Liutprand [key], d. 744, king of the Lombards (712–44). Under his rule the Lombard kingdom of Italy reached its zenith. The first Christian Lombard ruler, Liutprand strongly favored Roman law and institutions. His legislation anticipated the reforms of Charlemagne by protecting his subjects from denial of justice through special envoys authorized to administer justice and redress grievances. He curbed the powers of the local dukes and bishops, thus creating a centralized state, and he obtained the submission of the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. In the north, he expanded his dominions at the expense of Bavaria. Liutprand died after attempting to bring Ravenna, which was under Byzantine rule, into his domain. After the brief reigns of Liutprand's nephew Hildeprand and of Ratchis, duke of Friuli, Liutprand's brother Aistulf acceded (749) and took Ravenna in 751.
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