AHC/WI: Ostrogothic Kingdom Reunites Western Roman Empire

All of this revolves around the belief that Theodoric ends up with a stable line of succession with heirs that don’t die. Also, Justinian would either have to not come to power or be so distracted by the Sassanids that he would be too focused on the East to match West at some point.

In all fairness, the two do complement each other: it was the dynastic instability that gave Justinian his pretext to invade. If the Analings keep a series of stable, pro-Constaninople rulers on the throne for a couple generations, they’re very well-positioned. Hell, given that Athalric is young, you have the potential for a very long reign.
 
All of this revolves around the belief that Theodoric ends up with a stable line of succession with heirs that don’t die. Also, Justinian would either have to not come to power or be so distracted by the Sassanids that he would be too focused on the East to match West at some point.
A stable line of succession is certainly a great help, but it is not an absolute necessity if the ERE doesn't invade: IMHO the Goths might afford to negotiate among themselves an acceptable successor (or in an extreme case, go through a quick and low-level civil war).
As it happened IOTL, you needed to have a Justinian in peace with Persia, a general who had his confidence, a successful conquest of Africa and an Amalasuntha running to Constantinople: quite an unlikely series of coincidences.
Sometimes I wonder if it would not have been better for the Gothic kingdom to have Theoderic die a few years earlier, and having Amalasuntha remarry or Athalaric die of some illness as an infant (which would have forced the issue of a second marriage for A.).
 
It doesn’t hurt that Theodoric presented himself in an Imperial light anyway. That attitude, plus a dominant position in the Western Med, leaves little left to do but have to guts to make the de facto de jure.
Indeed, I mean Theoderic already pretty heavily implied his Imperial ambitions in our timeline. I mean he did ask for (and recieved) the Western Roman Imperial Regalia that Odoacer had sent to Constantinople in 476, which he would go on to put on display in his palace at Ravenna.
This makes me think, what happened to that regalia anyway? It's not mentioned at any point after this, but I can't think of a time it could have been destroyed as Ravenna fell to Belisarius quite peacefully.
 
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