Cry of the Augustinians - A Late Antiquity TL

I: Life of Gaiseric, Death of Augustine Hipponensis
Hi and welcome to My first ever timeline, thé Cry of the Augustinians. This is a TL with a POD in Late Antiquity but I intend to continue for as long as possible. This will be a very long ride - there’s lots of history to cover - so get comfortable and enjoy. I encourage criticism and speculation . The former will help improve this TL while the latter will have influence on the course of history. Though I’ve got a rough outline for future events, ‘public demand’ and good ideas will influence events down the line.
Now, before we start, I’d like to give my thanks to Planet of Hat’s Moonlight in a Jar and Practical Lobster’s Rise of the White Huns which have both been instrumental influences of CotA.


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“How can the past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past, it would not be time, but eternity.”
- Augustine Hipponensis (13 November 354 - 24 September 431 AD)

Excerpt: The Genesis of Vandalrike - Ghaka Aitdemonades, Misadkam & Volux’ Press (AD 1849)

Gaiseric, the illegitimate son of Godigisel was in many ways one of the most important characters of the 5th century. Born near Lake Pelso [1], Gaiseric would join his father in the formation of a Hasdingi led coalition of tribes including the Silingi, Suevi and other Pannonian tribes. Godigisel would be killed battling Frankish foederati at Mainz as the Vandal army crossed the Rhine. With their king dead, defeat was all but certain for the Hasdingi led coalition, however, intervention by the Alans under Respendial would pave the way for a successful crossing of the frozen Rhine. Aged just 17, Gaiseric had become the most powerful man amongst the Hasdingi second only to his half-brother, Gunderic. However, the Battle of Mainz left the Hasdingi weakened and Respendial would go on to be the prominent barbarian figure leading not only the Alans, but also the Hasdingi, Silingi and Suevi.

Under Gunderic’s control, the Hasdingi followed the Alans as they journeyed through Gaul to Hispania where they settled as foederati in Gallaecia (today Swabia [2]) along with the Suevi in 409 AD following Gerontius’ uprising and the subsequent civil war against Constantine III in Hispania. Contemporary Hispanian bishop, Hydatius documented the crossing into Hispania as occurring on either 28 September or 12 October 409. Modern historians agree on taking the two dates as the start and end to the crossing of the Pyrenees by thousands of migrating barbarians coming primarily from the Alans, Suevi, Hasdingi and Silingi. After mass campaigns of plundering in 409 and 410 by both the barbarians and Romans, a peace was formed between the various barbarian groups in 411 dividing Hispania’s provinces among themselves sorte “by lot”: the Silingi settled in Hispania Baetica, the Alans in Lusitania and Hispania Carthaginensis and the Hasdingi and Suevi shared Gallaecia.

In 418, Wallia had led his Visigoths on the orders of Honorius in devastating both the Silingi and Alans leaving only the Hasdingi and Suevi in Gallaecia where they remained undisturbed by King Wallia’s campaigns. The following year, the Visigoths departed to their newly granted lands in Gallia Aquitania (today Gotaland) and a conflict arose between Gunderic and Hermeric, respectively kings of the Hasdingi and Suevi. The two armies would meet at the Nervasos Mountains, however, comes Hispaniarum Asterius attacked the Hasdingi forcing their retreat to Baetica leaving Gaellecia under the sole control of the Suevi. Fighting alongside the Hasdingi at Nervasos were the Alans, having offered the crown of the Alans to Gunderic after the death of their king Attaces in battle against Wallia, the Silingi would join after themselves almost being entirely annihilated by the Visigoths.

Expelled from Gallaecia, Gunderic led his tribe to Hispania Baetica where the surviving Silingi joined the Hasdingi completing the formation of the Vandals. In 422, the army of magister militum Castinus was routed outside Cordoba by the forces of Gunderic. Under Gunderic’s command, a fleet was constructed with which naval dominance was gained in the region allowing for the seizure of large portions of southeastern Spain including the sacking of Carthago Nova and Hispalis in 425 though the Vandals wouldn’t maintain a hold over them. The Vandals would even find themselves attacking Mauretania Tingitana and the Balearics - the start of a naval tradition that would define the Vandals for the centuries to come.

According to Hydatius, Gunderic laid “hands on the church of that very city, by the will of God he was seized by a demon and died.” The death of Gunderic in 428 is unclear but Hydatius’ writings are interpreted as being in reference to Gunderic’s attempt to convert a Catholic church into an Arian one after his recapture of Hispalis in that same year. Not long after his attempt to seize the church, he unexpectedly died. His death is shrouded in even more mystery. Peter of Ephesus’ Historia Wandalorum a century later claims Gaiseric to have had Gunderic assassinated; a claim strengthened by the apparent drowning of Gunderic’s children in Africa. No matter how Gunderic came to pass, Gaiseric was elected by the Vandals to be their new king. He was aged 38.

Gaiseric took the reins of power of a relatively insignificant Germanic tribe at a time when their survival in Hispania was not ensured. It is perhaps for this reason that Gaiseric set his sights upon Roman Libya [3] which was being ravaged by internal disputes. Even before his rise to power, it appears that Gaiseric had begun preparations on raising a fleet to cross the Strait of Cadiz [4] but upon being elected, the speed of preparation only intensified. However, the crossing of the 80,000 or so Vandals would be delayed by an attack from the rear by a large Suevi force under the command of Heremigarius who had successfully seized Lusitania from local Roman forces and was now attacking Hispalis and Merida. Gaiseric defeated the Suevi near Merida, slaying their leader who drowned in the Anas [5] in an unsuccessful attempt to flee.

The following year saw the Vandals cross the strait to disembark near either Tingis or Ceuta seeking safety though Peter of Ephesus asserted that the invasion was initially an invitation by Bonifatius in his war against Sigisvultus. The conflict in Roman Libya had started when in 427, Placidia recalled Bonifatius to Ravenna but he refused. The accusations by Flavius Constantius Felix, the magister utriusque militiae, that Bonifatius was preparing to proclaim himself emperor saw Placidia respond by commanding Felix to send an army to halt Bonifatius’ suspected imperial ambitions. Initially, this force was under the command of generals Mavortius and Gallio who were assisted by Hun foederati under Sanoeces. Carthage was besieged, however, internal disputes saw the besieging army turn in on itself with the Huns killing the Romans before Sanoeces was himself killed, finally bringing the siege to a close. In response, Felix sent comes africae Sigisvultus with a Gothic army once news reached Ravenna. For two years he campaigned in Africa seizing both Carthage and Hippo Regius though Bonifatius continued to campaign in Numidia with his Gothic bucellarii who would pave the way forward for later pro-Vandal support through their plundering of the province. The conflict would come to an end before the landing of the Vandals when a man named Darius was sent by Placidia to negotiate a truce between Bonifatius and Sigisvultus after Placidia had learned that a letter had been forged ordering Bonifatius not to return to Ravenna if summoned. Thus, by the time the first Vandal feet touched Libyan soil, Bonifatius had already been restored to Placidia’s favour.

Despite their relatively small-sized army, the Vandals experienced many victorious battles against the weak Roman defenders quickly overrunning vast swathes of land before their campaign was halted briefly by the same Darius who had negotiated a truce between Bonifatius and Sigisvultus. This time it was between Bonifatius and Gaiseric but warfare quickly resumed soon after, the treaty being ineffective. A year into the invasion, the Roman army, along with a contingent of supporting Gothic foederati, were defeated by Gaiseric near the city of Calama forcing Bonifatius to retreat to Hippo Regius. In June 430, Gaiseric laid siege to the city. Hunger and disease ravaged both the city’s inhabitants and the Vandals outside the city walls, however, it was the Vandals who fared worse. The Vandal force was poorly equipped at waging siege warfare and after 14 months, Gaiseric was forced to lift the siege due to a shortage of supplies in August 431.

Bonifatius used this opportunity to retreat out of the city by sea to meet with Oriental [6] reinforcements under the command of Aspar. In early 432, Gaiseric would engage Bonifatius and Aspar in battle defeating the combined Roman army. This would come after the sacking of Hippo by Gaiseric once the city was abandoned by Bonifatius. Gaiseric made it his capital and the new Vandal rule may not have been unwelcome to the population were it not for the death of Augustine Hipponensis. According to Possidius, Augustine entered a severe illness during the siege of Hippo Regius and through prayer and repentance, he recovered. The Vandals did indeed sack the city but they left Augustine’s cathedral and library untouched with the aged bishop placed under ‘house imprisonment’ by Gaiseric. Possidius would state that Augustine entered his final illness during his imprisonment resulting in his death on 24 September 431 [7].

This was not, however, what the people believed. Rumours that the great bishop had been poisoned by the Vandals spread at first in the markets before these tales were embellished with greater evils committed against Augustine by the Vandals ranging from a secret crucifixion within his own cathedral to being boiled alive. Possidius himself admits that he was somewhat convinced by the accusations of poison though his time spent with Augustine meant that he was certain the bishop died due to natural causes. Nonetheless, the proliferation of rumours sparked riots in Hippo Regius which were forcibly crushed by Gaiseric after an initial failed attempt at a diplomatic solution. The riots of Hippo Regius would entrench the image of Augustine Hipponensis as a martyr and he would act as the inspiration for numerous movements both Christian and non-Christian.

With Bonifatius recalled to Italia and waging a civil war against Flavius Aetius and the rioters pacified, Gaiseric could turn his attention to combatting Aspar who remained in Roman Libya following his defeat in 432. He too, however, would be forced to leave the region to later attain the consulship in 434. Gaiseric would be left relatively unopposed and on 23 February 435, peace was made between Valentinian III and Gaiseric giving the Vandals control of coastal Numidia as well as parts of Mauretania. In return for the Occident’s recognition of Gaiseric as king, he would desist from attacks on Carthage, send his son Huneric as a hostage to Rome and pay tribute to the Empire.

The peace wouldn’t last the decade with Gaiseric breaking the treaty in 439 by invading Africa Proconsularis and laying siege to Carthage. The siege threatened to be a long and costly one as experienced at Hippo Regius, however, a masterful handling of intrigue by Gaiseric and traitors within the city shortened the duration of the siege drastically though its total length is debated. Gaiseric moved his capital from Hippo Regius to Carthage and styled himself the King of the Vandals and Alans. After centuries of subjugation by Rome, Carthage had once again risen to challenge the authority of that eternal city. It is no wonder that Punic imagery would experience a revival under Vandal rule.

The Vandals would find acceptance by the city’s population through a simple promise of toleration on Gaiseric’s part. The ease with which Gaiseric was able to subdue the city is in part due to the deep disaffection of Christians in the region following decades of religious conflicts between Catholics, Donatists, pagans and Manicheans. The fact that the new conquerors were Arian Christians who were up until a few decades ago, pagans was not forgotten by the people and inter-religious disputes and controversy would plague the Vandal state for the decades to come. Bishop Quodvultdeus and Gaudiosus of Naples amongst many others were exiled to Naples by Gaiseric who demanded that all his close advisors be Arians. Though he insisted the elites convert to Arianism, he granted freedom of religion to the commonfolk for whom taxes were lowered as most of the tax pressure was placed on rich Roman families and the Catholic clergy.

With the fall of Carthage, Gaiseric now had access to a much larger fleet captured during the fall of the city. The Vandals now threatened the Romans for the mastery of the western Maremagnean Sea [8]. Just a year after Carthage fell, the Vandals found the Occident [9] preoccupied with war in Gaul and exploited this opportunity to raid Sicily. Vandals, Alans, Goths and Moors all joined in the plundering of coastal towns and unsuccessful besieging of Palermo returning to Libya with heavily laden ships. The failure of the Occident to respond saw an Orient response on the orders of Theodosius II. The expedition, however, would only progress as far as Sicily. Theodosius sent the Oriental fleet under the command of Areobindus into Sicilian waters taking the Vandals by surprise, however, to launch this expedition, Theodosius was forced to strip the Balkans of soldiers allowing the Huns to mount an invasion of the region.

