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And so the Visigoth chiefs rejoiced at the idea of war against Rome, for they knew that if they were victorious they would have the wealth of the richest city of the world to divide among themselves.
— Famous Men of the Middle Ages by John Henry Haaren

The Visigoths were the western branch of the Goths, a group of nomadic Germanic tribes that appeared in mainland Europe in the 3rd century. They spread throughout the territories of the weakening Western Roman Empire come the 5th century, and even sacked Rome itself in 410 under the leadership of Alaric I.

The Visigoths established footholds in many regions of Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire but were weakened by the invading Moors in Spain and campaigns by the Eastern Roman Empire that attempted to retake old Roman lands, such as those under Flavius Belisarius. Eventually, they were absorbed into the empire of Charlemagne.

The armies of the Visigoths were heavily based around cavalry, predominately heavy cavalry backed up by lighter mounted scouts. Infantry occasionally played a wider role, such as at the Battle of Adrianople, in which an allied Gothic army defeated the army of the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens. The Visigothic infantry was armed in a similar manner to their Roman enemies.

The Visigoths relied on a levy system for troops, and did not maintain standing armies. Like many armies before and after them, what role a Visigoth would serve in the army depended on their wealth and social standing. The Visigoths had a capricious with the many peoples surrounding them, and during times of peace, would serve as mercenaries to fight in the wars of the Romans, Alans, and Huns.

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