or THEODERICUS II., king of the Visigoths A. D. 452-466, was the second son of Theodoric I.
He was present with his father at the battle of Châlons in 451, and succeeded to the throne by the murder of his brother Thorismond at the close of the following year (452). [THORISMOND.] In A. D. 455 Avitus, who had been well acquainted with the elder Theodoric, was sent as ambassador to the court of Toulouse, to renew the alliance between the Visigoths and the Romans. While staying with Theodoric, he received intelligence of the death of Maximus, and of the sack of Rome by the Vandals. His royal host pressed him to mount the vacant throne, and promised him his powerful assistance. Avitus could not resist the temptation, and the senate was obliged to receive a master from the king of the Visigoths. Theodoric soon showed that he was an able and willing ally of the emperor whom he had placed upon the throne. The Suevi, who had settled in Gallicia in Spain, threatened to extinguish the last remains of Roman independence in that country.
The inhabitants of Carthagena and Tarragona implored the assistance of Avitus ; and when Rechiarius, the king of the Suevi, refused to listen to the proposals of peace and alliance which were made by the emperor, Theodoric, at the head of a formidable army, crossed the Pyrenees.
This expedition was followed with the most complete success. The Suevi were defeated with great slaughter about twelve miles from Astorga, their capital Braga fell into the hands of Theodoric, and their unfortunate monarch, who had attempted to escape, was taken prisoner and put to death.
These events happened towards the close of 456. Theodoric now carried his victorious arms into Lusitania, and took Merida the capital of the country.
But early in the following year (457), before he had time to provide for the security of his conquests, he was obliged to return in haste to his own dominions, probably fearing evil consequences from the fall of Avitus. [AVITUS.] Although Theodoric had professed to invade Spain as the servant of Avitus, he had made a secret stipulation that all the conquests he effected should belong to himself.
He was therefore unwilling to relinquish the advantages he had already gained in that country; and accordingly we find that he sent an army into Spain in 458, under the command of Cyrila, and again in the following year (459) fresh troops under Suniericus.
In the course of the latter year he had a more formidable enemy to cope with; for the emperor Majorian marched into Gaul, defeated Theodoric in battle, and concluded a peace with him.
The death of Majorian in 461, and the conquests of the Vandals in Italy released Theodoric from all fear; he violated his recent treaty with the Romans, and appears to have designed to make himself master of the whole of the Roman dominions in Gaul.
He succeeded in uniting the territory of Narbonne to his own; but his victorious career was checked by the defeat and death of his brother Frederic, who was slain in battle near Orleans by Aegidius, the Roman commander in Gaul.
A great part of Spain apparently owned the authority of Theodoric; but the Chronicles merely tell us of embassies that constantly passed between the king of the Visigoths and the king of the Suevi, and give us little or no information of the relative power of the two parties. Theodoric lost his crown by the same crime by which he had gained it.
He was assassinated in 466 by his brother Euric, who succeeded him on the throne. Theodoric II. was, like his father, a patron of letters and learned men; and the poet Sidonius Apollinaris, who resided for some time at his court, has given us an interesting account, in a letter to a friend (Ep.
1.2), of the personal appearance, manners and habits, of the king of the Visigoths. (Jornandes, de Reb. Get. 43, 44 ;
Sidon. Apoll. Panegyr. Avito ;
the Chronicles of Idatius, Marius, and Victor ; Greg. Tur. 2.11; Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs,