ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Roman Emperor - Romulus Augustulus

Updated on November 1, 2009

An Empire Declines

The hundred years preceding the end of the W. Empire had been marked by a series of Teutonic invasions, resulting in loss of territory on every side. In 378 the Visigoths (W. Goths) decisively defeated the Romans at Adrianople. Under Honorius and Arcadius, the feeble sons of Theodosius the Great, the divided Empire began to disintegrate.

In the mid-winter of 407, a host of Vandals, Sueves and Alans crossed the Rhine into Gaul and turned that province into what has been called "one vast smoking funeral pyre". The Vandals wandered through Gaul, Spain and Africa, finally crossing to Rome in 455. On June 2 their leader Gaiseric was received by Pope Leo, who persuaded him to confine the plunder to portable goods in the palaces and temples. For a fortnight this looting went on. The whole of the Western Empire was now dissolving in ruin. By 450 another barbarian people, the Huns, had set up a great empire extending from southern Russia to the Rhine. But the West Goths, who by this time had long been settled in the Empire, joined with the Emperor in a great battle against the Huns under their leader Attila, known as the "Scourge of God", in the year 451.

By the end of the Theodosian dynasty (456) Rome had abandoned Britain, Gaul, and Spain. Kingdoms had been founded by the Visigoths and Burgundians in Southern Gaul (the rest of the province passing to the Franks), and by the Vandals in Northern Africa, while Spain was shared between the Visigoths and the Suevi.

Not long before the Western Empire had expired, its dominion hardly extended beyond the frontiers of Italy.

Romulus Augustulus may have been the last emperor of Western Roman Empire, but it had already disintegrated by the time it had reached him.

Romulus Augustus resigns the Crown before Odoacer
Romulus Augustus resigns the Crown before Odoacer

An Empire Falls

Romulus Augustulus is known as the last Roman emperor of the West, he reigned from 475 to 476. The 14-year-old emperor was the son of patrician Orestes, master of the soldiers of the emperor Julius Nepos. Orestes deposed Nepos, an appointee of Leo, the emperor of the East, and then placed his son on the throne in 475. The Romans changed the boy's name from Augustus to the diminutive Augustulus.

German mercenaries led by Odoacer demanded that they, like their predecessors, be given lands in Italy. When they were refused the Herulian chief Odoacer raised a revolt, killed Orestes, captured the boy emperor at Ravenna and deposed Romulus who retired to Campania.

It is a strange irony that the founder of Rome herself had been called Romulus, and the founder of the Roman Empire had been called Augustus, while the deposition of the boy who bore both names marks the end of the Roman Empire of the West.

Odoacer took the title of king, and the barbarians assumed control of the western empire. The boy, being of too little importance to be put to death, was sent to a villa near Naples, with a yearly pension of 6,000 soldi.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)