Theodoric I the Great ~ King of the Ostrogoths

M, (454 - 30 August 526)
Father-Biological*Theudemir ~ King of the Ostrogoths in Pannonia d. 474
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Boudreau Line
Last Edited=14 Nov 2023
Medallion (or triple solidus) featuring Theodoric, c. AD 491–501
     Theodoric I the Great ~ King of the Ostrogoths was born in 454.1,2 He was the son of Theudemir ~ King of the Ostrogoths in Pannonia and Ereleuva. Theodoric was crowned the King of the Ostagoths. He ruled an independent Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy between 493 and 526 in 471.2,3 In the 490s, the Visigothic King Alaric II was fixed on Italy in support of Theodoric the Ostrogoth against Odoacer, the self-proclaimed King of Italy who had overthrown the last West Roman emperor.4 In 493 the Ostrogoth, Theodoric the Great, took Italy from Odoacer and began to spread his influence through a series of marital alliances with the various other Germanic kings, including Clovis whose sister Audefleda was married off to Theodoric himself.4 In 507, Clovis, King of the Franks took the offensive against Alaric II of the Visigoths. King Alaric II sent urgent pleas for help to Theodoric, the Ostrogothic king of Italy, while doing his best to delay the Franks without engaging them in decisive battle. In a letter preserved in the records of Cassiodorus (a Roman serving King Theodoric), Theodoric gave the following reply to Alaric:

[LIND:]Surrounded as you are by an innumerable multitude of subjects, and strong in the remembrance of their having turned back Attila, still do not fight with Clovis. War is a terrible thing, and a terrible risk. The long peace may have softened the hearts of your people, and your soldiers from want of practice may have lost the habit of working together on the battlefield. Before blood is shed, draw back if possible. We are sending ambassadors to the King of the Franks to try to prevent this war between our relatives [Theodoric was married to Clovis’ sister]; and the ambassadors whom we are sending to you will go on to Gundobad, King of the Burgundians, to get him to interpose on behalf of peace. Your enemy will be mine also.[:LIND]

Theodoric also wrote to Clovis in an attempt to avert war:
The affinities of kings ought to keep their subjects from the plague of war. We are grieved to hear of the paltry causes which are giving rise to rumours of war between you and our son Alaric, rumours which gladden the hearts of the enemies of both of you. Let me say with all frankness, but with all affection, just what I think. It is the act of a passionate man to get his troops ready for action at the first embassy which he sends. Instead of that refer the matter to our arbitration. It would be a delight to me to choose men capable of mediating between you. What would you yourselves think of me if I could hear unmoved of your murderous intentions towards one another? Away with this conflict, in which one of you will probably be utterly destroyed. Throw away the sword which you wield for my humiliation. By what right do I thus threaten you? By the right of a father and a friend. He who shall despise this advice of ours will have to reckon us and our friends as his adversaries. I send two ambassadors to you, as I have to my son Alaric, and hope that they may be able so to arrange matters that no alien malignity may sow the seeds of dissension between you, and that your nations, which under your fathers have long enjoyed the blessings of peace, may not now be laid waste by sudden collision. You ought to believe him who, as you know, has rejoiced in your prosperity. No true friend is he who launches his associates, unwarned, into the headlong dangers of war.

Before the Ostrogoths could come to his aid or diplomatic interventions could dissuade either Clovis or Gundobad, Alaric was forced to give battle by his own men who were incensed that their king took no decisive action against the Franks while their lands were being plundered. The battle fought at Vouillé, near Poitiers, determined the future of France but unfortunately we know very little about it.4 All four of Clovis’ sons united to attack the Burgundians, apparently supported by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric in 523.4 He died on 30 August 526 at Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.5,3,2 He was buried in September 526 at Mausoleum of Theodoric, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.2

See also.

Child of Theodoric I the Great ~ King of the Ostrogoths


  1. Anonymous. Rulers of the Franks. N.p.: manuscript.
  2. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Online
  3. Stuart, Roderick W. Royalty for Commoners, The Complete Known Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, King of England, and Queen Philippa, Fourth Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2002.
  4. MacDowall, Simon. Conquerors of the Roman Empire: The Franks. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom: Pen and Sword, 2018.
  5. Anonymous. Franks, Merovingian Kings. N.p.: manuscript, 2007.