The western part of the Roman Empire, from the time the Empire was divided in 395 by Theodosius until this part was overthrown by Odaecer in A.D. 476.

These are the emperors who ruled in Rome, then later at Ravenna, after division of the Roman Empire. Honorius was a son of Theodosius the Great, the last ruler of the united empire.

  1. Honorius 395-421
  2. Honorius and his son Constantius III 421
  3. Honorius alone again 421-423
  4. John 423-425
  5. Valentinian III 425-455
  6. Petronius Maximus 455
  7. Avitus 455-456
  8. Majorian 457-461
  9. Libius Severus 461-465
  10. Anthemius 467-472
  11. Olybrius 472
  12. Glycerius 473-474
  13. Julius Nepos 474-475
  14. Julius Nepos and Romulus Augustulus 475-476
  15. Julius Nepos alone again 476-480

Romulus Augustulus is often given as the last Roman emperor in the West, and 476 as the date of the extinction of the empire, but Romulus was a puppet installed by his father Orestes, and was never recognized by Constantinople, which continued to support Julius Nepos. When the Germanic ruler Odoacer deposed Romulus he allowed Julius to remain as nominal emperor in Dalmatia.

The Second Western Empire (otherwise and more accurately known as the Frankish Empire) covered much of the area of the original, with the notable exceptions of Spain and Britannia. It managed to maintain to a large extent the infrastructure and the remnants of the economic system that had been left behind by the first Empire, though it was always a case of damage control with little chance for improvement. The first ruler to claim to be the Western Roman Emperor in this period was Charlemagne who founded the ruling Carolingian Dynasty after being crowned in Rome on Christmas day in 800AD. It was a long time before the Eastern Roman Empire (often called the Byzantine Empire by modern historians) accepted the legitimacy of the Western Empire's claims to be the continuation of the ancient empire, and when it did it was only for short term polital gains. The Second Western Empire really ceased to exist with the death of Charles the Bald in 877, though it continued in name for a very long time and was squabbled over by the many successor states. The rulers during this period were:

800-814: Charlemagne
814-840: Lewis the Pious
817-831 and 840-855: Lothair I
850-875: Lewis II
875-877: Charles the Bald
881-888: Charles the Fat

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