Rosamond (rŏzˈəmənd) [key], fl. c.570, wife of the Lombard king Alboin. The daughter of King Kunimund of the Gepidae, a Germanic people, she was captured by Alboin, who had defeated and killed her father. When Alboin forced her to drink from a cup made from her father's skull, she had him murdered by two of his own courtiers and took refuge with the Byzantine prefect at Ravenna. Although married to one of her fellow conspirators, Helmechis, she preferred the prefect, Longinus. When Rosamond offered Helmechis a poisoned drink, he swallowed half and forced her to drink the remainder. Her story, neither confirmed nor disproved by historical research, is the subject of two tragedies, Swinburne's Rosamund and Alfieri's Rosmunda.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.