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Lombard Duchies during 10th and 12th centuries and their unification wars against Arabs, Romans and Germans.

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Lombards/Longobards


Origins:


The name "Langobard" came from the length of their beards that the Latin word longus meant Lang and barba meant Bart. A modern theory suggests that the name "Langobard" comes from Langbarðr, a name of Odin. It is believed that when the Winnili changed their name to "Lombards", they also changed their old agricultural fertility cult to a cult of Odin, thus creating a conscious tribal tradition.

Worship and Religion:


The Lombards’ chief deity was Odin (who also had the epithet the Long or Gray Bearded).
The Lombards migrated from Scandinavian, just north of Germany and just south of Holland. A fierce Germanic tribe, they were part of some of the bigger Germanic tribal unions, which included the Franks,
Alamanni, Bavarii and the Saxons. It is believed that the Lombards broke from the tribal unions began their migration after continued bad harvests.

Paganism:


Earlier indications of Lombard religion show that they originally worshipped the Germanic gods of the Vanir (Njord the father of the gods of Vanir and god of the sea, Freyr the god of fertility, Freyja a goddess of fertility, love, beauty and war.) pantheon while in Scandinavia. This seems to indicate an agricultural society. After settling along the Baltic coast, through contact with other Germans they adopted the cult of the Aesir gods (gods like Thor, Balder, Hoder etc-all gods common in Norse mythology.), a shift which seemed to represent a cultural change from an agricultural society into a warrior society.
After their migration into Pannonia, the Lombards had contact with the Iranian Sarmatians. From these people they borrowed a long-lived custom once of religious symbolism. A long pole surmounted by the figure of a bird, usually a dove, derived from the standards used in battle, was placed by the family in the ground at the home of a man who had died far afield in war and who could not be brought home for funeral and burial. Usually the bird was oriented so as to point in the direction of the suspected site of the warrior's death.

Christianity:


Around the same time the Lombards were in Pannonia, they were also touched by Christianity, but the conversion was nominal. It wasn’t until the Lombards moved to Italy that they received heavy pressure to convert to Christianity. The Lombards became a close supporter of the pope and by the year 700, had been more or less completely Christianised.

Beneventan Christianity:


The Duchy and eventually Principality of Benevento in southern Italy developed a unique Christian rite in the seventh and eighth centuries. Characteristic of this rite was the Beneventan chant which was influenced by the Lombards. Many Beneventan chants were assigned multiple roles when inserted into Gregorian chantbooks, although they were supplanted by the Gregorian Chant in the 11th century.
The chief centre of Beneventan chant was Montecassino, one of the first and greatest abbeys of Western monasticism.
Montecassino was also the starting point for another characteristic of Beneventan monasticism: the use of the distinct Beneventan script which was derived from the Lombards use of the roman cursive.

Brief History (772-1078):

After his defeat of Ratchis, the last Lombard to rule as king was Desiderius, duke of Tuscany, who managed to take Ravenna definitively, ending the Byzantine presence in Central Italy. He decided to reopen struggles against the Pope, who was supporting the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento against him, and entered Rome in 772, the first Lombard king to do so. But when Pope Hadrian I called for help from the powerful king Charlemagne, he was defeated at Susa and besieged in Pavia, while his son Adelchis had also to open the gates of Verona to Frankish troops. Desiderius surrendered in 774 and Charlemagne, in an utterly novel decision, took the title "King of the Lombards" as well. Before then the Germanic kingdoms had frequently conquered each other, but none had adopted the title of King of another people. Charlemagne took part of the Lombard territory to create the Papal States.

The Lombardy region in Italy, which includes the cities of Brescia, Bergamo, Milan and the old capital Pavia, is a reminder of the presence of the Lombards.

In 774, Duke Arechis II of Benevento claimed that Benevento was the successor state of the kingdom of Lombardy.

At one point in the reign of Sicard, Lombard control covered most of southern Italy save the very south of Apulia and Calabria and Naples, with its nominally attached cities. It was during the ninth century that a strong Lombard presence became entrenched in formerly Greek Apulia. However, Sicard had opened up the south to the invasive actions of the Saracens in his war with Andrew II of Naples and when he was assassinated in 839, Amalfi declared independence and two factions fought for power in Benevento, crippling the principality and making it susceptible to external enemies.

The civil war lasted ten years and was ended only by a peace treaty imposed by the Emperor Louis II, the only Frankish king to exercise actual sovereignty over the Lombard states, in 849 which divided the kingdom into two states: the Principality of Benevento and the Principality of Salerno, with its capital at Salerno on the Tyrrhenian.

The Capuan and Beneventan states were united by Atenulf I of Capua in 900. He subsequently declared them to be in perpetual union and they were only separated in 982, on the death of Pandulf Ironhead. With all of the Lombard south under his control save Salerno, Atenulf felt safe in using the title princeps gentis Langobardorum ("prince of the Lombard people"), which Arechis II had begun using in 774. Among Atenulf's successors the principality was ruled jointly by fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, and uncles for the greater part of the century. Meanwhile, the prince Gisulf I of Salerno began using the title Langobardorum gentis princeps around mid-century, but the ideal of a united Lombard principality was only realised in December 977, when Gisulf died and his domains were inherited by Pandulf Ironhead, who temporarily held almost all Italy south of Rome and brought the Lombards into alliance with the Holy Roman Empire. His territories were divided upon his death.
Landulf the Red of Benevento and Capua tried to conquer the principality of Salerno with the help of John III of Naples, but with the aid of Mastalus I of Amalfi Gisulf repulsed him. The rulers of Benevento and Capua made several attempts on Byzantine Apulia at this time, but in late century the Byzantines, under the stiff rule of Basil II, gained ground on the Lombards.

Large Muslim force seized Bari, until then a Lombard gastaldate under the control of Pandenulf, in 847. Saracen incursions then proceeded northwards until finally the prince of Benevento, Adelchis called in help from his suzerain Louis II. Landulf II of Capua briefly flirted with a Saracen alliance, but Pope John VIII convinced him to break it off. Guaimar I of Salerno fought against the Saracens with Byzantine troops. Throughout this period the Lombard princes swung in allegiance from one party to another. Finally, towards 915, Pope John X managed to unite all the Christian princes of southern Itay against the Saracen establishments on the Garigliano River. That year, in the great Battle of the Garigliano, the Saracens were ousted from Italy.

The independent status of these Lombard states is generally attested by the ability of their rulers to switch suzerains at will. Often the legal vassal of pope or emperor (either Byzantine or Holy Roman), they were the real power-brokers in the south until their erstwhile allies, the Normans, rose to preeminence. Certainly the Lombards regarded the Normans as barbarians and the Byzantines as oppressors. Regarding their own civilisation as superior, the Lombards did indeed provide the environment for the illustrious Schola Medica Salernitana.

Society Structure:


Lombard society was divided into classes comparable to those found in the other Germanic successor states of Rome: Frankish Gaul and Visigothic Spain. Most basically, there was a noble class, a class of free persons beneath them, a class of unfree non-slaves (serfs), and finally slaves. The aristocracy itself was poorer, more urbanised, and garnered less land than elsewhere. Aside from the richest and most powerful of the dukes and the king himself, Lombard noblemen tended to live in cities (unlike their Frankish counterparts) and hold little more than twice as much in land as the merchant class (a far cry from the provincial Frankish aristocrat who held a vast swathe of land hundreds of times larger than the nearest man beneath him).
The freemen of the Lombard kingdom were far more numerous than in Frankland, especially in the eighth century, when they are almost invisible in the surviving documentary evidence for the latter. Smallholders, owner-cultivators, and rentiers are the most numerous types of person in surviving diplomata for the Lombard kingdom. They may have owned more than half of the land in Lombard Italy. The freemen were “soldiers and devoted men" , they formed the levy of the Lombard army and they were, if infrequently, sometimes called to serve, though reluctant in this as are most militias. The aristocracy seemed to have a greater hand in Italian politics and economics.
It appears from archaeology that the great cities of Lombard Italy — Pavia, Lucca, Siena, Arezzo, Milan — were themselves formed of very minute islands of urbanization within the old Roman city walls. The cities of the Roman Empire had been partially destroyed in the series wars of the fifth and sixth centuries.
List of rulers:

