Theodoric the Great

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Theodoric the Great ,(c 454-526) was king of the Ostrogoths and ruler of Italy


In 483 Theodoric became imperial master of soldiers and one year later he became a consul. Zeno commisioned Theodoric to lead a campagn against Odoacer in Italy. Theodoric came with his army to Italy in 488 , where he won the battles at the Izonzo and at Milan in 489 and at the Adda in 490. In 493 he took Ravenna. Odoacer surrendered and was murdered. With great powers amassed, Theodoric was able to avoid Byzantene supervision. He was master in Italy under the title of patrician. He ruled Italy for a long time and respected Roman laws, while at the same time retaining the Gothic army and Goths people settled on the land.

Theodoric the Great was allied by marriage with the Franks under Clovis I and with the Visigoths, Vandals and Burgundian kings. Clovis I's ambitions to also rule over the Goths brought on intermittent warfare between 506 and 523.

Theodoric was of Arian faith. He was successful in forestalling Frankish hegemony.

At the end of his reign quarrels arouse with his Roman subjects and the pope, Justin I over the Arianism issue.

Dietrich von Bern in the German epic Nibelungenlied is based on Theodoric the Great.

Theodoric the Great was interred in Ravenna. His tomb is one of the finest monuments in Ravenna.

After his death his daughter Amalasuntha reigned for Theodoric's grandson Athalaric.