A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 21 of 493
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6 A HISTORY OF VERONA
the municipium was doubtless only the completion of a movement
which had begun as early as the fifth century, but it was
certainly accelerated by the coming of the Lombards, who from
the beginning governed the cities entirely from above through
officials known as Dukes. This system was continued by the
successors of the Lombards, the Franks, and under it the cities
lost their supremacy over the surrounding rural districts, and
became of but little consequence. The basis of government
from having been urban, became rural.
The conquests of Charlemagne ended the Lombard domination;
all resistance collapsed after the capture of Verona in the
summer of 774, and Charlemagne became King of Italy The
Veronese after one or two risings accommodated themselves to
their Frankish rulers. Pavia remained the seat of government,
but Pippin, Charlemagne's eldest son, preferred, like Theodoric,
to live in Verona Under his rule it became exceedingly
flourishing. The eighth-century poem2 describing the city was
written while he was living there. The opening lines praise
his justice, piety and good government, under which Verona
had grown and prospered. Then follows a picture of the city.
It was built in. the form of a square, and surrounded by high
walls, crowned with eight and forty towers, eight of which
were exceeding high. It was full of fine buildings and streets.
There was a castle, several splendid Roman temples, and a
wondrous labyrinth. The bridges were of stone and the forum
and other open spaces were paved. But the greatest glory of
the city was the crown of nearly thirty churches which encircled
and, as it were, guarded it on every side; for these churches
were exceptionally rich in the treasure of the early mediaeval
Church, the bodies of saints. Amongst the long list of names,
there are three saints of local celebrity, S. Fermo, S. Rustico
and S. Zeno. The first two had suffered martyrdom in Verona,
It must always be remembered that in the early Middle Ages the term
"Kingdom of Italy" only referred to part of the peninsula. Sometimes it was
taken as including everything as far as a line drawn a little to the south of
Naples, but more often it referred to the basin of the Po, the triangle bounded
by Alps, Apennines and Adriatic, and not always to the whole of that.
2 Veronae Rythmica Descriptio Antiqua, Muratori, R. I. S., vol. ii. pt. 2,
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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/m1/21/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .