He also served alongside the future emperor Majorian. Aegidius was either a founding member of Majorian and Ricimer's faction, or else he quickly joined it. After Majorian became Western Roman Emperor, Aegidius was granted the title of magister militum per Gallias (master of the soldiers for Gaul) in 458, as a reward for his loyalty. In the same year, Aegidius led troops at the Battle of Arelate, against the Visigoths under King Theodoric II. Aegidius is credited by ancient sources as being the primary cause for Theodoric II's defeat.

Theodoric II

Theoderic IITheodoricTheodoric II of the Ostrogoths
In late 458 the Western Roman Emperor, Majorian entered Septimania to attack Theodoric and reclaim the province for the empire. Majorian defeated Theodoric at the Battle of Arelate, forcing the Visigoths to abandon Septimania and withdraw west to Aquitania. Under the new treaty with the Romans, the Visigoths had to relinquish their recent conquests in Hispania and return to federate status. However, after the assassination of Majorian in 461, Theodoric recaptured Septimania and invaded Hispania again. Theodoric was himself murdered in 466 by his younger brother Euric, who succeeded him to the throne.

Western Roman Empire

Western EmpireWesternWest
The Gallic provinces and the Visigothic Kingdom had rebelled following the deposition of Avitus, refusing to acknowledge Majorian as lawful emperor. At the Battle of Arelate, Majorian decisively defeated the Visigoths under Theoderic II and forced them to relinquish their great conquests in Hispania and return to foederati status. Majorian then entered the Rhone Valley, where he defeated the Burgundians and reconquered the rebel city of Lugdunum. With Gaul back under Roman control, Majorian turned his eyes to the Vandals and Africa.

Kingdom of the Suebi

SuebiSuebic KingdomGalicia
Theodoric continued his war on the Suevi for three months, but in April 459 he returned to Gaul, alarmed by the political and military movements of the new emperor, Majorian, and of the magister militum Ricimer—a half-Sueve, maybe a kinsman of Rechiar —while his allies and the rest of the Goths sacked Astorga, Palencia and other places, on their way back to the Pyrenees. When the Visigoths disposed of Rechiar, the royal bloodline of Hermeric vanished and the conventional mechanism for Suevi leadership died with it. In 456, one Aioulf took over the leadership of the Sueves.

Flavius Aetius

In 445 Majorian defeated a Frankish siege of Turonum, which was followed by a Frankish attack under Clodio in the region of Atrebatum, in Belgica Secunda. The foederati were stopped in an ambush near Vicus Helena, where Aetius directed the operations while his commander Majorian (later Emperor) fought with the cavalry. However, by 450 Aetius had already returned to good terms with the Franks. In 449 Chlodio died, and the patricius supported his younger son Merovaeus's claim to the throne. Aetius adopted him as his own son and sent him from Rome, where he had been an ambassador, to the Frankish court with many presents.

Nepotianus (magister militiae)

In 458 he was comes et magister utriusque militiae and together with Aegidius, he commanded the army of the Western Emperor, Majorian. That same year Majorian started a military campaign to re-conquer Gaul; the army, reinforced by some barbarian mercenaries, dislodged the Visigoths of Theodoric II from Arelate and obliged them to return to their condition of foederati. With the help of his new foederati, Majorian entered in the Rhone Valley, conquering its populations "some by arms and some by diplomacy". He defeated the Burgundians and besieged and conquered the city of Lugdunum: the rebel city was heavily fined, while the Bagaudae were forced to join the Empire.

Roman Gaul

Roman Gaul refers to Gaul under provincial rule in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.


The Visigoths (Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi; Westgoten Visigoti Visigots Visigodos Visigodos) were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period. The Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups (possibly the Thervingi) who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient.


GothiaMarch of GothiaGothic March
Septimania (Septimanie, ; Septimània, ; Septimània, ) is a historical region in modern-day south of France. It referred to the western part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed to the control of the Visigoths in 462, when Septimania was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. Under the Visigoths it was known as simply Gallia or Narbonensis. Septimania territory roughly corresponds with the former administrative region of Languedoc-Roussillon that merged into the new administrative region of Occitanie.


ArelateArles FranceArles, France
Arles (Provençal Arle in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.


Foederatus ( in English; pl. foederati ) was any one of several outlying nations to which ancient Rome provided benefits in exchange for military assistance. The term was also used, especially under the Roman Empire for groups of "barbarian" mercenaries of various sizes, who were typically allowed to settle within the Roman Empire.

Kingdom of the Burgundians

The Kingdom of the Burgundians or First Kingdom of Burgundy was established by Germanic Burgundians in the Rhineland and then in Savoy in the 5th century.

Visigothic Kingdom

The Visigothic Kingdom or Kingdom of the Visigoths (Regnum Gothorum) was a kingdom that occupied what is now southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to the 8th centuries. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was originally created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of Aquitaine in southwest France by the Roman government and then extended by conquest over all of the Iberian Peninsula. The Kingdom maintained independence from the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the attempts of which to re-establish Roman authority in Iberia were only partially successful and short-lived.

Roman emperor

EmperoremperorsEmperor of the Roman Empire
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title often used was imperator, originally a military honorific. Early Emperors also used the title princeps (first citizen). Emperors frequently amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus, consul and pontifex maximus.


Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula and its provinces. Under the Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior. During the Principate, Hispania Ulterior was divided into two new provinces, Baetica and Lusitania, while Hispania Citerior was renamed Hispania Tarraconensis. Subsequently, the western part of Tarraconensis was split off, first as Hispania Nova, later renamed Callaecia (or Gallaecia, whence modern Galicia).


