Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church Fathers, Summa, Bible and more all for only $19.99...
A word derived from Longobardia and used during the Middle Ages to designate the country ruled over by the Longobards, which varied in extent with the varying fortunes of that race in Italy. During their greatest power it included Northern Italy, part of Central Italy, and nearly all Southern Italy excepting only Calabria (inaccessible because of its mountainous character), and a narrow strip of land along the west coast including the cities of Naples, Gaeta, Amalfi, and Terracina. Geographically it was divided into eight regions:-Austria, to the north-east; Neustria, to the northwest; Flaminia and a portion of Emilia; Lombard Tuscia; the Duchy of Spoleto; the Duchies of Benevento and Salerno; Istria; the Exarchate of Ravenna, and the Pentapolis, a late conquest which did not remain long in the hands of the Longobards. Sometimes the country was divided into Greater Lombardy, including Northern, or Transtiberine, Italy with Pavia as its capital, and Lesser Lombardy, or Cistiberine Italy, namely the Duchies of Benevento and Spoleto. In the ninth century the name Lombardy was synonymous with Italy. Politically the country was divided into thirty-six duchies, of which we know with any certainty the names of only a few; these are: Pavia, Milan, Brescia, Bergamo, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso, Friuli, Trent, Istria, Asti, Turin, Parma, Piacenza, Chiusi, Reggio, Lucca, Florence, Fermo, Rimini, Spoleto, and Benevento. After the kingdom had passed into the hands of the Franks and the frontier duchies had asserted their independence, and new principalities had been set up, e.g. the Venetian territory in the east, Piedmont in the west, the States of the Church in the south, the old name shrank until it came to signify that extent of country comprised more or less within the Duchy of Milan, bordered on the north by the Swiss cantons; on the west by the River Ticino and Lake Maggiore, which separate it from Piedmont; on the south by the river Po, which separates it from Emilia; and east by on the River Mincio and Lake Garda, which separate it from the Venetian territory. These are its boundaries at the present time.
Actually, Lombardy is one of the thirteen regions into which Italy is divided and it contains eight provinces: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Mantua, Milan, Pavia, Sondrio. It is the most populous province of Italy, with 4,300,000 inhabitants and an area of 8973 sq. miles. The wealth of the country consists in the fertility of the soil, which in the main lies within the basin of the Po valley. Only on its northern reaches is it conterminous with the Alpine chain, where Bernese Alps keep watch over the Provinces of Sondrio and Bergamo, and advance among the wooded valleys of Camonica, Seriana, Brembara, and Valtellina. In these mountains many streams have their sources, the principal ones being the Ticino, the Olono, the Adda, the Oglio, and the Mincio, all tributaries of the Po on its left bank; while the Trebbia, fed from the Appennines, flows in on the right bank. Several of these rivers during their long course spread out into lakes famous for the beauty of their shores, rich in vegetation, and bordered by picturesque villages and lovely villas, the favourite summer haunts of the great and the wealthy. Such for instance is Lake Maggiore, or Verbano, formed by the Ticino; Lake Como, or Lario, formed by the Adda; Lake Isco formed by the Aglio; Lake Garda, or Benaco, from which the Mincio flows. Other similar lakes like Lake Varese and those nestling among the gentle slopes of the Brianza have won for this strip of Lombardy the name of "Garden of Italy".
The climate of Lombardy varies with its elevation; it is cold in the mountain districts, warm in the plains. At Milan, the mean annual temperature is 55° F. The chief products are grain, maize, rice. The pasture lands are many and the flocks numerous. Ever since the fifteenth century the greater part of Lombardy has been artificially irrigated. Innumerable canals branch off from the rivers and carry their waters over the fields on a gentle slope, so skilfully arranged that a thin sheet of water can be made to pass lightly over the surface, fertilizing the soil so that as many as seven crops of hay are taken in one year. Several of these canals, e.g., the Naviglio Grande (known also as the Ticinello, because it flows from the Ticino), the Naviglio della Martesana (so called from the district it passes through), are navigable by means of locks or planes which overcome the differences of level of the country they pass through. The mean annual crop of rice from 1900 to 1905 was 4,615,000 quintals (a quintal is about 220 lbs.). Milk is so plentiful that butter and cheese are among the chief exports: about 230,000 quintals of cheese, and 90,000 of butter are produced annually. The more famous cheeses are the Grana (wrongly called Parmigiano or Parmesan), Gorgonzola, and Stracchini.
With the introduction of the mulberry-tree during the Middle Ages the feeding of silkworms began and has gone on prospering, so that it now forms one of the staple sources of income, the average output per annum being about 15,000,000 kilos of cocoons. The silk is woven on the spot and gives employment (according to statistics for 1906) to 126,000 persons of both sexes who work 1,400,000 spindles for straight and twisted silk, feeding 16,000 looms that turn out 10,000,000 kilos of grey or unbleached silk. There are moreover in activity 36,000 looms, and 900,000 spindles for cotton and 10,000 looms for flax, hemp, jute, etc. Other industries are moulding wood and iron for machinery, carriage-building, railway works, furniture making, bleaching works, tailoring establishments, and printing. The country does not boast of great mineral wealth although there are iron pyrites and copper pyrites in the valleys of Bergamo and Brescia; zincblende and carbonate of zinc in Val Seriana; lignite in the same valley; and peat in the Varese valley and along Lake Garda. There are rich granite quarries at San Fedelino, porphyry in Val Ganna, black marble at Varenna, and limestone at Botticino. There are mineral springs at Trescorre, San Pellegrino, Salice, Bormio, etc. The growth of trade soon caused the need of means of rapid communication to be felt, and besides the public highways, there are about 850,000 miles of splendid roads in Lombardy, railways were soon opened, that from Milan to Monza in 1840 being the second in Italy. At present a network of 1,115,000 miles of railway lines and more than 600,000 miles of steam-tramways cover the surface of Lombardy.
In its ecclesiastical divisions Lombardy naturally exhibits the influence of its civil history. When the Longobards swarmed down from the Alps the peoples in that region had long been evangelized and the Church had a hierarchy in the chief cities. Among these Milan is certainly the most ancient of all Northern Italy; Aquileia comes next; then Verona and Brescia and the other sees that sprang up rapidly after peace had been given to the Church by Constantine. Milan was the metropolitan see of the region and its bishop took the title of archbishop as early as the middle of the eighth century. Within this jurisdiction were Alba, Alessandria, Asti, Turin, Tortona, Vercelli, Vigevano, Casale, Acqui, Savona, Ventimiglia, Genoa, Novara, Cremona, Como, Bergamo, Brescia, Lodi. It is doubtful whether Pavia belonged to Milan in ancient times, but from a very remote date until the beginning of the nineteenth century it depended directly on the Holy See. In the seventh century Como was separated from Milan and became subject to Aquileia but was joined to Milan when the Patriarchate of Aquileia was suppressed. The jurisdiction of Milan was gradually restricted. Genoa became an archdiocese in 1133 with Savona, Ventimiglia, and Tortona as suffragan sees. Likewise, in 1515 Turin became an archdiocese with Asti, Albi, and Acqui as suffragans. Finally, Vercelli in 1817 was made an archdiocese with Alessandria, Casale, Vigevano, and Novara as suffragans. At the present time Lombardy is divided into nine dioceses: Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Pavia, Cremona, Crema, Lodi, Mantua, under Milan as metropolitan. A noteworthy peculiarity in the liturgy is the special rite in use throughout all the Diocese of Milan with the exception of a few parishes, a rite that goes back to very primitive times, and known as the Ambrosian Rite.
