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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Principal wars: conquest of the Gepidae (565-567); invasion and conquest of Italy (568-572).
Son of King Audoin; king of the Lombards on his father's death (565); allied with the Avars and attacked the Gepidae, defeating and killing their King Cunimund in battle, and marrying Cunimund's daughter, Rosamund (567); uneasy with his Avar allies, Alboin decided to find safer lands in Italy, and crossed the Julian Alps at the head of all the Lombards and 20,000 Saxons (April 568); defeated Longinus, exarch of Ravenna (June?) and occupied Milan (September 569); besieged Pavia (569-572) and made it his capital when it fell; reputedly murdered by Rosamund, who was incensed that Alboin had made her drink from a cup made of her father's skull (572 or 573).
Principal wars: raids into Germany (562-569); conquest of the Gepidae (567); Byzantine Wars (570, 584-587, 592-599, 600-602).