This book outlines the five-century-long history of the Byzantine presence in Italy. The history begins in 535 AD, with the landing of Constantinople's troops in Sicily and the onset of a war that led to the conquest of the entire peninsula, then under the control of the Ostrogoths. In 658 the Lombard invasion divided the peninsula in two areas of influence: Longobardic and Byzantine. The Ravenna exarchate fell in 751, thus ending Byzantine supremacy in the North (except for Venice); the Byzantines continued to control areas of Calabria and Apulia and all of Sicily. In the 9th century Sicily was conquered by the Arabs, whereas in Calabria, Apulia, and Basilicata the Byzantines strengthened and expanded an ascendancy, based in Bari, that lasted through the 11th century, when it succumbed to the Normans. In the year 1071 Robert the Guiscard conquered Bari and thus put an end to Byzantine rule in Italy.
Giorgio Ravegnani teaches Byzantine History at the University of Venice.