Duchy of Benevento

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The Duchy of Benevento ( Ducato di Benevento ) with the capital Benevento in the Campania region was a dominion and settlement area of ​​the Longobards that existed between 571 and 1077 until it was incorporated into the southern Italian Empire of the Normans .

The Duchy of Benevento in the 8th century


In the course of the expansion of the Longobards in northern and central Italy, the city of Benevento 571 became the seat of the Lombard dux (Duke) Zotto , who submitted to large parts of southern Italy. Along with Friuli , Spoleto and Trento , the Duchy of Benevento was one of the largest ducats in the Longobard Empire.

Dynasty of Arichis I.

When Zotto died in the spring of 591, Agilulf , king of the Lombards, appointed Arichis I as his successor. In his government Arichis was hardly less independent than his predecessor Zotto, so that the sovereignty of the Lombard king in distant Pavia remained more formal, especially since northern Italy was still separated from the Lombard areas in central and southern Italy by eastern Roman territory (see Byzantine Empire ).

His ducat initially comprised the ancient Italian provinces of Samnium and Apulia . From the Eastern Roman Empire, which could only survive in a few coastal areas in the south, Arichis conquered further areas in Campania , Lucania and Bruttium . The boundaries of the Duchy of Benevento can only be given vaguely. To the north they 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 "heel" of Italy remained Eastern Roman. In his later years, Arichis tried to establish his rule and to find a balance with the Catholics. He 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 . Ajo fell near Siponto in 642 while trying to drive away Slavic looters who had landed on the coast.

Dynasty of the Grimoald

Thereupon Raduald , probably with the consent of the Longobard king Rothari , was Ajo's successor. In 647 Grimoald succeeded his late brother Raduald as Duke. Grimoald defeated Eastern Roman troops who had invaded the sanctuary of the Archangel Michael on Mons Garganus ( Gargano ). In 662 Grimoald murdered King Godepert , drove King Perctarit out and ascended the throne himself. Romuald I , his son and successor as dux , was able to repel an invasion of the Eastern Roman emperor Constans II in 662 with the support of his father . Romuald gave up the anti-Catholic policies of his predecessors and his wife Theuderada was very successful in proselytizing the Arian Longobards.

Alzeco (also Alzek), a chagan (prince) or dux of the proto-Bulgarians , moved to northern Italy in 667 after the Avars had invaded the ducat of Friuli, and came peacefully with his entourage to Benevento, where he was king Grimoald and dux Romuald I. was settled. In the 680s Romuald conquered eastern Roman areas of southern Italy. When he died in 687, Grimoald II succeeded him as dux . His reign evidently took place without significant events. Gisulf I. (689-706) conquered some areas in Latium . The campaigns of his son Romuald II (706-731 / 732) were without lasting success.

When Romuald II died in 731 or 732, a follow-up dispute broke out in which the usurper Audelahis initially asserted himself against Gisulf II , who was still a small child. He ruled for two years before he was overthrown by supporters of Gisulf. King Liutprand , who had intervened in the dispute, appointed his own nephew Gregorius as dux .

Godescalcus followed this without the consent of the king. Godescalc was killed by the Beneventans on the run in 742 and King Liutprand appointed his nephew Gisulf II as dux .

Gisulf's successor was his son Liutprand in 751. After King Aistulf died in 756, a succession dispute broke out between his brother Ratchis and Desiderius . The ducat Benevento exploited this weakness of the kingship and became autonomous again, but in 758 Liutprand fled from King Desiderius to Otranto in Eastern Rome and he installed his son-in-law Arichis II in his office.

Dynasty of Arichis II.

After the conquest of the Longobard Empire in 774 by Charlemagne , Arichis II concluded an alliance with him that formally recognized Franconian sovereignty. But the ducat Benevento remained independent under Arichis II, who assumed the title of princeps and ruled with power equal to that of a king since 774. Under his son Grimoald III. (788–806) there was a change from pro-Franconian to pro-Eastern Roman politics.

Italy around the year 1000

Further development

In the period that followed, Benevento repeatedly became dependent on the Franks and the Roman-German emperors. In connection with the Arab conquest of southern Italy in 840 , Benevento was occupied by the Muslims for a few years. Thereupon the present principality was divided into two, 850 into the three individual areas Benevento, Salerno and Capua , all of which existed as principalities ( principatus ).

In 1047 Benevento fell into the hands of Norman conquerors, with the exception of the city of Benevento, which Emperor Heinrich III. 1053 Pope Leo IX to compensate for some ceded feudal rights to the diocese of Bamberg .

In 1418 Benevento came to the Kingdom of Naples , but Ferdinand I (Naples) gave it to Pope Alexander VI. back, who gave it to his second eldest son, Juan Borgia , as a duchy in June 1497, but he was murdered only a few days later.

When Benevento was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1668 , the then Archbishop Pietro Francesco Orsini (later Pope Benedict XIII ) had a large part of the city rebuilt from his private assets. The harshness of Pope Clement XIII. against the Infante Philip of Parma caused the Neapolitans to occupy Benevento in 1761, which was returned to Clement XIV in 1774 .

The French conquered Benevento in 1798 and sold it to Naples. Cardinal Fabrizio Dionigi Ruffo dispersed the troops of the Parthenopean Republic in a battle near Benevento in 1799 . In 1806 Napoleon I gave Benevento as a principality to his minister Talleyrand , who accepted the title of Prince of Benevento.

1815 Benevento was after the defeat of Napoleon and appointed by again returning King Joachim Murat of Naples back to the Papal States returned. The King of Naples only reserved a few sovereign rights, such as the regalia of the tobacco and salt sales and the postal and customs services. Since the partial annexation of the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples in 1860, Benevento belonged to the newly created Kingdom of Italy .

Dukes of Benevento

Prince of Benevento under papal suzerainty

  • 1053-1054 Rudolf
  • 1054-1059 Pandulf III. (again), together with
  • 1054-1077 Landulf VI. (again), together with
  • 1056-1074 Pandulf IV.

Kingdom of Naples

Coalition wars


Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum III, 33
  2. ^ Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum IV, 18
  3. Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders VI, pp. 71ff
  4. a b Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders VI, pp. 75ff
  5. Historia Langobardorum IV, 44
  6. Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders Vol VI p. 81
  7. Historia Langobardorum IV, 51
  8. Historia Langobardorum V, 6-11
  9. Hartmann: History of Italy in the Middle Ages, vol. 2,1 p. 270f.
  10. ^ Hodgkin: Italy and her Invaders VI, p. 287.
  11. Friedhelm Winkelmann u. a .: Prosopography of the Middle Byzantine Period , Vol. 1, Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3110151790 , p. 62f.
  12. Historia Langobardorum V, 19-21. 29
  13. a b Historia Langobardorum VI, 1-2
  14. a b Historia Langobardorum VI, 55
  15. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders Vol VI, p. 471
  16. Catalogus Regum Langobardorum et Ducum Beneventanorum (Scriptores Rerum Langobardicarum in MGH p. 494)
  17. Historia Langobardorum VI, 57-58
  18. ^ Hartmann: History of Italy in the Middle Ages, Vol. II Part 2, Perthes, Gotha 1903, pp. 207ff.
  19. Hartmann: History of Italy in the Middle Ages Vol. II Part 2, Perthes, Gotha 1903, pp. 210f.f
  20. Hartmann: History of Italy in the Middle Ages, Vol. II Part 2, Perthes, Gotha 1903, p. 285ff