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Odovacar immediately contacted the eastern emperor Zeno and informed him that he would not accept that title of emperor. In fact, to ensure there would be no confusion, Odovacar returned to Constantinople the imperial vestments, diadem, and purple cloak of the emperor.There are some who believe, like Gibbon, that the fall was due to the fabric of the Roman citizen.
They did not want to invade; they wanted to be part of the empire, not its conqueror.
The empire’s great wealth was a draw to this diverse population.
Edward Gibbon reiterated this sentiment (he diminished the importance of the barbaric threat) when he claimed the rise of Christianity as a factor in the “tale of woe” for the empire.
He held the religion sowed internal division and encouraged a “turn-the-other-cheek mentality” which ultimately condemned the war machine, leaving it in the hands of the invading barbarians.
Odovacar easily dethroned the sixteen-year-old emperor Romulus Augustalus, a person he viewed as posing no threat.
Romulus had recently been named emperor by his father, the Roman commander Orestes, who had overthrown the western emperor Julius Nepos.
This anxiety on the part of the Goths was due to a new menace further to the east, the Huns.
During the reign of the eastern emperor Valens (364 -378 CE), the Thervingi Goths had congregated along the Danube-Rhine border - again, not as a threat, but with a desire only to receive permission to settle.
They sought a better life, and despite their numbers, they appeared to be no immediate threat, at first.
However, as Rome failed to act to their requests, tensions grew.