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The Goths – Ancient Rome’s Migrant Crisis

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The globalists refuse to declare the migrant crisis an “invasion,” but we have history’s guidance to show us what happens when an unsustainable number of people enter a nation. The Goths, a non-military group considered migrants, are a perfect example. These men, women, and children sought refuge within the Roman Empire. This was not an invading army but rather a fleeing population seeking safety from the Huns. The Goths, long-time foes of the Romans, appealed to be admitted to Roman territory due to the threat they faced and needed to seek asylum. This event led to significant consequences and marked a turning point in the history of the Roman Empire.

The great Gothic migration involved hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children. While, to some degree, the growing unrest in the East pushed them southward, there is also little doubt that the border defenses of the Roman Empire had also been seriously weakened by the political instability and economic pressures that were building within Rome itself. Of course, the rumor of great plunder and riches available in Roman territory acted like a magnet much in the same way as the rumors of streets paved in gold in America prompted great European migrations during the 19th and early 20th centuries or the outdated stereotype of the American Dream.

Maximinus I 235 238AD AE Sesterius R

By 238 AD, the Gothic position was so threatening to the Roman Empire that Emperor Maximinus was forced to pay them vast amounts of tribute, similar to how countries currently pay all expenses for migrants. While his aim may have been to buy time, this demonstrated weakness on the part of the Romans, who were still in the middle of internal political struggles for power. Internal imperial rivalries ultimately defeated Maximinis. Within less than four years thereafter, the Goths began a series of raids along the Danube.

PHILIP I AR Antoniniany Aequitas

A decade later and Philip I attempted to quell the influx of migrants, but died while battling his successor, Trajan Decius. Rome was simply decaying gradually from internal struggles, which weakened the economy and constantly pitted one legion against another in a struggle for power. We see internal struggles today throughout the West as politics continue to divide the people. The Romans did not consider the Goths to be a force that would threaten the entire Empire, but rather more as a barbarian force looking for plunder rather than power.

Dacia Map

Trajanus Decius declared the Goths an enemy and attempted to force them out of the empire, only for the masses to return a year later. The Goths were prepared this time and formed several strategic alliances with enemies, such as the Dacian Carpi. This led to a full-scale invasion, and the Roman Empire suddenly found itself besieged as war raged on in Moesia, Dacia, and even in Thrace, while the main body of the Gothic invasion was preparing a descent into the region of the Black Sea.

After many battles, the Goths emerged as the new masters of the entire Danube territory, all the way to the Black Sea. Trebonianus Gallus emerged as the new Emperor who could do nothing to reverse the Empire’s humiliating defeat. The Goths now turned to Illyricum and Thrace, burning and plundering their way across the region. By 253 AD, the Goths set sail along the Black Sea, headed straight for Asia Minor, which was wide open and waiting to be plundered.

Aurelian Walls 2

The Roman Empire was declining until Emperor Aurelian came to power and began restorative efforts, including anti-immigration policies. He not merely launched defensive measures, he moved on the offensive against the Goths and demolished them through a series of battles. The Goths were driven out of the Balkans and into Dacia. Aurelian also greatly restored the Black Sea defenses, which helped those regions rebuild their economies as well. However, Aurelian failed to pursue the barbarians into the Roman province of Dacia, pulling back and establishing the new border once again along the natural border as originally defined by Augustus – the Danube.

Aurelian Gold Bust

Aurelian’s decision to redraw the borders left Dacia in the hands of the Carpi and the Goths. Once the Goths were contained, they began to divide into two distinct groups – Ostrogothic and Visigothic kingdoms. These groups would evolve into powerful states that would ultimately bring down the Roman Empire in the West.

Those in favor of the Gothic migration stated that the newcomers would increase tax revenue and benefit the Roman economy. It was a humanitarian crisis and Rome’s responsibility to solve. Instead, the unsustainable influx of Gothic refugees contributed to the eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire. The event marked a turning point in Roman history and was part of a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression. History always repeats.