Last of the Romans

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Last of the Romans
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File:Valens Honorius Musei Capitolini MC494.jpg|thumb|Valens, 66th Emperor of the Roman EmpireRoman EmpireFile:Mosaic of Justinianus I - Basilica San Vitale (Ravenna).jpg|thumb|Justinian the Great, Byzantine Emperor ]]File:Gregory I cropped.jpg|thumb|Pope Gregory IPope Gregory IThe term Last of the Romans () has historically been used to describe a person thought to embody the values of Ancient Roman civilization—values which, by implication, became extinct on his death. It has been used to describe a number of individuals. The first recorded instance was Julius Caesar's description of Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger as the one with whom the old Roman spirit would become extinct.

List of people described as the "Last of the Romans"

  • Gaius Cassius Longinus (d. 42 BC), so called by Brutus and by the ancient historian Aulus Cremutius Cordus.
  • Gaius Asinius Pollio (BC 75 – AD 4), one of the last great orators and writers of the Roman Republic.
  • Valentinian I (321–375), the last Western Emperor to campaign extensively on both sides of the Rhine and Danube frontiers.WEB,weblink Valentinian I: The last of the triumphant Roman emperors in the west., 31 October 2015, 25 February 2019,
  • Valens (328–378), the Eastern Emperor (and brother of Valentinian I) who led his army to a catastrophic defeat in the Battle of Adrianople.
  • Stilicho, a powerful Vandalic-Roman general in the early 5th century.BOOK,weblink Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham, Brewer, 1898, Also called "the last of the Roman generals" in Chapter XXX of Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.WEB,weblink Gibbon, Part 4: Theodosius and the Last Roman General, Author, dga471, 22 June 2016, 25 February 2019,
  • Flavius Aëtius (396?–454), a general in the late Western Roman Empire who defended the Gauls against the Franks and other barbarians, and defeated Attila in the Catalaunian Fields near Châlons, in 451. So called by Procopius.
  • Count Boniface (died 432), a general in the late Western Roman Empire. Rival of Flavius Aëtius. So called by Procopius.
  • Galla Placidia (388-450), empress consort to Constantius III and mother of Valentinian III, she was "the last Roman empress"BOOK, Galla Placidia: The Last Roman Empress, Hagith, Sivan, Oxford University Press, 2011, 0195379136, and de facto ruler of the Western Roman Empire from 425-437.
  • Majorian (420–461), Roman Emperor between 457 and 461. He was the last western emperor to attempt to restore the western empire, and briefly reconquered much of the lost territories in Gaul and Hispania.
  • Ambrosius Aurelianus (5th century), a Romano-British military commander against the Anglo-Saxon invasion. So called by Gildas.WEB,weblink Britannia EBK Articles: Generations of Ambrosius Part 1,, 25 February 2019,
  • Ovida (?–480) the last Roman commander in Illyricum, defeated and killed by Odoacer.
  • Syagrius (430–486/487), the last Roman commander in Gaul (hailed as "King of the Romans") before the invasion of the Franks.BOOK, Barbarism and Religion: Volume 6, Barbarism: Triumph in the West, J.G.A., Pocock, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 461, 1316300307,
  • Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480–525?), one of the last great philosophers of Rome. He was regarded as last of the Romans and first of the medieval scholastics by Martin Grabmann.WEB,weblink Boethius and the Middle Ages,, 25 February 2019,
  • Gildas (fl. early 6th century), Romano-British clergyman and writer.BOOK, Le De Excidio Britanniae de Gildas, Kerlouégan, François, Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne, 1987, 579,
  • Justinian I "the Great" (482?–565), second of the Justinian Dynasty, and probably the last Byzantine emperor to speak Latin as a first language.BOOK, The Inheritance of Rome, Chris, Wickham, Penguin Books, 2009, 90, 978-0-670-02098-0, registration,weblink
  • Flavius Belisarius (505?–565), a widely acclaimed general of the Byzantine Empire under Justinian, known for his reconquest of portions of the Western Empire.WEB,weblink "Book of the Month" January 2018, Nadine, Otto, 2 January 2018,, 25 February 2019, BOOK, Hughes, Ian, 2009, Belisarius: The Last Roman General, South Yorkshire, Pen & Sword Military, 9781844158331,
  • Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (c. 485 – c. 580), Roman statesman and writer.WEB,weblink The Last of the Romans: Cassiodorus between Rome, Ravenna and Constantinople - Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies,, 25 February 2019,
  • Gregory the Great (540?–604), an influential Pope and native to Rome.WEB,weblink Message for the 14th centenary of the death of Pope St Gregory the Great, The Vatican, 22 October 2003,
  • Desiderius of Cahors (580?–655), Gallo-Roman aristocrat and bishop.BOOK, Desiderius of Cahors: Last of the Romans (part of "Gallien in Spätantike und Frühmittelalter" conference proceedings), Ralph W., Mathisen, De Gruyter, 2013, 455, 3110260778,
  • William Congreve, called "Ultimus Romanorum" by Alexander Pope.
  • Samuel Johnson, called "Ultimus Romanorum" by Thomas Carlyle.BOOK,weblink On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History, Thomas, Carlyle, 1840,

In the United States

In the United States, "last of the Romans" was used on numerous occasions during the early 19th century as an epithet for the political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, or established the United States Constitution.BOOK, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Eugene D. Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders' Worldview,weblink 2005, Cambridge University Press, 278,

List of rulers who, in a more literal sense, also could be described as "Last of the Romans"


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