The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon wrote in the Historia Langobardorum that the Lombards descended from a small tribe called the Winnili, who dwelt in southern Scandinavia before migrating to seek new lands. In the 1st century AD, they formed part of the Suebi, in north-western Germany. By the end of the 5th century, they had moved into the area coinciding with modern Austria and Slovakia north of the Danube river, where they subdued the Heruls and fought frequent wars with the Gepids; the Lombard king Audoin defeated the Gepid leader Thurisind in 551 or 552. Following this victory, Alboin decided to lead his people to Italy, which had become depopulated and devastated after the long Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Ostrogothic Kingdom there. In contrast with the Goths and the Vandals, the Lombards left Scandinavia and descended due south through Germany and Slovenia, only leaving Germanic territory a few decades before reaching Italy.
The Lombards would have remained a predominantly Germanic tribe by the time they invaded Italy. The Lombards were joined by numerous Saxons, Gepids, Bulgars and Ostrogoths, their invasion of Italy was unopposed. By late 569 they had conquered all of northern Italy and the principal cities north of the Po River except Pavia, which fell in 572. At the same time, they occupied areas in southern Italy, they established a Lombard Kingdom in north and central Italy named Regnum Italicum, which reached its zenith under the 8th-century ruler Liutprand. In 774, the Kingdom was integrated into his Empire. However, Lombard nobles continued to rule southern parts of the Italian peninsula, well into the 11th century when they were conquered by the Normans and added to their County of Sicily. In this period, the southern part of Italy still under Longobardic domination was known to the foreigners, by the name Langbarðaland, in the Norse runestones, their legacy is apparent in the regional name Lombardy. The fullest account of Lombard origins and practices is the Historia Langobardorum of Paul the Deacon, written in the 8th century.
Paul's chief source for Lombard origins, however, is the 7th-century Origo Gentis Langobardorum. The Origo Gentis Langobardorum tells the story of a small tribe called the Winnili dwelling in southern Scandinavia; the Winnili were split into three groups and one part left their native land to seek foreign fields. The reason for the exodus was overpopulation; the departing people were led by the brothers Ybor and Aio and their mother Gambara and arrived in the lands of Scoringa the Baltic coast or the Bardengau on the banks of the Elbe. Scoringa was ruled by the Vandals and their chieftains, the brothers Ambri and Assi, who granted the Winnili a choice between tribute or war; the Winnili were young and brave and refused to pay tribute, saying "It is better to maintain liberty by arms than to stain it by the payment of tribute." The Vandals prepared for war and consulted Godan, who answered that he would give the victory to those whom he would see first at sunrise. The Winnili were fewer in number and Gambara sought help from Frea, who advised that all Winnili women should tie their hair in front of their faces like beards and march in line with their husbands.
At sunrise, Frea turned her husband's bed so that he was facing east, woke him. So Godan spotted the Winnili first and asked, "Who are these long-beards?," and Frea replied, "My lord, thou hast given them the name, now give them the victory." From that moment onwards, the Winnili were known as the Longbeards. When Paul the Deacon wrote the Historia between 787 and 796 he was a Catholic monk and devoted Christian, he thought the pagan stories of his people "silly" and "laughable". Paul explained. A modern theory suggests that the name "Langobard" comes from a name of Odin. Priester states that when the Winnili changed their name to "Lombards", they changed their old agricultural fertility cult to a cult of Odin, thus creating a conscious tribal tradition. Fröhlich inverts the order of events in Priester and states that with the Odin cult, the Lombards grew their beards in resemblance of the Odin of tradition and their new name reflected this. Bruckner remarks that the name of the Lombards stands in close relation to the worship of Odin, whose many names include "the Long-bearded" or "the Grey-bearded", that the Lombard given name Ansegranus shows that the Lombards had this idea of their chief deity.
