Theodahad, King of the Ostrogoths

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Theodahad of the Ostrogoths

Also Known As: "Theodat"
Birthdate: (46)
Death: December 536 (42-50)
Italy (Murdered by his own men mid-flight from battle near Rome toward Ravenna)
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugo, Rex Francorum and Amalafreda "the Elder", Queen of the Vandals
Husband of Gudeliva
Brother of Amalaberga, Queen of the Thuringii

Occupation: King of Italy
Managed by: Caitlin Daniell Clark
Last Updated:

About Theodahad, King of the Ostrogoths

(born c. 480 in Tauresium[1] – died 536) was the King of the Ostrogoths from 534 to 536 and a nephew of Theodoric the Great through his sister Amalafrida.[2]

He might have arrived in Italy with Theodoric and was an elderly man at the time of his succession. Massimilliano Vitiello states the name "Theodahad" is a compound of 'people' and 'conflict'.[3]

He arrested Amalaswintha, queen of the Ostrogoths from 526 to 534, and imprisoned her on an island in Lake Bolsena.[4]

Political instability within the Ostrogothic kingdom served as a pretext to Byzantine general Belisarius to intervene in Sicily and Italy, at the service of the Emperor Justinian, causing the Gothic Wars.

Witiges ordered him killed, and succeeded him as king.

Theodahad had at least two children with a woman named Gudeliva: Theodegisclus and Theodenantha,%20Kings%20to%20962.htm#AmalabergaMHerminafredThuringia

a) THEODAHAD (-murdered Dec 536). Iordanes names "Amalfridam germanam suam [Theoderici]" as the mother of "Theodehadi qui postea rex fuit" but does not name his father[242]. Disappointed in not succeeding his uncle King Theodoric, Theodahad acquired considerable private estates in Tuscany "where he led a retired life at home" according to Jordanes[243]. He was planning to sell this "kingdom" to the emperor, in return for retirement in Constantinople and an annual pension, when his cousin Queen Amalasuintha recalled him and appointed him co-regent in 534[244]. Procopius records that “Theodatus, filius Amalafridas sororis Theoderici” possessed "agrorum Tusciæ" and planned to deliver "Tusciam in Iustiniani Augusti potestatem"[245]. In a later passage, Procopius records that “Theodatus” was appointed regent by "Amalasuntha"[246]. He arrested the Queen end-534 and imprisoned her on an island in Lake Bolsena[247], assuming the title THEODAHAD King of Italy. Iordanes records that "Theodahadum consobrinum suum" succeeded Athalric, appointed by the latter's mother whom Theodahad killed soon after his accession[248]. After the Queen's murder, Emperor Justinian ordered a two-pronged attack against Sicily and Dalmatia in revenge. Theodahad repelled the initial threat in Dalmatia in 536, but an imperial fleet occupied Split and Dubrovnik. The forces in Sicily, under Belisarius, moved into mainland Italy, occupied Naples. Theodahad marched as far as Rome to meet the invaders, but was murdered while trying to escape back to Ravenna[249]. m GUDELIVA, daughter of ---. The primary source which names the wife of Theodahad has not so far been identified. Theodahad & his wife had two children:

i) THEODEGISKLOS (-536 or after). Procopius records that “Theodati…filium Theodegisclum” was captured by "Vitigis" (in 536)[250].

ii) THEODENANDA . Procopius records that “Theodati…filiam Theodenantham” married "Ebrimuth" who surrendered to Belisarius "cum omni suo comitatu" and was awarded "patricii dignitatem"[251]. m EBRIMUD [Evermud], son of ---. Iordanes names "Evermud Theodahadi Gothorum regis gener"[252]. He was the military commander of the Ostrogoth forces in Reggio Calabria and surrendered to Belisarius in 536[253].

(a) [son (-[536]). The primary source which records the existence of this possible son has not yet been identified.]

b) AMALABERGA . Iordanes names "Amalabergam" as the daughter of "Amalfridam germanam suam [Theoderici]" and records her marriage to "Thuringorum regi…Herminefredo"[254]. “Theodericus rex” wrote to “Herminafrido Regi Thuringorum” granting him “neptis” in marriage[255]. Procopius records that “Hermenefrido Thoringorum regi” married "Theoderici…Amelobergam, Amalafridæ sororis suæ filiam"[256]. The Widukindi Res Gestæ Saxonicæ names "Huga rex Francorum…unicam filiam Amalbergam" who married "Irminfredo regi Thuringorum"[257]. Gregory of Tours calls Amalaberg, wife of Hermanfrid, a "wicked and cruel woman" who sowed the seeds of civil war between her husband and his brother Baderic[258]. She escaped to Ravenna with her children after the Franks attacked Thuringia and killed her husband[259]. m ([510]) HERMANFRED, King of the Thuringians, son of --- (-534).

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Theodahad, King of the Ostrogoths's Timeline

December 536
Age 46