), regent of Italy during the short reign of his infant son Romulus Augustulus, from the 29th of August, A. D. 475, to the 28th of August, 476.
As his history is given in the lives of Romulus Augustulus, Nepos, and Odoacer, we need only add here a few remarks.
He was a Roman by origin, but born in Pannonia, and when Attila conquered that province, he and his father Tatulus both entered the service of the conqueror till the death of the latter and the downfal of the Hunnic empire. Orestes held the office of secretary to Attila, and was also his ambassador at Constantinople.
After the death of Attila, Orestes returned to Italy, where on account of his great wealth, he soon rose to eminence, and obtained the title and rank of patricius.
He then married a daughter of Romulus Comes. In 475, while at Rome, he received orders from the emperor Julius Nepos to assemble an army and send it to Gaul, as fears were entertained that the West Gothic king Eurie intended another invasion of that country. Being once at the head of an army, Orestes availed himself of his power and riches to make himself master of Italy, and forthwith set out for Ravenna, where Nepos was residing. On his approach Nepos fled in confusion (28th of August, 475) to Salona in Dalmatia, where he met with the deposed emperor Glycerius, his former rival, who was then bishop of that place; and on the 29th of August Orestes had his son Romulus Augustulus proclaimed emperor, remaining, however, at the head of affairs. His first minister was Parmenus.
He sent Latinus and Madusus to Constantinople, that he might be recognised by the emperor Zeno; aud he made peace with Genseric, the king of the Vandals.
The reign of Orestes was of short duration.
In the following year (476) Odoacer rose in arms against him, and Orestes having shut himself up in Pavia, was taken prisoner after the town had been stormed by the barbarians, and conducted to Placentia where his head was cut off by order of Odoacer.
This took place on the 28th of August, 476, exactly a year after he had compelled Nepos to fly from Ravenna. On the 4th of September Paulus, the brother of Orestes, was taken at Ravenna, and likewise put to death. (The authorities quoted in the lives of ROMULUS AUGUSTULUS, GLYCERIUS, JULIUS NEPOS, land ODOACER.）