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. 250-314.





Chapter I.

While these things were occurring among the Langobards across the Po, Romuald, duke of the Beneventines after he had collected a great multitude of an army, attacked and recaptured Tarentum (Taranto) and in like manner Brundisium (Brindisi) and subjugated to his dominion all that very extensive region which surrounds them.1 His wife Theuderata, too, built at the same time a church in honor of the blessed apostle Peter outside the walls of the city of Beneventum and in that place she established a convent of many nuns.


1  This probably refers to the “heel of Italy,” the land around Otranto, which now passed under the Langobard sway (Hodgkin, VI, 335).


Chapter II.

Romuald, too, after he had governed the dukedom sixteen years was withdrawn from this life. After him his son Grimuald ruled the people of the Samnites2 three years. Wigilinda, a sister of Cunincpert and daughter of king Perctarit was united to him in marriage. When Grimuald also died, Gisulf his brother was made duke3 and ruled over Beneventum seventeen years. 251 Winiperga was married to him and bore him Romuald. About these times, when great solitude existed for a number of years past in the stronghold of Cassinum (Monte Cassino) where the holy body of the most blessed Benedict reposes, there came Franks from the regions of the Celmanici (Cenomannici)4 and of the Aurelianenses,5 and while they pretended to keep a vigil by the venerable body they bore away the bones of the reverend father and also of the revered Scolastica his sister, and carried them to their own country where two monasteries were built, one in honor of each, that is, of the blessed Benedict and of St. Scolastica. But it is certain that that venerable mouth, sweeter than all nectar, and the eyes beholding every heavenly things, and the other members too have remained to us, although decayed.6 For only the body of our Lord alone did not see corruption; but the bodies of all the saints have been subjected to corruption, to be restored afterwards to eternal glory with the exception of those which by divine miracles are kept without blemish.


2  Thus were the Beneventines called (IV, 44, 46, supra).

3  His mother Theuderata governed the dukedom during his minority (Waitz).

4  Inhabitants of Le Mans.

5  Inhabitants of Orleans.

6  A long controversy between the French and Italian Benedictine monks has arisen from this passage, as to the genuineness of the relics of St. Benedict (Waitz).


Chapter III.

But when Rodoald indeed, who as we have said before,7 held the dukedom at Forum Julii, was absent from that 252 city, Ansfrit from the fortress of Reunia (Ragogna)8 swept through his dukedom without the consent of the king. Rodoald, when he learned this, fled into Istria and thence came by ship through Ravenna to Ticinum to king Cunincpert. Ansfrit indeed, not content to rule the dukedom of the Friulans, but rebelling against Cunincpert besides, attempted to usurp his sovereignty. But he was seized in Verona and brought to the king, his eyes were torn out and he was cast into banishment. After these things Ado, the brother of Rodoald, governed the Friulan dukedom a year and seven months under the name of caretaker.9


7  V, 24, supra.

8  About thirty miles west of Cividale (Hodgkin, VI, 328, note 1).

9  Loci servator. The only instance of this title during the Langobard period. Later it frequently occurs (Pabst, 460, note). There is no date for these events except that that they occurred under Cunincpert, 668-700 (Hodgkin, VI, 328, note 3). By these occurrences the dukedom of Friuli, which had been semi-independent, seems to have been placed directly under the power of the king (Hartmann, II, 1, 267).


Chapter IV.

While these things occurred in Italy, a heresy arose at Constantinople which asserted that there was one will and mode of action in our Lord Jesus Christ. Georgius10 the patriarch of Constantinople, Macharius, Pyrrus, Paul and Peter stirred up this heresy. Wherefore the emperor 253 Constantine11 and caused to be assembled a hundred and fifty bishops12 among whom were also the legates of the holy Roman Church sent by Pope Agatho — John the Deacon and John the bishop of Portus (Porto)13 — and they all condemned this heresy.14 At that hour so many spider webs fell in the midst of the people that they were all astonished, and by this it was signified that the uncleanesses of heretical depravity were driven away. And Georgius the patriarch indeed was rebuked,15 the 254 others, however, who persisted in their defense were visited by the penalty of excommunication. At this time Damianus, bishop of the church of Ticinum16 composed in the name of Mansuetus archbishop of Mediolanum (Milan) an epistle upon this question, quite useful to correct belief, which in the aforesaid synod, won no ordinary approbation. For the correct and true belief is this, that as there are in our Lord Jesus Christ two natures, that is of God and of man, so also there may be believed to be two wills or modes of action. Will you hear what there is of the Deity in him? He says, “I and my Father are one.”17 Will you hear what there is of humanity? “My father is greater than I.”18 Behold him sleeping in the ship according to his human nature! Behold his divinity when the evangelist says: “Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm!”19 This Sixth General Synod was celebrated at Constantinople and recorded in the Greek language at the time of Pope Agatho, and the emperor Constantine conducted it while remaining within the enclosures of his palace.


10  This is a mistake. Georgius was used by the emperor as an instrument of reconciliation (Hartmann, II, 1, 259). It was the former patriarchs, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter, who stirred up the heresy, and Macharius, bishop of Antioch, supported it (p. 260).

11  See V, 30, supra. He was also called Pogonatus.

12  Paul erroneously places the time of this general council (A. D. 680) in the reign of Cunincpert, which began 688 (Jacobi, 56).

13  At the mouth of the Tiber.

14  We have seen (V, 6, note, supra) that the so-called Monothelete heresy had succeeded the controversy regarding the Three Chapters. Four successive patriarchs of Constantinople had approved the Monothelete doctrine, but the church in the west was united against it, and the emperor, desirous of a reconciliation, issued an invitation to the Pope to send deputies to a council. Pope Agatho accordingly dispatched three legates and three bishops to a conference at Constantinople, which became the Sixth Œcumenical Council. It lasted from November, 680, to September, 681. Macharius, patriarch of Antioch, undertook to prove that the dogma of “one theandric energy” was in harmony with the decisions of the Fourth and Fifth Councils, but the genuineness of some his quotations was denied and the relevancy of others disputed. Gregory, patriarch of Constantinople, formally announced his adhesion to the cause of the Pope, who insisted that there two wills in Christ. The decrees of Pope Agatho and the Western Synod were ratified, Macharius was deposed and the upholders of the Monothelete heresy were condemned, including Honorius, former pope of Rome (Hodgkin, VI, 345, 346).

15  A mistake. See note above

16   At this time Damianus was only a presbyter (Waitz).

17  John x. 30.

18  John xiv. 28.

19  Matt. viii. 26.


Chapter V.

In these times during the eighth indiction (A. D. 680) the moon suffered an eclipse; also an eclipse of the sun occurred at almost the same time on the fifth 255 day before the Nones of May20 about the tenth hour of the day. And presently there followed a very severe pestilence for three months, that is, in July, August and September, and so great was the multitude of those dying that even parents with their children and brothers with their sisters were placed on biers two by two and conducted to their tombs at the city of Rome. And in like manner too this pestilence also depopulated Ticinum so that all citizens fled to the mountain ranges and to other places and grass and bushes grew in the market place and throughout the streets of the city. And then it visibly appeared to many that a good and a bad angel proceeded by night through the city and as many times as, upon command of the good angel, the bad angel, who appeared to carry a hunting spear in his hand, knocked at the door of each house with the spear, so many men perished from that house on the following day. Then it was said to a certain man by revelation that the pestilence itself would not cease before an altar of St. Sebastian the martyr was placed in the church of the blessed Peter which is called “Ad Vincula.” And it was done, and after the remains of St. Sebastian the martyr had been carried from the city of Rome, presently the altar was set up in the aforesaid church and the pestilence itself ceased.21


20  May 2nd. Pagi says that the solar eclipse occurred in 680 and the other in 681 (Giansevero).

21  The historians of Pavia declare that bishop St. Damianus begged from the Roman pontiff the remains of the holy martyr and placed them in the church of St. Peter ad Vincula (Waitz).


Chapter VI.

While king Cunincpert, indeed, after these things was taking counsel the city of Ticinum with his master of horse, which in their language is called “marpahis,”22 in what way he might deprive Aldo and Grauso of life, suddenly in the window near which they were standing sat a fly of the largest kind which when Cunincpert attempted to strike with his knife to kill it, he only cut off its foot. While Aldo and Grauso indeed, in ignorance of the evil design, were coming to the palace, when they had drawn near the church of the holy martyr Romanus which is situated near the palace, suddenly a certain lame man with one foot cut off came in their way who said to them that Cunincpert was going to kill them if they should go on to him. When they heard this they were seized with great fear and fled behind the altar of that church. Presently it was announced to king Cunincpert that Aldo and Grauso had taken refuge in the church of the blessed martyr Romanus. Then Cunincpert began to accuse his master of horse asking why he had to betray his design. His master of horse thus answered him: “My lord king, you know that after we conferred about these things I did not go out of your presence and how could I have said this to any one?” Then the king sent to Aldo and Grauso, asking them why they had taken refuge in the holy place. And they answering said: “Because it was reported to us that our lord the king wished to kill us.” Again the king sent to them, seeking to know who he was who had 257 given them the report, and he sent them word that unless they would report to him who had told them, they could not find favor with him. Then they sent word to the king as it had occurred, saying that a lame man had met them upon the way who had one foot cut off and used a wooden leg up to the knee, and that this man had been the one who told them they would be killed. Then the king understood that the fly whose foot he had cut off had been a bad spirit and that it had betrayed his secret designs. And straightway he took Aldo and Grauso on his word of honor from that church, pardoned their fault and afterwards held them as faithful subjects.


22  II, 9, supra.


Chapter VII.

At that time Felix, the uncle of my teacher Flavian was renowned in the grammatical art. The king loved him so much that he bestowed upon him among other gifts of his bounty, a stall decorated with silver and gold.


Chapter VIII.

During the same time also lived John the bishop of the church of Bergoma (Bergamo), a man of wonderful sanctity.23 Since he had offended king Cunincpert while they were conversing at a banquet, the king commanded to be prepared for him when he was returning to his inn a fierce and untamed horse who was accustomed to dash to the earth with a great snorting those who sat upon him. But when the bishop mounted him he was 258 so gentle that he carried him at an easy gait to his own house. The king, hearing this, cherished the bishop from that day with due honor and bestowed upon him in gift that very horse, which he had destined for his own riding.


23  He took part in the council at Rome under Pope Agatho against the Monotheletes (Waitz).


Chapter IX.


At this time between Christmas and Epiphany there appeared at night in a clear sky a star near the Pleiades shaded in every way as when the moon stands behind a cloud. Afterwards in the month of February at noon-day there arose a star in the west which set with a great flash in the direction of the east. Then in the month of March there was an eruption of Bebius (Vesuvius) for some days and all green things growing round about were exterminated by its dust and ashes.


Chapter X.

Then the race of Saracens, unbelieving and hateful to God, proceeded from Egypt into Africa with a great multitude, took Carthage by siege and when it was taken, cruelly laid it waste and leveled it to the ground.


Chapter XI.

Meanwhile the emperor Constantine died at Constantinople and his younger son Justinian24 assumed the sovereignty of the Romans and held the control of it for ten years. He took Africa away from the Saracens 259 and made peace with them on sea and land. He sent Zacharias his protospatarius25 and ordered that Pope Sergius should be brought to Constantinople because he was unwilling to approve and subscribe to the error of that synod which the emperor had held at Constantinople.26 But the soldiery of Ravenna and of the neighboring parts, despising the impious orders of the emperor, drove this same Zacharias with reproaches and insults from the city of Rome.27


24  Here Paul misunderstands Bede from whom he took the statement. Bede (A. M. 4649) speaks of “Justinian the younger, a son of Constantine.” He succeeded to the throne in 685.

