Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium, is a region in Southern Italy. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro; the Regional Council of Calabria is based at the Palazzo Campanella in the city of Reggio Calabria. The region is bordered to the north by the Basilicata Region, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the east by the Ionian Sea; the region has a population of just under 2 million. The demonym of Calabria is calabrese in Calabrian in English. In ancient times the name Calabria referred, not as in modern times to the toe, but to the heel tip of Italy, from Tarentum southwards, a region nowadays known as Salento. Starting in the third century BC, the name Calabria was given to the Adriatic coast of the Salento peninsula in modern Apulia. In the late first century BC this name came to extend to the entirety of the Salento, when the Roman emperor Augustus divided Italy into regions; the whole region of Apulia received the name Regio II Calabria. By this time modern Calabria was still known as Bruttium, after the Bruttians who inhabited the region.
In the seventh century AD, the Byzantine Empire created the Duchy of Calabria from the Salento and the Ionian part of Bruttium. Though the Calabrian part of the duchy was conquered by the Longobards during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, the Byzantines continued to use the name Calabria for their remaining territory in Bruttium; the modern name Italy derives from Italia, first used as a name for the southern part of modern Calabria. Over time the Greeks started to use it for the rest of the southern Italian peninsula as well. After the Roman conquest of the region, the name was used for the entire Italian peninsula and the Alpine region too; the region is known as the “toe” of the “boot” of Italy and is a long and narrow peninsula which stretches from north to south for 248 km, with a maximum width of 110 km. Some 42% of Calabria's area, corresponding to 15,080 km2, is mountainous, 49% is hilly, while plains occupy only 9% of the region's territory, it is surrounded by the Tyrrhenian seas.
It is separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina, where the narrowest point between Capo Peloro in Sicily and Punta Pezzo in Calabria is only 3.2 km. Three mountain ranges are present: Pollino, La Sila and Aspromonte. All three mountain ranges are unique with their own fauna; the Pollino Mountains in the north of the region are rugged and form a natural barrier separating Calabria from the rest of Italy. Parts of the area are wooded, while others are vast, wind-swept plateaus with little vegetation; these mountains are home to a rare Bosnian Pine variety and are included in the Pollino National Park. The Pollino National Park has the distinction of being the largest national park in Italy and covers about 1,925.65 square kilometres. La Sila, referred to as the "Great Wood of Italy", is a vast mountainous plateau about 1,200 metres above sea level and stretches for nearly 2,000 square kilometres along the central part of Calabria; the highest point is Botte Donato. The area boasts dense coniferous forests.
La Sila has some of the tallest trees in Italy which are called the "Giants of the Sila" and can reach up to 40 metres in height. The Sila National Park is known to have the purest air in Europe; the Aspromonte massif forms the southernmost tip of the Italian peninsula bordered by the sea on three sides. This unique mountainous structure reaches its highest point at Montalto, at 1,995 metres, is full of wide, man-made terraces that slope down towards the sea. In general, most of the lower terrain in Calabria has been agricultural for centuries, exhibits indigenous scrubland as well as introduced plants such as the prickly pear cactus; the lowest slopes are rich in citrus fruit orchards. The Diamante citron is one of the citrus fruits. Moving upwards and chestnut trees appear while in the higher regions there are dense forests of oak, pine and fir trees. Calabria's climate is influenced by mountains; the Mediterranean climate is typical of the coastal areas with considerable differences in temperature and rainfall between the seasons, with an average low of 8 °C during the winter months and an average high of 30 °C during the summer months.
Mountain areas have a typical mountainous climate with frequent snow during winter. Erratic behavior of the Tyrrhenian Sea can bring heavy rainfall on the western slopes of the region, while hot air from Africa makes the east coast of Calabria dry and warm; the mountains that run along the region influence the climate and temperature of the region. The east coast has wider temperature ranges than the west coast; the geography of the region causes more rain to fall along the west coast than that of the east coast, which occurs during winter and autumn and less during the summer months. Below are the two extremes of climate present in Calabria, both the warm mediterranean subtype on the coastline and the highland climate of Monte Scuro; when describing the geology of Calabria, it is considered as part of the "Calabrian Arc", an arc-shaped geographic domain extending from the southern part of the Basilicata Region to the northeast of Sicily, including the Peloritano Mountains. The Calabrian area shows basement of Paleozoic
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. Pavia is the capital of the fertile province of Pavia, known for agricultural products including wine, rice and dairy products. Although there are a number of industries located in the suburbs, these tend not to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the town, it is home to the ancient University of Pavia, which together with the IUSS, Ghislieri College, Borromeo College, Nuovo College, Santa Caterina College and the EDiSU, belongs to the Pavia Study System. Pavia is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Pavia; the city possesses many artistic and cultural treasures, including several important churches and museums, such as the well-known Certosa di Pavia. The Central Hospital of Pavia is one of the most important hospitals in Italy.
Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town of Pavia known as Ticinum, was a municipality and an important military site under the Roman Empire. It was said by Pliny the Elder to have been founded by the Laevi and Marici, two Ligurian tribes, while Ptolemy attributes it to the Insubres; the Roman city most began as a small military camp, built by the consul Publius Cornelius Scipio in 218 BC to guard a wooden bridge he had built over the river Ticinum, on his way to search for Hannibal, rumoured to have managed to lead an army over the Alps and into Italy. The forces of Rome and Carthage ran into each other soon thereafter, the Romans suffered the first of many crushing defeats at the hands of Hannibal, with the consul himself losing his life; the bridge was destroyed, but the fortified camp, which at the time was the most forward Roman military outpost in the Po Valley, somehow survived the long Second Punic War, evolved into a garrison town. Its importance grew with the extension of the Via Aemilia from Ariminum to the Po River, which it crossed at Placentia and there forked, one branch going to Mediolanum and the other to Ticinum, thence to Laumellum where it divided once more, one branch going to Vercellae - and thence to Eporedia and Augusta Praetoria - and the other to Valentia - and thence to Augusta Taurinorum.
It was at Pavia in 476 AD that the reign of Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire ended and Roman rule ceased in Italy. Romulus Augustulus, while considered the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was a usurper of the imperial throne. Though being the emperor, Romulus Augustulus was the mouthpiece for his father Orestes, the person who exercised power and governed Italy during Romulus Augustulus's short reign. Ten months after Romulus Augustulus's reign began, Orestes's soldiers under the command of one of his officers named Odoacer and killed Orestes in the city of Pavia in 476; the rioting that took place as part of Odoacer's uprising against Orestes sparked fires that burnt much of Pavia to the point that Odoacer, as the new king of Italy, had to suspend the taxes for the city for five years so that it could finance its recovery. Without his father, Romulus Augustulus was powerless. Instead of killing Romulus Augustulus, Odoacer pensioned him off at 6,000 solidi a year before declaring the end of the Western Roman Empire and himself king of the new Kingdom of Italy.
Odoacer's reign as king of Italy did not last long, because in 488 the Ostrogothic peoples led by their king Theoderic invaded Italy and waged war against Odoacer. After fighting for 5 years, Theoderic defeated Odoacer and on March 15, 493, assassinated Odoacer at a banquet meant to negotiate a peace between the two rulers. With the establishment of the Ostrogoth kingdom based in northern Italy, Theoderic began his vast program of public building. Pavia was among several cities that Theodoric chose to expand, he began the construction of the vast palace complex that would become the residence of Lombard monarchs several decades later. Theoderic commissioned the building of the Roman-styled amphitheatre and bath complex in Pavia. Near the end of Theoderic's reign the Christian philosopher Boethius was imprisoned in one of Pavia's churches from 522 to 525 before his execution for treason, it was during Boethius's captivity in Pavia that he wrote his seminal work the Consolation of Philosophy. Pavia played an important role in the war between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ostrogoths that began in 535.
After the Eastern Roman general Belisarius's victory over the Ostrogothic leader Wittigis in 540 and the loss of most of the Ostrogoth lands in Italy, Pavia was among the last centres of Ostrogothic resistance that continued the war and opposed Eastern Roman rule. After the capitulation of the Ostrogothic leadership in 540 more than a thousand men remained garrisoned in Pavia and Verona dedicated to opposing Eastern Roman rule; the resilience of Ostrogoth strongholds like Pavia against invading forces allowed pockets of Ostrogothic rule to limp along until being defeated in 561. Pavia and the peninsula of Italy didn't remain long under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire, for in 568, a new people invaded Italy; this new invading people in 568
Campania is a region in Southern Italy. As of 2018, the region has a population of around 5,820,000 people, making it the third-most-populous region of Italy. Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands and Capri for administration as part of the region. Campania was part of Magna Græcia. During the Roman era, the area maintained a Greco-Roman culture; the capital city of Campania is Naples. Campania is rich in culture in regard to gastronomy, architecture and ancient sites such as Pompeii, Oplontis, Aeclanum and Velia; the name of Campania itself is derived from Latin, as the Romans knew the region as Campania felix, which translates into English as "fertile countryside" or "happy countryside". The rich natural sights of Campania make it important in the tourism industry along the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri; the original inhabitants of Campania were three defined groups of the Ancient peoples of Italy, who all spoke the Oscan language, part of the Italic family.
During the 8th century BC, people from Euboea in Greece, known as Cumaeans, began to establish colonies in the area around the modern day province of Naples. Another Oscan tribe, the Samnites, moved down from central Italy into Campania. Since the Samnites were more warlike than the Campanians, they took over the cities of Capua and Cumae, in an area, one of the most prosperous and fertile in the Italian Peninsula at the time. During the 340s BC, the Samnites were engaged in a war with the Roman Republic in a dispute known as the Samnite Wars, with the Romans securing rich pastures of northern Campania during the First Samnite War; the major remaining independent Greek settlement was Neapolis, when the town was captured by the Samnites, the Neapolitans were left with no other option than to call on the Romans, with whom they established an alliance, setting off the Second Samnite War. The Roman consul Quintus Publilius Filo recaptured Neapolis by 326 BC and allowed it to remain a Greek city with some autonomy as a civitas foederata while aligned with Rome.
The Second Samnite War ended with the Romans controlling southern Campania and additional regions further to the south. Campania was a full-fledged part of the Roman Republic by the end of the 4th century BC, valued for its pastures and rich countryside, its Greek language and customs made it a centre of Hellenistic civilization, creating the first traces of Greco-Roman culture. During the Pyrrhic War the battle took place in Campania at Maleventum in which the Romans, led by consul Curius Dentatus, were victorious, they renamed the city Beneventum, which grew in stature until it was second only to Capua in southern Italy. During the Second Punic War in 216 BC, Capua, in a bid for equality with Rome, allied with Carthage; the rebellious Capuans were isolated from the rest of Campania. Naples resisted Hannibal due to the imposing walls. Capua was starved into submission in the Roman retaking of 211 BC, the Romans were victorious; the rest of Campania, with the exception of Naples, adopted the Latin language as official and was Romanised.
As part of the Roman Empire, with Latium, formed the most important region of the Augustan divisions of Italia. In ancient times Misenum, at the extreme northern end of the bay of Naples, was the largest base of the Roman navy, since its port was the base of the Classis Misenensis, the most important Roman fleet, it was first established as a naval base in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, the right-hand man of the emperor Augustus. Roman Emperors chose Campania as a holiday destination, among them Claudius and Tiberius, the latter of whom is infamously linked to the island of Capri, it was during this period that Christianity came to Campania. Two of the apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, are said to have preached in the city of Naples, there were several martyrs during this time; the period of relative calm was violently interrupted by the epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. With the Decline of the Roman Empire, its last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was put in a manor house prison near Castel dell'Ovo, Naples, in 476, ushering in the beginning of the Middle Ages and a period of uncertainty in regard to the future of the area.
The area had many duchies and principalities during the Middle Ages, in the hands of the Byzantine Empire and the Lombards. Under the Normans, the smaller independent states were brought together as part of the Kingdom of Sicily, before the mainland broke away to form the Kingdom of Naples, it was during this period that elements of Spanish and Aragonese culture were introduced to Campania. After a period as a Norman kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily passed to the Hohenstaufens, who were a powerful Germanic royal house of Swabian origins; the University of Naples Federico II was founded by Frederick II in the city, the oldest state university in the world, making Naples the intellectual centre of the kingdom. Conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the Papacy, led in 1266 to Pope Innocent IV crowning Angevin Dynasty duke Charles I as the king. Charles moved the capital from Palermo to Naples where he resided at the Castel Nuovo. During this period, much Gothic architec
The Ostrogoths were the eastern branch of the older Goths. The Ostrogoths traced their origins to the Greutungi – a branch of the Goths who had migrated southward from the Baltic Sea and established a kingdom north of the Black Sea, during the 3rd and 4th centuries, they built an empire stretching from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Ostrogoths were literate in the 3rd century, their trade with the Romans was developed, their Danubian kingdom reached its zenith under King Ermanaric, said to have committed suicide at an old age when the Huns attacked his people and subjugated them in about 370. After their annexation by the Huns, little is heard of the Ostrogoths for about 80 years, after which they reappear in Pannonia on the middle Danube River as federates of the Romans. After the collapse of the Hun empire after the Battle of Nedao, Ostrogoths migrated westwards towards Illyria and the borders of Italy, while some remained in the Crimea. During the late 5th and 6th centuries, under Theodoric the Great most of the Ostrogoths moved first to Moesia and conquered the Kingdom of Italy of the Germanic warrior Odoacer.
