Encyclopedia of Southern Italy

Ak – Az

Akragas: Ancient name for Agrigento (See which).

Akrai: See Acrae.

Akudunniad: the Oscan name of an ancient Samnite town. It is identified in some sources with Aquilonia.

al-Aghlab ibn Muhammad ibn al-Aghlab>: (fl. 2nd part of the 9th century). Saracen usurper who seized power in Sicily for a short time in AD 878.

Alabon (Alabus): (mod. Cantaro). An ancient river and town located to the north of Syracuse. The river emptied into the Sicilian Sea at Megara, between Xyphonia and Thapsus.

Alabus, River: See Alabon.

Alabus (Alabon) River (modern Cantaro): An ancient river of Sicily which emptied into the Sicilian Sea at Megara, between Xyphonia and Thapsus.

Alaca, River: A river of Calabria (length: 21 km). Rising from the Lago di Lacina in the Serra d’Assi (1,048 m), it flows eastward into the Gulf of Squillace near San Sostene (CZ).

Alaesa (Halesa, Halaesa): An ancient town situated on the N coast of Sicily between Calacta and Cephaloedium. It was founded by Arconides of Herbita in 403 BC. According to tradition, in the vicinity of the town was a foundation whose waters were said to “dance” to the sound of a flute. Mod. Pittineo.

Alaesus (Halesus) River: A river in ancient Sicily which emptied into the Tyrrhenian Sea at Alaesa.

Alagna (Span. Alaña), Jose Saverio: (b. Jan. 11, 1707, Palermo; d. 1767, Havana, Cuba). Jesuit missionary. Entering the Jesuit Order in 1722, he served as a teacher of mathematical sciences and languages (Greek and Engllish) at the Jesuit college at Belen. Among his student was the noted historian Fr. Alegre.

                In 1743, Alagna participated in the unsuccessful experition led by Fr. Jose Maria Monaco to colonize Florida. The diary which he kept during this expedition, which includes several astute scientific comments and maps of the Florida Keys, is an exceptional historical resource. Alagna returned to Cuba where he remained for the remainder of his life as a teacher of classical languages.

Alagna (or Alagno), Lucrezia d’: (b. c1430, Amalfi; d. 1478, Rome). Noblewoman. It is believed that she became the mistress of King Alfonso I “the Magnanimous” of Naples (d.1458) during the last years of his life. Lucrezia was described as a young woman of great beauty, born into a noble, but impoverished, family. Despite her denial to any involvement with the king, it seemed to have been something of an open secret. After Alfonso’s death, she left Naples and lived for a time in Dalmatia. After spending some time at Ravenna, she eventually moved to Rome where she died.

Alagona: A noble family of Sicily which rose to attain much power and wealth from the 14th to 17th centuries. Apparently of Aragonese origins, they played an important role in the conflicts in Sicily during the reign of Queen Maria and Martin I “the Younger.”

Alagona, Artale di (1): (d. 1389, Catania). Nobleman. Serving as baiulo (guardian) of Queen Maria of Sicily, he became one of the four vicar-governors early in the queen’s reign. Realizing the danger to Maria if she remained in Sicily, Alagona helped the Queen to escape to Aragon and to marry Martin of Aragon. Despite this, he spent the remainder of his life attempting to prevent Martin from seizing power in Sicily. He was the uncle of Artale di Alagona (2).

Alagona, Artale di (2): (fl. late 14th century). Nobleman. The nephew of Artale di Alagona (1), he seized control, in 1392, of the city of Catania in resistance to King Martin I and Queen Maria. When Martin finally captured the city in 1394, Alagona fled to Milan.

Alagona, Pietro: (b. 1549, Syacuse; d. Oct. 19, 1624, Rome). Jesuit scholar. His principal work was Enchiridian, seu manuale confessariorum. He also wrote compendiums of the works of Martin Aspelcueta (uncle of St. Francis Xavier), of the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas, and of canon law.

Alaimo (sometimes Alaymo or Alcaimo), Marcantonio: (b. 1590, Regalbuto [EN]; d. 1662). Physician. Having established himself at Palermo, he earned the reputation as the greatest physician of his time in Sicily. Among his many works was Diadecticon (1637), an account of various medicinal substances.

Alaimo di Lentini: (d. 1287). Sicilian nobleman and patriot. A supporter of the Guelf party, he was banished by King Manfred of Sicily. After Manfred’s defeat and death at the hands of Charles I of Anjou, Alaimo returned and was placed in high office. In 1282, when the revolt of the Sicilian Vespers broke out, Alaimo turned on the Angevins and organized the defense of the city of Messina for the Aragonese. In reward, the new Aragonese government of Sicily appointed him as a judge (1283-84). Soon afterwards he fell under suspicion of conspiring to turn control of Sicily over to the Papacy. King James ordered his arrest and execution by drowning.

Alangi, Accurzio (Span. Acurio Alongo): (b. Sicily; fl. early 18th Century). Vicar and ecclesiastical judge. In 1695, he arrived in Puerto Rico, having received approval to come to the New World by the Church. Not, however, having received similar permission from the Spanish king, he was in violation of royal law regarding the restriction of Sicilians and other non-Castilians from immigrating to the Americas. In 1712, Alangi moved to the mainland, settling in the Valley of Amilpas, Mexico. In 1719, he was appointed as vicar and ecclesiastical judge for that region by Archbishop Jose de Lanciego y Eguilaz. In 1737, he finally received royal dispensation and naturalization.

Alanno >(PE): A commune in the province of Pescara.

Area: 32.51 km². Alt. 307 m. CAP: 65020. Tel. Pref.: 085. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 42°17’47″04N/Long 13°58’19″20E. Population Information: 3,667 (2007e); 3,742 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alannesi.

Alardo: See Erard de Valéry.

Alaric (Alaricus, Athalaric): (b. cAD 370; d. AD 410.). Visigoth king. He was born into the illustrious Balthi family of the Gothic Trevingi. He was only a child at the time of the great Gothic victory over the Romans at Hadrianople. It is uncertain at what stage in his life that he became an Arian Christian. First rising to notoriety as the commander of Gothic auxiliaries in the army of Theodosius I, he distinguished himself at the battle of the Frigidus in 394. In 398, he was elected king by the Visigoths. In AD 402-3, he invaded Italy and was defeated by the Romans under Stilicho at Pollentia. In 408, he launched a second invasion which proved far more successful. His most famous exploit was the capture of Rome on Aug. 24, AD 410. Proceeding south from there, with a great treasure, he marched through Campania and Bruttium, sacking more rich towns. Having intended to cross the Strait of Messina to Sicily and Africa, he was thwarted due to a lack of transport ships. What ships that were available were wreaked by a storm at Rhegium. Turning northward again, he suddenly became ill and died near Consentia (mod. Cosenza) in Bruttium, probably a victim of malaria. The Visigoths had the course of the river Busento diverted and Alaric’s body buried in the now-dry river-bed together with a vast treasure of plunder taken from Rome. The river was then returned to its normal course to cover the tomb and the slaves who performed the burial were quickly executed so that no one would know the location of the burial. To this day, his burial site, together with is treasure, has never been discovered. After Alaric’s death, the kingship of the Visigoths was inherited by his brother-in-law Ataulphus (Athaulphus, Adaulphus) who quickly led them north out of Italy into southern Gaul.

Alasa: Etruscan goddess of love and the underworld. She was usually depicted as naked.

Alba (Sicily): See Allava.

Alba Adriatica (TE): A commune in the province of Teramo.

Area: 9.50 km². Alt. 5 m. CAP: 64011. Tel. Pref.: 0861. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 42°49’41″88 N/Long 13°54’54″00 E. Population Information: 11,549 (2007e); 10,389 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Albensi.

Location & Setting: Located at the mouth of the river Vibrata. Part of Unione Comuni Città-Territorio Val Vibrata.

Alba Fucens: An ancient city in the Abruzzo near modern Albe. It is situated on an oblong hill overlooking the Piana del Fucino, and at the crossroads of two Roman roads. In 303 BC, a colony of 6,000 Romans was founded here on land formerly belonging to the Aequi. It remained an important Roman stronghold throughout the Samnite and Punic Wars. A number of defeated enemies of Rome (Syphax of Numidia, Perseus V of Macedonia, and Bituitus of Gaul) were exiled here. In the early 1st Century BC, Alba Fucens remained loyal to Rome during the Social War. Besieged by the Italian rebels, it was relieved by a Roman army in 89 BC. The town prospered for several centuries thereafter. Only in the 3rd Century AD, as the Roman Empire began to face serious economic and political instability, did Alba Fucens show signs of decline. Though a much poorer place, the town was still in existence in AD 537, Roman troops wintered there during the Roman-Gothic War. After this it disappears from history.

                Alba Fucens is a rich archaeological site. The well-planned street grid network can still be clearly seen. Temples, fortification walls, baths, markets, basilicas, porticoes, an amphitheater, private homes, etc. can all be visited. Many artifacts, including bronze and marble statuary and inscriptions, from this site can be seen at the National Museum of the Abruzzi at Chieti.

Albamonte, Guglielmo: (b. Palermo; fl. early 16th century). Man-at-Arms. He was one of the 13 Italian knights who fought an equal number of French knights at the contest known as the Disfida di Barletta (Feb 13, 1503).

Albanella (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno. Area: 39.84 km². Alt. 205 m. CAP: 84044. Tel. Pref.: 0828. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°28’47″64N/Long 15°7’1″56E. Population Information: 6,343 (2007e); 6,317 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Albanellesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Zona del Calore Salernitano. Part of Regione Agraria n. 7 – Medio Sele.

Albanese, Enrico: (b. 1834, Palermo; d. 1889, Palermo). Surgeon. Professor of clinical surgery at the University of Palermo, he was one of the first physicians in Italy to make use of antiseptics. Albanese participated in the campaigns of 1860, 1866, and 1867, and was the physician who treated Garibaldi’s at the battle of the Aspromonte. He was the author of Notizie di chirurgia practica (1869).

Albanese, Giacomo: (b. July 11, 1890, Geraci Siculo [PA]; d. June 8, 1947, at Sao Paolo, Brazil). Mathematician and physicist. He taught geography and algebra at the University of Catania, Palermo, and Pisa.

Albanese, Licia: (b. July 22, 1913, Bari). Soprano. A student of Baldassare Tedeschi, she won a national singing contest held by the Italian government in 1935. She made her operatic debut in Parma, in the role of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, and repeated that role when she debuted as Violetta in La Traviata. Coming to the United States, she joined the New York Metropolitan Opera. She became an American citizen in 1945. In 1974, she became director of The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. On October 5, 1995, President Clinton presented her with the National Medal of Honor for the Arts. In 2000, she received the prestigious cultural Handel Medallion from New York City.

Albanese, Manfredi: (b. 1867, Palermo; d. 1912, Pavia). Pharmacologist. He served as a professor at the University of Pavia, and was noted for important research on various chemical bases including xanthine and morphine.

Albanesi, Carlo: (b. Oct. 22, 1856 or 1858, Naples; d. Sept 21, 1926, London). Pianist and composer. He was the son and student of Luigi Albanesi. In 1893, he became a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He composed 6 piano sonatas, a string quartet, trio, songs, and several other works.

Albanesi, Luigi: (b. Mar. 3, 1821, Rome; d. Dec. 4, 1897, Naples). Pianist and composer. The father and teacher of Carlo Albanesi, he wrote several piano pieces, church music, and an oratorio Le Sette Parole di Gesu Cristo.

Albanians: See Arbëresh.

Albanian Uniate Church: A Christian denomination centered in Sicily and the Southern Italian mainland. Its members consist of descendants of Orthodox Albanians who fled to Italy to escape the Ottoman Turks in the 15th Century.

Albano, Marcello: (b. Naples; fl. 1601-1616). Composer.

Albano di Lucania >(PZ): A commune in the province of Potenza.

Area: 55.27 km². Alt. 899 m. CAP: 85010. Tel. Pref.: 0971. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°35’8″16N/Long 16°2’13″20E. Population Information: 1,550 (2007e); 1,612 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Albanesi.

Location & Setting: Located 35 km from Potenza, it is situated on a mountain of the Lucanian Dolomites. Part of Comunità Montana Alto Basento.

                The principal religious monument is the 13th Century church of S. Maria Assunta. It contains several 13th and 14th Century frescoes, and a 17th Century painting of the Madonna del Rosario by Pietrafesa.

Alberada (or Aubrey) of Buonalbergo: (b. c1033; d. July 1122)). The daughter of Lord Girard of Buonalbergo, she became the first wife of Robert Guiscard in 1051 or 1052, bringing with her a dowry of 200 knights. Although she was divorced by him because of “consanguinity” (i.e. close blood relationship), her tomb was still placed near his in the Abbey of Holy Trinity at Venosa.

Albergo dei poveri> (“poor house”): A traditional institution common in southern Italy and Sicily for centuries. The albergo dei poveri was more than just a shelter and kitchen, but also provided employment and training for the poor.

Alberi, Torrente: A waterway (length: 10 km) in Sicily, located in the province of Palermo. Rising on the Cozzo Salifizi (795 m), it flows into the river Imera Meridionale.

Alberico Da Barbiano (Alberico il Grande): (b. c1348, Barbiano di Cotignola; d. Apr. 26, 1409, Città della Pieve). Nobleman and condottiere. Count of Cuneo, he belonged to a well-established noble family of the Romagna, which claimed connections to the Carolingians. He was one of the earliest of the famous mercenary captains of Renaissance Italy, the Condottieri. After service in the company of the English captain, John Hawkwood, during the 1370s, Alberico formed his own force, the Compagnia di San Giorgio (“St. George Company”). At first only numbering about 200, it would eventually grow to between 4,000 and 7,000 (depending on the source). Alberico would become the first of the great-Italian-born captains, replacing the foreign mercenaries who previously dominated Italy’s battlefields.

                Alberico’s first great feat was the capture of Cesena (1377). On April 23, 1379, while commanding his force in the pay of Pope Urban VI, he defeated the mercenary Gascon/Breton army of the antipope Clement VII. He dealt the same force another defeat near Rome on June 29, 1379.

                Soon Alberico became involved in the struggles over the crown of Naples. As the captain of Charles of Durazzo, he defeated Otto of Brunswick on June 18, 1381, and soon took Naples. Charles, now King Charles III, appointed Alberico gran conestabile” (“chief of staff”). During the two years of peace that followed, he returned to Tuscany. In 1383, Alberico was recalled by Charles to face a new threat when Louis I of Anjou invaded the Kingdom of Naples with an army of 40,000. Over the next few years, as the rule of Naples was fought over, Alberico’s fortunes waxed and waned, but he continued to be victorious in battle. Following the death of Charles III in 1387, Alberico gave his loyalty to Charles’s son, Ladislaus. After a period of time in the Romagna, he was recalled by Ladislaus to deal with the invasion of the kingdom by Louis II of Anjou. It was during this conflict that Alberico suffered his first defeat. On Apr. 10, 1392, he was captured and imprisoned at Ascoli Piceno. He was eventually ransomed of 3,000 florins by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan. Alberico now gave his military talents to that ruler, expanding his power for the next several years.

                In 1403, he returned to the service of Ladislaus. In 1409, as Ladislaus was preparing for an invasion of Tuscany, he sent word to Alberico to meet him at Città della Pieve, in Umbria. While enroute, however, he died.

                Alberico Da Barbiano is often consider the first of the true Italian condottieri, and later mercenary captains used him as their model.

Alberico il Grande: See Alberico Da Barbiano.

Alberico of Montecassino (1): (b. 1008; d. 1088). Benedictine monk. He resided at the monastery of Montecassino from 1057 to 1086, under the abbot Desiderius. He has been credited by some as the creator of the manual ars dictaminis. In 1086, he was created a cardinal (SS. Quarto Coronati).

Alberico of Montecassino (2): (b. 1101, Settefrate, Campania; d. after 1146). Monk. Becoming a monk in 1115, he and the Deacon Pietro wrote (1127) an account of a visionary journey through hell, purgatory, and heaven, guided by St.Peter and two angels. This work predates the similar, far more famous, Divine Comedy of Dante, by two centuries.

Alberobello (BA): A commune in the province of Bari.

Area: 40.34 km². Alt. 428 m. CAP: 70011. Tel. Pref.: 080. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°47’12″84N/Long 17°14’16″80E. Population: 10,971 (2007e); 10,996 (2006e); 10,859 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alberobellesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 6 – Murge di Castellana.

Alberona (FG): A commune in the province of Foggia.

Area: 49.30 km². Alt. 732 m. CAP: 71031. Tel. Pref.: 0881. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 41°26’1″32N/Long 15°7’26″04E. Population Information: 1,066 (2007e); 1,093 (2006e); (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alberonesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Monti Dauni Settentrionali.

Culture & Religion: Patron Saint(s): San Giovanni Battista.

Alberti, Adamo: (b. 1809, Cremona; d. 1885, Naples). Actor. A famous comic and character actor, he spent much of his career at the Teatro dei Fiorentini at Naples. In 1878, he published his autobiography Quarant’ anni di storia dei Teatro dei Fiorentini.

Alberto of Montecorvino, St.: (d. 1127). Ecclesiastic. Of Norman birth, he accompanied his father to Montecorvino Pugliano [SA], where he eventually became bishop. He is credited with being a miracle-worker. Despite suffering from blindness, Albert was said to have visions. As Alberto aged and his blindness worsened, he was forced to rely on his coadjutor, Crescentius. An ambitious man, Crescentius wanted Alberto to to name him as successor. Alberto refused and was subjected to increased levels of abuse. Despite the torment, Alberto never complained and eventually died without succumbing to Crescentius’s demands. Feast Day: Apr. 5.

Alberto of Trapani, St.: (b. Trapani; d. c1307). Monk and hermit. Having entered the Carmelite Order, he was ordained and sent to Messina. After a career as a missionary-preacher and miracle-worker, he entered a monastic hermitage in the mountains near Messina. There he remained until his death. Alberto is best-known for converting many of the Jews in and around Messina to Christianity. His cult was approved by Pope Sixtus IV in 1476. Feast Day: Aug. 7.

Albertolli, Il Cavaliere Gioconda: (b. 1742; d. 1840). Architect, designer. Among his most notable works are the interiors of the Palazzo Reale in Naples and the Villa of Maria Theresa at Monza.

Albi >(CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro.

Area: 28.86 km². Alt. 710 m. CAP: 88055. Tel. Pref.: 0961. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 39°1’33″60N/Long 16°35’49″92E. Population Information: 1,062 (2006e); 1,105 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Albesi.

Frazioni/Localita: : Buturo, San Giovanni d’Albi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana della Presila Catanzarese. Part of Regione Agraria n. 3 – Sila Piccola Meridionale. Part of Parco Nazionale della Sila.

Albidona (CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 1,671 (2006e). Area: 63.71km². Alt. 810 m. CAP: 87070. Tel. Pref.: 0981. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 39°55’24″96N/Long 16°28’15″60E. Population Information: 1,484 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Albidonesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Alto Jonio. Part of Regione Agraria n. 15 – Colline Litoranee di Amendolara.

Albina, St.: (d. AD 250). Martyr. A young Christian girl, she was executed at Formiae, near Naples, during the persecution of Decius. Little else is known about her. Feast Day: Dec. 16.

Albina, Giuseppe: (b. c1550, at Palermo; d. 1611). Painter, sculptor, architect. He lived and worked his entire career in his native city.

Albino, Giovanni (Lat: Joannes Albinus): (b. Naples; fl. late 15th Century). Statesman and historian. He was a counselor on military and civil affairs to King Ferdinand (Ferrante) II of Naples (r.1495-1496). He also wrote a history of his contemporary times.

Albinus (or Albus), Spurius Postumius: (fl. 4th Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. Consul in 344 and 321 BC. In 321, he lead a Roman army against the Samnites but was defeated in the battle of the Caudine Forks. Forced to surrender, his army was humiliated by being forced to march under a yolk. On the advice of Albinus himself, the Roman Senate refused to ratify the terms of his surrender. It was further resolved that Albinus and all of those had accepted the surrender should be turned over the Samnites. To the credit of the latter, the Samnites refused to accept the prisoners.

Alboin: (d. AD 574, Verona). King of the Lombards. After destroying the Gepids, he invaded northern Italy carving a kingdom for the Lombards out of territory taken from the Byzantines. His career was cut short by an assassination carried out by his wife and her lover.

Alburno (anc. Alburnus mons): A limestone ridge of the southern Apennines situated between the rivers Tanagro (anc. Tanager) and Calore (anc. Calor). In ancient times it was within the confines of Lucania; today it is in the Campanian province of Salerno. The massif has a number of karstic phenomena, mostly created by the many springs found here. The best-known of these caves are the Grotto di Pertosa and the Grotta di Castelcivita. The principal peak is M. Panormo (alt. 1,742 m) whose slopes are mostly covered by woods.

Alburnus mons: See Alburno.

Alburnus Portus: A port located near ancient Paestum. It was situated at the mouth of the river Silarus (mode. Sele).

Alcadinus (Ital. Alcadino): (b. Syracuse; fl. early 13th Century). Physician to the Holy Roman Emperors Henry VI and Frederick II.

Alcala (Parafan de Rivero), Duke of: (d. 1571). Viceroy of Naples under King Philip II of Spain and Naples. He succeeded the Duke of Alva, noted for his excessively stern rule. Alacala, in contrast, exercised a mild approach and quickly won the hearts of the population. He was a strong opponant of the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition at Naples. Through Alacla’s efforts, King Philip was convinced to issue a decree banning the Inquisition from Naples in perpetuity. During Alacala’s term as viceroy he successfully repealed Turkish attacks, outbreaks of plague, and the ravages of famine. He adorned Naples with many fine building projects during the 12 years of his term.

Alcamo>(TP): A commune in the province of Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily, 24 miles SW of Palermo.

Area: 130.76 km². Alt. 258 m. CAP: 91011. Tel. Pref.: 0924. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 37°59’57″84N/Long 12°57’26″64E.

Population Information: 43,890 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alcamesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 2 – Colline litorale di Erice.

It was originally founded in AD 828 atop Monte Bonifato (2,713 ft) by the Saracens and named for their leader Al-Kamuk. In 1233 the Saracen population was driven out by the Emperor Frederick II. The present settlement was established at the foot of the mountain. Alcamo’s distinctive Eastern flavor is due, in large part, to its abundant Saracen-Norman remains. It had a population in 1856 of 15,500.

Alcamo, Ciullo d’: See Vincenzo Alcamo.

Alcamo, Vincenzo (Ciullo) d’: (fl. late 12th Century). A Sicilian poet from Alcamo. A contemporary of Emperor Frederick II, he was one of Sicily’s first song-writers and he is often considered the first poet of the Sicilian School.

Alcantara, Gola di: A large, deep gorge cut into a hillside by the river Alcantara, near the town of Gaggi (CT). It measures about 20 meters in depth and 3 meters in width.

Alcantara, River> (anc. Acesines): A river (length: 48 km) in E Sicily (provinces of Catania and Messina), on which Naxos, the first Greek city in Sicily was founded. The city was located not far from the river’s mouth. The river rises on the S slopes of the Monti Nebroni (Serra di Barletta [1,395 m]), near Foresta, and it marks part of the border between the provinces of Messina and Catania. Flowing eastward along the base of Mt. Etna, it finally empties into the Ionian Sea at a point 3.2 km S of Capo Schiso. During its course it captures the waters of the torrente Roccella, and, near Randazzo, receives waters from Lago Guarrida. The Alcantara produces hydroelectric power at a dam near Francavilla di Sicilia, and is vital to the irrigation of much of NE Sicily.

The name Alcantara derives from the Arab term el kantara (=the bridge). It probably refers to a now-ruined Saracen bridge located farther up the river from Naxos. Alcantara gave its name to an order of knighthood in Spain.

Alcara li Fusi (ME): A commune in the province of Messina.

Area: 62.32km². Alt. 400 m. CAP: 98070. Tel. Pref.: 0941. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 38°1’22″80N/Long 14°42’6″12 E. Population Information: 2,308 (2006e); 2,473 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alcaresi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 2 – Nebrodi nord-orientali.

Alcibiades: (b. 450 BC; d. 404 BC). An Athenian general and statesman who rose to power in Athens after the death of Cleon. He was appointed as a co-commander, with Nicias and Demothenes, to lead the Athenian expedition against Syracuse in 415 BC. A far superior commander to the other two generals, it is likely that the ill-fated expedition would have succeeded had he not become involved in a scandal (the defacement of the Hermae of Athens). Although Alcibiades was probably innocent of the charges of sacrilege brought against him, he was forced to flee for his life. Taking refuge at Sparta, he helped that city’s army as an advisor against his home city. He later stayed for a time with the Persian Tissaphernes before being allowed to return to Athens in 407 BC. In 406 BC, he was again forced to go into exile. While in Persian-controlled Phrygia, he was killed by an assassin. With the departure of Alcibiades from the Athenian expedition, the project was ultimately doomed to failure. The loss of the expedition ultimately led to the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War.

Alcimus: See Alkimos.

Alcmaeon of Croton>: (b. c535 BC, Croton). Natural Philosopher, physician, scientist, and medical theorist.  Believed by many to have been a pupil of Pythagoras, he wrote principally on medical topics and injected Pythagorean aspects into his writing. There is some controversy as to whether he actually practiced medicine or was a purely a theorist. Regarding of this, he was a true pioneer in medicine, and is often called the true “Father of Greek Medicine” in opposition to that title being given to the later Hippocrates. He can be said to be the founder of empirical psychology and is one of the earliest known scientists to practice dissection on animals. There is some speculation as to whether he extended his dissections to human cadavers, a practice forbidden at that time. Particularly interested in the working of the eyes, he has been credited with the discovery of the Eustachian tubes and the optic nerve through dissections. He believed that the eyes were connected to the brain through pores. He appears to have been the first physician to differentiate between veins and arteries, and was the first to study the trachea. Alcamaon also helped to spark the study of embryology and theorized about the origin and nature of sperm. He was also the first to study internal causes of illnesses. He believed that good health was a matter of maintaining equilibrium between opposing humors. Illnesses were caused by factors in the environment, nutrition and lifestyle. Alcmaeon believed that the brain was the true center of intellect, opposing the prevalent belief of that time that this was located in the heart.

>Alcmaeon’s interests were not limited solely to medicine. Other subjects covered in his writings include astrology and meteorology. Only a scant few fragments of his writings have survived.

Alcmena, The: A painting said to have been the most famous picture in the ancient world. Painted by Zeuxis, this now-lost wonder was located in the temple of Heracles in Acragas/Agrigentum.

Alcuri: A surname found in Sicily. It is of Saracen origin, deriving from the Arabic al-kurah (=town, country).

Aldemar “the Wise”, St.: (b. 1080?, Capua). Ecclesiastic. After studying at Montecassino, he was chosen to become the abbot of a new convent at Capua by Princess Aloara. There he became famous for his wisdom and miracle-working. Finding himself caught in a dispute between Aloara and the abbot of Montecassino, Aldemar resigned from his post and resettled in Boiana (CB). While there he escaped an assassination attempt at the hands of one of his companions. He fled into the Abruzzi where he founded a monastery at Bocchignano and several dependent houses.

Alderighi, Dante: (b. July 7, 1898, Taranto), Pianist and composer. Having studied piano from Giovanni S. Gambati and composition from G. Francesco Malipiero, he composed a symphony, an overture, a piano concerto, a piano trio, and several other works.

Aldimari, Biagio: See Biagio Altomare.

Aldingh, Henry: The man who established the first printing press in Sicily in 1473.

Aldisio, Salvatore: (b. Dec. 29, 1890, Gela; d. July 27, 1960, Rome). Politician. He served as a Deputy of the People’s Party from 1921 to 1924. In 1925, he temporary retired from politics. In 1943, he helped to organize the Christian Democratic Party in Sicily. After serving as Interior minister at Salerno in the 3rd Badoglio Cabinet, he became High Commissioner for Sicily. In this position, he was deeply involved in legislation for granting autonomy to Sicily. In 1946, he became a Deputy in the Costituente (Assembly). He became state minister for the Merchant Marine during the 2nd and 3rd De Gasperi cabinets (July 1946-June 1947). In 1948 he was elected as Senator in the first legislature of the Republic. In the 6th and 7th De Gasperi cabinets (1950-53), he served as minister for Public Works. He was reelected to the Senate in 1953. In 1954 (Jan-Feb), he was minister for Public Works for the 1st Fanfani Cabinet.

Aleandro, Girolamo: (b. Feb. 13, 1480, Motta di Livenza, near Venice; d. Feb. 1, 1542, Brindisi). Ecclesiastic. Cardinal and Archbishop of Brindisi (1524-1541). He was appointed a Cardinal-Priest in 1538 (in pectore, 1536), and was strongly opposed to reformation in the Church. While with the French king, Francis I, at the battle of Pavia (Feb 24, 1525), he was taken prisoner by the Spanish. He wrote a Greek lexicon and grammar, and a Latin dictionary (Lexicon Graeco-Latinum (1512)).

                Alleandro was the first cardinal to be appointed (Dec. 22, 1536) in pectore, a form of secret appointment which was created by Pope Paul III. This was presumably done because an open appointment at that time would have endangered his life. He was openly pronounced a cardinal on December 22, 1536.

Aleatico: Name of a wine grape and of the red dessert wine made from it. Now produced throughout southern and central Italy, it is native to Puglia.

Alecce, Pasquale: (b. 1888, Motta San Giovanni [RC]; d. Mar. 20, 1955, Rome). Industrialist. He was one of the best known of the founders of the Istituto Farmacoterapico Italiano (Rome), one of Europe’s most important and modern centers of pharmaceutical research and production. He was awarded the honor of Cavaliere del Lavoro.

Alènto, River (1): A river (length: 35 km) of the Abruzzo in the provinces of Chieti and Pescara. Rising as the torrent Capo d’Acquq, on the N slope of the Maielletta at Passo di Lanciano (1,338 m), it takes the name of the Alènto at a point about 100 m in elevation, near the Sanctuary of Madonna della Mazza. Flowing to the NE, it empties into the Adriatic Sea at a point N of Francavilla al Mare. Its principal tributaries are the Rio Fontechiaro and the Torrente Valige.

Alènto (anc. Heles) , River (2): A small torrential river (length: 36 km) of the Cilento in the southern part of the province of Salerno, Campania. It rises on Monte Corne (895 m) and flows first to the W and then to the S before emptying into the Tyrrhenian Sea at Marina di Ascea, at a point to the W of Castellammare de Velia, near the site of ancient Velia. During its course it receives the waters of the river Palistro and the torrente Il Fiumicello.

Aleramici: The surname of a noble family of medieval Sicily. Originally of northern Italian origins, the family became closely associated with the Norman dynasty. King Roger II was related to them through his mother, Adelaide.

Alesi, Giuseppe d’: A Sicilian revolutionary assassinated in 1647.

Alessandri (or d’Alessandro), Alessandro (Lat. Alexander ab Alexandro): (b. c1460, Naples; d. 1523). Writer and jurist. He was a student of Francesco Filelfo (1398-1481) at Rome, where he became developed into a humanist. Primarily interested in the law, he authored several legal works including Dies Geniales (or Genialium dierum) (1522). Based on the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, this work attempted to separate the original meaning and language of the Twelve Tables of Roman Law from the additions added in medieval times.

Alessandri (or d’Alessandro), Antonio: (b. c1420, Naples; d. Oct. 26, 1498 or 1499). Jurist. A noted lawyer, he became a professor at the University of Naples and occasionally served as a royal agent on diplomatic missions. He wrote several commentaries, as well as works on Neapolitan law and a treatise on inheritance when there is no will.

