Theodelinda (568–628)

views updated

Theodelinda (568–628)

Queen of Lombardy who was instrumental in turning the Arian Lombards to the Roman Church. Name variations: Theodolinda; Theodelinde. Born in 568 in Bavaria; died in 628 in Lombardy; daughter of Garibald I; married Authari also known as Autarie, king of Lombardy (died); married Flavius Agiluphus of Pavia, also known as Ago (died); children: at least one son.

Theodelinda reigned as queen of Lombardy. She was born in 568 into the royal family of Bavaria, and as a young woman married King Autarie of Lombardy. Upon his death, she married Flavius Agiluphus of Pavia, but he also died young. Theodelinda did not marry again, instead choosing to hold the title queen-regent of Lombardy for her son alone. Theodelinda was both an excellent queen and a very devout woman. Among her works to aid the Lombards, she encouraged agriculture and instituted policies to increase Lombardy's economic stability. She also was responsible for the construction of many churches, monasteries, and nunneries. Through her popularity and religious influence, the queen successfully encouraged her subjects to turn back to orthodoxy from the spreading heresy of Arianism (whose members denied that Christ was divine). Theodelinda was known for her charitable work, and gained such a reputation for intelligence and faith that Pope Gregory I the Great dedicated one of his works, the Dialogues, to her. She died about age 60.


Dunbar, Agnes. Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. I. London: G. Bell & Sons, 1904.

Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California