English | 2020 | ASIN : B08HKZDGXC | 437 pages | PDF, AZW3, EPUB, MOBI | 31.1 MB
Little known Molise and Abruzzo in central Italy was the home of my ancestors, the fearsome and proud ancient Samnites who came down from the Apennine mountains to contest the lush fertile fields of Campania against the newly established Latin Romans. After three brutal wars with Rome, the Samnites were subdued and integrated into Roman society, but their culture lived on. The dramatic history of this region is recounted from ancient times, through the Middle Ages and into the modern world; as seen through the eyes of conquerors, monks, saints, nobles, peasants, scientists, poets, charlatans, adventurers, opportunists, witches, popes, politicians, journalists, movie actors and entertainers; who all left a cultural legacy on Molise and Abruzzo. Against the backdrop of this history, is my mother Carmelina’s personal story from her childhood in the Molise village of Montagano during the Second World War, to her migration to Australia in the late 1950s in order to start a new life in a land of opportunities. This book is a journey of adventure and discovery, told through stories of the human condition reflected in hope, disappointment, faith, ambition, fear, perseverance, humbleness, hatred, wisdom and the sheer power of a mother’s unconditional love and devotion to her family. Along the way the reader will explore the fascinating and dramatic lives of characters who greatly influenced Molise and Abruzzo history and culture such as Samnite poet Horace, Saint Benedict, Norman knight Robert Guiscard, Lombard princess Sichelgaita, Spanish king Ferdinand of Naples, Pope Celestine V, philosopher Giordano Bruno, king Charles VII, French ruler Joachim Murat, author Ignazio Silone, Saint Padre Pio, actor Robert De Niro, author Don DeLillo, entertainer Dean Martin and opera singer Mario Lanza. Read about how the Samnites trapped, defeated and humiliated the Romans in a narrow valley surrounded by forested mountains at the Battle of Caudine Forks in 321BCE. Discover the prophetic prediction Benedict made about the Ostrogothic King Totila in the 7th century CE. Follow the dramatic story of the Norman knight Robert Guiscard who arrived in southern Italy in 1047CE determined to create a kingdom to rival that of his cousin William the Conqueror, and Guiscard’s controversial marriage to the Lombard warrior princess Sichelgaita. Become immersed in the mysterious death of Pope Celestine V, formerly a hermit monk from the Molise mountains who reluctantly became a pope. Be shocked by the story of King Ferdinand 1 of Naples as he ruthlessly put down a series of revolts by barons and nobles, while at the same time creating an enlightened and progressive society in the mid 15th century. Meet the great scientific thinker Giordano Bruno, who in the 16th century directly challenged the doctrine of the Catholic Church by claiming there was a vast universe teeming with life, and why the Catholic Inquisition put him on trial and burnt him at the stake in the centre of Rome. Follow the adventures of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother in law Joachim Murat, who in the early 19th century took control of the Kingdom of Naples and dismantled the feudal system which had been introduced by the Normans in the 11th century. The book also features the stories of prominent celebrities whose families originated from Molise and Abruzzo; like Robert De Nero, Don DeLillo, Dean Martin and Mario Lanza. In the second section of the book, be captivated and enchanted by the adventures and stories of my mother Carmelina and her family in 1940s -1950s Montagano Molise; and 1960s-1970s Perth Australia. With over 350 illustrations and 36 chapters, take the ultimate journey through the rich history and culture of the relatively unknown central Italian regions of Molise and Abruzzo, the heart and soul f timeless Italy!
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