Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pope Sixtus V: Another Victim of Slavic Revisionism

Pope Sixtus V

August 27th marks the anniversary of the death of Pope Sixtus V, who was Pope of the Catholic Church from April 24, 1585 until his death in 1590.

Pope Sixtus V was born Felice Piergentile in Le Grotte (today Grottammare), a comune in the Marche region of Italy. His parents were Piergentile Peretti (nicknamed Peretto, meaning “little pear”) and Mariana da Frontillo, both from the region of Marche. At an early age, Sixtus became a Franciscan friar. He was ordained a priest in 1547 and in 1548 became a magister of the Franciscan order. In 1557 he was appointed Inquisitor of Venice and named Vicar General of the Franciscans in 1566. He was consecrated a bishop in 1567 and made a cardinal by Pope Pius V in 1570, before finally being elected pope on April 24, 1585. He died of malaria five years later on August 27, 1590.

Sixtus V is remembered as one of the most important popes of the Counter Reformation. During his reign as pope he revised the Latin Vulgate; reformed the College of Cardinals; founded the Vatican Printing House; renovated the Lateran Palace; built a hospice for the poor; constructed the first aqueduct in Rome since the end of the Roman Empire; opposed Protestantism; supported the Catholic League of France; strengthened the Inquisition; condemned astrology and magic; beatified St. Simon of Trent; and declared abortion to be an excommunicable crime punishable by death.

Aside from this, Sixtus V has become an important figure among Slavs, who have taken a personal interest in the pope due to his support of the Church of St. Jerome of the Illyrians (today St. Jerome of the Croats) and the College of St. Jerome of the Illyrians (today the Pontifical Croatian College). Sixtus had been the Cardinal Priest of St. Jerome of the Illyrians since 1570, and after he became pope he rebuilt the Church of St. Jerome, which was established as a church for the Dalmatian and Slavic refugees in Rome who had previously fled the Ottoman Turks and as the primary location of the Illyrian College.

Not surprisingly, these facts have led Slavic revisionists to forge history once again and claim that Sixtus V was a Slav, and not an Italian as is universally believed. Also not surprisingly, Serbian revisionists claim he was a Serb, while Croatian revisionists claim he was a Croat.

According to the first and official biography of Pope Sixtus V written by Antonio Maria Graziani (1537-1611), the secretary and original biographer of Pope Sixtus V, whose work was edited by Pope Sixtus himself, both parents of the pope were born in Marche region of Italy (his father being from the village of Montalto; his mother being from the village of Frontillo), and therefore were of Italian origin. Unfortunately, this has not prevented certain prideful Slavs from creating their own version of history.

The claim that Pope Sixtus V was of Slavic origin is based on the later chronicle of Andrija Zmajevic (1624-1694), a 17th century Slavic writer who worked in the Republic of Venice. Zmajevic – writing several decades after the official papal biography – claimed that Piergentile Peretti, the father of the pope, was born to the Šišić family in the village of Kruševice near Bijela (San Pietro de Albis) in modern-day Montenegro; he supposedly fled to Italy during the Ottoman invasion of the Balkans and then changed his name to Peretti. There is zero historical evidence for any of these claims; the story was entirely unknown prior to the publication of this chronicle, and is the pure fanciful invention of Zmajevic.

Later Slavic revisionists, relying on Zmajevic's fables, adopted these same unfounded claims, adding their own twist and details to the story at whim. The 18th/19th century Serbian Orthodox priest Savo Nakićenović, for example, claimed that the father of Pope Sixtus was actually born to the Serbian Svilanović family, while other revisionists claim that Pope Sixtus himself was born in Montenegro and raised in the Eastern Orthodox religion before converting to Catholicism and moving to Italy (an entirely baseless claim without historical foundation or evidence).

These and countless other tales are the delusional fantasies of Slavic extremists and revisionists, who are painfully desperate to attach themselves to histories, accomplishments and personages which do not belong to them. Pope Sixtus V is yet another man in the long list of men who have fallen victim to Slavic revisionism, being kidnapped by the Slavs in their falsified rewriting of history.

See also:
Artists, Navigators, Popes, Scientists... “Croats”
Ivan Golub Claims Pope Sixtus V was “Croatian”
The Unfounded “Croatian” Origin of Pope Sixtus V

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The History of Pelagosa

Great Pelagosa (Pelagosa Grande), the largest island of Pelagosa

Pelagosa is a small archipelago in the Adriatic Sea, situated between the Italian peninsula and the Dalmatian coast. The archipelago is composed of two islands: Great Pelagosa (Pelagosa Grande) and Little Pelagosa (Pelagosa Piccola). Additionally there are a dozen other minor islets and rocks, including Caiola, Sasso di Tramontana and Sasso d'Ostro.

Geography

The geological structure of the archipelago is such that it forms a natural continuation of the Tremiti Islands (Isole Tremiti) and the Gargano Peninsula, and therefore is regarded as belonging geographically to Italy, rather than to Croatia. The islands are also closer to Italy than to the Croatian mainland, being only 53 km (33 mi) away from the Gargano Peninsula, and more than twice that distance away from Croatia.

Prehistory and Legend

Archeological evidence suggests that the islands of Pelagosa were inhabited in prehistoric times, but nothing else is known of its prehistory. Based on archeological findings it is believed that the paleolithic inhabitants were the same as those inhabiting the rest of ancient Italy.

According to legend, Diomedes – a veteran of the Trojan War – is said to have landed on Pelagosa and to have been buried there. Ancient Greek pottery has been discovered on Pelagosa, however no tomb belonging to Diomedes has ever been found and the legend is considered unhistorical.

Romans and Middle Ages

The official history of Pelagosa begins with the Romans, who colonized the islands and built a temple. The islands belonged to Rome for several centuries and was home to an early Latin Christian community. However, the islands were uninhabited during the Middle Ages.

At an unknown date Pelagosa became part of the Republic of Venice, but the islands did not maintain any permanent population.

Pelagosa was visited by Pope Alexander III on Ash Wednesday, March 9, 1177.

In the 13th century a Lusignan noble, exiled from Venice, occupied the island of Great Pelagosa. He and a band of pirates transformed the island into an armed fortress, from which they engaged in acts of piracy and terrorized local fishermen until being defeated by the Venetians.

Modern History

Pelagosa then belonged to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In 1843 it was repopulated for the first time since the Roman period, and was settled by fishermen from the island of Ischia near Naples. However, by the end of the 19th century the population had migrated back to the Italian mainland.

In 1861 the islands of Pelagosa became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

In 1873 the Austro-Hungarian Empire began to militarily occupy Pelagosa, thereby violating Italian sovereignty, but without protest from the Italian government. In 1875, during the occupation, a lighthouse was erected which still stands today. The question of Pelagosa, and its illegal occupation by Austria, was raised in an Italian parliamentary debate in 1891 but was ignored by the government.

Pelagosa was finally recaptured by Italy on July 11, 1915 during the First World War. The Italian military held and defended the island for the full duration of the war. On August 5, 1915 the Italian submarine Nereide was sunk by the Austrians near Pelagosa, killing all crew members. The captain, Lieutenant-Commander Carlo del Greco, was later awarded the Gold Medal of Military Valour.

In 1920, after the end of the war, Pelagosa was reincorporated into Italy, officially ending the Austro-Hungarian occupation. In the 1920's Pelagosa was settled by Italian fishermen from the nearby Tremiti Islands. A meteorological observatory, the church of San Michele, and two other buildings were constructed during this period. The islands initially formed part of the Italian province of Zara, but in 1941 were incorporated into the Italian province of Spalato.

Annexation to Yugoslavia

In 1947, after the end of the Second World War, Pelagosa was ceded to Communist Yugoslavia, together with the whole of Dalmatia, merely because it administratively formed part of the Italian provinces of Dalmatia. Thus it was that an entirely Italian archipelago, inhabited exclusively by Italians, located just off the Italian peninsula, and belonging to Italy for over 2,000 years, was arbitrarily torn from Italy and given to Yugoslavia – renamed “Palagruža” and artificially annexed to a Slavic state for the first time in history, despite never having any connection whatsoever to the Slavs, neither ethnically, nor politically, nor geographically, nor historically.

Today

In 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, the islands of Pelagosa were occupied by the newly-independent country of Croatia. Today the islands are once again uninhibited, except by temporary visitors, and remains part of the Republic of Croatia.


“Our brave sailors ejecting the Austrian fleet that attempted to capture the island of Pelagosa”

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Revisionist Claims of Vinko Pribojević

De origine successibusque Slavorum (On the Origin and Glory of the Slavs)
Vinko Pribojević — Italian edition, published in Venice, 1595

Vinko Pribojević (Vincentius Priboevius; Vincenzo Pribevo) was a 16th century Slavic monk and pseudo-historian. He is often credited as the first ideologue of pan-slavism and a precursor of the Illyrian movement, although these movements did not officially emerge until the 19th century.

