From The History of the Langobards by Paul the Deacon, translated by William Dudley Foulke, LL. D.; The Department of History, University of Pennsylvania; New York: Longman, Green & Co., 1906; pp. 151-208.





Chapter I.

When therefore Agilulf, who was also called Ago, had been confirmed in the royal dignity1 he sent Agnellus,2 Bishop of Tridentum (Trent) to France for the sake of those who had been led captive by the Franks from the fortified places of Tridentum. And Agnellus, on his return thence, brought back with him a number of captives whom Brunihilde,3 the queen of the Franks had ransomed with her own money. Also Euin, duke of the people of Trent, proceeded to Gaul to obtain peace and when he had procured it he returned.


1  May, 591 (Waitz).

2  Hartmann (II, 1, 84) believes that the statement that Agnellus was acting on behalf of the Langobards in this matter was a mistake due to the fact that Paul considered that the Catholic bishop of Trent was in Langobard territory.

3  Cf. III, 10, supra.


Chapter II.

In this year there was a very severe drought from the month of January to the month of September and there occurred a dreadful famine. There came also into the territory of Tridentum a great quantity of locusts which were larger than other locusts, and, wonderful to relate, fed upon grasses and marsh seeds, but hardly touched 152 the crops of the fields. And they appeared also in like manner the following year.


Chapter III.

In these days king Agilulf put to death Mimulf, duke of the island of St. Julian,4 because he had on a previous occasion treasonably surrendered to the dukes of the Franks. Gaidulf indeed, the Bergamascan duke, rebelled in his city of Pergamus (Bergamo) and fortified himself against the king, but afterwards gave hostages and made peace with his sovereign. Again Gaidulf shut himself up in the island of Comacina.5 But king Agilulf invaded this island and drove Gaidulf’s men out of it and carried away to Ticinum (Pavia) the treasure he had found placed there by the Romans.6 But Gaidulf again fled to Pergamus (Bergamo) and was there taken by king Agilulf and again received into favor. Also duke Ulfari rebelled against king Ago at Tarvisium (Treviso), and was besieged and captured by him.


4  A small island in the Lago d’ Orta (Giansevero), west of lake Maggiore.

5  In lake Como.

6  Cf. III, 27, supra.


Chapter IV.

In this year the inguinal plague was again at Ravenna, Gradus (Grado) and Istria, and was very grievous as it had also been thirty years before. At this time too king Agilulf made peace with the Avars. Childepert 153 also waged with his cousin7 the son of Hilperic,8 a war in which as many as thirty thousand men fell in battle. The winter was then very cold, so that hardly anyone recalled its like before. Also in the region of the Briones (Brenner) blood flowed from the clouds, and among the waters of the river Renus9 (Reno) a rivulet of blood arose.


7  On the mother’s side.

8  Chlotar II.

9  Between Ferrara and Bologna. Or was this Rhenus the Rhine?


Chapter V.

In these days10 the most wise and holy Pope Gregory, of the city of Rome, after he had written many other things for the service of the holy church, also composed four books of the Life of the Saints. This writing he called a dialogue, that is, the conversation of two persons, because he had produced it talking with his deacon Peter. The aforesaid pope then sent these books to queen Theudelinda, whom he knew to be undoubtedly devoted to the faith of Christ and conspicuous in good works.


10  A. D. 593 (Waitz).


Chapter VI.

By means of this queen too, the church of God obtained much that was serviceable. For the Langobards, when they were still held in the error of heathenism, seized nearly all the property of the churches, but the king, moved by her wholesome supplication, not only 154 held the Catholic faith,11 but also bestowed many possessions upon the church of Christ and restored to the honor of their wonted dignity bishops who were in a reduced and abject condition.


11  Paul is probably mistaken in this. Theudelinda the queen was a Catholic, but Agilulf, although tolerant, and allowing his son to be baptized as a Catholic, appears from the letters of St. Gregory and St. Columban not to have become one himself (Hodgkin, VI, 140 to 144).


Chapter VII.

In these days Tassilo was ordained king12 among the Bavarians by Childepert, king of the Franks. And he presently entered with his army into the province of the Sclabi (Slavs), and when he had obtained the victory, he returned to his own land with very great booty.


12  A. D. 595 (Giansevero).


Chapter VIII.

Also at this time, Romanus, the patrician and exarch of Ravenna, proceeded to Rome. On his return to Ravenna he re-occupied the cities that were held by the Langobards, of which the names are as follows: Sutrium (Sutri), Polimartium (Bomarzo), Hortas (Orte), Tuder (Todi), Ameria (Amelia), Perusia (Perugia), Luceolis13 (Cantiano), and some other cities. When this fact was announced to king Agilulf, he straightway marched out of Ticinum with a strong army and attacked the 155 city of Perusia, and there for some days he besieged Maurisio, the duke of the Langobards, who had gone over to the side of the Romans, and without delay took him and deprived him of life. The blessed Pope Gregory was so much alarmed at the approach of this king that he desisted from his commentary upon the temple mentioned in Ezekiel, as he himself also relates in his homilies.14 King Agilulf then, when matters were arranged, returned to Ticinum (Pavia), and not long afterwards, upon the special suggestion of wife, Queen Theudelinda — since the blessed Pope Gregory had often thus admonished her in his letters — he concluded a firm peace15 with the same most holy man Pope Gregory and with the Romans,16 and that venerable 156 prelate sent to this queen the following letter in expression of his thanks:


13  All these were later in the States of the Church. Three of them were important stages on the Via Flamminia connecting Rome with Ravenna (Hodgkin, V, 367).

14  See Book II on Ezekiel. The passage is given in full in Waitz’s note. See Homily XXII.

15  Paul is in error here in his chronology, Agilulf’s expedition against Perugia and Rome was in 594, or according to Hodgkin (V, 369) in 593. The peace was concluded in the latter part of 598 (Jacobi, 27) or more probably in 599 (Hodgkin, V, 415).

16  In this chapter Paul gives a very short and insufficient account of a period filled with important events. In the year 592, duke Ariulf of Spoleto, a town on the way from Ravenna to Rome, continually threatened the communication between these two cities and captured a number of other places belonging to the empire, and Arichis duke of Benevento, co-operating with Ariulf, pressed hard upon Naples. About the end of July (Hodgkin, V, p. 363) Pope Gregory concluded a separate peace with Ariulf which aroused great indignation at Ravenna and Constantinople because it was beyond the authority of the Pope to make such peace with an independent power. It would seem that it was this action which stirred the exarch Romanus to his campaign in which he recovered the cities mentioned by Paul, that had probably fallen into Ariulf’s possession. Now Agilulf took the field and after capturing Perugia marched on Rome, and Pope Gregory, from the battlements of the city, saw the captive Romans driven from the Campagna, roped together with halters around their necks on their way to slavery. The Pope made vigorous preparations for the defense of the city but no assault was made. One of the early chroniclers known as the Copenhagen Continuer of Prosper, says Agilulf relinquished the siege because he was melted by the prayers of Gregory. This statement has been doubted (Hodgkin, V, 372) and perhaps other cause, fever, disaffection, the impregnability of the place or the rebellion of the Langobard dukes may have led to his return. But the Pope began ot once to work for peace between Agilulf and the empire. The emperor Maurice and the exarch Romanus laid many obstacles in the way, and it was not until the death of Romanus and the succession of Callinicus that peace was concluded.


Chapter IX.

Gregory to Theudelinda, queen of the Langobards. We have learned from the report of our son, the abbot Probus, that your Excellency has devoted yourself, as you are wont, zealously and benevolently, to making peace. Nor was it to be expected otherwise from your Christianity but that you would show to all your labor and your goodness in the cause of peace. Wherefore we render thanks to Almighty God, who so rules your heart by His affection, that He has not only given you the true faith, but He also grants that you devote yourself always to the things that are pleasing to Him. For think not, most excellent daughter, that you have obtained but little reward for staying the blood which 157 would otherwise have been poured out upon both sides. On account of this thing we return thanks for your good will and invoke the mercy of our God that He may weigh out to you a requital of good things in body and soul, here and hereafter. Saluting you, moreover, with fatherly love, we exhort you that you so proceed with your most excellent husband that he may not reject the alliance of our Christian Republic. For, as we think you also know, it is expedient in many ways that he should be willing to betake himself to its friendship. Do you, therefore, according to your custom, ever busy yourself with the things that relate to the welfare of the parties and take pains to commend your good deeds more fully in the eyes of Almighty God, where an opportunity may be given to win His reward.”

Likewise his letter to king Agilulf: “Gregory to Agilulf, king of the Langobards. We render thanks to your Excellency that, hearing our petition, you have declared peace (as we had faith that you would), which will be of advantage to both parties. Wherefore we strongly praise the prudence and goodness of your Excellency, because in loving peace you show that you love God who is its author. If it had not been made, which God forbid! what could have happened but that the blood of the wretched peasants, whose labor helps us both, would be shed to the sin and ruin of both parties? But that we may feel the advantage of this same peace as it has been made by you, we pray, saluting you with fatherly love, that as often as occasion shall be given, you may by your letters admonish your dukes in various places and especially those stationed in these parts, 158 that they keep this peace inviolably, as has been promised, and that they do not seek for themselves opportunities from which may spring any strife or dissatisfaction, so that we may be able to render thanks for your good will. We have received indeed the bearers of these present letters, as being in fact your servants, in the affection which was due, because it was just that we should receive and dismiss with Christian love wise men who announced a peace made with God’s approval.”17


17  This letter is said to have been written Dec., 598 (Hodgkin, V, 419, note), though this was before the peace was finally concluded. Probably the preliminary negotiations had been then completed.


Chapter X.

Meanwhile, in the following month of January, a comet appeared morning and evening through the whole month. And in this month also John, archbishop of Ravenna, died and Marianus, a Roman citizen, was substituted in his place. Also Euin, duke of Trent, being dead, duke Gaidoald, a good man and a Catholic in religion, was assigned to that place. And in these same days, while the Bavarians, to the number of thirty thousand men, attacked the Slavs, the Cagan18 fell upon them and all were killed. Then for the first time wild 159 horses and buffaloes19 were brought into Italy, and were objects of wonder to the people of that country.


18  Thus the king of the Avars or Huns was called (Giansevero), and this is the probably meaning of the title in this place, but the term is also applied to the chiefs of the Russians or Muscovites (see Du Cange), hence perhaps here to the chief of the Slavs. It was a generic name like “Cæsar,” “Augustus,” “Flavius” among the Romans. The word “Khan” is evidently derived from it (Giansevero, p. 140).

19   Bubalus is probably [GREEK TEXT] “buffalo,” or possibly [GREEK TEXT], an African deer or antelope.


Chapter XI.

Also at this time Childepert, king of the Franks, in the twenty-fifth year of his age, was murdered, as is said, together with wife, by poison.20 The Huns, too, who are also called Avars, entered Thuringia from Pannonia and waged desperate wars with the Franks. Queen Brunihilde, with her grandsons Theudepert and Theuderic who were still little boys was then reigning over Gaul and the Huns took money from them and returned home. Also Gunthram, king of the Franks, died, and queen Brunihilde, with her grandsons, the sons of Childepert, who were still little children, assumed his royal authority.


20  A. D. 593 (Hodgkin, V, 345).


Chapter XII.

At the same time the Cagan, king of the Huns, sending messengers to Mediolanum (Milan) to Agilulf, made peace with him.21 Also the patrician Romanus died22 and Gallicinus23 succeeded him and entered into a treaty of peace with king Agilulf.24


21  Some time between 593 and 600 (Hodgkin, V, 422, note 3).

22  A. D. 596 or 597 (Hodgkin, V, 409).

23  His proper name was Callinicus (Hodgkin, V, 410).

24  This was the peace in regard to which Gregory wrote the preceding letters to Theudelinda and Agilulf. It was only a peace for two years (Hodgkin, V, 418, 420, 428).


Chapter XIII.

At this time also Agilulf made perpetual peace with Theuderic, king of the Franks. Afterwards king Ago put to death Zangrulf, duke of Verona, who rebelled against him. He also slew Gaidulf, duke of Pergamus (Bergamo), whom he had already spared twice. Also in like manner he put to death Warnecautius at Ticinum (Pavia).


Chapter XIV.

At a subsequent time a very severe plague again devastated Ravenna and those places which were around the shores of the sea. Also in the following year a great mortality wasted the people of Verona.


Chapter XV.

Then also a bloody sign was seen appearing in heaven, and as it were, bloody lances and a very brilliant light through the whole night. Theudepert king of the Franks at that time waged war with his cousin Clothar and violently overthrew his army.


Chapter XVI.

In the following year duke Ariulf who had succeeded Faruald25 at Spoletium (Spoleto) died. This Ariulf, when he had waged war against the Romans at Camerinum (Camerino)26 and had gotten the victory,27 began 161 to inquire of his men who that man was whom he had seen fighting so vigorously in the war he had waged. And when his men answered that they had not seen anyone there acting more bravely than the duke himself, he said: “Surely I saw another man there much and in every way better than I, and as often as any one of the opposite side attempted to strike me, that active man always protected me with his shield.” And when the duke himself had come near Spoletium (Spoleto) where stands the church of the blessed martyr, the bishop Savinus,28 in which his venerable body reposes, Ariulf asked to whom belonged this spacious abode. It was answered him by devout men that the martyr Savinus reposed there whom Christians were wont to invoke in their aid as often as they went to war against their enemies. And Ariulf, since up to this tme he was a heathen, thus answered: “And can it be that a dead man can give any aid to one living?” And when he had said this, he leaped down from his horse and went into the church to look at it. And then while the others were praying he began to admire the pictures of that 162 church. And when he had beheld the painted figure of the blessed martyr Savinus he straightway said and declared with an oath that that man who had protected him in battle had in every way such a form and bearing. Then it was understood that the blessed martyr Savinus had brought him help in battle. Upon the death of Ariulf, after two sons of Faroald the former duke had contended between themselves for the dukedom, one of them, Teudelapius by name, was crowned with victory and received the dukedom.29


25  Faruald died about 591 (Waitz). The name is also spelled Faroald, see infra.

26  A city of Picenum on the east side of the Apennines near the boundaries of Umbria.

27  The campaign of Ariulf, including probably a siege of Rome, had taken place some time before this in 592, and had ended in a partial peace concluded by Pope Gregory with the Langobard duke, due to the veneration aroused in the heart of Ariulf by a personal interview with the pontiff. This was the peace that exposed the pope to bitter reproaches at Constantinople (Hodgkin, VI, 93) and was possibly the occasion of the campaign of Romanus against the cities that had been taken by the Langobards (IV, 8, supra).

28  Hodgkin suggests (V, 365, note 3) that this may be a mistake as Savinus (or Sabinus) was patron saint, not of Spoleto but Camerino.

29  Ariulf died in 601, about ten years after his accession and king Agilulf appears to have had little hand in regulating the succession, since this was decided by battle between the two sons of Faruald. Teudelapius kept the dukedom of Spoleto for more than half a century (601-653), during which time there were four kings at Pavia (Hodgkin, VI, 95, 96).


Chapter XVII.

About this time the monastery of the blessed father Benedict which was situated in the stronghold of Casinum (Monte Cassino) was attacked at night by the Langobards,30 and although they plundered everything, they could not get hold of one of the monks. This was in fulfilment of a prophecy of the venerable father Benedict, which he had made long before, in which he said: “I have been able with difficulty to obtain from God that the souls from this place should be yielded to me.”31 163 The monks fled from this place and made their way to Rome carrying with them the manuscript of the Holy Rule (of the order) which the aforesaid father had composed, and certain other writings and also a pound of bread and a measure of wine, and whatever of their household goods they had been able to snatch away. Subsequently to the blessed Benedict indeed, Constantine governed that fraternity; after him Simplicius; after him Vitalis; finally Bonitus under whom this destruction occurred.


30  This attack actually occurred A. D. 589, not 601, the date of Ariulf’s death (Jacobi, 25, 26). Some historians indeed place it as early as 582 (Giansevero).

31  The whole prophecy was (see Dialogues, Gregory the Great, II, chap. 17), “All this monastery that I have built and all things that I prepared for the brothers, have been delivered to the heathen by the judgment of God Almighty. I have been able with difficulty, etc.”


Chapter XVIII.

On the death of Zotto, duke of Beneventum (Benevento),32 Arigis (or Arichis), sent by king Agilulf, succeeded to his place. He had come originally from Forum Julii (Cividale) and had educated the sons of Gisulf,33 duke of Forum Julii (Friuli), and was a blood 164 relation of that same Gisulf. There exists a letter of the blessed Pope Gregory to this Arigis drawn up in the following terms:


32  A. D. 591. He had pushed his ravages far into Apulia, Lucania, and Calabria, apparently acting independently of the Langobard kingdom in the north of Italy (Hodgkin, VI, 73).

33  Arichis was duke in 591, as appears from a letter of Gregory the Great (Epist., II, 46). How then could Grimoald, the son of Gisulf, who was a little boy during the Avar invasion of 610 (IV, 37, infra), have been one of his pupils before 591? Even Grimoald’s elder brothers Taso and Cacco were young enough for the eldest to be adopted by the exarch after his father’s death about 612, and could hardly have been born before 585, six years before Arichis became duke of Beneventum. Hodgkin believes (VI, 74, note) that it was the children of an earlier generation whom Arichis instructed, perhaps the children of Grasulf I, and that afterwards, when Arichis received the two young princes Radoald and Grimoald his court (IV, 39, infra), it was the sons of one of his old pupils that he welcomed to Beneventum. Other commentators believe that Paul was altogether wrong.

Arichis practically acted as an independent sovereign, making war with Naples and Rome, and king Agilulf could not conclude a peace with the empire till Arichis assented. When Arichis died the king of the Langobards does not seem to have been consulted in the appointment of his successor (Hodgkin, VI, 75).


Chapter XIX.

Gregory to Duke Arogis34:

“Since we trust in your Highness as indeed in our own son, we are moved to make a request of you in a way confidentially, thinking that you will not at all suffer us to be disappointed, especially in a matter from which your soul may be greatly benefitted. We inform you then that a considerable number of wooden beams are needful to us for the churches of the blessed Peter and Paul, and therefore we have enjoined our sub-deacon Savinus to cut a number in the region of Brittii (Calabria) and to bring them to a suitable place by the sea. And because he needs assistance in this thing, we ask, saluting your Highness with paternal love, that you should charge your managers35 who are in that place 165 to send the men who are under them with their oxen to his assistance, so that with your aid he can the better perform what we have enjoined upon him. And we promise that when the thing is finished, we will send to you a worthy gift which will not be displeasing, for we know how to regard and to recompense our sons who show us good will. Whence we ask again, illustrious son, that you should so act that we can be debtors to you for the favor shown and that you may have a reward for (your services to) the churches of the saints.”


34  Spelled thus in the oldest manuscripts and also in the letters of Gregory.

35  Actionarii. These were subordinate officials of the king who stood in rank under the gastaldi, and appear to have had charge of particular domains of the king, or (in Benevento and Spoleto) of the duke (Pabst, 493).


Chapter XX.

In these days the daughter of king Agilulf was taken from the city of Parma, together with her husband named Gudescalc (Gottschalk), by the army of the patrician Gallicinus (Callinicus), and they were brought to the city of Ravenna. At this time also king Agilulf sent to the Cagan, the king of the Avars, workmen for the making of ships with which that Cagan afterwards conquered a certain island in Thrace.36


36  Although these shipwrights were probably Romans, the incident shows the general acceptance by the Langobards of the industrial arts of the people they had conquered. The history of these changes is given in Hartmann, II, 2, chap. 1, in detail, see pp. 19-32. See also chap. 22, infra, where their change in dress is noted.


Chapter XXI.

At the same time queen Theudelinda dedicated the church of St. John the Baptist, which she had built in Modicia (Monza), a place which is twelve miles above Mediolanum (Milan). And she decorated it with many ornaments of gold and silver and endowed it amply with estates. In this place also Theuderic, the former king of the Goths, had constructed his palace, because the place, since it is near the Alps, is temperate and healthful in summer time.


Chapter XXII.

There also the aforesaid queen built herself a palace, in which she caused to be painted something of the achievements of the Langobards. In this painting it is clearly shown in what way the Langobards at that time cut their hair and what was their dress and what their appearance. They shaved the neck, and left it bare up to the back of the head, having their hair hanging down on the face as far as the mouth and parting it on either side by a part in the forehead. Their garments were loose and mostly linen, such as the Anglo-Saxons are wont to wear,37 ornamented with broad borders woven in various colors. Their shoes, indeed, were open almost up to the tip of the great toe, and were held on by shoe latchets interlacing alternately. But later they began to wear trousers,38 over which they put leggins of shaggy 167 woolen cloth39 when they rode. But they had taken that from a custom of the Romans.


37  This is said to be the first appearance in literature of the word “Anglo-Saxon” (Hodgkin, V, 154, note 4).

38  The monk of Salerno says that king Adaloald (A. D. 616-626) was the first who wore trousers (Abel, note).

39  Tubrugos birreos. Hodgkin considers (V, 154, 155) that the explanation quoted in Waitz’s note “Byrrus vestis est amphimallus villosus” (having the nap on both sides), according to which the birrus was a sort of waterproof cape thrown over other garments when it rained, seems to throw the most light on this passage. (See Du Cange).


Chapter XXIII.

Up to this time the city of Patavium (Padua) had rebelled against the Langobards, the soldiers resisting very bravely. But at last when fire was thrown into it, it was all consumed by the devouring flames and was razed to the ground by command of king Agilulf. The soldiers, however, who were in it were allowed to return to Ravenna.


Chapter XXIV.

At this time the ambassadors of Agilulf who returned from the Cagan announced a perpetual peace made with the Avars. Also an ambassador of the Cagan came with them and proceeded to Gaul, demanding of the kings of the Franks that they should keep peace with the Langobards the same as with the Avars. Meanwhile the Langobards invaded the territories of the Istrians40 with the Avars and the Slavs, and laid waste everything with burnings and plunderings.


40  Istria still remained under Byzantine dominion up to the year 751 (Abel). This raid was probably about 601 (Hodgkin, V, 430, note 1).


Chapter XXV.

There was then born to Agilulf the king, by his queen Theudelinda, in the palace of Modicia (Monza), a son who was called Adaloald. At a subsequent time the Langobards attacked the fortress of Mons Silicis (Monselice).41 During the same period, at Ravenna, after Gallicinus (Callinicus) had been driven away, Smaragdus, who had before been patriarch of Ravenna, returned.42


41  A little south of Padua (Abel).

42  A. D. 602 (Hodgkin, V, 431).


Chapter XXVI.

Then the emperor Maurice, after he had ruled the empire twenty-one years, was killed, together with his sons Theodosius and Tiberius and Constantine, by Focas (Phocas) who was the master of horse of Priscus the patrician. But he had been very useful to the state for he had often obtained victory when contending against the enemy. The Huns, too, who are also called Avars, were subjugated by his prowess.43


43  During the reign of Maurice a radical change began to take place in the permanent government of those parts of Italy which remained subject to Byzantium. The invasion of the Langobards, which was at first believed to be a mere temporary incursion, had been followed by their settlement in the country, and although Maurice would not abandon the hope of expelling them, it was found more and more necessary to accept their presence as a permanent condition. The continual wars had given rise to special military jurisdiction conferred upon the chief officers of the empire, which was temporary at first, then often renewed, and at last permanent. The exarch remained the personal representative of the emperor, with full powers, including the right to conclude a temporary truce with the Langobards, though not a lasting peace and alliance (Hartmann, II, 1, 125). The frontier towns were fortified and permanent garrisons were established in them which were recruited from the neighborhood; the civil municipalities became transformed into military governments; each of the larger fortified places had a tribune as a special commandant of the city, and the tribunes were under the authority of a magister militum or of a duke who commanded the frontier district and who was named by the exarch. These officers gradually took the place of the former provincial civil governors, and a military corporation, the numerus, succeeded the municipality (id., pp. 126 to 135). The military officials began to acquire extensive landed interests, the remnant of small land-owners became more completely subject to the large proprietors, and the foundations of something which afterwards resembled a feudal tenure began to be laid (p. 136). Under Phocas the relations between Italy and Constantinople became greatly relaxed and there was a decided weakening of the imperial power. Commerce suffered in the general disorganization of the empire, and the means of communication were neglected. On the other hand there was a growing disposition to come to terms with the Langobards, although as yet an armistice for a limited time, but often renewed, was all the concession that could be made, as the emperor was apparently still unwilling to recognize the permanency of Langobard domination (id., 198, 199). The exarch Smaragdus, whom Phocas had sent to Italy, co-operated more heartily than his predecessors with the pope (id., 200), and the new emperor issued a decree upholding the authority and primacy of the Roman See (Paul, IV, 36, infra). Active proceedings were renewed against he schismatics of Istria and Venetia, whose bishops now betook themselves to the protection of duke Gisulf of Friuli and of king Agilulf. The schismatic bishop John was consecrated as their patriarch in Cividale and the empire lost their support (IV, 33, infra, Hartmann, II, 1, 201). We even find some of them afterwards taking part on the side of the Arian king Arioald against the Catholic Adaloald in the contest for the Langobard crown (id., p. 208).


Chapter XXVII.

Gaidoald[,] duke of Tridentum (Trent) and Gisulf of 170 Forum Julii (Friuli), who were previously separated by strife from the companionship of king Agilulf, were taken back by him this year in peace.44 Then also was the above-named boy Adaloald, the son of king Agilulf, baptized in St. John in Modicia (Monza)45 and was received from the font46 by Secundus of Trent, a servant of Christ of whom we have often made mention.47 The day of the Easter festival was at that time on the seventh day before the ides of April (April 7).


44  If the year refers to the death of Maurice, it is 602; if it be connected with the baptism of Adaloald, that occurred in 603 (Hodgkin, VI, 34, note 1).

45  Probably April 7, 603 (Hodgkin, V, 430, note 3).

46  As his godson.

47  Only once (III, 29, supra) and once afterwards (IV, 40, infra), but a great part of this book seems to be taken from his work. This baptism was a triumph for the Catholic faith over Arianism. Agilulf’s predecessor Authari had forbidden the Langobard nobles to have their children baptized by Catholics (Hodgkin, V, 430).


Chapter XXVIII.

In these days the Langobards still had a quarrel with the Romans on account of the captivity of the king’s daughter.48 For this reason king Agilulf departed from Mediolanum (Milan) in the month of July, besieged the city of Cremona with the Slavs whom the Cagan, king of the Avars, had sent to his assistance and took it 171 on the twelfth day before calends of September (August 21st)49 and razed it to the ground. In like manner he also assaulted Mantua, and having broken through its walls with battering-rams he entered it on the ides (13th) of September,50 and granted the soldiers who were in it the privilege of returning to Ravenna. Then also the fortress which is called Vulturina (Valdoria)51 surrendered to the Langobards; the soldiers indeed fled, setting fire to the town of Brexillus (Brescello).52 When these things were accomplished, the daughter of the king was restored by Smaragdus the patrician with her husband and children and all her property. In the ninth month peace was made up to the calends (first) of April of the eighth indiction.53 The daughter of the king, indeed, presently returned from Ravenna to Parma; but she died immediately in the perils of a difficult child-birth. In this year54 Teudepert and Theuderic, kings of the Franks, fought with their paternal uncle Clothar and in this struggle many thousands fell on both sides.


48  See chapter 20, supra.

49  A. D. 603 (Hodgkin, V, 432).

50  A. D. 603 (id.)

51  Hodgkin (V, 432) places it on the northern bank of the Po not far from Parma, which is probably correct. Thus Waitz. Giansevero, p. 134, believes that a castle named Vulturena at the upper end of lake Como at the entrance of the Valtellina is intended.

52  Or as Waitz calls it, Bersello, and adds that it is not far from Reggio (d’ Emilia). It was a town on the Po about ten miles from Parma (Hodgkin, V, 432; see III, 18, supra).

53  April 1st, 605. This indiction began with the first of September, 604.

54  A. D. 605 (Waitz).


Chapter XXIX.

Then also in the second year of the reign of Focas (Phocas), during the eighth indiction, the blessed Pope Gregory journeyed to Christ.55 In his place Savinianus was appointed to the office of the papacy.56 There was then a very cold winter and the vines died in nearly every place. Also the crops failed, partly destroyed by mice and partly smitten by the blight. And indeed the world was then bound to suffer from famine and drouth when, upon the departure of so great a leader, a lack of spiritual nourishment and the dryness of thirst attacked the souls of men. I may well put a few things in this little work from a certain letter of this same blessed Pope Gregory that it may more clearly be known how humble this man was and of how great innocence and holiness. When then he had been accused by emperor Maurice and his sons57 of killing in prison for money a cetain bishop Malchus, he wrote a letter on this subject to Savinianus his legate, who was at Constantinople, and said to him among other things the following: “There is one thing you may briefly suggest to our Most Serene Lords, that if I, their servant, had chosen to mix myself up with the death even of Langobards, the people of the Langobards would to-day have neither king nor dukes nor counts and would be split 173 up in the utmost confusion. But because I fear God I dread to take part in the death of any man. This bishop Malchus indeed was neither in prison nor in any suffering but on the day on which he pleaded his cause and was adjudged, he was taken without my knowledge, by Boniface, a notary, to his home to dine there and was honorably treated by him and at night he suddenly died.” Look! how great was the humility of this man who called himself a servant when he was the supreme pontiff! how great was his innocence, when he was unwilling to take part in the death of Langobards who indeed were unbelievers and were plundering everything!


55  Paul, following Bede as his authority, errs as to this date. Gregory died March, 604, in the seventh indiction — Phocas began to reign near the end of 602 in the sixth indiction (Waitz).

56  Apostolicatus (see Du Cange, tit. Apostolicus.

57  I read filios for filio.


Chapter XXX.

In the following summer then,58 in the month of July, Adaloald was raised as a king over the Langobards, in the circus at Mediolanum (Milan) in the presence of his father, king Agilulf, and while the ambassadors of Teudepert, king of the Franks59 were standing by; and the daughter of king Teudepert was betrothed to the same royal youth and perpetual peace was established with the Franks.60


58  A. D. 604. Paul must have been mistaken in this date since Pope Gregory in Dec., 603, had written to Theudelinda sending certain gifts to “Adaloald the king” (Hodgkin, V, 447).

59  Teudepert II, king of Austrasia (Hodgkin, VI, 108).

60  A few years later (A D. 607) Agilulf joined Teudepert as well as Clothar of Neustria, and Witterich, king of the Visigoths in an alliance against Theuderic II, of Burgundy, who had repudiated and divorced the daughter of Witterich. There is no record of the result of this alliance and in 612 war broke out again. Theuderic overcame Teudepert and put him to death, but what became of his daughter, the affianced bride of Adaloald, we are not informed. Theuderic then turned against Clothar, but suddenly died, leaving four illegitimate children. The eldest of these was Sigibert and in his name, his great grandmother, the old queen Brunihilde aspired to rule over Burgundy and Austrasia, but Arnulf, bishop of Metz, and Pepin, a great noble, went over to the side of Clothar, and in 613 Brunihilde and her great-grandchild were captured. She was tied to a vicious horse and trampled to death (Hodgkin, VI, 108-110).


Chapter XXXI.

At the same time the Franks fought with the Saxons and there was a great slaughter on both sides. At Ticinum (Pavia) also, in the church of St. Peter the Apostle, Peter the director of the choir61 was struck by lightning.


61  Cantor who instructed the choristers and younger clerks in music and directed the singing of the service. Sometimes this office was of considerable dignity and had a prebend attached to it. See Du Cange.

[174 ]

Chapter XXXII.

Afterwards, on the following month of November, king Agilulf made peace with the Smaragdus the patrician for one year, receiving from the Romans62 twelve thousand solidi.63 Cities of Tuscany too, that is, Balneus Regis64 (Bagnarea) and Urbs Vetus65 (Orvieto) were 175 seized by the Langobards.66 Then also in the month of April and May there appeared in the heavens a star which they call a comet. Afterwards king Agilulf again made peace with the Romans for three years.67


62  That is, the Greeks (Waitz).

63  See III, 17, note 2, supra, as to the value of the solidus.

64  “The King’s Bath.”

65  “Old City.” Both these places were afterwards in the States of the Church.

66  The seizure of these cities seems to have been in April, 605, before the commencement of the year of truce just mentioned (see Hartmann, II, 1, 197) which began in November of that year.

67  607 to 610 (Hartmann, II 1, 197).


Chapter XXXIII.

In these days after the death of the patriarch Severus, the abbot John was ordained in his place68 as patriarch in old Aquileia with the consent of the king and of duke Gisulf. In Gradus (Grado) also Candidianus was ordained bishop by the Romans.69 Again in the months of November and December a comet appeared. When Candidianus also died, Epiphanius, who had been chief of the secretaries,70 was ordained patriarch of Gradus by the bishops who were under the Romans. And from that time there began to be two patriarchs.71


68  In the Chronicle of the Patriarchs of New Aquileia (see Monticolo’s ed., 1890, p. 9), Marcianus is placed betewen Severus and John, and it is stated that he held the office 3 years, 1 month and 5 days. Otherwise the list corresponds with that of Paul (Cipolla in Atti del Congresso in Cividale, 1899, p. 130).

69  Antistes, a name given, not only to bishops and abbots, but also to priors and then to parish priests. Andrea Dandolo, a doge and chronicler of Venice in the 14th century, says that Marcianus preceded Candidianus (see Dandolo’s Chronicle, Bk. VI, Ch. 3).

70  Primacerius notariorum, Abel translates “Papal chief notary.”

71  The division in the patriarchate was due to the schism in regard to the Three Chapters (III, 20 and 26, supra). The effect of the division was to throw the schismatics into the arms of the Langobards. The patriarch John, mentioned in the text, complained to Agilulf of the persecutions of the Greeks and said that three Istrian bishops had been dragged away by imperial soldiers and forced to hold communion with Candidianus at Grado, and he asked the king, now that that worthless man had gone to eternal torment, to prevent a new patriarch from being ordained at Grado. This, however, was not done. Some time later, one Fortunatus was made patriarch there, and being at heart a schismatic, he seized the treasure of the church and fled to the mainland, where he was made patriarch of Aquileia and the Langobards were asked in vain to give back the treasure. Finally the emperor Heraclius sent a large sum of money to Grado to make up for the loss (Hodgkin, V, 482, 483).


Chapter XXXIV.

At this time John of Consia72 (Conza) took possession of Naples, but not many days afterwards Eleutherius, the patrician, drove him from that city and killed him. After these things that same patrician Eleutherius, a eunuch, assumed the rights of sovereignty. While he was proceeding from Ravenna to Rome he was killed73 in the fortress of Luceoli74 by the soldiers and his head was brought to the emperor at Constantinople.75


72  Or “Compsa,” a city in ancient Samnium on the Aufidus.

73  Paul places the death of John of Consia and Eleutherius 10 or 12 years too early. According to the Liber Pontificalis, Eleutherius was killed A. D. 619 (Jacobi, 53), after Agilulf’s death. See Hodgkin, VI, 156.

74  Or “Luciuolo,” which is believed to be located between Gubbio and Cagli, hence north of Perugia and south of Urbino (Muratori Ann., 4, 40).

75  The usurpation of Eleutherius was one of a series of efforts to separate Italy from the East, occasioned by the growing weakness of the empire. The exarch John, the immediate successor of Smaragdus had been killed with a number of other officers, and Eleutherius his successor had punished those who had been guilty of the crime, and had then become involved in an unsuccessful war with the Langobards with whom he had concluded an armistice in consideration of an annual tribute of 500 pounds of gold. Now he raised the standard of revolt with the design of establishing a new Western empire with Rome as its capital. He assumed the purple in Ravenna, and intended to be crowned in that city, but changed his purpose and was proceeding to Rome for his coronation when he was killed (Hartmann, II, 1, 202, 203).


Chapter XXXV.

Also at this time king Agilulf sent his secretary Stablicianus to Constantinople to the emperor Focas, and when he returned with the ambassadors of the emperor, peace was made for a year, and the ambassadors presented to king Agilulf imperial gifts.76


76  This is the first instance of direct negotiations between the Langobards and Constantinople. Prior to this a truce had been made on several occasions with the exarch. These “imperial gifts” were probably in the nature of a tribute (Hartmann, II, 1, 198).


Chapter XXXVI.

Focas then, as has been already set forth, usurped the sovereignty of the Romans after the death of Maurice and his sons, and reigned during the course of eight years. Because the church of Constantinople was calling itself in writing the first of all churches, he ordained, at the request of Pope Boniface,77 that the See of 178 the Roman and Apostolic Church should be the head of all. He commanded, at the request of another Pope Boniface,78 that the Church of the Ever-blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Martyrs should be established in the old temple which was called the Pantheon, after all the uncleannesses of idolatry had been removed, so that where formerly the worship, not of all the gods, but of all the devils was performed, there at last there should be a memorial of all the saints. At this time the Prasini and the Veneti79 carried on a civil war throughout 179 the East and Egypt and destroyed each other with mutual slaughter. The Persians also waged a very severe war against the empire, took away many provinces of the Romans, including Jerusalem itself,80 and destroying churches and profaning holy things they carried off among the ornaments of places sacred and secular, even the banner of the cross of Christ. Heraclian, who was governing Africa, rebelled against this Focas and coming with his army, deprived him of his sovereignty and his life, and Heraclius, the son of Heraclian, undertook the government of the Roman state.81


77  Boniface III, A. D. 606, 607 (Abel).

78  Boniface IV, A. D. 606-615 (Abel).

79  So called from the colors of the contestants in the circus. At first a chariot race was a contest of two chariots with drivers in white and red liveries. Two additional colors, a light green (prasinus) and a cerulean blue (venetus = caeruleus, “the sky reflected in the sea) were afterwards introduced. The four factions soon aquired a legal establishment and their fanciful colors typified the various appearances of nature in the four seasons, or according to another interpretation, the struggle of the green and blue represented the conflict of the earth and sea. These contests disturbed the spectacles in the circus of imperial Rome and later, raged with redoubled fury in the hippodrome of Constantinople. Under Anastasius the Greens massacred at a solemn festival three thousand of the opposite faction. The Blues, favored by Justinian I, were the authors of widespread disorders and outrages at the capital, and in 532 a sedition called that of Nika was excited by the mutual hatred and momentary reconciliation of these factions, in which many of the most important buildings of the city were consumed, some thirty thousand persons slain, and the reign of Justinian himself was brought to the brink of destruction. The hippodrome closed for a time but when it was opened again the disorders were renewed (Gibbon, ch. 40), and the text shows how widespread were the disturbances some three-quarters of a century later.

80  This actually occurred later (A. D. 614) under Heraclius (Giansevero).

81  A. D. 610 (Hartmann, II, 1, 200).


Chapter XXXVII.

About these times the king of the Avars, whom they call Cagan in their language, came with a countless multitude and invaded the territories of Venetia.82 Gisulf the duke of Forum Julii (Friuli) boldly came to meet him with all the Langobards he could get, but although 180 he waged war with a few against an immense multitude with indomitable courage, nevertheless, he was surrounded on every side, and killed with nearly all his followers. The wife of this Gisulf, by name Romilda, together with the Langobards who had escaped and the wives and children of those who had perished in war, fortified herself83 within the enclosures of the walls of the fortress of Forum Julii (Cividale). She had two sons, Taso and Cacco, who were already growing youths and Raduald and Grimuald, who were still in the age of boyhood. And she had also four daughters, of whom one was called Appa and another Galla, but of two we do not preserve the names. The Langobards had also fortified themselves in other fortresses which were near these, that is, in Cormones (Cormons), Nemas (Nimis), Osopus (Ossopo),84 Artenia (Artegna),85 Reunia (Ragogna), Glemona (Gemona),86 and also in Ibligis (Iplis)87 whose position was in every way impregnable. Also in the same way they fortified themselves in the remaining castles, so that they should not become the prey of the Huns, that is, of the Avars. But the Avars, roaming through all the territories of Forum Julii, devastating everything with burnings and plunderings, shut up by siege the town of Forum Julii and strove with all their 181 might to capture it. While their king, that is the Cagan, was ranging around the walls in full armor with a great company of horsemen to find out from what side he might more easily capture the city, Romilda gazed upon him from the walls, and when she beheld him in the bloom of his youth, the abominable harlot was seized with desire for him and straightway sent word to him by a messenger that if he would take her in marriage she would deliver to him the city with all who were in it. The barbarian king, hearing this, promised her with wicked cunning that he would do what she had enjoined and vowed to take her in marriage. She then without delay opened the gates of the fortress of Forum Julii and let in the enemy to her own ruin and that of all who were there. The Avars indeed with their king, having entered Forum Julii, laid waste with their plunderings everything they could discover, consumed in flames the city itself, and carried away as captives everybody they found, falsely promising them, however, to settle them in the territories of Pannonia, from which they had come. When on their return to their country they had come to the plain they called Sacred,88 they decreed that all the Langobards who had attained full age should perish by the sword, and they divided the women and children in the lot of captivity. But Taso and Cacco and Raduald, the sons of Gisulf and Romilda, when they knew the evil intention of the Avars, straightway mounted their horses and took flight. One of them 182 when he thought that his brother Grimoald, a little boy, could not keep himself upon a running horse, since he was so small, considered it better that he should perish by the sword than bear the yoke of captivity, and wanted to kill him. When therefore, he lifted his lance to pierce him through, the boy wept and cried out, saying: “Do not strike me for I can keep on a horse.” And his brother, seizing him by the arm, put him upon the bare back of a horse and urged him to stay there if he could; and the boy, taking the rein of the horse in his hand, followed his fleeing brothers. The Avars, when they learned this, mounted their horses and followed them, but although the others escaped by swift fight, the little boy Grimoald was taken by one of those who had run up most swiftly. His captor, however, did not deign to strike him with the sword on account of his slender age, but rather kept him to be his servant. And returning to the camp, he took hold of the bridle of the horse, and led the boy away, and exulted over so noble a booty — for he was a little fellow of elegant form with gleaming eyes and covered with long blonde hair — and when the boy grieved that he was carried away as a captive,

Pondering mighty thoughts within his diminutive bosom,89

he took out of the scabbard a sword, such as he was able to carry at that age, and struck the Avar who was leading him, with what little strength he could, on the 183 top of the head. Straightway the blow passed through to the skull and the enemy was thrown from his horse. And the boy Grimoald turned his own horse around and took flight, greatly rejoicing, and at last joined his brothers and gave them incalculable joy by his escape and by announcing, moreover, the destruction of his enemy. The Avars now killed by the sword all the Langobards who were already of the age of manhood, but the women and children they consigned to the yoke of captivity. Romilda, indeed, who had been the head of all this evil-doing, the king of the Avars, on account of his oath, kept for one night as if in marriage as he had promised her, but upon the next he turned her over to twelve Avars, who abused her through the whole night with their lust, succeeding each other by turns. Afterwards too, ordering a stake to be fixed in the midst of a field, he commanded her to be impaled upon the point of it, uttering these words, moreover, in reproach: “It is fit you should have such a husband.” Therefore the detestable betrayer of her country who looked out for her own lust more than for the preservation of her fellow citizens and kindred, perished by such a death. Her daughters, indeed, did not follow the sensual inclination of their mother, but striving from love of chastity not to be contaminated by the barbarians, they put the flesh of raw chickens under the band between their breasts, and this, when putrified by the heat, gave out an evil smell. And the Avars, when they wanted to touch them, could not endure the stench that they thought was natural to them, but moved far away from them with cursing, saying that all the Langobard 184 women had a bad smell. By this stratagem then the noble girls, escaping from the lust of the Avars, not only kept themselves chaste, but handed down a useful example for preserving chastity if any such thing should happen to women hereafter. And they were afterwards sold throughout various regions and secured worthy marriages on account of their noble birth; for one of them is said to have wedded a king of the Alamanni, and another, a prince of the Bavarians.

The topic now requires me to postpone my general history and relate also a few matters of a private character concerning the genealogy of myself who write these things, and because the case so demands, I must go back a little earlier in the order of my narrative. At the time when the nation of the Langobards came from Pannonia to Italy, my great-great-grandfather Leupchis of the same nation of Langobards came with them in like manner. When he ended his last day after he had lived some years in Italy, he left five sons begotten by him who were still little boys. That misfortune of captivity of which we have spoken included these, and they were all carried away as exiles from the fortress of Forum Julii into the country of the Avars. After they had borne in that region for many years the misery of bondage, and had already come to the age of manhood, although the four others, whose names we do not retain, remained in the constraint of captivity, the fifth brother, Lopichis by name, who was afterwards our great-grandfather, determined (at the inspiration we believe of the Author of Mercy) to cast off the yoke of bondage, and to direct his course to Italy, where he had remembered 185 that the race of the Langobards was settled, and he made an effort to regain the rights of freedom. When he had gone and betaken himself to flight, carrying only a quiver and bow and a little food for the journey, and did not at all know whither he was proceeding, a wolf came to him and became the companion of his journey and his guide. Seeing that it proceeded before him, and often looked behind and stood with him when he stood, and went ahead when he advanced, he understood that it had been given to him from heaven to show him the way, of which he was ignorant. When they had proceeded in this manner for some days through the solitudes of the mountains, the bread, of which the traveler had had very little, wholly failed him. While he went on his way fasting, and had already become faint with exhaustion from hunger, he drew his bow and attempted to kill with his arrow this same wolf so that he could use it for food. But the wolf, avoiding the stroke that he cast, slipped away from his sight. And he, not knowing whither to proceed, when this wolf had gone away, and made very weak moreover by the privation of hunger, now despaired of his life, and throwing himself upon the earth, he went to sleep. And he saw in his dreams a certain man saying to him the following words: “Arise! why are you sleeping? Take your way in that direction opposite to which your feet are turned, for there is Italy which you are seeking.” And straightway rising he began to proceed in that direction which he had heard in his dreams, and without delay he came to a dwelling place of men; for there was a settlement of Slavs in those places. 186 And when an elderly woman now saw him, she straightway understood that he was a fugitive and suffering from the privation of hunger. And taking pity upon him, she hid him in her dwelling and secretly furnished him food, a little at a time, lest she should put an end to his life altogether if she should give him nourishment to repletion. In fine, she thus supplied him skillfully with food until he was restored and got his strength. And when she saw that he was now able to pursue his journey, she gave him provisions and told him in what direction he ought to go. After some days he entered Italy and came to the house in which he had been born, which was so deserted that not only did it have no roof but it was full of brambles and thorns. And when he had cut them down he found within the walls a large ash-tree, and hung his quiver upon it. He was afterwards provided with gifts by his relatives and friends, and rebuilt his house and took a wife. But he could obtain nothing of the property his father had had, being now excluded by those who had appropriated it through long and continuous possession. This man, as I already said before, was my great-grandfather, and he begot my grandfather Arichis,90 and Arichis, my father Warnefrit, and Warnefrit, from Theudelinda his wife, begot me, Paul, and my brother Arichis who was named after my grandfather.91 These few things having been considered 187 concerning the chain of my own genealogy, now let us return to the thread of the general history.


82  The date usually assigned to the Avar invasion is 611, though some place it as early as 602. Phocas reigned from 602 to 610. If the death of Severus, patriarch of Aquileia, occurred in 606, the Avar invasion took place after that date, since Gisulf concurred in the nomination of his successor (Hodgkin, VI, 51, note). The previous relations between the Langobards and Avars had been of the most friendly character. There had been treaties of alliance, joint invasions of Istria, injunctions sent by the Avars to the Franks to keep peace with the Langobards and Agilulf had furnished the Cagan with shipwrights for a naval expedition against the Eastern empire (IV, 24, 20, supra; Hodgkin, VI, 50, 51, note).

83  I insert se after muniit.

84  On the river Tagliamento (Waitz).

85  In Carnia (Waitz).

86  In Friuli (Waitz).

87  Near Cividale on the way to Cormons (Waitz). According to others, Invilino (Abel).

88  The Sacred Plain has not been identified (Hodgkin, VI, 53, note 2).

89  Virgil, Georgics, IV, 83, where it is applied to the soldier bees. In Paul’s quotation versant is changed to versans.

90  Henry.

91  Paul has probably omitted some links in his family genealogy. Four generations are very few for the period between Leupchis who came into Italy with Alboin, 568, and Paul, who was born between 720 and 730. It is remarkable too that Leupchis, a grown man in 568, should leave five little children at the time of the Avar invasion in 610 (Hodgkin, VI, 58, note 1).


Chapter XXXVIII.

After the death, as we said, of Gisulf, duke of Forum Julii, his sons Taso and Cacco undertook the government of this dukedom. They possessed in their time the territory of the Slavs which is named Zellia (Gail-thal),92 up to the place which is called Medaria (Windisch Matrei), hence, those same Slaves, up to the time of duke Ratchis, paid tribute to the dukes of Forum Julii. Gregory the patrician of the Romans killed these two brothers in the city of Opitergium (Oderzo) by crafty treachery. For he promised Taso that he would cut his beard,93 as is the custom, and make him his son, and this Taso, with Cacco his brother, and some chosen youths came to Gregory fearing no harm. When presently he had entered Opitergium with his followers, straightway the patrician ordered the gates of the city to be closed and sent armed soldiers against Taso and his companions. Taso with his followers perceiving this, boldly prepared for a fight, and when a moment of quiet was given, they bade each other a last farewell, 188 and scattered hither and thither through the different streets of the city, killing whomsoever they could find in their way, and while they made great slaughter of the Romans, they also were slain at last. But Gregory the patrician, on account of the oath he had given, ordered the head of Taso to be brought to him, and, perjured though he was, cut off his beard as he had promised.94


92  Hodgkin, VI, 59, note, and Hartmann, II, 1, 236. The valley of the Gail in Carinthia and eastern Tyrol.

93  A ceremony indicating that he whose beard is shaved and whose hair is cut has arrived at the state of manhood. Thus king Liutprand performed a similar ceremony for the son of Charles Martel (Book VI, Chap. 53, infra).

