Calling all Lombard Specialists - Question about Waccho and Hildechis in Paul the Deacon


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
Regarding Waccho driving Hildechis into exile with the Gepids, did this have any lasting effect on Lombard history? Why did the Lombards bother to remember this story? (I'm aware that Procopius has a slightly different version of the story.) I'm less interested in the story and more interested in why the Lombards thought this story was important enough to remember. For that matter, why did Procopius consider this story important enough to write down? Hildechis doesn't seem to have been a major threat to Waccho either before or after he was exiled.


Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
So I saw this and thought, "I'm writing a dissertation chapter that deals a lot with the Lombards right now, maybe I'll have something to say!" but yeah, sorry, I really have nothing for you.

I think one of the problems that you're going to have is knowing just who Paul is writing for, and what his sources are. He's in a very weird place - he definitely has sympathies for the remaining Lombard elite in Benevento, but at the same time he has his monastic allegiance and he spent several years in the Carolingian court, which he doesn't really seem to have any antipathy towards. There is a definite trend in the Historia Langobardorum towards portraying the pre-Liutprand Lombard elite as violent, fractious, and fratricidal, though, which might have influenced his decision to include it.

As for Procopius, maybe check Alexander Sarantis' Justinian's Balkan Wars? He has some material in there on the conflicts between the Lombards and Gepids in Pannonia.


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I think there was a political reason behind that tale ... the Lombards were allied with the Byzantines against the Gepids in that period ... Gepids were a Germanic tribe as well. How to justify such a "historical scandal"?

My impression is that it was a family contrast.

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