Here we continue with Paul the Deacon where we left off in Book 4 of the History of the Lombards.
in Carniolam Sclavorum patriam
“After the death, as we said, of Gisulf, duke of Forum Julii, his sons Taso and Cacco undertook the government of this dukedom. They possessed in their time the territory of the Slavs which is named Zeilia (Gail-thal), [The valley of the Gail in Carinthia and eastern Tyrol] up to the place which is called Medaria (Windisch Matrei), hence, those same Slavs, up to the time of duke Ratchis, paid tribute to the dukes of Forum Julii. Gregory the patrician of the Romans killed these two brothers in the city of Opitergium (Oderzo) by crafty treachery. For he promised Taso that he would cut his beard,* as is the custom, and make him his son, and this Taso, with Cacco his brother, and some chosen youths came to Gregory fearing no harm. When presently he had entered Opitergium with his followers, straightway the patrician ordered the gates of the city to be closed and sent armed soldiers against Taso and his companions. Taso with his followers perceiving this, boldly prepared for a fight, and when a moment of quiet was given, they bade each other a last farewell, and scattered hither and thither through the different streets of the city, killing whomsoever they could find in their way, and while they made a great slaughter of the Romans, they also were slain at last. But Gregory the patrician, on account of the oath he had given, ordered the head of Taso to be brought to him, and, perjured though he was, cut off his beard as he had promised.”**
* As per the translator: “A ceremony indicating that he whose beard is shaved and whose hair is cut has arrived at the state of manhood. Thus king Liutprand performed a similar ceremony for the son of Charles Martel (Historia Langobardorum, Book 6, Chap. 53).”
** As per the translator: “Fredegar (IV, 69) tells a story (which is considered by some to be a variation of this) as to the murder of Taso, duke of Tuscany, by the patrician Isaac. King Arioald offered Isaac to remit one of the three hundredweights of gold which the empire paid yearly to the Langobards if he would kill Taso, who was a rebel (see chap. 49). Isaac invited Taso to Ravenna with a troop of warriors who were prevailed upon to leave their arms outside the walls, and when they entered the city they were assassinated. The tribute was accordingly reduced. Soon afterwards Arioald died. As Arioaild reigned from 626 to 636 and Isaac did not become exarch until 630, this story can not be reconciled with Paul’s account of an event which must have happened many years earlier. Either Fredegar got hold of an inaccurate version, or the coincidence of name is accidental and the story relates to some different event.”
Mortuo, ut diximus, Gisulfo duce Foroiulensi, Taso et Cacco, filii eius, eundem ducatum regendum susceperunt. Hi suo tempore Sclavorum regionem quae Zellia appellatur usque ad locum qui Medaria dicitur possiderunt. Unde usque ad tempora Ratchis ducis idem Sclavi pensionem Foroiulanis ducibus persolverunt. Hos duos fratres Gregorius patricius Romanorum in civitate Opitergio dolosa fraude peremit. Nam promittens Tasoni, ut ei barbam, sicut moris est, incideret eumque sibi filium faceret, ipse Taso cum Caccone germano suo et electis iuvenibus ad eundem Gregorium nihil mali metuens advenit. Qui mox cum Opitergium cum suis esset ingressus, statim isdem patricius civitatis portas claudi praecepit et armatos milites super Tasonem eiusque socios misit.
Quod Taso cum suis conperiens, audacter se ad proelium praeparavit; ultimumque sibi data pace valedicentes, per singulas civitatis plateas hac illacque dispersi, quoscumque obvios habere poterant trucidantes, cum magnam stragem de Romanis fecissent, ad extremum etiam ipsi perempti sunt. Gregorius vero patricius propter iusiurandum quod dederat caput Tasonis sibi deferri iubens, eius barbam, sicut promiserat, periurus abscidit.
