They were, however, compelled to retreat before the reinforcements sent by Belisarius and Narses; thus the Byzantines, after various vicissitudes, became masters of the town, appointed a duke as its governor, and included it in the exarchate of Ravenna.
Wrote to Leo blaming his interference in religious matters, though he dissuaded the rebels in Venetia, the Exarchate and the Pentapolis from electing a new emperor and marching against Leo.
Qualified by letters of the papal chancery as liberator and defender of the Church, his armies twice (75.4 756) crossed the Alps, despite the opposition of the Frankish aristocracy, and forced Aistuif, king of the Lombards, to cede to him the exarchate of Ravenna and the Pentapolis.
During the politico-religious agitation which preceded the establishment of the Bulgarian exarchate in 1870, a number of Bulgarian youths were sent to Russia to be educated at the expense of the Imperial government; among them was Stambolov, who was entered at the seminary of Odessa in order to prepare for the priesthood.
In 542 Totila besieged it and compelled it to surrender, but being soon after recovered by Narses, it remained long a dependency of the exarchate of Ravenna, under the immediate government of a duke, appointed by the East Roman emperors.