Biography

He was born on the Dalmatian island of Lesina, in the Republic of Venice, in the 15th century. His existence is documented for the first time in 1511 in the Dominican convent of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, where he lived and studied as a monk. His name was recorded as Vincentius Dalmata (the name Vinko Pribojević is a recent slavicization of his Latin name).

In 1525 he traveled to Venice where he delivered a speech known as De origine successibusque Slavorum (On the Origin and Glory of the Slavs). In this speech he made many outrageous claims regarding the Slavs—none of which have any support in the academic world today, but are supported only by a fringe of radical Slavic extremists and ultra-nationalist revisionists. He later entered a Dominican convent in Ancona, Italy. He died sometime after 1555.

Pribojević was a minor and relatively unimportant figure for many centuries, and likely would have remained forgotten and unknown today if his works and ideas had not been revived by Slavic nationalists in the 19th century, and embraced especially by the Yugoslavs in the 20th century.

Claims on Ancient Slavs

Among his claims were that the ancient Macedonians, Mysians, Illyrians, Thracians, Dacians, Dardanians, Vandals, Goths, Gepids, Sarmatians, Dalmatians and Istrians were all Slavs. He further claimed that men such as Alexander the Great, Aristotle, Diocletian and St. Jerome were all Slavs.

These claims stand on their own as so ridiculous that they require no rebuttal.

Claims on Italy

In addition to these claims, he also attempted to argue that the lands of northeastern Italy are culturally and linguistically separated from the rest of Italy, and in fact belong to Slavdom, claiming that “those who live beyond Istria, as do the inhabitants of Trieste and Gorizia, converse only in the Slavic tongue.” These assertions were astonishingly false.

The city of Trieste had been a Latin-speaking city since its foundation more than a century before Christ, was a Romance-speaking city in the 15th and 16th centuries (the same in which Pribojević lived), and is still Romance-speaking today. The local dialect spoken in Trieste until the 19th century was Tergestino, a Ladin dialect related to Friulian. This dialect went extinct in the 19th century and was replaced with Triestino, a Venetian-Italian dialect. Today the predominant language is standard Italian. The language of Trieste was never Slavic at any point in history.

The Gorizian dialect, called Goriziano, is a Venetian-Italian dialect, and was established in Gorizia in the early 1500's. It was spoken both in the city of Gorizia and in the surrounding Gorizian hinterland during Pribojević's own lifetime. Prior to the development of Goriziano, Friulian dialects (derived from vulgar Latin) were spread over almost the entire Gorizia region, and were spoken also in the city of Gorizia. Also spoken in the region of Gorizia, in an area known as Bisiacaria, was a local dialect known as Bisiacco, an autochthonous variant of Venetian-Italian. Spoken in Grado was another autochthonous Venetian-Italian dialect called Gradese. The native languages of Gorizia, therefore, had always been Latin-derived Romance dialects, namely Friulian and Venetian-Italian.

The Slavic tongue is not native to Gorizia, but was first introduced into certain parts of the Gorizian countryside by a minority of Slavic immigrants who only arrived during the Middle Ages. The main centres of the region (Gorizia, Gradisca, Grado, Monfalcone, Aquileia, etc.) always maintained a majority Italian population, even into the Austro-Hungarian period, and still remain Italian today.

Pribojević then claimed that Istria is “by its location, by its customs and by its language separated from Italy.” Those acquainted with Istria and its history will immediately recognize the falseness of these assertions. The Istrian peninsula, besides being clearly geographically linked to Italy, formed an intricate part of Italy for over a millennium. Furthermore, the native language of Istria, called Istrioto, is a Romance language descended from Latin and closely-related to Italian (even regarded by some linguists as an Italian dialect). This language was famously spoken in all the Istrian cities for centuries, before being gradually replaced with standard Italian. All the cities of Istria continued to be Italian-speaking well into the 20th century. Yet Pribojević pretended that Istria, together with Trieste and Gorizia, somehow belonged to the Slavic world.

The Falsified “Donation” of Alexander

In 1532 Pribojević published a falsified document entitled Privilegium Alexandri Magni donatum Populis Slauis (The Donation of Alexander the Great to the Slavs) as an appendix to his 1525 speech in Venice. This fictional document, purported to have been written in the 4th century BC by the court of Alexander the Great, bestows vast amounts of land to the Slavs as a reward for supposedly being “allies” of Alexander during his military campaigns. Pribojević claimed that the document had been discovered in Constantinople and translated from Ancient Greek. However, this story was a fabricated lie. In reality the text originated in 13th century Poland and resurfaced in 14th century Bohemia. Evidently it later caught the attention of Pribojević, who decided to translate and publish the hoax document in Latin as “evidence” of Slavs having a prominent role in classical antiquity and an ancient right to occupy vast swaths of territory in Europe.

