Rus Articles Journal

Rubens, “Alboin and Rozamunda“. Deadly feast?

Imagine herd of primacies in prehistoric times. There are no household items yet. But already some consciousness wakens: axes, a spear, a needle and other get into life. And ware? When it appeared? Not for nothing archeologists collect crocks - they try to find out when clay began to serve mankind. And from what primacies drank in docherepkovy times? There is no clay, there is no ware, and from a palm inconveniently: you will not gather much and spills. Someone cherpnut water a skull of the eaten fellow once. Also began: they began to do cups. Slightly cut a crock - and it is ready (noticed that an origin of the words “skull“, “scoop“ - from “crock“; though, maybe, and vice versa).

Custom to do drinkable vessels of skulls kept very long (and somewhere in wild Africa probably it exists still). Also it was explained not so much by lack of other ware - already was both clay, and copper, and silver, - and desire to prolong feeling of a victory over the opponent, feeling of a celebration!

History which to us was told by Rubens in the picture “Alboin and Rozamunda“ just goes back to such custom.

In the center - the table, sits the woman in a rich attire at a table, a board gold, in a high conic headdress. It is a queen Rozamunda. Before it on a lap - other woman, she stretches a tray on which there is a cup. The man in red with similarity of a crown on the head is a tsar Alboin. He points a finger at a cup, in his face and a pose it is possible to see some persistence, even threat. Rozamunda as if starts back back and the cup from itself pushes away.

Alboin is the tsar of Lombards, the tribe which received lands for protection of the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine empire) at its boundaries. This tribe lived on the Drava River, inflow of Danube, on border with present Italy (Lombards - the dlinnoborody, first information about them are dated the fifth century of our era).

Alboin was a conqueror (by the way, married to the daughter of the king of francs) who after a victory over gepida in a short space of time subordinated to himself almost all Italy. “Then Lombards took away so big production that became owners of the huge wealth. The tribe of gepid so fell that since then they had never no own king any more...“ (Paulus Diaconus, Pavel Diakon, History of Lombards) all cities which showed resistance to Lombards were ruined by

At a gain of Italy completely. And nevertheless “a name of Alboin became famous anywhere and everywhere so that even still his nobility and glory, his happiness and bravery in fight are remembered in songs at bavar, saxophones and other people speaking the same language“.

Besides, division of Italy into large areas (northern - possession of Lombards, average - shattered into several duchies, southern - near Byzantium) remained more 1000!

Rozamunda is the daughter of the king of gepid, one more of the German tribes. Her father was killed in battle with Alboin, and Alboin took Rozamunda prisoner and when his wife died, made her the wife. Tribes about which there is a speech were related to barbarians, and they had barbarous customs. Alboin made a cup of the father Rozamunda`s skull.

Here that the historian tells about further events: “Once in Verona Alboin, having fun on a feast and remaining there longer, than would follow, ordered to bring to the queen the glass made of a skull of his father-in-law, the king Kunimund and demanded that she drank “together with the father“.

And here when Rozamunda realized it, heart her was affected by burning offense which she was unable to suppress; in it the desire was lit by murder of the husband to note death of the father. And soon she entered plot about murder of the king with Gelmigis, the armourbearer of the king and his foster brother. Gelmigis advised the queen to involve in Peredey`s plot, the person of extraordinary force.

But when Peredey did not want to agree to partnership in such heavy crime, the queen laid down at night in a bed of the servant with which Peredey was in criminal communication; and it, without suspecting about anything, came and laid down together with the queen.

And here when whoredom was made, and she asked it for whom it takes it, and he told the name of the concubine for whom he took it, the queen answered: “At all not that I for whom you take me, I am Rozamunda! Now, Peredey, you committed such crime that you have to or kill Alboin, or itself to die from his sword“.

And then he understood what crime he committed, and was forced to agree to participation in murder of the king what voluntarily could not decide on.

At about noon when Alboin lay down to have a rest, Rozamunda disposed that in the palace there was a complete silence, secretly carried away any weapon, and hardly tied Alboin`s sword to a bed headboard so that it could not be lifted or pulled out from a sheath, and then, on the advice of Gelmigis, this terribly cruel woman let in the murderer Peredey.

Alboin having suddenly woken up, felt danger to which was exposed, and instantly grabbed a hand a sword; but it was so strong attached that Alboin not in forces was it to tear off; then, having grabbed a bench for legs, it some time was protected by it; but alas - about a grief! this valorous and most brave person could not overcome the enemy and died as cowardly... “

the Historian writes that “it which won to itself(himself) the greatest military glory a victory over uncountable enemies fell the victim of insidiousness of one insignificant woman“. It is obvious that Alboin fell the victim of own passions, unrestrained desire to dominate, suppress, humiliate. And his wife was not weak on character: she did not wish to suffer such mockery, conceived and organized extermination of the satrap.

Rozamunda managed to marry Gelmigis who helped it to kill Alboin. But pleasures were short: the army did not support the new tsar, they ran and committed suicide.

Very intricate courses: to oversleep with the armourbearer that he killed the husband, and then to marry the foster brother of the husband. And are how prudent and governors were unpretentious: no matter, that the woman visited a bed with another, important a minute ago what political capital it will bring (it about Gelmigis).

And whether there is in this history someone, worthy sympathy?