94  Fredegarius (IV, 69) tells a story (which is considered by some to be variation of this) as to the murder of Taso, duke of Tuscany, by the patrician Isaac. King Arioald offered Isaac to remit one of the three hundredweights of gold which the empire paid yearly to the Langobards if he would kill Taso, who was a rebel (see chap. 49). Isaac invited Taso to Ravenna with a troop of warriors who were prevailed upon to leave their arms outside the walls, and when they entered the city they were assassinated. The tribute was accordingly reduced. Soon afterwards Arioald died. As Arioald reigned from 626 to 636 and Isaac did not become exarch until 630, this story can not be reconciled with Paul’s account of an event which must have happened many years earlier. Either Fredegarius got hold of an inaccurate version, or the coincidence of name is accidental and the story relates to some different event (Hodgkin, VI, 59, 60, note 2; Pabst, 429).


Chapter XXXIX.

When they were thus killed, Grasulf, the brother of Gisulf, was made duke of Forum Julii.95 But Radoald and Grimoald, as they were now close to the age of manhood, held it in contempt to live under the power of their uncle Grasulf, and they embarked in a little boat and came rowing to the territories of Beneventum. 189 Then hastening to Arichis, duke of the Beneventines, their former preceptor, they were received by him most kindly and treated by him in the place of sons. In these times, upon the death of Tassilo, duke of the Bavarians, his son Garibald was conquered by the Slavs at Aguntum (Innichen), and the territories of the Bavarians were plundered. The Bavarians, however, having recovered their strength, took away the booty from their foes and drove their enemies from their territories.


95  De Rubeis (Appendix, p. 63) says this occurred A. D. 616.


Chapter XL.

King Agilulf, indeed, made peace with the emperor for one year, and again for another, and also renewed a second time the bond of peace with the Franks. In this year, nevertheless, the Slavs grievously devastated Istria after killing the soldiers who defended it. Also in the following month of March, Secundus, a servant of Christ of whom we have already often spoken, died at Tridentum (Trent). He composed a brief history of the deeds of the Langobards up to his time.96 At that time king Agilulf again made peace with the emperor. In those days Theudepert, king of the Franks, was also killed, and a very severe battle occurred among them. Gunduald too, the brother of queen Theudelinda, who was duke in the city of Asta (Asti), died at this time, struck by an arrow, but no one knew the author of his death.


96  After the death of Secundus in 612 Paul’s source for the history of Trent becomes exhausted and we hear little more about that duchy.


Chapter XLI.

Then king Agilulf, who was called Ago, after he had reigned twenty-five years, ended his last day,97 and his son Adaloald, who was still a boy, was left in the sovereignty with Theudelinda his mother. Under them the churches were restored and many gifts were bestowed upon the holy places. But when Adaloald, after he had reigned with his mother ten years, lost his reason and became insane, he was cast out of the sovereignty,98 and 191 Arioald was substituted by the Langobards in his place.99 Concerning the acts of this king hardly anything has come to our knowledge.100 About these times the holy 192 Columban, sprung from the race of Scots, after he had built a monastery in Gaul in the place called Luxovium (Luxeuil), came into Italy,101 and was kindly received by the king of the Langobards, and built a convent in the Cottian Alps which is called Bobium (Bobbio) and is forty miles distant from the city of Ticinum.102 In this 193 place also many possession were bestowed by particular princes and Langobards, and there was established there a great community of monks.


97  Probably 615 or 616 (Waitz; Hodgkin, VI, 147, note 1).

98  Fredegarius (Chron. 49) tells the story thus: that Adaloald, upon the advice of one Eusebius, anointed himself in the bath with some sort of ointment, and afterwards could do nothing except what he was told by Eusebius; that he was thus persuaded to order all the chief persons and nobles of the Langobards to be killed, and upon their death to surrender, with all his people to the empire; that when he had put twelve to death without their fault, the rest conspired to raise Arioald, duke of Turin, who had married Gundiperga, the sister of Adaloald, to the throne; that Adaloald took poison and died and Arioald straightway took possession of the kingdom.

Possibly the zeal of Theudelinda and Adaloald for the Catholic faith may have provoked a reaction among the Langobards, who had been Arians, and they may have become dissatisfied with the conciliatory policy toward the empire which was characteristic of the Bavarian line of sovereigns descended from Theudelinda. The legend of Eusebius was perhaps an expression of this dissatisfaction. Adaloald’s successor was certainly an Arian. We have already seen (ch. 34, note, supra) that during Adaloald’s time Eleutherius the exarch defeated John of Compsa who had revolted and taken possession of Naples, and put him to death. After this revolt the war with the Langobards was renewed and Sundrar the Langobard general repeatedly defeated the exarch, who finally obtained peace upon payment of a yearly tribute of five hundredweight of gold (Hodgkin, VI, 154, 155). We have also seen that Eleutherius afterwards aspired to independent sovereignty and was killed (IV, 34, supra), though Paul incorrectly places these occurrences during the reign of Agilulf. In 625 Pope Honorius I addressed a letter to Isaac the new exarch saying that some bishops beyond the Po had urged one Peter, who seems to have been a layman high in office, not to follow the Catholic Adaloald, but the tyrant Ariopalt (Arioald) (Hodgkin, VI, 158); since the crime of the bishops was odious, the pope asked the exarch to send them to Rome for punishment as soon as Adaloald was restored to his kingdom. The contest bween Adaloald and his successor probably occurred between 624 and 626 (Hodgkin, VI, 160), and it would seem that Adaloald had taken refuge with the exarch in Ravenna from which Wiese (p. 284) infers that his death may have been by order of Isaac to avoid complications with the Langobards. We do not learn what part Theudelinda took in this contest. She died February 22nd, 628, shortly after the death of Adaloald (Hodgkin, VI, 160).

99  Probably A. D. 626 (Hodgkin, VI, 161).

100  Fredegarius (IV, 51) tells us that Gundiperga (wife of Arioald and daughter of Agilulf and Theudelinda) said one day that Adalulf, a nobleman in the king’s service, was a man of goodly stature, and Adalulf hearing this, proposed to her that she should be unfaithful to her marriage vow. She scorned his proposal whereupon he charged that she had granted a secret interview to Taso duke of Tuscany and had promised to poison the king and raise Taso to the throne. Upon this Arioald imprisoned her in a fortress. Two years afterwards Clothar II, king of the Franks, sent ambassadors to Arioald asking why she had been imprisoned and when the reason was given, one of the ambassadors suggested a trial by battle to ascertain her guilt or innocence. The duel accordingly took place, Adalulf was slain by the queen’s champion and she was restored to her royal dignity (Hodgkin, VI, 161-163).

101  Probably before this time and about A. D. 612 (Giansevero).

102  St. Columban was born, not in Scotland but in Ireland about 543 and entered a monastery at Bangor at a period when the Irish monasteries were centers of culture. After some years he set forth to preach the gospel, first in Britain and then in Gaul. Sigispert, king of Austrasia, the husband of Brunihilde gave him a ruined village named Anagratis where he established a monastery, but after a while he retired in a cave, and was so famed for miracles that he drew around him many disciples and found it necessary to establish another monastery at Luxovium in the domains of Gunthram of Burgundy, now the Vosges. A third was established near by at Ad Fontanas (Hodgkin, VI, 110, 113). Afterwards he incurred the enmity of Brunihilde and her grandson Theoderic of Burgundy (pp. 121-123) and was expelled from that kingdom. Under the protection of Theudepert of Austrasia he found a retreat at Bregenz on the Lake of Constance (p. 126) where he put an end to the worship of heathen gods, which had been practiced in the neighborhood. Upon Theudepert’s death, which the saint had foretold, he betook himself to Italy where he was received with honor by Agilulf and Theudelinda (p. 131). He remained some months at Milan at the royal court and argued there with Arian ecclesiastics, until a certain Jocundus came to king Agilulf and spoke of the advantages for a monastic life offered by the village of Bobium on the Trebia among the Apennines (p. 132). Columban retired thither and there built the monastery which became an important instrument in converting the Langobards from Arianism, and in the spread of Roman culture among that people (Hartmann, II, 2, 25). He was a man of great learning. He aided Theudelinda in her conflicts with Arianism, but he also became an adherent of the schismatics in the controversy of the Three Chapters, and Theudelinda used him in defending their cause, which he did in a long letter to Pope Boniface IV, the third successor of Gregory the Great. Agilulf desired to heal the schism and Columban states in his letter that the king was reported to have said that he too would believe the Catholic faith if he could know the certainty of the matter! Columban died in 615, the same year as Agilulf (Hodgkin, VI, 138-147).


Chapter XLII.

Then Arioald, after he had held the sovereignty over the Langobards twelve years, departed this life, and Rothari,103 of the race of Arodus, received the kingdom of the Langobards.104 And he was brave and strong, 194 and followed the path of justice;105 he did not, however, hold the right line of Christian belief, but was stained by the infidelity of the Arian heresy.106 The Arians, indeed, say to their own ruin that the Son is less than the Father, and the Holy Spirit also is less than the Father and Son. But we Catholics confess that the Father and Son and Holy Spirit are one and the true God in three persons, equal in power and the same in glory. In this time there were two bishops throughout almost all the cities107 of the kingdom, one a Catholic and the other an Arian. In the city of Ticinum too there is shown, down to the present time, the place 195 where the Arian bishop, who had his seat at the church of St. Eusebius, had a baptistery, while another bishop sat in the Catholic church. Yet this Arian bishop, who was in the same city, Anastasius by name, became converted to the Catholic faith and afterwards governed the church of Christ. The king Rothari collected, in a series of writings, the laws of the Langobards which they were keeping in memory only and custom,108 and he 196 directed this code to be called the Edict. It was now 197 indeed the seventy-seventh year from the time when the Langobards had come into Italy, as that king bore witness 198 in a prologue to the Edict.109 To this king, Arichis, the duke of Beneventum sent his son Aio. And when the latter had come to Ravenna on his way to Ticinum, such a drink was there given him by the malice of the Romans that it made him lose his reason, and from that time he was never of full and sound mind.110


103  Hartmann (II, 1, 235) considers that in this reckoning, the time is probably included in which Arioald was in insurrection against Adaloald. Rothari ascended the throne in 636 (Waitz).

104  Fredegarius relates that after the death of Arioald his widow Gundiperga was asked, as Theudelinda had been, to choose his successor; that her choice fell upon Rothari, whom she invited to put away his wife and marry her, which he did, but afterwards confined her in one little room in the palace, while he lived with his concubines; that after five years’ seclusion the Frankish king Clovis II interceded and she was restored to her queenly dignities (Hodgkin, VI, 165, 166). This story sounds like a repetition of the account of Gundiperga’s disgrace during the reign of her first husband. It would seem that Rothari’s marriage to Gundiperga, like that of Agilulf to Theudelinda was to add a certain claim of legitimacy to his pretensions to the throne and perhaps the fact that he was an Arian and his wife a Catholic led to the story above related (Hartmann, II, 1, 239, 240).

105  Fredegarius relates (Chron. 71) that at the beginning of his reign he put to death many insubordinate nobles and that in his efforts for peace he maintained very strict discipline (Pabst, 430, note 3).

106  With the exception of Adaloald, all the kings of the Langobards up to this time had been Arian though their religious convictions were not strong, and they were not generally intolerant (Hodgkin, VI, 144, 145). The beliefs of the invaders under Alboin were somewhat heterogeneous. Some of his followers were probably still tinctured with the remains of heathenism, most of them were Arians, while the Noricans and Pannonians who accompanied him to Italy (II, 26, supra) were Catholics (Hegel, Städteverfassung von Italien I, Ch. 3, p. 364). The conversion of the Langobards to the Catholic faith was promoted by their intermarriage with Roman wives. Theudelinda, who was a Catholic, had done much to further it. Even as early as the time of Gregory the Great there were Catholic bishops under the Langobards (id., p. 363).

107  This is doubtful. Paul knew some Arian bishops and doubtless he presumed, erroneously, the presence of Catholic bishops in the same places (Hartmann, II, 1, 278).

108  Compare this with the Chronicon Gothanum, (M. G., LLIV, p. 641) “Rothari reigned sixteen years and by him law and justice began with the Langobards and the judges first went through them in writing. For previously lawsuits were decided by custom (cadarfada), discretion and usage.” Rothari’s Edict was published Nov. 22d, 643. It was composed of 388 chapters. Although written in Latin, the greater part of this Edict was of purely Langobard origin. By this code the man who conspired against the king or deserted his comrades in battle must suffer death, but those accused of a capital offense might appeal to the wager of battle. If freemen conspired and accomplished the death of another they were to compound for the murder according to the rank of the person slain (Hodgkin, VI, 175 to 179). If any one should “place himself in the way” of a free woman or girl or injure her he must pay nine hundred solidi (540 pounds sterling). If any one should “place himself in the way” of a free man he must pay him twenty solidi, if he had not done him any bodily injury. These provisions indicated the high estimation in which the free women were held. If any one should “place himself in the way” of another man’s slave or hand-maid or aldius (half-free) he must pay twenty solidi to his lord. Bodily injuries were all catalogued, each of the teeth, fingers and toes being specially named and the price fixed for each. Many laws dealt specially with injuries to an aldius or to a household slave. These were not equivalent terms and it is generally believed that the vanquished Roman population were included in the first. A still lower class were the plantation slaves (Hodgkin, VI, 180-189). In the laws of succession, provision was made for illegitimate as well as legitimate children, though less in amount. No father could disinherit his son except for certain grievous crimes. Donations of property were made in the presence of the thing, an assembly of at least a few freemen, a survival of the folk-thing of the ancient Germans, from which comes the Latinized word thingare, to grant or donate, and one of the laws of Rothari provides that, if a man shall wish to “thing away” his property to another he must make the gairethinx (spear donation), not secretly, but before freemen. The Langobard women always remained under some form of guardianship (pp. 193-197). If a man should commit an immorality with a female slave “belonging to the nations” he must pay her lord twenty solidi, if with a Roman, twelve solidi, the Roman bond-woman being of less value than the slave of Teutonic or other origin. This is the only reference to Romans as such in Rothari’s laws. If a slave or aldius married a free Langobard woman, her relatives had a right to slay her or sell her and divide her substance. No slave or aldius could sell property without the consent of his master or patron. Slaves might be emancipated in various ways, but there were severe laws for the pursuit and restoration of fugitives (pp. 204-211). In judicial procedure, a system of compurgation prevailed as well as the wager of battle (pp. 224-230).

Rothari’s code was rude and barbarous to the last degree as compared with the elaborate system of Roman jurisprudence embodied in the laws of Justinian, under which the population of Italy had been living prior to the Langobard conquest. In Rothari’s laws, although the rights of the clan, so important during the migration of the Langobards, became more and more subordinated to the rights of the state (Hartmann, II, 2, 11), the authority of the family still continued to be recognized as an important feature. The general assembly of freemen continued to add solemnity to important popular acts, such as the enactment of new laws or the selection of a king, although it was now manifestly impossible that such an assembly should consist, as in earlier times, of all those capable of bearing arms (id., pp. 12-13).

Villari (Le Invasioni Barbariche in Italia, p. 310) insists that the indirect action of Roman jurisprudence appears in Rothari’s laws, not only in the Latin language in which they were written, in some Justinian-like phrases, and in an arrangement to some extent systematical, but also in certain provisions which he thinks cannot be of Germanic origin. He adds (p. 311) that it cannot be conceived how the Langobards could have destroyed a system of jurisprudence established for centuries which had created among the conquered Italians a number of legal relations unknown to their conquerors so that the laws of the latter could not provide for them, nor how Roman law could be destroyed and afterwards reappear in Langobard Italy, without any account of its disappearance and reappearance in documents or chronicles. He concludes that although not officially recognized, it was allowed to live under the form of custom, in many of the private relations that existed among the conquered Italians. This view is confirmed by the 204th law of Rothari which, speaking of “any free women living according to the law of the Langobards,” would indicate that there were others not living according to that law. Moreover it was declared (Hodgkin, VI, 231) that foreigners who came to settle in the land ought to live according to the laws of the Langobards unless they obtained from the king the right to live according to some other law. Villari also sees (p. 312) evidences of the persistency of Roman law in the subsequent legislation of Liutprand providing that if a Langobard, after having children, should become a churchman, they should continue to live subject to the law under which he ahd lived before becoming a churchman. This would indicate that after becoming a churchman, the father lived under another law, which must have been the Roman law. Villari (p. 329) also sees elsewhere in Liutprand’s legislation evidences of canonical law.

109  Rothari says the seventy-sixth year (Edicti Codices, M. G. LL., IV, p. 1). As to this, see note to I, 21, note 3, pp. 39, 40, supra; as to the so-called prologue, see Appendix, II, A. 1.

110  His intercourse with the Romans, as in case of Adaloald, seems to have led to insanity. Was this the Langobard idea of the effect of contact with Roman luxury and civilization upon the princes of their race?


Chapter XLIII.

Therefore when duke Arichis, the father of him of whom we have spoken, was now ripe in years and nearing his last day, knowing that his son Aio was not of right mind, he commended Radoald and Grimoald,112 now in the flower of their youth, as if they were his own sons, to the Langobards who were present, and said to them that these two could rule them better than could Aio his son.


112  I follow here and in other places the spelling of Waitz’s text which is not uniform.


Chapter XLIV.

Then on the death of Arichis, who had held the dukedom fifty years, Aio, his son, was made leader of the Samnites,111 and still Radoald and Grimoald112 obeyed him in all things as their elder brother and lord. When 199 this Aio had already governed the dukedom of Beneventum a year and five months, the Slavs came with a great number of ships and set up their camp not far from the city of Sipontum (Siponto). They made hidden pit-falls around their camp and when Aio came upon them in the absence of Raduald and Grimoald and attempted to conquer them, his horse fell into one of these pit-falls, the Slavs rushed upon him and he was killed with a number of others. When this was announced to Raduald he came quickly and talked familiarly with these Slavs in their own language,113 and when in this way he had lulled them into greater indolence for war, he presently fell upon them, overthrew them with great slaughter, revenged the death of Aio and compelled those of his enemies who had survived to seek flight from these territories.114


111  That is the Beneventines. This occurred A. D. 641 (Waitz).

112  I follow here and in other places the spelling of Waitz’s text which is not uniform.

113  Raduald and Grimoald had been neighbors to the Slavs in the dukedom of Fruili from which they had come to Beneventum (Waitz).

114  A. D. 642 (Hartmann, II, 1, 244).


Chapter XLV.

King Rothari then captured all the cities of the Romans which were situated upon the shore of the sea from the city of Luna (Luni) in Tuscany up to the boundaries of the Franks.115 Also he captured and destroyed 200 Opitergium (Oderzo)116 a city placed between Tarvisium (Treviso) and Forum Julii (Cividale). He waged war with the Romans of Ravenna117 near the river of Emilia which is called the Scultenna (Panaro). In this war eight thousand fell on the side of the Romans and the remainder took to flight. At this time a great earthquake occurred at Rome and there was then a great inundation of the waters. After these things there was a scab disease of such a kind that no one could recognize his own dead on account of the great swelling and inflammation.118


115  Rothari was a representative of the national, anti-Roman, Arian feeling among the Langobards; so the peace with the empire was broken and war renewed. He thus rounded out his possessions to the northern part of the kingdom, and Neustria, the western portion of these dominions, began to be distinguished from Austria, east of the Adda, which was more immediately subject to the dukes of Trent and Friuli (Hartmann II, 1, 243).

116  This destruction was not complete, but twenty-five years later under Grimoald, the place was entirely annihilated (V, 28, infra).

117  Who were under the exarch Isaac (Hodgkin, VI, 169).

118  The earthquake and plague are placed by the Liber Pontificalis in the sixth indiction (616-618), and incorrectly placed by Paul during the reign of Rothari (636-652) (Jacobi, 54).


Chapter XLVI.

But when duke Raduald, who had managed the dukedom five years, died at Beneventum, Grimuald his brother became duke and governed the dukedom of the Samnites five and twenty years. From a captive girl, but one of high birth, however, whose name was Ita, he begot a son Romuald and two daughters. And since he was a very warlike man and distinguished everywhere, when the Greeks of that time came to plunder the sanctuary of the holy arch-angel119 situated upon Mount Garganus (Gargano), Grimuald, coming upon them with his army, overthrew them with the utmost slaughter.


119  Michael.


Chapter XLVII.

But king Rothari indeed, after he had held the sovereignty sixteen years and four months, departed from life120 and left the kingdom of the Langobards to his son Rodoald. When he had been buried near the church of St. John the Baptist,121 after some time, a certain man inflamed by wicked cupidity opened his sepulcher at night and took away whatever he found among the ornaments of his body. St. John appearing to him in a vision frightened him dreadfully and said to him, “Why did you dare to touch the body of that man? Although he may not have been of the true faith yet he has commended himself to me. Because therefore you have presumed to do this thing you will never hereafter have admission into my church.” And so it occurred; for as often soever as he wished to enter the sanctuary of St. John, straightway his throat would be hit as if by a very powerful boxer and thus stricken, he suddenly fell down backwards. I speak the truth in Christ; he who saw with his own eyes that very thing done related this to me. Rodoald then received the kingdom of the Langobards after the death of his father, and united with himself in marriage Gundiperga the daughter of Agilulf and Theudelinda.122 This Gundiperga in imitation of her mother, just as the latter had done in Modicia 202 (Monza), so the former within the city of Ticinum (Pavia) built a church in honor of St. John the Baptist, which she decorated wonderfully with gold and silver and draperies and enriched bountifully with particular articles, and in it her body lies buried. And when she had been accused to her husband of the crime of adultery, her own slave, Carellus by name, besought the king that he might fight in single combat for the honor of his mistress, with him who had imputed the crime to the queen. And when he had gone into single combat with that accuser he overcame him in the presence of the whole people. The queen indeed after this was done, returned to her former dignity.123


120  A. D. 652 (Hodgkin, VI, 241).

121  In Modicia (Monza) or possibly in Ticinum (Waitz).

122  If Fredegarius (Chapters 50, 51, 70) be correct Paul must be mistaken, since Gundiperga was the wife of king Arioald and after his death, of Rothari, and was now over fifty years old (Waitz).

123  Hartmann (II, 1, 274) believes that Paul relates here the story of the first imprisonment of Gundiperga given by Fredegarius but has transposed it to a period two decades later (see Ch. 41, note, supra).


Chapter XLVIII.

Rodoald after he had reigned five years124 and seven days was killed as is said by a certain Langobard whose wife he had defiled, and Aripert, son of Gundoald, who had been the brother of queen Theudelinda, followed him in the government of the kingdom.125 He established 203 at Ticinum a sanctuary of our Lord and Saviour, which lay outside the western gate that is called Marenca and he decorated it with various ornaments and enriched it sufficiently with possessions.


124  Paul should have written here five months intead of five years (Waitz). He probably died about March, 653 (Hartmann, II, 1, 275).

125  There is no record of the events which led to the succession of Aripert, a Catholic of the Bavarian house and friendly to the Romans, in place of the Arian, anti-Roman dynasty of Rothari (Hartmann, II, 1, 244).


Chapter XLIX.

In these days when the emperor Heraclius had died at Constantinople,126 his son Heraclones with his mother Martina received the rights of sovereignty and ruled the empire for two years. And when he departed from life his brother Constantine, another son of Heraclius, followed in his place and reigned six months. When he also died his son Constantine rose to the dignity of the sovereignty and held the imperial power for eight and twenty years.


126  The death of Heraclius (A. D. 641) is erroneously placed by Paul after the death of Rodoald 653 (Waitz) and after the taking of Oderzo by Rothari (IV, 45, supra). See Simonsfeld’s article on Dandolo (Archivio Veneto, 14, p. 141).


Chapter L.

About these times the wife of the king of the Persians, Cesara by name, on account of her love of the Christian faith, departed out of Persia in private dress with a few of her faithful followers, and came to Constantinople. She was honorably received by the emperor and after some days obtained baptism as she desired and was raised from the sacred font by the empress.127 When her husband the king of the Persians heard this, he sent ambassadors to Constantinople to the emperor in order 204 that the latter should restore to him his wife. When they came to the emperor they reported the words of the king of the Persians who demanded his queen. The emperor hearing these things and being altogether ignorant of the affair, returned them an answer saying: “We confess that we know nothing concerning the queen you seek except that a woman came to us here in the dress of a private person.” But the ambassadors answered saying: “If it please your Imperial Presence we would like to see this woman you speak of,” and when she had come by command of the emperor, presently the ambassadors looked upon her attentively, prostrated themselves at her feet and suggested to her with reverence that her husband wanted her. She replied to them: “Go, take back the answer to your king and lord that unless he also shall so believe in Christ as I have already believed, he can now no more have me as the partner of his bed.” Why say more? The ambassadors returned to their country and reported again to their king all they had heard. And he without any delay came peaceably with sixty thousand men to Constantinople to the emperor by whom he was joyfully received and in a very suitable manner. And he, with the whole of them, believing in Christ our Lord, was in like manner with all the rest sprinkled128 with the water of holy baptism and was raised by the emperor from the font and confirmed in the Catholic faith; and having been honored by the emperor with many gifts, he took 205 his wife and returned happy and rejoicing to his own country.129 About these times upon the death of duke Grasulf at Cividale, Ago undertook the government of the dukedom of Forum Julii. At Spoletium (Spoleto) also upon the death of Theudelaupus, Atto was made commander of that city.130


127  That is the empress became her god-mother (Abel).

128  Perfusus (see Du Cange) seems to indicate sprinkling rather than immersion, though the latter was at this time the more usual form except in the case of those about to die.

129  This account is wholly fictitious. Chosroes II, although well disposed toward the Christian faith did not abjure his own (Waitz).

130  A. D. 653-663 (Hodgkin, VI, 96).


Chapter LI.

Aripert then, after he had ruled at Ticinum for nine years, died,131 leaving the kingdom to be governed by his two sons, Perctarit and Godepert who were still of youthful age.132 And Godepert, indeed, had the seat of his kingdom at Ticinum, but Perctarit, at the city of Mediolanum. Between these brothers, at the instigation of evil men, quarrels and the kindling of hatreds arose to such a degree that each attempted to usurp the royal power of the other. Wherefore Godepert sent Garipald, duke of Turin, to Grimuald, who was then the enterprising leader of the people of Beneventum, inviting him to come as soon as possible and bring aid to him against his brother Perctarit, and promising give him his sister, the daughter of the king. But the ambassador, acting treacherously against his master, exhorted Grimuald 206 to come and himself seize the kingdom of the Langobards which the two youthful brothers were dissipating, since he was ripe in age, prudent in counsel and strong in resources. When Grimuald heard these things he presently set his mind upon obtaining the kingdom of the Langobards, and having established his son Romuald as duke of Beneventum, he took his way with a chosen band to proceed to Ticinum, and in all the cities through which his route lay he drew to himself friends and auxiliaries for getting the kingdom. He dispatched, indeed, Count Transemund, of Capua, through Spoletium (Spoleto) and Tuscia (Tuscany) to attach the Langobards of those regions to an alliance with him. Transemund carried out his orders energetically, and met him on the way in Emilia with many auxiliaries. Therefore when Grimuald had come near Placentia (Piacenza) with a strong body of men, he dispatched ahead to Ticinum Garipald, who had been sent as a messenger to him by Godepert, so as to announce his coming to this same Godepert. And when Garipald came to Godepert he said that Grimuald was quickly approaching. When Godepert asked him in what place he ought to prepare entertainment for this Grimuald, Garipald answered as follows: That it was fitting that Grimuald, who had come for his sake and was going to take his sister in marriage, should have his place of entertainment within the palace. And this also was so done, for when Grimuald came, he received his lodging within the palace. But this same Garipald, the sower of the whole wickedness, persuaded Godepert to come and speak with Grimuald only after putting on a cuirass 207 under his clothing, saying that Grimuald wanted to kill him. Again this same artist in deceit came to Grimuald and said that unless he equipped himself stoutly Godepert would kill him with his sword, declaring that Godepert was wearing a cuirass under his clothing when he came to confer with him. Why say more? When, upon the following day, they had come to conference and Grimuald, after salutation, had embraced Godepert he immediately perceived that he was wearing a cuirass under his clothing, and without delay, he unsheathed his sword and deprived him of life,133 and usurping his kingdom and all his power, he subjugated it to his dominion. But Godepert then had a son, a little boy, Raginpert by name, who was carried away by the faithful followers of his father and brought up secretly; nor did Grimuald care to pursue him since he was still a little child. When Perctarit, who was ruling at Mediolanum, heard that his brother was killed, he took flight with what speed he could and came to the Cagan, king of the Avars, leaving behind his wife Rodelinda and a little son named Cunincpert, both of whom Grimuald sent in exile to Beneventum. When these things had been thus brought to pass, Garipald, by whose instigation and effort they had been accomplished — and not only had he done these acts, but h had also committed a fraud in his embassy, since he had not transmitted whole and entire the gifts he ought to have brought to Beneventum — the performer of such deeds then did not long rejoice. There was, indeed, in the household of 208 Godepert a little dwarf who came from the city of Turin. When he knew that duke Garipald, upon the very holy day of Easter would come to pray in the church of St. John, he got up on the sacred font of the baptistery and held himself by his left hand to a little column supporting the canopy134 where Garipald was about to pass, and having drawn his sword he held it under his clothing, and when Garipald had come near him to pass through, he lifted his garment and struck him on the neck with his sword with all his might and cut off his head upon the spot. Those who had come with Garipald fell upon him, killing him with wounds from many blows, but although he died, he still signally avenged the wrong done to his master Godepert.


131  A. D. 661 (Hodgkin, VI, 241).

132  This is the first instance of a divided inheritance of the kingdom, if indeed we can speak of inheritance at all of a kingdom where the succession varied so greatly as in that of the Langobards.

133  A. D. 662 (Hodgkin, VI, 243; Hartmann, II, 1, 275).

134  Tugurium, a place shut off and covered from above. See Du Cange. The font itself had a roof or cover supported by small columns.

For online additions, corrections, notes & design:
Copyright  © 2007
by Elfinspell