Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Famous Italians From Istria

Some notable Istrian Italians (from left to right): Vittorio Carpaccio, Santorio Santorio,
Francesco Trevisani, Giuseppe Tartini, Giovanni Battista Piranesi & Nazario Sauro

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: Istria)

Brief biographies of some famous Istrian Italians, an indigenous ethnic group from Istria. The Istrian Italians have an illustrious history and have made notable contributions to culture, religion, military, politics, literature, arts, sciences and civilization, which should not be forgotten.

Istria is a historical region of Italy, but is today divided between Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. Towards the end of World War II the Istrian Italians were subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Yugoslavs, who occupied the land and annexed it to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947. About 350,000 Italians from Dalmatia, Istria and the surrounding region of Julian Venetia were forced into exile after the war. Their homes and property were confiscated and their cities were occupied by the Yugoslavs. The Istrian Italians and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

  Silvano Abba - Italian pentathlete and soldier
  Andrea Amoroso - Italian patriot; founder of the Istrian Society of Archeology and History
  Andrea Antico da Montona - Italian music printer, editor, publisher, composer and priest
  Gianni Bartoli - Italian engineer and politician
  Matteo Giulio Bartoli - Italian linguist and philologist
  Felice Bennati - Italian politician and patriot
  Bernardo Benussi - Italian medieval historian
  Bartolomeo Biasoletto - Italian pharmacist, botanist and phycologist
  Francesco Bonifacio - Italian priest; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Egidio Bullesi - Italian sailor and shipyard worker
  Gian Rinaldo Carli - Italian writer, economist, historian, politician and patriot
  Stefano Carli - Italian writer, poet and dramatist
  Benedetto Carpaccio - Italian painter
  Vittore Carpaccio - Italian painter
  Diego de Castro - Italian historian, teacher and statistician
  Giorgio Alberto Chiurco - Italian doctor, historian and politician
  Bartolomeo delle Cisterne - Italian architect and hydraulic engineer
  Carlo Combi - Italian teacher and patriot
  Norma Cossetto - Italian student; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Luciano Delbianco - Italian politician, economist and electrical engineer
  Cesare Dell'Acqua - Italian painter
  Iolanda Dobrilla - Italian refugee and teenager; killed by Communist Partisans
  Aldo Fabbro - Italian footballer; died in the Allied Bombing of Pola
  Fabio Filzi - Italian soldier and patriot
  Carlo De Franceschi - Italian historian, writer, politician and patriot
  Girolamo de Franciscis - Italian bishop
  Fides Histriae Gambini - Italian exile; last descendant of the Gambini family of Capodistria
  Pier Antonio Quarantotti Gambini - Italian author, journalist, librarian and exile
  Pio Riego Gambini - Italian soldier, journalist, patriot and Mazzinian
  Girolamo Gravisi - Italian archaeologist, scholar and philologist
  Lucrezio Gravisi - Italian soldier; killed by the Turks in Dalmatia
  Nicolò Gravisi - Italian Marchese and captain of the guard
  Pietro Gravisi - Italian Marchese and commander; fought in the Battle of Lepanto
  Giovanni Grion - Italian soldier and patriot
  Carlotta Grisi - Italian ballerina
  Annibale Grisonio - Italian priest, inquisitor and canon lawyer
  Antonio Grossich - Italian physician and politician
  Antonio Ive - Italian linguist and ethnologist
  Domenico Lovisato - Italian geologist, academic and patriot
  Tomaso Luciani - Italian politician and patriot
  Antonio Madonizza - Italian lawyer, journalist and politician
  Giovanni Manzini - Italian lawyer and poet
  Bernardo Parentino - Italian painter
  Bonifacio di Parenzo - Italian bishop
  Giuseppe Picciola - Italian writer, teacher and patriot
  Francesco Piranesi - Italian engraver, etcher, architect and politician
  Laura Piranesi - Italian engraver and etcher
  Giovanni Battista Piranesi - Italian etcher, sculptor and architectural theorist
  Pietro Piranesi - Italian politician
  Luigi Pirano - Italian Franciscan and ecclesiastic
  Gennaro di Pola - Italian patriarch
  Pietro Polani - Italian crusader; Doge of Venice
  Giovanni Quarantotto - Italian poet, historian and patriot
  Donato Ragosa - Italian pharmacist and patriot
  Antonio Santin - Italian bishop
  Santorio Santorio - Italian physiologist, physician, professor and inventor
  Nazario Sauro - Italian sailor and patriot
  Cecilia Seghizzi - Italian composer, painter and teacher
  Augusto Cesare Seghizzi - Italian composer and choral conductor
  Bonifacio Sergi - Italian nobleman; founder of the House of Pola-Castropola
  Ernesto Sestan - Italian historian
  Antonio Smareglia - Italian composer
  Francesco Spongia - Italian composer, organist and priest
  Domenico del Tacco - Italian naval captain; commander in the Battle of Lepanto
  Antonio Tarsia - Italian baroque composer
  Giuseppe Tartini - Italian baroque composer and violinist
  Pietro Tradonico - Italian noble; Doge of Venice
  Angelo Trevisani - Italian painter and copperplate engraver
  Francesco Trevisani - Italian painter
  Umberto Urbani - Italian writer, translator, teacher and patriot
  Andrea da Valle - Italian architect
  Silvio Vardabasso - Italian geologist
  Pier Paolo Vergerio il Vecchio - Italian pedagogist, statesman and canon lawyer
  Licio Visintini - Italian naval lieutenant
  Mario Visintini - Italian pilot and fighter ace
  Biagio Zulian - Italian captain and war hero; killed by the Turks in Candia
  Vittorio Italico Zupelli - Italian general and politician

Friday, July 7, 2017

Famous Italians From Fiume and the Quarnaro

Some notable Fiuman and Quarnerine Italians (from left to right): Francesco Patrizi,
Giovanni Biagio Luppis, Giovanni de Ciotta, Maria Crocifissa Cosulich,
Giorgio Alessandro Conighi & Agostino Straulino

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: The Quarnaro)

Brief biographies of some famous Italians from the Quarnaro, also known as the Quarnero or Carnaro. The Italians, the indigenous population of the region, have an illustrious history and have made notable contributions to culture, religion, military, politics, literature, arts, sciences and civilization, which should not be forgotten.

The Quarnaro is a historical Italian region and gulf in the northern Adriatic Sea, located between Istria and Dalmatia. It is composed of several small islands and the mainland city of Fiume. The main islands are Cherso, Lussino, Veglia and Arbe. The latter two islands technically belong to a strait known as the Quarnerolo (“Little Quarnaro”), but they are generally considered part of the larger Quarnaro geographical region with the city of Fiume at the head.

Today the region is entirely occupied by Croatia. Towards the end of World War II the Italians of the Quarnaro were subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Yugoslavs, who occupied the lands and annexed them to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947. About 350,000 Italians from Istria, Dalmatia, the Quarnaro and the surrounding region of Julian Venetia were forced into exile after the war. Their homes and cities were confiscated and occupied by the Yugoslavs. The Italians of the Quarnaro and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

  Antonio Adrario - Italian poet
  Nicolò Udina Algarotti - Italian philologist, musicologist and priest
  Icilio Bacci - Italian politician
  Ipparco Baccich - Italian soldier and patriot
  Mario Blasich - Italian physician and politician
  Lodovico Cicuta - Italian naval captain; died in the Battle of Lepanto
  Giovanni de Ciotta - Italian politician, engineer, philanthropist and soldier
  Giacoma Giorgia Colombis - Italian nun and abbess
  Carlo Colussi - Italian journalist and politician
  Carlo Alessandro Conighi - Italian engineer and politician
  Carlo Leopoldo Conighi - Italian architect and engineer
  Giorgio Alessandro Conighi - Italian engineer and fireman
  Maria Crocifissa Cosulich - Italian nun, teacher, polyglot and religious foundress
  Gasparo Craglietto - Italian sea captain and art collector
  Giovanni de Dominis - Italian naval captain; fought in the Battle of Lepanto
  Colane Drascio - Italian naval captain; fought in the Battle of Lepanto
  Oretta Fiume - Italian actress
  Enrico Fonda - Italian painter
  Riccardo Gigante - Italian journalist, entrepreneur and politician
  Giovanni Biagio Luppis - Italian inventor and naval officer; invented the torpedo
  Arturo de Maineri - Italian politician, mathematician and soldier
  Giovanni Moise - Italian linguist, grammarian, writer, priest and abbot
  Alfonso Maria Orlini - Italian Franciscan priest
  Francesco Patrizi - Italian philosopher and writer
  Stefano Petris - Italian professor, soldier and patriot
  Raffaele Mario Radossi - Italian Franciscan priest and bishop
  Nicolò Rode - Italian sailor and Olympic champion
  Francesco Salata - Italian politician, historian and patriot
  Giovanni Simonetti - Italian painter
  Gino Sirola - Italian lawyer, professor and politician
  Nevio Skull - Italian entrepreneur and politician
  Agostino Straulino - Italian sailor, admiral and Olympic champion
  Duilio Susmel - Italian journalist and historian
  Edoardo Susmel - Italian teacher, historian and politician
  Nivio Toich - Italian pharmacist, biochemist and political activist
  Antonio Udina - Italian barber and sacristan; last speaker of the Dalmatian language
  Giovanni Host-Venturi - Italian historian, politician and patriot
  Riccardo Zanella - Italian politician

Friday, June 2, 2017

Trieste, the Most Italian City

Trieste, Italy — “The Most Italian City”

Trieste is known as la città più italiana or la città italianissima – the Most Italian City. This nickname stems from the city's ardent patriotism and its history as the capital of Italian Irredentism.

The famed “cosmopolitanism” of Trieste only dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century. Its mythical reputation as a “cosmopolitan city” derives from foreign authors who witnessed Trieste's demographic and economic boom of the 1850's and 1860's, when Trieste rapidly rose from a modest city to a major commercial port. After this boom, there was a sudden influx of holiday tourism in Trieste, and the city attracted famous men such as Sigmund Freud and James Joyce, which led to the myth that Trieste was “cosmopolitan”.

This false characterization of Trieste neglects the fact that during this same time period, in the aftermath of Italian Unification (1848-1870), there arose in Trieste a movement of staunch Italian patriotism known as Irredentism (earning it the nickname ‘the Most Italian City’) and a political struggle between the Italians and the Habsburgs. In this period there was ethnic discrimination against Italians by the Austrian imperial government, an attempt at ethnic cleansing by the same government, a struggle for independence and even an assassination attempt against the Emperor. This struggle lasted until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. Trieste in those years was anything but “cosmopolitan”.

Additionally, there is the similar myth of Trieste as a “melting pot” and as an archetype of “multiculturalism and diversity”. In reality, cities such as London (where Englishmen are a minority), Paris (with entire quarters inhabited by Africans) and Vienna (with its strong Jewish community) are far more diverse and multicultural than Trieste is or ever has been. Yet no one would deny that these cities are properly English, French and Austrian, not merely politically and geographically, but also because the dominant language, culture and ethnic composition of these cities has always been English, French and Austrian, respectively (at least from the Middle Ages until recent times).

However due to political controversies, especially those surrounding Fascism and the Second World War, Trieste is treated differently and is depicted as a “cultural crossroads” and as a “multi-ethnic city” supposedly divided equally between Italians, Germans and Slavs.

Such a mischaracterization is contradicted by the fact that Trieste has been an astonishingly homogeneous city (linguistically, culturally and ethnically) given its very long history: the city has been populated by Italians since its foundation more than a century before Christ, and has ever retained an Italian majority; in its millennial history it has known only two languages: Latin, and the Italian dialects which developed from Latin; and its culture has always been primarily influenced by Latin civilization, having never lost its connection to the Italian world throughout the centuries. In brief, the dominant language, culture and ethnic composition of Trieste is and always has been Latin-Italian. Up until the 19th century Trieste was inhabited exclusively by Italians, with only a negligible amount of German and Slavic minorities.

Unlike many other cities in Europe which were divided between peoples of different religions, languages, cultures and ethnic groups, the city of Trieste was never a bilingual city; it was never divided along religious lines; and it was never split along ethnic, cultural or linguistic grounds. Trieste has always been overwhelmingly dominated at any given time by only one religion, one language, one culture and populated predominantly by one ethnic group. In ancient times the city was characterized by the Roman religion, Latin language, Roman culture and Italian population. From the Middle Ages until today it has been characterized by the Roman Catholic religion, the Italian language, Latin culture and the same Italian population.

Trieste represents the exact antitheses of cities such as Brussels, Klagenfurt, Vilnius and Minsk, which for many centuries were hopelessly divided by competing languages, cultures, religions and ethnic groups. The city of Trieste, on the other hand, has always maintained its Italian homogeneity, despite the threats and attempts made by the Habsburg regime between 1866-1918.

Despite influxes of migrants, which every major city experiences, still to this day Trieste is noticeably Italian in every way: from the customs of the people to the language spoken in the piazzas, from the civic architecture to the Venetian-esque canal, from the charming cafés to the narrow streets, Trieste resembles a typical Italian city in all aspects. Its culture, its appearance and its atmosphere are distinctly Italian and would not fit in any other country except Italy. This is in stark contrast to cities like London and Paris, which are so steeped in diversity that they have become almost unrecognizable and in some areas barely even resemble a European city.

Not only is Trieste not a “melting pot” nor “multi-ethnic city”, but its millennial Italianity has often been underestimated and depreciated by outsiders, while the importance of the German and Slavic elements have been grossly distorted and exaggerated to absurd levels by foreign authors who know little about Trieste's history prior to its economic boom. At the same time, the historical tragedies suffered by the Italian population under Habsburg Imperialism and Yugoslav Communism, and the attempts to destroy Trieste's Italian character in the 19th and 20th centuries, have been almost wholly suppressed or ignored by most historians since the end of World War II.

Trieste is a proud Italian city. The anti-Italian policies of the Habsburgs and their failed attempt to forcibly Slavicize the city prior to World War I, together with the 42-day occupation of the Yugoslav Communists and the Foibe Massacres at the end of World War II (amounting to two attempts at ethnic cleansing in under a century), in addition to the decade-long military occupation by the Western Allies after the end of the war, has all only served to reinforce the Italian patriotism of Trieste. Today Trieste remains one of the most proud and patriotic cities in all of Italy and is home to a number of patriotic, nationalist and irredentist organizations devoted to defending Trieste and its millennial Italian civilization.

The idea of Trieste as a “cultural crossroads” and “multicultural melting pot” is a myth perpetuated for political reasons. This holds true not only for Trieste, but also for the former Italian territories that were annexed to Communist Yugoslavia after the Second World War, namely Istria and Dalmatia.

To read more about the history of Trieste, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, see the article: Making Trieste Slavic: Ethnic Cleansing and the Attempted Slavicization of Trieste

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Croatian Economy Reliant on Tourism

The Travel & Tourism Economy Map (2017)

An economic map published by howmuch.net on April 26, 2017, based on the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, shows that Croatia is one of the countries most dependent on tourism and travel in the entire world. In fact, Croatia ranks number two in the world, second only to Malta. This does not mean that Croatia is the most-visited country, but merely that its economy strongly relies on travel – more so than any other country besides Malta – due to a lack of industry and exports.

The Croatian economy is very small, so small that 15% of its GDP is dependent on tourism. Most of this tourism is to the historically Italian regions of Istria, Dalmatia and the Quarnaro. The old Italian city of Ragusa – formerly the Republic of Ragusa – is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. Other former Italian cities such as Zara, Spalato, Sebenico, Traù, Pola, Parenzo, Rovigno, Curzola and Lesina are also popular with tourists.

These historical Italian regions are littered with ancient Roman villas and temples, Roman amiptheatres, Christian basilicas and cathedrals, and hundreds of Venetian squares, structures and Renaissance artworks: two thousand years of Italian heritage. It is not difficult to understand why these spots are so popular among tourists and so jealously coveted by Croatia.

Most of Croatia's tourist destinations outside Zagreb are located in Istria, Dalmatia and the Quarnaro. It comes as no surprise that six of Croatia's seven UNESCO World Heritage sites are also located in these territories, which are full of ancient Roman culture and Italian artistic heritage. Meanwhile, tourism in Slavonia (one of the historical regions of Croatia) is desperately poor and they are in the process of trying to develop a tourist industry to attract more visitors. However they will not be surpassing the Istrian and Dalmatian coasts any time soon.

Croatia is a poor country; it currently ranks as the 13th poorest country in Europe by GDP per capita according to Aneki World Rankings and Records, falling even farther behind than countries such as Greece, Portugal and Latvia, and ranking only slightly higher than Belarus and Turkey. Croatia's economy is being propped up by tourism to historical Italian regions. Without tourism, Croatia would have almost no notable economy to speak of; and without these historic Italian regions, Croatia's economy would partially if not completely collapse. In the very least it would face a grave economic crisis, as roughly one tenth of its economy would disappear.

This reliance upon travel and tourism helps explain why even the Croatian tourism industry participates in a disgraceful historical revisionism (independent of the extremist nationalism that still permeates the Balkan countries), and has been known to manipulate historical facts in their tourism brochures, travel guides and advertising campaigns.

Some of the most notorious cases of fraud include the claim that Marco Polo's birth house is located in Curzola, when in reality Marco Polo was born in Venice; the town of Postrana falsely claimed to possess the burial site of King Arthur; a tourist brochure in Spalato renamed the Venetian Lion of St. Mark, dubbing it a “post-Illyrian Lion”; in many brochures the cathedrals and artworks made by medieval Dalmatian and Italian Renaissance masters are referred to with falsified names; the original Latin and Italian names of these artists are depicted with new Croatanized names, and this has yet to be corrected. These are a few examples among many.

