A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 19 of 493
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4 A HISTORY OF VERONA
With the coming of the Lombards, Verona for a short time
rose into prominence. Alboin, the Lombard king who led the
invaders into Italy, took up his abode there, and there in 572
he was slain. His death has been the subject of countless
poems and tales, from the old Lombard chroniclers to the
present day. The longest and most circumstantial original account
is that given by Paul the Deacon, who wrote a history
of the Lombards in the eighth century. The main outlines of
Paul's version are as follows:
Before entering Italy, Alboin had slain Cunimund, a
chieftain of the Gepidi, and married his daughter Rosamund.
One day at a banquet, Alboin commanded Rosamund to drink
wine from a goblet which had been made from her father's
skull. Rosamund obeyed, but her heart burnt within her for
rage and shame. From that moment the one purpose of her
life was to take vengeance on Alboin. An armour-bearer,
named Helmichis, became her accomplice, and between them
they persuaded an extraordinarily strong man named Peredeo to
undertake to slay the King. On the day appointed, Rosamund
sent every one out of the palace, on the plea that the King's
midday siesta should be undisturbed. Then, when she had
bound his sword fast to the head of the bed, and removed all
his other weapons and armour, she led Peredeo to the royal
chamber. Alboin, suddenly aroused from sleep, turned to seize
his sword, found he could not draw it from the scabbard,
and realized that he was betrayed. Snatching up a footstool
he made a valiant attempt to defend his life, but all in vain.
Rosamund and Helmichis fled to Ravenna, where they married,
but Longinus, the prefect of Ravenna, fell in love with
Rosamund and persuaded her to make away with Helmichis.
Allured by the prospect of queening it over Ravenna, Rosamund
gave Helmichis a cup of poison as he was returning from
the bath, telling him that it was a cordial. Helmichis took one
draught from the cup, and when he found it was poison, forced
Rosamund to drink the rest, and so the guilty pair perished
1 Pauli Historia Langobardorum, i. c. 27; ii. c. 28-30. M. G. H., Scriptores
Rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum, pp. 69, 87-9o.
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/19/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .