Visigoth: Warriors, Weapons & Armor

Instructor: Bailey Cavender

Bailey teaches High School English, has taught history, and has a master's degree in Anthropology/Historical Archaeology.

The Visigoths were a Germanic people known for their abilities in battle. They had a reputation for being fierce warriors who used a wide variety of fighting styles, weapons, and armor to defeat their enemies.


The Roman Empire seemed to like coming up with new names for the people that they encountered. The term Visigoths was the name that a Roman writer, Cassiodorus used to describe the tribe of Germanic peoples that lived on the west side of Germany. The Visigoths then began to use the name that the Romans had given them. Some believe that the Visigoths were always a nomadic people; others say that they were originally a farming culture in modern Romania.


The Visigoths were one of two groups known as the Goths, a Germanic people with a reputation for being strong and tough warriors. The Visigoths were known for their abilities in battle. They attacked and pillaged the fractured Roman Empire, fought against the Huns, a nomadic warrior tribe with roots in Asia, and were known to be fearless in battle.

The Visigoths used a variety of weapons and armor effectively, and often adopted the weapons used by both their enemies and their allies. Their adaptability made the Visigoths a military force to be reckoned with, something that is further proven by their destruction of Rome in the year 410.


The Visigoths would often adapt the weapons used by their enemies and allies to make their warriors more efficient in battle. Visigoth warriors were each armed in their own, unique way. Depending on their individual fighting style, each warrior would wear different armor and use their own weapons. This gave the army a more terrifying appearance, since the warriors were not fighting in the same, uniform style.

A Pike

Since they were often fighting either against or fighting with the Romans, the Visigoths often used weapons that were Roman in design. However, they weren't limited to borrowing from Rome; the Visigoths also used weapons based on other peoples they came into contact with. They used swords, spears, and a variety of other weapons, such as lances, pikes, and javelins, which are all very similar to spears. Using both throwing weapons and swords gave the warriors more options in combat. This demonstrates that the Visigoths were skilled in a variety of combat styles.

The Advantages of Shield Warfare

The Visigoths often used shields, which, as a result of their shape and weight, could be used either for offense or defense. In battle, Warriors would hold their shield on their left shoulder, and then attempt to knock over their enemy. After using the shield as a battering ram in the initial charge, they could duck down behind the shield, protecting themselves from attack.

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