The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Astolphus
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|Edition of 1879. See also Aistulf on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
ASTOLPHUS, or Astalphus, called by the Germans Aistulf, king of the Lombards in northern Italy, succeeded his brother Rachis in 749, and died in 756. After having seized the exarchate of Ravenna, he threatened Rome. Pope Stephen II. fled to France and demanded aid from King Pepin, who crossed the Alps in 754 with an army, defeated Astolphus, and besieged Pavia. The Lombard obtained peace on condition of surrendering Ravenna and all his other conquests; but on Pepin's withdrawal he burst forth again, laid siege to Rome, and ravaged all the surrounding country. The pope again supplicated Pepin, who crossed the Alps and shut Astolphus up in Pavia. Astolphus was preparing for a new war, but fell from his horse while hunting, and died three days afterward without leaving male heirs.