Authari

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Authari
King of the Lombards
Nuremberg chronicles f 150r 1.jpg
Woodcut vignette of Authari in the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle
Reign584 – 590
Predecessor Rule of the Dukes
Successor Agilulf
Bornc. 540
Died5 September 590
Pavia, Neustria
Lombard Kingdom
Spouse Theodelinda
Father Cleph
Religion Arianism

Authari (c. 540 5 September 590) was king of the Lombards from 584 to his death. He was considered as the first Lombard king to have adopted some level of "Roman-ness" and introduced policies that led to drastic changes particularly in the treatment of the Romans and Christianity. [1]

Lombards Historical ethnical group

The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Contents

Rule

Authari was the son of Cleph, King of the Lombards. When the latter died in 574, the Lombard nobility refused to appoint a successor, resulting in a ten-years-long interregnum known as the Rule of the Dukes.

Cleph was king of the Lombards from 572 to 574.

The Rule of the Dukes was an interregnum in the Lombard Kingdom of Italy (574/5–584/5) during which Italy was ruled by the Lombard dukes of the old Roman provinces and urban centres. The interregnum is said to have lasted a decade according to Paul the Deacon, but all other sources—the Fredegarii Chronicon, the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, the Chronicon Gothanum, and the Copenhagen continuator of Prosper Tiro—accord it twelve. Here is how Paul describes the dukes' rule:

After his death the Langobards had no king for ten years but were under dukes, and each one of the dukes held possession of his own city, Zaban of Ticinum, Wallari of Bergamus, Alichis of Brexia, Euin of Tridentum, Gisulf of Forum Julii. But there were thirty other dukes besides these in their own cities. In these days many of the noble Romans were killed from love of gain, and the remainder were divided among their "guests" and made tributaries, that they should pay the third part of their products to the Langobards. By these dukes of the Langobards in the seventh year from the coming of Alboin and of his whole people, the churches were despoiled, the priests killed, the cities overthrown, the people who had grown up like crops annihilated, and besides those regions which Alboin had taken, the greater part of Italy was seized and subjugated by the Langobards.

In 574 and 575 the Lombards invaded Provence, then part of the kingdom of Burgundy of the Merovingian Guntram. The latter, in alliance with his nephew, the king of Austrasia Childebert II, replied by invading Northern Italy. The Austrasian army descended the valley of the Adige and took Trent. The Byzantine emperor, Tiberius II, began to negotiate an alliance with the Franks, and so the Lombards, fearful of a pincer movement, elected another king.

Provence Historical province in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, and includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse. The largest city of the region is Marseille.

Kingdom of Burgundy historic region in Western Europe, now Southern France

Kingdom of Burgundy was a name given to various states located in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The historical Burgundy correlates with the border area of France, Italy and Switzerland and includes the major modern cities of Geneva and Lyon.

Guntram king of Burgundy from 561 to 592

Saint Gontrand, also called Gontran, Gontram, Guntram, Gunthram, Gunthchramn, and Guntramnus, was the king of the Kingdom of Orleans from AD 561 to AD 592. He was the third eldest and second eldest surviving son of Chlothar I and Ingunda. On his father's death in 561, he became king of a fourth of the Kingdom of the Franks, and made his capital at Orléans. The name "Gontrand" denotes "war raven".

In 584, they elected Duke Authari and ceded him the capital of Pavia as well as half of their ducal domains as a demesne. He spent his entire reign in wars with the Franks, the Byzantines, and Lombard rebels. His first major test was the quashing of the rebel duke Droctulf of Brescello, who had allied with the Romans and was ruling the Po valley. Having expelled him, he spent most of the rest of his six years on the throne fighting the exarch of Ravenna, Smaragdus, or the Merovingian kings.

Pavia Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Pavia is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 kilometres south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It has a population of c. 73,000. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of the Lombards from 572 to 774.

Demesne Type of property

In the feudal system, the demesne was all the land which was retained by a lord of the manor for his own use and occupation or support, under his own management, as distinguished from land sub-enfeoffed by him to others as sub-tenants. In England, royal demesne is the land held by the Crown, and ancient demesne is the legal term for the land held by the king at the time of the Domesday Book.

Droctulf was a Byzantine general of Suevic or Alemannic origin. According to Paul the Deacon's Historia Langobardorum, he was raised among the Lombards, with whom he entered the Italian peninsula in 569. He eventually joined the Byzantine army to fight against them, becoming an important ally of both Emperor and Pope.

Guntram and Childebert were still not satisfied with their successes in Italy and they many times threatened invasion, following through on their threats twice. The memory of Theudebert I of Austrasia's campaigns in Italy, the urging of Childebert's warlike mother Brunhilda and the Byzantine emperor and exarch, as well as the wrongs done Guntram in the past undoubtedly fueled their quarrelsomeness. In 588, Authari defeated them handily, but in 590, the uncle and nephew led two armies across the Alps, respectively over Mont Cenis and the Brenner to Milan and Verona. Though Authari shut himself up in Pavia, the Franks accomplished little as the exarch's army did not meet them and they could not even join up with each other. Pestilence turned them around and they left the Lombards much chastened, but hardly defeated.

Theudebert I Frankish King

Theudebert I was the Merovingian king of Austrasia from 533 to his death in 548. He was the son of Theuderic I and the father of Theudebald.

Brunhilda of Austrasia Queen of Austrasia

Brunhilda was queen regent of Austrasia, part of Francia, by marriage to the Merovingian king Sigebert I of Austrasia.

Mont Cenis mountain pass in Alps

Mont Cenis is a massif and pass in Savoie (France), which forms the limit between the Cottian and Graian Alps.

Authari, when not controlled by foreign armies, expanded the Lombard dominion at the expense of Byzantium. He took the fortress of Comacchio and cut off communication between Padua and Ravenna. Faroald, duke of Spoleto, captured the Ravennan seaport of Classis and utterly devastated it. Authari swept through the peninsula all the way to Reggio, vowing to take Calabria a vow never to be kept by any Lombard.

Comacchio Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Comacchio is a town and comune of Emilia Romagna, Italy, in the province of Ferrara, 48 kilometres (30 mi) from the provincial capital Ferrara.

Padua Comune in Veneto, Italy

Padua is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 214,000. The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) which has a population of c. 2,600,000.

Ravenna Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.

Authari married Theodelinda, daughter of the Bavarian duke Garibald I, on 15 May 589 at Verona. A Catholic, she had great influence among the Lombards for her virtue. A detailed account of the courtship by the eighth-century historian Paul the Deacon revealed that the marriage was also a political alliance designed to provide additional sanction to Authari's royal position. [2] In addition, Theodelinda was also chosen due to the long-standing ties between the Lombards and the Bavarians as well as their mutual hostility toward the Franks. [3] She also claimed descent from the ancient Lombard royal line. [3]

When Authari died in Pavia in 590, possibly by poison, he was succeeded as king by Agilulf, duke of Turin, on the advice, sought by the dukes, of Theodelinda, who married the new king. [4]

Related Research Articles

The 580s decade ran from January 1, 580, to December 31, 589.

The 590s decade ran from January 1, 590, to December 31, 599.

589 Year

Year 589 (DLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 589 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

584 Year

Year 584 (DLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 584 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

590 Year

Year 590 (DXC) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 590 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Chlothar II King of Neustria

Chlothar II, called the Great or the Young, was King of Neustria and King of the Franks, and the son of Chilperic I and his third wife, Fredegund. He started his reign as an infant under the regency of his mother, who was in an uneasy alliance with Clothar's uncle Guntram, King of Burgundy. Clothar assumed full power over Neustria upon the death of his mother, in 597; though rich this was one of the smallest portions of Francia. He continued his mother's feud with Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia with equal viciousness and bloodshed, finally achieving her execution in an especially brutal manner in 613, after winning the battle that enabled Chlothar to unite Francia under his rule. Like his father, he built up his territories by moving in after the deaths of other kings.

Childebert II King of Austrasia

Childebert II (c.570–595) was the Merovingian king of Austrasia from 575 until his death in 595, as the eldest son of Sigebert I, and the king of Burgundy from 592 to his death, as the adopted son of his uncle Guntram.

Francia territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. It is the predecessor of the modern states of France and Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843.

Exarchate of Ravenna

The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a lordship of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, from 584 to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards. It was one of two exarchates established following the western reconquests under Emperor Justinian to more effectively administrate the territories, along with the Exarchate of Africa.

Liutprand, King of the Lombards Lombard king

Liutprand was the King of the Lombards from 712 to 744 and is chiefly remembered for his Donation of Sutri, in 728, and his long reign, which brought him into a series of conflicts, mostly successful, with most of Italy. He is often regarded as the most successful Lombard monarch, notable for the Donation of Sutri, which was the first accolade of sovereign territory to the Papacy.

Agilulf Lombard king

Agilulf called the Thuringian, was a duke of Turin and king of the Lombards from 591 until his death.

Zaban was the Lombard dux of Pavia (Ticinum) during the decade-long interregnum known as the Rule of the Dukes. Pavia had been the capital of the Lombard kingdom, but after the death of King Cleph, it became the centre of a great duchy, one of thirty five into which the Lombard state was then divided. It seems that, as the ruler of the ancient capital, Zaban held a certain superiority of rank over his fellow duces and may have acted as their commander-in-chief.

Kingdom of the Lombards former country

The Kingdom of the Lombards also known as the Lombard Kingdom; later the Kingdom of (all) Italy, was an early medieval state established by the Lombards, a Germanic people, on the Italian Peninsula in the latter part of the 6th century. The king was traditionally elected by the highest-ranking aristocrats, the dukes, as several attempts to establish a hereditary dynasty failed. The kingdom was subdivided into a varying number of duchies, ruled by semi-autonomous dukes, which were in turn subdivided into gastaldates at the municipal level. The capital of the kingdom and the center of its political life was Pavia in the modern northern Italian region of Lombardy.

Garibald I was Duke of Bavaria from 555 until 591. He stands at the head of the Agilolfings and the Bavarian Dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of the Lombards.

Duchy of Friuli

The Duchy of Friuli was a Lombard duchy in present-day Friuli, the first to be established after the conquest of the Italian peninsula in 568. It was one of the largest domains in Langobardia Major and an important buffer between the Lombard kingdom and the Slavs, Avars, and the Byzantine Empire. The original chief city in the province was Roman Aquileia, but the Lombard capital of Friuli was Forum Julii, modern Cividale.

Duchy of the Pentapolis

In the Byzantine Empire, the Duchy of the Pentapolis was a duchy, a territory ruled by a duke (dux) appointed by and under the authority of the Praetorian Prefect of Italy (554–584) and then the Exarch of Ravenna (584–751). The Pentapolis consisted of the cities of Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini and Sinigaglia. It lay along the Adriatic coast between the rivers Marecchia and Misco immediately south of the core territory of the exarchate ruled directly by the exarch, east of the Duchy of Perugia, another Byzantine territory, and north of the Duchy of Spoleto, which was part of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. The duchy probably extended inland as far as the Apennine Mountains, perhaps beyond, and its southernmost town was Humana (Numera) on the northern bank of the Misco. The capital of the Pentapolis was Rimini and the duke was both the civil and military authority in the duchy.

Euin, also Ewin or Eoin, was the first Lombard Duke of Trent during the Rule of the Dukes, an interregnum (575–585) during which the Kingdom of Italy was ruled by its regional magnates, the dukes of the thirty or so cities. Euin participated in several significant wars during his long reign. The primary source for his career is Paul the Deacon's Historia Langobardorum.

Duchy of Perugia

The Duchy of Perugia was a duchy in the Italian part of the Byzantine Empire. Its civil and military administration was overseen by a duke (dux) appointed by and under the authority originally of the Praetorian Prefect of Italy (554–584) and later of the Exarch of Ravenna (584–751). Its chief city and namesake was Perugia (Perusia), located at its centre. It was a band of territory connecting the Duchy of the Pentapolis to its northeast with the Duchy of Rome to its southwest, and separating the duchies of Tuscia and Spoleto, both parts of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. It was of great strategic significance to the Byzantines since it provided communication between Rome, the city of the Popes, and Ravenna, the capital of the Exarchate. Since it cut off the Duke of Spoleto from his nominal overlord, the king ruling from Pavia, it also disturbed the Lombard kingdom, which was a constant thorn in the Byzantines' side. This strategic importance meant that many Lombard and Byzantine armies passed through it.

References

  1. Ghosh, Shami (2015). Writing the Barbarian Past: Studies in Early Medieval Historical Narrative. Leiden: BRILL. p. 144. ISBN   9789004305229.
  2. the Deacon, Paul (2011). History of the Lombards. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 140. ISBN   0812210794.
  3. 1 2 Frassetto, Michael (2013). The Early Medieval World: From the Fall of Rome to the Time of Charlemagne [2 Volumes]. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC. p. 525. ISBN   9781598849950.
  4. "German Tribes org Lombard Kings". GermanTribes.org. Archived from the original on 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2010-07-18.

Sources

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Rule of the Dukes
King of the Lombards
584590
Succeeded by
Agilulf