Hawaii, Land of Surf and Sunshine Art Print

Hawaii, Land of Surf and Sunshine

Hawaii, Land of Surf and Sunshine Art Print
Erickson, Kerne
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Hawaii Vintage Travel Beach & Sun Posters Prints

Early history

Hawaii was a group of islands covered with vegetation and surrounded by coral reefs for thousands of years before any man came to its shores, and the islands may have been in existence before any men were on earth. It would be interesting to know the name of the man who first saw Mauna Loa, Haleakala, the Nuuanu Pali, or Waimea Canyon, and to know how lie came to the islands and the reason for his coming. But the date of discovery, the name of the discoverer, and the place from which he came will never be known.

The first Hawaiians

According to some traditions, the first people to settle in Hawaii were a small group of Polynesians probably the occupants of one canoe -- who reached the islands about 500 A.D. It may be that these people and their descendants were the only inhabitants of Hawaii for more than six hundred years. Then more immigrants came, and during the years between 1100 A.D. and 1250 A.D. new settlers arrived from the Marquesas, from Tahiti, and from Samoa.

According to Hawaiian tradition the first of these new settlers was Paao, who arrived at Puna from Samoa or from Tahiti about the year 1125 with a company of thirty-eight, including his relatives and attendants. The fact that his expedition was equipped with well-constructed boats, a store of food, and was accompanied by a navigator, a sailing master, and an astronomer indicates a definite intention to find a place for settlement. But there is no evidence that Paao knew of the existence of Hawaii. It is probable that he found it by chance. There are no traditions of immigrations to Hawaii during the period 1250 to 1778, the date of the rediscovery by Captain James Cook.Thus for more than 500 years the inhabitants of Hawaii may have been isolated from the other peoples in the Pacific. During this time of about twenty generations the Hawaiians lived much like other members of their race, but because they were not in contact with their relatives living on distant islands they came to have customs and beliefs, kinds of governments, songs, and stories somewhat different from those in other parts of Polynesia .

Differences among Polynesians

Pontoon and Hut Over the Lagoon, Rangiroa, Taumotus, The, French Polynesia

Pontoon and Hut Over the Lagoon, Rangiroa, Taumotus, The, French Polynesia Photographic Print
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Differences among Polynesians

Although the inhabitants of the different Polynesian islands have descended from people who belonged to more than one race, their customs and beliefs are much alike. They even have some ancestors in common. From the same revered hero, Olopana, the Maoris and the Hawaiians record twenty-seven generations.

But just as in England, Japan, or the United States people in one part of the country speak differently, use different tools, and play different games, so in Polynesia the people in different islands differ from each other. Aloha in Hawaii, aroha in New Zealand, kaoha in the Marquesas, and alofa in Samoa are merely different spellings of the same word. In the Marquesas and in Hawaii the houses were rectangular; in Samoa and Tonga, they were oval. Only the Marquesans and the Maoris carved their house posts. Canoes in the Marquesas, New Zealand, and Hawaii were dug out of logs; in Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga they were built of planks. The shape of adzes, poi pounders, and stone images differs in different islands. Wooden bowls with legs, which are common in Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga, are rare in Hawaii and are not found in the Marquesas. In war, spears, clubs, and slings were used in all Polynesia, but the bow and arrow was an important weapon only in Tonga. The shell trumpet, the nose flute, and some kind of drum were used nearly everywhere; but the wooden trumpet was played only in New Zealand and in the Marquesas, and the musical bow was an important instrument only in Hawaii and the Marquesas. All Polynesians engaged in boxing, wrestling, and dart throwing, and all except the Tongans used surf boards. But kite flying was mostly a game for Maori children, and bowling with ulumaika stones and coasting down hill were games for Hawaiians. All Polynesians except the Maoris made tapa, but the tools for making it and the figures stamped or painted on it were different. Feathers were used for dress or ornaments in all islands, but in different ways, and feather cloaks were made only in New Zealand and Hawaii. All Polynesians carved in wood, but little attention was paid to this art except in the Marquesas and New Zealand; the method of representing the human figure in carving, painting, and in petroglyphs was different. The Marquesans and the Maoris were cannibals, and they hunted heads of enemies and preserved them as decorations; the Tahitians, Samoans, and Tongans hunted heads but did not keep them. The Hawaiians were not cannibals and did not hunt heads. Burial customs were different in each island group. In the Marquesas and New Zealand were regular schools for the training of young people. In other parts of Polynesia education was not organized.

Fan Coral, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea Photographic Print

Fan Coral, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Fan Coral, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea Photographic Print
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Pacific islanders came from Asia. Far back in the history of the human race the ancestors of the natives living on islands in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia had their homes on the great Asiatic continent. The first inhabitants of Australia, Java, Borneo, and the Philippines also came from the Asiatic region. The route by which they came is marked out by islands, peninsulas, and straits. From the continent of Asia down along the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Celebes, the Moluccas, and on to Papua and Australia it is possible to sail from island to island without going out of sight of land. The large islands are joined together by chains of small islands, and the passage from one to another is no more difficult or dangerous than to go from Maui to Lanai or from Oahu to Molokai. In good weather the crudest craft, even a log or a raft, might safely take the voyage.

Pacific islands are far apart

The islands of Melanesia lying between Papua or New Guinea and Fiji are not very far apart, and primitive canoes might make the journey from one to another of them in two or three days. But cast, northeast, and southeast of Fiji the islands are widely separated; most of them are very small and low and cannot be seen at a distance. Most of the island groups and some single islands are from 100 to 300 miles from their nearest neighboring island. Easter Island is 1,100 miles from the outermost island of the Gambier group, and Hawaii is 900 miles from Fanning Island, the nearest land which might be used as a stopping place. To cover these great distances requires boats which can live through rough seas, a way of carrying food for voyages of weeks and months, and fearless men who are skilled in navigation. Elarly in the history of the human race there were no such boats and no such men. This makes it possible to understand why Java and the Philippines and Australia were inhabited probably more than 10,000 years ago and also why many of the Polynesian islands were first seen. by men within the last 2,000 years, some of them within the last 500 years. It is probable that Polynesia is the last habitable part of the world to be occupied by the human race. It is remarkable that Hawaii, so far removed from America, Asia, and from the other islands in the Pacific, was found at all before the days of big sailing vessels.

Why the pioneers came

The causes which led the early Polynesians to make short voyages to near-lying islands in the western Pacific and to the remote and widely separated islands of the central and eastern. Pacific are not known, but they are probably the same as the causes which have led to the migration of other primitive people in other parts of the world. To escape slaughter in battle some people were forced to find new homes in more favorable places. The destruction of food plants and homes by storm waves which sometimes sweep across low islands led to the abandonment of fields and village sites. Some migrations of small groups of people were probably involuntary; the boats were blown to sea and carried wherever wind and currents directed until land came in sight. For other migrations plans may deliberately have been made for the purpose of finding new islands where fishing was better and where food for an increasing population was easier to obtain. There is evidence also that many migrations were the result of love of adventure a deliberate intent to find something new. When a new island was discovered, the adventurer made his way back to his people, only to return with his family or with a company of immigrants who were attracted to the new-found land.

