- Aëtius is also the name of several other persons.
|Nickname||Last of the Romans|
|Allegiance||Western Roman Empire|
|Service/branch||Late Roman army|
|Years of service||408-454|
|Commands held||Magister Militum per Gallias
Comes et Magister Utriusque Militae (Junior)
Comes et Magister Utriusque Militae (Senior)
|Battles/wars||Battle of Rimini
Visigothic War of 437
Battle of Mons Colubrarius
Battle of Vicus Helena
Battle of the Catalaunian Plains
Aëtius (Latin: Flavius Aëtius, 396–454), dux et patricius, was a Roman general of the closing period of the Western Roman Empire. He was an able military commander and the most influential man in the Western Roman Empire for two decades (433-454). He managed policy in regard to the attacks of barbarian peoples pressing on the Empire. Notably, he mustered a large Roman and allied (foederati) army to stop the Huns in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, ending the devastating Hunnic invasion of Attila in 451.
Along with his rival Count Boniface, he has often been called "the last of the Romans". Edward Gibbon refers to him as "the man universally celebrated as the terror of Barbarians and the support of the Republic" for his victory at the Catalaunian Plains.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Legacy
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 Bibliography
Origins and Family
Aëtius was born at Durostorum in Moesia Inferior (modern Silistra, Bulgaria), around 391. His father was Flavius Gaudentius, was a Roman soldier of Scythian extraction, As the term "Scythian" was frequently used in the late-Roman period for East Germanic tribes, Joseph Cummins notes that Gaudentius was possibly of Gothic origin. Aetius' mother, whose name is unknown, was a wealthy aristocratic woman of Italian ancestry. Before 425 Aëtius married the daughter of Carpilio, who gave him a son, also named Carpilio. Later he married Pelagia[disambiguation needed], widow of Bonifacius, from whom he had a son, Gaudentius. It is possible that he had also a daughter, wife of Thraustila who avenged Aëtius' death by killing emperor Valentinian III.
Early years and service under Joannes
As a boy, Aëtius was at the service of the imperial court, enrolled in the military unit of the Protectores Domestici and then elevated to the position of tribuni praetoriani partis militaris, setting him up for future political eligibility. Between 405 and 408 he was kept as hostage at the court of Alaric I, king of the Visigoths. In 408 Alaric asked to keep Aëtius as a hostage, but was refused, as Aëtius was sent to the court of Uldin, king of the Huns, where he would stay with the Huns throughout much of the reign of Octar, Uldin's successor.. Aëtius's upbringing amongst militaristic peoples gave him a martial vigour not common in Roman generals of the time.
In 423 the Western Emperor Honorius died. The most influential man in the West, Castinus, chose as his successor Joannes, a high-ranking officer. Joannes was not part of the Theodosian dynasty and he did not receive the recognition of the eastern court. The Eastern Emperor Theodosius II organized a military expedition westward, led by Ardaburius and his son Aspar, to put his cousin, the young Valentinian III (who was a nephew of Honorius), on the western throne. Aëtius entered the service of the usurper as cura palatii and was sent by Joannes to ask the Huns for assistance. Joannes lacked a strong army and fortified himself in his capital, Ravenna, where he was killed in the summer of 425. Shortly afterwards, Aëtius returned to Italy with a large force of Huns to find that power in the west was now in the hands of Valentinian III and his mother Galla Placidia. After fighting against Aspar's army, Aëtius managed to compromise with Galla Placidia. He sent back his army of Huns and in return obtained the rank of comes et magister militum per Gallias, the commander in chief of the Roman army in Gaul.
