King Vidimir of the Ostrogoths

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Vidimir - (Amal Dynasty) (-), -

Also Known As: "Videmiro", "Vidimir"
Birthplace: Scythia (Present Ukraine), Hun Empire
Death: 473 (38-47)
(Present Italy), Roman Empire (Died after being defeated by the Romans)
Immediate Family:

Son of Vandalarius and (Generation 13)
Husband of (Generation 14)
Father of Vidimir the Younger
Brother of Theodomir, king of the Ostrogoths and King Walamir of the Ostrogoths

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About King Vidimir of the Ostrogoths

From the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy page on Hungary:

VANDALARIUS, son of VINITHARIUS (Ostrogoth Generation 12)

Iordanes names "Vandiliarum" as son of "Vinitharius" and father of "Thiudemer et Valamir et Vidimir"[52]. Relative of Thorismund[53].

VALAMIR (-killed in battle [468/69], Ostrogoth Generation 13).

Iordanes names "Thiudemer et Valamir et Vidimir" as the sons of Vandilarius[54]. He and his brothers followed Attila the Hun into Gaul in 451[55]. Valamir commanded the Ostrogoth contingent in Attila's army which was defeated at the battle of the Catalaunian fields[56].

He was considered king of all Ostrogoths in Pannonia. Iordanes records that "Valamer…ex consobrino eius genitus Vandalario" succeeded as king after "Thorismundo" was killed fighting the Gepids in the second year of his reign[57]. He shared the land with his two brothers, retaining for himself the eastern part of the territory covering lower Slavonia.

In 456, he defeated an attack by the Huns, who are said to have retreated to the River Dnieper[58].

He defeated another Hun attack on Bassianae, near Belgrade, in 467/68, but was killed in battle during a similar attack the following year.

2. THEODEMIR [Thiudimir] (-Kyrrhos 474, Ostrogoth Generation 13).

Iordanes names "Thiudemer et Valamir et Vidimir" as the sons of Vandilarius[59].

King of the Ostrogoths in Pannonia, subordinate to his brother Valamir, he ruled over the western part of their domain which covered the county of Somogy and north-eastern Croatia.

He succeeded his brother in [468/49] as King of all the Pannonian Ostrogoths. Iordanes names "Theodemir" when recording that he succeeded his brother "Valamero rege Gothorum" together with "Vidimero fratre et filio Theodorico"[60].

When the Ostrogoths left Pannonia in [473], Theodemir and his contingent went towards Constantinople. They settled in Macedonia, based in the city of Kyrrhos[61].

3. VIDIMIR (-473, Ostrogoth Generation 13).

Iordanes names "Thiudemer et Valamir et Vidimir" as the sons of Vandilarius[62].

King of the Ostrogoths in Pannonia, subordinate to his brother Valamir, he ruled over the central part of their domain which covered upper Slavonia. Iordanes names "Theodemir" when recording that he succeeded his brother "Valamero rege Gothorum" together with "Vidimero fratre et filio Theodorico"[63].

When the Ostrogoths left Pannonia in [473], Vidimir went into Italy where he suffered several defeats.

a) VIDIMIR (Ostrogoth Generation 14)

Iordanes records that "Vidimero cum Vidimero filio" were sent to "partes Hesperias" by Theodemir[64].

After his father's death, Emperor Glycerius sent Vidimir and his contingent of Pannonian Ostrogoths to Gaul, where he settled in the Limousin[65].


[52] Iordanes Getarum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 77.

[53] Wolfram, H. (1998) History Of The Goths (Berkeley, California), p. 251.

[54] Iordanes Getarum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 77.

[55] Wolfram (1998), p. 258.

[56] Wolfram (1998), p. 247.

[57] Iordanes Getarum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 122.

[58] Wolfram (1998), p. 261.

[59] Iordanes Getarum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 77.

[60] Iordanes Romanorum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 44.

[61] Wolfram (1998), pp. 267 and 269.

[62] Iordanes Getarum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 77.

[63] Iordanes Romanorum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 44.

[64] Iordanes Romanorum, MGH Auct. ant. V.1, p. 45.

