NameTheodoric "the Great" King of Italy
Birthabt 455
Death30 Aug 526, Italy
BurialRavenna, Italy
FatherTheudemir Amali (~413-471)
MotherErelicia
Misc. Notes
Theodoric was King of the Ostro-Goths in Italy, and King (511) of the Visigoths in Spain. "The dominion of Theodoric was
not a barbarian but a civilized power. ...He was at once national king of the Goths, and successor, though without any imperial
titles, of the Roman emperors of the West. The two nations, differing in manners, language and religion, lived side by side on
the soil of Italy; each was ruled according to its own law, by the prince who was, in his two separate characters, the common
sovereign of both." {-Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1956, 10:550; also see 22:59:} "...the greatest ruler that the Gothic nation
produced. ...The thirty-three years' reign of Theodoric was a time of unexampled happiness for Italy. Unbroken peace reigned
within her borders...." Many physical and civic improvements were made. {See "Theodoric the Goth," Thomas Hodgkin,
1900, reprinted 1973.}


Events in the life of Theodoric "the Great" Amali

birth
ABT 0454.
event
0488.
·continued the Ostrogoth's westward migrating and invades Italy, killing Odoacer, the first barbarian ruler,||This continued migration was to stay ahead of the Huns who in 446 began conquering Pannonia.
† death 1 , 2 , 3 .
30 Aug 0526, in Italy.
event
BETWEEN 0475 AND 0488, in Moesia.
·moved the Ostrogoths westwards from Pannonia and resettled
event 1 .
0461.
·was, at age seven, offered to the Romans as a hostage of peace||"From the Goths the Romans received as a hostage of peace Theodoric, the young child of Thiudimer, whom we have mentioned above. He had now attained the age of seven years and was entering upon his eighth. While his father hesitated about giving him up, his uncle Valamir besought him to do it, hoping that peace between the Romans and the Goths might thus be assured. Therefore Theodoric was given as a hostage by the Goths and brought to the city of Constantinople to the Emperor Leo and, being a goodly child, deservedly gained the imperial favor."
event 1 .
BETWEEN 0461 AND 0475.
·lived a comfortable life in the court of Emperor Zeno of Byzantium||However, he had heard that his people, theOstrogoth's were facing pressures from the Huns and other tribes, and he asked that Zeno give him permission to return to his people and lead them to new territory. "Although the Emperor was grieved that he should go, yet when he heard this he granted what Theodoric asked, for he was unwilling to cause him sorrow. He sent him forth enriched by great gifts and commended to his charge the Senate and the Roman People."
event 1 .
0493.
·assumed leadership of the Romans"It was in the third year after his entrance into Italy, as we have said, that Theodoric, by advice of the Emperor Zeno, laid aside the garb of a private citizen and the dress of his race and assumed a costume with a royal mantle, as he had now become the ruler over both Goths and Romans."
event
0497.
·acknowledged as "King of Italy" by the Emperor Anastasius.




The following passages, from Jordanes, Gaetica [The Origin and Deeds of the Goths], translated by Charles C. Mierow (Princeton Univ. Press, 1915) describes the family relationships of King Theodoric.

The Origin and Deeds of the Goths

It was in the third year after his entrance into Italy, as we
have said, that Theodoric, by advice of the Emperor Zeno, laid aside
the garb of a private citizen and the dress of his race and assumed a
costume with a royal mantle, as he had now become the ruler over both
Goths and Romans. He sent an embassy to Lodoin, king of the Franks, and
asked for his daughter Audefleda in marriage. (296) Lodoin freely and
gladly gave her, and also his sons Celdebert and Heldebert and
Thiudebert, believing that by this alliance a league would be formed
and that they would be associated with the race of the Goths. But that
union was of no avail for peace and harmony, for they fought fiercely
with each other again and again for the lands of the Goths; but never
did the Goths yield to the Franks while Theodoric lived.