25  Captain of the imperial body guard, a high Byzantine dignity.

26  The Quinisextan (Fifth-Sixth) council summoned by Justinian II in 691 (Hodgkin, VI, 354-356).

27  A. D. 691 (Giansevero).


Chapter XII.

Leo seizing the imperial dignity, in opposition to this Justinian, deprived him of his kingdom, ruled the empire of the Romans three years and kept Justinian an exile in Pontus.28


28  The reign of Justinian II had been marked by oppressive exactions and great cruelties. After ten years’ misgovernment Leontius (the Leo mentioned in the text) a noblemen of Isauria, commander of the armies of the East, who had been imprisoned by the tyrant and then released, was proclaimed emperor in 695. A mob assembled in the Hippodrome and demanded Justinian’s death. Leontius spared his life, but mutilated him by slitting his nose (whence he was called Rhinotmetus) and banished him to Cherson on the southwest coast of the Crimea (Hodgkin, VI, 359-361).


Chapter XIII.

Tiberius in turn rebelled against this Leo and seized 260 his sovereignty and held him in prison in the same city all the time he reigned.29


29  A naval armament under the command of the patrician John had delivered Carthage from the Saracens but the latter had retaken the city and the imperial troops on their return to Constantinople broke out in a mutiny against both their general and Leontius, and a naval officer named Apsimar was proclaimed emperor. When the fleet reached Constantinople, Leontius was dethroned and Apsimar under the name of Tiberius III, reigned seven years, from 698 to 705 (Hodgkin, VI, 362, 363).


Chapter XIV.

At this time30 the counsel held at Aquileia, on account of the ignorance of their faith, hesitated to accept the Fifth General Council until, when instructed by the salutary admonitions of the blessed pope Sergius, it also with the other churches of Christ consented to approve of this. For that synod was held at Constantinople at the time of pope Vigilius under the emperor Justinian against Theodorus and all the heretics who were asserting that the blessed Mary had given birth to a man only and not to a God and a man. In this synod it was established as a Catholic doctrine that the blessed Mary ever virgin should be called Mother of God since, as the Catholic faith has it, she gave birth not to a man only, but truly to a God and a man.31


30  A. D. 698 (Giansevero).

31  Paul is in error in saying it was the Synod of Constantinople at the time of pope Vigilius which declared the Virgin Mary the Mother of God. Such declaration was made at Ephesus. The Council of Constantinople was the one that condemned the Three Chapters and led to the long schism described in the previous notes (III, 20, 26; IV, 33, supra). The return of the schismatics to the church took place according to other authorities not at Aquileia but at Pavia (Waitz, Appendix, pp. 245, 248), when they declared with shouts of triumph that they renounced the heresy of Theodore and his companions and asked to be restored to the church. Legates were sent to bear the news to Sergius who ordered that the manuscripts of the schismatics should be burned (Hodgkin, V, 483, 484). Possibly one council was held at Aquileia and another at Pavia. Thus all the kingdom of the Langobards was now restored to full Catholic communion.


Chapter XV.

In these days32 Cedoal king of the Anglo-Saxons who had waged many wars in his own country33 was converted to Christ and set out for Rome, and when on the way he came to king Cunincpert he was magnificently received by him, and when he had come to Rome he was baptized by pope Sergius and called Peter and while dressed in white34 he departed to the heavenly realms. His body was buried in the church of St. Peter and has inscribed above it this epitaph:35

Cedoal, mighty in arms, for the love of his God has forsaken

Eminence, riches, and kin, triumphs and powerful realms,

Arms and nobles and cities and camps and gods of the household,

Things that the thrift of his sires gathered, or he for himself,


So that as king and a guest he might gaze on Peter and Peter’s

Chair, and propitiously quaff waters unstained from his spring,

Taking in radiant draught the shining light whose refulgence,

Giving immortal life, floweth on every side!

Swift to perceive the rewards of a life restored by conversion,

Joyful, he casts aside heathenish madness, and then

Changes his name as well, and Sergius the pontiff commanded

Peter he should be called; until the Father himself,

Making him pure by the grace of Christ in the font of the new birth,

Lifted him, clothed in white, up to the stronghold of heaven!

Wonderful faith of the king, and of Christ the astonishing mercy!

His is the perfect plan — counsel that none can approach!

Coming in safety indeed from remotest regions of Britain,

Through many nations, along ways many, over the straits,

Bringing his mystical gifts, he gazed upon Romulus’ city

Looked upon Peter’s church, worthy of reverence due;

Clad in white will he go, in the flocks of Christ a companion;

Earth his body may hold, heaven his spirit will keep.

You may the rather believe he has changed the mere badge of the


He whom your eyes have seen winning the kingdom of Christ.36


32  This journey and conversion of king Cedoal (or Ceadwalla of Wessex) is incorrectly placed by Paul the time of the synod at Aquileia, 698. It actually occurred in 689 (Hodgkin, VI, 318; V, 483).

33  He had annexed Sussex, ravaged Kent and massacred the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight (Hodgkin, VI, 318).

34  The garment of the neophytes, worn by those just baptized.

35  The author of this epitaph was Archbishop Benedict of Milan, A. D. 681-725 (Waitz, p. 225).

36  A version in rhyme, less literal than the foregoing, is found in Giles’ translation of the Ecclesiastical History of Bede, Vol. I, p. 278.



Chapter XVI.

At this time in Gaul when the kings of the Franks were degenerating from their wonted courage and skill, those who were regarded as stewards of the palace began to administer the kingly power and to do whatever is the custom for kings, since it was ordained from heaven that the sovereignty of the Franks should be transferred to the race of these men. And Arnulf was at that time37 steward of the royal palace, a man, as was 263 afterwards apparent, pleasing to God and of wonderful holiness, who, after enjoying the glory of this world, devoted himself to the service of Christ and was distinguished in the episcopate and finally, choosing the life of a hermit, rendered all kinds of services to lepers and lived in the greatest abstinence. Concerning his wonderful doings at the church of Metz where he carried on the bishopric, there is a book containing an account of his miracles and the abstinence of his life. But I too, in a book, which I wrote concerning the bishops of this city, at the request of Angelramnus, archbishop of the aforesaid church, a very gentle man and distinguished by holiness, have set down concerning this most holy man Arnulf, certain of his miracles which I have considered it merely superfluous to repeat here.


37  Paul is in error in making Arnulf, who died August 18, 641, contemporary with Cunincpert (Jacobi, 42).


Chapter XVII.

During these occurrences Cunincpert, a ruler most beloved by all, after he had held for twelve years alone, succeeding his father, the kingdom of the Langobards, was finally withdrawn from this life. He built in the field of Coronate where he had waged war against Alahis, a monastery in honor of the holy martyr George.38 He was moreover a handsome man and conspicuous in every good quality and a bold warrior. He was buried with many tears of the Langobards near the 264 church of our Lord the Saviour which his grandfather Aripert had formerly built.39 And he left the kingdom of the Langobards to his son Liutpert who was yet of the age of boyhood, to whom he gave as his tutor Ansprand, a wise and distinguished man.


38  The city of Modena, half ruined during the insurrection of Alahis, was also restored by him (Hodgkin, VI, 314, note 2). Cunincpert was the first Langobard king whose effigy is found upon the coins (id., p. 317).

39  In Ticinum, where there was an epitaph upon his tomb, referred to by Muratori in his book on the Antiquities of Este, Chapters 1-10, p. 73 (Waitz).


Chapter XVIIII.

When eight months had elapsed from this time,40 Raginpert, duke of Turin, whom formerly king Godepert had left as a little boy when he was killed by Grimuald, of which we have also spoken above,41 came with a strong force and fought against Ansprand and Rotharit, duke of the Bergamascans at Novariae (Novara), and defeating them in the open field took possession of the kingdom of the Langobards. But he died the same year,


40  A. D. 701 (Giansevero).

41  IV, Ch. 51.


Chapter XIX.

Then his son Aripert, again making ready for war, fought at Ticinum with king Liutpert and with Ansprand and Ato and Tatzo and also Rotharit and Farao; but overcoming all these in battle he took the child Liutpert alive as a prisoner of war. Ansprand also fled and fortified himself in the island of Commacina.42


42  Spelled elsewhere Comacina.


Chapter XX.

But when Rotharit indeed returned to his city of Bergamus (Bergamo) he seized the kingly power. King Aripert marched against him with a great army, and having first attacked and captured Lauda (Lodi) he besieged Bergamus, storming it without any difficulty with battering rams and other machines of war, presently took it and seized Rotharit the false king and shaving his hair and his beard, thrust him into exile at Turin, and there after some days he was killed. Liutpert indeed whom he had taken he deprived of life in like manner in the bath.


Chapter XXI.

He also sent an army into the island of Commacina against Ansprand. When this was known Ansprand fled to Clavenna (Chiavenna), thence he came through Curia (Chur) a city of the Rhaetians to Theutpert, duke of the Bavarians, and was with him for nine years. But the army of Aripert indeed took possession of the island in which Ansprand had been and destroyed his town.


Chapter XXII.

This king Aripert when he was confirmed in his sovereignty, tore out the eyes of Sigiprand, the son of Ansprand, and afflicted in various ways all who had been connected with the latter by the tie of blood. He also kept Liutprand the younger son of Ansprand, in custody, but because he regarded him as a person of no importance and as yet a mere youth, he not only inflicted no punishment at all upon his body, but let him 266 depart so that he could go to his father. There is no doubt that this was done by the command of God Almighty who was preparing him for the management of the kingdom. Then Liutprand proceeded to his father in Bavaria and caused him incalculable joy by his coming. But king Aripert caused the wife of Ansprand, Theodorada by name, to be seized; and when she with her woman’s wilfulness boasted that she would get to be queen, she was disfigured in the beauty of her face, her nose and ears being cut off. Also the sister of Liutprand, Aurona by name, was mutilated in like manner.


Chapter XXIII.

At this time in Gaul, in the kingdom of the Franks, Anschis,43 the son of Arnulf, who is believed to be named after Anchises the former Trojan, conducted the sovereignty under the title of steward of the palace.


43  Or Ansegis. He is to be referred however to an earlier period (Waitz).


Chapter XXIV.

