La República Catalana

News Comment/COMENTARI AL DIA

Gibbon on Catalan Liberty/LA LLIBERTAT CATALANA DE GIBBON

Gibbon on Catalan Liberty

by Josep C. Verges

 

Much ado

 

Denzel Washington as Don Pedro of Arragon, directed by Kenneth Branagh in 1993. Shakespeare made Boccaccio’s hero, Peter II the Great, into a Spaniard in Much Ado About Nothing. The comedy portrays the honest headborough Verges, perhaps in homage to the Girona lawyer who lived in London under Elizabeth I. Below: Palazzo Corvaja in Taormina, seat of the Sicilian Parliament  after 1411, built by Joan de Termes in Catalan gothic style.

 

 

 

The PP pretends Catalonia ceased to exist after the Franco-Spanish absolutist occupation in 1714. True to form the PP liquidates Catalan wherever it rules. In Madrid they ban the language spoken by 10 million in Spain, in Aragon they insult Catalan renamed as Lapao, and in Valencia and the Balearic Islands they try to ignore Catalan. What a contrast the famous Edward Gibbon who admired Catalans as defenders of liberty against absolutism. Perhaps in homage to the allies betrayed by the English in the Treaty of Utrecht, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire he wrote in 1788 on the War of the Catalans in Asia and Greece.

 

 

 

French absolutism, like Spanish absolutism has a long history. This is 1282: “The new kingdoms of Charles d’Anjou were afflicted by every species of fiscal and military oppression. The hatred of Naples was repressed by his presence but the looser government of his vice regents excited the contempt as well as the aversion of the Sicilians. The island was roused to a sense of freedom by the eloquence of Procida. He successively visited the courts of the Greek emperor and of Peter King of Arragon who possessed the maritime countries of Valentia and Catalonia. To the ambitious Peter a crown was presented.” Gibbon explains the Sicilian Vespers: “On the vigil of Easter a procession of disarmed citizens visited a church without the walls and a noble damsel was rudely insulted by a French soldier. If then the people were at first scattered by a military force, their numbers and fury prevailed. The flame spread over the island and 8,000 French were exterminated in a promiscuous massacre which has obtained the name of Sicilian Vespers. The French were long taught to remember this bloody lesson: “If I am provoked (said Henry IV) I will breakfast at Milan and dine at Naples.” Your majesty (replied the Spanish ambassador) may perhaps arrive in Sicily for Vespers.” The liberation of Sicily: “From every city the banners of freedom were displayed and Peter of Arragon who sailed from the African coast was saluted as the king and saviour of the isle. Charles was astonished and confounded. His fleet and army were hastily recalled from the service of the Grecian war and the situation of Messina exposed that town to the first storm of his revenge. Peter of Arragon approached to their relief and his rival was driven back. At the same time the Catalan admiral, the famous Roger de Loria, swept the channel with an invincible squadron. The French fleet was either burnt or destroyed and the same blow assured the independence of Sicily and the safety of the Greek empire.” The Greek empire was the Roman Empire in Constatinople which spoke Greek: “The emperor Michael rejoiced in the fall of an enemy he hated and esteemed. Charles sunk into the grave without recovering the isle of Sicily which after a war 20 years was finally secured from the throne of Naples and transferred as an independent kingdom to a younger branch of the house of Arragon. After the peace of Sicily many thousands of Genoese, Catalans etc. were blended into one nation by the resemblance of their manners and interest.” Catalans created the first nation state under the banner of liberty.  Gibbon continued explaining how the Catalans saved the Roman Empire which we shall save another day.

 

 

(„La llibertat catalana de Gibbon,“ by Josep C. Vergés, Diari de Girona, 20 July 2013)

 

 

 

La llibertat catalana de Gibbon

 

per Josep C. Vergés

 

CorvajaPalau Corvaja a Taormina, seu del Parlament de Sicília a partir de 1411, obra de Joan de Termes en estil gòtic català. Primera foto: Denzel Washington com Don Pedro of Arragon, dirigit per Kenneth Branagh el 1993. Shakespeare castellanitza l’heroi de Boccaccio, Pere II el Gran, a Molt soroll per a no res. A la comèdia figura el policia honest Vergés, potser en homenatge a l’advocat gironí que vivia a Londres sota Elisabet I.

 

 

 

El PP creu que Catalunya ja no existeix des de l’ocupació absolutista francocastellana de 1714. El PP també liquida el català d’on mana. A Madrid  prohibeix la parla de 10 milions d’espanyols, a l’Aragó ens insulta amb el lapao, i ninguneja el català a València i les Illes. El famós Edward Gibbon en canvi admirava els catalans per defensar la llibertat contra l’absolutisme. Potser en homenatge als aliats traits pels anglesos al Tractat d’Utrecht, a “La Caiguda de l’Imperi Romà” de 1788 escriu “La guerra dels catalans a l’Àsia i Grècia.”

 

 

 

L’absolutisme francès, com el castellà, ve de lluny. Estem a l’any 1282: “Els nous reialmes de Carles d’Anjou patien tota mena d’opressió fiscal i militar. L’odi de Nàpols era reprimit per la seva presència però el govern menys controlat dels seus virreis excitava el menyspreu així com l’aversió dels sicilians. L’illa es despertà amb el desig de llibertat per l’eloquència de Pròcida. Va visitar primer la cort de l’emperador grec i Pere, rei d’Aragó, que posseia els paisos marítims de València i Catalunya. Una corona fou oferta a l’ambiciós Pere.” Gibbon explica les Vespres Sicilianes: “La vigília de Pasqua una processó de ciutadans desarmats va visitar una església extramurs quan una damisel.la noble fou insultada bàrbarament per un soldat francès. En un primer moment el poble fou dispersat per la força militar, però el seu nombre i fúria va prevaldre. La flama s’estengué per tota l’illa i 8.000 francesos foren exterminats en una massacre promíscua que ha obtingut el nom de Vespres Sicilianes. Els francesos han seguit llargament rebent recordatoris de la sagnant lliçó: “Si em provoquen (deia Enric IV) esmorzaré a Milà i dinaré a Nàpols.” “Sa majestat (contestava l’ambaixador espanyol) potser arribi a temps a Sicília per les Vespres.” L’alliberament de Sicília: “A totes les ciutats s’alçaren les senyeres de la llibertat i Pere d’Aragó, que salpà de la costa africana, fou rebut com el rei i salvador de l’illa. Carles estava astorat i confós. La seva flota i armada fou ràpidament reclamada del seu servei en la guerra grega i la situació de Messina va exposar aquella ciutat a la primera tempesta de la seva revenja. Pere d’Aragó s’aproximà al seu rescat i el seu rival fou repel.lit. Al mateix temps l’almirall català, el famós Roger de Llúria, va escombrar el canal amb una esquadra invencible. La flota francesa fou o bé cremada o destruida i el mateix cop assegura la independència de Sicília i la seguretat de l’imperi grec.” L’imperi grec és l’Imperi Romà de Constantinoble de parla grega: “L’emperador Miquel s’alegrà de la caiguda d’un enemic que odiava i valorava. Carles aniria a la tomba sense recuperar l’illa de Sicília, la qual després d’una guerra de 20 anys finalment fou deslligada del tro de Nàpols i transferida com a regne independent a una branca més jove de la casa d’Aragó. Després de la pau de Sicília molts milers de genovesos, catalans, etc. s’integraren en una sola nació per la semblança de costums i interessos.” Els catalans creen el primer estat nació sota la senyera de la llibertat. Gibbon segueix explicant com els catalans salven l’imperi romà. El salvarem un altre dia.

 

 

(„La llibertat catalana de Gibbon,“ per Josep C. Vergés, Diari de Girona, 20 juliol 2013)

 

24 July 2013 - Posted by | Culture/Cultura, Politics/Política | ,

2 Comments »

  1. Josep, gràcies per evocar Gibbon. Ara entenc perquè el Palau Corvaja, a Taormina, sembla de casa nostra!

    Like

    Comment by Salvador | 26 July 2013 | Reply

  2. Oh my god it happened again… How many sources did you use to merge the spanish empire and the portuguese one? If personal union means empire the holy roman empire must be coloured also in the map of the spanish empire! Is that right? No! The portuguese empire was only referred as spanish in the “hispanic”(=iberian) mean.

    Like

    Comment by Silver Price | 29 July 2013 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: