Romanus (usurper)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Usurper of the Western Roman Empire
Rome, Italia

Romanus (died 470) was a Roman usurper in the Western Roman Empire who unsuccessfully rebelled against the Emperor Anthemius in 470 before being executed at Rome.


Romanus was a Roman Senator and a Patrician[1] who had achieved the rank of Magister officiorum during the final decades of the Western Roman Empire.[2] A known supporter of Ricimer, the Magister militum,[3] this brought him into conflict with the Emperor Anthemius, who both distrusted and disliked Ricimer.[4]

In 470, Anthemius fell seriously ill, and it was rumored that sorcery had been used to afflict the emperor.[5] Ricimer saw an opportunity to install a new puppet emperor, and began to lay the groundwork for the accession of Romanus to the imperial throne.[6] However, Anthemius eventually recovered, and accused a number of Ricimer's supporters of using sorcery to try to bring about his death, including Romanus, whom he also accused of seeking to usurp his throne.[7] He had the senator beheaded in 470, an act which he hoped would secure his throne.[8]

In fact, it did the opposite. Ricimer became furious about the death of Romanus, and was the trigger which he used to move against Anthemius, whom he deposed in 472.[9]



  1. ^ Mathisen, Anthemius; Jones, pg. 947
  2. ^ Jones, pg. 947
  3. ^ Mathisen, Anthemius
  4. ^ MacGeorge, pg. 246
  5. ^ MacGeorge, pg. 246; Mathisen, Anthemius
  6. ^ MacGeorge, pg. 246
  7. ^ Mathisen, Anthemius
  8. ^ Jones, pg. 947
  9. ^ Mathisen, Anthemius; MacGeorge, pgs. 246-247