Duchy of Spoleto

Duchy Of Spoleto

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Duchy of Spoleto

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The independent Duchy of Spoleto was a Lombard territory founded about 570 in central Italy by the Lombard dux Faroald.


The Lombards, a Germanic people, had invaded Italy in 568 and conquered much of it, establishing a Kingdom divided between several dukes dependent on the King, who had established his seat in Pavia in 572. In the following years they also conquered much of southern and central Italy, conquering the important hub of Spoleto, in what is now Umbria, in 570.

A decade of interregnum after the death of Alboin's successor (574), however, left the Lombard dukes (especially the southern ones) well settled in their new territories and quite independent of the Lombard kings at Pavia. By 575 or 576 Faroald had seized Nursia and Spoleto, establishing his duchy and sponsoring an Arian bishop. Within Spoleto, the Roman capitolium dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva had already been occupied by the bishop's cathedral (the see was founded in the 4th century) which incorporated the pagan structure (now the church of San Ansano). The Lombard dukes restored the fortifications of the high rocca, whose walls had been dismantled by Totila during the Gothic War.

The dukes of Spoleto waged intermittent war with the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna, and Spoleto's territories fluctuated with the fortunes of the times over much of Umbria, Lazio, the Marche and the Abruzzi. Never as important as the Duchy of Benevento, Spoleto has a fairly obscure spot in Lombard history,...
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