Patrick Delaforce & Ken Baldry

'The Delaforce Family History'
Chapter 44 - Visigoths & Ostrogoths

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Chapter 44

"I know nothing about it but the Brother might" Irish saying

Visigoths & Ostrogoths

Alaric II’s second wife had the wonderful name of Teodegonda Amalasunta Amal, an Ostrogoth princess, daughter of Theodoric the Great. Despite the elective kingship, the Amal family had the Ostrogoth kingship as sewn up as the Balts had the Visigoth. However, the Baltic succession was split up on a number of occasions by various members being murdered & it sometimes was a while before another Balt was elected to the throne.

The Ostrogoths

A few words are necessary on the Ostrogoths, as we are descended from Theodoric the Great twice. By his unnamed first wife or his second, Audofledis (the sister of Clovis the Great), he fathered Teodegonda Amalasuintha Amal, the queen of Alaric II above. By his third woman/wife Theodora, he had a daughter, also Theodora, who married Severinus of Cartagena. Their daughter, yet another Theodora, married Leovegilde, the King of Spain, whom we will meet below.

Thiudimir AMAL pietas (413 - 475) & Ereleuva (430 - ?)

Theodoric 'the Great' AMAL King of Italy (454 Pannonia - 526) & 1. ? of Moesia (463 -?)

Areagni AMAL (475 - 520) = Sigismund of Burgundy

Teodegonda Amalasunta AMAL (476 - 524 ) = Alaric II see earlier

Theodoric II (?484 - ?) = ?NN

Theodegotho = Sigusmund King of Burgundy see Burgundians chapter 49

Theodoric 'the Great' = 2. (?492) Audofledis see chapter 48

Amalasuintha AMAL (494 - 535) = 1. Traguilla divorced

= 2. Eutharic Cilliga Amali (490 - 526)

Matasuntha AMAL (514 - ?) = 1. Vitiges King of the Ostrogoths 536 - 540 (?510 - 542 )

= 2. Germanus of Constantinople (?510 - 550) a cousin of the Emperor Justinian

Germanus (551 - ?)

Athalaric AMAL King of Italy from 526 (516 - 2/10/534 Ravenna)

NN = Elemund King of the Gepids

Austrigusa of the Gepids (? - ?504) = Wacho King of the Lombards

Waldrada of Lombardy = Theodebald of Bavaria (?575 - ?630)
see chapter 49

Some sources have Audofledis as the mother of Teodegonda, also spelt Thiudigotho

Theodoric 'the Great' = 3. Theodora (480 - ?)

Theodora (505 - ?) = Severinus of Cartagena

Théodora of Cartagena (abt 535 - ?) = (abt 554) Leovegilde I King of the Visigoths in Spain (?531 - 586)

see family tree below

Amalafrida AMAL (443 - ?) = Thrasamund King of the Vandals, grandson of Gaiseric

Theodahad King of Italy (? - 536) who killed Amalasuintha

Amalaberga Princess of the Vandals


After the Battle of Chalons & Attila the Hun's death in 453, Ardaric the King of the Gepids turned against the Huns and thrashed them at the Battle of the Nedao in 454. It was this victory which provided the Gepids with a homeland in the eastern Carpathians as allies of Rome. However, Theodoric drove them out in 504, after having first married an unnamed daughter to Ardaric's son, Elemund. It was their son Austrigusa that Thodoric finally lost patience with. The Ostrogoth line came unstuck when the Byzantines under the Emperor Justinian & lead by Count Belisarius, made a last burst of conquest in the area of the old Western Roman Empire, reconquered Italy, gained a presence on the Spanish coast & over most of what is now Andalucia. As we shall see, Leovegilde threw the Romans out in about 575.

Although it does not affect our line, let us follow the Italian tragedy:-

Theodoric & Audofledis were definitely the parents of Amalasuintha. She had the problem of being Regent for a son, Athalaric, too young to rule & who died early. Her pro-Byzantine policy, her patronage of literature and the arts and her desire to educate her son as a Roman prince were vigorously opposed by a large segment of the Ostrogoth nobility, who wanted him toughened up. She acquiesced up to a point but alas, he qualified in boozing & womanising but not in fighting. Unwisely, she moved even closer to her technical Byzantine suzerain. Odoacer, the first independent King of Italy, had effectively told the Emperor in Constantinople that he would swear fealty, providing the Emperor did nothing to try to enforce it but Theodoric had fought Odoacer to a standstill &, it would appear, murdered him at a feast.