First Gallic campaigns
In 427, Aëtius arrived in southern Gaul with an army of roughly 40,000 to find Arelate, an important city in Septimania near the mouth of the Rhone, under siege from the Visigoths led by their king Theodoric I. Aëtius defeated Theodoric, lifted the Siege of Arelate, and drove the Visigoths back to their holdings in Aquitania. In 428 he fought the Salian Franks, defeating their king Chlodio and recovering some territory they had occupied along the Rhine. In 429 he was elevated to the rank of magister militum; this was probably the iunior of the two offices of magister militum praesentalis, as the senior is known to have been the patrician Flavius Felix, the most influential man in those years, supporter of Galla Placidia. In 430 the Visigoths led by Anaolsus attacked Arelate again but were defeated by Aëtius at the Battle of Mons Colubrarius, establishing a peace treaty. In May 430, Aëtius accused Felix of plotting against him and had him and his wife killed. Once Felix was dead, Aëtius was probably the most prominent among the magistri militum, even if he had not yet been granted the title of patrician. During late 430 and 431 Aëtius was in Raetia and Noricum, and is attested in the city of Vindelicia, re-establishing Roman rule on the Danube frontier and campaigning against the Juthungi. In 431 he returned to Gaul, he received Hydatius, bishop of Aquae Flaviae, who complained about the attacks of the Suebi. In 432 Aëtius again defeated the Franks, making peace with them, and he sent back Hydatius to the Suebi in Hispania.
War with Bonifacius
While Aëtius was campaigning in Gaul, there was an ongoing power struggle between Aëtius, generals Felix and Bonifacius, and emperor Valentinian's mother and regent Galla Placidia. After the execution of Felix, Aëtius and Bonifacius remained as the empire's most influential generals, both constantly vying for the favor of Placidia. In 427 while Bonifacius was away as governor (comes) of Africa, Aëtius caused him to fall into disfavour with Placidia. Bonifacius was eventually returned to favor by Placidia, but not before revolting and causing the loss of most of Africa to the Vandals.
In 432 Aëtius held the consulate, but Bonifacius was recalled to Italy and received warmly by Placidia. Bonifacius was given the rank of patrician, while Aëtius was stripped of his military command, which was given to Bonifacius. Aëtius, believing his fall now imminent, marched against Bonifacius and fought him at the Battle of Rimini. Boniface won the battle but was mortally wounded, dying a few months later. Aëtius escaped to Dalmatia and traveled to the court of his friend, Rugila, the king of the Huns. With their help he returned to power, receiving the title of magister utriusque militiae; he had Bonifacius' son-in-law, Sebastianus, who had succeeded to Bonifacius as magister militum praesentalis, exiled from Italy to Constantinople, bought the properties of Bonifacius and married his widow Pelagia[disambiguation needed].
Campaigns against Burgundians, Bagaudae, and Visigoths
From 433 to 450, Aëtius was the dominant personality in the Western Empire, obtaining the patrician rank (5 September 435) and playing the role of "protector" of Galla Placidia and Valentinian III while the Emperor was still young. At the same time he continued to devote attention to Gaul. In 436, the Burgundians of King Gunther were defeated and obliged to accept peace by Aëtius, who, however, the following year sent the Huns to destroy them; 20,000 Burgundians were killed in a slaughter which probably became the basis of the Nibelungenlied, a German epic. That same 436 Aetius was probably in Armorica with Litorius to suppress a rebellion of the Bacaudae. Year 437 saw his second consulship and the wedding of Valentinian and Licinia Eudoxia in Constantinople; it is probable that Aetius attended at the ceremony that marked the beginning of the direct rule of the Emperor. The following two years were occupied by a campaign against the Suebi and by the war against the Visigoths; in 438 Aetius won a major battle (probably the battle of Mons Colubrarius), but in 439 the Visigoths defeated and killed his general Litorius and his Hunnic Foederati. Aetius returned to Gaul after Vetericus had stabilized the situation, and defeated the Visigoths and obtained a treaty.  On his return to Italy, he was honoured by a statue erected by the Senate and the People of Rome by order of the Emperor; this was probably the occasion for the panegyric written by Merobaudes.
In 443, Aëtius settled the remaining Burgundians in Savoy, south of Lake Geneva. His most pressing concern in the 440s was with problems in Gaul and Iberia, mainly with the Bagaudae. He settled Alans around Valence and Orléans to contain unrest around present-day Brittany.
The Alans settled in Armorica caused problems in 447 or 448. It was probably in that period that he fought a battle near Tours, followed by a Frankish attack under Clodio to the region near Arras, in Belgica Secunda; the invaders were stopped by a battle around a river-crossing near Vicus Helena, where Aëtius directed the operations while his commander Majorian (later Emperor) fought with the cavalry. However, in 450 Aëtius had already returned in good terms with the Franks. In that year, in fact, the king of the Franks died, and the patricius supported his younger son's claim to the throne, adopting him as his own son and sending him from Rome, where he had been sent as ambassador, to the Frankish court with many presents.
