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BOOK 4 - 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 4



Chapter I

When therefore Agilulf, who was also called Ago, had been confirmed in the royal dignity [1] he sent Agnellus, [2] Bishop of Tridentum (Trent) to France for the sake of those who had been led captive by the Franks from the fortified places of Tridentum. And Agnellus, on his return thence, brought back with him a number of captives whom Brunihilde, [3] the queen of the Franks had ransomed with her own money. Also Euin, duke of the people of Trent, proceeded to Gaul to obtain peace and when he had procured it he returned.

[1] May, 591 (Waitz).
[2] Hartmann (II, i, 84) believes that the statement that Agnellus was acting on behalf of the Langobards in this matter was a mistake due to the fact that Paul considered that the Catholic bishop of Trent was in Langobard territory.
[3] Cf. Ill, 10 supra.


Chapter II.

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


Chapter III.

In these days king Agilulf put to death Mimulf, duke of the island of St. Julian, [1] because he had on a previous occasion treasonably surrendered to the dukes of the Franks. Gaidulf indeed, the Bergamascan duke, rebelled in his city of Pergamus (Bergamo) and fortified himself against the king, but afterwards gave hostages and made peace with his sovereign. Again Gaidulf shut himself up in the island of Comacina. [2] But king Agilulf invaded this island and drove Gaidulf's men out of it and carried away to Ticinum (Pavia) the treasure he had found placed there by the Romans. [3] But Gaidulf again fled to Pergamus (Bergamo) and was there taken by king Agilulf and again received into favor. Also duke Ulfari rebelled against king Ago at Tarvisium (Treviso), and was beseiged and captured by him.

[1] A small island in the Lago d' Orta (Giansevero), west of lake Maggiore.
[2] In lake Como.
[3] Cf. Ill, 27 supra.


Chapter IV.

In this year the inguinal plague was again at Ravenna, Gradus (Grado) and Istria, and was very grievous as it had also been thirty years before. At this time too king Agilulf made peace with the Avars. Childepert also waged with his cousin [1] the son of Hilperic, [2] a war in which as many as thirty thousand men fell in battle. The winter was then very cold, so that hardly anyone recalled its like before. Also in the region of the Briones (Brenner) blood flowed from the clouds, and among the waters of the river Renus [3] (Reno) a rivulet of blood arose.

[1] On the mother's side.
[2] Chlotar II.
[3] Between Ferrara and Bologna. Or was this Rhenus the Rhine?


Chapter V.

In these days [1] the most wise and holy Pope Gregory, of the city of Rome, after he had written many other things for the service of the holy church, also composed four books of the Life of the Saints. This writing he called a dialogue, that is, the conversation of two persons, because he had produced it talking with his deacon Peter. The aforesaid pope then sent these books to queen Theudelinda, whom he knew to be undoubtedly devoted to the faith of Christ and conspicuous in good works.

[1] A. U. 593 (Waitz).


Chapter VI.

By means of this queen too, the church of God obtained much that was serviceable. For the Langobards, when they were still held in the error of heathenism, seized nearly all the property of the churches, but the king, moved by her wholesome supplication, not only held the Catholic faith [1] but also bestowed many possessions upon the church of Christ and restored to the honor of their wonted dignity bishops who were in a reduced and abject condition.

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


Chapter VII.

In these days Tassilo was ordained king [1] among the Bavarians by Childepert, king of the Franks. And he presently entered with his army into the province of the Sclabi (Slavs), and when he had obtained the victory, he returned to his own land with very great booty.

[1] A.D. 595 (Giansevero).


Chapter VIII.

Also at this time, Romanus, the patrician and exarch of Ravenna, proceeded to Rome. On his return to Ravenna he re-occupied the cities that were held by the Langobards, of which the names are as follows: Sutrium (Sutri), Polimartium (Bomarzo), Hortas (Orte),Tuder (Todi), Ameria (Amelia), Perusia (Perugia), Luceolis [1] (Cantiano), and some other cities. When this fact was announced to king Agilulf, he straightway marched out of Ticinum with a strong army and attacked the city of Perusia, and there for some days he besieged Maurisio, the duke of the Langobards, who had gone over to the side of the Romans, and without delay took him and deprived him of life. The blessed Pope Gregory was so much alarmed at the approach of this king that he desisted from his commentary upon the temple mentioned in Ezekiel, as he himself also relates in his homilies. [2] King Agilulf then, when matters were arranged, returned to Ticinum (Pavia), and not long afterwards, upon the special suggestion of his wife, Queen Theudelinda—since the blessed Pope Gregory had often thus admonished her in his letters - he concluded a firm peace [3] with the same most holy man Pope Gregory and with the Romans, [4] and that venerable prelate sent to this queen the following letter in expression of his thanks:

[1] All these were later in the States of the Church. Three of them were important stages on the Via Flamminia connecting Rome with Ravenna (Hodgkin, V, 367).
[2] 'See Book II on Ezekiel. The passage is given in full in Waltz's note. See Homily XXII.
[3] Paul is in error here in his chronology, Agilulf's expedition against Perugia and Rome was in 594, or according to Hodgkin (V. 369) in 593. The peace was concluded in the latter part of 598 (Jacobi, 27) or more probably in 599 (Hodgkin, V, 415).
[4] In this chapter Paul gives a very short and insufficient account of a period filled with important events. In the year 592, duke Ariulf of Spoleto, a town on the way from Ravenna to Rome, continually threatened the communication between these two cities and captured a number of other places belonging to the empire, and Arichis duke of Benevento, co-operating with Ariulf, pressed hard upon Naples. About the end of July (Hodgkin, V, p. 363) Pope Gregory concluded a separate peace with Ariulf which aroused great indignation at Ravenna and Constantinople because it was beyond the authority of the Pope to make such peace with an independent power. It would seem that it was this action which stirred the exarch Romanus to his campaign in which he recovered the cities mentioned by Paul, that had probably fallen into Ariulf's possession. Now Agilulf took the field and after capturing Perugia marched on Rome, and Pope Gregory, from the battlements of the city, saw the captive Romans driven from the Campagna, roped together with halters around their necks on their way to slavery. The Pope made vigorous preparations for the defense of the city but no assault was made. One of the early chroniclers known as the Copenhagen Continuer of Prosper, says Agilulf relinquished the siege because he was melted by the prayers of Gregory. This statement has been doubted (Hodgkin, V, 372) and perhaps other causes, fever, disaffection, the impregnability of the place or the rebellion of the Langobard dukes may have led to his return. But the Pope began at once to work for peace between Agilulf and the empire. The emperor Maurice and the exarch Romanus laid many obstacles in the way, and it was not until the death of Romanus and the succession of Callinicus that peace was concluded.


Chapter IX.

"Gregory to Theudelinda, queen of the Langobards.

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

Likewise his letter to king Agilulf: "Gregory to Agilulf, king of the Langobards. We render thanks to your Excellency that, hearing our petition, you have declared peace (as we had faith you would), which will be of advantage to both parties. Wherefore we strongly praise the prudence and goodness of your Excellency, because in loving peace you show that you love God who is its author. If it had not been made, which God forbid ! what could have happened but that the blood of the wretched peasants, whose labor helps us both, would be shed to the sin and ruin of both parties? But that we may feel the advantage of this same peace as it has been made by you, we pray, saluting you with fatherly love, that as often as occasion shall be given, you may by your letters admonish your dukes in various places and especially those stationed in these parts, that they keep this peace inviolably, as has been promised, and that they do not seek for themselves opportunities from which may spring any strife or dissatisfaction, so that we may be able to render thanks for your good will. We have received indeed the bearers of these present letters, as being in fact your servants, in the affection which was due, because it was just that we should receive and dismiss with Christian love wise men who announced a peace made with God's approval." [1]

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



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