Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Andy Cain


In this thesis, I argue that Alaric was not the first king of the Visigoths, at least not in the way in which scholars traditionally have envisaged him as being. This title of first king, I argue, belongs instead to Ataulf who was the one to settle the Visigoths in Hispania and pass on a style of rule that was not based on purely military might. Alaric certainly had a decisive role to play in the formation of the incipient Visigothic kingdom but his role had more to do with laying the groundwork for the development within Visigothic society for the idea of a permanent king and royal succession.