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Cicero asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 1 decade ago

Sicily and Italy... are Sicilians a truly Italian people?

People often comment that Sicily has only recently become part of Italy. This is absolutely true. What they fail to mention is that Milan and northern Italy has also recently become part of Italy.

I will try to simplify the concept. On March 17, 1861 Italy became a nation. Prior to that there was no nation of Italy, just a large region occupied by various Italic peoples and ruled by foreign powers. So the Idea that Italy was a nation that took Sicily under it's wing is erroneous People of Italic stock were spread throughout the Italian peninsula including Sicily. Historically, Sicily became part of the Italian new state before the north.Rome itself remained for a decade under the Papacy, and became part of the Kingdom of Italy on September 20, 1870 so one can say that Sicily was part of Italy 10 years befor Rome. Of couse I would not say that, but one could say that.

In ancient times Rome was a state in the midsection of the Italian peninsula which gradually spread out to include the entire peninsula and then, All of Europe, North Africa, and the middle east. To be a Roman was more of an Ideology then an ethnic classification.

People somtimes site the fact that Sicily was colonized by Greeks well befor the Romans came and that somhow this makes them less Italic. This is true that there were many Greeks in Sicily and it is also true for southern Italy. Naples was founded by Greeks and so were most cities in the south of Italy. When Rome swallowed up southern Italy the greeks were incorperated into the Roman state. They assimilated much like Americans have assimilated in the USA. The same is true for Sicily. The inhabitance of Sicily were no different then the inhabitence of Naples or any other Southern Italian city. Here is where Sicily diverts from the course. When Julies Caesar was assasinated his bottom boy lover octavian fought for control of Rome with Mark Anthony and Pompeys son. Sicily supported Pompey. Of course we all know what happened. Octavian never forgot and took away the Roman citizenship bestoed on Sicily by Caeaser. This stigma as lasted thousands of years. So there you have it. I think this is why people seem to have a thing for knocking Sicily and sicilians.

Oh more comment. Sicily became part of the Roman state around 200 BC. The north of Italy only became a provence of Rome around 44 BC.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You make many valid points in your question. I think that Sicilians are an Italian people, but Shirley T in her reply is also correct that you can't make any absolute statements about the ethnic purity of any people. Human history is full of examples of migrations, mixing and invasions.

    I do think that Sicily has a somewhat unique mix of ethnic groups compared to the rest of Italy. This is mainly due to its position in the middle of the Mediterranean, accessible not only to mainland Italy but also the rest of Europe, the Near East and North Africa. Sicily has experienced colonizations and invasions from all those areas. A good source for learning about the history of Sicily and different peoples involved in its history is found in the Best of Sicily, an online magazine; I've listed its url below in my sources.

    As the administrator of the Sicily Project at Family Tree DNA (url below in sources), I can say that it's clear that Sicily's genetic heritage is heavily tied to the Mediterranean area. Based on the results of about 270 men in the project with Sicilian paternal lines, the deep ancestry of Sicilians is roughly divided between three groups - Mediterranean (including Greece, the Near East and North Africa), Europe (including mainland Italy) and non-Mediterranean/non-European (basically sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia). Those with Mediterranean deep ancestry represent about 60% of the project's results, while those with European deep ancestry take up 38% and those with non-Mediterranean/non-European deep ancestry take up the remaining 2%.

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  • 1 decade ago

    What do you call a truly Italian people? What do you call a truly English people?

    There is no such thing as national, racial or ethnic purity. I understand the Sicilians have a mixture of Greek and Arab as the Northern Italians have a mixture of the Germanic tribes that overran Rome when it went into decline.

    Then the Normans invaded and conquered much of the South.

    With almost any nation you will find a variety of people. All of our ancestors were nomads at one time, then they became tribal and some settled in various regions. Then they invaded and conquered and were invaded and conquered.

    Also at one time the wealth of Italian peninsula was in the south. We have a different view of Italy today.

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  • 4 years ago

    -.-' if you live in Hawaii are you considered American since Hawaii is part of US? I just wanted to say to RV1024 and brdholl that it's non true that we prefere to be called sicilian instead of italians. We are italians because Sicily is part of Italy as Sardinia or Piemonte. When you hear someone say "sicilian" it's not becuse that person doesn't feel italian, but it's a way to specify where is he from. Similarly we call "piemontese" someone who lives in Piemonte, or "laziale" someone from Lazio, "sardo" from Sardegna, "abruzzese" from Abruzzo ecc... But it doesn't mean that laziali, piemontesi, sardi, abruzzesi, emiliani, siciliani ... are not or don't feel italian! I'm italian (I'm sorry for my terrible english, but I hope that I've explained well what I wanted to say). Bye... ^_^

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