It appears first in a document of Aistulf of 753 or 754 as a city forming part of the exarchate of Ravenna.
Extinction of the exarchate of Ravenna by the Lombards under Astolphus.
It has been suggested that the design is of the date of the exarchate.
Commentators frequently identify the seventh head with the exarchate of Ravenna.
During a period of 200 years Italy was unequally divided between the king of the Lombards and the exarchate of Ravenna.
When the exarchate was established, the town became part of it, and in 748 it was taken by Liutprand.
It was also the granary of the exarchate, owing to the Lombard destruction in Italy, and had a population of some 25,000.
The Doge agreed to furnish a fleet, and by successful strategy Ravenna was surprised and recaptured and the exarchate restored.
Liudprand pressed hard, not only upon the Greek dominions of the exarchate, but also upon Rome.