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Desiderius (also known as Daufer or Dauferius; Didier in French and Desiderio in Italian) was the last king of the Lombard Kingdom of northern Italy (died c. 786). He is chiefly known for his connection to Charlemagne, who married his daughter and conquered his realm.


Rise to power

He was originally a royal officer, the dux Langobardorum et comes stabuli, "constable and duke of the Lombards," an office apparently similar to the contemporaneous Frankish office of dux Francorum. King Aistulf made him duke of Istria and Tuscany and he became king after the death of Aistulf in 756. At that time, Aistulf's predecessor, Ratchis, left his monastic retreat of Montecassino and tried to seize the kingdom, but Desiderius put his revolt down quickly with the support of Pope Stephen II. At his coronation, Desiderius promised to restore many lost papal towns to the Holy See, in return for the papacy's endorsement of his claim. Conflict with the Holy See under Pope Stephen III arose, for Stephen opposed Charlemagne's marriage to Desiderius' daughter. Desiderius ceased delivery of the towns after only a few.

Seeking, like his predecessors, to extend the Lombard power in Italy, he came into collision with the papacy and the southern duchies. In the same year Desiderius associates to his kingdom the son Adelchis. Alboin, the duchy of Benevento and Liutprand, that of Spoleto were coaxed by Pope Stephen to commend themselves to the Franks and thus separate themselves again from monarchy. They then [1] placed themselves under the protection of Pippin (Lat. Pipinus), the king of Franks. In 758, Duke Liutprand of Benevento attained his majority and rebelled. Desiderius defeated him and granted his duchy to one Arechis, tying the duchy more closely to Pavia than it had been since Grimoald's time. In that same year, Desiderius deposed Alboin of Spoleto and exercised himself the ducal powers there.

Appointing Antipope Phillip

Desiderius seized a priest named Phillip from the Monastery of St Vito. One July 31, 768 he summarily appointed him pope. Antipope Philip was never recognized nor gained a significant following so he left the same day and returned to his monastery where is is never heard from or seen again.[2]

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