[65] Wolfram (1998), p. 268.

From Jordanes' Getica, as displayed on Boudicca's Bard:

(252) But that the order we have taken for our history may run its due course, we must return to the stock of Vandalarius, which put forth three branches. This Vandalarius, the son of a brother of Hermanaric and cousin of the aforesaid Thorismud, vaunted himself among the race of the Amali because he had begotten three sons, Valamir, Thiudimer and Vidimer. Of these Valamir ascended the throne after his parents, though the Huns as yet held the power over the Goths in general as among other nations.

(253) It was pleasant to behold the concord of these three brothers; for the admirable Thiudimer served as a soldier for the empire of his brother Valamir, and Valamir bade honors be given him, while Vidimer was eager to serve them both. Thus regarding one another with common affection, not one was wholly deprived of the kingdom which two of them held in mutual peace. Yet, as has often been said, they ruled in such a way that they respected the dominion of Attila, king or the Huns.



(268) Let us now return to the tribe with which we started, namely the Ostrogoths, who were dwelling in Pannonia under their king Valamir and his brothers Thiudimer and Vidimer. Although their territories were separate, yet their plans were one. For Valamir dwelt between the rivers Scarniunga and Aqua Nigra, Thiudimer near Lake Pelso and Vidimer between them both. Now it happened that the sons of Attila, regarding the Goths as deserters from their rule, came against them as though they were seeking fugitive slaves, and attacked Valamir alone, when his brothers knew nothing of it.

(269) He sustained their attack, though he had but few supporters, and after harassing them a long time, so utterly overwhelmed them that scarcely any portion of the enemy remained. The remnant turned in flight and sought the parts of Scythia which border on the stream of the river Danaper, which the Huns call in their own tongue the Var. Thereupon he sent a messenger of good tidings to his brother Thiudimer, and on the very day the messenger arrived he found even greater joy in the house of Thiudimer. For on that day his son Theodoric was born, of a concubine Erelieva indeed, and yet a child of good hope.

(270) Now after no great time King Valamir and his brothers Thiudimer and Vidimer sent an embassy to the Emperor Marcian, because the usual gifts which they received like a New Year's present from the Emperor, to preserve the compact of peace, were slow in arriving. And they found that Theodoric, son of Triarius, a man of Gothic blood also, but born of another stock, not of the Amali, was in great favor, together with his followers. He was allied in friendship with the Romans and obtained an annual bounty, while they themselves were merely held in disdain.

(271) Thereat they were aroused to frenzy and took up arms. They roved through almost the whole of Illyricum and laid it waste in their search for spoil. Then the Emperor quickly changed his mind and returned to his former state of friendship. He sent an embassy to give them the past gifts, as well as those now due, and furthermore promised to give these gifts in future without any dispute. From the Goths the Romans received as a hostage of peace Theodoric, the young child of Thiudimer, whom we have mentioned above. He had now attained the age of seven years and was entering upon his eighth. While his father hesitated about giving him up, his uncle Valamir besought him to do it, hoping that peace between the Romans and the Goths might thus be assured. Therefore Theodoric was given as a hostage by the Goths and brought to the city of Constantinople to the Emperor Leo and, being a goodly child, deservedly gained the imperial favor.


(278) Now when Valamir was dead, the Goths fled to Thiudimer, his brother. Although he had long ruled along with his brothers, yet he took the insignia of his increased authority and summoned his younger brother Vidimer and shared with him the cares of war, resorting to arms under compulsion. A battle was fought and the party of the Goths was found to be so much the stronger that the plain was drenched in the blood of their fallen foes and looked like a crimson sea. Weapons and corpses, piled up like hills, covered the plain for more than 10 miles.

(279) When the Goths saw this, they rejoiced with joy unspeakable, because by this great slaughter of their foes they had avenged the blood of Valamir their king and the injury done themselves. But those of the innumerable and motley throng of the foe who were able to escape, though they got away, nevertheless came to their own land with difficulty and without glory.



(283) Then as the spoil taken from one and another of the neighboring tribes diminished, the Goths began to lack food and clothing, and peace became distasteful to men for whom war had long furnished the necessaries of life. So all the Goths approached their king Thiudimerand, with great outcry, begged him to lead forth his army in whatsoever direction he might wish. He summoned his brother and, after casting lots, bade him go into the country of Italy, where at this time Glycerius ruled as emperor, saying that he himself as the mightier would go to the east against a mightier empire. And so it happened.

(284) Thereupon Vidimer entered the land of Italy, but soon paid the last debt of fate and departed from earthly affairs, leaving his son and namesake Vidimer to succeed him. The Emperor Glycerius bestowed gifts upon Vidimer and persuaded him to go from Italy to Gaul, which was then harassed on all sides by various races, saying that their own kinsmen, the Visigoths, there ruled a neighboring kingdom. And what more? Vidimer accepted the gifts and, obeying the command of the Emperor Glycerius, pressed on to Gaul. Joining with his kinsmen the Visigoths, they again formed one body, as they had been long ago. Thus they held Gaul and Spain by their own right and so defended them that no other race won the mastery there.

From the "History of the Goths" by Herwig Wolfram and Thomas J. Dunlap:

The Last Battles with the Empire:

The Visigothic armies had just won great victories in Spain and were still fighting in the Auvergne when Emperor Glycerius unintentionally sent much-needed reinforcements to Gaul. Italy had in 473 suffered an Ostrogothic invasion. The attackers came from Pannonia and were led by the Amal king Vidimir. He died shortly after his arrival in Italy, whereupon the son Vidimir the Younger inherited the army but not his father's kingship.[145] This group, which had split off from the main Ostrogothic tribe and which fought unsuccessfully in Italy after the death of its king, raised no opposition when the Emperor got rid of them by sending them off to join the Visigoths.[146]

Their leader - like his predecessor Videric in 427 - was no serious threat to the King of Toulouse.[147] But just to be safe, Euric kept some of his Pannonian cousins within sight among his retainers [148], while others received border patrol duties along the Loire.[149] After 485, we probably hear of Vidimir (the Younger) on two other occasions. Bishop Ruricus of Limoges exchanged letters with a member of the high nobility by the name of Vittamar and sent him and his wife each 100 pears. The shipment of such a perishable gift would point to Limousin as the place where Vidimir settled, provided we are right in identifying him with Vittamar.[150]


145. Jordanes, Getica 283 f. cf. 199, 252 f., 268, 270, 278, pp. 131, 169, 123, 127 f., and 130. Jordanes, Romana 347, p. 45, calls Thiudimir and Vidimr "utrique reges". Cf. Claude, "Konigserhebungen," 153. See Martindale, Prosopography 2:1164 f. (Vidimir 1 and 2), and below 334 n. 61.

146. Jordanes, Romana 347, p.45. See esp.: Vidimer (sc. filius) ab Italis proeliis victus ad partes Galliae Spaniaeque omissa Italia tendit, and Getica 284, p. 131. Wenskus, Stammesbildung, 481.

147. Stroheker, Eurich, 74 with n. 47, on the question of whether Vidimir could have formed "a counterweight against the Visigoths in Gaul." Cf. chap. 5, n. 63 ff.

148. Cf. Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistulae VIII 9.5 vv. 36 f., p. 137.

149. On the Amal names, see below, n. 530

150. Jordanes (as n. 146), Ruricius of Limoges, Epistulae II 60 (61) and 62 (63), p. 349 (439 f.), Martindale, Prosopography 2:1165 and 1178. On Ruricius, see Stroheker, Adel, 209 i. n. 327, as well as Schaferdiek, Die Kirchen der Westgoten, 57.

