Ildibad (sometimes rendered Hildebad or Heldebadus) (died 541) was a
king of the
Italy in 540–541.
Ildibad was a nephew of Theudis, one of the Visigothic kings in Spain.
This relationship led
Peter Heather to suggest that both belonged to a
powerful, non-royal clan. In the 540, the Ostrogothic king Witiges
was taken prisoner by
Belisarius in Ravenna. Ildibad's children were
also taken prisoner.
Ildibad was one of the Goths north of the Po
river who still refused to surrender to Roman authority. Following
Witiges' capture however,
Ildibad had attempted to negotiate terms of
surrender with Belisarius, perhaps because of the fate of his
After Witiges's capture, the leading candidate for the Ostrogothic
throne became Uraias, who was Witiges' nephew, a skilled military
commander and in charge of
Ticinum (Pavia). Uraias however declined
because his family lacked "royal fortune", and instead suggested
Ildibad, who was at that time in charge of Verona. These were the
only cities still held by the
Ostrogoths at this time. After being
elected king in 540,
Ildibad moved his capital to Pavia.
attempted to negotiate a surrender, but after
Belisarius sailed to
Constantinople along with
Witiges and Ildibad's family, the war
resumed. The Gothic territory at this time consisted only of a
narrow strip of land between
Pavia and Verona, while the army
consisted of barely 1,000 men, although this number was growing.
The lack of coordination between the remaining Byzantine commanders
Ildibad to extend his authority throughout
Venetia. In 541 AD he was engaged outside the heavily defended city
Treviso by its military commander
Vitalius and a sizable body of
Heruli. The battle was a decisive victory for the Goths, with
Vitalius barely escaping while the
Heruli leader was killed. His
Totila then became military commander of Treviso. Ildibad
was subsequently able to extend his authority across the entire Po
Valley. The victory gave him increased support among the Goths, while
the ruinous Roman taxation of the provinces and lack of coordination
between generals enabled him to acquire many Roman deserters.
Ildibad had Uraias murdered. According to Procopius,
Uraias's murder had been instigated by Ildibad's wife, who felt
insulted by the lavish lifestyle of Uraias' wife. Herwig Wolfram
suggests that this is an invention by
Procopius to "personalize" the
causes of political events, and that the real reason for Uraias'
murder was that the
Witiges clan had allied with non-Gothic
barbarians, including the
Rugii and probably Gepids, to conspire
against Ildibad's rule. In any case,
Ildibad was in May 541
murdered at a royal banquet by his Gepid bodyguard. The lack of a
suitable Gothic successor enabled the Rugians to make their chief
Eraric king of the Goths.
Eraric however betrayed the Goths and
secretly offered to surrender the Gothic kingdom to the Byzantines in
return for money. As a result, the Goths at
Pavia offered Ildibad's
Totila the throne.
Totila was at that point himself
negotiating with the imperial commander at Ravenna, and demanded the
Eraric if he was to accept the throne. After
killed in October 541,
Totila became king of the Ostrogoths, which he
would be for more than ten years.
^ Heather 1998, p. 242
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Wolfram 1990, pp. 349–353
^ a b c d e f g Bury 2013, pp. 227–228
Bury, J. B. (23 April 2013). History of the Later Roman Empire, Vol.
2: From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian. Courier
Corporation. ISBN 0486143392. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
Heather, Peter (8 June 1998). books.google.com/books?id=eCf0Tjg0BukC.
John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0631209328.
Wolfram, Herwig (1 January 1990).
books.google.com/books?id=xsQxcJvaLjAC. University of California
Press. ISBN 0520069838.
King of the Ostrogoths
Italy between 476 and 1556
Aripert I (653–661)
Aripert II (702–712)
Charles I (774–814)
Lothair I (818–855)
Louis I (855–875)
Charles II (875–877)
Charles III (879–887)
(title disputed 887–933)
Unruochings: Berengar I (887–924)
Guideschi: Guy (889–894)
Welfs: Rudolph (922–933)
Bosonids: Louis II (900–905)
Lothair II (945–950)
Anscarids: Berengar II (950–963)
the Holy Roman Empire
Otto I (962–973)
Otto II (980–983)
Otto III (996–1002)
Arduin I (1002–1014)
Henry II (1004–1024)
Conrad II (1026–1039)
Henry III (1039–1056)
Henry IV (1056–1105)
Conrad II (1093–1101)
Henry V (1106–1125)
Lothair III (or II) (1125–1137)
Conrad III (1138–1152)
Frederick I (1154–1186)
Henry VI (1186–1197)
Otto IV (1209–1212)
Frederick II (1212–1250)
Henry VII (1311–1313)
Louis IV (1327–1347)
Charles IV (1355–1378)
Frederick III (1452–1493)
Charles V (1530–1556)