Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby JamesBianco » 15 Mar 2010, 18:58

PeterTimber wrote:You certainly did your homework on this interesting period and I wondered whether you might know if the Albanians used ARABESH as a language or were known to be Arabesh as a group or both? Thereis a website you might find interesting www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/arabic-language uses the word Arabesh as an Arabic Chat Alphabet??


Yes my ancestors are considered Arberesh , their language and traditions have carried down to present day (although I would imagine some evolutionary changes have occurred) in the town of my ancestry Piana degli Albanesi (called Plane Grecorum "Plane of the Greeks" in the old latin church records, which I find very interesting as the 15th Century locals at the time considered them to be Greek not "Arberesh" or Albanian)

Unfortunately I have not studied this era and people in the general sense quite as much as you have. I have focused more on specific families and individuals through genealogical resources such as Census (Riveli) and church sacremental registers (BMD). You would be surprised how tedious that can be when working with 16th century script and format, (every priest seemed to have his own spin on how to translate into Latin). We've been extracting and assembling families into several databases. As of right now we have 1527-1910 completely extracted and have cross referenced the 1593 and 1651.

Feel free to enlighten me (and this forum) if you will on the heated political enviornment in Southern Italy at the time..especially in terms of the various invaders. I am ALL ears (or rather eyes) lol
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 15 Mar 2010, 19:20

. I can well imagine the travails of translating individual Latin Vulgate. What, I found interesting was the formation of the early stages of the dialect with latin words being replaced with local dialect expressions. Your having to translate individual ecclesiastic latin is a bit daunting.

Thanks for reminding me of the correct spelling for Arberesh. It is obvious that your highly motivated as I always suspected in probing an area of study by individual families (the time expenditure must be enormous) from such an early period on upwards in time. Thanks again for the information concerning the Arberesh terminology. =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby liviomoreno » 15 Mar 2010, 19:27

JamesBianco wrote:...(called Plane Grecorum "Plane of the Greeks" in the old latin church records, which I find very interesting as the 15th Century locals at the time considered them to be Greek not "Arberesh" or Albanian)...


The original name was "Hora" and became "Piana dei Greci" when King John II of Spain allowed the refugees to preserve their Greek-ortohodox Religion.

The name was changed to Piana degli Albanesi in 1941, during the fascism...
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby JamesBianco » 15 Mar 2010, 19:32

Peter... isn't THIS fascinating! In the history of Himare, Albania is written..


The Ottoman Empire overran northern Epirus from the late 14th century, but being a natural fortress, Himara was the only region that did not submit to Ottoman Turkish rule. It became a symbol of resistance to the Turks but suffered from an almost continuous state of warfare. In the summer of 1473 the Greek revolutionary Ioannis Vlasis, with a small unit from nearby Corfu as well as with native Himariot support, took control of the entire coastal region from Sagiada to Himara, but when the ongoing Turkish-Venetian war ended (1479) the region was again under Ottoman control.[12] In 1481, one year after the Ottomans had landed in Otranto in southern Italy, the Himariotes joined the forces of Gjon Kastrioti, son of Skanderbeg in his uprising against the Ottomans.[13] The uprising failed, but the Himariotes rose again in 1488, and between 1494-1509, destabilizing Turkish control but failing to liberate their territory. Following the rising of 1482 several Himariote families fled the town for Sicily where they were granted land near Palermo which subsequently became the village of Piana degli Albanesi, the inhabitants of which still speak a dialect of Albanian heavily influenced by Greek called Arberisht.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby JamesBianco » 15 Mar 2010, 19:38

liviomoreno wrote:
JamesBianco wrote:...(called Plane Grecorum "Plane of the Greeks" in the old latin church records, which I find very interesting as the 15th Century locals at the time considered them to be Greek not "Arberesh" or Albanian)...


The original name was "Hora" and became "Piana dei Greci" when King John II of Spain allowed the refugees to preserve their Greek-ortohodox Religion.

The name was changed to Piana degli Albanesi in 1941, during the fascism...


Yes I have come to understand these refugees, while technically Albanian, were actually a Greek Community in Albania before departure and identified themselves as Greek in heritage and origins. That would explain why they were considered Greeks by The Sicilians. (ex. "plane grecorum" or "piana dei Greci")


Here is the 1651 Marriage of grandfather Carlo Marciano to Mattea Norcia (notice her place of origin!)

Image
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Mar 2010, 00:47

Dear James we reached an overlap since my papers disclose that my same surnamed relative who was a medical doctor to a nearby Prince
merited the esteem of the King Ferdinando di Aragona who always stayed in his palace whenever he came to his area and in 1481 remained for 3 months "WHEN HE CAME TO RAISE AN ARMY AGAINST THE TURKS WHO HAD LANDED AT OTRANTO" and who he rewarded with many privileges.

By decree from Castel Nuvo di Napoli on July 3, 1488 he conferred upon him a feudal fief within the confines of the territory of Matera,

Thus James we meet historically! =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby Squigy » 21 Apr 2010, 05:53

Hi, guys. I was told about this interesting book, and I thought this thread was a good place to share it.

Here is the link:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_yA7s3 ... &q&f=false

Only a bit of it is on Google Books. I thought it was pretty interesting.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby carmine1917 » 25 Jul 2010, 15:31

The Sicilian side of my family has the whitest skin. A new relative I found, said that he is so pale, people think he is sick, I know that feeling all to well.

My mothers side from Avellino have more color than the Sicilian side. No, I don't tan easy. I am the whitest Sicilian ever.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Jul 2010, 12:12

Initially the western side of Sicily and the Naples area was settled by the Phonecians while the eastern and Southern Italy was settled by the Greeks. This occurred around 2500BC and the basis for the establishment of Palermo and Napoli by the Phonecians with roots in the up and coming Carthage. The Greeks faced East. And you talk about skin color?

The big mystery for that epoch were "The Sea People"..who were they and where did they disappear to.?? No one knows for certain. They lived by invading and moved on to invade other lands and what made them famous and known was that they almost destroyed Egypt in their invasion of that empire and showed up in their hierogylphics. After they cleaned out Greece and the near east islands,they headed west only to disappear. Some people think they settled in Sardinia. =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby maestra36 » 26 Jul 2010, 12:50

My mother was born in Brooklyn NY, but both of her parents were born in Agrigento Province, Sicily. I never knew her father who died when she was 12. Anyway, they were from neighboring towns in Sicily, and my mother was very fair skinned with hazel eyes. When she would ride the train into Manhattan with a neighbor who was German born, others thought they were sisters. My mother had the same coloring as the German born woman and looked more German than Italian.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby PeterTimber » 26 Jul 2010, 13:37

The gene pool of Sicily and Southern Italy is so unpredictable since waves upon waves of pioneers, settlers, invaders over 3000 years have left their DNA strewn, as it were, thruout the centuries. It is quite understandable for one family to have both light skinned and swarthy members within one generation. =Peter=
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby Squigy » 29 Jul 2010, 05:04

Just found this website I thought would interest you:

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_ ... oups.shtml

I'm not sure how well we can trust the site, but I found it pretty interesting. There is a lot more genetic diversity in Italy (especially Southern Italy) than there is in other parts of Europe.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby sandyb » 26 Mar 2011, 23:04

Since it has been proven by DNA that everyone decended from a particular tribe Africa but traveled to other places - humans end up taking on the appearance, size, skin color, etc from the environment they live in for thousands of years. People came up from Africa to Europe & Asia, etc. Eventually some of the Asians crossed over to America via the Bering Strait bridge to Alaska, then down to the mainland of America & eventually down to South America.

Southern Italy is hotter than northern so their skin has more melanin to protect them from the sun.
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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby sentola » 27 Sep 2011, 03:53

Very interesting! I have some Arberesh ancestory about 4 generations or 5 back. My dad had the gorgeous smooth, olive skin (not me, unfortunately), lighter brown eyes, about 5'9" or so, a longer and narrower face than most of his siblings. He and a couple of others take after the Zarcone side (they were said to be taller, lighter eyes, and red or dark hair). My dad's mom (a Zarcone) had reddish hair I have heard. The rest of his siblings have/had greenish or blue eyes, some light brown, and brown, and rounder faces, and shorter. Very interesting! I believe the Zarcones were from Bagheria, and the Zitos were from Piana Degli Albanesi--and some spoke with a different dialect. One of aunts told me that they didn't all call bread "pane" but "buka"? That is more of an Albanian dialect.
My grandfather (a Zito) was shorter, rounder face, and greyish/blue eyes. From an old wedding picture (I have only seen it once) he was very good looking.
Sicily has so many different peoples and cultures--no wonder the variance.
A co-worker who lived in NY for a while--said all the Italians were so good-looking there. He comes to CA--Fresno, and two co-workers (full-blooded Italian from the north) are so ugly--bald and the like! He couldn't believe it! :mrgreen:

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Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Postby Warry » 23 Feb 2012, 15:27

Prevalent stereotypes and ignorant authors outside Italy sometimes paint a superficial physical picture of Sicilians which bears little similarity to reality. While individuals having extremely light blonde hair represent only a small part of the Sicilian population, many Sicilians have blue or green eyes and light complexions and red hair. In Sicily the range of complexions, from cream to olive, is striking and combinations are interesting (blue-eyed dark brunettes and brown-eyed strawberry blonds) moreover, the idea that northern Italians are overwhelmingly “lighter” than southerners is statistically inaccurate.
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