King of the Ostrogoths – Vitiges

12 Mar 2021  Fri

Vitiges was king of the Ostrogoths in Italy from 536 to 540. Today on 12th March in the year 538, he ends his siege of Rome and retreats to Ravenna, leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Byzantine general, Belisarius.

Vitiges succeeded to the throne of Italy in the early stages of the Gothic War of 535–554, as Belisarius had quickly captured Sicily the previous year and was currently in southern Italy at the head of the forces of Justinian I, the Eastern Roman Emperor.

Soon after he was made king, Vitiges had his predecessor Theodahad murdered. Theodahad had enraged the Goths because he failed to send any assistance to Naples when it was besieged by the Byzantines, led by Belisarius.

Justinian's general Belisarius took both Vitiges and Matasuntha as captives to Constantinople, and Vitiges died there in 542, without any children. Procopius described parallels among the deposition of Vitiges and Croesus, king of Lydia. After his death, Matasuntha married the patrician Germanus Justinus, a nephew of Justinian I by his sister Vigilantia.

Depicted here is the quarter Siliqua issued under his reign. The obverse of a coin depicts his portrait while the reverse has an inscription.

Image Source:

Knowledge Base