Paul was the Exarch of Ravenna from 723 to 727. According to John Julius Norwich, the person traditionally recognized as the first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio Anafesto, was actually Exarch Paul. Moreover, Paul's magister militum had the same first name as the doge's reputed successor, Marcellus Tegallianus, casting doubt on the authenticity of that doge as well.
In 727, the Exarchate of Ravenna rose in revolt against the imperial imposition of iconoclasm by Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (r. 717–741). The armies of Ravenna and the Duchy of the Pentapolis mutinied, denouncing both Exarch Paul and Emperor Leo III, and overthrew those officers who remained loyal. Paul rallied the loyalist forces and attempted to restore order, but was killed. The armies discussed electing their own emperor and marching on Constantinople, but when they sought the advice of Pope Gregory II, he dissuaded them from acting against the sitting Byzantine emperor.
|Exarch of Ravenna
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