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Urias
Historical Figure
Nationality: Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy
Date of Birth: Early 6th century
Date of Death: 540
Cause of Death: Assassinated
Spouse: Wife, name unknown
Military Branch: Ostrogothic Army
Fictional Appearances:

Urias (also Uraias and Uraïas (Greek: Οὐραΐας) was a general of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy during the Gothic–Roman War of 535–40. Urias was a nephew of King Witiges. Although probably of humble origins, he rose through the military ranks to become a dux (duke).

Urias established a formidable military reputation in a relatively short time. In 538, the Eastern Roman Empire retook Milan at the request of its population. After a winter siege, Urias retook the city. He allowed his Burgundian allies to seize the women for slaves and his own men to slaughter the male inhabitants because they had requested Roman assistance.

A strong Roman force remained at Dertona after the loss of Milan, preventing Urias from relieving the besieged garrison of Fiesole in the summer of 539. After the fall of Fiesole, Witiges ordered Urias to relieve the garrison at Osimo, but he was again unable to leave because of a Frankish invasion. By the end of 539, he had expelled the Romans from Liguria and recovered it for the Ostrogothic Kingdom.

Despite his skill, Urias was rarely in control of his own destiny. He was unable to relieve Ravenna, the capital, which his uncle was defending, because his army had suffered severe desertions in the Cottian Alps. When Witiges surrendered Ravenna to the Romans in May 540, the Romans sent him to Constantinople as a hostage. As Witiges had no children, Urias was offered the kingship, but declined it. According to Procopius, he claimed on the basis of Witiges' ignominious end that his family lacked "fortune" (tyche). He instead suggested Ildibad as king. Ildibad was a nephew of Theudis, king of the Visigoths, and Urias expected that the latter would come to the aid of his nephew. In fact, Theudis remained neutral throughout the war.

Shortly after acceding to the throne, Ildibad's wife convinced her husband that Urias was plotting with the Romans to overthrow him. According to Procopius, the wife of Uraias wore more expensive clothes than the queen and refused to acknowledge her presence in the public baths one day. This was reported to the king as suspicious behavior and Ildibad ordered Urias' murder.

Urias in "The Fake Pandemic"[]

Shared Universe Story
"The Fake Pandemic"
POD: 535 C.E.
Type of Appearance: Direct
Spouse: Mathaswentha
Children: Unnamed child
Political Office(s): King of Ostrogothic Italy

Thanks to the machinations of Martinus Paduei, Urias succeeded Thiudahad as king of Italy, despite Urias' lower class status. As Martinus and Urias had developed a close relationship prior, Urias understood what Martinus was capable of, and so quickly settled into the role of figurehead monarch, leaving the running of the country to his quaestor.[1]

In 538, the Roman quaestor Tribonian travelled to Florence on a diplomatic mission. He dined with both Martinus and Urias the night of his arrival. He found Urias pleasant but bland, and marveled at how much trust Urias had in Martinus. (His emperor Justinian, trusted no one.) After the meal, Urias left the quaestors to their business and retired for the night.[2]

The next morning, Urias was quite amused by how hung over Martinus and Tribonian were. When Martinus told Urias to shut up, Urias merely laughed. Tribonian, used to Justinian's iron rule, was flabbergasted by the exchange.[3]

While Urias trusted Martinus implicitly, that relationship wasn't always mutual. Martinus never told Urias about the coming plague, or that he secured Tribonian's aid to stop it.[4]

References[]

  1. See, Lest Darkness Fall, generally.
  2. Lest Darkness Fall & Timeless Tales Written in Tribute (second edition), pgs. 383-384, loc. 5003-5022, ebook.
  3. Ibid., pg, 388, loc. 5801.
  4. Ibid. pg. 385, loc. 5042.
Royal offices
(Fictional Work)
Preceded by
Thiudahad
King of (Ostrogothic) Italy
(Lest Darkness Fall/"The Fake Pandemic")

537-?
Succeeded by
Incumbent at story's end, 544
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