Flavius Aetius

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Flavius Aëtius, or simply Aëtius (c. 396–454), dux et patricius, was a Roman general of the closing period of the Western Roman Empire. He was an able military commander and the most influential man in the Western Roman Empire for two decades (433-454). He managed policy in regard to the attacks of barbarian peoples pressing on the Empire. Notably, he gathered a large Roman and barbarian army to win the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, ending the famous Hunnic invasion of Attila in 451.

Along with his rival Count Boniface, he has often been called "the last of the Romans". Edward Gibbon refers to him as "the man universally celebrated as the terror of Barbarians and the support of the Republic" for his victory at the Catalaunian Plains.




Aëtius was born at Durostorum in Moesia Inferior (modern Silistra, Bulgaria), around 390. His father was Flavius Gaudentius, a Roman soldier of Scythian origin;[1][2] his mother, whose name is unknown, was a wealthy and aristocratic woman of Italian stock.[3] Before 425 he married the daughter of Carpilio,[4] who gave him a son, also named Carpilio.[5] Later he married Pelagia, widow of Bonifacius, from whom he had a son, Gaudentius. It is possible that he had also a daughter, wife of the Thraustila who avenged Aëtius' death by killing Valentinian III.[6]

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