King Alaric treasure

In 410 AD Alaric, king of the Visigoths, captured the great city of Rome and became the first foreign enemy to capture this city in over 800 years. This victory may have been the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire. While he occupied the city Alaric treated the people of Rome humanely and left only destroying a small number of buildings. When he left Rome, Alaric had amassed a great amount of treasure from his conquest of the city.

As legend has it Alaric left the city of Rome and headed south to take his troops into North Africa. On his journey he encountered a terrible storm that caused him to abandon his conquest of North Africa. He retreated and began to head back north through the region of Calabria. When they reached the area of Cosentia, Bruttium, which is now called Cosenza, he died.

Alaric, according to legend, might have been buried with “plenty of riches”, quantifiable in 25 tons of gold and 150 of silver, besides ornaments, cameos and jewels, fruit of the sack of Rome

This was no normal tomb. The legend of his burial place is said to have been at the confluence of the Busento and Crati rivers. A horde of slaves were used to divert the water from the Busento allowing them to dig a tomb large enough for Alaric, his horse and all of the treasure amassed from his conquests. Once the tomb was completed the river was returned to its original site and Alaric's tomb was covered with water. To ensure that no one would reveal this location to anyone Alaric's troops had all of the slaves killed.



During the mid-18 th century, a huge project took place to unearth the tomb of Alaric, but nothing was found. Then, in the early 19 th century, writer and traveller Alexandre Dumas visited Cosenza after a major earthquake had drained the Busento River. Dumas reported that numerous people began fervently digging for the Roman treasure, but again no treasure or tomb was unearthed.

In the 20 th century, the accounts of the treasure attracted the attention of Adolph Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, who ordered an extensive search for the hidden loot. But they too came back empty handed.


New Hunt

In 2015 The Mayor of Cosenza Mario Occhiuto together with the other authorities held a press conference at a conference in the Italian Parliament. During the conference, the new treasure hunt of Alarico was presented

Geologists will use drones, ground-penetrating radar, infra-red technology and electromagnetic instruments to try to find the tomb of King Alaric,

In addition to the excavation works, the project, which aims to commemorate the Goth chieftain, also involves the construction of a museum, something that has sparked opposition from some local historians who claim this would be a humiliation because of Alaric’s record in Italy

November 2016 - Location of Alaric's statue


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