Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία
Ελληνική ιστορία και προϊστορία

Τρίτη, 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

The Byzantine Greek Exarchs of Ravenna and Italy (Part A)

The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a lordship of the Byzantine Empire in Italy, from 584 to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards. It was one of two exarchates established following the western reconquests under Emperor Justinian to more effectively administrate the territories, along with the Exarchate of Africa. Ravenna became the capital of the Western Roman Empire in 402 under Honorius, due to its fine harbour with access to the Adriatic and its ideal defensive location amidst impassable marshes. The city remained the capital of the Empire until 476, when it became the capital of Odoacer, and then of the Ostrogoths under Theodoric the Great. It remained the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, but in 540 during the Gothic War (535–554), Ravenna was occupied by the Byzantine general Belisarius. After this reconquest it became the seat of the provincial governor. At that time, the administrative structure of Italy followed, with some modifications, the old system established by Emperor Diocletian, and retained by Odoacer and the Goths.
The Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Justinian I and the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy took place from 535 until 554 in the Italian peninsula, Dalmatia, Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica. The war had its roots in the ambition of the East Roman Emperor Justinian I to recover the provinces of the former Western Roman Empire, which the Romans had lost to invading barbarian tribes in the previous century (the Migration Period). The war followed the Byzantine reconquest of the province of Africa from the Vandals. Historians commonly divide the war into two phases : 1) From 535 to 540: Period ending with the fall of the Ostrogothic capital Ravenna and the apparent reconquest of Italy by the Byzantines. 2) From 540/541 to 553: a Gothic revival under Totila, suppressed only after a long struggle by the Byzantine general Narses, who also repelled an invasion in 554 by the Franks and Alamanni. In 554 Justinian promulgated the Pragmatic sanction which prescribed Italy's new government. Several cities in northern Italy held out against the Byzantines until 562. By the end of the war Italy had been devastated and depopulated. The Byzantines found themselves incapable of resisting an invasion by the Lombards in 568, which resulted in Constantinople permanently losing control over large parts of the Italian peninsula.
The Gothic War is often viewed as a Pyrrhic victory, which drained the Byzantine Empire of resources that might have been employed against more serious threats in Middle East (Persians) and the Balkans (Slavs). In the east, pagan Slavs and Kutrigurs raided and devastated the Byzantine provinces south of the Danube from 517. A century later Avars destroyed Byzantine cities and towns in Balkans and settled Slavic tribal populations. Some recent historians have taken a different view of Justinian's western campaigns. Warren Treadgold placed greater blame for the vulnerability of the Empire in the late 6th century on the Plague of Justinian in 540–541, which is estimated to have killed up to quarter of the population at the height of the Gothic War, sapping the Empire of manpower and tax revenues needed to complete the campaign more swiftly. No ruler, no matter how wise, could possibly have anticipated the Plague he argues, which would have been disastrous for the Empire and Italy, regardless of the attempt to reconquer Italy. In Italy the war devastated the urban society that was supported by a settled hinterland. The great cities were abandoned as Italy fell into a long period of decline. The impoverishment of Italy and the drain on the Empire made it impossible for the Byzantines to hold their gains. Only three years after the death of Justinian in 565, the mainland Italian territories fell into the hands of the Germanic Lombards. The Exarchate of Ravenna, a band of territory that stretched across central Italy to the Tyrrhenian Sea and south to Naples, along with parts of southern Italy, were the only remaining Byzantine Imperial holdings. After the Gothic Wars the Empire would entertain no more serious ambitions in the West. Rome would remain under imperial control until the Exarchate of Ravenna was finally conquered by the Lombards in 751. Some coastal areas of southern Italy would remain under East Roman influence, until the late 11th century, while the interior would be ruled by Lombard dukes based at Benevento and later also at Salerno and Capua. A decisive result was that Italy united into a single political unit by the Romans in the early centuries of their expansion and remaining such throughout the Roman Empire and also under the Goths was broken up, with the successor states often going to war with each other, until the Unification of Italy in the 19th Century.
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 (Scadanan) before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in northwestern Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area roughly coinciding with modern Austria and Slovakia north of the Danuberiver, where they subdued the Heruls and later fought frequent wars with the Gepids. The Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552; his successor Alboin eventually destroyed the Gepids in 567. Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become severely depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Heruls, Gepids, Bulgars, Thuringians, and Ostrogoths, and their invasion of Italy was almost 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. 
