Encyclopedia of Southern Italy – T


Tabula Bantina: See Bantine Table.

Tagliacozzo (AQ): A commune in the province of L’Aquila. Population: 6,814 (2006e).

tammorriata (tammuriata): Campanian couple-dance. It is usually accompanied by lyric songs called strambotti, and tammorra tambourines.

tammuriata: See tammorriata.

Tancred (de Hauteville): b. c AD 990; d. AD 1041. A minor baron in Normandy, he is best-known as the father of several sons who played important roles in the Norman conquest of southern Italy and the foundation of the kingdom of Sicily. Some sources state that his two wives were both daughters of Duke Richard I of Normandy, but this appears to have been a 16th Century fiction, perhaps designed to give the family line nobler roots.

The Children of Tancred de Hauteville

By his first wife Muriel (or Muriella, Moriella, Moriellam):

  • William Iron Arm, count of Apulia (1042-46)
  • Drogo, count of Apulia (1046-51)
  • Humphrey, count of Apulia (1051-57)
  • Geoffrey, count of the Capitanate (d.1071)
  • Serlo I, heir to the family estates in Normandy.

By his second wife Fressenda (or Fedesenda, Fresendis):

  • Robert Guiscard, count of Apulia (1057-59) and duke of Apulia (1059-85)
  • Mauger, count of the Capitanate (1056-59)
  • William, count of the Principate (1056-80)
  • Aubrey (Alberic, Alberad, Alvered, Alvred, or Alfred), remained in Normandy
  • Hubert (Humbert), remained in Normandy
  • Tancred, remained in Normandy
  • Roger I “Bosso”, Great Count of Sicily (1071-1101)
  • Fressenda, wife of Richard, count of Aversa & prince of Capua

Tancred: (d. Feb. 20, 1194). King of Sicily (r.1189-1194).

Taormina (anc. Tauromenium) (ME): A commune (204m) in the province of Messina. Area: 13 km˛. Population: 10,863 (2005e).

History: Ancient Tauromenium was founded in 403 BC by Dionysius I to replace the destroyed Naxos. In 358 BC, it received a colony on Naxian Greeks planted there by the tyrant Andromachus. Andromachus warmly welcomed Timoleon when he land at Tauromenium and supported him in his efforts to free Sicily from the other tyrants.

                Tauromenium was an early supporter of the Roman republic for which it received great benefits. During the period of the Roman Civil Wars, it unfortunately threw its support to Sextus Pompey when the latter seized control of Sicily. Octavian punished the city in 35 BC by exiling the population. A new colony was settled there and Tauromenium flourished for centuries thereafter.

                In AD 902, the original city was finally destroyed by the Saracens, who soon rebuilt it. In 1078, the Norman Count Roger I captured the place.

Points of Interest:

                Religious Monuments:

                Cathedral: Dating to the 13th century, it sits on the site of an earlier basilica. Much of the surviving structure dates to restorations in the 15th and 16th centuries. The main west door was created in 1636.

                Church of Sant’Agostino: Dating from 1448, it has a fine Gothic doorway. It is now the site for the Library.

                Church of Sant’Antonio: Dating from the 15th century, the structure has a fine doorway. It suffered damaged in July 1943 from bambs.

Taranta Peligna (CH): A commune in the province of Chieti. Population: 492 (2006e).

tarantate: Women who had been supposedly received the poisonous bites of tarantula spiders and then performed a ritual dance (the tarantella) to cure themselves.

tarantel: An alternate term for the tarantella dance.

tarantella: A couple dance performed in 6/8 time. Now found in many varieties throughout southern Italy, it had its beginnings in and around ancient Tarentum (mod. Taranto) as a ritual dance performed to cure the supposedly poisonous bite of the tarantula spider.

tarantismo: Apulian term for the tarantella healing ritual.

Taranto, Province of: A province of Puglia. Population: 580,189 (2007e).

Taranto (TA): A commune and provincial capital of the province of Taranto in Puglia. The earliest name of the city, Taras, may derive from the Illyrian word darandos (= “oak”), so-called because of the abundance of that type of tree. Another theory, however, suggests that the name derives from the Indo-European root ter- or tor- (= “current”).

tarantolati: An Apulian variety of the tarantella healing ritual.