In 493, Theodoric the Great established a kingdom in Italy. A period of instability ensued, tempting the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian to declare war on the Ostrogoths in 535 in an effort to restore the former western provinces of the Roman Empire; the Byzantines were successful, but under the leadership of Totila, the Goths reconquered most of the lost territory until Totila's death at the Battle of Taginae. The war lasted for 21 years and caused enormous damage and depopulation of Italy; the remaining Ostrogoths were absorbed into the Lombards who established a kingdom in Italy in 568. A division of the Goths is first attested in 291; the Tervingi are first attested around that date. The Greuthungi are first named by Ammianus Marcellinus, writing no earlier than 392 and later than 395, basing his account on the words of a Tervingian chieftain, attested as early as 376; the Ostrogoths are first named in a document dated September 392 from Milan. Claudian mentions. According to Herwig Wolfram, the primary sources either use the terminology of Tervingi/Greuthungi or Vesi/Ostrogothi and never mix the pairs.
All four names were used together, but the pairing was always preserved, as in Gruthungi, Tervingi, Vesi. That the Tervingi were the Vesi/Visigothi and the Greuthungi the Ostrogothi is supported by Jordanes, he identified the Visigothic kings from Alaric I to Alaric II as the heirs of the fourth-century Tervingian king Athanaric and the Ostrogothic kings from Theodoric the Great to Theodahad as the heirs of the Greuthungian king Ermanaric. This interpretation, though common among scholars today, is not universal. According to the Jordanes' Getica, around 400 the Ostrogoths were ruled by Ostrogotha and derived their name from this "father of the Ostrogoths", but modern historians assume the converse, that Ostrogotha was named after the people. Both Herwig Wolfram and Thomas Burns conclude that the terms Tervingi and Greuthungi were geographical identifiers used by each tribe to describe the other; this terminology therefore dropped out of use after the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions.
In support of this, Wolfram cites Zosimus as referring to a group of "Scythians" north of the Danube who were called "Greuthungi" by the barbarians north of the Ister. Wolfram asserts, he further believes that the terms "Vesi" and "Ostrogothi" were used by the peoples to boastfully describe themselves. On this understanding, the Greuthungi and Ostrogothi were less the same people; the nomenclature of Greuthungi and Tervingi fell out of use shortly after 400. In general, the terminology of a divided Gothic people disappeared after they entered the Roman Empire; the term "Visigoth", was an invention of the sixth century. Cassiodorus, a Roman in the service of Theodoric the Great, invented the term Visigothi to match Ostrogothi, which terms he thought of as "western Goths" and "eastern Goths" respectively; the western-eastern division was a simplification and a literary device of sixth-century historians where political realities were more complex. Furthermore, Cassiodorus used the term "Goths" to refer only to the Ostrogoths, whom he served, reserved the geographical term "Visigoths" for the Gallo-Hispanic Goths.
This usage, was adopted by the Visigoths themselves in their communications with the Byzantine Empire and was in use in the seventh century. Other names for the Goths abounded. A "Germanic" Byzantine or Italian author referred to one of the two peoples as the Valagothi, meaning "Roman Goths". In 484 the Ostrogoths had been called the Valameriaci because they followed Theodoric, a descendant of Valamir; this terminology survived in the Byzantine East as late as the reign of Athalaric, called του Ουαλεμεριακου by John Malalas. The Gothic name makes its first appearance sometime between 16 and 18 AD with earlier indications related to the Guti of Scandia or attributable to the Gutones. Procopius wrote of the Gauts in Thule and Cassiodorus mentioned the Gauthigoths amid his list of Scandinavian peoples. Two distinct groups of Gothic peoples are first attested to in 291, the western Tervingi-Vesi and the eastern Greutungi-Ostrogothi. "Greuthungi" may mean "steppe dwellers" or "people of t
Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian I's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, lost less than a century before. One of the defining features of Belisarius's career was his success despite varying levels of support from Justinian, his name is given as one of the so-called "Last of the Romans". Belisarius is considered a military genius who conquered the Vandal Kingdom of North Africa in the Vandalic War in nine months from July 533 to March 534, he defeated the Vandal armies at the battles of Ad Decimum and Tricamarum and compelled the Vandal king Gelimer to surrender. After the conquest of North Africa, Belisarius took over most of Italy from the Ostrogothic Kingdom in a series of sieges between 535 and 540 during the Gothic War. Belisarius was born in Germane or Germania, a fortified town of which some archaeological remains still exist, on the site of present-day Sapareva Banya in south-west Bulgaria, within the borders of Thrace and Paeonia, or in Germen, a town in Thrace near Adrianople, in present-day Turkey.
