Odoacer, a chief of the Herulians, deposed Romulus, the last Augustus of the West, and placed the peninsula beneath the titular sway of the Byzantine emperors.
Odoacer inaugurated that long series of foreign rulersGreeks, Franks, Germans, Spaniards and Austrians who have successively contributed to the misgovernment of Italy from distant seats of empire.
He defeated Odoacer, drove him to Ravenna, besieged him there, and in 493 completed the conquest of the country by murdering the Herulian chief with his own hand.
Odoacer, like the emperors who had gone before him, made Ravenna his chief place of residence, and here he shut himself up when Theodoric the Ostrogoth had invaded Italy and defeated him in two battles.
The Ostrogoth collected a fleet and established a severe blockade, which at length caused Odoacer to surrender the city.
It then passed under the Gothic kings Odoacer and Theodoric, but made submission to the Greeks in 540.
(2) Hildebrand, the hero of the oldest German epic. A loyal supporter of Theodoric, he follows his master, when threatened by Odoacer, to the court of Attila.
Contrary to historical tradition, Italy is supposed to have been his ancestral inheritance, of which he has been deprived by Odoacer, or by Ermanaric, who in his altered character of a typical tyrant appears as his uncle and contemporary.
The emperor Constantine, while advancing towards Rome from Gaul, besieged and took Verona (312); it was here, too, that Odoacer was defeated (499) by Theodoric the Goth, Dietrich von Bern - i.e.
His father held the offices of comes privatarum and sacrarum largitionum (controller of the emperor's private revenue and the public exchequer) under Odoacer, and subsequently attached himself to Theodoric, by whom he was appointed corrector (governor) of Bruttii and Lucania, and praefectus praetorio.
During the 5th century it was ravaged by the troops of Odoacer and, after being almost denuded of inhabitants, was occupied by tribes who, pushing along the valley of the Danube, settled there between A.D.
Gaiseric made a treaty with Odoacer almost like that which ended the First Punic War.
Among the former it appears to have become a sort of ex officio title of the Byzantine vicegerents of Italy, the exarchs of Ravenna; among the barbarian chiefs who were thus dignified were Odoacer, Theodoric, Sigismund of Burgundy, Clovis, and even in later days princes of Bulgaria, the Saracens, and the West Saxons.
He is made to replace Odoacer as the enemy of Dietrich of Bern, his nephew, and his history is related in the Norse Vilkina or Thidrekssagd, which chiefly embodies German tradition.
Though plundered and deprived of part of its territory by Odoacer, Luca appears as an important city and fortress at the time of Narses, who besieged it for three months in A.D.
By 493 Ravenna was taken; Odoacer was killed by Theodoric's own hand; and the East Gothic power was fully established over Italy, Sicily, Dalmatia and the lands to the north of Italy.
Shortly before the end of the 5th century the Langobardi appear to have taken possession of the territories formerly occupied by the Rugii whom Odoacer had overthrown in 487, a region which probably included the present province of Lower Austria.