Ostrogothic Kingdom

Ostrogothic Kingdom

Overview
The Kingdom established by the Ostrogoths in Italy
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

 and neighbouring areas lasted from 493
493
Year 493 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Albinus and Eusebius...

 to 553
553
Year 553 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 553 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The Ostrogoth Kingdom is conquered by the...

. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer
Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer , also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the first King of Italy. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the...

, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its first king, Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

. Most of the social institutions in the late Western Roman Empire were preserved during his rule.

Starting in 535, the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 invaded Italy.
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Encyclopedia
The Kingdom established by the Ostrogoths in Italy
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

 and neighbouring areas lasted from 493
493
Year 493 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Albinus and Eusebius...

 to 553
553
Year 553 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 553 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The Ostrogoth Kingdom is conquered by the...

. In Italy the Ostrogoths replaced Odoacer
Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer , also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the first King of Italy. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the...

, the de facto ruler of Italy who had deposed the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 in 476. The Gothic kingdom reached its zenith under the rule of its first king, Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

. Most of the social institutions in the late Western Roman Empire were preserved during his rule.

Starting in 535, the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 invaded Italy. The Ostrogothic ruler at that time, Witiges
Witiges
Witiges or Vitiges was King of the Ostrogoths in Italy from 536 to 540.He succeeded to the throne of Italy in the early stages of the Gothic War, as Belisarius had quickly captured Sicily the previous year and was currently in southern Italy at the head of the forces of Justinian I, the Eastern...

, could not defend successfully and was finally captured when the capital Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

 fell. The Ostrogoths rallied around a new leader, Totila
Totila
Totila, original name Baduila was King of the Ostrogoths from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540.A relative of...

, and largely managed to reverse the conquest, but were eventually defeated. The last king of the Ostrogothic Kingdom was Teia
Teia
Teia , also known as Teja, Theia, Thila, Thela, Teias, was the last Ostrogothic king in Italy.Apparently a military officer serving under Totila, Teia was chosen as successor and raised over a shield after Totila was slain in the Battle of Taginae in July 552...

.

The Ostrogoths


The Ostrogoths were the eastern branch of the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

. They settled and established a powerful state in Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

, but during the late 4th century, they came under the dominion of the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

. After the collapse of the Hunnic empire in 454, large numbers of Ostrogoths were settled by Emperor Marcian
Marcian
Marcian was Byzantine Emperor from 450 to 457. Marcian's rule marked a recovery of the Eastern Empire, which the Emperor protected from external menaces and reformed economically and financially...

 in the Roman province of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 as foederati
Foederati
Foederatus is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the end of the Western Roman Empire...

. But in 460, during the reign of Leo I
Leo I (emperor)
Leo I was Byzantine Emperor from 457 to 474. A native of Dacia Aureliana near historic Thrace, he was known as Leo the Thracian ....

, because the payment of annual sums had ceased, they ravaged Illyricum
Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum
The praetorian prefecture of Illyricum was one of four praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.The administrative centre of the prefecture was Sirmium , and, after 379, Thessalonica...

. Peace was concluded in 461, whereby the young Theodoric Amal
Theodoric the Great
Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

, son of Theodemir
Theodemir
Theodemir was king of the Ostrogoths of the Amal Dynasty, and father of Theodoric the Great. He had two "brothers" actually brothers-in-law named Walamir and Widimir. Theodemir was Arian, while his wife Erelieva was Catholic...

 of the Amals, was sent as a hostage to Constantinople, where he received a Roman education. In previous years, a large number of Goths, first under Aspar
Aspar
Flavius Ardabur Aspar was an Alan patrician and magister militum of the Eastern Roman Empire. Aspar's family exerted a great influence on the Eastern Roman Emperors for half a century, from the 420s to his death in 471, over Theodosius II, Marcian and Leo I, who, in the end, had him killed.Alans...

 and then under Theodoric Strabo
Theodoric Strabo
Theodoric Strabo was an Ostrogoth chieftain who was involved in the politics of the Byzantine Empire during the reigns of Byzantine Emperors Leo I, Zeno and Basiliscus...

, had entered service in the Roman army and were a significant political and military power in the court of Constantinople. The period 477-483 saw a complex three-way struggle among Theodoric the Amal, who had succeeded his father in 474, Theodoric Strabo, and the new Eastern Emperor Zeno
Zeno (emperor)
Zeno , originally named Tarasis, was Byzantine Emperor from 474 to 475 and again from 476 to 491. Domestic revolts and religious dissension plagued his reign, which nevertheless succeeded to some extent in foreign issues...

