Romilda

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Romilda

Also Known As: "Romhilde", "Romilda", "Romilde", "Romliac"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
Death: Died in Cividale, Province of Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Garibald I, duke of the Bavarians and Waldrada of the Lombards
Wife of Gisulf II, duke of Friuli
Mother of Tasso Duke of Friuli; Geila di Friuli; Kakko of Friuli; Radoald of Friuli; Appa of Friuli and 2 others
Sister of Gertrudis of the Bavarians; Grimoald, duke of the Bavarians; Tassilo I, duke of the Bavarians; Theodelinda, queen of the Lombards; Gundoald I, duke of Asti and 1 other

Occupation: Duchesse de Frioul, Duchess
Managed by: Stanley Welsh Duke, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Romilda

How the duchess Romilda (Ramhilde) was impaled by the Avars

Taken from Historia Langobardorum written by Paul the Deacon. Romilda was the Bavarian wife of Gisulf II, duke of Friuli. One of her sons, Grimoald I, became later king of the Lombards.

I have corrected some minor errors in modern toponomastic.
Chapter XXXVII.

About these times the king of the Avars, whom they call Cagan in their language, came with a countless multitude and invaded the territories of Venetia. [1] Gisulf the duke of Forum Julii (Friuli) boldly came to meet him with all the Langobards he could get, but although he waged war with a few against an immense multitude with indomitable courage, nevertheless, he was surrounded on every side, and killed with nearly all his followers. The wife of this Gisulf, by name Romilda, together with the Langobards who had escaped and with the wives and children of those who had perished in war, fortified herself [2] within the enclosures of the walls of the fortress of Forum Julii (Cividale). She had two sons, Taso and Cacco, who were already growing youths, and Raduald and Grimuald, who were still in the age of boyhood. And she had also four daughters, of whom one was called Appa and another Gaila, but of two we do not preserve the names. The Langobards had also fortified themselves in other fortresses which were near these, that is, in Cormones (Cormons), Nemas (Nimis), Osopus (Osoppo), [3] Artenia (Artegna), [4] Reunia (Ragogna), Glemona (Gemona), [5] and also in Ibligis (Ipplis) [6] whose position was in every way impregnable. Also in the same way they fortified themselves in the remaining castles, so that they should not become the prey of the Huns, that is, of the Avars. But the Avars, roaming through all the territories of Forum Julii, devastating everything with burnings and plunderings, shut up by siege the town of Forum Julii and strove with all their might to capture it. While their king, that is the Cagan, was ranging around the walls in full armor with a great company of horsemen to find out from what side he might more easily capture the city, Romilda gazed upon him from the walls, and when she beheld him in the bloom of his youth, the abominable harlot was seized with desire for him and straightway sent word to him by a messenger that if he would take her in marriage she would deliver to him the city with all who were in it. The barbarian king, hearing this, promised her with wicked cunning that he would do what she had enjoined and vowed to take her in marriage. She then without delay opened the gates of the fortress of Forum Julii and let in the enemy to her own ruin and that of all who were there. The Avars indeed with their king, having entered Forum Julii, laid waste with their plunderings everything they could discover, consumed in flames the city itself, and carried away as captives everybody they found, falsely promising them, however, to settle them in the territories of Pannonia, from which they had come. When on their return to their country they had come to the plain they called Sacred, [7] they decreed that all the Langobards who had attained full age should perish by the sword, and they divided the women and children in the lot of captivity. But Taso and Cacco and Raduald, the sons of Gisulf and Romilda, when they knew the evil intention of the Avars, straightway mounted their horses and took flight. One of them when he thought that his brother Grimoald, a little boy, could not keep himself upon a running horse, since he was so small, considered it better that he should perish by the sword than bear the yoke of captivity, and wanted to kill him. When therefore, he lifted his lance to pierce him through, the boy wept and cried out, saying: "Do not strike me for I can keep on a horse." And his brother, seizing him by the arm, put him upon the bare back of a horse and urged him to stay there if he could; and the boy, taking the rein of the horse in his hand, followed his fleeing brothers. The Avars, when they learned this, mounted their horses and followed them, but although the others escaped by swift flight, the little boy Grimoald was taken by one of those who had run up most swiftly. His captor, however, did not deign to strike him with the sword on account of his slender age, but rather kept him to be his servant. And returning to the camp, he took hold of the bridle of the horse and led the boy away, and exulted over so noble a booty - for he was a little fellow of elegant form with gleaming eyes and covered with long blonde hair - and when the boy grieved that he was carried away as a captive,

