1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ataulphus
|←Atargatis||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2
|See also Ataulf on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
ATAULPHUS (the Latinized form of the Gothic Ataulf, “Father-wolf,” from atta, father, and vulfs, wolf; mod. Germ. Adolf, Latinized as Adolphus, the form used by Gibbon for the subject of this article), king of the Goths (d. 415). On the death of Alaric (q.v.) his followers acclaimed his brother-in-law Ataulphus as king. In 412 he quitted Italy and led his army across the Alps into Gaul. Here he fought against some of the usurpers who threatened the throne of Honorius; he made some sort of compact with that emperor and, in 414, he married his sister Placidia, who had been since the siege of Rome a captive in the camp of the Goths. The ex-emperor Attalus danced at the marriage festival, which was celebrated with great pomp at Narbonne. In 415 Ataulphus crossed the Pyrenees into Spain and died at Barcelona, being assassinated by a groom. The most important fact in his history is his confession, recorded by Orosius, that he saw the inability of his countrymen to rear a civilized or abiding kingdom, and that consequently his aim should be to build on Roman foundations and blend the two nations into one.