. In this conflict, alliances shifted regularly, and large parts of the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 were devastated by it. In the end, after Strabo's death in 481, Zeno came to terms with Theodoric. Parts of Moesia
Moesia
Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Southern Serbia , Northern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak .-History:In ancient...

 and Dacia ripensis
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

 were ceded to the Goths, and Theodoric was named magister militum
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

 praesentalis and consul
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

 for 484. However, barely a year later, Theodoric and Zeno fell out, and again Theodoric's Goths ravaged Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

. It was then that the thought occurred to Zeno and his advisors to kill two birds with one stone, and direct Theodoric against another troublesome neighbor of the Empire - the Italian kingdom of Odoacer
Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer , also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the first King of Italy. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the...

.

Odoacer's kingdom


In 476, Odoacer
Odoacer
Flavius Odoacer , also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the first King of Italy. His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of Julius Nepos and, after Nepos' death in 480, of the...

, a Germanic magister militum, deposed the Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus and declared himself rex Italiae ("King of Italy
King of Italy
King of Italy is a title adopted by many rulers of the Italian peninsula after the fall of the Roman Empire...

"), while still nominally remaining under Imperial suzerainty. This fact was recognized by Zeno in 477, when he appointed Odoacer to the rank of patrician. Odoacer retained the Roman administrative system, cooperated actively with the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

, and his rule was efficient and successful. He evicted the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 from Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 in 477, and in 480 he conquered Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

 after the murder of Julius Nepos
Julius Nepos
Julius Nepos was Western Roman Emperor de facto from 474 to 475 and de jure until 480. Some historians consider him to be the last Western Roman Emperor, while others consider the western line to have ended with Romulus Augustulus in 476...

.

The conquest of Italy by the Goths


An agreement was reached between Zeno and Theodoric, stipulating that Theodoric, if victorious, was to rule in Italy as the emperor's representative. Theodoric with his people set out from Moesia in the autumn of 488, passed through Dalmatia and crossed the Julian Alps into Italy in late August 489. The first confrontation with the army of Odoacer was at the river Isonzo (the battle of Isonzo
Battle of Isonzo (489)
The Battle of Isonzo is the name given to the battle fought on August 28, 489 on the banks of the Isontius River, not far away from Aquileia. This river is now known as the Isonzo in Italian, and Soča in Slovene...

) on August 28. Odoacer was defeated and withdrew towards Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

, where a month later another battle was fought, resulting in a bloody, but crushing, Gothic victory. Odoacer fled to his capital at Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

, while the larger part of his army under Tufa surrendered to the Goths. Theodoric then sent Tufa and his men against Odoacer, but he changed his allegiance again and returned to Odoacer. In 490, Odoacer was thus able to campaign against Theodoric, take Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 and Cremona
Cremona
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

 and besiege the main Gothic base at Ticinum (Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

). At that point, however, the Visigoths intervened, the siege of Ticinum was lifted, and Odoacer decisively defeated at the river Adda
Adda River
The Adda is a river in North Italy, a tributary of the Po. It rises in the Alps near the border with Switzerland and flows through Lake Como. The Adda joins the Po a few kilometres upstream of Cremona. It is 313 kilometres long...

 on 11 August 490. Odoacer fled again to Ravenna, while the Senate and many Italian cities declared themselves for Theodoric.

The Goths now turned to besiege Ravenna, but since they lacked a fleet and the city could be resupplied by sea, the siege could be endured almost indefinitely, despite privations. It was not until 492 that Theodoric was able to procure a fleet and capture Ravenna's harbours, thus entirely cutting off communication with the outside world. The effects of this appeared six months later, when, with the mediation of the city's bishop, negotiations started between the two parties. An agreement was reached on 25 February 493, whereby the two should divide Italy between them. A banquet was organised in order to celebrate this treaty. It was at this banquet, on March 15, that Theodoric, after making a toast, killed Odoacer with his own hands. A general massacre of Odoacer's soldiers and supporters followed. Theodoric and his Goths were now masters of Italy.

The nature of Theodoric's rule

"... Theoderic was a man of great distinction and of good-will towards all men, and he ruled for thirty-three years. In his times Italy for thirty years enjoyed such good fortune that his successors also inherited peace. For whatever he did was good. He so governed two races at the same time, Romans and Goths, that although he himself was of the Arian sect, he nevertheless made no assault on the Catholic religion; he gave games in the circus and the amphitheatre
Amphitheatre
An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

, so that even by the Romans he was called a Trajan
Trajan
Trajan , was Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD. Born into a non-patrician family in the province of Hispania Baetica, in Spain Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in Spain, in 89 Trajan supported the emperor against...

 or a Valentinian
Valentinian I
Valentinian I , also known as Valentinian the Great, was Roman emperor from 364 to 375. Upon becoming emperor he made his brother Valens his co-emperor, giving him rule of the eastern provinces while Valentinian retained the west....

