"Fateful journey" Mausoleum of Theodoric - Mausoleo di Teodorico Tip by iandsmith

  Inside Sant'Apollinare, the church Theodoric built
by iandsmith
 
 

To achieve this, Theodoric had to undergo a truly incredible journey. He had to get 300,000 people overland for 2,000 kilometres. Though he prepared well they ended up in a particularly harsh winter and had to fight off the Gepids, a Germanic people. They profited by sacking their towns and villages and in the spring they were ready and crossed the Alps down to Tarvisio and again through the Predil pass at 1156 metres.
Then came the battle with the great adversary Odoacer who nearly defeated him but a brave Theodoric rallied his troops with arrows flying all around him and won the day but Odoacer, though disowned by Rome, rallied with Ravenna as his base while Theodoric settled in Pavia. In 490 AD the final showdown took place in Cremona where Odoacer was forced to flee back to Ravenna where he had an operational port and malaria ridden swamps to protect him.
Thedoric laid seige but it took 16 months before Odoacer tried to break out but was denied by yet another heroic act of leadership yet it still took another 6 months before Theodoric was able to take Ravenna and get a peace treaty off his foe.
He then invited him to dinner and stabbed him to death, "....necessarily killing of Odoacer after the discovery he had been plotting a coup against the Ostrogoths...". With full honours he was buried in the Jewish synagogue and then the whole family was assassinated.
He was now 39 and was to reign for the next 33 years, instituting drastic land reform favouring the growth of a new social class.
From a country suffering famine he turned it into a nett exporter of general foodstuffs.
He commissioned the Arian Baptistry, the San Apollinare Nuovo church and the palace which was of unequalled magnificence.
Seeking lasting recognition he invited all the representatives of the Roman Senate, provincial governors and outstanding men of every city to the Roman amphitheatre.
In a stunning ceremony he crowned himself king before returning to Ravenna.
To maintain his power he gave his female relatives away as wives to keep rivals in check. This only worked for a time and, after a few years, it all came tumbling down and first one, then another railed against him but it when he crossed the Roman Catholic church that his number was up and, on 30th August, 526 AD, the day on which the Catholic Churches were confiscated by royal decree in favour of the Arians, Theodoric suddenly died of intense intestinal pains - poison was suspected.
He was buried in his mausoleum but the body later disappeared and has never been located.

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  • Written Dec 25, 2009
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iandsmith

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