Victory over Attila at the Catalaunian Plains
Before 449 Aëtius had signed an agreement with the Huns, allowing some of them to settle in Pannonia, along the Sava River; he also sent to Attila, the king of the Huns, a man called Constantius as a secretary. In 449, Attila was angry for an alleged theft of a golden plate, and Aëtius sent him an embassy under Romulus to calm him; Attila sent him as a present a dwarf, Zerco, whom Aëtius gave back to his original owner, Aspar.
However, the good terms between Romans and Huns did not last, as Attila wanted to attack Gaul; he knew that Aëtius was a serious obstacle to his enterprise, and tried to have him removed, but in 451, when the Huns attacked, Aëtius was the commander of the Roman army in Gaul. The large Hunnish army captured several cities, and proceeded towards Orléans.
When the Alans living in the region were ready to defect to Attila, Aëtius, with the help of the influential Gallo-Roman senator Avitus, convinced the Visigoths of king Theodoric I to join him against the external menace; he also succeeded in preventing Sangibanus, a possible ally for Attila, from combining his army with the Hunnish one. Then the joint Roman and Visigothic armies moved to relieve the besieged city of Orléans, forcing the Huns to abandon the siege and retreat to open country.
On June 20, 451 (some sources place the date on September 20, 451), Aëtius and Theodoric defeated Attila and his allies at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. Theodoric died in the battle, and Aëtius suggested his son Thorismund to quickly reach Toulouse (capital of the Kingdom of the Visigoths) to secure his throne; for this reason it is said that Aëtius kept all of the booty for his army.
Attila returned in 452 to again press his claim of marriage to Honoria; Aëtius did not take the necessary precautions to block the Alpine passes, and Attila invaded and ravaged Italy, sacking numerous cities and razing Aquileia completely, leaving no trace of it behind. Valentinian III fled from Ravenna to Rome; Aëtius remained in the field but lacked the strength to offer battle. Gibbon however says Aëtius never showed his greatness more clearly in managing to harass and slow Attila's advance with only a shadow force. Attila finally halted at the Po, where he met an embassy including the prefect Trigetius, the ex-consul Gennadius Avienus, and Pope Leo I. After the meeting he turned his army back, having gained neither Honoria's hand nor the territories he desired. A number of practical factors induced Attila to retreat: his army was unable to obtain sufficient food and was suffering from disease; Aetius' army, busy harassing the Huns, had been reinforced by troops sent from the Eastern Empire by the Emperor Marcian, and, finally, Marcian had sent forces north of the Danube to attack the homelands of the Huns.
Although in 453 Aëtius had been able to betroth his son Gaudentius to Valentinian's daughter Placidia, Valentinian felt intimidated by Aëtius, who had once supported Joannes against him and who, Valentinian believed, wanted to place his son upon the imperial throne. The Roman senator Petronius Maximus and the chamberlain Heraclius were therefore able to enlist Valentinian in a plot to assassinate Aëtius. On September 21, 454, when at court in Ravenna delivering a financial account, Aëtius was slain by Valentinian's own hand. Edward Gibbon credits Sidonius Apollinaris with the famous observation, "I am ignorant, sir, of your motives or provocations; I only know that you have acted like a man who has cut off his right hand with his left."
Maximus expected to be made patrician in place of Aëtius, but was blocked by Heraclius. Seeking revenge, Maximus arranged with two Hun friends of Aëtius, Optila and Thraustila, to assassinate both Valentinian III and Heraclius. On March 16, 455, Optila stabbed the emperor in the temple as he dismounted in the Campus Martius and prepared for a session of archery practice. As the stunned emperor turned to see who had struck him, Optila finished him off with another thrust of his blade. Meanwhile, Thraustila stepped forward and killed Heraclius. Most of the soldiers standing close by had been faithful followers of Aëtius and none lifted a hand to save the emperor.
