Audio excerpt from The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Mike Duncan. Forthcoming Oct. 24, 2017. Pre-order a copy today!
Barnes & Noble
Or visit us at:
Available at revolutionspodcast.com, iTunes, or anywhere else fine podcasts can be found.
Next show coming soon!
The history of The History of Rome...Why the Western Empire Fell when it did...Some thoughts on the future...Thank you, goodnight.
In the last few years of the Western Empire a series of Emperors came and went. The cycle finally ended in 476 with the exile of Romulus Augustulus.
In 468 the two halves of the Empire combined forces to dislodge the Vandals from North Africa.They failed spectacularly.
From 461-465 the Western Empire was ruled by Ricimer through a puppet Emperor named Libius Severus. Not everyone in the west was supportive of the new regime.
From 457-461, Majorian marched around trying to reassert Imperial authority over the provinces while Ricimer remained in Italy.
Following the death of Valentinian III there was an Imperial power struggle in the West. In the midst of this struggle, the Vandals sacked Rome in 455 AD.
In the early 450s a string of deaths changed the political dynamic of Roman world. Between 450 and 455 Galla Placidia, Aelia Pulcheria, Atilla the Hun, Flavius Aetius and Valentinian III would all die- leaving the stage wide open for the next generation of leaders.
Also, an announcment.
In 451 Atilla the Hun invaded the West. He was repelled by a coalition of forces lead by the General Aetius.
After placating Atilla with yet another indemnity, Theodosius II fell from his horse and died in 450, leaving the Eastern throne vacant.
In the 440s, the Huns began to direclty attack the Roman Empire.
In the 430s the Romans dealt with increasingly agressive and confident barbarian tribes living both inside and outside the traditional borders of the Empire.
In the late 420s AD, the Roman General Flavius Aetius connived and backstabbed his way up the chain of command.
The Emperor Honorius died in 423, leading to a brief civil war between the Theodosian dynasty and a self-proclaimed Imperial regime in Ravenna.
Constantius III continued to lead the Western Empire as its defacto Emperor until 421, when he was officially elevated to the rank of Augustus. Unfortunately, this elevation was not recognized by Cosntantinople.
Between 412 and 415 relations between the Romans and Goths shifted back and forth between alliance and antagonism.
After failing to secure a deal with Honorius, Alaric sacked Rome in August of 410. It was the first time the Eternal City had been sacked in 800 years.
Following the death of Eudoxia, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius took control of the Eastern Empire and ran it wisely for the next decade. Meanwhile in the West, anti-barbarian policies will lead to the invasion of Italy by Alaric.
On New Year's Eve 406 a horde of barbarians crossed the lower Rhine into Gaul. Their arrival would have severe consequences for the Western Empire.
Alaric and his Goths invaded Italy in 402. After they were pushed out, Stilicho moved the seat of the Western Imperial Court to the city of Ravenna.
In the late 390s, the generals and ministers who dominated Arcadius and Honorius battled with each other for control of the Empire.
After winning the Battle of the Frigidus River, Theodosius stood alone as the last sole ruler of the Roman Empire. He would be die just four months later.
In 392 Valentinian II was found hanged in his bedchamber, paving the way for another Roman Civil War.