From Academic Kids

Euric, also known as Eurico or Erwig (c. 415 - 484) reigned as King of the Visigoths, with his capital at Bordeaux, from 466 until his death. He divided the Western Roman Empire with Odoacer.

The eighth king in line from Alaric, Euric was the younger brother of Theodoric II, and ruled a large portion of the Visigothic possessions in the Aquitaine region of Gaul. The area had been under Visigoth control since 415. Over the decades, they had gradually expanded their holdings at the expense of the weak Roman government, advancing well into Spain in the process.

Upon becoming king, Euric defeated several other Visigothic kings and war chiefs in a series of civil wars, and soon became the first ruler of a truly unified Visigoth nation. Taking advantage of the Romans' problems, he extended Visigothic power in Spain, driving the Suevi into the northwest of Iberia, and by the time the Western Empire ended in 476, he controlled nearly the entire Iberian peninsula.

In 470, Euric defeated an attempted invasion of Gaul by the Celtic magnate Riothamus, and expanded his kingdom even further north, possibly as far as the Somme River, the march of Frankish territory.

Previous Visigoth kings had officially ruled only as legates of the Roman Emperor, but Euric was the first to declare his complete independence from the puppet Emperors.. In 475, he forced the western emperor Julius Nepos to recognize his full independence in exchange for the return of the Provence region of Gaul. The Roman citizens of Spain then pledged their allegiance to Euric, recognizing him as their king. In the same year Clermont-Tonnerre surrendered to him after a long siege, and its bishop Sidonius Apollinaris sued for peace.

Euric was one of the more learned of the great Visigothic kings, and was the first Germans to formally codify his people's laws. The Code of Euric, AD 461, codified the traditional laws that were entrusted to the memory of designated specialists, who learned each article by heart.

At Euric's death in 484, the Visigothic kingdom encompassed all of Spain except for the region of Galicia (ruled by the Suebi) and more than two-thirds of modern France. Edward Gibbon (ch. xxxviii) remarked

"The fortune of nations has often depended on accidents; and France may ascribe her greatness to the premature death of the Gothic king, at a time when his son Alaric was a helpless infant, and his adversary Clovis an ambitious and valiant youth."
Preceded by:
Theodoric II
King of the Visigoths Followed by:
Alaric II

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