Aëtius is generally viewed as a great military commander, indeed he was held in such high esteem by the Eastern Roman Empire, that he became known as the last true Roman of the west. Most historians also consider the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains as decisively important, crippling Attila by destroying his aura of invincibility. Gibbon eloquently states the majority view:
(Attila's) retreat across the Rhine confessed the last victory which was achieved in the name of the Western Roman Empire.".
John Julius Norwich caustically referred to the assassination of Valentinian III by his own guards as an act that Valentinian brought on himself by his foolish execution of Aëtius, the "Empire's greatest commander." Certainly Aëtius' military legacy is defined by Châlons, even though he effectively ruled the western empire from 433-450, and attempted to stabilize its European borders under a deluge of barbarians, including foremost, Attila and the Huns.
One of his greatest achievements was the assembling of the coalition against Attila. On this Arther Ferrill says:
After he secured the Rhine, Attila moved into central Gaul and put Orléans under siege. Had he gained his objective, he would have been in a strong position to subdue the Visigoths in Aquitaine, but Aëtius had put together a formidable coalition against the Hun. The Roman leader had built a powerful alliance of Visigoths, Alans and Burgundians, uniting them with their traditional enemy, the Romans, for the defense of Gaul. Even though all parties to the protection of the Western Roman Empire had a common hatred of the Huns, it was still a remarkable achievement on Aëtius' part to have drawn them into an effective military relationship.
While J. B. Bury viewed Aëtius as a great military commander, and giant figure of history, he did not consider that the battle itself was particularly decisive. He argues that Aëtius attacked the Huns when they were already retreating from Orléans (so the danger to Gaul was departing anyway); and he declined to renew the attack on the Huns next day, precisely in order to preserve the balance of power. (Others suggest that the Huns may have abandoned the siege of Orléans because Aëtius's armies were advancing on them.)
Bury suggests that the German victory over the Huns at the Battle of Nedao, three years later, was more important. This determined that there would be no long-term Hunnic Empire in Europe, which Bury thinks would have been unlikely even if they had crushed the Germans on that occasion. For Bury, the result of the battle of the Catalaunian Plains determined chiefly that Attila spent his last year looting Italy, rather than Gaul.
Bury's view remains in the minority, and the battle is considered crucial by virtually every other major historian.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
His legacy has been filled with controversy somewhat similar to that of Stilicho. The two best Roman generals of their time, both were killed by jealous emperors, and both left the Empire significantly weaker when they died. The main difference between the two was that all major historians hail Aëtius as a loyal Roman and a pillar of the Empire, while Bury finds Stilicho an unwitting traitor. While Stilicho was succeeded by Aëtius, the Empire simply had no one to take Aëtius's place. At the time of Aëtius's death, all the Roman provinces in western Europe had a significant barbarian presence. This had begun a full three generations earlier, when the barbarians were allowed to stay inside the Empire's borders in exchange for peace and their military service. Edward Gibbon maintains that Aëtius could not have expelled them if he had wanted to, as he lacked Roman troops to do the task, and the barbarians were the only army he had to keep the peace. Gibbon argues in great detail that Roman citizens had lost their martial vigour, with the consequence that the only troops available to Stilicho or Aëtius were mostly barbarians.
Gibbon views Aëtius in a positive light, as do Norwich, Creasy, Ferrill, and Watson. In 1890, Robert F. Pennel wrote in Ancient Rome from the Earliest Times Down to 476 A.D.
The Empire was but a relic of its former self. Gaul, Spain, and Britain were practically lost; Illyria and Pannonia were in the hands of the Goths; and Africa was soon after seized by the barbarians. Valentinian was fortunate in the possession of AËTIUS, a Scythian by birth, who for a time upheld the Roman name, winning for himself the title of LAST OF THE ROMANS. He was assassinated by his ungrateful master."
Gibbon believes it was not indifference but rather preoccupation with the Huns and other barbarians that led Aëtius to neglect the navy. The subsequent loss of Africa came after Boniface invited the Vandals. Gibbon makes clear that Aëtius simply lacked the means to preserve the declining Western Empire in its entirety, while Norwich concludes that he guarded the Empire for three decades and that the after-effects of Aëtius's death lie at the feet of the Emperor who foolishly killed him. At a time when Romans did little or none of their own fighting, and no effective navy existed in the West, Aëtius had done all he could to preserve some vestige of order in continental Europe.
One could argue that later Emperors Majorian, Leo I and Anthemius saw the necessity of regaining the African provinces. Should Aëtius have concentrated his efforts on saving Africa, to the detriment of maintaining some vestige of Empire in Europe? Michael Grant in his History of Rome states flatly that Aëtius was powerless to stop the loss of Africa. Aëtius had begun to move against the Vandals when the forces he sent had to be recalled to fight Attila. Since Aëtius relied on barbarian federates, and as no other Roman General had the respect of those barbarian troops, his death left the Empire bereft of virtually any army in the west.
It is notable that Bury, whilst not believing the Battle of Châlons was significant, did believe in the significance of Aëtius's rule in general, saying "From the end of the regency to his own death, Aëtius was master of the Empire in the west, and it must be imputed to his policy and arms that Imperial rule did not break down in all the provinces by the middle of the fifth century."
In the end, there is some disagreement among historians as to the historical place of Aëtius. Was he the protector of Rome for three decades described by Gibbon, Norwich and Bury, the hero of Châlons described by Sir Edward Creasy, or should he be condemned for the loss of Africa, though most historians say he was powerless to stop that loss? Although Bury is cited as a critic of Aëtius, he was not, and said of Aëtius's death: "Who was now to save Italy from the Vandals?" The answer was no one. There was not one figure in the Empire able to take Aëtius's place as the champion and defender of the West. The certain thing about Aëtius's place in history is that he will forever be remembered as the last great Western Roman General, and the General who defeated the dreaded Attila the Hun. 
Aëtius in the arts
Aëtius is played by Powers Boothe in the 2001 American TV Miniseries Attila. Here he is portrayed as an antagonist whose methods are contrasted with Attila. Aëtius is portrayed as the heroic 'Last of the Romans' in William Napier's Attila trilogy (2005), uniting the Romans and the Goths in one final, titanic battle to stop the Huns in their tracks, in the epochal Battle of the Catalaunian Fields.
Aëtius, Galla Placidia and Stilicho all appear as central characters in Jose Gomez-Rivera's historical novel Flavius Aëtius: The Last Conqueror, published in 2004.
Aëtius, Attila and Theodoric all appear in Michael Curtis Ford's fourth novel entitled The Sword of Attila, published by Thomas Dunne Books in 2005.
Aëtius, Attila, Honoria, Leo and others figure in Louis de Wohl's vivid historical novel Throne of the World (1946), later republished with the alternative title Attila the Hun.
The movie 476 A.D., about the period of Flavius Aëtius and his victory over Attila the Hun at the Battle of Châlons, as well as following the events leading to the End of the Roman Empire on September 4, 476 A.D, will be released in 2013, by Ivan Pavletić.
- Joseph Cummins, The War Chronicles: From Chariots to Flintlocks, Fair Winds, 2008 p. 110 Google book
- Thomas J. Craughwell, How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds, 2008, p.60 Google book
- Jordanes, Getica, 176; Merobaudes, Carmina, iv, 42-43, and Panegyrici, ii, 110-115, 119-120; Gregory of Tours, ii.8; Zosimus, v.36.1; Chronica gallica 452, 100. Cited in Jones, p. 21.
- Carpilio had been a comes domesticorum, commander of the imperial guard (Gregory of Tours, ii.8).
- Carpilio went to Attila for an embassy (Cassiodorus, Variae, i.4.11) and remained at their court as an hostage for some time (Priscus, fr. 8).
- Gregory of Tours, ii.8; Priscus, fr. 8; Cassiodorus, Variae, i.4.11; John of Antioch, fr. 201.3 and 204; Marcellinus comes, s.a. 432; Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina, v.205; Hydatius, 167; Merobaudes, Carmina, iv (poem composed for the first birthday of Gaudentius); Additamenta ad chron. Prosperi Hauniensis, s.a. 455 (only source to cite Thraustila as son-in-law of Aëtius). Cited in Jones, p. 21.
- Gregory of Tours, ii.8; Jones, p. 21.
- Bury, J.B. History of the Later Roman Empire. XIII.I. p 241
- Gregory of Tours, ii.8; Merobaudes, Carmina, iv, 42-46, and Panegyrici, ii.1-4 and 127-143; Zosimus, v.36.1
- Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I, Chap. XXXV (Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1952), p. 559.
