Asti is a city and comune of 76,164 inhabitants located in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, about 55 kilometres east of Turin in the plain of the Tanaro River. It is the capital of the province of Asti and it is deemed to be the modern capital of Monferrato. People have lived around what is now Asti since the Neolithic period. Before their defeat in 174 BC by the Romans, tribes of Ligures, the Statielli, dominated the area and the toponym derives from Ast which means "hill" in the ancient Celtic language. In 124 BC the Romans built a castrum, or fortified camp, which evolved into a full city named Hasta. In 89 BC the city received the status of colonia, in 49 BC that of municipium. Asti become an important city of the Augustan Regio IX, favoured by its strategic position on the Tanaro river and on the Via Fulvia, which linked Derthona to Augusta Taurinorum. Other roads connected the city to the main passes for what are today France; the city was crucial during the early stages of the barbarian invasions which stormed Italy during the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
In early 402 AD the Visigoths had invaded northern Italy and were advancing on Mediolanum, the imperial capital at that time. Honorius, the young emperor and a resident in that city, unable to wait for promised reinforcements any longer, was compelled to flee from Milan for safety in the city of Arles in Gaul. However, just after his convoy had left Milan and crossed the River Po his escape route through the Alps was cut off by the Gothic cavalry; this forced him to take emergency refuge in the city of Hasta until more Roman troops could be assembled in Italy. The Goths placed Hasta under siege until March when General Stilicho, bringing reinforcements from the Rhine and defeated them at the Battle of Pollentia. After this first victorious defence, thanks to a massive line of walls, Hasta suffered from the barbarian invasions which stormed Italy after the fall of the Western Empire, declined economically. In the second half of the 6th century it was chosen as seat for one of the 36 Duchies in which the Lombards divided Italy.
The territory of Asti comprised a wide area, stretching out to the Maritime Alps. This remained when northern Italy was conquered by the Franks with the title of County. In the late Carolingian age Asti was ruled directly by his bishops, who were the main landlords of the area. Most important are Audax and Bruningus, who moved the episcopal seat to the Castel Vecchio, where it remained until 1409; the bishopric of Asti remained a powerful entity well into the 11th century, when Pietro II received huge privileges by emperor Henry II. In the second half of the century, Bishop Otto tried to resist the aims of the powerful countess Adelaide of Susa, who damaged the city several times. During Otto's reign, a commune and the consul magistrates are mentioned for the first time and make this City-State the first republic of Europe. Asti was one of the first free communes of Italy, in 1140 received the right to mint coins of its own by Conrad II; as the commune, had begun to erode the lands of the bishop and other local faudataries, the latter sued for help to Frederick Barbarossa, who presented under the city walls with a huge army in February 1155.
After a short siege, Asti was burnt. Subsequently, Asti adhered to the Lombard League against the German emperor, but was again defeated in 1174. Despite this, after the Peace of Constance, the city gained further privileges; the 13th century saw the peak of the Astigiani economic and cultural splendour, only momentarily hindered by wars against Alba, Savoy and the Marquesses of Montferrat and Saluzzo. In particular, the commune aimed to gain control over the lucrative trade routes leading northwards from the Ligurian ports. In this period, the rise of the Casane Astigiane resulted in contrasting political familial alliances of Guelph and Ghibelline supporters. During the wars led by Emperor Frederick II in northern Italy, the city chose his side: Asti was defeated by the Guelphs of Alessandria at Quattordio and Clamandrana, but thanks to Genoese help, it recovered easily. After Frederick's death, the struggle against Thomas II of Savoy became fierce: the Astigiani defeated him on February 23, 1255, at the Battle of Montebruno, but Thomas replied ordering all traders from Asti to be arrested in Savoy and France.
This move showed worry on the part of Asti's neighbouring states over the excessive power gained by the city, which had captured Alba and controlled both Chieri and Turin. This state of affairs led to the intervention of Charles I of Anjou King of Naples and the most powerful man in Italy. After some guerrilla actions, Asti signed a pact of alliance with Pavia and William VII of Montferrat. In 1274 the Astigiani troops were defeated at the Battle of Cassano, but, on December 12, 1275, were victorious over the Angevins at the Battle of Roccavione, ending Charles' attempt to expand in Piedmont. In the 1290s, after William VII had been defeated, Asti was the most powerful city in Piedmont. However, internal struggles for the control of trading and banking enterprises soon divided the city into factions; the most prominent faction were the powerful bankers of the Solari family, who, in 1314, gave the city to king Robert of Naples. The free Republic of Asti ceased to exist. In 1339 the Ghibelline exiles recaptured the city, expelling their allies.
In 1342 however, the menace of the Solari counteroffensive led the new rulers to submit to Luchin
The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon wrote in the Historia Langobardorum that the Lombards descended from a small tribe called the Winnili, who dwelt in southern Scandinavia before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in north-western Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area coinciding with modern Austria and Slovakia north of the Danube river, where they subdued the Heruls and fought frequent wars with the Gepids; the Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552. Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. In contrast with the Goths and the Vandals, the Lombards left Scandinavia and descended due south through Germany and Slovenia, only leaving Germanic territory a few decades before reaching Italy.
The Lombards would have remained a predominantly Germanic tribe by the time they invaded Italy. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Gepids, Bulgars and Ostrogoths, their invasion of Italy was unopposed. By late 569 they had conquered all of northern Italy and the principal cities north of the Po River except Pavia, which fell in 572. At the same time, they occupied areas in southern Italy, they established a Lombard Kingdom in north and central Italy named Regnum Italicum, which reached its zenith under the 8th-century ruler Liutprand. In 774, the Kingdom was integrated into his Empire. However, Lombard nobles continued to rule southern parts of the Italian peninsula, well into the 11th century when they were conquered by the Normans and added to their County of Sicily. In this period, the southern part of Italy still under Longobardic domination was known to the foreigners, by the name Langbarðaland, in the Norse runestones, their legacy is apparent in the regional name Lombardy. The fullest account of Lombard origins and practices is the Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, written in the 8th century.
Paul's chief source for Lombard origins, however, is the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum tells the story of a small tribe called the Winnili dwelling in southern Scandinavia; the Winnili were split into three groups and one part left their native land to seek foreign fields. The reason for the exodus was overpopulation; the departing people were led by the brothers Ybor and Aio and their mother Gambara and arrived in the lands of Scoringa the Baltic coast or the Bardengau on the banks of the Elbe. Scoringa was ruled by the Vandals and their chieftains, the brothers Ambri and Assi, who granted the Winnili a choice between tribute or war; the Winnili were young and brave and refused to pay tribute, saying "It is better to maintain liberty by arms than to stain it by the payment of tribute." The Vandals prepared for war and consulted Godan, who answered that he would give the victory to those whom he would see first at sunrise. The Winnili were fewer in number and Gambara sought help from Frea, who advised that all Winnili women should tie their hair in front of their faces like beards and march in line with their husbands.
At sunrise, Frea turned her husband's bed so that he was facing east, woke him. So Godan spotted the Winnili first and asked, "Who are these long-beards?," and Frea replied, "My lord, thou hast given them the name, now give them the victory." From that moment onwards, the Winnili were known as the Longbeards. When Paul the Deacon wrote the Historia between 787 and 796 he was a Catholic monk and devoted Christian, he thought the pagan stories of his people "silly" and "laughable". Paul explained. A modern theory suggests that the name "Langobard" comes from a name of Odin. Priester states that when the Winnili changed their name to "Lombards", they changed their old agricultural fertility cult to a cult of Odin, thus creating a conscious tribal tradition. Fröhlich inverts the order of events in Priester and states that with the Odin cult, the Lombards grew their beards in resemblance of the Odin of tradition and their new name reflected this. Bruckner remarks that the name of the Lombards stands in close relation to the worship of Odin, whose many names include "the Long-bearded" or "the Grey-bearded", that the Lombard given name Ansegranus shows that the Lombards had this idea of their chief deity.