Legendary rulers
* Shava
* Agelmund
* Lamissio
* Ybor and Agio, brothers, together with their mother Gambara, who led the emigration from Scandinavia
* Agilmund, son of Agio
* Laiamicho

Lething Dynasty
The Lethings were an early dynasty from the time of Lethuc. The last ruling descendant of Lethuc was Walthari, whose son was in turn displaced by Audoin of the family of the Gausi.
* Lethuc (fl. c. 400), ruled for some 40 years.
* Aldihoc (mid 5th century)
* Godehoc (480s), led the Lombards into modern-day Austria
* Claffo (fl. c. 500)
* Tato (early 6th century, died perhaps 510), his son Ildichus died in exile
* Wacho (died 539), son of Unichus
* Waltari (539–546), son of Wacho
Gausian Dynasty
* Audoin (546–565), led the Lombards into Pannonia
Kings in Italy
* Alboin (565 - 572)
Unnamed dynasty
* Cleph (572 - 574)
Rule of the Dukes
* Authari (584 - 590), son of previous
* Agilulf (591 - c.616), cousin of previous
Bavarian Dynasty
* Adaloald (c.616 - c.626)
Non-dynastic king
* Arioald (c.626 - 636)
Harodingians
* Rothari (636 - 652)
* Rodoald (652 - 653)
Bavarian Dynasty, First Restoration
* Aripert I (653 - 661)
* Perctarit and Godepert (661 - 662)
Beneventan Dynasty
* Grimuald (662 - 671)
* Garibald (671)
Bavarian Dynasty, Second Restoration
* Perctarit (671 - 688) (restored from exile)
* Alahis (688 - 689), rebel
* Cunincpert (688 - 700)
* Liutpert (700 - 701)
* Raginpert (701)
* Aripert II (701 - 712)
Non-dynastic kings
* Ansprand (712)
* Liutprand (712 - 744)
* Hildeprand (744)
* Ratchis (744 - 749)
* Aistulf (749 - 756)
* Desiderius (756 - 774)
Carolingian Dynasty:
Charlemagne conquered the Lombards in 774 at the invitation of Pope Adrian I.
* Charlemagne (774-781) in personal union, passed kingship to third son, Pippin
* Pepin (781-810) king under authority of Charlemagne
* Bernard (810-818)
* Lothair I (818-839)
* Louis II (839–875)

The list that follows is a list of the regions at the height of Lombard power in the 6th century (might help with city and region list)

Region List:
* Duchy of Friuli
* Duchy of Ceneda
* Duchy of Vicenza
* Duchy of Verona
* Duchy of Tridentum/Trent
* Duchy of Brescia
* Duchy of Bergamo
* Duchy of San Giulio
* Duchy of Pavia
* Duchy of Turin
* Duchy of Asti
* Duchy of Tuscia

Langobardia minor (off mainland)
* Duchy of Spoleto
* Duchy of Benevento

Armies

Exercitales Minores Sagittarrii



Coming from the lowest strata of Langobard society, the Minores are still required to serve their lords in battle and do so regularily, unlike the levies of the Franks who are seldom used in battle. This makes them little more experienced on the average, although their equipment prohibits them from fulfilling anything but the most basic tasks. Since every man is required to bring a bow by the most ancient and most revered laws, the mass of the Exercitales Minores are archers.

Exercitales Minores Scutarii



--upgraded--



Coming from the lowest strata of Langobard society, the Minores are still required to serve their lords in battle and do so regularily, unlike the levies of the Franks who are seldom used in battle. This makes them little more experienced on the average, although their equipment prohibits them from fulfilling anything but the most basic tasks. Few Exercitales Minores bring shield and spear to battle to protect their comrades with the bow.

