Odoacer, a chief of the Herulians, deposed Romulus, the last Augustus of the West, and placed the peninsula beneath the titular sway of the Byzantine emperors.
Odoacer inaugurated that long series of foreign rulersGreeks, Franks, Germans, Spaniards and Austrians who have successively contributed to the misgovernment of Italy from distant seats of empire.
He defeated Odoacer, drove him to Ravenna, besieged him there, and in 493 completed the conquest of the country by murdering the Herulian chief with his own hand.
Odoacer, like the emperors who had gone before him, made Ravenna his chief place of residence, and here he shut himself up when Theodoric the Ostrogoth had invaded Italy and defeated him in two battles.
The Ostrogoth collected a fleet and established a severe blockade, which at length caused Odoacer to surrender the city.