The same Old Norse root Barth or Barði, meaning "beard", is shared with the Heaðobards mentioned in both Beowulf and in Widsith, where they are in conflict with the Danes. They were a branch of the Langobards. Alternatively some etymological sources suggest an Old High German root, meaning “axe”, while Edward Gibbon puts forth an alternative suggestion which argues that: …Börde still signifies “a fertile plain by the side of a river,” and a district near Magdeburg is still called the lange Börd
Byzantium was an ancient Greek colony in early antiquity that became Constantinople, Istanbul. Byzantium was colonized by the Greeks from Megara in 657 BC; the etymology of Byzantion is unknown. It has been suggested, it may be derived from the Illyrian personal name Byzas. Ancient Greek legend refers to King Byzas, the leader of the Megarian colonists and founder of the city; the form Byzantium is a latinisation of the original name. Much the name Byzantium became common in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire, its capital Constantinople stood on the site of ancient Byzantium. The name "Byzantine Empire" was introduced by the historian Hieronymus Wolf only in 1555, a century after the empire had ceased to exist. While the empire existed, the term Byzantium referred to only the city, rather than the empire; the name Lygos for the city, which corresponds to an earlier Thracian settlement, is mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History. The origins of Byzantium are shrouded in legend.
Traditional legend says Byzas from Megara founded Byzantium in 667 BC when he sailed northeast across the Aegean Sea. The tradition tells that Byzas, son of King Nisos, planned to found a colony of the Dorian Greek city of Megara. Byzas consulted the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, which instructed Byzas to settle opposite the "Land of the Blind". Leading a group of Megarian colonists, Byzas found a location where the Golden Horn, a great natural harbor, meets the Bosporus and flows into the Sea of Marmara, opposite Chalcedon, he adjudged the Chalcedonians blind not to have recognized the advantages the land on the European side of the Bosporus had over the Asiatic side. In 667 BC he founded Byzantium at their location, it was a trading city due to its location at the Black Sea's only entrance. Byzantium conquered Chalcedon, across the Bosporus on the Asiatic side; the city was taken by the Persian Empire at the time of the Scythian campaign of King Darius I, was added to the administrative province of Skudra.
Though Achaemenid control of the city was never as stable as compared to other cities in Thrace, it was considered, alongside Sestos, to be one of the foremost Achaemenid ports on the European coast of the Bosporus and the Hellespont. Byzantium was besieged by Greek forces during the Peloponnesian War; as part of Sparta's strategy for cutting off grain supplies to Athens, Sparta took the city in 411 BC. The Athenian military took the city in 408 BC. After siding with Pescennius Niger against the victorious Septimius Severus, the city was besieged by Roman forces and suffered extensive damage in 196 AD. Byzantium was rebuilt by Septimius Severus, now emperor, regained its previous prosperity, it was bound to Perinthos during the period of Septimius Severus. The location of Byzantium attracted Roman Emperor Constantine I who, in 330 AD, refounded it as an imperial residence inspired by Rome itself. After his death the city was called Constantinople; this combination of imperialism and location would affect Constantinople's role as the nexus between the continents of Europe and Asia.
It was a commercial and diplomatic centre. With its strategic position, Constantinople controlled the major trade routes between Asia and Europe, as well as the passage from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea. On May 29, 1453, the city fell to the Ottoman Turks, again became the capital of a powerful state, the Ottoman Empire; the Turks called the city "Istanbul". To this day it remains the largest and most populous city in Turkey, although Ankara is now the national capital. By the late Hellenistic or early Roman period, the star and crescent motif was associated to some degree with Byzantium; some Byzantine coins of the 1st century BC and show the head of Artemis with bow and quiver, feature a crescent with what appears to be an eight-rayed star on the reverse. According to accounts which vary in some of the details, in 340 BC the Byzantines and their allies the Athenians were under siege by the troops of Philip of Macedon. On a dark and wet night Philip attempted a surprise attack but was thwarted by the appearance of a bright light in the sky.
