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First mention of Lombards in Roman sources by Velleius Paterculus.
Lombard migration to Danube Region.
c. 526 CE
Reign of Lombard king Wacho; migration to Pannonia.
546 CE - 560 CE
Reign of Lombard King Audoin in Pannonia.
560 CE - 572 CE
Reign of Alboin, King of the Lombards.
Alboin leads the Lombards from Pannonia to Italy and conquers the region.
King Alboin is assassinated.
572 CE - 586 CE
Individual Lombard dukes fight for control of the kingdom.
586 CE - 590 CE
Reign of King Authari.
590 CE - 616 CE
Reign of King Agilulf who strengthens the Lombard kingdom.
616 CE - 628 CE
Reign of Queen Theolinda of the Lombards.
628 CE - 636 CE
Reign of King Adaloald.
636 CE - 652 CE
Reign of King Rothari.
652 CE - 712 CE
Lombard kingdom is divided between rule from Milan and rule from Pavia.
712 CE - 744 CE
Reign of King Liutprand who unites the Kingdom of the Lombards.
744 CE - 774 CE
Decline of the Kingdom of the Lombards in Italy under ineffective rulers.
Lombards defeated by Charlemagne of the Franks; Lombard Kingdom falls.
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Lombardy, Italian Lombardia, regione of northern Italy. It is bordered on the north by Switzerland and by the Italian regioni of Emilia-Romagna (south), Trentino–Alto Adige and Veneto (east), and Piedmont (west). Administratively, Lombardy consists of the provincie of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Lodi, Mantova, Milano, Monza e Brianza, Pavia, Sondrio, and Varese. The capital is Milan.
Lombardy is divided physically into three parts from north to south—a mountainous Alpine and pre-Alpine zone a zone of gently undulating foothills and a zone of alluvial plains sloping gently to the Po River in the south. The Alpine division reaches a height of 13,284 feet (4,049 metres) in the Bernina. The foothill zone is partly composed of morainic material and contains a number of scenic lakes. The regione is drained southward by many rivers, all of them tributaries of the Po, including the Ticino, the Adda, and the Oglio, with its affluents the Mella and Chiese, and the Mincio. The regione abounds in lakes and contains all or part of Lakes Garda (Italy’s largest lake), Maggiore, Lugano, Como, Iseo, Idro, and Varese and the lakes of the Brianza (Pusiano, Annone, Alserio, and Segrino). The climate is generally continental, with hot summers and cold winters, and rainfall varies from about 24 inches (610 mm) annually in the area near the Po River to 80 inches (2,032 mm) in the mountainous regions.
Lombardy was inhabited by Celtic peoples from the 5th century bce and was conquered by Rome after the Second Punic War (218–201 bce ), upon which it became part of Cisalpine Gaul. The region suffered heavily in the barbarian invasions that ended the western Roman Empire, and from 568 to 774 ce it was the centre of the kingdom of the Lombards, a Germanic people who gave their name to the region. The Lombard kingdom ended in 774, and Lombardy became part of the empire of the Frankish king Charlemagne. Frankish rule continued until 887, and after the breakup of the Carolingian empire a number of independent units, mostly towns ruled by counts or bishops, emerged in Lombardy.
These towns’ growing prosperity by the 11th century was based on the role of the middle Po River valley as a transit point for trade between the Mediterranean and the trans-Alpine lands. A number of Lombard towns—Milan, Cremona, Brescia, Bergamo—were able to throw off their feudal rulers and evolve into communes (self-governing municipalities) that became the commercial leaders of Europe at the time. The Lombard communes reached the height of their power in the 12th century, when, in an effort to resist encroachments by the emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, they formed the Lombard League the league defeated the emperor at the Battle of Legnano in 1176 and forced him to recognize its members’ autonomy in the Peace of Constance (1183).
Conflicts within the Lombard communes between Guelfs and Ghibellines were only resolved in the 13th and 14th centuries by the rise of overlords or despots, some of whom, such as the Visconti and Sforza in Milan and the Bonacolsi and Gonzaga in Mantua, founded local dynasties. Milan became the strongest city in Lombardy early in the 14th century and went on to establish its rule over most of the neighbouring towns, though it had to yield Brescia and Bergamo to Venice and the city of Mantua remained independent. Lombardy lost territory to the Swiss, Venetians, and other neighbours in the early 16th century, and in the chaotic wake of the French invasions of Italy, the duchy of Milan came under Spanish Habsburg rule in 1535. Mantua managed to remain independent until 1713, at which time both it and Milan passed to the Austrian Habsburgs. Austrian rule yielded to that of France from 1796 to 1814. In 1815 Lombardy was restored to Austria as part of a newly created Lombardo-Venetian kingdom. In 1859 a Franco-Piedmontese army expelled the Austrians from Lombardy, which joined newly unified Italy.
Lombardy has the largest population of any Italian region, though it covers less than one-tenth of the country’s area. The population is concentrated in the industrial cities of the upper plains and foothills, with secondary concentrations in the rich farmlands in the south. Lombardy is the leading industrial and commercial regione of Italy. Milan, the chief city, is one of the largest industrial centres of Italy. It makes iron and steel, automobiles and trucks, and machinery and is also a centre of banking and wholesale and retail trade. Lombardy’s other major cities include Brescia, Bergamo, Cremona, Pavia, Como, Mantua, and Monza. Their varied manufactures include electrical appliances, textiles, furniture, processed foods, chemicals, and leather.
Lombardy is also Italy’s leading agricultural area. The region’s highly productive agriculture is centred on the irrigated plains of the Po River valley, which produce rice, wheat, corn (maize), sugar beets, and fodder crops for beef and dairy cattle. The higher plains produce cereals, vegetables, fruit trees, and mulberries. The foothill region produces fruit, vines, and olives, and the Alps afford excellent grazing for cattle, pigs, and sheep.
Milan is the hub of northern Italy’s rail network and has direct rail links with Switzerland, France, and Germany via passes and tunnels through the Alps. Lombardy is linked to other regions of Italy by an excellent system of railroads, highways, and expressways. Area 9,211 square miles (23,857 square km). Pop. (2011) 9,704,151.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.
Lombards Timeline - History
If the traditional account is true, Alboin, King of the Lombards, engineered one of Europe's first great real estate transactions.
With the decline of the Huns following the death of Attila, 453, the Lombards had moved to ascendency in the area known as Pannonia, centered around modern-day Hungary. Warfare with the Gepidae was constant, and another tribe, the Avars, had begun migrating into the area from Asia as well. After succeeding his father on the Lombard throne in 565, Alboin soon struck an alliance with the Avars and together they crushed the Gepidae. Alboin killed Cunimund, the Gepidae king, and took the king's daughter Rosamund as his wife.
Then in April 568 Alboin fulfilled his bargain with the Avars by launching his Lombard followers on a mass migration southwestward into Northern Italy, leaving Pannonia for the Avars.
The withered forces of the Roman Empire that remained in Italy, based at Ravenna, were no match for the overwhelming Lombard incursion. Residents of the Italian countryside fled at the Lombards' approach. Some retreated to the barrier islands along the shore of the Northern Adriatric Sea, where they became part of the nascent Venice.
By September of the following year Milan, Pavia (which Alboin chose as his new capital) and the other large cities of Northern Italy had fallen. The Lombard kingdom in Italy had been firmly established.
The kingdom was to last for more than 200 years, until falling to Charlemagne's Frankish forces, 774. Alboin himself, however, soon fell to an old grudge: he was murdered in 573, apparently at the instigation of his wife Rosamund, who never accepted her husband's habit of drinking from her father's skull.
A federation of north Italian cities formed in 1167 to resist the attempts of the Holy Roman Emperor frederick i barbarossa (1152 – 90) to organize and consolidate imperial rule in northern and central Italy. It was a defensive alliance of changing membership, and became active during the century and a half following its foundation whenever emperors attempted to enforce imperial rule in Italy. Although the League theoretically never claimed independence of the Empire, its very reason for existence was to defend communal autonomy against the emperor.
At the Diet of Roncaglia (November 1158), Barbarossa made it clear that the reconstruction of imperial administration and rule in Italy constituted a major part of his program for restoring the Empire, shattered by the investiture struggle. He undertook military operations against recalcitrant north Italian cities, the foremost among them being Milan. These cities created numerous coalitions to defend their de facto autonomy. One of the important confederations, the League of Verona (1164), comprised Verona, Vicenza, Padua, and Venice. Frederick's enemy, Pope alexander iii (1159 – 81), sided with the allied cities. During the spring and summer of 1167, other alliances which included Cremona, until then a loyal imperial city, were concluded. Earlier historians called the League of Pontida (April 7, 1167) the origin of the Lombard League, but this was only one of many coalitions.
By Dec. 1, 1167, the Lombard League had taken shape. Its 16 members included the adherents of the leagues of Verona and Pontida. The signers protected their individual interests by special provisos, but all were bound to make war, truce, and peace only by unanimous consent. The League arrogated to itself such imperial prerogatives as the right to raise and support an army and to hear judicial cases on appeal. At League meetings each member acted through a rector, ordinarily chosen from among the chief communal magistrates. On Dec. 1, 1168, the League strengthened its organization and established regulations to prevent discord among its members.
In defiance of Frederick, the League founded a new city (1168) named Alessandria in honor of the pope. At Legnano (1176) the League army inflicted a crushing defeat on Frederick. This induced him to negotiate with Alexander III the Truce of Venice (1177), a six-year truce that included the League members. In 1183 at the "Peace of Constance" (technically an imperial privilege, not a "peace"), although Frederick reasserted some imperial prerogatives, the League and other allied communes won imperial recognition of their autonomy. The regulations of Roncaglia were set aside. The emperor ceded the communes considerable self-government, including authority to exercise regalian rights, raise armies, make alliances, and wall themselves. This concluded the League's greatest era, though it was revived (with fluctuating membership) whenever imperial rule threatened to become a reality in northern Italy. It actively opposed Emperor frederick ii (d. 1250) after 1226, and supported his papal opponents gregory ix and innocent iv. The military fortunes of the League and its Guelf allies varied. Although defeated at Cortenuova (1237), they received solace from the victory at Vittoria (1248). The League was revived (1310 – 13) and joined a coalition against the Emperor henry vii.
Bibliography: g. voigt, Storia della lega Lombarda … (Milan 1848). c. vignati, Storia diplomatica della lega Lombarda (Milan 1867). c. manaresi, Atti del comune di Milano fino all'anno 1216 (Milan 1919). e. jordan, L'Allemagne et l'Italie aux XII e et XII1 e si è cles (Paris 1939). g. treccani degli alfieri, ed., Storia di Milano, v.4, Dalle lotte contro il Barbarosa al primo signore (Milan 1954).
Rule of the Dukes
When Cleph died, the Lombards decided not to choose another king. Instead, military commanders (mostly dukes) each took control of a city and the surrounding territory. However, this "rule of the dukes" was no less violent than life under Cleph had been, and by 584 the dukes had provoked an invasion by an alliance of Franks and Byzantines. The Lombards set Cleph's son Authari on the throne in hopes of unifying their forces and standing against the threat. In so doing, the dukes gave up half of their estates in order to maintain the king and his court. It was at this point that Pavia, where the royal palace was built, became the administrative center of the Lombard kingdom.
Upon the death of Authari in 590, Agilulf, duke of Turin, took the throne. It was Agilulf who was able to recapture most of the Italian territory that the Franks and Byzantines had conquered.
Lombards Timeline - History
- 2000 - Bronze Age begins in Italy.
- 800 - The Etruscans settle in central Italy. The Iron Age begins.
- 753 - According to legend, Romulus founds the city of Rome.
- 700s - The Greeks settle much of southern Italy and Sicily.
- 509 - The Roman Republic is established.
