5th century is the time period from
500 in accordance with
Julian calendar in
Anno Domini / Common Era. The
5th century is
noted for being a time of repeated disaster and instability both
internally and externally for the Western Roman Empire, which finally
collapsed, and came to an end in
476 AD. The
Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire was
ruled by a succession of weak emperors, and true power began to fall
increasingly into the hands of powerful generals.
Internal instability and the pressing military problem of foreign
invaders resulted in the ransacking of
Rome by a
Visigoth army in 410.
Some recovery took place during the following decades, but the Western
Empire received another serious blow when a second barbarian group,
the Vandals, occupied Carthage, capital of the extremely important
province of Africa.
Attempts to retake the province were interrupted by the invasion of
Huns under Attila. After Attila's defeat, both Eastern and Western
empires joined forces for a final assault on
Vandal North Africa, but
this campaign was a spectacular failure. In the far east, a lot of
nomadic barbarian tribes northern to
China immigrated into the central
China and established a series of dynasties, which launched a
300-year division of
China between the north and the south and
2 Significant people
3 Inventions, discoveries, introductions
Romulus Augustus, Last Western Roman Emperor
380 – 415:
Chandragupta II reigns over the golden age of the Gupta
399 – 412: The Chinese
Faxian sails through the Indian
Ocean and travels throughout Sri Lanka and India to gather Buddhist
401: Kumarajiva, a
Buddhist monk and translator of sutras into
Chinese, arrives in Chang'an
5th century – Baptistry of Neon, Ravenna, Italy, is built.
5th century - North Acropolis, Tikal, Guatemala, is built. Maya
Mesrop Mashtots introduces number 36 of the 38 letters of the
newly created Armenian Alphabet
406: The eastern frontier of the
Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire collapses as
waves of Suebi, Alans, and
Vandals cross the then frozen river Rhine
Mainz and enter Gaul.
407: Constantine III leads many of the Roman military units from
Gaul and occupies
Arles (Arelate). This is generally seen
as Rome's withdrawal from Britain.
Rome ransacked by the
Visigoths led by King Alaric.
Suebi establish the first independent Christian kingdom of
Western Europe in Gallaecia.
413: St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, begins to write The City of God.
415 – 455: Kumaragupta, Gupta emperor
420: The Jin dynasty comes to an end by Liu Yu.
420 – 589:
Northern and Southern dynasties
Northern and Southern dynasties in China.
K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo'
K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo' re-established Copan.
430: The Ilopango volcano erupts, thereby devastating the Mayan cities
in present-day El Salvador.
431: First Council of Ephesus, the third ecumenical council which
upholds the title
Theotokos or "mother of God", for Mary, the mother
of Jesus Christ.
Vandals conquer Carthage.
At some point after 440, the
Anglo-Saxons settle in Britain. The
traditional story is that they were invited there by Vortigern.
450: Historical linguist
Albert C. Baugh dates
Old English from around
450: Several stone inscriptions were made witness to edicts from West
Java. Amongst others, the
Tugu inscription announced decrees of
Purnavarman, the King of Tarumanagara, one of the earliest Hindu
kingdoms of Java. (up until the year 669)
451: Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council which taught
Jesus Christ as one divine person in two natures.
451: The Persians declare war on the Armenians.
Attila facing the Romans and the
defeated in the Battle of Chalons.
Aquileia is destroyed by
Hun and his
Pope Leo I
Pope Leo I meets in person with
Attila on the
Mincio River and
convinces him not to ransack Rome.
453: Death of Attila. The
Hun Empire is divided between Atilla's sons.
454: Battle of Nedao. Germanic tribes destroy the main
Hun army and do
away with the
Vandals Sack Rome.
455: The city of
Chichen Itza is founded in Mexico.
455 – 467: Skandagupta, the last great Gupta emperor
469: Death of Dengizich, last Khan of the
470: Riothamus, King of the Britons, helps the Roman
Brittany against the Visigoths.
476: Deposition of
Romulus Augustulus by Odoacer: traditional date for
the Fall of
Rome in the West.
477 or 495: Chan Buddhists found the
Shaolin Monastery on Mount Song
in Henan, China.
480: Assassination of Julius Nepos, the last de jure
Emperor of the
Western Roman Empire, in Dalmatia.
Clovis I becomes King of the
Western Franks upon the death of
482: This year, the territory of modern
Ukraine established Kiev. 
486: Clovis defeats
Syagrius and conquers the last free remnants of
the Western Roman Empire.
