The Early Rulers
Before Lethuc (partly legendary rulers)
Ybor and Agio, together with their mother Gambara, led the emigration from Scandinavia
Agilmund son of Agion
Lethuc (ca. 400) ruled for some 40 years.
Aldihoc (mid 5th century)
Godehoc (480s), led the Lombards into Austria
Claffo (ca. 500)
Tato (died 510) - an early 6th century king of the Lombards. He was the last ruling king of the Lething Dynasty, according to the Origo Gentis Langobardorum he was murdered by Wacho (in 510).
Wacho (died 539) - Wacho or Waccho was king of the Lombards before they entered Italy from an unknown date (perhaps circa 510) until his death in 539. His father was Unichus. Wacho usurped the throne by assassinating (or having assassinated) his uncle, King Tato (again, probably around 510). His cousins (sons and grandsons of Tato), who fled to the Gepids, tried to drive him out of power, but failed. Wacho had good relations with the Franks and Bavarians and married off his daughter, Waldrada, to a Bavarian prince by the name of Theudebald. Their granddaughter was Theodelinda, later queen of the Lombards. He himself was married to a Gepid princess, Austricuse, called "Ostrogotha" (perhaps due to her maternal descent from Ostrogothic rulers).
Waltari (539 - 546) - Waltari son of Wacho from his third wife Silinga, was a king of the Lombards from ca. 532. He was an infant king, and the rule was administered by Audoin. Audoin probabaly killed Waltari before he reached manhood, in order to gain the throne for himself in ca. 539, and led the Lombards into Pannonia.
Audoin (546 - 565) - Alduin, Auduin, or Audoin was king of the Lombards from 539 to 565. The Lombards became, under him, a fœderatus of the Byzantines (541), signing a treaty with Justinian I which gave them power in Pannonia and the north. Beginning in 551, he was obliged to send troops to serve Narses in Italy against the Ostrogoths. The next year (552), he sent over 5,000 men to defeat the Goths on the sides of Vesuvius. He died in 563 or 565 and was succeeded by his son, Alboin, who brought the Lombards into Italia.
He married Rodelindis, the daughter of Amalaberga and Hermanfrid, king of the Thuringii.
Kings of the Lombards
Alboin (565 - 572) - The Lombards were at that time dwelling in Noricum and Pannonia
Cleph (572 - 574) - Cleph (also Clef, Clepho, or Kleph; in Italian, Clefi) was king of the Lombards from 572 or 573 to 574 or 575.
He succeeded Alboin, to whom he was not related by blood. He was a violent and terrifying figure to the Romans and Byzantines struggling to maintain control of the peninsula. He extended Lombard dominion over all of northern Italy, finishing the conquest of Tuscany and bringing Lombard authority to the gates of Ravenna. He was assassinated after an 18-month reign by a young guard, a slave whom he had mistreated. His death was followed by a ten year interregnum, known as the "Rule of the Dukes" because the territorial dukes were supreme. His son, Authari, eventually took the throne in 585.
Rule of the Dukes (Ten year interregnum) - long
Authari (584 - 590), son of previous - long
Agilulf (591 - c.616), cousin of previous - long
Adaloald (c.616 - c.626) - Adaloald (602 – 626) was the Lombard king of Italy from 616 to 626. Son and heir of King Agilulf and his Catholic queen Theodelinda, he was baptised shortly after his birth in 602. He was an associate king, raised on the shield by the warriors at his father's request, when still young. Upon becoming sole king as a teen, he reigned under his mother as regent.
Adaloald went insane and lost the support of the nobles. He was deposed in 626 by Arioald, a Lombard noble from Turin and husband of the king's sister Gundiberga, who was hostile to the Catholic Church. Adaloald died mysteriously in Ravenna shortly after.
Arioald (c.626 - 636) - Arioald was the Lombard king of Italy from 626 to 636. Duke of Turin, he married the princess Gundiberga, daughter of King Agilulf and his queen Theodelinda, he was, unlike his father-in-law, an Arian who did not accept Catholicism.
Arioald deposed Agilulf's heir Adaloald with the support of the nobility, for Adaloald had gone mad. Upon becoming king, he had his wife locked up in a monastery, accusing her of plotting against him with Tasson, duke of Friuli. He also reestablished Arianism in the Lombard kingdom. His only recorded wars were against the Avars, whom he succeeded in repelling during an attempted invasion of northeast Italy.
Rothari (636 - 652) - Rothari of the house of Arodus was king of the Lombards from 636 to 652; previously he had been duke of Brescia. He succeeded Arioald, who was an Arian like himself, and was one of the most energetic of Lombard kings. Fredegar relates (Chronicle, 71) that at the beginning of his reign he put to death many insubordinate nobles, and that in his efforts for peace he maintained very strict discipline.
Rothari conquered Genoa in 641 and the rest of Byzantine Liguria in 643. He conquered all remaining Byzantine territories in the lower valley of the Po, including Oderzo (Opitergium). 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." (IV.xlv)
With these quick conquests, he left the Byzantines 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 642.
Rothari's most lasting act was drawing up the eponymous Edictum Rothari which was the first written codification of Lombard law (it was written in Latin). He convened a gairethinx to affirm this new and improved collection of old tradition in 642 or 643. The edict only covered his Lombard men and subjects: Romans continued to live under Roman law in Lombard jurisdictions.
Rodoald (652 - 653) - Rodoald (or Rodwald) was a Lombard king of Italy, who succeeded his father Rothari on the throne in 652. He was said to be lecherous and he was assassinated after a reign of just six months in 653 by the husband of one of his lovers. Aripert, a rival claimant was elected with the support of the Catholic Church, which opposed the Arian monarchy.
Bavarian Dynasty, First Restoration
Aripert I (653 - 661) - Aripert I (also spelled Aribert) was king of the Lombards (653-661) in Italy. He was the son of Gundoald, duke of Asti, who had crossed the Alps from Bavaria with his sister Theodelinda. As a relative of the Bavarian ducal house, his was called the Bavarian Dynasty.
He was the first Roman Catholic king of the Lombards, elected after the assassination of the Arian Rodoald. Not a warrior, he is mostly renowned for his church foundings. He spread Catholicism over the whole Lombard realm and built the Church of the Saviour in Pavia, the capital. He left the kingdom in a state of peace, asking the nobles to elect jointly his two sons, Berthari and Godepert, which they did.
Perctarit and Godepert (661 - 662) - Perctarit (also Berthari; died 688) was king of the Lombards from 661 to 662 the first time and later from 671 to 688. He was the son and successor of Aripert I. He shared power with his brother Godepert. He was a Catholic, Godepert an Arian. He ruled from Milan, Godepert from Pavia. Godepert called up the aid of Duke Grimoald I of Benevento in a war with Perctarit, but the Beneventan had him assassinated and took over the kingdom forcing Perctarit to flee. He first arrived at the court of the Avar khagan Kakar. However, his wife, Rodelinde and their son Cunincpert were captured by Grimoald and sent to Benevento. He returned soon after to conspire against Grimoald, but fled again to France. When Grimoald confirmed a treaty with the Franks, Perctarit prepared to flee to England, but news of Grimoald's death reached him first.
In 671, he returned from exile and retook his realm, which was being ruled on behalf of Grimoald's son Garibald. He made Catholicism the official religion, but did not recognise papal authority. He made peace with the Byzantines and associated Cunincpert with the throne in 678. He fought against the rebellion of Alagis, duke of Trent, and was assassinated in 688 by a conspiracy. It was to be his only campaign, though he captured the duke, he pardoned and released him.
His daughter Wigilinda married Duke Grimoald II of Benevento, son of Romuald I of Benevento. His reign is not noted for its military accomplishments, but for his religious endowments. He built the churches of Saint Agatha and the Virgin (outside the walls) at Pavia. He was succeeded by his more warlike son, who was to fight to no avail against the man his father had caught and let go.
Grimuald, Grimoald (662 - 671) - Born to Duke Gisulf II of Friuli and the Bavarian princess Ramhilde
Garibald (671) - Garibald was the young son of Grimoald I of Benevento, king of the Lombards, and Theodota, daughter of Aripert I. After his father's death in 671, he reigned briefly for three months until the numerous adherents of Perctarit, his uncle, who had been exiled by Grimoald nine years earlier, beseeched their candidate to return and elected him, deposing the young king.
Bavarian Dynasty, Second Restoration
Perctarit (671 - 688) (restored from exile)
Alahis (688 - 689), rebel - Alahis (or Alagis) was the Arian duke of Trent and Brescia before becoming king of the Lombards after his successful rebellion in 688. He did not rule long, however.
