Theodoric the Great , King of the Ostrogoths
d.30 Aug 0526 Ravenna, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
m. abt 0493
Facts and Events
Theoderic the Great (; ; , Theuderikhos; ; ; 454 – August 30, 526) was king of the Ostrogoths (471–526), ruler of Italy (493–526), regent of the Visigoths (511–526), and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire. His Gothic name Þiudareiks translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people". He is often called Theodoric in earlier modern literature.
A son of King Theodemir, an Amali nobleman, Theoderic was born in Pannonia, after his people had defeated the Huns at the Battle of Nedao. Growing up as a hostage in Constantinople, Theoderic received a privileged education and succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 471 AD. Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theoderic came in conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he eventually supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484.
Subsequently, Byzantine Emperor Zeno gave him the title of Patrician and the office of Magister militum (master of the soldiers), and even appointed him as Roman Consul. Trying to achieve further aims, Theoderic frequently ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire, eventually threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theoderic to overthrow the German Foederati Odoacer, who had likewise been made patrician and even King of Italy, but had since betrayed Zeno, supporting the rebellious Leontius. After a victorious three-year long war, Theoderic killed Odoacer with his own hands, settled his 100,000 to 200,000 people in Italy, and founded a Kingdom based in Ravenna. Although promoting separation between the Arian Ostrogoths and the Roman population, Theoderic stressed the importance of racial harmony. Seeking to restore the glory of Ancient Rome, he ruled Italy in its most peaceful and prosperous period since Valentinian, until his death in 526. Memories of his reign made him a hero of Germanic legend as Dietrich von Bern.v