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How did the evolution of the rule of law become stunted in Sicily during the 19th century? The work of economist Yoram Barzel, particularly his property-rights approach to understanding the political economy of state formation, is uniquely suited to understanding the failure of Italy's unification process to secure the rule of law in Sicily during the 19th century. This failure can be explained by a lack of a credible commitment to the rule of law in the state formation process. I argue that this lack of credible commitment manifested itself in the abolition of previously existing parliamentary institutions as an independent collective action mechanism, as well as prior constitutional agreements that existed in the Kingdom of Sicily. The resulting uncertainty over the security and legal definition of property rights over land raised the transaction costs of competing for resources through productive specialization and market exchange. In turn, it reduced the relative costs of competition for land ownership and the use of enforcement through other means, such as rent seeking or organized crime.
This paper re-evaluates the role of the Palici, a pair of indigenous Sicilian deities, in Aeschylus’ fragmentary tragedy Aetnaeans. Past readings of this play focus on ‘linguistic colonialism’, through which Greeks took possession of native gods and thereby demonstrated their cultural superiority. By contrast, this analysis situates the play within more nuanced models that envision cultural contact as a two-way process and highlight the diversity inherent within the categories of ‘Greek’ and ‘Sikel’. By reading the play in its fifth-century Sicilian context, particularly in light of new archaeological discoveries at the sanctuary of the Palici (Rocchicella di Mineo), this study establishes that – although the play does constitute a form of cultural imperialism – nonetheless we can gain more from focusing on the play’s politics of negotiation and accommodation, rather than appropriation and displacement. A reassessment of three aspects of the Aetnaeans – the birth of the Palici, their parentage and the play’s multiple settings – shows that Aeschylus had access to reliable information about the Palici and reworked it in his play in order to develop a new and uniquely Sicilian cultural synthesis in which indigenous deities play an important role.
In one of his fragments, Empedocles addresses his protégé Pausanias, predicting or promising that he will learn pharmaka, a word that is usually understood to mean herbal ‘drugs' or ‘remedies’ for disease, an interpretation that in turn seems to have been encouraged by a modern understanding that Empedocles was an empirically minded medical doctor. An alternate interpretation is suggested, however, by the recently published Getty Hexameters which use the word pharmaka several times to refer to hexametrical incantations that will protect a group of houses or a city from danger. These hexameters, moreover, are inscribed on a lead tablet of late-classical date that most probably came from the Sicilian city of Selinus, a date and a provenance that put its composition in close proximity to Empedocles himself.
Political and criminal violence are an integral part of recent Italian history. Killings and mass murders have moulded everyday life and the collective memory of the Italian people, changing the shape of public life. Veneration of the dead has taken on a symbolic function and become part of a new ‘civil religion’, which has redefined Italy’s national identity. Scholars are currently examining the role of mafia victims in this phenomenon, concentrating in particular on the bombings that took place in 1992. Following the crisis that marked the end of the First Republic, symbolic ties to figures like Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino became an essential aspect of redefining democratic mobilisation. Nevertheless, when examined from a long-term perspective, the relationship between the Italian population and the celebration of mafia victims is more complex than it may at first appear. This article aims to analyse the contradictions inherent in the issue, focusing on the funerals of mafia victims in order to examine the relationships between political and institutional bodies, the Italian population as a whole, and the local community, in the celebration of the dead. Through this analysis, it seeks to consider both the achievements and failures in the construction of this new ‘civil religion’ in a contemporary society.
Papal relations with monarchs in the later eleventh and twelfth centuries have often been characterized as ‘feudal’, as indicative of some sort of papal dominium mundi, or as an effort to advance papal ‘empire’ over the kingdoms of Christendom. More recent scholarship has drawn a distinction between ‘protection’ and ‘feudal’ relationships with kings. However, the supposed distinction between the papacy's temporal overlordship of rulers and its spiritual protection may have obscured more than it has revealed. It was only after the disputes over lay investiture of bishops in the period 1078–1122 that a distinctive protective relationship began to emerge. Previously, rulers had been willing to ‘accept their kingdom from the pope's hand’ or to participate in ceremonies of investiture. In the twelfth century these relationships became more codified and any suggestion that the papacy actually gave kingdoms to kings faded. Thus, the nature of papal ‘empire’ – or, at least, temporal authority over kings – changed markedly during this period.
Unusually for a Palaeolithic cave, the Grotta di Cala dei Genovesi on the island of Levanzo, off the west coast of Sicily, Italy, has yielded evidence of both parietal and mobiliary art. Developments in dating techniques since the excavations of the 1950s now allow the age of the mobiliary art—an engraved aurochs—to be determined. At the same time, stylistic comparison of the parietal art at Grotta di Cala dei Genovesi with other broadly contemporaneous sites that demonstrate well-documented cave art allows a relative chronology to be proposed. The two methods taken together enable a direct chronological comparison to be made between the production of parietal and mobiliary art at this important cave site.
This is a full bibliography of the works of Christopher Duggan, including his D.Phil thesis, books, contributions to edited collections, articles in journals, newspapers and other periodicals, book reviews and review articles. It illustrates both the range of his own scholarship and his engagement with the fields of modern Italian history, politics, society and culture.
In 1961 the peace activist and anti-mafia campaigner Danilo Dolci spoke at a protest event at the Italian centennial of unification celebrations hosted by the City of Philadelphia. The reactions to the talk he gave on development initiatives in Western Sicily provide some insight into the transnational discussion that was developing around the mafia, governance and leadership in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Dolci and his supporters made the suggestion that the problems encountered by the post-war governments in Italy, Sicily and Philadelphia were a result of leaderships which presented or made the appearance of change but did not fix the underlying problems. This article maps how the conversation developed, why the idea of the mafia as a ‘thing’, an operating criminal organisation with Sicilian origins, was such an important narrative, and what it meant for those trying to make a claim to leadership positions.
We here propose a new kinematic picture of central Sicily based on the results of detailed field mapping of the region, combined with structural analyses and the interpretation of the available literature subsurface data. Our study focused on the tectonic boundary of a structural depression, the Caltanissetta Trough, which is now filled with allochthonous terrains resting on the deep-seated inverted African palaeomargin units. Our data refer to the tectonosedimentary evolution of the thrust-top basins, from Late Tortonian to Quaternary times. The study points out the occurrence of regional E–W-oriented dextral shear zones, cutting the NE-oriented trends of the thrust belt. This new evidence would confirm the major role of the E–W trend in the tectonic inversion of the external portions of the Africa palaeomargin in Sicily. Our results could contribute to a better understanding of the location in Sicily of the tectonic lineaments accommodating the hundreds of kilometres of lateral displacement, caused by the Late Miocene–Quaternary Tyrrhenian Basin opening to the north of the island.
Genotype G12 strains are now considered to be the sixth most prevalent human rotaviruses worldwide. In two Sicilian cities, Palermo and Messina, surveillance of rotavirus circulation performed since 1985 and 2009, respectively, did not detect G12 strains until 2012. From 2012 to 2014 rotavirus infection was detected in 29·7% of 1647 stool samples collected from children admitted for acute gastroenteritis to three Sicilian hospitals in Palermo, Messina and Ragusa. In 2012, G12P was first detected in Palermo and then in Messina where it represented the second most frequent genotype (20% prevalence) after G1P. Thereafter, G12 strains continued to circulate in Sicily, showing a marked prevalence in Ragusa (27·8%) in 2013 and in Palermo (21%) and Messina (16·6%) in 2014. All but one of the Sicilian G12 strains carried a P VP4 genotype, whereas the single non-P rotavirus strain was genotyped as G12P. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP7 and VP4 sequences allowed distinction of several genetic lineages and separation of the G12P strains into three cluster combinations. These findings indicate independent introductions of G12 rotavirus strains in Sicily in recent years.
Over a period of some forty years, 380/990–421/1030, the Fatimids in Egypt exchanged embassies with their Zirid viceroys in Ifrīqiya after these had been recognized as a hereditary dynasty, and to a lesser extent with their Kalbid deputies in Sicily. Sijillāt or official letters of the Fatimid chancery, accompanied by sumptuous presents, invested the Zirids with their authority and favoured them with important announcements, while the Zirids replied in kind. The embassies were ostentatiously welcomed by the Zirids as proof of their legitimacy, while serving to maintain the connection with Cairo on which the Fatimids were similarly dependent for the sake of their imperial standing in the world. The importance of that connection to both dynasties was shown in the 440s/1050s, when it was broken by the Zirids and restored by a Fatimid intervention, celebrated in a fresh series of sijillāt. With their emphasis on the style as much as the substance of the messages, the exchanges are excellent illustrations of mediaeval diplomatic correspondence as described by John Wansbrough in Lingua Franca in the Mediterranean.
This chapter discusses Greek and Phoenician colonisation in the central Mediterranean as a historical activity. It presents the interactions between the colonising and existing local communities in Sicily and Malta as articulated through shared and modified practices expressed in the material culture record. Most contemporary Phoenician material in Sicily comes from Motya, an island site of Sicily's western coast founded by Phoenicians at the end of the eighth century. Late eighth-century Phoenician material also appears in the earliest graves of the Greek colonies. Finally, the chapter reviews the cultural and sociopolitical development of Malta and Sicily, both of which were geographically situated at strategic locales within a connected Mediterranean, to argue that their respective diverse developments resulted from their engagements with one another and the broader central Mediterranean. The permanent presence of Greeks and Phoenicians in the central Mediterranean led to the widespread exchange of goods, practices and ideas between these foreigners and the extant local populations.
This chapter deals with the specific forms of Sicily's interaction with Aegean and eastern Mediterranean groups who were consistently present and active in the central Mediterranean throughout the second millennium BC. The focus is on Sicily and the Aeolian islands. The chapter discusses the cultural differences between the main island of Sicily and the minor islands of the Aeolian group and Ustica throughout the Early Bronze Age. The Sicilian Middle Bronze Age is characterized by a formally homogeneous archaeological culture, the so-called Thapsos-Milazzese facies that was shared by Sicily and the Aeolian islands and that is also documented at Ustica, Pantelleria and on the Poro promontory of the Calabria coast. The label 'Ausonian I' was first used by Bernabo Brea to refer to the Late Bronze Age facies at Lipari. Throughout the Late Bronze Age, the Pantalica culture continued the local, long-established tradition of integration with Aegean groups who were still present and active in Sicily.
The alien mollusc Aplysia dactylomela is recorded for the first time from the Egadi Islands marine protected area (western Sicily). This species has been widely reported in the Mediterranean and has established populations in Sicily. The presence of a few specimens let us suppose that its occurrence in this area is a recent event and that soon new populations will be sighted in the whole Egadi Islands and on the western and southern coasts of Sicily.
The presence of the offshore rockfish, Pontinus kuhlii (Scorpaeniformes, Scorpaenidae), is reported for the first time in Maltese waters (Strait of Sicily). One specimen was caught offshore Gozo (Maltese archipelago) in October 2013 by bottom longline. The eastward range expansion within the Mediterranean of this Atlantic species is discussed.
Introduction. Pescabivona is
the name of an autochthonous peach [Prunus persica (L.)
Batch] population of the central west of Sicily. In a previous work,
this fruit was submitted to chemical analysis, while in this paper,
sensory evaluation is considered. Materials and methods.
Samples of four Pescabivona landraces were harvested
throughout the harvest season. A trained panel outlined the sensory
profiles and the data were processed by ANOVA and Principal Component
Analysis (PCA). A correlation between sensory analysis and instrumental
data was finally carried out. Results and discussion.
The results demonstrated a high standard of quality for the four
landraces studied, with some differences in aroma intensity and in
some other parameters, with sweetness and aroma being highly correlated
with overall liking. PCA did not clearly separate the different
landraces as they have the same origin. Some correlations between
sensory analysis and instrumental data were verified. The sensory liking
was correlated with the main ripeness parameters, as well as with the
pulp firmness. Conclusion. The data obtained contribute to
outlining a complete fruit profile for product comparison and shelf-life
monitoring. As previously verified for chemical parameters, the
sensory evaluation indicates a substantial similarity among the landraces.
The good agreement between sensory evaluation and composition makes
sensory analysis a precious tool to assess quality of Pescabivona
‘Addiopizzo’ (Goodbye protection money) is a grassroots anti-mafia movement based in Palermo that stresses the individual consumer's responsibility for maintaining the Sicilian mafia's pizzo system. If you purchase products from a business that pays the pizzo you are indirectly supporting the mafia. By encouraging Palermitans to buy from ‘pizzo-free’ businesses, Addiopizzo uses the purchasing power of the consumer to fight organised crime. The community of ‘pizzo-free’ businesses is small but steadily growing whilst the number of critical consumers pledging to buy their products appears to have peaked. This article aims to investigate the reasons why consumers may be reluctant to support ‘pizzo-free’ businesses by asking those who have already made public their decision to do so. Whilst critical consumers cannot fully explain why the majority of Palermo's citizens continue to tolerate the pizzo system their attitudes towards them do highlight differences that may help to account for wider non-participation in Addiopizzo's campaign.
A new species, Bellevalia pelagica C.Brullo, Brullo & Pasta (Hyacinthaceae), growing in the limestone rocks of the Islet of Lampione in the Pelagian Archipelago (Sicily), is described and illustrated. It is a tetraploid with 2n = 16. It belongs to the Bellevalia romana group and shows a close relationship with B. dolichophylla and B. galitensis, both rare endemics from Tunisia.
Precise measurements of submerged archaeological markers in the Siracusa coast (Southeastern Sicily, Italy) provide new data on relative sea-level change during the late Holocene. Four submerged archaeological sites have been studied and investigated through direct observations. Two of them are Greek archaic in age (2.5–2.7 ka) and are now 0.98–1.48 m below sea level; the other two developed during the Bronze age (3.2–3.8 ka) and are now 1.03–1.97 m below sea level. These archaeological data have been integrated with information derived from a submerged speleothem collected in a cave located along the Siracusa coast at − 20 m depth. The positions of the archaeological markers have been measured with respect to present sea level, corrected for tide and pressure at the time of surveys. These data were compared with predicted sea-level rise curves for the Holocene using a glacio-hydro-isostatic model. The comparison with the curve for the southeastern Sicily coast yields a tectonic component of relative sea-level change related to regional uplift. Uplift rates between 0.3 and 0.8 mm/yr have been estimated.