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Romulus Augustulus

(463 - after 507 CE)


Romulus Augustulus

Name

Romulus

Ruled as

Romulus Augustus

Reign

31 October 475 – 4 September 476 n.e.

Born

463 n.e

Died

after 507 n.e.

Coin of Romulus Augustulus

Romulus Augustus, later called Augustulus, was born around 463 CE, under the name of Flavius ​​Romulus Augustus.
Romulus was the last Roman emperor. Son of Orestes, the head of the army, who in fact exercised power instead of him. Orestes raised his son to power, rebelling against the power of emperor Julius Nepos (reigning in 474-475 CE).

He reigned from October 31, 475 to September 4, 476 CE. The Romulus Augustulus’ state included only Italia and a part of Gallia Narbonensis.
Finally, after a short period of government, on 4 September 476, Romulus was deprived of power by Odoacer, who, however, kept the outgoing emperor alive, gave him an estate north of present-day Naples, and ordered an annual pension of 6,000 solids (this sum is approximately the annual income of a Roman senator). He lived in the villa Castellum Lucullanum.

The end of his reign and the return of imperial insignia to Constantinople by Odoacer is considered the end of the West Roman Empire.
His further fate is unknown. He probably lived for a long time and collected a pension from both Odoacer and his successors, including Theodoric the Great. Cassiodorus in 507 or 511 CE wrote a letter to Romulus on behalf of that ruler confirming his payment of his pension. Most historians identify this Romulus with a former emperor. It is believed that Romulus Augustulus died before the restoration of Byzantine power in Italy in 536 CE.

His official surname was Romulus Augustus. A nickname – Augustulus was given to him because of his youthful age. It means in Latin “little August”. It could have emphasized that the Emperor was an irrelevant and insignificant ruler. The Greeks, however, sarcastically distorted his name on Momylos (“small disgrace”).

Sources

  • Krawczuk Aleksander, Poczet cesarzy rzymskich, Warszawa 2004
  • Photo: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. http://www.cngcoins.com | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

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