Istria is cleverly marketed as a ‘Little Venice’. The Croatian tourism industry persistently advertises Istria as being “like Venice, only cheaper” and as feeling “just like Italy, but more affordable”, while neglecting to inform their visitors that the reason it looks so Venetian is because it was Venetian for nearly one thousand years; and it feels just like Italy because it belonged to Italy and was inhabited by a proud and flourishing Italian population for more than two millennia, until being annexed to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947 (and subsequently annexed to Croatia in 1991).

The charming bell-towers that line the Istrian peninsula and Dalmatian coast do not merely look Venetian; they are Venetian; the architecture and atmosphere does not merely resemble Italy; it was Italy. The towns and squares on the eastern shore of the Adriatic were constructed and inhabited by the same people who built and still live on the western shore of Adriatic in Italy; for many centuries the two shores shared the same Latin culture and Italic civilization.

The Croatian advertisements also fail to mention that beyond its beautiful coastline, the interior of Istria and the surrounding zone of Julian Venetia is home to hundreds of sinkholes and mass graves filled with the massacred remains of thousands of Italian men, women and children – the ignored and forgotten victims of a gruesome genocide committed by the Yugoslavs at the end of World War II. Among the survivors were 350,000 Italian civilians who were forced to flee their homes, leaving the towns of Istria entirely deserted. Today these same towns are now tourist destinations.

The crimes and ethnic cleansing committed by the Yugoslavs in Istria and Dalmatia were ignored and suppressed for many decades, and Croatia today still prefers to deny and pretend they never happened. One of the reasons is because Croatia profits from these crimes; its economy is largely based or dependent on stolen treasures, artworks, marvelous cities and a rich cultural heritage built by other people – the same people who were terrorized, slaughtered and driven from their homeland so that Croatia could plant its flag on their soil and claim it as its own.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25: The Feast of San Marco – Not Liberation

Feast of St. Mark (Festa di San Marco)

On April 25, while most of Italy is celebrating the Feast of the so-called “Liberation”, the Julian-Dalmatian exiles are celebrating another feast: that of St. Mark.

Official mainstream historiography, written by the victors of war, depicts April 25 as a day of joy and celebration, a day which represents the liberation of Italy from Fascism, the reintroduction of democracy and Italian freedom, and the end of the Second World War. Such an interpretation ignores the terrible crimes and atrocities committed by the Allied Powers in Italy, the brutal violence and massacres perpetrated by the bands of partisan terrorists, the many persecutions conducted by the Communists, the Allied restoration of the Mafia, and the silent war that carried on in many Italian regions even after the official cessation of hostilities.

Not to mention the de facto loss of Italian sovereignty that took place a result of the occupation of Italy by the Allies – an occupation which reduced Italy to political and economic slavery. It is a precarious and rarely spoken of political situation that continues today (there are now more than 100 U.S. military bases on Italian soil, an open demonstration of ongoing foreign occupation).

Was April 25th truly a liberation? Let’s recount a few historical facts:
  • Was it a “liberation” for the 1,000 Italian civilians killed in Bari on December 2, 1943 as a result of illegal poison gas secretly smuggled into Italy by the Allies?
  • Was it a “liberation” for the 3,000 men, women and children raped and sodomized near Monte Cassino by French Moroccan troops during the Marocchinate in May-June 1944?
  • Was it a “liberation” for the 614 school children and civilians of Milan, killed by American bombers in the Gorla Massacre on October 20, 1944?
  • Was it a “liberation” for the hundreds of Catholic priests and religious slaughtered by the Communist Partisans between 1943 and 1947?
  • Was it a “liberation” for the city of Trieste, whose population was terrorized by the Yugoslavs, and which remained under Allied occupation until October 26, 1954?
  • Was it a “liberation” for the 20,000-30,000 civilians slaughtered in the Foibe Massacres and the 350,000 Italians forced into exile between 1943 and 1954?
To celebrate April 25th as a national holiday – and to call it a “Day of Liberation” – is an insult to these victims and to all other Italian victims of the war. It is also shameful and disrespectful to all those courageous soldiers who fought under the Italian flag, shedding their blood and sacrificing their lives in battle against those same invaders who are hailed today as “liberators” of the country.

For the Italians of Istria and Dalmatia, April 25th represents genocide, deportation to concentration camps, the massacre of thousands of Italian civilians, the rape, torture, persecution and terror suffered at the hands of the Yugoslav Partisans, the occupation and annexation of Istria and Dalmatia by the Yugoslav Communists, and the expulsion of Italians from their native homeland.

Asking the Italians of Istria, Dalmatia and the Quarnaro to celebrate such events by observing April 25 as a “Day of Liberation” is the same as asking the Jews and Poles to observe September 1 in celebration of the Invasion and Occupation of Poland.

Therefore, Julian-Dalmatian Exiles look to another April 25th: the feast of St. Mark.

The Feast of St. Mark is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church, observed universally by the whole church on April 25. Although celebrated throughout the world, the feast is celebrated most energetically in the city of Venice. It almost carries the status of a national feast. St. Mark has always had a special place among the Venetians: he is the patron of the city, and the famous Lion of St. Mark – the ancient symbol of the Republic of Venice – is none other than a symbolic representation Venice's great patron saint.

Every place the Venetians went, they carried with them the Lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venetian civilization. In Istria and Dalmatia the palaces, churches and fortresses proudly displayed the Venetian Lion of San Marco. Despite the attempts of the Slavs to dismantle or chisel them away since occupying and partitioning that territory after the war, these lions are still present today, and bear witness to the Italic roots of the culture, history and language of that region.

St. Mark, with all he represents, thus hold a very dear place in the hearts of the Julian-Dalmatian Italians, most of whom are still living in exile in Italy. For them, their hearts and minds are now turned to him on April 25th; not to the disgraceful Day of “Liberation”, but to San Marco, the sacred patron and representative of the culture and civilization of their lost homeland, which today is at the mercy of Croatian and Slovenian occupiers.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Making Trieste Slavic: An Overview

(Full article: Making Trieste Slavic: Ethnic Cleansing and the Attempted Slavicization of Trieste)

The city of Trieste – known as the ‘Most Italian City’ for its ardent patriotism – has a long history dating all the way back to 128 BC, when it was founded by the Romans. The city was an important colony, but was long overshadowed by neighboring Aquileia. Trieste continued to be overshadowed during the Middle Ages by its rival Venice. In the 19th century Trieste experienced a demographic and economic boom, quickly elevating it to the largest and most important port city in the Adriatic.

The millennial Italianity of Trieste has often been underestimated and depreciated by outsiders, while the importance of the German and Slavic elements have been grossly distorted and exaggerated to absurd levels. At the same time, the historical tragedies suffered by the Italian population under the Habsburgs and Yugoslavs, and the attempts to destroy Trieste's Italian character in the 19th and 20th centuries, have been almost wholly suppressed or ignored by historians since the end of World War II.

Although the anti-Italian policies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire used to be fairly well-known both inside and outside of Italy, and came to the forefront of world attention at the time of the First World War, today this history is all but forgotten – and intentionally so. Prior to the First World War, the Habsburg government enacted a policy of ethnic cleansing in Trieste and the surrounding Italian regions. At the end of the Second World War, the Yugoslav Communists led by dictator Josip Broz Tito made a second attempt to accomplish this ethnic cleansing against Italians.

In short, the Austrians and the Yugoslavs attempted to “make Trieste Slavic”. They failed in this mission in Trieste, but were more successful in Istria and Dalmatia. To read more about this, see the full article: Making Trieste Slavic: Ethnic Cleansing and the Attempted Slavicization of Trieste

Here is a condensed overview of the historical points covered in the article:

