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By: Thomas Hodgkin (1831-1913)

Book cover Theodoric the Goth

Theodoric the Great (~454-526) was king of the Ostrogoths during the time of the terminal decline of the Western Roman Empire. After wandering with his people through the Balkans, at times allied with the Eastern Empire, and at others, its enemy, he was invited by the Emperor Zeno to invade and conquer Italy on behalf of the Empire. He defeated the Germanic king Odovacar, who had himself deposed the last Emperor of the West, and established the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy. He became known as "King of the Goths and Romans in Italy", ruling according to the principle of civilitas. His reign was a time of stability and prosperity. ( Patrick Eaton)

Book cover Life of Charlemagne

Charlemagne c. 742-814 was King of the Franks, conqueror of Lombard Italy, and on Christmas day 800, was crowned by Pope Leo III as the first Holy Roman Emperor. The author tells us that he "was a man of commanding presence, more than six feet high, with large and lustrous eyes, a rather long nose, a bright and cheerful countenance, and a fine head of hair." Charles was a just ruler, a lover of learning and of women . He was a strong supporter of the Church and of the Pope, whose divisive territorial rule in Italy he helped to establish...

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