When the Longobards are first mentioned by Latin historians they are described as the fiercest of the German barbarians (Velleius Paterculus) while Tacitus praises them for their intrepidity. It would seem their original name was Winnili, and that they were called Longobards from the length of the beards they wore. It is quite true that in German mythology the name Longobard (longbärtr) was given to Odin, their chief god. We first meet them along the Elbe near the Baltic; according to Bluhime they came from Jutland. The "Longobard Chronicle" that precedes the edict of King Rotari (636) says "origo gentis nostræ Scandanan", i.e., the North. Their quarrels with the Vandals were of ancient date; afterwards they took possession of the lands of the Heruli when these tribes poured into Italy under Odoacer. Emperor Justinian gave them lands in Pannonia and Noricum on condition that they would not molest the Empire and that they would assist in the wars against the Gepidæ. They did make war against the Gepidæ, and under Alboin, who wanted to carry off Rosamunda, daughter of Cunimund, King of the Gepidæ, they succeeded with the help of the Avars in completely routing them. Alboin slew Cunimund, and as was the custom of his race, fashioned a drinking cup from the king's skull. Then, gathering together all the barbarians he could muster, Saxons, Suevi, Ostrogoths, the remnant of the Gepidæ, Saramati, Bulgars, and Thuringians, he set out from Pannonia towards Italy on 1 April, 568. Ill-defended, and torn by the rivalries of the Greek leaders or generals, Italy fell an easy prey. Alboin met with no resistance either in Friuli or in Veneta; he advanced as far as the Adda, taking possession of all the towns on his way, with the exception of Padua, Mantua, and Monselice. Many of the inhabitants fled for refuge to the islands in the lagoons. The following year, finding none to bar his progress, he pushed forward, occupied Milan, and invaded Liguria meeting resistance only in Pavia and Cremona. The inhabitants fled, even as far as Genoa. Pavia held out for three years, then fell, and became the capital of Alboin's short-lived kingdom. Rosamunda, whom the barbarian forced to drink out of her father's skull, in revenge had him assassinated, and then fled with her accomplices to Ravenna. The Longobards chose as his successor Clefi, chief of the troops which had remained at Bergamo; he was more cruel even than Alboin in oppressing the conquered, driving them from their lands and putting them to death under any pretext. During all this time the exarch, Longinus, sent from Constantinople to replace Narses, had been unable to defend Italy, and shut himself up in Ravenna leaving the people to their cruel fate. The Longobard invasion of Italy, the last stage in the Germanic invasion of the West, marks the end of the Roman world and the beginning of a new historical epoch, which was to bring about deep changes in the social life of those peoples, who, hitherto, under the domination of Heruli and Goths, had indeed changed their masters but not their customs or their manner of life.
With the new conquerors it was quite otherwise. At their head was a king usually chosen by the chiefs of the tribe nearly always from the stock of the same family. He was the civil and military head of the nation, but his power was shared with the leaders (heerzoge) chosen by him for life, one for each territorial division, and subject to him de jure, though de facto independent and even hereditary, as was the case in Friuli, Spoleto, and Beneventum. Those nearer at hand, however, found it more difficult to escape his authority, but outbreaks were not infrequent and were the cause of weakness and decay from within. Viceroys pure and simple were the gastaldi nominated and dismissed by the king, administering his possessions and representing him in the various territories to which they were appointed. On the other hand the gasindi were part of his household and members of his Court. By playing off the one against the other, and by increasing their power the royal authority was augmented and the throne consolidated. Then again the dukes had their gasindi and skuldahis to assist them, and among those nobles and favourites the conquered lands were distributed. Whether these lands were part of the imperial domain or belonged to private individuals who had been slain or who fled, they were parcelled out in fiefs or given away in freehold. The conquered became tributary, and had to pay thirds of all fruits and in most cases they seem to have been reduced to the state of aldii, or villains, who passed from owner to owner with the land. Only one citizenship was recognized, the Longobardic, and all had to belong to it, the barbarian auxiliaries, the Romans who remained freemen, and later the priests and the guargangi, or strangers who came to settle in Longobard territory. The quality of being a freeman (frei) was inseparable from that of soldier (heermann: exercitalis) and the nation itself in the royal edicts is styled the exercitus. We can form an idea of the social and legal condition of the conquered peoples from the wieder-geld, or fine imposed for a murder or any damage done by one inhabitant to another. The fine was always increased when a Longobard was the injured party. The Roman was cut off from all government positions and was always looked upon as an inferior. Among the list of offices and honours, and even in the public documents of the Longobards, there never once appears the name of an Italian inhabitant. The main consequence of this antagonism was that the two peoples remained politically apart. In spite of the heavy disadvantages under which they laboured it must not be imagined that the conquered were civilly dead. The Longobards numbered hardly more than 130,000 souls without a code of laws and without unity of governing methods to oppose to those already in existence, and which it was only natural they should go on using in their dealings with the Italians on all points not foreseen by their own barbarian customs. That this was the case is seen from the fact that hardly had the oppression come to an end when we find the Roman municipium once more arising and thriving in the comune. But the preservation of the traditions of Rome was due to another cause-religion. The Longobards at the time of the invasion were for the most part pagan; a few had imbibed Arianism, and hence their ferocity against priests and monks whom they put to death. They destroyed churches and monasteries; they hunted and killed many of the faithful who would not become pagan; they laid waste their property, and seized Catholic places of worship, to hand them over to the Arians. The holy pontiff, Gregory the Great, does not cease to lament the desolation caused by the Longobard slaughter throughout Italy. Slowly however the light of faith made way among them and the Church won their respect and obedience. This meant protection for the conquered. Gradually the Church's constitution and customs spread among the barbarians the ideas of Roman civilization, until at last, in defence of her own liberty and that of the people which the Longobards continued to imperil, she was forced to call in the aid of the Franks, and thus change the fate of Italy. occurred This occurred only after two centuries of Longobardic domination. The succession of the Longobard kings is as follows:-Alboin from 561; Clefi, 573; interregnum, 575; Autari from 584; Agilulf, 591; Adaloald, 615; Ariovald, 625; Rothari, 636; Rodoald, 652; Aribert, 653; Gondibert and Pertarit, 661; Grimoald, 662; Garibald, 671; Pertarit (a second time), 671; Cunibert (as co-ruler), 678; Cunibert (alone),686; Luitpert, 700; Regimbert, .701; Aribert., 701; Ausprand, 702; Liutprand, 712; Hildebrand, 744; Ratchis, 744; Astulf, 749; Desiderius, 756 till 774. In this list of kings prime importance attaches to the civil and religious influence of Queen Theodolinda, a Frank by birth, a Catholic in faith, the wife of Autari and afterwards of Agilulf whom she won over from barbarism and converted to Christianity. To her is due the foundation of many churches and monasteries, among others St. John's at Monza, where the iron crown was kept and protection granted to the Irishman, St. Columbanus, founder of Bobbio and apostle of the religious life in Gaul, Britain, Switzerland, and Italy. Agilulf had much trouble with his dukes; who had grown haughty in their independence, and were perhaps angered at his conversion to the religion of the conquered.
The son of Adaloald was deposed and his place taken by an Arian, Ariovald, Duke of Turin. Rothari was also an Arian; during his reign the first Lombard code was published. With much carnage and devastation he overthrew Genoa and conquered the Ligurian coast. For sixty years following Rothari and until the time of Liutprand intense anarchy prevailed. During this period control was in the hands of Grimoald, Duke of Beneventum, converted through the zeal of Saint Barbatus, bishop of that town. Grimoald enlarged Rotari's code by the addition of laws concerning prescription and voting, in which the influence of Roman law is manifest, as such ideas were altogether foreign to Teutonic legislation. Liutprand finally overcame this anarchy. He was the greatest and perhaps the best of the Lombard princes. His legislation bears increasing traces of Christian and Roman influences. He totally suppressed paganism, introduced the right of sanctuary in churches, and forbade marriage among blood relations, etc. He was more or less mixed up in the politics of the Greek Empire against Rome; but his moderation was most praiseworthy, and his quarrel was never against the pope as head of the Church, but as head of the government of Rome.
Liutprand and his successor Rachis were sincere and pious Catholics; Rachis even renounced the throne in favour of his brother Astulf and retired as a monk to Monte Cassino. But Astulf was of a different stamp; he seized the exarchate and the Pentapolis, and invaded the Duchy of Rome, whereupon the popes were constrained to seek aid for themselves and for the people who looked to them for protection. Constantinople was appealed to in vain; then the popes turned to the Franks. King Pepin went down into Italy and laid siege to Pavia; Astulf came to terms, but hardly had Pepin retired before Astulf was trying once more a coup de main against Rome (755) he besieged the city for two months, putting monks and farm-hands to death until Pepin returned once more (756) and again laid siege to Pavia, forcing the perjured king to pay tribute to Rome and to restore the territory he had invaded. His death forestalled further perjury, but the struggle was continued by his successor Desiderius, who placed more faith in diplomacy than arms, and sought to win the good graces of Charlemagne, Pepin's successor, by giving him in marriage his daughter Desiderata. When she was sent back to him he declared war on the pope, seized Comanchio, and hastened towards Ravenna and Rome. Charlemagne, seeing the evident dishonesty of the Longobards, went down into Italy, captured Chiusi, and besieged Desiderius in Pavia and his son in Verona. Pavia fell after a ten months' siege, Desiderius was sent to France where he was shut up in a monastery, but his son succeeded in making good his escape to Constantinople. Thus ended the Longobard Kingdom in 774. Barbarous and daring by nature, their government always remained barbarous, even after Christianity had taught their rulers some gentleness.
Treacherous and overbearing towards those they conquered the fierce warrior Longobards never united with the Italians until both had to bear together a common yoke. The popes did all they could to prevent their domination so as to rescue what remained of liberty and the culture of Rome; to them it is due that in this period Italy did not utterly perish. Charlemagne took the crown and the title of King of the Longobards, and later at the division of his empire he assigned their kingdom to his eldest son, Pepin. In the constitutions he drew up each nation or people was left the use of its own laws; gradually the duchies were divided into countships, the counts being vassals iof the king, and having in turn valvassori (vassi-vassorum) who looked up to them as liege-lords, while ranking over all were the missi dominici who in the king's name saw to it that justice was meted out to everyone. Such was the feudal hierarchy. The government of the towers was in the hands of the local count, who exercised it through his representatives, to whom were added later scabini, or assessors, chosen from among the more worthy citizens. The old Lombard law, set down originally in the edict of King Rothari (636) and enlarged under later kings, was later known as the "Liber Langobardorum" or "Liber Papiensis", and eventually as "Lombarda" (Lex) was taught and commented at Bologna. The bishops ranked as vassals of the king, by reason of the church fiefs (weichbild) they held from him, but they were exempt from any other subjection.
For two centuries Lombardy followed the fortunes of the Carlovingian Empire, and eventually under Otho (964) it fell under the direct sway of the Saxon emperors. The Lombard Duchy of Beneventum, after various divisions, was conquered by the Normans in the eleventh century, while the city of Beneventum passed (1051-52) under papal sway. During this long lapse of time, however, and throughout all the struggles that marked that epoch, the sap of a new life was working in the cities of Lombardy, destined before long to take their fitting place in the story of Italy. Two main forces were at work; one the prerogative of honour that by universal consent the bishops enjoyed over the laity. When fiefs began to become hereditary in families it was to the emperor's interest to increase the number of ecclesiastical lords, seeing that they could not assert independence and that the imperial authority had some weight in the selection of their successors. The other cause was frequency of immunities and franchises. In the long struggle between the Church and the Empire concerning investitures, and during the disputed elections of popes and bishops, the opposing parties were liberal in concessions to win over the various towns to their side, and the towns were not slow in claiming payment for the obedience and loyalty they rendered to a master sometimes absent and often doubtful. At times too, the emperors, detained by affairs in Germany, did not concern themselves with Italy, and the cities drew up their own code of laws without, however, shaking off the imperial yoke; the emperors, either through love or necessity, when they could not do otherwise, remained satisfied. Thus the cities multiplied their privileges and their population increased with the privileges on account of the security they afforded over the less protected country. In this way the comune took the place of the countship of the feudal lord. It is only too true that the communes made bad use of their early liberty, and of their budding civil and commercial life, waging war against one another through sheer greed of power, until they mutually destroyed their power.
