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BOOK 3 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
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BOOK 1 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
BOOK 2 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
BOOK 3 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
BOOK 4 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
BOOK 5 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
BOOK 6 - HISTORY OF THE LOMBARDS
VALENTINA DORIA CRIVELLI VISCONTI - THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICIA

Book 3



Chapter I

Some of the dukes of the Langobards then, with a strong army invaded Gaul. [1] Hospitius, a man of God, who had been cloistered at Nicea (Nice), foresaw their invasion a long while beforehand, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, and predicted to the citizens of that city what calamities were impending. For he was a man of the greatest abstinence and of praiseworthy life, who, bound by iron chains upon his flesh and clad with goat's hair, used bread alone and a few dates for his food. But in the days of Lent he was nourished by the roots of Egyptian herbs which hermits use, the gift of some merchants. The Lord deemed it fitting that great and excellent things should be accomplished by him, which are written in the books of the reverend man Gregory, bishop of Tours. This holy man then, predicted the coming of the Langobards into Gaul in this manner: " The Langobards," he says, "will come into Gaul and will lay waste seven cities because their wickedness has waxed great in the sight of the Lord, for all the people are addicted to perjuries, guilty of thefts, intent upon plunder, ready for murders; the fruit of justice is not in them, tithes are not given, the poor man is not fed, the naked is not clothed, the stranger is not received in hospitality. Therefore is this blow about to come upon that people." Also advising his monks, he said: "Depart also from this place, taking away with you what you have, for behold, the nation I foretold is approaching." And when they said, "We will not abandon thee, most holy Father," he replied, " Fear not for me, it will come to pass that they will inflict injuries upon me, but they will not harm me to my death."

[1] An invasion of Gaul, probably a mere foray, is mentioned by Marius of Avenches as having occurred in 569, immediately after Alboin's invasion of Italy. It was evidently a failure, for it was stated that many Langobard captives were sold into slavery (Pabst, 410, note 2). The particular invasion mentioned in the text occurred not earlier than 570 (Hodgkin, V, 216).


Chapter II.

And when the monks had departed, the army of the Langobards drew near. And while it was destroying all it found, it came to the place where the holy man was cloistered. He showed himself to them through the window of a tower. But when they, going around the tower, sought an entrance through which they could pass in to him, and found none at all, two of them climbed upon the roof and uncovered it. And seeing him bound with chains and clad in goat's skin, they said: " He is a malefactor and has committed murder, therefore he is held bound in these fetters,'' and when they had called an interpreter they inquired from him what evil deed he had committed that he was bound in such punishment, and he declared that he was a murderer and guilty of all crimes. Then one of them drew his sword to cut off his head, but straightway his right hand stiffened while suspended in the act of striking, nor could he draw it back. So he let go of the sword and dropped it upon the ground. His companions seeing these things raised a cry to heaven entreating the saint that he would graciously make known what they should do. And he indeed, having made the sign of salvation, restored the withered arm to health. And the Langobard who had been healed was converted to the faith of Christ and was straightway made a priest and then a monk, and remained in that same place up to the end of his life in the service of God. But when the blessed Hospitius had spoken the word of God to the Langobards, two dukes who heard him reverently, returned safe and sound to their own country, but certain ones who had despised his words perished miserably in that same Provincia.[1]

[1] Provence, a district on the Mediterranean at the mouth of the Rhone, the first part of Gaul to become, and the last to remain a Roman province (Hodgkin, V, 200).


Chapter III.

Then while the Langobards were devastating Gaul, Amatus, the patrician of Provincia, a subject of Gunthrani, king of the Franks, led an army against them, and when the battle began, he fled and was there killed. And the Langobards made so great a slaughter of the Burgundians that the number of the slain could not be reckoned, and enriched with incalculable booty they returned to Italy.


Chapter IV.

When they had departed, Eunius, who was also called Mummulus, being summoned by the king, acquired the honor of the patriciate, and when the Langobards again invaded Gaul [1] and came as far as Mustiascalmes (Moutiers), [2] which place lies near the city of Ebredunum (Embrun), Mummulus moved his army and set out thither with the Burgundians. And when the Langobards were surrounded by his army and trees were felled in their way [3] among the winding paths of the woods, he rushed upon them and killed many of them and captured some and sent them to Gunthram his king. [4] And the Langobards, when these things were done, returned to Italy.

[1] By way of the Col de Genevre (Hodgkin, V, 217).
[2] In the department of the Basses Alpes.
[3] 'Factis concisis' - See Du Cange, 'concisa'.
[4] In this battle, Salonius, bishop of Embrun, and Sagittarius, bishop of Gap, two brothers, fought and slew many (Hodg., V, 217).


Chapter V.

Afterwards the Saxons who had come with the Langobards into Italy, broke into Gaul and established their camp within the territory of Regia, that is, at the villa Stablo (Establon), [1] dispersing themselves among the villas of the neighboring cities, seizing booty, taking off captives and laying all things waste. When Mummulus learned this, he attacked them with his army and killed many of them, and did not cease slaying them until night made an end, for he found men ignorant and understanding nothing of what had come upon them. But when morning came, the Saxons put their army in order, preparing themselves bravely for war but by means of messengers they made peace, presents were given to Mummulus, the captives and all the booty were abandoned, and they returned to Italy.

[1] Near Moutiers (Abel).


Chapter VI.

After the Saxons had returned to Italy and had taken with them their wives and children and all their household goods, they planned to go back again to Gaul, in order that they might be received by king Sigispert and by his aid might return to their own country. For it is certain that these Saxons had come to Italy with their wives and children that they might dwell in it, yet as far as can be understood they were unwilling to be subject to the commands of the Langobards. But it was not permitted to them by the Langobards to live according to their own laws, [1] and therefore they determined to go back to their own country. When they were about to enter Gaul they formed themselves into two troops, and one troop indeed entered through the city of Nicea (Nice), but the other, through Ebredunum (Embrun), returning the same way they had gone the year before. Because it was the time of the harvests they collected and threshed grain and ate it and gave it to their animals to eat. They plundered flocks, nor did they abstain from burnings, and when they had come to the river Rodanus (Rhone), which they had to cross to reach the kingdom of Sigispert, Mummulus met them with a powerful multitude. Then seeing him they feared greatly, and giving him many coins of gold for their release, they were permitted to cross the Rodanus. While they were proceeding to king Sigispert they deceived many on the way in their dealing, selling bars of brass which were so colored, I know not how, that they imitated the appearance of proved and tested gold, [2] whence many were deceived by this fraud and giving gold and receiving brass, were made paupers. When they came at length to king Sigispert, they were allowed to go back to the place from which they had first come.

[1] This statement, which is accepted without question by most of the commentators, is discredited by Hartmann (II, I, 80), who remarks that it is an addition made by Paul himself to the account of Gregory of Tours from whom he takes this part of his history, and that it comes from Paul's knowledge of the Langobard state in the eighth century which is quite unreliable for events occurring two centuries earlier.
[2] Gregory of Tours (IV, 42) places this event at Arverni (Clermont), which seems out of the way for an army proceeding to Sigispert in Austrasia, whose capital was Metz, and Gregory says it was then spring-time, which is hard to reconcile with the statements about the threshed grain, unless indeed the Saxons wandered through Gaul until the following spring (Hodgkin, V, 192, note l).


Chapter VII.

And when they had come to their own country they found it was held by Suavi (Suabians) and other peoples, as we have before related. [1] Bestirring themselves against these, they attempted to drive them out and destroy them. The Suavi however offered them a third part of the region, saying: "We can live together and dwell in common without strife." and when they in no way acquiesced, the Suavi offered them a half and afterwards two parts, reserving only a third for themselves. And when they were unwilling, the Suavi offered with the land also all the flocks if only they would cease from war, but the Saxons, not content with this, sought a contest, and they had a strife among themselves beforehand in what way they should divide the wives of the Suavi. But it did not turn out with them as they thought, for when battle was joined 20,000 of them were killed, but of the Suavi four hundred and eighty fell, and the rest obtained a victory. And six thousand of the Saxons who survived the war made a vow that they would cut neither beard nor hair until they avenged themselves upon their Suabian enemies. And again going into battle, they were grievously wasted and so they ceased from war.

[1] Book II, chapter 6.



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Book 3



Chapter XVI.

But the Langobards indeed, when they had been under the power of dukes for ten years, determined at length by common consent that Authari, the son of their sovereign Cleph, above mentioned, should be their king. And they called him also Flavius [1] on account of his high office. All those who were afterwards kings of the Langobards auspiciously used this name. In his days on account of the re-establishment of the kingdom, those who were then dukes gave up half of their possessions for royal uses that there might be the means from which the king himself and those who should attend him and those devoted to his service throughout the various offices might be supported. [2] The oppressed people, however, were parcelled out among their Langobard guests.[3] There was indeed this admirable thing in the kingdom of the Langobards. There was no violence, no ambuscades were laid, no one constrained another unjustly, no one took spoils, there were no thefts, no robberies, every one proceeded whither he pleased, safe and without fear. [4]

[1] A title borrowed from the family name of Vespasian and Titus, afterwards used by a number of their successors and by the emperors of the East and thence transferred to other sovereigns, for example, to Odoacar (Hodgkin, V, 234) and to the Visigothic kings of Spain after Recared (Abel, p. 60). It was used to signify that the Langobard king had succeeded to the imperial dignity.
[2] The powers of the king are nowhere clearly defined. It should be noted that he was king of the Langobard people (not king of Italy), and that the Romans, who were not free subjects, were not taken into consideration (Hartmann, II, 2, 30). It would seem (Hodgkin, VI, 568) that the laws were devised by him after consultation with the principal men and nobles, and then accepted by the army, which formed the assembly of the people. The king was the supreme judge, but was assisted by jurors in coming to his conclusions. The highest criminal jurisdiction was exercised by him, sometimes immediately in cases of great importance, but more frequently by means of his officers. He had the highest police jurisdiction. Without his permission no free man accompanied by his clan (farn) might change his residence. Churches and convents were under his protection. He represented a woman as against her guardian and a retainer as against his lord.
[3] "Populi tamen adgravati per Langobardos hospites partiunter." This is one of the most important passages in Paul's history, as it furnishes almost the only existing statement of the condition of the Roman population under the early Langobard kings. It has been considered very obscure, and various interpretations have been given. Giansvero renders it: "And the people, oppressed by their Langobard guests, are divided.'' Abel translates nearly as in the text. Hodgkin (V, 232) renders it thus: " (In this division) the subject populations who had been assigned to their several guests were included." This departs widely from the Latin text, though it may well be the actual meaning. Capponi (Sui Langobardi in Italia 18, see Scritti Edit; e Inediti, 75, 77) believes that the sentence means that the tributary populations remained divided among the Langobard guests, and that the property only was ceded to the king. But Hodgkin asks (VI, 585) why the lands should be given to the king stripped of the Roman 'aldii' to cultivate them, and what the dukes who surrendered part of their land would do with the increased population now thrown wholly upon the remainder. Villari insists (Le Invasioni Barbariche in Italia, pp. 265, 266) that the property which the Langobard dukes divided with the king was that which they had taken from the Roman nobles they had killed (II, 32 supra), or which they had confiscated in other ways, and that there still remained to these dukes the third of the products of the lands possessed by the Romans, and he adds (p. 273) that the "oppressed people" were the same as those who had been made tributaries before (II, 32 supra), and who, therefore, had been and still remained divided among the Langobard proprietors who surrendered to the king half of the lands which were their free and full property. Savigny says (Geschichte des Romischen Rechts, I, chap. 5, p. 401): "The king was endowed by the nobles. The Romans were in the meantime divided among the individual Langobards as their hospites and the old relation between them remained unchanged." Hegel says: "There was no change in the general condition of the conquered Romans. They remained divided among their hospites." Troya (Storia d'Italia, I, 5 ccccx) contends that the true reading is 'patiuntur' for 'partiuntur'. ''The dukes gave one-half of their property to the king, nevertheless the populations oppressed by the Langobard guests suffered for it.'' The dukes made up for their patriotic surrender by screwing a larger tribute out of the oppressed Romans. But Hodgkin remarks (VI, 586, note) that this does not agree with the sentence that follows about the golden age. Since Paul no longer speaks of the products of the land, some think (see Villari, pp. 265, 266, 273) that the third of the rents was changed into a third of the lands, and believe that since the Langobards had made new acquisitions of territory, a division was made of the new lands for the benefit of those who had to give the king part of their own possessions. It does not seem to me that the above passage is as difficult as it has been considered. In the parcelling out of the people among their Langobard guests, the king, through his representative (his 'actor', or perhaps his Gasfaldus), may well have been one of these ''guests,'' a word which, as we have seen, was the euphemistic name assumed by the Langobards who settled upon the lands of the Romans and took a share of the products. In that case the literal translation given in the text would be entirely appropriate, and yet there would be no shifting of the population nor any change in the system of dividing the products of the land. One great difficulty with the passage has been to explain the use of the word 'tamen' (however), the usual meaning of which is adversative. Crivellucci (Studii Storici, 1899, 255) shows that out of forty-eight instances in which this conjunction is used by Paul in this history, there are six places where it might properly be given a copulative meaning equivalent to "and" or "also," and one place where such a meaning is required, viz., at the beginning of chapter 23, book II. It is certain that this conjunction as well as nihiloiniini', its equivalent, was often used by Paul, either with a variable meaning or else most inexpressively, and that its use here ought not to interfere with a translation of this passage, which is in other respects both reasonable and literal. As to the condition of this subject Roman population see note to II, 32, supra.
[4] This description of the golden age is not borne out by the facts (Pabst, 425, note 2).


Chapter XVII.

At this time the emperor Maurice sent by his ambassadors to Childepert, king of the Franks, 50,000 solidi [1] to make an attack with his army upon the Langobards and drive them from Italy, and Childepert suddenly entered Italy with a countless multitude of Franks. [2] The Langobards indeed entrenched themselves in their towns and when messengers had passed between the parties and gifts had been offered they made peace with Childepert. [3] When he had returned to Gaul, the emperor Maurice, having learned that he had made a treaty with the Langobards, asked for the return of the solidi he had given in consideration of the overthrow of the Langobards. But Childepert, relying upon the strength of his resources, would not give an answer in this matter.

[1] The value of the gold solidus (here referred to) differed at different times. Hodgkin places it at twelve shillings, so that this 50,000 solidi was equal to L30,000 (V, 228). He also (VI, 413, 414) gives a table of the purchasing power of the solidus about the time of Liutprand, which was more than a century later than the period in question. The average value of a slave varied from sixty solidi to sixteen; a new olive garden sold for eight solidi; half a house in Pisa for nine; a garden in Lucca for fifteen; a bed, tunic and mantle for ten solidi each; a horse with trappings for one hundred solidi, etc. Personality seems to have had a high value in comparison with real estate.
[2] Paul erroneously places the elevation of Authari to the throne before the arrangement made by the emperor Maurice with Childpert II, A. D. 582, for a common enterprise against the Langobards. In fact, it was the threatened danger of foreign invasion which induced the dukes to strengthen their military power by the creation of a king (Jacobi, 35).
[3] Gregory of Tours, from whom Paul took this statement, says the Langobards submitted to Childepert's dominion (H. F., 6, 42). Probably these gifts were considered as tribute.


Chapter XVIII.

