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Oebarsius (The Romans Abide)

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Oebarsius
1st King of Italy

Visigothic Coinage.png
Coin of Oebarsius (1212)
Reign June, 1207 - c.1224
Predecessor None (Title created after the fall of the Roman Empire)
Successor Octarian
Father Hormidac
Born c.1167
Died c.1224 (aged 57)
Rome
Religion Pagan Manichaean
Oebarsius (c.1167 - c.1224) was a Hunnic soldier and general who in 1207 deposed the last emperor of Rome and became the first King of Italy. The beginning of his reign is commonly seen as the beginning of the medieval period in European history.

Born sometime during year of 1167 on the banks of Lake Balaton, the son of the warlord Hormidac, Oebarsius was raised as a soldier within the Hunnic Aquincum Kingdom, later being raised alongside his father as a general. Following Hormidac's death around the turn of the century, Oebarsius moved west with a large army, eventually coming to rest in the town of Patavium where the general came across Octavian Remus, a Roman citizen and son of the diplomat Octarius. Using Octarius' son as a casus belli to conquer Rome, Oebarsius moved south before he came across the Imperial capital, which he proceeded to sack, installing Remus as a puppet Emperor, executing his predecessor Saturninus in the process.

After two years of satellite control over the Italian peninsula, Oebarsius moved south again, this time to overthrow the Empire and take direct control from Remus (who attempted to build an army to route the Huns out of his nation), eventually forcing the Emperor to abdicate the crown. As King, he took the title King of the Romans (Latin: Rex Romanorum), and under his fourteen year reign, the peninsula he ruled stabilised (despite outward threats like the Visigoths and other Hunnic kingdoms), and brought total rule to Italia, abolishing the  Senate shortly after his ascension. He would go on to be succeeded by his chief magistrate Octarian in 1224.

Early life

According to the historian Eracan Gilann, Oebarsius began his life on the banks of the Lake Balaton within the territory of the Aquincum Kingdom, born to the general Hormidac, the conqueror of the Pannonian Basin. As he was born into a Hunnic military family, he was quick to learn military skills and tactics, primarily the horseback warfare of his people, and by the turn of the century, he was already a proven soldier, showing his martial skill against the Ostrogoths in the Battle of Virunum.

General of the Italio-Huns

Following his Hormidac's death around the year 1200, Oebarsius gained control of his father's army, comprised of roughly 50,000 soldiers, the majority of which were horseback riders/archers. After a dreadful winter in 1202, the new general led his men westward in search of land, food, and horses, and by early-1203, they had come across the town of Patavium, a major trading centre, renowned in Italia for the number of horses it bred. Without any major resistance from the populace, or the starving soldiers, the Huns occupied the town. Shortly after arriving, Oebarsius was notified of a Roman citizen within the town named Octarius Remus, with a son going by the name Octavian. Considering himself to be a descendant of the Pertinatian family, Octarius was famous within the Hunnic courts in the east due to his friendly relations with their rulers. Oebarsius moved quickly to solidify an alliance between himself and the Imperial citizen, however, it was not long following the Huns arrival before Octarius died, leaving his son Octavian as the only "noble" Roman in the Hunnic court.

After nearly four years of almost independent rule from the Roman Empire in the south (during which time he grew his power base), Oebarsius was made aware of the extreme unpopularity of the then incumbent Emperor Saturninus across the countryside and in the city itself, and with tens-of-thousands of hungry soldiers under his command, Oebarsius began plans to move south in early-1205 to take control of the Italian peninsula to feed his vast horde. With 50,000 men at his side, the Hunnic general moved southward, meeting no strong resistance along the way as the soldiers pillaged and sacked a number of small settlements, with Octavian Remus riding alongside Oebarsius. Chosen for his supposed relation to a line of former Emperors, Remus was selected to
Morte di Corradino detail woodcut

Octavian Remus being presented the head of Saturninus by Oebarsius

become the new Emperor following the death or abdication of Saturninus.

Around mid-1205, the army finally reached the gate of the Imperial capital, and the Emperor was supplied with an ultimatum to surrender and abdicate, or be executed. Saturninus chose to remain behind the walls, wishing to wait out the siege. However, since Rome was weakened by centuries of infighting, disease and famine, the siege only lasted less than a month, a group of weary defenders opening the gates to the Hunnic army. Shortly thereafter, the soldiers under Oebarsius stormed and sacked many richer parts of the city, and eventually captured the Emperor, executing him in favour of Octavian, who was subsequently installed as the general's "puppet" ruler.

Leader of Italy

Ruler from Patavium

From the beginning of his tenure as Emperor, Octavian was considered weak willed by his constituancy in the Senate, as well as the remaining nobility, due to his status as a "puppet ruler"; constantly handing over administrative rule of the Roman Empire to Oebarsius. From Patavium, the Hunnic general controlled the majority of the Italian peninsula through indirect means, his first steps in solidifying his rule over Italy being his planned invasion of the Alpine region; to take back land once held by the Empire (the Imperial administration being driven out by Jutes invading from the north decades beforehand) to use the mountains as a natural frontier defence against Germanic invaders. However, despite fighting decades of fighting between Jutes and Romans over the region for decades prior, Oebarsius was the one who saw the Empire's final defeat at the hands of the Jutes (on the banks of Verbanus Lacus), and around March of 1206, Octavian Remus was forced (by Oebarsius) to draw back all remaining Roman soldiers from north of the Eridanus river south to defend the Italian peninsula.

Despite failing to take back the Alpine region, Oebarsius' continued to scheme to invade land formally controlled by the Empire, one such area of the general's desire being the island of Sicily, controlled by the Vandals for more than two decades, which he plotted to invade with a force of 20,000 Roman and Hunnic soldiers to end the constant sacking of towns and cities along the Mediterranean coast. However, his plans were spoiled in mid-1207, when news came from Rome that Octavian Remus was plotting to remove the Huns from the Italian peninsula himself and break the Empire's vassalage under Oebarsius. As a result, the Hunnic general rallied a force of 40,000 men to finally dispose the Emperor in Rome and establish himself as the sole ruler over the empire in his stead. When he finally reached Rome in the May of 1207, he discovered that Octavian Remus had already built a sizeable force of 10,000 Germanic warriors and 7,000 Roman Guardsmen to defend the ancient capital. However, the majority of the Germanic mercenaries either fled or bowed loyalty to the arriving Huns, opening the gate of Rome sometime in June, 1207, the city finally capitulating with little loss of blood. Octavian Remus himself was forced to abdicate as Emperor of Rome (as well as possibly executed), whilst Oebarsius took the title Rex Romanorum, or King of the Romans, ending the Empire that lasted five-hundred and sixteen years, and initiating the medieval period.

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