- Introduction to ancient historical texts - Roberto - page 1


Purpose of the site.

The main part of this site is dedicated to the consultation of the ancient history of Torino.

Here-in you can find references to ancient sources,in particular medieval ones,rare if not very rare by now.

The first reason of this work is, above all, to let writings,about ancient history, buried from the time, reemerge to light from the dusty shelves of few private or public libraries.  

Introduction to the historical part of ancient Torino:
foundation and first centuries of history.
Pre roman Torino.
Boccaccio "Gods'genealogy"

...but what's the use of all this if the contemporary bookshops are full of historical books or didactic texts for schools?

The reason is simple but a little hard to teachers who, often, have never known the ancient historical sources but have acquired a knowledge only on texts post 1800.

Unfortunately such texts have been often rearranged and report presumed or, according to the Illuminista culture, interpreted facts.

If the Illuminismo has founded a new era that big fruits in the scientific sector has given, whether in the research or in applied sciences, it's also true that it has been source of prejudices as regards the cultural conceptions of the past.

This has brought some damaging consequences on the interpretation of past historical ages: many "common-places" that concerned both religious or spiritual and social concepts.

- Introduction to ancient historical texts - Roberto - page 2

Guazzo "World's Chronicle" Guazzo "Cronica del mondo"

I'm going to give you some examples of historical concepts :at the present denied by the modern archaelogical investigations.

The first one is the concept that in Egypt the big architectural and artistic works, such as pyramids, statues, templi, tombs, have been made by a considerable number of not very well fed, maltreated, not cured and easily killed slaves.

Another example regards the "inhuman" treatment of the slaves in Roman epoch, and the fact that all gladiators should have belonged to this category, with the task of fighting and often killing eachother.

- What a big waste of human material in both cases: since the human population, at that time, was not so numerous.-

About the ancient Egyptians, some "papyri" have been found quite recently: they are work contracts of wage-earners assigned to public works. Besides this, there have been found some skeletons or mummies of workers to the pyramids who had had also serious accidents and had been cured and healed, by "sofisticated" treatments, obviously possible only to able doctors.

About gladiators : besides the fact that in the arenas were also executed condemned to death men, most of all gladiators fighted for money, they were paid for, and the accidents for this cathegory of professionals were quite rare.

These gladiators were often not slaves but free-men and sometimes to the games of the arena, "gladiatrici" were partecipating too.

- Introduction to ancient historical texts - Roberto - page 3

These are only examples but represent a couple of typical common-places of historical texts in fashion from post french revolution until all 1900.

Particular is the common-place that Torino was founded by the romans, and this was and probably is still tought in italian schools.   

Pity that pre-roman walls have been found in recent excavations and many are the finds that should regard a period of time when roman legions had still to come.

And this is not all: it is too often forgotten the historical fact that the inhabitants of the italo-french Occitane zones (cisalpine Piemonte and neighbouring Transalpine zones) joined in alliance with Rome before the second punica-war (Annibale). These people were in detail: Taurini, Salassi, Libi or Libyans (inhabitants of Vercelli zone), with their allies: Oxubj, Brigiani, Sogiuntii, Brodontii, Nemalones, Edenates, Esubiani, Veamini, Galliatae, Triulatti, Ectini, Vergunni, Egituri, Nemanturi, Oratelli, Nerusi, Velauni, Svetri, .... usually called " Liguri".

On such forgotten alliance grow many modern historical, or pseudo-historical, texts which describe Torino as a village. Often mentioned as " celta" (see -1 ) and that was obviously destroied by the advance of Annibale's army...

It's not explained the reason for this happened. Why had Annibale to destroy a poor village?

And where from comes the term "village"...perhaps from historical texts of nineteenth century? Or twentieth ?

 We cannot find this term in ancient historical sources. Latini use the word "Urbe" that doesn't mean "village" at all. It means instead "big town". Today we would say "metropoli".

Polibio "greek historian".
And besides: if Polibio describes a siege of three days and also says that the army of the Taurini was out of town to put down the riot of the Insubrii (gallica population resident in the current Lombardia), how is it possible that a small " village of cabins" could equally compete with the huge Punico army? Besides, the Greek historian talks about a considerable number of deaths (various thousands ) which this siege and the following destruction of the town costed.


- Introduction to ancient historical texts - Roberto - page 4

He says also that a big part of the civil population, not able to use weapons, had the chance to take refuge in the hilly part of the town.

Tito Livio "Patavino historian"

…...probably such writers (since the term "historians" is unsuited) relied on rearranged, or by other authors deformed, texts. …

But if they had had the patience to consult the few ancient texts still available in public libraries , such nonsenses wouldn't be still written or printed. …

Tito Livio "Patavino historian"

Therefore this site is born, above all, to put under the eyes of students some texts, or at least part of them, where historical propositions.

- Introduction to ancient historical texts - Roberto - page 5

Such attempt wants to leave a trace of much more reliable sources than recent edits, because history is not to " reinvent" or " invent ", as someone could eventually assert, but to search in the ancient archives or in clear archeological finds. Other historical subjects that don't directly regard Torino, but of great importance anyhow, as ancient cartography and other themes, will be developed in this site . This site will be continuously updated and implemented as reference to ancient texts . For more informations I refer you to the site: www.picobeta.com

Il sito sarà continuamente aggiornato ed implementato, potrà rimanere anche come riferimento ai testi antichi. Chi volesse maggiori informazioni le potrà trovare al sito: < color="#ff6600">www.picobeta.com

-Situation of peoples before of etruscan age in center-north Italy and Alps.-

(1)Note on the term Celta. Historians use this term, in particular in medieval texts, for the ethnia of Celti Iberi (living in Iberia, actual Spain). Gallia Cisalpina is often mentioned for italics Galli. Anyway italian peoples of northern Italy were composed by many ethnie as Liguri, Insubri, Veneti and surely by a more ancient component of Tusci people. So the Gallic ethnie were just a part of the population since the Galli came only in more recent times. West transalpine peoples were mostly Celti Iberi with components of Galli and very different peoples coming from northern Europe as Galli, Germani and Celti (living on the other side of Alps and so called Transalpini).

(2)We have to underline that the actual definition of State (France, Spain, Italy and Germany) didn't exist at that time, less than ever the actual borders. The concept of State comes only in late Middle Ages.

(3)Galliae was a general term to point northern lands. In the time of ancient Romans, Galliae were such until the Rubicone river and included whole Europe(famous is the historical anecdote of Julius Cesar crossing the Rubicone).

(4)Level of civilisation. Large were the differences between the Galli of South (France and Spain) and northern Peoples. In this connection there are very sharp quotations by Julius Cesar. Romans called the Galli of south (France, Italy and Spain) as Celti Togati because of their level of civilisation and their dresses too (use of the toga, typical of mediterranean populations). In medieval texts the term "Gallia Togata" is used to point north and center Italy and the Occitana zone(center and southern France and Spain) too. In roman age the true Celti are mixed with the ethnie Galli, Latin and German.

An example in the writings of Tito Livio in the next page.


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