The Ostrogoths in Italy
By Biagio Saitta
Polis: Revista de ideas y formas políticas de la Antigüedad Clásica, Vol. 11 (1999)
Introduction: The attempt at Roman-Germanic cohabitation which Odoacer (Odovacar) successfully made between 476 und 489 was taken even further by the Ostrogoths. Coming from the middle Danube, they arrived in Italy with the approval of Zeno, the Emperor of the East. On account of the strong opposition of Odoacer, however, settlement was not peaceful and was only achieved in 493 when Theoderic, king of the Ostrogoths, killed Odoacer with his own hands and took Ravenna. For the European historian, although Theoderic’s actions did not always have the desired effect, his was perhaps the most brilliant barbarian attempt at germanization and the one which, more than any other, tended to preserve the Román system.