Abstract and Keywords
This article analyzes the emergence of kingdoms in a territory previously held by Roman magistrates. It shows that fifth-century kingdoms came into existence faute de mieux, and the mieux was known and desired by everyone: a functional Roman Empire in which reges had a recognizable place as clients of the empire and participants in its affairs. Only when that prospect became hopeless did they create territorial kingdoms, as a distinctly second-best alternative. The article begins with a discussion of the various reges of Late Antiquity, both those who founded "kingdoms" and those who did not. Kings were firmly linked to territorial kingdoms only from the late in the fifth century onwards.
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