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‘Adelchi’ and ‘Attila’: the barbarians and the Risorgimento

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2011

Ian Wood
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School of History, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, Great Britain. i.n.uood@leeds.ac.uk
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References

1 This paper forms part of a project on ‘The use and abuse of the barbarian migrations from 1750 to 2000’, for which I held a British Academy Research Readership in 2004–6: much of the work for the paper was carried out while I was Balsdon Fellow at the British School at Rome in 2006. I should very much like to thank the staff of the British School, and also Alberto Tarquini, for their support. I am also indebted to those who heard versions of the paper, which were delivered at the universities of Leeds and Edinburgh: in particular I am indebted to David Laxen, and to the readers of Papers of the British School at Rome.

1 Foucault, M., Society Must Be Defended, trans. Macey, D. (London, 2003), 79Google Scholar : the correct quotation is supplied on p. 85, n. 6. The text is to be found in Karl Marx-Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe, Dritte Abteilung, V, Briefwechsel January bis August 1852 (Berlin, 1987), 75.

3 On racc, see Seliger, M., ‘Race thinking during the Restoration’, Journal of the History of Ideas 19 (1958), 273–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Foucault, Society Must Be Defended (above, n. 2), 49, and passim.

5 Leerssen, J., National Thought in Europe: a Cultural History. (Amsterdam, 2006), 1322Google Scholar , has provided a useful overview of the issues, and he has made more use of discussion of the Middle Ages than have most of those who have contributed to the debate.

6 The two most significant works are Gearv, P.J., The Myth of Nations: the Medieval Origins of Europe (Princeton, 2002)Google Scholar, and Goffart, W., Barbarian Tides: the Migration Age and the Later Roman Empire (Philadelphia, 2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. While I have learnt much from both authors, my own emphases are rather different. For France there arc also major contributions from specialists in ancient history and historiography. Xieolet, C., I a fabrique d'une nation: la France entre Rome et les Germains (Paris, 2003)Google Scholar , and Hartog, F., Le XIXe siècle et l'histoire. Le cas Fustel de Coulanges (Paris, 2001)Google Scholar.

7 For Gibbon's work in the context of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century historiography of the ‘Fall of the Roman Empire’, Wood, I.N., ‘The Fall of the Roman Empirc in the eighteenth and ninetecth centuries’, in Barton, S. and Linchan, P. (eds), Cross, Crescent and Conversion: Studies on Medieval Spain and Christendom in Memory of Richard Fletcher (Leiden, 2008), 327–47Google Scholar.

8 Thierry, A., ‘Autobiographical preface’, in The Historical Essays (Philadelphia, 1845), vii-xixGoogle Scholar.

9 A recent discussion has been provided by Banti, A.M., ‘Le invasioni barbariche e le origini delle nazioni’, in Banti, A.M. and Bizzocchi, R. (eds), Immagini della nazione nell'Italia del Risorgimento (Rome, 2002), 2144Google Scholar.

10 See, for example, Duggan, C., The Force of Destiny: a History. of Italy since 1796 (London, 2007), 96–8Google Scholar.

11 The volumes on I luoghi della memoria, edited by M. Isnenghi (Rome, 1996–7), have notably less on early medieval figures and sites in Italy than do their French counterparts, Les lieux de mémoire, edited by P. Nora (Paris, 1984–92), although the latter collection arguably underestimates the importance of the Early Middle Ages for French identity.

12 Banti, A.M., La nazione del Risorgimento: parentela, sanità e onore alle origini dell'Italia unita, second edition (Turin, 2006), 45Google Scholar. Banti's notion of a set of texts and paintings that can be seen as central expressions of the ideology of the Risorgimento provides a fundamental point of departure for any consideration of this material: in particular, see above, n. 9, but also below, n. 30 , together with Banti, A.M., L'onore della nazione: identità sessuali e violenza nel nazionalismo europeo dal XVIII alla Grande Guerra (Turin, 2005)Google Scholar.

13 Martelli, M. and Bacchelli, R. (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere, 2 vols (Florence, 1973), I, 165227Google Scholar. There is a convenient translation in Deigan, F.B., Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (Baltimore, 2004)Google Scholar.

14 Martelli and Bacchelli (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere (above, N. 13), II, 1, 981–2, 070.

15 Falco, G., ‘La questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’, in Arri del I congresso internazionale di studi longobardi (Spoleto, 1952), 153–66Google Scholar ; Toppan, R., ‘La revanche du barbare: evolution du concept de ‘barbare’ en Italie de Macchiavcl à Manzoni’, in Schillinger, J. and Alexandre, P. (eds), Le barbare, Images phobiques et réflexions sur l'alterité dans la culture européenne (Bern, 2008), 117–33Google Scholar.

16 Falco, ‘La questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’ (above, n. 15), 154–5.

17 A particularly useful discussion of Risorgimento historiography of the Middle Ages is Soldani, S., ‘Il medioevo del Risorgimento nello specchio della nazione’, in Castelnuovo, F. and Sergi, G. (eds), Arte e storia nel medioevo IV. Il medioevo al passato e al presente (Turin, 2004), 149–86Google Scholar. See also Banti, ‘Le invasioni barbariche e le origini delle nazioni’ (above, n. 9).

18 Kurze, F. (ed.), Annales Regni Francorum, s.a. 773 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum in Uusum Scholarum Separatim Editi) (Hannover, 1895)Google Scholar.

19 The choice of name is interesting. One wonders whether Manzoni had in mind Martin of Tours, a saint who was very much in Charlemagne's mind.

20 Deigan, Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (above, n. 13), 221.

21 Deigan, Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (above, n. 13), 239.

22 Deigan, Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (above, n. 13), 267–9.

23 Deigan, Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (above, n. 13), 281.

24 Deigan, Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (above, n. 13), 306.

25 Martelli and Bacchclli (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere (above, n. 13), II, 1, 987.

26 See, for instance, Falco, ‘La questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’ (above, n. 15), 156–7, 159.

27 Machiavelli, Istoria Fiorentina, I, cited by Manzoni in Discorso sopra alcuni punti della storia longobardica in Italia (Martelli and Bacchclli (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere (above, n. 13), II, 1, 988).

28 On the importance of the Chorus in Adelchi, see Banti, ‘Le invasione barbariche e le origini delle nazioni’ (above, n. 9), 37; Banti, La nazione del Risorgimento (above, n. 12), 39; Dnggan, The Force of Destiny (above, n. 10), 95.

29 Banti, La nazione del Risorgimento (above, n. 12), 105, 132.

30 Not that he was alone in drawing on French scholarship: Falco, ‘La questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’ (above, n. 15), 162; Finelli, P. and Frnci, G.L., ‘Il ‘momento risorgimentale’ nel discorso politico francese (1796–1870)’, in Banti, A.M. and Ginsborg, P., Storia d'Italia, Annali 22. Il Risorgimento (Turin, 2007), 747–76Google Scholar.

31 de Lollis, C., Alessandro Manzoni e gli storici liberali francesi della restaurazione (Bari, 1926). 47Google Scholar ; Banti, ‘Le invasioni barbariche e le origini delle nazioni’ (above, n. 9), 21–3: Deigan, Alessandro Manzoni's The Count of Carmagnola and Adelchis (above, n. 13), 13–14. On this phase of Manzoni's life , see also Bognetti, G.P., Manzoni giovane, ed. Cataudella, M. (Naples, 1972)Google Scholar.

32 Thierry, ‘Autobiographical preface’ (above, n. 8), xi.

33 See, most recently, Banti, ‘Le invasioni barbariche e le origini delle nazioni’ (above, n. 9).

34 Manzoni, ep. 137, in Chiari, A. and Ghisalberti, F. (eds), Tutte le opere di Alessandro Manzoni VII. Lettere I (Milan, 1970), 212–17Google Scholar ; de Lollis, Alessandro Manzoni e gli storici liberali francesi (above, n. 31), 47.

35 Manzoni, ep. 1 37, in Chiari and Ghisalberti (eds), Tutte le opere di Alessandro Manzoni VII. Lettere I (above, n. 34), 216.

36 See Thierry, ‘Autobiographical preface’ (above, n. 8), xi; Banti, ‘Le invasioni barbariche e le origini delle nazioni’ (above, n. 9), 24–30.

37 Foucault, Society Must be Defended (above, n. 2), 144–65. For Boulainvilliers in general, see Simon, R., Henry de Boulainviller: historien, politicien, philosophe, astrologue, 1658–1722 (Gap, 1940)Google Scholar , and Ellis, H.A., Boulainvilliers and the French Monarchy (Ithaca, 1988)Google Scholar.

38 More accessible is the revised edition: Du Bos, J.-B., Histoire critique de l'établissement de la monarchie française dans les Gaules, 3 vols (Amsterdam, 1735)Google Scholar. See Wood, ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’ (above, n. 7), 337–43. On Du Bos, see Lombard, A., L'Abbé Du Bos. Un initiateur de la pensée moderne (1670–1742) (Paris, 1913).Google Scholar

39 Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, De l'esprit des loix (1748), books 30 and 31, ed. J. Brethe de la Gressaye (Paris, 1961), IV; de Mably, G.B., Observations sur l'histoire de France, 3 vols, in Brizzard, G. (ed.), Collection complete des oeuvres de l'Abbé de Mably (Paris, 17941795), I, 141Google Scholar.

