Ratold of Italy

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Ratold was a King of Italy who reigned for a month or so in 896. He was a younger illegitimate son of King Arnulf of Germany by a concubine. He may have had the same mother as Zwentibold, or she may have been a Lombard, which would have gained the child standing among the people of Italy. His name might be of Slavic origin, suggesting perhaps a Slavic mother. Arnulf forced the nobility recognise the Zwentibold and Ratold as his heirs.

After Arnulf was crowned Roman Emperor in Rome in 896, he left Ratold behind as nominal sub-king of Italy in Milan and crossed the Alps to return to Germany. Immediately after returning to Germany, Duke Lambert II of Spoleto, an opponent of Arnulf's for the crown of Italy, took control of the country. Ratold was forced to flee. Nothing more of him is known.


  • Duckett, Eleanor (1968). Death and Life in the Tenth Century. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Reuter, Timothy (1991). Germany in the Early Middle Ages 800–1056. New York: Longman.

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