Monday, January 11, 2016

Monteserico historic events in brief

Welcome to our blog, Genzano it story
and this post, monteserico historic events in brief

This is another photo of the castle of Monteserico, it shows the castle walls very clearly how they were built with stones, if you know about building you would understand what we want to convey here; you see, in those old times they built very different from today.

This is the Norman's leader, Robert Guiscard 1015-1085 he ruled over Monteserico castle, Count of Apulia and Calabria (1057- 1059 and then Duke of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily 1059- 1085 AD.

Historic events in brief
Dear readers, this post is also the continuation of the history of the castle of Monteserico, you see, in this post we are still talking about the castle, so, we are continuing to look at the history around this castle. Anyhow, the history during the first millennium of this castle is not know very much, but it is believed that there were some caves that the shepherds and other inhabitant of this region used for themselves, before the castle of Monteserico was built. Some people say that this part of Southern Italy has seen many battles; they even suggest that Spartacus with his other slave friend have been here, while they were in Southern Italy, as history tells us when the slaves rebelled and formed their own army under their leader Spartacus, they went to live near the Ionian Sea, now Monteserico is part of the territories that runs into the Ionian Sea through the river Bradano and its tributaries, there might be also another story why Spartacus could have come this way; you see in Genzano town even today there is this chasm called the Greek chasm, the only thing that this can mean is that there was a Greek colony living in this chasm; and Spartacus being Greek for sure would be attracted from this countrymen community, so even Spartacus could have come in Monteserico and in Genzano territory.
Now let us go back to talk about our castle of Monteserico and let us imagine how this castle came into being a castle; as we all know everything most time starts small and then starts growing, so, some people say that at the beginning, this could have been a Roman villa used to run the countryside and for holiday, then turned as a monastery of the Greek orthodox religion. Then as the time went by and many wars and other things happened around this place it kept growing until we find that the Normans at the beginning of the second millennium have this castle, and they rule over most of southern Italy from this castle of Monteserico; well at least this is how this castle history looks like.
After the Normans the castle of Monteserico changed many owners, and some of which we are going to mention as soon as we get around; one of the most known historic people was the Swedish duke of southern Italy Frederic 2nd, but the most known historic person known from the inhabitant of Genzano is Aquilina Sancia queen of Monteserico. The reason for this is that while this Aquilina Sancia was there she built a monastery of the Clarisse in Genzano and this monastery attracted people that lived around to move and live around this monastery and for this reason Genzano town is said that Aquilina Sancia is the founder of the existing Genzano, today we know that this is not correct, since there is some historic evidence that the town of Genzano has existed since the Roman times. 
More historic events
Here we are saying that we are going to look at some historic event that would help establish the history of this castle, today it is hard to do that because there isn’t any history written properly about this Monteserico castle, so we are going to rely on search done about sixty years ago from the writer Ettore Lorito who has done some search and written a book about Genzano including the castle of Monteserico:
The writer Ettore Lorito suggests that the beginning of the castle is ancient, but nobody really knows when it was started; anyhow we would like to tell you what he has written in this very shortened and translated version, since here we are writing this article about this castle; we are doing this since the original is written in Italian. Now if there are some people that would like to read the original Italian version they should go to this link;, this is one of my blogs, so I am going to explain how to navigate to this link, first of all click on the link above, once you have reached the blog, you need to navigate down the left side column until you reach Home pages, in Home pages find the link, Genzano in Italiano, (it 1) and click on it, go down the page and then click on the link, Scrittori e poeti, a few names of writers come up, click on Ettore Lorito, some links for two books come up, click on GENZANO DI BASILICATA Cronografia; within this book there is also the story of the castle of Monteserico.
Now that I have explained how to find the Italian original version, let me start to tell this shortened version in English.
It is thought that very early at the place where the castle is today there were caves below it that the local people used to live in; today it might seem strange to think that people lived in caves, but they did, so that was already a start for people to continue to live there. So very likely when the Romans conquered southern Italy some of them might have built a villa, this was only natural as this gave them the control of the country side, this is one of the possible ways how this castle was started. It is also believed that Spartacus and his Roman slave’s friends have been in this country and fought with the Romans, and also that even the Roman council Marcello and Hannibal have fought on this territory, but there is no mention of the castle in those times.
Some people say that the castle was built around 900 AD just because they have found some written story; one of this is the following.
The writer Deblaisiis in his Norman Conquest said that in the year 929 AD Guaimaro and Ladolfo to repay the Norman for the help they had given at Monte Serico and Monte Peloso gave them some castles including one in Spinazzola; so the castle of Monteserico was already there and perhaps it had been there as a villa at the beginning and then modified into a castle after the fall of the Roman empire, when most localities had to look after themselves, since there was not a Roman army to guard the country. Anyhow, because in 929 the castle was already there, it was not built by the Norman as some people believe.
Now just to make this story shorter, let us go to when the Norman had somehow got possession of the castle of Monteserico after many battles, you see even today after a thousand years there is a hill called (Serra della battaglia) this laterally means “the hill of the battle” But even though the Norman and their allied won that battle on this hill, they were not able to take the castle this time, because the castle was well defended; but somehow they got there some years later.
Anyhow, we know through history that Robert Guiscard a Norman by birth became duke in southern Italy, I would like to say more who has owned the castle, but for me to name other names that owned this castle is hard to know unless I find an historic list, but we can say that through marriages, exchanges and other things the castle of Monteserico was ruled from this Spanish princess Aquilina Sancia around 1300 AD.. In those times there was also a suburb near the castle, but it slowly disappeared around 1400 and 1430 AD.
I believe that this post is becoming too long and we have still a few things to say about this castle, so see you in our next post, where we are trying to work out about more history about this castle.