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South of Rome–West of Ellis Island

Michael Parenti’s “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” – Review Part II: “...the good interred with their bones...”

Tom Verso (December 20, 2011)
Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798

Southern-Italian Americans should know the history of Rome in far greater detail than is taught in schools and represented in mass media, both largely limited to mad emperors and berserk gladiators. Most importantly, southern-Italians should understand that, while the Republic/Empire included northern Italy – Roman society was essentially a Mediterranean culture. Renowned classical scholar and world history A.J. Toynbee wrote: “the history of southern Italy was different from the north”. Rome’s Latin language was the language of the ancient Sicilians (indeed, Toynbee thought the city of Rome was founded by Sicilians - see article "Sicilian Lights..." in Related Articles box); also, Rome’s architecture, deities/saints, food, etc. are all rooted in and an intricate part of the broader Mediterranean cultural world that persisted in southern Italy down to the great circa 1900 Piedmont imposed diaspora. In short, Rome was and southern-Italian Americans are – Mediterranean! With that in mind, Michael Parenti’s book is an invaluable contribution to the history and culture of southern-Italian Americans.

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