Ovida

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Ovida (died December 9, 480) was a general during the late Western Roman Empire and the last Roman ruler of Dalmatia.

Following Flavius Orestes's coup against the Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos on August 28, 475, Ovida remained loyal to the Emperor and accompanied him on his escape to Dalmatia. The situation in Dalmatia, in contrast to the situation in the rest of the Empire, was fairly stable, to the relief of the civilian population and the legionaries. For the next three years, Nepos ruled in Dalmatia while in the West Orestes's son Romulus Augustus was deposed as Emperor by the Scirian general Odoacer.

However, in 479 Nepos began planning an operation to reconquer Italy from the barbarians. These news of military adventures in faraway Italy did not sit well with Nepos's primarily Dalmatian troops; by this point, Dalmatia had been de facto independent for twenty-five years and had no great desire to jeopardize that by provoking Odoacer. In the spring of 480 Nepos was assassinated. Historical sources have left us with three different dates for Nepos death and three different suspects for it. He was killed by disgruntled soldiers seeking to forestall his attack, or by agents of Glycerius, who preceded Nepos as Western Roman Emperor and who thoroughly loathed him, or by Ovida[1] who had taken control of the Dalmatian legions.

Nepos was supported by the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno, of whom Odoacer was technically a vassal. Acting out of a supposed duty as Zeno's subordinate in Italy, Odoacer used the news of the assassination as an excuse to invade Dalmatia.

Ovida, as the only authority figure left in Dalmatia, was forced to defend Dalmatia against Odoacer's forces in a short war that ended with Ovida's death on December 9, 480. Dalmatia was then annexed to become part of Odoacer's Kingdom of Italy.

References[edit]

Preceded by
Julius Nepos
Military governor of Dalmatia Succeeded by
Dalmatia annexed in Odoacer's state