WestRoman realm

the westRoman realm (designation is modern origin; after contemporary view there was only one realm among two emperors) developed from the division of the Roman realm in the year 395 n. Chr., after Roman emperors Theodosius I. the realm between its sons Honorius (West Rome) and Arcadius (east Rome /Byzanz) divided. The westRoman realm went down already 476 with the joggle of the juvenile emperor Romulus Augustulus by Odoaker - commanders in chief of the army -. In the reason it acted thereby however only around a Militärputsch in one on Italy andthe alpine region reduced rule area, which left the state in the core intact.

Table of contents


to the following one (particularly concerning society and state) compares also: Late ancient times

the time of the Honorius

although the westRoman realm only 81 years existence held, had it altogether twelve recognized rulers and besides still three (after other view four) Usurpers.

Honorius was the youngest son of emperors Theodosius I., the last emperor, who governed both realm halves together. Flavius Honorius was with its accession 395 still another child, therefore Theodosius had the army master Stilicho, son of a Vandalen and a Roman, tooits guardian assigned.

The rule of the Honorius was unstable. Gildo already rose 397 in the province Africa. After the invasion of the Westgoten 402 on the italischen peninsula, Honorius with its yard of Mediolanum (Milan) pulled back after Ravenna, which was considered as uneinnehmbar.On the British island the soldiers among the leaders Marcus (406/407) and Konstantin III. revolted. (407 411); the troops translate to Gallien and leave a population inspired by the departure everything else as - who regarded further as Romans- itself and/or. the anglo-saxon attacks, whereby those came fishing rod Saxonia however into small groups particularly as mercenaries to Britannien.

Besides it came to the collapse of the Rhine border: To 31. Decembers 406 fell Vandalen, Sueben and the Iranian Alanen, probably on escape forwardsthe Hunnen, in Nordgallien; Frankish foederati, them opposed, were finally struck. Besides a gothical army broke in under Radagaisus in Italy, which could be destroyed however by Stilicho. Honorius left 408 its advisor and army master Stilicho from fear of itsPower murder, during it to raids of the Westgoten under Alarich I. came, which finally plundered 410 Rome, which had lasting consequences on the psyche of the Romans. It came besides to the above usurpations, which bound forces: Konstantin III. as well as the Roman senator Priscus Attalus409/410 and 414/415.409 broke in the Sueben, Alanen and Vandalen in Hispanien . The Westgoten destroyed however in the future parts of the Vandalen penetrated in Hispanien. The Westgoten was settled 418 even as foederati in Aquitanien, with which one itself in Ravenna an internal bulwark approximatelyRebellions and at the same time a powerful federation against the outside enemies expected; the Westgoten behaved also altogether regarded loyal, which did not hold her certainly from raids on westRoman area, in order their sphere of influence to increase - to a proper break of the contract it came howeveronly in the 60's 5. Century.

in the year 423

the usurper Johannes from 423 to 425 governed Hunnensturm and internal struggles for power after the death of Honorius. 425 it was defeated and Valentinian III., a nephew of the Honorius, becameEmperor; it should be the last emperor of the theodosianischen dynasty. First the Regierungsgeschäfte lay in the hands of its nut/mother Galla Placidia, but came it soon to fights between different military: The army master Felix and that comes Africae Bonifatius supported up to their death (timesmore, times less) the policy of the Galla Placidia. After the death of the Bonifatius however the Patricius and army master Flavius Aëtius governed the realm. The life Valentinians moved between Ravenna and Rome. Into its reign falls the loss of the province Africa, which fell northwest Hispaniento the Sueben, in Gallien however Aëtius could maintain ground despite the pressure by the Westgoten and Burgunden to a large extent; the castle and realm on the Rhine was destroyed by its hunnischen auxiliary troops 436. 451 it could do besides the Hunnenkönig Attila, that with a large army inGallien had broken in, in the battle on the Katalauni fields to the stop brings. Valentinian Aëtius let 454 murder however to only become in order then in the following year victims of a Meuchelmordes. In Dalmatien meanwhile the general Marcellinus an actually independent realm created himself.

The lossthe province Africa to the Vandalen (final with conquest Karthagos and the fleet 439 lying there) thereby a great importance arises too, there the Vandalen differently than the remaining Teutons, a formal upper rule of the emperor rejected and thus the first independent stateRealm area created. Westgoten, Sueben, Burgunder and Franconias were against it formally Föderaten and governed the provinzialrömische population in the name of the emperor, which protected the light of the rule and also Ravennas clearly increased the possibility for political and military interventions.

the last years of west Rome- the time of the shade emperors

lasted only briefly the rule of the Petronius Maximus in the year 455 to save first the shade emperor in such a way specified, which governed only in each case short time and hardly could become still active, in order the breaking down westRoman state. West Rome lostin the future ever larger areas to the Teutons, who formed states in the state and so that important tax receipts withheld from west Rome, which were necessary for the maintenance of the army. As a high-ranking senator Maximus became after death Valentinians III. (16. April 455) Emperor, already to 9.or 10. July 455 followed it (to 22. May died) already the Gallo Romans Eparchius Avitus on the imperial throne. As well as it was before as Ambassadors between Rome and the Westgoten actively, had however also problems with Markian, the eastRoman ruler, regulates the army master Ricimer keep calm, to that soon for the true ruler of west Rome developed.

Majorian mounted the throne for four years in January 457. After the years of the Niederganges it finally succeeded to it to attain control of Italy and large parts of Galliens again; the Westgoten and Burgunden were at least temporarily calmly placed. Also parts of Hispaniens it could befrieden. Relating to domestic affairs it succeeded to bring the senate by more concessions and by an improved economic policy the people on its side. Majorian became however, after a punitive expedition had failed against the Vandalen, at the beginning of of August 461 of Ricimer fallen and shortly thereafter ermordert; Ricimer could not attain however as Arianer and a Teuton the rule.