His first rebellion against King Perctarit failed, but the king captured, pardoned, and released him. He rebelled again in 688 when Perctarit's son Cunipert succeeded. He forced Cunipert to a castle on an island in the middle of Lake Como, but his rule was burdensome and tyrannical, and so he lost the support of the people. Finally, in 689, Cunipter issued forth with the men of Piedmont and defeated Alahis and the men of Venetia at Coronate, on the Horn of the Adda, near Lodi. He was defeated and slain in battle.
Cunincpert (688 - 700) - Cunipert (also Cunibert or Cunincpert) was king of the Lombards from 688 to 700. He succeeded his father Perctarit, though he was associated with the throne from 678.
He warred with the Arian rebel Alagis, duke of Trent and Brescia, who had fought his father and rebelled again in 688 after Perctarit died. He forced Cunipert to a castle on an island in the middle of Lake Como, but his rule was burdensome and tyrannical, and so he lost the support of the people. Finally, in 689, Cunipter issued forth with the men of Piedmont and defeated Alahis and the men of Venetia at Coronate, on the Horn of the Adda, near Lodi. Alahis was vanquished and slain in battle.
Cunipert fought many more insurrections in his reign, including that of Ausfrid, usurper duke of Friuli, whom he successfully subjected to his authority.
He also successfully fixed the schism in the Italian church between Aquileia and Grado.
He died in 700 and was succeeded by his young son Liutpert, the regent Ansprand, and many rebels. His reign was war-filled and he is notably the first Lombard monarch to strike coins in his image.
Liutpert (700 - 701) - Liutpert or Liutbert (d.702) was the Lombard king of Italy from 700 and to 702, with interruption. Upon succeeding his father, King Cunincpert, at a young age, he ruled together with his tutor, Ansprand, the duke of Asti. After eight months, he was deposed by Raghinpert, the duke of Turin and son of Godepert, Liutpert's great-uncle, but succeeded in returning to the throne several months later upon Raghinpert's death, only to be deposed again, taken captive from Pavia, and drowned by Aripert II, Raghinpert's son.
Raginpert (701) - Raginpert (also Raghinpert or Reginbert) was the duke of Turin and then king of the Lombards briefly in 701. He was the son of Godepert and grandson of Aripert I. He usurped the throne in 701 and removed Liutpert, his grandnephew, putting his son Aripert in line for the succession. He and his Neustrians (men of Piedmont) went out to meet the regent, Ansprand, in battle and defeated him at Novara, but died shortly after. His son Aripert did not succeed in taking the throne right away.
Aripert II (701 - 712) - Aripert II (also spelled Aribert) was the king of the Lombards from 701 to 712. Duke of Turin and son of King Raginpert, and thus a scion of the Bavarian Dynasty, he was associated with the throne as early as 700. He was removed by Liutpert, who reigned from 700 to 702, with the exception of the year 701, when Raginpert seized the throne. After his father's death, he tried to take the throne, too. He defeated Liutpert and the regent Ansprand's men at Pavia and captured the king, whom he later had strangled in his bath. He seized the capital and forced Ansprand over the Alps. He was firmly in power by 703.
He thence reigned uninterrupted until his death. His reign was a troubled one. In 703, Faroald, duke of Spoleto, attacked the Exarchate of Ravenna, but Aripert refused to assist him, for he wanted good relations with papacy and empire. He tried nevertheless to assert his authority over Spoleto and Benevento in the Mezzogiorno. He nursed friendship with Pope John VI by donating vast tracts of land in the Cottian Alps to the Holy See. This friendship helped him little, for he had many rebellions to deal with and many Slovene raids into Venetia.
In 711, Ansprand, whom he had exiled, returned with a large army from the duke of Bavaria, Theudebert. Many Austrians (the men of Venetia and the east) joined the returning regent and battle was joined by Pavia. Aripert fled to his capital when the tide went against him, but he horded the treasures and tried to cross over into Gaul by night. He drowned in the River Ticino and Ansprand was acclaimed sovereign. He was the last Bavarian to wear the Iron Crown.
Ansprand (712) - Ansprand (c.657-712) was king of the Lombards briefly in 712. Before that he was the duke of Asti and regent during the minority of Liutpert (700-701). He was defeated at Novara by Raginpert and exiled during the subsequent war over the succession, fleeing to the court of Theudebert, duke of Bavaria, in 702.
