Witigis

▪ Ostrogoth king of Italy

flourished 536

      Ostrogoth soldier who became king of Italy and led his people in an unsuccessful last-ditch struggle against the Eastern Roman Empire.

      Witigis was elected king in the autumn of 536 to replace Theodahad, who had been deposed and killed as the Byzantine general Belisarius advanced on Rome. Leaving a small garrison to defend Rome, Witigis massed his forces in Ravenna, where he married Matasuntha, granddaughter of King Theodoric, to strengthen the legality of his own position. In Witigis' absence, Pope Silverius turned Rome over to Belisarius.

      In March 537 Witigis returned to besiege Rome, cutting the aqueducts to reduce Belisarius' garrison, a maneuver that backfired by turning Witigis' own camp into a malaria-breeding marsh. When the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian I sent reinforcements, Witigis was forced to agree to a three-month truce, which Belisarius broke, invading Picenum and threatening Ravenna. In March 538 the Goths abandoned the siege of Rome. They held out in northern Italy for two more years, but, by the spring of 540, they held only the stronghold of Ravenna.

      To salvage the situation, Witigis agreed to abdicate, and the Gothic chiefs offered the throne to Belisarius. The General, on pretext of accepting, entered Ravenna; he seized Witigis and Matasuntha, the Gothic nobles, and Theodoric's treasure and bore them off to Constantinople. The fate of Witigis is unknown.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Witigis — Witigis, König der Ostgothen, s. Vitigis …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Witigis — Witigis,   König der Ostgoten (536 540), ✝ Konstantinopel 541/542; nichtadliger Abstammung; wurde anstelle des letzten Amalers Theodahad (* vor 479, ✝ 536), den er ermorden ließ, zum König erhoben; setzte als erprobter Heerführer den Krieg gegen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Witigis — (fl. 536 540)    Ostrogothic king in Italy from 536 to 540 who led his people against the Byzantine armies sent by Justinian to conquer the peninsula and restore imperial rule there. Although not of the royal line of Theodoric the Great, Witigis… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Witigis — …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Siege of Rome (537–538) — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Siege of Rome partof=the Gothic War caption= date=March 537 ndash; March 538 AD place=Rome, Italy casus= territory=Rome successfully defended result=Roman victory combatant1=Eastern Roman Empire… …   Wikipedia

  • Gothic War (535–554) — See Gothic War (376 382) for the war on the Danube. Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Gothic War partof=Justinian s wars of Reconquest caption=Battle between Romans and Goths (equipment is anachronistic) date=535 ndash; 554 place=Italy and… …   Wikipedia

  • Belisarius — (c. 500 c. 565)    Leading general and loyal supporter of Justinian for more than forty years, Belisarius fought numerous campaigns against the Persians, the Vandals in Africa, and the Goths in Italy. Completely loyal to Justinian throughout his… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Ostrogoths —    A barbarian people whose name means Goths of the rising sun, or Goths glorified by the rising sun, or simply East Goths, the Ostrogoths played an important role in the history of the later Roman Empire. Identified as early as the first century …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Totila — (d. 552)    Eventual successor of Witigis as king of the Ostrogoths in Italy and the greatest Gothic military commander since Theodoric the Great, Totila (r. 541 552) led his people for eleven years and mounted a major challenge to Justinian s… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Gothen — Gothen, ein germanisches Volk, welches nach Plinius schon im 4. Jahrh. v. Chr. von dem Reisenden Pytheas unter dem Namen Guttŏnes an der Ostsee östlich der Weichsel angetroffen wurde u. bei Tacitus u. Ptolemäus unter dem Namen Gothōnes (Gythōnes) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.