The part played by Milan in these troubles was the most important of all. Its conflicts with Como, Pavia, and Lodi furnished pretext for the intervention of Frederick I who led two expeditions into Italy. The first brought about the destruction of Asti, Chieri, and Tortona; in the second Milan itself was besieged, forced to surrender and to renounce its claims over Lodi and Como, and to submit the names of its consuls for approval to the emperor, to whom they had to take an oath of fealty. In the Diet of Roncaglia (1158) Frederick constrained the Bolognese jurisconsults to acknowledge his supreme authority over the empire. This autocracy which destroyed the constitutions of the communes rallied the towns of Lombardy for a life and death struggle: Milan was again besieged, razed to the ground, and its inhabitants dispersed throughout the neighbouring villages (1161). But while Frederick persisted in making war on Rome, and creating antipopes, Verona, Vicenza, and Padua in 1163 formed what is known as the League of Venice, and in 1167 the Lombard League, or the League of Pontida, was set on foot between Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, and Mantua to oppose the inroads of Germany and to defend their own civil and religious liberties, as well as to assert their loyalty to the legitimate pope. Milan was rebuilt and in 1168, Alessandria (called after Alexander III) was founded in opposition to Pavia, which persistently sided with the emperor. Finally in 1176 at Legnano, the Milanese assisted by the Brescians, Novarese, Vercellese, and Piacentians, defeated the imperial troops; and Frederick was glad to make peace with the pope and the Lombards. At Venice a truce of six years was concluded, and confirmed by the Treaty of Constance (1183), which recognized the franchises of the communes, their right to free election of consuls, to administer justice according to their own laws and to assess taxes, so that they came to be as it were vassal states, which recognized the supreme overlordship of the emperor. Once the struggle for freedom was over, the communes began once more their unfortunate rivalries, and they found only too ready an occasion in the endless struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Milan, Brescia, and nearly all the communes in which the burghers held control, were on the Guelph side; those wherein the nobles and the classes privileged by the emperors had the upper hand, like Pavia and Cremona, declared for the Ghibellines. From these civil dissensions a few changes in the constitution of the communes arose, the principal one being the creation of the podesta, or chief magistrate, necessitated by the urgency of putting an end to the dispute arising from the political and judicial powers exercised by the consuls.
The podesta was elected by the general assembly of the people, and had to be a foreigner, that is, a citizen from some other commune; he belonged to the same political colour and had to be of knightly family. He sat in judgment in all criminal cases, saw that sentences were carried out, commanded the army, and declared war or peace. Hence arose the prominence of certain families, especially when the same citizen was chosen by more than one town, and this led to dictatorships which gave rise to the signorias, to be found in the towns of Lombardy and elsewhere. The league of the communes was a thorn for the empire and in 1220 Frederick II tried once more to break it and to conquer the Guelph republics of Lombardy. To prevent assault, when Frederick came in 1225 to hold a diet at Cremona, the cities of Lombardy formed another league at San Zeno di Mosio in the neighbourhood of Mantua. The emperor placed the confederate towns under a ban, and with the help of a Saracen army, which he brought from Sicily, and of the troops of the Ghibelline cities, despite the interposition of Honorius III and Gregory IX, he laid waste the country of the League, and in 1247 defeated it at Cortenova. But his victory was of small avail. In vain did he besiege Brescia; Genoa and Venice rallied to the League, which had its revenge at Parma and elsewhere, until Frederick died excommunicated in 1250, and the Lombards could draw breath. In the period that follows we find the more powerful families quartering themselves in the various cities. The Torriani and the Visconti at Milan; the San Bonifacios and the Scaligers at Verona; the Vitali and the Rusconi at Como; the Este at Ferrara; the Bonaccolsi at Mantua; the Correggeschi at Parma, etc.
