New epigraphic and historical insights and interpretations on the basin of Longobard origin of the “Jerusalem” in Bologna. The application of geomatic techniques to historical investigation , by Gabriele Bitelli, Beatrice Borghi
The monumental complex of Santo Stefano in Bologna preserves one of the most precious testimonies of the Lombard presence in the city, the so-called “Catino di Pilato”, whose epigraph, which runs under the lip of the basin dating back to the thirties of the eighth century, it has been the subject of numerous studies and interpretations. The conservative restoration carried out in 2017 on the property, the comparison with multiple disciplinary approaches and the application of advanced 3D survey techniques – from the scanning of structured light projection to the photogrammetric reconstruction – made it possible to create a three-dimensional model of the limestone vase and to analyze in detail the inscription. The essay presents a new interpretative proposal of the epigraph that would suggest a possible connection, since the Lombard era, of the Stephenian church to the Holy city of Jerusalem.
Keywords: Bologna; Jerusalem Basilica of Santo Stefano; Lombards; Basin of Pilate; Geomatic Techniques.
The development of an allogenic Signoria between Umbria, Marche and Tuscany. The Ubaldini della Carda between Arezzo and Città di Castello, by Gian Paolo Giuseppe Scharf
The meaning of this article is retracing the setting up and the growth of a lordship launched away from her birthplace, in the “umbro-marchigiano” Appenine. It’s also paramount for this research investigating the insertion of such a lordship in local power plays, which were still moving and double sided (land and city oriented) during the XIIIth to XIVth century transition. The work will come to an end with the threshold of 1353 when, with the Peace of Sarzana, the political balance of the whole of central Italy was certainly temporarily crystallised.
Keywords: Rural Lordship; Communes; Central Italy; Dante’s Era.
Giovanni Bellini in Florence in 1447: New Documentary Evidence, by Alessia Meneghin
Taking into consideration a hitherto unknown archival reference from the State Archive in Florence, which attests to Giovanni Bellini’s presence in the city in 1447, this essay reassesses the painter’s much debated date of birth. This document, the contents of which pertain to the work of estimators officially appointed by the Arte dei rigattieri to assess used goods and clothing, may help art historians and historians both to reconsider some of Bellini’s early-career achievements and to reconstruct his whereabouts during his formative years. It will also offer the chance to shift the currently prevailing view that Bellini’s early years were accomplished in Venice, or in the Venetian area only. Bellini’s period in Florence was important to him in ways that possibly need more consideration, since it would have affected his future compositions and paintings.
Keywords: Giovanni Bellini; Florence; Arte dei rigattieri; Second-Hand Market; Estimators; San Lorenzo.
On the road to the ‘Inner Indies’: the Jesuit Silvestro Landini and Garfagnana in the mid-sixteenth century. Considerations and remarks, by Edgardo Donati
The essay presents the first results of a research on case study (Garfagnana in the XVIth century, among heresy and factions) attractive from several and different points of views. In this occasion, the author aims to focus the effects of Jesuit missions on some degraded communities.
Keywords: Garfagnana; ‘Indie interne’; Jesuit Missions, Silvestro Landini.
Censorship without Frontiers. Italian-Norwegian cultural relations through the theatre (1929-1933), by Fabio Ferrarini
In the 1930s, Italian theatre was trying to renew itself although ‘mutilated’ by the fascist censorship. In 1933, a Norwegian playwright, Finn Halvorsen, wrote a play that was visibly based on Mussolini’s figure. Halvorsen’s play, ‘Diktator’ (The Dictator), was launched at the National Theatre of Oslo, but it was not appreciated in Norway nor in Italy. On the contrary, it caused a diplomatic crise between the two countries. The conflict involved the freedom of expression and the Italian faculty of censoring plays that were performed abroad. Halvorsen’s play constituted a potential trouble, even though he was an admirer of the fascist regime. This case-study shows a clamorous intrusion of Mussolini’s regime in the freedom of expression abroad, which could have undermined cultural exchange and diplomatic relations.
Keywords: Fascism; Norway; Theatre; Propaganda; Halvorsen.
Tony Judt, the legacies of the 20th century and the lesson of historical method, by Marco Severini
The Anglo-American historian Tony Judt (1948-2010) stands out for his brilliant career, almost entirely spent in the United States, and for his fresh and original historiographical method. This essay recollects his education and research. While Judt considered himself an outsider to the academic world, he always performed his task with the greatest freedom and critical clarity of mind. He investigated most of the topical issues of contemporary age and, in his posthumous work Novecento (2012), carried out an in-depth analysis of the major role played by politics and by intellectuals in twentieth century, while skilfully intertwining the narration and interpretation of the past with his own personal and vocational life. Novecento makes the best evidence of the job of a historian, a collection of his intellectual debates on history with his colleague T. Snyder. This enticing book is a deep and well-documented revisitation of the Twentieth century and its legacy.
Keywords: Narration; Memory; Historical Method; Politics; Intellectuals.
Rome’s interchange point: from the university network to NAMEX (1995 – 2020), by Raffaella Bianchi
The Internet is perhaps the phenomenon which has most modified the economy and society of contemporary Italy. Yet despite the obvious relevance of the World Wide Net, there has been little research reconstructing its commercial development in Italy. This is a story of pioneering and passionate entrepreneurship which became established after an initial period when the Internet appeared only relevant for universities. This article retraces the story of the Rome Internet Exchange (NAMEX), one of the essential steps along this route towards the commercialisation of the Internet. Due to this new medium supporting communication through emails, messages were often not archived in a permanent way by those who produced them. Therefore, this research is necessarily mainly based on oral sources. It collects the recorded evidence of the founders of relevant companies in this sector, IT people who were instrumental in implementation, lawyers who dealt with the most important legal disputes, administrators of the internet exchange and directors of university computer centres. This is done by using the technique of semi-structured interviews. By triangulating these different sources, the article retraces NAMEX history on its 25th anniversary.
Keywords: The Internet; Internet Exchange; GARR; IXP; Rome.
Non-invasive methods for the identification of multi-layered medieval urban structures, between archaeological diagnostics and light archaeology. The experience of an Italo-Polish experimental project, by Andrzej Buko, Tomasz Herbich, Silvia Leporatti, Salvatore Piro, Robert Ryndziewicz, Andrea Vanni Desideri, Guido Vannini
The theme was approached on the occasion of a ‘work-exhibition’ – Poland and Italy: for a shared archaeology. Old and new research in progress (Murano, Sandomierz, Semifonte). A meeting for two projects: ‘Ammuriana. The island of Murano in the light of excavations’; ‘Non-invasive methods for the identification of multi-layered medieval urban structures, between diagnostics and light archaeology’ – organised in Rome (4 October 2019) at the Polish Academy of Rome (PAN) and dedicated to testifying the intensification of relations between the Italian and Polish Archaeological Schools which, active also in Mediterranean scenarios, have a tradition of over 60 years, with a special role played in the medievalist sphere. Here we are dealing with the project dedicated to the experimentation of new diagnostic methodologies, (Non-invasive methods for the identification of multi-layered medieval urban structures: integration between GPR and ERT surveys), developed between the CNR-ITABC of Montelibretti, the IAE-PAN of Warsaw and the Un. of Florence (Chair of Medieval Archaeology), which integrates this approach with the procedures of light archaeology, which operates on a territorial basis, between building stratigraphy, landscape and archaeomatics: a sustainable methodology, on a historical basis even beyond diagnostics. Such an approach allows not only efficient diagnostic analyses in preparation for excavation operations, but also to integrate the ‘light’ approach (landscape and building analysis) carried out on the surface, including the stratigraphic analysis of building complexes, so that the concept of ‘buried landscapes’ achieves a methodological concreteness far beyond metaphor, essentially acquiring as a hinge between the two research fronts, in a certain sense, just the countryside plan. What constitutes an expansion of the analytical potential, always based on targeted sampling, of a non-invasive, sustainable, economic archaeology: in a framework of limited resources, a condition of considerable and up-to-date opportunity. To make the interventions of geophysical methods homogeneous and integrable with each other, the theme of urban archaeology, in a broad sense, has been chosen among the different options, even if in radically different situations and therefore more representative from the point of view of the cases-study considered. The two case studies chosen were: the Polish Sandomierz, a city burnt by the Mongolian raids in 1227 and rebuilt on the opposite side of its small valley as a royal city in 1286; the valdelsan Semifonte, a ‘seigniorial’ city that lived for a quarter of a century (1177-1202), from the ashes of which an authentic European medieval myth developed, an identity for the people of the territory of reference and, to some extent, of Florence itself, which also, with allied Siena (the only time in their complex history), destroyed it. The two sites were selected because of their peculiar characteristics. Sandomierz is an active urban centre that insists on the possible remains of the structures sought; the difficulties in terms of influence on geophysical measures can be traced back to the presence of the sub-services and current buildings. In the case of Semifonte, on the other hand, the site would be in an area, far from recent urbanisation, characterised by intensely cultivated land, the effects of which can lead to a ‘masking’ of the geophysical anomalies sought.
Keywords: Light Archaeology; Middle Age; Prospections; Geophisic; Sandomierz; Semifonte.