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acted as his body-guard on the battle-field. Above their rank and file rose two or three more prominent followers who seem to represent the great officers of the central household of the later Middle Ages; such were Government, the chamberlain, regiae praepositus domus, and the great captains who in Roman usage were styled magistri militum, and the king's high-butler and steward.
But beside his Teutonic court—' the hounds of the royal hall,' as Boethius called them—Theodoric kept up a full establishment of Roman officials, bearing the old titles that had been used under the empire—praetorian praefects, masters of the offices, quaestors, and notaries. He showed great skill and discretion in choosing the most honest among his Italian subjects for these posts, so that his courtiers never became an oppressive official clique, as had habitually been the case under the later emperors. He even chose as his praetorian praefect Liberius, who had adhered to Odoacer to the last, and told him that he esteemed him all the more for his fidelity to his first master. The best men in Italy were undoubtedly set to administer the central government; but it was Theodoric's misfortune that the better the man the more likely he was to indulge in vain dreams of old Roman glory, and to resent in his heart the wise rule of the Ostrogoth. Boethius, the last of the Romans as he may be called, served Theodoric all his life without learning true loyalty to him.
We have not space to notice half of Theodoric's reforms in the administration of Italy. Most wise among them was the careful restoration of the old roads, aqueducts, and drainage canals, which had been the glory of the early empire. He was himself a great builder, and erected royal palaces at Verona and Ravenna, of which, alas! only the smallest fragments survive. But he spent even greater care in keeping up ancient edifices. In Rome he set apart every year two hundred pounds weight of gold pieces for the repair of palaces and public buildings. He took under his protection even statues and monuments, and added representations of himself to the crowd of effigies which adorned Rome. So thoroughly did he put himself in the place of the Caesars that he even took care to celebrate games in the circus, and harangued the Theodoric assembled people in the Forum. He attended in Rome. and took part in the debates of the Senate, and endeavoured to strengthen it by the appointment of a few Gothic senators. If he showed some unwisdom in arranging for the resumption of the bread-dole, which had been such a curse to Rome, he atoned for it by a liberal scheme for the rearrangement of taxes, which at once relieved the people and filled the treasury. At his death the royal hoard at Ravenna amounted to no less than 40,000 pounds weight of gold, £1,600,000 in hard cash.
Theodoric's wise administration at home was accompanied by an equally firm and able foreign policy. His first care was to establish friendly relations with the Eastern Empire. Even before Odoacer had met his death, he despatched an embassy to report to Zeno that he had carried out his commission of conquering Italy, and claimed an imperial confirmation of his title. But the embassy found Zeno just dead, and his successor, Anastasius, engrossed in the suppression of riots and rebellions. It was not till 497 that the emperor recognised the king of the Goths as ruler in Italy. Then, however, Anastasius made up for his tardy recognition by sending to Theodoric the regalia which Odoacer had forwarded to Zeno twenty years before, the robes and palace ornaments, which had last been used by the boy Romulus Augustulus.
During the thirty-three years of the Amal's reign in Italy he had only one dispute with the emperor: this was a frontier quarrel in 505, caused by troubles in Illyricum. Theodoric had taken in hand the restoration of the bounds of the Western Empire towards the East, and his generals, having subdued Pannonia as far as Simium and Singidunum, trespassed on to Moesian soil, and came into contact with the EastRoman armies. There was some trouble for three years, but no great war, though in 508 two of Anastasius' generals made a destructive raid on Apulia. But peace was ultimately made on the terms that the boundary should be drawn, as in the days of the Western Empire, at the Save and Danube.
Much more important were Theodoric's dealings with his neighbours to west and north. He took over the task of Odoacer in guarding the old Roman districts beyond the Alps, which had once composed the provinces of Rhaetia and Noricum. Both were now becoming Teutonic rather than Latin-speaking lands. Into Rhaetia had fled many of the Alamanni, or Suabians, when Chlodovech the Frank in 496 drove them out of their lands on the Main and Neckar. This people gladly acknowledged Theodoric as over-lord, in return for his protection against the pursuing Franks, whom the Ostrogoth bade halt at the line of the upper Rhine, between Basel and Constanz. Farther east, in Noricum, the place of the emigrant Roman provincials had now been taken by a mixed Teutonic population, the remnant of the broken clans of the Rugians, Scyrri, and Turcilingi, who were just beginning to call themselves by the common name of Bavarians, under which we know them so well a few years later. They, too, like the Alamanni, were glad to acknowledge Theodoric as suzerain, and pay him tribute.
