Everything posted by AurunciSidicini
I read an article awhile ago by a linguist who suggested the ancient Italic people were Turkic, due to linguistic similarities. As you probably know, there are a number of assertions, including that of some Romans themselves, that they were originally refugees from Troy, or the areat hereabouts. I am guessing they combined the Latins with themselves in that assertion. It seems that the Etruscans were possibly a Turkic people if I remember correctly, or was that Celtic? I know they used the ancient Celtic design of concentric circles in art and jewelry, an example of which my grandmother owned as a charm in her "bulla bag." Although many would classify this Turkic origination theory as part of their mythological system, I find it interesting that it complements the theory postulated by the linguist, mentioned above. My ancestors, the Aurunci people, who were subsequently absorbed by the Romans in the 250's B. C. or around there, (since they lived at that time about 40 km south of Rome), were archeologically traced to islands off the southwestern coast of italy, and then were traced where they finally migrated to the area called Monte Aurunci, which overlooks the peninsula of Gaeta, (ancient "Hades" in Greek, supposedly the first Greek settlement in Italy), and Formia, which was a well known Roman city at which Cicero had a villa and where his tomb is still existant. My grandmother told me 60 years ago that she and her mother used to walk down Monte Aurunci with baskets of figs, lemons and olives on their heads to sell at the market in Gaeta on Tuesdays. Gaeta olives, which are famous, are actually from Maranola, which is a suburb village on the mountain, 2 km from Formia. Formia, by the way, was the ancestral home of John Cabot, (Giovanni Cabotto), whose family had a trading office in England. As you recall, he was credited, (forget the Danes for a moment), with discovery of part of Canada for the English. It is often asserted, (do a "Google" search for example), that he was Genovese. So, why, I ask, does the British Counsel make a ceremonial visit to Formia during the festival they have for Giovanni Cabotto? There are so many erroneous "facts" which are often self-delusional assertions or disguised propaganda by so-called "authorities" in History. For example, that the U. S. revolution was for "liberty" when really it was the local oligarchs taking control of territory and the local economy. As someone with a graduate degree in History and who was also deluded for most of my adult life, I can confidently say now, at 70 years of age, that seeing my fellow man in a condition of economic and political despair sheds a whole new light on the reality of the past and present. I believe with all my heart that the interpretations of History which we were taught were and still are bullshit. It was nothing but self-delusion and deliberate deception to mask the reality of oligarchs struggling among themselves to control people, and therefore wealth and the pride of power. It has been and will always be the haves vs. the have nots, though I think that periodically the have-nots gain champions from the among the oligarchs who provide them with temporary respite, (like Caesar or Franklin D. Roosevelt for example.) Life is basically a struggle to survive for most humans. The brief period of the rise of the middle class which occurred between 1946 and 1980 was an aberration which is now over. The techies and financial experts who now comprise (temporarily) are basically uneducated from a liberal arts point of view, and so they do not count on the plus side of the scale of civilization. Now we have global oligarchy and mass control. The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Italy should leave the EU and rid themselves of the control of their government, economy and institutions by German bankers. The Danes, a wonderfully capable and bright people, should take the hint and go their own way. The EU is a form of economic imperialism, and the working class Brits who suffered under it, (and of course the Greeks who were politically enslaved by bankers), understand that, if even in a rather primitive manner. The Spanish and Italian public know it is on balance a negative drag on their independence and culture. The return of the EU to its original Common Market design will hurt the small number of remaining middle class in the more developed countries of Europe, but it is necessary to take back one's soverignty from the pawns of the oligarchs in Brussels. They are bullshitting people into thinking the current EU is a good thing, but they are of course the tools of bankers. Spain declared bankcruptcy several times under the Hapsburgs, (Filipe II I remember) and they survived. I think Greece should have thrown the finger at the bankers, taken their medicine, and re-gained their dignity and self-determination, if even at the cost of financial distress. Better to live free as a lion for one day than be screwed constantly by the oligarchs as a lamb.
When I was a young boy in the 1950's, my Italian, (both my parents' families lived for many generations in old pre-Roman villages in Latina province), mother and my grandmothers all wore amulets under their bodices. The amulets were in specially woven fabric bags which were tied with ribbons to their bras. They contained what I later knew as Roman "bullae." The contents of the amulet bags were fertility symbols as well as items like gold or semi-precious stone "hounds teeth" to ward off the evil eye. For example, my maternal grandmother's bag had a golden metal "hand" with the index and little finger pointed upward to ward off the evil eye, a satanic figure mounting a female form (fertility), a carnelian tooth, (vs. evil eye), a couple of tiny golden bells, (protection against evil spirits), a phallus (fertility symbol) and some other tiny silver and gold items of unusual craftsmanship and meaning--I forget what. (One hung bells under the bed, or put a bag of salt there to deter evil spirits.) The spirits would have to count the salt crystals and of course that would take so long they would be discouraged from bothering you. Some women placed straw brooms behind the front doors because again in an attempt at deterrence, the spirits would have to count each straw before entering the dwelling. It was frowned upon to live ostentatiously. For example, the exterior of most Italian homes in New England where we lived were not especially noteworthy or lovely. However, the interiors were always as elaborately decorated as financially possible, and much of the furnishings were lovely per the taste of the times. I learned in my cultural Anthropology class in 1960's that it is considered unwise in peasant cultures to be ostentatious, thereby inviting envy. Notice the parallel between the early to mid-20th century Italian-American habit of avoiding architectural ostentation in personal dwellings and the same Roman practice. It was quite common to hear the (mostly) females in the family curse others for transgressions. It reminds one of the Roman practice of enscribing curses on (tin?) tablets and pinning them on the intended's dwelling or frequented spot. For example, the Italians I lived amongst would curse people for being greedy, for not sharing, (there was a strong emphasis upon community ownership and "commonwealth" thinking), for being mean or sneaky. The Italians I grew up with were not in their bones religious. They of course went to church, took the sacraments, honored the clergy, and were proud to be Roman Catholic. However, I believe the majority did not actually "believe," except in the sense of hedging one's bets; and perhaps more importantly, were sub-consciously honoring the late Roman religious (cultural not spiritual) traditions and contribution to civilization. They were actually more superstitious, and so prayed to St. Anthony for one thing, St. Jude for another--you know the drill. The saints got more air time than God! If you look around the cemeteries, there are a lot of St. Francis statues, not so many of Jesus. That didn't deter them from cursing the saints when bad luck occurred. I believe now that many of the old Italian traditions I observed as a child and a young man were carryovers from Roman times. For me, there is no better example than patronage. Even today the old Italians will speak about who (the client) is someone's patron. I had patrons at various stages in my life when I was younger. If you wanted something done in the community, you never went to the government, you went to a patron. There is a patron-client relationship deeply embedded in the culture, at least the culture I observed growing up in Rhode Island, at a time when about 60% of the population were Italian. Most of them were from the greater Formia and Caserta areas, with a thin scattering of Sicilians, whom the other Italians considered "Moors," not really Italian. My ancestors were exceptionally nuanced people, and I wish I could still experience the world I had experienced when young. Oh the delicious and affordable Zeppolas on St. Joseph's Day! Things today have gone into the crapper, but that is another story. Please excuse the nostalgic musings of an old man....
Hello, my user name is AurunciSidicini and I am a new member so I am introducing myself. I chose AurunciSidicini because my maternal grandparents were from Maranola, Italy, which is a village in the Aurunci tribal area near Formia and Gaeta, (Aurunci were a pre-Roman tribe incorporated into the Roman state), and they were granted entry into the tribe Aemilia, with voting rights by a counsel in the late 200's, B.C.. My fraternal grandparents were from modern day "Teano," Italy, which was the pre-Roman Sidicini tribal area, "Teanum Sidicinum." Teano was the place were Garibaldi symbolically "presented Italy (a lot of it anyway) to King Victor Emmanuel during the struggle for Italian Unification. Teano is said to have the most archeological remains of any Italian area. When I was a kid 50 years' ago and Americans still considered themselves ethnic, my grandmother used to proudly say, "We are not Napolitano, we are Romanese!" The Liri River Valley was the traditional border between Latium and Campania, and years ago the Italian Americans who were originally from Latina Province made a point they were not from Campania. In Rhode Island, where I was born, about 60% of the population of the state was Italian, and we thought of ourselves as Italian first and American second. Many of us old timers still do I believe. In fact, one neighborhood in Providence was overwhelmingly from Itri, a small town near Formia and Maranola, so everyone had loads of cousins. They still celebrate the festival of Madonna Della Civita, the Madona of the City, and the Mayor of Itri used to make official visits to Providence I have relatives from that town as well. I have a book written during the early 1940's under Mussolini's regime which is about the origin, anthropology and history of the Aurunci people, but I do not read Italian, and can find no one where I live in Florida who can read it to me. For your further edification, the Aurunci lands produce some of the finest eating olives in the world, "Gaeta" olives, which I encourage you to try. It makes wonderful olive oil as well. If you visit Maranola, you will find a medieval castle--Maranola is a very old fortified village. The castle-village overlooks the Gulf of Gaeta, and the Appian Way goes right through Formia. Cicero had a villa in Formia, and you can still see his grave marker there. I don't know if his body is there, however. The Moors raided the coast in early medieval time, and of course the people had to flee somewhere for protection. A Papal assigned "Duke" governed the area in I think I remember the 9th century A. D. I don't know anything about the history between 410 A.D. and that time, but I suspect local magnates remained in control of governance as the Empire's administrative policies and officials probably existed in most places for at least a century after it "fell." Oh, interesting point--the Moors kept the captive slaves in an inactive volcano near Teano, "Rocca-------?" (I forgot the Italian name) prior to transporting them to the slave market(s) elsewhere. I feel bad that so many young people today will never know the history and culture of the marvelous peoples I grew up with--Syrians, Armenians, the "drunks" as they were called in Italian--the Irish!, the French Canadians, a the few leftover Yankees who originally colonized Rhode Island. We all had our separate customs and beliefs in those days and all the young men chose women from another group. Italians favored the Irish girls, but the grandmothers disapproved of that. Now, unfortunately, everyone wears sneakers and tee shirts, and everything is homogonized into a muddle called "American," with not much difference. In my opinion, as someone who studied Anthropology and History, there is no such thing as a typical "American", because the U.S. is divided among several discernable cultural areas. For example, the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States are still heavily "European" in thought; and the Midwestern and Southern sections are culturally like other countries. I think people who do not know the U.S. well think it is one country, and "Americans" are the same. It could not be further from the truth. (Forgive me for going on, I am old so I have an excuse!) Now, about the genetic makeup of Italians as affected by the barbarians, I read that only a very small percentage of Italians carry Lombard or Gothic genes, though there are pockets in southern Italy which have Norman traces from Norman inroads centuries later, (and Greek of course.) A couple of towns in northern Italy had some detectable amount of Germanic and I suppose pre-Slavic genes, but I was surprised that so little of the genetic material of the invaders was still detectable. The geneticists did a pretty comprehensive study of Italy, about which some of you may be interested. Please don't ask me for the links, because I am an old man and not very good about keeping track of those, but you can Google the question(s). Regards to all the other members.