/oh'doh ay"seuhr/, n.
A.D. 434?-493, first barbarian ruler of Italy 476-493.
Also, Odovacar.

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born с 433
died March 15, 493, Ravenna

First barbarian king of Italy (476–493).

A German warrior in the Roman army, he led a revolt against the usurper Orestes (475). He was proclaimed king by his troops in 476, the date that traditionally marks the end of the Western Roman Empire. Odoacer paid homage to the Eastern emperor, Zeno, but asserted his own right to rule Italy. He conquered Dalmatia (482), defeated the Rugi (487–488), and retook Sicily from the Vandals. By attacking the Eastern Empire, he alienated Zeno, who encouraged the Ostrogothic king Theodoric to invade Italy (489). Theodoric captured almost the entire peninsula and killed Odoacer after inviting him to a banquet.

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▪ king of Italy
also called  Odovacar, or Odovakar  
born c. 433
died March 15, 493, Ravenna

      first barbarian king of Italy. The date on which he assumed power, 476, is traditionally considered the end of the Western Roman Empire.

      Odoacer was a German warrior, the son of Idico (Edeco) and probably a member of the Sciri tribe. About 470 he entered Italy with the Sciri; he joined the Roman army and rose to a position of command. After the overthrow of the Western emperor Julius Nepos by the Roman general Orestes (475), Odoacer led his tribesmen in a revolt against Orestes, who had reneged on his promise to give the tribal leaders land in Italy. On Aug. 23, 476, Odoacer was proclaimed king by his troops, and five days later Orestes was captured and executed in Placentia (now Piacenza), Italy. Odoacer then deposed and exiled Orestes' young son, the emperor Romulus Augustulus.

      Odoacer's aim was to keep the administration of Italy in his own hands while recognizing the overlordship of the Eastern emperor, Zeno. Zeno granted him the rank of patrician, but Odoacer styled himself “King.” He refused to acknowledge Julius Nepos, Zeno's candidate, as Western emperor.

      Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy. He had the support of the Senate at Rome and, apparently without serious opposition from the Romans, was able to distribute land to his followers. Unrest among the German tribesmen led to violence in 477–478, but evidently no such disturbances occurred during the later period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he rarely intervened in the affairs of the Roman Catholic church.

      In 480 Odoacer invaded Dalmatia (in present Croatia) and within two years conquered the region. When Illus, master of soldiers of the Eastern Empire, begged Odoacer's help (484) in his struggle to depose Zeno, Odoacer attacked Zeno's westernmost provinces. The emperor responded by inciting the Rugi (of present Austria) to attack Italy. During the winter of 487–488 Odoacer crossed the Danube and defeated the Rugi in their own territory. Although he lost some land to the Visigothic king Euric, who overran northwest Italy, Odoacer recovered Sicily (apart from Lilybaeum) from the Vandals. Nevertheless, he proved to be no match for the Ostrogothic king Theodoric, who was appointed king of Italy by Zeno in 488 in order to prevent the Ostrogoths from raiding in the Eastern Empire. Theodoric invaded Italy in 489 and by August 490 had captured almost the entire peninsula, forcing Odoacer to take refuge in Ravenna. The city surrendered on March 5, 493; Theodoric invited Odoacer to a banquet and there killed him.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • ODOACER — fil. Ediconis seu Edicae Herulorum, Scirrhorum et Tur cilingiorum Rex, A. C. 476. ab iis, qui Nepoti favebant, vocatus, Danubium transgressus est et Italiam Veronam pervenit, persecutusque Oresten Gothum, victum, qui Momyllum fil. suum Augustum… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Odoacer — [ō΄dō ā′sər] A.D. 435? 493; 1st barbarian ruler of Italy (476 493) …   English World dictionary

  • Odoacer — Flavius Odoacer King Coin of Odoacer, Ravenna, 477, with Odoacer in profile, depicted with a barbarian moustache. Reign 476–493 Predecessor None …   Wikipedia

  • Odoacer —    Ruler of Italy (q.v.) from 476 493. He was a barbarian (Skirian or Hunnic) military officer who deposed Romulus Augustulus (q.v.) in 476, a date traditionally seen as the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. Since he acknowledged the… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Odoacer — Odoaker (Münzporträt) Odoaker (Odoacer, Odovacer, Odoacar, Odovacar; lat. Odovacrius[1]; * um 433, † vermutlich 15. März 493 in Ravenna) war ein weströmischer Offizier (vielleicht germanischer Herkunft) und nach der Absetzung des Romulus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Odoacer — also Odovacar or Odovakar biographical name 433 493 1st barbarian ruler of Italy (476 493) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ODOACER —    a Hun, son of one of Attila s officers, who entered the Imperial Guards, dethroned Augustulus, and became emperor himself; Zeno, the emperor of the East, enlisted Theodoric of the Ostrogoths against him, who made a treaty with him to be joint… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Odoacer — O•do•a•cer [[t]ˌoʊ doʊˈeɪ sər[/t]] also Odovacar n. anh big a.d. 434?–493, first barbarian ruler of Italy 476–493 …   From formal English to slang

  • Odoacer — /ɒdoʊˈeɪsə/ (say odoh aysuh) noun AD 434?–493, first barbarian ruler of Italy, AD 476–493. Also, Odovacar …  

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