This light is described by subsequent interpreters as a meteor, sometimes as the moon, some accounts mention the barking of dogs. However, the original accounts mention only a bright light in the sky, without specifying the moon. To commemorate the event the Byzantines erected a statue of Hecate lampadephoros; this story survived in the works of Hesychius of Miletus, who in all probability lived in the time of Justinian I. His works survive only in fragments preserved in the tenth century lexicographer Suidas; the tale is related by Stephanus of Byzantium, Eustathius. Devotion to Hecate was favored by the Byzantines for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon, her symbols were the crescent and star, the walls of her city were her provenance. It is unclear how the symbol Hecate/Artemis, one of many goddesses would have been transferred to the city itself, but it seems to have been an effect of being credited with the intervention against Philip and the subse
Kingdom of the Lombards
The Kingdom of the Lombards known as the Lombard Kingdom. The king was traditionally elected by the highest-ranking aristocrats, the dukes, as several attempts to establish a hereditary dynasty failed; the kingdom was subdivided into a varying number of duchies, ruled by semi-autonomous dukes, which were in turn subdivided into gastaldates at the municipal level. The capital of the kingdom and the center of its political life was Pavia in the modern northern Italian region of Lombardy; the Lombard invasion of Italy was opposed by the Byzantine Empire, which retained control of much of the peninsula until the mid-8th century. For most of the kingdom's history, the Byzantine-ruled Exarchate of Ravenna and Duchy of Rome separated the northern Lombard duchies, collectively known as Langobardia Maior, from the two large southern duchies of Spoleto and Benevento, which constituted Langobardia Minor; because of this division, the southern duchies were more autonomous than the smaller northern duchies.
Over time, the Lombards adopted Roman titles and traditions. By the time Paul the Deacon was writing in the late 8th century, the Lombardic language and hairstyles had all disappeared; the Lombards were Arian Christians or pagans, which put them at odds with the Roman population as well as the Byzantine Empire and the Pope. However, by the end of the 7th century, their conversion to Catholicism was all but complete, their conflict with the Pope continued and was responsible for their gradual loss of power to the Franks, who conquered the kingdom in 774. Charlemagne, the king of the Franks, adopted the title "King of the Lombards", although he never managed to gain control of Benevento, the southernmost Lombard duchy; the Kingdom of the Lombards at the time of its demise was the last minor Germanic kingdom in Europe, aside from the Frankish Empire. Any genetic legacy of the Lombards was diluted into the Italian population owing to their small number and their geographic dispersal in order to rule and administer their kingdom.
Some regions were never under Lombard domination, including Sardinia, Calabria, southern Apulia and the Latium. In all these regions the Byzantines brought more Greco-Anatolian lineages, which were the dominant lineages from the Magna Graecia period. A reduced Regnum Italiae, a heritage of the Lombards, continued to exist for centuries as one of the constituent kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire corresponding to the territory of the former Langobardia Maior; the so-called Iron Crown of Lombardy, one of the oldest surviving royal insignias of Christendom, may have originated in Lombard Italy as early as the 7th century and continued to be used to crown Kings of Italy until Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th century. The earliest Lombard law code, the Edictum Rothari, may allude to the use of seal rings, but it is not until the reign of Ratchis that they became an integral part of royal administration, when the king required their use on passports; the only evidence for their use at the ducal level comes from the Duchy of Benevento, where two private charters contain requests for the duke to confirm them with his seal.
The existence of seal rings "testifies to the tenacity of Roman traditions of government". In the 6th century Byzantine Emperor Justinian attempted to reassert imperial authority in the territories of the Western Roman Empire. In the resulting Gothic War waged against the Ostrogothic Kingdom, Byzantine hopes of an early and easy triumph evolved into a long war of attrition that resulted in mass dislocation of population and destruction of property. Problems were further exacerbated by a devastating plague pandemic. Although the Byzantine Empire prevailed, the triumph proved to be a pyrrhic victory, as all these factors caused the population of the Italian Peninsula to crash, leaving the conquered territories underpopulated and impoverished. Although an invasion attempt by the Franks allies of the Ostrogoths, late in the war was repelled, a large migration by the Lombards, a Germanic people, allied with the Byzantine Empire, ensued. In the spring of 568 the Lombards, led by King Alboin, moved from Pannonia and overwhelmed the small Byzantine army left by Narses to guard Italy.