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 that the name "Langobard" came from the length of their beards. 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", and that the Lombard given name Ansegranus("he with the beard of the gods") shows that the Lombards had this idea of their chief deity. The first mention of the Lombards occurred between AD 9 and 16, by the Roman court historian Velleius Paterculus, who accompanied a Roman expedition as prefect of the cavalry. Paterculus says that under Tiberius the "power of the Langobardi was broken, a race surpassing even the Germans in savagery". From the combined testimony of Strabo (AD 20) and Tacitus (AD 117), the Lombards dwelt near the mouth of the Elbe shortly after the beginning of the Christian era, next to the Chauci. Strabo states that the Lombards dwelt on both sides of the Elbe. Tacitus also counted the Lombards as a remote and aggressive Suebian tribe, one of those united in worship of the deity Nerthus, who he referred to as "Mother Earth", and also as subjects of Marobod the King of the Marcomanni. In the 540s, Audoin (ruled 546–560) led the Lombards across the Danube once more into Pannonia, where they received Byzantine Imperial subsidies as Justinian encouraged them to battle the Gepids. In 552, the Byzantines aided by a large contingent of Foederati, notably Lombards, Heruls and Bulgars, defeated the last Ostrogoths led by Teia in the Battle of Taginae. In 560 circa, Audoin was succeeded by his son Alboin, a young and energetic leader who defeated the neighboring Gepidae and made them his subjects; in 566, he married Rosamund, daughter of the Gepid king Cunimund. In the spring of 568, Alboin led the Lombard migration into Italy. In 568, the Lombards under King Alboin, together with other Germanic allies, invaded Northern Italy. The area had only a few years ago been completely pacified, and had suffered greatly during the long Gothic War. The local Byzantine forces were weak, and after taking several towns, in 569 the Lombards conquered Milan. They took Pavia after a three-year siege in 572, and made it their capital. 
In subsequent years, Lombards took Tuscany. Others, under Faroald and Zotto, penetrated into Central and Southern Italy, where they established the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. However, after Alboin's murder in 573, the Lombards fragmented into several autonomous duchies. Emperor Justin II tried to take advantage of this, and in 576 he sent his son-in-law, Baduarius, to Italy. However, he was defeated and killed in battle, and the continuing crises in the Balkans and the East meant that another imperial effort at reconquest was not possible. Because of the Lombard incursions, the Byzantine possessions had fragmented into several isolated territories, and in 580, Byzantine Emperor Tiberius II reorganized them into five provinces, now termed in Greek, eparchies: the Annonaria in northern Italy around Ravenna, Calabria, Campania, Emilia and Liguria, and the Urbicaria around the city of Rome (Urbs). Thus by the end of the 6th century the new order of powers had settled into a stable pattern. Ravenna, governed by its exarch, who held civil and military authority in addition to his ecclesiastical office, was confined to the city, its port and environs as far north as the Po, beyond which lay territory of the duke of Venice, nominally in imperial service, and south to the Marecchia River, beyond which lay the Duchy of the Pentapolis on the Adriatic, also under a duke nominally representing the Emperor of the East.
The exarchate was organised into a group of duchies which were mainly the coastal cities in the Italian peninsula since the Lombards held the advantage in the hinterland.
The civil and military head of these imperial possessions, the exarch himself, was the representative at Ravenna of the emperor in Constantinople. The surrounding territory of Capital Ravenna reached from the River Po which served as the boundary with Venice in the north to the Pentapolis at Rimini in the south, the border of the "five cities" in the Marches along the Adriatic coast; and reached even cities not on the coast, as Forlì for instance. All this territory lies on the eastern flank of the Apennines; this was under the exarch's direct administration and formed the Exarchate in the strictest sense. Surrounding territories were governed by dukes and magistri militium more or less subject to his authority. From the perspective of Constantinople, the Exarchate consisted of the province of Italy. The Exarchate of Ravenna was not the sole Byzantine province in Italy. Byzantine Sicily formed a separate government, and Corsica and Sardinia, while they remained Byzantine, belonged to the Exarchate of Africa. The Lombards had their capital at Pavia and controlled the great valley of the Po. The Lombard wedge in Italy spread to the south, and established duchies at Spoleto and Beneventum; they controlled the interior, while Byzantine governors more or less controlled the coasts. Piedmont, Lombardy, the interior mainland of Venetia, Tuscany and the interior of Campaniabelonged to the Lombards, and bit by bit the Imperial representative in Italy lost all genuine power, though in name he controlled areas like Liguria (lost in 640 to the Lombards), or Naples and Calabria (lost by Benevento). In Rome, the pope was the real master. At the end, 740, the Exarchate consisted of Istria, Venetia, Ferrara, Ravenna (the exarchate in the limited sense), with the Pentapolis, and Perugia. These fragments of the province of Italy, as it was when reconquered for Justinian, were almost all lost, either to the Lombards, who finally conquered Ravenna itself in 751, or by the revolt of the pope, who finally separated from the Empire on the issue of the iconoclastic reforms. The relationship between the Pope in Rome and the Exarch in Ravenna was a dynamic that could hurt or help the empire. The Papacy could be a vehicle for local discontent. The old Roman senatorial aristocracy resented being governed by an Exarch who was considered by many a meddlesome foreigner. Thus the exarch faced threats from without as well as from within, hampering much real progress and development. In its internal history the exarchate was subject to the splintering influences which were leading to the subdivision of sovereignty and the establishment of feudalism throughout Europe. Step by step, and in spite of the efforts of the emperors at Constantinople, the great imperial officials became local landowners, the lesser owners of land were increasingly kinsmen or at least associates of these officials, and new allegiances intruded on the sphere of imperial administration. Meanwhile, the necessity for providing for the defence of the imperial territories against the Lombards led to the formation of local militias, who at first were attached to the imperial regiments, but gradually became independent, as they were recruited entirely locally. These armed men formed the exercitus romanae militiae, who were the forerunners of the free armed burghers of the Italian cities of the Middle Ages. Other cities of the exarchate were organized on the same model.
During the 6th and 7th centuries, the growing menace of the Lombards and the Franks, as well as the split between Eastern and Western Christendom inspired both by iconoclastic emperors and medieval developments in Latin theology and culminating in the acrimonious rivalry between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople, made the position of the exarch more and more untenable. Ravenna remained the seat of the exarch until the revolt of 727 over iconoclasm. Eutychius, the last exarch of Ravenna, was killed by the Lombards in 751. The exarchate was reorganized as the Catepanate of Italy headquartered in Bari which was lost to the Saracens in 847 and only recovered in 871. When in 756 the Franks drove the Lombards out, Pope Stephen II claimed the exarchate. His ally Pepin the Younger, King of the Franks, donated the conquered lands of the former exarchate to the Papacy in 756; this donation, which was confirmed by his son Charlemagne in 774, marked the beginning of the temporal power of the popes as the Patrimony of Saint Peter. The archbishoprics within the former exarchate, however, had developed traditions of local secular power and independence, which contributed to the fragmenting localization of powers. Three centuries later, that Italian independence would fuel the rise of the independent communes. So the Exarchate disappeared, and the small remnants of the Byzantine imperial possessions on the mainland, Naples and Calabria, passed under the authority of the Catapan of Italy, and when Sicily was conquered by the Arabs in the 9th century the remnants were erected into the themesof Calabria and Langobardia. Byzantine Istria at the head of the Adriatic was attached to Dalmatia in the Balkans.
Baduarius was an East Roman (Byzantine) aristocrat, the son-in-law of Byzantine emperor Justin II (r. 565–578). Theophanes the Confessor erroneously calls him a brother. Possibly the son or grandson of a similarly named general active in Scythia Minor in 528, Baduarius is recorded by the Latin epic poet Flavius Cresconius Corippus as having succeeded Justin in his post as curopalates immediately after the latter's rise to the Byzantine throne on November 14, 565. At the time, he was already a holder of the rank of patrikios. In circa 566/567, Baduarius was ordered to raise an army in the lower Danube (Moesia and Scythia Minor) in order to assist the Gepids against the Lombards. The Byzantines won the first battle, but then the Gepid king Cunimund refused to hand back Sirmium as he had promised. Left unaided against the Lombards and Avars, Cunimund was defeated and killed. The post of Baduarius in this campaign is obscure: he may have been a magister militum per Illyricum, a magister militum without an assigned area, or the quaestor exercitus. A comes stabuli ("count of the imperial stables") in 573, he was sent to Italy soon after to resist the Lombard conquest of the peninsula. The Lombards, however, defeated him in battle in 576, and he died soon after.
Decius was an Exarch of Ravenna. He held this position by October of 584, and Smaragdus succeeded him in 585. He is thought to have been the first exarch of Ravenna, although some believe that Baduarius had been exarch before him. Smaragdus was Exarch of Ravenna twice, from 585 to 589 and from 603 to 611. During his first tenure, Smaragdus made an alliance with the Franks and Avars against the perennial foes of the Exarchate, the Germanic Lombards, and appeared poised to extinguish the Lombard power before it had been fully established in Italy. However, the effort came to nothing, for the Franks, across the Alps, were not as serious about fighting the Lombards as Smaragdus was. One notable military achievement during his first reign was the recovery the city of Classis, the port of Ravenna, from the Lombards in 588. Smaragdus was also known for his violence toward the followers of the schismatic bishops during the schism of the Three Chapters. These included Severinus, Archbishop of Aquileia and his followers, then at Grado, whom he ordered to come to Ravenna to attend a synod. When the council failed to solve any major issues, he forced the archbishop to declare his loyalty to the Orthodox creed. His violence, combined with alleged charges of insanity, prompted his removal from office in 589. In 603 the Byzantine Emperor Phocas restored Smaragdus to his former position. Smaragdus inherited a war with the Lombards from his predecessor Callinicus, and refused to give up the daughter of the Lombard king Agilulf, as well as her husband, both of whom had been taken prisoner by the Byzantines in 601. That same year, Agilulf besieged Cremona with help of the Avars, capturing it on 21 August 605 and afterwards raising the city; next he captured Mantua on 1 September. When his army reached the fortress of Vulturina, the garrison surrendered, firing the town of Brescello as they fled. Smaragdus was forced to release his hostages in April 605 in order to gain peace. The peace with the Lombards held for the rest of his administration. Smaragdus erected a gilded statue of Phocas on the column of Phocas in the Roman Forum. After Phocas was deposed by Heraclius in 610, Smaragdus was replaced again, this time by John I. Romanus was Byzantine Exarch of Ravenna (589-596/7). In 589 he became Byzantine Exarch in place of the discredited Smaragdus. In his first year Romanus recovered the Italian cities of Modena, Reggio, Parma, Piacenza, Altinum, and Mantua from the Lombards. In 592 Pope Gregory I appealed to the Exarch for help in assisting Naples, then under Lombard attack, but Romanus thought it more prudent to remain in central Italy. The Pope was forced to make peace with the Duchy of Spoleto to save Naples. Shortly afterwards, the Lombards occupied Perugia, causing Romanus to send an army to retake Umbria. The Lombard King Agilulf, noticing this, crossed into central Italy and even threatened Rome. Frustrated with the lack of support he received from the Exarch,  the Pope tried to circumvent Romanus' authority by appealing to the Byzantine Emperor Maurice in 595, but this proved fruitless, given the fact that Maurice saw more emphasis in maintaining a link between Ravenna and the Balkans, where he kept the Avars and Slavs at bay. Romanus died soon after this, and was succeeded by Callinicus, who proved to be more conciliatory to Pope Gregory. Callinicus was the exarch of Ravenna (597 – 602 or 603). The first few years of his administration were marked by relatively good fortune. In 598 an armistice between the Byzantines and the Lombards had been concluded in which the Lombards were acknowledged as sovereign rulers of the lands in their possession, and which was observed by both parties over the following years. However around 601, Callinicus took advantage of a rebellion by the duces of Tridentum and Forum Julii and broke the peace by kidnapping the Lombard king Agilulf's daughter and her husband from Parma. In response, Agilulf invaded the Exarchate, destroying Padua, pillaging Istria, then defeating Callinicus outside the walls of Ravenna. Shortly afterwards Callinicus was replaced by Smaragdus; Richards states Callinicus was recalled.
Πηγή : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanus_(exarch)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decius_(exarch)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smaragdus
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callinicus_(exarch)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduarius
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_War_(535–554)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards

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