Among these the Visconti quickly became the most powerful and for two centuries were lords of Lombardy. At first they sought to have themselves appointed imperial vicars whenever the emperors were formidable or were coming into Italy, as did Henry VII and Louis the Bavarian; but afterwards they cared little for the emperor and acted as though independent lords. Matthew I, styled the Great, was created lord in perpetuity in 1295, had himself made count in 1311, placed himself at the head of the Ghibellines and added to his dominions Pavia, Bergamo, Piacenza, and Tortona. Seventy years later Gian Galeazzo ruled over the whole of Lombardy including Parma and Riggio, to which he added Verona and Vicenza which he took from the Scaligers, and Bologna, Siena, and Pisa, and then he purchased from the Emperor Wenceslaus the title of duke. He gave his daughter, Valentina, in marriage to Louis I, Duke of Orléans, brother of Charles VI of France, and as a dowry he gave her the cities of Asti and Cherasco, which later formed the basis of the pretensions of France to rights over the country around Milan. At the death of Filippo-Maria in 1447 without heirs other than a daughter, married to Sforza, a condottiere of mercenary troops, of whom there were many in Italy, Sforza succeeded him in 1450 and thus began a new dynasty that lasted nearly a century. About this time France began to assert its claims. Louis XII and Francis I occupied the duchy, driving out Ludovico il Moro and Maximilian his son. Emperor Charles V drove back France at the battle of Pavia, and restored Milan to the Sforzas, but only for a short time, as Francis, the last son of Ludovico, died without issue in 1535. Then the duchy became a fief of Spain, and as such it remained till 1706 when it passed to Austria, which took possession of it during the War of Succession, at the death of Charles II. A few years later the death of Emperor Charles VI of Austria reopened the War of Succession, and Milan fell into. the hands of the Spaniards (1745); at the peace of 1748 it was given back to Austria, which held it until the outbreak of the French Revolution, when Bonaparte established there the Cisalpine Republic and later the Kingdom of Italy. At the fall of Napoleon it went back to Austria and together with the territory of the Venetian Republic it made up what was known as the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom. The wars of Piedmont, allied with France in 1859 and with Prussia in 1866, took away Lombardy and Venice from Austria, and helped to make the present Kingdom of Italy.
The earliest historian of Lombardy is PAULUS WARNEFRID (730-797), known as Paulus Diaconus, a Benedictine of Monte Cassino, and chancellor of King Desiderius. His Historia. Langobardorum is an important authority for the traditions, customs, and political history of his people to the end of the eighth century (P.L., XCV; Mon. Ger. Hist.: Script. Rer. Langob., Berlin, 1878). See also TROYA, Codex diplom. Longobard. (Naples, 1852), and besides the histories of LEO, HARTMANN, CANTÙ, SCHMIDT, and others, the valuable work of. HODGKIN, Italy and her Invaders, V-VI (London, 1895); POUPARDIN, Hist. des principautés lombardes de l'italie mérid. (Paris, 1907); IDEM, Instit. polit. Et adm. des princip. lombardes (Paris, 1907). For the relations of the Roman Church with the Lombards see Liber Pontificalis, ed. DUCHESNE (Paris, 1885), passim, and DUCHESNE, Les évîchís d'Italie et l'invasion lombarde in Mélanges d'archéol. et d'hist., XXIII, XXIV (Paris, 1903); also CRIVELLUCCI, Le chiese cattoliche ed i Lombardi ariani in Studi Storici, IV (6), XIII. On the Lombard communes see DANTIER in Revue Europíenne, 1859, III-IV, and WILLIAMS, The Communes of Lombardy, VI to X century, in Johns Hopkins, Univ. Hist. Studies (Baltimore, 1891). The medieval chroniclers of Lombardy are to be found in MURATORI, Script. rer. Ital. (1725), 28 vols., folio, passim; see also the Mon. Germ. Hist., the Hist. Patria Monumenta, and the Archivo Storico Lombardo-Veneto (Milan, 1874, sqq.). For Lombard art see MALVEZZI, Le glorie dell'arte Lombarda (Milan, 1892), 590-1850, also the histories of ecclesiastical art by KRAUS, KUHN, and others. On the medieval financial operations of the Lombards see PITOU, Les Lombards en France et â Paris (1892), and all economical histories of the Middle Ages, e.g., CUNNINGHAM, Western Civilization.
APA citation. (1910). Lombardy. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09336b.htm
MLA citation. "Lombardy." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09336b.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Mario Anello.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.org. Regrettably, I can't reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback — especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.