Amalasuintha arranged with Justinian that if she were removed from power, she would transfer herself and the whole Ostrogothic treasure to Constantinople. In 534, Athalaric died & Amalasuintha needed help, as the Goths were not going to tolerate a woman ruler. Having invited her cousin Theodahad (? - 536) to co-rule with her, despite their previous bad relations, Amalasuintha should not have been surprised to be killed by him. Once he had assumed the throne, he exiled her to an island of the Bulsinian lake. After spending a few miserable days there, she was strangled in the bath by his hirelings. Joe Shetler claims she was killed for the many tyranical deeds she commited but she seems generally to have ruled wisely. This murder was a bad mistake & lead to an Italy split under numerous local rulers for 1,300 years, with the consequent constant minor wars. For his part, Justinian used her death as an excuse to invade Italy, as if he needed one.

The Justinian Mosaic in San Vitale, Ravenna. There is a bigger copy on this link.

There is controversy about the character of Theodahad, not helped by the reputation of Amalasuintha being entangled in the politics of Womens' Liberation. He was blamed for the loss of Naples to the Byzantines & murdered in 536. The Ostrogoths elected Vitiges, not an Amal, to the kingship & he married Amalasuintha’s daughter, Matasunta, rather to her disgust. His job was to combat the Eastern Romans. Although he fought a cunning campaign for four years, including engineering a treaty with Khusro, King of Persia, he was outmanouvred politically by Belisarius. He & his wife Matasunta were captured & shipped off to Constantinople where he died & she was remarried to Germanus in the Imperial family in 550. Germanus was planning another campaign against the Ostrogoths & this was a political move. However, he died a year later.

After the capture of Vitiges, the Ostrogoths had elected a new king who was promptly assassinated in 541. The next king, Baduila (or Totila in the Roman records but he put Baduila on his coins) put up a stout & lengthy fight until the summer of 552, when he died of wounds received in the Battle of Busta Gallorem, North-East of Perugia, against the Roman General Narses. That was the end for the Ostrogoths, who faded from history & when most but not all of the Byzantines were finally cleared out of Italy in fairly short order, it was by the Lombards, who were unable to establish a unified country.

If only Justinian had left the Goths alone, the chances are that something resembling Roman civilisation would have persisted in Italy for much longer, as it did in Spain until 718. But let us resume the Baltic story:

Alaric II now reclaims our interest. After his death in the Battle of Vouillé, his elder son Gesalic had usurped the baby king Amalaric & became King of those Visigoths now in Spain (abt 485 - 511) but was soon murdered & Amalaric resumed his minority.

Amalaric I Emperor of Spain (502 - abt 531) was murdered after the Franks drove him out of his capital, which had moved from Toulouse to Narbonne. He had taken his mother's surname because the Amal Ostrogoths had higher precedence in the Gothic pecking order. He had married Clothilde de France, the daughter of Clovis the Great, who bore a daughter Godesvinda who married her half-cousin Athanagilde, the son of the murdered Gesalic. Athanagilde, King of the Visigoths (510 - 567) became king only after he had indulged in some monkey business, plotting with the Byzantines to obtain the throne, which was a risky tactic, as they were now resurgent under Justinian, resulted in their gaining a foothold in Andalucia.

Alaric II King of the Visigoths (abt 458 - 507 Battle of Vouillé killed by Clovis I King of the Franks) = 1. ?NN

Gesalic King of the Visigoths, now in Spain (abt 485 - 511 Barcelona, murdered) = ?NN a Vandal (abt 490 -?)

Athanagilde I King of the Visigoths (510 - 567) = 1. (abt 530) ?NN (abt 515 -?)

see next family tree below

= 2. Teodegonda Amalasunta AMAL de Verona Ostrogoth princess (476 - 524) see above

Amalaric Emperor of Spain (502 - 531 Barcelona murdered by Childebert) = Clothilde de France

Godesvinda Princess Visigoth (abt 520 -?) = Athanagilde I King of the Visigoths (510 - 567) cousins & 2nd wife

see next family tree below

Athanagilde I King of the Visigoths (510 - 567) = 1. (abt 530) ?NN (abt 515 -?)

