If the Ostrogoths built a relatively lasting Italian kingdom

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,594
Florania
Theodoric was a rare product among the Ostrogoths, and was well-known for his ability to govern; his immediate successor, Amalasuntha, was also quite capable; she was assassinated and it resulted in Justinian's invasion of Italy.
If the Ostrogoths built an Italian kingdom that lasted 400 years, how things might have developed?
The Byzantine Empire expanded for a while; it was unable to sustain its border.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,672
Cornwall
Actually quite an interesting thought.

One of the main problems of Goths is that good leaders, people capable of managing large operations, were few and far between both in Ostrogoths and Visigoths.

I guess it's possible to speculate that the Ostrogoth Kingdom would follow the pattern set by their brothers in Spain, with very similar systems and people to rule. Gradually more and more ruthless leaders and laws needed to try and hold the whole disintegrating mess together. State gradually becoming dysfunctional, more divided and beset by economic problems, plague and droughts etc. Lots of enemies from exiles.

Exactly ripe for an arab-led takeover in fact.

So you could quite easily speculate that without the ambitions of Justinian, the whole of Italy could quite easily have gone the way of Hispania, so by around 720 it wouldn't be too much of a task to join the two conquests together. Which would have given the Franks a bit more to think about at least, before arab unity disintegrated at least.

Interesting.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,099
Connecticut
If the Ostrogoths built an Italian kingdom that lasted 400 years
That would assume Justinian would be content with taking Vandal North Africa. What if he left the ostrogoths alone and sent Belisarius to crush the sassanids? With luck, if the Persians were tamed well before 600 CE, the East Romans would then be in a much better position to contain the arabs.
Maybe, an intact Ostrogoth state would've helped him retain North Africa.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,672
Cornwall
That would assume Justinian would be content with taking Vandal North Africa. What if he left the ostrogoths alone and sent Belisarius to crush the sassanids? With luck, if the Persians were tamed well before 600 CE, the East Romans would then be in a much better position to contain the arabs.
Maybe, an intact Ostrogoth state would've helped him retain North Africa.
I don't think he'd be content at all. Don't forget they even invaded Spain and established a state for a while, in the last throes of their expansion.

Moreno has found links of the usual political links between the Vandals, Ostrogoths and Visigoths in the face of the ERE expansion. The Visigoths took control Ceuta on behalf of the Vandals in a short and unenthusiastic mission. But it was such a force it couldn't be stopped. Only by the Visigoths alone at least.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
If Theodolinda managed to make return the Ostrogoth Kingdom into the Empire then they coudl have retained power as local rulers and still be part of the empire, eventually together they could have defeated the Franks and reconquer the rest of Europe also crushing any Islamic raiders from the Desert.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,442
Dispargum
The Byzantines, the Franks, and the Lombards all had their eyes on Italy, and I don't think it was just because of Ostrogothic weakness. I think sooner or later all three would have attacked, even if the Ostrogothic state remained strong. Even if the Ostrogoths fought off all of the invaders sixth century Italy would still be a war-torn land. I doubt the Ostrogoths would still be strong enough to fight off Charlemagne circa 800. I think this ATL merely exchanges a Lombard Italy for an Ostrogothic one. I haven't really studied the Ostrogoths or Lombards so I can't comment on how this would change Italian history.
 
Nov 2015
1,747
Bye, bye
This is an interesting question.
I think that what could have made the Ostrogoth kingdom particularly powerful, would have been a conversation from the sovereign to Catholicism as Clovis did between 496 and 506 for the Franks.
The great weakness of the Western barbarian kingdoms was to be separated from their population by religion, which made these kingdoms into territories containing populations occupied by a dominant barbaric tribe and not potential "countries".
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,000
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Amalasunta needed help. After the death of Theodoric the Great [around 526CE] she was in a bad situation: her son Atalarico was too young and within the Goths there were tenses and someone else wanted the Crown ... Teodato, just to mention a contender of Amalasunta and her son. Se decided for a regency.

Theodolinda was Lombard, not Ostrogoth, the Lombards came later [in VI century] contenting the peninsula to the Eastern Romans.

Back to Amalasunta: her Roman education and her good relationships with the Eastern Roman Empire could have allowed her to do something good for the Kingdom [like to recreate a solid linkage with Byzantium], but just these aspects made her not so welcome among the noble Goths who didn't want to become Roman. Atalarico got literally taken by the nobles to be educated as a Goth, but he died very young.

Amalasunta got married with Duke Teodato [Thiudahad in Germanic language], her causin ... who imprisoned her on the isle of Martana in the lake of Bolsena where she got killed by some assassins probably sent just by Teodato ...
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,000
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Probably Amalasunta had to make a different choice: to ask to the Eastern Emperor someone to get married with [making so a great pressure on the noble Goths ... what would have they done?].

Anyway such a context would have reminded what happened in Ancient Egypt when an Egyptian Princess asked to the Hittite Empire a Prince for a marriage: that Prince got intercepted and killed while he was reaching the Egyptian Princess.

There was a high probability that a Byzantine [Eastern Roman] Prince would have known the same destiny before of reaching Amalasunta.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
Amalasunta needed help. After the death of Theodoric the Great [around 526CE] she was in a bad situation: her son Atalarico was too young and within the Goths there were tenses and someone else wanted the Crown ... Teodato, just to mention a contender of Amalasunta and her son. Se decided for a regency.

Theodolinda was Lombard, not Ostrogoth, the Lombards came later [in VI century] contenting the peninsula to the Eastern Romans.

Back to Amalasunta: her Roman education and her good relationships with the Eastern Roman Empire could have allowed her to do something good for the Kingdom [like to recreate a solid linkage with Byzantium], but just these aspects made her not so welcome among the noble Goths who didn't want to become Roman. Atalarico got literally taken by the nobles to be educated as a Goth, but he died very young.

Amalasunta got married with Duke Teodato [Thiudahad in Germanic language], her causin ... who imprisoned her on the isle of Martana in the lake of Bolsena where she got killed by some assassins probably sent just by Teodato ...
Yes I confused the name sorry! I meant Amalasunta !