Alaric, King of the Visigoths

Italy

 

 

 

 

 

Alaric (370-410) was king of the Visigoths from 390 to 410. He and his army sacked Rome and made off with great wealth in 410. They headed south toward Sicily and Africa when his fleet was destroyed by a storm. They turned back but Alaric became ill and died. Calabrian prisoners were used to temporarily divert the flow of the River Busento near Cosenza. Alaric was mounted on his horse, surrounded with booty and buried in the river bottom. The river was then restored to its normal appearance. The banks were reconstructed and the prisoners put to death.

 

Legend has it that the booty consisted of 25 tons of gold and 150 tons of silver. While it is unlikely that the Visigoths would have left that much, it is quite likely that a substantial hoard would have been left.

 

Many searches have been made and in 1965 a spot was identified where the river had been diverted many centuries before. To this date there is no record of the gold and silver being recovered.