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In 461, when Theodoric was but seven or eight years of age, he was taken as a hostage in Constantinople to secure the Ostrogoths' compliance with a treaty Theodemir had concluded with the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Thracian (ruled 457–474).The treaty secured a payment to Constantinople of some 300 pounds worth of gold each year.He settled his people in Epirus in 479 with the help of his relative Sidimund. Bad luck, rebellions, and poor decisions left Zeno in an unfortunate position, Seeking further gains, Theodoric frequently ravaged the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire, eventually threatening Constantinople itself.By 486, there was little disputing the open hostilities between Theodoric and Zeno.On his return in 469/470, Theodoric assumed leadership over the Gothic regions previously ruled by his uncle, Valamir, while his father became king.Not long afterwards near Singidunum-Belgrade in upper Moesia, the Tisza Sarmatian king Babai had extended his authority at Constantinople's expense.Gothic plundering finally elicited a settlement from Zeno, but Theodoric initially refused any compromise.Theodoric sent one of his confidants, Sidimund, forward to Epidaurum for negotiations with Zeno.
The Franks were able to wrest control of Aquitaine from the Visigoths, but otherwise Theodoric was able to defeat their incursions.regent of the Visigoths (511–526), and a patrician of the Roman Empire.As ruler of the combined Gothic realms, Theodoric controlled an empire stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Adriatic Sea.This was just a year after the Ostrogoths had thrown off nearly a century of domination by the Huns.
His Gothic name, which is reconstructed by linguists as *Þiudareiks, translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people".The Ostrogoths needed a place to live, and Zeno was having serious problems with Odoacer, the Germanic foederatus and King of Italy, who although ostensibly viceroy for Zeno, was menacing Byzantine territory and not respecting the rights of Roman citizens in Italy.