previous next


The Roman “King-maker,” was the son of a Suevian chief, and was brought up at the court of Valentinian III. He served with distinction under Aëtius, in the reign of Valentinian III. In A.D. 456 he commanded the fleet of the emperor Avitus, with which he gained a great victory over the Vandals, and in the same year he deposed Avitus; but as he was a barbarian by birth, he would not assume the title of emperor, but gave it to Majorian, intending to keep the real power in his own hands. But as Majorian proved more able and energetic than Ricimer had expected, he was put to death in 461 by order of Ricimer, who now raised Libius Severus to the throne. On the death of Severus in 465, Ricimer kept the government in his own hands for the next eighteen months; but in 467 Anthemius was appointed emperor of the West by Leo, emperor of the East. Ricimer acquiesced in the appointment, and received the daughter of Anthemius in marriage; but in 472 he made war against his father-in-law, and took Rome by storm. Anthemius perished in the assault, and Olybrius was proclaimed emperor by Ricimer, who died, however, forty days after the sack of Rome (Procop. Vand. i. 7, 57).

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: