Kingdom of Soissons

  • Kingdom of the Romans
  • Domain of Soissons
Regnum Romanorum
457–486
The Kingdom of Soissons in 476.[1]
The Kingdom of Soissons in 476.[1]
StatusRump state of the Western Roman Empire
CapitalNoviodunum (modern-day Soissons)
Common languagesLatin, Gaulish
Religion
Christianity, Gallo-Roman paganism and Germanic paganism
GovernmentRoman rump state
Ruler 
• 457–464
Aegidius
• 464–486
Syagrius
Historical eraLate Antiquity
• Established
457
• Disestablished
486
Area
• Total
50,000[note 1] km2 (19,000 sq mi)
Population
• Estimate
360,000[citation needed]
• Density
7.2/km2 (18.6/sq mi)
CurrencyRoman currency
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Western Roman Empire
Neustria

The Kingdom or Domain of Soissons[2] was a rump state of the Western Roman Empire in northern Gaul, between the Somme and the Seine, that lasted for some 25 years during Late Antiquity. The rulers of the rump state, notably its final ruler Syagrius, were referred to as "kings of the Romans" (Latin: rex Romanorum) by the Germanic peoples surrounding Soissons, with the polity itself being identified as the Regnum Romanorum, "Kingdom of the Romans", by the Gallo-Roman historian Gregory of Tours. Whether this title was used by Syagrius himself or was applied to him by the barbarians surrounding his realm in a similar way to how they referred to their own leaders as kings is unknown.[3] "Kingdom (or Domain) of Soissons" is a later, historiographical term for the state.

The Kingdom of Soissons began when Emperor Majorian (457–461) appointed Aegidius as magister militum of Roman Gaul. When Majorian was killed on the orders of Ricimer in 461, Aegidius maintained his own rule in the remnants of Roman Gaul. In the chaos of contemporary Gaul, he maintained his power against Franks to his east and Visigoths to his south; his relations to the Romano-British of Brittany may have been friendly.[citation needed]

Aegidius died in 464 or 465. His son Syagrius succeeded to the rule. In 486, Syagrius lost the Battle of Soissons to the Frankish king Clovis I and the domain was thereafter under the control of the Franks.

  1. ^ Bachrach, Bernard S. (1972). Merovingian Military Organization, 481-751. U of Minnesota Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780816657001. By 481 the two peoples competing for predominance in this territory were the Visigoths in southwestern Gaul and the Burgundians in the southeast. Among the lesser groups contending for power were the Armorici (a loose confederation of Gallo-Romans, Britons, Alans, and erstwhile imperial soldiers with their families), who lived in the area between the Seine and the Loire. To the north, between the Seine and the Somme, was Syagrius's Roman kingdom of Soissons and to the east along the upper Rhine were settlements of Alamans. North of these was a small band of Thuringians. The remainder of the Rhineland and the area to the west were ruled by Frankish reguli or chieftains, who, with their warbands, were settled around Tournai, Cambrai, Cologne, and the other cities of the region.
  2. ^ MacGeorge, Penny (2002). Late Roman Warlords. Oxford University Press. pp. 111–113. ISBN 0-19-925244-0. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  3. ^ S. Fanning, "Emperors and empires in fifth-century Gaul", in John Drinkwater and Hugh Elton, Fifth-Century Gaul: A Crisis of Identity? (Cambridge: University Press, 1992), pp. 288-297


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