When these things had been done in this way, king Authari approached the city of Brexillus (Brescello), situated on the bank of the Po, [1] to capture it. Thither duke Droctulft had fled from the Langobards and surrendering to the emperor's party, and being joined by his soldiers, resisted bravely the army of the Langobards. This man was descended from the race of Suavi (Suabians), that is, of the Alamanni, and had grown up among the Langobards, and because he was of an excellent figure, had acquired the honor of a dukedom, but when he found an occasion of avenging his captivity [2] he suddenly rose against the arms of the Langobards. The Langobards waged grievous wars against him and at length overcame him together with the soldiers he was aiding, and compelled him to withdraw to Ravenna. Brexillus was taken and its walls were levelled to the ground. After these things king Authari made peace for three years with the patrician Smaragdus,[3] who was then in authority at Ravenna.

[1] Twelve miles from Parma and on the Aemilian way (Hodgkin, V, 243).
[2] He had apparently been taken prisoner by the Imperial troops, and resented his lack of support by the other Langobard dukes, to whom he considered he owed his captivity (Hodgkin, V, 242).
[3] Smaragdus had been appointed in 585 to succeed the incapable Longinus (Hodgkin, V, 242). This treaty was made very shortly afterwards (Waitz).


Chapter XIX.

With the support of this Droctulft, of whom we have spoken, the soldiers of the Ravenna people often fought against the Langobards, and after a fleet was built, they drove out with his aid the Langobards who were holding the city of Classis. [1] And when he had filled the limit of life, they gave him an honorable sepulcher in front of the church of the holy martyr Vitalis, [2] and set forth his praises in the following epitaph:

Drocton lies buried within this tomb, but only in body,
For in his merits he lives, over the orb of the world.
First with the Langobards he dwelt, for by race and by nature
Sprung from Suavian stock, suave to all people was he.
Terrible to be seen was his face, though in heart he was kindly,
Long was the beard that grew down on his vigorous breast.
Loving the standards of Rome and the emblems of the republic,
Aid unto them he brought, crushing the power of his race.
Love unto us he bore, despising the claims of his kindred,
Deeming Ravenna his own fatherland, dear to his heart.
First of his valiant deeds was the glory of captured Brexillus.
There for a time he remained, dreadful to all of his foes.
Later when here his power brought aid to the Roman standards
First within his hands rested the banner of Christ.
Afterwards when Faroald withheld by treachery Classis,
"Fleet-town" [3] in hope to avenge, arms for the fleet he prepares,
Struggles in tiny ships on the flowing stream of Badrinus. [4]
Conquers and overcomes numberless Langobard [5] bands,
Vanquishes also in lands of the East the impetuous Avar,
Seeking to win for his lords victory's sovereign palm.
Often to them as a conq'ror, sustained by the aid of Vitalis,
Martyr and holy saint, honored with triumphs he came.
And in the fane of Vitalis he sought the repose of his body,
Pleased that this place should hold, after his death, his remains
When he died, he implored these things of the priest Joannes, [6]
By whose pious love he had returned to these lands. [7]

[1] The port of Ravenna. The dates conjectured for this event vary from A. D. 584 to 588 (Hodgkin, VI, 91, 92).
[2] This church, an octagonal building in the Byzantine style, was completed in the year 547, with the aid of contributions made by the emperor Justinian and the empress Theodora. Its walls were adorned with exquisite mosaics which are still in an excellent state of preservation. St. Vitalis was the patron saint of Ravenna. He came to that city from Milan during the persecution under
Nero, A. D. 62, at a time when St. Ursicinus was about to suffer martyrdom. He sustained and encouraged Ursicinus, who was terrified at the torments he was compelled to undergo, and after his death Vitalis buried him, and was thereupon arrested, tortured. and buried alive (Larousse).
[3] 'Classis', ''a fleet'' being the name of the town.
[4] Padoreno, say some, (Waitz) but this was one of the mouths of the Po more than thirty miles distant (Hodg., V, 247 note).
[5] In the original the Langobards are called Bardi, a name which recalls the Bardengau and Bardowick of the Elbe region.
[6] Johannes III, bishop of Ravenna, 578-595 (Hodgkin V, 248 note 2).
[7] A somewhat freer translation in rhyme is given in Hodgkin (V, 247).



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