What was the Burgundian War?

The term “Burgundian War” typically refers to the conflict between the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and the Kingdom of the Burgundians during the 6th century.

This war is also known as the Gothic War of 535–554, which was part of the larger Byzantine-Gothic Wars.

Here are key points about the Burgundian War:

1. Background

The Byzantine-Gothic Wars were a series of conflicts between the Eastern Roman Empire and various Germanic tribes, including the Ostrogoths and the Vandals. The Burgundian War was a component of these larger conflicts.

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2. Ostrogothic Invasion of Italy

The Ostrogothic king Theodahad had become concerned about the increasing Byzantine influence in Italy. Seeking to protect his kingdom’s interests, he proposed an alliance with the Burgundians and the Franks against the Eastern Roman Empire.

3. Burgundian Alliance

In 537, the Burgundian king, Gundobad, formed an alliance with the Ostrogoths against the Eastern Roman Empire. This alliance aimed to resist Byzantine expansion and secure the interests of the Germanic tribes in the region.

4. Campaigns in Italy

The Burgundians, alongside the Ostrogoths, participated in campaigns in Italy against the Byzantine forces led by generals Belisarius and later Narses. The conflict included sieges, battles, and maneuvering for control of key territories.

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5. Fall of the Ostrogothic Kingdom

Despite initial successes, the alliance faced internal conflicts and struggled against the Byzantine forces. In 540, the Ostrogothic Kingdom fell to the Byzantines, marking the end of the Burgundian War.

6. Consequences

The Burgundians faced the consequences of their alliance with the Ostrogoths. After the fall of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, the Byzantines, under Emperor Justinian I, turned their attention to the remnants of the alliance, including the Burgundians.

7. End of the Conflict

The Byzantines launched campaigns against the remaining Germanic forces, including the Burgundians, in an effort to bring them under imperial control. The conflict persisted for several more years, with the Byzantines gradually asserting their dominance.

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8. Impact on the Burgundians

The Burgundians, along with other Germanic tribes, faced significant challenges and changes as a result of the Byzantine-Gothic Wars. The once-powerful Ostrogothic and Burgundian kingdoms were absorbed into the Byzantine Empire, contributing to the reconfiguration of political and territorial boundaries in the region.

Burgundian War

The Burgundian War, as part of the larger Byzantine-Gothic Wars, played a role in shaping the political landscape of Europe during the 6th century and contributed to the historical transition from the Western Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire.