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date: 25 September 2020

Ricimerlocked

  • Paul Cauthen

Extract

Libretto subject used in the 17th and 18th centuries. Its source is Roman history. Flavius Ricimer, Roman patrician and magister militum (Master of the Roman Soldiers), 456–72, directed Roman policy in the western empire through a succession of weak emperors under his control. His most amenable puppet, Livius Severus, ruled from 461 until his death in 465. With the installation of Anthemius in 467, Ricimer received the hand of the new emperor’s daughter in marriage. Dissatisfied with Anthemius’s failure to defend the empire against the Vandals, Ricimer laid siege to Rome in 472 and installed the Roman senator Flavius Anicius Olybrius as emperor. Both Ricimer and Olybrius died later that same year. While the most common Italian title for the story was simply Ricimero (and thus Ricimero, re de’ Goti; Ricimero, re de’ Vandali), operas on the subject were also called Flavio Anicio Olibrio.

The first libretto based on the character Ricimer was written by Matteo Noris for Carlo Pallavicino (...

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