The fall of Merovingian Italy, 561–5

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After the end of the Gothic War in the mid-sixth century, northern Italy remained divided between the Merovingian Franks and the eastern Roman Empire. In the 560s the Frankish territories were finally taken by imperial armies, but the end of Merovingian Italy is variably dated between 561 and 565. Drawing on the eastern evidence provided by the panegyrist Corippus, this article argues that there is a hitherto overlooked conflict between the Franks and the empire around the year 565, which finally brought an end to decades of Frankish rule in Italy. As this victory occurred under Justin II, an emperor with a poor military reputation today, this reconstruction of western events further bolsters the case that the successes trumpeted in his early propaganda were grounded in reality.




Lin, S. (2023). The fall of Merovingian Italy, 561–5. Early Medieval Europe, 31(4), 543–562.

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