04.09.

476: “Last” Roman Emperor Deposed

476:  “Last” Roman Emperor Deposed
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ "RomulusAugustus" by Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. http://www.cngcoins.com. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 4 September 476
  • In the year 476, Germanic warlord Odoacer forced Romulus Augustus to abdicate, i.e. to relinquish the title of Emperor. Odoacer did not take the title for himself – in fact, he declared himself a client of Julius Nepos. Therefore, one could say that the Western Roman Empire continued to exist after the year 476.

Although Romulus Augustus is widely considered the last Western Roman Emperor, and 476 as the year Rome fell, the truth is not so clear-cut.

Namely, Romulus Augustus was actually a usurper, who was brought to power by his father and replaced the deposed emperor Julius Nepos.

Julius never relinquished the title of Emperor, but fled to the province of Dalmatia, and continued to rule the territory that was still loyal to him.

In the year 476, Germanic warlord Odoacer forced Romulus Augustus to abdicate, i.e. to relinquish the title of Emperor.

Odoacer did not take the title for himself – in fact, he declared himself a client of Julius Nepos.

Therefore, one could say that the Western Roman Empire continued to exist after the year 476.

The last Roman emperor was therefore Julius Nepos, who was probably killed in 480, in Diocletian’s Palace near Salona (modern-day Split, Croatia). The Western Roman Empire thus actually ended in Salona.

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