LVIII
(297) Now before he had a child from Audefleda, Theodoric had
children of a concubine, daughters begotten in Moesia, one named
Thiudigoto and another Ostrogotho. Soon after he came to Italy, he gave
them in marriage to neighboring kings, one to Alaric, king of the
Visigoths, and the other to Sigismund, king of the Burgundians. (298)
Now Alaric begat Amalaric. While his grandfather Theodoric cared for
and protected him--for he had lost both parents in the years of
childhood--he found that Eutharic, the son of Veteric, grandchild of
Beremud and Thorismud, and a descendant of the race of the Amali, was
living in Spain, a young man strong in wisdom and valor and health of
body. Theodoric sent for him and gave him his daughter Amalasuentha in
marriage. (299) And that he might extend his family as much as
possible, he sent his sister Amalafrida (the mother of Theodahad, who
was afterwards king) to Africa as wife of Thrasamund, king of the
Vandals, and her daughter Amalaberga, who was his own niece, he united
with Herminefred, king of the Thuringians.
(300) Now he sent his Count Pitza, chosen from among the chief
men of his kingdom, to hold the city of Sirmium. He got possession of
it by driving out its king Thrasaric, son of Thraustila, and keeping
his mother captive. Thence he came with two thousand infantry and five
hundred horsemen to aid Mundo against Sabinian, Master of the Soldiery
of Illyricum, who at that time had made ready to fight with Mundo near
the city named Margoplanum, which lies between the Danube and Margus
rivers, and destroyed the Army of Illyricum. (301) For this Mundo, who
traced his descent from the Attilani of old, had put to flight the
tribe of the Gepidae and was roaming beyond the Danube in waste places
where no man tilled the soil. He had gathered around him many outlaws
and ruffians and robbers from all sides and had seized a tower called
Herta, situated on the bank of the Danube. There he plundered his
neighbors in wild license and made himself king over his vagabonds. Now
Pitza came upon him when he was nearly reduced to desperation and was
already thinking of surrender. So he rescued him from the hands of
Sabinian and made him a grateful subject of his king Theodoric.
(302) Theodoric won an equally great victory over the Franks
through his Count Ibba in Gaul, when more than thirty thousand Franks
were slain in battle. Moreover, after the death of his son-in-law
Alaric, Theodoric appointed Thiudis, his armor-bearer, guardian of his
grandson Amalaric in Spain. But Amalaric was ensnared by the plots of
the Franks in early youth and lost at once his kingdom and his life.
Then his guardian Thiudis, advancing from the same kingdom, assailed
the Franks and delivered the Spaniards from their disgraceful
treachery. So long as he lived he kept the Visigoths united. (303)
After him Thiudigisclus obtained the kingdom and, ruling but a short
time, met his death at the hands of his own followers. He was succeeded
by Agil, who holds the kingdom to the present day. Athanagild has
rebelled against him and is even now provoking the might of the Roman
Empire. So Liberius the Patrician is on the way with an army to oppose
him. Now there was not a tribe in the west that did not serve Theodoric
while he lived, either in friendship or by conquest.


LIX
(304) When he had reached old age and knew that he should soon
depart this life, he called together the Gothic counts and chieftains
of his race and appointed Athalaric as king. He was a boy scarce ten
years old, the son of his daughter Amalasuentha, and he had lost his
father Eutharic. As though uttering his last will and testament
Theodoric adjured and commanded them to honor their king, to love the
Senate and Roman People and to make sure of the peace and good will of
the Emperor of the East, as next after God.
(305) They kept this command fully so long as Athalaric their
king and his mother lived, and ruled in peace for almost eight years.
But as the Franks put no confidence in the rule of a child and
furthermore held him in contempt, and were also plotting war, he gave
back to them those parts of Gaul which his father and grandfather had
seized. He possessed all the rest in peace and quiet. Therefore when
Athalaric was approaching the age of manhood, he entrusted to the
Emperor of the East both his own youth and his mother's widowhood. But
in a short time the ill-fated boy was carried off by an untimely death
and departed from earthly affairs. (306) His mother feared she might be
despised by the Goths on account of the weakness of her sex. So after
much thought she decided, for the sake of relationship, 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 where he kept her in exile.
After spending a very few days there in sorrow, she was strangled in
the bath by his hirelings.


LX
(307) When Justinian, the Emperor of the East, heard this, he
was aroused as if he had suffered personal injury in the death of his
wards. Now at that time he had won a triumph over the Vandals in
Africa, through his most faithful Patrician Belisarius. Without delay
he sent his army under this leader against the Goths at the very time
when his arms were yet dripping with the blood of the Vandals. (308)
This sagacious general believed he could not overcome the Gothic
nation, unless he should first seize Sicily, their nursing-mother.
Accordingly he did so. As soon as he entered Trinacria, the Goths, who
were besieging the town of Syracuse, found that they were not
succeeding and surrendered of their own accord to Belisarius, with
their leader Sinderith. When the Roman general reached Sicily,
Theodahad sought out Evermud, his son-in-law, and sent him with an army
to guard the strait which lies between Campania and Sicily and sweeps
from a bend of the Tyrrhenian Sea into the vast tide of the Adriatic.
(309) When Evermud arrived, he pitched his camp by the town of Rhegium.
He soon saw that his side was the weaker. Coming over with a few close
and faithful followers to the side of the victor and willingly casting
himself at the feet of Belisarius, he decided to serve the rulers of
the Roman Empire. When the army of the Goths perceived this, they
distrusted Theodahad and clamored for his expulsion from the kingdom
and for the appointment as king of their leader Vitiges, who had been
his armor bearer. (310) This was done; and presently Vitiges was raised
to the office of king on the Barbarian Plains. He entered Rome and sent
on to Ravenna the men most faithful to him to demand the death of
Theodahad. They came and executed his command. After King Theodahad was
slain, a messenger came from the king--for he was already king in the
Barbarian Plains--to proclaim Vitiges to the people.
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