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Although Totila was killed in battle and the Ostrogoths eventually lost the war to the Byzantine Empire, it was somewhat of a pyrrhic victory for Justinian I and Rome. All of Italy was devastated with large swathes of it needing several decades to recover. Rome in particular suffered from a population decline and the Senate was never again mentioned in the city records. <ref> Moorhead, John. “Totila the Revolutionary.” <i>Zeitschrift für alte Geschichte</i> 49 (2000) p. 83</ref> After defeating Totila and the Ostrogoths, Justinian I was able to rightfully claim that
the reconquered most of the Roman Empire, but the gains were ephemeral as his successors steadily lost the possessions.
Totila would go on to have somewhat of a mixed legacy among Europeans, being revered by many Germans and Italians in the modern period, but sometimes being viewed as a boogey man in medieval times. Despite what some later Europeans may have thought of him, there is no doubt that Totila affected the course of European history when he led the Ostrogoth war against the Byzantine Empire. The Ostrogoth king and military commander was able to sack Rome in 546 by employing a combination of patience and guile and by taking advantage of a historical situation whereby Rome was at one of its lowest points in history.