Wallia, king of the Visigoths

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Spanish: Walia, Portuguese: Vália, Latin: Ballia
Also Known As: "Vallia dei Balti", "Re dei Visigoti", "Walha", "Walia", "Ballia"
Death: 418
Immediate Family:

Husband of Unknown possible but unlikely Daughter of Flavius Richomeres
Father of Princess of the Visigoths N.N. and NN NN, Prince of Suebi

Occupation: King of the Visigoths 415-419, rey de los visigodos, koning der Visigoten
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Wallia, king of the Visigoths

Wallia, king of the Visigoths

Image is from "Biographies of the Kings of Spain, Madrid Literary Society 1843-


Wallia, Walha or Vallia (Spanish: Walia, Portuguese Vália), (c. 385 – 418) was king of the Visigoths from 415 to 418, earning a reputation as a great warrior and prudent ruler. He was elected to the throne after Athaulf and Sigeric were both assassinated in 415. One of Wallia's most notable achievements was negotiating a foedus (a kind of treaty or agreement) with the Roman emperor Honorius in 416. This agreement allowed the Visigoths to settle in Aquitania, a region in modern-day France, in exchange for military service to Rome. This settlement marked a significant step towards the eventual establishment of a Visigothic kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula. He was succeeded by Theodoric I.


Political intrigue preceded Wallia's ascension to power, for his Visigothic predecessor Athaulf—who married Galla Placidia in 414—was murdered by his followers who believed him to be a puppet to Roman interests.[1] Athaulf's successor and Sarus' brother, Sigeric, ignored the Visigothic rights of procedure to military leadership and seemed to likewise acquiesce to the Romans; such perceptions among his people quickly led to his death in turn just seven-days after assuming power.[2] Wallia was chosen to replace Sigeric in 415, since the Visigoths were convinced he would end any peace negotiations with Rome undertaken by his forerunners.[2] At the time, the Goths' main antagonist was Constantius, the magister militum of emperor Honorius.[3]

Like his predecessor Alaric, Wallia attempted to take his Gothic forces to northern Africa but ultimately "foundered in the Sea of Gibraltar", a failure that precipitated his suing for peace.[4] Subsequently, Wallia accepted a treaty offered by Honorius with the Roman Empire. Christian historian and theologian, Orosius, reported that the terms of the agreements made in 416 and 418 were very favorable for the Romans,[a] including the return of Honorius' sister Galla Placidia to him.[6][b] Whatever advantages won by Wallia in acquiring food for his forces via treaty with Rome, it was Constantius who exploited the situation by securing the return of emperor's sister, a move historian Michael Kulikowski termed, a route "into the imperial family".[7]

Main article: Gothic War in Spain (416-418)

Now operating in Roman service as foederati, Wallia and his Goths marched against the Alans and Vandals in both Baetica and Lusitania with "dramatic success".[8] These exploits against the Asding Vandals and Alans were at the behest of Constantius.[9] Between 417 and into 418, Wallia's Goths inflicted considerable defeats upon the Vandals and the Alans alike; even killing the Alan ruler, Addax.[8] To this end, Roman writer and clergyman Hydatius recorded how Wallia, king of the Goths "in the name of Rome...inflicted a vast slaughter upon the barbarians in Spain".[10] For whatever reason, Constantius recalled Wallia’s Goths—historian Randers-Pehrson suggests that the magister militum was alarmed and fearful of their success[11]—and then "settled them in southern Gaul."[8][c] Nonetheless, Wallia's Gothic federates were "assigned" the Garonne valley from "Toulouse to Bordeaux" and the coastal strip along the Atlantic from Les Landes at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains "to the Loire in the north".[12] Despite his success, Wallia died before he was able to leave Spain.[13]

Wallia's daughter was the mother of Ricimer and the mother-in-law of Gundowech, King of the Burgundians.[14]

Wallia is sometimes assumed to have been the historical model for the legendary figure of Walter of Aquitaine.[15]


  • a. The terms to Wallia's Goths must have still been reasonably generous, since the peace concluded with the Romans in 416 was replete with 600,000 bushels of grain.[5]
  • b. The original text from Orosius can be found in his Histories Against the Pagans (7.43, 10–13); see: http://www.attalus.org/translate/orosius7B.html
  • c. Historian Guy Halsall points out that although some sources contend these events occurred in 418, he indicates that the year was more likely 419, citing Prosper as a more reliable and contemporary account; Prosper even claimed that the settlement was not officially carried out until 419 under Wallia's successor, Theoderic.[8]


He continued Athaulf's policy of supporting Roman power, giving them back the captive Galla Placidia, sister of the Emperor Honorius, in exchange for grain. He destroyed the Alans, drove the Vandals and Suevi into the northwest, then gave Rome control of the conquered provinces of Tarraconensis in Spain and Novempopulana and Narbonensis in Gaul. As a reward, in 419 the Emperor Honorius granted him the province of Aquitainia Secunda, which became the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse, with its principal cities at Bordeaux, Toulouse and Narbonne. Wallia attempted an invasion of Africa, but his fleet was destroyed in a storm.



WALIA [Valia], son of --- (-Gaul 418). He was elected to succeed in mid-Sep 416 as WALIA King of the Visigoths. Olympiodorus Thebæus records that Ataulf was succeeded by “Sari frater, Singerichus”, who was killed after seven days and succeeded by “Gothorum dux Valia”[47]. The Chronicon Albeldense names “Ballia” as successor of “Sigericus”, adding that he made peace with Emperor Honorius and returned his sister Placidia to him[48]. After unsuccessfully attempting to conquer north Africa, King Walia surrendered to Constantius, the Roman commander-in-chief of the West, in early 416 in return for urgently needed food supplies. He also agreed to provide military help against the Vandals and Suevi in Spain[49]. The Chronicon Albeldense records that “Ballia” entered Spain, extinguished “Wandalos et Silingos in Baetica bello” and reduced “Alanos ad nihilum”[50]. The Romans recalled the Goths from Spain in summer 418 and settled them in the valley of the Garonne in south-west France, the Visigoths turning their attention away from Spain[51]. Olympiodorus Thebæus records the death of “Valia, principe Gothorum”, and the succession of “Theuderichus”[52]. The Chronicon Albeldense records that “Ballia” died “in Gallias” under Emperor Honorius[53].


"Some historical sources say ... he was related to Alaric only by marriage. He was succeeded by Alaric's illegitimate son or son in law, Theodoric. Wallia's daughter married Rechila, King of the Suevi, and was the mother of Ricimer and the mother in law of Gundowech, King of the Burgundians."[3]

Wikipedia's stub (22 Sep 2015), states that his mother is Rocestes, and that Athanaric, might be his father ... but the Encyclopedia, doesn't cite a source. And the only one on the page is a dead link.[4]

From https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walia

From the Balti dynasty, son of Atanaric, and brother of Ataúlfo (according to Baronius, he was a son,2 but it is known that all the sons of Ataulfo were young and all were killed by Sigeric).

But Rocestes was a man:


Rocestes or Rocesthes was a Tervingian Gothic dux of the 4th century who ruled under the caudillage of his older brother Atanarico, both sons of Aoric. He was the father or paternal grandfather of Flavius Alaric I, the first king of the Visigoths, and the father of Afarid, who played a dominant role in the death of the Christian martyr Saba the God.[1]


Rothesteus (flourished in 4th century), also known as Rothesteos, Rothestes, also Radistis was a Gothic sub-king under the Thervingian chieftain Athanaric. He was the father of Atharid, who played a leading role in the killing of the Christian martyr Sabbas.[1]

[1] Kulikowski, Michael (2006). Rome's Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric. Cambridge University Press. p. 200. ISBN 1139458094. Retrieved 30 November 2014.


Wallia was koning van de Visigoten van 415 tot 418. Hij volgde Athaulf op als koning. Hij onderhandelde met keizer Honorius over de terugkeer van diens halfzuster Galla Placidia, koningin-weduwe van de Goten. Een schikking werd bereikt, waarin Wallia een grote lading graan ontving en in dienst van Honorius naar Spanje afreisde met een leger Visigoten ten einde de Germaanse invallers daar te bestrijden (Vandaalse Silingen onder Fredbal in Baetica in het zuiden, de Alanen onder Addac in Lusitania in het westen, de Sueven en de Vandaalse Asdingen onder Gunderic in Gallaecia in het noordwesten).

Wallia ging met zijn Visigoten zeer voortvarend te werk. De Silingen werden praktisch uitgemoord en de Alanen zodanig verslagen dat deze ophielden te bestaan als zelfstandig volk en aansluiting zochten bij de Asdingen. Keizer Honorius liet Wallia het karwei niet afmaken. Nu de Germaanse volken in Spanje dusdanig waren verzwakt wilden de Romeinen daar geen sterk Visigotisch leger hebben. De Visigoten kregen opdracht Spanje te verlaten en ontvingen als beloning een vestigingsgebied in Gallia (Aquitania Secunda en stukken van Narbonensis en Novempopulana). Wallia verwierf tevens voor de Visigoten de federale status als foederati van het rijk, waarmee Wallia stichter werd van het Visigotisch rijk rond Toulouse. Wallia stierf spoedig na het bereiken van het akkoord. In 418 werd Theoderik I tot zijn opvolger gekozen.

Walia o Wallia. Rey de los visigodos entre los años 415 y 418. Sucedió a Ataúlfo tras la muerte de éste en 415 y la muerte de Sigérico asesinado a manos de sus seguidores. Estableció la capital del reino visigodo en Tolosa (la actual ciudad de Toulouse en Francia). Intenta establecerse en el norte de África pero una tempestad da al traste con sus espectativas y falto de víveres firmó la paz con el emperador romano Honorio y un tratado (foedus) con el que Walia se comprometía a entregar a Gala Placida (hermana de Honorio raptada por Alarico I y que había sido esposa de Ataúlfo) y a expulsar de la península Ibérica a los pueblos bárbaros que habían penetrado en el año 409. Por su parte el emperador Honorio entregaría 600.000 modios de trigo a los visigodos. En poco más de dos años los visigodos aniquilan a los vándalos silingos que estaban asentados en la Bética y practicamente a todos los alanos de la Lusitania. De los cuatro pueblos bárbaros ( vándalos asdingos, vándalos silingos, suevos y alanos) que se asentaron en la Península sólo quedaban dos, pero cuando parecía que también serían aplastados por Walia, Honorio decidió cambiar su plan y entregó a los visigodos la Aquitania para que se estableciesen allí.{Con la muerte de Walia desaparece la dinastía baltinga que había comenzado con Alarico I]*.

  • Balti dynasty

These kings were Arians (followers of the theological teaching of Arius). They tended to succeed their fathers or close relatives on the throne and thus constitute a dynasty, the Balti.
• Alaric I (395-410)
• Athaulf (410-415)
• Sigeric (415)
• Wallia (415-418)
• Theodoric I (418-451)
• Thorismund (451-453)
• Theodoric I (453-466)
• Euric (466-484)
• Alaric II( (484-507)
• Gesalec (507-511)
• Amalaric (511-531) (el ultimo de este dinastia)

-Wikipedia - Kings of the Visigoths


  1. Nova Scriptorum: Wallia and the Visigothic settlement in Gaul. < link > (Source: “The Invasion of Europe By the Barbarians”, by Bury, J.B.)