|King of the Ostrogoths|
|Reign||from 534 to 536|
Tauresium, Eastern Roman Empire
Theodahad was a nephew of Theodoric the Great through his mother Amalafrida. He is probably the son of Amalafrida's first husband because her second marriage was about 500 AD. His sister was Amalaberga.
He may have arrived in Italy with Theodoric and was elderly at the time of his accession. Massimiliano Vitiello states the name "Theodahad" is a compound of 'people' and 'conflict'.
Before becoming king, his kinswoman Amalaswintha ruled. During her rule, potential enemies were murdered or humiliated. Theodahad was accused of land grabbing and forced to return land he had supposedly stolen.
He arrested his first cousin Amalaswintha, former regent of the Ostrogoths from 526 to October 534, while they co-ruled as queen and king. He imprisoned her in the spring of 535 on an island in Lake Bolsena. When Amalaswintha was assassinated while in custody, his enemies claimed he acquiesced to her murder. Since her assassination would likely separate him from her power base, this was unlikely.
When his ineffectiveness in the war caused Theodahad to lose control, Witiges sent Optaris to retrieve him dead or alive, and Witigis became king.
He was notable for his adoration for Neoplatonic philosophy and poetry over martial prowess. His focus on erudition instead of bellicosity, in a time when Italy was consumed by turmoil, is claimed to be a reason for his downfall.
- Hodgkin, Thomas (1896). Italy and Her Invaders. Clarendon Press. p. 651.
- Lillington-Martin, C. (2016), a review of Theodahad: A Platonic King at the Collapse of Ostrogothic Italy by Massimiliano Vitiello (2014) for University of Toronto Quarterly, Issue 85:3 (2016), 470-472. https://dx.doi.org/10.3138/utq.85.3.470.
- Arnold H.M. Jones et al. (ed.), The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire: Volume 2, AD 395-527, Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press 1980, p. 1067.
- Wolfgang Kuhoff (1996). "Theodahadus, Flavius, König der Ostgoten 534-536". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 11. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 824–832. ISBN 3-88309-064-6.
- Jordanes names Amalfridam germanam suam [Theoderici] as the mother of Theodehadi qui postea rex fuit
- Massimiliano Vitiello, Theodahad, A Platonic King at the Collapse of Ostrogothic Italy, Toronto: University of Toronto Press 2014, p. 15.
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- M. Vitiello, Theodahad: A Platonic King at the Collapse of Ostrogothic Italy (2014).
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