HISTORY OF THE LANGOBARDS
After this king had ruled in Italy three years and six months, he was slain by the treachery of his wife,  and the cause of his murder was this: While he sat in merriment at a banquet at Verona longer than was proper, with the cup which he had made of the head of his father-in-law, king Cunimund, he ordered it to be given to the queen to drink wine, and he invited her to drink merrily with her father. Lest this should seem impossible to any one, I speak the truth in Christ. I saw king Ratchis holding this cup in his hand on a certain festal day to show it to his guests. Then Rosemund, when she heard the thing, conceived in her heart deep anguish she could not restrain, and straightway she burned to revenge the death of her father by the murder of her husband, and presently she formed a plan with Helmechis who was the king's squire (scilpor) - that is, his armor-bearer - and his foster brother, to kill the king, and he persuaded the queen that she ought to admit to this plot Peredeo, who was a very strong man. As Peredeo would not give his consent to the queen when she advised so great a crime, she put herself at night in the bed of her dressing-maid with whom Peredeo was accustomed to have intercourse, and then Peredeo, coming in ignorance, lay with the queen. And when the wicked act was already accomplished and she asked him whom he thought her to be, and he named the name of his mistress that he thought she was, the queen added: "It is in no way as you think, but I am Rosemund, "she says," and surely now you have perpetrated such a deed, Peredeo, that either you must kill Alboin or he will slay you with his sword." Then he learned the evil thing he had done, and he who had been unwilling of his own accord, assented, when forced in such a way, to the murder of the king. Then Rosemund, while Alboin had given himself up to a noon-day sleep, ordered that there should be a great silence in the palace, and taking away all other arms, she bound his sword tightly to the head of the bed so it could not be taken away or unsheathed, and according to the advice of Peredeo, she, more cruel than any beast, let in Helmechis the murderer.  Alboin suddenly aroused from sleep perceived the evil which threatened and reached his hand quickly for his sword, which, being tightly tied, he could not draw, yet he seized a foot-stool and defended himself with it for some time. But unfortunately alas! this most warlike and very brave man being helpless against his enemy, was slain as if he were one of no account, and he who was most famous in war through the overthrow of so many enemies, perished by the scheme of one little woman. His body was buried with the great grief and lamentations of the Langobards under the steps of a certain flight of stairs which was next to the palace. He was tall in stature and well fitted in his whole body for waging wars. In our own days Giselpert, who had been duke of Verona, opened his grave and took away his sword and any other of his ornaments found there. And for this reason he boasted with his accustomed vanity among ignorant men that he had seen Alboin.
 Probably May 25th or June 28th, A. D. 572, or possibly 573 (Hodg., V, 168, 181; Roviglio, Sopra Alcuni Dati Cronologici di Storia Langobardica. Reggio-Emilia, 1899, pp. 21 to 27).
 This reading of Paul seems to reverse the parts, making Peredeo the adviser and Helmechis the actual murderer, and seems to indicate that Paul has misunderstood his authorities or confused them. The names are transposed in some of the manuscripts to bring the sentence into harmony with what precedes. Agnellus ignores Peredeo altogether and assigns the whole responsibility for the murder to Helmechis, instigated by Rosemund (Hodgkin, V, 170). But after deducting what is undoubtedly legendary we have statements from contemporary sources essentially harmonious. The Annals of Ravenna (Exc. Sang. Agnell., ch. 96) says, " Alboin was killed by his followers in his palace by command of his wife Rosemund." John Biclaro: "Alboin is killed at night at Verona by his followers by the doing of his wife. Marius: ''Alboin was killed by his followers, that is by Hilmaegis with the rest, his wife agreeing to it." The Copenhagen Continuer of Prosper: "Alboin was killed at Verona by the treachery of his wife Rosemund, the daughter of king Conimund, Elmigisilus aiding her" (Schmidt, p. 72).