Born into an Illyrian or Thracian family that spoke Latin as a mother tongue, he became a Roman soldier as a young man, serving in the bodyguard of Emperor Justin I. He came to his nephew, Justinian, as a promising and innovative officer, he was given permission by the emperor to form a bodyguard regiment, of heavy cavalry, which he expanded into a personal household regiment, 1,500 strong. Belisarius's bucellarii were the nucleus around which all the armies he would command were organized. Armed with a lance, composite bow, spatha, they were armoured to the standard of heavy cavalry of the day. A multi-purpose unit, the bucellarii were capable of shooting at a distance with bow, like the Huns, or could act as heavy shock cavalry, charging an enemy with lance and sword. In essence, they combined the best and most dangerous aspects of both of Rome's greatest enemies, the Huns and the Goths. Following Justin's death in 527, the new emperor, Justinian I, appointed Belisarius to command the Roman army in the east to deal with incursions from the Sassanid Empire.
He proved himself an able and effective commander, defeating the larger Sassanid army through superior generalship. In June/July 530, during the Iberian War, he led the Romans to a stunning victory over the Sassanids in the Battle of Dara, followed by a tactical defeat at the Battle of Callinicum on the Euphrates in 531—this was a strategic victory in that the Persians retreated to their own borders; this led to the negotiation of an "Eternal Peace" with the Persians, Roman payment of heavy tributes for years in exchange for peace with Persia, freeing resources for redeployment elsewhere. In 532, he was the highest-ranking military officer in the Imperial capital of Constantinople when the Nika riots broke out in the city and nearly resulted in the overthrow of Justinian. Belisarius sought the help of Mundus, the magister militum of Illyricum, Narses, a eunuch and general, his friend John the Armenian. Together, they suppressed the rebellion, turning the rebels who had gathered in the Hippodrome against each other, by bribing one group to depart in peace and massacring the remainder, by some accounts as many as 30,000 people.
For his efforts, Belisarius was rewarded by Justinian with the command of a land and sea expedition against the Vandal Kingdom, mounted in 533–534. The Romans had political and strategic reasons for such a campaign; the pro-Roman Vandal king Hilderic had been deposed and murdered by the usurper Gelimer, giving Justinian a legal pretext. The Arian Vandals had periodically persecuted the Nicene Christians within their kingdom, many of whom made their way to Constantinople seeking redress; the Vandals had launched many pirate raids on Roman trade interests, hurting commerce in the western areas of the Empire. Justinian wanted control of the Vandal territory in north Africa, one of the wealthiest provinces and the breadbasket of the Western Roman Empire and was now vital for guaranteeing Roman access to the western Mediterranean. In the late summer of 533, Belisarius landed near Caput Vada, he ordered his fleet not to lose sight of the army marched along the coastal highway toward the Vandal capital of Carthage.
He did this to prevent supplies from being cut off and to avoid a great defeat such as occurred during the attempt by Basiliscus to retake northern Africa 65 years before, which had ended in the Roman disaster at the Battle of Cap Bon in 468. Gelimer had planned to ambush and encircle the Romans along with a force under his brother Ammatas and 2,000 men under his nephew Gibamund; the three attacks were not properly synchronized, however, so that Ammatas and Gibamund's forces were defeated before the forces of Gelimer met Belisarius ten miles from Carthage at the Battle of Ad Decimum on September 13, 533. Despite his bold plan, Gelimer's forces were outnumbered and surprised and disorganised for the positioning of Belisarius' main force, leading to Belisarius routing Gelimer and the remains of his army off the field. With this victory, Belisarius soon took Carthage. A second victory at the Battle of Tricamarum on December 15 resulted in Gelimer's surrender early in 534 at Mount Papua, restoring the lost Roman provinces of north Africa to the empire.
For this achievement, Belisarius was granted a triumph. According to Procopius, the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem, including many obj
Alboin was king of the Lombards from about 560 until 572. During his reign the Lombards ended their migrations by settling in Italy, the northern part of which Alboin conquered between 569 and 572, he had a lasting effect on the Pannonian Basin. The period of Alboin's reign as king in Pannonia following the death of his father, was one of confrontation and conflict between the Lombards and their main neighbors, the Gepids; the Gepids gained the upper hand, but in 567, thanks to his alliance with the Avars, Alboin inflicted a decisive defeat on his enemies, whose lands the Avars subsequently occupied. The increasing power of his new neighbours caused Alboin some unease however, he therefore decided to leave Pannonia for Italy, hoping to take advantage of the Byzantine Empire's reduced ability to defend its territory in the wake of the Gothic War. After gathering a large coalition of peoples, Alboin crossed the Julian Alps in 568, entering an undefended Italy, he took control of most of Venetia and Liguria.
In 569, unopposed, he took Milan. Pavia offered stiff resistance however, was taken only after a siege lasting three years. During that time Alboin turned his attention to Tuscany, but signs of factionalism among his supporters and Alboin's diminishing control over his army began to manifest themselves. Alboin was assassinated on June 572, in a coup d'état instigated by the Byzantines, it was organized by the king's foster brother, with the support of Alboin's wife, daughter of the Gepid king whom Alboin had killed some years earlier. The coup failed in the face of opposition from a majority of the Lombards, who elected Cleph as Alboin's successor, forcing Helmichis and Rosamund to flee to Ravenna under imperial protection. Alboin's death deprived the Lombards of the only leader who could have kept the newborn Germanic entity together, the last in the line of hero-kings who had led the Lombards through their migrations from the vale of the Elbe to Italy. For many centuries following his death Alboin's heroism and his success in battle were celebrated in Saxon and Bavarian epic poetry.
The Lombards under King Wacho had migrated towards the east into Pannonia, taking advantage of the difficulties facing the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy following the death of its founder, Theodoric, in 526. Wacho's death in about 540 brought his son Walthari to the throne, but, as the latter was still a minor, the kingdom was governed in his stead by Alboin's father, Audoin, of the Gausian clan. Seven years Walthari died, giving Audoin the opportunity to crown himself and overthrow the reigning Lethings. Alboin was born in the 530s in Pannonia, the son of Audoin and his wife, Rodelinda, she may have been the niece of King Theodoric and betrothed to Audoin through the mediation of Emperor Justinian. Like his father, Alboin was raised a pagan, although Audoin had at one point attempted to gain Byzantine support against his neighbours by professing himself a Christian. Alboin took as his first wife the Christian Chlothsind, daughter of the Frankish King Chlothar; this marriage, which took place soon after the death of the Frankish ruler Theudebald in 555, is thought to reflect Audoin's decision to distance himself from the Byzantines, traditional allies of the Lombards, lukewarm when it came to supporting Audoin against the Gepids.
The new Frankish alliance was important because of the Franks' known hostility to the Byzantine empire, providing the Lombards with more than one option. However, the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire interprets events and sources differently, believing that Alboin married Chlothsind when a king in or shortly before 561, the year of Chlothar's death. Alboin first distinguished himself on the battlefield in a clash with the Gepids. At the Battle of Asfeld, he killed Turismod, son of the Gepid king Thurisind, in a victory that resulted in the Emperor Justinian's intervention to maintain equilibrium between the rival regional powers. After the battle, according to a tradition reported by Paul the Deacon, to be granted the right to sit at his father's table, Alboin had to ask for the hospitality of a foreign king and have him donate his weapons, as was customary. For this initiation, he went to the court of Thurisind, where the Gepid king gave him Turismod's arms. Walter Goffart believes it is probable that in this narrative Paul was making use of an oral tradition, is sceptical that it can be dismissed as a typical topos of an epic poem.
