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Monday, August 13, 2007

Morgeti and his People

Morgeti and his People
Nearly four thousand years ago the foot of the boot of Italy (modern Calabria) was inhabited by the Aschenazi, descendants of Gomer of the House of Japeth, an elder son of Noah's. The Aschenazi are said to have come to the southern coasts of Italy in the Age of Abraham (who left Ur in Chaldee for the Promised Land) around 1900 BC.
The House of Aschenazi was known in classical times as the House of the Cimmerians - a people that Herodotus believed were the earliest inhabitants of south Russia. The Aschenazi were driven south across the Caucusus mountains by an unknown northern tribe, but when they swept out of the north near the southern shores of the Caspian Sea they arrived once more in the lands of Mount Ararat, only to find a new enemy in the Assyrian Empire.
Near the place where Noah's Ark grounded, the Cimmerian-Aschenazi-Japeth peoples collided with the Empire. They were turned aside and diverted west towards the eastern shores of the Aegaen Sea. They then came to effect the subsequent history of Asia Minor, as well as life on the Armenian coast of the Mediterranean Sea, some 600 years before the city of King Tros (Troy) was built a few miles to the north, and some 700 years before it was destroyed
by the Dorion Greeks.
Upon arriving in the lands south of what would later become Troy, the Aschenazi chose to settle in Cappadocia, and so warred with the Lydians of King Gyges, whom they killed, and whose name re-entered the biblical narrative as Gog, of Gog and Magog fame.
The victorious Aschenazi were left to govern the lands of modern Armenia, (due east across the Aegaen Sea from Greece). In the centuries that preceded their arrival in Calabria, the Aschenazi extended their reach into other lands. The survivors of the Lydian diaspora they created were fleeing away from them into Europe, where pockets of distinctive Lydian-like peoples survived into the historical period. The 8th century BC Etruscans, who would later settle the ankle and lower shin regions of the Italian 'boot' spoke a Lydian-based language.
Long before the Etruscans, but only shortly before the Morgeti, the Aschenazi reached the lands that would become known as Italy.
The pre-historic (ie. pre-written) appearance of the Morgeti in those same lands, occurred some 1500 years before the birth of Christ. About 316 years before Troy was destroyed the rule of the Aschenazi House of Gomer-Japeth in the toe of the 'boot' was overthrown by the Arkaddian princes Enotrio and his brother Paucezio, who were not only sons of the Pelasgian King Licaone of Syria, but their family was also said to have descended from a different line - than the Aschenazi - of Japhet, son of Noah.
It was an age when the religion of the northern Mediterranean was proto-Olympian. It was a time when the cults of Zeus and Hera were just beginning to wage war on the cults of Cronus and Gaea and the Titans, a time when the Aschenazi worshippers of the ancient primordial powers fought for their lives against wild Pan-loving Syro-Arkaddian invaders.
As told in Greek myths, the Titans were being consigned to eternal incarceration in the molten cores of the smouldering volcanoes of southern Italy. That was around the same time as the Aschenazi were being consigned to death by Enotrio and Paucezio in southern Italy. (By the time of the prophet Jeremiah (585 BC) the Aschenazi* once more lived only near Mount Ararat, in the lands of Cappadocia that they had long ago seized from Gog, and where their failing Olympianism began it's last stand against rising Judaism.)
*Nearly two and a half millennia later, the Aschenazi would endure the fires of European history when Adolf Hitler created his anti-Jewish holocaust.

Not much is known about the Morgezi. The website of the modern town of SGM places Enotrio's entry into Calabria 850 years before the fall of Troy (1185 BC) but that seems to precede the date of the encyclopedia's date for the Aschenazi's arrival so I have cobbled together the following.
In San Giorgio Morgeto, there is evidence in the Jerapotamo grotto of an ancient, prehistorical battle like the one that would have been fought by Enotrio and Paucezio against the Aschenazi.
And it is in San Giorgio Morgeto that the ruins of a Magna Greco city known as Morgetum are still awaiting a major archaeological exploration. That ancient Greek city was built near the Morgezian stronghold - the Jerapotamo Grotto, which connects - by bridge - the road from the Ionian Sea ports in the east and the road to the Gulf of Gioia and the Straits of Messina and Sicily in the west,
as well as connections for the roads to the northeast, where Paucezio's people lived.
Both the non-mob San Giorgiosi clans and the organized Morgeti families are, in their hearts and minds, descended from King Morgezi, son of King Enotrio, son of King Licaone a descendant of Noah's through Japhet (who not only preceded the Trojan Aeneas into Italy by several centuries, but whose line arrived in the Promised Land before it had been promised to Abraham.)
After defeating the Aschenazi Enotrio's brother Paucezio took a portion of his people north into the plains of Pugliesi. Enotrio settled his people and their herds in the plains of San Eufemia. When his expansions were done, Enotrio had absorbed the lands of the indigenous clans of the Campani, Lucani and the Chonj. In time his people assimilated the traditions of the original populations.
Enotrio may have died sometime in the 17th century BC after a 7O year reign. Morgezi inherited the lands of southern modern Calabria that his father's people had first named 'Ausone', after a similar fertile valley in Syria, but by the time that Morgezi became king, the land had became known - not as Ausone - but as Vitale, (Vitali) or Italy, a word derived from the name for the yearling bull that was the totem of the Syro-Pelasgian-Arkaddian royal house.
Morgeti would have begun his own fifty year reign around 1630 BC or so. The land however - in King Morgezi's lifetime - became known, not as Vitale-Italy - but as Morgezia, a tribute from his people to his wisdom and his policies, and a tribute from his enemies because Morgezi had the power to keep his lands.
Morgezi was known more for his oratory than his violence, and he re-united the nomadic clans and the indigenous peoples and turned them into agriculturalists, he gave them a common law and constructed cities and villages.
By the end of his reign his territory included a region of eastern Sicily on which stood a citadel that eventually grew into the city known to the Greeks as Morgantina, a second Hellenic city built on a site important to the Morgezi.
According to the San Giorgio Morgeto town website, when Morgezi died it was said that he had been seen in visions by the commoners, but not by the 'forestieri'. Once he was dead what became of his people, the Morgeti-Vitali ?
According to the town website, the historian Strabo, about a thousand years before Christ, the Iapyges (Jaspygio) landed in Italy from Metaponto, or Messapia on the Illyrian coast of the Adriatic. The Iapyges and the Calabri occupied Apulia and Calabria. The Iapygia were said to have descended from Dedalo and Blessa, uncles of Dauno and Paucezio.
The Jaspygio are known to the Greeks as the people of Iapetus, a son of Uranus, the 'grandfather' of Zeus. Iapetus was the father of the Titans Atlas and Prometheus who, by the decree of Zeus, were sentenced to volcanic confinement for their efforts in their war against Olympus. Iapetus himself was consigned to Tarturus, the volcanic core of Mount Etna in Sicily northwest of Morgantina.
The Jaspygio appear to have displaced an earlier Sicilian speaking people in the area around Crotone. With the coming of Magna Greco, the Messapian speaking peoples were absorbed by their Hellenic cousins.
Morgantina was a Sicilian Greek City that arose to its heights in 300 BC, a city that would - six hundred years later - form the basis for one of the legends of the Guelph Morgezi, namely a tale that begins in 300 AD when a Roman Senator named Valerius led the remnant of the Morgeti who lived in the ruins of the fallen Greek fortress of Morgantina back to Calabria and the Jerapotamo grotto and the torrent that crashes through it on the north western edge of the Aspromonte.
In that thousand years before Christ the Jaspygio had been joined on the relatively empty mainland of the northern peninsula shortly thereafter by Sabines and Latins who had also begun moving inland and south towards the northern wastes of the Aspromonte that protected northern Morgezia. The Jaspygio were heirs of the horse and sea cult of Poseidon and so would have had coastal contact with the Morgezi and Paucezio's people in Pugliesi.
And then the North African city of Carthage was founded in 814 BC as a Phoenician trade centre in the western Mediterranean, 100 miles south across the Sea from Sicily and southern Calabria. The Carthaginians soon began crossing to Sicily, where they impacted on the lives of not only the Siculi-Sicani of the islands, but on the coasts of Jaspygion-Morgezia.
