Arechis I of Benevento

Arichis I ( † 641 ) was in the years 591-641 Duke of Benevento.


Arichis originally came from the northern Italian Duchy of Friuli and was related to the local ducal house. He was the educator Gisulfs II and Grasulfs II or Gisulfs sons.

When the first Lombard Duke of Benevento, Zotto, died in the spring of 591, sat Agilulf, the king of the Lombards, Arichis as his successor one.

In his government Arichis was hardly less independent than its predecessor Zotto, so that the supremacy of the Lombard king from the far Pavia remained rather formal, especially northern Italy was still separate from the Lombard territories in central and southern Italy by Byzantine territory.

His Dukat initially comprised the old Italian provinces Samnium and Apulia. From Byzantium, which could hold in the south only in some coastal areas, Arichis conquered the cities of Capua and Venafro in Campania and some areas in Lucania and Bruttium. A renewed attack on Naples ( already Zotto, the city had attacked ) failed.

The borders of the Duchy of Benevento can be specified only vaguely. In the north they followed about the rivers Garigliano and Liri, the Fucino and the Pescara River. In the south, the areas remained southeast of the line Cosenza - Rossano and the " heel" of Italy Byzantine.

In June 595 Ariulf took the dux of Spoleto, peace negotiations with Pope Gregory the Great, which came to the effect in October 598 the conclusion that no further action against him and his allies Arichis I would be taken. In a letter from the year 599 Pope Gregory Arichis talked to " my son " and asked him to support a church through the procurement of timber.

To 614 were Gisulfs II sons Taso and Cacco the dukes of Friuli, murdered by patricius Gregor. Radoald Grimoald and drove it to Arichis, her former teacher, who received them kindly.

End of the 620 years of the important port of Salerno could be taken. In his later years, Arichis tried to establish his rule and to reconciliation with the Catholics. In relation to the Lombard king - on Agilulf was only Adaloald, then Arioald and finally followed Rothari - Arichis kept such a large degree of autonomy that the appointment of a successor for him never came into question by the king, but asserted itself heredity: As Arichis died 641, his son Ajo I followed him, although he had determined shortly before his death Radoald and Grimoald to his successors.


  • Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, ed. Ludwig Bethmann and Georg Waitz, in: Monumenta Historica Germaniae, Scriptores rerum et Langobardicarum Italicarum SAEC. VI -IX, Hahn, Hannover 1878