Alboin came to the throne after the death of his father, sometime between 560 and 565. As was customary among the Lombards, Alboin took the crown after an election by the tribe's freemen, who traditionally selected the king from the dead sovereign's clan. Shortly afterwards, in 565, a new war erupted with the Gepids, now led by Thurisind's son; the cause of the conflict is uncertain. An account of the war by the Byzantine Theophylact Simocatta sentimentalises the reasons behind the conflict, claiming it originated with Alboin's vain courting and subsequent kidnapping of Cunimund's daughter Rosamund, that Alboin proceeded to marry; the tale is treated with scepticism by Walter Goffart, who observes that it conflicts with the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, where she was captured only after the death of her father. The Gepids obtained the support of
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy. The region coincides with the Italian Riviera and is popular with tourists for its beaches and cuisine; the name Liguria predates Latin and is of obscure origin, however the Latin adjectives Ligusticum and Liguscus reveal the original -sc- in the root ligusc-, which shortened to -s- and turned into -r- in the Latin name Liguria according to rhotacism. The formant -sc- is present in the names Etruscan, Gascony and is believed by some researchers to relate to maritime people or sailors. Compare Greek Lígus λίγυς, a Ligurian, a person from Liguria, whence Ligustikḗ λιγυστική, the name of the place Liguria. Liguria is bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east, it lies on the Ligurian Sea. The narrow strip of land is bordered by the Alps and the Apennines mountains; some mountains rise above 2,000 m. The highest point of the region is the summit of Monte Saccarello; the winding arched extension goes from Ventimiglia to La Spezia.
Of this, 3,524.08 km2 are mountainous and 891.95 km2 are hills. Liguria's natural reserves cover 600 km2 of land, they are made up of one national reserve, six large parks, two smaller parks and three nature reserves. The continental shelf is narrow, so steep it descends immediately to considerable depths along its 350-kilometre coastline. Except for the Portovenere and Portofino promontories, the coast is not jagged, is high. At the mouths of the biggest watercourses are small beaches, but there are no deep bays and natural harbours except at Genoa and La Spezia; the hills lying beyond the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. Average winter temperatures are 7 to 10 °C and summer temperatures are 23 to 24 °C, which make for a pleasant stay in the dead of winter. Rainfall can be abundant at times, as mountains close to the coast create an orographic effect. Genoa and La Spezia can see up to 2,000 mm of rain in a year. According to classical sources, the Ligurians once lived in a far broader territory than present-day Liguria.
For example, the Greek colony of Massalia, modern Marseille, was recorded to lie in Ligurian territory. During the first Punic War, the ancient Ligurians were divided, some of them siding with Carthage and a minority with Rome, whose allies included the future Genoese. Under Augustus, Liguria was designated a region of Italy stretching from the coast to the banks of the Po River; the great Roman roads helped increase communication and trade. Important towns developed on the coast, of which evidence is left in the ruins of Albenga and Luni. Between the 4th and the 10th centuries Liguria was dominated by the Byzantines, the Lombards of King Rothari and the Franks, it was invaded by Saracen and Norman raiders. In the 10th century, once the danger of pirates decreased, the Ligurian territory was divided into three marches: Obertenga and Aleramica. In the 11th and 12th centuries the marches were split into fees, with the strengthening of the bishops’ power, the feudal structure began to weaken; the main Ligurian towns on the coast, became city-states, over which Genoa soon extended its rule.
Inland, fiefs belonging to noble families survived for a long time. Between the 11th century and the 15th century, the Republic of Genoa experienced an extraordinary political and commercial success, it was one of the most powerful maritime republics in the Mediterranean from the 12th to the 14th century: after the decisive victory in the battle of Meloria, it acquired control over the Tyrrhenian Sea and was present in the nerve centres of power during the last phase of the Byzantine empire, having colonies up to Black Sea and Crimean. After the introduction of the title of doge for life and the election of Simone Boccanegra, Genoa resumed its struggles against the Marquis of Finale and the Counts of Laigueglia and it conquered again the territories of Finale and Porto Maurizio. In spite of its military and commercial successes, Genoa fell prey to the internal factions which put pressure on its political structure. Due to the vulnerable situation, the rule of the republic went to the hands of the Visconti family of Milan.
After their expulsion by the popular forces under Boccanegra’s lead, the republic remained in Genoese hands until 1396, when the internal instability led the doge Antoniotto Adorno to surrender the title of Seignior of Genoa to the king of France. The French were driven away in 1409 and Liguria went back under Milanese control in 1421, thus remaining until 1435; the alternation of French and Milanese dominions over Liguria went on until the first half of the 16th century. The French influence ceased in 1528, when Andrea Doria allied with the powerful king of Spain and imposed an aristocratic government, which gave the republic a relative stability fo