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The Exarchate of Ravenna
Ravenna
or of Italy
Italy
(Italian: Esarcato d'Italia) was a region of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
in Italy, from 584 to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards.[1] 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.

Contents

1 Introduction 2 Lombard invasion and Byzantine reaction 3 Exarchate 4 End of the Exarchate 5 Exarchs of Ravenna 6 References 7 Sources

Introduction[edit] Ravenna
Ravenna
became the capital of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
in 402 under Honorius, due to its fine harbour with access to the Adriatic
Adriatic
and its ideal defensive location amidst impassable marshes. The city remained the capital of the Empire until its dissolution in 476, when it became the capital of Odoacer, and then of the Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
under Theodoric the Great. It remained the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, but in 540 during the Gothic War (535–554), Ravenna
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
Italy
followed, with some modifications, the old system established by Emperor Diocletian, and retained by Odoacer
Odoacer
and the Goths. Lombard invasion and Byzantine reaction[edit]

The Exarchate (orange) and the Lombards
Lombards
(green) in 590.

In 568, the Lombards
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 Roman forces were weak, and after taking several towns, in 569 the Lombards
Lombards
conquered Milan.[citation needed] They took Pavia after a three-year siege in 572, and made it their capital.[2] In subsequent years, they took Tuscany. Others, under Faroald and Zotto, penetrated into Central and Southern Italy, where they established the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento.[3] However, after Alboin's murder in 573, the Lombards
Lombards
fragmented into several autonomous duchies (the "Rule of the Dukes"). Emperor Justin II
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,[4] and the continuing crises in the Balkans
Balkans
and the East meant that another imperial effort at reconquest was not possible. Because of the Lombard incursions, the Roman possessions had fragmented into several isolated territories, and in 580, Emperor Tiberius II
Tiberius II
reorganized them into five provinces, now termed in Greek, eparchies: the Annonaria in northern Italy
Italy
around Ravenna, Calabria, Campania, Emilia and Liguria, and the Urbicaria around the city of Rome
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
Duchy of the Pentapolis
on the Adriatic, also under a duke nominally representing the Emperor of the East.[5] Exarchate[edit] The exarchate was organised into a group of duchies (Rome, Venetia, Calabria, Naples, Perugia, Pentapolis, Lucania, etc.) 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
Ravenna
of the emperor in Constantinople. The surrounding territory reached from the River Po which served as the boundary with Venice
Venice
in the north to the Pentapolis at Rimini
Rimini
in the south, the border of the "five cities" in the Marches along the Adriatic
Adriatic
coast; and reached even cities not on the coast, as Forlì
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
Ravenna
was not the sole Byzantine province in Italy. Byzantine Sicily
Sicily
formed a separate government, and Corsica
Corsica
and Sardinia, while they remained Byzantine, belonged to the Exarchate of Africa. The Lombards
Lombards
had their capital at Pavia
Pavia
and controlled the great valley of the Po. The Lombard wedge in Italy
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
Tuscany
and the interior of Campania
Campania
belonged to the Lombards, and bit by bit the Imperial representative in Italy
Italy
lost all genuine power, though in name he controlled areas like Liguria
Liguria
(completely lost in 640 to the Lombards), or Naples and Calabria
Calabria
(being overrun by the Lombard duchy of Benevento). In Rome, the pope was the real master. At the end, 740, the Exarchate consisted of Istria, Venetia, Ferrara, Ravenna
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
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
Pope
in Rome
Rome
and the Exarch
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
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
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. End of the Exarchate[edit] 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
Pope
of Rome
Rome
and the Patriarch of Constantinople, made the position of the exarch more and more untenable. Ravenna
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
Lombards
in 751. The exarchate was reorganized as the Catapanate of Italy
Italy
headquartered in Bari
Bari
which was lost to the Saracens
Saracens
in 847 and only recovered in 871. When in 756 the Franks
Franks
drove the Lombards
Lombards
out, Pope
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
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 independence would fuel the rise of the independent communes. So the Exarchate disappeared, and the small remnants of the imperial possessions on the mainland, Naples and Calabria, passed under the authority of the Catapan of Italy, and when Sicily
Sicily
was conquered by the Arabs in the 9th century the remnants were erected into the themes of Calabria
Calabria
and Langobardia. Istria
Istria
at the head of the Adriatic
Adriatic
was attached to Dalmatia. Exarchs of Ravenna[edit] Note: For some exarchs there exists some uncertainty over their exact tenure dates.

Decius (584–585) Smaragdus
Smaragdus
(585–589) Romanus (589–596) Callinicus (596–603) Smaragdus
Smaragdus
(603–608) John I (608–616) Eleutherius (616–619) Isaac (625–643) Theodore I Calliopas (643–645) Plato (645–649) Olympius (649–652) Theodore I Calliopas (653 – c. 666) Gregory (c. 666) Theodore II (678–687) John II Platyn (687–702) Theophylactus (702–710) John III Rizocopus (710–711) Scholasticus (713–723) Paul (723–727) Eutychius (727–752)

References[edit]

^ Moffat 2017, p. 55. ^ Paul the Deacon. "Book 2:ch. 26-27". Historia Langobardorum.  ^ Hodgkin. The Lombard Invasion. Italy
Italy
and Her Invaders, Vol. 5, Book VI. pp. 71–73.  ^ John of Biclaro. Chronicle.  ^ Hallenbeck. " Pavia
Pavia
and Rome: The Lombard Monarchy and the Papacy in the Eighth Century". 