When Ado who we said was caretaker44 had died at Forum Julii, Ferdulf, a man tricky and conceited, who came from the territories of Liguria, obtained the dukedom. Because he wanted to have the glory of a victory over the Slavs, he brought great misfortune upon himself and the people of Forum Julii. He gave sums of money to certain Slavs to send upon his request an army of Slaves into this province, and it was accordingly 267 done. But that was the cause of great disaster in this province of Forum Julii. The freebooters of the Slavs fell upon the flocks and upon the shepherds of the sheep that pastured in their neighborhoods and drove away the booty taken from them. The ruler of that place, whom they called in their own language “sculdahis,”45 a man of noble birth and strong in courage and capacity, followed them, but nevertheless he could not overtake the freebooters. Duke Ferdulf met him as he was returning thence and when he asked him what had become of these robbers, Argait, for that was his name, answered that they had escaped. Then Ferdulf in rage thus spoke to him: “When could you do anything bravely, you whose name, Argait, comes from the word coward,”46 and Argait, provoked by great anger, since he was a brave man, answered as follows: “May God so will that you and I, duke Ferdulf, may not depart from this life until others know which of us is the greater coward.” When they had spoken to each other 268 in turn, these words, in the vulgar tongue,47 it happened not many days afterwards, that the army of the Slavs, for whose coming duke Ferdulf had given his sums of money, now arrived in great strength. And when they had set their camp upon the very top of a mountain 269 and it was hard to approach them from almost any side, duke Ferdulf, coming upon them with his army, began to go around that mountain in order that he could attack them by more level places. Then Argait of whom we have spoken thus said to Ferdulf: “Remember, duke Ferdulf, that you said I was lazy and useless and that you called me in our common speech a coward, but now may the anger of God come upon him who shall be the last of us to attack those Slavs,” and saying these words, he turned his horse where the ascent was difficult on account of the steepness of the mountain, and began to attack the fortified camp of the Slavs. Ferdulf, being ashamed not to attack the Slavs himself, through the same difficult places, followed him through those steep and hard and pathless spots, and his army too, considering it base not to follow their leader, began also to press on after him. Consequently the Slavs, seeing that they were coming upon them through steep places, prepared themselves manfully, and fighting against them more with stones and axes48 than with arms they threw them nearly all from their horses and killed them. And thus they obtained their victory, not by their own strength, but by chance. There all the nobility of the Friulans perished. There duke Ferdulf fell and there too he who had provoked him was killed. And there so great a number of brave men were vanquished by the wickedness and thoughtlessness of dissension as could, with unity and wholesome counsel, 270 overthrow many thousands of their enemies. There, however, one of the Langobards, Munichis by name, who was afterwards the father of the dukes Peter of Forum Julii and Ursus of Ceneta (Ceneda), alone acted in a brave and manly manner. When he had been thrown from his horse and one of the Slavs suddenly attacking him had tied his hands with a rope, he wrested with his bound hands the lance from the right hand of that same Slav, pierced him with it, and tied as he was, threw himself down through the steep places and escaped. We put these things into this history especially for this purpose, that nothing further of a like character may happen through the evil of dissension.


44   VI, Chap. 3, supra.

45  See the German, Schultheiss, local magistrate. They were subordinate to the judges (i. e., the dukes or the gastaldi). See II, 32, note 4 (pp. 86-91), supra; Pabst, 499.

46  Arga, a Langobard word, meaning cowardly, inert, worthless. See Rothari, Edict, Chapter 381 (M. G. LL., IV, p. 88), where the word is recognized as conveying a particular insult. “If one in rage calls another an arga, and he cannot deny it, and says he has called him so in rage, he shall declare upon oath that he does not hold him for an arga, and thereupon he shall pay twelve solidi for the offensive word. But if he insists upon it and says he can prove it in a duel, so let him convict him, if he can, or let him pay as above.”

47  “Vulgaria verba.” Hartmann (II, 2, 58) regards this passage as presupposing that Ferdulf and Argait could speak Latin with one another. After the permanent settlement of the Langobards in Italy the current Latin language of the time (which was the only written language, and the only one fitted to many of the new relations imposed by their intercourse with the Roman population) gradually superseded their own more barbarous tongue. (Hartmann, II, 2, 22). It is evident, however, from the German words used by Paul, as well as from his description of this controversy between duke Ferdulf and Argait, which must have occurred not far from A. D. 700 (Hodgkin, VI, 328, note 3), that the Langobard language was spoken in the eighth century, and there are traces of its continuance even after the Frankish invasion, A. D. 774. In a document in upper Italy the pronoun ih introduced by mistake before the Latin words “have subscribed myself” indicate the existence of the Langobard as a spoken language in the latter half of the ninth century. The Chronicle of Salerno, composed in 978 (Ch. 38, MGH. SS., III, 480), refers to the German language as “formerly” spoken by the Langobards, from which it would appear that in that region at least it had then become extinct. But it is quite uncertain just when it ceased to be used. Probably the language continued longest where the German population was most dense, and the period where it died out as a living language must have been preceded by a considerable time, in which those who spoke it also understood and spoke the Latin tongue. The period of its decline can be traced by numerous Latin terminations of German words and the addition of German suffixes (for example engo, ingo, esco- asco- atto- etto- otto) to Latin words, combinations which have been important ingredients in the formation of modern Italian (Bruckner, Sprache der Langobarden, pp. 11-17).

48  Securibus. Hodgkin translates “tree trunks,” believing that the axes were used in felling trees to cast down upon them (VI, 330, and note 3).


Chapter XXV.

And so duke Ferdulf having died in this way, Corvolus was appointed in his place, but he held the dukedom only a little while, and when he had offended the king, his eyes were torn out and he lived ignominiously.


Chapter XVI.

Afterwards indeed Pemmo acquired the dukedom.49 He was a man of talent and useful to his country. His father was Billo who had been a native of Bellunum (Belluno), but on account of a sedition he had caused at that place he afterwards came to Forum Julii, and lived there peacefully. This Pemmo had a wife, Ratperga by name, who since she was boorish in appearance 271 often asked her husband to send her away and take another wife whom it would befit to be the spouse of so great a duke. But as he was a wise man he said that her behavior and humility and reverent modesty pleased him more than beauty of body. From this wife then Pemmo begot three sons, Ratchis and Ratchait and Ahistulf,50 energetic men, whose birth raised the humility of their mother to high honor. This duke collected all the sons of all the nobles who had died in the war of which we have spoken, and brought them up in like manner with his own children as if they themselves had been begotten by him.


49  De Rubeis (319) thinks this was in 705. He held the dukedom about twenty-six years (Hodgkin, VI, 332).

50  Ratchis and Aistulf were afterwards king of the Langobards.


Chapter XVII.

At this time then, Gisulf the ruler of the Beneventines took Sura (Sora), a city of the Romans, and in like manner the towns of Hirpinum (Arpino) and Arx (Arce).51 This Gisulf at the time of Pope John52 came to Campania with all his forces burning and plundering, took many captives and set up his camp as far as in the place which is called Horrea,53 and no one could resist 272 him. The Pontiff sent priests to him with apostolic gifts and redeemed all the captives from the hands of his troops, and induced the duke himself to go back home with his army.


51  Three towns on or near the river Liris or Garigliano and something over fifty miles southeast of Rome.

52  John VI, A. D 701-704. Others think, John V, A. D. 685 (Waitz).

53  Hodgkin (VI, 336, note 2) believes that Puteoli is intended — Duchesne, followed by Hartmann (II, 2, 116), says it was a place at the fifth milestone of the Via Latina. It seems uncertain whether one incursion or more was meant by this chapter of Paul (Id.).


Chapter XVIII.

At this time54 Aripert king of the Langobards made restitution by gift of the patrimony of the Cottian Alps55 which had formerly belonged to the jurisdiction of the Apostolic See but had been taken away by the Langobards a long time before, and he dispatched this deed of gift written in golden letters to Rome. Also in these days56 two kings of the Saxons57 coming to Rome to the footsteps of the apostles, died suddenly as they desired.


54  A. D. 707 (Giansevero).

55  Paul does not intend to say that this patrimony included the whole province of the Cottian Alps, but simply that part of the papal patrimony that was in that province (Hodgkin, VI, 324, note 2).

56  This is erroneous, the kings’ pilgrimage did not occur during the papacy of John VI (701-705), to whom Aripert made this gift, but in 709 under Constantine I (Jacobi, p. 50; Hodgkin, VI, 323).

57  Coinred king of the Mercians and Offa prince of the East Saxons (Hodgkin, VI, 323).


Chapter XXIX.

Then also Benedict archbishop of Mediolanum (Milan) came to Rome and conducted his lawsuit for the church of Ticinum, but he was defeated because from early times the bishops of Ticinum had been consecrated 273 by the Roman Church.58 This venerable archbishop Benedict was a man of eminent holiness, and the fame of good opinion concerning him shone brightly throughout the whole of Italy.


58  The date of this is fixed by Paul at too early a period (Jacobi, 56).


Chapter XXX.

Then when Transamund, the duke of the Spoletans had died,59 Faruald, his son, succeeded to his father’s place. Moreover, Wachilapus was the brother of Transamund and governed that same dukedom equally with his brother.


59  He appears to have reigned forty years from 663 to 703 (Hodgkin, VI, 337).


Chapter XXXI.

But Justinian, who had lost his imperial power and was in exile in Pontus, again received the sovereignty by the help of Terebellus, king of the Bulgarians, and put to death those patricians who had expelled him. He took also Leo and Tiberius60 who had usurped his place and caused them to be butchered in the midst of the circus before all the people.61 He tore out the eyes of Gallicinus62 274 the patriarch of Constantinople and sent him to Rome and he appointed Cyrus the abbot who had taken care of him when he was in exile in Pontus, as bishop in the place of Gallicinus. He ordered Pope Constantine to come to him, and received him and sent him back with honor.63 Falling upon the earth he asked the Pope to intercede for his sins and he renewed all of the privileges of his Church.64 When he sent his army into Pontus to seize Filippicus, whom he had held there in bondage, this same venerable Pope earnestly forbade him from doing this but he could not, however, prevent it.


60  Paul has here misunderstood the language of Bede from whom he took this statement and who said that Justinian executed Leo (Leontius) and Tiberius (Apsimar) the patricians who had expelled him. No other patricians are referred to (Jacobi, 50).

61  Justinian II, who had been exiled to Cherson (see ch. 12, note, supra), was rejected by the citizens of that place, whereupon he roamed through the southern part of Russia and took refuge with the Cagan of the Khazars, a Hunnish tribe settled around the sea of Azof, and the Cagan gave him in marriage his sister Theodora. The reigning emperor Tiberius sent messengers to the Cagan offering him great gifts to kill or surrender Justinian. The Cagan listened to the tempting proposals, but Theodora warned her husband, who fled to the Danube, where Terbel or Terebellus joined him in an effort to regain the throne. With the aid of the Bulgarians he attacked and conquered Constantinople. His two rivals, who had successively reigned in his absence, were now both loaded with chains and brought before his throne in the Hippodrome where he placed his feet upon their necks before causing them to be beheaded at the place of public execution (Hodgkin, 365-368).

62  Callinicus (not Gallicinus) had preached a sermon rejoicing at the overthrow of Justinian ten years before (Hodgkin, VI, 361).

63   Constantine left Rome October, 710 (Hodgkin, VI, 375) and returned October, 711 (id., p. 379).

64  It is probable that the decrees of the Quinisextan Council were now accepted by the pope (Hodgkin, VI, 378-379).


Chapter XXXII.

The army too which had been sent against Filippicus joined Filippicus’ side and made him emperor. He came to Constantinople against Justinian, fought with him at the twelfth milestone from the city, conquered and killed him, and obtained his sovereign power. Justinian indeed reigned six years with his son Tiberius in this second term.65 Leo in banishing him cut off his nostrils and he, after he had assumed the sovereignty, as often as he wiped off his hand flowing with a drop of rheum, almost so often did he order some one of those who had been against him to be slain.66


65  In his insane fury for revenge against the people of Cherson who had rejected him when he was exiled, Justinian sent three expeditions against that city to destroy it. In the first of these its leading citizens were seized and sent for punishment to Constantinople, where some were roasted alive and others drowned; but Justinian still accused his generals of slackness in executing his orders and sent others in their places, who were, however, compelled to give up the bloody work, and then for self-protection to join the party of revolt which gathered around one Bardanis, an Armenian, who was proclaimed emperor under the name of Filippicus, whereupon an expedition set out for Constantinople to dethrone Justinian. It was entirely successful. The tyrant was deserted by his subjects, and with his son Tiberius was captured and slain (Hodgkin, 379-384).

66  A reign of terror had followed the restoration of Justinian and innumerable victims perished. Some were sewn up in sacks and thrown into the sea, others invited to a great repast and when they rose to leave were sentenced to execution (Hodgkin, VI, 369). He was specially infuriated against the city of Ravenna and sent a fleet thither under the patrician Theodore, seized the chief men of the city, brought them to Constantinople, blinded the archbishop Felix, and put the rest to death (pp. 373-374). Justinian then sent as exarch to Italy John Rizokopus, who went first to Rome and put to death a number of papal dignitaries and then proceeded to Ravenna, where in a struggle with the local forces he was killed. The people of Ravenna refused to recognize Justinian, and chose a leader of their own in the person of Georgius, who organized an autonomous government and established a military organization in Italy independent of Byzantium (Hartmann, II, 2, 78-81).


Chapter XXXIII.

In these days then, when the patriarch Peter was dead, Serenus undertook the government of the church of Aquileia.67 He was a man endowed with a simple character and devoted to the service of Christ.


67  It was afterwards, at the request of king Liutprand, that pope Gregory II sent the pallium of a metropolitan to Serenus, bishop of Aquileia (Dandolo, VII, 2, 13, see Muratori, Rer. Ital. Script. XII, 131; Chronicle of John the Deacon, p. 96, Monticolo). Dissensions arose between the patriarchs of Aquileia and Grado, and Gregory wrote to Serenus warning him not to pass beyond the bounds of the Langobard nation and trespass upon Grado (Hodgkin, 466-467). The seat of the patriarch was subsequently removed, first to Cormons, and after Serenus had died and Calixtus had succeeded him (see Ch. 51, infra), to Cividale.


Chapter XXXIV.

But Filippicus indeed, who was called Bardanis, after he was confirmed in the imperial dignity, ordered that Cyrus, of whom we have spoken, should be turned out of his patriarchate and return to Pontus, to govern his monastery. This Filippicus dispatched letters of perverted doctrine to which he, together 277 with a council of the Apostolic See, rejected,68 and on account of this affair he caused pictures to be made in the portico of St. Peter representing the transactions of the six holy general councils. For Filippicus had ordered that pictures of this kind which were in the imperial city, should be carried away. The Roman people determined that they would not take the name of the heretical emperor upon their documents, nor his likeness upon their coins. Hence his image was not brought into the church, nor was his name mentioned in the solemnities of the mass. When he had held the sovereignty one year and six months, Anastasius, who was also called Artemius, rising against him, expelled him from the sovereignty and deprived him of his eyes, but did not however kill him.69 This Anastasius sent letters to Rome to pope Constantine by Scolasticus, the patrician and exarch of Italy, in which he declared himself to be an adherent of the Catholic church and an acknowledger of the Sixth Holy Council.


68  The authorities disagree and the passage is not clear. Perhaps a partial council, summoned by the Pope, is meant. Filippicus declared in favor of the Monotheletes, who had been condemned by the Sixth Œcumenical Council at Constantinople (Giansevero).

69  A. D. 713 (Hodgkin, VI, 386).


Chapter XXXV.

Then after Ansprand had been in exile in Bavaria for now nine full years, in the tenth year, after Teutpert was at last prevailed upon, (to make war) the commander of the Bavarians came with his army to Italy 278 and fought with Aripert and there occurred a great slaughter of the people on both sides. But although at last, night broke off the battle, it is certain that the Bavarians had turned their backs and that the army of Aripert had returned as a victor to its camp. But since Aripert was unwilling to remain in camp and preferred to go into the city of Ticinum, by this act he brought despair upon his own people and boldness upon his adversaries, and after he had returned to the city and had felt that he had offended his army by this deed, he presently took advice that he should flee to France and carried with him from the palace as much gold as he thought useful to him. And when weighted down with the gold, he attempted to swim across the river Ticinus, he sank there and, choked with the waters, expired. His body was found on the following day, was cared for in the palace and was thence brought forth to the church of our Lord the Saviour which the former Aripert had built, and was there buried. In the days when he held the kingly power, Aripert, going forth at night, and proceeding to one place and another, inquired for himself what was said about him by particular cities, and diligently investigated what kind of justice the various judges rendered to the people. When the ambassadors of foreign nations came to him, he wore in their presence mean garments and those made of skins, and in order that they should not form designs against Italy he never offered them precious wines nor delicacies of other kinds. He reigned moreover with his father Ragimpert, and alone, up to the twelfth year. He was also a religious man, given to charities and a lover of 279 justice.70 In his days there was very great fertility of the land, but the times were barbarous. His brother Gumpert then fled to France and remained there to the day of his death. He had three sons, of whom the eldest one, Ragimpert by name, governed the city of Aureliani (Orleans) in our own days. After the death of this Aripert, Ansprand obtained possession of the kingdom of the Langobards71 but reigned only three months. He was a man distinguished in all ways and very few were to be compared with him in wisdom. When the Langobards became aware of his approaching death they set his son Liutprand on the royal throne72 and when Ansprand, while he was living, heard this he greatly rejoiced.73


70  Paul’s estimate of Aripert’s character is evidently too favorable.

71  Thus a new dynasty came to the throne. The descendants of Theudelinda were set aside and ended their lives in the kingdom of the Franks (Hartmann, II, 2, 125).

72  June 12, 712 (Pabst, 474).

73  Ansprand was buried in Pavia in the chapel of Adrian the martyr which he is said to have built. Waitz gives his epitaph.


Chapter XXXVI.

At this time the emperor Anastasius dispatched a fleet to Alexandria against the Saracens. His army was turned to another purpose, and in the midst of its journey came back to the city of Constantinople, and hunting up the orthodox Theodosius, chose him as emperor and when he was put by force upon the throne of the empire, confirmed him. This Theodosius conquered Anastasius in a severe battle at the city of Nicea, 280 and having imposed an oath upon him, caused him to be ordained a churchman and a presbyter. When Anastasius received the sovereignty, he presently put up in its former place in the imperial city that revered picture in which the holy councils were painted and which had been torn down by Filippicus. In these days the river Tiber had such an inundation that having overflowed its bed it did many injuries to the city of Rome so that it rose in the Via Lata to one and a half times the height of a man, and from the gate of St. Peter to the Molvian bridge74 the waters all mingled together as they flowed down.


74  The Pons Mulvius (now the Ponte Molle) was built by the censor M. Æmilius Scaurus, B. C. 109.


Chapter XXXVII.

In these times, by the inspiration of Divine Love, many of the nobles and common people, men and women, dukes and private persons of the nation of the Angles were in the habit of coming from Britain to Rome. Pipin75 at that time obtained the sovereignty in the kingdom of the Franks. He was a man of astonishing boldness who instantly crushed his foes in attacking them. For he crossed the Rhine and with only one of his attendants he fell upon a certain adversary of his and killed him with his followers in his bedchamber where he lived. He also courageously waged many wars with the Saxons and especially with Ratpot, king of the Frisians. He had also a number of sons but 281 among these Charles, who succeeded him afterwards in the sovereignty, was the most distinguished.


75  The father of Charles Martel(Abel).


Chapter XXXVIII.


But when king Liutprand had been confirmed in the royal power,76 Rothari, a blood relation of his, wished to kill him. He prepared therefore a banquet for him in his home at Ticinum, in which house he hid some very strong men fully armed who were to kill the king while he was banqueting. When this had been reported to Liutprand he ordered Rothari to be called to his palace, and feeling him with his hand he discovered, as had been told him, a cuirass put on under his clothing.77 When Rothari found out that he was detected, he straightway leaped backwards and unsheathed his sword to strike the king. On the other hand the king drew forth his own sword from his scabbard. Then one of the king’s attendants named Subo, seizing Rothari from behind, was wounded by him in the forehead, but others leaping upon Rothari killed him there. Four of his sons indeed who were not present were also put to death in the places where they were found. King Liutprand was indeed a man of great boldness so that when two of his armor-bearers thought to kill him and this had been reported to him, he went alone with them to a very deep wood and straightway holding against them 282 his drawn sword he reproached them because they had planned to slay him and urged them to do it. And straightway they fell at his feet and confessed all they had plotted. And he also did this thing in like manner with others, but nevertheless he presently pardoned those who confessed even a crime of such great wickedness.


76  A. D. 712 (Hodgkin, VI, 389). By this confirmation the usurpation of the new dynasty of Ansprand was recognized (Hartmann, II, 2, 25).

77  The story of Grimuald and Godepert seems to be here repeated with a slight variation.


Chapter XXXIX.

Then when Gisulf, the duke the Beneventines had died, Romuald his son undertook the government of the people of the Samnites.


Chapter XL.

About these times Petronax, a citizen of the city of Brexia (Brescia) spurred by the love of God, came to Rome and then by the exhortation of Pope Gregory of the Apostolic See, proceeded to this fortress of Cassinum;78 and when he came to the holy remains of the blessed father Benedict he began to dwell there with certain honest men who were already living there before. And they appointed this same venerable man Petronax as their superior, and not long afterwards, with the aid of Divine Mercy and through favor of the merits of the blessed father Benedict, after the lapse of about a hundred and ten years from the time when that place had become destitute of the habitation of men, he became there the father of many monks of high and low degree who gathered around him, and he began to live, when the dwellings were repaired, under the restraint 283 of the Holy Rule of the Order and the institutions of the blessed Benedict, and he put this sacred monastery in the condition in which it is now seen. At a subsequent time Zacharias, Chief of Priests and Pontiff beloved by God, bestowed many useful things upon this venerable man Petronax, namely the books of Holy Scripture and all sorts of other things that relate to the service of a monastery and moreover he gave him with fatherly piety the Rule of the Order which the blessed father Benedict had written with his own holy hands.79 The monastery indeed of the blessed martyr Vincent, which is situated near the source of the river Vulturnus and is now celebrated for its great community of monks, was then already founded by three noble brothers, that is, Tato, Taso and Paldo, as the writings of the very learned Autpert, abbot of his monastery show, in the volume which he composed on the subject. While the blessed Pope Gregory indeed80 of the Roman See was still living, the fortress of Cumae was taken by the Langobards of Beneventum, but when night came on, certain of the Langobards were captured and others were killed by the duke of Naples; also the fortress itself was re-taken by the Romans. For the ransom of this fortress the Pontiff gave seventy pounds of gold as he had promised in the first place.801


78  Paul wrote this at Monte Cassino.

70  Afterwards burned A. D. 896 (Waitz).

80  Gregory II.

81  A. D. 717. The recapture of this place did not occur at once as Paul’s account seems to indicate, but the duke of Naples was urged to the act by the Pope who promised and paid him that so-called ransom (Hodgkin, VI, 442).


Chapter XLI.

Meanwhile the emperor Theodosius, who had ruled the empire only one year, having died,82 Leo was substituted as emperor in his place.83


81  An error. Theodosius did not die but was deposed (Waitz).

83  Leo the Isaurian, the great iconoclastic emperor, born about 670, was appointed to a place in the life-guards of Justinian II, and was afterwards sent on a desperate mission to the Alans in the Caucasus where he showed great courage and ingenuity. Anastasius, the successor of Justinian appointed him general of the forces of Anatolia in Asia Minor where he kept the Saracens at bay. Theodosius III who succeeded Anastasius was considered incompetent to defend Constantinople against the Saracens and in 716 Leo was raised to the throne (Hodgkin, VI, 425, 426).


Chapter XLII.

