17. The Phantom Kingdom

456 to 464 CE

Emperor Majorian and his Right-Hand man Ricimer attempt to pull the empire back from the brink after the departure of Avitus. But there’s a snake in the grass, a fly in the ointment, and a bad apple in the barrel. It all leads to the creation of a new entity called the Kingdom of Soissons. Or does it?

Last time, I introduced the Franks, the last Germanic people that will get a detailed introduction onto the stage of the Dark Ages Podcast. I’m leaving aside others just as deserving – the Burgundians, the Saxons, the Gepids, and so on, and we will have to catch up with the Ostrogoths very soon, but no more deep dives into early history, we have to keep this thing moving. So this time, I’m going to come back to the narrative that we left off in 456. We’ll talk about the pair of generals who had toppled Avitus, named Majorian and Ricimer. We’ll talk about the overall picture of the western provinces, which had only gotten more confused with the death of Avitus, and we’ll look at how the usurpers planned to make it all better. And lastly, we’ll visit the curious little entity called the kingdom of Soissons, as an example of how much things had changed, and yet stayed the same.

Avitus was killed, most likely on the orders of Majorian and Ricimer, in 457, a few months after his deposition. Ricimer was of German descent, mayyyyyybe a grandchild of the Visigothic king Wallia, and so wouldn’t be acceptable to the Roman senate as emperor, so Majorian donned the purple, but it was a partnership. The two decided that Ricimer would stay in Italy and keep an eye on things, while Majorian would deal with the situation in the Provinces.  Avitus’ brief tenure had made it clear that there had to be a powerful authority in Italy to keep a lid on any discontent among the nobility, but the provinces could not be neglected, so Majorian would spend the next five years with his army, charging around like a blue-arsed fly to try and bring some order back to the west. He wasn’t actually acclaimed by the army until April of 457, and did not receive recognition from the Eastern Emperor until December of that year, but there wasn’t time to worry about formalities.

I try not to use too much technical language, but the situation in Gaul was completely fakakta.

The fall of Avitius had deepened the gulf between Italy and Gaul. Both the Gallo-Romans and the Visigoths had supported Avitus, and neither took kindly to the news of his overthrow and execution.  The Burgundians, who had been fighting in Spain on Avitus’ behalf, also rebelled and seized Lyons.  Possibly the Lyonnais allowed themselves to be seized, as inscriptions of the time indicate that they didn’t accept Majorian as their emperor. They may also have been distracted by various delicious potato dishes. (Yes I know that the potato wouldn’t be known in Europe for a thousand years, don’t at me.) A separate rebellion of Avitus’ supporters took Narbonne out of the Imperial sphere. The Visigothic armies in Spain were still loyal to Avitus, and factions among them were squabbling over the remains of the Suevic kingdoms that had been defeated in the previous years. Of course the Franks and Alamanni living over the Rhine would take advantage of the chaos and raid westward. And overhanging all of it was the continual threat of Vandal raids from Africa, or even another full-scale invasion.

Majorian got right to work.  In 458 he repulsed an Alamannic attack on Raetia and a Vandal attack on Campania, way in the south of the Italian Boot. With Italy secure he turned to Gaul. Narbonne was won back fairly quickly and without violence.  The old supporters of Avitus lost their jobs, but kept their titles and their property. Those jobs were then filled with men Majorian could count on. Most important was an officer named Aegidius, who had served together with Majorian under the command of Flavius Aetius.  Aegidius retook Lyon from the Burgundians, also in 458, and reconfirmed them in their treaty with the empire. Before New Years, Majorian himself gathered the Gallo-Roman senators in Lyon and managed to talk them round to his side. When filling vacancies in Gaul he appointed Gallic aristocrats with strong interests in Italy, which in hindsight is so powerfully obvious that it makes Avitus look like a real clod for not having done it himself.  With this simple move Majorian brought the Gallo-Romans out of the cold without alienating the Italians. Sidonius Apollinaris penned a panegyric to Majorian, praising him for his energy, and for not ignoring Gaul, as his predecessors had done (he very diplomatically avoided the awkward subject of his late father-in-law).