The Lombard arrival broke the political unity of the Italian Peninsula for the first time since the Roman conquest. The peninsula was now torn between territories ruled by the Lombards and the Byzantines, with boundaries that changed over time; the newly arrived Lombards were divided into two main areas in Italy: the Langobardia Maior, which comprised northern Italy gravitating around the capital of the Lombard kingdom, Ticinum. The territories which remained under Byzantine control were called "Romania" in northeastern Italy and had its stronghold in the Exarchate of Ravenna. Arriving in Italy, King Alboin gave control of the Eastern Alps to one of his most trusted lieutenants, who became the first Duke of Friuli in 568; the duchy, established in the Roman town of Forum Iulii fought with the Slavic population across the Gorizia border. Justified by its exceptional military needs, the Duchy of Friuli thus had greater autonomy compared to
Authari was king of the Lombards from 584 to his death. He was considered as the first Lombard king to have adopted some level of "Roman-ness" and introduced policies that led to drastic changes in the treatment of the Romans and Christianity. Authari was the son of King of the Lombards; when the latter died in 574, the Lombard nobility refused to appoint a successor, resulting in a ten-years-long interregnum known as the Rule of the Dukes. In 574 and 575 the Lombards invaded Provence part of the kingdom of Burgundy of the Merovingian Guntram; the latter, in alliance with his nephew, the king of Austrasia Childebert II, replied by invading Northern Italy. The Austrasian army took Trent; the Byzantine emperor, Tiberius II, began to negotiate an alliance with the Franks, so the Lombards, fearful of a pincer movement, elected another king. In 584, they elected Duke Authari and ceded him the capital of Pavia as well as half of their ducal domains as a demesne, he spent his entire reign in wars with the Franks, the Byzantines, Lombard rebels.
His first major test was the quashing of the rebel duke Droctulf of Brescello, who had allied with the Romans and was ruling the Po valley. Having expelled him, he spent most of the rest of his six years on the throne fighting the exarch of Ravenna, Smaragdus, or the Merovingian kings. Guntram and Childebert were still not satisfied with their successes in Italy and they many times threatened invasion, following through on their threats twice; the memory of Theudebert I of Austrasia's campaigns in Italy, the urging of Childebert's warlike mother Brunhilda and the Byzantine emperor and exarch, as well as the wrongs done Guntram in the past undoubtedly fueled their quarrelsomeness. In 588, Authari defeated them handily, but in 590, the uncle and nephew led two armies across the Alps over Mont Cenis and the Brenner to Milan and Verona. Though Authari shut himself up in Pavia, the Franks accomplished little as the exarch's army did not meet them and they could not join up with each other. Pestilence turned them around and they left the Lombards much chastened, but hardly defeated.
Authari, when not controlled by foreign armies, expanded the Lombard dominion at the expense of Byzantium. He cut off communication between Padua and Ravenna. Faroald, duke of Spoleto, utterly devastated it. Authari swept through the peninsula all the way to Reggio, vowing to take Calabria — a vow never to be kept by any Lombard. Authari married Theodelinda, daughter of the Bavarian duke Garibald I, on 15 May 589 at Verona. A Catholic, she had great influence among the Lombards for her virtue. A detailed account of the courtship by the eighth-century historian Paul the Deacon revealed that the marriage was a political alliance designed to provide additional sanction to Authari's royal position. In addition, Theodelinda was chosen due to the long-standing ties between the Lombards and the Bavarians as well as their mutual hostility toward the Franks, she claimed descent from the ancient Lombard royal line. When Authari died in Pavia in 590 by poison, he was succeeded as king by Agilulf, duke of Turin, on the advice, sought by the dukes, of Theodelinda, who married the new king.
Jarnut, Jörg. Geschichte der Langobarden. Stuttgart
Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of the area, referred to as Gaul by the Romans. He was born Georgius Florentius and added the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather, he is the primary contemporary source for Merovingian history. His most notable work was his Decem Libri Historiarum, better known as the Historia Francorum, a title that chroniclers gave to it, but he is known for his accounts of the miracles of saints four books of the miracles of Martin of Tours. St. Martin's tomb was a major pilgrimage destination in the 6th century, St. Gregory's writings had the practical effect of promoting this organized devotion. Gregory was born in the Auvergne region of central Gaul, he was born into the upper stratum of Gallo-Roman society as the son of Florentius, Senator of Clermont, by his wife Armentaria II, niece of Bishop Nicetius of Lyons and granddaughter of both Florentinus, Senator of Geneva, Saint Gregory of Langres.
Gregory had several noted bishops and saints as close relatives, according to Gregory, he was connected to thirteen of the eighteen bishops of Tours preceding him by ties of kinship. Gregory's paternal grandmother, descended from Vettius Epagatus, the illustrious martyr of Lyons, his father evidently died while Gregory was young and his widowed mother moved to Burgundy where she had property. Gregory went to live with his paternal uncle St. Gallus, Bishop of Clermont), under whom, his successor St. Avitus, Gregory had his education. Gregory received the clerical tonsure from Gallus. Having contracted a serious illness, he made a visit of devotion to the tomb of St. Martin at Tours. Upon his recovery, he was ordained deacon by Avitus. Upon the death of St. Euphronius, he was chosen as bishop by the clergy and people, charmed with his piety and humility, their deputies overtook him at the court of King Sigebert of Austrasia, being compelled to acquiesce, though much against his will, Gregory was consecrated by Giles, Bishop of Rheims, on 22 August 573, at the age of thirty-four.
He spent most of his career at Tours, although he assisted at the council of Paris in 577. The rough world he lived in was on the cusp of the dying world of Antiquity and the new culture of early medieval Europe. Gregory lived on the border between the Frankish culture of the Merovingians to the north and the Gallo-Roman culture of the south of Gaul. At Tours, Gregory could not have been better placed to hear everything and meet everyone of influence in Merovingian culture. Tours lay on the watery highway of the navigable Loire. Five Roman roads radiated from Tours, which lay on the main thoroughfare between the Frankish north and Aquitania, with Spain beyond. At Tours the Frankish influences of the north and the Gallo-Roman influences of the south had their chief contact; as the center for the popular cult of St Martin, Tours was a pilgrimage site, a political sanctuary to which important leaders fled during periods of violence and turmoil in Merovingian politics. Gregory struggled through personal relations with four Frankish kings, Sigebert I, Chilperic I, Childebert II and he knew most of the leading Franks.
Gregory wrote in Late Latin which departed from classical usage in syntax and spelling with few changes in inflection. The Historia Francorum is in ten books. Books I to IV recount the world's history from the Creation but move to the Christianization of Gaul, the life and times of Saint Martin of Tours, the conversion of the Franks and the conquest of Gaul under Clovis, the more detailed history of the Frankish kings down to the death of Sigebert I in 575. At this date Gregory had been bishop of Tours for two years; the second part, books V and VI, closes with Chilperic I's death in 584. During the years that Chilperic held Tours, relations between him and Gregory were tense. After hearing rumours that the Bishop of Tours had slandered his wife, Chilperic had Gregory arrested and tried for treason—a charge which threatened both Gregory's bishopric and his life; the most eloquent passage in the Historia is the closing chapter of book VI, in which Chilperic's character is summed up unsympathetically through the use of an invective.
The third part, comprising books VII to X, takes his personal account to the year 591. An epilogue was written in 594, the year of Gregory's death. Readers of the Historia Francorum must decide whether this is a royal history and whether Gregory was writing to please his patrons, it is that one royal Frankish house is more generously treated than others. Gregory was a Catholic bishop, his writing reveals views typical of someone in his position, his views on perceived dangers of Arianism led him to preface the Historia with a detailed expression of his orthodoxy on the nature of Christ. In addition, his ridiculing of pagans and Jews reflected how his works were used to spread the Christian faith. For example, in book 2, chapters 28-31, he describes the pagans as incestuous and weak and describes the process by which newly converted King Clovis leads a much better life than that of a pagan and is healed of all the conundrums he experienced as a pagan. Gregory's education was the standard Latin one of Late Antiquity, focusing on Virgil's Aeneid and Martianus Capella's Liber de Nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae, but other key texts such as Orosius' Chronicle
Pannonia was a province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Julius Pokorny believed the name Pannonia is derived from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, "swamp, wet". Others believe that the name is related to the god of the nature and shepherds Pan and/or pan, the Proto-Slavic/Proto-Indo-European word for lord/master, which could mean Pan's Land or Land of the Master, more probable due the fact the Ionian fleet supplied Pannonia via the Black Sea and Danube, Panionium festivities were well known in the region to its Celtic, Adriatic Veneti and Scythian inhabitants. Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum, the "Hercynian mountain chain", in Pannonia and Dacia.
