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Theodoric the Great

(c. 454—526)


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(c. 455–526)

King of the Ostrogoths (475–526) and ruler of Italy from 493. He invaded Italy and established his capital at Ravenna. At its greatest extent his empire included not only the Italian mainland but Sicily, Dalmatia, and parts of Germany. An Arian Christian, his reign brought a degree of authority and stability to the country, though the scholar Boethius was executed on treason charges. His reign saw the beginning of a synthesis of Roman and Germanic cultures. He is a hero of German literature, figuring in the epic Nibelungenlied.


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