Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Waitz, Georg, ed.; Holder-Egger, O., ed., Pauli Historia Langobardorum (Hannover: Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Usum Scholarum Separatim Editi (SS rer. Germ) vol. 48))

Text name(s): Historia Langobardorum; History of the Lombards; Carmen De Synodo Ticinensi; Poem on the Synod of Pavia

Number of pages of primary source text: 201


Dates: 568 - 795

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Italy

County/Region: Lombardy

Record Types: 

  • Chronicle, Annals

Subject Headings: 

  • Carolingians
  • Clergy - Monks, Nuns, Friars
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Conversion
  • Diplomacy
  • Early Germanic Peoples: Goths, Franks, etc.
  • Historiography
  • Papacy
  • Piety
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • War - Military History


  • Index
  • Glossary
  • Appendix
  • Introduction


Paul the Deacon’s History of the Lombards is an important source for the peoples and events of Lombardy in the early Middle Ages. Covering the years from 568-747, the Lombard History describes political, military, and ecclesiastical events in Lombardy, also preserving many myths and popular beliefs of the period. This edition includes the Latin text of the History, a Latin-Latin glossary of unusual words, and appendices of a catalogue of Italian provinces found in one of the manuscripts of the History, the Carmen De Synodo Ticinensi (Poem on the Synod of Pavia (c.698)), and the epitaph of Ansa, a mid-8th century queen of Lombardy. A modern English translation of the History may be found in William Foulke, ed. “History of the Lombards.” (University of Pennsylvania, 2003, a reprint of the 1906 edition).

This text is contained in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, a useful compilation of primary sources, mainly from Germany and France, in the original language. The first volumes were published in 1826 under the auspices of the Deutsches Institut für Erforschung des Mittelalters, and volumes continue to be published to this day. The MGH is divided into five separate series: Scriptores (Writers); Leges (Laws); Diplomata (Documents); Epistolae (Letters); Antiquitates (Antiquities). Known for its rigorous and conscientious editing of medieval manuscripts, the MGH is an important tool for historians of the Middle Ages. This text appears as volume 48 of the Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum separatim editi (a collection of texts edited separately and intended for classroom use). A full text version of the MGH is also available online at

Introduction Summary: 

The editor’s lengthy (48 pp) Latin introduction notes previous printed editions of the History, including the one produced for the MGH by Ludwig Bethmann (SS. rer. Lang., 1878). The editor provides biographical information on Paul, noting that he had been in service to Lombard royalty in Pavia and Benevento, traveled to France where he stayed at Charlemagne’s court of Aachen, and that later in his life he entered the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, where he wrote the History. He also discusses Paul’s relationship with Charlemagne, at whose request he compiled a collection of homilies, and with Bishop Angilram of Metz, at whose request he wrote a history of the bishops of Metz. The editor also lists the many manuscripts in which the text survives, and upon which his edition is based.

Cataloger: MCB