The Visigoths were trickier. Theodoric II was in Spain when word reached him of Avitus’ death, and it took him by surprise. He had no intention of making concessions to this new emperor, whoever he was. Actually he may have been familiar with Majorian from his time serving Aetius in Gaul, but never mind. Theodoric broke up his army and left some of them to ravage the Spanish countryside and keep the Suevi from getting any ideas, the rest he took back to Gaul. Majorian wasn’t interested in making concessions, and led the army personally into Gaul to meet Theodoric directly. The Visigoths were comprehensively defeated.  All the territory they were claiming for themselves in Spain had to be returned to the Romans, and just like that, the Visigoths were back to being another federate army.  A pool of soldiers to be called on to fight for Rome’s, and not Toulouse’s, interests.

There is an excellent map on wikipedia which I will link to of Majorian’s movements during his time on the throne. No beaver has ever been so busy, and his long-range goal was never in any doubt. In order for Rome to be secure, the Mediterranean would have to become a Roman Lake once more.  As long as the Vandal kingdom sat, insolently chewing its gum in Africa, there would always be economic uncertainty and military threat. Africa would be the last, most important piece of the puzzle that Majorian was putting back together at an impressive pace. The ports of Spain would serve as the staging point for the great push to reclaim that rich province, the loss of which had stung not only Roman stomachs, but pride as well.

Let’s pause for just a second to consider what Majorian had accomplished in, at this point, four years.  He and Ricimer had managed their usurpation in a way that avoided a civil war.  Majorian had stabilized the Rhine frontier.  He and Aegidius had kept the Visigoths in their box and retained them as a troublesome source of men rather than an active enemy.  And while Spain wasn’t exactly at peace, it was at least usable again, there was some hope that it might be brought back fully into the roman sphere before too long. It’s all really very impressive. Majorian is very impressive, and must have looked magnificent in 460 when he crossed the Pyrenees to supervise a gathering of armies and ships at Cartagena.

Gaiseric, the king of the Vandals and by now the gray old man of Mediterrenan diplomacy, hadn’t gotten to where he was by being stupid. He could see what was happening.  Not only was a force gathering in Cartagena that included Romans, Visigoths, and Heruls (remember them? Way back in episode one?).  But an army was moved from Dalmatia to Sicily, either to guard against counter attack or to provide a second prong to the Roman assault.  The commander of that contingent was a general named Marcellinus, and he will be important later on, so make a note. Gaiseric was concerned enough to send an embassy to Majorian, asking for peace.  I wonder if that ambassador even got the first sentence out before he was sent away. Gaiseric would have to try something else.

It didn’t take him long to come up with something.

A Vandal fleet crossed over in secret and caught the gathered fleet in port. Most of Majorian’s fleet was sunk in the harbor. Commentators of the time loudly suggested traitors had worked from within to destroy the boats. But Roman chroniclers wede always quick to cry traitor whenever the Romans suffered a defeat, as I think I’ve mentioned before. The truth is that Gaiseric’s intelligence network was clearly superior to the Romans’ and even if Majorian had known of the vandals’ sailing, intercepting it in an era without radar would have been nearly impossible. And getting the fleet out of the way would have been equally unworkable, without knowing where the vandals were headed, and with no ability to stand out to sea for extended periods of time.

The destruction of the ships in Cartagena put an end to the African mission. There was no time to commandeer new ships, and no money to continue keeping an army waiting around while that fleet assembled. Majorian had to make peace with Gaiseric. According to Priscus this peace was made “on shameful terms” but we don’t know what those terms were exactly. Possibly more of Mauritania was handed over to the Vandal king. Majorian shut the operation down and headed back to Arles. He had lost none of his energy, and from Gaul he issued decrees aimed at reforming the empire’s administration in an effort to keep what he had already won back.

It’s worthwhile to talk about a couple of these decrees in detail since they give some insight into the situation in the empire as it entered its death spiral. 

A law was issued that punished the practice of taking building materials from public buildings for use in private construction.  It also punished the judges who approved demolition of such buildings. A great many works of Roman and Greek architecture are lost to us because their materials were scavenged for other, later buildings. It was a common practice in late antiquity from the crisis of the third century onward, as the costs of building climbed ever higher, thanks to the increasing unpredictability of transport around the empire. The Vandal’s stranglehold on maritime trade was especially problematic. Archaeologists have a term for these materials, Spolia, and it leads to all kinds of interesting inscriptions and even sculpture being found in buildings that date to centuries or even a millennium after the original was quarried. The crumbling infrastructure and costs of transport are one of my personal hobby-horses in the question of why the empire came apart, so this one is particularly interesting to me.

Majorian was, like Augustus, concerned about the strength of the empire’s families as well.  The introduction of chrisitanity had led to an increasing number of young women being sent to take holy orders, often against their will, in order to avoid dissipating a family’s fortune as dowries.  Majorian believed that this reduced the birth rate among Roman families, and it’s hard to see why he would be wrong about that. He also believed that the practice led to an increase in sex out of wedlock and was essentially setting young women up for moral failure. So the law set the minimum age for holy vows at 40. It extended to young widows as well, so that they would have a chance to remarry and have children. Widows like this were often induced by their local clergy to take vows, and gift their inheritance to the church.  Majorian took steps to curb that clearly abusive practice as well. This wasn’t all about strong families and justice for women, Majorian was also operating on the assumption that the barbarians who were settling inside the empire were producing more children than their Roman neighbors, and that in order to maintain the Roman state, there needed to be more Roman babies.  It’s hard to say whether or not that was true, without firm population numbers on either side. Personally I doubt there would have been too much difference, given that both German settlers and Roman house-holders were operating under very similar, if not identical, economic conditions, which are the strongest determiner of family size and structures. Plus ça change, plus la même chose.

Majorian took steps to tighten the empire’s administration, and this was probably the least popular of his reforms. He forbade public administrators from collecting taxes, giving the responsibility to the governors instead.  The administrators had become notorious for skimming off the tax revenue for themselves, and were publicly scolded for the dishonesty.  He also reintroduced local magistrates – these had actually never gone away, but they were usually held by the same administrators who were busily skinning the population.  Majorian’s reforms attempted to remedy that as well. The kind of corruption and parochialism that these laws were aimed at were apparently widespread, and the reforms put more than a few noses out of joint.

All signs point to an energetic and public-minded emperor, pulling together an administration that was heading toward an efficiency and effectiveness the empire hadn’t seen in years. The African misadventure aside, he was also a talented military man and diplomat.


The theory is that many of these reforms would have been directly detrimental to the interests of the Italian nobility. Just and efficient government rarely favors the rich, and they began to plot against the emperor. First among the conspirators was Ricimer, magister Milligan and majorian’s erstwhile co-conspirator. Traditionally, Ricimer was motivated by jealousy of his younger and more powerful colleague. Based on his later behavior, it’s possible that Ricimer had expected Majorian to defer to him in the administration of the empire, and was disappointed to find that Majorian had a brain and free will. That can be a let down.

On the other hand, the failure of the African expedition could potentially have increased Majorians dependence on Ricimer, and all the correspondence and inscriptions that survive from Ricimer’s time in Italy are just as respectful and collegial as should be expected. The truth is probably that Ricimer had simply come to identify more with the local Italian faction that opposed majorians reforms, and it had become nearly impossible to balance the various factions that all pulled against each other for their own aggrandizement. 

Factionalism tends to produce deep animosities, because it is so personal, and that can result in some really horrific violence. And so it was in the case of poor Majorian. Unsuspecting, he crossed the alps with only a small unit of body guards. Ricimer met him at Tortona with his own men and had him arrested. He was stripped of the diadem and imperial robes, tortured for four days, and then on August 2, 461 he was beheaded. I want to pause for a moment and spare a shudder for Majorian. These people are so distant from us in time that it can be easy to think of them as characters in a story, abstractions, but Majorian was a real man who really suffered for four days before he met his – probably welcome by that point – end. I think it pays in the study of history to put a little effort toward empathy now and then. 

Okay. Moving on.

Majorian was buried in Tortona. The church of San Matteo traditionally includes his mausoleum, but the church was built in the 12th century and rebuilt since, so that is likely just a legend. He was about 40 years old and had ruled the west for four years. And for my money, he was the last emperor who had even a sliver of a chance to put the west back together.

Ricimer put the imperial raiment in a box somewhere for the moment and did not raise a successor. It was his moment to shine and he wasn’t going to be rushed. Ricimer waited three months before he picked a successor. It’s possible he was toying with the idea of just, not, but that time hadn’t come. Not quite yet anyway. The senate at least still required the formality of a coronation in order to willingly accept any authority, and equally were unwilling to accept a German as emperor. Romanized Ricimer might have been, but to the conservative Italian senate, he would always be a barbarian.