The fraudulent text is preserved in the 1532 edition of Pribojević's De origine successibusque Slavorum, held in the Metropolitan Library of the Archdiocese of Zagreb.

Conclusion

Vinko Pribojević and his absurd claims would be entirely insignificant to us today, except for the fact that it can be used to demonstrate a point. It demonstrates how far certain Slavic revisionists will go in their attempt to rewrite history; the length they will go to forge myths, lie to themselves and deceive others, in order to steal other peoples history, appropriate a foreign culture and usurp a heritage which does not belong to them, merely to justify their past misdeeds or to gratify their ultra-nationalistic pride. Although many of his claims are rejected even by most Slavs today, nevertheless Pribojević's same spirit of myth, deception and pseudo-historical revisionism continues to live on amongst certain radicals of the ex-Yugoslavia, particularly in modern Slovenia and Croatia.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ivan Golub Claims Pope Sixtus V was “Croatian”

(Taken from the journal “La voce del popolo”, No. 3400, March 10, 2012.)

“In the secret archives of the Vatican we have found documents that testify to the Croatian origin of Pope Sixtus V.” This declaration, made the day before yesterday evening by the theologian, writer and researcher Ivan Golub at the round table of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU) on “The Dome of St. Peter's in Rome”, has spread throughout all the Croatian media. “His father” – says Golub – “was from the Croatian coast and moved to Italy. Here he married an Italian woman with whom he had a son, Felice Peretti.” Echoed by other Croatian academics: the “Croatian spirit” of Sixtus V – they claim – “is perceptible even in the foundation of the Institute of St. Jerome [of the Illyrians or of the Slavs in Rome, editor's note], of which only one who knew the Illyrian language and was of Croatian descent could become a member.”

Laurana and Giorgio da Sebenico

The meeting at the HAZU was one long “hymn” to “Croatian” genius and ingenuity (real or imagined). Regarding the participants in the construction of St. Peter's Basilica, Andrija Mutnjaković claimed that “in addition to the Croatian Pope Sixtus V, there was also the Croatian architect Lucijan Vranjanin [Luciano Laurana or, in Latin, Lutiano Dellaurana, born in Aurana, near Zara, in 1420 and died in Pesaro in 1479, editor's note] and his brother [Francesco, Aurana, 1430 - Avignon, 1502, sculptor and architect who played a leading role in spreading the Renaissance aesthetic in Naples, Sicily and France, ed], who were inspired by the school of Juraj Dalmatinac [Giorgio Orsini, or Giorgio da Sebenico, Zara, early 15th century - Sebenico, 1473/75, ed], the builder of the Cathedral of Sebenico.”

The Inevitable Boscovich

And of course, as Croatian academics always do, Žarko Dadić added to this list the “Croatian” scientist Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich, whose influence was decisive in the reconstruction of the monumental dome of Michelangelo, which was consolidated and finished by Giacomo della Porta. “At that time there arose disputes among the builders who relied on experience and those who took as a starting point knowledge of mathematics and statics,” said Dadić. Eventually the latter prevailed and therefore the “evaluations of the Croatian scientist Ruđer Bošković”.

From the Antemurale to the Heart of the Roman Church

The Croats, therefore, having already claimed to be the Antemurale Christianitatis, now even claim they “saved” the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, one of the symbols of the Church of Rome. Regarding Pope Sixtus V, the Tough Pope, we know that for some time they have speculated on the origins of the pontiff, attempting to demonstrate his Croatian ancestry. But so far in the official history of the Papacy there has never been any pope of “Croatian nationality.” If anything, according to numerous documented investigations, it is only proven that Pope Sixtus V, born Felice Peretti (Grottammare, 13 December 1520/1521 - Rome, 27 August 1590), had a friendly relationship with Dalmatian Croats.

From Krušćica or Kruševica to Peretti

The ancestors of Sixtus V are claimed (by Croatian academics) to have originated in Kruševica, Krušćica or Kruševo. According to some texts of the University of Cambridge and the research of Croatian historians as Božidar Vidov, Bazilije Pandžić, Stjepan Krasić, Ivica Mlivončić, in the papal coat of arms of Sixtus V we can “read” important references about his origins: it shows, in fact, a lion, three pears, a castel and a star. It is argued that the three golden pears at the top, under the strip depicting a six-pointed star and a stylized castle, are an allusion to his place of origin (from “Kruška”, in Italian “pear” and hence the name “Peretti”).

