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 Farlati 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