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Aistulf (d. 757).

Lombard ruler. Principal war: conquest of Ravenna (751); wars against the Pope and the Franks (752-756). Principal battles: Mount Cenis (near Susa, Italy) (754); sieges of Pavia (754, 756); siege of Rome (756).

Became king of the Lombards (749); conquered the nominally Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna (751); next directed his energies toward the conquest of Rome, and by 753 was threatening the city itself; was defeated at the battle of Mount Cenis (754) by a Frankish army under Pepin III the Short, sent to rescue Pope Stephen II and Rome; was besieged in Pavia; made peace with Pepin and promised to restore the conquered lands, but resumed his aggressions as soon as Pepin left, and besieged Rome (January-April 756); besieged again in Pavia when Pepin led another army into Italy, he was forced to pay tribute and to hand his conquests over to Pepin, who gave them to Pope Stephen II; died shortly after (January 757?).

Aggressive and expansionist in his policies, he triggered the first important Frankish intervention in Italian affairs. <BL>

Bogentti, Gian Piero, L'Eta Longobarda. 4 vols. Milan,
Hodgkin, T., Italy and Her Invaders, Vol VI. Oxford, 1899.
Leicht, Pier Silverio, "King Aistulfs Heeresgesetze." Miscellanea
     Academia Berolinensia, Vol. II, no. 1. (1950).
Paul the Deacon, History of the Lombards. Translated by William
     Dudley Foulke. 1907. Reprint, Philadelphia, 1974.


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Author:Bongard, David L.
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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