The year later, Gaiseric unsuccessfully attempted to seize Agrigento prompting Valentinian III to secure a second peace treaty with Gaiseric granting Byzacena, Tripolitania and parts of Numidia to the Vandals while confirming their control of Proconsular Africa. The Vandal kingdom was acknowledged to be an independent country rather than a subsidiary to Roman rule. The rest of Roman Libya found itself totally separated from the Empire’s control and it would be around this time that local leaders started acting as independent in all but name. To solidify the treaty, Huneric was betrothed to Valentinian III’s daughter Eudocia. A more overlooked aspect of the treaty was its ensuring that grain shipments from Roman Libya continued to Italia. Nonetheless, the treaty did not halt Vandal raids as Gaiseric and his fleets plundered the coasts of the Oriental and Occidental Empires.

Either before or after the signing of the peace treaty with Valentinian III, an uprising broke out against Gaiseric by many amongst the nobility. This was followed by a reform of the Vandal military structure which replaced the initial traditional tribal warrior-aristocracy. The new system implemented distributed military ranks and land ownership among Gaiseric’s personal followers who were henceforth known as chilliarchs.

On 13 March 453, Gaiseric dropped dead at a feast choking to death at the age of 64. There is little information on the details of his death, however, like his brother, the consensus of modern historians is that he too was assassinated; most likely by a Roman agent. Peter of Ephesus concluded that Gaiseric’s death was by natural means but this is widely regarded as being an ecclesiastical “cover story” to hide Majorian’s political manoeuvring. Succeeding Gaiseric was his son Huneric, the second rex wandalorum et alanorum.


[1] Lake Balaton
[2] Swabia corresponds to Galicia, Asturias and the north of Portugal
[3] Libya corresponds to the Maghreb
[4] Strait of Gibraltar
[5] Guadiana River
[6] The Eastern Roman Empire
[7] The POD. Augustine Hipponensis recovers from his illness temporarily passing away only after Hippo Regius fell to Gaiseric
[8] The Maremagnean Sea corresponds to the Mediterranean
[9] The Western Roman Empire

SUMMARY:

430: The Vandals under king Gaiseric extend their power in Libya along the Maremagnean Sea, and lay siege to Hippo Regius (where Augustine has recently been bishop). (POD)
431: Hippo Regius becomes the capital of the Vandal Kingdom. After 14 months of hunger and disease, the Vandals ravage the city. The death of Augustine Hipponensis sparks riots against Vandal rule in Hippo.
432: Bonifatius and Aspar are routed by the Vandals. Bonifatius is recalled to Italia and Aspar continues fighting until his own withdrawal.
435: King Gaiseric concludes a peace treaty with the Romans, under which the Vandals retain Mauretania and a part of Numidia as foederati of Rome.
439: King Gaiseric breaks his treaty with the Occidental Roman Empire and invades Africa Pronconsularis. Carthage falls to the Vandals and Gaiseric makes it his capital and establishes the Vandal Kingdom.
440: A Vandal fleet and their allies set out from Carthage for Sicily. They loot all the coastal towns and unsuccessfully besiege Palermo. Bonifatius fails to respond, however, Theodosius II sends Areobindus to Sicily in an unsuccessful expedition.
442: A Vandal fleet unsuccessfully besieges Agrigento prompting Valentinian III to sign a peace treaty with King Gaiseric recognising the Vandal Kingdom. He grants him sovereignty over most of Libya. This marks the end of the Vandal migrations; they settle in Libya with Carthage as their capital. Valentinian III forms a marriage proposal for his eldest daughter Eudocia and Gaiseric’s son Huneric.
442: A noble revolt breaks out against Gaiseric. Gaiseric pacifies the uprising and reforms the military structure.
453: Gaiseric dies at a feast. He choked to death, probably due to poison, at age 64. The Vandal Kingdom is succeeded by his son Huneric.

Kings of the Vandals and Alans
Hasdingian dynasty
Gaiseric: 2 November 439 - 13 March 453 (13 years, 4 months, 11 days)
Huneric: 13 March 453 - ?
 
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Extremely interesting POD. I haven't seen very many Late Antique timelines.

