Theodoric the Great was the king of the Ostrogoths. Born in 454 in the Roman province of Pannonia as the son of Theodemir the Amal. He was held as a political hostage in the Roman court at Constantinople from age seven through to age seventeen. There he was educated in the roman way of life and law. Theodoric also learned that the Roman Empire could offer his people many things. After securing leadership ofthe Ostrogoths in 471 Theodoric was forced to defend his crown against Theodoric Strabo. With the death of Theodoric Strabo in 481, the current emperor Zeno recognised Theodoric as king of the Ostrogoths and in 483 appointed him master of the soldiers and in 484 Consul-designate. In 488 Zeno commissioned Theodoric to take his people and expel the western roman emperor Odovacar. After several years of war Theodoric was able to murder Odovacar. Theodoric then pronounced the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy. Theodoric's rule was recognised in 497 when the eastern emperor Anastasius I sent Theodoric the royal insignia.
Theodoric the Great was a successful leader. Theodoric was able to keep the balance between his Ostrogoths and the people of the Roman empire. Theodoric was able to do this through his religious understanding, mastery of politics and his social policy. The ability to manage these three factors made Theodoric not only the King of the Goths but also a successful leader of the Western Empire.
Theodoric used the religious and ideological belief of the Roman people in the Western Empire to gain acceptance of his rule. The educated Romans of the later Empire were receiving a Greek education as well as a traditional Roman education. Through this education the ideas of the divine and the cosmos were coming together and the belief that there was an underlying order in the universe that was set forth by God had become popular. The Roman Emperors were developing this belief further by claiming that no one could hold p…