- Cassiodorus, Chronica, s.a. 425; Gregory of Tours, ii.8; Philostorgius, xii.4; Prosperus of Tirus, s.a. 425; Chronica gallica 452, 100; Jordanes, Romana, 328; Jones, p. 22.
- Bury, J.B. History of the Later Roman Empire. XIII.I. p 243
- Bury, J.B. History of the Later Roman Empire. XIII.I. p 242
- Philostorgius, xii.4; Prosperus of Tirus, s.a. 425 and 428; Chronica gallica 452, 102 (s.a. 427); Cassiodorus, Chronica, s.a. 428. Cited in Jones, p. 22.
- Merobaudes, Pan. 1.10 (Vollmer, ad loc.)
- Bury, J.B. History of the Later Roman Empire. XIII.I. p 244
- Prosperus of Tirus, s.a. 429 e 430; John of Antioch, fr. 201; Hydatius, 92, 93 and 94 (s.a. 430), 95 and 96 (s.a. 431), 98 (s.a. 432); Chronica gallica 452, 106 (s.a. 430); Jordanes, Getica, 176; Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina, vii.233. Cited in Jones, pp. 22-23.
- Procopius of Caesarea, Bellum Vandalicum, i.3.14-22, 28-29; John of Antioch, fr. 196; Theophanes, AM 5931; Hydatius, 99; Prosperus, s.a. 427. Cited in Jones, p. 23.
- Bury, J.B. History of the Later Roman Empire. XIII.I. p 248
- CIL, v, 7530; Prosperus, s.a. 432; Chronica Gallica a. 452, 109 and 111 (s.a. 432), 112 (s.a. 433), 115 (s.a. 434); Chronica Gallica a. 511, 587; Additamenta ad chron. Prosperi Hauniensis, s.a. 432; Hydatius, 99; Marcellinus comes, s.a. 432; John of Antioch, fr. 201.3. Cited in Jones, pp. 23-24.
- Hughes, pp. 102-103.
- Annales Ravennates, s.a. 435; John of Antioch, fr. 201.3; Prosper of Aquitaine, s.a. 435, s.a. 438, s.a. 439; Cassiodorus, Chronica, s.a. 435; Chronica Gallica a. 452, 117 (s.a. 435), 118 (s.a. 436), 119 (s.a. 437), 123 (s.a. 439); Hydatius, 108 (s.a. 436), 110 (s.a. 437), 112 (s.a. 438), 117 (s.a. 439); Sidonius Apollinaris, vii.234-235 and 297-309; Merobaudes, Panegyrici, i fr. iib 11ff, i fr. iia 22-23, and ii.5-7; Jordanes, Getica, 176; ; Barnes, Timothy, "Patricii under Valentinian III", Phoenix, 29, 1975, pp. 166-168; Jones, pp. 24-26.
- Chronica Gallica a. 452, 133 (s.a. 438); Sidonius Apollinaris, v.210-218. Cited in Jones, p. 27. Jan Willem Drijvers, Helena Augusta, BRILL, ISBN 90-04-09435-0, p. 12.
- Priscus, fr. 16; Gregory of Tours, ii.7. It is possible that this happened after the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451 (Jones, p. 27).
- Priscus, fr. 7 and 8; Suda, Z 29. Cited in Jones, p. 27.
- John of Antioch, fr. 199.2; Jordanes, Getica, 191. Cited in Jones, p.27.
- It should be noted that Hunnish armies were never composed entirely of ethnic Huns but contained relative majorities of subject peoples.
- Sidonius Apollinaris, vii.328-331, 339-341; John Malalas, 358; Jordanes, Getica, 195; Gregory of Tours, ii.7. Cited in Jones, p.27.
- Bury, J.B., 1923, Chapter 9, § 4.
- Prosperus, s.a. 451; Chronica Gallica a. 452, 139 (s.a. 451), 141 (s.a. 452); Cassiodorus, Chronica, 451; Additamenta ad chron. Prosperi Hauniensis, s.a. 451; Hydatius, 150 (a. 451); Chronicon Paschale, s.a. 450; Jordanes, Getica, 197ff; Gregory of Tours, ii.7; Procopius, i.4.24; John Malalas, 359; Theophanes, AM 5943. Cited in Jones, p. 27.
