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Praetorian prefecture of Gaul

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Praetorian prefecture of Gaul

Praetorian prefecture of the Gauls
Praefectura praetorio Galliarum
Praet. Prefecture of the West Roman Empire
337-477
510-536
Location of Prefecture of Gaul
Praetorian Prefectures of the Roman Empire (395)
Capital Augusta Treverorum (until 395/407)
Arelate (from 395/407)
Historical era Late Antiquity
 -  Established 337
 -  Conquest of Provence by the Visigoths 477
 -  Fall of Provence to the Franks 536
Political subdivisions Diocese of Gaul
Diocese of Britain
Diocese of Spain
Diocese of the Seven Provinces
Today part of  Andorra
 Belgium
 Netherlands
 Luxembourg
 Germany
 Morocco
 France
 Monaco
  Switzerland
 Spain
 Portugal
 United Kingdom

The praetorian prefecture of the Gauls (i.e. the provinces of Gaul, in Latin: praefectura praetorio Galliarum) was one of four large praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.

History

The prefecture was established after the death of Constantine I in 337, when the empire was split up among his sons and Constantine II received the rule of the western provinces, with a praetorian prefect as his chief aide. The prefecture comprised not only Gaul but also Upper and Lower Germany, Roman Britain, Spain and Mauretania Tingitana in Africa. Its territory overlapped considerably with what was once controlled by the short-lived Gallic Empire in the 260s.

After the permanent partition of the Empire in 395 into West and East spheres of control, the prefecture of Gaul continued to belong to the Western Roman Empire. Augusta Treverorum (present-day Trier in Germany) served as the prefecture's seat until 407 (or, according to other estimates, in 395), when it was transferred to Arelate (Arles).

The prefecture continued to function until 477, when the last areas under its control were seized by the Visigoths after the abolition of the Western imperial government of Ravenna in the previous year.

In 510, the Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great re-established the prefecture in the small part of Gaul (the Provence) that he had just conquered, with headquarters again at Arelate. This short lived revival lasted until the area was in turn conquered by the Franks in 536, while the Ostrogoths were occupied by the East Roman invasion of Italy.

List of known praefecti praetorio Galliarum

4th century

5th century

6th century

References

  1. ^ Burns (1994), p. 58

Sources

  • Burns, Thomas S. (1994), Barbarians within the gates of Rome:a study of Roman military policy and the barbarians, ca. 375-425 A.D., Indiana University Press,  
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