TIMELINE

LEADERS*1

West Roman Emperors

East Roman Emperors

Non-Romans

Valentinian I (364–75)

Valens (364–78)

Athanaric, iudex of the Gothic Tervingi (c. 360–75, d. c. 381)

Gratian (375–83)

Theodosius I (379–95)

 

Maximus (383–8)

   

Valentinian II (383–92)

   

Eugenius (392–4)

   

Honorius (395–423)

Arcadius (395–408)

Alaric, creator and leader of the Visigoths (c. 395–411)

Constantine III (c. 406–11)

Theodosius II (408–50)

 

Flavius Constantius (421)

   

John (423–5)

   

Valentinian III (425–55)

 

Geiseric, leader of the Vandal-Alan coalition (427–77)

Petronius Maximus (455)

Marcian (451–7)

Attila the Hun (c. 440–53)

Avitus (455–6)

   

Majorian (457–61)

Leo I (457–74)

Valamer, leader of the Pannonian Goths (c. 455–67)

Libius Severus (461–5)

   

Anthemius (467–72)

 

Euric, creator of the Visigothic kingdom (467–83)

Olybrius (472)

Zeno (473–91)

Gundobad, king of the Burgundians (474–?)

Glycerius (473–4)

Basiliscus (474–6)

 

Julius Nepos (474–5)

   
   

Theoderic, leader and creator of the Ostrogoths (474–526)

Romulus Augustulus (475–6)

 

Odovacar, king in Italy (476–93)

EVENTS

c.350

Hunnic attacks on Alans east of River Don and Gothic Greuthungi west of Don destabilize area north and east of Black Sea

375

autumn(?) – After death in battle of a second leader, one major group of Greuthungi moves west into territory of neighbouring Gothic Tervingi

376

late(?) summer – Greuthungi and ‘larger part’ of Tervingi arrive on Danube requesting asylum inside Roman Empire

377–82

Gothic war south of Danube

377

late winter/early spring – Initial revolt of Tervingi; Greuthungi force their way across Danube

377/8

1st phase of Gothic war, confined to eastern Balkans

378

24 Aug. – Battle of Hadrianople; death of Valens

379/81

2nd phase of Gothic war spreads to western Balkans

382

3 Oct. – Peace treaty ends the war; Tervingi and Greuthungi settled in Balkans on relatively generous terms

386

More Greuthungi try to cross Danube; defeated by Theodosius and settled on harsh terms in Asia Minor

387/8

Theodosius I defeats Maximus; Balkan Goths involved in war and some revolt

392/3

Theodosius I defeats Eugenius; Balkan Goths again involved in war and further revolt

c.395–411

Alaric reigns over Tervingi and those Greuthungi encompassed by 382 treaty

395/6

First major Hunnic attack on Roman Empire, via Caucasus (Persian Empire also heavily affected)

395–7

Alaric’s 1st revolt

397

Treaty between Alaric and Eutropius; Alaric becomes Roman general commanding in Illyricum

399

Fall of Eutropius; end of treaty

401/2

Alaric’s 1st invasion of Italy; battles of Pollentia and Verona

c.405–8

2nd wave of Hun-inspired invasions of Roman Empire, affecting areas west of the Carpathians

405/6

Treaty between Alaric and Stilicho

 

Radagaisus invades Italy through Austrian passes, is defeated and killed; many followers sold into slavery, elite warriors drafted into Roman army

406 31

Dec. (?) – Rhine invaders – Vandals, Alans, Suevi and smaller groups – break over Rome’s Upper Rhine frontier

407

Constantine III leads Roman forces stationed in Britain and Gaul against Rhine invaders

407–9

Rhine invaders ravage Gaul, then cross Pyrenees into Spain

408(?)

Minor Hunnic leader Uldin invades eastern Empire

408–11

Alaric’s 2nd invasion of Italy; creation of Visigoths by addition of Radagaisus’ followers to Tervingi and Greuthungi encompassed by 382 treaty

410

20 Aug. Alaric sacks Rome

c.410/11(?)

British provinces revolt against Constantine III (?)

411–21

Flavius Constantius dominates western Empire

411

Alaric dies, is succeeded by Athaulf; Olympiodorus goes on embassy to main body of Huns now established in central Europe(?)

 

Fl. Constantius suppresses Constantine III and related usurpers

412

Rhine invaders divide Spanish provinces between them

412/13

Honorius sends letter to British provincials telling them that central Roman forces can no longer defend them

413–16

Fl. Constantius undermines Athaulf (killed in coup in 415) to force Visigoths into renewed alliance with western Empire; Visigothic settlement begins in Aquitaine

416–18

Combined Visigothic-Roman campaigns destroy independence of Alans and Siling Vandals in Spain; survivors unite behind Hasding Vandals to create new Vandal-Alan supergroup

421

Promotion to the purple, then death, of Fl. Constantius

423

Death of Honorius; usurpation of John

422–9

Free hand for Vandal-Alans in Spain culminates in their transfer to Morocco; from 427 led by Geiseric. Suevi establish control in north-western Spain (Galicia)

425

East Roman army puts Valentinian III, aged 6, on western throne

425–33

Struggle for domination at court of Valentinian III, ending with Aetius’ defeat of rival generals Felix and Boniface; partial eclipse of influence of emperor’s mother Galla Placidia

433–54

Aetius dominates western Empire

435

Vandal-Alans granted land in Numidia and Mauretania

436

Aetius’ forces suppress Bagaudae in north-west Gaul

436/7

Destruction of Burgundian kingdom on both sides of Upper Rhine by Huns; Aetius’ resettlement of survivors on Roman territory around Lake Geneva

436–9

Aetius’ war with Visigoths in south-west Gaul ends in renewed treaty

438–41

Suevi under King Rechila seize provinces of Baetica and Carthaginiensis

439

Sept. Vandal-Alans seize Carthage, capital of Roman North Africa, and provinces of Proconsularis and Byzacena

c.440–53

Attila becomes supreme leader of Huns

441/2

Attila’s 1st invasion of east Roman Balkans leads to recall of eastern army sent to participate in Sicilian expedition to recapture lost North African provinces

444

Treaty between Geiseric and western Empire recognizes his control of Proconsularis, Byzacena and Numidia

445(?)

Attila murders brother Bleda to take sole control of Huns

446(?)

Final appeal of British provincials for central Roman assistance against Saxon and other invaders

447

Attila’s 2nd invasion of east Roman Balkans; heavy Roman defeats on River Utus and in the Chersonesus

448

Priscus participates in embassy to assassinate Attila

450

Attila grants Constantinople a generous treaty

451

Attila invades Gaul; defeated by Aetius’ coalition force of Romans, Burgundians, Visigoths and Franks at the Catalaunian fields c. end June(?)

452

Attila invades Italy, sacks cities including Milan; retreats as disease and Roman harassment weaken army

453–69

Attila’s Hunnic Empire collapses

453

Attila dies

454

summer(?) – Battle of Nedao; Gepids first subject group to reassert independence from Hunnic domination

 

21 or 22 Sept. – Murder of Aetius by Valentinian III

455

16 Mar. – Murder of Valentinian III by Petronius Maximus, declared Augustus next day

 

late May – Geiseric’s forces sack Rome, Petronius Maximus killed fleeing city (31 May); Geiseric adds Tripolitania, Sardinia and Balearics to his kingdom

 

9 July – Avitus declared western emperor by Gallo-Roman senators with support of Visigothic king Theoderic II

late 450s(?)

St Severinus starts work in Noricum

456

17 Oct. – Battle of Placentia and deposition of Avitus

457

1 Apr. – Majorian becomes emperor of west

459

Pannonian Goths of Valamer, now united and independent of Hunnic control, invade east Roman territory to extract annual subsidy of 300 lbs of gold

461–72

Ricimer dominates central imperial politics in west

461

summer – Defeat of Majorian’s North African expeditionary force in Spain, followed on 2 Aug. by his deposition and on 7 Aug. by execution; Ricimer’s domination of Italy uncontested

 

19 Nov. – Nominated by Ricimer, Libius Severus becomes western emperor

465

14 Nov. – Libius Severus dies

466

Euric kills and deposes Theoderic II to become king of Visigoths

467

Dengizich, son of Attila, makes war on eastern Empire

 

12 Apr. – After long negotiations between Ricimer and Constantinople, Anthemius declared western emperor

468–76

Western Empire unravels

468

June(?) – Defeat of final joint east-west Roman expedition against Vandal kingdom

469

Dengizich’s head publicly displayed in Constantinople; Hernac, Attila’s last surviving son, finds asylum in east Roman territory south of Danube

 

Euric’s forces advance boundary of Visigothic kingdom northwards to Loire

472

Apr. – Olybrius declared western emperor by Ricimer

 

11 July – Murder of Anthemius by Gundobad, Ricimer’s ally, after civil war

 

18 Aug. – Ricimer dies

 

2 Nov. – Olybrius dies

473–5

Sidonius and friends try to preserve Auvergne against Visigothic annexation within a rump western empire

473–89

Campaigns of Theoderic the Amal, nephew of Valamer, in east Roman Balkans, lead to creation of Ostrogothic supergroup

473

3 Mar. – Glycerius declared western emperor Euric’s forces seize Tarragona in Spain

474

pre-June – Gundobad abandons imperial politics to become joint king of Burgundians

 

19 or 24 June – Glycerius deposed by Julius Nepos and made Bishop of Salona; Nepos declares himself western emperor

475

28 Aug. – Attacked by Orestes, Nepos retreats to Dalmatia

 

31 Oct. – Orestes declares his son Romulus Augustulus western emperor

476

After executions of his father Orestes (28 Aug.) and uncle Paul (4 Sept.), Romulus Augustulus, last western Roman emperor, is deposed. Odovacar returns imperial vestments to Constantinople, telling emperor Zeno that no emperor is any longer required in the west

 

Euric’s Visigothic kingdom now controls entire Hispanic peninsula except for north-west corner, and annexes Arles and the rest of Provence

481/2–507

Campaigns of Clovis bring both Frankish unification and extension of Frankish control over all of former Roman Gaul

482

Jan. – St Severinus dies

489–93

Theoderic the Amal conquers Italy, defeating and deposing Odovacar

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!