Military Wiki
Siege of Thessalonica (254)
Part of the Roman-Germanic wars
LocationThessalonica, Macedonia
Result Roman victory
Roman Empire Goths
Commanders and leaders
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Siege of Thessalonica in 254[1][2] was the successful defense of the city of Thessalonica by local Roman militia during an invasion of the Balkans by the Goths.[3]


In 254 the Goths invaded and plundered Thrace and Macedonia.[1][4][5] In 1979, Herwig Wolfram regarded 254 as the date, while Mallan and Davenport in 2015 suggested 262.[6][1] Goltz and Hartmann estimated 254 as the date.[2] David Potter in 2016 rejected Mallan and Davenport's estimate and dated it to either 253 or 259.[4]


The Goths attempted to storm Thessalonica in close order formations and assault columns.[5] The Thessalonicans rallied to defend the city walls and defeated the attacks.[5]


The Goths abandoned the siege and moved on to invade Greece south of Thermopylae, seeking to loot the gold and silver wealth of Greek temples.[5] The siege was recorded by the contemporary historian Dexippus.[7] A fragment of his work, discovered in Vienna in 2010, specifies the involvement of the citizens in the defense.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wolfram 1990, p. 48.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Goltz&Hartmann 2008, pp. 233–234.
  3. Mallan&Davenport 2015, p. 221.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Potter 2016, p. 253.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Mallan&Davenport 2015, p. 206.
  6. Mallan&Davenport 2015, p. 215.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Mallan&Davenport 2015, p. 207.


  • Johne, Klaus-Peter, ed (2008). "Valerian und Gallienus" (in de). Die Zeit der Soldatenkaiser. Krise und Transformation des Römischen Reiches im 3. Jahrhundert n. Chr. (235–284).. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. ISBN 978-3-05-004529-0. 
  • Mallan, Christopher; Davenport, Caillan (November 2015). "Dexippus and the Gothic Invasions: Interpreting the New Vienna Fragment". 
  • "War as Theater, from Tacitus to Dexippus". The Topography of Violence in the Greco-Roman World. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 2016. ISBN 978-0472119820. 
  • Wolfram, Herwig (1990). Geschichte der Goten. Entwurf einer historischen Ethnographie. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520069831. 

Further reading[]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).