Brief Overview of the History of Italy
The first advanced civilization to settle in the land of Italy was the Greeks in the 8th century BCE. They set up colonies along the coast of southern Italy and on the island of Sicily. Later, the Phoenicians would do the same.
About the same time in the 8th century BCE, a small agricultural community was forming on the west coast of Italy. It founded the city of Rome which would grow to become one of the world's great civilizations, Ancient Rome. For more on Ancient Rome see Ancient Rome for Kids. Rome would first form the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Its rule would span much of Europe and the Mediterranean. Rome, together with Greek culture, would become influential in forming much of today's western civilization including philosophy, art, and law. In 395 CE, the Roman Empire was divided into the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. Italy was part of the Western Empire which collapsed around 476 CE. For the next several hundreds of years Italy would be made up of a number of small city-states.
In the 1400s Italy became the home of the Italian Renaissance. During this period the arts flourished with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
In the 1800s much of Italy wanted to unify into a single country. In 1871 Italy became a constitutional monarchy and an independent unified country.
In 1922 Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy. He turned Italy into a fascist state where he was dictator. He sided with the Axis Powers of Germany and Japan in World War II. When they lost the war, Mussolini was removed from power. In 1946 Italy became a republic.
Italian History - timelinenew
Khalid ibn Walid
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 11, 2007 22:33:24 GMT -5
Khalid ibn Walid
Post by Khalid ibn Walid on Feb 11, 2007 22:33:42 GMT -5
December, 872 Death of Pope Adrian II. Election of the elderly Pope John VIII.
- Pope John VIII
Byzantine Benevento The besieged Adelchis of Benevento immediately appeals to the new Pope John VIII for assistance against Emperor Louis II. When that fails to materialize, Adelchis abandons his fealty to the Frankish Emperor Louis II and offers his allegiance to the Byzantine Emperor Basil I.
Death of Hunroch III of Friuli. He is succeeded by his brother, who ascends as Marquis Berengar of Friuli (future King of Italy and emperor).
Emperor Louis II returns to Pavia, taking with him the grandson of Bishop Landulf II of Capua and the son of Gauifer of Salerno as hostages to secure the good behavior of those two vassals.
April, 875 Tuscany + Spoleto Marquis Adalbert I of Tuscany marries Rothilde, sister of Lambert I of Spoleto. With this marriage, the houses of Tuscany and Spoleto are united, creating an effective stranglehold on the Papal States.
August 875 Crisis of Imperial Succession. Death of Emperor Louis II in Brescia, the last of the senior Carolingian branch and king of Lombardy and Burgundy. Asked before his death whom he wanted to succeed him, Emperor Louis II designated his cousin, Carloman, eldest son of Louis the German. But the 817 Ordinatio had stipulated that if the senior branch died out, a general assembly of the Franks should decide upon the next emperor. Thus, his uncle, Charles the Bald of west Francia makes his bid.
At an Assembly of Pavia, the Lombard nobles are unable to decide and offer the crown of Lombardy to both Charles the Bald and Louis the German.
In the meantime, a mixed laical and clerical assembly in Rome debates the imperial crown. Pope John VIII pushes for the west Frankish ruler Charles the Bald, but the party led by Bishop Formosus of Porto pushes for the east Frankish candidate Carloman. But at length, the pope prevails and assembly offers the imperial crown only to Charles the Bald.
September, 875 On his way to his Roman coronation, Charles the Bald enters Italy. But Louis the German dispatches two of his sons -- Carloman and Charles the Fat -- to block his path. Charles the Bald defeats and sees off Charles the Fat. On being told that the fatty had left Italy, Carloman decides he doesn't have enough men to challenge Charles the Bald on his own and turns back too.
Fall, 875 Profiting from the death of Emperor Louis II, an Arab fleet from Taranto sails up the Adriatic and sacks Commacchio, putting it to flame. Then goes up to sack Grado (bishopric of the Venetian republic), but is repelled by a Venetian force.
December, 875 Charles the Bald arrives in Rome and is crowned as Emperor Charles II ("the Bald") by Pope John VIII on Christmas day.
- Emperor Charles II 'the Bald'
February, 876 With the imperial coronation under his belt and Carloman nowhere in sight, the Lombard nobility relents. Charles the Bald is acclaimed and crowned as King Charles II ("the Bald") of Lombardia in Pavia by Archbishop Anspert of Milan.
In one of his first acts, Charles II the Bald deposes Emperor Louis II's relative Suppo of Spoleto and restores Lambert I as Duke of Spoleto. Lambert's brother is invested as Marquis Guido of Camerino. Charles the Bald then invests his old pal and brother-in-law, Boso of Vienne (Ct. of Vienne, Lyons & Berry) as "Duke Boso ("Vienne") of Provence and Lombardia" (Charles's vice-regent in these domains).
March, 876 Charles the Bald leaves Italy. But his regent Boso is immediately approached by the Marquis Berengar of Friuli (a German partisan) and the dowager-Empress Engelberga (Emperor Louis II's widow), who offers her only daughter Irmengarda to Boso in return for supporting Carloman's claim.
March, 876 Formosan Crisis Getting wind that Pope John VIII hopes to use the new Emperor Charles II to get rid of the unsavory clique that had grown under Adrian II, the nomenclator Gregory, his son-in-law George of Aventino and Bishop Formosus of Porto flee Rome and take refuge with Lambert of Spoleto. A Synod is assembled at the Pantheon in Rome to pass judgment on the Formosan party. The accused don't show up.
876 Synod of Ponthion in France convened by Emperor Charles II the Bald in response to Pope John VIII's plea for military assistance against the resurgent Arabs. Bedeviled by his own chaos, Charles the Bald is unable to offer effective help and instead makes sweeping concessions to Pope John VIII. He reiterates the absolute supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, withdraws the imperial missus from Rome, he recognizes the old claims of Papal overlordship over Capua, cedes the revenues of the imperial monasteries of Farfa, Rieti and Mt. Sorate to the pope. In terms of concrete military assistance, Charles the Bald assigns Marquis Lambert I of Spoleto as "defender" of the Papal States ("Defensor Patrimonii Petri").
876 To ensure succession, Lambert I of Spoleto associates his son Guido II as co-ruler of Spoleto.
876 Holy League Not receiving Frankish assistance and not trusting the Marquises of Spoleto, Pope John VIII decides to take matters into his own hands and attempts to construct a league among the southern Italian states against the encroaching Arabs of the south. Taking a Roman army into Campania, John VIII secures the adherence of Landulf II of Capua and Guaifer of Salerno. But Amalfi, Naples and Gaeta refuse.
August, 876 Partition of Germany Death of Louis the German in Frankfurt. The Kingdom of the Eastern Franks is divided among his three sons: His second-born, Louis the Younger (III of Franks, II of Germany) receives the north German bulk (Franks of Franconia & east Lorraine + Saxons + Thuringians). But two kingdoms are set aside for his other brothers: the eldest, Carloman, receives the Bavarians (plus the Slavic subjects of Carinthia, Pannonia and Moravia) while the third-born, Charles the Fat, receives the Swabians in the southwest.
purple = Emperor Charles the Bald
olive = Louis the Younger of Germany
orange = Charles the Fat of Swabia
pink = Carloman of Bavaria
light blue = tributary states.
September, 876 Seeking to recover the remainder of Lorraine, Charles the Bald immediately invades German Lorraine, part of the territories of Louis the Younger. But Louis the Younger crosses the Rhine and defeats the invading army of Charles the Bald at the Battle of Coblenz (Battle of Andernach?)
876 The Tarantine sultan Othman defeats Adelchis of Benevento in three encounters, extracting from him a very favorable peace.
876 BYZANTINE INVASION OF ITALY At Beneventine invitation, the newly-restored Byzantine fleet under the stratego Gregory appears in the waters off Otranto. Informed that the citizens of Bari are being threatened by Taranto, Gregory sails up the Adriatic and disembarks in Bari, but rather than hold it for his "ally" Adelchis of Benevento, he seizes Bari in the name of the Byzantine Emperor Basil I. The Byzantines make it the capital of the new Byzantine Theme of Langobardia.
After five years of successive governors in Sicily, the Aghlabids appoint Ja'far ibn Muhammad as governor of Sicily. He immediately restarts the campaign against the eastern still-Byzantine part of the island. He lays siege to Syracuse. A Byzantine relief fleet is destroyed by the Aghlabid navy. Towards the end of the year, with Syracuse well-blockaded from land and sea, Jafar returns to Palermo, leaving the siege in place.
June, 877 Assembly at Quierzy. Despite the crisis in France and over the opposition of his nobles, Charles the Bald fears for the wavering Boso of Vienne and announces his intention to lead an expedition to Italy to assist the Pope John VIII against the Arabs.
It is here that Charles the Bald issues the famous Edict of Quierzy making large feudal fiefs and beneficies hereditary in Frankish domains, thus introducing the concept of hereditary dukes and counts into feudalism.
June, 877 Conference in Taetto between the leaders of southern states. Pope John VIII manages to assemble Landulf II of Capua, Gauifier of Salerno, Docibilis of Gaeta, Sergius II of Naples and Puleari of Amalfi. Negotiations begin on the terms of their adherence to an anti-Arab Holy League. Large concessions are given to get adherence:
- Guaifer of Salerno adheres to the league, when John VIII agrees to drop claims on the papal benefices in that principality.
- The Republic of Amalfi agrees to adhere to the League for a payment of 10,000 mancusi. As soon as the Pope agrees, the Amalfitans as for another 12,000.
- Sergius II of Naples refuses to adhere outright -- and even begins conjurations with the Arabs and the Marquises of Spoleto.
- Republic of Gaeta adheres to the league when Pope John VIII enfeoffs the ruler, Duke John I of Gaeta with the patrimonies of Traetto and Fondi, adding the whole area running between Terracina to Gaeta. With this enfeoffment, Gaeta greatly increases in size and formally breaks off any remaining ties to the Duchy of Naples.
July, 877 Synod of Ravenna assembled to discuss the alienation of Church property by the magnates and the continuing Arab colonization in southern Italy. The council decides to prohibit enfeoffments of Church lands by bishops on laymen -- with the exception that the Pope himself may do so to people who have proven themselves exceptionally useful to the Roman Church (as has just happened with Gaeta).
September, 877 Carloman's invasion Leaving his son Louis the Stammerer of Aquitaine as regent, Charles the Bald departs on his journey to Italy, at the head of a small army. Pope John VIII, hearing of his arrival while in Ravenna, proceeds to Vercelli to meet him and then escorts him to Pavia and then on to Tortona, the presumed location of the Lombard mayfield. But the Lombard nobility isn't there. Through the influence of Berengar of Friuli and dowager Ermengarda, the Lombard regent Boso of Vienne and the bulk of the Lombard nobility are already in league with Carloman of Bavaria, who is at this moment bringing his own army over the Alps to seize the kingdom.
September, 877 News of a revolt back in France against Louis the Stammerer forces Charles the Bald to leave Tortona and rush to France quickly, abandoning Lombardia to Carloman's party. Pope John VIII scurries back to Rome.
An angry Charles summons Boso of Vienne to France to explain himself. Boso appoints his brother Richard the Justicar as his regent in Provence and Lombardia during his absence.
October, 877 Death of Emperor Charles II (the Bald) in the Maurienne, on his way back from Italy to France. His eldest son, Louis the Stammerer of Aquitaine, ascends as King Louis II ("The Stammerer") of the West Franks (Franks of Neustria & West Lorraine + Burgundians + Aquitaine). But Lombardia goes to their cousin Carloman of Bavaria, who arrives in Pavia and acclaimed by the Frankish lords as King Carloman ('Bavaria') of the Lombards.
- Carloman of Bavaria, King of the Lombards.
purple = Louis II the Stammerer
olive = Louis the Younger
orange = Charles the Fat
pink = Carloman of Bavaria
The imperial throne remains temporarily vacant as Pope John VIII negotiates with both parties.
October, 877 With Papal encouragement, Sergius II of Naples is deposed, blinded and dispatched to Rome by his brother Bishop Athanasius of Naples, who duly ascends as Duke Athanasius II of Naples.
November, 877 Carloman falls sick and returns to Bavaria.
877 Death of St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Constaninople. The former schismatic Patriarch Photius I is restored as Patriarch of Constantinople. Seeking a rapprochement with the Byzantines (the only ones with a chance to reimpose order in increasingly anarchic southern Italy and break the Spoletan noose), a desperate Pope John VIII decides to turn back the policy of his predecessors and recognize the rehabilitation of Photius.
Khalid ibn Walid
Lombards Timeline - History
The origins of the Germanic tribes is lost in the sands of time. What little is known is based upon linguistic evidence. The Germanic languages belong to the Indo-European family of languages that span Eurasia from Ireland on the west to India on the east. The origin of the Indo-European languages is believed to have been in the merger of three peoples in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. One of the three excelled in warfare, one in agriculture and one in metal-working. The synthesis of these three strengths produced a folk that spread east and west. The western branch splits into the ancestors of the Baltic, the Celtic, the Germanic and the Slavic tribes as well as a welter of smaller groupings such as those of the Latins and Greeks. The languages of the Germanic tribes underwent a systematic sound change that distinguished them from the languages of the other branches.
By about 500 BCE the Germanic tribes were occupying the southern shores of the Baltic and southern Scandinavia. Some of these Germanic tribes migrated and established control of new territories. Tribes from Scandinavia, known as the Goths, migrated southeast to the area north of the Black Sea. Later they divided into the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths and conquered areas in the north shore of the Mediterranean Sea as far west as the Iberian peninsula. Later the Franks from what is now Germany moved west and conquered the Low Lands and Roman Gaul, giving it their name as France. The Angles and Saxons, along with Justes, invaded Britain and created England. Another Germanic tribe, the Lombards (long beards), invaded and conquered what is now northern Italy. The Burgundians from the region which included the Baltic Island of Bornholm moved southward and ended up establishing the Kingdom of Burgundy in what is now southeast France. Still later Germanic tribe invaded the territory of the Prussians, a Slavic people, and conquered them so thoroughly that Prussian came to be identified as the epitome of Germanness. All in all it was a remarkable record of military prowess on the part of the Germanic tribes. However in the scheme of things the occupation of territory by the less bellicose Slavic tribes was more successful. And while the Slavic tribes by and large maintained their linguistic and cultural identity the conquering Germanic tribes were largely absorbed into the cultures they conquered.
The first written record of the Germanic tribes was by the Roman historian Tacitus in 98 BCE. German tribes were moving into the region that is now southwestern Germany about the same time the Romans were conquering Gaul. Julius Caesar defeated the Suevian tribe in 70 BCE and thus established the Rhine River as the boundary between Roman and German territory. But a Roman fear of militaristic peoples on their borders prompted the Roman governor Varus to invade the territory beyond the Rhine. Those Romans were soundly defeated in the year 9 AD at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. The leader of the victorious Germans was a German who had received military training in the Roman army. This German victory freed the German tribes of any serious threat of domination by the Romans, although the Romans did later conquer some territories beyond the Rhine and the Danube.
The king of the Franks, Clovis, ruled over the mixed Celtic-Roman-German population of Gaul from 486 to 511. Clovis's line, the Merovingians, ended when Pepin the Younger gained the throne of the Franks in 741. His line became known as the Carolingians.
The greatest of the Carolingians was Charlemagne (Charles the Great) who ruled the Franks from 768 to 814. Charlemagne conquered the Lombard kingdom of north Italy in 774. In 800 Charlemagne was declared Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope. Charlemagne's son Louis continued the rule of the Frankish Holy Roman Empire which stretched from the Spanish Marches to what is now Germany and Austria. But this magnificient empire was too large and unwieldy to rule so shortly after Louis the Pious died in 840 the empire was divided, in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun, between three of Charlemagne's grandsons. The title of Holy Roman Emperor went to the ruler of the Middle Kingdom.