This love of adventure which led to the finding of islands, fishing grounds, food plants, and choice places for settlements is a marked characteristic of all branches of the Polynesian race.

Niue, a raised coral island

Niue, a raised coral island

Niue is a raised coral island fourteen miles long and ten miles wide and bordered nearly all the way around by sea cliffs. Its surface consists of several plateaus or terraces rising one above the other, the highest standing about 200 feet above sea level. The island is composed entirely of limestone made of coral, shells, and plants which grew on a coral reef before it was raised to its present position. The soil is decomposed limestone and, though thin, is rich and favorable for the growth of plants.

There is abundant rainfall, but the water quickly runs into the ground through caves and open cracks in the limestone, and for drinking and cooking the natives use either rain water or the brackish water obtained from caves. There are many times of drought. There are but few kinds of trees on the island, but because of the rich soil they may grow luxuriously. Hardwood trees suitable for making small canoes are present. Pandanus and coconut are the principal plants, which serve alike for food, clothing, and building material. Fish and other sea foods are plentiful.

Raised coral islands, like Nauru, Loyalty, Vavau, and Makatea, may support a fairly large population after food plants introduced from other islands have been established.

Groups of Pacific islands

The Pacific oceanic islands are so numerous that it has been found convenient to consider them as three groups of islands: Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Each group contains volcanic islands, coral islands, and raised coral islands. In each group there are different plants and animals and different races of men. Hawaii includes the northernmost islands of Polynesia.

Funafuti, a coral island

Funafuti, a coral island

Funafuti is a coral island and is an example of thousands which dot the surface of the Pacific. It is a circular island -- an atoll -- consisting of a ring of twentynine oddly shaped islets surrounding a central lagoon. It includes three hundred thirty-four acres and rises at its highest point but sixteen feet above the sea. The rock of the little islands which make up Funafuti is limestone made of chunks of coral and wind-blown coral sand, and the soil is a thin layer of decomposed limestone overlying hard rock. There are no streams; the water for drinking and cooking comes from shallow brackish wells or is rain water caught in bowls. The island is too low to intercept the rain-bearing clouds; rain falls just as it does over the open ocean, and droughts may occur any year or several times in a year. Because the soil of the island is thin and lacks the vegetable mold necessary to the growth of many species of plants, there are only a few kinds of trees and shrubs, those which will grow in sand and in the cracks of rocks. The trees suitable for making canoes are small.

The food plants are the coco palm, which serves also for building material, and the wonderful pandanus, which furnishes a kind of flour for bread and fiber for ropes and strings, mats, and clothing. By digging suitable trenches to procure moist earth and protection from drifting sand and by carefully tending the crop, taro and bananas are raised. Sea food and the flesh and eggs of sea birds are plentiful. On some of the little coral islands, like those which make up the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the Tuamotus, several families may make a living, and on a few of them are communities of more than a hundred people. But no one lives on most of the many thousands of coral islands, like Laysan, Johnston, and Palmyra; many of them have never been inhabited. The reason for this is not only that food is scarce; the islands are so low that in times of great storms the waves would rush across the land, destroying the crops and drowning the peoples.

Many islands in the Pacific Ocean

The number of islands in the Pacific Ocean is not known. Every one that is known is shown on the maps used by the captains of ships, but there is doubt about the position and size of several of them. There are islands on which no man has ever landed, and there may be islands which no one has seen.

The maps used in schools show only a few of the Pacific islands; many small islands which stand far away from continents and from larger islands are omitted, and there is not space on the map for showing all of the small islands which form part of a group of islands like Hawaii, Tahiti, and Tonga. Fiji consists of 470 islands, the Tuamotus of an equal number, and the Philippines of more than 7,000. In the whole Pacific there are possibly 30,000 islands, which is more than the islands in all the other four oceans. The Pacific Ocean may be called the Ocean of Islands.

Islands of different sizes and shapes

The islands are of different sizes and different shapes. Some of them are projecting rocks or short high ridges like Molokini, Kaula, and Mokolii; others are low flat masses or broken rings of islets of a few hundred acres in extent, like Laysan and Palmyra islands. There are many islands the size of Oahu or Maui, some of them flat and low and some of them rugged and mountainous. There are many islands larger than any in the Territory of Hawaii. Java is ten times the size of the island of Hawaii; New Caledonia is about the size of Massachusetts; and Borneo is larger than Texas.

Continental islands

The many thousands of islands in the Pacific are of several different kinds. Some of them, like Juan Fernandez ( Robinson Crusoe's island) off the coast of Chile, Vancouver Island adjoining the State of Washington, the Japanese islands on the Asiatic coast, and Papua separated from Australia by the narrow Torres Strait, are continental islands. They consist of about the same kinds of rock and have many of the same plants and animals as the near-lying continents of which they were once a part. Other is ands, like New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, Timor, Borneo, and the Philippines, are little continents in themselves or parts of continents which have been broken up into islands by the sinking of the surrounding land into the sea.

Oceanic islands

Most of the thousands of islands which rise above the sur ace of the Pacific are oceanic islands; the rocks which compose them and the animals and plants which live on them are different from those on the continents of North America, South America, Asia, and Australia. These oceanic islands include Hawaii, the Marquesas, the Tuamotus, the Austral, Cook, the Society, Tonga, Samoan, Ellice, Gilbert, Marshall, and Caroline Islands and the many small islands scattered between and beyond these groups.

Volcanic islands

Oceanic islands of the Pacific are of two kinds, volcanic islands and coral islands. Volcanic islands are composed of lava which has issued in a molten state from vents in the bottom of the sea and spread out over the sea floor, building up a mound of rock. In places where lava continues to come from the interior of the earth the mound may be built up until it stands above the surface of the water. Continued supply of lava may make this mound into a huge mass of lava, a volcano, which may remain as a mountain long after lava has ceased to flow. Some volcanic islands consist of one volcano; others have been made by the combined activities of many volcanoes. The kind of lava rock which composes the volcanic islands of the Pacific is basalt and is different from that which forms volcanic islands in some other parts of the world.

Coral islands

Coral islands are composed of limestone made of whole shells and parts of broken shells of many small animals which live in the sea and of algae, sea plants, of several kinds. Of the animals which form limestone, corals are the most abundant. The beginning of a coral island is a mass of land which rises nearly to the surface of the sea. To this land corals attach themselves and begin to spread and to grow upward nearly to the water's surface. Corals also attach themselves to the edges of continents, continental islands, and volcanic islands, forming reefs which border the shore and extend some distance seaward. Coral islands are not found everywhere, because corals can live only in warm, shallow, and clear salt water. No corals grow in New Zealand or in the Aleutian Islands because the water is too cold; and none grow near the mouths of fresh-water streams or of muddy streams.