Arimanni Minores



--upgraded--



Arimanni are free men, who swear allegiance and promise military service to their superiors. This is their sole purpose. However recently many Arimanni prefer to replace their military service with another kind tribute, which is often money. Morale and fighting spirit is in decline, however as of yet, the Arimanni are still a respectable force. All of them possess a horse, and the lowest Arimanni, the Minores, often choose to serve as light cavalry.

Arimanni Sequentes Spatharii



--upgraded--



Arimanni are free men, who swear allegiance and promise military service to their superiors. This is their sole purpose. However recently many Arimanni prefer to replace their military service with another kind tribute, which is often money. Morale and fighting spirit is in decline, however as of yet, the Arimanni are still a respectable force. Though all of them are required to possess a horse, some use their wealth to acquire more armour and choose to serve as infantry, which is better suited to protect their possessions.

Arimanni Sequentes Scutarii



--upgraded--



Arimanni are free men, who swear allegiance and promise military service to their superiors. This is their sole purpose. However recently many Arimanni prefer to replace their military service with another kind tribute, which is often money. Morale and fighting spirit is in decline, however as of yet, the Arimanni are still a respectable force. Though all of them are required to possess a horse, some use their wealth to acquire more armour and choose to serve as infantry, which is better suited to protect their possessions.

Arimanni Maiores



--upgraded--



Arimanni are free men, who swear allegiance and promise military service to their superiors. This is their sole purpose. However recently many Arimanni prefer to replace their military service with another kind tribute, which is often money. Morale and fighting spirit is in decline, however as of yet, the Arimanni are still a respectable force. The richest and most powerful of them are the Maiores, who not only can afford a horse but also armour to protect themselves. Thus they are capable horsemen.

Vasalli



--upgraded--



Once known as Gasindi, the new term Vasallus was adapted under Frankish influence, while a derivation of Gasindi soon became the name for simple folks (gesinde). Vasalli are the retainers of Langobardic nobles, be it comites, duces, reges or even iudices. These free men have only a single obligation, to fight for their lord whenever asked for. As such they are well equipped professionals riding into battle with steady horses and heavy armour.
While they are not as feared as their forefathers were, they are still proficient with the lance having learned much from the Franks in the north and the Normans in the south.

Viri Illustres
--Dismounted--



--Mounted--



The very top of the Langobard Society are high ranking nobles, who don themselves with ancient Roman rank titles, such as Viri Illustres (illustrious men). They not only adopted the titles, but also the lifestyle of the late Roman nobility, residing in domus, ruling huge estates including a large number of servi (unfree men), and employing scholars to educate their children. Moreover they are often the administrative elite of the principalities, who govern important areas. However when they go to war, they fight like their savage ancestors. Most heavily armed and armoured riding on equally heavy armoured horses, the Viri Illustres are indeed a splendid sight on the battlefield.
Few rival their skills, especially their shock attack skill when charging with the lance. Although the great Langobardic military reputation has dwindled at lot, these few noblemen are among the very best warriors in the known world.

Protospatharii Principis



When not used in a general meaning, the spatharii are the swordbearers and thus the guard of a Longobardic king or prince. His closest guards are the Protospatharii, being the first line of men surrounding him. Chosen for their loyalty, wealth and military skill, these men are the cream of the Langobardic warriors and on the very top of the society. Thus they cannot only afford heavy arms and armour, riding almost completely iron-clad into battle, but also know how to use all this might effectively against every enemy. Having to fight Franks, Muslims, Normans and the Eastern Roman Army, they have met and survived every challenge one can image.

Italian Militias in Lombard service.

--Axemen--



--Crossbowmen--



Javelinmen



--Mounted Militias--



Credits.
Koultouras: Modeler & Skinner

Special Thanks to:
Absinthia & Matthæus: Frankish & Norman Helmets
FliegerAD:Units Descriptions & Research
Leif Erikson & Matthæus: Shields & some scale armour textures
Lord_Calidor & CounterPoint931: Weapons
AnthoniusII: Gravity & Realism Project
Razor : Heads
Paleologos :Extra shield paterns.

Rusichi TW team.
DisgruntledGoat for ussing material from "1066 mod".
PubliusKhanus / Stralightman: Research/infos


Comments
Tallestdavid
Tallestdavid

love this history.

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