The Assassination of Alboin

The Assassination of Alboin

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Alboin, (died June 28, 572 or 573, Verona, Lombardy [Italy]), king of the Germanic Lombards whose exceptional military and political skills enabled him to conquer northern Italy.

When Alboin succeeded his father, Audoin, about 565, the Lombards occupied Noricum and Pannonia (now in Austria and western Hungary), while their long-standing enemies the Gepidae bordered them on the east in Dacia (now Hungary). Astutely allying himself with the Avars, the eastern neighbours of the Gepidae, Alboin defeated his foes and killed their king, Cunimund. After the death of his first wife, he forced Cunimund’s daughter Rosamund to marry him. Wars against the Gepidae probably resumed thereafter nonetheless.

Alboin assembled adventurers from other Germanic tribes, including some Saxons, and prepared his combined forces, together with their women and children, for a migration across the Alps into Italy, which was held at that time by the Byzantines. The severely disorganized and generally unprepared provinces in northern Italy offered little resistance to the invading Lombards. Having swept through Venice, Milan, Tuscany, and Benevento, in 572 or 573 Alboin conquered Pavia, on the Ticino River, the future capital of the newly created Lombard kingdom. According to tradition, Alboin was assassinated by order of his wife Rosamund after he had forced her to follow the Lombard custom of drinking from the skull of her slain father the Byzantines seem to have had a hand in the plot.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.

Alboin was a trial warlord during the 6th century who let his arrogance and cruelty be his undoing. He came to power as King of the Lombards in 560. The Lombards were known for having conflicts with the Gepids and it was during his reign that Alboin wanted to squash the Gepids once and for all. He allied himself with the Avars and the Byzantine Empire in order to accomplish his goal.

In 567, the Gepids under the rule of King Cunimund attacked the Lombards. King Alboin&rsquos alliance was able to crush the Gepids. In the battle, King Cunimund was killed (either by King Alboin or the Avar King Bayan I). King Cunimund was beheaded and from his skull was made a wine cup which King Alboin wore on his belt and drank from often.

Due to the alliance agreement with the Avars in which they would get control of Gepid lands, King Alboin now found himself threatened by the more powerful Avars. To try and get the Gepids to ally with him he married Rosamund, the daughter the King Cunimund. However, the Gepids were far to wear to offer much help and King Alboin had no choice but to move his people to Italy.

Between 569 and 572 he conquered most of Italy and set about creating a Kingdom to rule with his wife. It would be his cruelty to his wife that would be his end. He was known to abuse her and treat her poorly but the final straw came when he asked his wife to &ldquodrink happily with her father&rdquo offering her wine from the cup made from her father&rsquos skull. From that moment she plotted his death. Working with Alboin&rsquos foster brother Helmechis, they blackmailed the King&rsquos bodyguard into helping them. Then one night as the King slept, Helmechis and the guard attacked King Alboin and beat him to death.

The Assassination of Alboin - History

Lesson 7) Phrenology and Cephalonomancy

The Divination lounge was brightly lit as the fourth years filed in for their lesson. The sun shone through the open window, a beacon of light and discovery. Upon each desk was a small, hand-held mirror, turned mirror side down. Some of the students picked up the mirrors to adjust their hair or to check for blemishes on their skin. As the bell chimed in the castle signaling the start of the lesson, Professor Cattercorn entered and flicked her wand at the upturned mirrors, forcing them to return to their resting position on the table before addressing the class.

Hello class! I hope that you learned in the last lesson that body divination does not only concern itself with the hands of a person! I trust that the assignment was easy as well. Today, we will still be concentrating on the head, however, there are some definite differences to be mentioned. We will begin with cephalonomancy, as it is a much older practice and will only be viewed in a brief historical sense and explanation. Think of it as a bit of a break from an otherwise very hands-on year!

The History of Cephalonomancy
Pictured above is a painting representing the assassination of King Alboin, King of the Lombards from 560 to 572 C.E. Never heard of the Lombards? I&rsquom not surprised, really, as they don&rsquot appear in many history books. They were a Germanic tribe that ruled a section of Italy from 568 to 774 C.E. Why am I bringing them up? They were really the only known people to practice cephalonomancy.

When a suspected criminal was caught and tried, the Lombards would practice this form of divination. It required the accuser to bake the skull of an animal, commonly a goat or a donkey, and after letting it cool, the accuser would apply sudden burst of extreme heat to the skull and call out the accused's name. If the skull cracked in any way or the teeth chattered, it meant an instant guilty verdict for the accused. Of course, as you can guess, this caused a fair amount of incorrect verdicts and fell out of popular use for that very reason. Not all divination is real, students! Of course, that is not to say that such an event (the cracking of a skull) could not be interpreted with the application of your Inner Eye, but things are rarely so black and white.

Origin Story
Armed with that information, you may be wondering why this faux form of divination caught on in the first place. Unfortunately, the true derivation of the practice is yet something of a mystery and cannot be confirmed: all I can really offer is this legend. While legends can occasionally be mere fabrication, you will know from your Mythology or History of Magic classes (or even from your discussion of vampires in Defense Against the Dark Arts) that more often than not legends hold a grain of truth from which we can learn something. So please, sit back and allow me to spin a tale for you.

In ancient times, there lived a witch and seer of extraordinary power. Legend says that her name was Rozaliya and the story puts her in the southernmost part of what we now refer to as the United Kingdom. Rozaliya lived by herself in the woods and far from the others of the town. As is often the case with powerful persons, rumors sprung up around her. No one would go near her or her home in fear that she would cast harmful spells on them or their children. After a time, she became so isolated that she began to feel the pangs of loneliness. She was self-sufficient enough that she did not need to ever leave her farm, and so her only comfort was her animals. She had two in particular that she was particularly fond of: a donkey she named Jaffrey and a goat called Clifton. In her long life of solitude and study, it is said she eventually found a way to enchant the two animals to speak. They kept her company throughout her life and up to her last remaining days. If that wasn&rsquot enough, in some way yet unknown to the magical community, her gift of the second sight was transferred to the two creatures when she died.

After her death, the animals wandered off in all directions in search of food. Jaffrey the donkey and Clifton the goat made their way to what is now known as modern day Germany, happening upon the Lombard tribe. When their gift of speech and foresight was discovered, they were rushed immediately to the king and lived the rest of their days in the lap of luxury, helping the king with their prophetic proclamations.

Having received such favors - including mates - during their time with the king, the two animals also left behind a number of offspring when they died. These offspring had many more offspring and so on and so on. None of these offspring could speak, so it was unclear whether or not they possessed the Inner Eye. However, when any of the offspring died, their skulls were collected and the practice of cephalonomancy began. It was thought that if they did possess the Inner Eye, their power of prophecy would be concentrated in their skull.

Whether this legend has any basis in fact, the tradition was certainly a real practice. The Lombards did use the skulls of donkeys and goats to attempt to read the future and guilt of others. Sadly, as I noted, as a result of this ineffectual practice, many a woman and man went to their deaths an innocent victim.

Phrenology, a Brief History
Though still quite an old practice, phrenology is younger than the other form of skull-based divination in this lesson. Phrenology began in the early 1800&rsquos and was born of a famous psychologist, neuroanatomist (or scientist that studies the nervous system), and seer by the name of Franz Josef Gall. This renaissance man developed a method of divining a person&rsquos characteristics and future by mapping out certain points on their skull. Due to his dabbling in both the magical and Muggle worlds, it comes as little surprise that he created a type of Muggle machine called the psychograph to aid in this process, as it was thought to be more accurate, as well as preferable to having a stranger dig their fingers into your scalp.

Muggles, ever resourceful in their pursuit of trying to perfect their divinatory techniques, didn&rsquot realize just how ridiculous some of their methods and tools were. A true seer knows that if you do not have the gift of seeing, no man-made machine is going to help you. Actually seeing someone&rsquos future is a feeling or vision that one gets. If you remember from your first year of this course, this is based on instinct . It is not as simple as just staring at a line and measuring it properly. Of course, that doesn&rsquot mean that Muggles or those without the sight can&rsquot work hard enough to get a rough approximation of the art, but it will never be the same, or really quite as good. For now, though, enough talk of Muggles. I would like for you to turn your attention to that chart over there on the wall.

You may be thinking that this looks overly confusing, but trust me, if you keep the chart on you and devote some time to committing it to memory, it really isn&rsquot as difficult as it looks, I promise. Do you see the position of each of those numbers? Each of them corresponds with a certain aspect of an individual's life. They are listed here in their original terminology, and as you can see, some of this is very dated.

Now for the fun part: how it is done. With those two aforementioned tools at your disposal, the method behind it is fairly easy enough to understand. An indentation in any of the outlined areas is an indication that the person is lacking in these aspects of their life. Should that region of the skill be level -- that is to say no dent or bumps in the area -- they are neither lacking nor exceeding expectations in this area of their life. Finally, a bump or lump implies that the person exceeds in that particular area of their life. Simple enough!

How should you feel for these bumps or indentations? As I&rsquom sure you have realized from the chart above, many numbered regions correspond to two different spots on the skull that are symmetrically identical. The best method is to massage both points at the same time. A true seer will be able to tap into their Inner Eye and keep an open mind in order to be able to to interpret these hills and valleys. All of these feelings or visions should be kept in mind when doing the reading, and potentially discussing or asking of the individual, along the lines of, &ldquoI feel that you have had some trouble in your marital life,&rdquo or &ldquoI&rsquom sensing something about one of your sons, is he well?&rdquo However the downside is that you must leave space for human error when making these predictions. After all, someone may have been hit in the head with a hammer a year ago, thus leaving an indentation and throwing off a prediction. It happens.

Now, as we have talked about one example of divination that is, quite unabashedly hogwash, you may be having your own personal crisis at the moment. Can you trust divination? Is it no more than fancy guesswork? For Muggles, yes. However, with the application of our Inner Eye, we can bring our observations to the next level. When we cast about with our Inner Eye, we are delving into the unknown, and these practices simply serve to help center and focus us, direct our mind towards answering specific questions, or help us channel our inherent magic.

That wraps up this week&rsquos lesson nicely! For now I&rsquoll leave you with your homework, a practical application of phrenology and a quiz about the information presented in this lesson. Next week, we will be moving on to podomancy and oculomancy. Fair fortune!


Father: Cunimundus, King of the Gepids[2]

Spouse: Alboin, King of the Lombards. No issue.

  • Charles Cawley. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. Medieval Lands Database. [Alboin Accessed May 223, 2018 jhd

ALBOIN, son of AUDOIN King of the Lombards & his first wife --- (-murdered Verona 28 Jun 572). The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Albuin" as son of "Auduin"[355]. Paulus Diaconus names "Alboin, filius Audoin" when recording his succession[356]. He succeeded in 560 as ALBOIN King of the Lombards in Pannonia. Paulus Diaconus reports that King Alboin defeated and killed in battle Cunimund King of the Gepids in 567, allegedly making his skull into a drinking cup[357]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin fought and killed in battle "rege Gippidorum…Cunimund", weakening the power of the Gepids[358]. Narses, the Byzantine administrator in Italy, invited Alboin to Italy in revenge for his forced retirement by Empress Sophia, the invasion dated to 568. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin led his people to Italy after being invited by Narses[359]. Gregory of Tours records that Alboin King of the Lombards had abandoned his own country and emigrated to Italy "with all his Lombard people"[360]. He captured Milan in 569, Tuscany in 570 and Pavia in 572. He was crowned ALBOIN King of the Lombards in Italy at Milan in [570], and made his capital at Verona[361]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin ruled in Italy for three years but was killed in Verona by "Hilmichis et Rosemunda uxore sua per consilium Peritheo"[362]. The Iohannis Abbatis Biclarensis Chronica records that "Aluinus Lombardorum rex" was killed in 573 "factione coniugis suæ" by his own men at night[363]. The Marii Episcopi Aventicensis Chronica records that "Albuenus rex Langobardorum" was killed in 572 "a suis, id est, Hilmægis" at Verona with the connivance of his wife[364].

m firstly ([556/60]) CHLODESINDIS, daughter of CHROTHACHAR I [Clotaire] King of the Franks & his third wife Ingund (-before [567]). Gregory of Tours names Clothsind as the daughter of King Clotaire & his wife Ingund, specifying that she married Alboin King of the Lombards[365]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Flutsuinda…filia Flothario regis Francorum" as the first wife of Albuin[366]. The Historia Langobardorum names "Ludusenda…filia Flothari regis" as the first wife of Alboin[367]. Paulus Diaconus names "Chlotharius rex Francorum, Chlotsuindam ei suam filiam" as wife of Alboin[368].

m secondly ([567]) ROSAMUNDIS, daughter of CUNIMUNDUS King of the Gepids. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records the marriage of Albuin to "Rosemunda filia Cunimundi" after killing her father in battle[369]. Theophylactus records that "Longobardicæ gentis principem…Alboinum" married "adolescentulam Conimundi Gepidarum regis filiam"[370]. Paulus Diaconus names "filiam [Cunimundum] Rosimundam" as second wife of Alboin, also reporting that he married her after killing her father in battle[371]. Gregory of Tours records that Alboin King of the Lombards married his second wife soon after he had killed her father, that "she loathed her husband as a result" and poisoned him "for she had become enamoured of one of his servants" with whom she fled before they were both caught and put to death[372]. According to Paulus Diaconus, she incited the murder of her husband by his own men[373]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin was killed in Verona by "Hilmichis et Rosemunda uxore sua per consilium Peritheo", before she was poisoned herself with Hilmichis by "Longinus præfectus"[374].

King Alboin & his first wife had one child:

1. ALBSUINDA (-after 572). The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Albsuinda" as the daughter of Albuin & his first wife[375]. Paulus Diaconus names "Alpsuindam" as the daughter of Alboin & his first wife[376]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that, after the murder of Rosamundis, "Longinus præfectus" sent "Albsuinda filia Albuin regis" to Constantinople[377].

“Rosamund captive before King Alboin of the Lombards”

“Rosamund captive before King Alboin of the Lombards” (1942)
by Chevalier Fortunino Matania (1881 – 1963)
10 x 13 in., pencil, ink, and wash on paper
Coppola Collection

from: Britannia and Eve [v24 #3, March 1942] p 21
Old Tales Re-Told: A Gruesome Cup – The Ordeal of Queen Rosamond

A masterful illustrator, Matania was an Italian artist known far and wide for his incredible historical illustrations.

The title refers to a couple of different events in the history of Queen Rosamund.

Rosamund’s people, the Gepid, fought a losing battle against the Lombards for 20 years, ca. 550-570. The Lombards had killed her grandfather (the king) and her uncle.

Her father, Cunimund, lost the kingdom in 567, and he was decapitated. She was taken as a prisoner by King Alboin of Lombard, which is the scene depicted here.

Alboin’s late wife had not produced a male heir and so he married Rosamund for this purpose. He was noted for his cruelty. The title of this story (A Gruesome Cup) derives from a report by Paulus Diaconus, who states that at a royal banquet in Verona, Alboin forced her to drink from the skull of her dead father (which he carried around his belt), inviting her “to drink merrily with her father.”

Along with her lover, Helmichis, the king’s arms bearer, she plotted Alboin’s assassination. Helmichis recommended Peredeo to carry out the act, but he refused to help. Disguised as a servant, Rosamund bedded Peredeo and blackmailed him into helping. Following a great feast, the drunken king was murdered.

Rosamund ran off with Helmichis and a trove of Alboin’s private treasures. Soon after they married, however, she took up with another of the assassination conspirators, Longinus, whom she promised to marry in exchange for offing Helmichis. On to this plot against him, however, Helmichis forced Rosamund to drink the poison she had planned for him, after which he committed suicide from the same cup.


Alboin was born in Pannonia in 539, the son of Audoin and Rodelinda. He succeeded his father as King of the Lombards in 560, and he inherited his father's conflict with the Gepids. In 567, thanks to an alliance with the Avars, Alboin inflicted a decisive defeat on the Gepids, whose lands the Avars subsequently occupied. Alboin felt uneasy about the growth of the Avar Khaganate, so he decided to lead his people into Italy. In 568, the Lombards crossed the Alps and entered an almost undefended Italy, which was badly depopulated as the result of the Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogoths. He rapidly conquered most of Venetia and Liguria, and he entered Milan unopposed in 569. Pavia took three years to capture, and Alboin made Pavia his capital after its conquest. Alboin planned to conquer Tuscany next, but factionalism among his supporters and his diminishing control over the army prevented him from doing so. On 28 June 572, he was killed in a coup instigated by the Byzantines.

Alboin (565-573)

Ačboin was the son of King Audion and the Frankish princess Chothsind. Alboin united the entire territory of Lombards, and in 568 he declared himself as King of Lombards. When he came to throne, Alboin decided to free Lombards from threats of Gepids. Since he hadn’t enough logistics and strong army, he entered into an alliance with Avars (Eurasian nomads). Lombards led by Alboin within support of Avars army, finally managed to defeat Gepides in 567. Kingdom of the Gepids has been fallen and king of Gepids Cunimund was killed personally by Alboin. After victory over Gepids, from the rest of Gepidia lands the Avars founded the Khaganate. Alboin was an ambitious ruler who had an aim to conquer Italy. At that time land of Italy, after the Justinian’s wars with Ostrogoths (535 – 554), were devastated. Alboin used such opportunity to occupy Milan and the valley of the Po river in 569, in 570 Tuscany with Florence and finally he occupied Ticinum (todays Pavia) in 572. After the conquer, Ticinum became capital city of Lombard Kingdom. Unlike Ostrogoth, the Lombards were intolerant towards the subordinate Roman population. They confiscated their property and collected a third of their income. Albion tried to resist in order to stop violence but he was killed while he was asleep. Alboin successor was a Cleph who ruled over Lombard kingdom only 18 months after he was assassinated.

Alboin, King of the Lombards

Alboin (vóór 526 – 28 juni 572 of 573) was de eerste Langobardische koning in Italië. Nadat hij in samenwerking met de Avaren de Germaanse stam de Gepiden had verslagen, viel hij (volgens sommige bronnen aangespoord door Narses, de Griekse stadhouder van Italië), Italië binnen. Italië had net een langdurige bezetting van de Goten succesvol beëindigd, en het land was uitgeput. Ook vanuit Constantinopel viel geen hulp te verwachten en Alboin kon oprukken tot Venetië (569) en Milaan (569) en nam Pavia in (in 571).

Volgens Paulus Diaconus werd Alboin het slachtoffer van de wraak van zijn echtgenote Rosamunde. Zij was de dochter van de door Alboin verslagen en vermoorde Gepidische koning Cunimond (of Cunimund). Op haar instigatie doodden Alboin's kamerheer Peredeus en Helmigis – beiden waren geliefden van haar – de Langobardische koning.

Op dat moment hadden de Langobarden de macht over de Apennijnen, Ligurië en Toscane. Spoleto en Benevento waren Langobardische hertogdommen.

De naam Langobarden leeft voort in het huidige Lombardije.

De bronnen voor de geschiedenis van de Langobarden zijn:

Historia Langobardorum van Paulus Diaconus

Arcana historia van Procopius van Caesarea

Liber pontificalis ecclesiae Ravennatis van Agnellus

Rosamunde was de dochter van de Gepidische koning Cunimond, ze was tevens de gemalin van de Langobardische koning Longinus en later van Helmiges.

De voornaamste informatie die we over deze vrouw kennen, komt uit het historisch werk van Paulus Diaconus over de geschiedenis van de Langobarden: Historia Longobardorum. Rosamunde was de vrouw van koning Alboin. Alboin vermoordde de vader van Rosamunde uit wraak deed Rosamunde later hetzelfde met haar echtgenoot. Nadat ze Alboin had vermoord, trouwde ze met Helmiges en vlucht naar Ravenna, waar het koninkrijk van Longinus gevestigd was. Rosamunde liet er haar oog vallen op Longinus en vergiftigde Helmiges, opdat ze met Longinus zou kunnen trouwen. Helmiges had Rosamundes plannetje tijdens het drinken door, en dwong zijn vrouw de rest van het gif op te drinken. Beiden stierven.

Er zijn later verschillende toneelstukken over deze verhaalstof geschreven. Vooral in de Renaissance was deze geschiedenis zeer populair bij toneelauteurs. In 1621 kwam het in het Latijn geschreven drama Rosimunda tragoedia van Jacob Van Zevecote uit. In 1629 verscheen het Engelse stuk The Tragedy of Albouin, king of the Lombards van William Davenant.

In 1961 verscheen er een film van Campogalliani over de geschiedenis van Rosamunde en Alboin: Rosamunda e Alboino.

From the Wikpedia page on Alboin:

Alboin (530s – June 28, 572) was king of the Lombards from circa 560 to 572. During his reign the Lombards ended their migrations by definitively settling in Italy, the northern part of which was conquered by Alboin between 569 and 572. His actions had a lasting impact on both Italy and the Pannonian Basin in the former his invasion signalled the beginning of centuries of Lombard rule in Italy, while in the latter his defeat of the Gepids and his departure from Pannonia put an end to the Germanic peoples' age of dominance.

He succeeded Audoin, his father, as king in Pannonia in an age of confrontation with the Lombards main neighbors, the Gepids. In the first war the Gepids had the upper hand, but in 567, thanks to an alliance with the Avars, Alboin was able to crush his enemies once and for all, and their lands were taken over by the Avars. Feeling uneasy with the increasing power of his new neighbors, Alboin decided to leave Pannonia, and put together a large motley group of peoples to migrate to Italy, then held by the Byzantine Empire. The occasion appeared propitious as Italy's capacity to defend itself had been weakened by the Gothic War.

Alboin began his trek in 568, entering an almost undefended Italy by passing the Julian Alps. He rapidly took control over most of Venetia and Liguria, and took over Milan, the main city in northern Italy, without opposition in 569. He met serious resistance from Pavia, which was only taken after three years of siege, during which Alboin started to occupy Tuscany. In these years, signs of disintegration and loss of control over the army started to manifest themselves.

Alboin was assassinated on June 28, 572, in a coup d'état instigated by the Byzantines, and put in action by Helmegis with the support of Alboin's wife, Rosamund, daughter of the Gepid king Cunimund that Alboin had killed in battle. The coup failed due to the opposition of most of the Lombards, who elected Cleph as successor to Alboin, and forced Helmegis and Rosamund to flee to Ravenna under imperial protection.

Father's rule (Audoin, 547-560/565)

The Lombard migration from the Elbe to Italy.The Lombards under king Wacho had migrated towards the east into Pannonia, taking advantage of the difficulties facing the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy following the death of its founder, Theodoric in 526. Wacho's death circa 540 brought his son Walthari to the throne, but since the latter was still a minor the kingdom was governed in his stead by Alboin's father, Audoin, of the Gausian clan. Seven years later the king died, giving Audoin the opportunity to crown himself and overthrow the reigning Lethings.[1]

Alboin was probably born in the 530s in Pannonia[2] from Audoin's marriage to Rodelinda, his first wife. She may have been the niece of King Theodoric who was betrothed to Audoin through the intermediation of the Emperor Justinian.[3][4] Like his father, Alboin was raised a pagan, although Audoin had at one point attempted to gain Byzantine support against his neighbors by professing himself a Christian.[5] Alboin took as his first wife the Catholic Chlothsind, daughter of the Frankish King Chlothar. This marriage, which took place soon after the death of the Frankish ruler Theudebald in 555, is thought to reflect Audoin's decision to distance himself from the Byzantines, traditional allies of the Lombards, who had failed to aid Audoin in a war with the Gepids. The new Frankish alliance was important because of their known hostility to the Byzantine empire, providing the Lombards with more than one option.[6][7] However, the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, interprets events and sources differently, claiming that Alboin married Chlothsind when already a king in or shortly before 561, the year of Chlothar's death.[2]

Alboin first distinguished himself on the battlefield in the clash with the Gepids, killing the Gepid King's son Turismod in the Battle of Asfeld. This brought about the intervention of the Emperor Justinian in order to maintain the equilibrium between the rival powers in the region.[8] After the war, according to a tradition reported by Paul the Deacon, Alboin, in order to obtain the right to sit at his father's table, had to ask, as was customary, for the hospitality of a foreign king, and have him donate his weapons. For this initiation he went to the court of Thurisind, where the Gepid king gave him Turismod's arms.[2][9] Walter Goffart believes it is probable that in this narrative Paul was making use of an oral tradition, while he remains skeptical that it can be held as a typical heldenlied ("hero's lay").[10]

Reign in Pannonia (560/565 - 568)

Lombards and Gepids in the Pannonian Basin.

Alboin came to the throne after the death of his father, which occurred sometime between 560 and 565.[7] As was customary among Lombards, he took the crown after an election by the tribe's freemen, who traditionally selected the king from the dead sovereign's clan.[11][12] Soon after a new war erupted with the Gepids, now led by Cunimund, Thurisind's son, in 565. The cause of the conflict is uncertain, as the sources are divided: the Lombard Paul the Deacon accuses the Gepids, while the Byzantine historian Menander Protector places the blame on Alboin, an interpretation favoured by historian Walter Pohl.[13]

An account of the war by the Byzantine Theophylact Simocatta sentimentalises the reasons behind the conflict, claiming it originated from the vain courting and subsequent kidnapping of Cunimund's daughter Rosamund by Alboin, whom she was immediately forced to marry. The tale is treated with skepticism by Walter Goffart, who observes it conflicts with the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, where she was captured only after the death of his father. On the other side, Florin Curta accepts at least parts of the story, and sees it as a reflection of the role aristocratic women could play in the area.[14][15][16] The Gepids obtained the support of the Emperor in exchange for a promise to cede him the region of Sirmium, the seat of the Gepid kings. Thus in 565 or 566 Justinian's successor Justin II sent his son-in-law Baduarius as magister militum (field commander) to lead a Byzantine army against Alboin in support of Cunimund, ending in the Lombards complete defeat.[7][13][17][18][19]

Faced with the danger of annihilation, Alboin made an alliance in 566 with the Avars under Bayan I, but not without submitting to harsh conditions: the Avars demanded a tenth of the Lombards' cattle, half of the war booty and, once the war had ended, all the lands held by the Gepids. The Lombards played on the existing hostility between the Avars and Byzantines, claiming the latter were allied with the Gepids but Cunimund, when he tried to counter the new menace by asking once more for help from the Emperor, found the Byzantines were angered with the Gepids by their unfaithfulness in observing the obligation to cede Sirmium to them. Moreover, Justin II was moving away from the foreign policy of Justinian, and believed in stricter behaviour towards the bordering states and peoples. Attempts to mollify Justin II with tributes failed, and as a result the Byzantines kept themselves neutral if not outright supportive of the Avars.[7][20]

In 567 the allies made their final move against Cunimund, with Alboin invading the Gepids' lands from the northwest while Bayan attacked from northeast. Cunimund now acted in an attempt to avoid the two armies meeting, moving against the Lombards and clashing with Alboin somewhere between the Tibiscus and Danube rivers. In the battle that ensued the Gepids were defeated, their king slain by Alboin, and Cunimund's daughter Rosamund taken captive, according to references in the Origo. The full destruction of the Gepid kingdom was completed by the Avars, who overcame the Gepids in the east. As a result, the Gepids ceased to exist as an independent people, and were partly absorbed by the Lombards and the Avars.[7][18][21] Sometime before 568, Alboin's first wife Chlothsind died, and after defeating the Gepids Alboin married Rosamund to establish a bond with the remaining Gepids.[22] The war also marked a watershed in the geo-political history of the region, as together with the Lombard migration the following year, it signalled the end of six centuries of Germanic dominance in the Pannonian Basin.[23]

Preparations and departure from Pannonia (before 568)

Despite his success against the Gepids, Alboin had failed to greatly increase his power, and was now faced with a much stronger threat from the Avars.[24] Historians consider this the decisive factor in convincing Alboin to undertake a migration, even though there are indications that before the war with the Gepids a decision was maturing to leave for Italy, a country thousands of Lombards had seen in the 550s when hired by the Byzantines to fight in the Gothic War.[7][25] Additionally, the Lombards would have known of the weakness of Byzantine Italy, which had endured a number of problems after being retaken from the Goths. In particular the so-called Plague of Justinian had ravaged the region and conflict remained endemic, with the Three-Chapter Controversy sparking religious opposition and administration at a standstill after the able governor of the peninsula, Narses, was recalled.[26] Despite this, the Lombards viewed Italy as a rich land which promised great booty,[24][27] assets Alboin used to gather together a horde which included not only Lombards, but many other peoples of the region, including Heruli, Suebi, Gepids, Thuringii, Bulgars, Sarmatians, the remaining Romans and a few Ostrogoths. But the most important group, other than the Lombards, were the Saxons, of which 20,000 participated on the trek. These Saxons were tributaries to the Frankish King Sigebert, and their participation indicates that Alboin had obtained the support of the Franks for his venture.[7][28]

The precise size of the heterogeneous group gathered by Alboin is impossible to know, and many different estimates have been given. Neil Christie mentions as the highest estimate a number in the region of 400,000, but considers 150,000 to be a more realistic size, which would nonetheless make the Lombards a more numerous force than the Ostrogoths on the eve of their invasion of Italy. Jörg Jarnut proposes 100,000 – 150,000 as an approximation Wilfried Menghen in Die Langobarden estimates 150,000 to 200,000 while Stefano Gasparri cautiously judges the peoples united by Alboin to be somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000.[27][28][29][30]

The Vipava Valley passing through which Alboin would lead the Lombards into Italy.

As a cautionary move Alboin strengthened his alliance with the Avars, signing what Paul calls a foedus perpetuum ("perpetual treaty") and what is referred to in the 9th-century Historia Langobardorum codicis Gothani as a pactum et foedus amicitiae ("pact and friendship treaty"), adding that the treaty was put down on paper. By the conditions accepted in the treaty, the Avars were to take possession of Pannonia whilst the Lombards were promised military support in Italy should the need arise also, for a period of 200 years the Lombards were to maintain the right to reclaim their former territories if the plan to conquer Italy failed, thus leaving Alboin with an alternative open. The accord also had the advantage of protecting Alboin's rear, as an Avar occupied Pannonia would have made it difficult for the Byzantines to bring forces to Italy by land. The agreement proved immensely successful and for the duration of the Lombard Kingdom, relations with the Avars were almost uninterruptedly friendly.[31][32][33]

A further cause of the Lombard migration into Italy may have come in the form of an invitation from Narses. According to a controversial tradition reported by several medieval sources, Narses, out of spite for having been removed by Justinian's successor Justin II, called the Lombards to Italy. Often dismissed as an unreliable tradition,[30][34] it has been studied with attention by modern scholars, in particular Neil Christie, who see in it a possible record of a formal invitation by the Byzantine state to settle in northern Italy as foederati, to help protect the region against the Franks, an arrangement that may have been disowned by Justin II after Narses' removal.[25][35][36][37]

March to Italy (568-569)

"This Albuin led into Italy the Langobards who were invited by Narses (chief) of the secretaries. And Albuin, king of the Langobards, moved out of Pannonia in the month of April after Easter in the first indiction. In the second indiction, indeed, they began to plunder in Italy, but in the third indiction he became master of Italy."[38]

The Origin of the Nation of the Langobards, Chapter V: The Lombard migration started on Easter Monday, April 2, 568. The decision to combine the departure with a Christian celebration can be understood in respect to Alboin's recent conversion to Arian Christianity, as attested by the presence of Arian Gothic missionaries at his court.[25][39] The conversion is likely to have been motivated mostly from political considerations, and meant to consolidate the migration's cohesion and distinguish them from the Catholic Romans. The conversion also served to connect Alboin and his people to the Gothic heritage, and in this way obtain the support of the Ostrogoths serving in the Byzantine army as foederati.[7][40] In this context, it has been speculated that Alboin's migration could have been partly the result of a call from surviving Ostrogoths in Italy.[25]

The season chosen for leaving Pannonia was unusually early, with the Germanic peoples generally waiting for autumn before beginning a migration, so that they could do the harvesting and replenish their granaries for the march. The reason behind the spring departure could be the anxiety induced by the neighboring Avars, despite the friendship treaty. Nomadic peoples like the Avars also waited for autumn to begin their military campaigns, as they needed enough forage for their horses. A sign of this anxiety can also be seen in the decision taken by Alboin to ravage Pannonia, which created a sanitary cordon between the Lombards and the Avars.[32][37]

The road followed by Alboin to reach Italy has been the subject of controversy, as is the length of the trek. According to Neil Christie the Lombards divided themselves into migrational groups, with a vanguard scouting the road, probably following the Poetovio – Celeia – Emona – Forum Iulii route, while the wagons and most of the people proceeded slowly behind because of the goods and chattels they brought with them, and possibly also because they were waiting for the Saxons to join them on the road. By September raiding parties were looting Venetia, but it was probably only in 569 that the Julian Alps were passed at the Vipava Valley, with the eyewitness Secundus of Non giving the date as May 20 or 21.[7][27][29] But the 569 date for the entry into Italy is not void of difficulties, and Jörg Jarnut believes the conquest of most of Venetia had already been completed in 568. According to Carlo Guido Mor, a major difficulty remains in explaining how Alboin could have reached Milan on September 3 assuming he had passed the border only in the May of the same year.[30][39]

Invasion of Italy (569)

Foundation of the Duchy of Friuli

"When Alboin without any hindrance had thence entered the territories of Venetia [. ] – that is, the limits of the city or rather of the fortress of Forum Julii (Cividale) – he began to consider to whom he should especially commit the first of the provinces that he had taken. [. ] he determined [. ] to put over the city of Forum Julii and over its whole district, his nephew Gisulf [. ] This Gisulf announed that he would not first undertake the government of the city and people unless Alboin would give him the "faras", that is, the families or stocks of the Langobards that he himself wished to choose. And this was done"[41]

Paul the Deacon - Historia Langobardorum, Book II, Ch. 9: The Lombards penetrated into Italy without meeting any resistance from the border troops (milities limitanei). The Byzantine military resources available in the land were scant and of dubious loyalty, and the border forts may well have been left unmanned. What seems certain is that archaeological excavations have found no sign of violent confrontation in the sites that have been excavated. This agrees with Paul the Deacon's narrative, who speaks of a Lombard takeover in Friuli "without any hindrance".[42]

The first town to fall into the Lombards' hands was Forum Iulii (Cividale del Friuli), the seat of the region's magister militum.[7] Alboin chose this walled centre close to the frontier to be capital of the Duchy of Friuli and made his nephew and shield bearer Gisulf duke of the region with the specific duty to defend the borders from eventual Byzantine or Avar attacks from the east. Gisulf obtained from his uncle the right to personally choose for his duchy those farae, or clans, that he preferred.[30][43][44]

Alboin's decision to create a duchy and designate a duke were both important innovations before then, the Lombards had never had dukes nor duchies based on a walled town. The innovation adopted was part of Alboin's borrowing of Roman and Ostrogothic administrative models, as in Late Antiquity the comes civitatis (city count) was the main regional authority, with full administrative powers in his region. But the shift from count (comes) to duke (dux) and from county (comitatus) to duchy (ducatus) also signalled the progressive militarization of Italy.[44] The selection of a fortified town as the centre for the new duchy was also an important change from the time in Pannonia, for while urbanized settlements had previously been ignored by the Lombards, now a considerable part of the nobility settled itself in Forum Iulii, a pattern that would be repeated regularly by the Lombards in the other duchies.[45]

Conquest of Mediolanum

From Forum Iulii, Alboin next reached Aquileia, the most important road junction in the northeast,[46] and the administrative capital of Venetia. The imminent arrival of the Lombards had a considerable impact on the city's population, with the Patriarch of Aquileia Paulinus fleeing with his clergy and flock to the island of Grado in Byzantine-controlled territory.[7][47]

From Aquileia, Alboin took the Via Postumia and swept through Venetia, taking in rapid succession Tarvisium (Treviso), Vicentia (Vicenza), Verona, Brixia (Brescia) e Bergomum (Bergamo). The Lombards faced difficulties only at Opitergium (Oderzo), which Alboin decided to avoid, as he similarly avoided tackling the main Venetian towns located closer to the coast on the Via Annia, like Altinum, Patavium (Padova), Mons Silicis (Monselice), Mantua and Cremona.[7][46] The invasion of Venetia generated a considerable level of turmoil, spurring waves of refugees from the Lombard-controlled interior to the Byzantine-held coast, often led by their bishops, causing the birth of new settlements like Torcello and Heraclia.[48][49][50]

Alboin moved west in his march, invading the region of Liguria (north-east Italy) and reaching its capital Mediolanum (Milan) on September 3, 569, already abandoned by the vicarius Italiae (vicar of Italy) entitled with the administration of the diocese of Annonarian Italy. Together with the vicarius Italiae had left the archibishop Honoratus, his clergy and part of the laity, all finding a safe haven in the Byzantine port of Genua (Genoa). The fall of Milan was a significant event. Alboin counted the years of his reign from the capture of the city, when he assumed the title of dominus Italiae (Lord of Italy). This success also meant the collapse of Byzantine defenses in the northern part of the Po plain, with large movements of refugees to Byzantine areas.[2][7][51][52]

Several explanations have been advanced to explain the swiftness and ease of the initial Lombard advance in northern Italy. It has been suggested that the towns' doors may have been opened by the betrayal of the Gothic auxiliaries in the Byzantine army, but historians generally hold that Lombard success occurred because Italy was not considered by Byzantium as a vital part of the empire, especially at a time when the empire was imperiled from the attacks of Avars and Slavs in the Balkans and of the Sassanids in the east. The Byzantine decision not to contest the Lombard invasion reflects the desire of Justinian's successors to reorient the core of the Empire's polices eastward.[52][53][54]

Impact of the migration on Annonarian Italy

The impact of the Lombard migration on the Late Roman aristocracy was disruptive, especially in combination with the Gothic War, which had been concluded in the north only in 562, when the last Gothic stronghold, Verona, was taken.[55] Many men of means (Paul's possessores) either lost their lives or their goods, but the exact extent of the despoliation of the Roman aristocracy is a subject of heated debate.[53][56][57] The clergy were also greatly affected. The Lombards were mostly pagans, and displayed little respect for the clergy and church property. Many churchmen left their sees to escape from the Lombards, like the two most senior bishops in the north, Honoratus and Paulinus but most of the suffragan bishops in the north searched for an accommodation with the Lombards in 569 Felix the bishop of Tarvisium journeyed to the Piave river to parley with Alboin, obtaining respect for the church and its goods in return for this act of homage. It seems certain that many sees maintained through the turmoil of the invasion and the following years an uninterrupted episcopal succession. This type of action may have been common, as the northern Italian bishops were deeply alienated from the papacy and the empire due to the religious dispute involving the "Three-Chapter Controversy". In Lombard territory, churchmen were likely to avoid imperial religious persecution.[53][58][59]

However, in the view of Pierre Riché the disappearance of 220 bishops' seats indicates the Lombard migration was in fact a crippling catastrophe for the Church.[60] Yet according to Walter Pohl the regions directly occupied by Alboin were those that suffered less devastation and had a relatively robust survival rate for towns, whereas the occupation of territory by autonomous military bands interested mainly in raiding and looting had a more severe impact, with the bishoprics in such places rarely surviving.[61]

Siege of Ticinum (569-572)

A modern rendering of Alboin's entrance in Ticinum.The first attested instance of strong resistance to Alboin's migration came at the town of Ticinum (Pavia), which he started besieging in 569 and was to capture only after three years. The town was of strategic importance, placed at the confluence of the Po and Ticino rivers and connected by waterways to Ravenna, the capital of Byzantine Italy and the seat of the Praetorian prefecture of Italy. Its fall cut direct communications between the garrisons stationed on the Alpes Maritimae and the Adriatic coast.[7][30][62][63][64]

Alboin was careful to maintain the initiative against the Byzantines, and by 570 had taken their last defenses in northern Italy - except for the coastal areas of Liguria and Venetia and a few isolated inland centers, such as Augusta Praetoria (Aosta), Segusio (Susa) and the island of Amacina in the Larius Lucus (Lake Como).[65] During his kingship the Lombards passed the Apennines and plundered Tuscia, however historians are not in full agreement as to whether this took place under his guidance and if this constituted anything more than raiding. According to Herwig Wolfram, it was probably only in 578 – 579 that Tuscany was conquered, while Jörg Jarnut and others believe this event to have begun in some form under Alboin, though it was not completed before his death.[2][28][30][49][64]

During the siege of Ticinum, Alboin's difficulties in maintaining control over his people were heightened. The nature of the Lombard monarchy made it hard for a ruler to exert over his people the same degree of authority that could be exercised by Theodoric over his Goths, and the structure of the army gave great authority to the military commanders or duces, who led each band (fara) of warriors. Additionally, the difficulties encountered by Alboin in building a solid political entity were due to a lack of imperial legitimacy, as unlike the Ostrogoths, they had not entered Italy as foederati but as enemies of the Empire.[7][49][66][67]

Alboin's disintegrating control also came to be manifested in the invasion of Frankish Burgundy, held by King Guntram, which from 569 or 570 was subject to yearly raids on a major scale. The attacks ended in disaster for the Lombards with Mummolus' victory at Embrun. Alboin is generally thought not to have been behind these attacks which had lasting political consequences, souring the previously cordial Lombard-Frankish relations and opening the door to an alliance between the Empire and the Franks against the Lombards, a coalition agreed to by Guntram in about 571.[2][7][64][67][68] An alternative interpretation of the transalpine raids presented by Gian Piero Bognetti is that Alboin may actually have been involved in the attack on Guntram as part of an alliance with the Frankish king of Austrasia, Sigebert I, but this view is met with skepticism by scholars such as Chris Wickham.[69]

The weakening of royal authority may also have resulted in the conquest of much of southern Italy by the Lombards, which modern scholars believe Alboin played no role in, but rather probably took place in 570 or 571 under the auspices of individual warlords. However it is far from certain that the Lombard takeover took place in those years, as very little is known of Faroald and Zotto's respective rise to power in Spoletium (Spoleto) and Beneventum (Benevento).[67][70][71][72]

Assassination (June 28, 572)

Earliest narratives

"When his wife Chlotsinda died, Albin married another wife whose father he had killed a short time before. For this reason the woman always hated her husband and awaited an opportunity to avenge the wrong done her father, and so it happened that she fell in love with one of the household slaves and poisoned her husband. When he died she went off with the slave but they were overtaken and put to death together."[73]

Gregory of Tours - Historia Francorum, Book II, Ch. 41: Ticinum eventually fell to the Lombards in either May or June 572. Alboin had in the meantime chosen Verona as his seat, establishing himself and his treasure in a royal palace built there by Theodoric. This may have been another attempt to link himself with the Gothic king.[7]

It was in this palace that Alboin was killed on June 28, 572. In the account given by Paul the Deacon, the most detailed narrative on Alboin's death, history and saga intermingle in a not easily extricable way. Much earlier and shorter is the story told by Marius of Aventicum in his Chronica, written about a decade after Alboin's murder. According to his version the king was killed in a conspiracy by a man close to him, called Hilmichis (Paul's Helmegis),[74] with the connivance of the queen. Helmegis then married the widow, but the two were forced to escape to Byzantine Ravenna, taking with them the royal treasure and part of the army, which hints at the cooperation of Byzantium. Roger Collins describes Marius as an especially reliable source because of his early date and his having lived close to Lombard Italy.[2][7][75][76]

Also contemporary is Gregory of Tours' account presented in the Historia Francorum, and echoed by the later Fredegar. Gregory's account diverges in several aspects from most other sources. In his tale it is told how Alboin married the daughter of a man he had slain, and how she waited for a suitable occasion for revenge, eventually poisoning him. She had previously fallen in love with one of her husbands' servants, and with him after the assassination tried to escape, but both were captured and killed. However, historians like Walter Goffart and others don't place much trust in this narrative. Goffart notes other similar doubtful stories in the Historia and calls it "telling a suitably ironic tale of the doings of depraved humanity".[14]

The fatal banquet as painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1615.

Elements present in Marius' account are echoed in Paul's Historia gentis Langobardorum, which also contains distinctive features. One of the best known aspects unavailable in any other source is that of the skull cup. In Paul the events that will lead to Alboin's downfall unfold in Verona. During a great feast Alboin gets drunk and orders her wife Rosamund to drink from his cup, made from the skull of his father-in-law Cunimund after he had slain him in 567 and married Rosamund. Alboin "invited her to drink merrily with her father", and this reignited the queen's determination to avenge her father.[60][77][78][79]

The tale has been often dismissed as a fable, and Paul was conscious of the risk of disbelief. For this reason he insists that he saw the skull cup personally during the 740s in the royal palace of Ticinum in the hands of king Ratchis. The use of skull cups has been noticed among nomadic peoples, and in particular among the Lombards' neighbors, the Avars. Skull cups are believed to be part of a shamanistic ritual, where drinking from the cup was considered a way to assume the dead man's powers. In this context, Stefano Gasparri and Wilfried Menghen see in Cunimund's skull cup the sign of nomadic cultural influences on the Lombards: by drinking from his enemy's skull Alboin was taking his vital strength. As for the offering of the skull to Rosamund, this may either be a ritual request of complete submission of the queen and her people to the Lombards, and thus a cause of shame or humiliation or alternatively, a rite to appease the dead through the offering of a libation. In the latter interpretation, the queen's answer reveals her determination to not let the wound opened by the killing of her father be healed through a ritual act, thus openly showing her thirst for revenge.[60][77][79]

The episode is read in a radically different way by Walter Goffart. According to him, the whole story assumes an allegorical meaning, with Paul intent on telling an edifying story of the downfall of the hero and his expulsion from the Promised Land, due to his human weakness. In this story, the skull cup plays a key role as it unites original sin and barbarism. Goffart does not exclude Paul having really seen the skull, but believes that by the 740s the connection between sin and barbarism as exemplified by the skull cup had already been established.[60][79]

Alboin is killed by Peredeo while Rosamund steals his sword, in a 19th painting by Charles Landseer.

In her plan to kill her husband she found an ally in Helmegis, the king's foster brother and spatharius (arms bearer). According to Paul the queen then pulled in the plot the king's cubicularius (bedchamberlain) Peredeo after having seduced him. The latter then played his part in the drama: when Alboin retired for his midday rest on June 28, care was taken to leave the door open and unguarded, and his personal sword was taken from him, leaving him defenseless when Peredeo entered his room and killed him.[2][78][80] As for his remains, they were allegedly buried beneath the palace steps.[14]

Peredeo's figure and role is mostly introduced by Paul while the Origo had for the first time mentioned his name as "Peritheus", his role had been different, as there he is not the assassin, but the instigator of the assassination. In the vein of his reading of the skull cup, he sees Peredeo as not as an historical figure but as an allegorical character: he notes a similarity between Peredeo's name and the Latin word peritus, meaning "lost", and represents all the Lombards who have betrayed and passed to the service of the Empire.[81]

Alboin's death was to have a lasting impact, as it deprived the Lombards of the only leader they had that could have kept together the newborn Germanic entity. His end also represents the death of the last of the line of the hero-kings that had led the Lombards through their migrations from the Elba to Italy. His fame was to survive him for many centuries in epic poetry, with Saxons and Bavarians celebrating his prowess in battle, his heroism, the qualities associated with his weapons.[7][22][82]

"Helmegis then, upon the death of his king, attempted to usurp his kingdom, but he could not at all do this, because the Langobards, grieving greatly for the king's death, strove to make way with him. And straightway Rosemund sent word to Longinus, prefect of Ravenna, that he should quickly send a ship to fetch them. Longinus, delighted by such a message, speedily sent a ship in which Helmegis with Rosemund his wife embarked, fleeing at night."[83]

Paul the Deacon - Historia Langobardorum, Book II, Ch. 29: To complete the coup d'état and legitimize his claim to the throne, Helmegis married the queen, whose high standing arose not only from being the king's widow but also from being the most prominent member of the remaining Gepid nation, and as such her support was a guarantee of the Gepids' loyalty to Helmegis. The latter could also count on the support of the Lombard garrison of Verona, where many may have opposed Alboin's aggressive policy and could have cultivated the hope of reaching an entente with the Empire. The Byzantines were almost certainly deeply involved in the plot, it being in their interest to stem the Lombard tide by bringing to power in Verona a pro-Byzantine regime, and possibly in the long run break the unity of the Lombards' kingdom, winning over the dukes separately with honors and emoluments.[7][63][80][84][85][86]

The coup ultimately failed as it met with the resistance of most of the warriors, opposed to the king's assassination. As a result, the Lombard garrison in Ticinum proclaimed Duke Cleph the new king, and Helmegis, rather than going to war at overwhelming odds, with Longinus' assistance escaped to Ravenna, taking with him his wife, his troops, the royal treasure and Alboin's daughter Albsuinda. In Ravenna the two lovers became estranged and killed each other. After that, Longinus sent Albsuinda and the treasure to Constantinople.[84][85]

Lombard and Byzantine territories at the rise to the throne of Authari.Cleph kept the throne for only 18 months before being assassinated by a slave. Possibly he too was killed at instigation of the Byzantines, who had every interest in avoiding an hostile and solid leadership among the Lombards. An important success for the Byzantines was that no king was proclaimed to succeed Cleph, opening a decade of interregnum, thus making them more vulnerable to attacks from Franks and Byzantines. It was only when faced with the danger of annihilation by the Franks in 584 that the dukes elected a new king in the person of Authari, son of Cleph, who began the definitive consolidation and centralization of the Lombard kingdom while the remaining imperial territories were reorganized under the control of an exarch in Ravenna with the capacity to defend the country without the Emperor's assistance.[87][88][89][90]

The consolidation of Byzantine and Lombard dominions was to have lasting consequences for Italy, as the region was from that moment on fragmented among multiple rulers until Italian unification in 1871.[91]

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  • 72.^ Christie 1998, pp. 80 – 82
  • 73.^ Gregory 1916, p. 95
  • 74.^ Martindale 1992, s.v. Hilmegis, p. 599
  • 75.^ Collins 1991, pp. 187 – 188
  • 76.^ Jarnut 1995, pp. 31 – 32
  • 77.^ Gasparri 1990, pp. 19 – 21
  • 78.^ Wolfram 1997, p. 291
  • 79.^ Goffart 1988, pp. 391 – 392
  • 80.^ Jarnut 1995, p. 32
  • 81.^ Goffart 1988, p. 393
  • 82.^ Wolfram 1997, p. 285
  • 83.^ Paul 1907, p. 84
  • 84.^ Christie 1998, p. 82
  • 85.^ Wolfram 1997, p. 292
  • 86.^ Azzara 2009, p. 96
  • 87.^ Schutz 2001, p. 85
  • 88.^ Gasparri 1990, pp. 26 – 28
  • 89.^ Wickham 1989, pp. 31 – 32
  • 90.^ Ostrogorsky 1993, p. 69.
  • 91.^ Wickham 2005, p. 35

Amory, Patrick. People and Identity in Ostrogothic Italy, 489 – 554. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-52635-3.

Ausenda, Giorgio. "Current issues and future directions in the study of Franks and Alamanni in the Merovingian period", Franks and Alamanni in the Merovingian Period: An Ethnographic Perspective. Ian Wood (ed.). Woodbridge: Boydell, 1998, pp. 371 – 455. ISBN 1-84383-035-3.

(Italian) Azzara, Claudio. L'Italia dei barbari. Bologna: il Mulino, 2009, 978-88-15-08812-3.

(Italian) Bertolini, Paolo. "Alboino, re dei Longobardi", Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Alberto M. Ghisalberti (ed.). v. 2, Rome: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Treccani, 1960, pp. 34 – 38.

Christie, Neil. The Lombards: The Ancient Longobards. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1995 [1998], ISBN 0-631-21197-7.

Collins, Roger. Early Medieval Europe 300 – 1000. London: Macmillan, 1991, ISBN 0-333-36825-8.

Curta, Florin. The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500 – 700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-521-80202-4.

(Italian) Gasparri, Stefano. "I longobardi: all origini del medioevo italiano". Storia Dossier, (1990) 42, Florence: Giunti. ISBN 88-09-76140-5.

Goffart, Walter. The Narrators of Barbarian History (A.D. 550 – 800): Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Paul the Deacon. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-691-05514-9.

Gregory of Tours. Hisory of the Franks. Ernest Brehaut (translator). New York: Columbia University Press, 1916.

Humphries, Mark. "Italy, A. D. 425 – 605", Cambridge Ancient History - Volume XIV: Late Antiquity: Empire and Successors, A. D. 425 – 600. Averil Cameron, Bryan Ward-Perkins and Michael Whitby (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 525 – 552. ISBN 0-521-32591-9.

(Italian) Jarnut, Jörg. Storia dei Longobardi. Turin: Einaudi, 1982 [1995], ISBN 88-06-13658-5.

(Italian) Lane, Frederic C.. Storia di Venezia. Turin: Einaudi, 1973 [1991], ISBN 88-06-12788-8.

Madden, Thomas F.. "Aquileia", Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia. Christopher Kleinhenz (ed.). v. 1, New York: Routledge, 2004, pp. 44 – 45. ISBN 0824047893.

Martindale, John R. (ed.), Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire - Volume III: A.D. 527 – 641, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 978-0521201605.

Moorhead, John. "Ostrogothic Italy and the Lombard invasions", The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume I c. 500 – c. 700. Paul Fouracre (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 140 – 162. ISBN 0-521-36291-1.

(Italian) Ostrogorsky, Georg. Storia dell'impero bizantino. Turin: Einaudi, 1963 [1993], ISBN 88-06-13178-8.

(Italian) Palmieri, Stefano. "Duchi, Principi e Vescovi nella Longobardia meridionale", Longobardia e longobardi nell'Italia meridionale: le istituzioni ecclesiastiche. Giancarlo Andenna e Giorgio Picasso (eds.). Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 1996, pp. 43 – 99. ISBN 88-343-0496-9.

Paul the Deacon. History of the Langobards. William Dudley Foulke (translator). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1907.

Pohl, Walter. "The Empire and the Lombards: treaties and negotiations in the sixth century", Kingdoms of the Empire: the integraton of barbarians in late Antiquity. Walter Pohl (ed.). Leiden: Brill, 1997, pp. 75 – 134. ISBN 9004108459.

Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages, 476 – 752. London: Routledge, 1979, ISBN 0-7100-0098-7.

(Italian) Rovagnati, Sergio. I Longobardi. Milan: Xenia, 2003, ISBN 88-7273-484-3.

Schutz, Herbert. Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400 – 750. Leiden: Brill, 2001, ISBN 90-04-12298-2.

Whitby, Michael. "The successors of Justinian", The Cambridge Ancient History - Volume XIV. pp. 86 – 112.

Wickham, Chris. Early Medieval Italy: Central Power and Local Society 400 – 1000. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981 [1989], ISBN 0-472-08099-7.

Wickham, Chris. Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400 – 800. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-19-926449-X.

Wolfram, Herwig. The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990 [1997], ISBN 0-520-24490-7.

Ravenna in Late Antiquity, By Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis (2010, Cambridge University Press):

Chapter 6: Ravenna’s Early Byzantine Period, AD 540-600

The Byzantine Reconquest and the Lombards

The Gothic War initiated a period of conflict between the Byzantines and external forces that would last for centuries. Byzantine control over plague-ravaged Italy was tenuous to begin with and an ecclesiastic conflict known as the Three Chapters Controversy hindered unification, as we will see. In this unstable situation, peoples over the borders saw Italy as an attainable prize. The Franks had long been involved in the Gothic War, sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other. In 553 and 554 an expedition of Franks and Alamanni devastated northern Italy and were repulsed by Narses only with difficulty. A serious revolt brok out among the Herul imperial garrisons in the Alps in 566. [14]

There was therefore no real unity in Italy when yet another group of barbarians, the Lombards, appeared at the Alpine passes in 568. [15] The Lombards (Langobardi, “long-beards”) had coalesced as a group in the Balkans in the late 5th century and moved into Pannonia after the death of Theoderic (Aug. 30, 526), where they were settled as foederati by Justinian (ruled: Aug. 1, 527 - Nov. 14, 565). Their ambitious King Alboin married Chlodosinda, daughter of the Frankish king Lothar I. Alboin annihilated another group, the Gepids, in 567, and after Chlodosinda’s death, he married the Gepid princess Rosamunda, a move that was, as Paul the Deacon says, “to his own injury, as afteward appeared.” [16] The group that Alboin led into italy was made up of people from a variety of 𠇎thnic” backgrounds, and may have numbered anywhere from 80,000 warriors to 400,000 total people, representing 5-8 percent of the population of the areas in which they settled. [17] In three years, Alboin’s Lombard armies had captured most of Italy north of the Po river as well as the central section of Italy, largely without opposition. Justinian had died in 565, and Paul the Deacon says that the Italians had been weakened by a bout of the plague in 566. By 575 the Byzantines were left only with the following: Naples and its hinterland, Calabria Sicily the coast north of Genoa Ravenna and its surrounding territories (later known as the Pentapolis after the five cities of Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, and Ancona) Rome and a strip of land between Rome and Ravenna along the via Flaminia. This political configuration would remain roughly the same for the next 200 years.

That any territory at all was left to the Byzantines was the result of the instability of the Lombard kingdom. In 572, Alboin was murdered by one of his followers, who was apparently in league with Alboin’s Gepid wife Rosamunda. The couple are said to have fled to Ravenna, where they gave the Lombard treasure to the exarch Longinus and were subsequently murdered/executed. [18] Alboin’s successor Cleph was also murdered in 574, and for the next ten years, the Lombards did not have a king. Individual leaders who held the title dux, and who had been placed in key cities by Alboin, consolidated their own authority and fought among themselves. Some of the dukes as well as individual Lombards allied themselves with the Byzantines, further complicating the picture. The Byzantines dug in and attempted to fight back. Agnellus cryptically reports that the Prefect Longinus about 570 built a �nce in the form of a wall” to protect Caesarea, the region between Ravenna and Classe. This may have been a stake and ditch palisade, a type of fortification known elsewhere in Italy at the time, and is assumed to have been made in response to Lombard aggression. [19] A Byzantine army under the command of Justin II’s son-in-law Baduarius was sent to Italy in 575, but it was defeated. this embolded the Lombards to attack the Byzantine capital Faroald, Duke of Spoleto, plundered Classe around 579, and the port city was only recovered by Drocdulf, a Sueve who fought for the Byzantines. [20]

In 584, assailed by both the Franks and the Byzantines, the Lombard dukes came together and chose Cleph’s son Authari (r. 584-590) as their king. Authari achieved success against a combined Frankish-Byzantine attack in 590, and negotiated a deal by which he paid tribute to the Franks, but he died that same year. In 589 he had married Theodelinda, daughter of the Duke of Bavaria, who was one of the remarkable women of her day: a correspondent of Pope Gregory I, upon her husband’s death she was granted the right to choose the next king, and she ruled alongside her second husband Agilulf until his death in 616, after which she ruled with her son Adaloald until his death in 626. Agilulf himself, freed of the Frankish threat, went on the offensive against the Byzantines, threatening Rome from 593-594, and counterthreatened the prefect Romanus about 595, with short-term truces negotiated several times before his death. [21] The situation thus remained precarious at the turn of the seventh century.

  • 14. LP Vita Johannis III 2 and other chronicles see Everett, 2003, p. 66
  • 15. An excellent summary of Lombard history can be found in Everett, 2003, pp 54-79.
  • 16. HL I. 27.
  • 17. HL II.26 the evidence is summarized by Everett, 2003, p. 68.
  • 18. This is told in HL II.28-30, and then by Agnellus, based on Paul the Deacon's account in LPR ch. 96.
  • 19. LPR ch. 95 "palocopia in modum muri propter metum gentis" see Deliyannis, ed., 2006, p. 369 n. 81, on the term palocopia and Righini, 1991, p. 205.
  • 20. HL, III.13 and III.19.
  • 21. Truces in 598 (HL IV.8), 605 (IV.28), 607 (IV.32), several more times before 619 (IV.40). See esp. Markus, 1997, pp. 99-100.

From the Medlands project posted by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy:

From the Medlands project posted by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy:

  • The Historia Langobardorum names "Audoin ex genere…Gausus" and his mother "Menia uxor…Pissæ regis"[150]. He was installed as AUDOIN King of the Lombards in Hungary in [547] in succession to King Walthari. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that "Auduin" reigned after Walthari, specifying that he brought the Lombards into Pannonia and, in a later passage, stating that they remained in Pannonia for 43 years[151].
  • Byzantium encouraged the Lombards to consolidate their position in Pannonia by granting them the city of Noricum and other strongholds, although it is reported that they celebrated by raiding Dalmatia and Illyricum[152].
  • The war with the Gepids, which started in [547], was settled by a peace treaty imposed by Emperor Justinian in 552, under which the Lombards sent troops to Italy to help Narses rout the Ostrogoths[153].
  • The Historia Langobardorum records that Audoin died in Pannonia[154].
  • m firstly RODELINDA [Roddenda], daughter of ---.
    • The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Roddenda" as mother of "Albuin filius [Auduini]"[155]. The Historia Langobardorum names "Rodelenda" as mother of Alboin[156]. Paulus Diaconus names "Rodelindam" as wife of Audoin and mother of Alboin[157].
    • Procopius records that "Amalafridus, vir Gotthus, ex filia nepos Amalafridæ sororis Theoderici Gotthorum regis et filius Hermenefridi regis Thoringorum…sororem eius” married "Anduino Langobardorum regi"[158]. The Codex Theodosianus records that the daughter of Amalaberga became the second wife of King Audoin[159].