  • The earliest inhabitants of Trieste were settlers from Italy.
  • Trieste was politically part of Italy since the 1st century BC.
  • Trieste continued to be united to Italy and the successive Italian States in an unbroken historical line until 1382.
  • After 1382 Trieste was an autonomous city under the protection of the Habsburgs, but retained a local Italian government.
  • Trieste has been home to a predominantly Italian population for as long as historical records exist.
  • Slavs did not live anywhere near Trieste until the 13th century.
  • There was no sizable Slav population in Trieste until the 19th century.
  • The only official languages in Trieste's history were Latin and Italian.
  • After Latin, the spoken languages of Trieste have always been dialects of Italian.
  • Neither the German nor Slavic languages ever played a significant role in the life of Trieste, neither in administration, nor in culture, nor in the everyday life of the people.
  • Slavic high culture, such as literature, music and art, was non-existent in Trieste prior to the late 19th century.
  • In 1813 Trieste's autonomy was revoked by the Habsburgs.
  • From 1866 to 1918 the Habsburgs adopted an official policy of forced Germanization and Slavicization in Italian lands, specifically South Tyrol, Dalmatia and the Adriatic coast.
  • Methods of Slavicization included: closing Italian schools; removing Italians from political offices and courts; disbanding Italian cultural associations; banning and burning Italian newspapers; imposing the Slavic tongue; attempting to ban the Italian language.
  • The Austrian government also encouraged Slavs (especially Slovenes) to immigrate en masse to Trieste, in what amounted to an attempt at ethnic cleansing against Italians by means of demographic replacement.
  • In 1886 the local government of Trieste protested against Austria's attempts to Slavicize the city.
  • Slovene nationalists advocated the annexation of Trieste to an independent Slovenia; some endorsed the Slovenization of Trieste and the elimination of the Italian population.
  • In 1913 Prince Hohenlohe banned all Italian citizens from public office and civil service.
  • Italian policy towards the Slovenes and Germans in the interwar period (1919-1939) was a direct response to the systematic persecution of Italians by the Slavs and Germans during the Austro-Hungarian period (1866-1918).
  • Decades of anti-Italian policy influenced the rise and popularity of Fascism in Trieste.
  • The systematic persecution of Italians and attempted ethnic cleansing under the Habsburgs are often suppressed or ignored by post-war historians for political reasons.
  • From 1927 to 1941 Slovene terrorists (called TIGR) engaged in acts of domestic terrorism, including systematic assassinations and bombings against Italians and schoolchildren in Trieste and other regions.
  • During and after World War II, the Slovene minority in Trieste collaborated with Yugoslav Communists and participated in the rounding up of Italians. Many Italians were sent to concentration camps and killed in the Foibe Massacres.
  • The ‘Free’ Territory of Trieste was anything but free.
  • From 1947 to 1954 the Slovene minority in Trieste supported the local Communist Party and agitated for the annexation of Trieste to Communist Yugoslavia.
  • Today the Slovene minority in Trieste (which amounts to a mere 5.7% of the population; remnants of turn of the century immigrants) still strongly supports Communism and persistently provokes the Italian majority.
  • Trieste remains one of the most staunchly patriotic Italian cities in all of Italy.

Friday, February 10, 2017

National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe

February 10 — Day of Remembrance
In memory of the victims of the Foibe, of the Julian-
Dalmatian Exodus and the affairs of the eastern border.

On March 30, 2004 the Republic of Italy issued Law n. 92, instituting the National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe (Day of Remembrance) as a national holiday, to be celebrated annually on February 10. The date of February 10 was chosen because it was on February 10, 1947 that the Paris Peace Treaties were signed, taking Istria, Dalmatia, Fiume and Julian Venetia away from Italy and assigning it to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

According to Article 1 of the law, the purpose of this national solemnity is:
“...to preserve and renew the memory of the tragedy of the Italians and all the victims of the Foibe, and the Exodus of the Istrians, Fiumans and Dalmatians after World War II, and the very complex affairs of the eastern border. ... These initiatives are also aimed at enhancing the cultural heritage, history, literature and art of the Italians of Istria, Fiume and the Dalmatian coast ... and also to preserve the traditions of the Istrian-Dalmatian communities residing in national territory and abroad.”

(“...di conservare e rinnovare la memoria della tragedia degli italiani e di tutte le vittime delle foibe, dell'esodo dalle loro terre degli istriani, fiumani e dalmati nel secondo dopoguerra e della più complessa vicenda del confine orientale. ... Tali iniziative sono, inoltre, volte a valorizzare il patrimonio culturale, storico, letterario e artistico degli italiani dell'Istria, di Fiume e delle coste dalmate ... ed altresì a preservare le tradizioni delle comunità istriano-dalmate residenti nel territorio nazionale e all'estero.”)
The Foibe Massacres were a series of murders committed by the Yugoslavs between 1943 and 1945 as part of an ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide against the Italian population of Julian Venetia (Venezia Giulia) and Dalmatia. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Italians were killed and their bodies thrown into deep underground pits, called sinkholes (foibe). The Foibe Massacres are justly called an ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide – and not merely political reprisals or acts of war – because Italians were targeted and systematically murdered as a group, regardless of civilian or military status, and regardless of political ideology or affiliation, with the intention of exterminating ethnic Italians from these regions. The victims included not only men, but also women and children, as well as priests. The crimes committed by the Yugoslavs against innocent Italian civilians also included imprisonment, kidnapping, torture, rape, burning of homes, deportation to concentration camps and other brutal acts of violence – all of which was ignored by the Allied Commissions.

After the Foibe Massacres there was the Julian-Dalmatian Exodus or Istrian Exodus. Between 1943 and 1954 the native Italian population of Julian Venetia and Dalmatia was forced to abandon their land, homes, property, and leave the land in which they were born and which their ancestors had built. Mass diasporas occurred in 1943, 1945, 1947 and 1954. Overall, 350,000 Italians were forcibly expelled from Julian Venetia and Dalmatia. The largest and most dramatic exodus was from Istria: approximately 90% of all Istrian Italians – about half of the total Istrian population – were forced into exile. Most of the exiles (esuli) moved to Italy where they lived in refugee camps for many years; others emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and other countries.

On this Day of Remembrance we wish to keep alive the memory of these events, which for many years was denied and ignored by both the Italian and Yugoslav governments in the post-war period. We also seek justice for the Exiles and their descendants, whose suffering deserves not only recognition, but also proper restitution. As such, we wish to see the return of Julian Venetia and Dalmatia to Italy, and the return of all property taken by the Yugoslavs during and after the Second World War. The Istrian, Dalmatian and Julian Italians still living in exile deserve to return to their homeland, which belongs neither to Slovenia nor to Croatia nor to Yugoslavia, but to Italy and to the indigenous Italian population expelled from these lands just a few decades ago.

Young Italian girl from Julian Venetia
Forced into exile, ca. 1945-1947
Yugoslav Occupation of Julian Venetia (Red)
Annexed by Yugoslavia in 1947

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Quotes on the Italianity of the Quarnaro

Here we have several impartial observations on the Italianity of the Quarnaro, also known as the Quarnero or Carnaro Gulf, taken from English and other non-Italian sources:
“The aforesaid Slavs took the Roman arms and standards and the rest of their military insignia and crossed the river... Once through, they instantly expelled the Romans and took possession of the aforesaid city of Salona. There they settled and thereafter began gradually to make plundering raids and destroyed the Romans who dwelt in the plains and on the higher ground and took possession of their lands. The remnant of the Romans escaped to the cities of the coast and possess them still [today], namely, Cattaro, Ragusa, Spalato, Traù, Zara, Arbe, Veglia and Ossero, the inhabitants of which are called Romans to this day.”
—Emperor Constantine VII, De administrando imperio, 10th century
“Rausium [Ragusa] is mentioned by Porphyrogenitus as one of the Roman cities of Dalmatia, with Asphalatum [Spalato], Tetrangurium [Traù], Diodora [Zara], Vecla [Veglia], and Opsora [Ossero], whose inhabitants in his time were called Romans, while the towns of the interior were possessed by the Slavi.”
—John Gardner Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro, 1848
“While we are passing the night under Arbe, it will not perhaps be without interest to say a little about the language and culture of this and kindred towns on the islands and coast of Dalmatia. ...in the town Italian is spoken: and I may notice that this is the characteristic of the whole coast on this side of the Gulf; and that not only in the towns which, as Arbe, were long under Venetian rule, but those also which never were thus connected with that republic; such as Fiume...”
—William Frederick Wingfield, A Tour in Dalmatia, Albania and Montenegro, 1859
“The old Latin or Roman population of the cities was not however crushed out of existence by these calamities. ... In the towns of Zara, Traù, Spalato, Ragusa, and Cattaro on the mainland, and those of Arbe, Veglia, and Ossero on the islands, were the Romans, or as they came to be called Dalmatians, in contra-distinction to the Croats or Serbs, speaking their ancient tongue, governing themselves by their old Roman law, electing their own magistrates and bishops, and preserving the traditions of the municipalities of the empire.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 1, 1887
“In the islands consequently, at least in their towns, the Latin element is preponderant, and their long continued Italian culture has produced a marked effect on the manners and habits of the inhabitants. Nor must the influence of Latin descent be overlooked; Ossero, Veglia and Arbe are three of the seven places mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogenitus as preserving a Roman population and Roman customs amid the wreck caused by Slavonic conquest... the townsfolk have not yet forgotten, nor are they likely to forget, the difference of their origin from that of the rural population. 'Qui siamo sempre Romani,' ['Here we are always Romans'] said a peasant of Veglia to me... This distinction naturally gained force from contact with the Venetians and the Latin races of Italy who spoke the same tongue; and, though their political connection with Italy has now ceased for nearly a century, there is no diminution in the attachment of the islanders to the Italian language and culture. Within the walls of their cities one might easily imagine oneself in Italy, and one cannot fail to be struck by their superior grace and politeness in comparison with the blunt manners and unpolished address of the rugged though not unkindly Croatians on the mainland. ... The Italian in use is the Venetian, which is spoken with tolerable purity.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“Though sacked and ruined by Attila in the fifth century, and again by the Saracen Saba in the ninth, the city of Ossero survived, and dragged on an obscure existence under the protection of the Eastern Empire and the Venetians. ... In the tenth century the citizens still called themselves Romans, and we find that some of the neighbouring towns still remained Roman though surrounded by Slavonic colonists. ... Ossero, like Nona, is the miserable survival of a Roman city that was once both wealthy and populous. ... The Huns devastated the island in the fifth century, and the Slavs in the ninth, when the remnant of the old Roman inhabitants were driven to the shelter of their city walls, and the country outside was finally occupied by the invaders. ... The present duomo...is a fair specimen of the early Italian renaissance. ... The nave...is divided from the aisles by semicircular arches, which spring directly from composite Italian capitals...”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“A short time sufficed to shew that Cherso has no remains of great antiquity to boast, nor any great architectural treasures to display. But it is a very picturesque place indeed, full of old Venetian houses... The Venetian walls still surround the town on the three sides... The Lion of St. Mark which was placed between the two shields has been defaced by some Frank or Teuton supplanter. ... The high altar stands in the archway, and behind is a small square choir for the friars, with some extremely fine stalls of fifteenth century Venetian work very closely resembling those in a side chapel at Parenzo in Istria... The number of fine buildings in its narrow streets recalls the days when it was the seat of the Venetian governor and the home of persons of cultivation and literary attainments.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“Veglia is the largest and most important island in the Quarnero... It was the Cyractica of Strabo, the Curicta of Ptolemy and Pliny, who says it enjoyed the Jus Italicum [Italian Rights], and the Becla of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who says it contained a city...whose inhabitants were called Romans down to his own day [tenth century].”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“During the eleventh century the island [of Veglia] was ravaged repeatedly by Croatian pirates, men were slain, and town walls and buildings thrown down, and it was not till 1133 that any effectual resistance was made. In that year the Vegliesi with aid from the Venetians defeated a powerful armament which had attacked them... That this crowning triumph might never be forgotten Dominicus the bishop established a festival, which the Vegliesi celebrated annually on the 9th of March... The town walls were rebuilt, and the city was put into an adequate state of defence, with the aid of the Venetians and under the superintendence of Duymus or Doimo the count or rector. This Count Doimo is supposed to have been of the family of Frangipani, with whose fortunes the future history of the island was linked. The Frangipani are said to have sprung from the ancient [Roman] patrician house of Anicius...Dante is claimed as the scion of a branch which settled at Florence...Among the branches of the family tree we read with surprise the names of Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Innocent III, Francis of Assisi, and Benedict with his sister Scholastica. One branch of the family settled at Venice... The connexion of the family with Veglia is said to have begun with a Frangipani of the Venetian branch, who accompanied Pietro Orseolo II in his expedition, and received a grant of the island on condition of defending it against the Slavs. ... In 1499 the island suffered severely from the plague, but the principal cause of her decay was the constant inroads of the Uscocs [Croatian pirates] during the sixteenth and the early part of the seventeenth centuries. ...the Uscocs either carried off or burned the crops... Owing to these several causes Veglia, both island and city, sank into misery and decay. ... The islands of Veglia, Arbe, and Pago, were almost made uninhabitable beyond the town walls by these barbarians...”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“The island of Arbe...in the tenth century, like Veglia and Ossero, it still retained its old Roman population and character, though surrounded by Croatian settlements. ... Like other Dalmatian towns Arbe...swore allegiance to Ottone Orseolo in 1018...”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“Pago was thus divided into two parts, under different civil and ecclesiastical rule; and Farlati1 notices the strong contrast in manners, language, culture, and institutions which distinguished the inhabitants of the two halves of the island almost as sharply as if they had been parted asunder by whole seas and continents. The western or Arbesan half was thoroughly Italian...and in this we have an interesting illustration of the tenacity with which the Dalmatians of Latin origin maintained their national traditions...”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“Accordingly, we embark, at 6 A.M., upon a smallish boat, for the southern extremity of the island of Lussin, where the twin ports of Lussinpiccolo and Lussingrande seem to have been so distinguished by Italian ingenuity...”
—Harriet Waters Peston, Some Reminiscences of Eastern Europe, The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 76, 1895

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Quotes on the Italianity of Ragusa

