Later Roman Coins For Sale (268 - 518 AD)
While people like to talk about the "decline" or the "fall" of Rome, no such thing really happened. Although Rome underwent several shocks in the fourth and fifth centuries, some of them violent, with a transfer of the imperiate to non-Romans, Rome really did remain in existence. Diocletian (284 - 305 AD) came to the throne after a century of disorganization, internal dissent, economic collapse, and foreign invasions. A tough and practical soldier, he had one ambition: to retire from the imperiate alive. To stem the descent into chaos, he decided that the Empire was too large to be administered by a central authority, so he divided it in half. The western half would be ruled by a colleague, Maximian, and the seat of government would be Rome; the eastern half would be ruled by Diocletian, and the seat of government would be Nicomedia. Constantine (306 - 337 AD), like Diocletian, ruled only half of the Roman Empire, the western half. But in AD 324, he abandoned the system and ruled over a single, united empire. However, he shifted the seat of government east to his own city in Turkey - Constantinople. Before his death Constantine divided the Empire between his three sons. In AD 410, the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe that had migrated into northern Italy under the pressure of migrations of the Huns, captured and sacked Rome. From AD 451 to AD 453, Rome was overrun by the Hunnish leader, Attila; and in AD 455 the Vandals, another Germanic tribe, conquered Rome. Finally, in AD 476, Odoacer deposed the Roman emperor and made himself emperor. Power had passed from the Romans to the barbarian war-chiefs.