Constantius and the Visigothic Settlement in Gaul
Sole, George Andrew
Honours Thesis, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Paper 126, Spring (1999)
After the death of Theodosius the Great in A.D.395 there were a string of seventeen emperors in the Western Roman Empire, beginning with Theodosius’s son Honorius, and ending with the last Roman emperor Romulus, who was deposed by the Germanic general Odoacer in 476. The longest reign of any single emperor was thirty years, a record held by Valentinian III (A.D. 425-455). The next runner up was Honorius with twenty-eight years (A.D. 395-423). These two emperors were the exception, however, for the average reign of any western emperor between the times of Honorius and the ascension of Odoacer was two and one-half years. This great number of rulers within a period of eighty-one years leaves one wondering just what the problem may have been; why could a single person or family not retain power? Moreover, many of these emperors’ reigns overlap, creating a further mystery as to how two western Augusti could rule at the same time. The answer to these questions can be summed in one word: Gaul.