So that the rhetorical and physico-medical description of your mountain journey may be understood even by the foreigners among [your] readers, I send this Topography of the Province of Garfagnana: which shall be even more noteworthy, if, having been inserted and sent together with this excellent work of yours, it appears in it, and if the author is deemed worthy of acceptance; and I subscribe myself
When Ogyges2 founded Volterra3 in the southern [part] of Etruria, this northern region4 was chosen by the descendants of G <…> as grazing land for [their] flocks; tents appeared in the peaks of the mountains: fortified huts, suitable to protect the herds. Our shepherds received Ligure, son of Phaeton,5 who had returned from a battle with a giant of the Anakim;6 and, having been taught to hunt by him, they survived the fierce monsters. Once converted to his cult of Jupiter7 [and] Osiris,8 they turned [their] cattle stables into castles and towns; having been disgusted by the cruelty of the Laestrygonian tyrants,9 and having accepted Apis Phoroneus10 as protector, they stained the Cimini Hills11 with Etruscan blood,12 and it was decided to name the Apennines after Apis, and [to call those] mountains Feroniani, from Phoroneus. The inhabitants of Garfagnana were considered to be loyal and very helpful to the Etruscan kings,13 from Morgetes14 to the cruel Mezentius;15 the Etruscan kingdom was [then] divided into twelve provinces,16 just like the number of the main cities. Our people allied with Ocnus Bianor,17 and with the remaining rulers from Luna; having been summoned to fight the enemies of the Tyrrhenian Republic,18 they won many victories against the Cenomani,19 the Allobroges,20 and the Celts, in the presence of the kings Titus Vulturrenus, Cecinna, and Menippus.21 After the Republic of Ianigeni22 was destroyed by
Before the idols were invented by Ninus35 and Zoroaster,36 Etruria (which was called Tyrrenia in [Ancient] Greek, <…>cricola in Latin) worshipped one god, as if [instructed] by a wise teacher; after that religion had been polluted through the people of Volterra,37 it changed the cult into idolatry; among the crowd of <…> false deities, the inhabitants of this region chose Proserpina38 for themselves: as if they had thought to be worthy of the punishments of hell, but also as if they could move the pity of 10 omens of [the god] Erebus39 with [their] sacrifices. They called it Feronia, from the Apennines of Phoroneus, and because of the fertility of the land, the ferocity of the barbaric people, its forests, and the iron buskins of the priests; the piety of the inhabitants and the love for Feronia were such that not only did they want to call the sacred groves, the mountain passes, the festive days of Pales,40 and the entire region on this side of Mount Letum with the name of the deity, but called even themselves Feroniani. [Driven] by the zeal to spread the cult of Feronia, our people sent many priests up to Mount Soratte, not far from the land of cities: so that the name of Hecates41 would be celebrated far and wide in a new community [devoted to] the goddess, and so that the religion of Romulus could more easily pay its offerings to her temple. Surprisingly, among so many multitudes of gods that had been adopted by the other nations, the inhabitants of Garfagnana were the only people to continue worshipping just one deity: for this reason, the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about them during an assembly (in Chapter 2 [of his Book]), when, while [speaking] of all the Italic [tribes], and especially of the Etruscan idolaters, he said to the Hebrews: “pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see if the people changed their gods”;42 and, above the rest, the Roman Pantheon, the new theogonies of other peoples, and even the preaching of the Apostles
Domenico Cecchi (1678–1745), a renowned cartographer from Castiglione di Garfagnana. He drew several other maps of this region. See (Cecchi 2007); (Foschi 2013), 219–220; http://www.giornaledibarga.it/index.html?pg=8id=923.
Ogyges (Ὠγύγης). In Greek mythology, he was a hero from Boeotia and king of the Ectenes (Εκτένες), who were supposed to be the earliest inhabitants of this region. This myth is associated with the Ogygian deluge, a great flood which occurred during his reign. According to other myths, Ogyges travelled to Italy and reached Tuscany, founding several cities. On this topic, see (Carbone 1840), 56–81; (Inghirami 1825), 71, 83–84; (Valeriani and Inghirami 1833), 25, 68.
“Kitim”: Volterra (Province of Pisa), once a powerful Etruscan city. Among the many studies on this topic, see (Camporeale and Maggiani 2009). The use of the name “Kitim” for Volterra, as well as several other words and data in the following part of the text, suggest that Tramonti frequently relied on Curzio Inghirami’s forged source. With respect to the word “Kitim,” for example, see (Inghirami 1637), 7–8, 14, 19–21, 60, 132, 142, 302.
Garfagnana is here described as “northern” (“aquilonaria regio”), as compared to the more southern Volterra.
Ligure, or Ligisto. In Greek mythology, he was son of Phaeton (Φαέθων), who—in turn—was son of the god Apollo. He became the legendary king of a part of western Italy (hence the names “Liguria” and “Livorno”). See (Magri and Santelli 1769), 26, 69.
From “Anakim” (“Sons of Anak”), a race of giants mentioned in the Bible. Arguably, “Enachio” comes from the distorted term “Enachii,” from Curzio Inghirami’s book ((Inghirami 1637), 21–22), where this race is supposed to live in Etruria.
Jupiter (Iuppiter/Ζεύς), Latin and Greek god of sky and king of the gods.
Osiris, Egyptian god of the afterlife, resurrection, and of the underworld. According to Curzio Inghirami’s book, he defeated the Enachii with the aid of Apis, an Egyptian king. See (Inghirami 1637), 22.
Laestrygonians (Λαιστρυγόνες), a race of giant cannibals from Greek mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey—(Homerus/Ὅμηρος n.d.), X, 103–134, http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0012.tlg002.perseus-grc1:10.87-10.132—they destroyed Ulysses’ fleet (except his ship) and ate many of his men. According to Curzio Inghirami’s interpretation, Laestrigon was a grandson of Osiris. The Egyptian god gave him and his kin dominion over Etruria ((Inghirami 1637), 22).
In Greek mythology, Apis (Ἄπις) was an ancient king of Argos. He was son of the demigod Phoroneus (Φορωνεύς): first king of this land and inventor of fire, who contributed to the civilizing of the Italic peoples (see (Inghirami 1825), 83–84). It is not clear whether or not Tramonti identifies the Greek Apis with the homonymous Egyptian king.
Monti Cimini (“Cimini Hills”), a range of volcanic hills located in the Province of Viterbo, northwest of Rome (about 55–60 kilometers, or 34–37 miles). They are not part of the Apennines, having an independent geological origin. On this topic, see (Peccerillo 2005), 17, 19, 27, 37.
“Camesono”: From “Cameseuna,” which—according to Curzio Inghirami—was another name for Volterra. See (Inghirami 1637), 142.
“Chorithis Tuscorum”: This term may refer both to the current Cortona (Province of Arezzo), once an Etruscan city, and to its legendary founder, king Coritus. See (D’Aversa 1986); (Valeriani and Inghirami 1833), 166. Here, this word could also indicate any generic Etruscan king or ruler.
According to Curzio Inghirami’s book ((Inghirami 1637), 22, 29, 39, 50, 73, 193, 202, 206), Morgetes was the name of several Etruscan kings. In this passage, it is not clear which one Tramonti is referring to.
Mezentius: a legendary, ungodly, cruel Etruscan king. He is mentioned in the Aeneid ((Vergilius n.d.), VII–XI, http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:latinLit:phi0690.phi003.perseus-lat1:7.647-7.654) as an enemy of Aeneas.
This passage alludes to the Etruscan League (or Dodecapolis), an alliance of twelve Etruscan cities that—according to the tradition—established a religious, economic, and military alliance in Etruria. The exact identity of these cities is still uncertain. On this topic, see (Museo Claudio Faina 1985); (Studi Etruschi ed Italici 2001).
Ocnus (Ὁκνος), or Bianor. In Latin and Greek mythology, he was son of the god Tiberunus. He founded and was the first king of Mantua: according to Virgil ((Vergilius n.d.), X, 198–203, http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:latinLit:phi0690.phi003.perseus-lat1:10.198-10.214), he allied with Aeneas against the Italic tribe of the Rutuli.
Arguably, the Etruscan League.
Cenomani, also known as Aulerci Cenomani. This Celtic tribe once occupied a territory in the Cisalpine Gaul, between the Insubres (on the west) and the Veneti (on the east).
Allobroges, an ancient Gallic tribe located between the Rhône River and Lake Geneva.
The term “lalartes” (plural of “larth”) is almost exclusively found in Curzio Inghirami’s book. Arguably, this is a distortion of the Latin/Etruscan word “lares,” plural of “lar,” or “lars” (“lord”). According to this forged source ((Inghirami 1637), 35–42, 48–54, 57–71, 74, 144, 183), the lalartes had administrative, military, and judicial powers in the Etruscan cities, and were elected by the kings (“lucumones”) and/or by the people and the Senate. As Tramonti states, Titus Vulturrenus, Cecinna, and Menippus were Etruscan “lalartes.”
Arguably, the author refers to the coalition defeated by the Romans. The name “Ianigeni” derives from the Italic deity Ianus, thus being a general definition for all the Italic peoples.
Most likely Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus (IV–III century BC), a Roman consul. From 310 to 295 BC, he fought and won several fierce and decisive battles against the Etruscans and their allies (Samnites, Umbrians, and Gauls), allowing Rome to dominate central Italy.
According to several sources, in ancient Rome and in Etruria the dorchetes were the wisest augurs: high priests who interpreted the will of the gods by observing the sky and the flight of birds. On this topic, see (Ciatti 1638), 540; (Marcucci 1766), 177; (Tola 1837), 230; (Vedriani 1665), 9. However, this could be another forgery from Curzio Inghirami’s book, where the word “dorchetes” is frequently used ((Inghirami 1637), 42, 127, 235–238). Not by chance, all the above mentioned sources were published after the Ethruscarum antiquitatum fragmenta. Moreover, Pasquale Tola explicitly considers Inghirami to be a reliable author ((Tola 1837), 230).
This passage refers to a crucial episode in the Ligurian wars, when the Ligures were besieged by the Romans on “Mons Balista” (now Mount Valestra) and on “Mons Letum” (a mountain whose identity is still debated). According to Titus Livius in his Ab Urbe Condita ((Livius n.d.), XLI, 17–18, http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:latinLit:phi0914.phi00141.perseus-lat3:1), the two Roman consuls in charge at that time (176 BC) were Quintus Petilius Spurinus (who died in the battle) and Caius Valerius Laevinus. However, these names do not correspond to those mentioned in the manuscript. This discordance may be due to a transcription error by the author. “Rutilius” could be a distortion of “Pectilius”—which, in turn, could be a distorted version of “Petilius.” Thus, this name may actually refer to Quintus Petilius Spurinus. On the other hand, “Lentulus” could be a distortion of “Laevinus,” and, therefore, could mean Caius Valerius Laevinus.
The Etruscan language. From Iapetus (Ἰαπετός), a Titan in Greek mythology, son of the primordial deities Uranus (Οὐρανός) and Gaia (Γαῖα, or Γῆ). He was associated with the west, and, therefore, with the western peoples (as the Etruscans).
Vertumnus, an Etruscan and Roman god of seasons and change. According to several authors (including Tramonti), he was identified with the deity Vadimonus. See also (Adami 1737), 68; (Bardetti 1769), 4; (Teoli 1644), 2–3.
This passage refers to the great civil conflicts that scourged the late Roman Republic in the I century BC, resulting in the establishment of the Roman Empire: Sulla’s civil war; the war fought by Julius Caesar (100–44 BC) against the Senate and Gnaeus Pompeius Maior (106–48 BC); and the last one, which opposed Octavianus (who would become the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, 63 BC–14 AD) and Marcus Antonius (83–30 BC). In the aftermaths of these fluctuating events, many supporters of the losing factions were forced to escape from Rome, and not a few of them took shelter in Garfagnana.
According to Tramonti, Garfagnana was spared (relatively) from the destructive effects of the barbarian invasions of Italy during the fall of the Roman Empire.
Louis II of Italy (also known as Louis the Younger, 825–875), King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 844 until his death.
Adalbert I (circa 820–884/6), Margrave of Tuscany and Tutor Corsicae from 846.
During the XIII and XIV centuries, Garfagnana was discontinuously occupied by the Republic of Lucca. This troubled sequence of events was part of a wider and complex context of struggles which took place in central and northern Italy between Guelphs and Ghibellines (and later, in Florence, between White and Black Guelphs). On this topic, see (Pacchi 1785), 127–140.
Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli (1281–1328), military leader (“condottiero”) and—formally—Duke of Lucca from 1325 until his death. He fortified the citadel of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. See (Pacchi 1785), 138–139.
Paolo Guinigi (1376–1432), powerful lord and, officially, Captain and Defender of the People (“Capitano e Difensore del Popolo”) of Lucca from 1400. See (Pacchi 1785), 156–160.
Ninus, legendary Assyrian king and alleged founder of Nineveh. His wife was the likewise legendary queen Semiramis, who succeeded him after his death. On this topic, see (Seymour 2014), 61–78, 115–116, 231.
Zoroaster, founder of Zoroastrianism.
“Chamesenos”: The inhabitants of Volterra. On this term, see note 12.
Proserpina (or Persephone, Περσεφόνη), also known as Cora (Κόρη, “maiden”). Along with her mother Ceres (or Demeter, Δημήτηρ), she was the Latin and Greek goddess of agriculture, vegetation, harvest, and fertility.
Erebus (or Erebos, Ἔρεβος), a Latin and Greek primordial deity, god of darkness.
Parilia, or Palilia: an ancient Roman festival held in honor of Pales, the patron deity of shepherds and flocks. On this topic, see (Beard, North, and Price 1998), 174–176.
Hecates (Ἑκάτη), Latin and Greek goddess of sorcery and ghosts.
Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 2, verses 10–11. Actually, this passage does not refer to Etruria but to Kittim (Citium/Κίτιον), an ancient settlement on the west coast of Cyprus. However, in Hebrew literature this name gradually acquired a wider meaning, referring to the whole island of Cyprus, to the Aegean Islands and, more broadly, to any invader coming from the Mediterranean islands (such as the Greeks, Macedonians, and the Romans). See (Finkelstein and Silberman 2001), 348–351; (Kugel 1998), 366–367, 950. Probably, Tramonti’s misinterpretation is due to the similarity between this biblical name and the word “Kitim,” which—according to Curzio Inghirami’s forged source—was the ancient name of Volterra.
Saint Paulinus (or Paulinus of Antioch, I century AD), first Bishop of Lucca (circa 46–68 AD) and patron saint of this city. On this topic, see (Beverini 1829), 1–2, 30–34; http://sacrumluce.sns.it/mv/html/MON/MON_990013000000000/frameset_cap3.html.
Saint Valerius (I century AD), disciple and successor of Paulinus as second Bishop of Lucca (circa 68–96 AD). See (Beverini 1829), 35; http://sacrumluce.sns.it/mv/html/MON/MON_990013000000000/frameset_cap3.html.
Pyromancy, an ancient practice of divination by fire.
Saint Theodorus, Bishop of Lucca (allegedly from 350 to 400 AD). See (Beverini 1829), 2, 38; http://sacrumluce.sns.it/mv/html/MON/MON_990013000000000/frameset_cap3.html.
Arguably, Pope Eutychianus (228–283 AD), who was from Luni. See (Repetti 1843), 193.
Felicius, Bishop of Lucca (circa 685–686? AD). See http://sacrumluce.sns.it/mv/html/MON/MON_990013000000000/frameset_cap3.html.
The passage refers both to the violent struggles among Christians in the III and IV centuries AD, between the followers of the presbyter Arius (Arianism) and the supporters of the Nicene Creed (adopted after the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD), and to the persecutions of Christians carried out during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Nero (37–68 AD), Domitianus (51–96 AD), and Maximianus (250–310 AD). However, this last name could also—and more likely—allude to Galerius (whose official title, in fact, was Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus Augustus, 250/260–311 AD): a renowned and fierce opponent of Christianity.
Saint Blancus, Saint Peregrine’s only companion.
Saint Vivianus (or Saint Vianus, VI–VII century), who settled in a still existing hermitage in the Apuan Alps. According to tradition, he met with Saint Peregrine and Saint Blancus.
Arguably, Saint Terentius of Luni (circa 556–VII century?), martyr and sixth Bishop of Luni. See http://www.webdiocesi.chiesacattolica.it/pls/cci_dioc_new/consultazione.mostra_pagina?id_pagina=25138.
Saint Primitivus (III century?), martyr. His cult is particularly vivid in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. See (Vinceti 2007), 86.
Blessed Ercolano da Piegaro (?–1451), a Franciscan friar from Perugia who settled in Garfagnana. See (Angelini 1990).
Saint Irenaeus (?–?), martyr. His body, now preserved in Castiglione di Garfagnana, was carried from Rome and donated to the city in 1680 by the influential Guazzelli family (see http://www.castiglionenews.it/index.php?option=com_contentview=articleid=697:langolo-del-passato-piccola-ricerca-su-santireneocatid=57:langolo-del-passatoItemid=76).
Alfonso III d’Este (1591–1644), Duke of Modena and Reggio from 1628 to 1629. He abdicated in favour of his son Francesco (1610–1658) and entered the Capuchin friars with the name of Giambattista da Modena. He died in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. On this topic, see (Tiraboschi 1825), 131.
No biographical data were found about this person (arguably, he was a priest or a friar).
Bartolomeo Guidi (XVII century), a priest from Barga. From 1651 to 1660, he was parish priest of the Pieve di Santa Maria, a Romanesque church in Loppia (now a hamlet in the municipality of Barga). On this topic, see (Magri 1881), 71.
Most likely, one of the many ecclesiastic members of the Barsotti, a powerful family from Lucca. On this topic, see (Barsotti 1693); (Catalano 2007), 120–121, 131–132, 148, 158.
Probably Pellegrino Bertacchi (1567–1627), from Camporgiano. He was Bishop of Modena from 1610 until his death. See (Al Kalak 2004); http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/pellegrino-bertacchi_(Dizionario-Biografico)/.
No biographical data were found about this person (arguably, a priest or a friar).
Table of Contents
PART I Introduction
PART II Primi Itineris per Montes Specimen Physico-Medicum: Transcription
PART III Primi Itineris per Montes Specimen Physico-Medicum: Translation
8 Maps: Translation
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