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11 Agilulf, “The Nonexistent Knight” and the Forging of the Italian “Germanic” Past

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Chapter Summary

In May 1930, the Burlington Fine Arts Club of London one of the most prestigious gentlemen clubs, famous not only for providing a showcase for amateur artists but also for organizing since its foundation in 1866 regular exhibition venues organized "The Art of the Dark Ages in Europe", the first exhibition in Europe fully dedicated to early medieval arts and crafts. Beside early medieval archaeological finds belonging to the most important European Museums and from the most important private collections, a new group of unpublished finds "dug up in Italy" belonging to the international firm of Durlacher Brothers attracted public attention. "Agilulf the wise" was the protagonist of literary work, operas, and poetry at the beginning of the twentieth century, showing the success of mediating between the Romans and the Lombards and transmitting Roman values and examples to the "pure Germanic" Lombards.

Keywords: Agilulf; Burlington Fine Arts Club; Durlacher Brothers; European Museums; Lombards; medieval arts; pure Germanic



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