A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 20 of 493
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EARLY HISTORY 5
Thus Paul the Deacon. How much of this is legend, how
much fact, it is hard to say. Paul wrote more than a hundred
and fifty years after the event, so that we may be sure that the
tale had been often re-told and lost nothing in the telling, but
there was probably a considerable substratum of truth. Paul
was a cautious writer and did what lay in his power to verify his
statements. He notes that Giselbert, the governor of Verona in
his day, had recently had Alboin's tomb opened, and drawn out
the murdered man's sword and armour, and adds that he
himself had seen the goblet said to have been made from
Cunimund's skull, one day when Ratchis, the Lombard king of
Paul's time, was showing his treasure to some guests.
After this terrible tragedy the capital of the Lombard kings
was moved to Pavia, and Verona lost her pre-eminence, becoming
again one of the thirty-six duchies into which the kingdom
was divided. The new-comers, though they had met with little
opposition, behaved as conquerors. They confiscated a great
portion of the land, depressed the status of the inhabitants, substituted
Germanic laws for the Roman code, and in a word
imposed their own institutions and civilisation, such as it was,
on the country. Nevertheless it was not possible that the
original inhabitants, numerous and highly civilized as they
were, should not exercise some influence on their conquerors,
especially after the latter had been converted in the reign of
King Agilulf (589-614), from their rude form of Christianity, a
debased Arianism, to orthodox Catholicism. Roman law might
be deposed for a time from its high estate, but it did not die
out altogether. It survived at first as the personal law of the
conquered. Then it began slowly to make headway till it
was recognized as being on an equal footing with Germanic
law. Finally it regained its former supremacy, ousting its
rival, and becoming the territorial law of the whole country
about the time when the re-nascent cities were drawing up their
earliest codes of statutes.
The term "re-nascent" is used here deliberately, for one
Roman institution was completely wiped out by the Lombard
domination, and that was the municipium, the organisation for
the local self-government of the cities. The disappearance of
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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/m1/20/: accessed March 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .