The End of Roman Cologne

Dive into the second half of the 5th century. This period marks the end of the Roman era of Cologne. The Roman Empire is declining in the west of Europe. Our beloved city of Cologne, however, did not. It continues to exist and will enter a new era.

Crossing of the Rhine in 406

At the end of the year 406 it became cold in the Rhineland. Pretty cold. So cold that the Rhine froze in many places. That now was the perfect time to cross the Rhine, well, you didn’t have to tell the barbarian tribes on the other side of the Rhine twice. On New Year’s Eve in the year 406/407, not only gangs, but whole masses of Germanic Suebi, Burgundians, Alans and Vandals crossed the frozen Rhine at a certain point and entered the empire. Above all, they invaded the Roman Rhineland. Where exactly they crossed the Rhine is not known. But it must have been somewhere in an area south of Cologne, on today’s Middle Rhine.

Where nowadays you can do nice and beautiful boat rides on the Rhine, somewhere her must have been the place, where the Barbarians crossed into the Roman empire at New Year’s Eve in the year 406 when the Rhine was frozen. The Pictures were taken by me a long time ago during a vacation in the Middle Rhine Region.

Attila the Hun

The Odyssey of the Visigoths through Europe

Restless journey: 376-78 in today’s Romania and Bulgaria, 397 in the Balkans, 410 in Italy, 418 in Southeastern Gaul and Spain.

The Sack of Rome 410 and 455 in art

The sack of Rome inspired many artists. Like the series of five paintings created by Thomas Cole in the years 1833–1836. This one is called “destruction” for obvious reasons. 😉
Sacking of Rome by the Vandals in 455. Painted by Karl Bryullov, Russian painter who made this piece of art between 1833-36.

The Sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths by french painter Joseph-Noël Sylvestre 1890.
The Sack of Rome by french painter Evariste-Vital Luminais. 19th century
Alaric and the Visigoths in Athens. Illustration from the 1920s

Emperor Honorius

Western Roman Emperor Honorius (393-423) depicted on the consular diptych of Anicius Petronius Probus (406)

A city that survived: Cologne at the end of Roman rule is widely intact. A good starting point for the Middle Ages

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