I'll be watching this one!
Thanks a whole lot! There is definetly a lack of Late Antiquity TLs which is disappointing considering how important this period was in establishing many of the future nations of Europe but also the Middle East and North Africa if you class Islam as arising in Late Antiquity.
 
With Gaiseric dead things are going to be interesting. Iotl the vandal realm declined after his death, i wonder if this means North Africa will be more susceptible to a Roman reconquest? If Majorian still comes to power he could take NA and restore the empire.
 
A fellow Late Antiquity timeline. Huzzah!
CotA will share some similarities to the Amalingian Empire though these similarities would be reached in very different ways.
With Gaiseric dead things are going to be interesting. Iotl the vandal realm declined after his death, i wonder if this means North Africa will be more susceptible to a Roman reconquest? If Majorian still comes to power he could take NA and restore the empire.
Gaiseric's early death will leave the Vandals without his strong leadership for 20 or so years. This will have drastic consequences. Majorian will become very important, though not like in OTL.
 
With a POD on the year 430 Valentinian III and Theodosius II could have sons ITTL that eventually inherits their thrones.
 
Double t to show short first vowel, nd> n under influence of romance adjective suffixes.
Thank you, I will take that into account when working on the development of language in Iberia which reminds me, linguistics will play a very large part in the TL and some truly unique combinations will arise as the TL progresses. However, in English, it is simply called Gotaland.
 
II: Rise of Bonifatius
Sorry for the delayed update. I was spending a week in Italy and was supposed to be spending another week in France but COVID-19 has changed those plans. In regards to Italy, it was absolutely beautiful; it went above and beyond my expectations so in honour of my time there, Sorrento would be getting some good treatment later down the line.



“Great empires are not maintained by timidity”
- Tacitus (56 - 120 AD)

Excerpt: Occidental Emperors of the 5th Century, The Theodosians and Liuvingians - Madelgarda Moniades, Theedlijk Gyngthitzheidthing Vrangonrijk (1852 AD)

Bonifatius’ rise to the position of magister militum was one that required two civil wars. There exists little information on his early upbringing with the earliest mention of him dating back to 413 when a young Bonifatius, under the service of Constantius III, defeated a Visigothic force under Athaulf at Massilia allegedly wounding the king himself. His position with the army would only continue to advance with him relocated to Libya where, as tribunus, he commanded a Gothic foederati regiment against the Mauri. During this time, he had developed a close relationship with Augustine Hipponensis with whom he would discuss theology. In 422, he married the daughter of the Gothic Beremudus, Pelagia, after being recalled to Ravenna where he would inherit his father-in-law’s bucellarii.

Now in Italia, he would be tasked with launching an invasion of Hispania with patricius Flavius Castinus. The campaign was unsuccessful due to Castinus’ own ‘haughty and inept exercise of command’ which caused quarrelling between him and Bonifatius. Galla Placidia sought to prevent Castinus from becoming a repeat of Stilicho, and as a result did not help heal the tensions between him and Galla Placidia’s protege, Bonifatius. Following the disputes, Bonifatius left the expedition arriving in Africa where he would begin to build up a power base, having dubiously gained the command of comes africae. Castinus had initial success against the Vandals, successfully putting them under a blockade which came close to forcing a surrender. However, the betrayal of his Gothic auxiliaries led to his defeat at the Battle of Tarraco. The Romans were utterly defeated forcing Castinus to fall back to Tarraco.

Castinus’ career would take a turn with the sudden death of the inactive Emperor Honorius on 15 August 423 leaving a power vacuum in the Occident. Theodosius II, despite now being the legal sole ruler of the whole Roman Empire, hesitated in nominating a new emperor of the Occident. It is possible that he had reached an agreement with Castinus who would act as Theodosius’ vice-regent in the Occident in return for being appointed consul for 424 along with the Oriental Victor. Whether or not such an agreement was made would not prevent Castinus from taking advantage of the situation and proceeding to become a kingmaker by declaring Joannes, the primicerius notariorum “chief notary” (the head of the civil service), to be the new Occidental Emperor in late 423. Joannes’ rule was accepted in Italia, Gaul and Hispania but not in Africa where Bonifatius continued to fight the Mauri.

Theodosius reacted by preparing Valentinian III for promotion to the imperial office, naming him nobilissimus. He was betrothed to Licinia Eudoxia, Theodosius’ daughter by Aelia Eudocia and Valentinian’s first cousin once removed; Valentinian was four years old, Licinia only two. Finally, Valentinian was proclaimed a Caesar in the Oriental court by the end of 424. The same year, the campaign against Joannes started with Ardaburius commanding an embarked infantry force to capture Ravenna. A second force was put under the command of Aspar who marched to Aquileia which surrendered with virtually no resistance. On the other hand, Ardaburius’ fleet was dispersed by a storm and he would be captured by forces loyal to Joannes along with two of his galleys resulting in his imprisonment in Ravenna.

Joannes showed good treatment towards his prisoner evening allowing him to walk the court and streets of Ravenna. Ardaburius took advantage of these liberties to convince some of Joannes’ forces to defect to Theodosius’ side. These conspirators contacted Aspar beckoning him to Ravenna with a shepherd leading the cavalry through the marshes of the Po to the gates of the capital. With besiegers on the outside and defectors within, Ravenna was quickly captured along with Joannes who had his right hand cut off before being mounted on a donkey and paraded through the streets; finally beheaded in the hippodrome of Aquileia. Valentinian III was officially proclaimed the new Augustus of the Occidental Roman Empire on 23 October 425, in the presence of the Roman Senate. Three days following the usurper’s death, a reported 60,000 Huns from across the Danubes were brought as reinforcements for the army of Aetius who had declared his allegiance to Joannes. Following some skirmishing, Placidia and Aetius came to an agreement paying off the Huns sending them home and granting the position of magister militum per Gallias (commander-in-chief of the Roman army in Gaul) to Aetius.

During the succession crisis, Bonifatius had cut off the grain supply from Libya, showing his support for Placidia and Theodosius II. So too did he campaign against Joannes’ forces who attempted to capture Africa but were unsuccessful in their attempted deposition of the comes africanae. However, once the magister officiorum Helion made Valentinian III the new Occidental emperor, Bonifatius resumed grain shipments to Rome in return for the position of comes domesticorum. In this new position, Bonifatius remained in Africa for several years before Placidia recalled him to Ravenna in 427, summons which he refused.

Flavius Constantinus Felix, made a patricius in 425, had alleged Bonifatius of attempting to form his own empire in Libya. He himself sought to further his own powers as though he served as magister utriusque militae, he was regarded as being less significant than Bonifatius when he came to military affairs. The year previous, he had taken action to increase his influence by ordering the death of the bishop of Arelate, Patroclus, and the deacon in Rome, Titus. With Galla Placidia turned against the seemingly disloyal Bonifatius, Felix could send troops to Africa though the army would be defeated by those loyal to Bonifatius. Felix’s power would continue to grow with him elected consul for the Occident in 428. However, his career would be cut short by his arrest and execution by Aetius along with his wife Padusia and a deacon in May 430 after being accused of plotting against Aetius.

In the meantime, Felix’s generals Mavortius and Gallio’s forces were unsuccessful at the Siege of Carthage when the assisting Hun foederati under Sanoeces killed the Roman commanders after the besieging forces turned on each other. Sanoeces himself would be killed finally breaking the siege. News soon reached Ravenna prompting the sending of Sigisvultus, appointed to be the new comes africae, against Bonifatius. With his Gothic force, he captured Carthage forcing a withdrawal into Numidia by Bonifatius and his Gothic bucellarii who were permitted to loot the province. To gain further support in his battle against Sigisvultus, Bonifatius had his daughter baptized by an Arian priest causing a falling out between him and his friend Augustine Hipponensis. After two years of campaigning, an envoy was sent by Placidia to Bonifatius, from which she learned that a letter had been forged ordering him not to return to Ravenna if summoned. In response, a man named Darius was sent to Libya to negotiate a truce between Bonifatius and Sigisvultus ending with the former’s restoration to Placidia’s favour and the end of the civil war in time to face the Vandal threat posed by Gaiseric. Sigisvultus would be stripped of his title as comes africae but would continue to serve in the army after returning to Italia.

Having just finished the fighting against Sigisvultus, Bonifatius now found himself fighting off a Vandal invasion of Libya. Gaiseric crossed his forces near Roman Tingis in 429 and advanced across Libya before this campaign was halted briefly by the same Darius who had negotiated a peace between Sigisvultus and Bonifatius. The established truce, however, was quickly broken by Gaiseric who quickly resumed his invasion defeating Bonifatius’ army and supporting Gothic foederati at the Battle of Calama in 430. Bonifatius retreated with his reduced resources to Hippo Regius where in May or June, he was surrounded by Gaiseric’s besieging forces before a lack of supplies forced the besieging forces to lift their siege in July or August 431. Bonifatius retreated from the city leaving it at the mercy of Gaiseric. According to Peter of Ephesus, Bonifatius reconciled with Augustine Hipponensis and wept as the sick bishop refused to abandon Hippo.

Bonifatius joined with Oriental forces under the command of Aspar and the two men engaged Gaiseric in battle in early 431 only to be defeated. Following his failures in Libya, Bonifatius was recalled to Italia where after being warmly received by Placidia, he was appointed magister utriusque militiae and patricius of the Occident as a reaction to the hanging of Flavius Felix at the instigation of Flavius Aetius whose influence Placidia feared. Aetius feared his fall to be imminent, as his military command was stripped, and thus organized a battle with Bonifatius five Roman miles outside of Rimini in 432. Bonifatius and his son-in-law Sebastianus were victorious, [1] and Aetius fled to the Hunnic court of his friend, Rua, the king of the Huns, in Pannonia after being allowed to retire to his private estates. The following year, Aetius returned with a large army of Huns and marched on Ravenna. Bonifatius prepared to fight Aetius by summoning the Visigoths to his aid.

Bonifatius intercepted Aetius as he marched to Ravenna at Patavium [2]. Both forces encamped their forces outside the city reading for a pitched battle. The two armies would remain in their camps for a few days before news of the arrival of 13,000 reinforcements commanded by Hugelicus (the majority being Visigoths) reached Bonifatius. Aetius, aware of the reinforcements due to gathered intelligence, initiated battle with Bonifatius to avoid Bonifatius joining forces with the reinforcements. Aetius would be unable to break Bonifatius’ army before the reinforcements arrived thus ending the sizeable numerical advantage he had previously enjoyed. The battle would be decided by the death of the Hunnic officer, Edeco, when he tried to reach Bonifatius with the right flank. He was slain by a Visigothic soldier provoking the rout of the right flank which slowly developed into a mass retreat as remnants of the army sought to escape the capture or massacre that would follow after the battle. Aetius, himself decided to flee after trying to reorganize his army.

Though Aetius was defeated at Patavium, Bonifatius now had to deal with the surviving groups of Huns and barbarians who were trying to escape from the Occident. Bonifatius ordered Aetius to be captured alive. In the days following the battle, almost ⅓ of the original army was captured while casualties amounted to almost double those captured. Bonifatius’ forces, on the other hand, had half the casualties Aetius had experienced. Aetius himself was captured while trying to flee back to the Hunnic court. He was dragged to Ravenna in shackles and exposed to the people before being strangled to death. Aetius died destitute and poor with nothing to his name for Bonifatius had seized all his property and estates while Aetius found refuge with Rua. After two civil wars, Bonifatius had secured his place as the most powerful person within the Occident.

[1] Unlike OTL, Bonifatius isn’t mortally wounded at Rimini
[2] Padua

SUMMARY:

432: Bonifatius and Aetius battle one another at the Battle of Rimini following the promotion of the former and stripping of military command of the latter. Aetius flees to the court of the king of the Huns, Rua.
433: With a Hunnic army, Aetius battles Bonifatius at the Battle of Patavium. He is defeated and captured following the battle and put to death in Ravenna leaving Bonifatius as the undisputed magister militum of the Occident.

LIST OF LEADERS:

Comes et Magister Utriusque Militiae of the Occidental Roman Empire
Flavius Constantius: 411 - 421
Castinus: 422 - 425
Flavius Constantius Felix: 425 - 430
Bonifatius: 431 - ?
 
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