    King Audoin & his first wife had [two] children:

    • a) ALBOIN (-murdered 28 Jun 572).
      • The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Albuin" as son of "Auduin"[160]. Paulus Diaconus names "Alboin, filius Audoin" when recording his succession[161].
      • He succeeded in 560 as ALBOIN King of the Lombards in Pannonia. He was crowned ALBOIN King of the Lombards in Italy at Milan in [570].
      • i) GISULF .
        • Shield-bearer of Alboin King of the Lombards, who installed him as duke in the region of Friuli after the Longobard migration into Italy in [569][162]. Paulus Diaconus records that King Alboin installed "Gisulfum…suum nepotem" as "ducem…[in] Foroiulanæ civitati"[163]. The Chronicle of Andreas Bergomatis records that Alboin conceded Friuli to "nepoti sui Gisolfi"[164].
        • The precise relationship between Gisulf and King Alboin is unknown and may have been more remote than implied by "nephew" if the word nepos if translated strictly in these passages.
        • [150] Historia Langobardorum Codicis Gothani 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 9.
        • [151] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
        • [152] Procopius, III 33, cited in Christie, N. (1998) The Lombards (Blackwell, Oxford), p. 35.
        • [153] Christie (1998), p. 36.
        • [154] Historia Langobardorum Codicis Gothani 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 9.
        • [155] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
        • [156] Historia Langobardorum Codicis Gothani 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 9.
        • [157] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.27, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 68.
        • [158] Procopius, Vol. II, De Bello Gothico IV.25, p. 593.
        • [159] Mommsen, T. (ed) (1954) Codex Theodisianus Vol 1 (2nd edn. reprint, Berlin), VII 8.5, p. 328, cited in Wolfram, H. (1998) History Of The Goths (Berkeley, California), pp. 320 and 470.
        • [160] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
        • [161] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.23, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 61.
        • [162] Christie (1998), pp. 76-7.
        • [163] Pauli Historia Langobardorum II.9, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 77.
        • [164] Andreæ Bergomatis Chronicon 1, MGH SS III, p. 232.

        From the Medlands project posted by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy:

        ALBOIN, son of AUDOIN King of the Lombards & his first wife --- (-murdered Verona 28 Jun 572).

        • The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Albuin" as son of "Auduin"[353]. Paulus Diaconus names "Alboin, filius Audoin" when recording his succession[354]. He succeeded in 560 as ALBOIN King of the Lombards in Pannonia.
        • Paulus Diaconus reports that King Alboin defeated and killed in battle Cunimund King of the Gepids in 567, allegedly making his skull into a drinking cup[355]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin fought and killed in battle "rege Gippidorum𠉬unimund", weakening the power of the Gepids[356].
        • Narses, the Byzantine administrator in Italy, invited Alboin to Italy in revenge for his forced retirement by Empress Sophia, the invasion dated to 568. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin led his people to Italy after being invited by Narses[357]. Gregory of Tours records that Alboin King of the Lombards had abandoned his own country and emigrated to Italy "with all his Lombard people"[358].
        • He captured Milan in 569, Tuscany in 570 and Pavia in 572.
        • He was crowned ALBOIN King of the Lombards in Italy at Milan in [570], and made his capital at Verona[359]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin ruled in Italy for three years but was killed in Verona by "Hilmichis et Rosemunda uxore sua per consilium Peritheo"[360].
        • The Iohannis Abbatis Biclarensis Chronica records that "Aluinus Lombardorum rex" was killed in 573 "factione coniugis suæ" by his own men at night[361]. The Marii Episcopi Aventicensis Chronica records that "Albuenus rex Langobardorum" was killed in 572 "a suis, id est, Hilmægis" at Verona with the connivance of his wife[362].
        • m firstly ([556/60]%29 CHLODESINDIS, daughter of CHROTHACHAR I [Clotaire] King of the Franks & his third wife Ingund (-before [567]).
          • Gregory of Tours names Clothsind as the daughter of King Clotaire & his wife Ingund, specifying that she married Alboin King of the Lombards[363]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Flutsuinda𠉯ilia Flothario regis Francorum" as the first wife of Albuin[364]. The Historia Langobardorum names "Ludusenda𠉯ilia Flothari regis" as the first wife of Alboin[365]. Paulus Diaconus names "Chlotharius rex Francorum, Chlotsuindam ei suam filiam" as wife of Alboin[366].
          • The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records the marriage of Albuin to "Rosemunda filia Cunimundi" after killing her father in battle[367]. Theophylactus records that "Longobardicæ gentis principem𠉪lboinum" married "adolescentulam Conimundi Gepidarum regis filiam"[368]. Paulus Diaconus names "filiam [Cunimundum] Rosimundam" as second wife of Alboin, also reporting that he married her after killing her father in battle[369]. Gregory of Tours records that Alboin King of the Lombards married his second wife soon after he had killed her father, that "she loathed her husband as a result" and poisoned him "for she had become enamoured of one of his servants" with whom she fled before they were both caught and put to death[370].
          • According to Paulus Diaconus, she incited the murder of her husband by his own men[371]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that Albuin was killed in Verona by "Hilmichis et Rosemunda uxore sua per consilium Peritheo", before she was poisoned herself with Hilmichis by "Longinus pr󦿬tus"[372].

          King Alboin & his first wife had one child:

          • 1. ALBSUINDA (-after 572).
            • The Origo Gentis Langobardorum names "Albsuinda" as the daughter of Albuin & his first wife[373]. Paulus Diaconus names "Alpsuindam" as the daughter of Alboin & his first wife[374]. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum records that, after the murder of Rosamundis, "Longinus pr󦿬tus" sent "Albsuinda filia Albuin regis" to Constantinople[375].
            • [353] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
            • [354] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.23, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 61.
            • [355] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.27, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 69.
            • [356] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
            • [357] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
            • [358] Gregory of Tours IV.41, pp. 235-6.
            • [359] Christie (1998), p. 145.
            • [360] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 5.
            • [361] Iohannis Abbatis Biclarensis Chronica [573], MGH Auct. ant. XI, p. 213.
            • [362] Marii Episcopi Aventicensis Chronica 573, MGH Auct. ant. XI, p. 238.
            • [363] Gregory of Tours IV.3, pp. 197-8.
            • [364] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
            • [365] Historia Langobardorum Codicis Gothani 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 9.
            • [366] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.27, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 68.
            • [367] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
            • [368] Bekker, I. (ed.) (1834) Theophylacti Simocattæ Historiarum, Corpus Scriptorum Historiæ Byzantinæ (Bonn) VI, 10, p. 261.
            • [369] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.27, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 68.
            • [370] Gregory of Tours IV.41, p. 236.
            • [371] Pauli Historia Langobardorum II.28, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 88.
            • [372] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 5.
            • [373] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 4.
            • [374] Pauli Historia Langobardorum I.27, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 68.
            • [375] Origo Gentis Langobardorum 5, MGH SS rer Lang I, p. 5.

            Om Alboin, King of the Lombards (Norsk)

            Alboin konge over langobardene - c. 560/565 - 572

            Alboin, f. ca. 530, d. 28. juni 572, var konge over langobardene fra ca. 560 til sin dྍ i 572. Han var sønn av Audoin som regjerte over langobardene fra 546 til ca. 560-565.

            Langobardene var et germansk folkeslag som var på vandring sørover og østover i Europa tidlig i folkevandringstiden. De nevnes allerede hos den romerske historikeren Tacitus i hans bok Germania fra 98 e. Kr. og de ble av ham betegnet som dyktige krigere. [1] Under Alboins ledelse avsluttet langobardene sin migrasjon fra Nord-Tyskland (eller muligens helt fra Skandinavia) ved å slå seg ned i den nordlige delen av Italia som Alboin erobret mellom 569 og 572. Invasjonen av den pannoniske slette i Italia ble av varig karakter og markerte begynnelsen på langobardenes herredømme i omrt. Etter å ha samlet en koalisjon av flere folkeslag krysset Alboin de juliske Alpene i 568, inn i et nesten forsvarsløst Italia. Han tok raskt kontroll over det meste av Venetia og Liguria. I 569 tok han kontrollen i Nord-Italia største by, Milano, uten å møte motstand. I Pavia møtte han imidlertid sterk motstand og byen ble tatt etter en beleiring som varte i tre år.

            King Eric V never had a strong hold on his throne. He was just ten years old when he took the throne after the murder of his father. Until he was old enough to rule on his own, he ruled under the auspices of his mother Queen Dowager Margaret Sambiria. She had to fight powerful enemies in order to ensure that her son would remain in power.

            Chief Jarimar II raised an army and invaded Zealand as a challenge to the Queen in 1259, the year of her husband&rsquos death. She was defeated and Chief Jarimar II would also pillage Copenhagen later that same year. He meant to continue his campaign but instead met his end after incurring the wrath of a farmer&rsquos wife, which caused his army to flee towards home. Other rebellions and attacks on the throne led to the Queen having to cede other territories and holdings, but despite this her son still remained on the throne as he entered adulthood.

            The death of King Eric V remains a bit of a mystery. There are rumors of a group of nobles willing to do whatever it took to make the King pay for slights against them or policy decisions they disagreed with. Marshal Stig Anderson Hvide and Jacob Nielsen were among the chief conspirators and they paid one of the King&rsquos closest companions to keep them informed of his whereabouts so that they might seek their revenge.

            After a long hunt on November 22, 1286, King Eric V and his men took shelter in a church barn in Finderup. A group of assassins dressed up at Franciscan monks and attacked the King as he slept. They hacked him to pieces and the bloody corpse was found the following morning. It is still not clear who was responsible but the court blamed Marshal Stig Anderson Hvide and Count Jacob Nielsen. Both men were outlawed, forcing Stig to turn to piracy.

            Watch the video: Alboin


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