A History of Verona Page: 23 of 493
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8 A HISTORY OF VERONA
the principal cities of North Italy, one of which was placed at
Verona, and served for the inhabitants of Trent and Mantua
as well. In the decree founding these schools Lothair states
that learning was completely extinct in Italy, but this assertion
must not be taken too literally. For instance, in the first half
of the ninth century Pacificus, the Archdeacon of Verona, was
a Hebrew and Greek scholar, the inventor of a solar clock, and
an indefatigable collector of manuscripts, which he left to the
Veronese Cathedral, thus laying the foundation of the present
The Carolingians, like the Lombards, ruled their cities frdm
above, delegating their Imperial authority, judicial and executive,
to officials chosen by themselves, Scabini (judges) and
Counts. This administrative system had become so firmly
established that it survived the extinction of the legitimate
Carolingian line, and thus saved Italy from the complete
anarchy which would otherwise have been its fate.' For sixty
years after Charles was deposed the Italian crown was constantly
disputed, and no one succeeded in holding it for long
together, far less in founding a dynasty. The first to win it
was an Italian, Berengarius, Duke of Friuli, and grandson
through his mother of the Carolingian Louis II. Berengarius
made Verona his capital, but in 9oi he was driven from both
capital and throne by Louis III., who in his turn settled
at Verona, building a palace on the hill of S. Pietro. In
905, however, Berengarius bribed some guards to admit him
and his army into Verona, surprised the palace, and captured
Louis. For twenty years Berengarius now reigned over Italy.
In 915 he was crowned Emperor at Rome. His glory was
sung by a contemporary poet who was said to be a Veronese,
and who, though but a poor artist, displays a considerable
amount of learning, chiefly in the form of copious notes. A
few years afterwards civil war broke out again, and Berengarius'
' Scabini are found in Verona as late as 9g8. Elsewhere the office continued
longer, the latest recorded example being at Reggio in 945, J. Ficker, Forschungen
und Rechtsgeschichte Italiens, vol. iii. p. 18, 437. The highest
official at Verona continued to be styled Count till close on the end of the eleventh
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Allen, A. M. A History of Verona, book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/23/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .