This is part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.
His temporibus Walpertus et Gezo, praenomine Heverardus, Papiae praepotentes iudices erant. causa autem potentiae Walperti haec erat, quoniam Cumis, ditissimo in loco, filium suum Petrum episcopum fecerat, Rozam vero, gnatam suam, Gilleberto comiti palatii coniugio sotiaverat. ea tamen tempestate uterque defunctus erat. Ticinensis itaque, quod est Papiensis, populus omnis ad hunc convenerat, causasque omnes et controversias ante eum deliberabat. participatione denique potentiae huius memoratus Gezo, praenomine Heverardus, quoniam quadam affinitate ei iungebatur, praepotens habebatur. qui nobilitatem suam pravis moribus deturpabat. fuit enim ambitiosus nimis, cupidus, invidus, seditiosus, iuris corruptor, praeceptorum Dei immemor; quod Deus non passus est abire inultum; et ne diutius protraham sermonem, Catilinae omnino similis, qui sicut consulem et rei publicae defensorem Marcum Tullium Ciceronem conabatur occidere, ita et hic regem Hugonem morti molitus est tradere. quadam enim die, dum nichil mali suspicans rex Hugo Papie cum paucis degeret, hic seditione facta voluit super eum irruere; sed Walperto, qui non tam ferocis animi erat, remorante, tardatus est. nec minus etiam eos rex Hugo suis rhetoricis et melle dulcioribus elogiis ab incepto furore compescuit. dum enim seditionem super se exhortam atque in domo Walperti congregatam esse cognosceret, huiusmodi omnes per internuntios sermone convenit: ‘quid est, quod tantopere, viri fortes, tamque insperate contra dominum, immo regem, vestrum commoti estis? si quippiam quod displiceat actum est, consolidetur. neque enim sera emendatio reprehendi solet, praesertim si nulla neglegentia praetermissa est.’
(Liutprand of Cremona, Antapodosis, 3.39-40)
In those times Walpert and Gezo, whose first name was Heverard, were very powerful judges in Pavia. The reason for Walpert’s power was this: that he had made his son Peter bishop in that very wealthy place, Como, and joined his daughter Roza in marriage to the count of the palace Gislebert. At that same time both Peter and Gislebert had died. All the people of Ticino, that is, the Pavians, had come to Walpert and were debating all cases and controversies before him. In addition, mindufl of his share of the power, Gezo, whose first name was Heverard, because he was joined to him by a certain affinity, was regarded as the powerful one; but Gezo spoiled hi own nobility by his wicked ways. For he was very ambitious, avid, envious, seditious, a corrupter of the law, forgetful of God’s teachings—something which God does not tolerate without vengeance; and, lest I drag out my speech any longer, Gezo was in every way similar to Catiline and, just as Catiline was trying to kill the consul and defender of the Roman Republic Cicero, similarly this Gezo schemed to put King Hugh to death. For on a certain day, while King Hugh, suspecting no evil, stayed in Pavia with a few followers, this Gezo, having organized a revolt, wanted to rush upon him; but with Walpert, who was not of equally savage spirit, lagging behind, the plan was postponed. Nor did King Hugh play a lesser role in restraining them from the rampage they had launched with his rhetorical and honey-sweet praises. For when he learned that a revolt against him had broken out and the rebels had assembled in the house of Walpert, through intermediaries he addressed them all with a speech like this: “Why, O strong men, are you so suddenly aroused against your lord, your king, even? If something was done that displeased you, let it be compensated for. For it is not usual that a late correction is despised, especially if no negligence has been overlooked.” (tr. Paolo Squatriti)
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