"Pondering mighty thoughts within his diminutive bosom", [8]

he took out of the scabbard a sword, such as he was able to carry at that age, and struck the Avar who was leading him, with what little strength he could, on the top of the head. Straightway the blow passed through to the skull and the enemy was thrown from his horse. And the boy Grimoald turned his own horse around and took flight, greatly rejoicing, and at last joined his brothers and gave them incalculable joy by his escape and by announcing, moreover, the destruction of his enemy. The Avars now killed by the sword all the Langobards who were already of the age of manhood, but the women and children they consigned to the yoke of captivity. Romilda indeed, who had been the head of all this evil-doing, the king of the Avars, on account of his oath, kept for one night as if in marriage as he had promised her, but upon the next he turned her over to twelve Avars, who abused her through the whole night with their lust, succeeding each other by turns. Afterwards too, ordering a stake to be fixed in the midst of a field, he commanded her to be impaled upon the point of it, uttering these words, moreover, in reproach: "It is fit you should have such a husband." Therefore the detestable betrayer of her country who looked out for her own lust more than for the preservation of her fellow citizens and kindred, perished by such a death. Her daughters, indeed, did not follow the sensual inclination of their mother, but striving from love of chastity not to be contaminated by the barbarians, they put the flesh of raw chickens under the band between their breasts, and this, when putrified by the heat, gave out an evil smell. And the Avars, when they wanted to touch them, could not endure the stench that they thought was natural to them, but moved far away from them with cursing, saying that all the Langobard women had a bad smell. By this stratagem then the noble girls, escaping from the lust of the Avars, not only kept themselves chaste, but handed down a useful example for preserving chastity if any such thing should happen to women hereafter. And they were afterwards sold throughout various regions and secured worthy marriages on account of their noble birth; for one of them is said to have wedded a king of the Alamanni, and another, a prince of the Bavarians.

[1] The date usually assigned to the Avar invasion is 611, though some place it as early as 602. Phocas reigned from 602 to 610. If the death of Severus, patriarch of Aquileia, occurred in 606, the Avar invasion took place after that date, since Gisulf concurred in the nomination of his successor (Hodgkin, VI, 51, note). The previous relations between the Langobards and Avars had been of the most friendly character. There had been treaties of alliance, joint invasions of Istria, injunctions sent by the Avars to the Franks to keep peace with the Langobards and Agilulf had furnished the Cagan with shipwrights for a naval expedition against the Eastern empire (IV, 24, 20, supra; Hodgkin, VI, 50, 51).

[2] I insert 'se' after 'muniit'.
[3] On the river Tagliamento (Waitz).
[4] In Carnia (Waitz).
[5] In Friuli (Waitz).
[6] Near Cividale on the way to Cormons (Waitz). According to others, Invillino (Abel).
[7] The Sacred Plain has not been identified (Hodgkin, VI, 53, note 2).
[8] Virgil, Georgics, IV, 83, where it is applied to the soldier bees. In Paul's quotation 'versant' is changed to 'versans'.

http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?12089-How-the-duchess-Romilda-(Ramhilde)-was-impaled-by-the-Avars

Paulus Diaconus names "Romilda" as wife of "Gisulfus Foroiulanus dux", when he records her escape with her children after her husband was killed. See Gisulf at MedLands, visited Aug. 18, 2013.

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/NORTHERN%20ITALY%20900-1100.htm#GisulfFriulia

Om Romilda (Norsk)

Romilda dronning av langobardene

Etter at Gisulf og nesten alle hans tilhengere ble drept i krig av avarene søkte langobardene tilflukt i flere festninger i området.

Gisulfs kone Romilda flyktet sammen med andre kvinner og barn. De gjemte seg i et rom i veggene på festningen Forum Julii (Cividale). Romilda hadde fire sønner. 2 voksne ungdommer Taso og Cacco og barna Raduald og Grimuald. Hun hadde også fire døtre, en ble kalt Appa og en annen Gaila, to kjenner vi ikke navnet på.

Avarene plyndrer og brenner i områdene, mens deres konge Cagan og en flokk ryttere i full rustning forsøkte å finne ut hvordan de kunne innta byen Forum Julii.

Romilda stirret på ham fra veggene, en mann som hadde beholdt det beste fra sin ungdom. Hun sendte beskjed til han med en budbringer at hvis han ville ta henne i ekteskap skulle hun gi han byen og alle som var i den. Kongen som hadde onde hensikter lovet å gifte seg med henne. Hun åpnet straks portene til festningen Forum Julii og lot fienden med sin konge komme inn i byen, legge den i ruiner og ta alle som var der. Avarene la byen i flammer og tok fanger som de feilaktig lovet å bosette den i områdene rundt Pannonia hvor de hadde kommet fra. Realiteten var at det ble bestemt at langobardene som hadde nådd full alder skulle drepes med sverd og kvinner og barn satt i fangenskap.

Når Taso og Cacco og Raduald, sønner Gisulf og Romilda, fikk vite om den onde hensikten til avarerne, salte de hestene sine og flyktet. En av dem trodde at broren Grimoald var for liten til å kunne holde seg på ryggen av en løpende hest. Siden han var et barn mente de det var bedre at han ble drept med sverd enn at han kom i fangenskap. Men da de løftet sverdet for drepe han gråt gutten og ropte " Ikke drep meg fordi jeg ikke kan holde meg på en hest." Hans bror, grep ham i armen, satte han på den nakne baksiden av en hest og oppfordret ham til å bli der om han kunne. Gutten tok tøylene til hesten i hånden og fulgte brødrene.

Avarerne salte seg på hestene og fulgte etter dem, Brødrene unnslapp, unntatt den lille gutten Grimoald klarte ikke å flykte fort nok og ble tatt til fange. Han ble ikke drept med sverd på grunn av sin unge alder, men avaren beholdt han sin tjener. Tilbake i leieren tok han bisselet av hesten og ledet gutten bort, jublende glad for den pene gutten, som hadde glitrende øyne og langt blondt hår. Han så også guttens sorg når han ble båret bort som fange.

Grimovald grublet over hvordan han kunne komme fri. En dag han tok sverdet sitt ut av sliren, (han kunne bære det i den alderen) og slo avaren som passet på han på toppen av hodet med den lille styrken han hadde slik at han datt av hesten. Deretter snudde gutten Grimoald sin egen hest og flyktet. Det ble stor glede da han slo seg sammen med brødrene og ville ble med på deres videre ødeleggelsen av fienden. Avarerne ble nå drept ved sverdet av alle Langobards som var i en alder av manndom, men kvinner og barn ble henvist til åket av fangenskap

Romilda som hadde vært årsaken til all denne djevelskapen fordi hun hadde lokket kongen av avarerne med ekteskap som han hadde lovet henne. Men etterpå ga han henne over til 12 av avarerne som misbrukte henne gjennom hele natten med sitt begjær, den ene etter den andre. Etterpå befaler han at hun skal bli spiddet på samme punktet og sier med bebreidelse "det passer, du bør ha slik en mann." Derfor døde den avskyelige foræder av sitt land på en slik måte, fordi hun satte sitt eget begjør over det å bevare sine borgere og slektninger. (Spidding består i at den straffedømte blir hengt opp på en spiss stake som gjennomborer vedkommendes kropp). .

Hennes døtre med kjærlighet for kyskhet vil ikke bli misbrukt av barbarene, de la kjøtt av rå kylling mellom brystene som ble ødelagt av varmen og luktet stygt Da avarerne ville ta dem, kunne de ikke tåle stanken, de trodde den var naturlig, De flyttet langt vekk og med forbannelse sier de at alle langobard kvinnene hadde en dårlig lukt. De edle jentene beholdt sin kyskhet, og de var etterpå sikret verdig ekteskap på grunn av sin edle fødsel; en ble viet en konge av alamannerne, og en annen, en prins av i Bayern.

http://www.theapricity.com/forum/showthread.php?12089-How-the-duchess-Romilda-(Ramhilde)-was-impaled-by-the-Avars

http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/NORTHERN%20ITALY%20900-1100.htm#GisulfFriulia

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Romilda's Timeline

560
560
Bavaria, Germany
580
580
Age 20
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
584
584
Age 24
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
585
585
Age 25
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
596
596
Age 36
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
596
Age 36
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
602
602
Age 42
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
602
Age 42
Schwaben, Bayern, Germany
610
610
Age 50
Cividale, Province of Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy