Rodelinda (6th century)

Rodelinda was a Lombard queen who lived in the 6th century. She was the wife of king Audoin and mother of king Alboin.[1]

She was the first wife of Audoin, regent for the infant king of the Lombards Walthari from 540 to 546/547 and king in his own right from 546/547 to an uncertain date after 552, and gave him a son, his successor Alboin.[2]

When the marriage took place is unclear. The contemporary Procopius speaks of a marriage arrangement between Audoin and an unnamed sister of Amalafrid, a prince of mixed royal Ostrogothic and Thuringian stock. The betrothal had been organized by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian at a date spanning from ca. 540 to 552, and this unnamed female may be the Rodelinda named by Paul the Deacon; but it has been objected to by the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire that it is not certain that the marriage Procopius speaks of eventually took place. A major difficulty added to this is that in 552 Alboin was already a warrior. The PLRE believes the marriage between Audoin and Rodelinda took place in the 530s.[2][3]

Other scholars instead tend to accept the identification, observing its importance in linking the Lombard kings with the bloodline of the Amali, the royal house of the Ostrogoths. Such a marriage would have made Audoin a legitimate heir to both the Ostrogothic and Thuringian thrones, the latter in particular as Audoin was already half-brother of the last king of the Thuringians, thus putting him in opposition to the Franks who had taken over most of the Thuringian lands.[4][5]

Another explanation of Rodelinda's origins is given by István Boná: according to him she was probably a Bavarian princess, to be considered distinct from the Thuringian princess Audoin was engaged to later on.[6]


  1. ^ Jarnut 1995, p. 19
  2. ^ a b Martindale 1992, s.v. Audoin, pp. 152 – 153
  3. ^ Amory 2003, p. 462
  4. ^ Schutz 2001, p. 79
  5. ^ Curta 2001, p. 191
  6. ^ Boná 1976, p. 25


  • Amory, Patrick. People and Identity in Ostrogothic Italy, 489 – 554. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-52635-3.
  • (in French) Boná, István. A l'aube du Moyen Age: Gépides et Lombards dans le bassin des Carpates. Budapest: Corvina Press, 1974 [1976], ISBN 963-13-4494-0.
  • Curta, Florin (2001). The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500–700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • (in Italian) Jarnut, Jörg. Storia dei Longobardi. Turin: Einaudi, 1982 [1995], ISBN 88-06-13658-5.
  • Martindale, John R. (ed.), Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire - Volume III: A.D. 527 – 641, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 978-0-521-20160-5.
  • Schutz, Herbert. Tools, Weapons and Ornaments: Germanic Material Culture in Pre-Carolingian Central Europe, 400 – 750. Leiden: Brill, 2001, ISBN 90-04-12298-2.