The same Old Norse root Barth or Barði, meaning "beard", is shared with the Heaðobards mentioned in both Beowulf and in Widsith, where they are in conflict with the Danes. They were a branch of the Langobards. Alternatively some etymological sources suggest an Old High German root, meaning “axe”, while Edward Gibbon puts forth an alternative suggestion which argues that: …Börde still signifies “a fertile plain by the side of a river,” and a district near Magdeburg is still called the lange Börd
Liutprand, King of the Lombards
Liutprand was the King of the Lombards from 712 to 744 and is chiefly remembered for his Donation of Sutri, in 728, his long reign, which brought him into a series of conflicts successful, with most of Italy. He is regarded as the most successful Lombard monarch, notable for the Donation of Sutri, the first accolade of sovereign territory to the Papacy. Liutprand's life began inauspiciously, his father was driven to exile among the Bavarians, his older brother Sigipert was blinded by Aripert II, king of the Lombards and his mother Theodarada and sister Aurona were mutilated. Liutprand was spared, he was allowed to join his father. The reign of Liutprand, son of Ansprand, duke of Asti and king of the Lombards, began the day before his father's death when magnates called to Ansprand's deathbed consented to make Liutprand his colleague. Liutprand's reign endured for thirty-one years. Within the Lombard kingdom he was considered a lawgiver of irreproachable Catholicity. At the opening of his reign, Liutprand's chief ally among neighboring rulers was the Agilolfing Theodo I, the Frankish duke of Bavaria.
Theodo I's intervention on Ansprand's behalf helped him gain the throne. Theodo had taken him in, when he and his father were temporarily expelled by Aripert II in 702, the hospitality was cemented with a marriage connection: Liutprand took to wife the Agilolfing Guntrud; the core of Theodo's policy was resistance to the Merovingian mayors of the palaces in their encroachments north of the Alps, concerns that did not much occupy Liutprand, maintaining strategic control of the eastern Alpine passes in what is now the Italian Alps, which did. In the spring of 712, Theodo’s son Theodebert, with Ansprand and Liutprand, attacked Lombard strongholds, with the drowning of their fleeing rival Aripert, Ansprand's faction were back in power at Pavia. Theodo died in 717 or 718; until distracted by Byzantine politics in 726, Liutprand's chief warmaking energies were concentrated on taking Bavarian castles on the River Adige. In his early reign, Liutprand did not attack the Exarchate of the Papacy, but in 726, the Emperor Leo III made his first of many edicts outlawing icons.
The pope, Gregory II, ordered the people to resist and the Byzantine duke of Naples, was killed by a mob while trying to carry out the imperial command to destroy all the icons. Liutprand chose this time of division to strike the Byzantine possessions in Emilia. In 727, he crossed the Po and took Bologna, Osimo and Ancona, along with the other cities of Emilia and the Pentapolis, he could not take Ravenna itself from the exarch Paul. Paul was soon killed in a riot, however. Ravenna would capitulate to Liutprand with a fight; the first Moorish raids on Corsica began around 713–719 from the Balearic Islands to the west. Acting as the protector of the Catholic Church and its faithful, Liutprand subjected the island to Lombard government, though it was nominally under Byzantine authority. Corsica remained with the Lombard kingdom after the Frankish conquest, by which time Lombard landholders and churches had established a significant presence on the island; when the Saracens invaded Sardinia, Liutprand redeemed the body of Augustine about the year 720.
He brought it with great ceremony to Pavia, enshrined it in the Church of Saint Peter, the cathedral of Pavia. He rescued the relics stationed on the island with great haste as well as with great expense, according to Paul the Deacon. Having just overwhelmed the Byzantine forces, though it was left to his heirs to make the final vestige of the Exarchate of Ravenna Lombard at last, Liutprand advanced towards Rome along the Via Cassia. There the two reached an agreement, by which Sutri and some hill towns in Latium were given to the Papacy, "as a gift to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" according to the Liber Pontificalis, they were the first extension of Papal territory beyond the confines of the Duchy of Rome. This was the beginning of the Papal States. In the meantime, Leo sent Eutychius, as Exarch of Ravenna; when Eutychius arrived at Naples, he made an agreement whereby Liutprand would attack the Pope if the Greeks aided him in subjugating the contumacious and independent southern Lombard duchies, the Duchy of Spoleto and the Duchy of Benevento.
The dukes, Thrasimund II and Godescalc, surrendered — though control of the duchies from Pavia was not to endure for long — and the new exarch marched on Rome. At Rome, Liutprand camped on the far bank of the Tiber in the "Field of Nero" and arbitrated, returning to the exarch the city of Ravenna alone among the Byzantine territories and prevailing on the pope to restore his allegiance to the emperor. Following the death of Theodo, Liutprand turned from his former Agilolfing allies to bind himself to Charles Martel, duke of the Franks, whose son, Pepin the Short, he adopted and girded with arms at his coming of manhood. In 733 Liutprand promulgated the Notitia de actoribus regis, a series of six laws, presaging the Frankish capitulary in structure, they sought to curb the usurpation by local administrators of public lands. In 735–736, a serious illness encouraged Liutprand to raise his nephew Hildeprand to co-kingship. In 736–737, Liutprand crossed the Alps with an army to help Charles expel the Moors from Aix-en-Provence and Arles.
In 738, a long peace was broken
Carloman of Bavaria
Carloman was a Frankish king of the Carolingian dynasty. He was the eldest son of Louis the German, king of East Francia, Hemma, daughter of a Bavarian count, his father appointed him margrave of Pannonia in 856, upon his father's death in 876 he became King of Bavaria. He was appointed by King Louis II of Italy as his successor, but the Kingdom of Italy was taken by his uncle Charles the Bald in 875. Carloman only conquered it in 877. In 879 he was incapacitated by a stroke, abdicated his domains in favour of his younger brothers: Bavaria to Louis the Younger and Italy to Charles the Fat. Carloman's birth date is unknown, but was around 828 or 830, his naming can be connected to his father's push to rule Alemannia around the time of his father's assembly of Worms in 829. The first member of the Carolingian dynasty named Carloman had ruled Alemannia in 741–48, subjugated it to the Franks. Carloman was old enough to participate in the civil war of 840–43, waged between his father and his uncles and Charles the Bald.
His first record public appearance is as the leader of an army of reinforcements from Bavaria and Alemannia which he brought to his father at Worms in 842. He subsequently led them in battle alongside his uncle against his other uncle, it was the beginning of a warlike career. Notker of Saint Gall, who bewailed the decline of the dynasty a generation called Carloman bellicosissimus. In October 848, Carloman was present at his father's council in Regensburg, where the Slavic commander Pribina was rewarded for his service in defending the Bavarian frontier. In the charter confirming the grant, Carloman signed his name first among the secular magnates. In the 840s, Carloman had a liaison with Liutswind, daughter of the Bavarian count Ratolt and sister-in-law of Count Sigihard of the Kraichgau; this was Carloman's first politically independent action, it confirms his close connexion to Bavaria. Around 850, Liutswind bore him Arnulf; this name was chosen because it was distinctly dynastic, yet had never been used by a reigning king and was thus appropriate for an illegitimate eldest son.
The choice of the name is the surest evidence that Liutswind and Carloman were not married. Around 860, Arnulf and his cousin, the illegitimate son of Carloman's brother Louis, were both in Koblenz at the court of their grandfather, overseeing their military education and holding them to ensure the good behaviour of their fathers. In 856, Louis first associated Carloman with his rule by appointing him prefect to the Pannonian March, the Bavarian borderland fronting Great Moravia and Lower Pannonia, he did not give Carloman the traditional prefect's seat at Tulln in Pannonia. Instead, according to the Annales Fuldenses, he was given the title "prefect of the Carantanians" and posted further south, in a more peripheral region in a design to keep him from trying to seize power from his father. From 857 on Carloman and his brother were occasional witnesses to their father's charters. In 862 Carloman tried to extend the territory under his control, but was defeated. In 865 the partition of East Francia "along ethnic lines" which Louis had been preparing was publicised at Frankfurt: all three of his sons had been given positions of importance along the frontiers and had been married into the local aristocracy of the regions marked out for them.
Carloman married the daughter of a Bavarian military leader named Ernest, whom the Annales Bertiniani describe as "the greatest of all the king's great men". This marriage must have taken place before Ernest's disgrace and dismissal in 861, for Louis the German disapproved of his second son's seeking a marriage with family, disgraced in 858–59. Carloman was not given the title king during his father's lifetime, the latter retained control over bishoprics, fiscal lands and important judicial cases. Carloman's letter to his father from 869 survives. By the 870s, according to the Annales Bertiniani, at the time being composed by Archbishop Hincmar of Reims, Carloman's mother, was encouraging her husband to favour Carloman over his brothers; this is the first recorded involvement of Emma in politics, it may relate to Louis's illness during 869–70. On the other hand, historian Ernst Dümmler thought Carloman must have been a "mamma's boy". On 12 August 875, Louis II of Italy died and his kingdom was claimed by Louis the German for his sons Carloman and Charles and by Charles the Bald.
