After the Roman Empire was split into Western and Eastern (with capital Byzanthium), Calabria stayed under the Byzanthines until the Lombards occupied it in the 7th century AD. In 885 Byzanthine general Niceforo Foca defeated Lombards and Saracens recovering the region. Later on it was conquered by the Normans (1060), then by the Swabians, the Anjou and the Aragonese, under whose domination there were peasants' riots in 1459 and the famous rebellion led by Tommaso Campanella in 1599. The Spanish occupation was especially tyrannical for the region, and the 19th century saw the rise of patriot movements (the Carboneria) and riots, until in 1860 the population rose to support Garibaldi after he landed with his "red shirts" at Melito.
As all the Kingdom of Naples, Calabria was then united to the newly established Kingdom of Italy. The decades that followed saw an increase in poverty and emigration, also due to the great disparity between the rich industrial regions of Northern Italy and the agricultural, poorer South.
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