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Child Emperor Rule in the Late Roman West, AD 367-455$
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Meaghan A. McEvoy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664818.001.0001

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The Struggle for Power

The Struggle for Power

(p.222) (p.223) 8 The Struggle for Power
Child Emperor Rule in the Late Roman West, AD 367-455

Meaghan A. McEvoy

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 traces the efforts of the east Roman imperial court to establish 6-year-old Valentinian III as the new western emperor in 425. The usurpation of John which arose in the west after Honorius’ death is highlighted as an important consideration in arguments for dynastic inheritance being the primary motivation in the succession of child-emperors during this period. The eventual and costly investment of the eastern government in the establishment of Valentinian as emperor is examined, as are the role of Valentinian’s mother Galla Placidia and the early appointments of the new administration. In addition, the competition for military dominance of the new western government between the generals Felix, Boniface, and Aetius is highlighted, as is the significance of the general Aetius’ ability to call upon Hunnic aid beyond imperial control to support his cause, both in terms of his personal powers and their implications for the western state.

Keywords:   Valentinian III, Theodosius II, John, Galla Placidia, accession, military campaign, generals, Felix, Boniface, Aetius, Huns

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