40 Sievès, E.J., Qu'est-ce le Tiers État?, ed. Zapperi, R. (Geneva, 1970), 128. It was first published in 1789Google Scholar.

41 Manzoni, ed. 137, in Chiari and Ghisalberti (eds), Tutte le opere di Alessandro Manzoni VII. lettere I (above, n. 34), 216.

42 For the complete history, Simonde de Sismondi, J.C.L., Histoire des Français, 18 vols (Brussels, 1846)Google Scholar.

43 Thierry, ‘Autobiographical preface’ (above, n. 8), xvii.

44 Manzoni, Discorso sopra alcuni punti della storia longobardica (Martelli and Baechelli (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere (above, n. 13), II, 1,984, 2,029).

45 Cited by R. Bizzocchi, ‘Una nuova morale per la donna e la famiglia’, in Banti and Ginsborg (eds), Storia d'Italia, Annali 22. Il Risorgimento (above, n. 30), 69–96, at p. 84.

46 I. Porciani, ‘Disciplinamento nazionale e modelli domestici’, in Banti and Ginsborg (eds), Storia d'Italia, Annali 22. Il Risorgimento (above, n. 30), 97–125, at p. 102. See also Finelli and Fruci, ‘Il ‘momento risorgimentale’ nel discorso politico francese’ (above, n. 30), 758–60, and Duggan, The Force of Destiny (above, n. 10), 96–8.

47 Il Conciliatore. Foglio scientifico-letterario, ed. V. Branca (Florence, 1948–54), I, 223–34.

48 Martelli and Bacehelli (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere (above, n. 13), II, 1,335–461, espe- cially at pp. 1,335 and 1,497.

49 Il Coneiliatore, ed. Branca (above, n. 47), II, 727–31; III, 34–40, 50–60.

50 Wood, ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire in the eighteenth and ninetee nth centuries’ (above, n. 7), 332.

51 Cantù, C., Storia della letteratura italiana (Florence, 1865), 674–5Google Scholar. I am indebted to David Laven for drawing my attention to this quotation.

52 C. Troya, Storia d'ltalia del medio-evo, I, part 5, Della condizione de’ Romani vinti da’ Longobardi e della vera lezione d'alcune parole di Paolo Diacono intorno a tale argomento (Naples, 1841), vi; Falco, ‘La questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’ (above, n. 15), 162, 165; Soldani, ‘Il medioevo del Risorgimento nello specchio della nazione’ (above, n. 17), 160–1.

53 Interestingly, and perhaps typically, Duggan in The Force of Destiny (above, n. 10), 157, simply pre-sented him as a historian of the conflict between the papacy and the empire, although early medieval historians would probably rate the Codice diplomatico as one of the major scholarly achievements of the entury.

54 Balbo, C., Storia d'ltalia sotto ai Barbari (Turin, 1830), II, 101Google Scholar. Falco, ‘La questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’ (above, n. 15), 162; Soldani, ‘Il medioevo del Risorgimento ncllo specchio della nazione’ (above, n. 17), 160, 162, 174.

55 Villari, P., L'Italia e la civiltà (Milan, 1916), xGoogle Scholar.

56 Villari, L'Italia e la civiltà (above, n. 55), x.

57 Tombs, R., France 1814–1914 (London, 1996), 6870, 366–76Google Scholar.

58 Wood, ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’ (above, n. 7), 329–31.

59 Gnizot, F., Essais sur l'histoire de France (pour servir de complement aux observations sur l'histoire de France de l'Abbé de Mably) (Pans, 1823)Google Scholar.

60 Gnizot, Essais sur l'histoire de France (above, n. 59), 347–51.

61 Dnggan, The Force of Destiny (above, n. 10), 91.

62 Villari, P., L'Italia, la civiltà latina e la civiltà germanica (Florence, 1861), 22–3Google Scholar.

63 The work was translated almost immediately into English: Villari, P., The Barbarian Invasions of Italy, 2 vols (London, 1902), especially II, ch. 2, 291Google Scholar.

