9 August 378: The Day of the Barbarians
RIGHTS SOLD TO:
Critica (world Spanish); Flammarion (French); Millennium Publishing (Buglarian)
New edition illustrated by Sergio Toppi.
The battle that changed history, marking the end of Ancient world and the beginning of the Middle Ages.
The Battle of Adrianople, fought between the Goths and Emperor Valens in 378 AD, is commonly regarded as the start of the barbarian invasions. On a sweltering August afternoon, on the dusty plains of the Balkans, it triggered the dramatic sequence of events that within a century would lead to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. That clash was in reality the outcome of poor management of immigration by the Roman authorities, the catastrophic unravelling of an ugly story of refugees first accepted and then rejected, of shameful abuses and embezzlement in the management of reception camps by an inefficient and corrupt administration. Before then, a centuries-old immigration policy, firmly managed by the imperial government, had allowed large numbers of barbarians to be peacefully welcomed into the empire and successfully employed to revitalise the economy. It was in this context that the Goths, an entire population fleeing a country at war, had been allowed to enter the empire. The scandalous treatment to which they were subjected by brutal soldiers and corrupt politicians provoked a revolt by the refugees, which ended up costing the emperor his life and marking an epochal turning point in world history...