John I (died 615) was Exarch of Ravenna (611–615). John was made Exarch of Ravenna in 611, to replace Smaragdus. He seems to have avoided war with the Lombards throughout his 4 year reign from 611 to 615. In 615 he was killed along with a number of other officials. The Liber Pontificalis mentions that one of the first acts of his successor, Eleutherius, was to kill the persons accused of playing a role in the Exarch John's death.
Eleutherius (died 620) was Exarch of Ravenna (615–619). A eunuch, he succeeded John I as exarch. Early in his reign, nearly the entire exarchate was unstable. In Ravenna, there was obvious discontent with the Byzantines; in Naples, a certain John of Conza, separated the city from the exarch's control. Eleutherius arrived in Ravenna and immediately put to death "all who had been implicated in the death of Exarch John and the judges of the State." Then, after making a courtesy visit to Pope Deusdedit, Eleutherius marched on Naples, and captured that city, killing the rebel John and his supporters. However, soon after the Lombards threatened war. Eleutherius was able to sue for peace, promising a yearly tribute. Finding the situation in Italy to be unsatisfactory and taking advantage of the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius' preoccupation with the Sassanids, Eleutherius proclaimed himself emperor in 619, with the intent of setting up his capital in Rome. The following year, while on his way to Rome and still deciding how to convince Pope Boniface V to grant him a crown, he was murdered by his soldiers at the fortress of Luceoli, and his head was sent to Heraclius.
Isaac the Armenian was an Exarch of Ravenna hailing from the Kamsarakan clan. The chronology of the Exarchate in this period is uncertain: either he succeeded Euselnus and served c. 625 – 644; or he succeeded Eleutherius, and served 620 – 637. The Chronicle of Fredegar records a story of how Isaac slew Tasso, duke of Tuscany by deceit for the benefit of the Lombard king Arioald. However, according to Paul the Deacon, it was the patriarch Gregory who killed Tasso, and Tasso was instead the Duke of Friuli with his brother Kakko. In 638 the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius demanded that the new Pope Severinus sign his Ecthesis, a Monothelite profession of faith. Severinus refused; Heraclius denied recognition to the pope and sent an official named Maurice to negotiate with the papacy. Maurice, after arriving in Rome, seized the Lateran and encouraged Isaac to come to the city. Isaac did so; he then briefly resided in the Lateran and with Maurice plundered the palace. Some of the treasure was sent to Heraclius; much of the rest went to the exarch. Some time later Maurice attempted to repeat the action, but in order to avoid sharing the wealth he denied recognition to the exarch. Isaac then captured Maurice and had him executed. The Lombard king Rothari conquered all of the imperial possessions in Liguria, as well as much Emilia, in around 643. A battle fought between the Lombards and troops of the Exarchate on the banks of the Panaro ended in defeat for the Eastern Romans, with several thousand soldiers killed. Although Isaac himself probably met his death fighting the Lombards, the author of the life of Pope Theodore in the Liber Pontificalis writes that Isaac died of a stroke. There is a sarcophagus of Isaac's located in the Sancta Sanctorum, which contains depictions of Daniel, the adoration of the Magi, and Lazarus.
The Panaro is an Italian river and the final right-hand tributary to the Po, discounting the Cavo Napoleonico canal. It runs right across Emilia-Romagna in a north-easterly direction: from its source close to the Apennine watershed, where Emilia-Romagna meets Tuscany, to its outlet where the Po marks the region’s boundary with Veneto. Its Latin name was Scultenna. It is 148 kilometres long, with a 2,292-square-kilometre (885 sq mi) drainage basin; alternating between aridity in summer and fullness in spring and autumn. In this area it makes up the border between the communities of Montana del Frignano and Montana dell’appennino Modena Est. Close to Modena, it joins the Naviglio de Modena and becomes navigable until its confluence with the Po, a little to the west of Ferrara. It runs through Vignola, Finale Emilia and Bondeno.
Theodore Calliopas was an Exarch of Ravenna twice (643–c. 645, 653–before 666). Nothing is known of Theodore's first term, except that he succeeded Isaac in 643 and was replaced by Plato c. 645. Following the death of the Exarch Olympius in 652, however, he was returned to his former position. Theodore subsequently carried out the orders given to his predecessor, to arrest Pope Martin I. The exarch entered Rome in 653, whereupon he and a detachment of soldiers dragged the pope from the Lateran, and then sent him on a ship to Naxos. Theodore then attempted, without success, to convince the Romans to elect a new pope; only in the next year was Eugene made pope. Before 666 he was succeeded as exarch by Gregory.
Plato (fl. 645–653) was the Exarch of Ravenna from 645 to 649. He is known primarily for his monothelitism and his opposition to the Pope Theodore I. He convinced the Patriarch Paul II of Constantinople to break with the Pope. He is first attested as exarch in 645. By 649, when his successor Olympius is named as being at Ravenna, he was already back at the imperial court in Constantinople, functioning as the advisor of Emperor Constans II on the Italian situation regarding Pope Martin I's resistance to Monotheletism. He is last attested in 653. A brother, the presbyter Theocharistos, and a brother-in-law or son-in-law named Theodore Chilas, are also attested two years later.
Olympius (died 652) was an Exarch of Ravenna (649–652). Prior to his term as exarch, Olympius was an imperial chamberlain at Constantinople. In 649, according to the Liber Pontificalis, the Byzantine Emperor Constans II ordered Olympius to arrest Pope Martin I on the grounds that the pope's election had not been submitted to the emperor for approval. Constans was upset with Martin's condemnation of the Monothelite heresy; he feared that it would resurrect the religious conflict that had plagued the empire. Olympius attempted to gain the support of the citizenry of Rome, as well as the bishops; he also allegedly considered ordering the assassination of Martin. None of his actions, however, met with much success. Eventually Olympius decided to switch his allegiance and sided with the Pope, simultaneously declaring himself emperor. He marched into Sicily in 652, either to fight the Saracens or the local Byzantine forces. His army was stricken by an unknown disease, which killed Olympius that same year.
Gregory was an Exarch of Ravenna (664-677). Gregory succeeded Theodore I Calliopas as Exarch. His tenure is mostly known for his support of the Archbishop of Ravenna in the latter's struggles with the papacy over the independence of the see. Also during his administration, the Byzantine Emperor Constans II invaded southern Italy in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy the power of the Lombards. He was succeeded in 677 by Theodore II.
Theodore II was Exarch of Ravenna (677–687). Theodore succeeded Gregory in 677. He is recorded as confirming the election of Conon as Pope on 21 October 686. A pious man, Theodore patronized the Archbishop of Ravenna during his tenure. The historian Andreas Agnellus describes his gifts to the churches of St. Theodore the Deacon and St. Mary of Blachernae and records that the Exarch was buried with his wife in the second monastery. He was, in turn, followed by John II Platyn in 687.
John Platyn or Platinus was an Exarch of Ravenna (687-701 or 702). John replaced Theodore II as exarch in 687. That same year, he took an active role in a disputed papal election. Bribed by the archdeacon Paschal, he demanded that the latter should be made pope. Conflict with another papal candidate, Theodore, seemed inevitable, but then a compromise candidate, Sergius I, was made pope. Paschal did not give up hope, however: he promised John a hundred pounds of gold in exchange for the papacy. John quickly came to Rome, but found that it would be too difficult to go against the majority. He therefore recognized Sergius, but demanded from the pope the hundred pounds of gold that Paschal had promised. Sergius protested, saying he had made no such agreement; when John did not give up his demands, he took the holy vessels of St. Peter's Basilica, claiming they were all he possessed. The local populace, becoming increasingly angry at the exarch, rallied to the pope and paid the sum demanded. In 691 the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II sent Pope Sergius a series of canons approved by the Quinisext Council for his signature. Jeffrey Richards notes that Justinian had believed this would be a matter of routine, since his apocrisiarius had signed them. Since several of them were counter to the interests of the papacy, Sergius refused, and forbade them to be read out publicly. Negotiations over the canons failed to solve anything, so Justinian retaliated by sending a certain Zacharias to arrest him, as his predecessors Justinian I and Constans II had done with earlier popes. The result was disastrous for the exarchate. The imperial armies in Ravenna and Rome not only refused to cooperate, the army of Ravenna marched to Rome to defend Sergius, and were joined by soldiers of the Pentapolis. The soldiers reached Rome, surrounded the papal residence, and demanded to see the pope. Zacharias is said to have cowered under the pope's bed until Sergius himself allowed him to escape; in any case, the Pope was safe. The entire affair was an embarrassment to Byzantine authority in Italy, and undermined John's power. John was followed as exarch by Theophylactus around 702.
During that century, 7th century, certain important events occurred in the occupied Byzantine Italy by the Lombard kingdom that influenced the fate of the Byzantine Exarchate and the history of Italy. After death of Lombard king Agilulf in 616, the throne passed to his son Adaloald, a minor. The regency was exercised by the Queen Mother Theodelinda, who gave the military command to the Duke Sundarit. Theodelinda continued Agilulf's pro-Catholic policy and peace with the Byzantines, however, this caused an ever-stronger opposition from the warrior and Arian component of the Lombards. Conflict broke out in 624 led by Arioald, Duke of Turin and Adaloald's brother in law. Adaloald was deposed in 625 and Arioald became king. The coup d'etat against the Bavarian dynasty of Adaloald and Theodelinda, which led Arioald to the throne, opened a season of conflict between the two religious components of the realm. Behind or beside the choice of faith, however, the conflict had political colourings, as it opposed the architects of a policy of peace with Byzantium and the Papacy and integration with the Byzantines to the proponents of a more aggressive and expansionist policy. The kingdom of Arioald (626-636), which brought the capital back to Pavia, was troubled by these conflicts, as well as from external threats; the King was able to withstand an attack of the Avars in Friuli, but not to limit the growing influence of the Franks in the kingdom. At his death, the legend says that, with identical procedure to that followed with his mother Teodolinda, Queen Gundeperga had the privilege to choose her new husband and king. The choice fell on Rothari, also duke of Brescia and Arian. Rothari reigned from 636 to 652, and led numerous military campaigns, which brought almost all of northern Italy under the rule of the Lombard kingdom. He conquered Liguria (643), including the capital Genoa, Luni, and Oderzo, however not even a landslide victory over the Byzantine Exarch of Ravenna, defeated and killed along with his eight thousand men at the River Panaro, succeeded in forcing the Exarchate to submit to the Lombards. Internally, Rothari strengthened the central power at the expense of the duchies of Langobardia Maior, while in the south the Duke of Benevento Arechi I (who in turn was expanding Lombard domains) also recognized the authority of the King of Pavia. Rothari conquered Genoa in 641 and the rest of Eastern Roman Liguria in 643. He conquered all remaining Eastern Roman territories in the lower valley of the Po, including Oderzo (Opitergium) in 641. According to Paul the Deacon, "Rothari then captured all the cities of the Romans which were situated upon the shore of the sea from the city of Luna in Tuscany up to the boundaries of the Franks." With these quick conquests, he left the Eastern Roman with only the Ravennan marshes in northern Italy. The exarch of Ravenna, Plato, tried to regain some territory, but his invading army was defeated by Rothari on the banks of the Scultenna (the Panaro) near Modena, with the loss of 8,000 men, in 645. However, he recaptured Oderzo at same year. Oderzo finally was razed again by Grimoald in 667. The memory of Rothari is linked to the famous edict, promulgated in 643, and written in Latin, although it was only designed for the Lombards. The Byzantines in Italy were still subject to Roman law. The Edict consolidated and codified Germanic rules and customs, but also introduced significant innovations, a sign of the progress of Latin influence on the Lombards. The edict tried to discourage the feud by increasing the weregild for injuries/murders and also contained drastic restrictions on the use of the death penalty.
After the short reign of the son of Rothari and his son Rodoald(652-653), the dukes elected king Aripert I, Duke of Asti and grandson of Theodolinda. The Bavarian dynasty returned to the throne, a sign of the dominance of the Catholic faction over the Arian one; Aripert suppressed Arianism. At Aripert's death in 661, his will divided the kingdom between his two sons, Perctarit and Godepert. The procedure was known from Byzantines and Franks, but remained a unique case among the Lombards. Grimoald obtained the investiture of the Lombard nobles, but still had to deal with the legitimate faction, which tried international alliances to return the throne to Perctarit. Grimoald obtained from the Avars and the return of the deposed ruler and Perctarit, as soon as he returned to Italy, had to make an act of submission to the usurper before he could escape to the Franks of Neustria, who in 663 attacked Grimoald. The new king, hated by Neustria because he was allied with the Franks of Austrasia, repelled them in Refrancore, near Asti, and remained on his throne. Grimoald in 663 had also defeated an attempt to reconquer Italy by the Byzantine Emperor Constans II. At the fidelity of his Duchy of Benevento entrusted to his son Romuald, added that the duchies of Spoleto and Friuli, where he imposed dukes loyal to him. He favoured the integration of the different components of the kingdom. With Grimoald's death, in 671, Perctarit returned from exile and ended the ephemeral realm of Garibald, the son of Grimoald and still a child. He immediately came to an agreement with Grimoald's other son, Romualdo I of Benevento, who pledged loyalty in exchange for recognition of the autonomy of his duchy. Perctarit developed a policy in line with the tradition of his dynasty and supported the Catholic Church against Arianism and members to Three-Chapter Controversy. He sought and achieved peace with the Byzantines, who acknowledged Lombard sovereignty over most of Italy, and repressed the rebellion of the Duke of Trent, Alahis, although at the cost of hard territorial concessions. Alahis again rose up, joining with the political opponents of the pro-Catholic Bavarian policy, at Perctarit's death in 688. His son and successor Cunipert was initially defeated and forced to take refuge on the Isola Comacina only in 689 did he manage to control the rebellion, defeating and killing Alahis in the battle of Coronate at the Adda. The crisis resulted from the divergence between the two regions of Langobardia Maior: on one side the western regions (Neustria), loyal to the Bavarian rulers, pro-Catholic and supporters of the policy of reconciliation with Rome and Byzantium; on the other side the eastern part (Austria), linked to the Lombard tradition that, after accession to paganism and Arianism, did not want to resign itself to a mitigation of the warlike character of their people. The branch of the dukes of Austria challenged the increasing "latinization" of customs, court practices, law and religion, which accelerated the disintegration and loss of the Germanic identity of the Lombard people. The victory allowed Cuniperto, already long associated with the throne by his father and not a secondary actor of his policy, to continue the work of pacification of the kingdom, always with a pro-Catholic accent. A synod convened in Pavia in 698, sanctioned the reabsorption of the Three-Chapter Controversy, with the return of the schismatic to Roman obedience.
Πηγή : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_the_Lombards