SunBird American Italian Club update

Frank Nechvatal

Our February meeting was called to order by President Bob Sciaretta at 6:00 p.m. in the Horizon Room. The minutes were read by Secretary Emily Hardy and the Treasurer’s Report was given by Herb Zielke along with one of his true stories. Following the meeting Anthony and Lani Pappano led the club in game night. A great job on their part! For the March meeting we will be having a movie night. Popcorn and other goodies will be on hand for us to munch on during the movie. Feel free to bring any munchies that you prefer. The April meeting will be a patio party – Baked Potato Buffet. We will need several volunteers to do chili and others to bring other potato toppings such as sour cream, chives, butter, etc., and lest we not forget – desserts.

Our history of the Italian peninsula continues with the rise of the Middle Ages. This was marked by the fall of the western part of the Roman Empire (Italy) to the invading Germanic tribes led by Theodoric around 751. Internal warring between the Germanic tribes led to the Lombards taking control and ending the eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) influence in Italy. The Papacy sought help from the Franks to defeat the Lombards. Once the Franks subdued the Lombards they established the Papal States for the Pope and afforded the Papacy authority over most of central Italy. In 800, Charlemagne(Karl der Grosser or Charles the Great) was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire by the Pope. With Charlemagne’s death the empire disintegrated. This vacuum allowed the Islamic attacks in the southern regions such as Sicily and Bari. By the 11th century the Papacy regained its authority and began a long struggle with the Holy Roman Empire. During this struggle a conflict arose over whether secular authorities (kings, dukes or counts) had any legitimate role in the appointments of ecclesiastical offices. This was resolved at the Concordat of Worms in 1122. Internal power struggles continued against the Holy Roman Empire until the Defeat of Frederick Barbarossa (Frederick the Red Beard) in 1176. The Normans now invaded the peninsula and defeated the Lombards and ended Muslim rule in southern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries Italy developed a form of oligarchic city – state government, as opposed to the feudal system in northern Europe, which further fractured unity of the Italian peninsula.

Next the Renaissance.