So. What do you do if you want to wield imperial power but you can’t actually be the emperor. Well, if you’re ricimer, you pick the least threatening person you can find, and make him the emperor. Make sure he understands his job, which is to do exactly what he is told, and absolutely no more. It wasn’t too hard to find such a person among the senators of Rome, by the name Libius Severus. Libius Severus is remarkable only in his status as absolute non-entity. We know absolutely zilch about his previous life, other than he was probably one of the old-money chinless wonders of the senate, and his reign was completely dominated by Ricimer.

There were two other parties interested in how the succession shook out.  One was the Eastern emperor Leo I, or Leo the Thracian.  We’ve gotten away from talking much about the eastern empire lately, and I don’t have the space or brainpower to rectify that now.  Lets just leave it that Leo had succeeded upon Marcian’s death, and now advocated for Anthemius, one of his generals with an inconveniently strong claim to the eastern throne. The other was Gaiseric, down in Carthage, who wanted a fellow named Olybrius to take the purple, as he was vaguely related to Gaiseric and would make Gaiseric the real power in the west. Neither of these were impressed with Libius Severus, and neither would recognize him.

The odd thing is that Ricimer appears to have expected his coup against Majorian to have no consequences.  He fell into the common blind spot of believing that the opinions he heard being voiced around him were the same as the opinions of the empire at large. It’s especially baffling that he could have failed to see the problems with Gaiseric and Leo that would result.  Maybe he did, and was just confident enough to believe that he could deal with whatever challenge arose. As with Stilicho, the arrogance of the puppetmaster was reaching new heights. 

Some challenges Ricimer was perfectly willing to buy his way out of.  The Visigoths and Burgundians were both ceded large swathes of territory and greater independence.  Italy then had friendly neighbors, for the moment at least, but it was very clear that Ricimer had abandoned Majorian’s goal of reuniting the empire. He threw it away in return for personal power in Italy. That would not go over well with everyone.

Majorian may have been unpopular with the Italian nobles, but out in the provinces, with the people who mattered, anyway, he was still the man. Most of them were not happy to have the Germanic kingdoms suddenly re-energized.  And those folks out there in the provinces were prepared to make their displeasure at Ricimer clear, with utensils. 

First in line at the silverware drawer was the Aegidius, who Majorian had placed as magister militum per Gallias. Another was Marcelinus, the general who had been all set in Sicily to support the African invasion, and who had since returned to his territory in Dalmatia. Both of these men made it abundantly clear that they would be taking no orders from Ricimer, or his dancing monkey Severus, thank you very much.  They Instead turned to the emperor in the East, Leo I, and swore allegiance to him. I’ll deal with Marcellinus more later on.

Aegidius was in a curious position. He had spent the last few years attempting to reinforce central control in Gaul, and now here he was, rebelling against that central control. His army was an assortment of regular legions and Frankish and Alan auxiliaries, commanding an area between the Loire and the Silva Carbonaria. 

Quick digression: the Silva Carbonaria, or charcoal forest was just that, a forest, located in modern Belgium and stretching from what is now Brussels down to merge with the forests of the Ardennes. It no longer exists in full, and hasn’t since around the 9th century or so, but a few isolated patches can still be found. It was apparently incredibly dense, with old growth oak and beech packed so tightly that the forest was almost impossible to traverse, and so often functioned as a natural border.  This is hard to imagine now in the age of the chainsaw, but wasnt that unusual. Similar forests once separated Brittany from the rest of France, and the Weald in southeastern England limited the number of available routes between Kent and the Thames Valley all the way until the early modern era. Here ends the digression.

I want to talk more about the nature of Aegidius’ rule, but let’s dispense with the chronology first. 

Aegidius was bellicose in his rejection of Libius Severus as emperor.  He encouraged the Alan tribes settled in his territory to harass Italian trade and outposts, and threatened a full invasion. Ricimer obviously couldn’t allow this kind of blatant rebellion to go unanswered. So he sent a fellow by the name of Agrippinus to deal with it. Agripinus was uniquely well motivated for the job, since it had been he who Aegidius replaced as magister militum of Gaul. Ricimer said to him, “if you want your old job back, all you’ve got to do is go get it.” Agripinus was game and knew exactly what his first move should be. He went to the Visigoths and offered to restore their previous independence, along with the one thing they wanted most in the world: a Mediterranean seaport. Narbonne.

Narbonne had been the aim of Visigothic kings since their arrival in Aquitaine. They had held it briefly off and on, but now the port was offered free and clear in exchange for Theodoric II’s help blunting the Attacks of the Alans and, if possible, removing Aegidius from the picture. Theodoric jumped at the offer. It was a no brainer.

It was such a no brainer that Aegidius was across it immediately. He knew the Visigoths would be coming, and he could predict their route. Aegidius gathered his forces and headed to Orleans.  The two armies met there in 463, and it was a comprehensive defeat for Theodoric and the Visigoths. Theodoric’s younger brother was killed, and the Visigoths were forced to withdraw, giving Aegidius some breathing room. Aegidius would threaten repeatedly to invade Italy and depose Ricimer, but never did. It’s not hard to see why not. The Visigoths had been beaten at Orleans but not neutralized, there were still Riparian Franks across the Rhine to worry about, and across the Channel, the situation in Britain had become unstable enough that it had to be considered a potential threat.

I will talk about Britain in this season, but after about 410 it’s basically a separate entity from the rest of the empire, and I’ve wanted to get this stuff done first. Don’t worry, Anglophiles, you’ll get your fix.

The territory Aegidius controlled is called the Kingdom of Soissons by historians, beginning with Gregory of Tours.  There is healthy debate about whether that name is an accurate description of the situation.  Aegidius was operating in a political twilight zone, with threats on all sides.  In his view, he was the representative of the legitimate Roman authority.  For the moment that authority was vested solely in Leo in Constantinople, until Ricimer and Severus’ illegal regime in the west could be replaced by a new, authorized Augustus. Regardless of its exact nature, the kingdom of soissons would continue under the rule of a Roman until after the last western emperor was deposed. But things had been changing in northern Gaul. We can’t be really sure about the composition of Aegidius’ army, but it most certainly contained a large contingent of Franks, possibly a majority. Those Franks were led by their own war leaders, their kings. And that’s where Childeric comes in.

You’ll remember Childeric from last time, at least those of you binging in the future will.  Those of you who are listening in real time who may have forgotten – I am so sorry – Childeric was probably one of those Frankish war-kings who fought for the Romans in northern Gaul.  His tomb was discovered in Tournai in 1653, and remains to this day the only fifth century Frankish tomb to which a solid date can be assigned. That date comes from the History of the Franks, by Gregory of Tours.  Gregory is going to come up a lot in this podcast from here on out. He is the Jordanes of Frankish history, and was a participant and direct observer in many of the events he wrote about.  Childeric though, was before his time, and so, like Jordanes, he had to rely on the work of other authors.  Those works are lost to us now, so Gregory is left as the only historical source for the story of Childeric, king of the Salian Franks.

Rather than try and summarize the chapter where Gregoy introduces Childeric, which isn’t that long, I’m just going to read the whole passage, this is from the Thorpe translation:

“Childeric, whose private life was one long debauch, began to seduce the daughters of his subjects. They were so incensed about this that they forced him to give up his throne. He discovered that they intended to assassinate him and he fled to Thuringia. He left behind a close friend who was able to sooth the minds of his angry subjects with his honeyed words. Childeric entrusted to him a token which should indicate when he might return to his homeland. He broke a gold coin in two equal halves. Childeric took one with him and the friend kept the other half. ‘When I send my half to you’, said the friend, ‘and the two halves when placed together make a complete coin, you will know you may return home safe and sound.’ Childeric then set out for Thuringia and took refuge with King Bisinus and his wife Basina. As soon as Childeric had gone, the Franks unanimously chose as their king that same Aegidius who, as I have already said, had been sent from Rome as commander of the armies. When Aegidius had reigned over the Franks for eight years, Childeric’s faithful friend succeeded in pacifying them secretly and he sent messengers to the exile with the half of the broken coin that he had in his possession. By this token Childeric knew that the Franks wanted him back, indeed they were clamoring for him to return, and he left Thuringia and was restored to his throne. Now that Bisinus and Childeric were both kings, Queen Basina … deserted her husband and joined Childeric. He questioned her closely as to why she had come from far away to be with him, and she is said to have answered, ‘I know that you are a strong man and I recognize ability when I see it. I have therefore come to live with you. You can be sure that if I knew anyone else, even far across the sea, who was more capable than you, I should have sought him out and gone to live with him instead.’ This pleased Chldleric very much and he married her. She became pregnant and bore a son who she named Clovis. He was a great man and became a famous soldier.”

One way of interpreting all of that is that Childeric was a war leader who operated within the Roman command structure, with command of the Salii as their king, and a place in the army as a federate captain.  That wouldn’t have been unusual, we’ve seen it several times before. The contents of Childeric’s grave, specifically the signet ring and the Roman military badge, back that interpretation up. It’s also possible that Childeric had his position from Agrippinus, the man Aegidius replaced, and found that he couldn’t work with the new regime.  Childeric was either forced to leave, as Gregory relates, or left voluntarily.

It’s equally possible, indeed probable, that the whole story is fictional, and that Childeric worked with Aegidius, with Gregory and his predecessors constructing the story of the coin out of confusion or to fill out a story about which they themselves had little information. The kingdom of Soissons is a point of fairly heated contention among scholars of all of this stuff, so every point is subject to frank and full exchanges of views.

Equally debatable is Aegidius’ next step. Gregory says that the franks selected him as their king.  There’s nothing to suggest that Aegidius even thought about turning them down, though no Roman source refers to him as rex. If that is true, and Aegidius did accept a royal title from the Franks, that’s a huge indicator of how things have changed in the fifty odd years since Alaric’s death. Then, leaders of war bands chased positions in the Roman military hierarchy to increase their own prestige and authority, and more importantly, to win the right to draw on the army’s resources to feed and equip their followers.  Now in the time of Aegidius, there are still Germanic war-leaders who are called kings, but the scope of their power has changed and expanded under the pressures of migration and population changes.  Instead of chasing Roman legitimacy, we have Aegidius, a roman leader, taking a barbarian title in order to maintain control.  If Gregory is correct, and the interpretation of events is accurate, then something unprecedented has taken place here. 

Historians usually characterize the Kingdom of Soissons as a Roman rump state. There is a romantic notion of a last bastion of civilization out on the edge of the shattered empire.  But that’s not really correct.  

Roman politicians had shied away from the title rex for centuries, first as the memory of a hated earlier form of government, later as fundamentally inferior and subordinate to the imperator, the emperor. If Aegidius did take the title rex francorum, then that rump state was half barbarian kingdom already.  It had a wholly Gallo-Roman administration, headed by a Roman appointee, but that appointee’s authority derived at least in part from his direct relationship with the Germanic fighters who kept him in power, and who insisted on calling him their king. The Roman empire “fell” when the authority of the emperors was transferred to the new Germanic leaders, and the people who lived within it looked to the newcomers, rather than to Rome or Ravenna, for protection.

Every part of all of that could be wrong too, though. Equally possible is that the Franks who had served in the Roman army remembered Aegidius afterwards as their king, because of the degree of authority and respect they held him in, even though he never took the title. That memory would then be passed down and make its way to Gregory.  Such is the nature of these post-hoc sources. Everything has been passed through at least one set of faulty memory before being set down in writing.

Aegidius fought the Visigoths along the Loire a couple of times, victorious each time, but never taking the offensive against them or against Ricimer.  In the spring of 464 he died suddenly. If you count from his rebellion against Libius Severus, he had been ruler of Soissons, whatever that means, for three or four years. It’s possible he was poisoned, but like everything else in this story, other views are available.

The kingdom of Soissons would carry on under Aegidius’ son Syagrius until his death in 493 or 494. Gregory would name Syagrius as King of the Romans, but again, that’s all debateable. Some historians argue that during that time the kingdom of Soissons really was a little slice of Rome out on the plains of Picardy, holding back the barbarian tide.  Still another interpretation is that it wasn’t a political entity at all, merely an army loyal to a Roman officer operating in Northern Gaul as a warlord, with no administrative apparatus in place. So king, general, warlord? Who knows?

If any of this stuff was clear cut, then this podcast would have a different name.

Speaking of this podcast, apologies again for the long delay.  The winding down of the school year means that there seems suddenly to be many more demands on my time and I have not had the time I would like to either write or to record. I wrote much of this episode in my car in 20 minute jots while waiting to pick up my eldest from school.  So I have to once again beg for your forgiveness and plead for your understanding.  In the next episode, whenever it ends up released, we’ll leave Aegidius in the north and look at what the Vandals have been up to in the South.  And by Vandals I mean of course the grizzled old bear Gaiseric, and by up to I mean raiding and meddling in Italian politics.


Title Music:
“The Britons” by Kevin MacLeod at Free Music Archive
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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