 Hodgkin (V, 175) notices a reference to Alboin in the so-called Traveler's song or Widsith which was composed probably about the middle of the sixth century. Lines 139 to 147 say, "So was I in Eatule with Lalfwin, son of Eadwin, who of all mankind had to my thinking the lightest hand to win love, the most generous hear; in the distribution of rings and bright bracelets." It seems probable that Eatule means Italy; Ealfwin, Alboin; Eadwin, Audoin.
Helmechis then, upon the death of Alboin, 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 Helmechis with Rosemund his wife embarked, fleeing at night. They took with them Albsuinda, the daughter of the king, and all the treasure of the Langobards, and came swiftly to Ravenna.  Then the prefect Longinus began to urge Rosemund to kill Helmechis and to join him in wedlock. As she was ready for every kind of wickedness and as she desired to become mistress of the people of Ravenna, she gave her consent to the accomplishment of this great crime, and while Helmechis was bathing himself, she offered him, as he came out of the bath, a cup of poison which she said was for his health. But when he felt that he had drunk the cup of death, he compelled Rosemund, having drawn his sword upon her, to drink what was left, and thus these most wicked murderers perished at one moment by the judgment of God Almighty.
 Probably to some point on the I'o not far from Verona (Hodg., V, 172, note l).
 As to Rosemund's flight to Longinus, the Ravenna Annals (Agnello, ch. 96) show that Rosemund with a multitude of Cepidae and Langobards came to Ravenna in the month of August with all the royal treasure and was honorably received by Longinus the prefect. Marius says that Helmegis, with his wife and all the treasure and a part of the army, surrendered to the republic at Ravenna. John Biclaro says: that Alboin's treasure with the queen came into the power of the republic and the Langobards remained without king and treasure. The Copenhagen Continuer of Prosper (p. 34) says she attempted to unite Helmigis to herself in marriage and in the kingdom, but when she perceived that her treacherous usurpation displeased the Langobards, she fled with the royal treasure and her husband to Ravenna (Schmidt, 73).
When they had thus been killed, the prefect Longinus sent Albsuinda with the treasures of the Langobards to Constantinople to the emperor. Some affirm that Peredeo also came to Ravenna in like manner with Helmechis and Rosemund, and was thence sent with Albsuinda to Constantinople, and there in a public show before the emperor killed a lion of astonishing size and, as they say, by command of the emperor, his eyes were torn out lest he should attempt anything in the imperial city because he was a strong man. After some time he prepared for himself two small knives, hid one in each of his sleeves, went to the palace and promised to say something serviceable to the emperor if lie were admitted to him. The emperor sent him two patricians, familiars of the palace, to receive his words. When they came to Peredeo, he approached them quite closely as if about to tell them something unusually secret, and he wounded both of them severely with the weapons he held concealed in each hand so that immediately they fell to the ground and expired. And thus in no way unlike the mighty Sampson, he avenged his injuries, and for the loss of his two eyes he killed two men most useful to the emperor.
All the Langobards in Italy by common consent installed as their king in the city of Ticinum, Cleph, a very noble man among them.  Of many powerful men of the Romans some he destroyed by the sword and others he drove from Italy. When he had held the sovereignty with Masane, his wife one year and six months, he was slain with the sword by a servant of his train. 
 "Of the race of Beleo'' says the Origo. Marius of Avenches (Chron., 573, Roncalli, p. 413, see Pabst, 415, note 5) says he had been one of the dukes.
 The precise dates are uncertain. Marius of Avenches says he was elected in the sixth indiction and slain in the seventh, hence both events took place between Sept. 1st, 572, and Sept. 1st, 574 (Roviglio, Sopra Alcuni Dati Cronologici, p. 28).
After his death the Langobards had no king for ten years  but were under dukes,  and each one of the dukes held possession of his own city, Zaban of Ticinum (Pavia), Wallari of Bergamus (Bergamo), Alichis of Brexia (Brescia), Euin of Tridentum (Trent), Gisulf of Forum Julii (Cividale). But there were thirty other dukes besides these in their own cities. In these days many of the noble Romans were killed from love of gain, and the remainder were divided among their " guests " and made tributaries, that they should pay the third part of their products to the Langobards.  By these dukes of the Langobards in the seventh year from the coming of Alboin  and of his whole people, the churches were despoiled, the priests killed, the cities overthrown, the people who had grown up like crops annihilated, and besides those regions which Alboin had taken, the greater part of Italy was seized and subjugated by the Langobards.
 The Origo Gentis Langobardorum, the Chronicon Gothanum, Fredegarius and the Copenhagen Continuer of Prosper all give twelve years as the period of this interregnum. A computation of the preceding and subsequent reigns appears to sustain Paul's statement (Roviglio, id., pp. 29-31) which, however, is not free from doubt.
 Duces. It is not certain what was the Langobard name for these rulers. Some suggest (Hodgkin, V, 183, 184) Heretoga (the present German Herzog). The prefix and suffix ari which occurs frequently in Langobard names (e. g., Aripert, Arioald, Rothari) may have some connection with this dignity. The Latin word dux was appropriately applied, as it meant both a leader in the field and a commander of frontier troops and of a frontier district (Hartmann, II, I, 40). Schmidt (p. 78) insists that the division of Italy into dukedoms was nothing else than the ancient Langobard division of their territory into cantons, only these were now connected with the former city territories of the Romans.
 Duke Euin (569-595) followed by Gaidoald in the latter year, and Alahis about 680 and 690, are the only three dukes of Trent mentioned in Paul's history (Hodg-., VI, 23). The duchy of Trent probably ascended by the Central Valley of the Adigo as far northward as the Alansio of Kuna, the modern town of Neumarkt, and southward to a point near the present Austro-Italian frontier where the mountains begin to slope down to the Lombard plain (Hodg., VI, 26).
 The dukes of Friuli were Gisulf (living in 575), Grasulf II, Taso, Cacco, Ago, Lupus (about 662), Wechtari (between 662 and 671), Landari, Rodoald, Ansfrit (between 688 and 700), Ferdulf, Corvulus, Pemmo, Anselm, Peter and Ratgaud or Hrodgaud (775 to 776) (Hodg., VI, 36).
 Pabst (437) gives the list of probable cities referred to: Friuli, Parma, Cremona, Trent, Brescia, Bergamo, Novara, Milan, Pavia, Reggio, Ivrea, Turin, Mantua, Altino, Mariana, Feltre, Belluno, Alba Pompeia, Acqui, Lucca, Chiusi, Perugia, Benevento, Ceneda, Piacenza, Como, Treviso, Modena, Lodi, Vicenza, Brescello, Vercelli, Verona, Asti, Tortona, Spoleto (see p. 439). This makes thirty-six cities instead of the thirty-five, and probably Pabst included one or more not yet occupied by the Langobards (Hodgkin, V, 188). Pabst also gives a very complete account of this office of duke. At first it was not hereditary (p. 414-415) but was held for life (p. 432). Dukes were not selected on account of their noble birth (though nobles were frequently found among them), but on account of their military and administrative ability. The duke was not chosen by the people but appointed by the king (p. 414). During the interregnum of ten years when the dukes governed different portions of the country, there was a great increase of the ducal power. It became evident, however, that the government could not continue thus sub-divided. The kingly power was restored but in the meantime some of the dukedoms, particularly Benevento and Spoleto, and in a measure Friuli had become so powerful that they were never again wholly subjected to the king. The succession in Benevento and Spoleto became hereditary, and even in Friuli the rights of the ruling family were respected (Paul, IV, 39; Pabst, 432). The duke's jurisdiction extended, not simply over a particular city, but over the adjoining district or province (pp.434-435). In determining the limits of this district the ancient boundaries were generally observed (p.435). The first definite statement of the powers of the duke is found in the laws of Rothari about the middle of the 7th century. He had supreme military, judicial and police jurisdiction in his district (pp.439, 440). His control of the financial administration was not so complete (p.440). At his side, at least in the northern dukedoms, stood the counts and 'gastaldi' who were the immediate representatives of the king. The counts are named next after the dukes (p.441), though their jurisdiction nowhere (p.442) appears, and Pabst considers that the name is a mere honorary title for a particular 'gastaldus' (or 'gastaldins'). This latter word is derived, in his opinion, from the Gothic 'gastaldan', to possess, acquire. A better derivation would seem to be from 'gast' and 'aldius', the "guest of the half-free" who settled as a lord on the property of the conquered Italians, and compelled them to serve him and give him a portion of the proceeds of their lands. The 'gastaldi' would then be the lords or administrators of these Italian domains (Bruckner, 205). When the dukes reestablished the kingly power (P.III, 16) they gave up one-half of their fortunes for royal uses. Paul tells us that at this time the oppressed people were parcelled out among their Langobard guests, and it is probable that the gastaldi (whose name would appear to refer to such apportionment) were first appointed at that time. In each 'civitas' or city with its adjacent territory there appears to have been a gastaldus whose duty it was to look after the royal interests, and especially, the royal domains (p. 443). He received the king's share of inheritances when heirs were lacking and gradually came into possession of most of the financial administration (p.444). Dukes, counts, and gastaldi, are all designated by the common name of "judges" (pp.447-448), and certain police authority is also given them—for example, to remove lepers (p.449), to arrest fugitives, etc. A peculiar provision of Rothari's Edict (23) is, that if a duke shall unjustly injure his soldier the gastaldus shall aid the latter and (24), if the gastaldus shall unjustly injure his soldier, the duke shall protect the injured man (p.443, note 3). Quite different is the position of the gasfaldi of Benevento and Spoleto where the dukes were practically sovereign (470). We see at the courts of these dukes the same officials as at the royal court, the 'cubicularius' or chamberlain, the 'stolesaz', or treasurer, etc. (p.472). We find many royal expedients to limit the ducal power. Territory reconquered from the Greek empire or from rebellious dukes became the property of the sovereign (p.463), and gastaldi rather than dukes were appointed to administer it. When Liutprand endeavored to strengthen the royal power, he took advantage in Friuli of a contest between Bishop Calixtus and Duke Pemmo and deprived Pemmo of the dukedom, but appointed Pemmo's eldest son Ratchis in his place (see P., VI, 51). Liutprand also deposed and appointed dukes for Spoleto and Benevento, and set aside for a time the hereditary succession, but he did not permanently reduce these duchies to subjection. In the other parts of the kingdom, immediately subject to him, however (which were called Austria, Neustria and Tuscia), he appointed gasialdi in the cities where there had been dukes, and greatly strengthened his own power by increasing the powers and responsibilities of the gastaldi. In his edicts he does not use the word "duke" at all, but continually uses the word "judge" in place of it, which latter term includes both dukes and gastaldi, and the two are now no longer found side by side in a single jurisdiction. Pabst (482-483) has given a list of the cities which, under Liutprand, were ruled by dukes and of those which were ruled by gastaldi. The list is incomplete, and perhaps in part incorrect, yet it shows in a general way the extent of the separation of the two offices. There were also subordinate officials. Among these were the 'adores', who were the king's agents in administering particular royal domains, and under the judges the 'sculdahis', or local magistrates, and the 'centenarii' and 'locopositi', probably of similar grade (p.500, see Hartmann, II, 2, 39). In an ordinary judicial proceeding the complainant betook him in the first place to the 'sculdahis', the local civil magistrate. If the case were so important that the sculdahis could not decide it, he had to send the parties to the judge (i. e., the duke or gaslaldus) (Pabst, 485), but if it were beyond the jurisdiction of the latter, the parties had to appear in the king's court. If the judge could not act personally he could appoint a deputy ('missus') to act for him in individual cases. The party defeated in a legal proceeding had the right to complain to a higher jurisdiction of the decision or the conduct of the magistrate who decided against him (Hartmann, II, 2, 41), and if it were found that the judge had failed in his duties he was punished (at least until the time of king Ratchis), not by dismissal, but by a fine (Pabst, 487). In their powers, duties and responsibilities dukes and gastaldi at last appear to be quite alike, and while a larger domain generally appears annexed to the office of duke, the gastaldi usually have the administration of the royal estates (p.489). Possibly the king could change the gastaldi more quickly than the dukes whose term of office lasted for life, but this appears to be the only point in which the duke had the advantage. These arrangements suffered little change during the latter days of the kingdom.
 There is much controversy as to the meaning of this sentence. Does the "remainder " who were divided, refer to all the Romans, or merely to the nobles who were not killed? Hodgkin (VI, 581) believes it refers to the rest of the Roman inhabitants. Villari (Le Invasion! Barbariche, II, 32) insists that it refers grammatically to the nobles only, and asks how it would have been possible to render tributary all the Romans, thus obliging those who possessed nothing to pay one-third of the fruits of the earth? It would seem that it must be limited at least to the Roman landed proprietors who might well at this time have been roughly designated as nobles in this connection. The word ''guest'' (hospes) expressed a relation that could exist only between the Langobard and the Roman proprietor. That of ''patron'' existed toward the peasants and cultivators of the lands (Villari, pp. 272, 273). The relation of "guests" also existed elsewhere between Burgundians and conquered Romans. The Roman whose land was assigned to a Burgundian was called hospes and vice versa. The land thus assigned was called 'sors', and the right to it 'hospitalitas' (Savigny, Geschichte des Romischen Rechts im Mittelalter, I, p. 298). The whole free Roman population was treated by the Langobards quite differently from the manner in which they had been treated by Theodoric and the Ostrogoths, who simply took one third of their land and left them as independent as before. The Langobards took one-third, not of the land, but of its products, and there is much dispute as to the status in which they held the Roman population. Although Villari (Le Invasioni Barbariche, pp. 265, 266, 271-272) and others deny that this population was reduced to slavery, the better opinion seems to be that during the wars of conquest and the earlier period of Langobard domination, the Romans were regarded as conquered enemies destitute of all rights (Hartmann, II, 2, 2 ; see, also, Hegel, Stadteverfassung von Italien, ch. Ill, p. 355, and authorities there cited,) and that they very generally became aldii or serfs of the Langobards just as other subject-peoples had been during the previous wanderings of that nation. Aldins first meant "man," then "common man," then the "half free" man, bound to the soil (Hartmann, II, I, 8). Rothari's Edict, though it scarcely mentions the Romans as such, contains many enactments concerning the aldins, who apparently did not differ greatly from the Roman colonus who cultivated the ground for his master and could not change his condition or his home, but could not have his rent raised arbitrarily, nor be sold as a slave apart from the land. We are not expressly told in the Edict that the Romans were aldii but this seems implied. Tlie fine for killing or crippling an aldins was payable to his master, probably to indemnify him for the loss of a valuable farm laborer. The condition of the workmen in the cities however is more doubtful and also the condition of the Romans of the higher class, if any, who survived (Hodgkin, VI, 586-592). The third exacted by the Langobards may have been one-third of the gross product of the land, which would be more than half the net product and would leave a slender margin for the cultivator and his family (Hodgkin, VI, 582). This was the view originally taken by Savigny (Geschichte des Rcimischen Rechts, I, ch. V, p. 400), but he afterwards changed his opinion and considered that the tribute was one-third of the net produce of the land (see Hegel, Stadteverfassung von Italien, I, ch. 3, p. 356, note). The Langobards were thus exempted from agricultural labor and as absentee landlords, could live in the cities or at the court on the tribute thus paid by their "hosts." This idleness on the one side and servitude upon the other exercised a demoralizing influence, and the Langobard system was much more injurious than the actual division of land under Theodoric and Odoacar where the substantial liberty of the Romans might still be preserved. Hartmann (II, i, 4!, 42) believes that the payment of one-third the produce of the land was a mere temporary arrangement while Alboin and the Langobards were acquiring possession of the country, and that afterwards, when they were permanently settled in the country, the Langobards took the places of the former proprietors and received all the profits of their estates. There seems no good reason to think, however, that such complete expropriation was universal.
 Paul scarcely means that all this occurred in the seventh year alone but during the seven years of Langobard occupation. This was the statement of Gregory of Tours whom Paul followed (IV, 41), see Jacobi, 34.