Odoacer (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Although of uncertain ethnic background, Odoacer forged a powerful warband, deposed the last Western Roman emperor, and established the first German kingdom in an area that had been part of the Roman Empire.
Odoacer (sometimes spelled Odovacar) was born in central Europe north of the Danube River. His father was Edeco (sometimes spelled Edica or Edecon), a Hun who served under the infamous Attila. The Huns broke up following the death of Attila in 453, and Edeco, who had married into a German tribe, the Scirae, returned to their land north of the Danube and became a Scirian prince. Evidence of Odoacer’s mixed parentage includes the fact that “Edeco” seems to be a name of Hunnic origin, while “Odoacer” is Germanic. Odoacer is sometimes referred to as a Heruclian or a Rugian, other Germanic tribes who contributed men to Odoacer’s warband. The best summary of Odoacer’s ethnic composition is that he was a Danubian-Hunnic-German.
In 469, Edeco was most likely killed when the Ostrogoths (East Goths) defeated the Scirae in Pannonia, a Roman province south of the Danube. One of his two sons, Hunulf (Onulf), survived the battle and entered the service of the Eastern Roman emperor in Constantinople. Odoacer, the other son, had not been a part of the campaign. As early as 460, he was the leader of a mixed warband composed of Huns, Germans, Goths, and Romans. The warband first...
(The entire section is 2003 words.)
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