Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Opening of 'Rothair's Edict'

In the book 'Lombard Laws' (Katherine Fischer Drew; 1973), right at the start of chapter one (I. Rothair's Edict), on pages 39 and 40, there is the English translation of the opening of 'Rothair's Edict' by King Rothair himself (also known as Rothari). I think you will find it interesting, and powerful in it's wording:

Rothair's Edict

The most noble Rothair, king of the Lombards, together with his principal judges, issues this lawbook in the name of the Lord.

In the name of the Lord, I, the most noble Rothair, seventeenth king of the Lombards, issue this lawbook with the aid of God in the eighth year of my reign and in the thirty-eighth year of my life, in the second indiction, and in the seventy-sixth year after the happy arrival of the Lombards in the land of Italy, led there by divine providence in the time of King Alboin, my predecessor. Issued from the palace at Pavia.

The collection which follows makes evident how great was and is our care and solicitude for the welfare of our subjects; for we recognize that it is not only the numerous demands of the wealthy which should carry weight, but also the burdensome trials of the poor are important. Therefore, trusting in the mercy of Almighty God, we have perceived it necessary to improve and to reaffirm the present law, amending all earlier laws by adding that which is lacking and eliminating that which is superfluous. We desire that these laws be brought together in one volume so that everyone may lead a secure life in accordance with law and justice, and in confidence thereof will willingly set himself against his enemies and defend himself and his homeland.

In these matters our concern for the future assures us that what we do here is useful and so we have ordered the names of the Lombard kings, our predecessors, and from what family they came, to be noted down here insofar as we have ascertained them from the older men of the nation.

The first king was Agilmund, from the family of the Gugings.
The second was Lamisio.
Leth was third.
Gildioch, son of Leth, was fourth.
Godioch, son of Gildioch, was fifth.
Sixth was Klaffo, son of Godioch.
Seventh was Tato, son of Klaffo. Tato and Winigis were sons of Klaffo.
Eighth was Wacho, son of Winigis, nephew of Tato.
Ninth was Walthari.
Tenth was Audoin, from the Gaugus family.
Eleventh was Alboin, son of Audoin, who, as mentioned above, led the nation into Italy.
Twelfth was Klep, from the Belios family.
Thirteenth was Authari, son of Klep.
Fourteenth was Agilulf, a Thuring from the family of the Anawas.
Fifteenth was Adalwald, son of Agilulf.
Sixteenth was Arioald, from the Kaup family.

In the name of God, I, Rothair, son of Nanding, from the family of the Harode, am the seventeenth king, as stated above. Nanding son of Notzo, Notzo son of Alamund, Alamund son of Alaman, Alaman son of Hiltzo, Hiltzo son of Weilo, Weilo son of Weo, Weo son of Frocho, Frocho son of Facho, Facho son of Mammo, Mammo son of Obthora.


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