190. On the expression cf. below, n. 307. On the toopic, see Schaferdiek, Die Kirchen der Westgoten, 8 ff. Stroheker, Eurich, 36 ff. On the designation of the Gothic king as lord of the Romans, see below n. 266. The examples for the rule of the Gothic king over the Arian church and its dignitaries, though not numerous, are nevertheless unambiguous. Fritigern sends a Gothic-Arian dignitary to negotiate with Valens before the battle (Ammianus Marcellinus XXXI 12.8 f.). Revealing is also the misunderstanding of an act of cooperation between Fritigern and Ulfilas in Sozomenus VI 37.6 ff. Sigesar, "the bishop of the Goths," baptized the usurper Attalus and thereby makes him "beloved by everyone and by Alaric" (Sozemenus IX 9.1). The same bishop tries - if in vain - to protect Athaulf's children against Sigeric. The new king forces him to hand them over (Olympiodorus fr. 26). Theodoric (II) send the Arian missionary Ajax to the Suevi (Hydatius 232, a. 466). The same Gothic king and "his priests" (sacerdotes sui), probably the Arian court priests, are described by Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistulae I 2.4, p. 3. Yet Modaharius, civis Gothus, haereseos Arianae iacula vibrans (ibid. VII 6.2, p. 108), was probably not an envoy of Euric (cf. Schaferdiek, Die Kirchen der Westgoten, 29). For Euric's general rule over the church, i.e., over both the Gothic as well as the Roman church, one cites esp. CE 306 and 335; cf. Schaferdiek, Die Kirchen der Westgoten, 16 f.

334. Wolfram, "Gotische Studien 1," 10 n. 44 and 21 f.; II, 322 ff. and III, 255 with n. 190, esp. after Passio s. Sabae, chaps. 1 ff., pp. 216 ff., Socrates IV 33 f., and Sozomenus VI 37.6 ff. Cf. above n. 190 and n.307.


From a webcached copy of "An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors", "Glycerius (3/5 March 473 - June 474)" by Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina:


Glycerius, the seventh of the so-called shadow emperors of the western empire, is known only from scattered references primarily in jejune chronicles. A few scant insights are provided by Jordanes and Ennodius.


Glycerius appears to have had some success at dealing with barbarian threats, by both diplomatic and military means. The Gallic Chronicle of 511, for example, reports that in 473 the ambitious Visigothic king Euric (466-484) went so far as to order an invasion of Italy: "Vincentius, moreover, having been sent by king Euric like a Master or Soldiers, was killed in Italy by the counts Alla and Sindila" ("Vincentius vero ab Eurico rege quasi magister militum missus ab Alla et Sindila comitibus Italia occiditur": no.653).

In this case, one notes the terminological confusion that arose after the disappearance of Roman authority: Vincentius' position was "like" that of a Master of Soldiers, but not the genuine article. It probably was in the course of this offensive, moreover, that Euric was able to occupy Arles and Marseilles, for under the year 473 the Chronicle of Saragossa reports, "In this year Arles and Marseilles are occupied by the Goths" ("His. coss. Arelatum et Masilia a Gotthis occupata sunt": Chronicon Caesaraugustanum s.a.473). The cities subsequently were briefly recovered by the emperor Julius Nepos (474-475).

Meanwhile, in 473 Italy also was faced with a barbarian threat from a new source: groups of Ostrogoths who had designs on western territory. According to Jordanes, King Vidimer proposed to invade Italy, but "the emperor Glycerius, after bestowing gifts and saying that Vidimer's relatives, the Visigoths, ruled there, transferred him from Italy to Gaul, which then was assailed on all sides by various peoples" ("quem Glycerius imperator muneribus datis de Italia ad Gallias transtulit, quae a diversis circumcirca gentibus praemebantur, aserens vicinos ibi Vesegothas eorum parentes regnare": Getica 284). One might wonder whether in this case Glycerius was able to prevent Vidimer from linking up with Vincentius and the Visigothic invasion force, a combination that could easily have resulted in a Visigothic occupation of Italy itself.

Such activities, poorly known as they are, may have resulted in the generally favorable press that Glycerius receives in the sources. The Byzantine chronographer Theophanes described Glycerius as a "not despicable man."

Bishop Ennodius of Pavia (514-521) was more generous, saying, "After Olybrius, Glycerius ascended to the rule. With regard to whom I summarize, in my desire for brevity, the numerous things he did for the well being of many people. For, when the blessed man [bishop Epiphanius of Pavia] interceded, he pardoned the injury done to his mother by some men under his authority" (Vita Epiphanii 79).

It has been suggested that the injuries suffered by Glycerius' mother resulted from disaffection caused by his payments to the Ostrogoths, but such measures were a regular part of imperial policy. It may be, however, that the perpetrators were soldiers, which might account for their evasion of punishment.

From the English Wikipedia page on Emperor Glycerius:

Glycerius[1] (c. 420 – after 480) was Western Roman Emperor from 473 to 474. He later served as a bishop in the early Catholic Church.

Rise to power

Sources on Glycerius are scarce and scanty. It is known that, at the time of his elevation to the throne, he was a comes domesticorum, the commander of the imperial guard; as regards his previous career, he had been the military commander in Dalmatia.[2]

In 472, the Western Roman Empire was plagued by a civil war, fought between Emperor Anthemius and his Magister militum (commander in chief of the army), Ricimer. Ricimer killed the Emperor and put Olybrius on the throne, but in a short time both Ricimer and Olybrius died. The Eastern Roman Emperor, Leo I the Thracian, tarried in choosing his successor, so the Germanic elements of the army, represented by the new Magister militum Gundobad (a nephew of Ricimer's), elected Glycerius Emperor on March 3 or 5, 473, in Ravenna.


Little is known about the short reign of Glycerius, but it appears that he tried to reconcile with the Eastern Roman Empire and that he succeeded in keeping his own Empire under control despite the attacks of the barbarian peoples. For most of his rule, Glycerius lived in Northern Italy, as testified by the fact that the only mints which issued in his name are Milan and Ravenna.

Gothic menaces

In 473, the King of the Visigoths, Euric, ordered the invasion of Italy, but his commander Vincentius was defeated and killed by Glycerius' comites Alla and Sindila. Despite the victorious defence of Italy, Glycerius could do nothing to prevent the Visigoths from conquering Arelate and Marseille, in Gaul.

At the same time, the Ostrogoths led by King Widimir began marching to Italy. The possibility that the two Gothic armies would merge was disastrous, and Glycerius sent an envoy to Widimir to tell him that the territories he wanted were already occupied by the Visigoths and to suggest that he move to Gaul. If this strategy barred Vincentius from receiving reinforcements, it caused the convergence of both Gothic armies against Gaul.

Relationship with the Eastern Roman Empire

The Eastern Roman Emperor Leo I did not recognise Glycerius, as his election had not been ratified by the Eastern court, and it was suspected that he was a puppet of Gundobad. Therefore Leo chose a candidate on his own, Julius Nepos, Magister militum in Dalmatia related to the Eastern Empress Verina. Because his election came very late, however, Julius Nepos could not leave, as the ports were closed for the winter. In the mean-time, Leo I died in January 474 and was succeeded by his nephew, the young Leo II, who chose his own father Zeno as co-emperor after a short time.

Glycerius tried to re-conciliate with the Eastern court or, at least, to cause as few conflicts as possible with it. For example, he did not choose a second Consul in order to allow Leo II to be Consul alone for the year 474. Glycerius also tried to obtain the support of the Church, issuing a law against simony (March 11, 473), which was welcomed by the ecclesiastic hierarchy.

Deposition and death

In spring 474, the ports were re-opened and Julius Nepos, the pretender to the Western throne, crossed the Adriatic sea and arrived in Italy to depose Glycerius. It is probable that Glycerius left Ravenna for Rome, probably to resist the invader; the clue is a silver coin minted in Rome, in which Glycerius claims to be Emperor together with other two Emperors (Leo II and Zeno), thus not recognising Julius Nepos. However, Julius Nepos disembarked at Ostia in July 474 and deposed Glycerius without a fight. Glycerius was sent to Dalmatia as Bishop of Salona (present Solin, near Split, Croatia, then capital of Dalmatia).

Glycerius' deposition was thus without any bloodshed, and historians investigated the possible reasons why the Western Emperor, who had Gundobad and his army at his command did not try to resist. One possible reason is that Glycerius' elevation, not recognised by Eastern court, received the support of neither the Roman senate nor the Gallic-Roman aristocracy; resisting Nepos without the support of the Senate would have been a bad choice for Gundobad.[3]

It is possible that Gundobad, who was absent from Italy when Glycerius was deposed, had gone to Gaul to gather some more troops or to receive the legacy of his father Gundioc, thus effectively leaving Glycerius alone.

Glycerius probably died at Salona, which in 475 had been reached by Julius Nepos, who had been deposed in turn by the Magister militum Orestes; he was still in Salona when, in 476, the last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by Odoacer, King of the Heruli.

The historian Malchus maintains that in 480 Glycerius was a member of the conspiracy that led to Julius Nepos' death and thus favoured Odoacer; however, the news of Glycerius' appointment to the prestigious rank of Bishop of Milan, which would support the theory of the collaboration between Glycerius and Odoacer, is usually considered a rumor.


1. ^ Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire II.514

2. ^ Meijer, Fik, Emperors Don't Die in Bed, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-415-31201-9, p. 159.

3. ^ O'Flynn, John Michael, Generalissimos of the Western Roman Empire, University of Alberta, 1983, ISBN 0-88864-031-5, p. 130.


Mathisen, Ralph W., "Glycerius (3/5 March 473 – June 474)", De Imperatoribus Romanis


Glycerius, Western Roman Emperor

Preceded by Olybrius

Succeeded by Julius Nepos

Ben M. Angel's summary:

Vidimir was the youngest of Vandalarius' sons that were selected by Attila to rule over Pannonia when Emperor Theodosius gave it over to Hun rule in 449. Vandalarius never ruled over the Ostrogoths, but he did transmit to his sons their Amal heritage that may have played a part in Attila's selection. Walamir apparently selected the region bounded by the "rivers Scarniunga and Aqua Nigra," while Theodomir settled the lands near Lake Pelso (Balaton), with Vidimir holding the lands between them.

Like Theodimir, Vidimir likely didn't take part in the Hun invasion of Gaul. When Walamir returned from the fight, Ellac Khan, Attila's successor, went after Walamir alone as a "deserter" in 454. In the resulting Battle of the Nedao River, the Ostrogoths not only destroyed Ellac's army (Jordanes says that they were driven not only from Pannonia in present Hungary, but all the way to the Dnieper River in present Ukraine, a likely exaggeration), but killed Ellac himself, leaving the remnants of the Hun Empire to be ruled by Tengiz (Dengizich) Khan.

Vidimir likely took part in the fight against Theodoric, son of Triarus, who sought to usurp the Ostrogoth leadership from the three brothers in 455-456. However, his next known role in Jordanes' Getica is described as a subordinate to Theodimir when in 469 he carried out a punitive campaign against the Sciri Goths and Suavi in Pannonia following the death of their elder brother Walamir. Jordanes describes the carnage resulting from this fight as "a crimson sea" with "weapons and corpses, piled up like hills, covering the plain for more than 10 miles."

However, times became meaner in Pannonia following the death of Walamir. Eventually, Vidimir became involved in what was apparently a planned campaign to take Italy alongside the Visigoths, who had advanced from Iberia into Narbonne and Arles in 473 during what appeared to be a chaotic time for Rome. In March of that year, Glycerius was elected Emperor of the Western Roman Empire at Ravenna, replacing Ricimer and Olybrius, ending the chaos at a time that clearly didn't favor Vidimir, who is said to have died after being defeated by the Romans.

His son, Vidimir the Younger, was approached as the new leader of the Ostrogoth horde in Italy, and given an offer by Emperor Glycerius to be given safe passage to Gaul, where he could join with the Visigoths in their own kingdom. Vidimir the Younger didn't resist (a payment was apparently involved), and the Ostrogoths under him soon joined King Euric in Toulouse. Some were retained in Euric's court "just to be safe," while others were given defense assignments on the Loire River.

Herwig Wolfram and Thomas J. Dunlap suggest that Vidimir likely settled in the Limousin region, not far from Limoges, based on a correspondence and gift of pears given to a Vittamar by Bishop Ruricus in 485.

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King Vidimir of the Ostrogoths's Timeline

Scythia (Present Ukraine), Hun Empire
Age 43
(Present Italy), Roman Empire
Pannonia (Present Hungary), Roman Empire