“When they were thus killed, Grasulf, the brother of Gisulf, was made duke of Forum Julii. [in 636?] But Radoald and Grimoald, as they were now close to the age of manhood, held it in contempt to live under the power of their uncle Grasulf, and they embarked in a little boat and came rowing to the territories of Beneventum. Then hastening to Arichis, duke of the Beneventines, their former preceptor, they were received by him most kindly and treated by him in the place of sons. In these times, upon the death of Tassilo, duke of the Bavarians, his son Garibald was conquered by the Slavs at Aguntum (Innichen), and the territories of the Bavarians were plundered. The Bavarians, however, having recovered their strength, took away the booty from their foes and drove their enemies from their territories.”
His ita peremptis, dux Foroiulanis Grasulfus, Gisulfi germanus, constituitur. Radoald vero et Grimoald despectui ducentes sub patrui sui Grasulfi potestate degere, cum essent iam prope iuvenilem aetatem, ascensa navicula remigantes, ad Beneventi fines perveniunt; et exinde ad Arichis Beneventanorum ducem, suum quondam paedagogum, properantes, ab eo gratissime suscepti et filiorum loco sunt habiti. His temporibus mortuo Tassilone duce Baioariorum, filius eius Garibaldus in Agunto a Sclavis devictus est, et Baioariorum termini depraedantur. Resumptis tamen Baioarii viribus et praedas ab hostibus excutiunt et hostes de suis finibus pepulerunt.
“King Agilulf, indeed, made peace with the emperor for one year, and again for another, and also renewed a second time the bond of peace with the Franks. In this year, nevertheless, the Slavs grievously devastated Istria after killing the soldiers who defended it. Also in the following month of March, Secundus, a servant of Christ of whom we have already often spoken, died at Tridentum (Trent). He composed a brief history of the deeds of the Langobards up to his time. At that time king Agilulf again made peace with the emperor. In those days Theudepert, king of the Franks, was also killed, and a very severe battle occurred among them. Gunduald too, the brother of queen Theudelinda, who was duke in the city of Asta (Asti), died at this time, struck by an arrow, but no one knew the author of his death.”
Rex vero Agilulf pacem cum imperatore in annum unum itemque in alterum faciens, cum Francis quoque iterato pacis concordiam renovavit. Hoc nihilominus anno Sclavi Histriam, interfectis militibus, lacrimabiliter depraedati sunt.
Sequenti quoque mense martio defunctus est aput Tridentum Secundus servus Christi, de quo saepe iam diximus, qui usque ad sua tempora succinctam de Langobardorum gestis conposuit historiolam. Eo tempore rex Agilulf cum imperatore iterato pacem conposuit. Occisus quoque est his diebus Theudepertus rex Francorum, et facta est pugna gravissima inter eos. Gunduald etiam, germanus Theudelindae reginae, qui erat dux in civitate Astensi, nemine sciente auctorem mortis ipsius, hoc ipso in tempore sagitta ictus interiit.
“Then on the death of Arichis, who had held the dukedom fifty years, Aio, his son, was made leader of the Samnites,* and still Radoald and Grimoald obeyed him in all things as their elder brother and lord. When this Aio had already governed the dukedom of Beneventum a year and five months, the Slavs came with a great number of ships and set up their camp not far from the city of Sipontum (Siponto). They made hidden pitfalls around their camp and when Aio came upon them in the absence of Raduald and Grimoald and attempted to conquer them, his horse fell into one of these pitfalls, the Slavs rushed upon him and he was killed with a number of others. When this was announced to Raduald he came quickly and talked familiarly with these Slavs in their own language, and when in this way he had lulled them into greater indolence for war, he presently fell upon them, overthrew them with great slaughter, revenged the death of Aio and compelled those of his enemies who had survived to seek flight from these territories. [in 642]”
* As per the translator: “That is the Beneventines. This occurred in 641 (Waitz).”
** As per the translator: “Raduald and Grimoald had been neighbors to the Slavs in the dukedom of Fruili from which they had come to Beneventum (Waitz).”
Defuncto ergo Arechis, qui ducatum quinquaginta tenuerat annis, Aio, eius filius, Samnitum ductor effectus est; cui tamen Radoald et Grimoald sicut seniori fratri et domino per omnia paruerunt. Qui Aio cum iam anno et mensibus quinque Beneventanorum ducatum regeret, venientes Sclavi cum multitudine navium, non longe a civitate Seponto castra posuerunt. Qui occultas foveas circa sua castra facientes, cum Aio super eos, absentibus Raduald et Grimoald, venisset eosque debellare vellet, equus eius in unam de eisdem foveis cecidit, atque inruentibus super eum Sclavis, simul cum aliquantis aliis extinctus est. Quod cum Raduald nuntiatum fuisset, cito veniens, eisdem Sclavis propria illorum lingua locutus est. Cumque eos propter hoc segniores ad bellum reddidisset, mox super eos inruens magnaque eos strage prosternens, et Aionis mortem ultus est et de illis finibus eos qui remanserant hostes fugam petere coegit.
“Finally, after Lupus was killed in this way, as we have related, Arnefrit, his son, sought to obtain the dukedom at Forum Julii in the place of his father. But fearing the power of king Grimuald, he fled into Carnuntum, which they corruptly call Carantanum (Carinthia)* to the nation of the Slavs,** and afterwards coming with the Slavs as if about to resume the dukedom by their means, he was killed when the Friulans attacked him at the fortress of Nemae (Nimis), which is not far distant from Forum Julii.”***
* As per the translator: “The name given by Paul (Carnuntum), the modern [this translation is from 1907] Presburg, is incorrect, Carantanum was the proper name for Carinthia. (Hodgkin).”
** As per the translator: “These Slavs belonged to the Slovene branch of the Slav race (Hodgkin).”
*** As per the translator: “About 15 miles northwest of Cividale (Hodgkin).”
Denique Lupo hoc modo ut praemisimus interempto, Arnefrit, eius filius, voluit in loco patris aput Foroiuli optinere ducatum. Sed metuens Grimualdi regis vires, fugit ad Sclavorum gentem in Carnuntum, quod corrupte vocitant Carantanum. Qui postea cum Sclavis adveniens, quasi ducatum eorum viribus resumpturus, aput Nemas castrum, quod non longe a Foroiuli distat, inruentibus super se Foroiulanis, extinctus est.
“Afterwards Wechtari was appointed duke at Forum Julii. He was born at the city of Vincentia (Vicenza), was a kind man, and one who ruled his people mildly. When the nation of the Slavs had heard that he had set out for Ticinum, they collected a strong multitude and determined to attack the fortress of Forum Julii, and they came and laid out their camp in the place which is called Broxas, * not far from Forum Julii. But it happened according to the Divine will that the evening before, duke Wechtari came back from Ticinum without the knowledge of the Slavs. While his companions, as is wont to happen, had gone home, he himself, hearing these tidings concerning the Slavs, advanced with a few men, that is, twenty-five, against them. When the Slavs saw him coming with so few they laughed, saying that the patriarch was advancing against them with his clergy. When he had come near the bridge of the river Natisio (Natisone)** which was where the Slavs were staying, he took his helmet from his head and showed his face to them. He was bald-headed, and when the Slavs recognized him that he was Wechtari, they were immediately alarmed and cried out that Wechtari was there, and terrified by God they thought more of flight than of battle. Then Wechtari, rushing upon them with the few men he had, overthrew them with such great slaughter that out of five thousand men a few only remained, who escaped with difficulty.”***
* As per the translator: “Bethmann believes that a certain stronghold, Purgessimus, is meant, near the bridge hereafter referred to; others say Prosascus, at the source of the Natisone; others, Borgo Bressana, a suburb of Cividale (Waitz). Musoni (Atti del Congresso in Cividale, 1899, pp. 187, 188) considers all these conjectures inadmissible, and shows that it was at the place now called Brischis, near that city.”
** As per the translator: “Waitz says the bridge of San Pietro dei Schiavi. Musoni (Atti, etc., p. 191), believes it was probably the present bridge of San Quirino.”
*** As per the translator: “It is evident that this account, which is no doubt based upon oral tradition and perhaps has some historical basis, has been greatly exaggerated, if indeed there is not a mistake in the figures, as Muratori suggests, The allusion to the patriarch also appears to contain an anachronism, since it was in 737, after these events, that the patriarch Calixtus removed his see to Cividale. Communities of Slavs still [this translation is from 1907] inhabit a portion of Friuli; they are divided, according to their linguistic peculiarities, into four principal groups, and probably came into this district at different times. (Musoni, Atti del Congresso in Cividale, 1899, pp. 187, 193.)”
Deinde ordinatus est aput Foroiuli dux Wechtari, qui fuit oriundus de Vincentina civitate, vir benignus et populum suaviter regens. Hunc cum audisset Sclavorum gens Ticinum profectum esse, congregata valida multitudine, voluerunt super Foroiulanum castrum inruere; et venientes castrametati sunt in loco qui Broxas dicitur, non longe a Foroiuli. Secundum divinam autem dispositionem contigit, ut dux Wechtari superiori vespere a Ticino reverteretur nescientibus Sclavis. Cuius comites cum ad propria, ut adsolet fieri, remeassent, ipse hoc nuntium de Sclavis audiens, cum paucis viris, hoc est viginti quinque, contra eos progressus est.
Quem Sclavi cum tam paucis venire conspicientes, inriserunt, dicentes, patriarcham contra se cum clericis adventare. Qui cum ad pontem Natisionis fluminis, qui ibidem est ubi Sclavi residebant, propinquasset, cassidem sibi de capite auferens, vultum suum Sclavis ostendit; erat enim calvo capite. Quem dum Sclavi, quia ipse esset Wechtari, cognovissent, mox perturbati, Wechtari adesse clamitant, Deoque eos exterrente, plus de fuga quam de proelio cogitant. Tunc super eos Wechtari cum paucis quos habebat inruens, tanta eos strage prostravit, ut ex quinque milibus viris vix pauci qui evaderent remanerent.
“When Ado who we said was caretaker had died at Forum Julii, Ferdulf, a man tricky and conceited, who came from the territories of Liguria, obtained the dukedom. Because he wanted to have the glory of a victory over the Slavs, he brought great misfortune upon himself and the people of Forum Julii. He gave sums of money to certain Slavs to send upon his request an army of Slavs into this province, and it was accordingly done. But that was the cause of great disaster in this province of Forum Julii. The freebooters of the Slavs fell upon the flocks and upon the shepherds of the sheep that pastured in their neighborhoods and drove away the booty taken from them. The ruler of that place, whom they called in their own language “sculdahis,” [Schultheiss’, local magistrate] a man of noble birth and strong in courage and capacity, followed them, but nevertheless he could not overtake the freebooters. Duke Ferdulf met him as he was returning thence and when he asked him what had become of these robbers, Argait, for that was his name, answered that they had escaped. Then Ferdulf in rage thus spoke to him: “When could you do anything bravely, you whose name, Argait, comes from the word coward,” and Argait, provoked by great anger, since he was a brave man, answered as follows: “May God so will that you and I, duke Ferdulf, may not depart from this life until others know which of us is the greater coward.” When they had spoken to each other in turn, these words, in the vulgar tongue* it happened not many days afterwards, that the army of the Slavs, for whose coming duke Ferdulf had given his sums of money, now arrived in great strength. And when they had set their camp upon the very top of a mountain and it was hard to approach them from almost any side, duke Ferdulf, coming upon them with his army, began to go around that mountain in order that he could attack them by more level places. Then Argait of whom we have spoken thus said to Ferdulf: ‘Remember, duke Ferdulf, that you said I was lazy and useless and that you called me in our common speech a coward, but now may the anger of God come upon him who shall be the last of us to attack those Slavs,’ and saying these words, he turned his horse where the ascent was difficult on account of the steepness of the mountain, and began to attack the fortified camp of the Slavs. Ferdulf, being ashamed not to attack the Slavs himself, through the same difficult places, followed him through those steep and hard and pathless spots, and his army too, considering it base not to follow their leader, began also to press on after him. Consequently the Slavs, seeing that they were coming upon them through steep places, prepared themselves manfully, and fighting against them more with stones and axes than with arms they threw them nearly all from their horses and killed them.** And thus they obtained their victory, not by their own strength, but by chance. There all the nobility of the Friulans perished. There duke Ferdulf fell and there too he who had provoked him was killed. And there so great a number of brave men were vanquished by the wickedness and thoughtlessness of dissension as could, with unity and wholesome counsel, overthrow many thousands of their enemies. There, however, one of the Langobards, Munichis by name, who was afterwards the father of the dukes Peter of Forum Julii and Ursus of Ceneta (Ceneda), alone acted in a brave and manly manner. When he had been thrown from his horse and one of the Slavs suddenly attacking him had tied his hands with a rope, he wrested with his bound hands the lance from the right hand of that same Slav, pierced him with it, and tied as he was, threw himself down through the steep places and escaped. We put these things into this history especially for this purpose, that nothing further of a like character may happen through the evil of dissension.”
* As per the translator: “‘Vulgaria verba.’ Hartmann (II, 2, 58) regards this passage as presupposing that Ferdulf and Argait could speak Latin with one another. After the permanent settlement of the Langobards in Italy the current Latin language of the time (which was the only written language, and the only one fitted to many of the new relations imposed by their intercourse with the Roman population) gradually superseded their own more barbarous tongue. (Hartmann, II, 2, 22.) It is evident, however, from the German words used by Paul, as well as from his description of this controversy between duke Ferdulf and Argait, which must have occurred not far from A.D. 700 (Hodgkin, VI, 328, note 3), that the Langobard language was spoken in the eighth century, and there are traces of its continuance even after the Frankish invasion, A.D. 774. In a document in upper Italy the pronoun ‘ih’ introduced by mistake before the Latin words “have subscribed myself” indicate the existence of the Langobard as a spoken language in the latter half of the ninth century. The Chronicle of Salerno, composed in 978 (Ch. 38, MGH. SS., Ill, 489), refers to the German language as “formerly” spoken by the Langobards, from which it would appear that in that region at least it had then become extinct. But it is quite uncertain just when it ceased to be used. Probably the language continued longest where the German population was most dense, and the period where it died out as a living language must have been preceded by a considerable time, in which those who spoke it also understood and spoke the Latin tongue. The period of its decline can be traced by numerous Latin terminations of German words and the addition of German suffixes (for example, engo, ingo, esco-asco- atto- etio- otto) to Latin words, combinations which have been important ingredients in the formation of modern Italian (Bruckner, Sprache der Langobarden, pp. 11-17).”
** As per the translator: “‘Securibus’. Hodgkin translates “tree trunks,” believing that the axes were used in felling trees to cast down upon them (VI, 330, and note 3).”
Mortuo quoque aput Foroiuli Adone, quem dixeramus lociservatorem fuisse, Ferdulfus ducatum suscepit, qui de partibus Liguriae extitit, homo lubricus et elatus. Qui dum victoriae laudem de Sclavis habere cupiit, magna sibi et Foroiulanis detrimenta invexit. Is praemia quibusdam Sclavis dedit, ut exercitum Sclavorum in eandem provinciam sua adhortatione inmitterent. Quod ita quoque effectum est. Causa autem magnae in eadem Foroiulana provincia perditionis ista fuit. Inruerunt latrunculi Sclavorum super greges et pastores ovium, quae in eorum vicinia pascebantur, et de eis praedas abigerunt. Subsecutus est hos rector loci illius, quem «sculdahis» lingua propria dicunt, vir nobilis animoque et viribus potens; sed tamen eosdem latrunculos adsequi non potuit. Cui exinde revertenti dux Ferdulfus obviam factus est.
Quem dum interrogaret, quid de illis latrunculis factum esset, Argait ei – sic enim nomen habebat –, eosdem fugisse, respondit. Tunc ei Ferdulfus indignans ita locutus est: «Quando tu aliquid fortiter facere poteras, qui Argait ab arga nomen deductum habes?». Cui ille maxima stimulatus ira, ut erat vir fortis, ita respondit: «Sic velit Deus, ut non antea ego et tu, dux Ferdulfe, exeamus de hac vita, quam cognoscant alii, quis ex nobis magis est arga». Haec cum sibi invicem vulgaria verba locuti fuissent, contigit non post multos dies, ut exercitus Sclavorum, pro quorum adventu dux Ferdulfus praemia dederat, cum magnis viribus adventaret. Qui cum castra in summo montis vertice posuissent, et pene ex omni parte difficile esset ad eos accedere, Ferdulfus dux cum exercitu superveniens, coepit eundem montem circuire, ut per loca planiora super eos possit inruere. Tunc Argait, de quo praemisimus, ita Ferdulfo dixit: «Memento, dux Ferdulf, quod me esse inertem et inutilem dixeris et vulgari verbo arga vocaveris. Nunc autem ira Dei veniat super illum, qui posterior e nobis ad hos Sclavos accesserit». Et haec dicens, verso equo, per asperitatem montis, unde gravis erat ascensus, ad castra contendere coepit Sclavorum. Ferdulfus vero opprobrium ducens, si non ipse per eadem difficilia loca super Sclavos inruerit, eum per aspera quaeque et difficilia inviaque loca secutus est. Quem suus exercitus, turpe ducens ducem non sequi, subsequi et ipse coepit.
Videntes itaque Sclavi eos per devexa loca super se venire, praeparaverunt se viriliter, et magis lapidibus ac securibus quam armis contra eos pugnantes, pene omnes deiectos equis perimerunt. Sicque victoriam non viribus, sed casu adepti sunt. Ibi omnis nobilitas periit Foroiulanorum; ibi Ferdulfus dux cecidit; ibi et ille qui eum provocaverat extinctus est. Tantique ibi viri fortes per contentionis malum et inprovidentiam debellati sunt, quanti possent per unam concordiam et salubre consilium multa milia sternere aemulorum. Ibi tamen unus e Lango bardis nomine Munichis, qui pater post Petri Foroiulani et Ursi Cenetensis ducum extitit, solus fortiter et viriliter fecit. Is cum de equo eiectus esset, et eum unus e Sclavis subito invadens eius manus fune conligasset, ipse manibus ligatis lanceam ab eiusdem Sclavi dextera extrahens, eum cum ipsa percussit, et ligatus per aspera se loca deiciens evasit. Haec ideo vel maxime in hac posuimus historia, ne quid aliquid per contentionis malum simile contingat.
“When then at Forum Julii (Cividale) the patriarch Screnus had been taken away from human affairs, Calixtus, a distinguished man who was archdeacon of the church of Tarvisium (Treviso) received through the efforts of king Liutprand the government of the church of Aquileia. At this time as we said, Pemmo ruled the Langobards of Forum Julii. When he had now brought to the age of early manhood those sons of the nobles whom he had reared with his own children, suddenly a messenger came to him to say that an immense multitude of Slavs was approaching the place which is called Lauriana.* With those young men, he fell upon the Slavs for the third time, and overthrew them with a great slaughter, nor did any one else fall on the part of the Langobards than Sicuald, who was already mature in age. For he had lost two sons in a former battle, which occured under Ferdulf, and when he had avenged himself upon the Slavs a first and a second time according to his desire, the third time, although both the duke and the other Langobards forbade it, he could not be restrained but thus answered them: ” I have already revenged sufficiently,” he says, ” the death of my sons and now if it shall happen, I will gladly receive my own death.” And it so happened, and in that fight he only was killed. Pemmo, indeed, when he had overthrown many of his enemies, fearing lest he should lose in battle any one more of his own, entered into a treaty of peace with those Slavs in that place. And from that time the Slavs began more to dread the arms of the Friulans.”
* As per the translator: “Supposed to be the village of Spital near Villach (Waitz) on the Urave in Carinthia (Waitz). This seems quite uncertain.”
Aput Foroiuli igitur sublato e rebus humanis patriarcha Sereno, Calistus, vir egregius, qui erat Tarvisianae ecclesiae archidiaconus, adnitente Liutprando principe, Aquileiensem ecclesiam regendam suscepit. Quo, ut diximus, in tempore Pemmo Foroiulanis praeerat Langobardis. Is cum iam nobilium filios, quos cum suis natis nutrierat, [eos] iam ad iuvenilem perduxisset aetatem, repente ei nuntius venit, inmensam Sclavorum multitudinem in locum qui Lauriana dicitur adventasse. Cum quibus ille iuvenibus super eosdem Sclavos tercio inruens, magna eos clade prostravit; nec amplius ibi aliquis a parte Langobardorum cecidit quam Sicualdus, qui erat iam aetate grandaevus. Iste namque in superiori pugna, quae sub Ferdulfo facta est, duos filios amiserat. Qui cum prima et secunda vice iuxta voluntatem suam se de Sclavis ultus esset, tercia vice, prohibente duce et aliis Langobardis, non potuit inhiberi, sed ita eis respondit: «Iam satis» inquit «meorum filiorum mortem vindicavi, et iam, si advenerit, laetus suscipiam mortem». Factumque est, et ipse solus in eadem pugna peremptus est. Pemmo vero cum multos inimicorum prostravisset, metuens ne aliquem suorum amplius in bello perderet, cum eisdem Sclavis in eodem loco pacis concordiam iniit;
atque ex illo iam tempore magis ac magis coeperunt Sclavi Foroiulanorum arma formidare.
“At the same time a grievous strife arose between duke Pemmo and the patriarch Calixtus and the cause of this discord was the following: Fidentius, bishop of the Julian fortress (Julium Carnicum) [Zuglio, a town north of Tolmezzo] came on a former occasion and dwelt within the walls of the fortress of Forum Julii (Cividale) and established there the see of his bishopric with the approval of the former dukes. When he departed from life, Amator was ordained bishop in his place. Up to that day indeed, the former patriarchs had their see, not in Forum Julii, but in Cormones (Cormons) because they had not at all been able to dwell in Aquileia on account of the incursions of the Romans. It greatly displeased Calixtus who was eminent for his high rank that a bishop dwelt in his diocese with the duke and the Langobards and that he himself lived only in the society of the common people. Why say more? He worked against this same bishop Amator and expelled him from Forum Julii and established his own dwelling in his house. For this cause duke Pemmo took counsel with many Langobard nobles against this same patriarch, seized him and brought him to the castle of Potium, [not identified – Giansevero believes it was the castle of Duino] which is situated above the sea, and wanted to hurl him thence into the sea but he did not at all do this since God prohibited. He kept him, however, in prison and nourished him with the bread of tribulation. King Liutprand hearing this was inflamed with great rage, and taking away the dukedom from Pemmo, appointed his son Ratchis in his place. Then Pemmo arranged to flee with his followers into the country [patria = fatherland] of the Slavs, but Ratchis his son besought the king and reinstated his father in the monarch’s favor. Pemmo then, having taken an assurance that he would suffer no harm, proceeded to the king with all tlhe Langobards with whom he had taken counsel. Then the king, sitting in judgement, pardoned for Ratchis’ sake Pemmo and his two sons, Ratchait and Aistulf, and ordered them to stand behind his chair. The king, however, in a loud voice ordered that all those who had adhered to Pemmo, naming them, should be seized. Then Aistulf could not restrain his rage and attempted to draw his sword and strike the king but Ratchis his brother prevented him. And when these Langobards were seized in this manner, Herfemar, who had been one of them, drew his sword, and followed by many, defended himself manfully and fled to the church of the blessed Michael and then by the favor of the king he alone secured impunity while the others were for a long time tormented in bonds.”
Gravis sane per idem tempus inter Pemmonem ducem et Calistum patriarcham discordiae rixa surrexit. Causa autem huius discordiae ista fuit. Adveniens anteriore tempore Fidentius episcopus de castro Iuliensi, cum voluntate superiorum ducum intra Foroiulani castri muros habitavit ibique sui episcopatus sedem statuit. Quo vita decedente, Amator in eius loco episcopus ordinatus est. Usque ad eundem enim diem superiores patriarchae, quia in Aquileia propter Romanorum incursionem habitare minime poterant, sedem non in Foroiuli, sed in Cormones habebant.
Quod Calisto, qui erat nobilitate conspicuus, satis displicuit, ut in eius diocesi cum duce et Langobardis episcopus habitaret et ipse tantum vulgo sociatus vitam duceret. Quid plura? Contra eundem Amatorem episcopum egit eumque de Foroiuli expulit atque in illius domo sibi habitationem statuit. Hac de causa Pemmo dux contra eundem patriarcham cum multis nobilibus Langobardis consilium iniit adprehensumque eum ad castellum Potium, quod supra mare situm est, duxit indeque eum in mare praecipitare voluit, sed tamen Deo inhibente minime fecit; intra carcerem tamen eum retentum pane tribulationis sustentavit. Quod rex Liutprand audiens, in magnam iram exarsit, ducatumque Pemmoni auferens, Ratchis, eius filium, in eius loco ordinavit. Tunc Pemmo cum suis disposuit, ut in Sclavorum patriam fugeret; sed Ratchis, eius filius, a rege supplicavit patremque in regis gratiam reduxit. Accepta itaque Pemmo fiducia, quod nihil mali pateretur, ad regem cum omnibus Langobardis, quibus consilium habuerat, perrexit. Tunc rex in iudicio residens, Pemmonem et eius duos filios Ratchait et Aistulfum Ratchis concedens, eos post suam sedem consistere praecepit. Rex vero elevata voce omnes illos qui Pemmoni adhaeserant nominative conprehendere iussit. Tunc Aistulfum dolorem non ferens, evaginato pene gladio regem percutere voluit, nisi eum Ratchis, suus germanus, cohibuisset. Hoc modo his Langobardis conprehensis, Herfemar, qui unus ex eis fuerat, evaginato gladio, multis se insequentibus, ipse se viriliter defensans, in basilica beati Michahelis confugit, ac deinde regis indulgentia solus inpunitatem promeruit, ceteris longo tempore in vinculis excruciatis.
“Then Ratchis having become duke of Forum Julii as we have said, invaded Carniola (Krain), the country [patria = fatherland] of the Slavs, with his followers, killed a great multitude of Slavs and laid waste everything belonging to them. Here when the Slavs had suddenly fallen upon him and he had not yet taken his lance from his armor-bearer, he struck with a club that he carried in his hand the first who ran up to him and put an end to his life.”
Ratchis denique aput Foroiuli dux, ut dixeramus, effectus, in Carniolam Sclavorum patriam cum suis ingressus, magnam multitudinem Sclavorum interficiens, eorum omnia devastavit. Ubi cum Sclavi super eum subito inruissent, et ipse adhuc lanceam suam ab armigero non abstulisset, eum qui primus ei occurrit clava, quam manu gestabat, percutiens, eius vitam extinxit.
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