Orestes (father of Romulus Augustulus)

Orestes (Father Of Romulus Augustulus)

Orestes (father of Romulus Augustulus)

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OrestesNo other names are known, according to J.R. Martindale The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire vol.II p.811-812. Cambridge University Press, 1980 (died 28 August AD 476) was a Roman general and politician, who was briefly in control of the Western Roman Empire in 475–6.

Early life

Born an aristocrat of Pannonia Savia, Orestes was probably at least partly of Germanic descent. He was son of Tatulus, a pagan, and son-in-law to Romulus who served as comes in the Western Roman Empire. After Pannonia was ceded to Attila the Hun, Orestes joined Attila's court, reaching high position as a secretary (notarius) in 449 and 452. In 449 Orestes was sent by Attila twice to Constantinople as envoy to Emperor Valentinian III.

In 475, Orestes was appointed magister militum and patricius by Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos. This proved to be a mistake on the part of Nepos. By August 28, 475, Orestes, at the head of the foederati, managed to take control of the government in Ravenna, which had acted as the capital of the Western Roman Empire since 402. Julius Nepos fled without a fight to Dalmatia, where he would continue to reign until his assassination in 480. With the emperor far away, Orestes elevated his son Romulus to the rank of Augustus, so that the last Western Roman emperor is known as Romulus Augustulus meaning "little Augustus" as the emperor was only a 12 year old boy.

Short reign

The new administration was not recognized...
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