Flavius Ricimer

Flavius Ricimer[1]

Male Abt 405 - 472  (~ 67 years)    Has 20 ancestors and more than 250 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Flavius Ricimer  
    Born Abt 405 
    Gender Male 
    Died 18 Aug 472 
    Person ID I539124  Geneagraphie | Ahnen BvS
    Links To This person is also Ricimer at Wikipedia 
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2010 

    Father Rechila,   d. 448 
    Mother NN,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Siblings 2 siblings 
    Family ID F9576  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alypia,   b. Abt 455,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Aunemundus,   b. Abt 470,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 19 Mar 2010 
    Family ID F293738  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Histories
    Ricimer
    Ricimer

  • Notes 
    • römischer Feldherr
      Magister militum 456, Patricius 457, Consul 459

      Ricimer was an Arian Christian
      His youth was spent at the court of the western Roman emperor Valentinian III , where he won distinction fighting under Flavius Aëtius , Valentinian's magister militum of the western portion of the Roman Empire.
      The deaths of Valentinian and Aëtius in 454-55 created a power vacuum in the west. At first, Petronius Maximus attempted to seize control of the imperial throne, but he was killed when the Vandal king Geiseric sacked Rome in May of 455. Avitus was then made Emperor by the Visigoths . Following his arrival in Rome , Avitus appointed Ricimer as commander of the stricken Western Empire (by then reduced to Italy and a part of southern Gaul ). He raised a new army and navy from among the Germanic mercenaries available to him.
      After leaving Rome, Geiseric had left a powerful fleet blockading the Italian coast. In 456, Ricimer led his own fleet out to sea, and defeated the Vandals in a sea fight near Corsica. He also defeated the Vandals on land near Agrigentum in Sicily. Backed by the popularity thus acquired, Ricimer gained the consent of the Roman Senate for an expedition against the emperor Avitus , whom he defeated in a bloody battle at Piacenza on October 16 , 456 . Avitus was taken prisoner, made bishop of Piacenza , and shortly afterwards sentenced to death. Ricimer then obtained from Leo I , the eastern emperor at Constantinople , the title of Patrician .
      Ricimer spent the rest of his life as the de facto ruler of what was left of the western empire. However, the way in which he exercised power made him one of the most controversial figures of his time. As a Germanic tribesman, he could not assume the title of Augustus (emperor) himself; on the other hand, power over the Augustus in Rome gave him prestige and offered him some influence over the other Germanic peoples occupying Gaul , Hispania , and Northern Africa . This left him with two options - dissolve the western imperial court and rule officially as a dux , or governor, of a single emperor in Constantinople, or set up his own figurehead emperors and rule through them. He chose to do the latter, even going so far as to have his name inscribed on the coinage along with the emperor.
      In 457, Ricimer set up Majorian as his own emperor in the West and induced Leo to give his consent. However, Majorian proved to be a capable ruler and soon became uncomfortably independent. Majorian was defeated (possibly by treachery) by Geiseric near the modern city of Valencia, Spain , while trying to organize an expedition against him, in 461. Ricimer then forced him to abdicate and caused his assassination on August 7 , 461 . The successor whom Ricimer placed upon the throne was Libius Severus , who proved to be more docile than Majorian, but had to face the disapproval of Leo in the East and rivalry of Aegidius in Gaul. Upon Libius Severus' death in 465 - said to be due to poisoning by Ricimer - this emperor-maker ruled the West for eighteen months without an emperor.
      Finally, after a lengthy debate in which he and Geiseric, now working together, tried to force their own candidate as emperor upon Leo, Ricimer accepted Leo's candidate Anthemius . He diplomatically married Anthemius' daughter, and for some time lived in peace with him.
      Ricimer commanded a large portion of the Roman forces in an expedition mounted by Leo against Geiseric in 468. His behavior raised suspicions that Ricimer secretly wanted the expedition to fail, which it ultimately did.
      Four years later, Ricimer moved to Mediolanum ( Milan ), ready to declare war upon Anthemius. St. Epiphanius , bishop of Milan , patched up a short-lived truce, after which Ricimer was again before Rome with an army of Germans. He proclaimed as emperor Olybrius , the candidate for emperor he and Geiseric had once favored. After a three months' siege, he took the city, on July 1 , 472 . Anthemius was killed. However, Ricimer died less than two months later of malignant fever. His title of Patrician was assumed by his nephew Gundobad .
      Ricimer's "rule" lasted until his death. After this, the Western Roman Empire experienced an even more rapid succession of emperors, none of whom was able to effectively consolidate power. The line of western emperors ended (arguably in either 476 or 480), leaving the Eastern Roman Emperors, based in Constantinople, with tenuous claims of reign over the western parts of a "re-united" empire.

  • Sources 
    1. [S5680] Vorfahren des Tile von Damm, Genealogie um die Familie von Damm in Braunschweig, Band 7 - Die Masse der Dynasten, 143 (Reliability: 3).


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