Saturday, November 10, 2018

Dalmatia: Alessandro Dudan Responds to Arthur Evans

(Written by Alessandro Dudan, taken from “The Saturday Review”, Volume 123, 1917.)

To the Editor of the Saturday Review.

Sir, — As practically all the Italians from Dalmatia who have been able to escape from that unfortunate country, after having suffered as few other nationalities have ever suffered through the Austro-Croatian work of denationalisation, are now serving in the Italian Army, not a single one of those “Italianissimi” has been given the opportunity, I am afraid, to answer the most extraordinary attacks which Sir Arthur Evans and his few friends have been pleased repeatedly to make against them. May I be, therefore, allowed as a Dalmatian Irredento of Spalato, who for ten months has already done his duty in the Army, to raise my voice in protest?

I shall do so without abuse.

I feel entitled, however, to inform him that the “noisy and ignorant” little clique of extremists who are claiming Italy's right to Dalmatia are the best part of the Italian nation, from the Supreme Command and the Government to the extreme Radical and Socialist reformist parties, to which latter Signor Bissolati belongs. Anybody stating the contrary deceives naively himself and his readers.

I do not want to repeat the many and too much already quoted national, historical, and strategic arguments which have been advanced to prove the rightfulness of these claims.

To answer some of Sir Arthur's and his friends' favourite statements it is sufficient to compare the flourishing Dalmatian civilisation before 1797 (Campoformio) with the semi-barberous conditions obtaining to-day in those regions of the Adriatic coast which are under Austro-Croatian or Austro-Slovene rule. I would refer Sir Arthur Evans to Mr. T. J. Jackson's “Dalmatia, Histria, and Montenegro” (Oxford, 1884), which is certain to appeal to Sir Arthur's archaeological instincts. In the meanwhile I will quote some passages of this work, which may serve to illuminate him on the real and impartial facts of the case:
“In the maritime cities of the mainland and on most of the islands the traveller may well imagine himself in Italy, for the language, architecture, manners, and dress of the citizens are the same as on the other side of the Adriatic.” (Vol. I., page 200)
“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 it 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, Vlak or Rouman.” (Vol. I., page 183)
This uninterrupted Latin and Italian character of the country, which existed long before any Slav immigration, was already proved in 1673 by the greatest Dalmatian historian, Giovanni Lucio, whose works ought to be well known to any self-constituted authority on the subject. In the preface to Lucio's “Historia di Dalmatia, et in particolare delle città di Traù, Spalato et Sebenico(Venezia : Curti, 1674), it is stated:
“Having now to write the memoirs of Traù, my birthplace, I have wished to use the modern or vulgar tongue, which may be called Dalmatian no less than Italian.”
If Sir Arthur would like to know how Austria “Croatised” the Dalmatian municipalities, which had until then (1797) been Latin and Italian, let him turn to Vol. II., page 83, of Jackson's work:
“The late podesta of Spalato (an Italian) was, however, ejected with the whole municipality from office (1882) by the Austrian Government to make way for a new corporation of strictly Croatian sympathisers, which after an interregnum of two years was elected under the guns of a man-of-war stationed in the harbour, and which one may therefore assume was forced upon an unwilling people. Spalato has hitherto been no less strongly attached to the Latin or autonomous party than Zara herself, but nothing is now being left undone to give it the character of a Slovene town and to put an end to the Latin tradition of twelve centuries, during which the Croat has borne no rule within its walls.”
If Sir Arthur, notwithstanding these clear evidences of ancient and modern history of Dalmatia, prefers his fantastic political interpretation of historical facts, we cannot help being amused. Ne sutor ultra crepidam! He would be well advised, however, to remember that Austro-Croatian statistics, apart from the proved falsifications, do not represent the scientific principle of nationality, because they are merely based on the principle of the “language in use“. It is thus, therefore, that a very large number of Italians have been registered as Croats by the Croatian municipalities. In the elections under universal suffrage which took place in 1911 it was proved that the Italian national political party amounts to at least 10 per cent. of the population. It is equally well known, however, that at least a third of the 600,000 Dalmatians are acquainted with and speak Italian. To these must be added at least 150,000 Morlacchi, who, while speaking Slav, are Latin by race (Moro-Valachians: see Porphyregenitus's and Lucio's works).

Sir Arthur Evans and his Jingo-Slavs like to quote certain isolated passages (always the same) of Mazzini and of Tommaseo without regard to the context or to the general trend of the writings of these two patriots, who would certainly to-day be the first to protest against such an unfair and false use of their words.

If one reads the correspondence between Mazzini and Kossuth, published in the “Oesterreichische Rundschau” of Vienna, 1883 (see pages 695-714), it will appear that Mazzini dreamed of a Balkan Confederation headed by the Magyars, and directed against Russia and Russian influence in the Balkans. Who would think to-day, after the Magyars' behaviour and that of the Croats, to reward them by giving them Italian cities and Italian provinces?

To say that Tommaseo, who after 1848 dedicated all his political writings (over twenty volumes between books and pamphlets) to fighting the Austro-Croatians in his native Dalmatia, and who to do this started learning Croatian when he was thirty-nine, wished the Slavization of his country, is to insult and to libel his memory. Tommaseo was the official leader of the Italian autonomistic party in Dalmatia, but to protect it from Austrian persecution he could not call them “Irredentisti”, which would have been tantamount to declaring the Italians traitors to the Austrian State. He was therefore obliged to say that then they did not wish for the impossible—i.e., the separation of Dalmatia from Austria, but that they were contented with a state of autonomy which, however, was never granted them.

Sir Arthur's misinterpretation of Tommaseo's lines, “Alla Dalmazia”, must be noted. In order to get the right sense of these lines, referring to the future of Italo-Serbian relations in Dalmatia, let him refer to Senatore Isidoro Del Lungo, Arciconsolo of the Accademia della Crusca, the highest philological authority in Italy, who has already dealt with the question.

One last point I should like to correct in Sir Arthur's statements. Among the authorities which he calls to his aid in order to convince his readers of the preposterous character of Italian aspirations is Camillo Cavour. On page 14-15 of Vol. VIII. of “Storia Documentata della Diplomazia Europea in Italia(Turin, 1872), written by Nicomede Bianchi, the following document is quoted:
“In November 1858 Vincenzo Salvagnoli was charged by Cavour to go to Compiègne, and after a long conversation with the Emperor Napoleon he consigned to him an important Note, in which is was stated that: ‘Northern Italy will include the whole of Piedmont, Savoy and the county of Nice excepted, Lombardy, Venetia, the Italian Friuli and the coasts of Dalmatia.’ . . .”
I don't suppose that even Sir Arthur will be pleased to place Cavour among the “noisy and ignorant” little clique which is fighting most bravely with the Allies for that great Italian statesman's never-forgotten ideal of a united Italy.

I beg to remain,
Your obedient servant,
Alessandro Dudan, Dr. Jur.,
Special Correspondent of the “Messaggero”, Rome.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Exodus of Istrians in the First World War

Italian deportees at Wagna Refugee Camp, c. 1915

(Written by Lorenzo Salimbeni, taken from the newspaper “Il Giornale d'Italia”, November 20, 2017.)

Italians living around the base of Pola were transferred to internment camps

At the outbreak of the First World War the Austro-Hungarian Empire issued evacuation measures for their strongholds, with obvious reference to those that were close to the border with Russia, the scene of the first battles, but also the city of Pola was part of this measure. The Istrian city, in fact, was the main naval base of the imperial war fleet and therefore a call was issued that urged the population to prepare for any special measures. In the spring of 1915, when the movements of the Kingdom of Italy signaled its entry into the war against Austria, the first calls for the evacuation of civilians were made. Some organized themselves with their own means, moving in with friends and relatives residing in other places of the Empire; as regards the Italian citizens residing in the Adriatic Coast, the so-called "regnicoli", those fit for military service were collected in special internment camps, while women, children and the elderly were gradually able to return home through Switzerland.

The exhortation to evacuate first pertained to Pola and southern Istria, then expanded to Rovigno and central Istria, so it is estimated that about 50,000 people (out of a population of 100,000) were loaded onto trains and taken to barracks camps built in Styria or near Vienna. Those destined to live in these Barackenlager first had the traumatizing experience of the interminable journey (in memoirs we often find the word "invaginated", i.e. enclosed or turned inside out, which gives a good idea of how these people had been crammed into cattle cars), after which they experienced the shock of the structures in which they would be forced to live. Wagna, for example, the most famous of these camps, was created from the hasty expansion of a military training camp, in which the buildings were full of drafts and each barrack contained a hundred people gathered in precarious hygienic-sanitary conditions and in extremely close proximity. The Habsburg authorities guaranteed a daily allowance to everyone, but if someone could find work in the area or preferred to settle in a better structure outside the camp, he would lose this small pay. The poor living conditions of the internees of Italian nationality were in vain brought to the Parliament of Vienna by the Deputies Alcide De Gasperi, with special reference to the Trentino, and Valentino Pittoni, who sought to protect the displaced Italians from the Adriatic Littoral. During the so-called "Events of Wagna" the troops stationed to guard the camp (managed in such a way as to resemble more a prison than a shelter for refugees) suppressed a protest demonstration so forcefully that they killed a victim.

When the Italian army was forced to retreat to the Piave, the Adriatic Littoral regained security and the refugees began to return, but so slowly that, in the strikes that shook the Empire at the end of January 1918, workers and military demonstrators in Pola also demanded the immediate return of their relatives. The local administrators did not make significant efforts to help the reintegration of refugees, appealing to the technicality that Pola, Rovigno and the county had never been officially "evacuated", since the authority was limited to "advising" people to leave. Those who were still living in the Barackenlager experienced the national conflicts that were shaking the foundations of the Empire, since the committee that had arisen among the refugees of the Littoral to report to the administrators of the camps lost its solidarity. This committee had always been presided over by representatives of Italian nationality, as Italians were the majority component of displaced persons of the Province and in any case the other ethnic groups were never discriminated against; however, the Slavic and German elements in the first months of 1918 created alternative structures of representation in order to highlight their own specificity in the presence of the Habsburg administration.

Due to the convulsive final phase of the Empire, the return of the displaced Istrians ended only in the first months of 1919, under the Italian military authorities that had in the meantime taken up positions in Julian Venetia.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Overview of Lidia Bastianich's Autobiography

Lidia Bastianich is a world famous Italian chef and author. She is also an Istrian exile. In 2018 Lidia published an official autobiography or memoir, detailing the story of her life—beginning with her origins in Istria to her life as a celebrity chef in the United States.

Overview: ‘My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food’ by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich

From the best-selling cookbook author, beloved and award-winning television personality, and hugely successful restaurateur—a heartwarming, emotional, revelatory memoir told with all her hallmark warmth and gusto.

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pola, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security—despite the family's poverty—learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States—an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life. At age 12, Lidia starts a new life in New York. She soon begins working in restaurants as a young teenager, the first step toward the creation of her own American dream. And she tells in great, vivid detail the fulfillment of that dream: her close-knit family, her dedication and endless passion for food that ultimately leads to multiple restaurants, many cookbooks, and twenty years on public television as the host of her own cooking show. An absolute must-have for the millions of Lidia fans.

The book is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble: My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food


See also:
Excerpt From Lidia Bastianich's Autobiography

Excerpt From Lidia Bastianich's Autobiography

Here is a brief excerpt from the first chapter of Lidia Bastianich's new autobiography or memoir, My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food, published in 2018:
Few people outside of my immediate family know this, but for the first five years of my life, my name was not Lidia, it was Giuliana. My mother had chosen this name for me as a way to remember her homeland, which was then part of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northern Italy. The Second World War had ended, and communism was coming to Pola, the small city on the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, where my family lived. The Yugoslav Partisans, who were communist-led, had fought as guerrillas against the Nazis and Fascists and had taken over the government of Yugoslavia when the Germans were defeated. As part of the 1947 Treaty of Paris, our city, and most of the Istrian Peninsula, which had become part of Italy after World War I, was given to communist Yugoslavia. 
The redrawing of borders sparked a mass exodus from the area, with more than three hundred thousand people fleeing to Italy to reclaim their Italian citizenship. Many of them had deep Italian roots; they spoke Italian, and their families were Italian. Many of them migrated on to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. My parents planned to join the migration, but my mother was pregnant with me, and they knew that travel would be difficult. There was also the question of where to go once we crossed the border. Refugees were being placed in camps, and my father was not comfortable with the idea of my mother's giving birth and caring for an infant in such a place. They also had my three-year-old brother, Franco, to consider. The war was still raging when my mother gave birth to him in July 1944. With the collapse of Fascist Italy in 1943, the Germans occupied the city and used it as a U-boat base, making it a target for Allied bombardments. (...) When he was five months old, two bombs were dropped on Pola. The minute the siren sounded, altering residents to the bombardment, my father assumed his role as driver of the fire truck for the Pola town arsenal, Cantiere Navale di Scoglio Olivi. My mother awoke to see pieces of the ceiling falling onto her baby's cradle, and she hurried to his side, grabbed the [wooden cradle] with Franco inside, and ran to the bomb shelter. 
At the end of the war, Pola was under the Allied forces when my mother became pregnant with me. The exodus of Italian Istrians was still open, and many of my mother's friends and relatives were moving to Italy, because Istria was soon to be under the Yugoslavian rule.
(...) on February 21, 1947, she gave birth to me at the hospital in Pola, and seven months after that, on the fifteenth of September, the day the provisions of the Treaty of Paris were put into place, the border between Italy and Yugoslavia was officially closed. My parents—and Franco and I—were now stuck in Yugoslavia.
Change came to Pola (“Pula” in Croatian) almost immediately under communism. The names of streets, towns, and monuments were changed to reflect the area's new official language [Serbo-Croatian]. Everybody's last name was changed as the new documents and identification cards were issued. Ours was changed from the Italian “Matticchio” to the Slavic “Motika”. Churches across the peninsula were ordered closed. Suddenly, people weren't allowed to go to church or even practice religion openly. It was a sharp blow to many—both Italian and Croatian—who lived in the city and had practiced Catholicism for generations. (...)
“Giuliana” had a deep meaning for my mother. Friuli-Venezia Giulia is still a region of Italy, and Istria before the war was part of that region. Istria was in the Giulia part of the region, and we were Giuliani, as the emigrants from the area were referred to. (...) For the first five years of my life, I was known as Giuliana by everyone who knew me—friends, family, and everyone in town. I was Giuliana. Then, suddenly, I wasn't. Suddenly, I was Lidia.

The book is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble: My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Response to “Croatians That Make Croatia Proud”

On Slavorum.org, a Pan-Slavism forum popular among Slavic nationalists and identarians, a Croatian user posted a list of “Croatians That Make Croatia Proud”, purportedly containing the names of Croatian inventors, scientists, authors and notable people.

The list was originally posted in February 2012, but was most recently edited in March 2016.

The main problem with the list is that it cites several people who are not Croatian. In fact, out of the first 16 names on the list, only half of them are Croatian. Furthermore, the inclusion of some of these names are patently absurd and even offensive.

Take for example the inclusion of Mario Andretti, an Italian born in what was then the Kingdom of Italy, whose family was forced into exile from their homeland of Istria following an ethnic cleansing against ethnic Italians by the Yugoslavs at the end of World War II. How could such a man possibly be defined as “Croatian”, let alone “make Croatia proud”?

If anything, Croatia should be ashamed at the way in which Croats treated the indigenous Italian population of Istria and Dalmatia, including Mario Andretti and his family. Genocide and expulsion of ethnic Italians from their historical homeland is nothing to be proud of.

It is completely absurd and dishonest, not to mention highly insulting and offensive, for the Croats to persecute an ethnic group, expel that ethnic group from their own land, occupy their territory, and then, a few decades later, claim the members of that same ethnic group as part of the Croatian nation, merely to bolster Croatia's list of supposed “accomplishments”!

Instead of “making Croatia proud”, this list should make Croatia blush with shame, because it is yet another example of how Croatia is a country which has fostered and continues to foster a gross historical revisionism among the masses of its citizens, and continues to perpetuate a mentality which has frequently led to wars and genocide in the Balkans.

Non-Croats That Make Croatia Proud: Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich

Among the first 16 men cited on this list, we find names such as Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich, Marco Polo, St. Marinus and Nikola Tesla, whose names are all written, unsurprisingly, in their falsified Croatian forms.

The first non-Croat to appear on the list is Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich, an Italian Jesuit scientist who was born in Ragusa to an Italian mother and a Bosnian immigrant father. His name is falsely written on the list as Rudjer Boskovic, a neologism frequently used by Croats. In reality his birth name was Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich; he was named after his Italian uncle and godfather Ruggiero Bettera. Boscovich was born and raised in an Italian cultural environment in Ragusa; his mother tongue was Italian and he used Italian in his private correspondence; he spent almost his entire life in Italy, self-identified as Dalmatian and Italian, and signed his own name as Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich. He was not Croatian.

Marco Polo: Venetian, Not Croatian

The next non-Croat to appear on the list is the famous Venetian explorer Marco Polo. The list claims that Polo was born on the island of Curzola in 1251. This claim is rejected by all reputable historians, who unanimously maintain that Polo was born in Venice. However, even if he was born in Curzola, this still would not make him a “Croat”. At the time of Marco Polo, Curzola was a Venetian island populated by Italians and Dalmatian-speakers. Until 1900, Italians still comprised more than half of the population of Curzola's main city. The island had no connection to Croatia or Slavdom until it was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia) in 1921. Marco Polo had nothing to do with Croats or Croatia.

Giorgio Orsini, Not “Juraj Dalmatinac”

Next on the list is Giorgio Orsini da Sebenico, a 15th century Italian sculptor from Dalmatia who has been ridiculously renamed Juraj Dalmatinac by the Croats – a name which did not exist until it was coined by Croatian nationalist writers several decades ago. Giorgio was born into the Orsini family, a noble Italian family of Roman origin. He spent his entire life in Italy and the Venetian cities of Dalmatia. He was not Croatian.

St. Marinus: Roman, Not Croatian

Next is St. Marinus, the famous monk and saint who founded the Republic of San Marino. Born on the island of Arbe to a Roman family in the 3rd century AD, St. Marinus lived and died several centuries before the Croats arrived in this territory. In fact, the first Croats did not begin to settle in Arbe until the 10th century AD, some 600 years after Marinus' death. Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that the urban center of Arbe remained exclusively Italian-speaking until the early 20th century, and during World War I the population voted unanimously in favour of being united to Italy. It was not until 1921 that Italy was forced to cede the island to Yugoslavia, which led to a persecution and exodus of the ancient Italian population. Only in a fantastically illusory world in which all facts of history are ignored could St. Marinus be called “Croatian”.

Nikola Tesla: Not Croatian

Not at all surprising, the next man on the list is the famous inventor Nikola Tesla. Tesla is frequently claimed by the Croats for the mere reason that he was born in a village which is today part of Croatia. While the author of this list admits that Tesla was of Serbian descent, he nonetheless argues that being born in Croatia also makes him a Croat. However, the village in which Tesla was born – Smiljan, in the Austro-Hungarian military district of Krajina – was at the time inhabited by ethnic Vlachs and Serbs. Tesla's father and maternal grandfather were both Serbian Orthodox priests and Tesla himself was raised as a Serb, although there is evidence that his family originally descended from Morlachs or Vlachs, an indigenous Latin population of the Balkans which over the centuries became culturally and linguistically slavicized. One thing however is certain: he was not Croatian.

Fausto Veranzio, Not “Faust Vrancic”

Next we arrive at Fausto Veranzio, a 16th century Italian bishop and polymath from Dalmatia credited with inventing the parachute. The Croats have renamed him Faust Vrancic and cite him as a “Croatian inventor”, despite the fact that he was born to an Italian noble family, with an Italian name, in an Italian city, whose only connection to Croatia is having his birthplace annexed to Croatia three centuries after his death.

Giovanni Biagio Luppis, Not “Ivan Lupis”

Next on this list we find Giovanni Biagio Luppis, an Italian inventor from Fiume, listed under the fake name Ivan Lupis. Giovanni – which was his real birth name – invented the self-propelled torpedo, originally called the Salvacoste (Italian for ‘coast-saver’), which was the first modern torpedo. He was a member of the noble De Lupis family, which originated in Puglia, Italy and settled in Dalmatia in the 13th century, before finally settling in Fiume in the 18th century. His father Ferdineo Carlo Ermenegildo de Luppis was born in Parenzo, Istria. His mother Donna Giovanna Margherita Parich was an Italian noble from Ragusa. He was not Croatian.

David Schwarz: Jewish Inventor, Not Croatian

Next on the list is David Schwarz, a Jewish man from Hungary whose name is clearly not Croatian. The author of the list credits Schwarz with inventing the airship and asserts that the German inventor Ferdinand von Zeppelin copied the idea from Schwarz. This narrative is highly disputed by historians, who generally recognize that Zeppelin's airship was radically different from the one invented by Schwarz. However, even if it could be proven that Zeppelin indeed copied Scharz, it would make no difference in regards to Croatia, because Schwarz's parents were Hungarian Jews, not Croats.

Republic of Ragusa: Italian Maritime Republic, Not Slavic

After this, the author discusses national health insurance and credits its establishment to “Dubrovnik”, which is a reference to the Republic of Ragusa, an Italian maritime republic founded by Romans who had escaped the medieval invasions of the Slavs and Avars. Ragusa was an ancient Roman city which inherited its language and culture from Rome, and modeled its institutions on Venice. The official language was Italian; the nobility and representatives were Italian; the names were Italian; and the culture itself was Italian. Slavic was initially spoken only by immigrants and refugees who began to pour into Ragusa's territory following the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans in the 15th century; the Ragusan Senate banned their language in 1472 in a desperate attempt to preserve the Italian character of the country. For a millennium Ragusa belonged to the Latin and Italian cultural sphere and had nothing to do with Croatia or the Slavic world.

Dalmatian Italians Secretly Croats?

Next the author says that many Croatian architects, sculptors and painters had great careers in Venice, and that they “took Italian names and are therefore only known under these names”. The author thus subtly reiterates the Croatian nationalist revisionist claim that all the notable Italian Dalmatian historical figures were secretly “renegade Croats”, despite having Italian names, despite coming from Italian cities, despite being born to Italian parents, and despite speaking the Italian language.

Unfortunately for Croatian revisionists, there will always remain this pesky and inconvenient fact: the fact that, aside from a handful of minor authors who wrote in Slavic dialect, all the illustrious men from Dalmatia – whom the Croats seek to steal for themselves – were born into known Italian families and their names were always recorded in Italian and Latin. The Croatian variants of their names did not exist until the 19th and 20th centuries, when Croatian and Yugoslav authors began to translate and slavicize the Italian names of all historical figures of Istria and Dalmatia, slavicizing not only the names of those few insignificant figures who were known to be Slavs, but even men who were purely Italian and born into Italian families, who formed the majority of the population in all the Dalmatian coastal cities until the 19th century.

If these men were all truly Croats or Slavs, then such gross historical distortions and intellectual dishonesty would not be necessary.

The 'Adriatic' is a Slavic Sea?

The author then goes on to say that Adriatic Sea derives its name from Adria, a city located in the region of Veneto, in Italy. That the Adriatic derives its name from the city of Adria is undoubtedly true, and is attested to by the Roman author Pliny the Elder. However, since this list is purported to be about Croatian achievement, the author seems to be implying that Adria has some sort of connection to the Croats or Slavs, which is completely false. The first settlements in the area of Adria were created by the Veneti, an Italic tribe closely related to the Latins. The city itself was founded by the Etruscans, and later it became a Roman colony. The city has no historical link whatsoever to the Croats or Slavs.

Mario Andretti: An Italian Targeted For Genocide

Further down on the list we find Mario Gabriele Andretti, the famous Italian-born racing driver already discussed earlier. As already mentioned, Andretti was born to an Italian family in Montona, Istria, which was then part of the Kingdom of Italy. At the end of World War II, his homeland was occupied and annexed to Communist Yugoslavia (and today it is part of Croatia). Ever since the latter stages of the war ethnic Italians in the region were targeted for ethnic cleansing by the Yugoslavs; many thousands of Italian civilians were slaughtered in the Foibe Massacres, while some 350,000 Italians were forced into exile. The Andretti family was among them: they left Istria in 1948 and ended up in a refugee camp in Lucca, Italy for the next seven years.

In a 2016 interview, Mario Andretti said:
“We were basically refugees in our own country. We were stripped of everything because we sacrificed to maintain Italian citizenship. But nobody understood us because nobody talked about it. The press didn't talk about it, and the government was basically ashamed of it in a sense because of the Geneva pact.”
It is truly disgusting, perverse, atrocious and really something to marvel at, that a man who lived in a refugee camp and whose family was targeted by the Yugoslavs due to their Italian national origin, would today be claimed as belonging to the same Slavic people that persecuted him and his family! At this rate, Bobby Sands will be remembered as a “proud Englishman”, alongside that great “Turkish” hero Aeneas and the “Russian” philosopher Immanuel Kant!

Diego Maradona: Italo-Dalmatian Ancestors, Not Croatian

Diego Maradona, an Argentine footballer, was born in Lanús, Argentina. Anyone who has ever seen Maradona would immediately realize that he has a significant amount of Native American ancestry, although he also has Italian ancestry. It is also presumed that he may have Spanish ancestry as well; the surname Maradona is most often a Spanish surname, although some speculate that in this case, Maradona's family surname may derive from Madonna, a surname which is diffused throughout southern Italy. In any case, it is certain that he has both Italian and Native American ancestry. It is the Italian ancestry that interests us here, because this is where the Croats are engaging in monumental fraud, dishonesty and manipulation.

Some of Maradona's Italian ancestors came from Dalmatia. Maradona's maternal great-grandfather, Matteo Carioli (also spelled Cariolichi), was born in Curzola, an island off the Dalmatian coast which was formerly inhabited by Italians, but which today is part of Croatia. In 1994 the journal Studia Croatica, a Croatian-Argentine journal founded by Croatian immigrants, published an article in which they referred to Maradona's great-grandfather Matteo Carioli by the fake name Matej Kariolić, a purely invented name not found in any historical records or birth registers.

The Croatian revisionists also referred to Matteo Carioli's father (Diego Maradona's maternal great-great grandfather, born in Curzola in 1820) as Gašpar Polić, another name which is not found in any birth records. In fact, at that time Croatian diacritics were not invented yet! The letters š and ć did not enter the Croatian alphabet until 1830, ten years after the birth of “Gašpar Polić”. Obviously this could not have been his real birth name, since those letters did not yet exist; but these pesky facts are evidently irrelevant for the revisionists. They further asserted that this non-existent “Gašpar Polić” was a descendant of Marco Polo, the Italian explorer whom they also claim was a “Croat”. A fantastic story with no basis whatsoever in reality.

In this way, the Croatian community in Argentina began to spread the claim that Diego Maradona's Italian Dalmatian ancestors were Croatian. This false claim has now been spread by Croatian revisionists on various Internet sites, such as Wikipedia, EthniCelebs and Geni.

Joseph Haydn: The Austro-German Becomes An Austro-Slav

Another interesting man on the list is Franz Joseph Haydn, the famous Austrian composer. Haydn was born in the village of in Rohrau, in Austria, to Mathias Haydn and Maria Koller. Both were ethnic Germans, as their German surnames and historical records both demonstrate.

Ever since the late 19th century, however, Croatian revisionists have claimed that Haydn was a Croat. The theory originated with Franjo Kuhač, an ethnic German from Slavonia whose birth name was Franz Xaver Koch. He became interested in Croatian folk music and in 1871 he changed his name to Franjo Ksaver Kuhač. After studying Croatian folk music and comparing it to the music of Joseph Haydn, Kuhač arbitrarily concluded without any tangible evidence that Haydn must have been Croatian. Kuhač further claimed, again without any evidence, that the name “Haydn” was of Croatian origin. From that point forward, Haydn has been usurped by Croatian revisionists who, disregarding records and history, still today pretend that the Austrian composer was a Croat.

Nor is this claim limited merely to a nationalist fringe; mainstream Croatian historiography also maintains that Haydn was Croatian. This can be seen in Haydn's biography on the Croatian-language Wikipedia website and in numerous Croatian-language encyclopedias, which assert in no uncertain terms that Haydn was “of Croatian origin”.

The Mythical “Croatian Popes”

The list also claims there were two Croatian popes, without citing any specific names. However, based on other Croatian revisionist websites and common Croatian claims, it can be assumed that the author of this list is most likely referring to Pope John IV and Pope Sixtus V.

Pope John IV was born in Dalmatia in the 6th or 7th century to a Roman family. His father was the Roman advocate Venantius. After witnessing the Avar and Slavic invasions of Istria and Dalmatia in the 7th century, he fled with his father to Italy. In 641 he sent the Roman abbot Martin to Dalmatia to ransom local Christians who were kidnapped, enslaved and held hostage by the invading Slavs. Today he is often considered the “first Croatian pope” by Croats. According to this warped and deranged argument, this Roman who was fleeing from the Slavs was himself a “Slav”, merely because the land in which he was born is today occupied by the descendants of those same Slav invaders whom he was fleeing from.

Pope Sixtus V is universally recognized as an Italian. According to the first and official biography of the pope, written by his secretary Antonio Maria Graziani (1537-1611) and personally edited by Pope Sixtus himself, both parents of the pope were born in the Marche region of Italy (his father being from the village of Montalto; his mother being from the village of Frontillo), and therefore were of Italian origin. Despite Croatian pretenses, he was not Croatian.

Concluding Remarks

All of this once again demonstrates the blind nationalism and extremely low level of scholarship that infects the ex-Yugoslav countries, a situation which is both pitiful and tragic. These distorted claims and historical falsifications so widespread in the Balkans are precisely the kind which foster a mentality and sentiment which has led to numerous wars and genocides in the region in this past century. The perpetuation of this mentality will only lead to further alienation, war and destruction.


See also:
Croatia is Manipulating the History of Dalmatia, Istria and the Quarnero
Croats Using Wikipedia to Rewrite Dalmatian History
Education and Revisionism in the Balkans
German Saints Stolen by the Slovenes
Why do Some Countries Steal History and Heritage from Other Nations?
Italian Literature in Dalmatia: A Falsified History
Croatia Kidnaps Marco Polo
Marco Polo a Croat? A Ridiculous Thesis
Pope Sixtus V: Another Victim of Slavic Revisionism
The Unfounded “Croatian” Origin of Pope Sixtus V
Ivan Golub Claims Pope Sixtus V was “Croatian”
St. Jerome and Slavic Myth-Making (Revisionism)
The Myth of the “Croatian Renaissance”
Rampant Croatization

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Yugoslavia Between the World Wars: Anti-Italian Terrorism and Forced Slavicization From 1918-1941

Trieste was the site of numerous assassinations and terror attacks
by Yugoslav terrorist groups in the 1920's and 1930's

(Written by the editors of the page “Nuovo Risorgimento per l'Italia”, December 23, 2014.)

Introduction

The brief historical reconstruction we published which summarized the long genocide perpetrated by the Slavs—from the Slavic invasion in the 7th century after Christ to the Foibe Massacres in the 20th century, passing through the harsh persecutions carried out against the Italians under the Habsburg Empire from 1866-1918, and under the Yugoslav monarchy in the period between the two world wars—certainly did not please those who would like to forcibly slavicize Trieste and Gorizia and detach them from the Motherland.

Not wanting to advertise secessionists and deniers of the Foibe Massacres, we prefer not to mention their names and not to repeat their words. Their aggressive and insulting responses do however demonstrate that we have told the truth and have hit the nail right on the head. What they wrote, with their typically banal and obsolete paraphernalia of stereotypes, also demonstrates that denial of the Foibe Massacres is unfortunately still very much alive.

In response to these deniers of the Foibe and the Julian-Dalmatian Exodus, we want to publish this agile article that synthetically covers the policies of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia between 1918 and 1941, which aimed at expelling Italians from Dalmatia and Venezia Giulia, which is further proof of the fact that the plan to carry out a genocide against Italians in these regions had already arisen well before the arrival of Dictator Tito's partisans, and indeed can be traced as far back as the 19th century.


1. Yugoslavia continues the Habsburg program of forcibly slavicizing Venezia Giulia

Yugoslavia—dominated by the Serbian ethnic element, which has always been very hostile to Austria, and which during the First World War had come into conflict with the Habsburg Empire—at the peace conference demanded the whole of Dalmatia and the whole of Venezia Giulia, up to the Italian-Austrian border of 1866, and even claimed territories that were already Italian at that date, and asked that the border be moved to the Tagliamento.

The reason for this request, which completely violated both the agreements between the states of the Entente, and also the "Fourteen Points of Wilson", consisted in the fact that the Slovenian and Croatian nationalists who entered the new kingdom resumed the programs and the ideologies that had developed during the period of Habsburg domination, naturally including the project of "trialism", which meant slavicizing and annexing Venezia Giulia, with Trieste as its capital.

The ideologues and arguments supporting these claims were essentially the same, without interruption.


2. 1920: A new stage in the destruction of Italianity in Dalmatia

Another chain of ferocious violence and persecution against Italians by the Slavs occurred in 1920, causing another mass exodus of Italians from Dalmatia, which was the second such exodus since 1866 and subsequent years.

Also in this case, as had already happened before under the Habsburg regime, the Yugoslav authorities did nothing to prevent violence and criminal acts, indeed they even took direct part in these actions. Raimondo Deranez, an Italian from Dalmatia, wrote a work in 1919 entitled "Some Details on the Martyrdom of Dalmatia" in which he enumerated the uninterrupted succession of violence, arrogance, aggression, harassment, etc. which struck the Italian Dalmatians since 1866, declaring that the Austrian authorities were "complicit with the Croats, tolerating brutality and barbarism", while "the Serbian garrisons of Yugoslavian Dalmatia not only tolerates atrocities, but takes part in them."

The Italian presence in Dalmatia—a region that had been entirely Latin up until the arrival of the Slavs in the seventh century A.D., and which had remained majority Italian during most of its centuries-old Venetian history—was thus reduced to just a few cities and islets, which became almost like besieged fortresses, whereas prior to 1866 the Italians still inhabited an extensive portion of the rural areas. The Yugoslav actions in 1943-1945 aimed at erasing the last relics of the more than 2000 year old Latin presence in Dalmatia.


3. Yugoslav terrorism in Venezia Giulia

Moreover, since the immediate post-war period, the Yugoslav government supported the action of Slavic terrorists who conducted assassinations in the territory of Venezia Giulia. A brief assessment of the extent of Slavic terrorism in Venezia Giulia can be seen by the following list of their operations, which is still largely incomplete:

In the period from 1920-1922 the following homicidal actions by Slavic terrorists took place:
  • Assassination of Armando Postiglione, Marshal of the Guardia di Finanza; assassination of the royal guards Giuffrida and Poldu; assassination of the customs officer Giuseppe Plutino; assassination of the carabiniere Giobbe Cecchin; assassination of lieutenant Spanò; and the assassination of sergeant Sessa, which took place in Trieste.
  • Assassination of the customs officer Francesco Stanganelli, which occurred in Postumia.
  • Assassination of the carabinieri brigadier Ferrara in Pola.
  • Assassination of the customs officer Salvatore Caravelli in Gorizia.
  • Assassination of the soldier Palmerindo, which occurred in Carnizza.

Beginning in 1924, despite the Italo-Yugoslav dispute being formally resolved, the Yugoslav State practiced a policy of duplicity, publicly and officially recognizing the agreed-upon border, while secretly supporting and financing terrorist groups which were responsible for the following actions:
  • Military attack on the posts of the Guardia di Finanza in Coterdasnizza and in Molini.
  • Assault carried out by a band of about twenty armed Yugoslavs, coming from across the border, who attacked the gatehouse at the border crossing of Unez, killing its commander, sub-brigadier Lorenzo Greco.
  • In April 1926 the Prestrane railway station was attacked and robbed; the railwayman Ugo Dal Fiume and the customs officer Domenico Tempesta were murdered.
  • In July 1926 a fire was set in the woods near Trieste.
  • In November 1926 a dynamite attack took place at the barracks in San Pietro del Carso, killing Antonio Chersevan and injuring Francesco Caucich and Emilio Crali.
  • On the night of February 10, 1927, there was an ambush against the military patrol near Raunach Castle (near San Pietro del Carso); Andrea Sluga and Francesco Rovina were injured in the shooting.
  • In May 1927, on the road between Postumia and San Pietro del Carso, another ambush was made against one of these patrols; the soldier Gino Cicimbri was wounded in the attack.
  • On December 29, 1927 the youth center in Prosecco (Ricreatorio di Prosecco) near Trieste was burned down.
  • In April 1928, again in Prosecco, the elementary school was burned down.
  • In May of the same year the elementary school in Cattinara near Trieste was burned down and there was an attempt to burn down the kindergarten in Tolmino.
  • On August 3, 1928 the municipal guard of San Canziano, Giuseppe Cerquenik, was treacherously assassinated.
  • In the same month, the recreation center of the Lega Nazionale in Prosecco was burned down.
  • At the beginning of September 1928 the school in Storie was burned down.
  • On September 22, 1928, in Gorizia, a student named Antonio Coghelli was murdered; Giuseppe Ventin, a soldier who tried to stop the assassin, was also murdered.
  • In January 1929 the kindergarten in Fontana del Conte was destroyed.
  • In March 1929 Francesco Tuchtan was murdered in Vermo.
  • In June 1929 the school in Smogliani was burned down.
  • In July 1929 the gunpowder magazine in Prosecco was blown up.
  • In November 1929 the post office in Ranziano was robbed.
  • In December 1929 there were attempted assassinations against agent Giovanni Curet in San Dorligo della Valle, near Trieste, and against the guard Francesco Fonda.
  • In January 1930 there was an attack on the Victory Lighthouse in Trieste.
  • In February the kindergarten in Corgnale was burned down.
  • Also in February the municipal messenger Goffredo Blasina was murdered in Cruscevie.
  • On February 10 there was a bombing at the headquarters of the newspaper Il Popolo di Trieste in which the stenographer Guido Neri was killed, while the proofreaders Dante Apollonio, Giuseppe Missori and the messenger Marcelle Bolle were seriously injured.
  • In May 1930 the Marangoni family was murdered in San Dorligo della Valle.
  • In the early days of September 1930, during an exchange of gunfire with Slovenian terrorists who were trying to invade the region, the customs officer Romano Moise was killed and his fellow officer Giuseppe Caminada was seriously injured.

Although the sheer number of serious terrorist acts enumerated above is already very large, it should be noted that this is only a partial list.

What makes these actions particularly serious is the fact that they were not the work of an independent clandestine group, but rather of terrorist organizations created, controlled and organized by the Yugoslav State itself.

The Yugoslav State pursued a policy of duplicity, on the one hand officially recognizing the border obtained by Italy, but on the other hand constituted armed terrorist groups, which had their headquarters in Yugoslav territory and which were organized, trained, armed and guided by the Yugolav army.

The use of such instruments was not new to the Yugoslav State, which inherited a tradition already common among the Serbs, who had also used terrorist organizations ("Black Hand" and "White Hand") to fight against the Habsburgs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Yugoslav terrorist associations, known by the names of "TIGR" and "Borba", although they had their structural system in Yugoslavia and were primarily made up of Yugoslavs, naturally also had ramifications in Venezia Giulia, and with the support of their associates they also carried out intense anti-Italian propaganda flanked by terrorist acts.

Yugoslav terrorism in Venezia Giulia, in addition to its intrinsic gravity, allows us to better understand what really happened during that period which the Slavic nationalists present as "Fascist persecution".

The burning of the Hotel Balkan, presented by some as a supreme act of Fascist violence against the Slavs in Venezia Giulia, was in fact the responsibility of Yugoslav terrorists. On July 13, 1920, following anti-Italian violence by the Yugoslavs in Dalmatia, the Fascists organized a demonstration in Trieste. An Italian, Giovanni Nini, who had taken part in the demonstration and who had shouted phrases in support of the Italianity of Dalmatia, was stabbed to death by unknown assailants. Given the circumstances, the assassins were in all likelihood Slavs.

A group of Fascists then headed towards the Narodni Dom (Hotel Balkan), but found it surrounded by over 400 Italian soldiers, armed and deployed, and they were halted. However, from the windows of the Narodni Dom, hand grenades rained down upon the Italian soldiers. The soldiers, finding themselves under assault, defended themselves by shooting at the building. The fire broke out following the explosion of ammunition and explosives contained inside the building, because the Narodni Dom was the headquarters of a clandestine military organization organized by the Yugoslav State to carry out attacks, violence and propaganda activities in Venezia Giulia. It was precisely the subsequent explosions of the aforementioned illegal weapons contained inside the Narodni Dom which prevented the firefighters from going inside the building to extinguish the fire.

This is the true story of what occured, yet this is presented by Slovenian nationalists themselves as the pinnacle and highest expression of "Fascist oppression" against Slavs in Italy. It was not "Fascist aggression" against a "cultural center", but rather an exchange of fire between a regular unit of the Italian army and a group of Yugoslav terrorists nested inside the building, who had thrown hand grenades and opened fire against Italian soldiers.


4. Conclusion. From the "trialist" nationalism under the Habsburgs to the pan-slavic nationalism of Yugoslavia

As can be easily deduced from the above data, the Yugoslav State embraced Slovenian-Croatian nationalist ideology, which developed during the Habsburg period around the program known as "trialism". There is an uninterrupted continuity, both of men and of ideas and projects, between the Slovenian-Croatian "trialist" nationalism of the Habsburg period and the nationalism of the Yugoslav period.

This is tangible also in the political work of the Yugoslav nationalists. The anti-Italian persecutions in Dalmatia in 1920-1922 was nothing but a continuation of the persecutions of the Habsburg period, while in Venezia Giulia the Yugoslavs formed paramilitary units (in fact filiations of the Yugoslav army) to carry out acts of terrorism.

It should be remembered that the burning of the Narodni Dom, judged as the apex of "Fascist violence", was actually the result of a clash between Italian soldiers, who were assaulted, and Yugoslav terrorists, who were the aggressors.

Instances of Fascist violence certainly occurred in Venezia Giulia, as in the rest of Italy, but this happened only after the anti-Italian violence in Dalmatia and Venezia Giulia from 1918-1920, not to mention the violence that took place during the Habsburg period. Thus, the theory that the Foibe Massacres and the Julian-Dalmatia Exodus were a reaction to "Fascist violence" is a historical falsehood. In reality, Tito did nothing but continue a program already formulated in clear letters in the 19th century by Croatian and Slovenian nationalists, and pursued with uninterrupted violence from the Habsburgs to Tito. Furthermore, these paramilitary units, organized, armed and trained by the Yugoslav army, were never employed by Yugoslavia for use in their own national territory, but only to carry out acts of terrorism across the border.

According to contemporary terminology, the Yugoslav State was indeed the type of State that today would be called a "rogue state" and "terrorist state".

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Castua Massacre: Exhumations Completed After 73 Years

The town of Castua, near Fiume, was the site of a massacre in 1945.

During and after the Second World War, between 1943 and 1947, the Yugoslav Communist Partisans led by dictator Josip Broz Tito perpetrated a series of massacres and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Italian populations of Dalmatia and Julian Venetia. Several thousand Italians – regardless of age, gender, occupation or political creed – were murdered and dumped into mass graves. These massacres are known as the Foibe Massacres.

The word 'foiba' means 'sinkhole' or 'pit'. It was in these large pits that Italian corpses were discarded by the Yugoslavs. Most of these sinkholes were never explored because the territory fell under Yugoslav occupation in 1945. Even after the fall of Communism and the collapse of Yugoslavia, the Croatian and Slovene governments continued to deny access to these sites for many years, so as not to draw any attention to the massacres or come to terms with their past. As a result, the vast majority of the bodies were never retrieved and most of the victims never received proper burials.

The Foiba of Castua

On May 4, 1945 the Yugoslavs eliminated the last remnants of Italian leadership in Fiume: Senator Riccardo Gigante and nine others, including the journalist Nicola Marzucco, Marshal Vito Butti and vice-brigadier Alberto Diana, were executed without trial by the Yugoslav Secret Police (OZNA) in the town of Castua (today Kastav, Croatia). Their bodies were dumped in a pit in the nearby Loza Forest, located about 10-12 kilometers from the city of Fiume (today Rijeka).

Senator Riccardo Gigante,
Fiuman Italian, murdered by
the Yugoslavs on May 4, 1945
The foiba of Castua had been covered with boulders and hidden by earth. It was first discovered in 1992, thanks to the help of Fr. Franjo Jurčević, the parish priest of the church of St. Helena in Castua. However, 25 years passed without investigation.

Throughout that entire period the Society of Fiuman Studies (Società di Studi Fiumani) and the Federation of Istrian, Fiuman and Dalmatian Exiles Associations (FederEsuli) – among numerous other Italian organizations – advocated research and investigation, but were met with silence.

The Excavations

In November 2017 the silence was finally broken: it was finally announced that a mixed Italian-Croatian commission would carry out a joint inspection in order to verify the conditions for organizing a search in order to identify and exhume the Italians still buried in the pits of Castua and Poloj.

On July 7, 2018 – 73 years after the massacre – the excavation of the foiba of Castua was finally completed. After unearthing the 3 meter deep pit, between 7 and 9 decomposed and fragmented skeletons were discovered. The remains were then delivered to the Italian Consulate in Fiume. Among these remains are Riccardo Gigante, Nicola Marzucco, Vito Butti and Alberto Diana, in addition to others whose names are unknown.

Also discovered were items presumably belonging to the victims: two watches, a prosthesis with two gold teeth, combs, a cuff link and a tobacco pipe.

The bones will be reconstructed and examined by a forensics team in order to help ascertain the number of skeletons, their age, their gender and their names. After this, the remains will finally be laid to rest. It is expected that the remains will be repatriated to Italy by September 2018.

A plan is already underway to organize and conduct a similar research campaign in Ossero, on the island of Cherso, where 28 Italians of the Decima Flottiglia MAS were shot by Yugoslav Partisans and buried in a mass grave on April 22, 1945.


See also:
April 25: The Feast of San Marco – Not Liberation
The Day of Remembrance: The Foibe Massacres and the Julian-Dalmatian Exodus
Titoist Crimes: 50 Priests Murdered in the Foibe Massacres
National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe
The Meaning of the Foibe Massacres
Pits of Death Give up Their Grisly Secret
A Painful Piece of Italian History, Overlooked
The Foibe are Still Open in Our Hearts
The Priests Murdered in the Foibe Massacres
The Rape and Murder of Norma Cossetto
Italian Biographies: Riccardo Gigante

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Cultural Ties Between Dalmatia and Southern Italy

The Natural Borders of Italy

The deeply-rooted cultural ties between Venice and Dalmatia are well-known to all who are familiar with the history and culture of the Dalmatian coast. Equally known are the immemorial ties between Ancient Rome and Dalmatia, which formed the original basis for Dalmatia's Latin and Italic heritage. Much less known, however, are the profound cultural ties between Dalmatia and Southern Italy, and especially between Dalmatia and the Duchy of Benevento.

Beneventan Script

Beneventan script was a medieval script used from the 8th century until the 13th century in Southern Italy and Dalmatia. It originated in the Duchy of Benevento among the Italian monks and scribes of the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino. It derived from Roman cursive, which was in use until the 7th century AD, when it developed into Beneventan and other scripts. Although Beneventan script declined after the 13th century, it survived in some places into the late 16th century.

The common use of Beneventan script is one of the many examples which testify to the ancient and inseparable cultural link between Italy and Dalmatia. Elias Avery Lowe, one of the foremost scholars on Beneventan script, said this about Dalmatia and Beneventan script:
“The aim of the present work has been to give a history of the South Italian minuscule... The use of Beneventan writing in Dalmatia is of interest both to the palaeographer and to the student of western culture. The Italian origin of our script needed no elaborate demonstration, as it is admitted now on all sides...”

“The history of a script which lasted five centuries is indissolubly bound up with the history of the region in which it was used. Such a script would of necessity receive some impress of the intellectual and political movements of its locality, and thus act as a register, as well as a medium, of culture. In the history of western culture southern Italy has played if not a leading certainly a significant part.”

“The peculiar script which grew up and flourished within the ancient duchy of Benevento, and remained in use for nearly five centuries in the monasteries and schools throughout Southern Italy, extending its domain even across the Adriatic to Dalmatia, we shall consistently call by its most fitting traditional name of Beneventan. ... Eastward the province of the script extended beyond the Italian peninsula. We find Beneventan used on the Tremiti Islands in the Adriatic and all along the opposite shores of Dalmatia from Ossero to Ragusa.

From data furnished by the MSS., we know that Beneventan was written in the following places:

Bari, Benevento, Bisceglie, Caiazzo, Capua, Cava, Fondi, Gaeta, Mirabella Eclano, Monte Cassino, Monte Vergine, Naples, Ossero (Dalmatia), Ragusa (Dalmatia), Salerno, San Angelo in Formis, San Bartolomeo di Carpineto, San Benedetto di Cesamo, San Benedetto di Clia, San Libera tore alia Majella, San Lorenzo in Carminiano, San Maria di Albaneta, San Michele, San Nicola della Cicogna, San Vincenzo al Volturno, Sora, Sorrento, Spalato (Dalmatia), Sulmona, Teramo, Traù (Dalmatia), Tremiti Islands, Troia, Veroli, Zara (Dalmatia).”

“Of the minor centres in which the Beneventan script was employed, special mention must be made of those in Dalmatia...

The maritime cities of Dalmatia have ever formed the natural border-land between different races, religions, and languages. ... It is as the outposts of that Latin civilization that they interest us here. If we examine their oldest MSS. and documents we are struck by the curious fact that their script is the same as that used in Southern Italy... The fact can have but one interpretation: it shows that the Latin culture of Dalmatia flowed chiefly from Southern Italy. Had no historical evidence concerning mediaeval Dalmatia reached us, the peculiar script of Dalmatian documents and MSS. from the 10th to the 13th century would have furnished patent and undeniable proof that the culture of Dalmatia was derived to a great extent from its Italian neighbours across the sea. As it is, the conclusion based on palaeographical considerations is confirmed by historical facts.
Beneventan Codices in the
Archiepiscopal Library
Benevento, Italy
In the year 986 when the monastery of S. Chrysogonus of Zara was rebuilt, the prior and nobles of the city, desiring to get for the abbey the most competent head possible, invited Madius, a monk of Monte Cassino, to become its abbot. At a time when the Benedictines were practically the sole custodians of learning, the coming to Dalmatia of a monk schooled in the most enlightened Benedictine centre was probably not without some importance to the culture of Dalmatia. Relations between Monte Cassino and Ragusa are attested by the inscription on the bronze door of Monte Cassino, which records the patrimony of St. Benedict at the time of Abbot Desiderius: in Dalmatia prope civitatem Ragusiam ecclesia sanctae Mariae in loco qui dicitur in Rabiata. The Benedictine abbey of Lacroma, near Ragusa, was founded in 1023 by Peter, a monk from the Tremiti Islands. Between these islands and Monte Cassino there were constant and varied relations in the 11th century. We know from an extant MS. that the Beneventan script was used on the islands. After the conflagration in Ragusa three monks of Monte Cassino are supposed to have come over to restore the Benedictine order in that city. A Bari architect took a leading part in the construction, about 1199, of the Ragusa cathedral. In 1081 and again between 1185 and 1192 Ragusa made common cause with the Normans of South Italy. The town of Cattaro, situated between Ragusa and Antivari, was subject to the ecclesiastical rule of the Archbishop of Bari. It is a well-known fact that there was continuous commercial intercourse between the cities of Apulia and those of Dalmatia.

That the Latin culture of the eastern shore of the Adriatic should be but an extension of that which prevailed on the western is natural enough. But the remarkable fact is that the dominant forces in that culture were Apulian rather than North Italian, as script and dialect show. Until the 15th century, when it began to yield to the Venetian, the dialect of Dalmatia resembled more that of Apulia than any dialect of North Italy. And the style of Beneventan writing usually practised in Dalmatia is of the variety represented by the Bari type, that is to say, by the type which we find throughout Apulia.

As Dalmatian centres of importance may be mentioned Spalato, Ragusa, Zara, and Traù, especially Zara, which possessed the Benedictine houses of S. Chrysogonus and S. Maria, the latter a nunnery which is still in existence.

The fact that the documents of Dalmatia from the 10th to the 12th century were written in Beneventan would naturally suggest that the same script was employed in the production of books. The extant Beneventan MSS. which originated in Dalmatia make this quite certain.”

(Elias Avery Lowe, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, 1914)
The subject is also discussed by Professor Richard F. Gyug:
“In this period, the coastal centres grew and developed into small cities with civic institutions, including bishoprics... Many also maintained close associations with the nearby coastal centres of southern Italy. ... After the sixth century, the late antique ecclesiastical structure of the region was reduced to a local level by civic changes, and by divisions between Roman-Latin and Slavic regions. ...the coastal cities retained many Latin elements in both their culture and churches. Before the twelfth century, the monasteries of Lombard southern Italy were also a significant influence in Dalmatia. Benedictine monks were established on the Tremiti islands in the Adriatic by the tenth century, and there are records of monastic houses being founded in Dalmatia from Tremiti or from Montecassino, which claimed Tremiti as a dependency. The result is that many of the surviving high-medieval manuscripts from Dalmatia are in Beneventan script, the monastic script of southern Italy, and many of these contain monastic texts or liturgies. Dalmatian churches were also open to adopting southern Italian cults.”
(Richard F. Gyug, Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City: The Bishop's Book of Kotor, 2016)
The last sentence concerning southern Italian cults is particularly interesting, because it is very likely that the cult of St. Blaise – the patron saint of Ragusa – spread to Dalmatia from Southern Italy. Veneration of St. Blaise is recorded in the southern Italian town of Maratea as early as 732 AD, two centuries before he was adopted by Ragusa as their patron saint. The extant historical evidence would indicate that the cult of this saint – among many others – spread to Dalmatia and the rest of the Italian peninsula from the south.

Beneventan Chant

Besides Beneventan script, it is also interesting to note that Beneventan chant – a local variety of Roman Catholic liturgical chant, similar to Gregorian chant and Ambrosian chant – was practiced not only at Benevento and in other southern cities on the Italian peninsula, but was also used in Dalmatia, providing yet another testimony of the deep cultural ties between Dalmatia and the southern Italian Benedictine circle in Benevento:
“The cross-Adriatic connection was more than a political expedient. In addition to the cultural ties between Dalmatian and southern Italian monasteries that have already been noted, there were many possibilities for exchange that have left traces in communal practices, liturgy and forms of script.”
(Richard F. Gyug, Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City: The Bishop's Book of Kotor, 2016)
“The Beneventan liturgy was practiced at Benevento, Monte Cassino, Bari, and Salerno; in Dalmatia; and in other places almost as far north as Rome.”
(Christopher Kleinhenz, Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, 2004)
“Southern Italy was the home of Beneventan chant, also used in Dalmatia, and there are traces of a Naples-Capua tradition also.”
(Peter Jeffery, Re-Envisioning Past Musical Cultures: Ethnomusicology in the Study of Gregorian Chant, 1995)
“The Music of the Beneventan Rite” (2016)

Nearly all the relevant sacred musical sources in Dalmatia were influenced by Benevento and central-southern Italian cultural and musical circles. The majority of Dalmatian liturgical and music sources were written in Beneventan script, and thus the Beneventan type notation was used. In the second half of the 11th century the Beneventan chant used in the Benedictine centres of Benevento and Monte Cassino in southern Italy was gradually substituted by Gregorian chant and the Roman rite. On the other hand, the Dalmatian cities of Ossero, Zara, Traù, Spalato, Ragusa and Cattaro continued to nurture Beneventan chant all the way up to the end of the 13th century.

Dalmatian Language (Dalmatic)

Prior to the spread of the Venetian dialect and standard Italian, the language spoken along the entire eastern shore of the Adriatic was a set of Latin dialects known as Dalmatian or Dalmatic (Dalmatico). From Veglia to Ragusa, and from Cattaro to Durazzo, this was the native language spoken by the inhabitants of the Dalmatian coast in the Middle Ages. The Dalmatian dialects derived from Latin, the language of Rome, which was brought to Dalmatia in ancient times by Roman colonists from Italy.

Although written Latin remained the same, by the 9th century spoken Latin began to diverge into multiple dialects and languages, giving rise to the different – albeit closely-related – dialects of the Italian peninsula and Dalmatia. The dialects of Dalmatia later underwent a strong influence from Venetian before going extinct in the 19th century. As already noted earlier, Elias Avery Lowe regarded the original Dalmatian dialects as being most similar to the ones spoken in Apulia, in southern Italy:
“But the remarkable fact is that the dominant forces in that culture were Apulian rather than North Italian, as script and dialect show. Until the 15th century, when it began to yield to the Venetian, the dialect of Dalmatia resembled more that of Apulia than any dialect of North Italy.”
(Elias Avery Lowe, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, 1914)
The Encyclopedia Britannica also noted a linguistic connection between Dalmatia and Southern Italy:
“Dalmatian and South Italian, on the other hand, were so closely connected with the languages that preserved -s and therefore prefixed the article that in this particular they separated from Rumanian. ... In its consonants, and, as far as one can judge, in its morphology, Dalmatian has preserved the stamp of antiquity. But in its vowel system there are marked changes, especially in the substitution of diphthongs for close vowels... Diphthongs such as they appear also in Istrian and Abruzzian, so that we must presuppose some sort of connection.”
(Hugh Chisholm, Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Volume 23, 1922)
T. G. Jackson, one of the most important writers on Dalmatia in the 19th century, made the same observation, noting the linguistic resemblance between Dalmatia and Southern Italy:
“The Italian spoken in Dalmatia before [the fifteenth century] 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.”
(T. G. Jackson, Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria, Volume 1, 1887)
Even after centuries of Venetian influence, a link between late Dalmatian and the dialects of Southern Italy could still be detected:
“The Dalmatian system stands out by reason of the fact that it is today completely extinct, though it has left traces of its former existence. It is supposed to be the continuator of the Vulgar Latin of the Roman province of Illyricum, on the eastern shore of the Adriatic... Dalmatian became more and more restricted, till in the late nineteenth century it became circumscribed to the island of Veglia (Krk) at the head of the Adriatic. Bartoli managed to record in transcription the speech of the last surviving speaker, Antonio Udina, before the latter's death. From his study, the following facts appear concerning the language in its late nineteenth-century form: Vegliote (the dialect of the island of Veglia) seems to form a link between the eastern Italian dialects, Venetian, Abruzzian, and Apulian, and Rumanian.”
(Mario Pei, The Story of Latin and the Romance Languages, 1976)
The same author goes further, saying that Dalmatian qualifies as an Italian dialect:
“In morphology, there is no indication of a double case, while the fall of final -s brings about the seeming use of Latin nominative forms in the plural, as in Italian. In these respects, Dalmatian would qualify as an Italian dialect.”
(Mario Pei, The Story of Latin and the Romance Languages, 1976)

Italo-Dalmatian Languages

Many linguists regard the Dalmatian, Istrian, Tuscan, Corsican, Central Italian, Southern Italian and Venetian dialects as all belonging the same branch of Italic dialects which they call Italo-Dalmatian. According to those scholars who use this linguistic classification, the dialects of Southern Italy would be more similar to Dalmatian than to the dialects of northwestern Italy, while the Italian language itself would be classified as an Italo-Dalmatian language:
“Italian (Italiano): Indo-European > Italic > Romance > Italo-Western > Italo-Dalmatian.”
(E. K. Brown, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Volume 2, 2006)
“Italo-Western Romance splits binarily into Italo-Dalmatian and Western Romance. The former language comprises dialects of northeastern, central, and some of southern Italia, also of (mainly coastal?) areas of Dalmatia and Pannonia; the latter language comprises dialects of northwestern Italia, Noricum, Gallia, and Iberia.”
(Frederick Browning Agard, A Course in Romance Linguistics, Volume 2, 1984)
“The language spoken in Abruzzo falls within a set of languages known as Italo-Dalmatian, which also includes standard, official Italian.”
(Luciano Di Gregorio, Italy: Abruzzo, 2017)

Dalmatian Nobility
Marino Ghetaldi (1568-1626)
The Ghetaldi Family of Ragusa
Originated in Taranto, Italy

Several of Dalmatia's most famous noble families originated in Southern Italy. The Ghetaldi family and Bona family of Ragusa both originated in Apulia before settling in Ragusa in the 10th century; the Ghetaldi came from Taranto, while the Bona came from Vieste. The Ragnina family is also said to have originated in the city of Taranto, in Apulia, before moving to Dalmatia (although, according to another tradition, the family would be of ancient Roman origin).