Among the people of the Franks, after Pipin had been released from life, his son The father of Charles84 of whom we have spoken took the sovereignty from the hand of Raginfrid only by means of many wars and struggles. For when he was held in prison he was set free by God’s command and escaped and at first he began two or three times a struggle against Raginfrid with a few men and at last overcame him in a great battle at Vinciacum (Vincy).85 Nevertheless he gave him one city to dwell in, that is, Andegavi (Angers)86 while he himself undertook the government of the whole nation of the Franks.87


84  Charles Martel.

85  Near Cambray.

86  In this statement Paul is not supported by other authorities and he is not well informed in Frankish history (Jacobi, 43).

87  His title was not that of king but mayor of the palace; during the latter part of his life however there was no king. He was the real founder of the Arnulfing or Carolingian dynasty, and his son Pipin assumed the title of king (Hodgkin, VI, 421, 422).


Chapter XLIII.

At this time king Liutprand confirmed to the Roman Church the gift of the patrimony of the Cottian Alps, and not long afterwards the same ruler took in marriage Guntrut, the daughter of Teutpert, duke of the Bavarians88 with whom he had lived in exile, and from her he begot one daughter only.


88  The policy of the Bavarian dynasty, as to friendly relations with the Catholic church and with the neighboring Bavarians was continued by Liutprand. This marriage however afterwards led to other complications. After Teutpert’s death, his brother Grimoald attempted to rob his son Hucbert of the sovereignty. Charles Martel, who had established his dominion over the Frankish kingdom, now seized the opportunity to restore his own suzerainty over the Bavarian dukedom, while Liutprand (probably about 725) invaded the Bavarian territories and pushed forward the boundaries of the Langobard kingdom up to Magias or Mais, by Meran. Charles also married Suanahild, a Bavarian princess, and thus became the brother-in-law of Liutprand, and the friendship between these sovereigns was firmly established (Hartmann, II, 2, 125).


Chapter XLIV.

During these times Faroald, duke of the Spoletans, attacked Classis, a city of the Ravenna people, but by command of king Liutprand it was restored to these same Romans. Against this duke Faroald his own son Transamund revolted and usurped his place and made him a churchman.89 In these day Teudo, duke of 286 the nation of the Bavarians came for the purpose of devotion to Rome to the foot-steps of the holy apostles.90


89  A. D. 724 (Waitz; Pabst, 469, note 2).

90  A. D. 716 (Waitz). He had divided his dominion among his four sons. One of his granddaughters had married Liutprand and another Charles Martel (Hodgkin, VI, 440).


Chapter XLV.

When then at Forum Julii (Cividale) the patriarch Serenus had been taken away from human affairs, Calixtus, a distinguished man who was archdeacon of the church of Tarvisium (Treviso) received through the efforts of king Liutprand the government of the church of Aquileia. At this time as we said, Pemmo ruled the Langobards of Forum Julii. When he had now brought to the age of early manhood those sons of the nobles whom he had reared with his own children, suddenly a messenger came to him to say that an immense multitude of Slavs was approaching the place which is called Lauriana.91 With those young men, he fell upon the Slavs for the third time, and overthrew them with a great slaughter, nor did any one else fall on the part of the Langobards than Sicuald, who was already mature in age. For he had lost two sons in a former battle, which occurred under Ferdulf, and when he had avenged himself upon the Slavs a first and a second time according to his desire, the third time, although both the duke and the other Langobards forbade it, he could not be restrained but thus answered them: “I have already revenged sufficiently,” he says, “the death of my sons 287 and now if it shall happen, I will gladly receive my own death.” And it so happened, and in that fight he only was killed. Pemmo, indeed, when he had overthrown many of his enemies, fearing lest he should lose in battle any one more of his own, entered into a treaty of peace with those Slavs in that place. And from that time the Slavs began more to dread the arms of the Friulans.


91  Supposed to be the village of Spital near Villach (Waitz) on the Drave in Carinthia (Waitz). This seems quite uncertain.


Chapter XLVI.

At that time the nation of the Saracens, passing over from Africa in the place which is called Septem (Ceuta), invaded all Spain.92 Then after ten years they came with their wives and children and entered the province of Aquitaine in Gaul so as to inhabit it. Charles,93 indeed, had then a quarrel with Eudo prince of Aquitaine, but they joined together and fought by common consent against those Saracens. The Franks attacked them and killed three hundred and seventy-five thousand of the Saracens, while on the side of the Franks only fifteen hundred fell there. Eudo also with his followers fell upon their camp and in like manner killed many and ravaged everything.94


92  The first invasion of Spain by Tarik was in the year 711, before Ansprand returned from his exile in Bavaria. It was in 721, nine years after the accession of Liutprand, that having conquered Spain, the Saracens were defeated by Eudo of Aquitaine at Toulouse (Hodgkin, VI, 418, 419).

93  Charles Martel.

94  Jacobi (43) believes that Paul has here combined two battles in one, the victory of Eudo over the Saracens at Toulouse in 721 and the battle of Poictiers in 732. The latter battle, however, appears to be indicated, for Eudo, after his victory at Toulouse, had been vanquished by the Saracens, and it would seem that the remnant of his troops shared with those of Charles Martel the victory of Poictiers (Hodgkin, VI, 419, 420).


Chapter XLVII.

Also at this time this same nation of Saracens came with an immense army, surrounded Constantinople and besieged it continually for three years but when the citizens with great fervor cried to God, many (of the invaders) perished by hunger and cold, by war and pestilence, and thus, exhausted by the siege, they departed.95 When they had gone thence they attacked in war the nation of the Bulgarians beyond the Danube but they were overcome also by them and took refuge in their ships. When they sought the high sea a sudden tempest attacked them and very many also perished by drowning and their ships were dashed to pieces. Within Constantinople, indeed, three hundred thousand men perished by pestilence.


95  Hartmann says (II, 2, 85) the siege lasted one year, A. D. 717-718.


Chapter XLVIII.

Liutprand also, hearing that the Saracens had laid waste Sardinia and were even defiling those places where the bones of the bishop St. Augustine had been formerly carried on account of the devastation of the barbarians and had been honorably buried, sent and gave a great price and took them and carried them over to the city of Ticinum and there buried them with the honor 289 due to so great a father. In these days the city of Narnia (Narni) was conquered by the Langobards.96


96  Probably by the duke of Spoleto (Hodgkin, VI, 444).


Chapter XLIX.

At this time king Liutprand besieged Ravenna and took Classis and destroyed it.97 Then Paul the patrician sent his men out of Ravenna to kill the Pope, but as the Langobards fought against them in defense of the Pope and as the Spoletans resisted them on the Salarian bridge98 as well as the Tuscan Langobards from other places, the design of the Ravenna people came to nought. At this time the emperor Leo burned the images of the saints placed in Constantinople and ordered the Roman pontiff to do the like if he wished to have the emperor’s favor, but the pontiff disdained to do this thing. Also the whole of Ravenna and of Venetia99 resisted such commands with one mind, and if the pontiff had not prohibited them they would have attempted to set up an emperor over themselves.100


Also king Liutprand attacked Feronianum (Fregnano), 291 Mons Bellius (Monteveglio), Buxeta (Busseto) and 292 Persiceta (San Giovanni in Persiceto), Bononia (Bologna)101 293 and the Pentapolis102 and Auximum (Osimo),103 fortresses of Emilia. And in like manner he then took possession of Sutrium (Sutri)104 but after some days it was again restored to the Romans.105 During the same time the emperor Leo went on to worse things so that he compelled all the inhabitants of Constantinople either by force or by blandishments, to give up the images of the Saviour and of his Holy Mother and of all the saints wherever they were, and he caused them to be burned by fire in the midst of the city. And because many of the people hindered such a wickedness from being done, some of them were beheaded and others suffered mutilation in body. As the patriarch Germanus did not consent to this error he was driven from his see and the presbyter Anastasius was ordained in his place.


97  Probably not later than A. D. 725 (Hodgkin, VI, 444, note 3).

98  A bridge on the Salarian way, over the Anio (Hodgkin, VI, 448).

99  This word is the plural, “the Venices,” for there were then two, land Venice, mostly under the Langobards, and sea Venice, under Ravenna. (See opening words of the Chronicon Venetum by John the Deacon, Monticolo’s ed., p. 59).

100  To understand this controversy we must return to the time of Gregory I. The weakness of the Byzantine empire and its inability to protect its Italian subjects from the Langobards, combined with the growth of the administrative powers of the Pope throughout the extensive domains of the church, gave the papacy more and more a political character. Gregory extended this influence; he even attempted to make a separate peace with the Langobards, an act which was resented by the emperor Maurice. The people of Italy began to look to the Pope for protection, and there were aspirations for independence from the Eastern Empire and for a re-establishment of the Empire of the West. The usurpation of the exarch Eleutherius and the subsequent rebellion of Olympius which was supported by Pope Martin I, as well as the revolt of Ravenna under Georgius, all show this separatist tendency. Ecclesiastical differences such as the assumption of the title of Universal Bishop by the patriarch of Constantinople, the Monothelete controversy, the Type, the imprisonment of Pope Martin, etc., accentuated the irritation of the West. Constantine Pogonatus, indeed, like some of his predecessors, had adopted a policy of friendship with the papacy, and also concluded a definitive treaty with the Langobards, fixing the boundaries of the Langobard and Roman dominions. But after this peace was made, the Langobards became subject to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Pope and it became the interest of the Roman See to play the emperor and the Langobard king against each other in favor of its own greater power and independence. (Hartmann, Atti del Congresso in Cividale, 1899, pp. 153 to 162). When Leo the Isaurian mounted the throne, he was recognized at Ravenna, but an insurrection broke out against him in Sicily, which, however, was soon suppressed. But his heavy hand was felt in Rome in his efforts to collect from church property the means for carrying on his contests against the Saracens. Gregory II, a man of great ability, then occupied the papal chair and resisted his exactions, whereupon plots were laid by imperial officers to depose and perhaps to assassinate the Pope. Then came the conflict in regard to the worship of images, a practice which had gradually grown in the church and which Leo determined to eradicate. In 725 he issued a decree for their destruction. The work was begun with energy at Constantinople, all opposition was stamped out with great severity and a popular insurrection, as well as an attack upon the city by a rebellious fleet was suppressed with a strong hand. In Rome, however, his efforts were not successful, and when in 727 the order for the destruction of the images was renewed, Gregory armed himself against the emperor. The people now elected dukes for themselves in different parts of Italy and proposed to elect a new emperor, but the Pope restrained them, not wishing perhaps to have an emperor close at his side or possibly fearing a greater danger from the Langobards. Italy was distracted by internal struggles, the Pope, aided by the Spoletans and Beneventans, prevailed, and the exarch Paul was killed. Upon his death the eunuch Eutychius was appointed to succeed him. He landed at Naples and sent a private messenger to Rome instructing his partisans to murder the Pope and the chief nobles, but the people assembled, anathematized Eutychius and bound themselves to live or die with the Pope. Then Eutychius turned for aid to the Langobards, and Liutprand, who had at first favored the Pope and the Italian revolutionary movement and had improved the occasion to seize a number of the possessions of the empire, now changed his policy and formed a league with the exarch to subject Spoleto and Benevento to his own dominion and enable the exarch to control the city of Rome. The king first marched to Spoleto where he took hostages and oaths of fidelity, then he moved to Rome and encamped on the plain of Nero close to the city. The Pope came forth to meet him, attended by his ecclesiastics and Liutprand fell before him and took off his mantle, his doublet, his sword and spear, crown and cross, and laid them in the crypt before the altar of St. Peter. In spite of these manifestations of reverence, however, Liutprand insisted upon a reconciliation between the Pope and the exarch which put a limit to the Italian movement toward independence and to the political aspirations of the papacy, and in great measure restored the power of the exarch — although in the controversy regarding the destruction of images, in which the people took a passionate interest, the emperor Leo was never able to impose his will upon his subjects in Italy. In other matters too, local self-government had made great progress during the various revolutionary movements and nowhere more than in the islands of the Venetian lagoons, where the new settlements made by the fugitives from the mainland, had now assumed a semi-independent character under the doges or dukes of Venice, who in Liutprand’s time made treaties with the Langobard king (defining the boundaries of each and regulating the intercourse between the two communities). Liutprand also made a treaty with Comacchio, the rival of Venice in the commerce on the Po. It is surprising that these events should have been omitted by Paul, especially as they are referred to in the Liber Pontificalis, one of his sources. It shows the incomplete character of this last book of Paul’s unfinished history.

Gregory II died in 731, but his successor Gregory III pursued the same policy in respect to the emperor’s edict for the destruction of the images. He convened a council attended by the archbishops of Grado and Ravenna and ninety-three Italian bishops, with other clergy and laity, which anathematized all who took part in the work of destruction. The emperor now withdrew from the jurisdiction of the Roman See all the dioceses east of the Adriatic, as well as those in Sicily, Bruttium and Calabria, and made them subject to Constantinople, and the rich and important papal possessions in the three last-named provinces were confiscated. The portions of Italy still subject to the empire became now divided into three parts — 1st, southern Italy and Sicily, more directly subject to the central authority of Constantinople; 2nd, the duchy of Rome, which, subject to papal influence, gradually became more and more independent; and 3d, the immediate exarchate of Ravenna, which conducted for a short time a desperate struggle for existence (Hartmann, II, 2, 85-114; Hodgkin, VI, 432-436).

After king Liutprand had attained his purpose in regard to the dukedoms of Spoleto and Benevento, his unnatural alliance with the exarch came to an end. A Roman army under Agatho, duke of Perugia, attacked Bologna, which was in possession of the Langobards, and was defeated (Ch. 54, infra), and Liutprand captured Ravenna itself (A. D. 732-3), though the city was afterwards re-taken by the Venetians (see Hartmann, II, 2, 132-133).

101  Tregnano is west of the Panaro (Hodgkin, VI, 454, note 1); Monteveglio is west, and San Giovanni in Persiceto is a little northwest of Bologna (id.).

102  Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Sinigaglia and Ancona.

103  Near Ancona.

104  A. D. 728-729 (Jacobi, 58). It is a place about 25 miles northwest of Rome.

105  Liutprand took it from the empire, but in restoring it put it into the possession of the pope, who was then at the head of the independent movement in Italy (Hartmann, II, 2, 96-97).


Chapter L.

Romoald, then duke of Beneventum, chose a wife, Gumperga by name, who was the daughter of Aurona, king Liutprand’s sister. From her he begot a son whom 294 he called by the name of his father, Gisulf. He had again after her another wife, Ranigunda by name, the daughter of Gaiduald, duke of Brexia (Brescia).


Chapter LI.

At the same time a grievous strife arose between duke Pemmo and the patriarch Calixtus and the cause of this discord was the following: Fidentius, bishop of the Julian fortress (Julium Carnicum)106 came on a former occasion and dwelt within the walls of the fortress of Forum Julii (Cividale) and established there the see of his bishopric with the approval of the former dukes. When he departed from life, Amator was ordained bishop in his place. Up to that day indeed, the former patriarchs had their see, not in Forum Julii, but in Cormones (Cormons) because they had not at all been able to dwell in Aquileia on account of the incursions of the Romans. It greatly displeased Calixtus who was eminent for his high rank that a bishop dwelt in his diocese with the duke and the Langobards and that he himself lived only in the society of the common people. Why say more? He worked against his same bishop Amator and expelled him from Forum Julii and established his own dwelling in his house. For this cause duke Pemmo took counsel with many Langobard nobles against this same patriarch, seized him and brought him to the castle of Potium,107 which is situated 295 above the sea, and wanted to hurl him thence into the sea but he did not at all do this since God prohibited. He kept him, however, in prison and nourished him with the bread of tribulation. King Liutprand hearing this was inflamed with great rage, and taking away the dukedom from Pemmo, appointed his son Ratchis in his place. Then Pemmo arranged to flee with his followers into the country of the Slavs, but Ratchis his son besought the king and reinstated his father in the monarch’s favor. Pemmo then, having taken an assurance that he would suffer no harm, proceeded to the king with all the Langobards with whom he had taken counsel. Then the king, sitting in judgement, pardoned for Ratchis’ sake Pemmo and his two sons, Ratchait and Aistulf, and ordered them to stand behind his chair. The king, however, in a loud voice ordered that all those who had adhered to Pemmo, naming them, should be seized. Then Aistulf could not restrain his rage and attempted to draw his sword and strike the king but Ratchis his brother prevented him. And when these Langobards were seized in this manner, Herfemar, who had been one of them, drew his sword, and followed by many, defended himself manfully and fled to the church of the blessed Michael and then by the favor of the king he alone secured impunity while the others were for a long time tormented in bonds.


106  Now Zuglio, a town north of Tolmezzo (Hodgkin, VI, 41, note 2).

107  Not identified. Giansevero believes it was the castle of Duino.


Chapter LII.

Then Ratchis, having become duke of Forum Julii as we have said, invaded Carniola (Krain), the country of the Slavs, with his followers, killed a great multitude of 296 Slavs and laid waste everything belonging to them. Here when the Slavs had suddenly fallen upon him and he had not yet taken his lance from his armor-bearer, he struck with a club that he carried in his hand the first who ran up to him and put an end to his life.


Chapter LIII.

About these times Charles the ruler of the Franks dispatched his son Pipin to Liutprand that the latter should take his hair according to custom. And the king, cutting his hair, became a father to him and sent him back to his father enriched with many royal gifts.108


108  This friendship between the royal houses of the Franks and the Langobards had been the traditional policy since Agilulf’s time and had been of great advantage to both kingdoms (Hartmann, II, 2, 137).


Chapter LIV.

During the same time the army of the Saracens again entering into Gaul made much devastation. Charles giving battle against them not far from Narbo (Narbonne) overthrew them in the same manner as before with the greatest slaughter.109 Again the Saracens invaded the boundaries of the Gauls, came as far as Provincia (Provence), took Arelate (Arles) and destroyed everything around it.110 Then Charles sent messengers 297 with gifts to king Liutprand and asked assistance from him against the Saracens and he without delay hastened with the whole army of the Langobards to his assistance.111 The nation of the Saracens when they learned this, presently fled away from those regions and Liutprand with his whole army returned to Italy.112The same ruler waged many wars against the Romans in which he was always the victor except that once in his absence his army was defeated in Ariminum (Rimini), and at another time, when at the village of Pilleum, a great multitude of those who were bringing small presents and gifts to the king and the blessings of particular churches were attacked and killed or captured by the Romans while the king stopping in the Pentapolis. Again when Hildeprand the nephew of the king and Peredeo the duke of Vincentia (Vicenza) got possession of Ravenna, the Venetians suddenly attacked them. Hildeprand was taken by them and Peredeo fell fighting 298 manfully.113 At a subsequent period114 also, the Romans, swollen with their accustomed pride, assembled on every side under the leadership of Agatho, duke of the Perugians, and came to seize Bononia (Bologna), where Walcari, Peredeo and Rotcari were then staying in camp, but the latter rushed upon the Romans, made a great slaughter of them and compelled those who were left to seek flight.


109  A. D. 737 (Waitz).

110  The Frankish writers have related nothing of this. It seems doubtful whether a new incursion of the Saracens was meant inasmuch as they occupied Arles in A. D. 737 (Waitz).

111  Jacobi says (p. 44) that Paul has arbitrarily changed the history of this campaign. The Chron. Moiss. (MG. SS. 1, 292) states that Charles Martel on the news of the invasion of the Saracens into Provence, by which Arles, Avignon, and other places fell into their hands, marched against them, drove them back over the Rhone, besieged Narbonne, and without raising the siege, defeated a second army of the Arabs approaching for the relief of the city. Paul out of this makes two campaigns. In the first, the Saracens invaded Gaul and were defeated by Charles not far from Narbonne; in the second, they devastated Provence and took Arles, whereupon Charles called upon Liutprand for help and the fame of his name frightened the enemy.

112  A. D. 737 (Hodgkin, VI, 475).

113  This confused chapter in which Peredeo (unless it be some other of the same name) afterwards comes to life again, has been considered to indicate that Ravenna had been taken by the Langobards and was recovered by the Venetians. These Venetians were still a feeble community. Their chief towns were not on the site that Venice now occupies, but in other parts of the lagoons, at Heraclea, Equilium and Metamaucus. The present city on the Rialto was not founded until nearly seventy years after the death of Liutprand (Hodgkin, VI, 484, 485), notwithstanding Venetian traditions to the contrary.

The tribunes who had originally ruled the different islands had been superseded by a single doge or duke who may have been originally an official selected by the emperor or exarch. After the reigns of three doges the infant community remained for five years subject to “Masters of Soldiery” who were elected annually; then the dogeship was restored. John the Deacon who wrote near the end of the tenth century says (Monticolo’s edition, Chronache Veneziane Antichissime, p. 95), that during the administration of Jubianus one of these Masters of Soldiery (A. D. 731-735), the exarch (probably Eutychius), came to Venetia and entreated the Venetians to help him guard and defend his own city, which Hildeprand, nephew of Liutprand, and Peredeo, duke of Vicenza, had captured; that the Venetians hastened to Ravenna; that Hildeprand was captured, Peredeo fell and the city was handed over to the exarch (Hodgkin, VI, 487, 488).

114  Probably in a preceding period since Peredeo is mentioned (Waitz).


Chapter LV.

In these days Transamund rebelled against the king and when the king came upon him with his army, Transamund himself repaired to Rome in flight. Hilderic was appointed in his place.115 When indeed Romuald the younger, duke of the Beneventines, died,116 after he had 300 held the dukedom six and twenty years, there remained Gisulf his son, who was still a little boy. Some conspirators rose against him and sought to destroy him, but the people of the Beneventines who were always faithful to their leaders, slew them and preserved the life of their duke.117 Since this Gisulf was not yet fit to govern so great a people on account of his boyish age, king Liutprand, then coming to Beneventum, took him away from thence and appointed his own nephew Gregory as duke of Beneventum, with whom a wife, Giselperga by name, was united in marriage.118 Matters being thus arranged, king Liutprand returned to his own seat of government and bringing up his nephew Gisulf with fatherly care, he united to him in marriage Scauniperga, born from a noble stock. At this time the king himself fell into a great weakness and came near to death. When the Langobards thought that he was departing from life they raised as their king his nephew Hildeprand,119 at the church of the Holy Mother of God, which is called “At the Poles” outside the walls of the city. When they handed to him the staff as is the custom, a cuckoo bird came flying and sat down on the 301 top of the staff. Then to certain persons it appeared to be signified by this portent that the government would be useless. King Liutprand indeed when he had learned this thing did not receive it with equanimity, yet when he became well of his illness he kept him as his colleague in the government. When some years had elapsed from this time, Transamund, who had fled to Rome, returned to Spoletum,120 killed Hilderic and again undertook the daring project of rebellion against the king.


115  It would seem that duke Transamund of Spoleto about the year 737 or 738 had taken the castle of Gallese from the Romans and had thereby interrupted the communication between Ravenna and Rome. Gregory III, realizing how valuable would be an alliance with the duke and how dangerous he was as an enemy, offered a large sum of money for the restitution of Gallese and for a treaty binding him to make no war upon the Pope. Transamund made the treaty and restored the place, whereupon the duchy of Benevento also joined the alliance. This was contrary to Liutprand’s policy of conquest and expansion, and the king, for this and perhaps other causes, treated Transamund as a rebel and traitor, and on June 16, 739 we find Liutprand in possession of Spoleto (Hartmann, II, 2, 137-138). After he had appointed Hilderic he marched on Rome where Transamund had taken refuge, and as Gregory refused to give up the fugitive, the king took four frontier towns, Ameria (Amelia), Horta (Orte), Polimartium (Bomarzo) and Blera (Bieda). Gregory now wrote to Charles Martel, king of the Franks, telling him of the sufferings of the church and exhorting him to come to his aid. But Charles was the friend of Liutprand and refused (Hodgkin, 475-478). Transamund recovered Spoleto in 740 but he now refused to restore the four cities taken by Liutprand and the Pope withdrew his aid (id., 479-480). Before Liutprand set forth to recover Spoleto again Gregory III died and was succeeded in the papal chair by Zacharias, who had an interview with the king, who promised to surrender the four towns, whereupon the Roman army joined him and Transamund was forced to give up Spoleto (see Ch. 57, infra).

116  A. D. 731 or 732 (Hartmann, II, 132).

117  A catalogue of Beneventan dukes preserved at Monte Cassino shows that one Audelais, probably a usurper, reigned for two years after Romuald II (Hodgkin, VI, 471).

118  Gregory ruled Benevento 732 to 739 (id.). Hilderic’s appointment in Spoleto occurred about the time of Gregory’s death or afterwards (Hodgkin, VI, 475).

119  A. D. 735 (Hodgkin, VI, 473). The election of Hildeprand actually preceded the rebellion of Transamund, and Paul has inverted these events (Waitz; Pabst, 478, note 5).

120  December, 740. Supported by the army of the dukedom of Rome and by the Beneventines (Hartmann, II, 2, 139).


Chapter LVI.

But Gregory when he had managed the dukedom at Beneventum seven years was released from life. After his death Godescalc was made duke121 and governed the Beneventines for three years, and to him a wife, Anna by name, was united in marriage. Then king Liutprand hearing these things concerning Spoletum and Beneventum, again advanced with his army to Spoletum. When he came to Pentapolis, while he was proceeding from Fanum (Fano)122 to the City of Forum Simphronii (Fossombrone),123 in the wood which is between these places, the Spoletans uniting with the Romans brought great disasters on the king’s army. The king placed duke Ratchis and his brother Aistulf with the 302 Friulans in the rear; the Spoletans and Romans fell upon them and wounded some of them, but Ratchis with his brother and some other very brave men, sustaining all that weight of the battle and fighting manfully, killed many and brought themselves and their followers from thence except as I said the few who were wounded. There a certain very brave man of the Spoletans named Berto cried out to Ratchis by name, and came upon him clothed in full armor. Ratchis suddenly struck him, and threw him from his horse. And when his companions attempted to kill the man, Ratchis with his accustomed magnanimity allowed him to get away, and the man crawling upon his hands and feet entered the forest and escaped. Two other very strong men of Spoleto indeed came up behind Aistulf on a certain bridge, whereupon he struck one of them with the blunt end of his spear and hurled him down from the bridge and suddenly turning upon the other, killed him and plunged him into the water after his companion.


121  A. D 740. Without the nomination or approval of the king (Hartmann, II, 2, 138).

122  On the Adriatic coast northwest of Ancona.

123  In the March of Ancona.


Chapter LVII.

But Liutprand indeed when he reached Spoletum drove Transamund from the ducal power and made him a churchman,124 and in his place he appointed Agiprand 303 his own nephew. When he hastened to Beneventum, Godescalc having heard of his approach, endeavored to embark in a ship and flee to Greece. After he had put his wife and all his goods in the ship and attempted himself, last of all, to embark, the people of Beneventum who were faithful to Gisulf, fell upon him and he was killed. His wife indeed was carried to Constantinople with everything she possessed.


124  After Transamund had been reinstated in the duchy of Spoleto the Pope called upon him to perform his part of the engagement upon which Gregory had supported him, namely, to restore to Roman dominion the four fortified places which had been taken by the Langobards, but Transamund refused. About this time (at the end of the year 741) Gregory III died, and was succeeded in the papal chair by Zacharias. The new pope now asked the king to restore the four places, and offered to support him with a Roman army in recovering Spoleto. The king agreed, and in the spring of 742 advanced with his army, as related in the text, deposed Transamund with the aid of the Romans, and then proceeded to Benevento (Hartmann, II, 2, pp. 139, 140).


Chapter LVIII.

Then king Liutprand, arriving at Beneventum,125 appointed his nephew Gisulf duke again in the place that had belonged to him.126 And when matters were thus arranged he returned to his palace.127 This most glorious 304 king built many churches in honor of Christ in the various places where he was accustomed to stay. He established the monastery of St. Peter which was situated outside the walls of the city of Ticinum and was called the “Golden Heaven.”

He built also on the top of Bardo’s Alp a monastery which is called “Bercetum.”128 He also established in Olonna, his suburban manor, a dwelling to Christ of wonderful workmanship in honor of the holy martyr Anastasius, and in it also he made a monastery. In like manner too he established many churches to God in different places. Within his palace also he built a chapel of Our Lord the Saviour and he appointed priests and churchmen to perform for him daily divine services, which no other kings had had. In the time of this king there was in the place whose name is Forum928 (Foro di Fulvio), near the river Tanarus (Tanaro) a man of wonderful holiness Baodolinus by name, who, 305 aided by the grace of Christ, was distinguished for many miracles. He often predicted future events and told of absent things as if they were present. Finally when king Liutprand had gone to hunt in the City Forest, one of his companions attempted to hit a stag with an arrow and unintentionally wounded the king’s nephew, that is, his sister’s son, Aufusus by name. When the king saw this he began with tears to lament his misfortune, for he loved that boy greatly, and straightway he sent a horseman of his followers to run to Baodolinus the man of God, and ask him to pray to Christ for the life of that boy. And while he was going to the servant of God, the boy died. And when he came to him the follower of Christ spoke to him as follows: “I know for what cause you are coming, but that which you have been sent to ask cannot be done since the boy is dead.“ When he who had been sent had reported to the king what he had heard from the servant of God, the king, although he grieved, because he could not have the accomplishment of his prayer, nevertheless clearly perceived that Baodolinus the man of God had the spirit of prophecy. A man not unlike him, Teudelapius by name, also lived at the city of Verona, who among other wonderful things which he performed, predicted also in a prophetic spirit many things which were to happen. In that time also their flourished in holy life and in good works, Peter, bishop of the church of Ticinum, who, because he was a blood relative of the king had been driven into exile at Spoletum by Aripert who was formerly king. To this man, when he attended the church of the blessed martyr Savinus, that same 306 venerable martyr foretold that he would be bishop at Ticinum, and afterwards when this occurred, he built a church to that same blessed martyr Savinus upon his own ground in that city. This man, among the other virtues of an excellent life which he possessed, was also distinguished as adorned with the flower of virgin chastity. A certain miracle of his which was performed at a later time we will put in its proper place.130 But Liutprand indeed after he had held the sovereignty thirty one years and seven months, already mature in age, completed the course of his life,131 and his body was buried in the church of the blessed martyr Adrian132 where his father also reposes. He was indeed a man of much wisdom, very religious and a lover of peace, shrewd in counsel, powerful in war, merciful to offenders, chaste, modest, prayerful in the night-watches, generous in charities, ignorant of letters indeed, yet worthy to be likened to philosophers, a supporter of his people, an increaser of the law.133 At the beginning of his reign he 307 took very many fortresses of the Bavarians. He relied 308 always more upon prayers than upon arms, and always with the greatest care kept peace with the Franks and the Avars.134


125  About 742 (Waitz).

126  Gisulf II reigned for ten years, outliving Liutprand (Hodgkin, VI, 472). He conformed to the policy of Liutprand, who had restored him to his dukedom (Hartmann, II, 2, 141).

127  After Liutprand had recovered control of Spoleto and Benevento he delayed restoring the frontier cities to the duchy of Rome (VI, 55, note, supra), and Pope Zacharias. set forth with a train of ecclesiastics to Terni, where the king resided, for a personal interview, as a result of which the four cities were restored, with other territory, and a peace was concluded for twenty years. But in the following year Liutprand resumed his preparations for conquest of Ravenna, and Zacharias, at the request of the exarch, journeyed to Pavia to the king, and in a second interview entreated him to desist. Liutprand reluctantly consented to restore the country districts around Ravenna and two-thirds of the territory of Cesena, and to grant a truce until the king’s emissaries should return from Constantinople, whither they had gone for the purpose of concluding a final treaty. This interview was one of the last public acts of Liutprand, whose ambition for the unification of Italy was thus at the last moment apparently renounced. Possibly the near approach of death and his consciousness of the impossibility of his schemes of conquest being realized by his successors may have led to their abandonment (Hartmann, II, 2, 144, 145; Hodgkin, 491-498).

128  Or, more correctly, Liutprand endowed this monastery, which had been built before (Waitz).

129  To-day Valenza, near Alessandria (Giansevero).

130  Paul died before this history was completed, and no account of this miracle appears.

131  A. D. 744 (Hartmann, II, 2, 146).

132  He was afterwards buried in another church (San Pietro in Cielo d’ Oro). See epitaph in Waitz.

133  On the first of March of each year during fifteen out of the thirty-one years of his reign, Liutprand, by the advice of his judges (and no longer under the sanction of a popular assembly), issued certain laws to settle matters not provided for by predecessors. He claims that these laws were framed by divine inspiration, “because the king’s heart is in the hand of God.“ The laws of Liutprand were written in Latin so barbarous as to be almost incomprehensible. They show a great change in the social life of the Langobards. We no longer find provisions in regard to hunting and falconry, but instead, there are enactments providing for the enforcement of contracts and the foreclosure of mortgages. The fine paid for murder is superseded by absolute confiscation of the offender’s property, and if that property is insufficient, the murderer is handed over to the heirs of the murdered man as a slave. Some of these laws mention the fact that they refer to Langobards only, and one law concerning scribes ordains that those who write deeds, whether according to the laws of the Langobards or those of the Romans, must not write them contrary to these laws, thus indicating that at least a part of the population was governed to some extent by Roman law. (Hodgkin, VI, 392-399). It would be a necessary result of the peace made at different times between Langobards and Romans that the civil rights of Romans who lived in the Langobard territory should be recognized, which was not the case in the earlier days of Langobard domination (Hartmann, II, 2, 2-4). Under Liutprand’s laws if a Roman married a Langobard woman she lost her status, and the sons born in such a union were Romans like their father and had to live by his laws. There were many laws against oppression by the king’s agents, and heavy penalties were imposed upon judges who delayed judgement. The barbarous wager of battle was continued, but somewhat restricted, for it was said, “We are uncertain about the judgement of God, and we have heard of many persons unjustly losing their cause by wager of battle, but on account of the custom of our nation of the Langobards we cannot change the law itself.” There were severe laws against soothsayers and against certain forms of idolatry. (Hodgkin, VI, 400-407). A number of the later provisions of Langobard laws must be traced to Roman influence (Hartmann, II, 2-29).

