Beginning the early parts of the 4th century, the emperors at Rome were already aware of the increasing weakness of the Western Roman Empire. By 330 AD, Constantine decided to move the capital of his empire to Byzantium, which was located in the eastern portion of the empire. While the empire was divided into the east and west, it still functioned as one.
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Invasions of the Western Roman Empire
Slowly, the western portion of the Roman Empire was breaking up because of frequent invasions and lack of control by its rulers. When Odoacer became the new ruler in 476 AD, Anglo-Saxon invaders established a German kingdom in England. On the other hand, other tribes founded their own kingdoms in other parts of the empire with the Visigoths settling in Spain, Vandals in North Africa, the Franks in Gaul and the Ostrogoths in the Italian peninsula.
With the death of Attila the Hun in 453 AD, the Ostrogoths were finally free from these Mongolian invaders. This also gave them an opportunity to settle within the empire to the south and west part of the Danube. Theodoric became their ruler, and he led the march heading to the eastern Roman empire. The ruler of the Roman Empire in the East attempted to stop the Ostrogoths from entering his lands. So, he encouraged Theodoric to divert his attention to invading Italy.
The Roman emperor also suggested that the Ostrogoths should overthrow Odoacer, who has been Italy’s ruler since 476. Theodoric succeeded in his plans for invading Italy and defeating Odoacer, in 493 AD. Thus, he became the king of Italy while establishing a capital at Ravenna. During his reign, he was able to provide peace and prosperity to Italy. However, civil strife resumed when he died in 526 AD. Justinian, a Roman emperor, regained Italy in the 6th century and managed to maintain its progress for a few years.
Division of Western Rome
The Western Roman Empire was divided into ten parts by 351 to 476 AD where it is located on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History. This era in the history of the Roman Empire lasted for about 125 years, which was from the middle part of the 4th century and up to the last quarter of the 5th century.
By 476 AD, there was a final general agreement made regarding the different parts that made up Western Rome. At this period, the map of the empire underwent a significant change that was often abruptly made. There were also details about the paths of several aggressive nations that charged towards their territories and crossed or re-crossed each of these places for many times. Despite the confusion, historians have arrived at the conclusion that there were ten parts or kingdoms established in the division of West Rome.
The division was made possible by several nations that were largely instrumental in the collapse and breaking up of the Roman Empire. The groups that held Roman territories and formed their own kingdoms included the Franks, Huns, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Heruli, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, Suevi, Vandals, and Burgundians. Each of the kingdoms established were independent from each other unlike the method followed by the Roman Empire
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