To the west, Theodoric at his accession found his kingdom bounded by the Alps, for Odoacer had given up to the Visigoths Marseilles, and the other towns which had obeyed the emperor down to the year 476. Beyond the Alps, Alaric the Visigoth now held the mouths of the Rhone and the Provengal Coast, while Gundobad the Burgundian ruled on the middle and upper Rhone, from Avignon as far as Besangon and Langres. North of both Burgundian and Visigoth, and far from the Alpine borders of Theodoric, lay the new Frankish kingdom of Chlodovech, now reaching as/ar as the Loire and the upper Seine.
With all these three monarchs the king of the Ostrogoths had many dealings. At the very beginning of his reign he asked for the hand of Augofleda, the sister of Chlodovech, and hoped that by this alliance he had bound the clever and unscrupulous Frank to himself. By Augofleda he became the father of Amalaswintha, the only child born to him in lawful wedlock, though he had two elder daughters by a concubine ere he came to Italy. Soon after his own marriage with the Mama es of Frankish princess, Theodoric wedded one of Theodoric's these natural children to Sigismund, the son and family. l^j. Qf tke Burgundian Gundobad, and the other
to Alaric the Visigoth. Thus all his neighbours became his relatives.
But this did not secure peace between the new kinsmen of Theodoric. In 499 Chlodovech fell on Gundobad, to strip him of his realm, routed him, and shut him up in Avignon, the southernmost of his strongholds; but after many successes the Frank lost all that he had gained, and turned instead to attack the king of the Visigoths. Theodoric strove unsuccessfully to prevent both wars, and was not a little displeased when, in 507, his brother-in-law Chlodovech overran southern Gaul, and slew his son-in-law Alaric in battle, Burgundian and Frank then united to destroy the Visigoths, and might have done so had not Theodoric intervened. The heir of the Visigothic throne was now Amalric, the son of Alaric and of the king of Italy's daughter. To defend his grandson's realm Theodoric declared war both on Chlodovech and on Gundobad, and sent his armies over the Alps to save the remnants of the Visigothic possessions in Gaul. One host crossed the Cottian Alps, and fell on Burgundy; another entered Provence, and smote the Frank and Burgundian besiegers of Arles. With his usual good fortune, Theodoric recovered all Gaul south of the Durance and the Cevennes (509), so that the conquests of Chlodovech were confined to Aquitaine. The way was now clear for the Ostrogothic armies to march into Spain, to support the claims of the child Amalric against Gesalic, a bastard son of Alaric n., who had been proclaimed king of the Visigoths at Barcelona. After two years of guerilla fighting, the pretender was hunted down and slain, though he had sought and obtained some help from the Vandal king Thrasamund (511).
For the next fourteen years, till Amalric reached manhood, Theodoric ruled Spain in his grandson's behalf. He was recognised as king of the Visigoths, in common Theodoric with Amalric, and ruled both halves of the Gothic king of the race—reunited after an interval of two hundred Vlsigothsyears—with equal authority, and his royal mandates ran in Spain as well as in Italy. His delegate was Count Theudis, an Ostrogothic noble, who was made regent, and ruled at Narbonne over all the Visigothic realm west of the Rhone; while the Roman Liberius, named praetorian praefect of Gaul, administered Visigothic Provence from the ancient city of Arles.
Theodoric's power was now supreme from Sirmium to Cadiz, and from the upper Danube to Sicily. He ruled the larger half of the old Roman Empire of the West, and exercised much influence in Gaul and Africa, the two parts of it that were not absolutely in his hands. After the war of 507-10 Clodovech the Frank had died, and his four sons, who parted his realm, made peace with the Ostrogoth; while Gundobad, the Burgundian king, had been fain to follow their example even earlier.
Twelve years of peace followed (511-523) before Theodoric, now in extreme old age, had occasion to interfere in Gaul. Sigismund, the husband of Theodoric's elder natural daughter, was now king of the Burgundians. He was a gloomy and suspicious tyrant, and drew down the wrath of Theodoric by murdering his own heir, Sigeric, who was the Gothic king's eldest grandson. To punish this crime Theodoric leagued himself with the Franks, and attacked Burgundy. He conquered, and took as his share of the spoil the lands between Durance and Drome, with the cities of Avignon, Orange, and Viviers, the farthest extension to the north-west of the Ostrogothic empire.
The circle of family alliances which Theodoric had made