Battle of Bolia

Battle of Bolia
Part of Roman-Germanic wars
Result Decisive Ostrogothic victory
Supported by:
Roman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Bolia, was a battle in 469 between the Ostrogoths (Amal Goths) and a coalition of Germanic tribes in the Roman province of Pannonia.[1] It was fought on the south side of the Danube near its confluence with the river Bolia, in present-day Hungary. The Ostrogoths won, achieving supremacy in Pannonia, but soon migrated south towards richer lands.[2][3][4]



Following the death of Attila, various Germanic and other tribes sought their independence from his empire.[5] They allied under the command of Ardaric, the Gepid king, and defeated the Huns and supporting forces at the Battle of Nedao in 454 CE.[6] While the role of the Ostragoths in that battle is unclear,[6][7] it resulted in their independence as well.[8] After the Battle of Nedao, the newly freed tribes jockeyed for supremacy in Pannonia for the next fifteen years, most eventually becoming federates of the Eastern Roman Empire.[9]


The Amal Goths were led by Theodemir, brother-in-law to the Ostrogoths' chief Valamir, who had been killed prior to the battle. The coalition included the Suevi under Hunimund, the Scirii under Hunulphus and Edicon (Edeko, Edica, Edika), the Sarmatians, the Gepids, the Rugians, and likely included the Heruli.[3] The Roman Emperor Leo I supported the anti-Goth coalition, despite the advice of his general Aspar.[2] Despite Valamir's death, the Ostrogoths won,[10] and the battle marked the end of the Scirii as a separate people.[1]


While some authors[11] have simply stated that the Bolia River remains unidentified; nonetheless, the Bolia was identified with the Ipeľ by the historian Ludwig Schmidt,[12] and this identification continued to be followed by Wolfram,[2] and several other modern authors, without further analysis.[13] However, as Émilienne pointed out such an identification would not place the battle in Pannonia.[14] In order to fix that, Wolfram then suggested that the battle was across the Danube from the mouth of the Ipeľ at ,[2] which would have placed it near what is now the village of Pilismarót, in present-day Hungary; however, that area is not a plain. As the battle is described as occurring in Pannonia on a plain,[15] some authors place it some sixty-five kilometers further west on the eastern side of the Little Hungarian Plain,[3] which would make the Bolia River the Concó River, and place the battle near present day Csém at .


  1. ^ a b Reynolds, Robert L.; Lopez, Robert S. (1946). "Odoacer: German or Hun?". The American Historical Review. 52 (1): 36–53. doi:10.2307/1845067 .
  2. ^ a b c d Wolfram, Herwig (1990). "The Ostrogothic Kingdom in Pannonia". History of the Goths. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 264–265. ISBN 978-0-520-06983-1.
  3. ^ a b c Gračanin, Hrvoje; Škrgulja, Jana (2014). "The Ostrogoths in Late Antique Southern Pannonia" . Acta Archaeologica Carpathica. 49: 165–205, page 176.
  4. ^ Christie, Neil (2007). "From the Danube to the Po: The defence of Pannonia and Italy in the fourth and fifth centuries AD". In Poulter, Andrew G. (ed.). The Transition to Late Antiquity, On the Danube and Beyond. Proceedings of the British Academy. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 547–580. ISBN 978-0-19-726402-7.
  5. ^ Maenchen-Helfen, Otto (1973). The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture . Translated by Knight, Max. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 143 –144. ISBN 978-0-520-01596-8.
  6. ^ a b Hodgkin, Thomas (1891). Theodoric the Goth: The Barbarian Champion of Civilization . New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. p. 29 . OCLC 218093 .
  7. ^ Wolfram 1990, p. 259
  8. ^ Kim, Hyun Jin (2013). The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 113 . ISBN 978-1-107-00906-6.
  9. ^ Wolfram 1990, p. 260
  10. ^ While Jordanes, and most other authors, state that the Ostrogoths won, Kim states that they lost, apparently based upon the fact that they subsequently moved south further into the Roman Empire. Kim, Hyun Jin (2015). Huns. Milton Park, Oxfordshire: Routledge. p. 119 . ISBN 978-1-317-34090-4.
  11. ^ For example Thompson, E. A. (2002). Romans and Barbarians: The Decline of the Western Empire. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 19 . ISBN 978-0-299-08704-3., originally published in 1982.
  12. ^ This identification was made in 1934 in the second edition of his book on the eastern Germanic tribes. Schmidt, Ludwig (1934). Geschichte der deutschen Stämme bis zum Ausgang der Völkelrwanderung: Die Ostgermanen (in German) (second ed.). Munich: C.H. Beck. p. 275. OCLC 895461758 ., and followed by Wolfram, as stated in his review by Émilienne, Demougeot (1983). "Herwig Wolfram, Geschichte der Goten, 1979" . Revue des Études Anciennes (in French). 85 (3): 314–319. using the 1941 printing of Schmidt.
  13. ^ See authors cited at Gračanin, Hrvoje; Škrgulja, Jana (2014). "The Ostrogoths in Late Antique Southern Pannonia". Acta Archaeologica Carpathica. 49: 165–205, page 176, note 64.
  14. ^ Émilienne 1983, p. 318
  15. ^ Jordanes Getica LIII (paragraph 278 )

Categories: 469 | 460s conflicts | Battles involving the Ostrogoths | Battles involving the Suebi

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