490: (approximate date) Battle of Mount Badon. According to legend,
British forces led by Arthur defeated the invading Saxons.
Clovis I defeats and subjugates the Kingdom of
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great ousts
Odoacer to become King of Italy.
Gaul is united under the Frankish King Clovis I, founder
of the Merovingian dynasty.
496: Battle of Tolbiac. King Clovis subjugates the Alamanni, and is
baptized as a Catholic with a large number of Franks by Remigius,
bishop of Reims.
Burma and Indonesia.
African and Indonesian settlers reach Madagascar.
Hopewell tradition comes to an end in North America.
Tbilisi was founded by King Vakhtang Gorgasali.
Aegidius, Gallo-Roman warlord, founder of the
Kingdom of Soissons
Kingdom of Soissons (d.
464/465, reigned 457-464/465).
Aelia Eudoxia, Roman Empress (before 385-404).
Aetius, Roman magister militum, considered the last of the great Roman
Alaric I, King of the Visigoths, primarily known for the Sack of Rome
410 (c. 370/375-410, reigned 395-410).
Alaric II, King of the
Visigoths in Toulouse (c. 458/466-507, reigned
Ambrosius Aurelianus, war leader of the Romano-British.
Anastasius I Dicorus, Roman
Emperor (c. 431-518, reigned 491-518).
Anthemius, Roman politician, Praetorian prefect of the East, de facto
regent (possibly d. 414). Primarily remembered for constructing the
Emperor (c. 420-472, reigned 467-472).
Emperor (377-408, reigned 383-408).
Ariadne, Roman Empress (c. 450-515).
Arvandus, Roman politician, Praetorian prefect of Gaul, and alleged
Aspar, Eastern Roman general and politician (c. 400-471).
Ataulf, King of the
Visigoths (c. 370-415, reigned 411-415).
Attila, King of the Huns
Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, theologian
Emperor (c. 380/395-456/457, reigned 455-456).
Sassanid Shah of Persia
Emperor (d. 476/477, reigned 475-476).
Basiliscus, Roman Caesar (reigned 476-477/478).
Batuo, first abbot of the Shaolin Monastery
Bodhidharma, founder of Chan Buddhism
Bonifacius, Roman comes and general, in charge of the Diocese of
Africa (d. 432).
Burdunellus, Roman usurper (d. 496, reigned 496).
Castinus, Roman patricius, general, and politician.
Chandragupta II, (380-415) Gupta Emperor
John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople
Clovis I, King of the Franks (c. 466-511, reigned 481-511). The first
Frankish King to unite the Franks; first Barbarian King to convert to
Constans II, Roman
Emperor (d. 411, reigned 409-411).
Constantine III, Roman
Emperor (d. 411, reigned 407-411).
Constantius III, Roman
Emperor (d. 421, reigned 421).
Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, theologian
Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria
Euric, King of the
Visigoths (c. 440-484, reigned 466-484).
Fan Ye, Chinese historian
Galla Placidia, Roman Empress and regent (388-450, reigned 423-437).
Gelasius, Bishop of Rome
Genseric, King of the
Vandals and founder of the
Vandal Kingdom in
Africa (c. 389-477, reigned 428-477).
Gerontius, Roman general and rebel (d. 411).
Emperor (c. 420- after 480, reigned 473-474).
Goar, King of the
Alans (before 390-c. 450, reigned 406-c. 450).
Gratian, Roman usurper (d. 407, reigned 407).
Gunderic, King of the
Vandals (379-428, reigned 407-428).
Gundobad, Roman Patrician and later King of the Burgundians (c.
452-516, reigned 473-516).
Gunthamund, King of the Vandals, ruler of the
Vandal Kingdom (c.
450-496, reigned 484-496).
Gunther, King of the Burgundians (d. 437, reigned c. 407-437). Known
primarily for conflicts with the
Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire and the Huns. He
was remembered in medieval legend and he appears as a mythologized
figure in the Nibelungenlied.
Heraclianus, Roman provincial governor and usurper (d. 413, reigned
Emperor (384-423, reigned 393-423).
Huiyuan, Chinese Buddhist
Huneric, King of the Vandals, ruler of the
Vandal Kingdom (d. 484,
Hypatia of Alexandria, woman philosopher
Illus, Byzantine general and rebel (d. 488).
Jerome, Christian hermit, priest,
Latin translator of the Bible and
author of theological works.
Joannes, Roman usurper (d. 425, reigned 423-425).