Corals by themselves make coral reefs which may be exposed at low tides, though they do not make coral islands, for they die when out of water. But waves may break up a coral reef and make an island by piling the broken fragments so high that their top is above high tides. The waves not only break large chunks from the reef but also grind the corals and shells into sand. This sand is carried by the wind and built into sand dunes, which make the new islands still higher and wider and provide a soil in which plants may grow. These islands made by the waves and the wind working together have various forms; some are straight narrow belts of land; others are shaped like a circle or a horseshoe; but all of them are low islands with the highest points not more than twenty or thirty feet above sea level.

Raised coral islands

The sea bottom beneath some coral reefs in the Pacific has risen toward the surface of the water, carrying the reefs up with it, thus making islands of coral and shell which may stand as high as one hundred feet or even more above sea level. Such islands are called raised coral islands.

Some islands better than others

As places for men to live these three kinds of oceanic islands are very different. The soil of coral islands and of raised coral islands is made of decomposed limestone; that of volcanic islands is volcanic dust and sand and mud made from decomposed lava. Little rain falls on coral islands, more on raised coral islands, and the most on volcanic islands. The plants, insects, and land shells are different on the three kinds of islands.

Sierra Nevada, Spain - Agriculture

Agriculture in such an area is bound to be limited, and can be divided broadly into three main types; that of the high northern slopes, that of the arid foothills, and that of the high southern slopes. Few people try to eke out a living on the northern slopes; those who do live either in small villages like Guejar Sierra, or else in isolated farmhouses. At lower altitudes olives and vines flourish, and small terraced plots, irrigated from tiny streams, supply all the vegetables needed, while a few cattle are kept and sheep and goats pastured on the hillsides. At higher altitudes it is too cold for olives or vines, and the staple crops are wheat, maize and potatoes, all grown on minute plots hacked out of the steep hillside and irrigated by tiny runnels led off from springs. Chestnuts give a measure of variety to local food supplies, and some sheep and goats are kept -- but they are rarely to be found above 8,000 feet, since there is little grass at this height. Methods of farming are primitive; the wheat is often pulled up by hand, and then trodden by donkeys, the only beasts able to negotiate the steep slopes. On the southern slopes much more variety is possible, since it is much warmer, and it is here that a line of villages has arisen along the Rio Grande, where the streams of the mountains emerge from their gorges. Olives are grown up to the 3,000-foot contour line, oranges, vines and a great variety of vegetables flourish in the southern valleys, while chestnuts, mulberries and walnuts can be grown up to 5,000 feet, and rye and potatoes up to 8,500 feet. As a complete contrast one comes to the limited agriculture of the barren foothills, where only in the river valleys is there any extensive agriculture. A small number of sheep and goats are kept, some esparto grass is collected, and in a few spots, as for example along a spring line, a little wheat is grown; otherwise the foothills are useless for agriculture.

The most important of the cities include Berja, with its lead mines, Orgiva, a small agricultural centre, and Alhama, with its mineral waters. There are other even smaller villages, such as Trévelez, an untidy huddle of houses built below the peak of Mulhacén, surrounded by small runnels of pure spring water mainly derived from snow-melt, and boasting, despite its diminutive size, of the fact that it is the highest village in Spain (5,395 feet). Another interesting village is Pitres, which retains, as do so many of these mountain villages, the original Moorish houses of its medieval occupants, still occupied by their descendants. Communication between such villages is usually only by rocky mule trail; only occasionally is there a road which can take wheeled traffic. Oddly enough there is a motor road to the top of Veleta, which was used by cars for the first time on September 15th, 1935, and has since facilitated the transport of many tourists from Granadax for skiing in winter and in summer for mountaineering or sightseeing (visibility is exceptionally good on a clear day).

Este mirador es, pues, unico en el mundo. . . . Los valles septentrionales estan petrificados por el hielo y por el frio; los meridionales, calcinados por el calor y por el sol. En los cortijas que miran a Granada se vive al amparo de fogatas, bien cerradas las puertas y ventanas; en los de la Alpujarra, se duerme a la luz de la luna, sobre montónes de paja, al aire libre. Los labradores de Guejar o de Monacil almacénan bellotas y cerezas; los de la Contraviesa almontan almendras o naranjas. Aquellos conservan patatas bajo la nieve; estos secan higos al calor del sol. Las del Mediodia son suaves lomas de alegras tonas azuladas; las del Norte son crestas terribles, sombreadas, y negruzcas.

(Moreover, this sight is unique in the whole world. . . . The northern valleys are petrified by snow and ice; the southern ones roasted by the heat of the sun. In the farmhouses around Granada people crouch beside an open fire, and keep doors and windows well shut; in those of the Alpujarra, they sleep in the moonlight, on piles of straw, in the open air. The farmers of Guejar or Monacil store away acorns or cherries; those of the Contraviesa put by almonds and oranges. The former keep potatoes under the snow; the latter dry figs in the sun. In the south there are wide rolling hills, light blue in colour; in the north menacing peaks rise up, shadowed and black.)

The Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada consists of an enormous mass of highland extending from the village of Padul, on the road from Granada to Motril, to the village of Gergal, on the railway line from Linares to Almería, with the high peaks of Mulhacén and Veleta at the centre of the system. A great deal of research and exploration is yet to be done in the central area, but from evidence so far accumulated it seems that there has been land in this zone since lower Permian times, with intermittent invasions of the Betic sea. In Jurassic and early Tertiary times, however, this land appears to have been less extensive, and there were large geosynclines to the north and south of the present mountains, containing seas in which were laid down sediments which were later folded and incorporated into the present systems.

The major fold movements took place in Miocene times, a little after the fold movements in the rest of Spain, and from a geological point of view the mountains have one very interesting feature. They reveal definite Alpine phenomena in the structure of the folds, particularly in the nappes which outcrop in the central areas. Such intensive folding served to emphasize the line of crustal weakness underlying the whole region, so that earthquakes, while not excessive in number, occur more frequently than in other parts of Spain. The number of seismic disturbances averages three per year, but this figure may be exceeded occasionally, as in 1911, when there were eleven. The epicentre of such movements is frequently of exceptional depth. Even while they were emerging, the mountains were subject to subaerial denudation, and huge accumulations of fluvial deposits appeared on their flanks, which now form some of the arid foothills to the north of the Sierra Nevada. These later deposits are almost undisturbed and therefore horizontal, and have been deeply dissected by modern streams.

Rocks exposed in the area show great diversity of age and substance, ranging from ancient Archaean granite to younger sedimentaries, such as limestone. The folding took place without great volcanic activity so that recent volcanic rocks are absent; there is, however, a large amount of granite and other crystalline rock in the centre (as, for example, micaceous schist) associated with the Veleta nappe, where ancient underlying rock has been forced up as an extrusion and subsequently exposed through weathering. From this Archaean core the rocks become progressively younger outwards, passing through Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks, through Mesozoic to younger sedimentaries, amongst which limestone is important, if only because it gives rise to completely arid, as opposed to almost arid, hills. Various minerals like lead, zinc and silver are associated with the older rocks, while iron occurs, though infrequently, in some of the younger rocks. Mineral waters are also found in a few places, as at Alhama, but difficulty of access prevents their being used on a large scale.

The higher region was covered by a small ice-cap during Quarternary glaciation, and ice has helped to fashion the surface features, particularly on the northern and western slopes, where insolation was less pronounced. There is much evidence of ice action; erratic blocks are sometimes found, but these are less obvious features than the mounds of glacial material, or moraine. Between the peaks of Mulhacén existed a large glacier, which has left an expanse of lateral moraine, about 1½ miles long, between Tajo de Culo de Perro and Cortijo de las Vacas; another morainic deposit may be found below the Loma de Dilar. Many corries still exist, some, like that at the head of the valley of Siete Lagunas, revealing a stepped appearance similar to the cirques á gradin, or Kartreppe found in the French or Swiss Alps. Sometimes the corries are filled with water, such as the Lagunilla de Mulhacén, and the Laguna de las Yeguas. There still exists a small remnant of the former ice in the hoyas, or hollows, of Mulhacén and Veleta; in both cases ice remains in the hollows all the year round. Some geographers refer to these patches of ice as glaciers, but since they cover an area small in comparison with Alpine glaciers, and since the ice scarcely moves, they cannot be termed glaciers in the strict sense of the word.

River action is more marked than ice action in the high zones; most geographers agree that the tremendously steep-sided valleys owe their present appearance not to ice but to the work of streams, which have great force in a region of such steep gradients. The dryness of the climate compared with that of most other high mountains has prevented lateral erosion from keeping pace with vertical erosion, and has produced valleys that are almost gorges. Routeways are possible in the valleys and gorges, but the construction of roads and railways is very difficult in the land immediately adjacent to them. On the lower foothills especially, where the rock is softer, gullying is marked, a reminder of infrequent but torrential storms. Where the rivers emerge on to the plains there is usually a large alluvial fan; such features are obvious on the west side of the Sierra Nevada, where many short streams debouch on to the plain of the Genil.

The topography of this mountain range, whether in the high ranges or the lower foothills, is imposing. An atlas map shows the general arrangement of hill masses and streams; it cannot, however, reveal the interesting local details. The central ridge contains the highest peaks and acts as a divide between the rivers, climate, cultivation and human activities of the north and south slopes. It runs almost due east-west, starting at El Caballo (10,581 feet) and passing through Veleta (11,128 feet), Mulhacén (11,420 feet) and the Alcazaba (11,185 feet) continues in the same direction, but at a lower level until the Cerros de Almirez (8,400 feet) is reached. The appearance of the actual peaks is often the result of structure rather than of erosion. Thus Mulhacén, a great granitic monolith, has a relatively rounded top; Veleta, composed partly of micaceous slates, has a very gentle slope to the south but a precipitous slope to the north, while the heights composed of younger rocks show rounded monotonous outlines if derived of softer material, but sharp, jagged peaks if of limestone.

High elevation and a low latitudinal position combine to make the climate of the Sierra Nevada a unique feature of the European mainland. The climate is basically Mediterranean, but many other factors have to be considered. In the first instance height reduces pressure; this sometimes induces slight mountain sickness. The effect of pressure, however, is not as great as that of increased insolation. Above 7,000 feet the light is strong, and some protection for the eyes is advisable, while the effect on the human skin can be dangerous. There are great extremes of temperature, both annual and diurnal. By day the summer temperature in direct sun may be well over 120° F., although on the heights shade temperatures may be as little as 45° F.; at night the temperature drops very suddenly to as little as 38° F., as a result of great radiation of heat from almost bare rock into air that contains no 'blanketing' cloud. In winter temperatures in the sun often reach over 65° F., though the whole mass of highland carries continuous snow well into spring. Much of the sun's energy at this time of year is reflected back from the snow, and for this reason springs tend to be late, particularly on the northern slopes.

To the south of La Linea

To the south of La Linea (literally 'the line' -- i.e. the boundary line) lies a large rock, separated from the mainland by a flat sandy waste. It was first settled by the Moors in A.D. 711, and its present name is a corruption of the name of their leader, Tarik; 'Djebel el Tarik' (now named Gibraltar) originally meant 'Tarik's hill'. It has been a British Colony since the 1713 treaty of Utrecht, controls the western entrance. into the Mediterranean, and is a perpetual insult to patriotic Spanish pride. The 'Rock', as its name implies, is simply a large outlier of limestone; the problem of water supply has been overcome by the construction on the eastern slope of large concrete slabs which collect dew and rain.

Gibraltar's annual rainfall is high (35 inches), when compared with that of nearby Málaga (1808 inches), and is due mainly to the easy passage through the straits of depressions, which give rise to heavy winter rain, although there are three months of drought in summer. Strategically of vital importance, economically it is of little use. There is some tinning of fish and fruit, using labour from the Spanish mainland, but Gibraltar is chiefly concerned with goods in transit and with the supplying of bunker coal and petroleum to ships entering for refuelling purposes. The peninsular railway terminus is at Algeciras, which faces Gibraltar across the Bay of Algeciras, and is also the Spanish embarkation point for North Africa. Gibraltar is linked to Spain only by a road, which crosses the air-strips built on the low flat northern end of the tiny peninsula; air services to all parts of the world are frequent, and on the western side of the Rock lie the well-equipped harbour and naval dockyards.

The Barbary Apes live among the higher crags, existing on scant vegetation, and are occasionally enticed from their rocky heights for the benefit of tourists. The human inhabitants live in the town on the south-western side, their houses clinging precariously to the steep rugged slopes.

This south coast region, one of the richest and pleasantest areas in Spain, owes many of its characteristics to the huge mass of highland behind it. The Sierra Nevada shelters the plains from cold winds, and this, combined with a southerly aspect, ensures a high average annual temperature. The mountains attract a good deal of moisture, and retain a cover of snow well into spring, thus ensuring a perennial water supply for the plains below. In addition, they form a barrier passable only at a few points, making communication with the rest of Spain slow and difficult, but helping at the same time to preserve local customs. The sea is the other dominating influence, helping communications and ameliorating climate. South Spain looks away from the mainland over the Mediterranean to the Barbary States; and it is not surprising to find much of North African origin in the names, customs and people of this lovely Moorish oasis tucked away on the fringe of Europe.

