Over recent years there has been a deluge of books concerning the fate of Europe both during and after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Probably some of the most important of these has been a series produced by the Boydell Press. The series contains papers given at a number of conferences, each covering the various ‘peoples’ who inherited the remnants of the Western Roman Empire, all of which papers have the ‘Ethnographical’ aspect firmly to the fore.
The papers contained within ‘The Langobards Before the Frankish Conquest’ (LBFC) analyse the society of the Langobards – as far as is possible – from just before their first invasion of Italy in 568-9 until their conquest by the Frankish king Charlemagne in 774. Unlike the majority of the other ‘Germanic’ invaders of the West, such as the Franks or the Visigoths, the Langobards failed to occupy a simple coherent geographical area, instead conquering spatially divergent regions of Italy, with other parts of the peninsula being ruled by the Pope and the Byzantine Empire.
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