Theoderic the Great: King of Goths, Ruler of Romans

Available for Special Order
Theoderic the Great: King of Goths, Ruler of Romans
The first full-scale history of Theoderic and the Goths in more than seventy-five years, tracing the transformation of a divided kingdom into a great power

"A monumental exploration. . . . It is the most important treatment of its subject since Wilhelm Ensslin's 1947 biography, and since Mr. Wiemer's book (here in John Noël Dillon's fluid English translation) surpasses its predecessor in breadth and sophistication, the author can claim the laurel of having written the best profile of Theoderic we have."--Kyle Harper, Wall Street Journal

In the year 493, the leader of a vast confederation of Gothic warriors, their wives, and children personally cut down Odoacer, the man famous for deposing the last Roman emperor in 476. That leader became Theoderic the Great (454-526). This engaging history of his life and reign immerses readers in the world of the warrior-king who ushered in decades of peace and stability in Italy as king of Goths and Romans. Theoderic transformed his roving "warrior nation" from the periphery of the Roman world into a standing army that protected his taxpaying Roman subjects with the support of the Roman elite. With a ruling strategy of "integration through separation," Theoderic not only stabilized Italy but also extended his kingdom to the western Balkans, southern France, and the Iberian Peninsula.

Using sources as diverse as letters, poetry, coins, and mosaics, Hans-Ulrich Wiemer brings readers into the world of Theoderic's court, from Gothic warriors and their families to the notables, artisans, and shopkeepers of Rome and Ravenna to the peasants and enslaved people who tilled the soil on grand rural estates. This book offers a fascinating history of the leader who brought peace to Italy after the disintegration of the Roman Empire.

Publication Date: 
July 25, 2023