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Battle of Dibaltum
Part of the Gothic War (376–382)
DateSummer of 377
Locationnear Dibaltum, Thrace
Result Gothic victory
Eastern Roman Empire Goths, Huns, and Alans
Commanders and leaders
Barzimeres ,
Equitius  (POW)

The Battle of Dibaltum was fought between an Eastern Roman army and an army of Goths, Huns, and Alans in the summer of 377. The battle took place outside the city of Dibaltum in Thrace and resulted in a Gothic victory.


After Saturninus issued the order to withdraw all soldiers from the Haemus Mountains, the Goths passed through from Moesia into Thrace and began pillaging the countryside.[1] A force of Goths, joined by their new allies the Huns and Alans, left the area of Marcianopolis and travelled south in search of plunder, arriving close to the city of Dibaltum.[1]

Barzimeres, tribunum scutariorum (Commander of the Guards),[1] alongside other generals, had been transferred from the east to Thrace to combat the Goths, and began setting up camp outside Dibaltum upon his arrival.[2] The Roman army consisted of a unit of scutarii cavalry,[3] cornuti, and other units of infantrymen.[1]


The Goths surprised the Romans as they made camp for the night,[1] and Barzimeres quickly arranged the army into battle formation.[4] The Romans attacked the Goths in an effort to force them to withdraw,[4] and the battle appeared as if it would last until nightfall.[3] A large force of cavalry joined the battle late and surrounded and overwhelmed the Roman army.[3] In the ensuing battle Barzimeres was killed,[3] Equitius, cura palatii (Marshal of the Court), was captured,[5] and most of the Roman army was destroyed.[1]


The Goths, Huns, and Alans sacked Dibaltum,[6] and marched on Beroea to attack the general Frigiderus, but his scouts detected the invaders and Frigiderus promptly withdrew to Illyria.[3] Equitius later managed to escape from captivity.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Hughs (2013), p. 170
  2. Boeft et al. (2017), pp. 150-151
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Coombs-Hoar (2015), pp. 62-63
  4. 4.0 4.1 Taylor (2016), p. 93
  5. 5.0 5.1 Boeft et al. (2017), p. 152
  6. Dikov (2015)


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