John Cassian, Christian monk and theologian
Jovinus, Gallo-Roman senator and usurper (d. 413, reigned 411-413).
Julius Nepos, Roman
Emperor (c. 430-480, reigned 474-480).
Justa, Byzantine rebel, leader of a Samaritan revolt (reigned 484).
Kālidāsa, Great Sanskrit poet
K'inich Popol Hol, Ruler of
K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo', Ruler of
Ku Ix, Ruler of
Kumaragupta I, Gupta emperor
Kumarajiva, (344-413), Kuchean
Buddhist monk and Chinese translator
Muyal Jol, Ruler of
Leo I, Bishop of Rome, theologian
Leo I the Thracian, Roman
Emperor (401-474, reigned 457-474).
Leo II, Roman
Emperor (467-474, reigned 474).
Leontius, Byzantine usurper and rebel (d. 488, reigned 484-488).
Libius Severus, Roman
Emperor (c. 420-465, reigned 461-465).
Longinus, Byzantine politician and rebel, instigator of the Isaurian
Longinus of Cardala, Byzantine politician and rebel, fought in the
Isaurian War (d. 497).
Emperor (c. 420-461, reigned 457-461).
Emperor (392-457, reigned 450-457).
Marcian, Byzantine usurper (reigned c. 479-484).
Marcus, Roman usurper (d. 407, reigned 406-407).
Marcus, Roman Caesar and briefly co-emperor (d. 476, reigned 475-476).
Masties, Roman-Berber ruler in North Africa.
Maximus of Hispania, Roman usurper (d. 422, reigned 409-411, 419-421).
Mesrop Mashtots, Armenian monk
Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople, father of Nestorian heresy
Niall Noigiallach, founder of one of Ireland's greatest dynasties
Odoacer, Scirian general, later King of
Italy (433-493, reigned
Emperor (d. 472, reigned 472).
Orestes, Roman general and politician (d. 476).
Palladius, Roman Caesar (c. 420-455, reigned 455).
Patricius, Roman Caesar (reigned 470-471).
Patrick, (Patricius) Catholic Bishop, missionary to Ireland
Pei Songzhi, Chinese historian
Pelagius, Catholic priest; father of Pelagianism
Petronius Maximus, Roman
Emperor (c. 396-455, reigned 455).
Priscus Attalus, Roman usurper (d. after 416, reigned 409, 414-415).
Pulcheria, Roman Empress and regent (398/399-453, reigned 414-453).
Rechiar, King of Galicia (d. 456, reigned 448-456).
Ricimer, Western Roman general, politician, and ruler (c. 405-472).
Riothamus, King of the Britons, a candidate for the legendary King
Romanus, Roman usurper (d. 470, reigned 470).
Romulus Augustulus, Roman
Emperor (c. 461- after 507, reigned
Tyrannius Rufinus, priest of Aquileia, hermit,
Sebastianus, Roman usurper (d. 413, reigned 412-413).
Skandagupta, Gupta emperor
Socrates Scholasticus, Byzantine Church historian
Sozomen, Christian church historian
Stilicho, Roman magister militum, de facto regent of the Western Roman
Empire (c. 359-408).
Syagrius, Roman military commander, last ruler of the Kingdom of
Soissons (430-486/487, reigned 464-486).
Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths and ruler of Italy
(454-526, reigned 475-526).
Theodoric II, King of the
Visigoths (c. 426-466, reigned 453-466).
Theodosius II, Roman
Emperor (401-450, reigned 408-450).
Valentinian III, Roman
Emperor (419-455, reigned 425-455).
Verina, Roman Empress (d. 484).
Vortigern, warlord in Sub-Roman Britain, remembered as a King of the
Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei, barbaric-born Chinese emperor of
China who promoted traditional Chinese culture.
Sassanid Shah of Persia
Emperor (c. 425-491, reigned 474-475, 476-491).
Zu Chongzhi, Chinese astronomer and mathematician
Inventions, discoveries, introductions
Horse collar invented in China
Heavy plow in use in Slavic lands
Metal horseshoes become common in Gaul
Anglo-Saxon runes alphabet introduced in England
Armenian alphabet created by Mesrob Mashtots c. 405
^ A History of the English Language (D. Appleton-
^ Taylor (2003), p. 19.
^ Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.
^ "Kyiv's 1,530th birthday marked with fun, protest".
^ "Kalidasa - Indian author". britannica.com.
Decades and years
3rd century ← 4th century ← ↔ → 6th
century → 7th century
Centuries and millennia