The archbishop Andrija Zmajević, born in Perasto, wrote in his “Chronicle” that the father of Sixtus V, known by the Italian name of “Piergentile”, was born in the village of Bjelske Kruševice, near Cattaro, as a member of the Šišić family. The nickname of this Piergentile was “Peretto”, and from here therefore, according to Zmajević, would be born the last name “Peretti”, adopted by the future pope only at the age of 31 years, in 1551. Up to that time he was called “Felice di Montalto”, from the name of the town in the Marche (Montalto, in the province of Ascoli Piceno) – a region where today there also lives a Croatian community – in which he grew up as a kid and where his ancestors, Zmajević claimed, had settled after fleeing from the Turkish invasions, like many other Dalmatians. From Montalto, the family then moved to Grottamare to escape the oppression of the Duke of Urbino, and here was born the future pope.

Felice as a child entered the Franciscan Order, was noticed by Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, protector of his order, by Ghislieri (later Pope Pius V) and by Caraffa (later Pope Paul IV) and finally he ascended the papal throne on 24 April 1585.

The Tough Pope

Sixtus adjusted finances, promoted public works – including the completion of the dome of St. Peter's – but in his larger political relations showed himself to be a visionary and vacillating. He entertained fantastic ambitions, such as the annihilation of the Turks, the conquest of Egypt, transporting the Holy Sepulchre to Italy, and the ascension of his nephew to the throne of France. He died August 27, 1590, and posterity recognizes him as one of the greatest popes: although impulsive, obstinate, severe and autocratic, he was open-minded and devoted himself to his business with energy and determination which often led him to success.

Golub did not say much, at least not on this occasion, regarding the alleged sources found in the Vatican archives. It also remains to be seen whether the adjective “Croatian” is merely a reference to him coming from a region which today is part of Croatia (remember the case of the Bronze Statue from Lussino, called the Athlete of Croatia, which is actually a Greek statue) or if it indicates descent from a “race”, and therefore a question of blood. In any case we expect “Enlightenment”.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Unfounded “Croatian” Origin of Pope Sixtus V

(Written by Raffaele Tassotti, taken from the journal “La voce del popolo”, No. 3402, March 13, 2012.)

The Culpable Stupidity of Croatian Pseudo-Historians

Already since 1987 – at this point I was mayor for about two years in Montalto, home of Sixtus V and the immemorial Peretti family, when Marijan Zugaj published the volume “Sisto V tra Oriente ed Occidente” – we became aware of the partisanship and arrogance of certain “historians” who, in order to prove a preconceived thesis, are prepared to commit all sorts of crimes against historical criticism. Zugaj pretended in his book to “prove” the Croatian origin of the Peretti, and therefore of Sixtus V, and claimed that his father Piergentile, called Peretto, was a Croatian immigrant.

The attempt, somewhat cunning, was totally demolished, brick by brick, in 1990 by Isidoro Gatti, OFM Conv., with a massive research volume of more than 600 pages, based on thorough investigations and capillaries in the archives of Montalto (where no Croatian “historians” ever went to verify), Venice, the Vatican and the College of St. Jerome. We thought that would be enough; we were wrong.

Zugaj, furious at having been proven wrong, revised his thesis regarding the arrival of Peretto (father of Felice/Sixtus V) in Marche from the Croatian coast; he admitted he was wrong, but raised the theory of Croatian origin again with a pamphlet entitled “Antenati di Sisto V a Montalto non documentate oltre quattro generazioni” (Rome, 1999), that is, he already admits that for at least four generations the Perettti were in Montalto.

We responded to Zugaj's virulent and offensive brochure with another work by a four-handed research team (Isidoro Gatti - Raffaele Tassotti, “Ancora su Sisto V papa piceno – commento a un recente opuscolo”, Acquaviva Picena, 1999). Once again we thought that documented history was sufficient to dispel the myth. Unfortunately not.

Today we read that a certain Ivan Golub claims to have “found secret documents in the Vatican archives that testify to the Croatian origin of Pope Sixtus V”, and that even his father Peretto was a Croat who immigrated to Piceno, thus reviving the thesis already denied by the same Zugaj. Faced with such stupidity, we no longer desire to be kind and polite.

It has been demonstrated incontrovertibly that the documents in the archives of St. Jerome of the Croats were falsified in the middle of the 17th century by the Croatian friar and swindler Jeronim Paštrić, who also constructed the false Sistine genealogy given to the naive Bartolomeo Piazza, author of the “Hierarchia Cardinalizia”, because they were published and were proven to be invented when compared to authentic documents in the notarial and historical archives of Montalto, documents covering several centuries, written by several scribes and notaries, unanimous in their witness to the truth.

Now Golub has found what? Other forgeries designed to prove the unprovable? He does not even cite them, but only announces them!

We are prepared to do something serious: both Fr. Isidoro Gatti (I believe I can speak on his behalf) and myself are ready to have a debate on this matter in a public conference in Rome, at St. Jerome, at the Vatican, or wherever. I repeat we are ready: we challenge them with the classic slap on the cheek. We await a response.

Artists, Navigators, Popes, Scientists... “Croats”

(Taken from the journal “La voce del popolo”, No. 3404, March 15, 2012.)

Here we go again. The list of famous people who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human knowledge being passed off as Croats increases. The brigade of great names includes: the explorer Marco Polo (Marko Polo), the architect Giorgio Orsini (Juraj Dalmatinac), the philosopher Francesco Patrizio (Frane/Franjo Petrić, Petrišević or Petrišić – the counterfeiters have not yet agreed on the final version of his name), the scientist Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich (Ruđer Bošković), the businessman Andrea Lodovico Adamich (Andrija Ljudevit Adamić) and still many others, including a pontiff: Sixtus V! The remaining men – who we do not mention because we could fill pages –, just like the above listed, have all been shamefully officially croatized.

One Way Reasoning

On the other hand, paper is patient. It is sufficient that a person is born on the soil which now belongs to Croatia, or, in some cases, who simply arrived from other shores, and they are passed off as “Croatian”. There is no shame, we are now faced with a brazenness that knows no limits. Even those who fought for Italianity, in some cases, are now grotesquely called “Croats”, especially if the last name is not proper “Tuscan”. Or they use the label “talijanaš”, i.e. a renegade of the Fatherland who joined another nation. This formula also serves to diminish the contribution of the autochthonous Italian component of these territories. This whimsical reasoning, however, is only applied one way. Nobody, for example, would dare to define as “Austrian” or “German” a nineteenth-century man of prominence such as the Bishop of Djakovo, Msgr. Josip Juraj Strossmayer, who is considered one of the fathers of the Croatian nation. The scholars of other countries have other historiographical problems to deal with instead of this stupidity.

Havoc and Looting: the Bajamonti Case

The Adriatic region, due to its heterogeneous nature, can not be classified “sic et simpliciter” as Croatian: that is unhistorical and has no foundation. The counterfeiters on duty have disrupted the onomastics of family names; the newly-coined Slavic names are a mess made by those who despise and literally plundered a legacy that does not belong to them, by passing it off as their own. Giulio Bajamonti in the meantime has been renamed “Julije” and is presented as a “Croatian” encyclopedist. By what right do they arrogate the power to assign an identity to a person who in the first place was a native of Spalato of Italian culture? In the second half of the nineteenth century another great man of the Diocletian city, the mayor Antonio Bajamonti, speaking at the Diet of Zara against the attacks of those who set out to decapitate the Dalmatian Autonomist Party, said: “We'll be Slavs tomorrow too, but never Croats.”

Identity Defined in Advance

By this we mean that it makes no sense to attribute a priori the identity of people of the past. They belong to a dimension that is not ours and, consequently, to grasp it, we must immerse ourselves in the context of a given historical age. Otherwise we would have to speak of the historical “Turk” Herodotus and the “Russian” philosopher Immanuel Kant because they were born, respectively, in Halicarnassus (now in Turkey) and Königsberg, former East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, a city of the Russian Federation).

Only a few years ago in Nafpaktos (Lepanto) they held a ceremony and a plaque was posted – in Croatian, Greek and English, but not Italian – in honor of those who, under their breath, some identify as a “Croatian victory” and in memory of dead Croats. The issue had been proposed and addressed already a few decades before, even in academia, on the 400th anniversary of the 1571 naval battle in the waters of the Gulf of Patras.

The Victory of Lepanto

The imposing military deployment of the Holy League was comprised of soldiers, sailors and rowers. That there were also some Croats among them is undeniable; the Republic of Venice had recruited thousands of men from every corner of its possessions. But to speak, however, of “Croatian galleys” captained by Croats – with mangled slavicized names, of course – is simply absurd. The homage was to the thousands of Istrians, Dalmatians and Bocchesians involved and/or killed. According to nationalistic logic, these men were all "Croats”, without distinction; not even a mention of the participation of the Italians of those same regions. They do not exist apparently.

Sixtus V

Now there is much talk about the supposed Croatian origin of Pope Sixtus V, born Felice Peretti. Scholars who have worked seriously on archival sources have long demonstrated the inconsistency of this thesis. Despite this, there are still certain environments, sometimes religious, as with the Institute of St. Jerome of the Illyrians, and sometimes cultural, as with the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, who refuse to give it up. They always announce breakthroughs and flaunt the existence of documents, which, of course, have never been presented nor published.

Santorio, Absolutely Not Svetina

The last strange discovery was another load of nonsense: that of the alleged “Slovenian” origin of Santorio Santorio, dubbed “Svetina” by certain men who pen imaginitive tales attempting to pass him off as a Slav. But failing in their clumsy operation, without a shred of evidence, they cunningly escape or hide behind generic and pathetic statements. Now in the “Croatian Pantheon” they wish to add a Pope. We await the next boastful farce.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blessed Agostino Casotti: A New “Croat” for Puglia

(Taken from the Associazione Nazionale Venezia Giulia e Dalmazia, April 17, 2012.)

After the would-be theft of Pope Sixtus V by the Croats, clumsily attempted by a “researcher” in Zagreb who believes that the Peretti coat of arms secretly alludes to a supposed Illyrian origin, now Blessed Agostino Casotti, a native of Traù, very dear to Lucera – whose diocese he governed for one year between 1322 and 1323 and which in recent months has taken part in the process of canonization –, is being claimed to have Croatian nationality.

“We are forming” – according to a statement issued by elements of the Curia – “the diocesan organizations that need to assess the so-called reputation of holiness of the Blessed, to ascertain whether in the course of many years, the veneration of the Christian people has remained unaltered. Additionally, there will also be a great work of raising awareness, so that through his intercession a miracle may arrive, which alone is needed to satisfy the investigations and gain recognition of his canonization by the Congregation of Saints. This means that in order to get the miracle, one must ask through the intercession of the Blessed.”

And of course “Croatia is bustling with activity in this direction, and is also taking advantage of the numerous contacts made in recent years between the two Dioceses, especially at the initiative of the incumbent Bishop Mons. Francesco Zerrillo and now the confrere in service Mons. Domenico Cornacchia.”

The new Croatian ID card of the future Saint will of course bear the name of “Augustin Kažotić”, and his place of birth will be listed as “Trogir” (which today falls under the sovereignty of Croatia). It is the finest example of misappropriation of a historical figure who lived in a time and in a place which did not have anything to do with Croatia. Just to remind the readers, the Dalmatian city of Traù, one of the most splendid examples of a Renaissance city, distinctly Venetian and Italian in its sumptuous architecture, was founded by the Greeks in the fourth century BC with the name of Tragurion; it later became Roman, and from the sixth century onward was part of Byzantium. From the 11th century it was variously dependent on Venice and Hungary. But in 1322 (right when the Blessed Casotti was assigned to the Diocese of Lucera) the city aligned itself with Venice in order to prevent falling into the hands of Croatian feudal lords. After a brief period of dependence on the crown of Hungary, in 1420 Traù returned to Venice and remained there for nearly four centuries.

“The most faithful testimony of this material and cultural richness” – wrote Lucio Toth in his historical-legal treatise on the Dalmatian cities – “are the citizens Statutes, [...] republished recently by both the Senate of the Italian Republic (together with the Statutes of other regions belonging to Italian culture) and by the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Belgrade.” Statutes which establish and regulate for the flourishing Dalmatian Comunes “organs typical of Italian public law”, to whose sphere of civilization and culture they have historically belonged for many centuries.

Blessed Agostino Casotti - August 3

The body of Blessed Agostino Casotti, which rests in the
Basilica cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta
in Lucera, Puglia, Italy

Blessed Agostino Casotti, also known as Augustine of Lucera, was born circa 1260 AD in the Dalmatian city of Traù. He was born into the noble Casotti family, of Venetian origin. At age 15 he entered the Dominican Order at Spalato, where he spent a few years before leaving to study at the University of Paris in 1286. He then returned to his native Dalmatia where he founded several Dominican convents. He also spent time in Italy attempting to reconcile the rival political factions, and later went to Bosnia to combat the Bogomil heresy. Afterwards he went to Hungary, where he met and befriended Cardinal Niccolò Boccasini—the future Pope Benedict XI. The pope personally consecrated and appointed him Bishop of Zagreb in 1303. As bishop, Blessed Agostino presided over several disciplinary synods; founded a Dominican priory, a library and a cathedral school; and cared for the poor. He also attended the ecumenical Council of Vienne in 1311-1312.

Blessed Agostino was opposed to the tyranny of King Charles I of Hungary and the Croatian feudal lord Mladen II (a vassal of Hungary who terrorized Agostino's native city of Traù). As a result, in 1318 he was forced into exile by the King. In January 1322, the Dalmatian cities of Sebenico and Traù rebelled against Mladen II and voluntarily joined the Republic of Venice. This angered King Charles, who desired to subject all Dalmatia to the Hungarian crown. After four years of being exiled and unable to return to his see in Zagreb, in 1322 – at the suggestion of King Robert of Naples – Agostino was appointed Bishop of Lucera by Pope John XXII.

The city of Lucera, located in Puglia, Italy, had previously been the site of a bloody conflict between Christians and Muslims. After the Muslims were completely expelled from Sicily in the 13th century, the city of Lucera was the only city in Italy where the remaining Muslims were permitted to live. In 1300, a Christian army decimated nearly the entire Muslim population of Lucera. The city was destroyed and the Muslim community thereafter disappeared. It was in this environment that Blessed Agostino was charged with the duty of restoring Christianity in the region.

Agostino initiated many public works in Lucera: he created an orphanage for girls; founded a hospital; and reconstructed and expanded the city walls. He also decreed that the city of Lucera should be known by its previous name of Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory). Within a single year he had transformed the city and Diocese of Lucera. Realizing that death was near, he retired to a Dominican convent in Lucera, where he died in the odor of sanctity on August 3, 1323.

After his death, he was venerated by the people of Lucera and his cult quickly spread. In around 1640, Pietro Casotti, one of his descendants, erected an altar in his honour in the Cathedral of Traù. His body rests today in the Basilica cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta in Lucera, Italy.

He was beatified by Pope Clement XI on April 4, 1702. His feast is celebrated on August 3.

Miracles

Blessed Agostino was known for performing many miracles. In particular, he is said to have had the gift of healing. During his episcopal consecration in Rome, he cured the rheumatism of Pope Benedict XI when his head was touched by the pain-stricken hands of the pope. He also planted a lime tree in Zagreb which cured many people. It is said that the tree was even respected by the Turks when they invaded the city.

Writings

Blessed Agostino was distinguished for his extraordinary doctrinal and theological knowledge. He wrote a treatise against witchcraft and magic entitled Dicta super quaestionibus de haeresi, haeretico, superstitione, sortilegio (On Superstition), and a treatise on poverty entitled Consilium de paupertate Christi et Apostolorum (On the Poverty of Christ and His Apostles).

Croatian revisionism

Blessed Agostino Casotti is described by modern Croatian sources as “the first beatified Croat” and as “one of the first Croatian theologians”, and his name has been croatized to “Augustin Kažotić”. This is one of the countless examples of modern Croats deliberately attempting to rewrite history. Unfortunately many ignorant people, misled by this recent deception, have blindly followed this distortion of history and have come to accept the false claim that Agostino Casotti was a Croat.

The Casotti family was of Venetian origin; branches of the family existed in Traù, in Padua and also in Tuscany, all bound by their common Venetian roots. To this noble family belonged Blessed Agostino Casotti. This is confirmed by the Yearbook of Italian Nobility (Annuario della nobiltà italiana, 1882), an annual genealogical publication on the noble families of Italy.

Casotti spent 14 years in Zagreb as a bishop, however his tenure in Zagreb is not the reason he is claimed by the Croats. The reason he is claimed to be Croatian is because he was born in Dalmatia, a region which today is part of Croatia, but which previously was Venetian and underwent profound ethnic and political changes in the 19th and 20th centuries, culminating in the ethnic cleansing of the native Italian population by the Yugoslav Communists at the end of the Second World War. This was followed by a largely successful propaganda campaign designed to erase the Italian history of the region and replace it with a rewritten slavicized version of history intended to justify Yugoslav expansionism, pretending that the region, it culture and its historical figures were all Slavic.

However, Agostino Casotti was neither a Croat nor a Slav. He was a native of Traù, a Latin city in Dalmatia, born into a family of Venetian descent. To pretend that Casotti was a Croat, simply because he was born in a city which today belongs to Croatia, would be akin to calling Immanuel Kant (a native of Königsberg, Prussia) a “Russian” simply because the city in which he was born has been cleansed of its German-speaking population, renamed Kaliningrad and annexed to Russia.

The city of Traù, like the other cities of Istria and Dalmatia, was a Latin city of Romance language and Italian culture, and remained so until the 20th century. To call Blessed Agostino Casotti a “Croat” is an act of perverse revisionism. It constitutes a crime against history, a crime against the memory of those who were murdered and expelled from these lands by the Yugoslavs, and a crime against the native Latin people who created that rich cultural heritage of Istria and Dalmatia which the Slavs today have misappropriated for themselves.