The Roman Empire reigned supreme over most of the western world for almost five hundred years, but in 476 AD, a barbarian mercenary called Odoacer decided he’d rather be a barbarian chieftain than a Roman solider and turned on Rome. Two days after leading his followers to victory at the Battle of Ravenna on September 2nd, 476 AD, Odoacer forced the last of the Roman emperors, sixteen-year-old Romulus Augustus, to abdicate and became Flavius Odoacer, first King of Italy, which he thought had a nicer ring to it. For a barbarian, Odoacer obviously wasn’t all that ‘barbaric’ because, instead of having the boy-emperor meet the fate of many of his deposed predecessors, he took his youth into consideration and just packed him off to relatives. (He even gave him a pension.)

To spark a discussion on why Rome fell, visit:




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