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Ostrogoths

Gaining much control of the northern portion of the Black Sea, the Ostrogoths came from an eastern group of Germanic people. Their name refers to Eastern Goth, or the Goths that are glorified by the sun. On the other hand, the term Visigoth refers to the Western Goth. It was Cassiodorus, a Roman writer, who gave these terms for the tribes during the 6th century.

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Origin of the Ostrogoths

These people first became known in history as a tribe that settled in an area surrounding the Black Sea. They made frequent attacks on Roman provinces, which gave them an image of being a resilient and persistent nuisance to the Roman Empire. However, the invasion of the Huns during 375 AD proved to be a major threat to the Romans. It was during the Huns’ conquest that a large percentage of the Ostrogoths sought support and protection by the empire under the rule of Valens. These people then became Visigoths, while the rest of the Goths endured the harsh treatment of the Huns while maintaining a sense of autonomy.

Ostrogoths Rose to Power

When Attila the Hun died in 450 AD, the Ostrogoths finally had their chance to become independent this is where they are charted on the Biblical Timeline with World History. Thus, in 474 AD, Theodoric was appointed as the ruler of the Ostrogoths. With the support from the Byzantine Empire, he led a campaign to invade Italy. At that time, the Byzantine Empire was hoping to regain the victory that was Rome’s.

Ostrogoths
‘Ostrogoth ear jewels, Metropolitan Museum of Art.’

The empire believed that Theodoric could do this by reclaiming their kingdom held by a Germanic ruler. Indeed, Theodoric succeeded by defeating Odoacer, and he established an Ostrogothic Empire from Sicily to Spain, Italy, and France. The empire remained successful because of Theodoric’s impressive political skills. Roman literature, culture and art were also widely accepted. While his campaigns were financially supported by the Byzantines, he was given an opportunity to independently rule his empire and ensure wholesome relations with the Eastern Roman Empire. .

After the rule of Theodoric, his daughter assumed the throne. Amalasvintha then ruled as the first regent and queen when her son Athalaric died. However, Theodahad ordered for her to be assassinated, and this sparked anger to the Byzantine Empire ruler, Justinian I. Hence, he sent Flavius Belisarius to Italy and reorganized the region including the Empire. Justinian made an offer to the Ostrogoths, and he was allowed them to maintain an independent kingdom if they give him 50 percent of the treasury.

However, the Goths doubted Justinian, and they would only agree if Belisarius were the one who endorsed them. But then, the nobility decided a better solution to the problem, which is by giving Belisarius full authority over the Ostrogothic Empire. Belisarius pretended to agree with this offer, out of loyalty to Justinian. When he was crowned, he decided to claim the entirety of the lands owned by the Ostrogoths including their treasury, with the intention of giving these to Justinian. Various uprisings led by the Ostrogoths later on, but all of these failed. Eventually, the Ostrogoths disappeared and dwelled in various places in Germany, Italy and France.

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