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Cniva
Cniva
(fl. mid-3rd century AD) was a Gothic chieftain who invaded the Roman Empire. He successfully captured the city of Philippopolis ( Plovdiv
Plovdiv
in Bulgaria) in 250 and killed Emperor Decius
Decius
and his son Herennius Etruscus
Herennius Etruscus
at the Battle of Abritus
Battle of Abritus
as he was attempting to leave the Empire in 251. This was the first time a Roman Emperor had been killed in combat against barbarians. He was allowed by the new Emperor Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
to leave with his spoils and was paid tribute to stay out of the empire. Cniva
Cniva
eventually broke his peace treaty with Gallus and renewed his invasion. This time, Cniva
Cniva
was soundly defeated by the legions under Roman general Aemilianus.

Contents

1 Invasion of Moesia 2 Roman response 3 Terms of peace 4 References

Invasion of Moesia[edit] Cniva
Cniva
began the invasion of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
when he crossed the Danube. He sent detachments throughout the Roman province of Moesia with forces of Goths, and Sarmatians. His considerable forces demanded the attention of the emperor Decius. While Cniva
Cniva
was laying siege to the city of Nicopolis, Decius
Decius
arrived, and the Goths
Goths
left and headed towards Philippopolis. Decius
Decius
and his troops pursued Cniva
Cniva
through the difficult terrain, but soon, after many forced marches, Cniva
Cniva
turned his troops on Decius, who thought he was farther away from the Goths. The Roman camp was surprised and Decius
Decius
fled while his army was defeated. Then Cniva
Cniva
laid siege to Philippopolis and, after a long resistance, he conquered the city, slaying one hundred thousand people, and taking many prisoners. Roman response[edit] The sack of Philippopolis invigorated Decius, who intercepted several parties of Germans, and repaired and strengthened his fortifications along the Danube, intending to oppose Cniva’s forces. The Romans in time, with their superior numbers, surrounded the Goths, who attempted now to retreat from the empire. But Decius, seeking revenge and confident of victory, attacked the Goths
Goths
at a small town called Forum Terebronii. The Roman army was caught in a swamp when they attempted to attack the Gothic army, and both the emperor Decius
Decius
and his son Herennius Etruscus
Herennius Etruscus
were slain in this battle, known as the Battle of Abritus. Terms of peace[edit] After the battle, the new emperor, Trebonianus Gallus, let Cniva
Cniva
leave with his spoils, and aided the Goths' departure. He even promised to pay a tribute to Cniva
Cniva
in order to keep him from invading the empire again. References[edit]

Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman E

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