Instead of its Libius Severus ( 461) became emperors von Westrom without the Salbung by the Pope. With its government the plunderings that began Vandalen at the Italian west coast again. Meanwhile the army master Galliens , Aegidius , a friend Majorians had itself, against which government establishes a gallo Roman remainder realm, which to 486 existence should have in Ravenna raised and in Nordgallien. After four years (465) Libius Severus deceased(allegedly of Ricimer poisons). To its place the east Romans Anthemius stepped, after a Interregnum from 465 to 467 existed. Anthemius pursued the re-establishment of the rule as an urgent goal against the Vandalen and the Westgoten, those under Eurich the contract of 418 broken had andbecame expansively active (see. also Sidonius Apollinaris, an important source for this time). The fleet of its general Basiliscus achieved amazing successes. Finally however it succeeded to the Vandalen to defeat Basiliscus. The financial and military expenditure were a disaster. The campaign against the Westgoten remainedjust as unsuccessfully. At least the northern Gallien was lost. Finally a civil war broke out in the conflicts between Anthemius and Ricimer.

As a winner that came out to date approximately unknown Anicius Olybrius. Also it could not bring a full year to reign behind itself. After its accession inApril/May 472 he died already seven months later.
The reign of its successor Glycerius, which governed from 473 to 474, was hardly luckier. Although it was diplomatic and militarily talentiert, it had to give itself both the Ostgoten and finally also the army leader Julius Nepos struck.

Julius Nepos governed from 474 to 475. It wanted diplomatically to solve the conflict with the Westgoten, which had conquered Provence, first. Success was moderate. The Vandalen had in the meantime the western Mediterranean under control. Finally also the sheet turned in Rome against it:Its patron Orestes (for itself to take up could secretary of the Attila (the Hunnenkönigs) to have been) took over the army guidance and hunted Nepos from the office 475.

Romulus Augustulus was the last westRoman emperor (even if Nepos up to its death 480 the latter,also of east Rome, recognized rulers remained). It is to have been old with its accession in the year 475 only ten years. Romulus was finally set off in the year 476 from the Teuton prince Odoaker. Odoaker used differently than its predecessors no shade emperor, but sent a senatorische legationas emperor Zenon in Konstantinopel and it let explain there that an emperor for both realm halves is sufficient. Odoaker probably saw its rule in the tradition of the Roman realm and got from the east emperor finally also the official title of a Patricius and thus imperial a governor. The westRoman realmthereby had however expired as already Marcellinus Comes determined, whereby the act of 476 received certainly altogether hardly attention: There was finally in Konstantinopel still another emperor; also the fall of west Rome had for a long time announced itself before (like the loss of important handing hurry to the Teutons).Besides Odoaker let coins in the name of the emperor Nepos, who governed at least still Dalmatien coin/shape further (until 480).

In the area of Paris itself, between Westgoten and Franconias in-GEC-hurried and of the remainder realm cut off, the Roman governor Syagrius , the son of the Aegidius mentioned above could, stilluntil 486 with a larger rule area states (s.o.). It was executed after the conquest of its rule area by Franconias.

Width of parts of the former westRoman realm became end 5. Century of the Vandalen and Westgoten controls. The italische peninsula remained under the rule Odoakers, to Occurred to 489 Theoderich the large one in Italy. De iure been subordinate the western areas now the sovereignty Konstantinopels. Under the eastRoman emperor Justinian I.then between 533 and 553 large parts of the before times westRoman realm (North Africa, Italy, south Spain) again militarily were subjected, but remainedthis in the long run episode.

Rome became effects on

the city Rome the fall of the westRoman realm apparent also in the city: The city, in which around 250 after Christ 1 million humans had lived, became smaller after the omission of the capital function upabout 400,000 inhabitants around 400. The two-week plundering by the Vandalen 455 reduced the prosperity, 472 dezimierte the plague the number of inhabitants. Nevertheless Rome applied also in 5. Century contemporary reports according to as cultural and politically meaning metropolis. Members of the emperor family held themselves despite the residence transferafter Ravenna frequently in Rome up. At the beginning 5. Century and after 439 the city became larger by the inflow of new settlers from Gallien and Africa. Still over 470 Rome is described as important city with large buildings and a lively theatre scene. The Kolosseumto 523, large hot springs to 535 one used at least. Around 534 the city might have still counted around the 100,000 inhabitants. Then the war of the eastRoman emperor Justinian I. marked.against the Ostgoten the actual break in the urban history: Between 535 and 549 becameRome several times besieged, the “vital” aquaducts destroyed as well as a majority of the senators deportiert. The westRoman senate disappeared soon thereafter (around 580). In the Middle Ages only at the most 20,000 humans in the city lived. On the forum Romanum was operated agriculture. Antique buildings served as quarry orby changes in low standard were purpose-alienated.


of comparisons also the appropriate sections to the late Roman Kaiser era.

  • Averil Cameron among other things (Hgg.): The Cambridge Ancient History, Bd. 13 and 14, 2. again-arranged Aufl., Cambridge 1998-2000. Outstanding overall display; there is also resumingLiterature, to a large extent recent date.
  • Alexander Demandt: History of late ancient times, extra charge, Munich 1998. Solidly and well readable representation.
  • Peter Heather: The case OF the novel Empire, London 2005. Detailed representation of the fall of west Rome; particularly regarding military-historical questions very useful.
  • John Matthews: Western Aristocraciesand imperially Court, A. D. 364-425, Oxford 1975.

see also


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