Fara (Longobards)

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A Fara was a "kin community" among the Lombards (the term contains the meaning of drive ). A fara consisted of women, children, animals, the entire truck and the men who were able to fight and who were connected to each other. A fara consisted of 80 to 100 people who were logistically autonomous and could defend themselves. At the head of a fara was the head of the family, to whom the others were subordinate.

Each fara had its own settlement area and was named after the leader's name, e.g. B. Fara Winifred (the Fara of Paulus Deacon), Fara Authereni or Fara Aldemari. The popular assembly of the Lombards ( gairethinx , the “Gergedinge” or the “Assembly of the Lance Bearers”) was initially defined by all Arimans (“army men”), later by the leaders of the Faras and other high officials.

During the conquest of Albion in Italy (568) his army ( exercitus ) was divided into Faras. On this hike he repeatedly handed over individual areas to a fara, probably to secure strategically important river crossings or roads. Examples are the Farra d'Isonzo at a crossing of the Isonzo or the Farra di Soligo at the Piave ; There are many other Italian places, especially in Lombardy and Umbria , that have Fara as part of their name (e.g. Farisengo von Bonemerse or Farfengo ).

When the old Faras were no longer an expeditionary force (i.e. no driving association), their branches became a settlement of the Arimannes (military men) or an "Arimannie". After the Lombards settled down, the Fara became superfluous and this designation was gradually forgotten. The expression is mentioned again in the law of King Rothari (636–652). But Paulus Diaconus (8th century) had to translate the term for his readers.


  • István Bóna: The Dawn of the Middle Ages: Gepids and Longobards in the Carpathian Basin. Corvina-Verlag, Budapest 1976, ISBN 9631344959 .
  • Karin Priester: History of the Longobards: Society - Culture - Everyday Life. Theiss , Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 380621848X .