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Zaban was the Lombard dux (or duke) of Pavia (Ticinum) during the decade-long interregnum known as the Rule of the Dukes (574 – 584). Pavia had been the capital of the Lombard kingdom, but after the death of King Cleph, it became the centre of a great duchy, one of thirty five into which the Lombard state was then divided. It seems that, as the ruler of the ancient capital, Zaban held a certain superiority of rank over his fellow duces and may have acted as their commander-in-chief.

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