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 (thē-ŏd'ə-rik, ; ; , Theuderikhos; ; ; 454 – August 30, 526), often referred to as Theodoric, was king of the Germanic Ostrogoths (475–526), ruler of Italy (493–526), regent of the Visigoths (511–526), and a patricius of the Eastern Roman Empire. His Gothic name Þiudareiks translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people". Theodoric was born in Pannonia in 454, after his people had defeated the Huns at the Battle of Nedao. His father was King Theodemir, a Germanic Amali nobleman, and his mother was Ereleuva. Theodoric grew up as a hostage in Constantinople, receiving a privileged education, and he succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 473. Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theoderic came into conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he eventually supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484.
Byzantine Emperor Zeno subsequently gave him the title of Patrician and the office of Magister militum (master of the soldiers), and even appointed him as Roman Consul. Seeking further gains, Theoderic frequently ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire, eventually threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theoderic to overthrow the German Foederatus Odoacer, who had likewise been made patrician and even King of Italy, but who had since betrayed Zeno, supporting the rebellious Leontius. After a victorious three-year war, Theoderic killed Odoacer with his own hands, settled his 100,000 to 200,000 people in Italy, and founded an Ostrogothic Kingdom based in Ravenna. While he promoted separation between the Arian Ostrogoths and the Roman population, Theoderic stressed the importance of racial harmony, though intermarriage was outlawed. 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 German legend as Dietrich von Bern.v