Roman Empire c. 454 CE


Map Code: Ax00814

By the middle of the 5th century, much of the Western Roman Empire was de facto independent, through the practice of federation, by which tribes were allowed to settle on Roman land in exchange for supplying troops for the empire’s defence. Invading Huns displaced several tribes who were driven into imperial territory. The Visigoths entered the empire via Moesia, defeating Rome at Hadrianopolis (378 CE), and sacked Rome (410 CE) before obtaining federate status and settling in the west of France. The Sueves and Vandals entered the empire via the Rhine: the Sueves settled in eastern Spain, the Vandals eventually based themselves in North Africa. Offered federate status in 442 CE, the Vandals indulged in piracy and looting across the Mediterranean before sacking Rome in 455 CE. The end of the Western Empire is commonly fixed at 476 CE, when Odoacer, commander of federate troops in Italy, captured Rome.

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