From Roman colonization to the migrations of the Goths and the Huns, to reach the subjugation of the Venetians and the Habsburgs: different political entities, now coming from one side and now from the other of the natural barrier constituted by the Alps and the Karst, have had – until the last century – access to the regional territory of the FVG region, invading it or giving rise to conquering processes.
The attempt to shape the local reality on pre-existing models had to deal, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, with the presence of a community whose autonomy and uniformity had been built during the Middle Ages thanks to the Aquileian duchy: the government of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, built in 1077 (when Henry IV compensated Sigeardo for the permission to pass through its territories) and grew by inheriting the Lombard lesson in its systems of government, represented a unicum in the panorama of the medieval peninsula, a period such as the territory could benefit from regulatory and identity independence.
Despite the constant wars in which he was involved, the Patriarchate represents a fundamental moment for the growth and development of a national and linguistic awareness of the peoples of its territory framed in the concept of the Fatherland of Friuli.
The chronological extremes between which his parable developed (1077-1420) are taken as a paradigm by the classical historiography that investigates the history of the region (Menis, “History of Friuli. From its origins to the fall of the patriarchal state”), so much so that for good reason he can define it as his moment of “maximum rigòglio” (Tito Maniacco, “History of Friuli”). In short, it is true that the “words” patriarchy of Aquileia “support, conform and accompany the history of Friuli from the early days of Christianity to 1751” (Ellero, “Homeland of Friuli. A long identity journey”).
The fall of the Patriarchate had for centuries a huge impact on the collective unconscious of the inhabitants, constituting an identity watershed: historically a place of passage for many conquerors and rulers, the duchy of patriarchs represented the maximum experience of independence in Friuli Venezia Giulia , which from colony became an autonomous state with a national identity defined in a geographical and cultural sense.
The analysis on which the project focuses focuses on two specific thematic nuances: the function of identity builder of the Patriarchate, on the one hand (made incomplete by its collapse), and the graduality of the fall of the Patriarchate as a political institution, distilled drop by drop (but no less unexpected) on the other.
Both themes give ease to an investigation of the event’s imagery through literature, which is functional to a restitution through participatory and visual activities that allow the involvement of the population.
The project intends to produce the following outputs and activities:
1. To publish the text of Belmonte Cagnoli’s poem “Aquilea Distrutta”, in paper or ebook form. Published for the first time in 1625, in a moment of military and political crisis between Venice and the Habsburgs, the poem narrates the last stages of Attila’s siege of Aquileia, combining romance fiction and chronicle realism. Through the mask of the epic-historical narrative, the poem dialogues in filigree with the current events of the Patriarchate, which at this height was at the center of a controversy between Venice, which held control of it (by virtue of an elective system piloted), and the Habsburgs, on whose lands the spiritual power of the patriarchs was exercised: in 1625 the emperor requested the convening of a commission of cardinals to end the pro-Venetian elective system, while in 1628 (the same year of the second impression of the poem ) issued an edict denying the recognition of patriarchal succession. The text lends itself to be read, also through its philological history, as a flag of this story: this requires a first phase of framing in the historical and historical-literary context, and a second editorial work on the text.
2.Production of a round of popular cultural events dedicated to the poem;
3.Create a multimedia hypertext that, starting from the poem and other important items of literature that expressed the imaginations of the fall of patriarchy (Bartolini) can be enriched through the collection of local memories, and see the creation of digital works of art , created through the presence of artists and scholars in the area (20.000 hypertext demos will be distributed and an exhibition organized to further increase the impact of the disclosure);
4. Workshops for children in 10 school complexes.
Project financed by The Friuli Venezia Giulia Region