Málaga, Almería, La Linea, Algeciras, Estepona

Málaga, lying on the Mediterranean coast east of the mouth of the Guadalmedina, is Phoenician in origin, and contains many Roman and Arab remains, some of which have been recently excavated. The blast furnaces of this town are now inactive, but there are factories for the making of chemicals, soap, cotton goods, metal goods, flour, sugar, spirits and wines of international repute. The major exports are wines, fruits and nuts. Close to Málaga is the small tourist resort of Torremolinos, which possesses a stretch of fine sand almost 4 miles long, and is one of the bestknown holiday centres of this 'Costa del Sol'. Málaga is also an important route centre; it contains the most southerly of the Spanish airports, and controls the coast roads as well as those leading north to Antequera and Loja. It is, in addition, linked to Córdoba and eventually to Madrid by a railway which follows the tortuous valley of the Guadalhorce.

serves the eastern end of the Sierra Nevada range, and manufactures cord, esparto goods and azulejos. The magnificent site of its port, sheltered by the Gulf of Almería, is wasted because of the limited hinterland and difficulty of communications with the interior. Exports include grapes, esparto goods, almonds, salt (evaporated from nearby saltings), and lead mined in the hills to the north. Like Málaga, it has a railway link with Granada and eventually with Madrid, but this line is not so well served by fast and well-equipped trains as is that from Málaga. Towns between Málaga and Almería have to rely solely on road transport, and roads are not good, since irregular terrain makes their construction difficult.

La Linea is an important town, of recent growth, opposite Gibraltar. Originally an agricultural centre, its proximity to Gibraltar has greatly increased its commercial activity, and many of its inhabitants work in the canning factories and naval dockyards of Gibraltar.

Algeciras is an important port for fishing and for trade with North Africa, as well as being the terminus of the trans-Iberian railway. It is an active market and commercial centre, and manufactures corks and earthenware. The extreme warmth of the town in winter has given rise to an out-of-season tourist industry.

Estepona is a centre for the fertile land around it, where grapes, oranges and lemons are particularly important. Furniture, wooden boxes and crates are manufactured from timber obtained from the fine woods of pinsapo pine that clothe the slopes of the Sierra Nevada to the north of the town. Further along the coast lead is smelted and exported from Adra.

The South Coast - Spain

The South Coast, though smaller, has many features in common with the Levant coast. Physically, the region consists of an alternation of alluvial lowlands and barren hills, but the plains are small, and the uplands less pronounced, especially as they lie parallel to the coast, and form no spectacular headlands. Of the plains, those of Almería, Motril, Málaga and Vélez Málaga are most important. The names of the highlands backing the plains are, from west to east, the Massif of Tolox, north of Marbella, the Sierra de Alhama, the Alpujarras and the Sierra de Gádor. Mulhacén, the highest peak in Spain (11,420 feet), is only 23 miles from the sea, which is visible from villages on its southern flanks. The proximity of sea coast to the highest peak gives an exceptionally steep gradient to the slope. Consequently the rivers of the area are short and swift flowing. Nearly all have names with the prefix guad, derived from the Arabic wadi (river). There are the Guadalhorce, Guadiaro, and the Guadalfeo which comes to the sea at Motril. The Horcajar, which waters the Almerian plains, is also important. All are used for irrigation near their mouths and some, for example the Guadiaro and Guadalhorce, form valuable routeways through mountain passes.

The frequent passage of depressions in winter, and its littoral position, combine to give this area a higher annual rainfall than that of parts of the Levant coast; nevertheless, the annual total still remains low -- Málaga receives 1808 inches, and Almería 1805 inches, as compared with the very low figure of 1306 inches for Cartagena. Summer temperatures are high, especially so inland away from the moderating action of the sea, but at the coast the high humidity in summer counterbalances the alleviating effect of marine influence.

With slopes facing the sun, valleys and coast sheltered from cold or very strong winds by high mountains, and water available for irrigation from many perennial streams, augmented by rainfall, the area is naturally well endowed for agricultural pursuits. The fertile irrigated plains are here called 'vegas', as in the rest of Andalusia; this word, believed to be Iberian in origin (the prefix be in Basque means low), generally refers to a low-lying, flat, open and uncultivated plain. Perhaps in Andalusia the long association of cultivation with flat lowlands has caused this slight confusion of ideas; whatever the cause, it should be remembered that a vega in Andalusia has more in common with a huerta of Valencia than with a vega (for example the desolate, barren and scarcely cultivated Vega de Tera, near the river Esla) in northern Spain.

The fertility of alluvial soil is here augmented by small-scale irrigation schemes, some of Arab origin and design, which enable a great profusion of both tropical and Mediterranean crops to be grown. Sugar cane, bananas, rice and cotton flourish, sufficient indication of a beneficent climate, while Almería and Málaga produce several varieties of grapes, those from Almería providing table grapes and a medium quality of wine, and those from Málaga providing rich sweet wines of muscatel type. Olives thrive on the drier hill-slopes, particularly at Alora and Vélez Málaga, and cork oaks occur near Málaga and around Níjar, where extensive new groves, recently planted, have not yet come into bearing. Beyond the cultivated zones there are vast areas of exceptional aridity, such as the Alpujarras, where cultivation is impossible. In fact the south coast consists of small cultivated plots of incredible fertility -- oases of green in a dry, dusty upland.

Some minerals are found in this area, for example iron and a little gold at Rodalquilar in Almería, but as deposits are small they are not extensively worked. There is no industrial area, but industry, such as it is, is concentrated in the main towns. Fishing takes place along the coast, and the catch, for local use only, includes anchovies, sardines, tunny, squid and lobsters.

Andalusia is the most Spanish part of Spain

Andalusia is regarded as the most 'Spanish' part of Spain, although its name is thought to be a corruption of 'Vandalicia'. Even in winter it is warm and sunny, while in summer the brilliant light reflected off the whitewashed walls produces harsh contrasts of colour. In the countryside agricultural workers live in 'picturesque' cottages of adobe, or in huge cortijas, large country farmhouses built around a central patio, or courtyard, and housing owner, workers, cattle, sheep, chickens and crops in noisy and untidy proximity. Even more interesting to a north European are the caves of the gipsies at Córdoba, Jaén and Granada.

These are by no means peculiar to Andalusia, and, particularly in Granada, money from gullible tourists has brought electric light and other modern conveniences to these otherwise primitive dwellings. Orange trees, date palms, the dark faces of beggars (begging is illegal but ubiquitous in Andalusia) all combine to provide a note of oriental or at least African flamboyance in Andalusia, a note which is augmented literally and metaphorically in well-known restaurants by the throbbing of guitars, the clacking of castanets and the swirling rhythm of flamenco dancers.

These attractive scenes, however, are superficial; they do not reveal the slum tenements, the leprosy colony in the hills, the diseases, such as rickets and blindness, for which abject poverty is mainly to blame. Andalusia is lovely to visit, less lovely to live in.

Córdoba, Granada, Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz

Interior of the Mezquita (Great Mosque), Unesco World Heritage Site, Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain

Interior of the Mezquita (Great Mosque), Unesco World Heritage Site, Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain
Christopher ...
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Córdoba, once a Roman town and later the capital of the Caliphate, today shows evidence of its past glories in the Mezquite (mosque) which was adorned with over a thousand marble columns and red and gold decorations. Unfortunately, later Catholic kings ruined the general effect by erecting a grossly overdecorated altar in the very centre, to the glory of God, but to the fury of local citizens. The town has grown steadily in size from a population of 8,000 in the seventeenth century to its present size of 775,870, and there are many factories manufacturing electrical fitments, bronze, aluminium and copper products, cement and chemicals. Industries based on local agriculture include fruit preserving, and the making of paper from straw.

Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors, still contains the Alhambra and other Moorish buildings, and is the centre of an exceptionally rich agricultural area. All varieties of Mediterranean and many tropical crops are grown by means of irrigation from the rivers of Darro and Genil, which meet at this town. There are factories for making sugar, alcohol and sulphuric acid. Flax and hemp are manufactured, tobacco is cured, and there are various handicrafts such as the weaving of thick woollen cloth in traditional designs, wood carving, metal working (including inlaid work) and the making of panniers and shoe soles from esparto grass. This is skilled work and can only be done by hand; if a machine is used the threads break, or tension is so slack that the soles disintegrate after they have been worn a few times. Since nearly all Spaniards in the south wear these sandals there is a steady market for such goods.

Jerez de la Frontera (the corruption of the name by British shippers gave the word 'sherry') is an important centre near the river Guadalete. Wines world-famous for quality, cognac, liqueurs and other drinks are made here, while ancillary industries include the manufacture of glass, bottles, casks, corks and labels; soap is manufactured on a small scale and there is some smelting of iron. The surrounding countryside is noted for the rearing of thoroughbred horses, well known in Spain for their strength and fine bearing.

Cádiz, situated on the tip of a narrow peninsula (the Isla de León) joined to the mainland by the 'bridge' of Zuazo, is an important port. Phoenicians built a town here (remains can still be seen) and gave it its early name -- Gadir. Today it serves as port, naval station, and, to a lesser extent, as a fishing centre. A little to the south lies the industrial centre of San Fernando, which, apart from an astronomical observatory and seismological station, also contains the arsenal of Carraca, an important naval college and large shipyards, where merchant ships, oil tankers and naval vessels are built. Salt, some of which is exported to other parts of the peninsula, is evaporated from the mudflats of the lower Guadalete. Generous aid, both monetary and in goods and raw materials, was given to Spain in return for the use of Spanish territory. In addition, Spain benefits from the oil pipeline constructed to other bases at Morón de la Frontera, Torreja (Madrid) and Zaragoza, since this eases the difficulty of oil transport.

Huelva is built on the Anicoba peninsula between the Tinto and Odiel rivers, and is thus surrounded by extensive marshes from which some salt is evaporated. Evidence of its early importance is seen in the Roman aqueduct. This is the port which deals with the copper and pyrites mined in the Sierra Morena to the north, and there is a specially constructed pier for handling the trucks efficiently. In addition olive oil, fruits, fish and wines are exported, and the main industries include the manufacturing of chemicals, cables and fertilizers, as well as the making of ropes. Five miles away lies the small port of Palos de Moguer, from which Christopher Columbus sailed to America on his voyage of discovery.

Jaén, the capital of the foothills, lies below Mount Jabalcuz near the river Guadalbullón. In Roman times it was the centre of a rich silver-mining region; although lead is still smelted here Jaén is more renowned for the quality of its olive oil. The steppelike character of the surrounding countryside is shown in the abundance of flour mills, and the paucity of wine-making and preserving industries. The great emigration of population from Jaén and district has prompted the authorities to initiate the 'Plan Jaén', a scheme to bring more industry to the town.

Antequera, another town of the foothills, is situated on the banks of the Guadalhorce at the foot of the Sierra de los Torcales. It is a market centre of some importance, and contains textile factories which produce woollen and silk goods. It is an important road centre, and the main railway line from Málaga to Granada passes through the town.

Seville - Andalusia

Seville, originally an Iberian stronghold, is the capital of the whole area, and contains many imposing buildings, such as the Giralda, originally the tower of the mosque completed in 1196 in the reign of Almanzor. For over two thousand years Seville has served as port and market centre for the rich hinterland of the Guadalquivir valley. Although 65 miles from the sea, it still serves as a port, being linked with the Atlantic by the Fernandino canal, while ships of large tonnage can now reach Seville by the Alphonso II canal.

The main exports include wines, cork, olive oil and almonds, while coal, machinery, textiles, raw cotton and chemicals are imported. Seville has always been an important route centre, and it still forms an important focal point of roads, railways and air routes. It is also a centre for industries, some based on local agriculture and producing such goods as spirits, wines, liqueurs, flour and preserves, while others use imported raw materials to a great extent, and provide textiles (especially cotton goods), cement, iron and steel products, ranging from gun barrels to inlaid stilettos for tourist souvenirs, various acids and superphosphates. Buildings of historical interest and architectural beauty, bullfights, the annual trade fair, and the great processions during the Semana Santa, or Holy Week at Easter, ensure a regular and thriving tourist trade, which is served by a good system of cheap and (for the 'deep south') rapid transport by rail and air.

The Guadalquivir Valley - Andalusia

Physically this region consists of a Tertiary basin, once the floor of a sea between the Sierra Morena to the north, and the Betic Cordillera to the south. The Guadalquivir fault to the north forms a complete physical barrier, and is outlined by hills that rise abruptly from the plain below. To the north of the fault there is a sudden change in climate, crops, vegetation, and human response from Mediterranean to arid meseta types. To the south and east, however, Mediterranean features merge gradually from the lower llanuras of the plain to higher areas of semi-steppe, and more rugged country, until the high peaks, tremendous gorges and chasms of the high Sierra Nevada appear. Here in the south there is a zone of transition; in the north there is a line of contrast. The plain itself is not as wide as the green colouring on a map would suggest, and is confined to an area close to the river. Away from this river plain the older Tertiary beds have been dissected to form low-lying hills, minor elevations with gentle slopes, not obvious on a small-scale map, but above a level where water can be used effectively for irrigation. This is an area of gently rolling country to which such names as campiña are given. The seaward part of the valley consists of Las Marismas (the marshes), and a coastal fringe of sand-dunes, the Arenas Gordas, which owe their origin to winds and currents.

The major river of this area is the Guadalquivir, and its most important tributary is the river Genil, which flows for part of its course along a fault-line roughly parallel to the sea. Other smaller tributaries are the Guadajoz and Carbones from the south, and the Guadiato and Huelva to mention but two of the many shorter tributaries from the north. Rivers which enter the sea independently of the mouth of the Guadalquivir include the Guadalete, the Rio Tinto (so called because of the colour of its waters, stained by minerals), which, with the Odiel, enters the Atlantic in a common estuary at Huelva.

The Guadalquivir valley is an 'island' of intense heat and insolation in summer, and, with temperatures regularly reaching the nineties at midday, and on rare occasions exceeding 120° F., it is the hottest area in Spain. Temperatures are very mild in winter, which is when most rain falls. Precipitation remains slight, however; at Cádiz there is an annual total of 18 inches, at Seville 19.5 inches (according to the Oxford Home Atlas, but 23 inches according to Maria de Bolós Capdevila), and 24 inches at Córdoba. The funnelling effect of the highland on winds from the south-west helps to bring in more moisture-bearing clouds than would otherwise be the case. Precipitation on the higher areas is heavier than on the lower plains, reaching 40 inches in some years, and at least a minimum of irrigation water is assured.

Agriculture in this extremely fertile area has been noted for centuries, but it is due less to natural causes than to irrigation schemes. In wide areas where irrigation cannot be practised, extensive heathlands occur, merging into steppes, especially on poor soils. Irrigation water is stored in great reservoirs, for example at Tranco de Beas, at the head of the Guadalquivir, and there are many smaller barrages on the tributaries. In addition, many canals lead directly from the river itself, some of them being of Arab origin, and a few wells are also in use. A paucity in other sources of power has led to the generation of hydro-electricity, though it is insufficient for the demands of the region as a whole, and cannot be supplemented from power stations in the north of Spain. Although there are many small power stations in the mountains, and more are being planned, there is not enough electricity for industrial expansion, or for the comfort of all the inhabitants. With rainfall meagre and unreliable it seems doubtful whether any appreciable amelioration of this situation is possible at present.

An interesting aspect of farming in the agriculturally limited areas of Andalusia is the division of land into large estates or latifundias. In the drier parts of the south there is a great risk of crop failure, more land is needed to feed a family, and nothing grows without irrigation. Only a man with a large amount of land and capital can withstand such natural disadvantages over a long period of time. It cannot be said, however, that these large estates are run either efficiently or for the common good. The alternative seems to be cultivation by smallholders, with the State or other syndicate acting as security against hard times.

Small amounts of varied minerals are extracted in this area. There is manganese at Zalamea la Real, sulphur at Benamaurel, lead at Charches, Huétor and Monachil, copper at Grazalema, iron at Alquife and Hueneja, and a small amount of uranium in the province of Córdoba. Although minerals have not been exploited to the full, there is a greater variety in Andalusia than in any other province of Spain.

The general distribution of population well illustrates the importance of the irrigated lowlands, which absorb the bulk of the population. Town sites are interesting; the large capitals are along the river Guadalquivir, while another line of towns has arisen on the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada, where incoming sea breezes first drop their moisture. Jaén, Cabra, Lucena and Estepa are examples of such hill towns. There are also several 'oasis' towns in the dry inland areas, the best example being Granada. Along the coast there is a line of important ports, for example, Cádiz and Huelva, both of Phoenician origin.

The rainfall in Italy

The rainfall in Italy takes place for the most part in autumn and winter, so that this country belongs to the region of winter and autumn rains. The Apennines form a noteworthy boundary, for a line drawn from the summit of the Ligurian range through Pisa, Rome, Capua, Salerno, Metaponto, Otranto divides the area of the winter rain from that of the autumnal rain lying north and east of it. In many parts of the country it practically never rains in summer; Rome has only a few days between June and September with appreciable rainfall. In Sicily we may anticipate six rainy days at Palermo, two at Catania, two at Syracuse in the summer on an average. In Malta it never really rains from March to September, but when rain does fall in Italy it takes the form of violent downpours such as are only seen in Germany during thunderstorms, and in these more water falls in a short time than in a week's rain in Germany. In the higher parts of the mountains this downfall naturally takes the form of snow. The ranges of Upper and Middle Italy are usually white with snow from November till April. Gran Sasso keeps the snow far into the summer, and it happens in some years that it is never free from snow. In the Neapolitan range the snow melts in March, but there is often a fresh covering of snow under a spell of cold. Even the Aspromonte in Calabria, the Nebrodes in Sicily, have a wintry appearance after the beginning of April. The highest point of Etna is not quite free from snow till August, which is the best time to ascend the mountain.

The rainfall at Milan is tolerably uniform, with a slight increase in the autumn. The dampness of the region shows itself in the fogs which occur frequently in the autumn, and are nearly as thick as in London. In Florence and Rome there is nearly the same amount of rain in autumn and winter, while the rain in summer is unimportant, the percentage in Rome being somewhat less than in Northern Tuscany, and we may lay down the rule that with the diminution of the winter rainfall from south to north that of autumn and spring increases. The country at the foot of the Alps has more plentiful rain in the early summer (May and June) and in the middle of autumn (October). The rainfall here is very large, everywhere exceeding 40 inches and reaching 5 feet at Lakes Como and Lugano, while it remains below 40 inches in the plain of the Po. The figure for Tolmezzo, is unusually large (95.8 inches), while that for Lecce is very small (21.7), reminding us of the state of things in Sicily. Apulia and Terra d' Otranto do in fact suffer from dryness, the ground in summer being parched and cracked and covered with thick dust, which the wind carries over the plain in vast clouds. The influence of the moist winds of the Tyrrhenian Sea may be recognized in the comparison of the figures for Florence (42.3 inches), Leghorn (34.6), Genoa (49.8), on one side; with Bologna (21.1), Modena (25.2), and Alessandria (26.4) on the other, which brings out the increased condensation on the southern slope of the Apennines.

The high range of mountains in Calabria acts in the same way, and procures for Cosenza (43.3), a rainfall such as is not found elsewhere except at the foot of the Alps. Denza distributes Italy into the following zones in regard to rainfall: The Alpine (68.1 inches), the sub-Alpine (36.6), the West Apennine or Mediterranean (34.1), the East Apennine or Adriatic (31), and the Sicilian (20.1). Other meteorologists dwell on the difference in rainfall on the two sides of the Po, assigning 36 inches to the Transpadane, and 26 to the Cispadane regions.