Leovegilde I King of the Visigoths (?531 - 586) = three wives

see next family tree

= 2. (569) Godesvinda daughter of Amalaric (abt 520 -?) then married her step-son below

Brunhilda (545 - 613 ex by Clotaire II) = 1. (566) Sigebert (535 - 575 murdered) King of Austrasia

see the family tree after the Merovingian chapter

= 2. Merovech her nephew, son of Charibert I on our Merovingian page

Galswintha (? - strangled 568) = (564) Chilperic I (539 - murdered 584, possibly by Brunhilda, column left) King of Neustria from 561 second wife. (Chilperic on this link)

Leovegilde was the son of Athanagilde & his unknown first wife and a critical figure in the history of Spain. He had three wives & only the first, whom he married in 554 need concern Delaforces. She was Théodora de Carthagène (abt 535 - 567). Leovegilde established Toledo in Central Spain as his capital, where today, the Iglesia de San Roman (right) houses the Visigoth Museum. He issued a law permitting inter-marriage between the Visigoths & the indigenous Iberian population, which inevitably included the leftovers of those Moors who had invaded in the third century. He also chased the Byzantine Roman officials who had been re-establishing the Roman ‘system’ in Iberia down to Cartagena on the coast.

Incidentally, Hermeneghild, Leovegilde’s older son, was pain in his father’s neck, having adopted Catholicism at the behest of his fanatical wife, Ingund who was the daughter of Sigebert & the fearsome Brunhilda, to be met in chapter 47 & thus, a sort of half-cousin. He then threatened the unity of the kingdom by roping in the Byzantines to help him & started a revolt in the South. There are legends surrounding his fate, which are best ignored. Leovegilde out-bribed him with the Byzantines, exiled him to Valencia & had him executed or if you prefer, murdered on 13 April 585, in Tarragona. Since the Suevi (Schwabische), who had occupied Galicia during the Roman collapse & had acknowledged Leovegilde's suzeranity, had joined Hermenegild's revolt, Leovegilde now abolished their sub-kingdom & incorporated it into Visigoth Spain. Not that this affected the Schwabs much. They stuck it out through the vicissitudes of the next 14 centuries & are still there.

Toledo. The Iglesia de San Roman Visigoth Museum

Leovegilde I King of the Visigoths (?531 - 586) = 1. (abt 554) Théodora de Carthagène (abt 535 - 567) an Ostrogoth (link to parents)

Herménéghild II (abt 555 - 13/4/585 Tarragona beheaded) = Ingund (559 - ?) daughter of Sigebert & that Brunhilda, see trees after chapter 47

Athanaghilde II BALT (?580 - ?) = (Constantinople) Flavia Juliana

Ardabat or Grego BALT (?611 Greece -?) = Glasvinde BALT 1st husband

see below

Sources: Manuel Abranches de Soveral & Leslie Howard

Recarred I BALT King of the Visigoths 586-601 (?559 - 6/601) = 1. Bauda Afonso (abt 580 - ?)

Suintila (Swinthila) BALT (?584 - 635) = Theodora of the Visigoths  (590? - ?)

Chindaswind King of the Visigoths (?610 - ?653) = Rekiberga (?630 - ?653)

see below

Missing generation

Liubigotona BALT = Ervik of the Visigoths (646 - 15/11/687) see below

Sources have Liu as daughter of Suintila/Theodora. Impossible.

Recarred I BALT & 2. Floresinda

Sigebert King of the Visigoths 601-620 (abt 565 - 620) = ?

Reccared II (? - 620 murdered)

Theodora BALT = Suintila (Swinthila) Balthes (?584 - 635) her uncle see above

Recarred I BALT & 3. Chlodosind (Chlodoswintha) dau of Sigebert & Brunhilda in chapter 47

Liuva II King of the Visigoths 601-603 (583 - 603 killed by Witteric)

Ermenberta possibly= Theuderic II King of Burgundy and Austrasia (587 - 613) grandson of & tool of the dreadful Brunhilda

Sigebert II King of Burgundy and Austrasia (600 - 613 killed by Clotaire II)

Childebert = ?

see chapter 47

= 2. (569) Godesvinda Princess Visigoth (abt 520 -?) second husband & step-son
(a Delaforce Granny but not in this relationship)

= 3. (572) Richilde of Neustria (560 -?) daughter of Chilperic I on our Merovingian page


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Contact: Ken Baldry for more information, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 but best to e-mail him
©1980-2006 Patrick Delaforce & Ken Baldry. All rights reserved Last revised 13/2/2006