ombards, originated from the Scandinavian peninsula, were surely positionned along the lower Elba Valley during the 2nd century b.C. Then they flew south and at in the 6th century they were in Pannonia. In 568 AD, led by their King Alboin, they moved to Italy and seized the North, leaving to Byzantines only few fortified and coast strongholds. Within a few years they held the Italian Peninsula, execpt some part of the Central Italy from Ravenna to Rome and the three major islands. They tried to build a central and unified Kingdom, but too many were the constraints: the Pope, the Eastern Empire, the Franks and their own traditional, barbaric tribal autonomism.
The progressive transition from the concept of a tribal autonomism of nomadic origin to a permanent centralized Kingdom are shown by the Rothari's Edict (643), by the conversion of a great number of Lombards - the Queen Theodelinda included - to Catholicism; the Lombards were originally pagan and then they embraced the Christianity, but according to the Arian Heresy. The Coinage reflects this progress: from Byzantine Imitations, with the name of the Eastern Emperors, they passed, with Cunipert (671-588) to an original Coinage, which shows the reinforcement of the royal power. The peak in the Lombard project to set up a strong independent Kingdom has been reached by Liutprand (712-744), but the Lombard efforts were destined to failure. Their antagonists: the Byzantine Empire, the Pope, the Franks, and their inborn difficulty to conceive a central unique political power, did not allow the realization of their great Kings' dream: a Lombard Kingdom in a United Italy. Their last King, Desiderius was defeated by Charles (later Charlemagne), the Frankish King, called for help by the Pope. In the Southern Italy, the Lombard Dukedom of Benevento lasted until 878. Here are shown the most important Lombard coins, with references to the historic and social processes.