The Latin League was an ancient confederation of about 30 villages and tribes in the region of Latium near the ancient city of Rome, organized for mutual defense. The term "Latin League" is one coined by modern historians with no precise Latin equivalent, it was created for protection against enemies from surrounding areas under the leadership of the city of Alba Longa. An incomplete fragment of an inscription recorded by Cato the Elder claims that at one time the league included Tusculum, Lanuvium, Cora, Tibur and Ardea. During the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, the Latins were persuaded to acknowledge the leadership of Rome; the treaty with Rome was renewed, it was agreed that the troops of the Latins would attend on an appointed day to form a united military force with the troops of Rome. That was done, Tarquin formed combined units of Roman and Latin troops; the early Roman Republic formed an alliance with the Latin League in 493 BC. According to Roman tradition, the treaty, the foedus Cassianum, followed a Roman victory over the league in the Battle of Lake Regillus.
It provided that both Rome and the Latin League would share loot from military conquests and that any military campaigns between the two would be led by Roman generals. The alliance helped repel attacks from such peoples as the Aequi and the Volsci, tribes of the Apennine Mountains, who were prevented from invading Latium by the blending of armies, it is still unclear if the Latins had accepted Rome as one into the League, or if the treaty had been signed as between Rome and the Latin League. During the Roman kingdom and the early-to-mid Roman republic there were numerous disputes between Rome and the Latins, which led to a number of wars between Rome and individual Latin cities and with the entire league; the increasing power of Rome led to its domination of the league. The renewal of the original treaty in 358 BC formally established Roman leadership and triggered the outbreak of the Latin War. Following the Roman victory, the league was dissolved. After 338 BC, the end of the Latin league, Rome renamed the cities municipia and established coloniae inside them.
This meant that the towns were now ruled by Rome and that the people living there were considered Roman colonists. Alba Longa, Aricia, Cora, Lavinium, Pometia and Tusculum
Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Declared by the Senate optimus princeps, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death, he is known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world. Trajan was born in the city of an Italic settlement in the province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some writers as a provincial, his family came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen. Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army.
After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, Nerva was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. He was succeeded by his adopted son without incident; as a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left numerous enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, his conquest of Dacia enriched the empire as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. Trajan's war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and the annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia, his campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died of a stroke in the city of Selinus, he was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan's Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian.
As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, melior Traiano. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. In the Renaissance, speaking on the advantages of adoptive succession over heredity, mentioned the five successive good emperors "from Nerva to Marcus" – a trope out of which the 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of whom Trajan was the second; as far as ancient literary sources are concerned, an extant continuous account of Trajan's reign does not exist. An account of the Dacian Wars, the Commentarii de bellis Dacicis, written by Trajan himself or a ghostwriter and modelled after Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, is lost with the exception of one sentence. Only fragments remain of a book by Trajan's personal physician Titos Statilios Kriton.
The Parthiká, a 17-volume account of the Parthian Wars written by Arrian, has met a similar fate. Book 68 in Cassius Dio's Roman History, which survives as Byzantine abridgments and epitomes, is the main source for the political history of Trajan's rule. Besides this, Pliny the Younger's Panegyricus and Dio of Prusa's orations are the best surviving contemporary sources. Both are adulatory perorations, typical of the late Roman era, that describe an idealized monarch and an idealized view of Trajan's rule, concern themselves more with ideology than with actual fact; the tenth volume of Pliny's letters contains his correspondence with Trajan, which deals with various aspects of imperial Roman government, but this correspondence is neither intimate nor candid: it is an exchange of official mail, in which Pliny's stance borders on the servile. It is certain that much of the text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajan's signature was written and/or edited by Trajan's Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis.
Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation, as well as recourse to non-literary sources such as archaeology and epigraphy. Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, in the city of Italica. Although designated the first provincial emperor, dismissed by writers such as Cassius Dio as "an Iberian, neither an Italian nor an Italiot", Trajan appears to have hailed on his father's side from the area of Tuder in Umbria, at the border with Etruria, on his mother's side from the Gens Marcia, of an Italic family of Sabine origin. Trajan's birthplace of Italica was founded as a Roman military colony of Italian settlers in 206 BC, though it is unknown when the Ulpii arrived there, it is possible, but cannot be substantiated, that Trajan's ancestors married local women and lost their citizenship at some point, but they recovered their status when the city became a municipium with Latin citizenship in the mid-1st century BC.
Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of the second Flavian Emperor Titus, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general f
Arsenic is a chemical element with symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals in combination with sulfur and metals, but as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid, it has various allotropes, but only the gray form, which has a metallic appearance, is important to industry. The primary use of arsenic is in alloys of lead. Arsenic is a common n-type dopant in semiconductor electronic devices, the optoelectronic compound gallium arsenide is the second most used semiconductor after doped silicon. Arsenic and its compounds the trioxide, are used in the production of pesticides, treated wood products and insecticides; these applications are declining due to the toxicity of its compounds. A few species of bacteria are able to use arsenic compounds as respiratory metabolites. Trace quantities of arsenic are an essential dietary element in rats, goats and other species. A role in human metabolism is not known. However, arsenic poisoning occurs in multicellular life. Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a problem.
The United States' Environmental Protection Agency states that all forms of arsenic are a serious risk to human health. The United States' Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ranked arsenic as number 1 in its 2001 Priority List of Hazardous Substances at Superfund sites. Arsenic is classified as a Group-A carcinogen; the three most common arsenic allotropes are gray and black arsenic, with gray being the most common. Gray arsenic adopts a double-layered structure consisting of many interlocked, six-membered rings; because of weak bonding between the layers, gray arsenic is brittle and has a low Mohs hardness of 3.5. Nearest and next-nearest neighbors form a distorted octahedral complex, with the three atoms in the same double-layer being closer than the three atoms in the next; this close packing leads to a high density of 5.73 g/cm3. Gray arsenic becomes a semiconductor with a bandgap of 1.2 -- 1.4 eV if amorphized. Gray arsenic is the most stable form. Yellow arsenic is soft and waxy, somewhat similar to tetraphosphorus.
Both have four atoms arranged in a tetrahedral structure in which each atom is bound to each of the other three atoms by a single bond. This unstable allotrope, being molecular, is the most volatile, least dense, most toxic. Solid yellow arsenic is produced by rapid cooling of arsenic vapor, As4, it is transformed into gray arsenic by light. The yellow form has a density of 1.97 g/cm3. Black arsenic is similar in structure to black phosphorus. Black arsenic can be formed by cooling vapor at around 100–220 °C, it is brittle. It is a poor electrical conductor. Arsenic occurs in nature as a monoisotopic element, composed of 75As; as of 2003, at least 33 radioisotopes have been synthesized, ranging in atomic mass from 60 to 92. The most stable of these is 73As with a half-life of 80.30 days. All other isotopes have half-lives of under one day, with the exception of 71As, 72As, 74As, 76As, 77As. Isotopes that are lighter than the stable 75As tend to decay by β+ decay, those that are heavier tend to decay by β− decay, with some exceptions.
At least 10 nuclear isomers have been described, ranging in atomic mass from 66 to 84. The most stable of arsenic's isomers is 68mAs with a half-life of 111 seconds. Arsenic has a similar electronegativity and ionization energies to its lighter congener phosphorus and as such forms covalent molecules with most of the nonmetals. Though stable in dry air, arsenic forms a golden-bronze tarnish upon exposure to humidity which becomes a black surface layer; when heated in air, arsenic oxidizes to arsenic trioxide. This odor can be detected on striking arsenide minerals such as arsenopyrite with a hammer, it burns in oxygen to form arsenic trioxide and arsenic pentoxide, which have the same structure as the more well-known phosphorus compounds, in fluorine to give arsenic pentafluoride. Arsenic sublimes upon heating at atmospheric pressure, converting directly to a gaseous form without an intervening liquid state at 887 K; the triple point is 3.63 MPa and 1,090 K. Arsenic makes arsenic acid with concentrated nitric acid, arsenous acid with dilute nitric acid, arsenic trioxide with concentrated sulfuric acid.
Arsenic reacts with metals to form arsenides, though these are not ionic compounds containing the As3− ion as the formation of such an anion would be endothermic and the group 1 arsenides have properties of intermetallic compounds. Like germanium and bromine, which like arsenic succeed the 3d transition series, arsenic is much less stable in the group oxidation state of +5 than its vertical neighbors phosphorus and antimony, hence arsenic pentoxide and arsenic acid are potent oxidizers. Compounds of arsenic resemble in some respects those of phosphorus which occupies the same group of the periodic table; the most common oxidation states for arsenic are: −3 in the arsenides, which are alloy-like intermetallic compounds, +3 in the arsenites, +5 in the arsenates and most organoarsenic compounds. Arsenic bonds to itself as seen in the square As3−4 ions in the mineral skutterudite. In the +3 oxidation state, arsenic is pyramidal owing to the i
The Appian Way is one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, in southeast Italy, its importance is indicated by its common name, recorded by Statius: Appia longarum... regina viarum "the Appian Way the queen of the long roads" The road is named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor who began and completed the first section as a military road to the south in 312 BC during the Samnite Wars. The Appian Way was used as a main route for military supplies since its construction for that purpose in 312 B. C; the Appian Way was the first long road built to transport troops outside the smaller region of greater Rome. The few roads outside the early city were Etruscan and went to Etruria. By the late Republic, the Romans had expanded over most of Italy and were masters of road construction, their roads began at Rome, where the master itinerarium, or list of destinations along the roads, was located, extended to the borders of their domain — hence the expression, "All roads lead to Rome".
Romans had an affinity for the people of Campania, like themselves, traced their backgrounds to the Etruscans. The Samnite Wars were instigated by the Samnites when Rome attempted to ally itself with the city of Capua in Campania; the Italic speakers in Latium had long ago been incorporated into the Roman state. They were responsible for changing Rome from a Etruscan to a Italic state. Dense populations of sovereign Samnites remained in the mountains north of Capua, just north of the Greek city of Neapolis. Around 343 BC, Rome and Capua attempted to form a first step toward a closer unity; the Samnites reacted with military force. Between Capua and Rome lay the Pontine Marshes, a swamp infested with malaria. A tortuous coastal road wound between Ostia at the mouth of the Neapolis; the Via Latina followed its ancient and scarcely more accessible path along the foothills of Monti Laziali and Monti Lepini, which are visible towering over the former marsh. In the First Samnite War the Romans found they could not support or resupply troops in the field against the Samnites across the marsh.
A revolt of the Latin League drained their resources further. They settled with Samnium; the Romans were only biding their time. The first answer was the colonia, a "cultivation" of settlers from Rome, who would maintain a permanent base of operations; the Second Samnite War erupted when Rome attempted to place a colony at Cales in 334 and again at Fregellae in 328 on the other side of the marshes. The Samnites, now a major power after defeating the Greeks of Tarentum, occupied Neapolis to try to ensure its loyalty; the Neapolitans appealed to Rome, which expelled the Samnites from Neapolis. In 312 BC, Appius Claudius Caecus became, he was of the gens Claudia, who were patricians descended from the Sabines taken into the early Roman state. He had been given the name of the founding ancestor of the gens, he was a populist. A man of inner perspicacity, in the years of success he was said to have lost his outer vision and thus acquired the name caecus, "blind". Without waiting to be told what to do by the Senate, Appius Claudius began bold public works to address the supply problem.
An aqueduct secured the water supply of the city of Rome. By far the best known project was the road, which ran across the Pontine Marshes to the coast northwest of Naples, where it turned north to Capua. On it, any number of fresh troops could be sped to the theatre of operations, supplies could be moved en masse to Roman bases without hindrance by either enemy or terrain, it is no surprise that, after his term as censor, Appius Claudius became consul twice, subsequently held other offices, was a respected consultant to the state during his years. The road achieved its purpose; the outcome of the Second Samnite War was at last favorable to Rome. In a series of blows the Romans reversed their fortunes, bringing Etruria to the table in 311 BC, the year of their revolt, Samnium in 304; the road was the main factor that allowed them to concentrate their forces with sufficient rapidity and to keep them adequately supplied, wherein they became a formidable opponent. The main part of the Appian Way was started and finished in 312 BC.
The road began as a leveled dirt road upon which mortar were laid. Gravel was laid upon this, topped with tight fitting, interlocking stones to provide a flat surface; the historian Procopius said that the stones fit together so securely and that they appeared to have grown together rather than to have been fitted together. The road was cambered in the middle and had ditches on either side of the road which were protected by retaining walls; the road began in the Forum Romanum, passed through the Servian Wall at the porta Capena, went through a cutting in the clivus Martis, left the city. For this stretch of the road, the builders used the via Latina; the building of the Aurelian Wall centuries required the placing of another gate, the Porta Appia. Outside of Rome the new via Appia went through well-to-do suburbs along the via Norba, the ancient track to the Alban hills, where Norba was situated; the road at the time was a via a gravel road. The Romans built a high-quality road, with layers of cemented stone over a layer of small stones, drainage ditches on either side, low retaining walls on sunken portions, dirt pathways for sidewalks.
The via Appia is believed to have be
Theoderic the Great
Theoderic the Great referred to as Theodoric, was king of the Ostrogoths, ruler of Italy, regent of the Visigoths, a patrician of the Roman Empire. As ruler of the combined Gothic realms, Theoderic controlled an empire stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea, he kept good relations between Ostrogoths and Romans, maintained a Roman legal administration and oversaw a flourishing scholarly culture and the largest building program in Italy in 100 years. Theoderic was born in Pannonia in 454 as the son of king Theodemir, a Germanic Amali nobleman, his concubine Ereleuva. From 461 to 471, Theoderic grew up as a hostage in Constantinople, received a privileged education under imperial direction, succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 473. Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theoderic came into conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484. Emperor Zeno subsequently gave him the title of Patrician, Vir gloriosus, the office of magister militum, appointed him as consul.
Seeking further gains, Theoderic ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theoderic to overthrow the Germanic foederatus and King of Italy, Odoacer. After a victorious four-year war, Theoderic killed Odoacer with his own hands while they shared a meal, settled his 200,000 to 250,000 people in Italy, founded an Ostrogothic Kingdom based in Ravenna. Theoderic extended his hegemony over the Vandal Kingdoms through marriage alliances. In 511, the Visigothic Kingdom was brought under Theoderic's direct control, forming a Gothic empire that extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea. Theoderic's achievements began to unravel in his years; the Burgundians and Vandals threw off Ostrogothic hegemony by 523, Theoderic's presumptive heir to both Gothic realms and son-in-law Eutharic died in 522, throwing his succession into doubt. Theoderic's good relations with the Roman Senate deteriorated due to a presumed senatorial conspiracy in 522, and, in 523, Theoderic had the philosopher and court official Boethius and Boethius' father-in-law Symmachus executed on charges of treason related to the alleged plot.
Theoderic died in Ravenna on 30 August 526, was succeeded by his grandson Athalaric, with Theoderic's daughter Amalasuntha serving as regent. The Visigothic Kingdom re-acquired its independence on Theoderic's death. Seeking to restore the glory of ancient Rome, he ruled Italy in its most peaceful and prosperous period since Valentinian I. Memories of his reign made him a hero of German legends, as Dietrich von Bern; the man who would rule under the name of Theoderic was born in AD 454, on the banks of the Neusiedler See near Carnuntum. This was just a year, his Gothic name, reconstructed by linguists as *Þiudareiks, translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people". The son of King Theodemir and Ereleuva, Theoderic went to Constantinople as a young boy, as a hostage to secure the Ostrogoths' compliance with a treaty Theodemir had concluded with the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Thracian, he was Leo's hostage at the Great Palace of Constantinople from 461 to 471 and was well-educated by Constantinople's best teachers.
Theoderic was treated with favor by Zeno. He settled his people in Epirus in 479 with the help of his relative Sidimund. Theoderic became magister militum in 483, one year he became consul in a ceremony in the presence of Emperor Zeno. Afterwards, he returned to live among the Ostrogoths when he was 31 years old and became their king in 488; the legend that he was illiterate arose from the fact that he used a stamp to affix his approval of laws. At the time, the Ostrogoths were settled in Byzantine territory as foederati of the Romans, but were becoming restless and difficult for Zeno to manage. Not long after Theoderic became king, the two men worked out an arrangement beneficial to both sides; the Ostrogoths needed a place to live, Zeno was having serious problems with Odoacer, the King of Italy who had come to power in 476. Ostensibly a viceroy for Zeno, Odoacer was menacing Byzantine territory and not respecting the rights of Roman citizens in Italy. At Zeno's encouragement, Theoderic invaded Odoacer's kingdom.
In this endeavor he received the support of the Rugian king Frideric, the son of Theoderic's cousin Giso. Theoderic moved with his people towards Italy in the autumn of 488. On the way he was opposed by the Gepids, whom he defeated at Sirmium in August 489. Arriving in Italy, Theoderic won the battles of Isonzo and Verona in 489, he was defeated by Odoacer at Faenza in 490, but regained the upper hand after securing victory in the Battle of the Adda River on August 11, 490. In 493 he took Ravenna. On February 2, 493, Theoderic and Odoacer signed a treaty that assured both parties would rule over Italy. A banquet was organised on 15 March 493. At this banquet, after making a toast, killed Odoacer. Theoderic struck him on the collarbone. Like Odoacer, Theoderic was ostensibly only a viceroy for the emperor in Constantinople. In reality, he was able to avoid imperial supervision, dealings between the empero
Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, close to the modern town of Ostia, the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, 15 miles southwest of Rome. "Ostia" is a derivation of "os", the Latin word for "mouth". At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3 kilometres from the sea; the site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics. Ostia may have been Rome's first colonia. According to the legend Ancus Marcius, the semi-legendary fourth king of Rome, the first to destroy Ficana, an ancient town, only 17 km from Rome and had a small harbour on the Tiber, proceeded with establishing the new colony 10 km further west and closer to the sea coast. An inscription seems to confirm the establishment of the old castrum of Ostia in the 7th century BC; the oldest archaeological remains so far discovered date back to only the 4th century BC. The most ancient buildings visible are from the 3rd century BC, notably the Castrum.
The opus quadratum of the walls of the original castrum at Ostia provide important evidence for the building techniques that were employed in Roman urbanisation during the period of the Middle Republic. Ostia was a scene of fighting during the period of the civil wars between Gaius Marius and Sulla during the 1st century BC. In 87 BC, Marius attacked the city. Forces led by Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Quintus Sertorius crossed the Tiber at three points before capturing the city and plundering it. After his victory here, Marius moved on to attack and capture Antium and Lanuvium to further destroy the foodstores of Rome. In 68 BC, the town was sacked by pirates. During the sack, the port was set on fire, the consular war fleet was destroyed, two prominent senators were kidnapped; this attack caused such panic in Rome that Pompey the Great arranged for the tribune Aulus Gabinius to rise in the Roman Forum and propose a law, the lex Gabinia, to allow Pompey to raise an army and destroy the pirates.
Within a year, the pirates had been defeated. The town was re-built, provided with protective walls by the statesman and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero. During Julius Caesar's time as Dictator, one of his improvements to the city was his establishment of better supervision of the supply of grain to Rome, he proposed better access to grain by the use of a new harbour in Ostia along with a canal from Tarracina. The town was further developed during the first century AD under the influence of Tiberius, who ordered the building of the town's first Forum; the town was soon enriched by the construction of a new harbour on the northern mouths of the Tiber. The new harbor, not called Portus, from the Latin for "harbour," was excavated from the ground at the orders of the emperor Claudius; this harbour became silted up and needed to be supplemented by a harbour built by Trajan finished in the year 113 AD. Moreover, it must be noted that at a short distance, there was the harbour of Civitavecchia; these elements began its commercial decline.
In 2008 British archaeologists discovered the remains of the widest canal built by the Romans, 90 feet, which they believe connected Portus with Ostia across the Isola Sacra, which would have made the transport of large quantities of goods far easier than by land transport. In 2014 remains on the north side of the river opposite the city were discovered and the built-up area of the city extended beyond the perimeter of the south wall. Ostia itself was provided with all the services a town of the time could require; the popularity of the Cult of Mithras is evident in the discovery of eighteen mithraea. Archaeologists have discovered the public latrinae, organised for collective use as a series of seats that allow us to imagine today that their function was a social one. Ostia had many public baths, numerous taverns and inns and a firefighting service. Ostia contained the Ostia Synagogue, the earliest synagogue yet identified in Europe. Ostia grew to 50,000 inhabitants in the 2nd century, reaching a peak of some 100,000 inhabitants in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
Ostia became an episcopal see as early as the 3rd century AD, the cathedral of Santa Aurea being located on the burial site of St Monica, mother of Augustine. In time mercantile activities became focused on Portus instead. For scholars of the High Empire Ostia was the seaside version of Rome, the city of apartment buildings It used to be thought that the city entered a period of slow decline after Constantine I made Portus a municipality, Ostia thereby ceasing to be an active port and instead becoming a popular country retreat for rich aristocrats from Rome. In spite of the fact that Portus shows substantial growth in the 4th century the traditional view that Ostia went into marked decline has had to be revised due to recent excavations and re-evaluation of the evidence; the knocking down of some apartment blocks replaced by houses of the rich was "thought to have signalled the disappearance of Ostia's once-vibra
Gothic War (535–554)
The Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian I and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy took place from 535 until 554 in the Italian peninsula, Sardinia and Corsica. The war had its roots in the ambition of the East Roman Emperor Justinian I to recover the provinces of the former Western Roman Empire, which the Romans had lost to invading barbarian tribes in the previous century; the war followed the Byzantine reconquest of the province of Africa from the Vandals. Historians divide the war into two phases: From 535 to 540: ending with the fall of the Ostrogothic capital Ravenna and the apparent reconquest of Italy by the Byzantines. From 540/541 to 553: a Gothic revival under Totila, suppressed only after a long struggle by the Byzantine general Narses, who repelled an invasion in 554 by the Franks and Alamanni. In 554 Justinian promulgated the Pragmatic sanction. Several cities in northern Italy held out against the Byzantines until 562. By the end of the war Italy had been depopulated.
