlefield thread as we are way off original topic about the influence of Alans but would like to continue this debate. Confusedmile:
Michael Kerr
Theodoric II and Frederic assassinated Thorismund because he proved to be an incompetent leader, first by destroying the Alans in Gaul and besieging Arles, and then with Aetius unable to do anything he abandons the siege of Arles in negotiations with Ferreolus. Theodoric II and Frederic sought Amicable relations with Aetius and had him removed, and then Frederic was appointed honorary Magister Militum and would campaign with Aetius in 453 to re-take Spain from the Suebes (Aetius sucessfully won back the provinces of Tarraconensis and Carthaginiensis).

I've honestly not seen any primary sources on who was at the battle besides Theodoric and Thorismund, although I wouldn't be surprised if his brothers Theodoric II and Frederic were present.

EDIT: You know what here's the (nearly complete) chapter 8 of my book. This pretty thoroughly explains what probably happened from interpretation of the sources:
Magister Militum Flavius Aetius wrote:

Quote:I've honestly not seen any primary sources on who was at the battle besides Theodoric and Thorismund, although I wouldn't be surprised if his brothers Theodoric II and Frederic were present.
Jordanes does mention the search for Theodoric's body and wrote
Quote: Now during these delays in the siege, the Visigoths sought their king and the king's sons their father, wondering at his absence when success had been attained. When, after a long search, they found him where the dead lay thickest, as happens with brave men, they honored him with songs and bore him away in the sight of the enemy.
He mentions the king's sons. I think both Richardot and Schreiber both mention that Theodoric II was at the battle but in primary sources this is the only reference to more than one son that I have seen although he does not name him or them.
Michael Kerr
Evan, I don't see the attachment of your Chapter 8 anymore, did you remove it?
EDIT: got it now.
Michael Kerr
I noticed it was messed up when I copied and pasted it and I re-uploaded it.
Hi Evan, got to go to bed, grouting tiles tomorrow but just on date of battle, I think that it is impossible for the battle to be on June 20th. We have a situation where the Huns sacked Metz on April 7 or Easter Saturday and manage to sack other cities, attack Paris, lay siege to Orleans and then retreat to the vicinity of Chalons by June 20th. We are not talking about a mechanized war here but an army using carts and horses and slowed down by a large infantry component and a baggage train with loot. They probably travelled 10 miles a day so I think placing the battle on September 20th is much more realistic for the times. We also have the incident of Ardarich the king of the Gepids who met a delegation led by Deacon Memorius, when one of the priests accompanying the deacon held up a crucifix which reflected the sun which spooked the Gepid king's horse dislodging him and his men then massacred six of the priests before they realised the king was OK. This incident happened on September 7 just north-west of Troyes and indicates that at this stage Attila's forces were strung out before converging for the critical battle. :-)
Michael Kerr
The June 20th date was proposed by Bury based on the fact that the siege of Orleans is recorded as having been lifted on June 14th in the primary sources.

Also, the Huns never attacked Paris. The gap between the sacking of Metz and the siege of Orleans is easily enough for them to have sacked Worms before the moved on to Orleans. These towns were lightly defended at best.
Yes maybe but still it would have a slow moving army for the times & a two month campaign is rather short. His scouts would have covered ground quicker but not his army. No modern transport, railways or logistics. How long did they have Orleans under seige. They had a lot of loot to carry as well as that was the point of the whole campaign, foraging for food & water these things are necessary & take time. Chuck in a bit of pillage and plunder on the various routes then ten miles a day for a slow moving army of mainly Germanic infantrymen sounds optimistic even. Shreiber thinks the battle occurred late in summer & not the middle of summer and that the locals burnt the bodies of the dead from Attila's army.

I do wonder about Bury's book as in 1923 he doesn't refer to the battle as Chalons but as the battle of Troyes. As to the June 14 date in the notes in Bury's book it seems there was only one source that indicated June 14 as the date that the siege was lifted and that was the Vita Aniani although to be fair Isidore mention,s besides earthquakes and red skies in the north, an eclipse happening just after the battle " it seems that there was a lunar eclipse in October 451", followed by a comet (Halley's comet was reported over China in June 451 but we don't seem to know how long it was visible for and when in Western Europe although a chronology of the historical appearances of Halley's Comet in a PDF I have mentions.
Quote:Two Comets (now believed to be coming and going of Halley's Comet) were observed over England and France.

Getting all astrological now but not reading too much into natural disasters and signs from God, as the ancients always saw death and disaster in portents like this especially Isidore and the early Christian church and maybe Attila and the Huns as well as they were extremely superstitious. But if the Ardarich the Gepid king's army was resting around the vicinity of Troyes in early September then a date of June 20th for the battle seems unlikely.
Michael Kerr
Remember, word of the battle might not have even arrived in Spain until later that year. It took almost a year for Ravenna to find out about the fall of Carthage based on the fact we don't have legislature concerning a response to it until mid-440.

Evidently Hydatius didn't find out about it until 452 based on his dating system (although IIRC he may have been using a slightly different system).
I just overhauled most of the wikipedia article. Still more to edit, but it's much better now:
Quote:I just overhauled most of the wikipedia article.

Good luck withy that!! Smile