64 Villari, The Barbarian Invasions of Italy (above, n. 63), 11, 339–46.

65 Falco, ‘Le questione longobarda e la moderna storiografia italiana’ (above, n. 15), 160–2.

66 Osborne, C., The Complete Operas of Verdi (London, 1969), 135Google Scholar.

67 Martin, G., ‘Verdi and the Risorgimento’, in Weaver, W. and Chusid, M., A Verdi Companion (London, 1980), 1341Google Scholar , at p. 22. On the patriotism of Verdi, see C. Sorba, ‘Il Risorgimento in musica: l'opera lirica nei teatri del 1848’, in Baiiti and Bizzocchi (eds). Immagini della nazione nell'Italia del Risorgimento (above, n. 9), 133–56, at PP. 143, 148; on the question of the extent to which the image of Verdi as ‘vate del Risorgimento’ (‘prophet’ or ‘bard of the Risorgimento’) is an oversimplification, Abbate, C. and Parker, R., ‘Introduction: on ana-Ivzing opera’, in Abbate, C. and Parker, R. (eds). Analyzing Opera: Verdi and Wagner (Berkelcy, 1989), 124, at pp. 11–12Google Scholar. Also Parker, R., The New Grove Guide to Verdi and his Operas (Oxford, 2007), 30Google Scholar.

68 Osborne, The Complete Operas of Verdi (above, n. 66), 135.

69 Laven, D., Venice and Venetia under the Habsburgs, 1815–1835 (Oxford, 2002), 175–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For the rather different situation in Rome, Giger, A., ‘Social control and the censorship of Giuseppe Verdi's Operas in Rome (1844–1959)’, Cambridge Opera Journal 11 (3) (1999), 233–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

70 Prosper, Epitoma Chronicon, s.a. 452, ed. Mommsen, T., Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi IX, Chronica Minora I (Berlin, 1892)Google Scholar. The best recent narrative account of Attila is to be found in Heather, P., The Fall of the Roman Empire: a New History (London, 2005), 300–84Google Scholar : the best introduction to the Huns is probably still that of Thompson, E.A., A History of Attila and the Huns (Oxford, 1948)Google Scholar , reprinted with additional material as The Huns (Oxford, 1996).

71 Priscus, fr. 24, ed. Blockley, R.C., The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priseus and Malchus II (Liverpool, 1983), 317–19Google Scholar.

72 Marcellinus comes, s.a. 454, ed. Mommsen, T., Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi XI, Chronica Minora II (Berlin, 1894)Google Scholar.

73 Budden, J., The Operas of Verdi I. From Oberto to Rigoletto (London, 1973), 247Google Scholar.

74 Watanabe-O'Kelly, H. (ed.), The Cambridge History of German Literature (Cambridge, 1997), 250CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Watanabe-O'Kelly's account of Werner (pp. 248–60) provides one of the few recent assessments of him as a writer.

75 The text is reprinted in Werner, Z., Dramatische Werke V (Bern, 1970)Google Scholar.

76 This dramatic licence becomes an established feature of popular versions of the Attila story, and can be found in the 1954 Franco-Italian film, Attila, il flagello di Dio or Attila, fléau de Dieu.

77 Werner, Dramatische Werke (above, n. 75), 97.

78 Werner, Dramatische Werke (above, n. 75), 98.

79 Budden, The Operas of Verdi I (above, n. 73), 244.

80 Thierry, A., Histoire d'Attila et de ses successeurs jusqu'à l'établissement des hongrois en Europe suivie des legends et traditions, 2 vols, third edition (Paris, 1865), I, 45Google Scholar : McGeorge, P., Late Roman Warlords (Oxford, 2002), 9CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

81 Budden, The Operas of Verdi I (above, n. 73), 243–4 noted the similarities with Wagner, without stressing the fact that Werner was a generation older.

82 Priscus, fr. H, ed. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians (above, n. 71), 282–7.

83 Priscus, fr. 12, ed. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians (above, n. 71), 280–3; Jordanes, De Origine Actibus Getarum 35, § 183, ed. Giunta, F. and Grillonc, A., Fonti per la storia d'Italia (Rome, 1991)Google Scholar.

84 Paul the Deacon, Historia Romana XIV, § 5, ed. Crivelluci, A., Fonti per la storia d'Italia (Rome, 1914)Google Scholar.

85 Prisais, fr. 24, ed. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians (above, n. 71), 316–19.

86 Priscus, fr. 17, ed. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians (above, n. 71), 20 § 3, 21 § 2; Jordanes, De Origine Actibus Getarum 42, § 223–4, ed. Giunta and Grillonc, Fonti per la storia d'Italia (above, n. 83).

87 Priscus, fr. 24, ed. Blockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians (above, n. 71), 316–19.

88 Her story is known from several medieval sources: Murdoch, B., Walthari: a Verse Translation of the Medieval Latin Waltharius (Glasgow, 1989), 1317Google Scholar. Werner cannot have known the fullest version of it, the Waltharius of Gaeraldus, ed. A.K. Bate (Reading, 1978), since it was not published until 1838.

89 Odabella has been discussed by both Banti, La nazione del Risorgimento (above, n. 12), 323–6, and S. Chiappini, ‘La voce della martire. Dagli ‘evirati cantori’ all'eroina romantica’, in Banti and Ginsborg (eds), Storia d'Italia, Annali 22. Il Risorgimento (above, n. 30), 289–328, at p. 322. But neither commented on the problems caused by the fact that Verdi and his librettists had changed Odabella into a Roman.

90 Thierry, Histoire d'Attila (above, n. 80), II, 238–59.

91 Thierry, Histoire d'Attila (above, n. 80), II, 240; Isidore, Historia Gothorum, 29, s.a. 457, ed. Mommsen, T., Monumenta Germani Historica, XI, Auetores Antiquissimi II (Berlin, 1893)Google Scholar.

92 Thierry, Histoire d'Attila (above, n. 80), II, 242; Vita Altera Lupi IV, § 45, Acta Sanctorum, 29 July, VII (Paris, 1868), 90.

93 Cesari, G. and Lazio, A. (eds), I copialettere di Giuseppe Verdi (Milan, 1913), 437–8Google Scholar.

94 Osborne, The Complete Operas of Verdi (above, n. 66), 133.

95 Cesari and Luzio (eds), I copialettere di Giuseppe Verdi (above, n. 93), 441.

96 Sec, for instance, the recurrent discussions in Banti and Ginsborg (eds), Storia d'Italia, Annali 22. Il Risorgimento (above, n. 30), 83–4, 184, 192, 289–90, 758, 777–8, 784. By contrast there is only one page of discussion (486) of De l'Allemagne.

97 Isbell, J.C., The Birth of European Romanticism: Truth and Propaganda in Staël's ‘De l'Allemagne’, 1810–1813 (Cambridge, 1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

98 Isbell, The Birth of European Romanticism (above, n. 97), 6.

99 A. Manzoni, La rivoluzione francese del 1789 e la rivoluzione italiana del 1859, in Martelli and Baechelli (eds), Alessandro Manzoni, Tutte le opere (above, n. 13), II, 2,132.

100 Isbell, The Birth of European Romanticism (above, n. 97).

101 Mme de Staël, De l'Allemagne, ed. La Comtesse J. de Pange and S. Balavé, 5 vols (Paris, 1959), III, 141–9.

102 De Staël, De l'Allemagne (above, n. 101), III, 144, n. L. 14; Isbell, The Birth of European Romanticism (above, n. 97), 70.

103 De Staël, De l'Allemagne (above, n. 101), III, 141–9.

104 Isbell, The Birth of European Romanticism (above, n. 97), 5, 71, 91.

105 Thierry, Histoire d'Attila (above, n. 80), II, 428–37.

106 When he erected the monument to Vercingetorix at Alesia in 1865, Napoleon III was eertainly intent on outdoing the Hermannsdenkmal of Ernst von Bandel, which was under construction from 1838 to 1875 – the Alise-Ste-Reine inscription by Viollet-le-Duc reads La Gaule unie / Formant une seule nation / Animée d'un même esprit, / Peut défier l'Univers (United Gaul / Forming a single nation / Driven by the same spirit/Can defy the Universe). See the chapters by M. Struck ‘The Heilige Rümische Reich, Deutscer Nation and Herman the German’, and King, A. ‘Vercingetorix, Asterix and the Gauls’, in Hingley, R. (ed.). Images of Rome: Perceptions of Ancient Rome in Europe and the United States in the Modem Age (Portsmouth (RI), 2001), 91112, 113–25Google Scholar. After 1870 Attila would have German overtones in the iconography of the Panthéon in Paris: I.N. Wood, ‘The Panthéon in Paris: lieu d'oubli’ (forthcoming).

107 Simonde de Sismondi, J.C.L., A History of the Fall of the Roman Empire, Comprising a View of the Invasion and Settlement of the Barbarians, 2 vols (London, 1834), I, 156, 162Google Scholar.

108 Sismondi, A History of the Fall of the Roman Empire (above, n. 107), I, 163–4.

109 Simonde de Sismondi, Histoire des républiques italiennes du Moyen Age I, chapter 5: 1 have consulted the fifth edition (Brussels. 1838), where the main discussion is on pp. 188–90.

110 Budden, The Operas of Verdi I (above, n. 73), 244.

111 On the dignity of Atilla in Verdi: Martin, ‘Verdi and the Risorgimento’ (above, n. 67), 31.

112 Banti, La nazione del Risorgimento (above, n. 12), 45.

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