At the same time as the Carthaginians arrived in Sicily in the 800's BC, the Jaspygions began losing their northern territories to the Etruscans, (a people, as noted, whose language was akin to that of the Lydians of Gog who had been displaced by the Aschenazi 1100 years earlier.)
The Etruscans, like the Jaspygions before them, began to press inland. By the 6th century BC the Etruscans controlled Rome and Tuscany, but in 509 BC the Romans aided the Latins in throwing off Etruscan overrule. Thus, at the same time as Magna Greco began to arise in the south, the Latin-Roman alliance arose in the north.
The process was a gradual one, and there is no clear picture of what life was like for Morgezi-Vitalian peasants whose new Greek overseers had no more qualms about slavery than had Morgezi or his father.
The ruins of Morgantina in Sicily are associated with the Morgezi, who appear to have inhabited a citadel on the site of the future city, around the 13th century BC. There is nothing left of Morgezi religion on the site, since the religion of the city appears to have centred around the cult of Persephone, goddess of the harvest, a cult which governed the rest of Magna Greco, alongside the cult of Demeter, goddess of planting. Greco-Morgantinans seem not to have worshipped Demeter.
Persephone, married to Hades, god of the underworld, was also the goddess of the shades of men, and as such was the overseer of their curses. The role of the curse in vendetta would one day cause grief to the San Giorgio Morgeto clans who settled in Guelph: a number of murders and disappearances still haunt the oldest memories here. Persephone was not one of Morgezi's pantheon (although she may have been known to the Vitali as Kore, an early manifestation of the goddess that was probably in vogue when Enotrio first turned his nomads into agriculturalists
Morgantina in Sicily had a temple to Persephone but the city had no temple to Demeter. The city was also home to a shrine to Venus, who, before she too became associated with gardening was an ancient spirit of beauty. Venus only became Demeter-like in her attributes during Roman times.
The House of Ganymede* can also be found in Morgantina. Ganymede was a boy who was stolen from his father, Tros - the king who gave his name to Troy - sometime in the 1200's. (Ganymede's brother Ilus was the father of Priam, and Priam was lord of Troy at the time of its destruction in 1184 BC.) Ganymede as a boy lived a hundred years or so after the death of King Morgezi.
*Some legends say Ganymede was carried off to Crete, where Minos, the high king of the greatest civilization of the age, is said to have ravaged him. Others say Ganymede was beloved of Zeus and was carried off by an eagle to Olympus. In the house of Ganymede in Morgantina, mosaics discovered in the 1950's depict events in the Zeus-eagle version of the story.
In Morgantina an ancient cult of beauty, a harvest cult without a planting cult, and a house built in remembrance of the fact that the sons of Troy were loved by Zeus, take precedence over the Morgezi cults of Pan, Hermes and Artemis. Which suggests that whatever Morgezi there were in Morgantina they survived outside their own milieu.
Certainly the Siculi and Sicani fared poorly under Greek tyrants who governed the various city-states of the island, so there is no reason to assume that the Morgezi fared any better, in Sicily, or in back in Morgetum. By the 3rd and 2nd centuries before Christ, Morgantina was at the apex of its development and is mentioned in the writings of Strabo and Livy.
The Morgezi nonetheless survived nearly 600 years of Greek rule; they kept their own society, and only by marriage and blood were their secrets transmitted, their wild magic and ancient ways clothed in new civilities, while the Greeks gave way to the Romans.
For most of pre-Christian Roman history Morgezia remained in Greek hands because most Roman conflicts were centred on their own neighbours, the Latins, on Etruscan expansionists, and only in the hundred years before Christ did they set about overthrowing the hegemony of Greece in the northern Mediterranean.
At yet, even as Rome consolidated its own imperial power over all of Italy, there were major rebellions against Rome between 90-87 BC, in which the symbol of the Vitali yearling bull was used by the rebels in their fight. To the Vitali rallied the Marsi, the Sannititi and the Lucani against Rome. To the Romans the province of the Morgezia was known as Brutium, because the Brutti had come down from the north through Lucania and founded a federation of peoples that extended from Laos of the Lucania to the Aspromonte. The populist social rebellions of the century before Christ caused the whole of the Peninsula, the whole of the 'boot', to become known as Italy, after Enotrio's totem. The Vitalians had become Italians. Soon after Rome consolidated its position as the capitol of a new empire, its new emperors began instituting the worship of emperors.
Into this mix of pre-Olympian and post-Olympian worship, a legend began to circulate about a Jew who had been born of a miraculous birth and who had died on a cross before rising from the dead. It was a legend from a few hundred miles southwest across the Sea, mere miles from the Syrian home of Morgezi's father.
And, needless to say, during the course of such things, the new religion of Christ overthrew the cult of emperor worship. There is a legend that says that when Jesus was born the great Pan sailed into the harbour of Athens, played a farewell on his pipes and sailed away never to be seen again.
In event, around 300 AD, not only did Valerius the senator lead the Morgezi out of Sicily and back to the ruins of Morgetum, but Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
The home of the Morgeti looks westward out over the lowlands to the south western coast of Calabria and the straits where Mount Etna on Sicily can be seen on a clear day. Aspromonte itself is the last mountain in the Apennines and stretches to the Ionian Sea which lies south of Calabria. The Aspromonte is not unlike the Niagara Escarpment that runs just east of Guelph and south around the western end of Lake Ontario through Hamilton where it continues down the shore to Niagara and the falls. But where the escarpment has only an eastern face, the Aspromonte slopes east and west and south.
Valerius established a village beside the ruins of the ancient Hellenic city of Morgetum. The story resonates in Guelph today because it was 'Mike' Valerioti who is said to have led the Morgeti to Guelph Ontario in the early 190O's.
In the first decade of the 300's AD a Roman soldier named Giorgio the son of a Cappadocian father but raised by his widowed mother (in her native home of Lydda, Palestine) rose to the rank of a count and served in the personal guard of the Emperor Diocletian. The emperor ordered a persecution of all Christians in his empire, but Giorgio, being a Christian, refused, and thus, ended up martyred. Diocletian died and the emperor Constantine built a shrine to Giorgio in Lydda, where the veneration for him spread throughout Palestine. Some time between 492 and 496 AD Pope Gelasius I canonized him as San Giorgio.
The village of the Morgeti on the edge of the vanishing ruins of Morgetum became known as San Giorgio in 1075 AD. It was renamed after the Morgezi were spared from the devastation caused to the rest of the region by invaders (Pope Leo III refers to the invaders as Moors, Agareni and Saracens) who had occupied parts of Sicily since 842 AD. The Morgeti villagers believed that San Giorgio had interceded with the Moors on their behalf because San Giorgio had been revered by Muslims. San Giorgio was believed by the Muslims to be the Palestinian companion of Mohammed, known as al-Khadr, and so they named their village San Giorgio and lost the Morgeto name until 1864.
Soon after Giorgio was martyred by Diocletian, the rise of the first Christian Roman Empire began. The region then passed into the hands of the Lombards, until it was taken into the Byzantine Empire in the 600's.
A hundred years or so later the Italian peoples became subject to the Frankish Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, who annexed not only Lombardy but much of Europe. Over the next 500 years Italy and thus ancient Morgezia continued to be divided and subdivided between various competing interests.
Morgezia became part of a barony in 1324, and then in 1343, it passed to the Cararciolo's who were given control of the barony by the Anjou Queen Giovanna, when southern Italy was controlled by the French. In 1458 it came under the rule of the di Sorrentino's, then in 1501 it was ruled by the Marquises of the Milan family.
After that, the Spanish took over. The barony went to Consalvo de Cordova who had defeated the French near Seminara. but then the barony was reconquered by the Milan, whose family held onto it until 1806 when Giuseppe Bonaparte seized control of southern Italy and abolished feudalism. While it was still in the Milans' hands back in 1783 the village was rocked by an earthquake so devastating that San Giorgio became a "Sacred Case" and the people were allowed access to Church incomes, properties and even access to the convents.
Until the rule of the Spanish Hapsburgs, the region had been run by Greeks, Slavs, Goths, Swiss, Vandals, Franks, Arabs, North Africans, Normans, Norwegians, and Danes. For our purposes, led it be said however that when Calabria became subject to the Hapsburg Spaniards in the early 1500's something changed forever. That change would take another 400 years and a completely different world to come into being before it brought the Morgeti anything resembling power, but in the early 1500's the seed that would one day turn into Calabrian organized crime was planted by the creation of a secret society.

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