History of Palermo

History of Palermo (Palermo) has 28 centuries. Over this enormous period of time, the main city of Sicily knew many rulers, experienced times of prosperity and decline. Modern Palermo is full of vivid colors, contradictions and sights, such a rich history of past centuries has made it.

The first information about Palermo appeared in 734 BC, when the Phoenician sailors discovered the Sicilian island in the waters of the Aegean Sea.

Struck by the beauty of the area, they founded the port city of Sousse (Fin. Zyz - "flower"). For two centuries, the development of the city completely depended on Carthage. The Phoenicians influenced the formation of various crafts (jewelry, weaving, glass production) and architecture. Many buildings retain prints of the Phoenician influence in the form of original ornaments, colorful glass stained-glass windows, plots of pagan mythology.

Roman rule

Carthage lost power over Palermo during the First Punic War, losing ground to Rome. Palermo was captured by the Romans in 254 BC. e.

It was necessary to end the Punic War and preserve the existing trade ties, so the city received special rights - the municipalities. All citizens were considered legal subjects of the Roman Empire, had the right to self-government. When the Romans won the Punic War, Emperor Octavian Augustus (lat.Octavianus Augustus) changed the status of the city.

The largest port of Sicily brought too high incomes to allow its free development, Palermo was turned into a colony.

For 6 centuries, the Romans actually devastated the region. However, believing legionaries brought to Sicily a new religion - Christianity, which became the spiritual foundation of the people.

Barbarian influence is ready

From 440 to 515, barbarian peoples eagerly pounced on defenseless colonies. The Roman Empire fell and the tribes of Vandals and Ostrogoths began to fight for Sicily. The winner was Theodoric the Great - the king of the Ostrogoths, who wanted to become famous as a successor to Roman traditions. The board is ready to cut short in 535 the Byzantine emperor Justian I (lat.Flavius ​​Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus).

Dominion of Saracens

In the 9th century, Sicily "left" from the hands of the Byzantine emperor Michael II Travl (Greek: Μιχαήλ Β 'ο Τραυλός). The story had a rather piquant coloring: the Admiral of the Byzantine fleet Euphemius was going to marry a Catholic nun. The wrath of the emperor drove the apostate into North Africa, where the commander received the support of the Aglabid dynasty. Euphemius helped the Saracen qadiy Asad ibn al-Furat (Arabic. أسد بن الفرات) to capture Sicily. The Saracens strengthened the prosperity of maritime trade routes and gave the city a new name - Balarm. The Greeks subsequently changed it to Panormos (Greek Πάνορμος - "safe haven").

Norman Conquest

At the dawn of the 2nd millennium, the history of Palermo passed under the banner of the Norman conquerors. The Norman invasion began in 1061 under the leadership of Count Robert Guiscard (old director Robert Viscart).

For 11 years, all the Saracens were expelled from Sicily.Sicily received the status of the kingdom under Roger II (Ruggero II di Sicilia), the twice-crowned ruler of Palermo. Roger skillfully maneuvered in the political struggle for spiritual power that erupted between the antipope Anaclet II and Pope Innocent II.

Roger received the first crown from Anaclet. When the antipope lost the war for the papal throne, Innocent II reluctantly confirmed the coronation in 1139, according to the Minyany Peace Treaty. King Roger deftly ruled the country - for almost a century Sicily was the main sea power of the Mediterranean.

The Normans built many magnificent buildings in Palermo, the Norman Palace and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are especially fond of the townspeople.

The statement of the Hohenstaufen dynasty

The death of Roger launched a fierce struggle between his heirs. Initially, power was in the hands of William I the Evil (Guglielmo I il Malo), who nearly destroyed the dynasty and became the cause of the rebellion of the barons. Then control passed to William II Good (Guglielmo il Buono), who established peace in Sicily, but did not leave behind his rightful heirs. Tancred from Lecce, Roger di Andria and Henry VI of Hohenstaufen (German Heinrich VI) began to fight for the throne, who eventually managed to achieve the assertion of power over Sicily for his dynasty.

A surge in cultural development began in Palermo in the 13th century after Frederick II (German: Friedrich II von Hohenstaufen) transported the entire imperial court to the capital.

The king of Sicily led the 6th Crusade and was able, without a single battle, using exclusively diplomatic methods, to return Christians to power over Jerusalem.

Frederick II had unlimited influence on medieval science, since he founded the first higher educational institution in Europe - the University of Naples. The emperor was repeatedly excommunicated from the Catholic Church, called the Antichrist and the rebel. However, it was thanks to his tough policy, Palermo gained unlimited influence on Sicily and became the epicenter of the cultural development of Europe.

Sicilian Vespers

In the 13th century, power over Sicily went to Karl of Anjou (FR. Charles d'Anjou), ruthlessly suppressing any rebellion. The French gained widespread hatred after the execution of the last heir to the Hohenstaufen dynasty - Prince Conradin. When Karl of Anjou began to distribute Sicilian land ownership (along with the peasants) to the members of his dynasty, the patience of the people was exhausted.

The ringing of the bell, calling the believers for evening throughout Sicily, was a signal for rebellion. Sicilian rebels and the crown of Aragon, led by Giovanni di Procida, came up with the slogan: "Death to all the French!". The battles were so fierce that in a few weeks all the French were slaughtered on the island.

Spanish government

The crown passed to the Spanish emperor Pedro III of Aragon (Pietro III d'Aragon), which sponsored the anti-French uprising. The influence of the Spanish king was not enough to achieve the collapse of the entire Sicilian kingdom. And since Pedro III openly refused to recognize the pope's suzerainty, a black streak began for the Sicilians.

In 1799, power went to Ferdinand IV (Ferdinando IV) - the representative of the Bourbon dynasty. Ferdinand IV tried to unite Naples and Sicily, which caused massive protests. In 1847, a large-scale revolt began in Palermo, which quickly grew into an uprising throughout the state. In 1848, royal power was overthrown and an interim government led by parliament was established.

Italian period

Palermo became part of Italy in 1860 after Giuseppe Garibaldi achieved the final collapse of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies.

The Italian period brought the city long-awaited peace. The world was broken only once - during the Second World War, aerial bombardment damaged the old part of the city.

Modern Palermo is a quiet haven of affordable relaxation. The city welcomes tourists from all over the world, demonstrating amazing architectural monuments of its great history.

Watch the video: Sicily: Palermo with Sarah Murdoch. Rick Steves Travel Talks (December 2019).


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