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and Bruttium and Calabria wholly Roman, there was no part of the land that was not parted between the invader and the old Imperial Government.
Coming into a country already desolate and well-nigh dispeopled, and bringing with them the customs of primitive Germany, untinctured with any Roman intermixture, the Lombards established a polity even less centralised than that of the Visigoths, and infinitely below the standard of government The Lombard which Theodoric had once set up in Italy eighty Monarchy, years before. When the nation once more chose a king, his power was hopelessly circumscribed by the authority of the great hereditary dukes. Spoleto and Benevento hardly paid even a nominal homage to the king who reigned at Pavia. Only when he presented himself with a large army in central Italy could he hope to win attention for his orders. Even in the valley of the Po, and in Tuscany, his power was very imperfect. The authority of the royal name had been fatally injured by the extinction, with Alboin, of the ancient kingly house of the Lethings. The Lombard monarchs, like their Visigothic contemporaries in Spain, only held their crown, when once they had been elected, by the right of the sword. In a short history of two hundred years the Lombard kingdom saw nine successive races of kings mount the throne. All represented old ducal families. The rulers of Turin, Brescia, Benevento, Friuli, and Istria all, at one time or another, won the royal crown, besides two or three kings who were not even Lombards by birth, but strangers from the neighbouring land of Bavaria.
In the wasted regions of northern Italy, it would seem that the Lombards formed for some time the large majority of the population. Unlike the Goths in Spain, or the Franks in central Gaul, they did not merely consist of a few scattered families lost among the masses of the old inhabitants. There is a greater breach in the old Roman traditions of municipal and social life in the valley of the Po than in most of the other lands of the Western Empire. In the seventh century Lombardy must have preserved less traces of its ancient imperial organisation than Spain, Gaul, or Burgundy, and must have presented a much more primitive and Teutonic aspect. This is, as we should expect, from the fact that the Lombards came
from the very back of Germany, and first met with the influence of the older world of Rome when they moved into Italy. Outside theJPo valley, however, Italy was in a very different state; southern Italy and much of central Italy preserved its ancient organisation almost undisturbed; the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Ducatus Romanus, and_the southern peninsulas of Apulia and Bruttium remained unchanged down to the ninth century. Records show us in the neighbourhood of Rome the old social organisation of the land, in domains inhabited by coloni, and owned by Roman church corporations, or absentee proprietors, at a time when in the northern plains the feudal system of the semi-independent dukes, each surrounded by their land-holding comites, was in full operation. In organisation, no less than in blood, northern Italy and southern Italy were fatally sundered, and two nations differing in all their usages of life and manners of thought were growing up.
The parts of Italy which remained under the imperial sceptre and preserved their ancient social and political organisation were strangely scattered. In the reign of Maurice (582-602) the emperor was still obeyed in eight regions. First was the Istrian peninsula, and the marsh and lagoon islands of the Venetian coast, with the strong cities of Padua and Mantua thrust inland like a wedge into the side of Lombardy. Second came the Ligurian coast with the city of Genoa, crushed in between the Apennines and the sea; its rugged valleys and cliffs did not yet tempt the Lombards out of their smiling plain to court the neighbourhood of the sea, for the Lombards were essentially unmaritime. Third is found the tract of land round Ravenna, the Exarchate, as it now became imperial called—a title which it shared for a space with possessions Africa, where exarchs also reigned. The Exarchate in Italy. stretched along the coast of the Adriatic, from the delta of the Po up to the gates of Rimini, reaching as far inland as the Apennines, and comprising the whole southern half of the ancient province of Emilia. Farther down the coast lay the fourth imperial district, from Rimini to Ancona, which was often called the Pentapolis and the Decapolis, from two groups of five and ten cities respectively which it contained.1 In Umbria lay a fifth detached district where the
1 The 'five cities' were Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Sinigaglia, Ancona; the 'ten cities'—Osimo, Umana, Jesi, Fossombrone, Montefeltro, Urbino, emperor was still acknowledged; it centred around Perugia, and was much hemmed in by the Lombard duchies of Chiusi and Spoleto, but it stretched out one horn toward the Pentapolis on the north, and the other toward Rome on the south. The sixth district was the Roman territory, now known as the Ducatus Romanus, from the dux who acted as civil governor in the ancient city in subordination to the exarch at Ravenna. The Roman duchy reached from Civita Vecchia to Terracina, and from the Apennines to the sea, taking in the southern corner of Etruria, and well-nigh the whole of Latium. It was cut off by the Lombard town of Capua from the duchy of Naples, a narrow coast-strip containing the towns of Naples and Amalphi, and ruled by a duke resident in the larger place. Lastly, all the toe and heel of Italy, Calabria Bruttium and southern Lucania, the whole coast line"from Brindisi to Policastro, formed the eighth Roman district. It was evident that the administration of such a number of fragmentary possessions would be a hard task for the exarch, cut off as he was from access by land to the greater part of the regions for which he was responsible. It was not so easy to foresee that the main result of the scission of Italy by the Lombard conquests was destined to be the rise of the temporal power of the Papacy, that most unexpected of the developments of the seventh century.
After the anarchy under the tribal dukes had lasted ten years, the Lombards chose them another king. The election seems to have been made mainly under the pressure of the war with the Franks, which they had brought upon themselves by their reckless invasion and ravaging of Provence in 574-75. Guntram of Burgundy induced his Austrasian kinsman to help him, and the Lombards were attacked by the Austrasians, who descended the valley of the Adige and attacked Trent, as well as by the Burgundians. Moreover, Tiberius n. of Constantinople had sent gifts to the kings of the Franks in order
Cagli, Gubbio, Pontericcioli, and the Territorium Valvense. Bury's Later Roman Empire, vol. ii. p. 146.
to induce them to aid him in Italy, and had done what he could, while the Persian and Avaric wars still dragged on, to send help to the exarch of Ravenna.
The new Lombard king was Authari, the son of that Clepho whose murder had left the throne vacant in 573. So greatly was the need of providing for the maintenance of the central power felt, that the dukes not only did him homage, and ceded him the royal city of Pavia, but promised him a half of all the lands that were in their hands as a royal domain to maintain him, his comitatus, and his officers. We may doubt if the promise was very exactly kept. Nor did all the dukes unite in the election. The first act of king Authari had to be to subdue and expel duke Droctulf, who had called .in the Romans, and fortified himself in Brescello to defend the middle valley of the Po against the king. For the whole of his reign Authari was involved in recurring struggles with the Franks, whose young and warlike king, Childebert n., the son of Brunhildis, was set on resuming the schemes of his cousin Theudebert for conquering Italy. The seven years' reign of Authari was mainly occupied in warding off Frankish attacks wars of on Italy , Guntram and Childebert, stirred up by Authari, Smaragdus, the exarch of Ravenna, threatened 583-90. three or four times to cross the Alps, and twice
actually invaded Lombardy. The more dangerous assault was in 590, when two great armies advanced simultaneously, the one from Burgundy over the Cenis against Milan, the other from Austrasia over the Brenner against Trent and Verona. Both forced their way to their goal, and did much damage to the Lombards, but they failed to meet with each other, or with the Roman troops which the exarch had promised to bring to their aid. Famine and pestilence thinned their ranks, and they could not reach the Lombard king, who had shut himself up in the impregnable Pavia. At last they returned each to their own land, without profiting in the least by their great expedition.1 1 See p. 170,