Pope John VIII, dealing with the constant threat of raiders from Muslim Sicily, sided with Charles the Bald. Carloman led an army into Italy, where he granted a diploma to the monastery of San Clemente a Casauria, one of Louis II's most favoured houses. In the diploma Carloman declared himself Louis's chosen successor. According to the Annales Fuldenses, Charles had to offer him "a huge sum in gold and silver and precious stones" to get him to leave Italy. On 28 August 876, Louis died and his sons became kings in their allotted kingdoms. On 6 October 877, Charles the Bald died and that month Carloman succeeded in having himself elected King of Italy by the nobles assembled in Pavia; the lure of Italy was "the looting, acceptable when a king first took over a kingdom", providing rewards that could be shared out among followers and more than offset the cost of raising an army and crossing the Alps. Carloman was one of only two Car
Ratchis was the Duke of Friuli and King of the Lombards. His father was Duke Pemmo, his Roman wife was Tassia. He ruled in peace. Pope Zachary convinced him to lift the siege, he abdicated and entered the abbey of Montecassino with his family. After the death of Aistulf in 756, he tried once again to reign over the Lombards, but he was defeated by Desiderius and retired to a cloister. Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum Storia dei Longobardi. Milano: Electa, 1985 Jörg Jarnut, Storia dei Longobardi, Torino: Einaudi, 2002 ISBN 88-464-4085-4 Sergio Rovagnati, I Longobardi, Milano: Xenia, 2003 ISBN 88-7273-484-3
Flavius Odoacer known as Flavius Odovacer or Odovacar, was a barbarian statesman who in 476 became the first King of Italy. His reign is seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire. Odoacer is the earliest ruler of Italy for whom an autograph of any of his legal acts has survived to the current day. Though the real power in Italy was in his hands, he represented himself as the client of the emperor in Constantinople. Odoacer used the Roman honorific patrician, granted by the emperor Zeno, but is referred to as a king in many documents, he himself used it in the only surviving official document that emanated from his chancery, it was used by the consul Basilius. Odoacer introduced few important changes into the administrative system of Italy, he had the support of the Roman Senate and was able to distribute land to his followers without much opposition. Unrest among his warriors led to violence in 477–478, but no such disturbances occurred during the period of his reign. Although Odoacer was an Arian Christian, he intervened in the affairs of Trinitarian state church of the Roman Empire.
Of East Germanic descent, according to most opinions, Odoacer was a military leader in Italy who led the revolt of Herulian and Scirian soldiers that deposed Romulus Augustulus on 4 September AD 476. Augustulus had been declared Western Roman Emperor by his father, the rebellious general of the army in Italy, less than a year before, but had been unable to gain allegiance or recognition beyond central Italy. With the backing of the Roman Senate, Odoacer thenceforth ruled Italy autonomously, paying lip service to the authority of Julius Nepos, the previous Western emperor, Zeno, the emperor of the East. Upon Nepos's murder in 480 Odoacer invaded Dalmatia, he did so, executing the conspirators, but within two years conquered the region and incorporated it into his domain. When Illus, master of soldiers of the Eastern Empire, asked for Odoacer's help in 484 in his struggle to depose Zeno, Odoacer invaded Zeno's westernmost provinces; the emperor responded first by inciting the Rugii of present-day Austria to attack Italy.
During the winter of 487–488 Odoacer crossed the Danube and defeated the Rugii in their own territory. Zeno appointed the Ostrogoth Theoderic the Great, menacing the borders of the Eastern Empire, to be king of Italy, turning one troublesome, nominal vassal against another. Theoderic invaded Italy in 489 and by August 490 had captured the entire peninsula, forcing Odoacer to take refuge in Ravenna; the city surrendered on 5 March 493. Except for the fact that he was not considered Roman, Odoacer's precise ethnic origins are not known. Most opinions consider him to be of Germanic descent, from one of several East Germanic tribes such as the Turcilingi, Heruli and Gothi, or also of partial Thuringii descent. Both the Anonymus Valesianus and John of Antioch state. However, it is unclear whether this Edeko is identical to one—or both—men of the same name who lived at this time: one was an ambassador of Attila to the court in Constantinople, escorted Priscus and other Imperial dignitaries back to Attila's camp.
Since Sebastian Tillemont in the 17th century, all three have been considered to be the same person. In his Getica, Jordanes describes Odoacer as king of the Turcilingi. However, in his Romana, the same author defines him as a member of the Rugii; the Consularia Italica calls him king of the Heruli, while Theophanes appears to be guessing when he calls him a Goth. The sixth-century chronicler, Marcellinus Comes, calls him "the king of the Goths". Reynolds and Lopez explored the possibility that Odoacer was not Germanic in their 1946 paper published by The American Historical Review, making several arguments that his ethnic background might lie elsewhere. One of these is that his name, "Odoacer", for which an etymology in Germanic languages had not been convincingly found, could be a form of the Turkish "Ot-toghar", or the shorter form "Ot-ghar". Other sources believe the name Odoacer is derived from the Germanic Audawakrs, from aud- "wealth" and wakr- "vigilant"; this form finds a cognate in another Germanic language, the titular Eadwacer of the Old English poem Wulf and Eadwacer.
Odoacer's identity as a Hun was accepted by a number of authorities, such as E. A. Thompson and J. M. Wallace-Hadrill—despite Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen's objection that personal names were not an infallible guide to ethnicity. Subsequently, while reviewing the primary sources in 1983, Bruce Macbain proposed that while his mother might have been Scirian and his father Thuringian, in any case he was not a Hun; the earliest recorded incident involving Odoacer is from a fragment of a chronicle preserved in the Decem Libri Historiarum of Gregory of Tours. Two chapters of his work recount, in a confused or confusing manner, a number of battles fought by King Childeric I of the Franks, Count Paul, one "Adovacrius" or "Odovacrius". If this is an account of Aegidius' victory over the Visigoths, otherwise known from the Chronicle of Hydatius this occurred in 463. Reynolds and Lopez, in their article mentioned above, suggested that this "A
Authari was king of the Lombards from 584 to his death. He was considered as the first Lombard king to have adopted some level of "Roman-ness" and introduced policies that led to drastic changes in the treatment of the Romans and Christianity. Authari was the son of King of the Lombards; when the latter died in 574, the Lombard nobility refused to appoint a successor, resulting in a ten-years-long interregnum known as the Rule of the Dukes. In 574 and 575 the Lombards invaded Provence part of the kingdom of Burgundy of the Merovingian Guntram; the latter, in alliance with his nephew, the king of Austrasia Childebert II, replied by invading Northern Italy. The Austrasian army took Trent; the Byzantine emperor, Tiberius II, began to negotiate an alliance with the Franks, so the Lombards, fearful of a pincer movement, elected another king. In 584, they elected Duke Authari and ceded him the capital of Pavia as well as half of their ducal domains as a demesne, he spent his entire reign in wars with the Franks, the Byzantines, Lombard rebels.
His first major test was the quashing of the rebel duke Droctulf of Brescello, who had allied with the Romans and was ruling the Po valley. Having expelled him, he spent most of the rest of his six years on the throne fighting the exarch of Ravenna, Smaragdus, or the Merovingian kings. Guntram and Childebert were still not satisfied with their successes in Italy and they many times threatened invasion, following through on their threats twice; the memory of Theudebert I of Austrasia's campaigns in Italy, the urging of Childebert's warlike mother Brunhilda and the Byzantine emperor and exarch, as well as the wrongs done Guntram in the past undoubtedly fueled their quarrelsomeness. In 588, Authari defeated them handily, but in 590, the uncle and nephew led two armies across the Alps over Mont Cenis and the Brenner to Milan and Verona. Though Authari shut himself up in Pavia, the Franks accomplished little as the exarch's army did not meet them and they could not join up with each other. Pestilence turned them around and they left the Lombards much chastened, but hardly defeated.
Authari, when not controlled by foreign armies, expanded the Lombard dominion at the expense of Byzantium. He cut off communication between Padua and Ravenna. Faroald, duke of Spoleto, utterly devastated it. Authari swept through the peninsula all the way to Reggio, vowing to take Calabria — a vow never to be kept by any Lombard. Authari married Theodelinda, daughter of the Bavarian duke Garibald I, on 15 May 589 at Verona. A Catholic, she had great influence among the Lombards for her virtue. A detailed account of the courtship by the eighth-century historian Paul the Deacon revealed that the marriage was a political alliance designed to provide additional sanction to Authari's royal position. In addition, Theodelinda was chosen due to the long-standing ties between the Lombards and the Bavarians as well as their mutual hostility toward the Franks, she claimed descent from the ancient Lombard royal line. When Authari died in Pavia in 590 by poison, he was succeeded as king by Agilulf, duke of Turin, on the advice, sought by the dukes, of Theodelinda, who married the new king.
Jarnut, Jörg. Geschichte der Langobarden. Stuttgart
Alboin was king of the Lombards from about 560 until 572. During his reign the Lombards ended their migrations by settling in Italy, the northern part of which Alboin conquered between 569 and 572, he had a lasting effect on the Pannonian Basin. The period of Alboin's reign as king in Pannonia following the death of his father, was one of confrontation and conflict between the Lombards and their main neighbors, the Gepids; the Gepids gained the upper hand, but in 567, thanks to his alliance with the Avars, Alboin inflicted a decisive defeat on his enemies, whose lands the Avars subsequently occupied. The increasing power of his new neighbours caused Alboin some unease however, he therefore decided to leave Pannonia for Italy, hoping to take advantage of the Byzantine Empire's reduced ability to defend its territory in the wake of the Gothic War. After gathering a large coalition of peoples, Alboin crossed the Julian Alps in 568, entering an undefended Italy, he took control of most of Venetia and Liguria.
In 569, unopposed, he took Milan. Pavia offered stiff resistance however, was taken only after a siege lasting three years. During that time Alboin turned his attention to Tuscany, but signs of factionalism among his supporters and Alboin's diminishing control over his army began to manifest themselves. Alboin was assassinated on June 572, in a coup d'état instigated by the Byzantines, it was organized by the king's foster brother, with the support of Alboin's wife, daughter of the Gepid king whom Alboin had killed some years earlier. The coup failed in the face of opposition from a majority of the Lombards, who elected Cleph as Alboin's successor, forcing Helmichis and Rosamund to flee to Ravenna under imperial protection. Alboin's death deprived the Lombards of the only leader who could have kept the newborn Germanic entity together, the last in the line of hero-kings who had led the Lombards through their migrations from the vale of the Elbe to Italy. For many centuries following his death Alboin's heroism and his success in battle were celebrated in Saxon and Bavarian epic poetry.
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 in about 540 brought his son Walthari to the throne, but, as the latter was still a minor, the kingdom was governed in his stead by Alboin's father, Audoin, of the Gausian clan. Seven years Walthari died, giving Audoin the opportunity to crown himself and overthrow the reigning Lethings. Alboin was born in the 530s in Pannonia, the son of Audoin and his wife, Rodelinda, she may have been the niece of King Theodoric and betrothed to Audoin through the mediation of Emperor Justinian. Like his father, Alboin was raised a pagan, although Audoin had at one point attempted to gain Byzantine support against his neighbours by professing himself a Christian. Alboin took as his first wife the Christian 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, lukewarm when it came to supporting Audoin against the Gepids.
The new Frankish alliance was important because of the Franks' known hostility to the Byzantine empire, providing the Lombards with more than one option. However, the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire interprets events and sources differently, believing that Alboin married Chlothsind when a king in or shortly before 561, the year of Chlothar's death. Alboin first distinguished himself on the battlefield in a clash with the Gepids. At the Battle of Asfeld, he killed Turismod, son of the Gepid king Thurisind, in a victory that resulted in the Emperor Justinian's intervention to maintain equilibrium between the rival regional powers. After the battle, according to a tradition reported by Paul the Deacon, to be granted the right to sit at his father's table, Alboin had to ask for the hospitality of a foreign king and have him donate his weapons, as was customary. For this initiation, he went to the court of Thurisind, where the Gepid king gave him Turismod's arms. Walter Goffart believes it is probable that in this narrative Paul was making use of an oral tradition, is sceptical that it can be dismissed as a typical topos of an epic poem.
Alboin came to the throne after the death of his father, sometime between 560 and 565. As was customary among the Lombards, Alboin took the crown after an election by the tribe's freemen, who traditionally selected the king from the dead sovereign's clan. Shortly afterwards, in 565, a new war erupted with the Gepids, now led by Thurisind's son; the cause of the conflict is uncertain. An account of the war by the Byzantine Theophylact Simocatta sentimentalises the reasons behind the conflict, claiming it originated with Alboin's vain courting and subsequent kidnapping of Cunimund's daughter Rosamund, that Alboin proceeded to marry; the tale is treated with scepticism by Walter Goffart, who observes that it conflicts with the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, where she was captured only after the death of her father. The Gepids obtained the support of