Eras and Their Highlights

The Middle Ages

Who were the Lombards?

The Lombards, too, were a Germanic tribe; they are believed to have originated on an island in the Baltic Sea. In the last century B.C., the Lombards moved into Germany and gradually continued southward so that by A.D. 500, they were settled in present-day Austria. From 568 to the mid-700s, they controlled much of Italy, posing a serious threat to the papal supremacy so that in 754, Pope Stephen II (d. 757) appealed to the powerful Franks for help. By this time the Franks were ruled by Pepin III (called Pepin the Short; c. 714–768), who was able to defeat the Lombards. The northern region of Italy, Lombardy, is named for them.


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