The Byzantines found themselves incapable of resisting an invasion by the Lombards in 568, which resulted in Constantinople permanently losing control over large parts of the Italian peninsula. In 476 Odoacer deposed Emperor Romulus Augustulus and declared himself rex Italiae, resulting in the final dissolution of the Western Roman Empire in Italy. Although Odoacer recognised the nominal suzerainty of the Eastern Emperor, his independent policies and increasing strength made him a threat in the eyes of Constantinople. To provide a buffer, the Ostrogoths, under their leader, Theodoric the Great, were settled as foederati of the Empire in the western Balkans, but unrest continued. Zeno sent the Ostrogoths to Italy as the representatives of the Empire to remove Odoacer. Theodoric and the Goths defeated Italy came under Gothic rule. In the arrangement between Theodoric and Zeno, his successor Anastasius, the land and its people were regarded as part of the Empire, with Theodoric a viceroy and head of the army.
This arrangement was scrupulously observed by Theodoric. The army, on the other hand, was Gothic, under the authority of their chiefs and courts; the peoples were divided by religion: the Romans were Chalcedonian Christian, while the Goths were Arian Christians. Unlike the Vandals or the early Visigoths the Goths practised considerable religious tolerance; the dual system worked under the capable leadership of Theodoric, who conciliated the Roman aristocracy, but the system began to break down during his years and collapsed under his heirs. With the ascension of Emperor Justin I, the end of the Acacian schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, the return of ecclesiastical unity within the East, several members of the Italian senatorial aristocracy began to favour closer ties to Constantinople to balance Gothic power; the deposition and execution of the distinguished magister officiorum Boethius and his father-in-law in 524 was part of the slow estrangement of their caste from the Gothic regime.
Theodoric was succeeded by his infant grandson Athalaric in August 526, with his mother, Amalasuntha, as regent. This conciliation and Athalaric's Roman education displeased Gothic magnates, who plotted against her. Amalasuntha had three of the leading conspirators killed and wrote to the new Emperor, Justinian I, asking for sanctuary if she was deposed. Amalasuntha remained in Italy. In 533, using a dynastic dispute as a pretext, Justinian had sent his most talented general, Belisarius, to recover the North African provinces held by the Vandals; the Vandalic War produced an unexpectedly swift and decisive victory for the Roman Empire and encouraged Justinian in his ambition to recover the rest of the lost western provinces. As Regent, Amalasuntha had allowed the Roman fleet to use the harbours of Sicily, which belonged to the Ostrogothic Kingdom. After her son's death in 534, Amalasuntha offered the kingship to her cousin Theodahad. Through his agents, Justinian tried to save Amalasuntha's life but to no avail and her death gave him a casus belli to go to war with the Goths.
Procopius wrote that "as soon as he learned what had happened to Amalasuntha, being in the ninth year of his reign, he entered upon war". Belisarius was appointed commander in chief for the expedition against Italy with 7,500 men. Mundus, the magister militum per Illyricum, was ordered to occupy the Gothic province of Dalmatia; the forces made available to Belisarius were small when compared to the much larger army he had fielded against the Vandals, an enemy much weaker than the Ostrogoths. The preparations for the operation were carried out in secret, while Justinian tried to secure the neutrality of the Franks by gifts of gold. Belisarius landed at Sicily, between Roman Africa and Italy, whose population was well disposed toward the Empire; the island was captured, with the only determined resistance, at Panormus, overcome by late December. Belisarius prepared to cross to Italy and Theodahad sent envoys to Justinian, proposing at first to cede Sicily and recognise his overlordship but to cede all of Italy.
In March 536 Mundus overran Dalmatia and captured its capital, but a large Gothic army arrived and Mundus' son Mauricius died in a skirmish. Mundus was himself mortally wounded in the pursuit; the R