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This cross is traditionally said to belong to Gisulf.
Gisulf I was probably the first duke of Friuli (then Forum Julii), a nephew of Alboin, first king of the Lombards in Italymarker. Alboin appointed him duke around 569 after the Lombard conquest of the region, though some scholars believe he appointed Gisulf's father, his brother, Grasulf, duke.

Before this, Gisulf had been his uncle's marpahis or "master of the horse," sometimes considered a shield-bearer. He was, according to Paul the Deacon, "a man suitable in every way." He asked Alboin for permission to chose which faras or clans he would lead rule over in Friuli and this request was granted. He thus chose which families would settle permanently in Friuli and he "acquired the honour of a leader (ducior)." As well, Alboin granted him a great herd of mare, perhaps in recognition of his former service.

He reigned during the Rule of the Dukes from 575 to 585. He was succeeded by his son Gisulf II.


  1. Paul, bk 2, ch IX [1].
  2. Ibid.


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