He gives us some dramaticised description of its composition, in which the close proximity of the forest trees causes competitive struggle among them. He mentions its gigantic oaks, but he—if the passage in question is not an interpolated marginal gloss—is subject to the legends of the gloomy forest. He mentions unusual birds, which have feathers that "shine like fires at night". Medieval bestiaries named these birds the Ercinee; the impenetrable nature of the Hercynian Silva hindered the last concerted Roman foray into the forest, by Drusus, during 12–9 BC: Florus asserts that Drusus invisum atque inaccessum in id tempus Hercynium saltum patefecit. The first inhabitants of this area known to history were the Pannonii, a group of Indo-European tribes akin to Illyrians. From the 4th century BC, it was invaded by various Celtic tribes. Little is heard of Pannonia until 35 BC, when its inhabitants, allies of the Dalmatians, were attacked by Augustus, who conquered and occupied Siscia; the country was not, definitively subdued by the Romans until 9 BC, when it was incorporated into Illyricum, the frontier of, thus extended as far as the Danube.
In AD 6, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, engaged in the so-called Great Illyrian Revolt, were overcome by Tiberius and Germanicus, after a hard-fought campaign, which lasted for three years. After the rebellion was crushed in AD 9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, its lands were divided between the new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south; the date of the division is unknown, most after AD 20 but before AD 50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes necessitated the presence of a large number of troops, numerous fortresses were built on the bank of the Danube; some time between the years 102 and 107, between the first and second Dacian wars, Trajan divided the province into Pannonia Superior, Pannonia Inferior. According to Ptolemy, these divisions were separated by a line drawn from Arrabona in the north to Servitium in the south; the whole country was sometimes called the Pannonias. Pannonia Superior was under the consular legate, who had administered the single province, had three legions under his control.
Pannonia Inferior was at first under a praetorian legate with a single legion as the garrison. The frontier on the Danube was protected by the establishment of the two colonies Aelia Mursia and Aelia Aquincum by Hadrian. Under Diocletian, a fourfold division of the country was made: Pannonia Prima in the northwest, with its capital in Savaria / Sabaria, it included Upper Pannonia and the major part of Central Pannonia between the Raba and Drava, Pannonia Valeria in the northeast, with its capital in Sopianae, it comprised the remainder of Central Pannonia between the Raba and Danube, Pannonia Savia in the southwest, with its capital in Siscia, Pannonia Secunda in the southeast, with its capital in SirmiumDiocletian moved parts of today's Slovenia out of Pannonia and incorporated them in Noricum. In 324 AD, Constantine I enlarged the borders of Roman Pannonia to the east, annexing the plains of what is now eastern Hungary, northern Serbia and western Romania up to the limes that he created: the Devil's Dykes.
In the 4th-5th century, one of the dioceses of the Roman Empire was known as the Diocese of Pannonia. It had its capital in Sirmium and included all four provinces that were formed from historical Pannonia, as well as the provinces of Dalmatia, Noricum Mediterraneum and Noricum Ripense. During the Migrations Period in the 5th century, some parts of Pannonia was ceded to the Huns in 433 by Flavius Aetius, the magister militum of the Western Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Hunnic empire in 454, large numbers of Ostrogoths were settled by Marcian in the province as foederati; the Eastern Roman Empire controlled it for a time in the 6th century, a Byzantine province of Pannonia with its capital at Sirmium was temporarily restored, but it included only a small southeastern part of historical Pannonia. Afterwards, it was again invaded by the Avars in the 560s, the Slavs, who first settled c. 480s but became independent only from the 7th century, the Franks, who named a frontier march the March of Pannonia in the late 8th century.
The term Pannonia wa