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Alaric I

Alaric I was the first king of the Visigoths from 395–410, son of chieftain Rothestes. He is best known for his sack of Rome in 410, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Alaric began his career under the Gothic soldier Gainas, joined the Roman army, he first appeared as leader of a mixed band of Goths and allied peoples, who invaded Thrace in 391 but were stopped by the half-Vandal Roman General Stilicho. In 394, he led a Gothic force of 20,000 that helped Roman Emperor Theodosius defeat the Frankish usurper Arbogast at the Battle of Frigidus. Despite sacrificing around 10,000 of his men, Alaric received little recognition from the emperor. Disappointed, he left the army, was elected reiks of the Visigoths in 395 and marched toward Constantinople until he was diverted by Roman forces, he moved southward into Greece, where he sacked Piraeus and destroyed Corinth, Megara and Sparta. Nonetheless, the Eastern emperor Arcadius appointed Alaric magister militum in Illyricum.

In 401 Alaric invaded Italy, but was defeated by Stilicho at Pollentia on April 6, 402. A second invasion that same year ended in defeat at the Battle of Verona, although he did force the Roman Senate to pay a large subsidy to the Visigoths. During Radagaisus' Italian invasion in 406, he remained idle in Illyria. In 408, Western Emperor Honorius ordered the execution of Stilicho and his family, in response to rumors that the general had made a deal with Alaric. Honorius incited the Roman population to massacre tens of thousands of wives and children of foederati Goths serving in the Roman military; the Gothic soldiers defected to Alaric, increasing the size of his force to around 30,000 men, joined his march on Rome to avenge their murdered families. Moving swiftly along Roman roads, Alaric sacked the cities of Aquileia and Cremona and ravaged the lands along the Adriatic Sea; the Visigothic leader thereupon laid siege to Rome in 408, but the Senate granted him a substantial subsidy. In addition, he forced the Senate to liberate all 40,000 Gothic slaves in Rome.

Honorius, refused to appoint Alaric as the commander of the Western Roman Army, in 409 the Visigoths again surrounded Rome. Alaric lifted his blockade after proclaiming Attalus Western Emperor. Attalus appointed him magister utriusque militiae, but refused to allow him to send an army into Africa. Negotiations with Honorius broke down, after which Alaric deposed Attalus in the summer of 410 and besieged Rome for the third time. Allies within the capital opened the gates for him on August 24, for three days his troops sacked the city. Although the Visigoths plundered Rome, they treated its inhabitants humanely and burned only a few buildings. Having abandoned a plan to occupy Sicily and North Africa after the destruction of his fleet in a storm, Alaric died as the Visigoths were marching northward. Born on Peuce Island at the mouth of the Danube Delta in present-day Romania, Alaric belonged to the noble Balti dynasty of the Tervingian Goths; the Goths suffered setbacks against the Huns, made a mass migration across the Danube, fought a war with Rome.

Alaric was a child during this period. During the fourth century, the Roman emperors employed foederati: irregular troops under Roman command, but organized by tribal structures. To spare the provincial populations from excessive taxation and to save money, emperors began to employ units recruited from Germanic tribes; the largest of these contingents was that of the Goths, who in 382, had been allowed to settle within the imperial boundaries, keeping a large degree of autonomy. In 394 Alaric served as a leader of foederati under Theodosius I in the campaign which crushed the usurper Arbogast; as the Battle of the Frigidus, which terminated this campaign, was fought at the passes of the Julian Alps, Alaric learned the weakness of Italy's natural defences on its northeastern frontier at the head of the Adriatic Sea. Theodosius died in 395, leaving the Empire to be divided between his two sons Arcadius and Honorius, the former taking the eastern and the latter the western portion of the Empire.

Arcadius showed little interest in ruling, leaving most of the actual power to his Praetorian Prefect Rufinus. Honorius was still a minor. Stilicho claimed to be the guardian of Arcadius, causing much rivalry between the western and eastern courts. According to Edward Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, during the shifting of offices that took place at the beginning of the new reigns, Alaric hoped he would be promoted from a mere commander to the rank of general in one of the regular armies, he was denied the promotion, however. Among the Visigoths settled in Lower Moesia, the situation was ripe for rebellion, they had suffered disproportionately great losses at Frigidus. According to rumour, exposing the Visigoths in battle was a convenient way of weakening the Gothic tribes. This, combined with their post-battle rewards, prompted them to raise Alaric "on a shield" and proclaim him king. Alaric struck first at the eastern empire, he marched to the neighborhood of Constantinople but, finding himself unable to undertake a siege, retraced his steps westward and mar

Conspicuous Gallantry Decoration (Rhodesia)

The Conspicuous Gallantry Decoration was Rhodesia's highest civil decoration and the second-highest award available to members of the armed forces. It was awarded for acts of the highest gallantry and brave conduct of an outstanding order in a non-combatant capacity; the award was instituted in 1970 by Presidential Warrant, the first award being made in 1977. The second and final award was made in 1979; the medal was a sterling silver circular medal bearing the "wounded lion" device used by the British South Africa Police, highlighted with gold plate. The medal was impressed in small capitals with the recipient's name on the rim, was awarded with a case of issue, miniature medal for wear, an illuminated certificate. Just two awards of the Conspicuous Gallantry Decoration were gazetted; the first was made posthumously in 1977 to Austrian-born engineer Rudi Kogler, from Bulawayo, for his actions defending the Regina Mundi Mission in Matabeleland against an insurgent attack. Two years teenager Jamie Scott from Harare was awarded the medal for his valour in defending himself and a friend against an insurgent attack.

Recipients were entitled to the post-nominal letters C. G. D. Research carried out by the Zimbabwe Medal Society in 2003-5 indicates that there were at least two other awards of the Conspicuous Gallantry Decoration made to civilians, but for security reasons never published in the Rhodesian Government Gazette; the Conspicuous Gallantry Decoration was superseded in October 1980 by the Gold Cross of Zimbabwe, awarded for conspicuous bravery in perilous conditions, but, open for award to civilians as well as military personnel. Orders and Decorations of Zimbabwe Saffery, D. 2006. The Rhodesia Medal Roll, Jeppestown Press, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-9553936-0-4

Risley, Derbyshire

Risley is a small village and parish in Erewash in the English county of Derbyshire. The population of the civil parish as of the 2011 census was 711, it is just over four miles south of Ilkeston. Sandiacre is adjacent to the east, it is midway between Derby and Nottingham and is near junction 25 of the M1 motorway and the A52. In 1870 it had a population of 203 when there was a grammar school that served seven neighbouring parishes. All Saints' Church was built in Elizabethan times by members of the Willoughby family, who had acquired Risley in 1350 AD and who founded a free school in the village. Risley is a long thin village with most properties lying on either side of the main road. With the village hall standing on one side of the church and the school on the other, this is the closest one can get to the village "centre"; the church belongs to the Stanton group of churches with Dale Stanton by Dale. The village pub is the Risley Park the Blue Ball on Derby Road Risley Manor belonged to the Mortimers.

It passed to the Sheffields and the Willoughbys and, in 1870, it belonged to J. L. Ffytche; the manor was held by Sir Hugh Willoughby, the navigator, who sailed on 10 May 1553, with three ships, in search of the North-east passage, but was frozen to death with all his crew in the following January. It is now a country house hotel. A silver vessel known as the Risley Park Lanx, 20 inches by 15, said to have belonged to a church in France in 405, was found near the Hall in 1729. Sir Hugh Willoughby, the navigator, owned the manor here. Teresa Hooley, was born here in 1888. Risley Parish Council