History of the Lombards

The Historia gentis Langobardorum ( History of the Lombards ) is the main work of the Lombard monk Paul the Deacon, written in the late 8th century to the end of his life.


The incomplete history in six books was written after 787, and in no event later than 796, possibly in Montecassino. It describes the history of the Lombards from their mythical beginnings to the death of King Liutprand 744 and contains much information about the Byzantine Empire, the Franks and others. The story is told from the perspective of a Lombard patriot and particularly describing the relations between Franks and Lombards. The sources used Paul the Deacon, the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, the Liber Pontificalis, the lost Historiola of Secundus of Trent and also lost annals of Benevento. He made free use of the Venerable Bede, Gregory of Tours and Isidore of Seville.


There are about a hundred manuscripts of the Historia. It was often used by later writers, was often supplemented and printed for the first time in 1514 in Paris. The best Latin edition was by Ludwig Bethmann and Georg Waitz in the Scriptores rerum et langobardicarum Italicarum the Monumenta Historica Germaniae published (Hannover, 1878). Now also Lidia Capo (ed.), Storia dei Longobardi, Milan: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla (1992).


  • William D. Foulke: History of the Langobards. University Press, Philadelphia, Penn. 1974, ISBN 0-8122-7671- X ( reprint of Philadelphia 1907).
  • Otto Abel ( translator's ), Alexander Heine ( ed.): History of the Lombards - Paul Deacon and historian of the Lombards. Phaidon, Essen 1992, ISBN 978-3-888-51097-7, ( reprint of the edition Leipzig 1878), digitized at Google Books ( first edition Berlin 1849).
  • Wolfgang F. Schwarz (ed.): Paul the Deacon: Historia Langobardorum - History of the Lombards. University Press, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-534-22258-2.
  • François Bougard ( translator's ): Histoire des Langobards. Brepols, Turnhout 1994, ISBN 2-503-50319-5.
  • Pedro P. Herrera Roldán ( translator's ): Historia de los longo bardos. Universidade de Cádiz, Cádiz 2007, ISBN 84-9828-072-9.
  • Giansevero Uberti ( translator's ): De ' fatti de' Longobardi. Biblioteca Popolare Sonzogno, Milan 1915 ( reprint of Cividale 1899).
  • Massimo Felisatti ( translator's ): Storia dei Longobardi. Milan 1967.
  • Federico Roncoroni ( translator's ): Storia dei Longobardi. Rusconi, Milan 1971.
  • Amedeo Giacomini ( translator's ), Elio Bartolini (ed.): Historia Langobardorum. Electa, Udine 1982 ( bilingual, latin - italian. )
  • Arnaldo Zanella ( translator's ): Storia dei Longobardi. Rizzoli, Milan, 1991, ISBN 88-17-16824-6