Athanaric (əthăn´ərĬk), d. 381, Visigothic chieftain. He led the Visigoths against Emperor Valens and negotiated a favorable peace in 369. A pagan, he persecuted the Christians, and, possibly for that reason, he was involved in a civil war with Fritigern. Defeated by the Huns in 376, he fled to Transylvania and later (381) to Constantinople. There he was received with royal honors by Theodosius I, but he died two weeks later.