The local and provincial administration of Cosenza in Italy has launched a plan to systematically search for the treasure hoard of Alaric, King of the Visigoths, who looted the riches during his sack of Rome in the 5th century. Italian archaeologists will be utilizing the latest technological innovations in their search for the treasure, which legend says was buried alongside Alaric somewhere near the confluence of two rivers in Cosenza. Adolph Hitler was obsessed with the goal of finding the hidden loot, but the Nazis never located it.
According to the historian Jordanes, who wrote about the Goths in the sixth century, Alaric was buried along with the looted treasures in a tomb at the confluence of the Busento and Crathis rivers.
“Turning from its course the river Busentus, near the city of Cosentia, they led a band of captives into the midst of its bed to dig out a place for his grave,” writes Jordanes in his book De Origine Actibusque Getarum (‘The Origin and Deeds of the Goths’). “In the depths of this pit they buried Alaric, together with many treasures, and then turned the waters back into their channel. And that none might ever know the place, they put to death all the diggers.”
The Search for Alaric’s Treasure
During the mid-18th century, a huge project took place to unearth the tomb of Alaric, but nothing was found. Then, in the early 19th 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 20th 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. The Telegraph reports that the search has now begun again, this time with the whole-hearted support of the Cosenza authorities.
"Historical sources and clues confirm that the treasure of Alaric was buried in Cosenza," Mario Occhiuto, the mayor of Cosenza, said in a statement [via The Telegraph]. “The treasure consisted of about 10 wagons full of gold and silver, and perhaps also the sacred Jewish candelabra, the Menorah."
The town of Cosenza has commissioned a team of archaeologists to search for the treasure and is hoping that if the loot is found, it will attract hordes of tourists to the area.
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My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.