King Walamir of the Ostrogoths

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Walamir - (Amal Dynasty) (-), -

Also Known As: "Valamer"
Birthplace: Scythia (Present Ukraine), Hun Empire
Death: circa 469 (35-52)
Pannonia (within present Hungary), Roman Empire (Killed in battle against the Sciri and Suavi)
Immediate Family:

Son of Vandalarius and (Generation 13)
Husband of Vadamerca
Brother of Theodomir, king of the Ostrogoths and King Vidimir of the Ostrogoths

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About King Walamir of the Ostrogoths

From the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy page on Hungary:

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

1. VALAMIR (-killed in battle [468/69]).

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).

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).

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.


[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.

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

(251) When (Thorismund) was dead, the Ostrogoths mourned for him so deeply that for 40 years no other king succeeded in his place, and during all this time they had ever on their lips the tale of his memory. Now as time went on, Valamir grew to man's estate. He was the son of Thorismud's cousin Vandalarius. For his son Beremud, as we have said before, at last grew to despise the race of the Ostrogoths because of the overlordship of the Huns, and so had followed the tribe of the Visigoths to the western country, and it was from him Veteric was descended. Veteric also had a son Eutharic, who married Amalasuentha, the daughter of Theodoric, thus uniting again the stock of the Amali which had divided long ago. Eutharic begat Athalaric and Mathesuentha. But since Athalaric died in the years of his boyhood, Mathesuentha was taken to Constantinople by her second husband, namely Germanus, a cousin of the Emperor Justinian, and bore a posthumous son, whom she named Germanus.

(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. Indeed they could not have refused to fight against their kinsmen the Visigoths, and they must even have committed parricide at their lord's command. There was no way where by any Scythian tribe could have been wrested from the power of the Huns, save by the death of Attila, --an event the Romans and all other nations desired. Now his death was as base as his life was marvelous.



(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.


(272) Now after firm peace was established between Goths and Romans, the Goths found that the possessions they had received from the Emperor were not sufficient for them. Furthermore, they were eager to display their wonted valor, and so began to plunder the neighboring races round about them, first attacking the Sadagis who held the interior of Pannonia. When Dintzic, king of the Huns, a son of Attila, learned this, he gathered to him the few who still seemed to have remained under his sway, namely, the Ultzinzures, and Angisciri, the Bittugures and the Bardores. Coming to Bassiana, a city of Pannonia, he beleaguered it and began to plunder its territory.

(273) Then the Goths at once abandoned the expedition they had planned against the Sadagis, turned upon the Huns and drove them so ingloriously from their own land that those who remained have been in dread of the arms of the Goths from that time down to the present day. When the tribe of the Huns was at last subdued by the Goths, Hunimund, chief of the Suavi, who was crossing over to plunder Dalmatia, carried off some cattle of the Goths which were straying over the plains; for Dalmatia was near Suavia and not far distant from the territory of Pannonia, especially that part where the Goths were then staying.

(274) So then, as Hunimund was returning with the Suavi to his own country, after he had devastated Dalmatia, Thiudimer the brother of Valamir, king of the Goths, kept watch on their line of march. Not that he grieved so much over the loss of his cattle, but he feared that if the Suavi obtained this plunder with impunity, they would proceed to greater license. So in the dead of night, while they were asleep, he made an unexpected attack upon them, near Lake Pelso. Here he so completely crushed them that he took captive and sent into slavery under the Goths even Hunimund, their king, and all of his army who had escaped the sword. Yet as he was a great lover of mercy, he granted pardon after taking vengeance and became reconciled to the Suavi. He adopted as his son the same man whom he had taken captive, and sent him back with his followers into Suavia.

(275) But Hunimund was unmindful of his adopted father's kindness. After sometime he brought forth a plot he had contrived and aroused the tribe of the Sciri, who then dwelt above the Danube and abode peaceably with the Goths. So the Sciri broke off their alliance with them, took up arms, joined themselves to Hunimund and went out to attack the race of the Goths. Thus war came upon the Goths who were expecting no evil, because they relied upon both of their neighbors as friends. Constrained by necessity they took up arms and avenged themselves and their injuries by recourse to battle.

(276) In this battle, as King Valamir rode on his horse before the line to encourage his men, the horse was wounded and fell, overthrowing its rider. Valamir was quickly pierced by his enemies' spears and slain. Thereupon the Goths proceeded to exact vengeance for the death of their king, as well as for the injury done them by the rebels. They fought in such wise that there remained of all the race of the Sciri only a few who bore the name, and they with disgrace. Thus were all destroyed.


(277) The kings [of the Suavi], Hunimund and Alaric, fearing the destruction that had come upon the Sciri, next made war upon the Goths, relying upon the aid of the Sarmatians, who had come to them as auxiliaries with their kings Beuca and Babai. They summoned the last remnants of the Sciri, with Edica and Hunuulf, their chieftains, thinking they would fight the more desperately to avenge themselves. They had on their side the Gepidae also, as well as no small reinforcements from the race of the Rugi and from others gathered here and there. Thus they brought together a great host at the river Bolia in Pannonia and encamped there.

(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.

According to the Wikipedia article on the Pannonian Basin before Hungary:

The Germanic Ostrogoths inhabited Pannonia, with Rome's consent, between 456 and 471.

Ben M. Angel's summary: Sometime before Walamir's reign, during the 40-year Ostrogoth Interregnum, the Ostrogoths gave up their hold in present Ukraine, thereby ending their participation in what archeologists are calling the Santana de Mures-Chernyakhiv/Chernyakhov culture (and possibly the culture itself, as their leaving allowed the Antes and Slavs, outsiders to this culture, to dominate the region).

Much of Walamir's early career as leader of the Ostrogoths appears to be tied with Attila, who under Bleda Khan held dominion over the Hungarian plains in the 430s and 440s (a period that saw the invasion of the Vandals and their taking of Rome's Africa province, its breadbasket). During the 440-445 Hun campaign in the Balkans, Emperor Theodosius grossly underestimated the strength of Attila's threat and neglected an earlier treaty. After destroying two Roman armies near Constantinople, Attila obtained from the Romans in 445 a large amount of gold and a treaty that provided a peace tribute to him that was three times the amount he had demanded before the campaign. After arranging a hunting accident for his co-ruler Bleda Khan (at one time his superior), Attila became the sole ruler of the Huns.

Attila apparently sensed weakness among the Romans (likely following an earthquake that severely damaged Constantinople's city walls) and carried out a new attack in 447, destroying another Roman Army under Goth-Roman General Arnegisclus, killing him. Marcianople was destroyed, and lay in ruins for a century to follow. But Constantinople was preserved thanks to intense reconstruction efforts. After the capture of a large amount of cities in the southern Balkans, the Huns and the Romans negotiated a further treaty that vacated all Romans within 5 days ride of the Danube River, creating a no-mans land.


This set the stage for the first event that Walamir is tied to, the Hun invasion of Gaul. In 449, Flavius Aetius, a Roman General whose friendship with the Huns resulted from an earlier period of exile among them, allowed the Hun Empire to settle Pannonia. This was likely the time during which the Ostrogoths settled in the region. Further, Aetius, attempting to establish friendly buffer states to protect the remnants of the Roman Empire from the Visigoths (now in Iberia), negotiated with Geiseric of the Vandals (now in Africa) and Attila a three-party alliance against those Goths (and allies such as the Suavi, holed up on the Iberian peninsula) that left the Hun Empire 74 years earlier, laying waste to much of Rome in their migration westward.

As the Huns moved westward to take part in the planned campaign, drama erupted involving Honoria, the sister of Roman Emperor Valentinian III, who being dissatisfied with her betrothal to a Senator, sent a plea for help to Attila, one which included her betrothal ring. Attila took this as a proposal for marriage and asked for half the empire as dowry. When the Romans tried to explain that it was a misunderstanding, the Hun request became a demand.

Trouble also erupted when, two years after the fall of King Chlodio of the Salian Franks in battle, Aetius declared support for the succession of the younger Merevech (whom he adopted as his own son - Merevech would later found the Merovingian dynasty). Attila sided with the elder brother. This ended the friendship between the two kingmakers, and triggered the actual war in Gaul.


Attila raised a great horde of his vassals, including the Ostrogoths, led by Walamir. The horde marched westward, taking first Strasbourg and Worms, then Mainz at the gateway to Gallia Belgica. Jordanes claimed that Attila had a half-million men, likely an exaggeration, but illustrative of the size of Attila's army.

After taking Cologne and Trier, Attila seized Divodurum (Metz) on April 7. After the Frankish capital of Tornai and Rheims fall, the Hun army converged on Paris, and it is said that only the prayers of St. Genevieve had saved the city when Attila decided to drive southward against Aurelianum (Orleans) instead, laying siege to that city.

On June 14, a newly formed Roman-Visigoth army of 30,000 men arrived at Aurelianum, forcing Attila to give up the siege just when he nearly breached its very walls and withdraw. General Aetius pursued Attila as the Hun leader sought an advantageous place to make a stand. On the evening of June 19, Attila consulted his diviners, who foretold that a disaster would befall the Huns, but that one of the enemy leaders would be killed. Hoping it would be Aetius, Attila committed to battle at the Catalaunian Fields near Chalons in Champaign.

In the initial attack, Visigoth King Theodoric I had apparently fallen from his horse and was trampled to death, though no one would find out about it until near the end of the battle. Attila himself was forced to defend from a ring of overturned wagons that served as fortifications around his camp. He ordered a heap of horse saddles piled together as a funeral pyre in case the Roman-Visigoth coalition managed to breach his fortifications, "so that none might have the joy of wounding him and that the lord of so many races might not fall into the hands of his foes."

As it seemed the end for Attila, General Aeitius recognized that destroying the Huns would leave the Romans vulnerable to Visigoth and Frankish attack. Rather than finish him off, he convinced both young leaders (Theodoric's son Thorismund, and Merovech) to return home and secure their thrones for themselves, while his Romans looted the battlefield by themselves. Attila was allowed to return to his kingdom without interference, but with the defeat, his so-called anti-Christian horde was already falling apart.


Walamir apparently rode home separate from Attila, as not long after his return, about 454, the Huns under Ellac Khan (Attila's designated successor and son) attacked Walamir's territory in Pannonia along the rivers Scarniunga and Aqua Nigra, apparently regarding Walamir as a deserter. The Ostrogoths under his command carried out not only resistance, but if Jordanes is to be believed, actually pursued the Huns eastward back into Scythia (present Ukraine) to the banks of the Dnieper River (apparently called the Var River by the Huns),. The date of the victory is tied into the birth of Ostrogoth King Theodoric I on Lake "Pelso" (likely Balaton), who was born on the same day that the news arrived of Walamir's successful repulsion of the Huns.

The three ruling brothers, Walamir, Theodomir, and Widimar, sent an embassy to Emperor Marcian (ruled 450-457) in Constantinople, but found that a rival named Theodoric, son of Triarus, was already claiming leadership of the Ostrogoths, and obtained Roman support for securing a new unified Gothic kingdom under him. This triggered a civil war sometime in the last five years of Marcian's rule that laid waste to all of Illyricum (present Former Yugoslavia). Marcian dropped support for Theodoric, the rival, and restored good relations with the brothers sometime around 456. Emperor Leo I (457-474), Marcian's successor, apparently accepted Theodoric, Theodomir's 7-year-old son, as a "hostage of peace" (a method that many allied barbarians used to educate their young in statesmanship, as Walamir apparently came to realize in his support for Theodomir to give over Theodoric).

The last stage of Walamir's life began as the Ostrogoth brothers raided the Sadagis, Hun vassals in the interior of Pannonia. This resulted in a reprisal by Tengiz Khan (named Dintzic by Jordanes, ruled 453-469), son of Attila, who led an alliance of Hun, Ultzinzures, Angisciri, Bittugures, and Bardores, to besiege Bassiana and pillaged the nearby lands. The Ostrogoths quickly raised the siege and drove the Huns from Pannonia.

In the power vacuum that resulted, Hunimund, Chief of the Suavi, raided Dalmatia. In his campaign, he took some of the cattle left to stray on the nearby Pannonia plains by the Ostrogoths. This triggered a new war, the last for Walamir.

In the middle of the night, while the Suavi raiders were camped near Lake "Pelso" (Balaton) with all their loot, the Ostrogoths attacked, taking Hunimund by surprise. The Suavi king and those men that survived were enslaved briefly, but then apparently pardoned. Walamir apparently went so far as to adopt Hunimund as his son before sending him back to Suavia.

The act of mercy was apparently a bad move. Hunimund, rather than being grateful, allied himself with the Sciri Goths under Edica, who lived north of the Danube River. The allied Sciri and Suavi warriors swooped down on the Ostrogoths, and King Walamir quickly raised his army to oppose the attack. While riding ahead of his men in a charge, Walamir's horse was injured and fell, overthrowing the king, who was then pierced a number of times by Hunimund and Edica's men. The death of Walamir enraged the Ostrogoths, who destroyed Edica and his men. A blood feud continued against the Sciri until, according to Jordanes, few remained alive.

The year 468/469 would therefore make sense as a death date, having fallen in Pannonia. The 420s, before the birth of Theodimir, would make sense as a birth date, likely while still in Scythia (present Ukraine).

Valamiro (* aprox. 420; † aprox. 465) fue rey de los ostrogodos, de la dinastía de los Amalos. Era hijo de Vandalario y sobrino del rey visigodo Turismundo. Además, fue tío de Teodorico I el Grande por parte de su hermano Teodomiro. Como vasallo de Atila participó en las conquistas de las tierras romanas del Danubio. En una de estas regiones, la Panonia, se instaló en 447. Participó del lado de Atila en la batalla de los Campos Cataláunicos, pero la derrota le convenció para rebelarse contra los hunos. Con la muerte de Atila en 453 se convirtió en el rey de los godos instalados en la Panonia. Título y poder que compartió con sus hermanos Videmiro y Teodomiro. Un año después (454), vencieron a los hunos en la Batalla de Nedao, convirtiéndose en un reino independiente.

Una disputa concerniente a unos impuestos anuales llevó a Valamiro a dirigir un ejército de godos contra Constantinopla (459 - 462), donde el emperador bizantino León I le prometió un pago anual en oro para satisfacerle. En el transcurso de una razzia contra los esciros, Valamiro cayó del caballo y murió (465).

From the English Wikipedia page on Valamir:

Valamir (c. 420 - c. 465) was an Ostrogothic king in the ancient country of Pannonia from 447 AD until his death. During his reign, he fought alongside the Huns against the Roman Empire and then, after Attila the Hun's death, fought against the Huns to regain Ostrogothic independence.

Valamir was the son of Vandalarius and cousin to king Thorismund. A vassal under the overlordship of the Huns, Valamir helped Attila raid the provinces of the Danube (447), and commanded the Ostrogothic contingent of Attila's force at the Battle of Chalons. With Attila's death (453), Valamir became the leader of the Goths settled in Pannonia. In the ensuing fight for independence from the Huns from 456-457 AD, he defeated and routed the sons of Attila.

A dispute concerning annual tribute caused Valamir to lead the Goths against the Romans at Constantinople from 459 - 462, when the emperor Leo I agreed to pay the Goths a gold subsidy annually. During a Scirian raid, Valamir was thrown from his horse and killed.

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King Walamir of the Ostrogoths's Timeline

Scythia (Present Ukraine), Hun Empire
Age 44
Pannonia (within present Hungary), Roman Empire