, whose times he took as a model; and by the Goths, because of his edict, in which he established justice, he was judged to be in all respects their best king."
Anonymus Valesianus
Anonymus Valesianus
Anonym[o]us Valesianus is the conventional title of a compilation of two fragmentary vulgar Latin chronicles, named for its 17th-century editor, Henri Valois, or Henricus Valesius , who published the text for the first time in 1636, together with his first printed edition of the Res Gestae of...

, Excerpta II 59-60

Like Odoacer, Theodoric was ostensibly a patricius and subject of the emperor in Constantinople, acting as his viceroy for Italy, a position recognized by the new Emperor Anastasius
Anastasius I (emperor)
Anastasius I was Byzantine Emperor from 491 to 518. During his reign the Roman eastern frontier underwent extensive re-fortification, including the construction of Dara, a stronghold intended to counter the Persian fortress of Nisibis....

 in 497. At the same time, he was the king of his own people, who were not Roman citizens. In reality, he acted as an independent ruler, although unlike Odoacer, he meticulously preserved the outward forms of his subordinate position. The administrative machinery of Odoacer's kingdom, in essence that of the former Empire, was retained and continued to be staffed exclusively by Romans, such as the articulate and literate Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus
Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

. The Senate continued to function normally and was consulted on civil appointments, and the laws of the Empire were still recognized as ruling the Roman population, though Goths were ruled under their own traditional laws. Indeed, as a subordinate ruler, Theodoric did not possess the right to issue his own laws (leges) in the system of Roman law
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

, but merely edicts (edicta), or clarifications on certain details. The continuity in administration is illustrated by the fact that several senior ministers of Odoacer, like Liberius
Liberius (praetorian prefect)
Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius was a Late Roman aristocrat and official, whose career spanned seven decades in the highest offices of both the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and the Eastern Roman Empire...

 and Cassiodorus the Elder, were retained in the new kingdom's top positions. The close cooperation between Theodoric and the Roman elite began to break down in later years, especially after the healing of the ecclesiastical rift between Rome and Constantinople (see below), as leading senators conspired with the Emperor. This resulted in the arrest and execution of the magister officiorum
Magister officiorum
The magister officiorum was one of the most senior administrative officials in the late Roman Empire and the early centuries of the Byzantine Empire...

 Boethius and his father-in-law, Symmachus, in 524.

On the other hand, the army and all military offices remained the exclusive preserve of the Goths. The Goths were settled mostly in northern Italy, and kept themselves largely apart from the Roman population, a tendency reinforced by their different faiths: the Goths were mostly Arian
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

s, while the people they ruled over were following Chalcedonian Christianity
Chalcedonian Creed
The Confession of Chalcedon , also known as the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union or the Two-Nature Doctrine, was adopted at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 in Asia Minor. That Council of Chalcedon is one of the first seven Ecumenical Councils accepted by Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and many...

. Nevertheless, and unlike the Visigoths or the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, there was considerable religious tolerance, which was also extended towards Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

. Theodoric's view was clearly expressed in his letters to the Jews of Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

: "The true mark of civilitas is the observance of law. It is this which makes life in communities possible, and which separates man from the brutes. We therefore gladly accede to your request that all the privileges which the foresight of antiquity conferred upon the Jewish customs shall be renewed to you..." and "We cannot order a religion, because no one can be forced to believe against his will."

Relations with the Germanic states of the West


It is in his foreign policy rather than domestic affairs that Theodoric appeared and acted as an independent ruler. By means of marriage alliances, he sought, to establish a central position among the barbarian states of the West. As Jordanes states: "...there was no race left in the western realms which Theoderic had not befriended or brought into subjection during his lifetime." This was in part meant as a defensive measure, and in part as a counterbalance to the influence of the Empire. His daughters were wedded to the Visigothic king Alaric II
Alaric II
Alaric II, also known as Alarik, Alarich, and Alarico in Spanish and Portuguese or Alaricus in Latin succeeded his father Euric on December 28, 484, in Toulouse. He established his capital at Aire-sur-l'Adour in Aquitaine...

 and the Burgundian prince Sigismund
Sigismund of Burgundy
Sigismund was king of the Burgundians from 516 to his death. He was the son of king Gundobad, whom he succeeded in 516. Sigismund and his brother Godomar were defeated in battle by Clovis' sons and Godomar fled. Sigismund was taken by Chlodomer, King of Orléans, where he was kept as a prisoner. He...

