The Ostrogoths’ Kingdom 453–526

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Map Code: Ax00813

The Ostrogoths were eastern Goths (a Germanic tribe) who settled in the area around the Black Sea and constantly made incursions into the Roman provinces. Between 375–450, they were ruled by the Huns, a warrior people from the Eurasian steppes. When Attila the Hun died, they established the Ostrogoth Kingdom, which was at its zenith under Theodoric the Great. Theodoric had been held hostage by the Romans in Constantinople and, during this time, had learned Roman military tactics and established a good relationship with Zeno, the East Roman emperor. With Zeno’s support, he led the Ostrogoths into Italy, where he deposed Odoacer, the West Roman emperor, whom Zeno believed was plotting against him. Theodoric then turned the whole of Italy into an Ostrogoth kingdom, making Ravenna its capital. Theodoric died in 526. In 540, after fighting the Ostrogoths, the East Roman emperor, Justinian reclaimed Italy.

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