Garibald I (also Garivald; Latin: Garibaldus; born 540) was Duke (or King) of Bavaria from 555 until 591. He was the head of the Agilolfings, and the ancestor of the Bavarian dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of the Lombards.
After the death of the Merovingian king Theudebald of Austrasia, his successor Chlothar I had "begun to have intercourse with" his widow Waldrada (531–572), daughter of the Lombard king Wacho. Chlothar's bishops objected, so he gave Waldrada to Garibald to marry in 556. Not only did this grant Garibald prestige, but it created lasting political ties between the Bavarii and the Lombards of Pannonia and Bohemia. This would have consequences after the Lombards moved into Italy in 568.
Some time before 585, the Merovingian court attempted to bind Duke Garibald more closely to its interests by arranging a marriage between his daughter Theodelinda and King Childebert II of Austrasia. At the same time the Merovingians were attempting to normalise relations with Authari, the Lombard king, by arranging a marriage between Childebert's sister and Authari. Both these proposals fell through. The offended Authari was engaged to Theodelinda in 588. Fearing an anti-Frankish axis, the Franks sent an army into Bavaria. Garibald's children Gundoald and Theodelinda fled to Italy. Authari married Theodelinda in May 589 and named his brother-in-law, Gundoald, Duke of Asti. In 590, the Franks invaded Lombardy with help from Byzantium, but were defeated.
In 591, Childebert normalised relations with the Lombards and Bavarii. After King Authari died in 590, the Lombard dukes asked Theodelinda to marry again. She chose Authari's cousin Agilulf as her husband, and he was accepted as the next king. They then negotiated a peace with Childebert which lasted for decades. According to Paulus Diaconus, peace with Bavaria was restored when Childebert named Tassilo rex (king). It is unknown whether Garibald was deposed or died. Nor is it clear what Tassilo's relationship to Garibald was; though if not his son, he was certainly a close relation. He was reportedly also the father of Romilda of Friuli.
- Paul the Deacon (1907), History of the Langobards (Historia Langobardorum) Archived 2009-05-29 at the Wayback Machine, William Dudley Foulke, trans. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania), III, x Archived 2008-09-25 at the Wayback Machine, calls him "king of the Bavarians". The mid-thirteenth-century Series Ducum Bavariæ calls him Garibaldus rex, see Cawley, Charles (August 2012), BAVARIA, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,[self-published source][better source needed].
- "History of the Franks" IV.9, by Gregory of Tours