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regent of the Visigoths (511–526), and a patrician of the Roman Empire.As ruler of the combined Gothic realms, Theodoric controlled an empire stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea.This was just a year after the Ostrogoths had thrown off nearly a century of domination by the Huns.His Gothic name, which is reconstructed by linguists as *Þiudareiks, translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people".One of his chief rivals was the Thervingi chieftain Theodoric Strabo (also known as "the Squinter"), who had led a major revolt against Emperor Zeno.Finding common ground with the Byzantine emperor, Theodoric was rewarded by Zeno and made commander of East Roman forces, while his people became foederati or federates of the Roman army.Theodoric became regent for the infant Visigothic king, his grandson Amalaric, following the defeat of Alaric II by the Franks under Clovis in 507.
Unaware of this treachery, Theodoric's Goths lost around 2,000 wagons and 5,000 of his people were taken captive.
Zeno attempted to play one Germanic chieftain against another and take advantage of an opportunity sometime in 476/477 when—after hearing demands from Theodoric for new lands since his people were facing a famine—he offered Theodoric Strabo the command once belonging to Theodoric.
Enraged by this betrayal, Theodoric sought his wrath against the communities in the Rhodope Mountains, where his forces comandeered livestock and slaughtered peasants, sacked and burned Stobi in Macedonia and requisitioned supplies from the archbishop at Heraclea.
For this task, he received support from Rugian king Frideric, the son of Theodoric's cousin Giso.
Theodoric moved with his people towards Italy in the autumn of 488.
Theodoric extended his hegemony over the Burgundian, Visigothics royals, and Vandal Kingdoms through marriage alliances.