Italy 979 CE

Italy has become fragmented amongst several different states.

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What is happening in Italy in 979CE

In the 770’s, most of Italy was conquered by the Frankish king Charlemagne. With the break-up of his empire under his successors, the peninsula fragmented into three main parts. In the north, an independent kingdom of Italy emerged, which was later conquered by the German king, Otto, in the 950’s, and became a part of the huge new political entity he founded, the Holy Roman Empire.

In Central Italy, Charlemagne gave much of the Lombards’ territory to the pope, thus founding the principality known as the Papal State. With the decline in Frankish power, this has emerged as an independent state, with the pope as its ruler.

In southern Italy, the Lombard duchy of Benevento has fragmented into several states which fight continually with each other, and with the Byzantine garrisons still in control of the far south.

Apart from these three main political regions within Italy, the maritime city of Venice has emerged as an effectively independent state under its duke (doge) and ruling council. It is experiencing great commercial expansion in this period, coming to dominate the Adriatic trade.

Next map, Italy 1215

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