Number 1. 2013
Estudios bizantinos is a digital and international open-access journal of Byzantine Studies. It has been created by the Sociedad Española de Bizantinística and it welcomes scientific papers with original and high-quality content on any aspect of the Byzantine civilisation.
 

Jason Fossella
30-38
 




Abstract
In the mid-sixth century, the Emperor Justinian sent an army to Spain, under the pretense of intervening in a dynastic dispute among the Visigoths. This expedition ended in the acquisition of territory for the Empire in modern Andalusia, Murcia and Valencian. Referred to as the province of Spania, this region would remain in Byzantine hands until the 620s. This article argues that the common modern version of the invasion, in which Byzantine forces arrived in 552, fought on the side of the usurper Athanagild until 555, and then fought against Athanagild for a brief period before concluding a treaty with him, is flawed and, relying on a more precise reading of the sources, proposes a new chronology and narrative, in which Byzantine forces did not arrive until 554. This new version has implications for the reign of Justinian and the motives behind his “restoration” of the Western Roman Empire.
Keywords: Late Antiquity; Western Roman Empire; Spania; Byzantine Spain; Athanagild; Justinian; Agila