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    Who Were The Lombards Of Northern Italy?
    History; Posted on: 2009-04-26 20:36:40 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    "Qui sunt isti Longibarbi ?" - " Who are these long-beards?" and Frea replied, "As thou hast given them the name, give them also the victory." They conquered in the battle and were thenceforth known as Langobardi.

    LOMBARDS,
     or Langobardi, a Suevic people who appear to have inhabited the lower basin of the Elbe and whose name is believed to survive in the modern Bardengau to the south of Hamburg. They are first mentioned in connexion with the year A.D. 5, at which time they were defeated by the Romans under Tiberius, afterwards emperor. In A.D. 9, however, after the destruction of Varus's army, the Romans gave up their attempt to extend their frontier to the Elbe. At first, with most of the Suevic tribes, they were subject to the hegemony of Maroboduus, king of the Marcomanni, but they revolted from him in his war with Arminius, chief of the Cherusci, in the year 17. We again hear of their interference in the dynastic strife of the Cherusci some time after the year 47.

    From this time they are not mentioned until the year 165, when a force of Langobardi, in
    alliance with the Marcomanni, was defeated by the Romans, apparently on the Danubian frontier. It has been inferred from this incident that the Langobardi had already moved southwards, but the force mentioned may very well have been sent from the old home of the tribe, as the various Suevic peoples seem generally to have preserved some form of political union. From this time onwards we hear no more of them until the end of the 5th century.


    In their own traditions we are told that the Langobardi were originally called Winnili and dwelt in an island named Scadinavia (with this story compare that of the Gothic migration, see Goths). Thence they set out under the leadership of Ibor and Aio, the sons of a prophetess called Gambara, and came into conflict with the Vandals. The leaders of the latter prayed to Wodan for victory, while Gambara and her sons invoked Frea. Wodan promised to give victory to those whom he should see in front of him at sunrise. Frea directed the Winnili to bring their women with their hair let down round their faces like beards and turned Wodan's couch round so that he faced them. When Wodan awoke at sunrise he saw the host of the Winnili and said, "Qui sunt isti Longibarbi ?" - " Who are these long-beards?" and Frea replied, "As thou hast given them the name, give them also the victory." They conquered in the battle and were thenceforth known as Langobardi. After this they are said to have wandered through regions which cannot now be identified, apparently between the Elbe and the Oder, under legendary kings, the first of whom was Agilmund, the son of Aio.

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    News Source: classic encyclopedia

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