Here we have numerous impartial observations on the Italianity of Ragusa, taken from English and other non-Italian sources:
“The aforesaid Slavs took the Roman arms and standards and the rest of their military insignia and crossed the river... Once through, they instantly expelled the Romans and took possession of the aforesaid city of Salona. There they settled and thereafter began gradually to make plundering raids and destroyed the Romans who dwelt in the plains and on the higher ground and took possession of their lands. The remnant of the Romans escaped to the cities of the coast and possess them still [today], namely, Cattaro, Ragusa, Spalato, Traù, Zara, Arbe, Veglia and Ossero, the inhabitants of which are called Romans to this day. ... These same Ragusans used of old to possess the city that is called Epidaurum; and since, when the other cities were captured by the Slavs that were in the province, this city too was captured, and some were slaughtered and others taken prisoner, those who were able to escape and reach safety settled in the almost precipitous spot where the city now is... From their migration from Salona to Ragusa, it is 500 years till this day...”
—Emperor Constantine VII, De administrando imperio, 10th century
“Venice, Genoa, Luca and Ragusa are Italian Free States. ... Ragusa (in times past Epidaurum) is in Dalmatia, Italianated in language and conditions.”
—Samuel Purchas, Purchas his Pilgrimes, Volume 1, 1625
“Even Ragusa preserved her independence longer than Genoa. The territory of this republic is a line of coast extending scarcely forty Italian miles in length... The ancient Epidaurus was destroyed by a horde of Slavonians; and a number of the fugitives built, on a neighbouring peninsula, the town of Ragusa. The new commonwealth was attacked in its infancy by that barbarous [Slavonian] race... [the Roman fugitives] built a new Ragusa, better constructed than the former...”
—Johannes von Müller, Universal History, Volume 2, 1818
“All the educated people speak Italian, which, together with Latin, are the literary languages of the country. Ragusa has always maintained an intimate connection with Italy. ... Ragusium, or Rausium, seems to owe its origin to the fugitive inhabitants of Epidaurus...which was destroyed by the Slavi in the sixth century of our era. ... Italians from every part, men of learning, found there a good reception, Ragusa being still a half Italian city.”
—The Penny Cyclopaedia, Volume 19, 1841
“Ragusa is built in the Italian style, and assimilates with the Italian towns, both in the customs and language of its inhabitants.”
—Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, Volume 23, 1845
“...Porphyrogenitus, who ascribed the building of Rausium [Ragusa] to refugees from Epidaurus, says this city "was destroyed by the Slavi." ... Ragusa was therefore justly looked upon as the successor of Epidaurus... Rausium [Ragusa] is mentioned by Porphyrogenitus as one of the Roman cities of Dalmatia, with Asphalatum [Spalato], Tetrangurium [Traù], Diodora [Zara], Vecla [Veglia], and Opsora [Ossero], whose inhabitants in his time were called Romans, while the towns of the interior were possessed by the Slavi.”
—John Gardner Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro, 1848
“Some from the beginning were Roman colonies, some arose, phoenix-like, out of the ashes of older towns, as Venice and Grado from Aquileja, and Ragusa from Epidaurus and Salonae. For everywhere in the latter days of the empire the Italian inhabitants, flying from their old towns and the more inland parts before their barbarian invaders, began to take refuge in those spots...and preserved to them, even in those early times, the means of procuring some of the refinements of more civilized life... Thus latterly the once widely extended Roman “province of Dalmatia” came to consist of seven such towns on the coast, or in the islands, viz.—Ragusa, Spalato, Trau, Zara on the former; and Veglia, Ossero, Arbe in the latter. They retained—as it were, in proof of their descent—(1) their language, though somewhat metamorphosed, the Latin of the classics gradually degenerating, until it caught a new life and again flourished as Italian of the middle ages; (2) their superiority in civilization, by means of which they were enabled to maintain themselves in very difficult circumstances and amongst semi-barbarous neighbours; (3) their original political constitutions, which, springing from the Roman commonwealth, were formed on the republican model, like the other Italian commonwealths of the middle ages. Hence, as might be expected from their origin and past history, these towns abound in old Italian and Roman families...”
—William Frederick Wingfield, A Tour in Dalmatia, Albania and Montenegro, 1859
“When the Sclavonic barbarians, descending from the mountains of the interior, destroyed the ancient city of Epidaurus, the Roman survivors emigrated in a body to the present site of Ragusa, then a peninsular rock. Ragusa thus stands to Epidaurus in the same filial relation in which Venice stands to Aquileja and Patavium, and Spalato to Salona.”
—Sir Arthur Evans, Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot During the Insurrection, 1877
“At the present day, at Cattaro or Spalato, along the Dalmatian coast-land on each side of Ragusa, you hear the Venetian dialect; at Ragusa the language is pure Tuscan. St. Blasius, and not the lion of St. Mark, adorns the mediaeval walls and gates of Ragusa. On the other hand, in costume, manners, and the form of government, the Venetian influence here has been very perceptible. ... Ragusa had doubtless originally inherited her aristocratic-republican institutions from the municipales of ancient Epidaurus. Her Senate, which we hear of in very early days, is doubtless... but a continuation of the Roman Curia, of whose existence in Epidaurus we have both historic and epigraphic proof. Her patricians could no doubt trace back their ancestry to the late Roman Honorati.”
—Sir Arthur Evans, Through Bosnia and the Herzegovina on Foot During the Insurrection, 1877
“The old Latin, or Roman, population, however did not disappear, nor did it lose its identity and become merged in the ranks of the Slav conquerors. When the first shock was over in 614 AD, the Romans either returned to their old towns or founded new ones, where they managed to live in a state between independence and vassalage till they became strong enough in time to take care of themselves. "Zara" soon rose again from its ruin, the fugitives from Epidaurus settled on an isolated rock not far from their ancient home and founded the city of "Ragusa"...
In the old Roman cities the old Roman traditions, and no doubt the old Roman stock survived the shock of Slavonic conquest, and though the Croat was lord outside the city walls and beyond the narrow territory claimed by the citizens, within the gates the Dalmatian people retained their old Roman customs, governed themselves by the old Roman law, and spoke the old Latin tongue, which they still speak at the present day in its modern form. Those who have not acquainted themselves with Dalmatian history are apt to think that the Latin fringe which borders the slavonic province has derived its language and customs from Venice, to which it was so long subject. Nothing can be farther from the truth; Zara, Spalato, Traù and Ragusa were Latin cities when as yet Venice was not existent, and they remained Latin cities throughout the middle ages, with very little help from her influence until the fifteenth century. The Italian spoken in Dalmatia before that time was not the Venetian dialect; in some parts it had a distinct form of its own, in others it resembled the form into which Latin had passed in the south of Italy or Umbria, and it was only after 1420 that it began to assimilate itself to the Italian of Lombardy and Venetia. At Ragusa it never became Venetian at all, and to this day resembles rather the Tuscan dialect than any other, while the patois of the common people is a curious medley of Italian and Illyric, with traces of rustic Latin, Vlach or Rouman.
It is to the Latins of Dalmatia that we must look for evidences of culture and intellectual progress, and not to the Slavs. ... Ragusa, the Dalmatian Athens, has sometimes been held up as an example of Slavonic culture, but this is only partially the case, for the history of Ragusa is uniformly that of a Latin rather than a Slavonic city. The public acts were recorded either in Latin or Italian, never in Illyric, except in case of correspondence with a Slavonic power; Italian appears as the language of the records and laws as early as the fourteenth century; the pleadings in the law-courts in the fifteenth century were not in Illyric but in a Rouman or debased Latin dialect; the rules of the lay confraternities of goldsmiths carpenters and other trades are drawn up in Italian at least as far back as the year 1306, an incontestable proof that Italian was then the vernacular language of the working classes; and when, in 1435, the little republic set an example which many greater states might worthily have imitated, and instituted public schools, it was from Italy that she invited her professors.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, 1887
“The old Latin or Roman population of the cities was not however crushed out of existence by these calamities. ...the fugitives from Epidaurus settled on an isolated rock not far from their ancient home, where they founded the city of Ragusa... From this time forward Dalmatia presents the spectacle of two distinct peoples living side by side, of different race, language, customs, and aspirations, and to a certain extent with different religious proclivities. In the towns of Zara, Traù, Spalato, Ragusa, and Cattaro on the mainland, and those of Arbe, Veglia, and Ossero on the islands, were the Romans, or as they came to be called Dalmatians, in contra-distinction to the Croats or Serbs, speaking their ancient tongue, governing themselves by their old Roman law, electing their own magistrates and bishops, and preserving the traditions of the municipalities of the empire.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, 1887
“In the coast towns, Zara, Ragusa, Spalato, and the rest, the old Roman population found its congenial homes, and perpetuated the language, customs, and municipal life which they had inherited from the empire; the mountainous interior of the country, on the other hand, became the recognized territory of the Slav intruders... the struggle between the Venetians and Narentines for the supremacy of the Adriatic, almost forced the Dalmatians into espousing the cause of the Venetians, with whom in blood and tongue they had so much in common.”
—The Dublin Review, Volume 102, January 1888
“After about two hours...we slipt down the narrow channel to the isthmus of Stagnio, a little Italian settlement which belonged to the Republic of Ragusa. ... The same evening we took another boat on to Ragusa which we reached in a few hours. This little Italian republic existed up to 1806...”
Letters of Lord St. Maur and Lord Edward St. Maur, 1846-1869, 1888
“Ragusa, like all the other major cities of Dalmatia, has Roman origins: the ancient citizens, who were later distinguished by attaining the status of nobility, came from Epidaurus. Their names are predominantly Romance and for a long time maintained their Latin type: Bonus, Calenda, Fuscus, Geminianus, Lamponins, Lampridins, Lupus, Maurus, Primus, Proculus, Sabinus, Sergius, Urmis, Ursatius, etc. The church of Ragusa was always Latin. ... Slavs only came later, and slowly so. Among the numerous Ragusan citizens listed in the deed of St. Mary's Monastery on the island of Lacroma from the time of Emperor Basil II (976-1025), there are only two Slavic names.”
—Konstantin Jireček, Die Bedeutung von Ragusa in der Handelsgeschichte des Mittelalters, Almanach der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Volume 49, 1899

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Quotes on the Italianity of Istria

Here we have several impartial observations on the Italianity of Istria, taken from English and other non-Italian sources:
“Istria, a country of Italy, joyning to Illyricum.”
—E. P., The New World of English Words: A General Dictionary, 1663
“Istria, a peninsula of Italy, lying on the N. part of the Adriatic, long divided between Austria and the republic of Venice.”
—R. Brookes, The General Gozeiteer, 1791
“Istria, a peninsula of Italy, in the territory of Venice, lying in the north part of the Adriatic sea.”
—Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 11, 1810
“Thus much is certain—that the Italian element, in the days of ancient Rome, was far stronger, for the names of many Slav villages and families in the interior are clearly of Latin origin. The Chiches and other Slav tribes first occupied the plateaux between the ninth and the seventeenth centuries, having been introduced by feudal landowners, Venetians, and Austrians to cultivate the land or to defend military positions. Some of these tribes were admitted as guests, and settled in cultivated districts, a proceeding against which the Italian Istrians complained as early as 804. ...the lower basin of the Isonzo, Gorizia, Trieste, Parenzo, Pola, and all the towns of maritime Istria are Italian, and the Italianissimi of Trieste are consequently justified in aspiring to a union with Italy.”
—Élisée Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants: The Universal Geography, Volume 3, 1878
“Under Augustus the whole of Istria was annexed to the tenth region of Italy; the south-eastern limits being the Flumen Arsae, the modern Arsa, that great gash in the Eastern flank beyond which began Liburnia. ... Ethnologically, again, Istria declares herself Italian, not Austrian. Her 290,000 souls (round number) consist of 166,000 Latins to 109,000 Slavs, the latter a mongrel breed that emigrated between A.D. 800 and 1657; and a small residue of foreigners, especially Austro-German officials. The Italians are, it is true, confined to the inner towns and to the cities of the seaboard; still, these scattered centres cannot forget that to their noble blood Istria has owed all her civilization, all her progress, and all her glories in arts and arms. Lastly, 'sentiment,' as a factor of unknown power in the great sum of what constitutes 'politics,' is undervalued only by the ignorant vulgus. The Istrians are more Italian than the Italians.”
—Lady Isabel Burton, The Life of Captain Sir Richard F. Burton, 1883
“Istria suffered less than Dalmatia from the immigrant hordes of Avars and Slavs in the seventh and succeeding centuries, and though ravaged occasionally by barbarians it was not conquered and colonized by them. ... The history of Istria during the middle ages has certain points of resemblance to that of Dalmatia. We find along the coast a series of Roman municipalities living by maritime and commercial industries, jealously guarding their ancient privileges... The Istrian historians boast that their country has preserved its ancient name, its ancient cities, and its ancient Latin culture uninterruptedly through the middle ages to the present day. ... The Roman province of Istria was considered part of Italy; its western boundary was the Timavus which divided it from the Veneti,—Aquileia however being reckoned as part of Istria,—and its eastern boundary was the river Arsia, which in Pliny's time was considered the boundary also of Italy, and which was still so regarded even in the time of Dante. ... At the partition of the empire Istria remained part of Italy.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“Cassiodorus describes Istria as rich and nourishing in his time, and the disasters of the province did not begin till the seventh century, when inroads of Slavs and Avars occurred in 610 and 613, and the cities of Fianona, Albona, Pedena and others were destroyed. The barbarians, however, seem to have made no permanent settlement in the [Istrian] peninsula; and when the Croats, a fresh Slavonic people, came at the invitation of Heraclius and settled round the head of the Quarnero and in northern Dalmatia, the territory conceded to them was bounded by the river Arsia, which as of old formed the frontier of the Latins in Istria.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“In 799 Duke John introduced a number of Vend or Slavonic colonists, whom he wished to establish within the province as vassals under the new system; but the remonstrances which the Roman Istrians addressed to Charlemagne prevailed so far that the duke was restricted by the Placitum of 804 to settling his colonists only in unoccupied districts, and subject to the consent of the neighbouring inhabitants. From the terms of the remonstrance it would seem that this was the first settlement of Slavs within the province.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“The Turkish conquests of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Greece sent a great many colonists, both Morlacchi and Greeks, from those provinces to Istria...but the older inhabitants made them anything but welcome, and did what they could to discourage others from following.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“The population of Istria is composed of two elements, Latin and Slavonic, like that of Dalmatia; but they are mixed in very different proportions, and the Slavs in Istria by no means hold the predominant position they have lately assumed in Dalmatia. The Slavs did not come into Istria as conquerors but as settlers, arriving in groups of families which either squatted on deserted lands, or were invited by the German barons or the Venetian Republic to re-people districts and villages which had been depopulated by war and pestilence.”
—T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 3, 1887
“...Pola—the Pietas Julia of the Romans—near the southern end of the peninsula...it looks to us now as we enter the harbor just as it did centuries ago to the Roman bearing in with his galley, and this, together with the old bastioned walls and other visible evidences of the past, irresistibly transports us back to the spell of Rome. But on entering the town, everything reminds us of Italy—streets, architecture, and people are all Italian in character. The population here is indeed much more Italian than Slavic—the latter element being mostly composed of refugees... Indeed, the Triestines boast themselves to be "più italiani degli italiani," [more Italian than the Italians] and Pola and the other cities of the Istrian peninsula could say the same.”
—Walter Woodburn Hyde, Dalmatian Approach to Greece, Records of the Past, Volume 7, 1908
“Trieste...is as Italian as is Genoa: nine-tenths of its inhabitants are Italians. Of the inhabitants of Fiume...one-half are Italians; and of the inhabitants of Pola...more than half are Italians. Italy has ancient historical claims to the possession of the whole of the eastern shore of the Adriatic... The names of the greatest Austrian coast towns on the Adriatic, such as Trieste, Capo d'Istria, Parenzo, Rovigno, Pola, Alona, Fiume, Veglia, Zara, Sebenico, Spalato, Ragusa, etc., proclaim their Italian origin. They are Italian in appearance and in civilisation, and in most of them the emblem of the Venetian Lion will still be found prominently displayed on the old public buildings and on the gates and walls. The Adriatic used to be a purely Italian sea.”
—J. Ellis Barker, Italy's Policy and Her Position in Europe, The Fortnightly, Volume 91, 1915
“Elsewhere in the Italian provinces of Austria the Italians are persecuted as they are in Trieste. ... Pola, like Trieste, is pre-eminently an Italian town. But in Pola also the Slavs are increasing far more rapidly than the Italians. In ten years the number of Slavs and Germans at Pola has doubled... In Pola, as in Trieste, the Government endeavours to denationalise the Italians... the methods employed for terrorising the Italians and for depriving them of their work are far more ruthless than at Trieste. The sea towns along the Austrian Adriatic, such as Capodistria, Isola, Pirano, Salvore, Umago, San Lorenzo, Cittanova, Parenzo, Orsera, Rovigno, Fasan, are absolutely Italian. ... The Italian farmers in Istria are experiencing hard times... Their place is taken by Slavs... Austria endeavours to drive the Italians from the sea. ... Austria evidently endeavours to make it impossible for Italians to exist and to make a living on the Adriatic coast.”
—Politicus, Italy's Policy and Her Position in Europe, The Fortnightly, Volume 97, 1915
“Istria is the most notable part of Julian Venetia. Administratively it includes the islands of the Quarnero (Veglia, Cherso, and Lussino) and excludes Trieste and Fiume. The islands of the Quarnero can be considered as belonging physically to the archipelago of Dalmatia, while Istria finds its physical unity mainly in its peninsular character. Istria resembles a typically Italian region both in its physical features and in the human occupation of its soil, especially its arboriculture. An even stronger impression of being in Italy is made upon the visitor by its cities, both by their monuments and the general appearance of their buildings. Art and culture are everywhere entirely Italian.”
—Geographical Review, Volume 7, 1919
“There lies to the east of the Venetian plain a region which since Roman times was considered the tenth region or district of Italy proper, and as such known by the name of Venetia Julia. It is nothing but an actual and organic part of the former Italian borderland of Friuli, and how in mischief anybody but an Austro-German coalition could draw a line through that region (and call it a boundary and the western part of it Italy and the eastern part of it Austria) beats the unfairness of the Alsatian boundary by the mile. ...the province of Istria, a peninsular appendage of the Italian mainland on the west... in Istria and Dalmatia the same Latin element kept on, and the following monuments are Italian,—Italian and Venetian they remain throughout the Renaissance... At the same time the citizens of a small Istrian town, Isola, killed their "podesta," believing him to be a traitor when he announced their coming subjection to Austria. If you happen to be in any of the small cities of Istria you will see an Italian church and an Italian campanile... The city halls of Capodistria, Curzola, Pola (you see I am quoting at random) could grace any Italian city.”
—Amy. A. Bernardy, The Journal of American History, First Quarter, Number 1, January-February-March 1919
“The people of the Trentino and of Trieste are largely Italian by origin, they speak Italian and they want to join their lot with that of Italy. They regard themselves as under foreign domination. ... The only cogent fact is, that they feel Italian, and wish to unite with their brother Italians. ... There is no doubt that the Istrians and Trentines are in great part Italian. Slavic and Teutonic strains are sprinkled among them, but the racial basis is Italic, and it remains Italic, despite all the Austrian efforts to exterminate it...Austria adopted toward them the savage methods of oppression... Accordingly, when Austria found that the Italians of the unredeemed sections, were cherishing hopes of freeing themselves, she endeavored to purge them of their Italianism. She tried to stop the use of the Italian language, not only in the schools, academies, and business, but in the homes, and she gradually introduced many Slavic settlers into Istria... The Austrian police, very naturally treated with severity any persons who were suspected of having Italian propensities. There was constant friction, which sometimes ended in bloodshed, and, of course, any Italians who were unlucky enough to be brought into court suffered the severest penalties. ... By the planting of German and Slavic colonists in Trieste and its neighborhood the number of Italians has proportionately decreased. We must remember also that in many cases the Italians who were able quitted Istria rather than live under Austrian oppression. ... Austria's claim that the majority of opinion there is German and Slavic is based on falsehood, as any foreigner who has visited those towns and districts can affirm. If the racial and lingual preponderance were German and Slavic, why were the manifestoes ordering the mobilization of the people in the valley of the Trent printed in Italian, as were probably those placarded on the walls of Trieste? ... The Italian claim to Istria is based on historic grounds, on the alleged preponderance of the wishes of a majority of the population...”
—William Roscoe Thayer, Peace Terms For Italy, The World's Work, Volume 37, 1918-1919

Monday, January 16, 2017

Quotes on the Italianity of Fiume

Here we have numerous impartial observations on the Italianity of Fiume, taken from English and other non-Italian sources:
“While we are passing the night under Arbe, it will not perhaps be without interest to say a little about the language and culture of this and kindred towns on the islands and coast of Dalmatia. ...in the town Italian is spoken: and I may notice that this is the characteristic of the whole coast on this side of the Gulf; and that not only in the towns which, as Arbe, were long under Venetian rule, but those also which never were thus connected with that republic; such as Fiume, about which one traces a number of characteristics similar to what one finds in the city of the doges itself. Thus the wife of the young man...having the head-dress, black veil, slippers, manners, and much of the character of a Venetian. And this prevalence of the Italian language and ethos exists, it is to be observed, not only in the maritime cities...”
—William Frederick Wingfield, A Tour in Dalmatia, Albania and Montenegro, 1859
“...the lower basin of the Isonzo, Gorizia, Trieste, Parenzo, Pola, and all the towns of maritime Istria are Italian, and the Italianissimi of Trieste are consequently justified in aspiring to a union with Italy. Fiume, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Quarnero, is likewise Italian, whilst in Zara, Spalato, and other towns of Dalmatia the Italians are in a majority.”
—Élisée Reclus, The Earth and Its Inhabitants: The Universal Geography, Volume 3, 1878
“The Italian language is spoken by almost the entire population of the Kingdom of Italy, in the two little states of Monaco and San Marino, on the island of Corsica, in the Swiss canton of Ticino, and several communes of the cantons Grisons and Valais, in the southern part of the Tyrol, in Triest and other cities of Istria and Dalmatia, and in the Hungarian free city of Fiume.”
—The Cyclopaedia of Education, 1883
“The bay of Fiume is charming... Italian is the prevailing tongue spoken, and is used in the courts of law. ...Hungarian, which is nominally the official language, is only spoken by the Hungarian officials themselves, who have to make use of the Italian language in their communications with the local municipal authorities. ... There is also a good-sized Theatre, with periodical performances in Italian.”
—Sir Robert Lambert Playfair, Handbook to the Mediterranean, Volume 2, 1890
“Confusion of tongues is, in fact, constant at Fiume. The majority of the population is really Italian in race and language...”
—Harriet Waters Peston, Some Reminiscences of Eastern Europe, The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 76, 1895
“She [Italy] wants to unite all her children under one roof. Hence she wants the city of Fiume, of whose 60,000 population, so a Fiuman municipal official told me, two-thirds are Italian, a sixth Slav, and the remaining sixth mixed. To confirm this preponderance, I walked everywhere in the city yesterday, specially in the sparsely settled quarters, where at least the little children would not be withheld from speaking their mother tongue. Yet everywhere I heard only Italian. I was well prepared, therefore, for my official's conclusion: 'As between Italians and Croats there is no question as to where the city's political control should be. It should be with the Italians.' ...the Entente Allies would deny justice to Italy unless she had Fiume too.”
—Elbert Francis Baldwin, The Question of Fiume, The Outlook, Volume 122, 1919
“Fiume has long resisted Croatian aggression. In 1776 we Americans were not the only ones who struggled for independence. The Fiumani did too. In that year the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria assigned Fiume to Croatia—just as President Wilson would do to-day. After three years of resistance, the Fiumans obtained a charter from the Empress reuniting them to Hungary, but according them full autonomy. A century later Croatian domination was again imposed and thrown off. ...Fiume impressed me as having the independent spirit of the old Greek and Italian cities... Mr. John Mitchell, a Scotchman, has lived sixteen years in Trieste. ... He thinks that the only solution for the peace of the whole region lies in giving Italy political control of the city proper of Fiume, and in making its port free, like Hamburg...”
—Elbert Francis Baldwin, The Question of Fiume, The Outlook, Volume 122, 1919
“It is not Italy which demands Fiume, but Fiume which demands annexation to Italy for the protection of its own interests, and to meet the wishes of its citizens, composed for the greater part of Italians, as the following graphic statistics will show. Even before the Italian troops entered the city, the National Council of Fiume, in an extraordinary session held on October 30, 1918, voted voluntarily for the annexation of the city to the kingdom of Italy. ... On April 18, 1919, Fiume voted a second time by plebiscite to be united to the kingdom of Italy. The commerce bodies, educational associations and sporting interests were unanimous in the desire. The city sent seventy odd telegrams to the Peace Conference in Paris, asking for the unconditional annexation of Fiume to Italy.”
—Henry Isham Hazelton, Fiume: The Superlatively Italian City, 1919
“While Fiume never has formed a part of [modern] Italy, it has remained Italian ever since its foundation 1,100 years ago. Rising on the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Tarsica destroyed by Charlemagne in 800, it never once has lost its pure Italian character. This is attested by all its artistic monuments and intellectual life, by all the acts of its administrative and business life, which with its language, laws and habits have preserved its complete Italianism in every age of its existence. ... On all maps, in all treaties, in all laws, in all protocols, Fiume always has been called Fiume, the Italian word for river... The fact that Fiume, while not belonging to Italy, has remained wholly Italian for over a thousand years, is the strongest proof which could be adduced to my mind, that it is an Italian city. In the political and business life of Fiume, the Croats always have been looked upon as strangers.”
—Henry Isham Hazelton, Fiume: The Superlatively Italian City, 1919
“Fiume is the last Italian outpost in the Julian Alps, the extreme bulwark of Latin civilization. Fiume has been through long centuries an Italian radiating center in the Gulf of Quarnero. Volosca, Abbazia, Laurano, Albona, Moschiena, Veglia, Cherso, Arbe and other places have preserved their Italianism, thanks to the sturdy national character of the Gem of the Quarnero.”
—Henry Isham Hazelton, Fiume: The Superlatively Italian City, 1919
“The city of Fiume has an Italian population, which, after a census made in 1918, represents three fourths of the entire population. It counts 28,911 Italians against 10,927 Croats, Slovenes, and Serbs, and 6,000 Hungarians and Germans. ... It is to be seen, therefore, how much the Italian element is in the majority at Fiume. ... One might almost fancy himself at Budapest. But in the street, it is the Italian speech which meets the ear at every step. In order to understand the question of Fiume, it seems to me necessary to show how this town, or better, this commune, has been jealous of its independence for centuries, has been opposed to all Austrian, Hungarian, or Croat domination and attached to its Italianism. Always struggling against the Slav influence, the Italian element has kept to its Italian sentiments in a state of extreme tension. ... The independence of the city and its Italian character are thus the two essential factors of the question.”
—Joseph Galtier, A Visit to Fiume, The Living Age, Volume 301, May 24, 1919
“In 1776, Maria Theresa breaking the tradition of history united Fiume to Croatia. The town resisted and revolted so well that after three years, Maria Theresa was forced to abrogate the decree of 1776. Closer to our times, in 1848, the Croats occupied the city by force. The struggle, constant and bitter, lasted nineteen years, until 1867, an epoch in which both Croatia and Hungary recognized the privileged situation of Fiume. The Italians of Fiume accepted so little the Croat domination that the governor of Fiume, in 1861, declared that because of the ‘constant struggle of party,’ the town and district of Fiume was to be considered in a state of siege. ... Let us take note also that the Croats, before 1867, invited the citizens of Fiume to send deputies to the Diet of Agram to ask for the union of Fiume with Croatia; these deputies, however, brought only a protestation against all projects of union.”
—Joseph Galtier, A Visit to Fiume, The Living Age, Volume 301, May 24, 1919
“Fiume lies within the Julian Alps, that natural boundary that terminates near Portori, opposite the island of Veglia. For many centuries it has been an international football, tossed from one ownership to another. The town itself is old Roman and was destroyed by Charlemagne. It was once a fief of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. It belonged to Venice for one year. Finally it went over to the control of Austria. ... But we do know, that in spite of all barterings, vicissitudes, this plaything of the powers has retained its Italian character. It has ever aspired to be a part of the Italian kingdom. Of its diverse population, sixty-five per cent are Italian, and a plebiscite would quickly decide the national determination of the city. ... Fiume can never again belong to Austria, nor to Croatia... It must either be a part of Italy or become a free port.”
—Herbert D. Ward, Italy's Aim in the World War, 1919
“The orders from Budapest having always been in Italian; in the courts, Italian was spoken and the Hungarian governor, on taking office, came to the hall of the Municipal Council to take the oath in Italian and to swear respect to the privileges of Fiume. As soon as this violation of customary usage was known, the town covered itself with the Italian colors. ... The Italians of Fiume are more Italian than the Italians. ... To conclude, I do not think it doubtful that the city of Fiume is Italian by a large majority. Even at the time of the Pragmatic Sanction, the delegation from Fiume which signed the document had Italian names; twenty-eight names, indisputably Italian. Recently, an American arriving at Fiume had the idea of going to the cemetery to read the names on the tombs. This performance gave the municipality the idea of a referendum at the cemetery. The dead were to vote. The result was decisive, more than eighty per cent of the inscriptions are in Italian. ... I do not think that the Jugo-Slavs contest the Italian majority of Fiume. ...I repeat, the question of Fiume is already decided for anyone who visits the town; Fiume is Italian.”
—Joseph Galtier, A Visit to Fiume, The Living Age, Volume 301, May 24, 1919
“On the left or west bank of the river is Fiume, with approximately 40,000 inhabitants, of whom very nearly three-fourths are Italian. ... Her [Italy's] sentimental claims are based on the ground that the city's population, character, and history are overwhelmingly Italian. I have already stated that the Italians constitute about three-fourths of the total population of Fiume, the latest figures, as quoted in the United States Senate, giving 29,569 inhabitants to the Italians and 14,798 to the Slavs. There is no denying that the city has a distinctively Italian atmosphere, for its architecture is Italian, that Venetian trade-mark, the Lion of St. Mark, being in evidence on several of the older buildings; the mode of outdoor life is such as one meets in Italy; most of its stores and banks are owned by Italians, and Italian is the prevailing tongue. ... The Italians of Fiume, as I have already shown, outnumber the Slavs almost three to one, and it is they who are demanding so violently that the city should be annexed to Italy on the ground of self-determination.”
—A. Alexander Powell, The New Frontiers of Freedom, Scribner's Magazine, Volume 67, 1920