Alessandri, Vincenzo: (d. 1657). Navigator. An Italian Knight of Malta. He had the misfortune of being captured and enslaved.

Alessandria del Carretto >(CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 654 (2006e).

Area: 39.20 km². Alt. 1,000 m. CAP: 87070. Tel. Pref.: 0981. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 39°57’32″76N/Long 16°22’49″08E. Population Information: 745 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alessandrini.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Alto Jonio. Part of Regione Agraria n. 10 – Colline di Oriolo. Part of Parco Nazionale del Pollino.

Alessandria della Rocca >(AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento.

Region: Sicilia. Province: Agrigento.

Elevation: 520 m. Area: 61.93 km². Population: 3,271 (2007e); 3,348 (2006e). Population Density: /km² ().

Coordinates: Lat. 37°34’3″N/Long. 13°27’15″E.

Location & Setting: located 56 km from Agrigento, situated in a hilly area.

Frazioni: .

Tel. Prefix: 0922. Postal Code: 92010.

Population Designation: Alessandrini.

Patron Saint (s): Maria SS. della Rocca. Feast Day: last Sunday in Aug.

Former Names: .

History: The town’s name derives from that of Alessandro Presti, the owner of the land on which the place was founded by the nobleman Blasé Bares in 1570. It was originally called Alessandria della Pietra. In 1862 or 1863, the suffix  was changed to “della Rocca” to honor the local Santuario di S. Maria della Rocca. Shortly after its foundation, it became a possession of the Barresi family.

                The town became a possession of the Napoli family in the 18th century with the marriage of Elisabetta Barresi to Lord Girolamo Napoli.

Historic Population Figures: (1861); (1901); (1921); (1951); (1981); 3,787(2001).

Famous Natives & Residents:

Luigi Genuardi: 1882-1935. Jurist and historian.

Points of Interest:

Historical Sites and Monuments: Medieval castle.

Churches and Religious Sites: The Chiesa del Carmine was founded in 1589.

                The Chiesa di S. Francesco was founded by baroness Elisabetta Barresi in 1610.

                The Sanctuario di Santa Maria della Rocca (sanctuary of Saint Mary della Rocca), located 1 km S of the center, dates to 1800. According a local legend, the sanctuary was built on the site where a statue of the patron saint was discovered.





Economy: Agriculture: almonds, olives, wheat, citrus, peaches. Livestock: cattle.

Alessandro: Bishop of Capua (rAD 500-516)

Alessano >(LE): A commune in the province of Lecce.

Area: 28.48 km². Alt.140 m. CAP: 73031. Tel. Pref.: 0833. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 39°53’22″56N/Long 18°19’54″48E. Population Information: 6,615 (2006e); 6,556 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alessanesi.

Alessi, Giuseppe (1): (fl, 18th century). Artist. His best known work is the façade of the Sicilian church of Santissima Annunziata in Avola [SR].

Alessi, Giuseppe (2): (b. 1905, Caltanissetta). Politician. A member of the Christian Democratic Party, he served as the first President of the region of Sicily, from Apr. 1947 to Jan. 1949.

Alessio (called Marchis): (b. in 1700, at Naples; d. c1740, Rome). Painter. Best-known for his landscapes, he imitated Tempesta in style.

Aletium: (mod. Alezio [LE]). A Messapian/Salentinian town in ancient Apulia. It was situated between Uxentum and Neretum, to the NW of the Iapygium promontory. Archaeological evidence shows that it enjoyed a prosperous economic life, reaching a peak in the 4th Century BC. It benefited from the close proximity of Kallipolis. Under the Romans, it enjoyed the status of a municipium.

Alex (Halex) River: A small river in ancient Bruttium. Emptying into the sea at Peripolium, it formed the boundary between the territory of Rhegium and of Locri Epizephyrii.

Alexander I (Alexander Molossus): (b. c370 BC; d. 331/0 BC). King of Epirus. Son of Neoptolemus, he was the brother of Olympias, with of Philip II of Macedonia. He came to the throne of Epirus in 342 BC with the help of Philip of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) whose daughter Cleopatra he married (336 BC). Responding to a plea for help from Taras/Tarentum, Alexander came to Italy with his army to confront an alliance of the Lucanians and Bruttians. In 332 BC, after defeating an army of Samnites and Lucanians near Paestum, he concluded a treaty with the Romans. Thus freed from any possible intervention, Alexander was able to concentrate on continuing his war. He now saw an opportunity to turn his campaign to fulfill his own ambitions. His original sponsors, the Tarentines, disassociated themselves from his further actions. Hoping to carve his own empire in southern Italy, he continued to win victories, capturing Heraclea from the Lucanians and Terina and Sipontum from the Bruttians. In 331 or 330 BC, he faced the Bruttians near Pandosia on the river Acheron, in modern Calabria. On the verge of yet another victory, Alexander was struck down as he was crossing the river by a Lucanian exile who joined his army. Tradition states that the assassin stabbed him in the back.

Alexander the Great: (b. 356 BC; d. 323 BC). King of Macedonia. Conqueror of the Persian Empire. He was the son and heir of Philip of Macedon and his first wife Olympias, and was the brother-in-law of King Alexander I of Epirus. After completing his conquests, Alexander settled at Babylon where, in late 324 BC, he received embassies from a number of western peoples including the Etruscans, Bruttians, and Lucanians of Italy, as well as the Carthaginians.

Alexander: (fl. 12th Century). Monk and historian. Alexander is known as the author of an account of the life and reign of the Norman Roger II, the first King of Sicily.

Alexander I, St: Pope (r.AD 105/107 – 115/116). A native of Rome, he succeeded St. Evaristus and was succeeded by St. Sixtus I.

Alexander II (real name: Anselmo Badagio): (b. in Milan; d. 1073). Pope. (rSept 30, 1061-Apr 21, 1073). He played an important role in the history of the Normans, giving his approval to both the invasion of England by William the Conqueror (1066) and that of Sicily by Robert Guiscard (1071).

Alexander III (real name: Rolando Ranuccio): (b. Siena; d. 1181) Pope. (rSept 7, 1159-Aug 30, 1181).

Alexander IV (real name: Renaldo de’ Conti di Segni): (b. 1199, Anagri; d. May 25, 1261, Viterbo). Pope. (rDec 12, 1254-May 25, 1261). He was elected pope at Naples on Oct. 25, 1254. A member of the noble Signi family, he was the nephew of Pope Gregory IX. Hostile to the Hohenstaufen King Manfred of Sicily, who he considered a usurper, Alexander sought his own candidate for the Sicilian throne. He made an unsuccessful offer to Edmond, the son of King Henry III of England. Manfred responded to Alexander’s trouble-making with some of his own, stirring up factional unrest in Rome. In 1260, Rome had become so unsafe that Alexander was forced to flee to Viterbo where he died the next year.

It was by Alexander’s command that the Inquisition was established in France. He was a strong supporter of medicant friars, especially the Franciscans.

                Alexander was said to have been a man of weak character.

Alexander V (real name: Pietro Filargo): (b. 1340, d. 1410, Bologna). Antipope. (r1409-1410).

Alexander VI (real name: Roderigo Lanzol y Borja [Borgia]): (b. c1431, Jativa [Xátiva], Valencia, Spain; d. Aug 18, 1503, Rome) Pope. (rAug 11, 1492-Aug 18, 1503). Originally an enemy of King Ferdinand (Ferrante) I of Naples, he concluded a treaty of alliance with him. As part of the terms of this agreement, Alexander’s son, Goffredo, was to marry Ferrante’s daughter, Sancia. In 1494, when the French King Charles VIII invaded Italy, Alexander formed a defensive alliance with Alfonso II, Ferrante I’s son and successor on the throne of Naples. Despite this treaty, Alexander soon betrayed his allies and opened the gates of Rome to the French. He took refuge in the Papal Castel Sant’Angelo during the French occupation. After Charles concluded a treaty with Alexander, the French king was free continue south and launch an invasion of the kingdom of Naples that would ultimately prove disastrous to the future of the Regno.

                After the withdrawal of the French, Alexander sought a new alliance with Naples. In July 1498, Alexander’s daughter, Lucretia Borgia, married King Alfonso’s natural son, Alfonso, duke of Bisceglie. This union proved to be a happy one with the two young newlyweds genuinely falling in love with one another. Changes in the political necessities of the Papacy ultimately doomed this marriage. Alexander’s son, Cesare, who did not approve of the alliance with Naples, ordered his henchmen to murder his brother-in-law on Aug. 18, 1500. This assassination doomed the Papal-Naples alliance and opened up the opportunity for Cesare to develop closer ties with France.

                Alexander died on Aug, 18, 1503, succumbing to apoplexy and malaria.

Alexander VII (real name: Fabio Chigi): (b.1599; d. 1667 ) Pope. (rApr 7, 1655-May 22, 1667).

Alexander VIII (real name: Pietro Ottoboni): (b. 1610; d. 1691). Pope. (rOct. 6, 1689-Feb 1, 1691).

Alexander Severus: (b. AD 205d. 235) Roman Emperor (rAD 222-235).

Alexis: (b. c394 BC, Thurii; d. c288 BC, Athens). Comic poet. A Greek from Magna Graecia. Alexis was said to have died at a very advanced age, perhaps 106 years according to Plutarch. After establishing himself at Athens, he earned a reputation as a master of Middle Comedy. He may have been the uncle of Menander, founder of New Comedy. Although it is known that he wrote 245 plays (including one dealing with the emancipation of women), all that has survived are about 140 titles and 340 fragments (totaling about 1,000 lines).

Alexius I Comnenus (Grk. Alexios Komnenos): (b. 1048; d. Aug. 15, 1118, Constantinople). Byzantine Emperor (r1081-1118). Born into the noble Komnenos family, he was the son of John Komnenos and Anna Dalassene. He served as a general under the emperors Michael VII Ducas (r 1067-78) and Nicephorus (Nikophoros) III Botaneiates (r1078-81). In association with his brother, Isaac, Alexius revolted against Nicephorus on Feb. 14, 1081. The rebels seized control of Constantinople on April 1 and, on April 8, Alexius was crowned as the new emperor.

Although Alexius had the support by other political and military powerful families like the Doukai, he soon found the security threatened by aristocratic conspiracies from within and powerful enemies from outside the imperial borders. Although two of the latter, the Seljuk Turks and the Pechenigs of the Danube region seemed to pose the most imminent threat, the greatest danger proved to be the Normans of southern Italy under the leadership of Robert Guiscard. When Guiscard crossed the Adriatic and invaded Byzantine territory, intent on seizing the imperial throne for himself, he initially won some significant victories. Alexius, however, was able to utilize his considerable military and diplomatic skills to turn back the Norman invaders. Once the Norman threat ended, Alexius was able to also defeat invasions by the Seljuk Turks and the Pechenigs.

                Eventually, Alexius realized that he could only hope to turn back the increasing threat from the Turks by seeking help from the West. His request for aid ultimately touched off the religious wars known as the Crusades.

Alezio >(anc. Aletium; med. Picciotti.) (LE): A commune in the province of Lecce.

Area: 16.53 km². Alt. 75 m. CAP: 73011. Tel. Pref.: 0833. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°3’44″28N/Long 18°3’32″40E. Population Information: 5,233 (2006e); 5,084 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Aletini.

History: Originally a town of the ancient Messapians, a new center called Picciotti arose around the church of S. Maria della Lizza.

Points of Interest: The site of the ancient town is marked by the church of S. Maria della Lizza.

Monuments: Several remains from ancient Aletium can still be seen including tombs with Messapian inscriptions.


Municipal Library: The collection includes several Messapian inscriptions from ancient Aletium.

Culture & Religion: Patron Saint(s): Our Lady of the Assumption.

Alfani, Francesco: See Francesco Alphanus.

Alfani, Orazio: (b. c1510; d. Dec. 1583, Perugia). Painter, stucco-worker, architect. Between 1539 and 1544, he worked in Sicily, producing several notable works, including a painted taburnacle and a marble tomb in the church of the Annunziata at Trapani, as well as stucco decorations in the Cathedral of Palermo.

Alfano >(SA): A commune in the province of Salerno. Area: 4.7 km². Alt. 260 m. CAP: 84040. Tel. Pref.: 0974. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°10’42″60 N/Long 15°25’33″60E. Population Information: 1,308 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alfanesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Zona del Lambro e Mingardo. Part of Regione Agraria n. 12 – Colline del Bussento.

Alfano (Alfanus or Alpuhans), St.: (d. 1085 at Salerno). Ecclesiastic. Having joined the Benedictine order and receiving an excellent education, he became a noted translator, writer, theologian and physician at the Montecassino monastery. In his capacity as a physician, he was one of the first doctors at the famous School of Medicine at Salerno (Schola Medica Salernitana). It was he who invited the great translator, Constantine the African, to Salerno to join him in the task of translating Arabic medical texts into Greek.

                In 1058, he became archbishop of Salerno, a post he held until his death in 1085. His feast day is October 9.

Alfano, Andrea: (b. Apr. 6, 1879, Castrovillari [CS]; d. Sept. 9, 1967, Rome). Painter and poet. He was noted for his light landscapes and radiant images. His paintings at exhibited at the Uffizi. As a poet he composed several collections including Pars parva (1936), Solitudini (1948), and Sillaba (1950).

Alfano, Angelo: (b. Oct. 31, 1970 at Agrigento). Politician. Having obtained a law degree, he was elected (for first constituency of Sicily) to the Italian Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati) as a member of the Forza Italia party in 2001. He served as that party’s regional secretary.

Alfano, Franco: (b. Mar. 8, 1875 at Posillipo, near Naples; d. Oct. 27, 1954 at San Remo). Composer and pianist. After receiving private instruction, he graduated from the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majellan in 1885 at Naples. He received further training at Leipzig. There he composed several piano and orchestral pieces. During his career he wrote a number of operas and librettos.  In 1918, he became director of the Conservatory of Bologna, and, in 1923, he directed the Turin Conservatory. Among his works were the operas Risurrezione (1904), La leggenda di Sakùntala (1921), and Cyrano de Bergerac (1936). In 1926 he completed Puccini’s unfinished opera Turandot.

Alfano, Ignazio: (b. June 29, 1892, Palermo). Naval engineer. As inspector general of naval engineering, he developed the Capitani Romani type of light cruiser in 1939.

Alfanus, St.: See St. Alfano.

Alfano da Termoli: (fl. 1st part of the 13th Century). Sculptor. He was a native of Termoli (CB).

Alfedena (AQ)>: A commune in the province of L’Aquila.>

Region: Abruzzo. Province: L’Aquila.

Elevation: 914 m. Area: 40.27 km². Population: 787 (2006e); 716 (2001). Population Density: 17.8/km² (2001).

Coordinates: Lat. 41°44’14” N/Long. 14°2’21” E.

Location & Setting: Located in the upper Sangro Valley.Part of Comunità Montana Alto Sangro Cinque Miglia. Part of Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise.

Frazioni: .

Tel. Prefix: 0864. Postal Code: 67030.

Population Designation: Alfedenesi.

Patron Saint (s): SS. Maria Salomè and Pietro the martyr  . Feast Day: 2nd Sunday in July.

Former Names: anc. Aufidena.

History: The center is of pre-Roman Samnite origins. In medieval times it was part of the County of Sangro. During World War II it suffered major damage.

Historic Population Figures: (1861); (1901); (1921); (1951); (1981); (2001).

Famous Natives & Residents:

Points of Interest:

Historical Sites and Monuments: Ancient remains of megalithic walls, an Italic temple, and an acropolis.

Excavations at the Campo Consolino necropolis have revealed Samnite artifacts from the 9th to 6th centuries BC.

Remains of a castle with an octagonal tower.

Churches and Religious Sites: The 13th century Church of SS. Pietro e Paolo was rebuilt after World War II. It retains its original portal.

Museums: The Museo Civico Aufidenate “A De Nino”. It contains finds from the local archaeological excavations including Samnite armor, jewelry, ceramics, and bronze statuary.


Events: The Feast of Sant’Antonio, with the traditional bonfires- Jan. 17.

Feast of SS. Maria Salomè and Pietro the martyr- 2nd Sunday in July.

Alferius, St.: (b. AD 930, at Salerno;  d. Holy Thursday, 1050): Ecclesiastic. Born into the noble Pappacarbone family, he entered into the service of Duke Gisulf I of Salerno. In c1006, he was dispatched to France as the duke’s emissary to Emperor Otto III. While enroute, however, he became seriously ill and sought refuge at the abbey of S. Michel de Cluse at Chiusa, in the Tyrol. Upon his recovery, he resumed his mission but resolved that, upon its completion to renounce his secular life and devote himself to religion. Once freed from his duty Alferius went to Cluny where he received religious training from Saint Odilio. He was later recalled to Salerno by Gisulf so that he could reorganize and oversee the duchy’s monasteries. Despite his best efforts, however, the corruption he found was too much for him to eradicate. Seeking solitude, he left Salerno and, in 1011, and became a hermit on nearby Mount Fenestra. It was there that he his religious reputation brought him a multitude of disciples. In 1025, he chose twelve of his followers and founded the Benedictine abbey of the Holy Trinity of La Cava. This abbey would eventually grow to become one of the most important religious forces in southern Italy and Sicily. Alferius remained abbot at La Cava until his death at the reputed age of 120.

                Alferius’s cult was approved by Pope Leo XIII in 93. Feast Day: Apr.12.

Alfiero (Alfieri), Giuseppe: (b. 1630, Naples; d. Jan 21, 1665). Operatic composer. His principal works were La fedeltà trionfante (1655) and Il trionfo della pace (1658).

Alfio, St.: (fl. AD 3rd / 4th centuries). Martyr. Since his first historical mention only dates from the 8th or 9th centuries, there is a good probability that he is fictitious. His story also suffers from the fact that these earliest sources are unreliable and give conflicting facts about him. In general, his legend states that he traveled from Rome to Puteoli (Pozzuoli), and then continued on to Sicily. On the island he visited Tauromenium (Taormina), Catane (Catania), and Leontinoi (Lentini). In most sources, it is claimed that he died in Leontinoi during the reign of the Emperor Licinius (r308-324). An alternate version, however, believes that he martyred in AD 251.

                Alfio is usually mentioned with his brothers S. Filadelfio and S. Cirino. In 1517, three ancient burials discovered near Lentini were identified by the church as those of the brothers. Alfio is a patron saint of the Sicilian towns of Lentini (SR) and Trecastagni (CT).

Alfio’s cult has wide popularity in eastern Sicily. As part of the ceremonies connected with cult, on the night of May 9/10followers traveled from Catania up the slopes of Mt. Etna to a site near Trecastagni. They made their return trip to Catania in the afternoon in a procession of traditional decorated carts.

Alfonsino: a name given to various Neapolitan coins struck under those kings of Naples named Alfonso. The alfonsino d’oro, a 1 ½ ducat gold piece weighing 5.34 grams, was introduced at Gaeta in 1437 by Alfonso V “the Magnanimous.” After securing the throne, he introduced the coin again in Naples in 1442. This alfonsino was worth 24 carlini in Naples and 12 taris in Sicily.

Alfonso: Prince of Capua (r1135-1144). He was the candidate of King Roger II.

Alfonso of Bisceglie: (b. c1481; died Aug. 18, 1500, Rome). Duke of Bisceglie. Contemporary accounts described him as “the most beautiful youth in Italy.” He was the illegitimate son of King Alfonso II of Naples and Trogia Gazzela, and brother of Sancia (b. 1478), the wife of Jofre Borgia, younger son of Pope Alexander VI. As part of the terms of a treaty between Naples and the Papacy, the 17 year old Alfonso was married (July 21, 1498) to the young Lucretia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI. Lucretia’s brother, Cesare Borgia, was a strong supporter of French interests in Italy and, thus strongly opposed to the Papacy’s alliance with Naples. He sought a way of destroying the treaty by wrecking his sister’s marriage with Alfonso. In 1499, Cesare was finally able to put his plans into effect. Alfonso realized that his life was now in danger if he remained in Rome. Leaving his pregnant wife, with whom it appears he shared a truly loving relationship, the young man fled seeking to return to Neapolitan territory. Enroute, however, he received a request from Alexander to please return and a guarantee that he would remain safe. In autumn of that year, Alfonso returned to Rome and it seemed that the threat he feared would not materialize. He did not reckon, however, with Cesare’s determination. On July 15, 1500, Alfonso was attacked by a gang of thugs at the gate of St. Peter’s. Seriously wounded he was able to escape and staggered back into the Vatican. There, through the tender care of his wife, Alfonso was able to begin to heal. Although there were no arrests made in the attack, Alfonso was well aware that Cesare was behind the attack. The young man even attempted to fight back by unsuccessfully trying to shoot his brother-in-law from his bedroom window. Cesare, knowing that he could not risk letting Alfonso recover, ordered another attack on the young man. On August 18, 1500, assassins burst into Alfonso’s room and strangled him. Again, no arrests were made although Cesare’s part in the murder was an open secret. Alfonso’s death succeeded in breaking the alliance between the Papacy and Naples, and encouraged the French to make new military and political adventures in Italy. 

Alfonso I of Naples and Sicily: See Alfonso V of Aragon.

Alfonso II of Naples: (b. Nov. 4, 1448; d. Dec. 18, 1495). King of Naples (r1494- Jan 23, 1495). He was the son of Ferrante (Ferdinand) I, king of Naples, and Isabel de Cleremont (Isabella di Chiaramonte), daughter of Tristan, Count of Capertino. Alfonso began his military career as a youth of 14 years, fighting as part of his father’s army. He successfully campaigned against the rebellious barons and rival Angevin claimants who contested his father’s claims to the throne of Naples. He also fought as the standard-bearer (gonfaloniere) for the Papacy against the supporters of the Pazzi Conspiracy, triumphing over the Florentines at Poggio in 1479. In 1481, he commanded the Neapolitan army who besieged the Turks at Otranto. Although the withdrawal of the Turks from Otranto was due principally to the death of the Turkish Sultan Mehdmet II, Alfonso always claimed that it as a personal victory. Nonetheless, he was justified in his reputation as a talented military leader. In 1482-84, he led the defense of Ferrara against the forces of the Papacy and Venice.

                In 1484, Alfonso was made co-ruler of Naples by his father Ferrante I. Unfortunately, the talents he displayed on the battlefield did not translate well in the political arena. He faced threats both from Pope Innocent VIII and from the hostile barons of his own kingdom. Ruling with a cruel and heavy hand, he forced the barons into rebellion in 1485. He could now treat these nobles as military enemies and crushed them without mercy. Those who surrendered to him on the promise of amnesty suffered execution. The families of the rebels were turned out and the properties confiscated to the crown. The cruelty which he displayed would one day be remembered when he needed to loyalty and help of his subjects against the French.

                Alfonso attempted to create diplomatic ties with Milan by giving his daughter Isabella a bride to Gian Galazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. When Isabella realized that Gian Galazzo’s rule was under the domination of his uncle, Ludovico il Moro, she appealed to Alfonso for help. Learning of this, Ludovico sent his own appeal for help to the French, advising them that Alfonso wished to seize control of Milan. He reminded the French king of his own dormant claim to the throne of Naples.

                On January 25, 1494, Ferrante I died, leaving Alfonso as the sole ruler of Naples. Very soon after this, he found himself facing an invasion by the French king, Charles VIII, who had finally been convinced by Ludovico il Moro of Milan to press his claim to Naples. Alfonso began to try forming an anti-French alliance with the Orsini, the Florentines, and with the Papacy. He receives a favorable response from Pope Alexander VI who, also fearing the French, officially crowned Alfonso at Rome.

                The alliance which Alfonso tried to create ultimately collapsed. The French army had little trouble in sweeping into Italy. Rome fell easily and Alexander VI was quick to form an alliance with them. Alfonso was now facing the invaders alone. As Charles VIII invaded the kingdom of Naples, Alfonso dispatched an army to face them under the command of his two sons, Ferrante and Federico. The Neapolitans had no hope of victory and suffered defeat. As his army fell back towards Naples, Alfonso realized that he could not hope for any help from his people. The cruelties of his past repressions now left him friendless. He attempted to save himself, or at least his dynasty, by abdicating the throne (Jan. 23, 1495) in favor of his son who became Ferrante II. This son was Alfonso’s opposite, as much beloved by the people as Alfonso was hated. The tactic was ultimately successful, at least in the short-run. The dynasty was able to survive the French invasion and lasted a short time afterwards.

                Following his abdication, Alfonso, withdrew to a monastery at Mazzara, Sicily, where he died a few monthes later.

Alfonso V of Aragon (I of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia) “the Magnanimous”: (b. 1394 or 1396, Medina Del Campo, Valladolid, Castile, Spain; d. June 26/27, 1458, Naples). King of Aragon (1416-1458), Sicily (1416-1458), Naples (1441-1458), and Sardinia (1420-1458); Count of Barcelona (1416-1458). He was the son of Ferdinand I the Just whom he succeeded as king of Aragon and Sicily in 1416. His mother was Eleanor of Alburquerque. In 1420, Queen Joanna II of Naples chose him as her heir, but revoked the decision in 1423 in favor of Louis III (and then his brother Rene) of Anjou/Lorraine. When Joanna died in 1435, Alfonso challenged Rene for the Neapolitan throne. Initially, Rene had a definite advantage, having the support of the Papacy and Genoa. The Genoese fleet intercepted that of Alfonso, defeating his fleet and taking him prisoner. Alfonso was transferred to the control of Duke Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan, another supporter of Rene. Alfonso was successful in not only convincing Philip to free him but won over the duke as his own ally. Alfonso continued his war against Rene for another 5 years but finally capturing Naples and being recognized by the Pope. In 1443, Pope Eugenius IV threw his support to Alfonso and, in the following year, he confirmed Ferrante (Ferdinand), Alfonso’s illegitimate son, as the rightful heir to the throne of Naples. In return for this, Alfonso agreed to support Eugenius against the Council of Basil.

                Once Alfonso’s claims in Italy were secured he chose to devote his energies to them, naming his mother and brother, John (the future John II of Sicily), as regent’s over his Spanish domains. Alfonso now became one of the principal military and diplomatic leaders in Italy. In 1455, he was instrumental in the election of Alfonso Borja as Pope Calixtus III.

                Alfonso was not content with his control over Naples and Sicily. He also pressed his claim to Milan as the supposed heir of his old benefactor Duke Filippo Maria Visconti. This claim, however, was based on documents widely believed to be forgeries and his claim was refused. A new war now broke out in which Alfonso found himself facing Pope Nicholas V. Nicholas knew that if Alfonso gained possession of Milan, he would become the de facto ruler of Italy. Ultimately, Alfonso’s claim to Milan was defeated by Francesco Sforza.

                In 1457, Alfonso abdicated the throne of Naples in favor of his son Ferrante. He advised the new king to be content with Naples and not attempt to press any claims to the Spanish territories. He also advised Ferrante to avoid the mistakes that he had himself made, and to give preference to Italians over Spaniards in filling important positions. As a last piece of advice, he told his son to keep the peace with the Papacy.

                After leaving the throne, Alfonso crossed over to Sicily and spent the remaining 10 months of his life at Messina, devoting himself to prayer and penance. Upon his death, his body was interred in the Cathedral of Messina. While Ferrante remained king in Naples, the rest of Alfonso’s empire, namely Aragon, Sardinia, and Sicily, came unfer the rule of John II.

                During Alfonso’s reign, Naples became the sanctuary for many Byzantine scholars who had fled from Constantinople when that city fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.  He was a great believer in justice and a patron of the humanities. His generosity and ability to show honor and respect to friend and foe alike, earned him the epithet “the Magnanimous.” During his reign he created a fund of 20,000 florins for the support of the artists and scholars who flocked to his court. He was personally a devoted to scholarship, traveling everywhere with a library of classical works.

                Despite his troubled relationships with the Papacy, Alfonso was a devote Catholic. He regularly heard Mass three times each day and enjoyed listening to biblical passages.

Ali’ >(ME): A commune in the province of Messina. Area: 16.69 km². Alt. 450 m. CAP: 98020. Tel. Pref.: 0942. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 38°1’42″24 N/Long 15°25’6″60 E. Population Information: 881 (2006e); 933 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Aliesi or Alioti.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 6 – Montagna litoranea dei Peloritani.

Ali, Luciano: (b. Siracusa; fl 1755-99). Architect. His principal work was the rebuilding of the Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco in Siracusa (1778-1788).

Ali, Salvatore d’: (fl. early 19th century). Artist. He created the façade for the Sicilian church of S. Bartolomeo at Scicli (RG).

Ali’ Terme> (MT): A commune in the province of Matera. Area: 6.15 km². Alt.9 m. CAP: 98021. Tel. Pref.: 0942. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 38°0’21″96 N/Long 15°25’24″60 E. Population Information: 2,585 (2006e); 2,569 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Aliesi or Alioti.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 6 – Montagna litoranea dei Peloritani.

Alia >(PA): A commune in the province of Palermo.

Area: 45.68 km². Alt. 726 m. CAP: 90021. Tel. Pref.: 091. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 37°46’51″60 N/Long 13°42’52″92 E. Population Information: 4,184 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Aliesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 2 – Montagna interna – Madonie Occidentali.


History: Former Names-

Points of Interest: It is known as the Città Giardino.

Culture & Religion: Patron Saint(s):

Alianelli, Nicola: (b. 1803, Missanello (NA); d. 1886, Missanello). Jurist and historian. A proponent of Liberalism, he was expelled from his magistracy and imprisoned by the Bourbons. After the collapse of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Alianelli became the director of the University of Naples. An expert in business affairs, he was also an historian and the editor of a version of the Tavole d’Amalfi, the historically important medieval/Renaissance maritime code.

Aliano >(MT): A commune in the province of Matera.

Area: 96.29 km². Alt. 498 m. CAP: 75010. Tel. Pref.: 0835. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°18’50″76 N/Long 16°13’54″84 E. Population Information: 1,234 (2006e); 1,284 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alianesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Collina Materana.

Alibrandi, Francesco: (b. Messina; d. 1711). Jesuit and casuist.

Alibrandi, Girolamo (“Raffaello da Messina”): (b. 1470, Messina; d. c1524, Messina). Painter. Known as the “Raffaello da Messina” (Raphael of Messina), he received his first formal training from Salvo d’Antonio and later became the pupil of Antonello at Venice, and of Leonardo da Vinci at Milan. At Rome he became familiar with the works of Raphael. His masterpieces include a Purification of the Virgin and a now-lost Presentation in the Temple (1519, church of Cadelona). Among his other extant works is a landscape of Randazzo in that town’s cathedral.

                Alibrandi died of the plague at the age of 59.

Alicata: The Saracen name for Licata in Sicily.

Alicudi (or Alicuri): (anc. Ericusa) the westernmost of the Lipari Islands. Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Lat. 38º 55’ N Long. 14º37’ E), it has a maximum altitude of 675 m.

Alife >(CE): A commune in the province of Caserta.

Area: 63.87 km². Alt. 110 m. CAP: 81011. Tel. Pref.: 0823. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 41°19’37″56 N/Long 14°20’5″64 E. Population: 7,357 (2006e); 7,164 (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alifani.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Zona del Matese. Part of Regione Agraria n. 4 – Medio Volturno.

Alife, Former Diocese of: A former diocese erected in the 5th century AD. On Sept. 30, 2000, it was united with the diocese of Caiazzo to create the diocese of Alife-Caiazzo.

Alife-Caiazzo, Diocese of


Metropolitan: Napoli.

Conference Region: Campania.

Area: 580 km²/ mi²

Total Population:63,417.

Catholic Population:

Total Priests: 57(Diocesan: 48; Religious: 9)

Permanent Deacons: 4

Male Religious:

Female Religious:

Parishes: 44


Alimena >(PA): A commune in the province of Palermo.

Area: 59.39 km². Alt. 740 m. CAP: 90020. Tel. Pref.: 0921. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 37°41’40″92 N/Long 14°6’52″20 E. Population Information: (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alimenesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 9 – Colline interne – Colline di Alimena.

Alimenta, Torrente: A waterway (length: 12 km) in Campania, located in the provinces of Caserta and Benevento. Rising near Calvisi, it flows into the river Volturno at Scafa S. Domenico.

Alimentus, Lucius Cincius: (fl. late 3rd Century BC). Roman statesman, historian, soldier, and jurist. Having served as Tribune of the People in 214 BC, he was appointed as praetor in Sicily for 210/ 209 BC. He commanded the two legions which had been sent to Sicily as punishment for their defeat by Hannibal at Cannae. Alimentus continued his military career after returning from Sicily and, sometime after 208 BC, was captured by Hannibal. During his captivity, he was treated with great respect by the Carthaginian general.

In his later years, Alimentus devoted himself to writing a number of works including those on grammar and law. His greatest work, however, was the “Annales”, a Greek history of Rome from its foundation through the 2nd Punic War. Although little of Alimentus’s writings survive, he received high praise from Livy.

Alimera, Bernardino: (b. 1861, Cosenza; d. 1915, Modena). Penalist and legal philosopher. A professor at the University of Cagliari and Modena, he was an important advocate of prison reform, writing several important works on this subject.

Aliminusa >(PA): A commune in the province of Palermo.

Area: 13.71 km². Alt. 450 m. CAP: 90020. Tel. Pref.: 091. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 37°51’54″00 N/Long 13°46’55″56 E. Population Information: (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Aliminuensi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 7 – Colline interne – Colline del San Leonardo.

Aliotta, Antonio: (b. 1881, Palermo; d. 1964). Philosopher. In 1919 he became a professor at the University of Naples. From 1924 to 1943, he was director of the Neapolitan magazine Logos. Philosophically, he advocated Experimentalism, supporting the value of scientific experimentation to gain an understanding of the universe.

Al-Kamuk: The Emir who led the Saracen invasion of Sicily in AD 828. The Sicilian city of Alcamo is named for him.

Alkimos (Lat. Alcimus): (b. Sicily; fl. mid-4th century BC). Greek historian and philosopher. His History of Sicily was the first historical work to mention the legend of Romulus and the account of his founding of Rome. In another work, a 4-book philosophical and mathematical study entitled Ad Aminta, he supported the view that the doctrines of Epicarmus had a strong influence on Platonism.

Allacciante esterno (or meridionale), Canale (AQ): A canal (length: 40 km) in the Bonifica del Fucino. It connects S. Pelino di Avezzano with the river Giovenco

Allava (Alba, Allaba): a town of ancient Sicily, located on the river Allava. Mod. Ribera [AG].

Allava (Alba, Allaba) River: a river in ancient Sicily, rising in the Cratas mons, and emptying into the African Sea (Africum pelagus) to the E of Thermae Selinuntiae.

Allegra, Salvatore: (b. 1898, Palermo; d. 1993, Florence). Composer. During his career he wrote several operas and operettas.

Allerius, St.: (b. 930 in Salerno; d. 1050). Born into the noble Pappacarboni family, he vowed to follow a religious life if he would be cured of a serious illness. After recovering his health he became a monk at the monastery of Cluny, France. He was later ordered by Duke Gisulf of Salerno to return home to reorganize and reform the religious houses there. The corruption he found there proved too great and he eventually retired to a hermitage outside the city in 1011. He later joined with 12 other hermits to found the Benedictine Abbey of La Cava. Sources claim that he lived for 120 years. Feast Day: April 12.

Alli, Torrente (1): A torrential stream (length: 46 km) in Calabria (province of Catanzaro), rising at an altitude of 1,270 m in the Sila Piccola, at a point near the border with the province of Cosenza, between M. Bruno and M. Ianni. It flows to the SE, passing Taverna, and emptying into the Gulf of Squillace, to the NE of Catanzaro Marina.

Alli, Torrente (2): A torrential stream (length: 12 km) in Basilicata. It rises on Monte Cugno della Bambagia (1,430 m) and flows into the river Agri in the Piane della Mattina, near Viaggiano (PZ).

Alliata (or Agliata): A prominent Sicilian family. Originally from Pisa, they established themselves in Sicily during the 14th century, receiving the title of Barons of Villafranca in 1413. In 1609, one of their members, Francesco Alliata, received the title of Prince. In 1625, he also became the Duke of Salaparuta. The family produced many distinguished members, including Girardo Alliata (Protonotary of the kingdom of Sicily during the 2nd part of the 15th Century); Giuseppe Alliata (marshal of the camp for Charles VI), who was awarded the position of Grande of Spain 1st Class in 1721; and the patriotic leader Giuseppe Alliata.

Alliata, Giuseppe: (b. 1787, Naples; d. 1844). Politician and patriotic leader. Holding the title of Prince of Villafranca, he was a member of the Sicilian Parliament. In 1810, he was delegated to deliver Parliament’s grievances to the Bourbon government. As a result of this, he was arrested and sent as a prisoner to the island of Pantelleria in 1811. This arrest created such a vehement protest from the English government that he was released. Returning to Sicily, he became President of the Camera dei Pari and Foreign Minister of the Sicilian Constitutional government. During the 1820 revolution, he became president of the State junta.

Allifae (Alifae; mod. Alife [CE]): an ancient town of the Pentrian Samnites, located on the Via Numicia, between Ebritiana and Sepinum. It was noted for its manufacturing of large drinking cups. A Roman colony was established here in the 1st century BC.

Alliste >(LE): A commune in the province of Lecce. Area: 23.47 km². Alt. 54 m. CAP: 73040. Tel. Pref.: 0833. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 39°56’58″56 N/Long 18°5’22″56 E. Population Information: 6,581 (2006e); (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Allistini.

All Souls’ Day (Festa dei Morti): Observed on November 2nd, this holy day is devoted to the memory of all departed souls. A rite of purification is performed as part of observance. A priest, holding an aspersorium (a vessel holding holy water) and censer containing burning incense, leads a procession to the cemetery (campo santo) while singing a Miserere, (a piece of a cappella religious music based on the 51st Psalm). Reaching a point where he can overlook the burial ground, he offers up prayers to those whose remains lie there. Holy water is sprinkled on the ground and the incense is waved through the air. Scholars state that this ceremony is a survival of that performed during the ancient Roman festival of Feralia. Although celebrated at a different time of year (Feb. 21/22), this ancient ceremony also honored the spirits of the dead this a nearly identical ceremony.

Almari: A Sicilian surname of Saracen origins. It derives from the Arabic al-mari (=brave, courageous).

Almensa, Girolamo: (b. Naples; fl. 2nd part of the 15th century). Ecclesiastic, diplomat. A Dominican, he rose to become bishop of Policastro in 1485. Under Pope Alexander VI (r1494-1503), he served as paple ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples.

Almirante: A family of notable actors who flourished during the 19th and 20th centuries. Among their best-known members were Pasquale Almirante (b. 1799, Capua; d. 1863, Sant’Angelo), Nunzio Almirante (b. 1837, Collesano [PA]; d. 1906, L’Aquila), Guiseppina Almirante (1826-1865), Giacomo Almirante (b. 1875, Palermo), Luigi Almirante (b. 1886, Tunis), and Italia Almirante Manzini (1890-1941).

Almirante Manzini, Italia: (b. 1890, Taranto; 1941, Sao Paolo, Brazil). Actress. Born into a famous southern Italian acting family, she became a celebrated actress in the Italian silent film industry from 1912 to 1923. After 1924, she gave up her movie career in favor of the stage.

almonds: One of the principal exports of Sicily. Travelers in the early the 20th century wrote that the blossoming almonds orchards found in Sicily rivaled the cherry groves in Japan.

Aloara: Co-Duke of Capua (r982-992).

Aloisio, Gian-Francesco: (b. Campania; d. 1564). Poet. He was executed in 1564 for heresy.

Aloja, Giuseppe: (b. Naples; fl. c1750). Engraver.

Alpan: Etruscan goddess of love and the underworld.

Alphaeus, River: A river in E Sicily which fed the famous fountain of Arethusa in Syracuse. According to ancient legend, it was actually the same river as its namesake in western Greece. According to Greek mythology, the river god Alphaeus fell in love with the nymph Arethusa and pursued her until, in an effort to escape from him, she swam across the Adriatic Sea to Sicily where she was turned into a fountain. Relentless in his pursuit, Alphaeus plunged deep into the earth and burrowed beneath the Adriatic to emerge again in Sicily. There he dove into Arethusa’s Fountain, forever blending their waters together. Ancient writers claimed that it was a proven fact an object tossed into the Alphaeus River in Greece (whose waters do indeed disappear underground) would eventually reemerge in Arethusa’s fountain.

Alphanus (or Alphani), Francesco: (b. Salerno; fl. late 16th Century). Medical writer.

Alpheias: A water nymph associated with the fountain of Arethusa in Sicily.

Alphius, St.: (b. Vaste; d. AD 251). Martyr. According to his legend, he and his siblings were natives of Vaste (LE). With his two brothers, Philadelphus and Cyrinus, his sister, Benedicta, and several other Christians, he was arrested during the persecution under Emperor Decius. After being tortured at Rome, they were transported with other Christians to Puteoli (mod. Pozzuoli). There one of their companions, Onesimus, was executed. Of Benedicta’s ultimate fate, there is no record. The brothers, however, were taken on to Sicily where, at Leontini [mod. Lentini], they were executed. Alphius was killed by having his tongue torn out, Philadelphus by burning, and Cyrinus boiled to death. The three brothers are patron saints of Lentini [SR]. Although most Roman Catholic sources now admit that Alphius and his siblings were fictitious, they are still officially listed as saints and martyrs. Feast Day: May 10.

Alphonse: (d.1144). Duke of Capua (r1135-37; 1137-1144).

Alphonso III: (b. 1265; d. 1291). King of Aragon (r1285-91). He fought both the Papacy and Venice on behalf of the claims of his brother, James II, to the throne of Sicily. In 1291, he signed the treaty of Tarascon and withdrew his support from James.

Alphonso IV: (b. 1299; d. 1336). King of Aragon (r1327-36). The son of James II, under his reign he faced a revolt in Sardinia, and found himself entangled in a prolonged war with Genoa for control of that island.

Alphonso V: See Alfonso V of Aragon (I of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia) “the Magnanimous”.

Alphonsus Marie Liguori, St. (original name: Alphonsus Marie Antony John Cosmos Damien Michael Gaspard de Liguori): (b. Sept. 27, 1696 at Marianella (NA); d. Aug. 1, 1787 at Nocera de Pagani). Ecclesiastic and Doctor of the Church. Patron saint of theologians. Born into a good family, his superior intellect enabled him to study for a legal degree at the age of 13, attaining it three years later. Soon after, he was admitted to the bar at Naples and, by age 24, was considered one of Italy’s greatest legal minds. After losing a case in 1723, he became disgusted with the legal profession and turned to the study of religion. In 1726 or 1732, he was ordained a priest, and, in 1731/1732, founded the missionary Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). He dedicated the Order to aiding and converting the world’s poor. From c1756 (or 1762) to 1775, he served as bishop of Sant’Agata dei Goti, near Benevento. From 1770 to 1783, he defended the Redemptorists when the Spanish government claimed that they were actually simply another form of the outlawed Jesuits. In 1775, ill health forced him to resign from his see, but remained active in the Church. In 1777, he was duped into submitting a false constitution to King Ferdinand IV of Naples, for which he was denounced by Pope Pius VI. The pope also excluded him from the Redemptorist Order. It was not long, however, before he was restored to papal favor and spent his last years in retirement in his convent. In 1839 he was canonized and, in 1871, was declared to be a Doctor of the Church.

During his lifetime, Alfonsus wrote many works on theology, history, and asceticism. He is best known for Moral Theology (1748) and Glories of Mary (1750). Feast Day: Aug. 1.

Alpus (Grk. Alpos): In classical mythology, he was a Sicilian Giant, a son of Gaia, who was slain by the god Dionysus. According to Nonus (Dionysiaca 45.174), during the war between the gods and giants, Dionysus speared Alpus with thyrsos. The gravely wound giant fell into the sea, forcing up “Typhaon’s Rock” (i.e. the island of Sicily) to the surface. Alpus’s name means alps or mountains.

Altamonte (or Altamonti), Martino: (b. 1657 or 1682, Naples; d. 1745). Painter. Considered to be one of the best painters of his day, most of his works deal with historical or architectural subjects.

Altamura (BA): a town in the province of Bari, located 42 miles from Taranto, at the foot of the Apennines. Area: 427.75 km². Population: 67,903 (2007e); 67,312 (2006e); 64,167 (2001); 57,874 (1991); 51,346 (1981). Alt. 468 m. CAP: 70022. Tel. Pref.: 080. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°49’48″72 N/Long 16°33’16″20 E. Inhabitants Designation: Altamurani.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 4 – Murge di Altamura. Part of Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia.

Its principal monument is a Norman style cathedral dating from 1220. It produces a notable wine.

Altamura, Saverio: (b. 1826, Foggia; d. 1897, Naples). Painter. As a student at the Academy of Naples, he became friends with D. Morelli. In 1850, having joined a conspiracy against the Bourbons, he was forced to flee to Florence. A sentence of death was decreed upon him should he ever return to the Two Sicilies. This decree lapsed in 1860 when the Bourbon dynasty fell. Returning to Naples in 1860, where he developed a reputation as a painter in the Romantic style inspired by Morelli. Altamura normally chose historical and religious subjects for his paintings.

Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonte, Diocese of: A see suffragan to Bari-Bitonto. It is part of the Ecclesiastical Region of Puglia. Area: 1,309 km². The former diocese was Altamura was established in 1248, while that of Acquaviva delle Fonti dates from AD 465. The two were united in 1848. A third see, that of Gravina (of 9th century foundation), was added in 1986.

Altanum: A town in ancient Bruttium, situated on the Locrensis sinus, on the Via Traiana between Locri and Scylla.

Altavilla: A variant of the name Hauteville.

Altavilla, Pasquale: (b. 1806, Naples; d. 1872, Naples). Actor and playwright. For many years he was noted for his comic roles at the theater of S. Carlino. In 1864, he began to play at other Neapolitan theaters including the Sebeto, the Parthenope, the Fenice, and the Nuovo. He also penned about 60 comic plays based on everyday life.

Altavilla Irpina >(AV): A commune in the province of Avellino.

Area: 14.10 km². Alt. 334 m. CAP: 83011. Tel. Pref.: 0825. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 41°0’28″80 N/Long 14°46’55″92 E. Population: 4,220 (2007e); 4,233 (2006e); 4,143(2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Altavillesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Zona del Partenio. Part of Regione Agraria n. 8 – Colline di Avellino.

Altavilla Milicia >(PA):

Area: 23.79 km². Alt. 73 m. CAP: 90010. Tel. Pref.: 091. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 38°2’20″04 N/Long 13°32’57″12 E. Population Information: (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Altavillesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 11 – Colline litoranee – Colline litoranee di Termini Imerese.

Altavilla Silentina >(SA):

Area: 52.23 km². Alt. 319 m. CAP: 84045. Tel. Pref.: 0828. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°31’56″28 N/Long 15°7’54″48 E. Population Information: (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Altavillesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Zona del Calore Salernitano. Part of Regione Agraria n. 7 – Medio Sele.

Althann, Marianna Pignatelli, Contessa di: (b. 1689. Naples; d. 1755, Vienna). Favorite of Emperor Charles VI, she was the wife of Barcellona Giovanni Venceslao, count of Althann (d. 1722). In 1730, she moved to Vienna in order to be closer to the Emperor.

Altieri, Ciro degli: (b. Naples; fl. middle of the 18th Century). Ecclesiastic. Bishop of Acerra in 1761.

Altilia (>anc. Saepinum) >(CB) (1): A frazione in the commune of Sepino (CB), located 25 km S of Campobasso. Ancient Saepinum was a town of the ancient Samnites which later came under the control of the Romans. The ruins of the ancient ruins, located about 3 km N of the center, are considered among the best-preseved in Italy.

Altilia >(CS) (2): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 782 (2006e).

Area: 10.70 km². Alt. 594 m. CAP: 87040. Tel. Pref.: 0984. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 39°7’53″40 N/Long 16°15’12″60 E. Population Information: (2001); (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Altiliesi.

Location & Setting: Part of Regione Agraria n. 5 – Versante Sud/Ovest della catena costiera.

Altilio (Lat. Altilius), Gabriello (Gabriele): (b. 1440, Caggiano [SA]; d. 1501, Policastro [SA]). Poet, humanist, diplomat and ecclesiastic.  Ranking among the leading humanists of his time, Altilio was a prominent member of the Neapolitan Academy. Entering into the service of the Aragonese dynasty of Naples, he continued to play an important role in the governments of Alfonso II and Ferrante II even after becoming bishop of Policastro in 1493. After the fall of Naples to the French in 1495, Altilio chose to retire from politics and devote himself exclusively to his religious duties.

                As part of the Neapolitan Academy, Altilio became close friends with such figures as Pontano and Sannazzaro. He authored several Latin poems of high quality, one of the best being an Epithalamium, styled after Catullus, on the 1489 marriage of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Isabella of Aragon. It was published posthumously and later translated into Italian. Altilio also wrote a number of works on theology.

Altino (CH): A commune in the province of Chieti, located 44 km from Chieti, situated on a height overlooking the rivers Aventino and Sangro. Area: 15.23 km². Alt. 345 m. Population: 2,683 (2006e); 2,532 (2001). CAP: 66040. Tel. Pref.: 0872. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 42°6’1″08 N/Long 14°19’57″00 E. Inhabitants Designation: Altinesi.

Location & Setting: A center situated on a height between the Rio Secco and the river Sangro.

Economy: Agriculture. Sheep-herding.

Altobello, Francesco Antonio: (b. Bitonto, fl. 17th century). Painter. He lived most of his life in Naples. A student of Carlo di Rosa, he was best known for his extensive use of ultramarine in his works.

Altofonte (formerly Parco)(Sic. Parcu) >(PA): An agricultural center and commune in the province of Palermo. Area: 35.27 km². Alt. 350 m. CAP: 90030. Tel. Pref.: 091. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 38°2’35″16 N/Long 13°17’49″56 E. Population Information: (2001); 8,276 (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Altafontini.

Location & Setting: It is located 12 km SW of Palermo, it is situated on the S slopes of the Conca d’Oro. Part of Regione Agraria n. 6 – Colline interne – Colline dell’Eleuterio.

History: The town’s former name, Parco, derived from its location at the S end of a park developed for King Roger II. The old royal hunting lodge was the core around which the town grew up. In 1307 the lodge was converted into a Capuchin monastery. In 1931 the town’s name was changed to Altofonte. Major earthquakes were felt here in 1940 and 1968.

Points of Interest: The principal monument is the Chiesa Madre. The present structure dates mostly from a 1618 rebuilding by the Abbot, Cardinal Scipio Borghese. Of the original Norman lodge there survives a royal chapel (originally an oratory) with a cupola roof raised on a small tower at the E end and a gallery at the W end. This chapel has a single nave and apse. Looking N from this chapel it is possible to view the whole of the former royal park.

                On a hill above the Chiesa Madre is an obelisk monument dedicated to Garibaldi.

Altomare (or Altomari, Aldimari), Biagio: (b.1639; d. 1713). Neapolitan jurist.  A member of the Aldimari family, he is best known as the author of Pragmaticae edicta, decreta, regiaeque sanctiones Regni Neapolitani (1682).

Altomare (or Altomari), Donato Antonio (Lat. Donatus ab Altomari): (d. c1566). Physician and medical writer. After a successful medical career, he was forced to live for a time in exile. Through the offices of Pope Paul IV (r1555-1559), he was allowed to return to Naples. He is best known as the author of Ars Medica (1553).

Altomari, Biagio: See Biagio Altomare.

Altomonte (anc. Balbia) >(CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 4,592 (2006e). Area: 65.29 km². Alt. 455 m. CAP: 87042. Tel. Pref.: 0981. Geographical Coordinates: Lat N/Long E. Population Information: (2001); 4,569(1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Altomontesi.

Location & Setting: It is located 70 km N of Cosenza, situated in hills between the rivers Fiumicello and Grondo. Part of>Regione Agraria n. 12 – Medio Crati Occidentale.

>Economy>: The communal territory is divided between cultivated fields, woods, and pastures. The principal agricultural products are olive oil and wine.

>History>: Of ancient origins, the center was called Balbia in Roman times and produced a notable wine known as Balbino. The name Altomonte first appears in historical documents in 1343. During the 14th century the town enjoyed the status of a center of art and culture. Major earhtquakes were felt here in 1887, 1905, and 1947.

>Points of Interest>: The church of S. Maria della Consilazione (constructed between 1336 and 1380) is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in southern Italy. Believed to be the work of Sienese architests employed by Filippo Sangineto, Count of Altomonte. It includes a beautiful Gothic façade dating from 1380, with a large rose window, and an impressive campanile. The church’s interior includes the Sangineto Masoleum (c1350), a beautifully preserved tomb of Filippo Sangineto, designed in the style of the school of Tino di Camaino. There are also several notable 14th and 15th century sculptures.

>                The Civic Museum is housed in a former Dominican monastery adjoining the church of S. Maria della Consilazione. The collection includes artifacts excavated from the site of ancient Balbia dating from the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Also stored here are a pair of alabaster panels dating from 1380; a 15th century marble statue of the Madonna and Child; a 15th century painting, also depicting the Madonna and Child, a work in the style of the Neapolitan-Catalan school; remains of a triptych inspired by the style of Bernardo Daddi; and the remains of some frescoes. There is an excellent painting of St. Ladislaus attributed to the Sienese master Simone Martini (1283-1344), and thought to have originally been part of a triptych commissioned by Count Filippo Sangeneto in 1326.

>                The church of San Giacomo dates to the 12th century.

>                The Torre dei Pallotta dates from the 14th century.

>                The Castello dei Sanseverino dates from the 15th to 17th centuries.

>                The Municipio is located in the former 17th century Convento dei Minimi.

Altomonte, Martino>: (b. 1657, Naples; d. 1745). Painter. Establishing himself in Vienna, he enjoyed a long, prosperous career as a portrait painter. His best known works include portraits of the Austrian Emperors.

Altopiano Centrale>: The central plateau of the island of Sicily. It encompasses the provinces of Caltanissetta and Enna.

Altosa, Torrente>: A torrential stream (length: 8 km) in the province of Chieti, Abruzzo. Having its source in the Lago Nero, on the N slopes of the Monti dei Frentani, it flows into the river Sinello, at a point above the town of Guilmi (CH).

Aluntium (Haluntium): An ancient town on the north coast of Sicily, near Calacta. Situated on a steep hill, at the mouth of the river Chydas, it was noted for its wine.

Alvarez, Diego: (b. Castile, c1550; d. c1633). Ecclesiastic and theologian. In 1606 he became Archbishop of Trani, in Apulia. His principal work is De Auxiliis Divinae Gratiae (On the Aids of Divine Grace).

Alvaro, Corrado: (b. 1895, Reggio di Calabria; d. 1956, Rome). Writer. Having begun his journalistic career writing for the Resto del Calino and the Corriere della Sera, he also contributed work ro such important Italian publications as Mondo and Fiera Letteraria. He served as special envoy for La Stampa and served as director for Il Polol di Roma (Rome) and Il Risorgimento (Naples). After publishing Poesie Grigioverdi in 1917, he turned to writing novels a series of novels. These were based on the Calabrian culture of his youth, set among the rural communities of the Aspromonte. Among his other works were essays and diaries including Itinerario italiano, L’Italia rinunzia, and Quasi una vita.

Alvaro, Giovanni: (b. Naples; fl. 1st half of the 18th century). Painter.

Alvignano >(CE): A commune in the province of Caserta. Area: 37.65 km². Alt. 132 m. CAP: 81012. Tel. Pref.: 0823. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 41°14’44″52 N/Long 14°20’11″40E. Population: 4,914 (2006e); 5,063 (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Alvignanesi.

Location & Setting: It is located 27 km N of Caserta, to the right of the river Volturno. Part of Comunità Montana Zona Monte Maggiore. Part of Regione Agraria n. 4 – Medio Volturno.

History: Major earthquakes were felt here in 1688, 1930, 1980, and 1984.

Alvino, Enrico: (b. 1810 at Naples; d. 1876). Architect.

Alycus, River: (mod. Vrillo). A river of ancient Sicily, emptying into the sea between Gela and Camarina.

Amadei, Cataldo: (b. 1629, Sciacca [AG]; d. 1695). Musician and composer. His opera, “La sirena consolata” was performed in Naples in 1692.

Amalasonte: See Amalasontha.

Amalasontha (Amalasonte, Amalasuintha: Lat. Amalasuentha): (d. AD 535). Queen of the Ostrogoths. The younger daughter of King Theodoric I “the Great”, she was well-known for her justice and wisdom as a ruler. In AD 526, she became the regent for her minor son, Athalaric. Possessing both physical beauty and intelligence, she is considered among the exceptional female rulers of history. Thanks in great part to the influence of her prime minister, the famous philosopher Cassiodorus, her outlook and lifestyle were distinctly Roman, a fact that cause much resentment towards her from the Gothic nobles of Italy. The leader of this dissenting party was her cousin, Theodahad, who soon became such a threat, that Amalasontha considered fleeing to Constantinople. She was prevented from this action, however, by realizing that she had more to fear from the machinations of the Roman Empress Theodora than she did from Theodahad. She succeeded in coming to an agreement with her cousin, and peace was restored in Italy. A serious new threat arose when, in 534, Athalaric died, never having reached adult age. Amalasontha now found herself holding full power as Queen but without a solid justification for the title. Faced with a revolt from the Gothic nobility, who refused to accept the sole rule of a woman, Amalasontha agreed to marry Theodahad and share the throne with him. This decision, however, only served to give Theodahad the power that he had always wanted and he had no wish to share it with his cousin. Amalasontha was deposed and sent as a prisoner to a small island in Lake Bolzano. Soon afterwards, she was assassinated.

                Amalasontha’s murder had far-reaching effects that Theodahad could never have realized. The new king was confronted by Peter, the envoy of the Roman Emperor Justinian, who condemned the murder. Theodahad tried to claim that he had no connection to the assassination, but his word was not believed by Justinian. The Emperor now saw a way to use the death of Amalasontha as a way to further his own ambitions for reconquering Italy. Declaring himself to be Amalasontha’s avenger, Justinian sent two of his armies into Italy. Marching from Illyricum, one force, under the command of Mundus, attacked the Ostrogoth kingdom from the north. The other army, under the command of the great general Belisarius, advanced from North Africa, through Sicily, and onto the southern Italian mainland. The resulting war would be long and costly for both sides. The Ostrogothic kingdom was eventually destroyed and the Ostrogoths themselves disappeared as a people from history. The Romans, or as they were to eventually be known, Byzantines, held Italy in the end but were left too weak to be able to stand against a new set of invaders. The Germanic Lombards were able to seize control northern Italy while the southern part of the peninsula and Sicily remained in Byzantine hands. It was this division, perhaps more than any other factor, which created the North-South cultural divide that still remains in modern Italy.

Amalasuentha: See Amalasontha.

Amalasuintha: See Amalasontha.

Amalfi [SA]: A port city and commune in the province of Salerno (Area: 6.11 km². Population: 5,428 [2001]), situated on the north coast of the Gulf of Salerno, about 22 miles SE of Naples, in a ravine at the base of Monte Cerrato. Alt. 6 m. CAP: 84011. Tel. Pref.: 089. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 40°38’8″88N/Long 14°36’18″00E. It’s isolation from the Campanian hinterland protected it from much of the chaos following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the subsequent Romano-Gothic War. Strongly dependent on the sea it developed into a powerful medieval city-state rivaling Pisa and Venice in its commercial connections. The Tabula Amalphitana, the code of maritime law developed at Amalfi, became the standard for most European states for centuries. At its height in the 12th Century, Amalfi had a population of about 50,000. Its most significant monument is its 11th Century cathedral.

Inhabitants Designation: Amalfitani.

Location & Setting: Part of Comunità Montana Zona Penisola Amalfitana. Part of Regione Agraria n. 13 – Colline litoranee di Salerno.

Amalfi – Cava de’ Tirreni, Archdiocese of:


Metropolitan: Salerno – Campagna – Acerno.

Conference Region: Campania

Area:  150 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 96,878

Catholic Population:

Total Priests: 82 (Diocesan: 55; Religious: 27)

Permanent Deacons: 17

Male Religious:

Female Religious:

Parishes: 76.


Amantea (CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 13,576 (2006e).

Amari, Emerico: (b. May 9, 1810; d. Sept. 20, 1870). Publicist and political economist. In 1841, he became professor of criminal law at the University of Palermo. Suspected of anti-government sentiments, he was imprisoned as a conspirator for a lengthy term. He also played a significant leadership role in Sicily’s 1848 Revolution. He was the author of Critica di una scienza delle legislazioni comparate (1857). He was the father of the historian Michele Amari (1806-1889).

Amari, Michele: (b. July 7, 1806, Palermo; d. July 15, 1889, Florence). Historian, orientalist, statesman. He was the son of the Sicilian revolutionary leader Emerico Amari. He published Fondazione della Monarchia dei Normanni in Sicilia (1834), Un Periodo delle Istorie Siciliane del Secolo XIII (1841), and La Guerra del Vespro Siciliano (1842) These works, dealing largely the 13th Century Sicilian Vespers revolt, was considered inflammatory by the Bourbon government. The books were banned and Amari, accused of being a member of the Carbonari, was forced to flee to France to avoid arrest. There he remained until the outbreak of the 1848 revolution in Sicily allowed him to return home for a short time. Under the new revolutionary Sicilian government, Amari served as finance minister. The collapse of the revolutionary government and restoration of Bourbon power forced Amari to return to Paris. There he concentrated on literary pursuits until 1859 when he became a follower of Garibaldi. Following Garibaldi’s conquest of the island, Amari again returned home.

In 1861, Amari joined the new Italian government as a Senator and President of the Lieutenancy of Sicily. From 1862 to 1864, he served as Minister of Public Instruction. After leaving government service, he became a professor of Arabic at Pisa and, later, Florence, finally retiring in 1878. Besides the works already mentioned, he also wrote La Sicile et les Bourbond (1849), Storia dei Musulmanni di Sicilia (1853-73), I diplomi arabi del archivio florentino (1863-72), Biblioteca Arabo-Sicula (Rome, 1880), and Altre Narrazioni del Vespro Siciliano (1886).

Amaro, Monte: The highest summit (2,795 m) in the Maiella massif, and the 2nd highest in the Apennine chain. Located in the Abruzzo region, it is about 14.5 km ENE of Sulmona, and marks the point where the provinces of L’Aquila, Chieti, and Pescara meet.

Amaroni (CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro. Population: 1.978 (2006e).

Amasius, St.: (d. AD 356). Ecclesiastic. Of Greek birth, he was forced to flee to Italy during a religious persecution by the Arians. He settled at Teano (CE), in Campania, where, in 346, he became bishop. Feast day: Jan. 23.

Amati, Vincenzo: See Vincenzo Amato.

Amato: A surname and place name deriving from the Latin amatus (=beloved).

Amato (CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro. Population: 894 (2006e).

Amato, River: A river (length: 56 km) in Calabria. Rising on the Colle Santa Maria (1,006 m), it flows through the Piana di S. Eufemia, emptying into the Golfo di S. Eufemia. During its course, it receives the waters of the rivers Cottola, Pesive, Cancello and Sant’Ippolito.

Amato, Domenico: (b. 1839, Castelvetrano [TP]; d. 1897). Physician.

Amato, Giacomo: (b. 1643, Palermo; d. 1732). Architect and sculptor. A member of the Padri Ministri degli Infermi, he began his career in Rome, where he supervised the construction of the Convent of the Maddalena. Upon returninf to his native Palermo, he produced several notable works, including the church of the Pietà (1678-1723), the church of S. Mattia Apostolo (1686), the baroque church of S. Teresa (1638-1706), and the church of Santa Rosalia (1700-1709).

Amato, Giovanni Antonio d’ “il Vecchio” (1): (b. 1475, Naples; d. 1555, Naples). Historical painter and theologian. He is often designated “Il Vecchio” (the Elder) to distinguish him from his nephew and namesake, Giovanni Antonio d’ Amato “Il Giovane” (the Younger), who was also a painter.

                He received some early training in Naples from the master painter Silvestro Bruno (or Buono). He also studied under Pietro Perugino, whose simple style he imitated. Amato, who worked in both oil and fresco, chose religious themes for his paintings. He decorated several of Naples’s churches during his career, and became a notable master in his own right, with several pupils. Among his works are a Dispute on the Sacrament and a Madonna and Child. He created a Holy Family for the Caraffa family chapel in the church of S. Domenico Maggiore.

Amato, Giovanni Antonio d’ “il Giovane” (2): (b. 1535, Naples; d. 1597 or 1598). Painter. He is known as “il Giovane” (=the Younger) to differentiate him from his uncle and fellow painter, Giovanni Antonio d’ Amato “Il Vecchio” (the Elder). Adding to some of the confusion, Amato “il Giovane” received his artistic training from his uncle and, thus, had similarities in his style. He distinguished himself largely through his use of color, which earned him praise as being comparable to Titian. Amato the Younger is best known for an altarpiece depicting the infant Christ for the church of the Banco de’Poveri in Naples.

Amato, Michele d’: (b. 1682, Naples; d. 1729). Theologian.

Amato, Paolo: (b. 1633 or 1634, Ciminna [PA]; d. 1714). Architect. Receiving his training at Palermo, he became a member of the Padri Ministri degli Infermi (commonly known as the Crociferi). He authored a treatise, La nuova practica di prospettiva, published posthumously in 1736, which dealt with perspective. Having been granted citizenship by Palerme in 1687, he became Architect of the Senate, a position he held for the remainder of his life. Amato’s works can be seen throughout Palermo. They include the tomb of Don Giuseppe Lorenzo (1672) in the city’s cathedral, the façade of the new church of the monastery of S. Giuliano (1679), the Theater of Music, near the Porta Felice (1681), the chapel of the Madonna di Libera Infermi (1682) in the cathedral, the church of the Hospital of the Sacerdoti al Papireto (1698), and the Fountain of Garraffo (1698).

Amato, Pasquale: (b. March 21, 1878, Naples; d. Aug. 12, 1942, New York City). Baritone. Having been educated as a civil engineer, he turned to music, studying at the Naples Conservatory from 1897 to 1900. In 1900, he debuted at the Téatro Bellini (Naples) in the role of Germont in Traviata. He toured Italy, Germany, England, Egypt, and South America. Returning to Italy, he was, for a time, the leading baritone at La Scala (Milan). He finally came to the United States where he became a member of the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City (1909-1914). After his retirement from the Met, he taught singing in New York City and produced some small operatic productions, sometimes performing in them as well. He also directed some productions at Louisiana State University.

Amato (Amati; Lat. Amatus), Vincenzo: (b. Jan. 6, 1629, Ciminna (PA); d. July 29, 1670, Palermo). Sicilian musician, operatic composer, doctor of theology, and priest. His principal operas were Isaura (1664) and L’Aquila (1666).

Amatrice, Cola dell’: (b. Naples; fl. 1st half of the 16th century). Architect and painter. Establishing himself in the northern Italian city of Ascoli Piceno, his principal work was a Last Supper.

Amatus of Montecassino (Amatus Casinensis): (b. c1010, Salerno; d. c1083?). Chronicler, Ecclesiastic Benedictine monk. He was the author of several Latin poems. His 8-book L’Ystoire de li Normant (History of the Normans) (pub. c1080), was an important source for the history of the Normans in Mediterranean and elsewhere, covering the years from 1016 to 1078. While normally considered reliable, he approached the events he described from the strong pro-Norman point of view of the Montecassino Abbey to which he belonged. He also tended to believe in miracles and prophecy. Amatus is perhaps best-known as the primary source for the belief that Harold, the Saxon king of England, was killed by an arrow in the eye at the battle of Hastings in 1066. He also covered the Lombard revolt of Meles against the Byzantines in Apulia, the Byzantine invasion of Sicily under George Maniaces, and the struggles for the control of the southern Italian mainland.

                Amatus served for a time as a bishop although it is disputed in the sources as to whether his see was at Paestum-Capaccio or Nusco.

Ambassadors to the Two Sicilies:

United States (as Chargé d’Affairs)


State of





of Credentials

Termination of Mission


John Nelson


Chargé d’Affaires

Oct. 24, 1831

Jan. 25, 1832

Left post on or soon after Oct 15, 1832

Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 3, 1832

Enos Thompson Throop

New York

Chargé d’Affaires

Feb. 6, 1838

Sept. 28, 1838

Presented recall, Dec 29, 1841

William Boulware


Chargé d’Affaires

Sept. 13, 1841

Dec. 29, 1841

Presented recall, Jun 24, 1845

William Hawkins Polk


Chargé d’Affaires

Mar. 13, 1845

July 24, 1845

Left post about May 11, 1847

John Rowan


Chargé d’Affaires

Jan. 3, 1848

June 27, 1848

Left post about Nov 9, 1849

Thomas W. Chinn


Chargé d’Affaires

June 5, 1849

Did not proceed to post. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate.

James M. Power


Chargé d’Affaires

Nov 1, 1849

Did not proceed to post. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate.

Edward Joy Morris


Chargé d’Affaires

Jan. 10, 1850

Apr. 4, 1850

Transmitted recall by note, Aug 25, 1853

Robert Dale Owen


Chargé d’Affaires

May 24, 1853

Oct. 22, 1853

Promoted to Minister Resident

Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Feb 8, 1854.

Robert Dale Owen


Minister Resident

June 29, 1854

Sept 20, 1854

Presented recall Sep 20, 1858

Nominated Feb 25, 1856 to be Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.

Joseph Ripley Chandler


Minister Resident

June 15, 1858

Sept 20, 1858

Closed the Legation at Naples in anticipation of the entry of King Victor Emmanuel into city, Nov 2-6, 1860

ambo (Ital. ambone): a simple pulpit found in many medieval Italian churches, often consisting of a raised stand or platform. The name derives from the Greek ambōn (= “raised edge”).

Ambrosini, Gaspare: (b. Oct. 24, 1886, Favara or Girgenti [AG]; d. 1986, Rome). Jurist, educator, politician. After a career as a magistrate, he became a professor of constitutional law at the University of Palermo. In 1937, he taught colonial law at the University of Rome. After World War II, in 1948, he was elected as a deputy in the first legislature of the Italian Republic, and became the head of the commission on foreign affairs. In November 1955, he became a constitutional justice. Ambrosini is named as one of the important shapers of the Constitution of the Italian Republic. He was the author of over 50 treatises and books on law, government and African studies. He was nearly 100 years of age when he died.

Ambrosio, Alfredo D’: (b. June 13, 1871, Naples; d. Dec. 29, 1914, Nice). Composer. He wrote orchestral, chamber and vocal music. His principal opera was Pia de Tolomei.

Amedeo, Luigi: (b. 1873; d. 1933). Duke of Abruzzi (Duca degli Abruzzi). Explorer and nobleman. A cousin of King Victor Emmanuel III, he led the first ascent of Mt. Elias in Alaska in 1897. In 1899-1900, he achieved fame in an expedition into the Arctic. In 1906, he explored the African Ruwenzori mountain range. In 1909, he achieved a new world altitude record (24,600 feet) during his attempt to climb K2 in the Himalayas. The SE ridge of that peak is named in his honor. After 1919 he concentrated his efforts on the exploration and colonization of East Africa.

Ameglio, Giovanni: (b. 1854, Palermo; d. 1921). Military leader. He served as a general during the 1911 Italian-Turkish War.

Amenano, River: A small stream in the province of Catania, in E Sicily. Rising at the S foot of Mt. Etna, it flows through the city of Catania in covered canals.

Amendola, Giuseppe: (b. 1750, Palermo; d. 1808, Palermo). Composer. He wrote both instrumental and vocal music. He composed Il Begliar-Bey di Caramania (La schiava fedele), libretto of Girolamo Tonioli, (1776).

Amendolara (CS): A commune in the province of Cosenza. Population: 3,057 (2006e).

Amenta, Niccolo: (b. 1659, Naples; d. 1719). Poet, lawyer, philologist. A master of the Tuscan dialect, he wrote popular comedies including Constanza, Il Forca, La Carlotta, and La Fante. He also authored Della Lingua nobile d’Italia, an excellent study on the Italian language.

American Civil War, Southern Italians in:

Union Army

Fardella, Enrico: (b. Trapani, March 11, 1821; d. July 5, 1892). He joined the Union Army, enlisting with the rank of Colonel on March 7, 1862. He was commissioned in Company S 101st New York Infantry Regiment on March 7, 1862. On June 26, 1863 he was promoted to full Colonel in Company S, 85th New York Infantry Regiment. On March 13, 1865 he was promoted to Brevet Brigadier General, and was discharged from the army on May 15, 1865.

Confederate Army

D’Angelo, Antonio: (b. Sicily, in c1823). Occupation: Tailor. Highest rank: Private, Co. H 10th Louisiana Infantry. He enlisted on July 22, 1861at Camp Moore, Louisiana, listing himself as a 38 year old, single resident of New Orleans. Listed on all rolls until February, 1862, he was discharged on account of physical disability.

Ferri, Salvatore (aka Salbator Ferre or Salvatore Ferre): (b. Sicily, c1841). Occupation: clerk. Highest rank: Corporal, Company I 10th Louisiana Infantry. He enlisted on July 22, 1861 at Camp Moore, Louisiana when he was described as 20 years old, with brown eyes and hair, dark complexioned, and 5 feet 8 inches in height. He served throughout the war and was paroled on April 10, 1865.

Americans of Southern Italian Descent, Noted:







Landrieu, Mary


Senator- 108th Congress



Bono, Sonny





Sicily (Montelepre [PA])

Brady, Robert A.



107th Congress



Capuano, Michael



108th Congress




De Lauro, Rosa



108th Congress






Doyle, Michael



108th Congress


Campania (Caserta)

Ferguson, Michael



108th Congress

R-New Jersey

Campania (Salerno)

Fossella, Vito



108th Congress

New York


Grucci, Felix



108th Congress

New York


Hart, Melissa



107th & 108th Congress


Abruzzo (Barisciano)

Lampson, Nick Valentino



108th Congress




LoBiondo, Frank A.



108th Congress

R-New Jersey

Sicily (Belmonte Mezzagno)

Mansullo, Donald



108th Congress




Mica, John



108th Congress




Oberstar, James



108th Congress





Pallone, Frank E.



108th Congress

D-New Jersey




Pascrell, Jr., William



108th Congress

D-New Jersey



Ameselum: (mod. Regalbuto). An ancient town of the Sikels.

Amestratus: (poss. Mytistratus; mod. Mistretta). A town in ancient N Sicily. It appears nowhere in ancient history except for a passage in Cicero’s Verres. It was said to have had some beautiful fountains. A few notable coins bearing its name have survived. Most sources identify it with modern Mistretta (ME).

Ami…: (fl. last half of the 4th century BC). A Greek celator who designed coins at Metapontum.

Amici, Bl. Bernardino: (b. 1420, Fossa [AQ]; d. 1520). Preacher and scholar. After studying at L’Aquila, he went to Perugia where he earned a law degree. In 1445, he renounced secular life and became a Franciscan. He became a notable preacher and negotiator. In the latter capacity he successfully settled an ethnic dispute in the Balkans which led to the unification of Dalmatia and Bosnia into a single province (1464). Of humble demeanor, he refused an offer to become bishop of L’Aquila. For the remainder of his long life, he lived a quiet, simple life at the monastery of S. Giuliano near L’Aquila. Among his writings were a biography of St. Bernardino of Siena and the Chronicle of the Friars Minor of the Observance. In 1828, his cult was approved by Pope Leo XII. His feast day is Nov. 27.

Amicis, Anna Lucia de: (b. c1740, Naples; d. after 1789). Singer. Originally a performer in opera bouffe (opera buffa) in London, she eventually achieved great success in true opera, especially in the performance of the operas of Joann Christian Bach. In Milan, she sang in Mozart’s Lucio Silla, where she gave great encouragement to the then 17-year old composer. In 1771, she married Signor Buonsollazzi, Secretary to the King of Sardinia. She continued her career for several years afterward, performing mostly in London in several Italian cities. She retired in c1789.

Amico, Antonio: (b. Sicily; d. 1641).  Priest and historian. He served as historiographer to King Philip IV of Spain, and was the author of several works on the history and antiquities of Sicily, the Sicilian Church, Sicilian rulers, and naval affairs.

Amico, Bartolommeo: (b. 1562, Lucania; d. 1649). Jesuit scholar. He served as professor of philosophy at the University of Naples. Among his works is a 7-volume “Commentary on Aristotle” (1623-48).

Amico, Bernardino: (b. Gallipoli, Apulia; fl. late 16th /early 17th Century). Monk and scholar. He lived in Jerusalem from 1596 to c1600. Later settling in Rome, he wrote Trattato delle Piante ed immagini dei sacri Edifici, a description of sacred buildings in the Holy Land. The designs in this work were engraved by Callot.

Amico, Francesco: (b. 1578, Cosenza; d. 1651). Jesuit theologian.

Amico, Giovanni Biagio: (1684, Trapani; d. 1754). Architect and priest. Having become a priest in 1705, he became a noted architect and created a number of works in and around his native Trapani. His reputation broadened until, in 1725, he was named Royal Architect and was transferred to Palermo. There, he was charged with the task of repairing many of the fine buildings damaged by recent earthquakes. In 1726 he began work on the façade of the church of Sant’Anna, one of Sicily’s earliest examples which incorporated convex walls. Returning to Trapani in c1740, he thereafter used that city as his base, as he continued projects in western Sicily. Amico was the author of L’Architecco practico (Palermo, 1726 and 1750). His architectural works are numerous. They include:

the façade of the church of the Purgatorio (Trapani, 1712-14)

the church of the Catena (Salemi, 1712-14)

the church of Santa Caterina (Calatafimi, 1721)

the church of Santa Oliva (Alcamo, 1723)

the Immacolata column (Palermo, c1726)

on the façade of the church of Sant’Anna (Palermo, 1726-36)

the church of S. Lorenzo (Trapani, 1740)

the church of S. Pietro (Alcamo, 1742)

the loggia of the Seminary (Mazara, 1744)

the church of the Crocifisso (Calatafimi, 1745)

the façade of the church of the Carmine (Licata, 1748).

Amico, Lorenzo: (b. Milazzo, 1633). Monk and scholar. He wrote works on a number of subjects including philology.

Amico, Vito Maria: (b. Catania, 1693; d. 1762). Historian, antiquary and philosopher. Having served as professor of philosophy at the University of Catania, he authored Sicilia Sacra (1733) and Catana Illustrata (1741). He was a member of the Benedictine order.

Amicus, St.: (b. Camerino, cAD 925; d. Fontevellana, c1045). Monk. After serving as a priest in his native town, in the Marche, he took up the life of a hermit. He returned to civilization for a time and entered the Benedictine order. Once more determined to be a hermit, he moved into the mountains of the Abruzzi, where he eventually attracted a large number of follows. He finally settled at the monastery of S. Stephano at Fonteavellana, remaining there until his death at the reputed age of 120.

Amigoni, Jacopo: (b. 1682, Naples. d. 1752, Madrid). Painter. He was part of the Venetian School. Principal Works: Juno Receiving the Head of Argos (oil on canvas): 1730-32.Venus and Adonis (oil on canvas): c1740. Venus and Adonis (oil on canvas): unknown date.

Aminaea: A ancient city on the southern Italian mainland. Its location is now uncertain although evidence indicates that it may have been near the Agro Falerno. It had a reputation for producing high quality wine.

Amiternum (It. Aminterno): An ancient Sabine city located on the river Ateno, on the site of the modern frazione of San Vittorino (AQ), about 9 km NW of L’Aquila. It was occupied by the Romans in 293 BC and developed into t a thriving community for centuries afterward. It was at the height of its prosperity during under the Empire and many of its finest buildings and monuments date to this period. Amiternum was the birthplace of the historian Sallust (c86-35 BC). An ancient diocese was established here which survived until Lombard times.

                Beneath the modern church of S. Michele are the remains of ancient catacombs which include the 3rd-4th century tomb of the martyr S. Vittorino (often incorrectly named as a bishop of Amiternum). Archaeologists have also discovered the ancient remains of a theater, an amphitheater, and another building of uncertain use but which was decorated with frescoes and mosaics.

Ammirato, Scipione (aka Il Vecchio, the Elder): (b. 1531, Lecce; d. 1601, Florence). Publicist and historian. Having studied law in Naples, he became canon of the Cathedral at Florence in 1595, where he won the friendship and patronage of Cosimo I de’ Medici family and his family. Among his many historical works was Istorie Fiorentine, a work commissioned by Cosimo I, which covered Florentine history to the year 1574. Two other important works dealt with the great noble families of Naples and Florence.

Amodei, Cataldo: (b. 1650, Sciacca (AG); d. 1695, Naples). Composer. He produced vocal and instrumental works. His principal work was the opera La sirena consolata (1692).

amonine: An expression used in Sicily to spur on a horse. Literally meaning “Let us go together”, it is the equivalent to “git-up” or “gee-up.”

Amore, Nicola: (b. 1830, Roccamonfina [CE]; d. 1894, Naples). Advocate and politician. In 1860, he became Quaestor of Naples, and served in the Chamber of Deputies from 1865 to 1878. In 1884, he was elected as mayor of Naples and retained that office until 1889.

Amorelli, Giuseppe: (b. 1850, Sambuca di Sicilia [AG]; d. 1930). Poet.

Amorosi (BN): A commune in the province of Benevento. Population: 2,903 (2007e); 2,905 (2006e).

Ampelius, St.: (d. cAD 302, Messina). Martyr. He was executed with St. Caius during the “Great Persecution” under the Emperor Diocletian. Feast Day: Nov. 20.

Amphinomus: See Anapius and Amphinomus.

Amphitheatre: An oval-shaped, Roman structure used for the performing of gladiatorial combats, etc. The etymology is from amphi- (“both”, or “both sides”) and theatron (= theatre). Originally the name applied only to the seating structure which surrounded the central “arena.” Only in later times did it come to be applied to the entire complex.

The earliest amphitheaters were temporary wooden structures, somewhat similar to modern bleachers. Often reaching huge proportions, they were unstable and prone to collapse. Tacitus mentions a large amphitheater in the town of Fidenae which, during the reign of Tiberius, collapsed, killing or injuring 50,000 spectators. Eventually, permanent amphitheaters built of stone replaced the old wooden ones. The greatest of these structures was the Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the Colosseum, completed in Rome by the Emperor Titus in AD 80.

The best surviving examples of amphitheatres on the southern Italy mainland include those at Pompeii, Capua, and Pozzuoli (anc. Puteoli). That at Capua measured 558 by 460 feet, making it second in size only to the Colosseum itself. On Sicily, there are only a few examples, suggesting that gladiatorial fights never gained popularity on the island in Roman times. Those that still have some remains can be seen at Syracuse (Siracusa), Catania, Agrigento and Enna.

amphora: A large ceramic container used extensively in the Greco-Roman world. Typically, amphorae had narrow necks and 2 handles, and were used for storing and/or transporting liquids (i.e. wine, olive oil, etc). There are, however, examples of amphorae containing dry foodstuffs. Amphorae surfaces were often decorated with painting or etching. There is no evidence for any developed amphora-making center in ancient Sicily. All examples found on the island appear to have been imported from mainland Italy or elsewhere. Although the volume of true amphorae was relatively standard, there were some differences over time. A Greek amphora had a capacity of about 9 gallons, while a Roman one carried about 6 gallons.

Ampollino, Lago: An artificial lake in Calabria formed by the damming of the river Ampollino. Located at an altitude of 1279 m, it is about 10 km long and about 1,500 meters wide.

Ampollino, River: A river (length: 29 km) in the Calabrian provinces of Cosenza and Catanzaro. Rising on Monte Cardoneto (1,684 m), its course is blocked at one point to form the artificial Lago Ampollino. Its flow eventually continues and is finally captured by the river Neto.

Ampsactus: An ancient city in Campania located on the site of modern Rocca San Felice [AV].

Ampsactus (or Ampsanctus), Lacus: Ancient Samnite name for the Lago Amsancti, in the province of Avellino.

ampulla: a bottle used by the by Romans to preserve liquids. Usually made of glass or ceramic, it generally had two handles and a globular body which narrowed towards the mouth. Ampullae have been found at several archaelogical sites on both the Italian mainland and Sicily.

Amsancti, Lago (anc. Lacus Ampsa(n)ctus): A small lake in Campania (province of Avellino) located in a valley to the E of Naples. It has been famous since ancient times for the sulfurous fumes in a nearby cave.

amulet: A charm, usually worn around the neck, used to bring luck or ward off evil. It is known that the wearing of amulets was common in ancient Egypt and Babylon, and was practiced in prehistory. The ancient Greeks wore a protective charm called a phylacterion, and may have brought the practice to southern Italy and Sicily. The Etruscans, however, commonly wore wax good luck charms, shaped in the form of phalli. This particular charm was adopted by the Romans and spread through Italy and the rest of the Roman world.

The early Christians were also known to have worn amulets although several of their leaders frowned on the practice as being associated with magic and paganism. Once Christian had taken control of the Roman Empire in the 4th Century, the lucrative making and selling of amulets by the members of the clergy was forbidden on pain of being stripped of their holy orders. Despite this and other restrictions, amulets remained so popular that a papal decree was issued in AD 721 forbidding them altogether. It had little effect, however, and the practice continued.

Among the peasantry, amulets were shaped like pigs, mice, bulls, or crosses made from oak twigs. In 17th century Sicily, tiny silver relic lockets were worn as amulets. These often included an official seal of a high church official who authorized it. Wearing amulets remains very popular among modern Italians and Sicilians. These “good-luck charms” are fashioned in a number of varieties, including little bunches of iron charms, a key, a phallus, a siren, and a hand with a finger outstretched.

Anacapri (NA): A commune in the province of Napoli.

Anacletus (Cletus), St.: Pope (r.AD 76/79-88). A martyr of Greek descent. He succeeded St Linus and was succeeded by St. Clement I.

Anagitia Diiva: See Angitia.

Anagtia: See Angitia.

Anan[…]: An important celator who produced coins in the ancient Sicilian city of Messana.

Anania, Giovanni Lorenzo: (b. Taverna, Calabria; fl. 16th century). Scholar. He wrote a number of works including a treatise on the nature of demons (1581).

Anapius and Amphinomus: Two legendary brothers of ancient Sicily from Catana. They are remembered for their rescue of their parents from an eruption of Mt. Etna. Carrying their father and mother on ther shoulders, they attempted to flee from a stream of lava, but were overtaken. Miraculously the lava flowed to either side of them, sparing them from harm. In Greek Sicily, they were accorded divine honors.

Anapo >(anc. Anapus, Apapos), River: A river (length: 59 km) in E Sicily famous for its papyrus. Rising on the S slope of Monte Lauro, in the W part of the Monti Iblei range, it flows in a generally E direction past Palazzolo Acréede and Floridia, and empties into the Porto Grande to the S of Siracusa. Although the volume of the river isn’t great, it continues to maintain a steady flow year-round. Near its mouth, the Anapo receives the waters of the river Ciane. In 1950-51, a hydro-electric plant was built at a point where the river flows past Palazzolo Acréede.

Anapus (Grk. Anapos): a river-god of ancient Sicily. He was probably the son of Oceanus and Tethys, and may have been the father of the Ortygiai nymphs and Cyane.

Anastasius I, St.: Pope. (rNov. 27, 399-Dec 19, 401). During his reign, he conciled the churches of Rome and Antioch. He opposed the views of Origen.

Anastasius II: Pope. (rAD Nov 24, 496-Nov 19, 498). He was placed by Dante among the Heretics in the 6th Circle of Hell due to a mix-up with contemporary namesake, the Roman Emperor Anastasius I (rAD 491-518). He unsuccessfully attempted to reconcile the churches of Rome and Constantinople.

Anastasius III “Bibliothecarius”: Antipope (r855). He was set on the papal throne by the emperors Lothaire and Louis in opposition to Benedict III.

Anastasius III: Pope. (rApr 911-June 913).

Anastasius IV: Pope. (rJuly 8, 1153-Dec 3, 1154).

Anaxilas: See Anaxilaus (1).

Anaxilaus (or Anaxilas): (d. 476 BC). Tyrant of Rhegium (Rhegion) (r494-476 BC). Soon after taking power in Rhegium, he was determined to dominate the Strait of Messina by seizing the city of Zancle (mod. Messina) on the opposite Sicilian shore. To this end, he negotiated with a group of refugees from Samos, promising them Zancle in exchange for their oath of loyalty. The plan fell through, however, when the Samians betrayed Anaxilaus and gave their support to Hippocrates, ruler of Zancle. Although thwarted in this first attempt, Anaxilaus finally succeeded in seizing Zancle in c490. He expelled all of the former inhabitants (including the Samians) from the city and repopulated it with new colonists drawn principally from Messenia in the Peloponnesus. It was this group who changed the city’s name to Messana, in remembrance of their former homeland. Anaxilaus soon came into conflict with Gelon I, the tyrant of Syracuse, and made an alliance against him with the Carthaginians. When the latter were defeated at Himera in 480 BC, Anaxilaus was forced to conclude a treaty with Syracuse which reduced him to becoming a dependant of Gelon. Turning his attention to expanding his power on the Italian mainland, Anaxilaus attempted to seize control of Locri in 477 BC. This also proved a failure when he was blocked by Hieron I of Syracuse, Gelon’s successor. Anaxilaus died the following year.

Ancarano (TE): A commune in the province of Teramo.

Ancaru: Ancient Etruscan goddess of death.

ancestor worship or veneration: a very ancient religious custom found throughout the world. It is centered on the basic belief that the soul of a person survives the death of body and has the ability to still interact with the world of the living. It played an important role in the religious lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans and survived until modern times.

Anceta: A Paelignian form of Angitia (see which).

Anchises: A son of Capys and Themis, he was the father of the mythical Trojan hero Aeneas by the goddess Aphrodite. Already an old man at the time of Troy’s fall, he was rescued from the conflagration by his son, who carried him to safety upon his shoulders. Anchises accompanied the refugee Trojans during the first part of their journey west but, upon reaching Egesta in western Sicily, finally died. Elaborate funeral games were held in his honor and a fine shrine was dedicated to him at Egesta (Drepanum). Later, when Aeneas visits the underworld with the Sibyl of Cumae, he meets with the shade of Anchises and is told about the future importance of Rome.

Ancinale, River: A river (length: 44 km) in Calabria. Rising on M. Pecoraro (1423 m), it flows into the Golfo di Squiliace near Soverato Marina.

Ancora, Gaetano d’: (b. 1757, Naples; d. 1816). Writer and antiquary. He served as professor of Greek at the University of Naples. His works include “Memoir on the Observance of Silence by the Ancients” (1782) and “Researches on some Metallic Fossils of Calabria” (1791).

Ancus Martius: (d. 616 BC). Fourth king of Rome, he was the grandson of Numa Pompilius. During his 24 year reign, he revised the laws and religious practices of the Romans. He was a formidable military leader who was victorious in battle against the Latins. To expand the Roman economy, he founded the port of Ostia.

Andali (formerly Villa Aragona) (CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro. Population: 888 (2006e).

Andelais: See Audelais.

Ando, Flavio: (b. 1851, Palermo; d. 1915). Actor.

Andrano (LE): A commune in the province of Lecce. Population: 5,118 (2006e).

Andrea, Alessandro: (b. 1519, Barletta). Historian.

Andrea, Francesco: (b. 1625, near Amalfi; d. 1698). Jurist. He established himself at Naples.

Andrea, Girolamo: (b. Apr. 12, 1812, Naples; d. May 15, 1868, Rome). Ecclesiastic. After having served as bishop of Sabina, he was created a cardinal in 1852. A supporter of the Italian unification and Church reform, he was disciplined in 1867 for supposed disloyalty to the Papal See. After doing penance, he was reinstated but died shortly after.

Andrea (or Andreas), Onufrio: (b. Naples; d. c1650). Poet. Among his many works is the heroic poem Italia Liberata (1646). 

Andrea da Salerno (Andrea Sabatini): (b. 1484, in Salerno; d. 1530). Painter.

Andrea Dell’Aquila: (b. L’Aquila; fl. mid-15th century). Painter and sculptor. In 1456, he was one of the sculptors who worked with Isaia da Pisa on the triumphal Arch of Alfonso I at Naples.

Andreas, Onufrio: See Andrea, Onufrio.

Andreozzi, Gaetano: (b. May 22, 1755, 1763 or 1775, in Aversa; d. Dec. 21 or 23, 1826, Paris). Dramatic composer. A student of Niccolo Jommelli, he enjoyed early success in Italy. In 1784, he toured Russia. Returning to Naples, he became a director at Naples in 1790. In the following year he moved to Spain where he filled a similar role at Madrid. After returning home, he began a new phase of travels. In 1825, he settled at Paris, remaining there for the last few months of his life. During his career, Andreozzi composed 45 operas, 3 oratorios, and a set of string quartets.

Andretta (AV): A commune in the province of Avellino. Population: 2,147 (2007e); 2,188 (2006e).

Andrew, St (1): (fl. 1st Century AD). Roman Catholic saint. Patron saint of Amalfi. According to tradition, he was crucified and buried at Patras in Greece. After the seizure of power by the Christians in the 4th Century AD, Andrew’s remains were transferred to Constantinople. There they remained until 1210 when they were stolen and brought to Amalfi to be reinterred is a church dedicated to Andrew. In 1879, the archbishop of Amalfi agreed to send some of the remains (a piece of the saint’s shoulder bland) to Scotland where Andrew was also the patron saint. In 1969, Pope Paul VI had more of the relics sent there.

Andrew, St (2): (b. Syracuse; d. c AD900). Martyr. With SS Anthony, John, and Peter, he was captured by the Saracens and deported from Sicily to North Africa. Soon after his arrival there he was executed. Feast Day: Sept. 23.

Andrew of Montereale, Bl.: (b. 1397, Mascioni [AQ]; d. 1480). Monk. At the age of 14, he joined the Order of Augustinian Hermits. Having been ordained, he traveled throughout Italy and France as a preacher. He later served as Provencial for his order in Umbria. His cult was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII in 1764. Feast Day: Apr. 12.

Andrew II of Naples: Duke of Naples (AD 834-840). (See Full Page)

Andria (BA): A commune in the province of Bari, located about 34 miles W of Bari and 8 miles from the Adriatic coast. Area: 407.86 km². Population: 98,069 (2007e); 97,835 (2006e); 95,653 (2001); 90,063 (1991); 84,661 (1981). It is a center for almonds, olive oil, and majolica ware. The famous Castel del Monte, built by Frederick II, is located nearby.

Andria, Nicola (or Niccolo): (b. 1748, Otranto; d. 1814). Scientific writer. He served at the University of Naples, successively holding the chairs of Natural History (1775), Physiology (1801), and Theory of Medicine (1808). Among his many works are “Elements of Chemical Philosophy” (1786), “Institutions of the Practice of Medicine” (1790), and “General Observations on the Theory of Life” (1804).

Andromachus: A tyrant of Tauromenium (mod.Taormina) in the mid-4th century BC. He was the father of the historian Timaeus.

Andronicus, Marcus Livius: (b. Tarentum; fl. 3rd Century BC). Latin Dramatist and poet. The author of many popular poems, he also produced a Latin translation of the Odyssey.

anemone: A flower widespread throughout Sicily. It is found in both the common rose-colored English variety, as well as a large purple variety.

Anfossi, Pasquale: (b. Apr. 25, 1727(1729, or 1736), Naples; d. Feb. 1797 (or 1795), Rome). Dramatic composer. A student of Nicola Piccinni, he traveled throughout his career, residing at various times in Paris, London, and Rome. Best known for his operatic works, including Antigone, L’Avaro and L’Incognita perseguitata (1773), he also composed oratorios, masses, and motets. His 1783 presentation of Curioso indiscreto at Vienna included three arias composed by Mozart. The two composers collaborated again in 1788, when Mozart composed an aria for Anfossi’s Le Gelosie fortunate. In 1792, Andossi began to specialize in religious music and became maestro di capella of S. Giovanni Laterano.

Angeleri, Pietro: See St. Celestine V.

Angeli, Francesco degli: (b. 1567, Sorrento; d. Dec. 21, 1623, Colela, Ethiopia). Jesuit missionary. Entering the Jesuit Order in 1583, he became a missionary and served for 2 years in India. In 1604, he was transferred to Ethiopia where he remained for the rest of his life. His efforts in Africa were principally with the pagan Agazi people, and included the translation of religious works into their language.

Angelis, Jerome de, Bl.: (b. 1567, Castrogiovanni [EN]; d. Dec. 4, 1623, Tokyo, Japan). Jesuit missionary and martyr. Having received an education in law, he entered the Jesuit Order at Messina in 1585. Receiving ordination at Lisbon, he was sent to Japan in 1601 or 1602, and became the first Christian missionary to reach the Japanese provinces of Yezo, Jasu, and Cai. He successfully worked at conversions for 22 years until the Japanese government acted against him. He was arrested and, with other missionaries, was burned at the stake in Tokyo. These martyrs were beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1867. Angelis’s feast day is Dec. 4.

Angelis, Secondo de: (fl. mid-18th Century). An engraver at Naples. He produced several works on Herculaneum between 1757 and 1762.

Angell, Samuel: (b. 1800; d. 1866). An English architect who, in 1823, was one of the discoverers of the famous metropes at Selinunte (Selinus). He was also one of the scholars who discovered that ancient Greek architecture had been brightly painted. With his colleague William Harris, he excavated Temple C at Selinus without having first received permission. As they were examining the steps of the temple’s façade’ they uncovered the remains of its Doric frieze. When their work was interrupted by the authorities they shifted their work to a new location on the site where they discovered the metopes from temple F. Their intention to take their find back to England was discovered, they were forced to give up their prize. The metropes were confiscated and preserved in a museum at Palermo.

Angelo (or Angelus), St.: (d. 1220). Martyr. Few details of his life can be considered reliable. According to his legend, Angelo was the son of a converted Jew from Jerusalem. At age 18, he and his twin brother joined the Carmelite Order. After spending 5 years as a hermit, he received a message from God to go to Sicily. There he worked successfully at converting Jews to Catholicism at Palermo and Licata. It was in the latter town that he met the sister of Count Berenger and convinced her to reform her life. This infuriated Berenger who had been carrying on an incestuous relationship with his sister. Angelo was killed by either being stabbed or hung and shot with arrows. The center of his cult is at Licata. Feast Day: May 5.

Angelo of Acri, Bl.: (b. 1669, Acri; d. Oct. 30, 1739, Acri). Ecclesiastic. After two unsuccessful attempts to join the Capuchin Order, he was finally admitted in 1690. He was initially frustrated in his attempts to become a preacher but eventually achieved wide success in that role. In 1711, he preached during Lent at Naples and thereafter concentrated his efforts there and in Calabria. Many stories about Angelo claim that he possessed supernatural powers including healing, prophesizing, visions, and bilocation (being two places at the same time). He was beatified by Pope Leo XII in 1825. Feast Day: Oct. 30.

Angelo of Furchio, Bl.: (b. 1246, Furcio (or Furci) [CH]; d. 1327, Naples). Theologian. After his parents had a religious vision, Angelo entered the Augustinian Order at a very young age, but was required to return home at the age of 18. Soon returning to the Order, he studied in Paris for two years. Angelo eventually became a noted professor of theology at the Augustine College at Naples. Leo XIII confirmed his cult in 1888. Feast Day: Feb. 6.

Angelo of Gualdo, Bl.: (b. c1265, in Gualdo [SA]; d. Jan. 25, 1325). Religious hermit. Feast Day: Feb. 6. As a youth, he went on a number of pilgrimages, and eventually became a Camaldolese lay brother. Angelo lived as a hermit from 1285 until his death. His cult was confirmed by Leo XII in 1825.

Angelo, Gioacchino: (b. 1899, Palermo. d. 1971, Ostia Lido, Rome). Composer and conductor. He studied violin with Prof. Franco Tufari and composition with Maestro Felice Longo and Maestro Francesco Cilea at the Conservatory “V. Bellini” in Palermo. At the age of 20, Pietro Mascagni had him as his collaborator at “Massimo” in the same city. In Rome, Umberto Giordano asked him to orchestrate music for the film “Fedora” and music for the film Una notte dopo l’Opera (A night after the Opera). Maestro Angelo was a conductor and a composer. He conducted many symphonic concerts, also in R.A.I. and has composed much music, part of it recorded on “Cetra” and “Voce del Padrone.” He wrote nine lyrical operas including L’Ajo nell’imbarazzo” that was transmitted in R.A.I., under the direction of the same Autor and, “La Coppa di Cipro” that has been produced on stage on the Italian stage many times.

Angelos: an ancient Greek word meaning “messenger” or “envoy.” It was used as a title for the goddess Artemis at Syracuse.

Angelotti, Francesco: (b. c1800, at Gaeta; d. 1839, Procida [NA]). Army officer. In 1834, while serving as a lieutenant in the 11th regiment of Guards in the royal army of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, he joined in a conspiracy to attempt to assassinate King Ferdinand II. When that attempt failed, he was arrested and sentenced to death. This sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he was sent to the political prison on the island of Procida. In 1839, he was killed during an escape attempt.

Angelus Sinesius, Bl.: (b. c1385, Catania). Ecclesiastic. A Benedictine, he became abbot of the monastery of San Martino at Palermo. He helped to restore monastic discipline in Sicily. Feast Day: Nov. 27.

Angeriano, Girolamo: (fl. 1st part of the 16th Century). Neapolitan poet. His Erotopaegnion, a collection of love poems, was first printed in Naples in 1520. A reprint was done in Paris in 1542.

Angevins: A French dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of Naples from 1266 to 1435.

Angevin Dynasty of Naples



Charles I of Anjou


Charles II “the Lame”


Robert “the Wise”


Joanna I


Charles III


King of Hungary

(as Charles II)




Joanna II


After the death of Joanna II, the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples

passed to Rene I “the Good” of Anjou, Duke of Lorraine. His claim was disputed by

Alfonso VI of Aragon, who finally conquered the Regno, becoming Alfonso I, founder

of the new Aragonese dynasty.

Angiolille (or Angiolillo)> (called Roccadirame): (b. Naples; fl. c1450-1500). Painter. A student of Antonio Solario (Il Zingaro), he produced several works for the churches of Naples. Among his best pieces was a painting in the church of S. Lorenzo, depicting the Virgin and Infant Jesus, with St. Francis, St. Anthony of Padua, and St. Louis.

Angitia (also called Anceta, Anagtia [Oscan], Anagtia Diiva, Angitiae): (See Full Page)             

Angitiae, River: A river (length: 20 km) of Calabria. It rises on M. Pizzinni (918 m) and flows into the Gulf of Sant’Eufemia, near Francavilla Angitola. During its course it captures the waters of the torrent Falla, the fosso Scuotrapiti and the fiumara Reschia.

Anglona: An ancient Lucanian city of uncertain location, although its site was probably in the vicinity of modern Tursi [MT]. Some scholars believe that it was the same city as the Greek Pandosia (not the same as the Pandosia in Bruttium). It this identification is correct, then the city survived throughout the Roman era, only to be finally sacked by the Visigoths in AD 410. Even after this disaster, a community continued to exist on the site. Under the Byzantines, this town was centered about the Basilian monastery of Sant’Archistratico. In AD 968, it became the site of a diocese. The center suffered from the turmoil that gripped southern Italy during medieval times and was finally abandoned during the first half of the 13th century. The seat of the diocese was transferred to nearby Tursi in 1545. The principal point of interest surviving on the site of Anglona/Pandosia is the ruined 13th century Cathedral of S. Maria del Anglona, which still retains traces of frescoes.

Angri (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno. Population: 29,761 (2001).

Anguissola (or Anguisolla), Capt.: Minister of the Navy at Naples in 1860 under Garibaldi.

Anguissolla (or Anguissola), Sofonisba: (b. c1528 or 1532, Cremona; d. 1625, Palermo). Painter. Having received training under Bernardo Campi and Soiro (Bernardo Gatti), she traveled to Spain in 1560 where she was received at the court of King Philip II. While there she produced portraits of members of the royal family. Marrying a Spanish nobleman, Don Francisco Moncada, son of the prince of Paterno, viceroy of Sicily. in 1571, she accompanied him to Sicily in 1578. Her husband died the next year in Palermo and Sofonisba decided to return home to Cremona. While sailing north drom Palermo, she became acquainted with the ship’s captain, Orazio Lomellino, who she married in 1580. The couple settled at Genoa where Sofonisba opened her own studio. There she became the premier portrait painter of the city. She eventually returned to spend her last years at Palermo. As a very aged and nearly blind woman, she was visited by Anton Van Dyke who drew the last known portrait of her.

Ani: Etruscan sky god. He had several similarities to the Roman Janus.

Anianus of Celeda: (fl. early 5th Century AD). Ecclesiastic. A native of Campania, he was a Christian deacon and a friend of Pelagus, whose doctrines he defended at  the Council of Diopolis in AD 415. He translated the Greek homilies of John Chrysostom into Latin.

Anicetus, St.: Pope (rAD 155 – 166). A native of Emesa, Syria, he succeeded St. Pius I and was succeeded by St. Soter.

Aniemolo, Vincenzo: See Vincenzo Ainemolo.

Anisio, Giovanni (Lat. Janus Anysius): (b. c1472, Naples; d. c1540). Latin Poet. Among the works he published were Jani Anysii Poemata et Satyrae, ad Pompeium Columnam cardinalem (Naples, 1531) and Protogenos Trajaedia (Naples, 1536).

Anjou: an historical county in northern France. The French dynasty of rulers of Sicily/Naples (1266-1442) known as the Angevins were so-called because its founder, Charles I (of Anjou) (1227-1285) already held the title of Count of Anjou when he conquered the Regno in 1266.

Annese, Gennaro: (d. 1648). Rebel leader. A leader in the 1647 Naples revolt against the Spanish colonial government.  He assumed overall control of the rebels after the assassination of Masaniello. He attempted to create a republican form of government under the patronage of France. Upon the arrival of a Spanish fleet, Annese was forced to surrender in April 1648. He was immediately arrested and executed soon afterward.

Anoia (RC): A commune in the province of Reggio Calabria.

Ansaloni, Bl. Giordano: (b. San Angelo, Sicily; d. 1634, Japan). Missionary and martyr. Entering the Dominican order, he served for several years in Mexico, where he wrote several biographies of prominent Dominicans. In 1625 he was sent to the Philippines and, in 1632, he was secretly sent to Japan, then in the midst of a persecution of Christians. He acculturized himself, dressing in the manner of a Japanese priest and using Japanese to communicate. In 1634, after two years, he was betrayed to the authorities who arrested him. After enduring torture for seven days, he was forced to witness the execution of 70 Christians. He was then martyred by suffocation.

Anselice di Palazzisi, Vallone: A waterway (length: 10 km) in Campania located in the province of Avellino. Rising in two sources, one on M. Mancini (708 m) and the other near Ariano Irpino, it flows into the river Ufita.

Anselmi, Giuseppe: (b. Nov. 16, 1876, Catania; d. May 29, 1929, Rapallo, Liguria). Tenor and composer. Originally a violinist, he turned to singing at the age of 18. In 1896, he made his debut at Turiddu. He sang at Covent Gardens in London in 1901, 1904, and 1909. Anselmi was noted by critics as one of the best masters of Italian bel canto. He also composed some musical works, icluding songs, piano pieces, and an orchestral Poema Sinfonica.

Anserano da Trani: (b. Trani, (BA); fl. 13th century). Architect and sculptor. Centering his activities in his native Apulia, he created several notable architectural works in that region. These include the now-lost castle of Emperor Frederick II at Orta, the Tomba Falcone in the church of S. Margherita at Bisceglie, and the ogival portal of the church of the Madonna del Rosario at terlizzi. Another of his now-lost works was the tabernacle in the Duomo at Bari. Anserano was noted for his unique decorations and his technical abilities.

Antennamare, Monte: A mountain (alt. 1,124 m) in the Peloritani range, located to the SW of Messina.

Anterstatai: An ancient Samnite deity worshipped as a protectress of boundaries. She can be compared with the Latin goddess Stata, whom the Romans venerated as a protectress of streets and public places.

Anterus, St.: Pope (rAD 235-Jan. 3, 236). He was a native of Greece.

Anthandros: (fl. 2nd half of the 4th century BC). A nobleman of ancient Syracuse. He was the brother of the tyrant Agathocles, and produced a biography of him. Under his brother, he served as a general (strategos) against the Bruttians. In 310 BC, when Agathocles departed on his unsuccessful campaign to North Africa, Anthandros remained behind in Syracuse to act as his agent.

Anthemius: (b. cAD 420, Constantinople; d. July 11 AD 472, Rome). Roman emperor in the West (r467-472). Considered by many to have been the last able Western Roman Emperor, he came from a distinguished background. He was born into distinguished patrician family. He was a descendent (probably the paternal grandson) of Procopius, who had seized the imperial throne at Constantinople in AD 365-66, and was thus related to the Emperor Julian (AD 360-363), last of the Dynasty of Constantine. His father, Procopius served as Master of soldiers in the East (AD 422-424), while his maternal grandfather and namesake, Anthemius, was Praetorian Prefect of the East (AD 405-414) and consul (AD 405). His wife was Aelia Marcia Euphemia, daughter of the Emperor Marcian (rAD 450-457).

Anthes, St.: (d. AD 303, Salerno). Martyr. With SS. Caius and Fortunatus, he was executed during the persecution of Diocletian. Feast day: Aug. 28.

Anthimus (Anthemus) of Naples: Duke of Naples (AD 801- c818). Soon after coming to power, he received an order from the Byzantine Patrician of Sicily to send ships to help combat the Saracens. Although nominally the subordinate of the Patrician, Anthimus refused to honor the order and declared his neutrality. Later, in 812, the Byzantines attempted to begin a new offensive against the Saracens, calling on coastal Italian city-states for help. While Amalfi and Gaeta agreed to send aid, Andrew once more refused, essentially declaring Naples an independent state. It was not until c818 that the Byzantines were able to oust Anthimus from power and reestablish their authority in Naples.

Antillo (ME): A commune (area: 43.4 km² alt. 480 m) in the province of Messina. Population: 1,056 (2006e); 1,279 (1991). It is located 54 km SW of Messina, situated on a spur of the Ionic slope of the Montagna Grande of the Monti Peloritani, near the sources of the Agro. The economy is based principally on agriculture and stock-raising.

                Throughout its history, Antillo has been closely associated with Savoca (ME). Major earthquakes were felt here in 1905, 1908, 1975, 1978, 1980, and 1990.

Antinori, Antonio Ludovico: (b. 1704, L’Aquila; d. 1788, L’Aquila). Antiquary and ecclesiastic. Of noble birth, he served as bishop in the sees of Lanciano, Acerenza, and Matera. He was an avid collector of documents related to the history of Abruzzo and wrote a 4 volume “Historical Memoirs of the Provinces of the Abruzzi”  (1781-84). Much of his library is now preserved in the Biblioteca Tommasiana in L’Aquila.

Antiochus of Syracuse: (b. Syracuse; fl. c440-420 BC). Siciliot-Greek historian. The son of Xenophanes, he wrote excellent histories of Greek Sicily and Italy which, unfortunately, have not survived. His History of Syracuse, written in Ionic Greek, covered the period from the early mythic times of King Cocalus to the congress of Gela in 424 BC. It was an important source of information for Thucydides. His other important work, the Colonizing of Italy, was also used as a source by Strabo and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Overall, Antiochus had a reputation for reliability in his writings.

Antiphates: A mythical king of the Laestrygonians who attacked Ulysses. The Roman poet Ovid (Meta. xiv, 223-319; xv, 622-745) places the scene of the action in Campania.

Antiphemus: (b. Rhodes; fl. 7th century BC). Colonist. In 688 BC, he commanded the contingent of Rhodian colonists who participated in the founding of Gela in Sicily.

Antiphon (Antiphontus): (fl. early 4th century BC). Greek tragic poet. A member of the court of Dionysius I of Syracuse, he assisted that tyrant in writing dramatic plays. He eventually lost Dionysius’s favor and was executed. Only a few titles and some fragments survive of his works.

Antiphus: A Greek warrior from Ithaca during the Trojan War. He escaped injury during that conflict, protected by an oracle which stated that he was fated to die in Sicily. After the war he was part of Odysseus’s crew who land in the land of the Cyclopses. There he was killed and eaten by the monstrous Polyphemus. Traditionally, Polyphemus and his fellow Cyclopses lived in a region of eastern Sicily near Mt. Etna, thus fulfilling the oracle.

antipope: a pontiff elected in opposition to one who was canonically chosen. Confusion is often created in papal lists because of the names and numbers given to antipopes. Sometimes gaps in the numbering sequence appear to compensate for the names and numbers attached to such antipopes as Felix II (r356-357), Boniface VII (r974, 984-985), John XVI (r997-998), Benedict X (r1058-1059) and Alexander V (r1409-1410).  Some pontiffs, such as Leo VIII (r963-5), Benedict V (r964), and Sylvester III (r. 1045), have somewhat ambiguous status, being listed as a legitimate pope in some sources, and an antipope in others. There is even an example of one name and number, John XXIII being used for both an antipope (Baldassare Cosa, r1410-1415) and a canonically recognized pope (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, r1958-1963).

Antirrhinum (Snapdragon): A flower found commonly throughout Sicily, where it is known as the Bocca di leone. It is found in two varieties, one flesh-colored and another bright orange and lemon colored.

antis, in: An architectural term to describe a porch terminating in columns. It was a common feature on Greek temples in ancient Sicily.

Antonelli: A family with Sicilian and southern Italian origins who produced several military engineers responsible for many significant Spanish fortifications in the Old and New Worlds. Among these works were the fortifications at St. Augustine (Florida), Argentina, and Cuba (Morro Castle).

Antonelli, Battista: (b. c1550, Gaeta; d. 1616, Madrid). Military engineer. After constructing several military coastal fortification works for the Spanish in the Mediterranean, he went to Cuba in 1584. There he planned and supervised the construction of Morro Castle and the Punta Fortress at Havana (1589). While these projects were still under construction, Antonelli went to Vera Cruz, Mexico, where he created the plans for the fortress of San Juande Ulua. Returning to Cuba, he remained there for several years before returning to Spain. He is sometimes confused with his brother Giovanni Battista Antonelli (1).

Antonelli, Francesco: (d. 1663). Military engineer. Son of Giovanni Battista Antonelli (1) and nephew of Battista Antonelli, he served as a military engineer for Popes Urban VIII and Innocent X, and for the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III.

Antonelli, Giovanni: (b. 1838, L’Aquila; d. 1914, Toledo). Anatomist. A teacher of anatomy in Naples in 1871, he wrote important studies on the branchial plexus, on brain convulsions, and on the cardiac muscles.

Antonelli, Giovanni Battista (1): (b. Naples; d. 1588, Toledo, Spain). Military engineer. Often confused with his brother, Battista Antonello, he was the father of Francesco Antonelli. He entered the service of King Philip II of Spain after 1559. He was noted for his talents with hydraulics. In 1587, he joined his brother in the New World and devoted much time to the possibility of digging a canal across Panama.

Antonelli, Giovanni Battista (2) (sometimes called il Giovan): (b. 1585; d.1649, Cartagena, Spain). Military engineer. The son of Battista Antonelli and the nephew of Giovanni Battista Antonelli, he also journeyed to the New World where he created several military fortifications of the Spanish in the West Indies.

Antonelli, Luigi: (b. 1882, Atri (TE); d. 1942, Pescara). Comedy writer. One of his best-known works was L’uomo che incontro se stesso (1918).

Antonello da Caserta: (fl. 14th and 15th centuries). Musician. He was a representative of the Ars nova (New Art  movement). He produced several songs written in French.

Antonello da Messina: (b. c1430, Messina. d. Feb. 1479, Messina). Painter. Considered the greatest southern Italian Renaissance painter. He was the earliest artist in Italy to use oil paints. His early works show a definite southern Italian basis but with influences of Flemish, Catalan, and Provençal styles. While some sources (e.g. Vasari) suggest that he studied under Jan van Eyck in Flanders, others believe that he was educated by Colantonio in Naples. Antonello’s later works show definite influences from Francesco Laurana, Giovanni Bellini, and perhaps Piero della Francesca, indicating that he may have traveled throughout much of the Italian mainland. Documentary evidence, however, is limited to his activities in Sicily, Calabria and an extended visit to Venice (1474 -1476). At Venice he created the altarpiece for the church of San Cassiano, as well as several portraits. This short Venetian period had a profound effect on Antonello’s subsequent style. He was one of the earliest, if not the first, artist in Italy to use the Flemish oil painting techniques. Principal Works: Madonna and Child (oil and tempera on panel): c1475. Portrait of a Man (Il Condottiere) (Oil on wood,): 1475. Crucifixion (on wood): 1475. Crucifixion (Oil on panel): 1475. The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel (oil on panel): 1475-1478. Portrait of a Young Man (oil and tempera on panel): c1475/1480. San Cassiano Altarpiece (Oil on panel): 1475-76. Christ at the Column (Oil on wood): c1475-79.

Antonello da Saliba: (b. c1466; d. c1535). Painter. Nephew Antonello da Messina, he received his training in the Venetian studio of his cousin Jacobello d’Antonello. Even though his early works show definite influences present as well. Interestingly, as he aged, these Venetian qualities disappear and his works take on a truly Sicilian aspect. He was the brother of Pietro da Sabila.

Antoni, Antonio d’: (b. June 25, 1801, Palermo; d. Aug. 18, 1859, Trieste). Composer. He wrote instrumental and vocal music. His principal works were the operas Un duello ((1817); Amina ossia L’orfanella di Ginevra (1825); Amazilda e Zamoro (1826); and La festa dell’Archibugio (1829).

Antonimina (RC): A commune (area: 22.46 km²; alt. 327 m) in the province of Reggio Calabria. Population: 1,532 (1991). It is located 110 km NE of Reggio di calabria, situated in the valley of the river Portigliola. The commune has several mineral springs.

                Major earthquakes struck here in 1783, 1894, 1905, 1907, 1908, 1975, 1978, and 1980.

Antonini, Annibale (Abbé Antonini): (b. 1702, Centola (SA); d. 1755, Naples). Ecclesiastic and scholar. Having settled in Paris, where he was known as Abbé Antonini, he spent the next 25 years in France before returning to his homeland. Between 1729 and 1746, he edited several Italian editions of Italian classics. During his career he wrote an Italian grammar and an Italian-French dictionary.

Antonini, Giuseppe: (b. 1683, Centola (SA); d. 1765, Giugliano). Scholar and magistrate. A nobleman, he held the title of Barone di S. Biase. As a scholar he wrote a study of Lucania (publ. 1745).

Antoninus of Sorrento, St.: (b. probably Picenum; d. AD 830). Ecclesiastic. Entering the Benedictine order as a youth, he traveled to Castellamare, where he joined that city’s bishop, St. Catellus, as a hermit on nearbt Monte Angelo. Having received a vision of St. Michael the Archangel, they constructed an oratory dedicated to that figure. After Catellus’s arrest and imprisonment at Rome, Antoninus remained at the oratory, which eventually became a place of pilgrimage. He later became the abbot of the monastery of S. Agrippinus at Sorrento, and served as the prelate for that town when their bishop was in prison. According to his legend, long after his death, Antoninus saved Sorrento from a Saracen attack. Feast Day: Feb. 14.

Antonius Creticus, Marcus: (b. c 70 BC). Roman magistrate and general. The son of Marcus Antonius the Orator, he served as Praetor in 75 BC. He received command of the Roman fleet in 74 BC, with instructions to track down the pirates then preying on shipping in the Mediterranean. Instead of fulfilling his commission, however, he spent most of his term plundering the cities and towns of Sicily for his own profit. When he was finally forced to move against the pirates, he attempted to attack their bases in Crete. The campaign proved to be a complete failure and he was given the epithet Creticus (Conqueror of Crete) as a derisive joke.

Antus, St.: (dates uncertain). Martyr. With fellow martyrs Fortunatus (1) and Gaius, he is one of the patron saints of Salerno.

Anversa degli Abruzzi (AQ): A commune (area: 31.78 km²; alt 560 m) in the province of L’Aquila. (See Full Page)

Anxa (LE): a former name for Gallipoli (LE).

Anxanum (CH): Ancient name for Lanciano (CH).

Anxia (mod. Anzi) (PZ): An ancient city in Lucania.

Anzalone, Cherubin: (b. Naples; fl. mid/late 19th Century). Jesuit Missionary. He was sent to the United States where he eventually became the head of the Jesuit Conejos Mission in Colorado.

Anzano degli Irpini (AV): a former name for Anzano di Puglia (AV).

Anzano di Puglia (formerly Anzano degli Irpini) (FG): A commune (area: 11.12 km²; alt. 760 m) in the province of Foggia. (See Full Page)


Anzi (anc. Anxia, Anxa, Ancie)(PZ): A commune (area: 76.74 km²; alt. 1,006 m) in the province of Potenza. Located 28 km SE of Potenza, it is situated on a slope to the left of the river Anzi. The communal territory contains large areas of forest and pastures. Population: 2,158 (1991). The economy is based largely on livestock and agriculture (grapes, cereals), although tourism has become increasingly important.

History: Pre-Roman Anxia was a noted center for the manufacturing of Lucanian red-figure ceramics. Although the population eventually became a mixture of Oscans and Greeks, the town retained its native Italic culture, with little Greek influence. The town enjoyed a high level of prosperity under the Romans, thanks in large part to its location on an important road.

                In medieval times, it was developed as a stronghold by the Lombards and the Normans. There is some evidence that natives of the town participated in the First Crusade. It eventually became a fief for a series of noble families. In 1574, it was purchased by Ottavio Carafa, who derives from it the title of Marchese di Anzi. The town remained a property of his descendents until feudalism was ended in 1806.

In 1799, it was a strong supporter of the short-lived Parthenopean Republic. Later, in 1807-08, a French garrison was placed there as protection from local brigands. Anzi was a center for the anti-Bourbon Carbonari movement.

Major earthquakes were felt here in 1857 and 1860.

Points of Interest: There are a number of remains dating back to the Roman epoch.

The church of S. Giuliano, constructed between 1828 and 1855, sits on the site of an earlier church destroyed in 1510. The interior is decorated with artwork from the 18th century. In the presbytery is an 18th century painting depicting the Death of the Virgin by Leonardo Olivieri. The reliquary bust of S. Giuliani dates from the late 17th century.

                The 15th century church of S. Lucia has an altarpiece by Pietrafesa depicting the Madonna and Child between Saints John and Charles, and the Holy Trinity amid angels and Saints Peter and Paul. There is also a 1653 wall hanging showing the Dead Christ. On the left altar is a 16th century sculpture of the Madonna with Child. Nearby is another painting by Pietrafesa of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the Virgin.

                The chapel of S. Maria includes a fine portal from 1526. The interior is decorated with a series of frescoes by Giovanni Todisco (1555) depicting scenes from the life of Jesus and of the Virgin and Prophets. A 1558 painting of the Resurrection by a student of Todisco decorates the right nave that houses the tombs of the Greco family. The church also contains a 15th century wooden crucifix, housed in a niche decorated with contemporary frescoes og the Sorrowing Mary, St. Mary Magdalene, and St. John the Evangelist. The main altar is decorated with a polytyptic of the enthroned Madonna of the Rosary, thought to to be the work of Michele Monchelli.

                The 13th century church of S. Domenico includes a semicircular apse and an interesting Gothic window.

                There are remains of a much-ruined medieval castle.

                The Palazzo Fittipaldi, constructed in the early 19th century, has a neo-classical interior.

Culture: The feast day of the town’s patron, S. Donato, is celebrated between August 5 and 8. The celebration includes processions and the lighting of bonfires. Musical performances take place in the evenings.

                The festival of S. Antonio takes place on June 12 and 13, and includes bonfires and a horserace.

                The festival of S. Rocco is celbrated on August 16.

Anzi, Fiumara d’: A river (length: 22 km) in the province of Potenza, Basilicata. It is formed from two sources: 1. the Torrente Marsiano which rises on the Tampa d’Albano (1,628 m), length: 8 km. and 2. Torrente Fiumicello, which rises on Monte Arioso (1,713 m), length: 7 km. These two streams unite near the station of Abiola Calvano.

                The Anzi flows into the river la Terra, near Masseria Pavese, to form the Torrente Camastra (length: 7 km). During its course, the Anzi receives the waters of the Fiumarella.

Apellun: an ancient Oscan deity, identified with the Greco-Roman god Apollo. Archaeological evidence shows that the Oscan population of Pompeii worshipped him. He also had followers among the Campanian mercenaries (Mamertini) who settled Messans in Sicily.

Apennines (anc. Mons Apenninus; It. Apennino): The principal mountain range of Italy, running for a length of about 700 miles down the spine of the Italian peninsula, and continuing across the strait of Messina into Sicily. It is separated at their NW end from the Maritime Alps by the Pass of Altore. In its northern section, the mountains are relatively low, reaching elevations of c900-c1200 meters. The central Apennines have significantly higher elevations, reaching there highest point in the Gran Sasso d’Italia (M. Corno/Corno Grande: 2,914 m), in Abruzzo). Further south in Basilicata, elevations fall again, but the mountains dominate SW Italy.

                The character of the Apennines also changes significantly from north to south. In the northern and central sections of the range, limestone dominates. In the Sila mountains, which comprises the southern tip of the Apennines, the rocks are mainly granite. Many of southern Italy’s most notable mountains, like Albano, Vesuvius, and Vulture, are volcanic in nature and, thus, independent of the Apennines.

Aph: Etruscan goddess of fertility.

Aphrodite: The Greek goddess of love and beauty, she was often identified with the Roman Venus, and the Phoenician-Carthaginian Ashtaroth. According to mythology, she was created in the froth of the surf on the shore of Cyprus, and her name may derive from the Greek word for “froth.” She was a popular deity in ancient Sicily in all three of these manifestations. Her principal shrine on the island was on Mount Eryx in W Sicily. This shrine was one of the most important in the ancient world and was too sacred for even the ruthless Roman governor Verres to dare to plunder. An offshoot of the cult of this shrine was located at Rome itself, at the temple of Venus Erycina.

Apice: (BN): A commune (area: 48.83 km²; alt. 255 m – at the communal seat of Apice Vecchio) in the province of Benevento. Located 18 km E of Benevento, it is situated on a hill along the right bank of the river Calore. Population: 5,707 (2007e); 5,700 (2006e); 5,687 (2001); 5,683 (1991); 6,626 (1961).

History: The commune was struck by the great earthquake of 1980.

Aplu: Etruscan god of thunder and lightning. He had several characteristics borrowed from the Greek god Apollo.

apoikia (pl. apoikiai): a term used for an ancient Greek colony or settlement. Many modern southern Italian cities and towns had their origins as ancient Greek apoikiai.

Apol…: a celator who produced coins at ancient Metapontum in pre-Roman times. His coins bear a signature of AIIOΛ.

Apollo: The Greek god of healing, oracles & prophecies, hunting, music and poetry. He was the son of Zeus and Leto (or Latona) and the twin brother of Artemis. He was one of the earliest Greek deities to be worshipped in Greek Sicily. The earliest center of his worship was at Naxos, the first Greek colony to be established on Sicily. Here, as Apollo Archagetas, his worship expanded to Catana and Leontini. Apollo was also favorite deity at Megara Hyblaea and Selinus, where he was worshipped as a patron of the fountains and wells. Further cult centers were established at Gela, Akragas, and Syracuse.

                Worship of Apollo reached Rome in the latter part of the 5th century BC. The first temple in Rome to be dedicated to that god dates to 433 BC. Apollo was a particular favorite of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, who erected the temple of Apollo Palatinus, on the Palatine hill. During Roman times, Apollo was worshipped under a variety of other epithets including: Apollo Articenens (Apollo who carries the bow), Apollo Averruncus (Apollo who turns away evil), Apollo Coelispex, (Apollo who watches the heavens), Apollo Culicarius (Apollo who drives away midges).

Syracuse: The 6th century BC temple of Apollo built on the island of Ortygia at Syracuse, was the earliest known peripteral Doric temple ever built. By Cicero’s time, in the mid-1st century BC, it appears that the structure had been rededicated to Artemis. Under the Byzantines, the structure was converted into a church and, under the Saracens became a mosque. Upon the Norman conquest of Sicily, it was reconverted into a church.

Cumae: According to tradition, Daedalus constructed a temple dedicated to Apollo at Cumae.

Apollo Archagetas (>or Archegatos): The earliest Greek deity to be worshipped in Sicily. A temple was dedicated to him at Naxos, the first Greek colony to be founded in Sicily. It was a common practice for sailors preparing to depart for Greece to make a sacrifice here in hope of a safe passage. Although the site of the original temple has been lost, its cella was transferred by the Naxians to Tauromenium when they migrated there. It eventually became part of the church of S. Pancrazio of Taormina.

Apollo Belvedere: A famous ancient Greek statue of Apollo now located in the Vatican. It is mentioned here because of the belief of some scholars that it originally stood at the base of the Nymphaeum at Syracuse.

Apollocrates: (fl. 2nd half of the 4th century BC). Eldest son of the tyrant Dionysius II of Syracuse. In 356 BC, he held the citadel of Ortygia for his father, but was eventually forced to surrender to Dion. Exiled from Syracuse, he returned to that city with Dionysius in 346 BC.

Apollodorus of Gela: (b. Gela, Sicily; fl. c320 BC). Greek comic poet. A contemporary of Menander, he contributed to the New Comedy. None of his works have survived.

Apollonia (mod. Pollina or S. Fratello) (ME): Originally a Sikel town located on the N coast of Sicily, its site has not been excavated. It was situated between the ancient towns of Haltontion and Kalakta, and had little role in history. In the middle of the 4th century BC, Leptines, tyrant of Engyon, controlled it. In 342 BC, it was freed by Timoleon after he had defeated and exiled Leptines (Diod. 16: 72). Agathocles sacked the town in 307 BC. Cicero (Verr. 3.43.103) described it as a civitas decumana. He also states that the town provided a ship to Pompey in his campaign against the pirates.

                Ancient Apollonia was located on a rocky plateau on the summit of M. Vecchio, part of the central Nebrodi mountains. It oversees a large stretch of the coast from Kephaloidion to Agathyrnon. Its ruins are visible on the mountain peak.

                The fortification walls survive along the S and W sides and show construction with isodomc masonry of local marble. On the E side of the plateau are the remains of at least two buildings of the same construction, located to the W and NE of the 12th century Norman church of the Three Saints. On the summit of the mountain is a possible cistern cut into the rock. Nearby is an altar and a portion of a stairway which rises from the E.

Apollonius: (b. Athens; fl. 1st century BC). A Greek sculptor who worked for a time in Magna Graecia. Among his works was the bronze Hermes discovered at the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum. The statue is now displayed in the National Museum at Naples.

Apollosa (BN): A commune (area: 21 km²; alt. 430 m) in the province of Benevento. Located 14 km SW of Benevento, it is situated to the left of the torrent Corvo, a tributary of the river Calore. Population: 2,739 (2007e); 2,733 (2006e); 2,797 (2001); 2,563 (1991).

Appello, Torrente (PE): A torrential stream (length: 12 km) in Abruzzo. It rises in the Boshi Sant’Onofrio on the Coste Pentelle. It flows into the Sangro in the Piani di Piazzano near Piccianello (PE).

Appian Way (Lat. Via Appia): The most famous of the Roman roads, is was built in 312 B.C. under the direction of Appius Claudius Caecus. It connected Rome with Capua and was later extended to Beneventum (now Benevento), Tarentum (Taranto), and, finally, Brundisium (Brindisi) (244 BC). It was the chief highway to Greece and the East. Its total length was more than 350 mi (563 km). The substantial construction of cemented stone blocks has preserved it to the present. Branch roads led to Neapolis (Naples), Barium (Bari), and other ports. On the first stretch of road out of Rome are interesting tombs and the Church of St. Sebastian with its catacombs. In 1784, Pope Pius VI built the new Appian Way from Rome to Albano, with a route paralleling with the ancient road. The width of the road averages about 20 feet.

Appignanesi, Ennio: (b. June 8, 1925, Belforte del Chienti, in Marche). Ecclesiastic. Ordained a priest in 1950, he was appointed bishop of Castellaneta (TA) in 1983. In 1988 he became archbishop of Matera-Irsina. In 1993, he was transferred to the archdiocese of Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo, remaining there until his retirement in 2001.

Appius Claudius Caecus:  a powerful political figure in the Roman Republic, Appius Claudius left behind two major monuments to his political career: the Aqua Appia (Rome’s first major aqueduct) and the Via Appia (the most significant road through south Italy and the most famous of all Roman roads). Appius served as censor in 312 BCE, twice consul in 307 and 297, and praetor in 295. He worked to include poorer people in the different tribes of Rome to increase their influence in the tribal assembly, although this work was repealed in 304 BCE. Despite his attempts to expand plebian political power, Appius remained a traditionalist in religion, strongly opposing the entry of plebeians to two major priesthoods.

Aprèa, Giuseppe: (b. 1876 or 1879, Naples; d. 1946). Painter. Trained by F. Palizzi and D. Morelli, he was one of the artists who decorated the Petruzzelli Theater in Bari. During his career he painted several portraits and religious works. Examples of the latter can be found in several churches in Naples, Ravello, Avellino, and other cities. He taught at the Academy of Naples from 1908 to 1927.

Apricena (FG): A commune (area: 171.45 km²; alt. 73 m) in the province of Foggia. Located 42 km N of Foggia, it is situated in the northern part of the Tavoliere, near the base of the Gargano promontory. Population: 13,627 (2006e); 13,664 (1991); 8,226 (1911). The communal territory contains pastureland, cultivated fields and vineyards. Among the principal products are macaroni, cheese, and fireworks.

History: The center developed around a fortified hunting lodge built for Frederick II. It served as his royal residence from 1221 to 1226. In 1230, the community was granted special privileges, but upon the seizure of the kingdom by the Angevins, the center was reduced to the status of a feudal fief. It passed through the hands of several noble families including the Gonzaga. An earthquake in 1627 destroyed much of the old town, and the remaining part of the center was incorporated into the community of Palazzo in 1658.

                Major earthquakes were felt here in 1627, 1805, 1851, 1910, 1948, 1980, and 1984.

Aprigliano> (anc. Aprilianum)(CS): A commune (area: 121.27 km²; alt. 718 m) in the province of Cosenza. Located 16 km SE of Cosenza, it is situated to the right of the river Craticello, a tributary of the Crati. Population: 2,830 (2006e). The commune is mostly agricultural, large areas of which are devoted to fruit orchards and vineyards.

History: During medieval times a center called Aprilianum existed here.

                The town’s most famous native was the poet Domenico Piro.

Points of Interest: Near the center is the hermitage of S. Martino. Inspired by 11th century French monastic architecture, it has a single nave, a wide transept, and three semicircular apses. Tradition states that Abbot Gioacchino da Fiore (Joachim of Fiore) died here in 1202.

Culture: The festival of Santa Maria Assunta is celebrated on August 15 in the frazione of Vico.

The festival of San Rocco is celebrated on August 16 in the frazione of Grupa.

                The festrival of the Madonna di Porto Salvo occurs on the second Sunday of September in the frazione of San Stefano.

                The festival of the Madonna di Loreto is celebrated on the third Sunday of September in the frazione of Guarno.

                The festival of San Leonardo is celebrated on November 6, in the frazione of Corte.

Aprile, Giuseppe: (b. Oct. 28,1732, at Martina Franca [TA]; d. Jan. 11, 1813, Martina Franca). Castrato soprano and composer. Having received training in Naples from Gregorio Sciroli, he debuted as an operatic singer in Rome in 1752. From 1752 to 1756, he was a member of the Royal chapel in Naples. After this he toured throughout Italy and much of the rest of Europe. From 1763 to 1769 he was employed at the court in Wurtemberg. In 1770 he returned to Italy and performed that year in Naples, Bologna, and Milan. After a successful career of performing throughout Italy he settled at Naples where he became a teacher. As a composer he wrote several pieces of vocal chamber music.

Aprodita: A Messapic deity equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Aprustum (Abrystum) (poss. mod. Marcellina di Verbicaro [CS]). An ancient settlement in Lucania, it was located to the NW of Greek Thurii. Believed to have originally belonged to the pre-Sabellic Oenotri, it became a Bruttian settlement.. The name may derive from the Indo-European root *abhro- (=strong, mighty) which indicates that it might have been a well-fortified settlement. Another theory is that the name is related to Latin aper (aper) (=wild boar).

Aprutium: A name used during the 8th century for modern Abruzzo.

Apscipo, River: A torrential stream in the province of Reggio di Calabria. It rises on the slopes of M. Montalto (M. Cocuzzo) in the Aspromonte. It flows SE and E for 42 km emptying into the Ionian Sea to the N of Capo Bruzzano. In its lower course it is called the La Verde.

apse (It. abside): The usually rounded (although sometimes polygonal or square) eastern end characteristic of medieval Sicilian churches; the recess as the end of the chancel. It usually contains an altar. Originally, the apse formed a section of a pagan temple where the statue of a deity would stand. They were also used in ancient baths and basilicas.

This structure is also called an apsis, a Late Latin term deriving from the Greek hapsis, which, in turn, comes from the verb haptein (= “to fasten”).

Apuli: An ancient people of SE Italy, they were the descendants of the Osci. They joined the Dauni in the settlement of ancient Apulia.

Apulia, Ancient: A region in southern Italy which, in its broadest sense, was roughly equivalent to the modern region of Puglia. It extended along the eastern coast of the “heel” of the Italian peninsula, to the SE of the territory of the Frentani. Roman Apulia, which encompassed an area of about 6,800 square miles, occupied the entire SE of the peninsula to the east of Lucania and Samnium. It was heavily cultivated with vineyards, and received mention by such writers as Strabo, Tibullus, Horace, and Pliny the Elder.

Apulia (mod. Puglia): A region (area: 7,380 mi²; Population: 1,949,423 [1901]) which encompasses the “heel” of the Italian boot. The name is commonly used for the Italian region of Puglia. It stretches along the Adriatic from the river Fortore (W of the Gargano Peninsula) to the extreme SE tip of the peninsula (Capo Santa Maria di Leuca). Most of the N portion of the region is a flat plain, excepting the Gargano massif which rises to an elevation of 5,120 feet. Southern Apulia, between the Gulf of Taranto and the Adriatic, is largely a low, arid, limestone plateau.

                The economy of the region varies from north to south. The north has traditionally been dedicated to winter grazing of merino sheep, while marble quarrying was also centered in the Gargano. Southern Apulia had a far richer soil and was better for agricultural pursuits. Among the products are wheat, barley, maize, beans, lentils, peas, olive oil, wine, fruit (figs, oranges, lemons, olives), flax, and tobacco. Other industries include pasta-making, salt mining and silk production.

                The principal cities of the region are Barletta, Bari, Monopoli, Brindisi, Andria, Bitonto, Putignano, Lecce, Taranto, and Gallipoli.

                Also see PUGLIA.

Apulia & Calabria, Rulers of (AD 11th-12th centuries):

Counts (1043-1059), Dukes (1059-1127)

  • William I “Iron-Arm” 1043-1049
  • Drogo 1049-1051
  • Humphrey 1051-1057
  • Robert Guiscard 1057-1085
  • Roger Borsa 1085-1111
  • William II 1111-1127

Apulia et Calabria> (Regio II): one of the eight provinces of Italy created by the Roman Emperor Augustus in the late 1st Century AD. It encompassed the area of what is now the region of Puglia. The province was governed by a praesides or corrector.

Apulian-Messapian (It. Apulo-messapica): an Iron Age culture centered in the southernmost tip of the “heel” of Italy. Reaching its height during the 8th century BC, it was noted for its varieties of painted geometric ceramics. It consisted of several groups: pre-Greek Taras, Daunians, Peucetians, and the Messapians.

apuliense: A silver coin, equivalent to a soldo of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily during the reign of William II (1166-89).

Apulo, Gian Pietra: (fl. 15th century). Jurist. In 1497, he published one of the first collections of laws in the Kingdom of Italy.

Aqua Tofana (Aqua della Tofana, Acqua Toffana, Aqua Tufania and “Manna di San Nicola”): A poisonous liquid invented in the mid-17th century. Its name derives from that of its creator, a woman from Palermo known as Tofana. Moving from her native city to Naples, she became one of the notorious members of a society called the Secret Poisoners. This poison was so toxic that a dose of only 4 to 6 drops would be enough to kill and adult and was virtually undetectable in such a small dose. After Tofara’s arrest it was found that her poison based on arsenic.

                The poison became famous when an unproven rumor circulated that Mozart had died of the elixir.

Aquae Angae: Ancient baths in Bruttii, located to the NW of Lametus.

Aquae Cumanae: Ancient baths located in the Campania city of Cumae.

Aquae Labanae: Ancient baths located in Sabinium, near Nomentum.

Aquae Labodes: Ancient baths located in western Sicily. It also was known as Thermae Selenuritiae.

Aquae Teanae: Ancient baths located near Teanum (mod. Teano (CE)) in Campania. It corresponds to modern Acqua delle Caldarella

Aquara (SA): A commune (area: 32.5 km²; alt. 500m) in the province of Salerno. Located 72 km SE of Salerno, it is situated in the Cilento, near the S slope of Monte Alburno, on a height to the left of the Calore. Population: 1,705 (2007e); 1,958 (1991).

History: A major earthquake was felt here in 1910.

Points of Interest: The town has an interesting historical center.

                The Benedictine convent (c1400) was the home of the Neoplatonist Father Ivone.

                The principal churches are dedicated to S. Nicola di Bari, S. Rocco, Madonna del Piano, and Del Carmine.

Culture: The principal events are the feasts of S. Lucido (July 28), S. Rocco (Aug. 18-19), and the Madonna del Piano (Sept. 12).

Aquario (Lat. Aquarius), Mattia (dei Gibboni): (b. Aquara (SA); d. 1591, Naples). Dominican theologian. A leading supporter of Thomism, he taught at Turin, Naples, and Rome before settling permanently at Naples.

Aquaviva (or Acquaviva), Claudio (Claudius): (b. 1543, Naples; d. 1615). Jesuit. The son of the Duke of Atri, he joined the Jesuit Order, rising through its ranks to become their 5th General (1581-1615). He is best known as the author of Ratio Studiorum (Plan or Method of Studies) (pub. 1586).

aqueduct: The most famous aqueducts of the ancient world were those constructed by the Romans. Using their incredible skills as engineers they were able to effectively move great quantities of fresh water over distances of nearly 58 miles. Valleys and ravines were spanned with multi-tiered arched bridges and hills and ridges were pierced with tunnels. Some of these aqueducts were so well constructed that sections are still used today. This skill allowed for Roman cities to grow to sizes never before attained. Rome itself, at its height, had about 420 km (c260 miles) of aqueducts which supplied the population with about 1,000,000 cubic meters (300 million gallons) of water per day.    Ancient Sicily had many aqueducts but few of the Roman style. Remains of fine Greek aqueducts can still be seen in the ancient remains at Siracusa, Termini, and Agrigento.

Aquila, L’: See L’Aquila.

Aquila, Pietro: (b. Palermo; d. 1692, Alcamo (TP)). Engraver and painter. Having spent his young adulthood as a priest, he left the clergy and turned his attention to art. His paintings can be seen at Palermo in the churches of the Pieta, Vergini, and S. Cita. Traveling to Rome, he earned a reputation as an excellent engraver. His works are displayed in many locations in Rome including the Farnese Gallery. These engravings are based on the works of Annibale Carracci, Ciro Ferri, Pietro da Cortona, and Raphael. Aquila was the brother of Francesco Faraone.

Aquila, Dell’: An important family from Benevento. Of Norman origins, they had attained a high status by c1090, deriving great wealth from several fiefs awarded to them by the Swabian rulers of the Regno. Among their titles was that of Count of Fondi. One member of the family, Loffredo Caetani, married into the Angevin royal family in 1327.

Aquila (sometimes Aquilano), Serafino dell’: (b. 1466, L’Aquila; d. 1500, Rome). Poet. The writer of several sonnets, epistles, and capitoli, he was patronized by King Ferdinand II of Naples and Cesare Borgia. His work was much admired during his lifetime.

Aquila (sometimes Dell’Acquila), Silvestro dell’: (b. 1450, L’Aquila. d. 1504). Sculptor. Principal Works: S. Sebastiano (Church of S. Maria del Soccorso, L’Aquila) [wood]: 2nd half of the 15th century. Marble Monument of Maria Pereira and Beatrice Camponeschi (Church of S. Bernardino, L’Aquila): 1490-1500.

Aquilano, l’ (AQ): A ridge of the middle valley of the river Aterno, running between the mountains of Amiternino, the Gran Sasso, the high plain of Barisciano, and the mountain chain of Ocre. The l’Aquilano consists of two principal bands averaging about 700 meters in elevation. Running between these bands is the gently-sloped valley of the river Aterno, with alttudes averaging from 580 to 670 meters. The ridge is almost entirely in the communal territory of L’Aquila, from which it derives its name.

Aquilano (sometimes dell’Aquila), Pompeo: (b. Abruzzo; fl. c1580). Fresco painter.

Aquillius, Manius: (fl. late 2nd / early 1st centuries BC). Roman magistrate and general. He served as Consul in 101 BC. In suppressing the rebel slaves in Sicily during the Second Servile War, he fought in the thick of battle and was wounded several times. In 98 BC, he was put on trial for corruption but was acquitted thanks to the defense he received from Marcus Antonius. In 88 BC, he was sent as proconsular legate to Asia, where he was captured by Mithdradates, who executed him by having molten gold poured down his throat.

Aquilo: A town in ancient Daunia-Apulia, situated on the Via Egnatina, between Equus Tuticus and Aecae.

Aquilone (Aquilo): A term for the North Wind. It was also used to generally refer to the North.

Aquilonia, Ancient (1): A town of the ancient Hirpini, corresponding to modern Lacedonia (AV). It was located on the Via Appia, between Sub Romula and Pons Aufidi.

Aquilonia, Ancient (2): A town of the ancient Pentri, in Samnium. Located near the border with Latium, to the NW of Bovianum, it corresponds to modern Agnone (IS) in Molise.

Aquilonia (AV): A commune (area: 55.62 km²; alt. 750 m) in the province of Avellino. Located 92 km ENE of Avellino, it is situated to the left of the river Vulture, near the borders with the regions of Puglia (province of Foggia) and Basilicata (province of Potenza). Population: 1,963 (2007e); 1,978 (2006e); 2,117 (2001); 2,469 (1991).

>History>: The original center was located at the now deserted site of Aquilonia Vecchio, located about 2 km NE of the modern center. The earlier town had been called Carbonara prior to 1862.

>                Aquilonia Vecchia suffered major damage from earthquakes in 1910, 1915, and 1930. The modern center was heaviely damaged by the great earthquake of 1980.

Aquinas, St. Thomas: See THOMAS OF AQUINAS, ST.

Aquino (FR) (anc. Aquinum): A town and commune now part the province of Frosinone, in southern Lazio. Prior to the 1920s it was politically part of the region of Campania and within the borders of the former kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Ancient Aquinum was a large prosperous Roman colony situated on the Via Latina. Among the famous natives it produced were the Roman satirist, Juvenal, and Pescennius Niger, one of the rivals who battled over the Roman throne after the death of Pertinax.

                During the years following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Aquinum suffered greatly from the barbarian invasions. Later, it was caught in the middle of wars between the Papal Guelfs and the Imperial Ghibellines. By the time order was restored, the once prosperous city was reduced to a mere village with a population of only a few hundred. Despite this calamity, the place still retained its status as a bishop’s see and was the seat of a county. The family which held the title of Count of Aquino produced St. Thomas Aquino, one of the great Doctors of the Catholic Church.

Aquino, Carlo d’: (b. 1654, Naples; d. 1737, Rome). Jesuit writer. He became professor of rhetoric at the Jesuit College of Rome, where he became celebrated as the author of several Latin and Italian works. Among these were the Latin poems Carmina (1701-03) and Lexicon Militare (1724). His best-known work was a Latin verse translation of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.”

Aquino, Iacopo d’: (b. Sicily; fl. 2nd half of the 13th century). Poet and soldier. A member of the Sicilian School of poetry, he is known to have fought under Manfred at the battle of Benevento (Feb. 26, 1266). Only one of his poems survives.

Aquino, Ladislao d’: (b. c1546, Naples; d. 1631, Rome). Ecclesiastic and magistrate. A kinsman of the Counts of Aquino, he chose a religious career. In 1588 he became bishop of Venafro. From 1606 to 1613, he served as apostolic nuncio in Switerland, and, in 1616, was created a cardinal. After the death of Pope Paul V, he was considered as a possible successor but died before the conclave was concluded.

Aquino, Tommaso d’: (fl. 1st half of the 13th century). Nobleman. As Count of Acerra, he was a vassal of Emperor Frederick II. Marrying Frederick’s daughter Constance, he was also awarded with the counties of Celano and Noiano. In 1228, he accompanied Frederick in his crusade to recover Jerusalem.

Arabia, Francesco Saverio: (b. 1821, Dipignano (CS); d. 1899, Naples). Magistrate and scholar. As a youth, he participated actively in the Risorgimento movement. He later became a professor of penal law and, in 1861, became a magistrate. In 1892, he was elected to the Senate.

Aradeo (LE): A commune (area: 8.51 km²; alt. 75 m) in the province of Lecce. Located 31 km SSW of Lecce, it is situated in the Salentine Murge, to the Canale Raschione. Population: 9,779 (2006e); 9,688 (1991). The commune is agricultural, producing wine and olive oil.

History: The great earthquake of 1980 was felt here.

Aragno (AQ): A former autonomous commune it is now a frazione of the commune of L’Aquila. It is located 25 km from L’Aquila.

History: In 1532, Aragno was given as a fief to Captain Cesare Ercolani. In 1703, it suffered extensive damage from an earthquake.

Points of Interest: The principal religious monuments are the church of Santa Maria Maddalena (rebuilt in the 18th century), the church of Santa Barbara, and the chapel of Madonnella.

Aragon: A former kingdom and province comprising much of the E portion of Spain. Prior to its unification with Castile into the Kingdom of Spain, in the latter part of the 15th century, Aragon was one of the most powerful kingdoms of Europe, having an empire in the western and central Mediterranean which included the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, and, at various times, one or both of the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. It lost much of its power as France expanded its influence into the Mediterranean.

                Aragon proper was bounded on the E by Catalonia, on the S and W by Castile, and on the NW by Navarre.

Aragona >(AG): A commune (area: 74.43 km². Alt. 482 m) in the province of Agrigento. Located 17 km NNE of Agrigento, it is situated in a hilly area on the eastern slope of Monte S. Marco, between the rivers Platani and Salso. Population: 9,730 (2007e); 9,840 (2006e); 10,065 (2001); 10,416 (1991); 12,689 (1961). The economy is based on the cultivation of almonds, olives, wheat, grapes, vegetables and pistachio. Sulfur mining is also important. Parts of the commune are also devoted to livestock breeding (cattle, sheep).

History: Built in 1605/6 by Count Baldassare Naselli of Comiso, who named it for his mother Beatrice d’Aragona Branciforti, its best-known monument is the great palace built there by its feudal princes. In 1615, Luigi Naselli received the title of Prince of Aragona by the Spanish king Philip IV.

                Major earthquakes were felt here in 1905 and 1968.

Points of Interest: The earliest of the town’s buildings date from the 17th century.

                The church of Mercede dates from 1623.

                The church of the Carmine is an 18th century structure.

                The 17th century Chiesa Madre houses an interesting 18th century crèche (presepio) scene with life-size statues.

                The Baroque 18th century church of the Purgatorio is best known for the magnificent staircase leading to its entrance.

Near the town are the Vulcanelli di Macalube (from the Arabic maqlub = upsetting), a group of small (averaging 0.5 to 1 meter in height), conical, mud-volcanoes. These continuously bubbling white-mud spouts release hot mud and discharges of methane gas and carbonic anhydride. Highly flammable, the gas often ignites spectacularly. The nearby Majaruca Spring is notable for the curative properties of its waters.

Culture: The festival of the patron saint, San Calogero, is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in August.

Aragona, Ferdinando D’: (fl c1600). Navigator. An Italian pirate who operated in the Mediterranean preying on Venetian ships.

Araia (Ajaia), Francesco: (b. June 25, 1709, Naples; d. 1770, Bologna). Composer and musician. Beginning his career in 1730 in Florence, he soon moved Russia, establishing himself at St. Petersburg. In 1735, he became maestro di cappella and director of a new company of Italian opera. He wrote several operas, the best-known being Cephalus and Procris (1755). In 1759 he returned to Italy and remained at Bologna for the remainder of his life.

Arangio-Ruiz, Gaetano: (b. 1857, Augusta (SR); d. 1936, Turin). Jurist. He held professorships of constitutional law at the Universities of Macerata, Modena, and Turin, and was the author of several works on law. His sons were the jurist Vincenzo Arangio-Ruiz and the philosopher Vladimiro Arangio-Ruiz.

Arangio-Ruiz, Vincenzo: (b. 1884, Naples). Jurist. He was the son of Gaetano Arangio-Ruiz and brother of Vladimiro Arangio-Ruiz. During his career he held professorships of Roman law at the Universities of Camerino, Perugia, Cagliari, Messina, Modena, Naples, and Rome. In 1932, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Egypt at Cairo. He was a member of the Committee for National Liberation in Naples in 1943, and served as Minister of Pardons and Justice and of Public Instruction in 1944-45. In 1952, he was President of the Accademia dei Lincei. He was the author of several works on Roman Law.

Arangio-Ruiz, Vladimiro: (b. 1888, Naples; d. 1952, Florence). Philosopher. He was the son of Gaetano Arangio-Ruiz and brother of Vincenzo Arangio-Ruiz. He began his academic career as a professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore at Pisa, later teaching at the University of Florence. He wrote several works advocating the philosophy of Absolute Moralism.

Arbëresh: An ethnic term for the Albanian/Greek mercenaries and refugees who settled in southern Italy and Sicily during the 15th and 16th centuries, and for their descendants. The origins of the Arbëresh immigration can be found in the wars between the Angevins and Aragonese for control of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1448, the Aragonese king of Naples, Alfonso I, found himself facing a widespread revolt of pro-Angevin barons. Unable to stem the revolt on his own he turned for help to his ally, George Castriota (Alb. Gjergj Kastrioti i Krujës) (aka Skanderbeg), military commander of the Albanian Alliance. Castriota dispatched a large mercenary force (with their families) to Italy under the command of General Demetrios Reres. The arrival of the Albanians enabled Alfonso to crush the revolt and he rewarded Reres with the governorship of Calabria. The Albanians were given title to 12 Calabrian towns in which to settle: Amato, Andali, Arietta, Caraffa d’Catanzaro, Carfizzi, Gizzeria, Marcedusa, Pallagorio, S. Nicola dell’Alto, Vena, Zagarise, and Zangarona (all in the provinces of Catanzaro and Crotone).

                Another group of Albanians arrived in the Regno in 1450. Led by Demetrios Reres’ sons, Giorgio and Basilio, these mercenaries and their families were dispatched to the island of Sicily to impose King Alfonso’s authority there. They were settled in three military camps in what is now the province of Palermo, which grew into the towns of Contessa Entellina, Mezzojuso, and Palazzo Adriano.

                In 1458, Alfonso’s son and successor, Ferdinand (Ferrante) I faced his own baronial revolt, this one supported by an invading French army. Like his father, he turned to Castriota for help in this crisis. It was not until 1461 that a new mercenary army could be dispatched.This time Skanderbeg personally led a force of 5,000 Albanian soldiers across the Adriatic to Brindisi. From there he quickly marched to Barletta where Ferdinand was under siege. After successfully rescuing the king, Castriota was given supreme command over the royal army. On August 18, 1462, Castriota won a major victory and crushed the baronial revolt. For his services he was rewarded with title to large tracts of land in Apulia near S. Giovanni Rotondo (FG). Several centers came under his control including Troia (FG).

                In 1467, Castriota was called back to Albania to face the threat of an attack by the Ottoman Turks. The soldiers and families who had come with him, however, remained in Italy in the support of the Aragonese rulers. Ferdinand allowed them to settle in Apulia on lands to the east of Taranto. Arbëresh immigrants settled in ten towns, all in the province of Taranto: Carosino, Faggino, Fragagnano, Monteiasi, Monteneosola, Roccaforzata, S. Crispini, S. Giorgio Ionico and S. Marzano.

                Castriota died in Albania from malaria in 1468. Without its leader, the Albanian Alliance collapsed under Turkish pressure. A new wave of Albanians now arrived in Italy, this time not mercenaries but refugees. Among their numbers were Castiota’s wife and daughter, who found sanctuary at the royal court in Naples. This daughter later married into the Neapolitan nobility, becoming Princess Bisagnato. Skanderbeg’s son, John Castriota, who had married into the Palaeologi, the now-deposed Byzantine imperial family, also settled in the Regno. He was given a dukedom which he used as a base to organize underground resistence against the Turks in Albania.

                As the Turks occupied Albania, they seized several port cities previously under Venetian control. This brought still more Albanian refugees to southern Italy who settled in Apulia, Molise, Calabria, and Sicily.

                The last wave of Arbëresh immigration occurred between c1500 and 1534. Unlike the previous waves, however, these refugees came from southern and western Greece rather than Albania. They were mostly Greek soldiers and their familes who were forced to flee from the Turkish advance into their lands. The majority were members of the Stradiotti, a force of colonial light cavalry stationed in the Venetian strongholds of the Morea. As these strongholds were overcome, these troops and their dependents back further. Finally, at the beginning of the 16th century, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V recruited new Greek and Albanian mercenaries from the area. When the Stradiotti eagerly joined the Imperial service, Charles sent 200 shiploads of them to southern Italy to reinforce the defenses there against a potential Turkish attack. The common soldiers of this force were mostly Albanians while the officers and other commanders were Greeks. Others whole accompanied this force were members of Greek Byzantine noble families and even those belonging Imperial houses. Many of these noble refugees married into the southern Italian nobility. Another faction of this group of immigrants were Greek merchants, who brought their families and possessions with them. As a general rule, the Greek elements of this immigration resettled in southern Italy’s larger cities and towns. The Albanians, on the other hand, preferred to make their new homes in the small centers that had been previously given to earlier Albanian immigrants.

                The Arbëresh continued to be utilized for military purposes, continuing to provide recruits to the Neapolitan army until the end of the Regno in 1860. The modern Arbëresh number between 200,000 and 800,000, depending on the source. The majority of them live in the same villages originally settled by their ancestors. They speak an archaic dialect of Albanian known as Tosca, which includes many borrowed Italian and Greek words. The dialect is divided into four sub-dialects: Sicili

Arbërisht: The language spoken by the Arbëresh community in southern Italy.

Arbutus: A tree commonly found in Sicily.

Arcamone, Anello (or Aniello): (fl. late 15th century). Politician. He served as ambassador to the Papal Court for the Aragonese kings of Naples. A close associate of Antonello Petrucci, he participated in the Conspiracy of the Barons against King Ferdinand (Ferrante) I. When the conspiracy was crushed (1486), Arcamone was imprisoned until 1495.

Arcate (or Dirillo), Torrente: A waterway (length: 45 km) of Sicily in the provinces of Catania, Caltanisetta, and Ragusa. It is formed at Case Vascello, near Vizzini (CT), by the union of the Rio Arnerillo and the Rio di Vizzini, and flows into the Medetteranean Sea to the SE of Gela.

Archagathes (1): (fl. late 4th century BC). Syracusan noble. Son of Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, he accompanied his father in the invasion of Carthaginian North Africa in 310 BC. He was the father of Archagathes (2).

Archagathes (2): (d. 289 BC). Syracusan noble. Son of Archagathes (1), he was killed in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow his uncle, Agathocles the Younger in 289 BC.

Archangelus (or De Archangelo), Ottavio: (b. Catania; fl. 1st half of the 16th century). Poet

Archangelus of Calatafimi, Bl.: (b. Calatafimi (TP); d. 1460). Monk. After living for a time as a hermit, he joined the order of the Observant Franciscans, and spent most of the remainder of his life working to expand his order in Sicily. His cult was confirmed by Pope Gregory XVI in 1836. Feast Day: July 30.

Archbishop: Normally, a bishop holding authority over an archdiocese. In some rare cases, bishops are awarded the title of “archbishop” as a personal honorific. The title derives from the Greek words arch- (= high) and episcopos (= overseer).

Archbishop, Major: An archbishop of a major archdiocese.

Archdiocese: A religious jurisdiction over a specific geographical area. Archdioceses are of higher rank than regular dioceses and most, though not every, are Metropolitans.

Archduke: (It. Arciduca). A title of sovereignty first used in 1359, exclusively reserved for legitimate members of the Austrian Habsburgs and Lorraine-Habsburgs. They ranked above regular Dukes and Grand Dukes.

Archegates>: A title meaning “Founder”, “Guide”, or “Leader”, given to the ancient Greek god Apollo in his sanctuaries and cult centers in eastern Sicily. Thucydides (6.3.1) records that an altar devoted to Apollo Archegates was erected at Naxos at the point where the first Greek colonists came ashore on Sicily (c734 BC) by their leader Theocles. It was a common custom for ancient travelers to offer sacrifices of thanks at this shrine for a safe and successful arrival in Sicily. Apollo Archegates’ role as protector, was note limited to just sea voyages. He appears to have been considered the patron god of Naxos itself.

Archegatis>: A title occasionally given to goddesses in Greek mythology. It was the female equivalent of Archegates, having the same meaning of “Founder”, “Guide”, or “Leader.”

Archeparchy>: The equivalent of an archdiocese in an Eastern Christian Rite. See Eparchy.

Archestratus>: (fl. c350 BC). Poet. He was a native of Greek Sicily, possibly born in Gela. He was best known for his now-lost work entitled Hedupatheia (or Gastronomy) (=Good Cheer), a humorous poem about food and its preparation. Ennius used this work as a source for his Hedyphagetica. Aristotle found Archestratus’s descriptions of animals so accurate that he used his work as an important source for his own History of Animals.

Archi> (CH): A commune (area: 28.18 km²; alt. 462 m) in the province of Chieti.  Located 52 km SSE of Chieti, it is situated on a hill belonging to the watershed between the river Sangro and the torrent Pianello. It is part of the Communitá Montana Valsango. Population: 2,321 (2006e); 2,336 (2001). Population Designation: Archesi. CAP: 66040. Tel. Prefix: 0872. The economy is based principally on agriculture.

History: Major earthquakes were felt here in 1706, 1933, 1979, and 1984.

Archias (1): (b. Corinth; fl. 2nd part of the 8th century BC). Founder, in c733 BC, of the city of Syracuse (Siracusa), on the E coast of Sicily. According to some sources he appears to have belonged to the Bacchiadae, the ruling family of ancient Corinth. In some versions of his story, he was guilty of murder and agreed to lead the new colonists to Sicily as a form of voluntary exile.

Archias (2): (b. Thurii; fl. late 4th century BC). Government official. Originally an actor, he was a victor at the Lernaean Games in 329 BC. He later studied rhetoric under Anaximenes and Lacritus, and was a teacher of Polus of Aegina. Entering the service of Antipater, he served that ruler as an agent for hunting down exiled Athenian politicians. For this he was given the nickname of “exile hunter.” He arrested Hypereides, Aristonicus, and Himetaeus, and forced Demothenes to commit suicide. He later fell into disgrace and died of starvation.

Archias (3): (b. Corinth; fl. c240/200 BC) Greek architect and shipwright. Working from plans created by Archimedes, Archias built the incredible ship, the Syracusia, for Geron II or Hieron II of Syracuse.

Archidamus III: (d. 338 BC). King of Sparta. A member of the Eurypontid royal line, he reigned from 360/359 to 338 BC. In 343 BC, he answered a request for help from Taras (Tarentum) which was seriously threatened by the Italic peoples. Ambitious to carve an empire for himself in southern Italy, Archidamus led a mercenary army against the Lucanians for several years with inconclusive results. He was finally killed in battle against them in 338 BC.

Archimedean Screw (or Archimedean Well): An innovative device believed to have been invented by the famous 3rd century BC scientist, engineer, mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse. The device can still be found in use today to lift water for filling garden cisterns and irrigation in southern Italy and Sicily.

Archimedes: (b. c287 BC in Syracuse; d. 212 BC in Syracuse). Genius and scientist. Considered to be the greatest mathematician in the ancient world, he excelled in the fields of physics, engineering, astronomy, and philosophy. His contributions to science, especially mechanics, were so considerable that they still exert considerable influence today. He went beyond the typical bounds of ancient Greek science, which emphasized pure theory over practical applications, and created an incredible array inventions and adaptations. Some of these, such as an early type of odometer and the “Archimedean Screw” had immediate practical uses and can be reliably credited to him. Others, such as his so-called “death-ray”, a supposed mirror weapon that used solar energy to set enemy ships on fire, are either later fabrications or misinterpretations. A loyal citizen of Syracuse and relative of Hieron II, he was also highly admired by the Romans, for who he carried out projects.

                Many of Archimedes’ inventions were created for the defense of Syracuse against the besieging Romans during the Second Punic War. Among these was a crane capable of grappling onto a war ship and lift it out of the water. It could then be dropped from a height and destroyed. Despite his help, Syracuse finally fell in 212 BC and, as the Romans entered the city, Archimedes was killed despite the orders of the Roman commander, Marcellus, that he should not be harmed.

                Aristotle wrote several scientific/mathematical works, including:

  • On the Equilibrium of Planes, or Centers of Gravity of Planes: The Quadrature of the Parabola.
  • The Equilibrium of Planes.
  • On the Sphere and Cylinder.
  • On Spirals.
  • On Conaids and Spheroids.
  • The Measurement of a Circle.

Although best known for his accomplishments in mathematics and military invention, Archimedes was also an accomplished astronomer. He created a sophisticated planetarium which, after the fall of Syracuse, was brought Rome. It was seen by Cicero (Rep. I.21.22) in the first half of the 1st century BC, and perhaps also by Ovid (Fasti 6.277) a generation later.

Had Archimedes survived the fall of Syracuse, he would undoubtedly have been brought to Rome and treated respectfully. As it was, he received an honorable funeral from Marcellus and his remains were interred in a fine sepulcher in Syracuse. His family was guaranteed its safety and well-being. In 75 BC, while in Sicily, Cicero visited Syracuse and was able to find Archimedes tomb in a much neglected state covered in brambles. He identified the tomb by a still-visible symbol inscribed on it depicting a cylinder circumscribing a sphere with a ratio of 3/2, an emblem which Archimedes had desired to be placed there. Cicero restored the tomb but it was eventually again lost to history. In 1965, archaeologists excavating the ruins of ancient Syracuse discovered what many believe to be Archimedes tomb. This identification, however, remains a topic of controversy.

architrave> (or epistyle): In classical architecture, the lowest of the three parts of an entablature, which signifies the horizontal mass laid across the tops of the columns. Over the architrave is the frieze, and over that, the cornice. The three elements together constitute the entablature. This last term derives from the Latin trabea (= a beam).

archon: in ancient Greece, a high official or ruler. In ancient Athens, authority was divided among 9 archons, each specifically charged were certain duties. By Byzantine times, archon had become a broad general term for a member of the ruling class, including the leading citizens of a community.

Archonides I: An ancient Sikel king whose capital was at Herbita. He was an ally of Ducetius, and of the Athenians. When he died during the Athenian War many of his fellow Sikels became supporters of Syracuse.

Archonides II: An ancient Sikel king who ruled from Herbita. He was the founder of Halaesa. Archylus of Thurii: A mercenary leader under Dionysius I during his wars with the Carthaginians. Thanks to him, the Greeks were able to successfully attack and capture the Carthaginian stronghold of Motya.

Archytas of Tarentum: (b. c420 BC, Taras/Tarentum; d. c350 BC). Pythagorean philosopher, statesman, general, and mathematician. As leader of Taras, he was able to use his influence to save the life of his friend Plato who was threatened with possible execution by Dionysius II of Syracuse. He served as commander of the army of Taras for a period of 7 years, despite a law which forbade any person from holding that post for more than a year. During his time in command he earned a reputation for honesty and virtue. He unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the other Greek cities in Magna Graecia to form a defensive league.

As a philosopher and scientist Archytas earned great renown. A pupil of Philolaus, he was a confirmed Pythagorean, believing that mathematics provided the key to all of the mysteries of the universe. According to his theory, mathematics was divided into four branches: geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music. He is credited with being the first scholar to apply geometry to mechanics, and credited machines based on mathematical principals. He evolved theorems relating to the cube, and developed the idea of harmonic progression (1, ½, 1/3, ¼…) in mechanics, as opposed to arithmetical progression (1, 2, 3, 4…). Archytas also studied sound, discovering that pitch depended on the speed of vibration of air, a vital discovery in the development of the concept of wave motion. His studies also included acoustics and music, working out the ratios which underlie the relations of successive notes in the enharmonic, chromatic, and diatonic scales. Archytas is often claimed to be the inventor of the pulley, and Aulus Gellius credits him with inventing a flying machine.

Archytas is known to have written several works, but only fragments of one treatise, On Wisdom, has survived to modern times. According to Horace, Archytas perished when his ship went down in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Apulia.

Arcidiaconata, River: A river (length: 20 km) in Potenza Province, Basilicata. As the Torrente Varco di Chiancola it rises between the Serra Corrado (851 m). After passing Ripacandida (PZ) and Melfi (PZ), it empties its waters into the river Renaina.

Arcoleo, Giorgio: (b, 1848, Caltagirone (CT); d. 1914, Naples). Jurist and statesman. A teacher of constitutional law at the universities of Parma and Naples, he became a supporter of F. De Sanctis. After being appointed to the Italian Chamber of Deputies, he served several times as Undersecretary of State. In 1902, be entered the Senate.

arcosolio: An arched recess with a tomb under it in a cave sepulcher. They are very common at sites like Syracuse and Agrigentum.

Arcuccio, Angellillo: (fl. 2nd half of the 15th century). Painter. From 1464 to 1492, he produced works in and around Naples. Among his best works are a pair of altarpieces in the cathedral of Aversa, one depicting the Madonna and Child, and the other showing the Martyrdom of S. Sebastiano (dated to 1468). These paintings show strong links to the Venetian School of painting.

Arcudi, Alessandro Tommaso: (b. 1655, Galatina (LE); d. 1718). Satirical Writer. His best-known work was The Anatomy of Hypocrites (1699).

Arditi, Marchese Michele: (b. Sept. 29, 1745, Presicca, Campania; d. Apr. 23, 1838). Archaeologist and composer. Having studied music under Niccolo Jommelli, he composed the opera Olimpiade, sacred and secular cantatas, motets, symphonies, overtures, orchestral arias, and piano sonatas.

Ardizzon (or Ardizzoni): (d. 1699, Naples). Writer.

Ardizzone, Gerolamo: (b. 1824, Palermo; d. 1893, Palermo). Scholar and poet. His romantic style verses include L’arpe, Il trovatore, and La viola. As a scholar he translated the Greek works of Sappho and Anacreon into both Italian and Sicilian, and founded, in 1860, the Giornale di Sicilia. In this journal he published studies of poets like Byron, Moore, Camöes, and Chateaubriand.

Ardoin (Arduin): (fl. 11th century). Lombard man-at-arms. After serving as armiger (squire) for the church of S. Ambrogio in Milan, he joined a mercenary band traveling to southern Italy. Thanks to his knowledge of Greek, he was able to become an officer in the Byzantine army of George Maniaces. Having won a beautiful horse as a prize for defeating a Saracen warrior in single combat, he refused to hand it over when Maniaces demanded the animal for himself. Maniaces then had the horse seized and ordered that Ardoin be whipped through the camp. Outraged over this treatment, Ardoin deserted. The incident also disgusted a body of Norman mercenaries who also left the army and returned to the mainland. These Normans subsequently formed the core from which came the leaders who seized southern Italy for themselves. Thus, the incident of Ardoin’s horse marked the beginning of the series of events leading to the foundation of the Kingdom of Sicily. Ardoin later seized control of the city of Melfi.

Ardore (formerly Adore, Odore)(RC): A commune (area: 32.69 km²; alt. 250 m) in the province of Reggio Calabria. Located 94 km ENE of Reggio di Calabria, it is situated on a small spur near the Ionian coast of Calabria, to the right of the river Condoianni. Population: 5,037 (1991); 7,866 (1951). The economy is agricultural, with the principal product being olive oil.

History: The town’s name derives from the Italian word odore (= ordor, scent), and was so-named because of the many flowers growing in the area.

                Major earthquakes were felt here in 1783, 1894, 1905, 1907, 1908, and 1978.

Points of Interest: There are remains of a feudal castle.

Arechis (Arigis, Aretchis; Ital: Arechi) I of Benevento: (b. in Friuli; d. AD 641). Duke of Benevento (AD 591-641). A relative of the dukes of Friuli, it is thought that he might have been the nephew of his predecessor Zotto. Although appointed by the Lombard King Agilulf, Arechis was effectively an independent ruler.

                Arechis expanded his power, capturing Capua and Venafro, as well as parts of Basilicata and Calabria. Although he was unable to capture Naples, Salerno fell to his attack.

                After a remarkably long reign (50 years), he died and was succeeded by his son Aiulf.

Arechis (Aretchis, Arichis, Aregis; Ital: Arechi) II of Benevento: (d. AD 792). Duke of Benevento (r758-774); Prince of Benevento (r774-792). Son and successor of Liutrand, he unsuccessfully attempted to claim the Lombard crown in 774, but was able secure the title of the independent Prince of Benevento. He ruled without a suzerain until 787 when he submitted to Charlemagne. He was succeeded in 792 by his son Grimoald.

Arena (VV): A commune (area: 32.35 km²; alt: 496 m) in the province of Vibo Valentia. Located 28 km SE of Vibo Valentia, it is situated on the Tyrrhenian slopes of the Serre, in hilly terrain to the right of the torrent Potriano. Population: 2,069 (1991). The commune is mostly agricultural, producing wine and olive oil.

History: The Normans established the center as the seat of an important county, and was one of the centers that revolted against the Aragonese during the unsuccessful Revolt of the Barons. Throughout most of its history it was held as a fief by various noble families, including the Concluberts, the Acquaviva, and the Caracciolo di Gioiosa.

Arena, River: A river (length: 43 km) in SW Sicily. Rising near Salemi (TP), it flows to the SW, emptying into the Mediterranean just S of Mazara del Vallo (TP).

Arena, Rivo dell’: A channel (length: 8 km) in Campania. Rising near Castellabate (Madonna della Scala), it empties into the Tyrrhenian Sea near Torre Arena (SA).

Arena, Celestino: (b. 1890, Pizzoni (VV)). Economist. In 1934, he obtained the post of professor of financial science at the universities of Pisa, Naples, and Rome. His principal works include: Corso di economia del lavoro (3 vols, 1933-35), La teoria della finanza pubblica (1945), and Manuale di scienza delle finanza (1952).

Arena, Filippo: (b. 1708, Piazza Armerina (EN); d. 1789, Rome). Botanist and mathematician. A Jesuit, he taught mathematics at the schools belonging to his order. His principal work, La natura e coltura dei fiori (1767-68), included accurate descriptions of biological phenomena, especially in the fields of pollination and hybridization of plants.

Arena, Giuseppe: (b. 1713, in Malta; d. Nov. 6, 1784, Naples). Composer of instrumental, chamber and vocal music. His operas include Achille in Sciro (1738); La clemenza di Tito (1738); Il vello d’oro (1740); Artaserse (1741); Tigrane (1741); Farnace (1742); and Il vecchio deluso (1746).

Aresas: (b. Lucania; fl. 5th century BC). Pythagorean philosopher. He is variously described as a Lucanian and a native of Croton. Succeeding Tydas as the head of the Pythagorean School, he was the sixth in line after Pythagoras himself. Some sources identify him as the author of a work entitled “About Human Nature”, of which a fragment is preserved by Stobaeus.

Arete: (d. 354/353 BC). Noblewoman. Daughter of Dionysius I “the Elder”, tyrant of Syracuse, and Aristomache. As was often the case with daughters of powerful rulers, she was exploited as a political tool. Her first two marriages were to uncles, first Tearidus and then Dion. It appears that she was genuinely devoted to Dion but could not accompany him when he fled into exile in 366 BC. Arete was then forced into a marriage by her half-brother Dionysius II to his friend Timocrates. When Dion returned to seize Syracuse, Dionysius kept Arete as a hostage while he was besieged in his citadel. It was only after Dionysius escaped that Dion captured the citadel and was reunited with Arete. Their reunion was short-lived, however, by Dion’s assassination. Arete found her own life in danger from her husband’s enemies. Accompanied by her mother, Aristomache, she fled from Syracuse by ship hoping to reach sanctuary in the Peloponnesus. Unfortunately, the ship was intercepted by Hicetas, tyrant of Leontini, who had the two women thrown into the sea to drown.

Arethusa (Grk Arethousa): a Nereid nymph in ancient Sicily who watched over a spring of the same name, on the island of Ortygia (Syracuse). She was said to be the daughter of the river-god Nereus and an attendant of Artemis. Her beauty attracted the attention of the river-god Alpheus whom she fled from by plunging into the sea and swimming from Greece to Ortygia. There she prayed to Artemis to protect her and was turned into spring. Alpheus, however, was not thwarted. From his river bed, he plunged his waters so deeply underground that he was able to tunnel beneath the Ionian Sea and emerge on Ortygia where he mixed with Arethusa spring. It was reputed that the “proof” for this story was that any object thrown into the Alpheus river in Greece would eventually surface in Arethusa’s fountain.

                Scholars today believe that Arethusa’s myth was originally attached to several fountains in mainland Greece. When the Greeks began to colonize Sicily, they brought the myth with them, attaching them to a fountain in their new home.

Arethusa, Fountain of: A celebrated fountain in ancient Syracuse, connected with the myth of the nymph Arethusa and the river god Alphaeus. Unlike many ancient fountains, that of Arethusa still flows strongly today. The name means “the Waterer.”

Arezzo, Claudio Mario (Lat. Claudius Marius Aretius): (b. 1500, Siracusa; d. 1575). Humanist scholar. He served as imperial historian to Emperor Charles V, whom he accompanied on campaigns in Italy and Germany. Among his works is the Chorographia sive de Situ Siciliae Libellus (1537), a description of Sicily.

Arezzo, Bl. Paolo Burali d’: (b. 1511, Ita, near Gaeta; d. 1578, Naples). Ecclesiastic. After practicing law in Naples for a decade, he became a Royal Counselor in 1549. He remained in that post until 1558, when he resigned to enter the Theatine order. Thanks to his legal talents and background, he rose through the ranks of the order to become the head of the Theatine houses at Naples and Rome. After serving as bishop of Piacenza, he was appointed a Cardinal by Pope Pius V. In 1576, he became archbishop of Naples, serving in that position until his death two years later. During his career, he was an opponent of the Inquisition in Italy. In 1772, he was beatified by Pope Clement XIV. Feast Day: June 17.

Argatóne, Monte: A mountain peak (2,151 m) of the Abruzzian Apennines. Located in the Montagna Grande, it lies between the valleys of the rivers Sangro and Sagittario, at the edge of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo.

Argentino, River: A river of Calabria. Its course, which is a Riserva naturale protetta (natural protected reserve), passes through the Parco del Pollino.

Argento, Gaetano: (b. 1662, Cosenza; d. 1730, Naples). Jurist. He was the author of several works on law. In 1708, he was appointed to the judicial office of Regent of the Collaterale, the highest court in the Kingdom of Naples. In 1714, Emperor Charles V appointed him president of the royal council (Sacro reale Consiglio), along with the title of duke.

argismo: A Sicilian version of the tarantella healing ritual. The term derives from the Italian argia (= spider).

Argoli, Andrea: (b. c1570, Kingdom of Naples; d. c1650). Mathematician. He was professor of mathematics at the University of Padua. Among his many works was an Ephemerides, a catalog of astronomical positions extending to the year 1700. He was father of the poet Giovanni Argoli.

Argoli, Giovanni: (b. c1610; d. c1660). Poet. At age 16 he wrote Endymion (1626). Among his other works include treatises on classical antiquities, the most important being a series of notes on Onuphrius Panvinius’ De Ludis Circensibus (“On the Games of the Circus”) and De Triumphis (“On Triumphs”) (1642).

Argusto (CZ): A commune (area: 7.12 km²; alt. 530 m) in the province of Catanzaro. Located 49 km SSW of Catanzaro, it is situated to the left of the river Ancinale. Population: 558 (2006e); 555 (2001); 613 (1991). The commune includes several vineyards.

History: Major earthquakes were felt here in 1659, 1783, 1905, 1908, and 1947.

Argyrippa: Ancient name for Arpi (FG).

Argyros (Ital: Argiro): (b. cAD 1000; d. aft. 1058, poss. at Bari). Lombard nobleman. The son of Melus of Bari, he was sent to Constantinople during his father’s first revolt against the Byzantines in Apulia. In 1029, he returned to Italy where he soon began to lead revolts of his own. In 1042, he was joined by several Norman mercenaries. In August of that year, he he reconciled with the Byzantines, entering into an alliance with them to fight their common enemy, the rebel general George Maniakes. In 1045 he was called to Constantinople where he helped to defeat Leo Tornikios. While there he became the enemy of the Patriarch Michael I Keroularios. In 1051, Argyros, returned to Bari as the first Lombard Governor (magister, vestes, and doux of Italy, Calabria, Sicily and Paphlagonia). Now championing the Byzantines, he attempted to halt the advances of the Normans in southern Italy by forming an alliance with Pope Leo IX. This alliance, however, collapsed when, in 1053, the Normans defeated the papal and Byzantine armies in separate battles. Leo was taken prisoner by the Normans and during his period of captivity dispatched Cardinal Humbert as an envoy to Patriarch Michael I Keroularios in Constantinople. In 1054, while Humbert was enroute on his journey, he stopped at Bari. Later, when the Cardinal reached his goal, it was found that he carried letters that were highly offensive to Keroularios. The latter believed that these letters were actually the work of Argyros rather than the pope. He ordered the arrest Agryros’s son and son-in-law who were both in Constantinople. Argyros made some further attempts to create a new alliance with the papacy, but was unsuccessful. He was finally relieved of his offices in mid-1058.

Ari (CH): A commune (Area: 11.26 km²; Alt. 289 m) in the province of Chieti.  Located 20 km SE of Chieti, it is situated on a spur to the right of the river Dentolo. Population: 1,319 (2006e); 1,319 (2001); 1,413 (1991). CAP: 66010. Tel. Prefix: 0817. Part of the Comunitá Montana Valsango. The economy is strictly agricultural.

History: Major earthquakes struck here in 1933 and 1984.

Culture: The feast of the Ascension is celebrated with a procession which is a survival of an ancient pre-Christian purification rite.

Ariano di Puglia: Former name of Ariano di Puglia)(AV).

Ariano Irpino (formerly Ariano di Puglia)(AV): A commune (Area: 185.52 km²; alt. 778 m) in the province of Avellino, in Campania. Located about 50 km NE of Avellino and 24 miles E of Benevento, it is situated on a rocky height in the Apennines, near the headwaters of the torrent Ufita. Population: 23,218 (2007e); 23,297 (2006e); 23,505 (2001); 23,040 (1991); 17,708 (1911).

History: Archaeological evidence shows that the area around Ariano has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Because of its location, commanding the easiest pass through the Apennines connecting Apulia with Campania, it has been a place of both economic and strategic importance. The earliest known settlement, which surviving from Neolithic times until c900 BC, was located on the collina della Starza. The ancient Samnites settled in the area, founding the town of Aequum Tuticum about 8 km from where the present center now sits. Eventually Romanized, Aequum flourished thanks to its location along the Appian Way. Unfortunately, the same factors that brought such prosperity to place during the centuries of Roman peace, threatened it with repeated attacks once the Western Empire collapsed.

                In the 7th Century, the town came under the control of the bishops of Benevento. It was the seat of a Lombard count in the 10th Century. A bishop’s see was established there in AD 969. In 1024, it was taken by the Byzantines who held it until its capture by the Normans in 1140. The Normans brought a new period of security and prosperity to the town. Arpino became the principal center for a large area between the Sannio and the Irpinia. Roger II renovated the castle and made it the site of his first Parliament. During the succeeding Swabian dynasty, Ariano fell into a serious decline and the Angevin king, Charles I of Anjou, founded a new town nearby to replace it.

                Charles I gave the new town to Henry di Vandemont during the latter part of the 13th Century. It passed to Ermengaud di Sabran whose descendants continued to hold it until 1413. In

Economy: The commune is a center for mining and quarrying: sulfur, marble and gypsum. Manufactured products include cement, pottery, textiles and macaroni. Among the agricultural products are cereals, wines, liqueur (especially rosoglio), olive oil, legumes, and hemp.

Ariano Irpino – Lacedonia, Diocese of:


Metropolitan: Benevento.

Conference Region: Campania.

Area: 781 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 73,390.

Catholic Population:

Total Priests: 75(Diocesan: 57; Religious: 18)

Permanent Deacons: 0

Male Religious:

Female Religious:

Parishes: 43


Arielli (CH): A commune in the province of Chieti. Area: 11.51 km². Alt. 285 m. Population: 1,190 (2006e); 1,250 (2001). CAP: 66030. Tel. Prefix: 0871.

Arienzo (CE): A commune in the province of Caserta. Population: 5,276 (2006e).

Arienzo, Nicola D’: (b. Dec. 24, 1842, Naples; d. Apr. 25, 1915, Naples). Operatic Composer.

Arigisus: (date uncertain). Ecclesiastic. He was the first known bishop of Caiazzo. Since his name is Germanic he can date no earlier than the beginning of the 7th century when the Lombards occupied that region of Campania.

Aristaeus (Aristaios) (1): An ancient Sicilian nature god who presided over flocks, bees, vineyards, olive groves. He was the son of the god Bacchus and he was often worshipped at his father’s temples. His connection with olives (or more correctly with olive oil) led to him becoming a favorite for ancient athletes and sports fans. Aristaeus was considered so important to the people of ancient Syracuse that the theft of his cult statue by the unscrupulous Roman governor Verres became one of the principal charges filed against him by Cicero.

Aristaeus (Aristaios) (2): A mythological giant, son of the earth mother goddess Gaia. He survived the war between the gods and giants by being turned into a dung-beetle and hidden on Aetna on the island of Sicily. He is sometimes called Aitnaios kantharos (= dung-beetle of Etna).

Aristides: >See Adrian (2).

Aristippus of Cyrene: (b. 421 BC). The founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy. Although a native of Cyrene (mod. Libya), he was long a member of the court of Dionysius I at Syracuse.

Aristodemus: (fl. early 6th Century BC). Tyrant of Cumae. Born into the noble class in the ancient Greek city of Cumae, in 504 BC, he led an Greek army of 2,000 soldiers north to Aricia in Latium to support the Latins against the Etruscans under Arruns, son of King Porsenna of Clusium. After achieving a victory, Aristodemus returned to Cumae where he made himself tyrant of the city. The oligarchic constitution was suspended and new popular reforms were instituted. The former oligarchs were forced to flee, many of them taking refuge at Capua. For the next 20 years, these exiles and their offspring carried on a guerrilla war against Aristodemus. Eventually, Aristodemus was assassinated and the exiled aristocrats were able to return to Cumae where they reestablished their rule.

Aristomache: The wife of Dionysius I. Following the downfall of her son-in-law, Dion, she was murdered while trying to escape from Syracuse by sea.

Aristophenes: a Greek comic playwright of the 4th century BC; his plays include a skewering of Socrates and the sophists in The Clouds, the gender power reversal play Lysistrata and the pro-peace play The Acharnians; Aristophanes was also a character in Plato’s The Symposium, where he suggested that people in love were two halves of the same body that had been split in two.

Aristotle: (b. 384 BC in Stagira, Macedonia; d. 322 BC in Chalcis, Euboea). Philosopher, natural scientist and tutor of Alexander the Great He moved to Athens in 367 BC where he became a student of Plato and developed a curiosity with natural phenomena. After the death of Plato, he returned to his native Macedonia, where he was appointed as tutor to Prince Alexander, the future Alexander the Great. In 335 BC, he returned to Athens where he founded the Lyceum (Peripatetic school). He was author of the Poetics, The Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, and several other works. In 323, his connections to Macedonia made him flee to Chalcis, Euboea, where he died at the age of 63. Upon Aristotle’s death in 322 BC, Theophrates became head of the Lyceum.

Aristoxenus: (fl. 350 BC): Philosopher. A pupil of Plato, he wrote principally on music theory. His chief work was Elements of Harmony.

Armento (PZ): A commune in the province of Potenza.

Arnesano (LE): A commune in the province of Lecce. Population: 3,709 (2006e).

Arpaia (BN): A commune in the province of Benevento. Population: 1,943 (2007e); 1,913 (2006e).

Arpaise (BN): A commune in the province of Benevento. Population: 870 (2007e); 887 (2006e).

Arpino (anc. Arpinum)[CE]: a town in Campania, located 88 miles SE of Rome. It is situated on the site of ancient Arpinum. The town is the birthplace of several notable figures including two ancient Rome’s greatest leaders: Gaius Marius (b. 157 BC) and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (b. 63 BC), and the Renaissance artist Giuseppe Cesari (b. c1568). Arpino is a traditional center for the manufacturing of woolens, leather-goods, and paper. Marble quarrying is also practiced.

arrabbiata: hot peppers used in the cuisine of Calabria, Abruzzo, Molise and Lazio. Its name translates to mean “angry style.”

Arrigo, Girolamo: (b. Apr. 2, 1930, Palermo). Composer. He wrote the operas Orden (1969) and Addio Garibaldi (1972).

Artemis: Greek goddess often identified with the Roman-Italic Diana. An early Sikan deity sometimes identified with Artemis had a megalithic temple located near the modern Sicilian town of Cefalu dating to c800 BC. An early Doric Greek temple located at Syracuse has been attributed to Artemis, or to her brother Apollo. On the Italian mainland other temples to Artemis were built by the Greeks, including one in Campania on the promontory near Agropoli.

artichoke: The artichoke has been associated for centuries with Sicily and there are some sources which that the vegetable first originated on the island. Ancient Greek and Roman art show a purple flower that may be that of the artichoke. Others belief that it was brought to Sicily by the Saracens since its name is known be Arabic in origin. Different sources cite somewhat different base words for the name (kharshuff, alharchaf, ardi shauki, or ardi shauk) all of which mean “ground-thorn.”

                The first globe artichokes were first cultivated in Naples in the mid-15th century. They were brought to France by Catherine de’Medici (1519-1589), the queen-consort of King Henry II. From there they were soon brought to England. They eventually were brought to the Americas by French and Spanish immigrants.

Artipalda (AV): A commune in the province of Avellino. Population: 11,206 (2007e).

Arsita (TE): A commune in the province of Teramo.

Artume: Etruscan goddess of night and darkness. She also had the attributes of a nature goddess and had similarities to Artemis.

Arzano (NA): A commune in the province of Napoli.

As (pl. asses): a large ancient Roman copper coin weighing about 12 ounces (1 Roman pound).

Ascanius: In mythology, the son of the Trojan hero Aeneas and Creusa. He accompanied his father on the journey to the west after the fall of Troy. He was said to have received his training as a warrior while the refugees lingered in Sicily, and accompanied his father when they continued on to Italy. Also known as Iulus, it was claimed that the Roman Julian gens derived their name from his, claiming him as their ancestor.

Ascea (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno.

Ascelettin (Ascletin, Asclettino) Drengot: (d. AD 1045). Count of Aversa (1045). Son of Asclettin, count of Acerenza, and brother of Rainulf Drengot, he succeeded the latter as Count of Aversa, but died after ruling only a few months. He was succeeded by his cousin Rainulf Trincanocte.

Asclepius (Lat: Aesculapius): Ancient Greek god of medicine and healing. His origins are somewhat disputed and several ancient and modern scholars alike contend that his myth may have been based on more than one person. Cicero, in fact, wrote that the myth of Asclepius was based on three personages. Whatever the case Asclepius became the patron of physicians and his temples and shrines where found throughout the ancient Greek world. In Magna Graecia, cities like Croton, where there was an important school of medicine, paid Asclepius particular honor.

Ascoli Satriano (FG): A commune in the province of Foggia. Population: 6,309 (2006e).

Ascone, Vicente: (b. Aug. 16, 1897, Siderno (RC); d. Mar. 5, 1979, Montevideo). Composer. He wrote the opera Paraná Guazú (1931).

Ashtaroth: Anancient Punic goddess identified with the Greek Aphrodite and the Roman Venus. She was worshipped by the Carthaginians in Sicily.

asinello (=donkey, ass): The humble donkey had played an important role in Sicilian culture and history as both a beast of bunden and of transportation. Besides the common donkey, two other varieties are found on Sicily, the large Pantelleria ass and the small Sardinian ass. The latter, about the size of a large dog, is a favorite for street peddlers. They stand about 36” and under at the wither.

Aspa, Mario: (b. 1799, Messina; d. Dec 14, 1868, Messina). Composer. His works include the operas I due savojardi (1838), Paolo e Virginia (1843), Il Muratore di Napoli (1850), and Piero di Calais (1872).

asparagus: There are three varieties of asparagus found growing on Sicily. Besides the common garden variety, the wild version of the same, the asparago selvaggio, has a bitter taste. The third variety, the sparagi di trono, is actually a version of butcher’s broom, but bears a close physical resemblance to asparagus. This last plant is often used in Sicily for hedges.

asphodel: A wild flower common in Sicily, belonging to the order of Liliaceae. Three varieties are found on the island, the two most common bearing pink blossoms and the third a yellow variety.

Asprenus, St.: The earliest known bishop of Naples. The dates of his tenure are unknown. He was succeeded by St. Epitimitus.

Assanti, Ligorio: (fl. c1341). Navigator. An Italian member of the Knights of Rhodes.

Assia, Frederico Langravio D’: (fl. c1640). Navigator. He served as Captain General of the Galleys of the Knights of Malta.

Assinarus (or Assinaro), River: (mod. Falconara). A river running near Noto. It was the site where Nicias, the Athenian general, was defeated and captured along with the remnants of his army by the Syracusans in 413 BC.

Assoro> (EN): (anc. Assarus, Assorus). A commune in the province of Enna. Population: 5,335 (2006e).

A mountain town in Sicily. Founded by the Sikels, it was able to retain its original culture for much longer than other native towns in the face of hellenization. The population was also able to successfully prevent the Roman governor Verres from plundering the town.

Asta, Andrea dell’:  (b. 1673, Naples; d. 1721). Painter. A student of Francesco Solimena, he visited Rome where he studied the works of Raphael. Among his works are two paintings in the church of S. Agostino (Naples): a Nativity and an Adoration of the Magi.

Astarita (Astaritta), Gennaro:  (b. 1747, Naples; d. 1803). Composer. During his career he composer about 20 operas.

Asteas: (fl. c350-320 BC). Vase-Painter. Considered to be one of the most important Greek vase-painters of Paestum, he is one of only two such south Italian artists to sign his work. The principal artist in a large workshop, he may have been the inventor of free-standing half-palmettes, used to frame an image, a characteristic of Paestan vase-painting. He decorated hydriai and kraters, as well as some smaller vases, in the red-figure technique. Asteas painted mythological, theatrical scenes and Dionysian, as well as groups of two or three draped youths. He followed the common practice of his time of inscribing labels for the figures he depicted.

Asterope: An Oceanid nymph, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. She was worshipped at Akragas in Sicily where she was held to be the mother, by Zeus, of the city’s mythological founder and namesake. It is thought that she may have originally been considered a Naiad, goddess of the local spring or fountain of the city. Her name means “Starry-Eyed”, deriving from the Greek words aster (star) and ops (eye).

Astorga, Emanuele Baron d’ (Gioacchino Cesare Rincón):  (b. Mar. 20, 1680, Augusta (SR); d. 1757, Madrid). Composer. Among his works were the operas La moglie nemica (1698), Dafni (1709), and Amor tirannico (1710).

ate: An expression (literally meaning “You There”) used by Sicilian drivers to anyone in his way. The expression long predates the automobile.

Ateleta (AQ): A commune in the province of ‘Aquila. Population: 1,227 (2006e).

Atella (Osc. Aderl; mod.Castellone di Sant’Arpino [CE]) (1): An ancient town in northern Campania. It’s name in Oscan was Aderl.

Atella (PZ): A commune in the province of Potenza, located 39 km from Potenza. Area: 88 km². Alt. 500 m. It is situated in the Vitalba Valley, named for a now-lost medieval farmstead. The surrounding area is covered by thick woods, and has many springs. Much of the commune is cultivated with cereal crops.

                The town was founded by John of Anjou between 1320 and 1330 in order to increase the population of the area. It enjoyed increased prosperity during the 14th and 15th centuries. The town still retains sections of the original medieval walls and a gate, the Porta S. Michele. There are the remains of an Angevin tower which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1694.

                The principal religious monuments are the Cathedral of S. Maria ad Nives and the Church of Santa Lucia.

                Evidence of human habitation dating from the Paleolithic era have been discovered in the vicinity.

Atella, Fiumara d’: A river (length: 25 km) in the province of Potenza. It rises on the Monte Caruso (1,239 m) in several branches (Varco di Livio, Valle del Salice, Valle Lamarone).

Atena Lucana (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno.

Aternum: Ancient name for Pescara.

Atessa (CH): A commune in the province of Chieti. Area: 111.46 km². Alt. 433 m. Population: 10,495 (2006e); 10,388 (2001). CAP: 66041. Tel. Prefix: 0872. Population Designation: Atessani. Part of the Comunitá Montana Valsangro and the Association Nazionale Citta del Vino.

Atenulf I of Capua: (d. AD 910). Count of Capua (rAD 887-910) and Prince of Benevento (rAD 899-910).

Athanasius I, St.: (b. cAD831; d. July 15, 872). (Bishop of Naples 850-872). He was the son of Marino I (Duke of Naples) and brother of Gregory III (Duke of Naples 865-870).

Athanasius (Atanasio) II “of Younger”: (d. AD 898). Bishop and Duke of Naples (AD 877-898). Son of Gregory III (Duke of Naples AD 865-870). He deposed and blinded his elder brother Sergius II (r870-877), seizing control of the duchy from him. He was succeeded as Bishop of Naples by his younger brother Stephen (Stefano).

Athena: Greek goddess of Wisdom and warfare. Although best known as the patron goddess of Athens, Athena’s cult also had centers in Sicily and Southern Italy. According to Diodorus Siculus, both Athena and Artemis were raised together on Sicily and loved the island. Later, Zeus gave Athena a portion of Sicily, the area around Himera. That city was the center of her cult on Sicily.

                Athena also had a presence on the Italian mainland. Pausanias (Guide to Greece 2.23.5) records the belief that Aeneas from the sacred image of Athena known as the Palladium from Troy to Italy. Strabo (Geography 6.1.14) records that Athena was worshiped at Rome, Lavinium, and in the Lucanian city of Siris. In this last mention place, the goddess was known as Athena Ilia (Athena of Ilion, i.e. Troy) and was so-called because of a legend that her cult was brought there by the ancient Trojans. In another city of Lucania, Luceria, there had been a great temple of Athena Ilia, built by the Daunii, but destroyed by Strabo’s time. This may be the same temple which Aelian (On Animals 11.5) mentions as having guard dogs which greet Greeks in friendship but bark at all others who approach.

In the same work, Strabo also mentions (7.1.5) a temple to Athena in the territory of the Salentines, whom he says were descendents of ancient Cretans. There was also said to have been a sanctuary of Athena near Surrentum (mod. Sorrento), on the coast of Campania, which was reputedly (Strabo Geography 5.4.8) founded by Odysseus. Odysseus is also said to have dedicated a bowl at an altar of Athena at Kirkaion, a little town in Latium (Strabo 5.3.6).

Although much of Athena’s aspect was absorbed into the Latin goddess Minerva, she still maintained enough of an independent presence under the Romans to chosen by the Emperor Domitian as his patron during the latter part of the 1st century AD (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 7.24 and 7.32).

Athenagoras: The leader of the party in the ancient Syracusan assembly which opposed Hermocrates. He refused to support any notion of building the defenses of Syracuse despite the impending threat of Athenian invasion.

Atlantes (or Telamons): The male equivalent of Caryatides used in supporting the architraves of ancient temples.

Atrabanashi: an Arabic name for the city of Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily.

Atrani (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno.

Atri (TE): A commune in the province of Teramo.

Atripalda (AV): A commune in the province of Avellino. Population: 11,206 (2007e); 11,234 (2006e).

Atrium (1)>: An architectural term. It was the principal entrance hall or chamber of an ancient Roman house. It normally served as a reception room. The typical atrium was lit by sunlight through a hole in the roof (the compluvium); rainwater that might fall through this hole would be caught in a central pool called an impluvium. In the houses of the wealthy, an atrium might be surrounded by a colonnade.

Atrium (2)>: An open area or court in front of a church.

Atunis: The Etruscan counterpart of the Greek Adonis. He was a companion of the love-goddess Turan (the Etruscan Venus).

Aufugum: (poss. modern Moltalto Uffugo [CS]). An ancient Bruttian settlement. It is believed that its name is Bruttian in nature and derives from the Indo-European root *eudh- (=udder, fecund).

Augusta >(SR): (formerly Agosta). A commune in the province of Siracusa, situated on the eastern coast of Sicily. It has an important harbor which provides about 12 sq. miles of excellent anchorage. Population: 33,820 (2001). Some sources state that the Roman Emperor Augustus founded a city here of the site of earlier Xiphonia. If so, no remains have survived of these earlier ancient centers. There are some prehistoric burials and Christian catacombs discovered at Molinello, a few km away. The existing city was founded by the Emperor Frederick II, who populated it with deported rebels from the city of Centuripe in 1242. He named the place Augusta Veneranda (= “a grand place worthy of veneration”). The city was rebuilt after suffering destruction in 1360 at the hands of an army from neighboring Syracuse and Catania. In 1676, during an attempted Sicilian revolt against Spanish rule, the French admiral Duquesne defeated his Dutch counterpart, De Ruyter, in the nearby waters. The city was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1693 and had to be rebuilt again.

Augustus (C. Octavius; Octavian): (b. 63 BC in Rome; d. AD 14). First Emperor of the Roman Empire. He was the son of the praetor Gaius Octavius and Atia, niece of Gaius Julius Caesar. Elected to the pontifical college in 48 BC, he campaigned with Caesar in Spain and in 45 BC fought the Pompeians at Munda. Upon his adoption by Caesar, he took on his adopted father’s name, becoming C. Julius Caesar Octavianus. In 38 BC, he formed the Second Triumvirate (triumviri rei publicae constituendae) with Marc Antony and Lepidus. In the initial division of the Roman world, Octavian’s portion included control over the island of Sicily. His contest with Sextus Pompey for control of this island proved important in securing his position in the west. His victory not only eliminated Sextus Pompey but also resulted in the ouster of Lepidus from the triumvirate and the ultimate conflict between with Antony for control of Rome. Octavian’s naval victory over Antony and Cleopatra secured his hold on ultimate power. Through shrewdness and intelligence, he ruled the Empire while maintaining at least the trappings of the Republic. Under his rule, the Empire flourished economically and healed its internal wounds. Art, literature and sciences flourished and political corruption was reduced to a considerable degree.

Octavian received the honorific title of Augustus from the Roman Senate in 27 BC, effectively beginning his reign as the first Roman Emperor. He would rule the Roman world until AD 14. Upon the death of Marcus Lepidus, he also assumed the principal Roman religious office of Pontifex Maximus. He had one surviving child, a daughter, Julia, by his second wife (Scribonia), whom he married to his heir-apparent of that time, Marcellus. In AD 14, Augustus was succeeded by his step-son Tiberius, the son of his third wife, Livia.

Southern Italy and Sicily figure into some of the most important events in Augustus’s career. In 36 BC, he landed at Tauromenium (mod. Taormina) during his successful campaign against Sextus Pompey. The campaign was finally ended with Pompey’s decisive defeat at the naval battle of Mylae (Milazzo). In 21 BC, Augustus established a Roman colony at Syracuse. It was at Nola, in Campania, that Augustus finally died of natural causes at the age of 76.

Auletta (SA): A commune in the province of Salerno.

Auletta, Pietro: (b. 1698, S. Angelo; d. Sept. 1771). Composer. He composed over a dozen operas between 1726 and 1759.

Aurelian (Lucius Domitius Aurelianus): (b. Sept. 9, AD 214, near Sirmium, Pannonia; d. AD 275). Roman Emperor (rAD 270-275). An effective general, he was known as the “Restorer of the World” because he was able to reunite those parts of the Empire (Gaul, the East) which had earlier split away, as well as win notable victories over barbarian invaders. He was responsible for building the last ancient fortification wall around the city of Rome. While preparing for a great expedition to the east, Aurelian was assassinated by one of his own men while encamped near Byzantium.

Auria, Vincenzo: (b. 1625, Palermo; d. Dec 6, 1710). Historian. His principal work was Historia delli Vicerè di Sicilia dal 1409 al 1697.

Aurisicchio (Eurisicchio), Antonio: (b. 1710, Napoli; d. Sept. 4, 1781, Rome). Composer. He composed about 7 operas.

Aurispa, Giovanni (John): (b.1369, in Noto; d. 1459, Ferrara). Scholar and historian. Arriving at Constantinople in 1418, he spent many there studying the Greek language and classics. He became a notable collector of Greek manuscripts, acquiring a library of 238 such documents he brought to Venice. Economic necessity forced him to sell most of this collection until Cosimo de’Medici learned of his situation. Cosimo purchased the manuscripts back for him and brought him to Florence. In 1438, Aurispa attended the Council of Basil where he met Pope Eugene IV, who hired him as his secretary. He served Eugene’s successor, Nicholas V, in a similar capacity and was awarded two wealthy abbacies. Aurispa is considered one of the principal promoters of the revival of Greek studies in Renaissance Italy.

Aurunci: An ancient Indo-European Italic people who lived in southern Italy from c1000 BC. They spoke a dialect of Oscan. The Aurunci controlled the territory south of the Volsci, near Rocca Monfina, between the rivers Liri and Volturno. The Romans described them as having no significant cities or towns, preferring to live in hill-top villages built for defense. They had a long history of hostility with the Romans who did not succeed in subjecting them until 313 BC. Many sources confuse them with the Ausoni (Ausones). In fact they are separate tribes, but may have had a common origin.

The Aurunci are remembered in the names of the Aurunci Mountains and the city of Sessa Aurunca.

Ausones (Ausoni): An ancient Italic people of southern Italy often confused with the Aurunci, with whom they may have shared a common ancestry. According to a legend recorded by Diodorus Siculus, they are named for their first king Ausonus, a son of Odysseus (Ulysses) and either the enchantress Circe or the nymph Calypso. Ausonus was the father of Liparus, who gave his name to the Lipari Islands.

The historical Ausones were one of three peoples (the others being the Enotri and the Japigi-Iapygians) who the ancient Greeks had contact with when they began to colonize Magna Graecia. They where an Indo-European people and had probably lived in Italy since at least the 17th century BC. Their territory, known as Ausonia, encompassed southern Latium and much of northern Campania as far as the river Sele. The historian Diodorus Siculus states that they also inhabited the southern tip of the “toe” of Italy, around the city of Rhegium (mod. Reggio di Calabria). It was probably part of this latter group who crossed over into Sicily in c1270 BC. The principal Ausonian towns were Ausona, Minturnae, Vescia and Sinuessa. Archaeology has also revealed a site near modern Calvi Risorta [CE], was an Ausonian city.

>The Ausones still existed as a people when the Romans began to push into southern Italy. The two peoples formed an alliance against the Samnites.

>The name Ausonia was occasionally extended for all of Italy.

Ausonia>: an ancient name in its broadest form for Italy, and in its narrower, and more correct, form for Campania. In recent times, Ausonia has become a symbolic socio-political name for southern Italy.

Auster (Austro)>: a name for the South Wind, and, more generally, for the South.

Auteri Manzocchi, Salvatore>: (b. Dec 26, 1845, Palermo; d. Feb. 21, 1925, Parma). Composer. He wrote at least seven operas.

Autpert Ambrose>: See Autpertus.

Autpertus> (Ambrosius) (Autpert Ambrose): (b. in the early 8th century in Provence; d. AD 778 or 779). Benedictine abbot. Of Frankish descent, he appears to have been a successful member of the royal Frankish court. Some sources claim that he was a favorite of King Pepin, a tutor of Charlemagne, and an arch-chancellor at Charlemagne’s court. Others, however, deny that he held such important posts. It is agreed that he because abbot of the Benedictine monastery of San Vincenzo, beside the river Volturno. This appointment led to such dissent at the monastery that both Pope Stephen III and Charlemagne were forced to intervene. Autpertus, during his religious career, wrote several works (commentaries on the Bible, biographies of saints, etc.) although only a handful has survived to the modern times.

Auxiliary Bishop: An assistant to the principal bishop of a diocese. The powers and responsibilities of auxiliaries vary considerably, depending on the wishes of principal bishop. Auxiliary bishops are normally assigned historical “titular” sees which are no longer in existence.

Avella, Ancient (or Abella, Abellanus, Avellanus, Avella Vecchia): An ancient Campanian city located NE of Nola. It is thought to have been founded as a daughter colony by the Chalcidian Greeks of Cumae. At some later date it was taken over by an Oscan-speaking population. Despite its apparent prosperity, it does not seem to have played any significant historical role. In the 2nd half of the 1st century AD, the Emperor Vespasian settled several of his freedmen and clients at Avella, but there is no evidence that it received the status of a colonia until the reign of Trajan. From writers like Virgil and Silius Italicus, we learn that Avella was famous for its fruit trees and filberts (hazelnuts).The site of ancient Avella lies on a high hill near that of modern Avella (AV). Referred to as Avella Vecchia (old Avella), archaeological remains include ancient walls and several buildings (amphitheatre, temple, etc.). The site is best known for a long Oscan inscription recording a treaty of alliance between Avella and Nola, dating to shortly after the 2nd Punic War. It remains one of the most important surviving sources for the study of Oscan.

Avella (AV): A commune in the province of Avellino. Population: 7,782 (2007e); 7,785 (2006e).

Avellino, Province of: A province in the region of Avellino. Area: 2,792 km². Population: 437,414 (2006e); 429,178 (2001); 438,812 (1991); 421,766 (1901).

History: Formerly part of Principato Ultra.

Avellino: A city and commune in northern Campania. Provincial capital of the province of Avellino. Area: 30.41 km². Population: 56,908 (2007e); 56,928 (2006e); 52,703 (2001) 55,662 (1991); 56,892 (1981).

Avellino, Diocese of:


Metropolitan: Benevento

Conference Region: Campania

Area: 394 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 158,424

Catholic Population:

Total Priests: 97(Diocesan: 72; Religious: 25)

Permanent Deacons: 11

Male Religious:

Female Religious:

Parishes: 64.


Aventino, River: A river (length: 45 km) rising on M. Porrara in the province of Chieti.

Avernus lacus (Mod. Lago di Averno): A lake in Campania near Naples. Most sources claim that the name derives from the Greek aornos (= “without birds”), and is connected with an ancient belief that birds flying over the lake will fall dead from sulfurous fumes. There is another theory, however, that suggests that the name is pre-Greek and derives from the Indo-European root *(a)uer-, with a more benign meaning of “water”, “rain”, or “flow.”

                According to mythology Lake Avernus was the site of Odysseus’s descent into the underworld.

Aversa (CE): A commune in the province of Caserta. Area: 8.73 km². Population: 52,857 (2006e); 53,369 (2001); 54,032 (1991); 56,425 (1981).

Aversa, Diocese of:


Metropolitan: Napoli

Conference Region: Campania

Area: 361 km²/ mi²

Total Population: 550,512.

Catholic Population:

Total Priests: 213(Diocesan: 190; Religious: 23)

Permanent Deacons: 18

Male Religious:

Female Religious:

Parishes: 92


Avetrana (TA): A commune in the province of Taranto.

Avezzano (AQ): A commune in the province of ‘Aquila. Population: 39,705 (2006e).

Avezzano, Diocese of: A bishopric in the ecclesiastical region of Abruzzo-Molise. It is a suffragan of L’Aquila.

Avigliano (PZ): A town in Basilicata. Population: 12,025 (2001).

Avola (SR): A commune in the province of Siracusa.

Avossa (d’Avossa), Giuseppe: (b. 1708, Paola (CS); d. Jan. 9, 1796, Naples). Composer. His works include the operas Don Saverio (1744), Lo scolaro alla moda (1748),

Azetium: A city in ancient Apulia (mod. Rutigliano [BA]).

Azopardi, Francesco: (b. 5 May 1748 at Rabat, Malta. d. 6 Feb 1809). Composer and music teacher. He studied music in Malta and in Naples where he became a celebrity for his piano and organ playing, orchestra conducting as well as for his compositions. Azopardi was a prolific composer and an excellent music teacher. He wrote a scientific treatise on music entitled “Il Musico Pratico” which was translated into French and introduced into the syllabus of the Royal Conservatory of Paris in 1778. Cherubini in his “Course of Counterpoint and Fugue” quotes some interesting examples from this work. Azopardi also wrote “L’Origine delle regole della musica.” He also composed a large number of sacred works including the oratorio “La Passione di Cristo.”

Albanian-Arbëresh Communities in Southern Italy


Pescara Province: Villa Badessa (Badhesa) (fraz. of Rosciano).


Potenza Province: Barile (Barilli/Barili); Ginestra (Xhinestra/Zhura); Maschito (Mashqiti/Mashkjiti);

Ripacandida; San Costantino Albanese (Shën Kostandini); San Paolo Albanese (Shën Pali).


Catanzaro Province: Amato; Andali (Andalli/Dandalli); Arietta; Caraffa di Catanzaro (Garafa/Garrafa);

Gizzeria; Marceduca (Marçidhuza); Vena di Maida (Vina)(fraz. of Maida); Zagarise; Zangarona (Xingarona)(fraz. of Lamezia Terme).

Cosenza Province: Acquaformosa (Firmoza); Cantinella (Kantinela); Cariati (Kariati); Castroregio (Kastërnexhi);

Cavalerizzo (Kajverici/Kejverici) (fraz. of Cerzeto); Cervicati (Çervikati); Cerzeto (Qana); Civita (Çifti); Eianina (Ejanina) (fraz. of Frascineto); Falconara Albanese (Fullkunara); Farneta (Farneta)(fraz. of Castroregio); Firmo (Ferma); Frascineto (Frasnita); Lungro (Ungra/Ungir); Macchia Albanese (Maqi) (fraz. of San Demetrio Corone); Marri (fraz. of Allimarri); Montegrassano (Mungrasana); Plataci (Pllatëni/Pllatani); Rota Greca; San Basile (Shën Vasili); San Benedetto Ullano (Shën Benedhiti); San Cosmo Albanese (Strigari); San Demetrio Corone (Shën Mitri); San Giacomo di Cerzeto (Sënd Japku/Shën Japku) (fraz. of Cerzeto); San Giorgio Albanese (Mbuzati); San Lorenzo del Vallo; San Marco Argentino; San Martino di Finita (Shën Mërtiri/Shën Murtiri); Santa Caterina Albanese (Picilia); Santa Sofia d’Epiro (Shën Sofia); Spezzano Albanese (Spixana); Vaccarizzo Albanese (Vakarici).

Crotone Province: Carfizzi (Karfici); Pallagorio (Puheriu/Puhëriu); San Nicola dell’Alto (Shën Kolli).


Avellino Province: Greci (Katundi).

Benevento Province: Ginestra di Schiavoni.


Campobasso Province: Campomarino (Këmarini/Kemarini); Montecilfone (Munxhufuni/Munçifuni); Portocannone (Porkanuni/Portkanùn); Ururi (Rùri).


Foggia Province: Casalvecchio di Puglia (Kazallveqi); Chieuti (Qefti/Kjéuti).

Taranto Province: San Marzano di San Giuseppe (San Marcani/Shen Marzani).


Agrigento Province: Sant’Angelo Muxaro.

Catania Province: Biancavilla; Bronte; San Michele di Ganzaria

Palermo Province: Contessa Entellina (Kundisa); Mezzojuso (Munxhifsi); Palazzo Adriano (Pallaci); Piana degli Albanesi (Hora e Arbëreshëvet/Hora Sheshi Oána); Santa Cristina Gela (Sëndastina/Shendestina).

Albanian-Arbëresh Communities in Southern Italy


Pescara Province: Villa Badessa (Badhesa) (fraz. of Rosciano).


Potenza Province: Barile (Barilli/Barili); Ginestra (Xhinestra/Zhura); Maschito (Mashqiti/Mashkjiti);

Ripacandida; San Costantino Albanese (Shën Kostandini); San Paolo Albanese (Shën Pali).


Catanzaro Province: Amato; Andali (Andalli/Dandalli); Arietta; Caraffa di Catanzaro (Garafa/Garrafa);

Gizzeria; Marceduca (Marçidhuza); Vena di Maida (Vina)(fraz. of Maida); Zagarise; Zangarona (Xingarona)(fraz. of Lamezia Terme).

Cosenza Province: Acquaformosa (Firmoza); Cantinella (Kantinela); Cariati (Kariati); Castroregio (Kastërnexhi);

Cavalerizzo (Kajverici/Kejverici) (fraz. of Cerzeto); Cervicati (Çervikati); Cerzeto (Qana); Civita (Çifti); Eianina (Ejanina) (fraz. of Frascineto); Falconara Albanese (Fullkunara); Farneta (Farneta)(fraz. of Castroregio); Firmo (Ferma); Frascineto (Frasnita); Lungro (Ungra/Ungir); Macchia Albanese (Maqi) (fraz. of San Demetrio Corone); Marri (fraz. of Allimarri); Montegrassano (Mungrasana); Plataci (Pllatëni/Pllatani); Rota Greca; San Basile (Shën Vasili); San Benedetto Ullano (Shën Benedhiti); San Cosmo Albanese (Strigari); San Demetrio Corone (Shën Mitri); San Giacomo di Cerzeto (Sënd Japku/Shën Japku) (fraz. of Cerzeto); San Giorgio Albanese (Mbuzati); San Lorenzo del Vallo; San Marco Argentino; San Martino di Finita (Shën Mërtiri/Shën Murtiri); Santa Caterina Albanese (Picilia); Santa Sofia d’Epiro (Shën Sofia); Spezzano Albanese (Spixana); Vaccarizzo Albanese (Vakarici).


Avellino Province: Greci (Katundi).

Benevento Province: Ginestra di Schiavoni.


Campobasso Province: Campomarino (Këmarini/Kemarini); Montecilfone (Munxhufuni/Munçifuni); Portocannone (Porkanuni/Portkanùn); Ururi (Rùri).


Foggia Province: Casalvecchio di Puglia (Kazallveqi); Chieuti (Qefti/Kjéuti).

Taranto Province: San Marzano di San Giuseppe (San Marcani/Shen Marzani).


Agrigento Province: Sant’Angelo Muxaro.

Catania Province: Biancavilla; Bronte; San Michele di Ganzaria

Palermo Province: Contessa Entellina (Kundisa); Mezzojuso (Munxhifsi); Palazzo Adriano (Pallaci); Piana degli Albanesi (Hora e Arbëreshëvet/Hora Sheshi Oána); Santa Cristina Gela (Sëndastina/Shendestina).