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Aetius - The Last of the Romans

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Aetius is on the list of famous Romans:
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Name: Flavius Aetius (Aëtius)
Dates:

  • Birth: c. 390 in Corostolus, Moesia
  • Death: September 21, 454, at Ravenna, slain by the Roman Emperor Valentinian III

Occupation: Roman Military Leader (magister utriusque militum)

The Roman general Aetius achieved the high rank of consul three times and is sometimes praised as "the last Roman." He won the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, in Gaul, (also called the Battle of Chalons) against Attila the Hun, in 451.

When Valentinian (III), the nephew of the Eastern Roman emperor Honorius, became western emperor, he was still a child, and under the regency of his mother, the influential Galla Placidia. General Boniface supported her, and she him, but another general, Aetius wanted his power. Eventually, after Boniface died, Aetius succeeded him as master of soldiers, and by 433 had become de facto ruler of the western Empire. From this position Aetius waged campaigns against barbarian threats. He waged war against the Vandals and Alans, forcing Geiseric into negotiations in 435. He also sought the help of the Huns in Gaul.

After the death of Attila, Aetius' importance waned, and Valentinian III, now in his 30s, was able to take control. On September 21 or 22, 454, Valentinian and his eunuch Heraclius murdered Aetius.

Sources:

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