Occupied the Iberian peninsula and southern Gaul by the Visigoths, by the Franks Salî the northern Gaul, by the Franks Ripuarî the Moselle valley, by the Burgundî the valleys of the Rhone and the Saone, by the Alamanni the region around the sources of the Rhine, by the Angles and Saxons of Britain; in short, having resolved much of the territory of the western empire into Roman-Germanic kingdoms, albeit nominally confederated by the empire, it did not remain under the direct and effective dominion of the western empire, in the middle of the century. V, if not Italy, also mutilated in island regions by the Vandals of Africa, and some areas in southern Gaul and in the region beyond the north-eastern Alps. The Western Empire (see Romans: History) survived only where it was born. But in the course of the century. V several times the entire peninsula was beaten by the barbarians, up to Calabria; several times Rome itself has seen the barbarians in its walls, has suffered looting and devastation. More than one of the emperors of the century. V ascended the throne by the will and under the protection of barbarian kings. Barbarians are Stilicho, head of the cavalry and infantry, Ricimer who wins the Vandal fleet by sea, returning from the sack of Rome in 455, and governs even without emperors, Gundobaldo head of the imperial guard and effective master of the city, Orestes who hunts the legitimate sovereign and places there his own son Romulus, a child. They represent that barbaric infiltration and immigration that has been going on for some time and gives soldiers and leaders to the army and members of the senate, to the point of provoking the formation of an anti-Germanic movement or party in the Roman aristocracy and high bourgeoisie. They do not yet have a real territory, these barbarians of Italy, like others elsewhere. They are only camped in the center of the empire. But there is no shortage of small allocations. Defeated barbarians, taken prisoner across the Alps, are brought to Italy on lands granted to them. In the Modenese, Reggiano and Parmense areas, Graziano disseminated the Goths, Huns and Taifals defeated in 377. On the Po Teodosio placed Alamanni prisoners. At the beginning of the century V, we speak of Sarmatae gentiles , settled in Cremona, Padua, Turin, Bologna, Forlì, Oderzo, Vercelli and other northern cities. Among other things, the intention was to repopulate vast depopulated regions, especially in the area that most needed to be defended from possible invasions.
Until this surviving oasis was also absorbed. And it was in 476, when the barbarian militias that were in Italy asked Oreste for a regular allocation. Orestes denied and then Odoacer, one of their leaders, who had already come to Italy on his own through the northeastern Alps, promised lands and was raised on the shields, took Pavia and Ravenna sending away Romolo Augustolo, the last Western emperor in Italy, distributed to the his Heruli, Rugi, etc., the lands they requested, governed his barbarians in his own name, as king, and the Italians in the name of the other emperor, as his patrician, that is, invested with military and administrative direction: although the title it was never officially given to him by the emperor. Since the emperor, in whom the sense of unity of the Empire was always alive, considered himself the successor in the West, and he saw in Odoacer a usurper, to be tolerated until it was possible to bring him down from his seat. Mutual acquiescence for some years, made possible by Odoacer’s behavior in relations with the Empire, with the Church, with the Romans, of whom little touched the civil organization, that is, the senate, the curias, the provinces, the hierarchy; among which he indeed found many collaborators. They must have seen in him almost one of the many barbarian patricians, more or less Romanized, in the century. V, invested with an especially military function and capable of facing the barbarians from across the Alps. All in all, 476 represented nothing more than a few steps forward on the path of the political prevalence of the barbarians in Italy: also because there were few people from Odoacer and, in one way or another, already stationed in the peninsula to form garrisons, especially sparse in the center and south. The largest allocation was certainly around Ravenna; however the army became more and more saturated with Germanic elements, Italy broke away a little from the East and, while also assimilating in this to the western countries of the empire, gained in political personality, identified itself in the middle of the Roman world. With Odoacer, the political sense of the word Italy is restricted to the peninsula alone, where, in the imperial division of the last centuries, the prefecture of Italy included the dioceses of Africa, that of Italy itself, that of Illyricum, particularly linked to Italy because the vicar of Illyria resided in Milan. Now Italy is the peninsula; and Odoacer is, in fact, king of this Italy. Outside the peninsula, but also very closely linked to it geographically, Odoacer has,
They had a deeper impact on the old political-social order of the Theodoric peninsula and its Ostrogoths. This was a real barbaric invasion, although Theodoric, a simple magister militum , had come to Italy in the name of the emperor, who wanted to drive those barbarians away from himself and to lower or expel the barbarians of Odoacer.
According to localcollegeexplorer, the battle on the Adda (August 490), victorious for Theodoric, was decisive and Odoacer, besieged in Ravenna, had to capitulate after three years. Nor was there any more resistance elsewhere, except a little in Sicily. Theodoric took away from Odoacer; the Ostrogoths, that is a people-army, to that hodgepodge of ancient mercenaries of various lineages that constituted the forces of Odoacer: although even the Ostrogoths, already incorporated into the kingdom of the Huns within the borders of the empire, no longer had their old organization and moral solidity and then welcomed into their ranks also Rugi, even groups of Alamanni, driven south by the Franks and provided by Theodoric with lands on the borders. The number of Ostrogoths is estimated to be between two hundred and three hundred thousand.