5th century

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Millennium: 1st millennium
Centuries: 4th century · 5th century · 6th century
Decades: 400s 410s 420s 430s 440s
450s 460s 470s 480s 490s
Categories: BirthsDeaths
East-Hem 400ad

Eastern Hemisphere in 400 AD.

Europe map 450

Europe in 450

The 5th century is the period from 401 to 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in Anno Domini , the year of our Lord.

Overview Edit

The Western Roman Empire is ruled by a succession of weak emperors, and true power falls increasingly into the hands of powerful generals. Internal instability and pressing military problems caused by foreign invaders finally result in the sacking of Rome by a Visigoth army in 410. Some recovery is made in the following decades, but the Western Empire receives a serious blow when another barbarian group, the Vandals occupy Carthage, capital of the extremely important province of Africa. Attempts to retake the province are interrupted by the invasions of the Huns under Atilla. After Atilla's final defeat and death both Eastern and Western empires join forces for a final assault on Vandal North Africa, but it is a spectacular failure.

The Fall of the Roman EmpireEdit

The year 476 is widely understood as the point at which the Roman Empire came to an end. In 476 the last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus (nicknamed Augustulus "Little Augustus") is deposed by a Germanic foederati general named Odoacer. The Eastern Roman Empire ceases trying to prop up its hopeless Western twin, whose former lands are then divided into numerous barbarian kingdoms. The last de-facto Roman Emperor, Julius Nepos is murdered in Dalmatia in 480 AD. The last fragment of the Western Empire, the Domain of Soissons ruled by Duke Syagrius, was conquered by the Frankish King Clovis in 486. Roman power continued in the east however, under the rulers of Constantinople. Scholars normally refer to their empire as the Byzantine Empire, however its inhabitants considered themselves Roman throughout. Recognizable Roman culture continued to exist in the east for another 200 years before the Arab invasions of the 7th Century set off a chain of events that forever changed the face of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the entity that emerged in the next few centuries is what one might refer to as the true Medieval Byzantine Empire.


Solidus Romulus Augustus-RIC 3406

Romulus Augustus, Last Western Roman Emperor

Significant personsEdit

Inventions, discoveries, introductionsEdit


  1. ^ Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.

Decades and yearsEdit

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at 5th century. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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