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Romulus Augustus
Augustus (Western Roman Empire)  AD 475 - 476

Son of Orestes - Magister Militum (Master of Soldiers).

Paralel rulers of the Eastern Roman Empire:
Zeno (AD 474 - 491)
Basiliscus (AD 475 - 476)
Marcus (AD 475 - 476)

Romulus Augustus was the son of Orestes, a Roman from Pannonia who had served Attila, the leader of the Huns. After the death of Attila Orestes switched to the western emperors and under Julius Nepos became a patrician and Master of Soldiers. The troops, mostly Germans, liked him so much that in August 475 they offered him the throne. Julius Nepos fled to the east, but Orestes decided, for unknown reason, to invest his son Romulus, instead. Romulus, still a boy, took the purple in October 475 and his father took the reigns of the western empire. The eastern emperor refused to recognize Romulus. Using this as a leverage, the German troops stationed in Italy, mostly Heruli, Rigii and Sciri, demanded that they receive land-grants in the manner of the distributions their western brethren, Franks and Visigoths, have received in Gaul and Burgundy. Orestes turned down the demand. Italy was to remain inviolate. The soldiers then turned to one of his German officers, Flavius Odoacer, who ordered an assault on Orestes's stronghold at Ticinum. Orestes was captured and executed. Odoacer then entered Ravenna and officially deposed Romulus on September 4, 476. His life was spared and he was sent into an honorary exile in Campania with an allowance. He might have lived until 511 as a private person. The last major territory in the west became just another German kingdom under Odoacer.

Mints: Arelate, Mediolanum, Ravenna, Rome.

List all Romulus Augustus coins in the Catalog.

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