The Lombard kingdom reached its height in the 7th and 8th cent. Paganism and Arianism, which were at first prevalent among the Lombards, gradually gave way to Catholicism. Roman culture and Latin speech were accepted, and the Catholic bishops emerged as chief magistrates in the cities. Lombard law combined Germanic and Roman traditions. King Liutprand (712–44) consolidated the kingdom through his legislation and reduced Spoleto and Benevento to vassalage. One of his successors, Aistulf, took Ravenna (751) and threatened Rome. Pope Stephen II appealed to the Frankish King Pepin the Short, who invaded Italy the Lombards lost the territories comprised in the Donation of Pepin to the papacy. After Aistulf's death King Desiderius renewed (772) the attack on Rome. Charlemagne, Pepin's successor, intervened, defeated the Lombards, and was crowned (774) with the Lombard crown at Pavia. Of the Lombard kingdom only the duchy of Benevento remained, and it was conquered in the 11th cent. by the Normans. The iron crown of the Lombard kings (now kept at Monza, Italy) was also used for the coronation (951) of Otto I (the first Holy Roman emperor) as king of Italy and for the crowning of several succeeding emperors. The Lombards left their name to the Italian region of Lombardy. The chief historian of the Lombards was Paul the Deacon.
See T. Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. V and VI (1895, repr. 1967) P. Villari, Barbarian Invasions of Italy (2 vol., tr. 1902) J. T. Hallenbeck, Pavia and Rome: The Lombard Monarchy and the Papacy in the Eighth Century (1982).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Lethuc, King of the Lombards
The Lethings (Italian: Letingi) were a dynasty of Lombard kings ruling in the fifth and sixth centuries until 546. They were the first Lombard royal dynasty and they represent the emergence of the Lombard rulership out of obscurity and into history.
The Lethings were elected by an assembly of warriors.
They took their dynastic name from Lethuc, the first known Lombard king. When Lethuc died and was replaced by Aldihoc, the Lombards took a step towards institutional stability. Under the Lethings, too, the Lombards, who had thitherto wandered around northern Europe, migrated south to the Danube and Pannonia. In 510, the reigning Lething, Tato, was displaced by his nephew, Wacho, and thereafter until 546 a cadet branch of the original house ruled. Under the last dynasts, the Lombards became a power in terms of their threat to the Byzantine Empire on par with the Ostrogoths and Franks.
The Lething were displaced when the child ruler Walthari was killed by his regent, Audoin, who then assumed the throne, inaugurating the Gausi dynasty. The Lething lineage did no die out, however, as Waldrada, a daughter of Wacho, had married Garibald I of Bavaria, and fostered a daughter, Theodelinda, who married Authari and became Queen of the Lombards. Her descendents were the Bavarian dynasty, a cadet branch of the Agilolfings, themselves Frankish.
Om Lethuc, King of the Lombards (Norsk)
Lethu, konge av Langobardene, Grunnlegger av det letingiske dynasti.
Lethu (Leti) var konge' over langobardene i første halvdel av det femte århundre. Han etterfulgte kong Lamissio og regnes som grunnlegger av det letingiske dynasti hos langobardene.
Langobardene var et germansk folkeslag som var på vandring sørover og østover i Europa tidlig i folkevandringstiden. De nevnes allerede hos den romerske historikeren Tacitus i hans bok Germania fra 98 e. Kr. og de ble av ham betegnet som dyktige krigere
Kong Lamissio hadde slått hunerne i et slag ved den romerske provinsen Noricum og hadde etablert et langobardisk samfunn i dette omrt ved dagens Østerrike. Hovedkilden til langobardenes historie, Historia Langobardum av Paulus Diaconus (fra ca 790), er svært sparsom på opplysninger om Lethu. Han skal ha regjert i førti år som langobardenes tredje konge uten store stridigheter Etter hans dྍ ble kongemakten overlatt til hans sønn Hildeoc og han har med dette sannsynligvis innført arverett til kronen.