Prehistoric Italy


Convectare juvat praedas et vivere rapto Not desirous of entering our palfries at the Anticoli races we journeyed to Alatri Alatrium a town that figures in the comedy of the Captives of Pluatus We arrived there at dusk after having passed through a country wooded by nature like the noblest parks in England Alatri is one of the five Saturnian cities there are others which claim their origin from that unknown hero styled Saturnus They all begin with the first letter of the alphabet and are as follows Alatri Anagni Atina Arca and 4 rpunc There something inexpressibly striking to the mind on entering a city Alatri the origin of which is lost in the impenetrable mist of There are no cities in England of which we have any authentic records earlier than Julius Caesar there are not many in we can trace the origin of them all at least as soon as they to assume any commercial importance The same will apply the Spanish cities with the exception perhaps of Tartessus the of which is involved in obscurity There is no city in Sicily which we have not authentic data tradition respecting the Greek is also pretty satisfactory but enter any one of the five or the twelve Etrurian cities ask about what period were the colossal substructions remains of which are in all more or visible The person whom you interrogate be he a Cluverius mute You might as well hope to obtain satisfactory information the oldest ruins in India Persia or Egypt which have perplexed and will perplex antiquaries All that we can is that Alatri is a city of the Italian Aborigines founded some remote and unknown period probably by Saturnus who imparting some few ideas of civilization among his followers venerated by them and subsequently with Janus whose temPles were common in the Apennines crept into Rome as the O o

of Greece despised the neighbouring tribes who owed their origin to colonies Whence they came is matter of dispute Cato tells us in a fragment primö Italiam tenuisse quosdam qui Aborigines appellabantur and Justin says that they were the first cultivators of Italy They were believed by some to have come from Achaia

Festus speaking of them says fuit gens antiquissima Italiae Their savage habits and life are alluded to by Virgil in the following line Gensque viram truncit et duro robore nata and by Sallust genus hominum agreste sine legibus sine imperio liberum atque solatum Janus and Saturnus were two of their chiefs who imparted to them the rudiments of civilization and like the heroes of Greece were subsequently deified genus indocile ac dispersum montibus altis Composuit legesque dedit says Virgil speaking of Saturnus Dionysius of Halicarnassus is so confused in his account of these Aborigines or as some have called them Aberrigines that he leaves us as much in the dark as before The two insurmountable difficulties among the Italian antiquaries are the origin of this race and that of the Tuscans It is amusing to trace the contradictory statements of the learned respecting the last Their descent perplexed the ancients as well as moderns Herodotus tells us that they came from Lydia Varro and Aristides quoted by Strabo will have it that they were Pelasgians Bochart that they came from Canaan or Phoenicia Buonaroti from Egypt while Pelloutier Freret and others maintain that they were of Celtic origin It is probable that the Aborigines and Tuscans were indigenous in the strict sense of the word o in Italy by the immediate act of the Deity like Adam in esopotamia

We also mention the 13th century church of St. Francis, which preserves inside, transformed into a baroque era, valuable works; The medieval church of S. Silvestro, decorated by interesting frescoes of the XII, XIV and XIV century, by the suggestive ancient crypt of the church itself; The massive Palazzo Gottifredo, dating back to the 13th century, home to the Civic Museum.

Outside the town center, we also mention the Badia of S. Sebastiano, of ancient origin, where he found hospitality in 528 S. Benedetto da Norcia during his journey to Montecassino, the whip of Tecchiena and the rural church of the Twelve Marie, decorated with frescoes By Antonio d'Alatri.

Among the events that Alatri hosts throughout the year, we remember the historic re-enactment of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, the Infiorata of Corpus Christi and the Palio of the four gates in September.

Typical products offer a wide range of flavors: exquisite salami and cheeses, meats, breads and sweets, liqueurs. Craftsmanship is found in woodworking, in embroidery and ceramics.

Summary: The oldest cities known in Italy are the 5 Saturnine Cities, founded by Saturnas, and the Etruscan 12.

The Saturnines had Saturn and Janus as their gods

Q has been found in the villages


A city of ancient origins, lies on a hill on the slopes of the Ernici Mountains. It is one of the five Saturnine cities, along with Anagni, Arpino, Arce and Athens.

The foundation of Aletrium, dated around the 7th century a. C., is attributed to the people of the Ernici, to whom the megalithic walls surrounding the town are to be built, reinforced in the Middle Ages with the addition of quadrilateral towers, and the imposing acropolis, realized by drawing large limestone blocks from the hill. The majesty and technical expertise with which the polygonal walls were erected awaken wonder and admiration today as in the past: Gregorovious was also enchanted by this cyclopatic work.

Allied with Rome, he was elected Town Hall in the 90's. C. Free Joint from the end of the twelfth century, in the year 200 reaches the culmination of its development, erecting important monuments both civil and religious.

In addition to the acropolis, with a trapezoidal plan open by two doors made with huge boulders, we recall the overlying St. Paul's Cathedral side by side with the Bishopric. Both dates back to the Middle Ages, but the present aspect is due to the 18th century refurbishments.

Do not miss the superb church of S. Maria Maggiore, built on a pagan temple in the fifth century, and transformed into the present forms of Burgundian masters in the 13th century. The façade, opened by three portals, is enriched by a large decorated rosette. The interior, sober and essential, houses remarkable medieval and Renaissance works, including the wooden group of Our Lady of Constantinople, the Trittico del Redentore by Antonio d'Alatri and the fresco of the 14th century depicting the Madonna della Libera. Outside the church, in the center of the square is the Fontana Pia, a nineteenth century opera dedicated to Pope Pius IX.

Only after the ruins of Mount Circeo were discovered in 1792, attention was paid to Pelasgic edifices, which is now one of the most studied by archaeologists, and many of our findings were found in the Peloponnese, in Attica, in Beozia, In Thessaly, in Focide, in Epirus, in Thrace, in Asia Minor, in the villages inhabited by Pelasgi. But while some have Greece, for three hundred shows of Italy in the countries of the Aborigines, Sabini, Marsi, Ernici, and in the Latin cities at sea. Main among these is Terracina (Anxur); They follow the fence of Fundi's fence, and the walls and gates of Arpino and Alatri, and those of Venda, Ferentino and Preneste, with irregular rocks, such as crawled on the volcanoes Norba, Signia, Cora. On the other gutter of the Apennines between the Sannites there is a trace of such edifices in Boviano, Esernia, Calatia, even for Aufidena; Between the Marsi at Alba, Atina, and around Lake Fusino. From this to the tiburtine districts, inhabited by the Equi and Sabini Mountains, it seems to be using a great deal of gigantic manufacturing, seeing the remains of Cicolano and Rieti, where they were already [58] Tiora, Nursi, Sura, and Monteverde and Sicilian and Vicovaro. They are scarce in the Abruzzi; But in Umbria they admire Ameria, Cesi, Spoleto, and more to Cosa. They end up between Esi and Ombrone; Northern Italy does not have it, not the inner Etruria; In Sicily it would be desirable to see it at Cefalu and Mount Erice.

In the walls of the Acropolis of Arpino the door is wedge; Parallelepiped to Alatri, trapeze to Norba, to Circeo, to Signia, but the shoulders look like mountains: the arch appears rough in the aqueduct at Terracina, settle in the Cora bridge, and more in some Circeo leftover, and in the gem Signia. Sometimes, they are round buildings, covered with domes made of slabs arranged horizontally with a progressive boss; As in many sepulchres in Norba, Tarquinia, Vulci, and in the famous one of Elpenore on the Circeo, and in the Tulliano prison in Rome, which probably originally was a cistern, as that of Tuscolo, a painting and topped by a cone dome.

We do not want to place ourselves with those that concern the Pelasgians only as a raging and fierce horde, which has not lost the country. If it were, we would have some support for that pride given by Pliny to Italy, which seems to be God-given to return humanity to men; but all in the other, others praise the Pelasgians since having brought here 'Alphabet, because Evandro, the teacher of this, came from the Arcadia, their roo Many Pelasgians in Italy favored the sterility and drought of the fields, but still more for the volcanoes, from which they were 1300 years ahead of Christ, forced to abandon the Etruria, where their [59] cities became unhealthy for The exhalations of the marshes, formed by means of soils or depressed or elevated: One of them, one of them, sat four miles from the crater where the lake of Bracciano is tired; Gravisca's mephite air remained proverbial among the Romans; What for this was left deserted; Saturnia, undeniably pelasgic city, was one of the last hills in the volcano of Santa Fiora.

Oppressed by such disasters and odd illnesses, the Pelasgians questioned the oracle of Dodona, and responded to being the goddessed gods because, having promised to Cabiri the tenth of all that would be born, they did not offer that of the children. The ruthless response seemed even worse than evil; The people tumbled, and took the garments in suspicion: from here the sufferings increased; Tired some of them, some Pelasgians migrated, or returning to the countries that had come, or going to the west, to Iberia, where Sagunto and Tarragona showed walls of their construction. The remnants of the new peoples were not destroyed but deprived and reduced to servile condition. The Sibarites in fact called Pelasgians the slaves, who were probably the Enotrj they subdued; And maybe the enotrj were the Bruzj, revolted slaves. Remained as a servant of the nobility of the town, perhaps in service of this fabricated other city walls, which also later serbano character of robustness.

Those who visit Saint Peter d'Alba in the Marsians recognize three steps of pelasgic construction, topped by a Roman temple, to which the Goths added an apse stand, and the Middle Ages a facade while the interior is adorned by six marble columns Corinthian. Is this blend not the perpetual symbol of Italian history? And will it ever be hoped that other plants will be a system which is unique in explaining the many varieties? [60] Alchemy knows more than chemistry ceded manipulations of history, so that five thousand years of distantness is supposed to give the formula of affinities , To indicate the separation of peoples, to reduce the chaos. Any too general hypothesis succumbs to sincere inquiry; And if it is distressing that the dictators remain ambiguous, and the best efforts only succeed to a mere, it is humiliating that for that perhaps the one of the ignorant or presumptuous one may be pushed to one another.

Note of 1874.


Recent discoveries of ancient objects, rotten tools, siliceous weapons, gnawed or carved bones, human skulls in caves or paddles or peat bogs, and even under geological geology, led to a New study, which they called prehistoric antiquities. Given hypocritical hypotheses beyond the undetermined facts, it was denied the only derivation of man, even to believe it nothing but the gradual transformation of anthropomorphic scimitars, which took place in different parts of the globe, and in the turn of millions of years.

All this has nothing to do with history, which can not move from our traditions, from our monuments. Those who truly attended a wild state of indigenous peoples, who, having no metal yet, have stones; Then they used copper, which is easier to find pure; Later they took advantage of iron, which then became the main thrust of civilization. Giancarlo Conestabile assumes at the age of copper the use of iron, which is very present and mixed with the other metal and artistic and industrial works; Hence the use of iron began here much earlier than in the North. These prehistoric men would be [61] brachycephalos in upper Italy, or dolicocefali in the lower: mixed in the central.

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