, his sister Amalfrida married the Vandal king Thrasamund
Thrasamund
Thrasamund , King of the Vandals and Alans , was the fourth king of the north African Kingdom of the Vandals, and reigned longer than any other Vandal king in Africa other than his grandfather Genseric....

, while he himself married Audofleda, sister of the Frankish king Clovis I
Clovis I
Clovis Leuthwig was the first King of the Franks to unite all the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the leadership from a group of royal chieftains, to rule by kings, ensuring that the kingship was held by his heirs. He was also the first Catholic King to rule over Gaul . He was the son...

.

These policies were not always successful in maintaining peace: Theodoric found himself at war with Clovis when the latter attacked the Visigoth dominions in Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 in 506. The Franks were rapidly successful, killing Alaric in the Battle of Vouillé
Battle of Vouillé
The Battle of Vouillé or Vouglé was fought in the northern marches of Visigothic territory, at Vouillé, Vienne near Poitiers , in the spring of 507 between the Franks commanded by Clovis and the Visigoths of Alaric II, the conqueror of Spain.Clovis and Anastasius I of the Byzantine Empire agreed...

 and subduing Aquitania
Aquitania
Aquitania may refer to:* the territory of the Aquitani, a people living in Roman times in what is now Aquitaine, France* Aquitaine, a region of France roughly between the Pyrenees, the Atlantic ocean and the Garonne, also a former kingdom and duchy...

 by 507. However, starting in 508, Theodoric's generals campaigned in Gaul, and were successful in saving Septimania
Septimania
Septimania was the western region of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis that passed under the control of the Visigoths in 462, when Septimania was ceded to their king, Theodoric II. Under the Visigoths it was known as simply Gallia or Narbonensis. It corresponded roughly with the modern...

 for the Visigoths, as well as extending Ostrogothic rule into southern Gaul (Provence
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

) at the expense of the Burgundians. There in 510 Theodoric reestablished the defunct praetorian prefecture of Gaul
Praetorian prefecture of Gaul
The praetorian prefecture of the Gauls was one of four large praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.- History :...

. Now Theodoric had a common border with the Visigothic kingdom, where, after Alaric's death, he also ruled as regent of his infant grandson Amalaric
Amalaric
Amalaric, or in Spanish and Portuguese, Amalarico, was king of the Visigoths from 526 until his assassination in 531. He was a son of king Alaric II and his first wife Theodegotho, daughter of Theodoric the Great....

.

Family bonds also served little with Sigismund, who as a staunch Chalcedonian Catholic cultivated close ties to Constantinople. Theodoric perceived this as a threat and intended to campaign against him, but the Franks acted first and invaded Burgundy in 523, quickly subduing it. Theodoric could only react by expanding his domains in the Provence north of the river Durance
Durance
The Durance is a major river in south-eastern France.Its source is in the south-western Alps, in Montgenèvre ski resort near Briançon and it flows south-west through the following départements and cities:* Hautes-Alpes: Briançon, Embrun.* Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: Sisteron, Manosque.* Vaucluse:...

 up to the Isère River
Isère River
The Isère is a 286 km long river in southeastern France, in the Rhône-Alpes région. Its source is in the Alps on the border with Italy, near the ski resort Val d'Isère. It flows into the Rhône River in Pont-de-l'Isère, a few km north of Valence...

.

The peace with the Vandals, secured in 500 with the marriage alliance with Thrasamund, and their common interests as Arian powers against Constantinople, collapsed after Thrasamund's death in 523. His successor Hilderic
Hilderic
Hilderic was the penultimate king of the Vandals and Alans in North Africa in Late Antiquity . Although dead by the time the Vandal kingdom was overthrown in 534, he nevertheless played a key role in that event....

 showed favour to the Nicaean Catholics, and when Amalfrida protested, he had her and her entourage murdered. Theodoric was preparing an expedition against him when he died.

Relations with the Empire

"It behoves us, most clement Emperor, to seek for peace, since there are no causes for anger between us. [...] Our royalty is an imitation of yours, modelled on your good purpose, a copy of the only Empire; and insofar as we follow you do we excel all other nations. Often you have exhorted me to love the senate, to accept cordially the laws of past emperors, to join together in one all the members of Italy. [...] There is moreover that noble sentiment, love for the city of Rome, from which two princes, both of whom govern in her name, should never be disjoined."
Letter of Theodoric to Anastasius
Cassiodorus, Variae I.1

Theodoric's relations with his nominal suzerain, the Eastern Roman Emperor, were always strained, for political as well as for religious reasons. Especially during the reign of Anastasius, these led to several collisions, none of which however escalated into general warfare. In 504-505, Theodoric's forces launched a campaign to recover Pannonia and the strategically important town of Sirmium
Sirmium
Sirmium was a city in ancient Roman Pannonia. Firstly mentioned in the 4th century BC and originally inhabited by the Illyrians and Celts, it was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC and subsequently became the capital of the Roman province of Lower Pannonia. In 294 AD, Sirmium was...

, formerly parts of the praetorian prefecture of Italy
Praetorian prefecture of Italy
The praetorian prefecture of Italy ) was one of four large Praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided. It comprised the Italian peninsula, the Western Balkans, the Danubian provinces and parts of North Africa...

, which were now occupied by the Gepids. The campaign was successful, but it also led to a brief conflict with imperial troops, where the Goths and their allies were victorious. Domestically, the Acacian schism
Acacian schism
The Acacian schism between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches lasted thirty-five years, from 484-519. It resulted from a drift in the leaders of Eastern Christianity toward Monophysitism, and Emperor Zeno's unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the parties with the Henotikon.-Chronology:In the...

 between the patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople, caused by imperial support for the Henotikon
Henotikon
The Henotikon was issued by Byzantine emperor Zeno in 482, in an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the differences between the supporters of the Council of Chalcedon and the miaphysites...

, as well as Anastasius' Monophysite beliefs, played into Theodoric's hands, since the clergy and the Roman aristocracy of Italy, headed by Pope Symmachus
Pope Symmachus
Saint Symmachus was pope from 498 to 514. His tenure was marked by a serious schism over who was legitimately elected pope by the citizens of Rome....

, vigorously opposed them. Thus, for a time, Theodoric could count on their support. The war between the Franks and Visigoths led to renewed friction between Theodoric and the Emperor, as Clovis successfully portrayed himself as the champion of the Catholic Church against the "heretical" Arian Goths, gaining the Emperor's support. This even led to the dispatch of a fleet by Anastasius in 508, which ravaged the coasts of Apulia
Apulia
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. The region comprises , and...

.

With the ascension of Justin I
Justin I
Justin I was Byzantine Emperor from 518 to 527. He rose through the ranks of the army and ultimately became its Emperor, in spite of the fact he was illiterate and almost 70 years old at the time of accession...

 in 518, a more harmonious relationship seemed to be restored. Eutharic
Eutharic
Eutharic Cilliga was a Visigothic prince from Iberia who, during the early 6th century, served as Roman Consul and "son in arms" alongside the Byzantine emperor Justin I...

, Theodoric's son-in-law and designated successor, was appointed consul
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

 for the year 519, while in 522, to celebrate the healing of the Acacian schism, Justin allowed both consuls to be appointed by Theodoric. Soon, however, renewed tension would result from Justin's anti-Arian legislation, and tensions grew between the Goths and the Senate, whose members, as Chalcedonians, now shifted their support to the Emperor. The suspicions of Theodoric were confirmed by the interception of compromising letters between leading senators and Constantinople, which led to the imprisonment and execution of Boethius in 524. Pope John I
Pope John I
Pope Saint John I was Pope from 523 to 526. He was a native of Siena or the Castello di Serena, near Chiusdino. He is the first pope known to have visited Constantinople while in office....

 was sent to Constantinople to mediate on the Arians' behalf, and, although he achieved his mission, on his return he was imprisoned and died shortly after. These events further stirred popular sentiment against the Goths.

Death of Theodoric and dynastic disputes


After the death of Theodoric on 30 August 526, his achievements began to collapse. Since Eutharic had died in 523, Theodoric was succeeded by his infant grandson Athalaric
Athalaric
Athalaric was the King of the Ostrogoths in Italy. He was a son of Eutharic and Amalasuntha. His maternal grandfather was Theodoric the Great. He succeeded his grandfather as king in 526....

, supervised by his mother, Amalasuntha
Amalasuntha
Amalasuntha was a queen of the Ostrogoths from 526 to 534....

, as regent. The lack of a strong heir caused the network of alliances that surrounded the Ostrogothic state to disintegrate: the Visigothic kingdom regained its autonomy under Amalaric, the relations with the Vandals turned increasingly hostile, and the Franks embarked again on expansion, subduing the Thuringians and the Burgundians
Burgundians
The Burgundians were an East Germanic tribe which may have emigrated from mainland Scandinavia to the island of Bornholm, whose old form in Old Norse still was Burgundarholmr , and from there to mainland Europe...

 and almost evicting the Visigoths from their last holdings in southern Gaul. The position of predominance which the Ostrogothic Kingdom had enjoyed under Theodoric in the West now passed irrevocably to the Franks.

This dangerous external climate was exacerbated by the regency's weak domestic position. Amalasuntha was Roman-educated and intended to continue her father's policies of conciliation between Goths and Romans. To that end, she actively courted the support of the Senate and the newly ascended Emperor Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

, even providing him with bases in Sicily during the Vandalic War
Vandalic War
The Vandalic War was a war fought in North Africa, in the areas of modern Tunisia and eastern Algeria, in 533-534, between the forces of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Vandal Kingdom of Carthage...

. However, these ideas did not find much favour with the Gothic nobles, who in addition resented being ruled by a woman. They protested when she resolved to give her son a Roman education, preferring that Athalaric be raised as a warrior. She was forced to discharge his Roman tutors, but instead Athalaric turned to a life of dissipation and excess, which would send him to a premature death.
"[Amalasuntha] feared she might be despised by the Goths on account of the weakness of her sex. So after much thought she decided [...] to summon her cousin Theodahad from Tuscany, where he led a retired life at home, and thus she established him on the throne. But he was unmindful of their kinship and, after a little time, had her taken from the palace at Ravenna to an island of the Bulsinian lake
Lake Bolsena
Lake Bolsena is a crater lake of central Italy, of volcanic origin, which was formed starting 370,000 years ago following the collapse of a caldera of the Vulsini volcanic complex into a deep aquifer. Roman historic records indicate activity of the Vulsini volcano occurred as recently as 104 BC,...

 where he kept her in exile. After spending a very few days there in sorrow, she was strangled in the bath by his hirelings."
Jordanes, Getica 306


Eventually, a conspiracy started among the Goths to overthrow her. Amalasuntha resolved to move against them, but as a precaution, she also made preparations to flee to Constantinople, and even wrote to Justinian asking for protection. In the event she managed to execute the three leading conspirators, and her position remained relatively secure until, in 533, Athalaric's health began to seriously decline. Amalasuntha then turned for support to her only relative, her cousin Theodahad
Theodahad
Theodahad was the King of the Ostrogoths from 534 to 536 and a nephew of Theodoric the Great through his sister Amalafrida. He might have arrived in Italy with Theodoric and was an elderly man at the time of his succession...

, while at the same time sending ambassadors to Justinian and proposing to cede Italy to him. Justinian indeed sent an able agent of his, Peter of Thessalonica
Peter the Patrician
Peter the Patrician was a senior East Roman or Byzantine official, diplomat and historian. A well-educated and successful lawyer, he was repeatedly sent as envoy to Ostrogothic Italy in the prelude to the Gothic War of 535–554. Despite his diplomatic skill, he was not able to avert war, and was...

, to carry out the negotiations, but before he had even crossed into Italy, Athalaric had died (on 2 October 534), Amalasuntha had crowned Theodahad as king in an effort to secure his support, and he had deposed and imprisoned her. Theodahad, who was of a peaceful disposition, immediately sent envoys to announce his ascension to Justinian and to reassure him of Amalasuntha's safety.

Justinian immediately reacted by offering his support to the deposed queen, but in early May 535, she was executed. This crime served as a perfect excuse for Justinian, fresh from his forces' victory over the Vandals, to invade the Gothic realm in retaliation. Theodahad tried to prevent the war, sending his envoys to Constantinople, but Justinian was already resolved to reclaim Italy. Only by renouncing his throne in the Empire's favour could Theodahad hope to avert war.

The Gothic War and end of the Ostrogothic Kingdom


Rulers of the Ostrogothic Kingdom

  • Theodoric the Great
    Theodoric the Great
    Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths , ruler of Italy , regent of the Visigoths , and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire...

     (Thiudoric) 489
    489
    Year 489 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Probinus and Eusebius...

    -526
    526
    Year 526 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Olybrius without colleague...

  • Athalaric
    Athalaric
    Athalaric was the King of the Ostrogoths in Italy. He was a son of Eutharic and Amalasuntha. His maternal grandfather was Theodoric the Great. He succeeded his grandfather as king in 526....

     (Atthalaric) 526
    526
    Year 526 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Olybrius without colleague...

    -534
    534
    Year 534 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Iustinianus and Paulinus...

  • Theodahad
    Theodahad
    Theodahad was the King of the Ostrogoths from 534 to 536 and a nephew of Theodoric the Great through his sister Amalafrida. He might have arrived in Italy with Theodoric and was an elderly man at the time of his succession...

     (Thiudahad) 534
    534
    Year 534 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Iustinianus and Paulinus...

    -536
    536
    Year 536 was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year after the Consulship of Belisarius...

  • Witiges
    Witiges
    Witiges or Vitiges was King of the Ostrogoths in Italy from 536 to 540.He succeeded to the throne of Italy in the early stages of the Gothic War, as Belisarius had quickly captured Sicily the previous year and was currently in southern Italy at the head of the forces of Justinian I, the Eastern...

     (Wittigeis) 536
    536
    Year 536 was a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year after the Consulship of Belisarius...

    -540
    540
    Year 540 was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Iustinus without colleague...

  • Ildibad
    Ildibad
    Ildibad was a king of the Ostrogoths in Italy, being chosen to replace Witiges, who had been engaged in various intregues with Belisarius, and had left Ravenna...

     (Hildibad) 540
    540
    Year 540 was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Iustinus without colleague...

    -541
    541
    Year 541 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Basilius without colleague...

  • Eraric the Rugian
    Eraric
    Eraric was briefly King of the Ostrogoths. He was killed by a member of his royal guard. He had nine wives....

     (Heraric, Ariaric) 541
    541
    Year 541 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Basilius without colleague...

  • Totila
    Totila
    Totila, original name Baduila was King of the Ostrogoths from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his Kingdom in 540.A relative of...

     (Baduila) 541
    541
    Year 541 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Basilius without colleague...

    -552
    552
    Year 552 was a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 552 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Battle of Asfeld: Longobards under king Audoin...

  • Teia
    Teia
    Teia , also known as Teja, Theia, Thila, Thela, Teias, was the last Ostrogothic king in Italy.Apparently a military officer serving under Totila, Teia was chosen as successor and raised over a shield after Totila was slain in the Battle of Taginae in July 552...

     (Theia, Teja) 552
    552
    Year 552 was a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 552 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* Battle of Asfeld: Longobards under king Audoin...

    -553
    553
    Year 553 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 553 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The Ostrogoth Kingdom is conquered by the...


Architecture



Because of the kingdom's short history, no fusion of the two peoples and their art was achieved. However, under the patronage of Theodoric and Amalasuntha, large-scale restoration of ancient Roman buildings was undertaken, and the tradition of Roman civic architecture continued. In Ravenna, new churches and monumental buildings were erected, several of which survive. The Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo
The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo is a basilica church in Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna . It was erected by the Ostrogoth King Theodoric as his palace chapel, during the first quarter of the 6th century...

, its baptistry
Arian Baptistry
The Arian Baptistry in Ravenna, Italy was erected by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great between the end of the 5th century and the beginning of the sixth century, at the same time as the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo....

, and the Archiepiscopal Chapel
Archiepiscopal Chapel
The Archbishop's Chapel is a chapel on the first floor of the bishops' palace in Ravenna, Italy, the smallest of the famous mosaic sites of the city. It is a private oratory of Trinitarian bishops dating from the turn of the 6th century. Although commonly attributed to St...

 follow the typical late Roman architectural and decorative motifs, but the Mausoleum of Theodoric
Mausoleum of Theodoric
The Mausoleum of Theodoric is an ancient monument just outside Ravenna, Italy. It was built in 520 AD by Theodoric the Great as his future tomb.-Description:...

 displays purely Gothic elements, such as its construction not from the usual brick
Brick
A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. It has been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history.-History:...

, but of massive slabs of Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

n limestone, or the 300-ton single-piece roof stone.

Literature


All of the surviving literature written in the Ostrogothic kingdom is in Latin, though some older works were copied in Greek and Gothic (e.g. the Codex Argenteus
Codex Argenteus
The Codex Argenteus, "Silver Book", is a 6th century manuscript, originally containing bishop Ulfilas's 4th century translation of the Bible into the Gothic language. Of the original 336 folios, 188—including the Speyer fragment discovered in 1970—have been preserved, containing the...

), and the literature is solidly in the Greco-Roman tradition. Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus
Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

, hailing from a distinguished background, and himself entrusted with high offices (consul and magister officiorum) represents the Roman ruling class. Like many others of his background, he served Theodoric and his heirs loyally and well, something expressed in the writings of the period. In his Chronica, used later by Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

 in his Getica, as well as in the various panegyric
Panegyric
A panegyric is a formal public speech, or written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and discriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical. It is derived from the Greek πανηγυρικός meaning "a speech fit for a general assembly"...

s written by him and other prominent Romans of the time for the Gothic kings, Roman literary and historical tradition is put in the service of their Gothic overlords. His privileged position enabled him to compile the Variae Epistolae, a collection of state correspondence, which gives great insight into the inner workings of the Gothic state. Boethius is another prominent figure of the period. Well-educated and also from a distinguished family, he wrote works on mathematics, music and philosophy. His most famous work, Consolatio philosophiae
Consolation of Philosophy
Consolation of Philosophy is a philosophical work by Boethius, written around the year 524. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, and is also the last great Western work that can be called Classical.-...

, was written while imprisoned on charges of treason.

In popular culture

  • The 1876 historical novel
    Historical novel
    According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a historical novel is-Development:An early example of historical prose fiction is Luó Guànzhōng's 14th century Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which covers one of the most important periods of Chinese history and left a lasting impact on Chinese culture.The...

     A Struggle for Rome
    A Struggle for Rome
    Struggle for Rome is an historical novel written by Felix Dahn .-Plot summary:...

     by Felix Dahn
    Felix Dahn
    Felix Ludwig Julius Dahn was a German lawyer, author and historian.-Biography:Julius Sophus Felix Dahn was born in Hamburg as the oldest son of Friedrich and Constanze Dahn who were notable actors at the city's theatre. The family had both German and French roots...

     (and its two-part screen adaptation in 1968 and 1969) focuses on the struggle between the Byzantines, the Ostrogoths and the native Italians over control of Italy after Theodoric's death.
  • In the 1941 alternate history novel Lest Darkness Fall
    Lest Darkness Fall
    Lest Darkness Fall is an alternate history science fiction novel written in 1939 by author L. Sprague de Camp. The book is often considered one of the best examples of the alternate history genre; it is certainly one of the most influential...

     by L. Sprague de Camp
    L. Sprague de Camp
    Lyon Sprague de Camp was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography. In a writing career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and notable works of non-fiction, including biographies of other important fantasy authors...

    , a modern archaeologist is transported through time to Ostrogothic Italy, helps to stabilise it after Theodoric's death and averts its conquest by Justinian.
  • Guy Gavriel Kay
    Guy Gavriel Kay
    Guy Gavriel Kay is a Canadian author of fantasy fiction. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid...

    's Sarantine Mosaic
    The Sarantine Mosaic
    The Sarantine Mosaic is a historical fantasy duology by Guy Gavriel Kay, comprising Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors. The titles of the novels are an allusion to poet W.B...

     series takes place in a setting based on Ostrogothic Italy and the East Roman Empire, just before the Gothic War.
  • Gary Jennings
    Gary Jennings
    Gary Jennings was an American author who wrote children's and adult novels. In 1980, after the successful novel Aztec, he specialized in writing adult historical fiction novels.-Biography:...

    ' 1993 novel Raptor
    Raptor (book)
    Raptor is a 1993 historical novel written by Gary Jennings.-Plot summary:Raptor is an historical novel set in the late fifth and early sixth centuries...

     documents the rise of Theodoric the Great and the Ostrogothic Kingdom through the eyes of his hermaphrodite
    Hermaphrodite
    In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.Many taxonomic groups of animals do not have separate sexes. In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both...

     confidant Thorn.

Primary sources

  • Procopius
    Procopius
    Procopius of Caesarea was a prominent Byzantine scholar from Palestine. Accompanying the general Belisarius in the wars of the Emperor Justinian I, he became the principal historian of the 6th century, writing the Wars of Justinian, the Buildings of Justinian and the celebrated Secret History...

    , De Bello Gothico, Volumes I-IV
  • Jordanes
    Jordanes
    Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

    , De origine actibusque Getarum ("The Origin and Deeds of the Goths"), translated by Charles C. Mierow.
  • Cassiodorus
    Cassiodorus
    Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

    , Chronica
  • Cassiodorus
    Cassiodorus
    Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator , commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman and writer, serving in the administration of Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank.- Life :Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in...

    , Varia epistolae ("Letters"), at the Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...

  • Anonymus Valesianus, Excerpta, Pars II

Secondary sources


  • Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

    , History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. IV, Chapters 41 & 43