Romulus Augustulus

Meaghan McEvoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference book


Romulus, so-called Augustulus (“the little Augustus”), is commonly viewed as the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire. He was the son of the general Orestes, who had previously served as the secretary (notarius) of Attila the Hun in the early 450s, a position which had involved him in two embassies to the eastern imperial court at Constantinople. In 475, the western emperor Julius Nepos (who had been in power for less than a year himself) appointed Orestes as magister militum (commander-in-chief) of Gaul. In response to the grievances of the multi-ethnic barbarian army under his command, whose requests for land grants from Nepos had been refused, Orestes led the army against Nepos at Ravenna; the emperor fled by sea to Salona. Orestes established himself in command at Ravenna and on October 31 created his young son Romulus Augustus in Nepos’ stead.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe encyclopedia of ancient history
EditorsRoger S. Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige B. Champion, Andrew Erskine, Sabine R. Huebner
Place of PublicationChichester, UK
PublisherWiley-Blackwell, Wiley
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781444338386
ISBN (Print)9781405179355
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Roman imperial history
  • Roman emperors
  • Byzantine history
  • child-emperors


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