Spouse: An unknown daughter of Rechiar, king of the Suevic
Reign: 418 – 451
Summary: King Wallia was dead and had a bad reputation. In his five years as king of the Visigoths, the Romans had forced the migratory German settlers out of Iberia and into southern Gaul. Theodoric I was elected to replace Wallia in 418 and used his increasing power and the declining status of Rome to reverse the migration. As king, he moved south into Iberia while retaining lands in southern Gual, specifically lower Aquitaine and Narbonne. Rome broke out into civil war in 423 and Theodoric used the distraction to attempt a capture of the important crossing at Arelate. He was defeated, but just barely, by Huns working for the local magister. Rome and the Visigoths made peace, and Emperor Avitus sent his sons to be raised at the Visigothic court. The Franks were a rising threat by the mid 430s and they not only blocked Roman progress back into Gaul but impeded the expansion of the Visigothic realm. Theodoric reneged on his treaty and invaded Narbo Martius in 436 in an attempt to reach the Mediterranean Sea and secure the passes into Iberia. The Romans, once again, with the help of the Huns pushed Theodoric back to Toulouse, the Visigoth capital, but were defeated there. Avitus again visited Theodoric and it is thought that the Visigoth state was recognized as independent of Rome at this time.
The Vandals became a major target of Theodoric following the mutilation of his daughter by the Vandal ruler Geiseric. Despite differences with his neighbors in Iberia, the Suevics, Theodoric married a daughter of their king and made common cause against the Romans in Iberia around the year 449. Meanwhile, Avitus desperately sought Visigothic aide against the invasion of Attila the Hun, which Theodoric agreed to seeing the threat the Huns posed to his own empire. The joint Roman-Visigoth army repelled Attila out of Aurelianorum and moved on to Châlons where the allies defeated Attila decisively, though Theodoric was killed in the battle. The battle is thought by many to be the last major victory for the failing Western Roman Empire and the last united stand against a common foe in Late Antiquity. Three of Theodoric's sons succeeded him over the next twenty years.
Date of Death: 20 June 451
Other Monarch Deaths:
Louis I, emperor of Rome (840)
Mikhail, grand prince of Kiev (1176)
Feodor II, tsar of Russia (1605)
William IV, king of the United Kingdom (1837)