In 711, he returned with a large army from the duke. Many Austrians (the men of Venetia and the east) joined the returning regent and battle ensued near Pavia, between his forces and those of King Aripert II, who had usurped the throne. The king fled to his capital when the tide went against him, but he horded the treasures and tried to cross over into Gaul by night. He drowned in the River Ticino and Ansprand was acclaimed sovereign.
He ascended the throne in March and died in June, leaving his only surviving son, Liutprand, the kingdom.
Liutprand (712 - 744) - had more years on the throne and come closer to bringing the entire peninsula under one rule than any of his predecessors
Ratchis (744 - 749) - Ratchis was the duke of Friuli (739-744) and king of the Lombards (744-749). His father was Duke Pemmo. His Roman wife was Tassia. He ruled in peace until he besieged, for reasons unknown, Perugia. Pope Zachary convinced to lift the siege and he abdicated and entered, with his family, the abbey of Montecassino. After the death of Aistulf in 756, he tried once again to reign over the Lombards, but he was defeated by Desiderius and retired to a cloister.
Aistulf (749 - 756) - Aistulf (749 - d.756) was the duke of Friuli from 744, king of Lombards from 749, and duke of Spoleto from 751. His father was the Duke Pemmo.
After his brother Ratchis became king, Aistulf succeeded him in Friuli. He succeeded him later as king when Ratchis abdicated to a monastery. Aistulf continued the policy of expansion and raids against the papacy and the Byzantine exarchate of Ravenna. In 751, he captured Ravenna itself and even threatened Rome, claiming a capitation tax.
The popes, thoroughly irritated and alarmed, and hopeless of aid from the Byzantine Emperor, turned to the Carolingian mayors of the palace of Austrasia, the effective rulers of the Frankish kingdom. In 741, Pope Gregory III asked Charles Martel to intervene, but he was too busy elsewhere and declined. In 753, Pope Stephen II visited Charles Martel's son Pippin the Short, who had been proclaimed king of the Franks in 751 with the consent of Pope Zachary. In gratitude for the papal consent to his coronation, Pippin crossed the Alps, defeated Aistulf, and gave to the pope the lands which Aistulf had torn from the ducatus Romanus and the exarchate (Emilia-Romagna and the Pentapolis).
Aistulf died hunting in 756. He was succeeded by Desiderius as king of the Lombards and by Alboin as duke of Spoleto. He had given Friuli to his brother-in-law Anselm, abbot of Nonantula, whose sister Gisaltruda he had married, when he succeeded to the kingship in 749.
Desiderius (756 - 774) - chiefly known for his connection to Charlemagne, who married his daughter and conquered his realm.
Charlemagne conquered the Lombards in 774 at the invitation of Pope Adrian I.
Charlemagne (774-781) - (at first only Neustria, Aquitaine, northern Austrasia), King of the Lombards 774, Emperor 800 - in personal union, passed kingship to third son, Pippin
Pepin (781-810) king under authority of Charlemagne
Bernard (810-818) - Bernard (b. 799 Vermandois, Normandy, France; d. 17 April 818 in Milan, Italy) was the king of Italy from 810 to 817, when he was deposed by his uncle Emperor Louis the Pious, or 818, when he was killed by a traumatic blinding procedure.
Bernard was the illegitimate son of King Pepin, the third son of the Emperor Charlemagne. He married a Cunigunda of Laon in 813 who gave him one son, Pepin, Count of Vermandois. In 817, Louis the Pious partitioned the empire among his three sons. He gave his eldest Lothair Italy. Bernard rebelled against his uncle with the support of Bishop Theodulf of Orléans, but decided not to fight. He met with the emperor on a safe conduct guarantee, but was convicted before even realising he was on trial. Louis had Bernard blinded and imprisoned. The blinding procedure was so traumatic that he died. His death grieved Louis, and his display of penance to the court in 822 at Attigny reduced his prestige and respect amongst the Frankish nobility.
Lothair I (818-839)
Louis II (839–875) - the Younger - all his territories fell to his brother Charles, who thus could reunite the entire East Frankish kingdom
The title rex Langobardorum, synonymous with rex Italiae, lasted into the High Middle Ages