Sources[edit]

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
portal

Moffat, Ann (2017). "The Orient Express:Abbot John's Rapid trip from Constantinople
Constantinople
to Ravenna
Ravenna
c. AD 700". In Brown, Amelia Robertson; Neil, Bronwen. Byzantine Culture in Translation. Brill.  Borri, Francesco (July–December 2005). "Duces e magistri militum nell'Italia esarcale (VI-VIII secolo)". Estratto da Reti Medievali Rivista (in Italian). Firenze University Press. VI (2). ISSN 1593-2214. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-05-21.  Brown, T. S. (1991). "Byzantine Italy
Italy
c. 680 - c.876". In Rosamond McKitterick. The New Cambridge Medieval History: II. c. 700 - c. 900. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-36292-X.  Diehl, Charles. Etudes sur l'Administration Byzantine dans l'Exarchat de Ravenne (568-751). Research & Source Works Series Byzantine Series No. 39 (in French). New York: Burt Franklin. ISBN 0-8337-0854-4.  Hallenbeck, Jan T. (1982). " Pavia
Pavia
and Rome: The Lombard Monarchy and the Papacy in the Eighth Century". Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 72 (4): 1–186. doi:10.2307/1006429. JSTOR 1006429. (ISBN) 0-87169-724-6.  Hartmann, Ludo M. (June 1971). Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der byzantinischen Verwaltung in Italien (540-750). Research & Source Works Series No. 86 (in German). New York: Burt Franklin. ISBN 978-0-8337-1584-5.  Hodgkin, Thomas. 553-600 The Lombard Invasion. Italy
Italy
and Her Invaders, Vol. 5, Book VI (Replica ed.). Boston: Elibron Classics.  John of Biclaro. Chronicle.  Norwich, John Julius (1982). A History of Venice. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.  Paul the Deacon. "Book 2:ch. 26-27". Historia Langobardorum
Historia Langobardorum
(Paul the Deacon's History of the Lombards. trans. from Latin by William Dudley Foulke. University of Pennsylvania. 

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Early

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Megas logothetes Mesazon

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Early

Praetorian prefectures Dioceses Provinces Quaestura exercitus Exarchate of Ravenna Exarchate of Africa

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v t e

Late Roman provinces (4th–7th centuries AD)

History

As found in the Notitia Dignitatum. Provincial administration reformed and dioceses established by Diocletian, c. 293. Permanent praetorian prefectures established after the death of Constantine I. Empire permanently partitioned after 395. Exarchates of Ravenna
Ravenna
and Africa established after 584. After massive territorial losses in the 7th century, the remaining provinces were superseded by the theme system in c. 640–660, although in Asia Minor and parts of Greece they survived under the themes until the early 9th century.

Western Empire (395–476)

Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul

Diocese of Gaul

Alpes Poeninae et Graiae Belgica I Belgica II Germania I Germania II Lugdunensis I Lugdunensis II Lugdunensis III Lugdunensis IV Maxima Sequanorum

Diocese of Vienne1

Alpes Maritimae Aquitanica I Aquitanica II Narbonensis I Narbonensis II Novempopulania Viennensis

Diocese of Spain

Baetica Balearica Carthaginensis Gallaecia Lusitania Mauretania Tingitana Tarraconensis

Diocese of the Britains

Britannia I Britannia II Flavia Caesariensis Maxima Caesariensis Valentia (?)

Praetorian Prefecture of Italy

Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy

Apulia et Calabria Campania Corsica Lucania et Bruttii Picenum
Picenum
Suburbicarium Samnium Sardinia Sicilia Tuscia et Umbria Valeria

Diocese of Annonarian Italy

Alpes Cottiae Flaminia et Picenum
Picenum
Annonarium Liguria
Liguria
et Aemilia Raetia I Raetia II Venetia et Istria

Diocese of Africa2

Africa proconsularis (Zeugitana) Byzacena Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Sitifensis Numidia Cirtensis Numidia Militiana Tripolitania

Diocese of Pannonia3

Dalmatia Noricum mediterraneum Noricum ripense Pannonia I Pannonia II Savia Valeria ripensis

Eastern Empire (395–c. 640)

Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum

Diocese of Dacia

Dacia Mediterranea Dacia Ripensis Dardania Moesia I Praevalitana

Diocese of Macedonia

Achaea Creta Epirus Nova Epirus Vetus Macedonia Prima Macedonia II Salutaris Thessalia

Praetorian Prefecture of the East

Diocese of Thrace5

Europa Haemimontus Moesia II4 Rhodope Scythia4 Thracia

Diocese of Asia5

Asia Caria4 Hellespontus Insulae4 Lycaonia
Lycaonia
(370) Lycia Lydia Pamphylia Pisidia Phrygia Pacatiana Phrygia Salutaris

Diocese of Pontus5

Armenia I5 Armenia II5 Armenia Maior5 Armenian Satrapies5 Armenia III
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(536) Armenia IV
Armenia IV
(536) Bithynia Cappadocia I5 Cappadocia II5 Galatia I5 Galatia II Salutaris5 Helenopontus5 Honorias5 Paphlagonia5 Pontus Polemoniacus5

Diocese of the East5

Arabia Cilicia I Cilicia II Cyprus4 Euphratensis Isauria Mesopotamia Osroene Palaestina I Palaestina II Palaestina III Salutaris Phoenice I Phoenice II Libanensis Syria I Syria II Salutaris Theodorias (528)

Diocese of Egypt5

Aegyptus I Aegyptus II Arcadia Augustamnica I Augustamnica II Libya Superior Libya Inferior Thebais Superior Thebais Inferior

Other territories

Taurica Quaestura exercitus (536) Spania
Spania
(552)

1 Later the Septem Provinciae 2 Re-established after reconquest by the Eastern Empire in 534 as the separate Prefecture of Africa 3 Later the Diocese of Illyricum 4 Placed under the Quaestura exercitus in 536 5 Affected (i.e. boundaries modified, abolished or renamed) by Justinian I's administrative reorganiz

.