A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 22 of 493
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EARLY HISTORY 7
but for many years their bodies had rested in a far-off island.
Then, according to the poem, under the last King of the
Lombards Desiderius, the bishop of Verona, a certain Hanno,
had them dug up, embalmed in precious spices and brought
back to Verona, where they were buried in the church bearing
their name in a monument striped with purple, black and
white, and adorned with gold.
S. Fermo and S. Rustico were the first Veronese martyrs,
and are generally held to have suffered under Diocletian. It is
claimed, however, that Christianity was introduced into Verona
much earlier, indeed some authorities maintain that the bishopric
was founded in the first century after Christ This is exceedingly
improbable, but it is now generally acknowledged
that Verona is one of the few bishoprics of North Italy that can
with justice boast of an origin prior to the fourth century. In
the first instance the Veronese see was subject to the Archbishop
of Milan, but in the fifth century it was transferred to the
Patriarchate of Aquileia.x Nothing is known of the first bishop,
S. Euprepius, but his name. S. Zeno, who may be regarded as
the patron saint of Verona, and to whom the greatest abbey
in the city is dedicated, was the eighth bishop. He was born
in North Africa (hence the popular belief that he was a negro),
was a voluminous writer of sermons, and contributed largely
by the saintliness and purity of his life to the spread of Christianity
in Verona. Hardly any other facts are known concerning
him, but after his death, which occurred about 380, a
cycle of legends grew up, which represented him as working
many miracles. The body of the saint was first buried in a
small and poverty-stricken church, but according to a manuscript
of the twelfth century,2 it was afterwards transferred by
Pippin to a magnificent building, which he had specially erected
for it, possibly on the site of the present abbey.
The court of Charlemagne had been celebrated for its culture,
and this led to a general revival of learning throughout his
Empire. In 825 his grandson Lotharius established schools in
1 For the early history of Christianity in Verona video Verona, C. Cipolla,
s Printed by Scipione Maffei, Storia Diplomatica, p. 330.
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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/m1/22/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .