A museum quality silver and gilt Ostrogothic belt buckle. This elaborate artifact was undoubtedly the possession of a significant Gothic warrior.
Circa 5th - 6th century AD
It is beautifully and elaborately crafted with two eagle heads (symbol of the Goths) at the terminus and a pattern of triangles bordering the plate and buckle. The eagles’ eyes are set with red cabochon garnets and the gilding on the surface is still largely intact. It has four rivet holes for attaching to a leather strap. (81 x 39 mm – 3 3/16'' in Length)
The Ostrogoths were part of an ancient Teutonic race who dwelt between the Elbe and the Vistula in the early part of the Christian era, and who overran and took an important part in subverting the Roman Empire. The Ostrogoths, who had long elected their rulers, chose Theodoric the Great as king in 471 AD.
A turbulent ally, the Byzantine emperor, Zeno, commissioned Theodoric to reconquer Italy from Odoacer. The Ostrogoths entered Italy in 488, defeated and slew Odoacer (493 AD), and set up the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy, with Ravenna as their capital.