Ricimer

(d. 472)
   Roman military leader of Germanic descent, Ricimer (in full, Flavius Ricimer) was the power behind the throne in the Western Empire from 456 until his death in 472. Although an Arian Christian and a barbarian and therefore constitutionally unable to hold imperial office, Ricimer, like Stilicho before him, was the real ruler in the Western Empire. He appointed and deposed emperors and struggled against various rivals and usurpers. He also kept Italy safe from attacks by Alans, Ostrogoths, and Vandals. Indeed, his success in the defense of Italy is best illustrated by its fall to the Germanic general Odovacar only four years after Ricimer's death.
   The son of parents of royal Suevi and Visigothic descent, Ricimer rose to prominence, as did many Germans of his day, through military service to Rome. Early on in his military career, while in the service of Aëtius, he befriended the future emperor Marjorian. He became a great hero to the Romans in 456, when he successfully defended Italy from a Vandal attack off Sicily and Corsica. His exploits earned him promotion to the office of master of the soldiers. In the same year, Ricimer joined with his friend Marjorian to depose the reigning emperor in the west, Avitus. Marjorian demonstrated the potential to be an effective emperor and suppressed a near revolt in southern Gaul shortly after his ascension. He also enjoyed a victory over the Visigoths in Gaul in 460, but suffered a disastrous defeat at the hands of Gaiseric and the Vandals. Unfortunately, his early display of ability and initiative inspired the enmity of his friend Ricimer. Upon Marjorian's return to Italy from Gaul after his defeat at the hands of the Vandals, Ricimer captured him and executed him in August 461.
   Ricimer then became the undisputed master of Italy and parts of the Western Empire. He then promoted a puppet emperor, whom he dominated until 465. The greatest threat to his power came from a general in Gaul, Aegidius, who refused to recognize Ricimer's authority. To counter Aegidius, Ricimer denounced him as a usurper and used barbarian kings in the north against him; his death by poisoning in 464 strengthened Ricimer's hand. The next great threat to his power came in 467 with the arrival of a new emperor, Anthemius, who had been appointed by the Eastern emperor, Leo I. But any possibility of competition was eliminated by the marriage of Ricimer to Anthemius's daughter. The good relations, however, did not last; and the two became rivals fairly quickly, and civil war broke out in 472 after Anthemius's failure in a campaign against Vandal Africa. Ricimer appointed Olybrius emperor and defeated his rival in battle on July 11, 472. Ricimer, however, did not long survive his rival and died on August 18, 472. His death paved the way for further unrest and the establishment of a Germanic kingdom in Italy, but his virtual reign preserved the integrity of imperial Italy from the attacks of Vandals, Visigoths, and other barbarians.
   See also
   Bibliography
 ♦ Bury, John B. History of the Later Roman Empire: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian. Vol. 1. 1923. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1959.
 ♦ Dill, Samuel. Roman Society in Gaul in the Merovingian Age. 1926. Reprint, London: Allen and Unwin, 1966.
 ♦ Randers-Pehrson, Justine Davis. Barbarians and Romans: The Birth Struggle of Europe, a.d. 400-700. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983.

Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe. 2014.

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  • Ricimer — (c. 405 ndash; August 18, 472) (pronEng|ˈrikimer), was a Germanic general who was master of the Western Roman Empire during part of the fifth century.Ricimer was an Arian Christian, the son of a prince of the Suebi. His mother was the daughter of …   Wikipedia

  • Ricimer — Ricimer,   Rikimer, Flavius, weströmischer Heerführer, ✝ 18. 8. 472; Sohn eines Swebenfürsten und einer westgotischen Prinzessin; war seit 456 Magister militum, seit 457 Patricius; stürzte 456 den weströmischen Kaiser Avitus und 461 dessen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ricĭmer — Ricĭmer, 1) Sohn eines suevischen Häuptlings; diente unter dem römischen Kaiser Avitus gegen die Vandalen, deren Flotte er an der korsischen Küste vernichtete, setzte 456 n. Chr. den Kaiser ab u. 457 Majorian u. 461 Severus ein; er riß unter… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Ricĭmer — Ricĭmer, weström Heerführer, Sohn eines suevischen Häuptlings u. einer Tochter des Westgotenkönigs Wallia, 16 Jahre lang der Leiter der Geschicke Italiens, hauptsächlich durch die Mittel der Intrige. R, vernichtete als Feldherr des römischen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ricimer — Ricĭmer, weström. Heerführer, beherrschte seit 454 tatsächlich das Weström. Reich, gest. 472 …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ricimer — Ricimer, Sohn eines suevischen Anführers, wurde nach des Aëtius Ermordung röm. Oberfeldherr, nöthigte 456 den Kaiser Avitus zur Abdankung, ermordete 461 den Kaiser Majorian und setzte den Severus ein, der schon 463 st., wurde dann Schwiegersohn… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Ricimer — Libius Severus auf einem As. Auf der Rückseite ist das Ricimer Monogram eingeprägt. Ricimer oder Rikimer (* um 405; † 18. August 472) war Magister militum (Heermeister) des weströmischen Reichs im 5. Jahrhundert …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ricimer — orig. Flavius Ricimer died Aug. 18, 472 Roman general. The son of a Visigothic princess and a Germanic chieftain, he rose high in the Roman army, but he was barred from the imperial throne as a barbarian and instead became a kingmaker in the… …   Universalium

  • Ricimer —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Richomer.  Flavius Ricimerus Pays Empire Romain d Occident Titre Patrice des Romains (456 472) Grade militaire Général …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ricimer — orig. Flavius Ricimer (m. 18 ago. 472). General romano. Hijo de una princesa visigoda y de un caudillo germano, ascendió a posiciones de alto rango en el ejército romano, pero se le impidió llegar al trono imperial por ser bárbaro, a cambio de lo …   Enciclopedia Universal

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