Arichis I.

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Arichis I († 641 ) was Duke of Benevento from 591 to 641 .


Arichis originally came from the north Italian duchy of Friuli and was related to the duchy there. He was the tutor of Gisulf II and Grasulf II or of Gisulf's sons.

When the first Longobard Duke of Benevento, Zotto , died in the spring of 591, Agilulf , King of the Longobards, appointed Arichis as his successor.

In his government, Arichis was hardly less independent than his predecessor Zotto, so that the sovereignty of the Lombard king from distant Pavia remained more formal, especially since northern Italy was still separated from the Lombard areas in central and southern Italy by Byzantine territory.

His ducat initially comprised the ancient Italian provinces of Samnium and Apulia . From Byzantium, which could only hold out in some coastal areas in the south, Arichis conquered the cities of Capua and Venafro in Campania and some areas in Lucania and Bruttium . Another attack on Naples (Zotto had already attacked the city) failed.

The boundaries of the Duchy of Benevento can only be given vaguely. To the north it followed the Garigliano and Liri rivers , Lake Fucin and the Pescara river . In the south, the areas southeast of the line Cosenza - Rossano and the "paragraph" of Italy remained Byzantine.

In June 595, Ariulf , the dux of Spoleto , began peace negotiations with Pope Gregory the Great , which were concluded in October 598 to the effect that no further steps would be taken against him and his ally Arichis I. In a letter from the year 599, Pope Gregory Arichis addressed him as "my son" and asked him to support a church building by procuring timber.

Around 614 Gisulf II's sons, Taso and Cacco, the duces of Friuli, were murdered by patricius Gregor. Radoald and Grimoald then drove to Arichis, their former teacher, who received them kindly.

At the end of the 620s the important port of Salerno could be captured. In his later years, Arichis tried to establish his rule and to find a balance with the Catholics. In relation to the Lombard king - Agilulf was first followed by Adaloald , then Arioald and finally Rothari - Arichis retained such a high degree of independence that the appointment of a successor for him by the king was no longer an option, but inheritance prevailed: When Arichis died in 641, his son Ajo I followed him , although shortly before his death he had chosen Radoald and Grimoald to be his successors.



Web links

Wikisource: Historia Langobardorum  - Sources and full texts (Latin)

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders Vol VI, pp. 73ff
  2. ^ A b Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum IV, 18
  3. ^ Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire , Vol. 3, pp. 119-120
  4. ^ Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum IV, 19
  5. Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum IV, 38–39
  6. ^ Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum IV, 43
predecessor Office successor
Zotto Duke of Benevento
Ajo I.