The Bertucci or Bertuzzi family of Lesina likewise traces its origins to Apulia, while the Paladini family of Lesina came from Teramo in Abruzzo. The Bonifacio family of Sebenico originated in Capua. Finally the De Lupis family, which became prominent in Dalmatia and Fiume, originated in Apulia before settling in Dalmatia in the 13th century.

These Italian families gave rise to many notable Dalmatian figures, such as Marino Ghetaldi, Domenico Ragnina, Serafino Cerva, Antonio Bertuccio, Natale Bonifacio, Giovanni Battista Benedetti Paladini, Nicolò Paladini, Paolo Paladini, Lorenzo Doimi de Lupis and Giovanni Biagio Luppis.

Apulia's Dalmatian Saint

It is worthwhile here to briefly reiterate the ancient ecclesiastical bond between Italy and Dalmatia. For many centuries all the major churches of Dalmatia were Italian, the ecclesiastical hierarchy was Italian, and the bishoprics were filled by Italians. On the other hand, on some occasions Dalmatians also entered into the ecclesiastical ranks in Italy. One such man became one of Apulia's most beloved saints: Blessed Agostino Casotti.

An Italian by language and culture, Agostino Casotti was born in the Dalmatian city of Traù into the Casotti family, a noble family of Venetian origin. He is best known in Italy for his tenure as Bishop of Lucera, in Apulia. Although his reign was short, he initiated many memorable public works. He also reestablished Christianity in the town, which was previously occupied by Muslims, and restored the city's old name: Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory).

He retired to the Dominican convent in Lucera, where he died in the odor of sanctity on August 3, 1323. After his death, he was venerated by the people of Lucera and his cult quickly spread. His body rests today in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in Lucera, Italy.

The Renaissance

Cultural ties between Dalmatia and Southern Italy continued into the Renaissance period. While many architects and artisans from Italy were making their way to Dalmatia, at the same time many Dalmatians were making their way to Italy. The most emblematic example in this period is Francesco Laurana. Born in Dalmatia, he moved to Naples in 1453 and worked for several years at the court of the King of Naples before moving to Sicily in 1467. He returned to Naples in 1471, then worked in Urbino from 1474 to 1477.

It is Francesco Laurana who is remembered and credited as one of the founders of the Italian Renaissance in Sicily. He was in part responsible for the construction of the Triumphal Arch of the Castel Nuovo in Naples and the Mastrantonio Chapel in Palermo. He designed chapels, altars, sculptures, busts, tombs, funerary monuments and other artistic works. His works are preserved in various churches, cathedrals and palazzos throughout Sicily and Southern Italy, including Naples, Palermo, Castelvetrano, Noto, Messina, Siracusa, Sciacca and Andria.

Conclusion

These are just some of the many examples of the ancient flow of families and continuous exchange of culture between the eastern and western shores of the Adriatic Sea – a sea which has always united Dalmatia to Italy, rather than separated it.

The Latin and Italic culture which permeated Dalmatia for millennia is due not only to the Venetians and ancient Romans, but can also be partially credited to the close ethnic, linguistic and cultural ties existing between Dalmatia and Southern Italy in the Middle Ages, which no doubt aided in the preservation of Roman heritage in Dalmatia during the onslaught of the barbarian invasions which threatened to erase Latin civilization.

Southern Italy, in a sense, formed the proverbial “missing link” between Dalmatia and the Italian mainland in that period between the Fall of Rome and the Rise of Venice.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Famous Italians From Eastern Friuli

Some notable Italians of Eastern Friuli (from left to right): Antonio Abetti, Max Fabiani,
Francesco Cergoli, Francesco Macedonio, Mario Mori & Franco Giraldi

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: Eastern Friuli)

Brief biographies of some famous Italians from Eastern Friuli. The autochthonous Italians of Eastern Friuli were historically called Friulians or Ladins, but today are often called Giulians or Julians.

Eastern Friuli is a historical territory of Italy and one of the three traditional areas that make up the historical Italian region of Julian Venetia (the other two being Istria and the Quarnaro). Anciently the region of Friuli was known as Venetia, but in the Middle Ages the eastern part of Venetia became known as Friuli. Geographically, Eastern Friuli forms a single region with the rest of Friuli and Veneto. Feudal divisions later caused Eastern Friuli to become politically detached from the rest of Friuli, despite being geographically, ethnically and culturally linked. Most of Eastern Friuli later became part of Gorizia-Gradisca. In the 19th century it became part of the Littoral.

Eastern Friuli is comprised of the Goriziano with the Isonzo Valley in the northwest; in the south it includes the Carso with Trieste and its hinterland; in the east its boundaries are historically formed by the westernmost parts of Upper-Inner Carniola, which are separated from the rest of Carniola by the Julian Alps, which constitute the natural frontier of Italy. The boundaries of Eastern Friuli therefore roughly correspond to the former Italian provinces of Gorizia, Trieste and Carnaro (minus Fiume).

During the Early Middle Ages, Friuli was the easternmost territory of the Kingdom of Italy and marked the boundary between the Italian and Slavic worlds. Beginning in the 10th century, Slavic peoples were invited to settle in the rural districts of Eastern Friuli by the Patriarch of Aquileia. Originally all the small towns of Eastern Friuli (including Caporetto, Tolmino, Postumia, Vipacco, Idria, Circhina, Canale) spoke an Italian dialect known as Ladin or Eastern Friulian as their native language, but after the 16th century these towns slowly became populated by Slavic migrants from the countryside and the Italians were gradually subsumed into the growing Slav population.

By the 20th century, nearly half of Eastern Friuli had become Slavicized; the Friulian dialects had mostly disappeared and the Italians had become a minority in the easternmost towns. Only the westernmost towns of Eastern Friuli remained majority Italian: Gorizia, Gradisca, Grado, Aquileia, Monfalcone, Ronchi, Cormons, Trieste. The Italians of Eastern Friuli faced persecution and discrimination under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the decades before World War I, the Habsburg government and Pan-Slavists pursued a systematic policy of Slavicization and de-Italianization of Eastern Friuli, especially in Gorizia and Trieste.

Eastern Friuli with the rest of Julian Venetia was reunited with Italy after World War I. Towards the end of World War II the Italians of Eastern Friuli 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 by the Yugoslavs.

After the war Eastern Friuli was artificially divided between Italy and Yugoslavia, with a border wall running through the city of Gorizia. The “Gorizia Wall” was finally dismantled in 2004, but today Slovenia continues to occupy most of Eastern Friuli and the old eastern half of the city. The Friulian Italians and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

(Note: These biographies only include people born in that portion of Eastern Friuli which is today part of Slovenia.)

  Antonio Abetti - Italian astronomer
  Carlo Antoni - Italian philosopher, historian and journalist
  Silvano Baresi - Italian architect and engineer
  Francesco Cergoli - Italian footballer and coach
  Coronini Family - Italian noble family
  Dragogna Family - Italian noble family
  Max Fabiani - Italian architect, urbanist and politician
  Lucio Fois - Italian soldier; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Franco Giraldi - Italian director, screenwriter and film critic
  Lantieri Family - Italian noble family
  Franco Liberini - Italian politician, historical researcher and author
  Francesco Macedonio - Italian theater director
  Mario Mori - Italian general and prefect
  Mucci Pinuccio - Italian soldier; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Ennio Vitanza - Italian sports commentator and television presenter


See also:
Famous Italians From Dalmatia
Famous Italians From Istria
Famous Italians From Fiume and the Quarnaro