The Balt(h)i dynasty, Baltungs, Balthings, or Balth(e)s, existed among the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe who confronted the Western Roman Empire in its declining years. The Balti took their name from the Gothic word balþa (baltha; bald or bold). It thus meant "the Bold ones" or "Bold men".
The Balti were considered next in worth among Gothic fighters, and next in royal dignity, to the Amali. But it was Alaric the Visigoth, a Balth, who led his people to the sacking of Rome in 410 CE and founded a dynasty that would come to rule much of Roman Gaul for a century and all of Roman Hispania for longer, establishing a kingdom in the latter that would last until early in the eighth century.
The Balti dynasty of Visigothic kings reigned from 395 to 531.
Edward Gibbon in footnote 4, Chapter 30, of the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, adds:
- "This illustrious race long continued to flourish in France, in the Gothic province of Septimania, or Languedoc; under the corrupted appellation of Boax; and a branch of that family afterwards settled in the kingdom of Naples (Grotius in Prolegom. ad Hist. Gothic. p. 53). The lords of Baux, near Arles, and of seventy-nine subordinate places, were independent of the counts of Provence, (Longuerue, Description de la France, tom. i. p. 357)".
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- Peter J. Heather: Cassiodorus and the Rise of the Amals. Genealogy and the Goths under Hun Domination, in: Journal of Roman Studies 79 (1989), S. 103–128.
- Peter J. Heather: Goths and Romans 332-489, Oxford 1991.
- H. Kuhn/R. Wenskus: Amaler, in: Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, Bd. 1, S. 246–248.* Henry Bradley, The Goths: from the Earliest Times to the End of the Gothic Dominion in Spain. Second edition, 1883, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, chapter 1.