- Additamenta ad chron. Prosperi Hauniensis, s.a. 451; Gregory of Tours, ii.7; Jordanes, Getica, 215ff. Cited in Jones, pp. 27-28.
- Prosperus, s.a. 452.
- Heather, P. (2010) The Fall of the Roman Empire, Pan Macmillan. ISBN 0330529838, 9780330529839, p. 341
- Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. 35
- Edward Shepherd Creasy http://www.standin.se/fifteen06a.htm Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World "The victory which the Roman general, Aëtius, with his Gothic allies, had then gained over the Huns, was the last victory of imperial Rome. But among the long Fasti of her triumphs, few can be found that, for their importance and ultimate benefit to mankind, are comparable with this expiring effort of her arms."
- Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Modern Library, New York, volume II, p.1089.
- Norwich, John. Byzantium: The Early Centuries
- Gibbon, E. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 38
- Ancient Rome from the earliest times to 476 A.D, By Robert F. Pennel (1890)
- Primary sources
- Additamenta ad chron. Prosperi Hauniensis
- Annales Ravennates
- Cassiodorus, Chronica and Variae
- Chronica gallica anno 452
- Chronica gallica anno 511
- Chronicon Paschale
- Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum ii.8, gives a condensed version of Aëtius' character and career, using a lost history of Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus.
- Hydatius, Chronicle
- John of Antioch, Chronicle
- John Malalas, Chronographia
- Jordanes, Getica and Romana
- Marcellinus Comes, Chronicle
- Merobaudes, Carmina and Panegyrici
- Philostorgius, Ecclesiastical History
- Priscus, History
- Procopius, Vandal War
- Prosper of Aquitaine, Epitoma chronicon
- Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina
- Zosimus, New History
- Secondary sources
- Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, John Robert Martindale, John Morris, "Fl. Aetius 7", The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, volume 2, Cambridge University Press, 1980, ISBN 0-521-20159-4, pp. 21–29.
- Further readings
- Cameron, Averil The Later Roman Empire (Harvard University Press 2007) ISBN 0-674-51194-8.
- Cameron, Averil The Cambridge Ancient History: the Late Empire (Cambridge University Press 1998) ISBN 0-521-30200-5.
- Clover, Frank M Flavius Merobaudes (American Philosophical Society 1971).
- Creasy, Sir Edward, Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World,
- Drinkwater, John, Fifth-Century Gaul: A Crisis of Identity? (Cambridge University Press 1992) ISBN 0-521-41485-7.
- Elton, Hugh Warfare in Roman Europe, AD 350-425 (Oxford University Press 1998) ISBN 0-19-815241-8.
- Ferrill, Arther, The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation. Thames and Hudson, London, 1986.
- Hughes, Ian, "Aetius: Attila's Nemesis" Pen & Sword Military, 2012. ISBN 1848842791.
- Jones, A.H.M., The Later Roman Empire 284-602. Oxford Press, Cambridge, 1964.
- Norwich, John J. Byzantium: The Early Centuries. The Fall of the West. Knopf, New York, 1997
- O'Flynn, John Michael Generalissimos of the Western Roman Empire (The University of Alberta Press 1983) ISBN 0-88864-031-5.
- Oost, Stewart I., Galla Placidia Augusta. Chicago, 1968.
- Reynolds, Julian "Defending Rome: The Masters of the Soldiers" Xlibris, 2012. ISBN 1462851053.
Flavius Anicius Auchenius Bassus,
|Consul of the Roman Empire
with Flavius Valerius
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XIV,
Flavius Anthemius Isidorus Theophilus,
|Consul of the Roman Empire
with Flavius Sigisvultus
Imp. Caesar Flavius Theodosius Augustus XVI,
Anicius Acilius Glabrio Faustus
Imp. Caesar Flavius Placidus Valentinianus Augustus VI,
|Consul of the Roman Empire
with Quintus Aurelius Symmachus
Flavius Ardaburius Iunior
||Commanding General of Gaul
|Supreme Commander of the Western Roman Army