September 4

This Day in History

General Interest

Sep 4, 476:

Western Roman Empire falls

Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed by Odoacer, a German barbarian who proclaims himself king of Italy.

Odoacer was a mercenary leader in the Roman imperial army when he launched his mutiny against the young emperor. At Piacenza, he defeated Roman General Orestes, the emperor's powerful father, and then took Ravenna, the capital of the Western empire since 402. Although Roman rule continued in the East, the crowning of Odoacer marked the end of the original Roman Empire, which centered in Italy.

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