There is a question how far the Langobards supplanted the Romans and how far their institutions superseded those of the Romans. The great preponderance of the Latin over the Germanic ingredients in the Italian tongue to-day and the survival of Roman laws and institutions down to the present time seems to indicate that the Roman population and civilization greatly outweighed that of the Langobards, (See Savigny, Geschichte des Römschen Rechts im Mittelalter, I, p. 398.)

134  The constant object of Liutprand’s policy, at least until his final interview with pope Zacharias, was the unification of Italy under his own scepter, though the means he took for the accomplishment of this object varied with the occasion. For this purpose the friendship of the Frankish king was necessary and this he constantly maintained, aiding Charles Martel against the Saracens without claiming any territorial concessions at his hands. The principal objects of Liutprand’s aggressions during the greater part of his career were the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento so far as these aspired to independent sovereignty; also the Eastern Empires, though he allied himself with the exarch when he found it necessary for the purpose of reducing the duchies to submission. The Catholic church and the papacy were protected by him, and he encouraged the movement in favor of the autonomy of Italy against Byzantium, until the pope identified himself with the rebellious dukes. Even then Liutprand’s opposition to the papacy remained always of a political, and not of a religious character (Hartmann, II, 125, 126). He encouraged the culture as well as the religion of Rome, and his aim was to rule ultimately over a civilized, as well as a Catholic Italy. He adapted himself to general as well as local currents of popular opinion, as is seen in the fact that he retained in his laws the trial by battle while expressing his own disbelief in its justice and that he gave to Benevento and to Friuli rulers of their own princely lines, after he had subjugated them to his authority. He always recognized the limits of possible achievement, and did not, like his successor Aistulf, contend madly against the inevitable. He was an efficient administrator and an able legislator as well as a courageous 309 and successful warrior. And yet this really great statesman, like his distinguished Ostrogothic predecessor Theodoric, could neither read nor write (Hartmann, II, 2, 127).

Paul’s last book contains many grammatical errors and faults of construction. It was more carelessly written than the preceding portions of the work, and being the last book of an unfinished history, it is itself somewhat incomplete.

It is greatly to be regretted that Paul’s work ceases at the very place where, independently of other sources, he could have told his story in great part out of the rich abundance of his own experience. From his position toward the last Langobard princes on the one side and their Frankish conquerors and the church upon the other, he possessed the highest qualifications for writing an impartial contemporary history of the overthrow of the Langobard kingdom, yet for this period, the most pregnant of all in its results on general history, we have only the meager accounts of the Frankish authorities, and the papal writings which are filled with partisan spirit. The most important source for the last half century of the Langobard kingdom is found in the lives of the Roman popes, composed by members of the Roman court, mostly contemporaneous, collected by Anastasius in the second half of the ninth century. Besides these we have the letters of the popes to the Frankish kings and such authorities as the Chronicle of the monk Benedict of Soracte, the Legend of St. Julia, the legendary Life of Saints Amelius and Amicus, and the Chronicles of Novalese and Salerno (Abel, pp.  xxiv to xxvi).

Our knowledge of the last days of the Langobard kingdom is therefore very fragmentary and great care is required even in the use of the slender materials we have. No adequate explanation is given in them for the extraordinary fact that a powerful and freedom-loving people, fifty years after it had reached the summit of its power under king Liutprand, was overthrown and became the spoil of its Frankish neighbor.

A closer investigation shows that this was due to the lack of any proper law of succession to the Langobard throne, to the absence of sufficient cohesive power in the monarchy, to the intractable character of the Langobard nobles, to increasing difficulties with 310 the church, and to the civil disturbances and quarrels occasioned by all these causes. After the time of Gregory I, the independence of the papacy and its desire for temporal power greatly increased, while the authority of the Greek empire over its scattered Italian possessions grew constantly weaker. Charles Martel was bound to Liutprand by friendship and by the need of aid against the Saracens, but after Liutprand’s death the relations between the Franks and the Langobards became more strained (Abel, xxvii, et seq.). Liutprand’s successor, Hildeprand, did not possess sufficient skill either to conciliate the adherents of the Pope or to control his Langobard subjects. Duke Transamund was reinstated in Spoleto, and soon the most powerful Langobard leader in the north, duke Ratchis of Friuli, was chosen king by his dependents, and Hildeprand was deposed after a reign of only eight months. Ratchis, whose diplomatic character had been shown in his career under Liutprand, now concluded a twenty years’ truce with Rome, but from some cause unknown to us, difficulties afterwards arose, and he found himself constrained to attack the Pentapolis and to lay siege to Perugia. The Pope came from Rome with a train of followers, visited the camp of Ratchis, and in a personal interview induced him to desist from his undertaking. This subserviency to papal influence, however, aroused the contempt of his own nobles and followers, who in Milan, in June, 749, chose as their king his younger brother Aistulf, a man of headstrong and unyielding character, whereupon Ratchis became a monk in the cloister of Monte Cassino. Aistulf now began a career of conquest, capturing Comacchio and Ferrara, and within two years from his accession, Ravenna, the capital of the exarchate, was in his hands. Then he pushed on to Rome, and thus gave occasion to the coalition between the papacy and the Frankish kingdom, which ultimately held to the overthrow of the Langobard dominion. (Hartmann, II, 2, 146-151). Owing to the weakness of the empire and to the theological and other differences between Rome and Byzantium, the practical separation of the West from the East was already far advanced, and the spiritual influence of the pontiff over the countries of the West, stimulated by reforms in the church and by numerous pilgrimages 311 to Rome from Britain and other countries, was becoming very powerful. Charles Martel had been succeeded by Pipin, who desired to change his title of Mayor of the Palace (where he reigned in the name of a helpless Merovingian monarch) to that of king, and who wished to secure the recognition of his new title, not only by the chiefs and nobles of his realm, but also by the church and by the Roman empire. Accordingly he sent an embassy to Rome to enquire of the Pope whether it was proper that in the kingdom of the Franks there should be kings who possessed no kingly power, and the Pope answered, as had been anticipated, that it would be better that he who had the power should be the monarch. Pipin now assumed that he was called to the sovereignty by apostolic authority. The Franks assembled at Soissons and chose him as their king, and he ascended the throne in November, 751, while the last Merovingian monarch was sent to a cloister. The papacy had thus rendered the new Frankish king a most important service, and now when it found itself in peril from the Langobards it was natural that a return should be solicited. In June, 752, when Aistulf with his army threatened Rome, Stephan, who had succeeded Zacharias in the papacy, secretly sent a message to Pipin imploring him to send ambassadors to that city to conduct the Pope to the kingdom of the Franks. Not long afterwards an imperial messenger from Constantinople brought word to Stephan that the emperor could send no help, but he commanded the Pope to seek a personal interview with the Langobard king and induce him if possible to relinquish his designs. In the meantime Pipin’s ambassadors had come to conduct the Pope to the Frankish king, and in October, 753, Stephan, in company with these, as well as the imperial representatives, proceeded to Aistulf, who had withdrawn from Rome and was then at Pavia, his own capital city. He refused, however, to abate his pretentions or to restore any of the territory he had taken from the empire. The emissaries of the Frankish king now requested Aistulf to dismiss the Pope that he might go with them to Pipin. Aistulf fell into a fury at the prospect of his plans being thwarted by a combination with the Franks, but he did not venture to restrain the Pope and thus bring on an inevitable conflict. Stephan 312 proceeded upon his journey, and Pipin, after an assembly of the Frankish kingdom had ratified his policy, agreed to restore, not to the emperor, but to the representative of St. Peter, the territories that had been seized by the Langobard king. Pipin and his two sons, Charles and Carloman, were now consecrated by the Pope, and the Frankish nobles bound themselves under pain of excommunication to choose no sovereign from any other line. The Frankish authorities relate that the king and his sons were at the same time made patricians, which was an imperial rank, and implied a recognition of their title at Constantinople (Hartmann, II, 2, 176-187). This title may have been granted in accordance with a previous understanding with the emperor or his representatives, but if so the empire subsequently derived little advantage from the act.

The league between Pipin and the Pope was thus sealed by the mutual exchange of possessions that belonged to neither, since Stephan gave Pipin the crown of the Merovingians, and the king promised the Pope the territories which had belonged to the empire (Abel, xxviii, xxix). The king accordingly set out with his army for Italy; defeated Aistulf near the foot of the Alps and laid siege to Pavia, whereupon the Langobard king agreed to restore Ravenna and the rest of the conquered territory and to comply with the Pope’s demands. But scarcely had the Franks left Italy when he repudiated his promises, and in January, 756, he renewed his attack upon Rome. Again Stephan implored and secured the intervention of the Franks, again Aistulf was defeated and besieged in his capital city and again Pipin “gave him his life and his kingdom,” but upon condition that Aistulf should not only restore the captured territory, but should give to the Franks one-third of the royal treasure in Pavia besides other gifts, and pay an annual tribute of twelve thousand solidi. Aistulf did not long survive this last humiliation, he died in December, 756 (Hartmann, H. 2, 189-197), from an accident while hunting. His brother Ratchis now forsook his monastery, and was recognised as king by the Langobards north of the Apennines, while Desiderius, a duke in Tuscia, set up his own pretensions to the throne and the Spoletans and Beneventans joined the league of the Pope 313 with the Frankish king. Ratchis appeared to have the advantage of Desiderius until the latter appealed to Stephan, who required from him an oath to surrender the cities belonging to the empire and to live in peace with Rome and faithful to the Frankish kingdom. Upon these terms Stephan agreed to support his pretensions; he now became undisputed king and Ratchis again retired. Faenza and Ferrara however were the only territories he had surrendered when Stephan died and was succeeded by his brother Paul, whereupon Desiderius, far from fulfilling his promises, pushed forward with his army through the papal Pentapolis into Spoleto, treated its duke as a rebel, expelled the duke of Benevento and put his own son-in-law Arichis into the vacant place. He raised difficulties in respect to the boundaries of the places to be ceded, but by Pipin’s intervention a compromise was effected by which the Pope renounced his claim upon the territories and yet surrendered, and Desiderius agreed to recognize the Pope’s authority over his Italian possessions and to protect him against an attack from his own nominal sovereign the emperor (Hartmann, II, 2, 206-215).

In 768 Pipin died and was succeeded by his sons Charles and Carloman, whose mother Bertrada sought an alliance with the Bavarians and the Langobards, and asked for the hand of the daughter of Desiderius for Charles. In 771 Carloman died, whereupon Charles seized his brother’s share of the kingdom, repudiated the marriage planned for him by his mother and sent back the daughter of Desiderius. The widow and children of Carloman were now taken under the protection of the Langobard monarch, and deadly hatred arose between the two sovereigns. Desiderius now seized Faenza, Ferrara and Comacchio and pushed forward into the territories of Ravenna and Rome. Hadrian, who then occupied the papal throne, urgently besought Charlemagne for immediate aid. Charlemagne traversed the passes of the Alps, marched against Desiderius and laid siege to Pavia. In June, 774, the city was taken, Desiderius was led into captivity and the kingdom of the Langobards was destroyed. Charlemagne was afterwards crowned Emperor of the West and the temporal power of the papacy over a region in the middle of Italy 314 was permanently established (Abel, xxvii to xxix). Grievous consequences have followed the division of that peninsula into fragments which have continued almost to the present time; and the dream of Italian unity cherished by Rothari and Liutprand was not to be realized until the days of Victor Emmanuel, Cavour and Garibaldi.

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