Alboin

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Alboin

(ăl`boin), d. 572?, first Lombard king in Italy (569–572?). With the AvarsAvars
, mounted nomad people who in the 4th and 5th cent. dominated the steppes of central Asia. Dislodged by stronger tribes, the Avars pushed west, increasing their formidable army by incorporating conquered peoples into it. Reaching their greatest power in the late 6th cent.
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 he defeated the Gepidae (see GermansGermans,
great ethnic complex of ancient Europe, a basic stock in the composition of the modern peoples of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, N Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, N and central France, Lowland Scotland, and England.
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). He then led (568) an army across the Alps into Italy, took (569) Milan, and after a three-year siege conquered Pavia, which became his capital. He won most of N and central Italy from the Byzantines (see LombardsLombards
, ancient Germanic people. By the 1st cent. A.D. the Lombards were settled along the lower Elbe. After obscure migrations they were allowed (547) by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to settle in Pannonia and Noricum (modern Hungary and E Austria).
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). According to a legend probably based on fact, he was murdered at the instigation of his wife, RosamondRosamond
, fl. c.570, wife of the Lombard king Alboin. The daughter of King Kunimund of the Gepidae, a Germanic people, she was captured by Alboin, who had defeated and killed her father.
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.