The 5th century is the period from
401to 500in accordance with the Julian calendarin Anno Domini/ Common Era.
This century is noted for being a time of repeated disaster and instability both internally and externally for the
Western Roman Empire, which finally unravelled, and came to an end in AD 476. The west was ruled by a succession of weak emperors, and true power began to fall increasingly into the hands of powerful generals. Internal instability and pressing military problems caused by foreign invaders finally resulted in the sacking of Rome by a Visigotharmy in 410. Some recovery was made in the following decades, but the Western Empire received a serious blow when another barbarian group, the Vandalsoccupied Carthage, capital of the extremely important province of Africa, a major supplier of wealth and grain. Attempts to retake the province were interrupted by the invasions of the Hunsunder Atilla. After Atilla's final defeat and death both Eastern and Western empires joined forces for a final assault on Vandal North Africa, but their campaign was a spectacular failure.
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire
476is widely understood as the point at which the Western Roman Empirecame to an end. In 476the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus(nicknamed "Augustulus" "Little Augustus") was deposed by a Germanic foederatigeneral named Odoacer. The Eastern Roman Empire finally ceased trying to prop up its hopeless Western twin, whose former lands were then divided into numerous barbariankingdoms. The last de-facto Western Roman Emperor, Julius Neposwas murdered in Dalmatia in 480 AD. The last fragment of the Western Empire, the Domain of Soissonsruled by Duke Syagrius, was conquered by the Frankish King Clovisin 486. Roman power continued in the east however, under the rulers of Constantinople. Scholars normally refer to their empire as the Byzantine Empire, however its inhabitants considered themselves Roman throughout. Recognizable Roman culture continued to exist in the east for another 200 years before the Arab invasions of the 7th Centuryset off a chain of events that forever changed the face of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the entity that emerged in the next few centuries is what one might refer to as the true Medieval Byzantine Empire.
* 399–412: The Chinese
Buddhistmonk Faxiansails through the Indian Oceanand travels throughout Sri Lanka and India to gather Buddhist scriptures.
* 406: The west frontier of the
Roman Empirecollapses as waves of Suevi, Alans, and Vandalscross the frozen Rhinenear Mainz, and enter Gaul.
* 407: Constantine III leads mainy of the Roman military units from Britain to
Gaul, occupying Arles(Arelate). This is generally seen as Rome's withdrawal from Britain.
Romesacked by Visigoths, St. Augustine writes The City of God.
* ≈430 (± 20): Ilopango erupted, devastating Mayan cities in present-day
Vandals conquer Carthage.
* At some point after 440, the
Anglo-Saxonssettle in Britain. The traditional story is that they were invited there by Vortigern.
* 451: Huns under
Attilafacing the Romans and the Visigothsare defeated in the Battle of Chalons. [Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.]
Pope Leo Iallegedly meets personally with Attila the Hun and convinces him not to sack Rome.
* 453: Death of Attila. The
Hunnic Empireis divided between his sons.
Battle of Nedao. Germanic tribes destroy the main Hunnic army and throw off Hunnic domination.
* 455: Vandals sack Rome.:* The city of
Chichen Itzais founded in Mexico.
* 469:Death of
Dengizich, last Khan of the Hunnic Empire.
* 476: August 28: Deposition of
Romulus Augustulusby Odoacer: traditional date for the Fall of Romein the West.
* 480: Assassination of
Julius Nepos, the last de jureEmperor of the Western Roman Empire, in Dalmatia.
Clovis Ibecomes king of the Western Franksupon the death of Childeric I.
* 486: Clovis defeats
Syagriusand conquers the last free remnant of the Western Roman Empire.
* 490: Battle of
Mount Badon(approximate date). According to legend, British forces led by Arthur defeated the invading Saxons.
* 491: King Clovis I defeats and subjucates the Kingdom of
Theodoricthe Ostrogoth ousts Odoacer to become king of Italy.
* 494: Northern Gaul is united under Frankish King
Clovis I, founder of the Merovingiandynasty.
Battle of Tolbiac. King Clovis defeats and subjucates the Alamanni.
Buddhismreaches Burmaand Indonesia.
African and Indonesian settlers reach Madagascar.
Hopewell culturein North America ends.
Agatharcos— Greek artist
Flavius Aëtius, last of the great Roman generals
Alaric I, king of the Visigothsthat sacked Rome
Aspar, Eastern Roman general and politician
Attila the Hun
Augustine of Hippo, bishop, theologian
Bodhidharma, founder of Zen Buddhism
John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople
Clovis, first Frankish king to unite all the Frankish peoples
Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria
Faxian, Chinese Buddhist monk
Geiseric, Vandal king and founder of the Vandal kingdom in North Africa
Hawaiiloa, discovered and settled Hawaii
* Huiyuan, Chinese Buddhist
Hypatia of Alexandria, woman philosopher
St. Jeromehermit, cleric, Bibletranslator
Pope Leo I
Ricimer, Western Roman general, politician and ruler
Saint Mesrob, Armenian monk
Niall Noigiallach, founder of one of Ireland's greatest dynasties.
St. Patrick, completed the conversion to Christianity in Ireland
Socrates Scholasticus, Byzantine Church historian
Sozomen, Christian church historian
Theoderic the Great, Ostrogothic king
Zu Chongzhi, Chinese astronomer and mathematician
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
Horse collarinvented in China
plowin use in Slavic lands
horseshoes become common in Gaul
Anglo-Saxon futhorcalphabet used in England
Armenian alphabetcreated by Mesrob Mashtots c. 405
gomphothere, an elephant-like species, becomes extinct.
Decades and years
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