Hildeprand (died 744), sometimes called the Useless, was the king of
Lombards from around 735 in association with his uncle,
Liutprand. After Liutprand's death in 744,
Hildeprand ruled in his
own name until he was overthrown later that year by Ratchis, duke of
Hildeprand was a duke (dux) prior to his elevation to the throne.
In 734 he participated in the successful siege of Byzantine Ravenna.
Either just before or after the siege, Liutprand fell ill and was not
expected to live. The leading Lombard noblemen elected
king, but Liutprand recovered. Although displeased with the
election, he felt bound to accept
Hildeprand as co-ruler. Liutprand
himself had been elected while his father, Ansprand, was fatally ill.
In both cases, the initiative to elect a successor was taken by the
nobility. By 735, the diplomacy of
Pope Gregory II had patched
together an alliance between the Byzantine exarch, Eutychius, Duke
Ursus of Venetia
Ursus of Venetia and Patriarch Antoninus of Grado. With a large
Venetian fleet, the new allies retook Ravenna. In this second siege,
Hildeprand and Duke Peredeo of Vicenza were captured by the Venetians,
according to the Chronicon Venetum.
In 739, while Liutprand was campaigning against the church in the
Duchy of Rome,
Hildeprand was ravaging the ecclesiastical lands around
Ravenna. In August he was joined by Liutprand, who attacked the
Pentapolis. By 743, Liutprand's health had again begun to fail, and
there may have arisen a pro-papal party in the kingdom, led by Duke
Ratchis. The next year Liutprand died and
unopposed. He had proved himself an opponent of both the Byzantines
and the Papacy, and within a few months he was overthrown by a revolt
led by Ratchis, who immediately made peace with Pope Zachary.
^ Wickham 1981, p. 221.
^ Wickham 1981, p. 45.
^ Grierson 1941, p. 21.
^ a b Hallenbeck 1982, p. 32.
^ a b Grierson 1941, p. 15.
^ Hallenbeck 1982, p. 32 n. 47.
^ Hodgkin 1895, p. 483.
^ Hallenbeck 1982, p. 35.
^ Hallenbeck 1982, p. 50.
^ Hallenbeck 1982, p. 51.
Grierson, Philip (1941). "Election and Inheritance in Early Germanic
Kingship". Cambridge Historical Journal. 7 (1): 1–22.
Hallenbeck, Jan T. (1982). "Pavia and Rome: The Lombard Monarchy and
the Papacy in the Eighth Century". Transactions of the American
Philosophical Society. New Series. 72 (4): 1–186.
doi:10.2307/1006429. JSTOR 1006429.
Hodgkin, Thomas (1895). Italy and Her Invaders, Volume VII: The
Lombard kingdom, 600–744. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Oman, Charles (1914). The Dark Ages, 476–918. London:
Wickham, Chris (1981). Early Medieval Italy: Central Power and Local
Society, 400–1000. London: Macmillan.
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