RhoneRhone valleyRhône Valley
The Rhône (, ; Rhone ; ; Rodano ; Rôno ; Ròse ) is one of the major rivers of Europe and has twice the average discharge of the Loire (which is the longest French river), rising in the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps at the far eastern end of the Swiss canton of Valais, passing through Lake Geneva and running through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhône (le Grand Rhône) and the Little Rhône (le Petit Rhône). The resulting delta constitutes the Camargue region.


year 458 AD
Emperor Majorian builds a Roman fleet at Miseno and Ravenna. He strengthens the army, by recruiting a large number of barbarian mercenaries (Bastarnae, Burgundians, Huns, Ostrogoths, Rugii, Scythians and Suebi). Summer – The Vandals land in Campania, at the mouth of the Liri or the Garigliano River, and devastate the region. Majorian personally leads the Roman army and defeats the invaders near Sinuessa, destroying their ships on the seashore, loaded with booty. Battle of Arelate: Majorian defeats the Visigoths under King Theodoric II at Arles (Southern Gaul), near the Rhone River.

Germanic Wars

Roman-Germanic WarsGermanic invasionsBarbarian invasions
leads the Roman army to a victory over the Vandals near Sinuessa, Roman victory over the Visigoths in southern Gaul in the Battle of Arelate. 459, Seizure of Trier by Franks, Roman reconquest of southern Gaul and most of Hispania under Emperor Majorian. 460, Roman victory over the Suebi at Lucus Augusti, Roman fleet is destroyed by traitors paid by the Vandals, Attack on the kingdom of the Vandals cancelled. 461, Seventeen Vandal ships destroy forty Roman ships in a surprise attack. 463, Battle of Orleans. 465, Ostrogothic King Valamir dies in battle. 468, Invasion of the Vandal Kingdom by the Byzantine Empire, Defeat of the Byzantine Empire by the Vandals in the Battle of Cape Bon. 469, Ostrogoths

Gothic Wars

(Visigoths under Theodoric II against the Western Roman Empire under Majorian) In late 458 Majorian entered Septimania (now southern France) to attack Theodoric and reclaim the province for the empire. Majorian defeated Theodoric at the Battle of Arelate, forcing him to abandon Septimania and withdraw west to Aquitania. Under the new treaty with the Romans, the Visigoths had to relinquish their recent conquests in Hispania and return to federate status.

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

decline of the Roman Empirefall of the Roman Empirefall of Rome
He defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Arelate, reducing them to federate status and obliging them to give up their claims in Hispania; he moved on to subdue the Burgundians, the Gallo-Romans around Lugdunum (who were granted tax concessions and whose senior officials were appointed from their own ranks) and the Suevi and Bagaudae in Hispania. Marcellinus, magister militum in Dalmatia and the pagan general of a well-equipped army, acknowledged him as emperor and recovered Sicily from the Vandals. Aegidius also acknowledged Majorian and took effective charge of northern Gaul. (Aegidius may also have used the title "King of the Franks".)


Flavius Ricimer
Majorian led his field army north to fight the Alamanni, defeating them. Majorian was proclaimed emperor by his troops in a place called ad Columellas on April 1, 457. Realizing Majorian's potential as a puppet, Ricimer induced Leo to give his consent to this arrangement. Though Ricimer had expected to control his friend, Majorian proved to be a capable ruler and soon distanced himself from his magister militum. Majorian demonstrated his military skill through his re-conquest of Gaul and his campaigns in Hispania. Majorian's campaigns effectively subdued the Visigoths and returned them to their pre-Avitus foederati status, greatly increasing his standing among the senate and army.


EparchiusEparchius AvitusM. Maecilius Eparchius Avitus Augustus
Counting on the popular discontent, on the disbandment of the imperial guard, and on the prestige gained through their victories, Ricimer and the comes domesticorum Majorian rebelled against Avitus; the Emperor was obliged to leave Rome in early autumn and to move north. Ricimer had the Roman Senate depose Avitus and ordered the murder of the magister militum Remistus in the Palatium at Classe, ancient port of Ravenna, on 17 September 456. Avitus decided to react.


Galla PlacidiaGalla Placidia Valentiniana Minor
Originally Emperor Valentinian intended to marry Placidia to a young man named Majorian (the future emperor), whom Oost describes as having "distinguished himself in a subaltern capacity fighting in Gaul against the Franks under Aëtius' own command." Doing so, according to Roman customs, would instantly link Majorian to the Imperial family and put him in line to succeed Valentinian. Once Flavius Aetius learned of this plan, he rusticated Majorian to his estates at some date before 451, and he was recalled to Rome only after Aetius' death.

Sidonius Apollinaris

SidoniusGaius Sollius Modestus Apollinaris SidoniusGaius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius
In 457 Majorian deprived Avitus of the empire and seized the city of Lyons; Sidonius fell into his hands. However, the reputation of Sidonius's learning led Majorian to treat him with the greatest respect. In return Sidonius composed a panegyric in his honour (as he had previously done for Avitus), which won for him a statue at Rome and the title of count. In 467 or 468 the emperor Anthemius rewarded him for the panegyric which he had written in honour of him by raising him to the post of Urban Prefect of Rome until 469, and afterwards to the dignity of Patrician and Senator. In 470 or 472, he was elected to succeed Eparchius in the bishopric of Auvergne (Clermont, now Clermont-Ferrand).