|Decades:||400s 410s 420s 430s 440s
450s 460s 470s 480s 490s
|Categories:||Births – Deaths
Establishments – Disestablishments
The 5th century is the time period from 401 to 500 in accordance with the 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 AD 476. The 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 the 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 part of China and established a series of chinesized dynasties, which launched a 300-year division of the China between the north and the south and long-lasting wars. Both the north and south claim themselves to be the true successor of the ancient Chinese Empire and both rulers title themselves as emperors rather than kings. Unlike the fates of Roman, the barbaric immigrants in northern China were under the command of their emperor to convert themselves into Han or Chinese through the compulsory speaking and writing of Chinese, encouraged marriages with Chinese and farming.
- 399 – 412: The Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian sails through the Indian Ocean and travels throughout Sri Lanka and India to gather Buddhist scriptures.
- 401: Buddhist monk and translator of sutras, Kumarajiva into Chinese arrives in Chang'an
- Early 5th century – Baptistry of Neon, Ravenna, Italy, is built.
- 5th century - North Acropolis, Tikal, Guatemala, is built. Maya culture.
- 405 or 406: Mesrop Mashtots introduces number 36 of the 38 letters of the newly created Armenian Alphabet
- 406: The eastern frontier of the Western Roman Empire collapses as waves of Suebi, Alans, and Vandals cross the then frozen river Rhine near Mainz and enter Gaul.
- 407: Constantine III leads many of the Roman military units from Britain to Gaul and occupies Arles (Arelate). This is generally seen as Rome's withdrawal from Britain.
- 410: Rome ransacked by the Visigoths led by King Alaric.
- 411: 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.
- 426: 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.
- 439: 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: 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
- 451: The Huns under Attila facing the Romans and the Visigoths are defeated in the Battle of Chalons.
- 452: The Metropolis of Aquileia is destroyed by Attila the Hun and his army.
- 452: Pope Leo I meets in person with Attila on the Micino 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 Hun domination.
- 455: Vandals ransack Rome.
- 455: The city of Chichen Itza is found in Mexico.
- 469: Death of Dengizich, last Khan of the Hun Empire.
- 470: Riothamus, King of the Britons, helps the Roman Emperor in Brittany against the Visigoths.
- 476: August 28: Deposition of Romulus Augustulus by Odoacer: traditional date for the Fall of Rome in the West.
- 477 (or 497): 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.
- 481: Clovis I becomes King of the Western Franks upon the death of Childeric I.
- 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.
- 491: King Clovis I defeats and subjugates the Kingdom of Thuringia in Germany.
- 493: Theodoric the Great ousts Odoacer to become King of Italy.
- 494: Northern 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.
- Buddhism reaches Burma and Indonesia.
- African and Indonesian settlers reach Madagascar.
- The Hopewell tradition comes to an end in North America.
- Aetius, last of the great Roman generals
- Caroline Resor, Woman of the Wilderness
- Joby Bernstein, Mouth from the South
- Alaric I, King of the Visigoths that ransacked Rome
- Aspar, Eastern Roman general and politician
- Attila the Hun, King of the Huns
- Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, theologian
- Bahram V, Sassanid Shah of Persia
- Bodhidharma, founder of Chan Buddhism
- Bonifacius, Roman comes in charge of the province of Africa
- John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople
- Clovis, the first Frankish King to unite the Franks; first Barbarian King to convert to Catholicism
- Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, theologian
- Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria
- Faxian, Chinese Buddhist monk
- Geiseric, Vandal King and founder of the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa
- Gelasius, Bishop of Rome
- Huiyuan, Chinese Buddhist
- Hypatia of Alexandria, woman philosopher
- Jerome, Christian hermit, priest, Latin translator of the Bible and author of theological works
- John Cassian, Christian monk and theologian
- Kālidāsa, Great Sanskrit poet
- K'inich Popol Hol, Ruler of Copan 437-455
- K'inich Yax K'uk' Mo', Ruler of Copan 426-437
- Ku Ix, Ruler of Copan 465-476
- Kumarajiva, (344-413), Kuchean Buddhist monk and Chinese translator
- Muyal Jol, Ruler of Copan 485-504
- Leo I, Bishop of Rome, theologian
- Saint Mesrob, Armenian monk
- Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople, father of Nestorian heresy
- Niall Noigiallach, founder of one of Ireland's greatest dynasties
- Patrick, (Patricius) Catholic Bishop, missionary to Ireland
- Pelagius, Catholic priest; father of Pelagianism
- Ricimer, Western Roman general, politician and ruler
- Riothamus, King of the Britons, a candidate for the legendary King Arthur
- Tyrannius Rufinus, priest of Aquileia, hermit, Latin translator
- Socrates Scholasticus, Byzantine Church historian
- Sozomen, Christian church historian
- Theoderic the Great, Ostrogothic king
- Yazdegerd I, Sassanid Shah of Persia
- Zu Chongzhi, Chinese astronomer and mathematician
- Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei, barbaric-birth Chinese emperor of northern China who promoted traditional Chinese culture.
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
- Taylor (2003), p. 19.
- Roberts, J: "History of the World.". Penguin, 1994.