Coins from Lombardy and Tuscany
Starting in 653, Lombardy and the Duchy of Tuscany began minting a joined, royal coinage; however, the coins were only constantly minted starting after 688. At that point, the Lombards had taken a lot of modern-day Italy from the Byzantines, becoming a very strong force. The Byzantine areas continued to decline as the years went by. Under the reign of Aistulf (749-756), the Franks began posing a threat, and in 771, under Aisulf's heir, Desiderius (756-774), it came to the point where the Lombards sought protection from the pope. Even so, in 774, the Franks defeated the Lombards, taking the northern parts (Langobardia Major) as their own territory.