Italy - Weather and Climate

Many north-west Europeans consider the climate of Italy to be one of its principal assets. There is undoubtedly some justification for this, but simply to consider that it is uniform throughout the country or always a good one for agriculture or a desirable one for tourists is misleading. Before discussing its principal features a number of points should be noted about the situation of the country. In the first place Italy occupies a mid-latitude position. The river Po runs close to 45U+B00N, while south-east Sicily is only 37U+B00N. This means that although Italy is well outside the tropics it is near enough in the summer months to have very hot conditions; not having the sun overhead is offset by longer days. Secondly, the position of the country in a maritime setting should be noted. Though virtually a closed sea, and therefore not influenced by currents from other latitudes, the Mediterranean is large enough to exert a considerable influence on the lands along its shores. Few parts of the Peninsula of Italy are more than 50 miles from the sea and only part of the Alps is more than 100. The presence of the sea is one reason why the annual range of temperature in the Peninsula and Islands is not very great. Thirdly, weather conditions are profoundly affected and greatly complicated in Italy by the presence of mountain areas and by the arrangement of these in relation to the movement of air masses.

Temperature, of course, diminishes with increase of altitude and a map showing sea-level isotherms is misleading. In addition, mountains shut off valleys and basins from maritime influences and in places--the most striking instance being between the Riviera in Liguria and the Po valley to the interior--remarkable climatic contrasts occur over short distances. Indeed the Alps, which are extensive enough and high enough to form a climatic region of their own, are also a major climatic divide between north-west and central Europe on the one hand and northern Italy on the other. The alternation of land and sea and of mountains and plains have contributed to give Italy a great variety of climatic conditions.

For much of the year Italian weather is only a little less changeable than that of north-west Europe. At the same time there is considerable variability from year to year, winters sometimes being much colder than average, sometimes much milder, and rainfall varying greatly in quantity and occurrence from year to year. The typical Mediterranean climate, with a hot summer and little precipitation, and a mild winter with considerable precipitation, does not occur widely in Italy; it is confined to the southern part of the Peninsula and to the Islands.

Italy's weather is caused by the movement of air masses from various directions. From the Atlantic, mainly in winter, comes humid air, bringing widespread cyclonic rain; depressions tend to follow certain courses, altering their general west-east direction to pass south-east along either side of the mountains of the Peninsula. The depressions affect the South and Islands most profoundly in winter; in spring and autumn the North is more affected. Much of the rain comes from this source, but usually it occurs in short, heavy downpours.

During the winter the North comes under the influence of the margin of the continental anticyclone for considerable periods, with cold, dry, air extending from the interior of Eurasia into central Europe. It is this relatively cold air, coming into contact with the relatively warm, low-pressure area of the Mediterranean, that gives strong cold winds, the maestrale (mistral) in the west via the Rhone valley, and the bora at the head of the Adriatic. These are especially strong when depressions are passing. In general the Northern Lowland and the Alps themselves are unaffected by these winds and have long spells of still, cold, dry weather and clear skies. Mists are frequent in the lowland, especially in the vicinity of irrigated areas and the main rivers, and along the lagoon coast.

In the summer relatively stable conditions are established over the cool, high pressure of the Mediterranean Sea and the humid Atlantic air masses rarely penetrate. Winds tend to come from the south-east and south, and the scirocco africano at times makes the summer in Sicily extremely hot. Very little rains falls in the summer in the South and Islands but summer rain increases northwards, and north of Rome is considerable, often coming in the form of short heavy thunderstorms. North of the river Po summer rain actually exceeds winter rain, a feature that by definition excludes a considerable part of Italy from the typical Mediterranean climate.

To these general movements of air and features of rainfall regime must be added many more local features. Mountain and valley winds occur in the Alps, onshore and offshore winds along the coasts. The alignment of mountain ranges and valleys, the presence of lakes, and so on, also produce local climatic effects. It is not surprising that any division of Italy on a climatic basis distinguishes several regions.

In January there is a striking contrast between the Northern Lowland (around 0C, 32F) and much of the South and Islands (generally over 10C, 50F, along the coasts); the difference in winter of 8C, 14F, between the Riviera and the Po valley over a matter of 80 km is remarkable. In contrast, in July the difference between northern and southern Italy is slight (23-26C, 73-79F), though the highest temperatures are still of course in the South and in Sicily. Clearly therefore the annual range is much greater in the Northern Lowland (mostly over 22C, 40F) than in the South (less than 12C, 22F in places). This contrast is the most marked feature brought out in a comparison of the two temperature maps and reveals a very hot summer everywhere except at considerable altitudes, but a much milder winter in most of the Peninsula and Islands than in the North, which is clearly more 'continental' in nature. Other features to note are the somewhat colder conditions (a matter of 1-2C, 2-4F) in winter on the Adriatic side of the Peninsula than on the Tyrrhenian side at the same latitude; the greater range of temperature in the interior of the Peninsula than along its coasts; and the greater range in the North Italian Lowland than in the adjoining mountain areas, a feature not easily discernible on the maps on account of complications of relief.
Turning from averages to extremes, it will be appreciated that although not apparently differing greatly from the north in summer it is the extreme south that has the highest temperatures recorded: nearly 50C, 122F, in Sicily, which of course is about 600 miles from the Sahara Desert. The lowest temperatures not artificially induced by high altitude, naturally, occur in the Northern Lowland, especially in the western part, -18C, OF, having been recorded at Alessandria. Temperatures below 0C, 32F, do however occur in the Peninsula (lowest in Rome -8C, 18F, in San Remo only -4C, 25F) but do not generally last long.

Annual precipitation tends to diminish from North to South. More locally, the Tyrrhenian side of the Peninsula is wetter than the Adriatic side due to its more frequent exposure to depressions from a general westerly direction. On the other hand, in the Alps and Northern Lowland, precipitation is greater in the east near the head of the Adriatic than in the west. Particularly heavy rainfall is recorded along the foot of the Alps and again in Liguria, but here more on the Riviera di Levante, which faces south-west, than on the Riviera di Ponente, facing south-east. In the mountains many valleys receive only a small fraction of the amount of rain falling on adjoining mountain summits: for example the floor of the Valle d'Aosta has only 400 mm (16 inches) while nearby mountain areas have 3,000 mm (about 120 inches). The wettest parts of Italy are found in the Alps and Northern Apennines, where over 2,000 mm (about 80 inches) is common, and in the mountains of the Peninsula, with over 1,000 mm (about 40 inches). The driest places are in Apulia, Sicily and Sardinia, below 400 mm (16 inches) being common; the driest place of all is San Pancrazio Salentino in the tip of the 'heel'--virtually desert--200 mm (8 inches).

In the Alps and Lowlands north of the Po rain falls throughout the year, but more falls in the summer half. In most places here there are in reality autumn and spring maxima. Between the Po and roughly the latitude of Rome, the autumn and spring maxima still occur, but summer rain diminishes and winter rain increases. Only south of Naples and in the Islands is the winter maximum very marked; here the three summer months only have a negligible amount. In reality, autumn is the period in which Italy as a whole receives most rain; this follows a relatively wet summer in the North but a very dry summer in the South.

Such marked differences in occurrence of rainfall in different parts naturally affect river regimes, which are very irregular in most areas, and differ from place to place. Perhaps the most striking feature of Italian rivers is the contrast between those originating in the Alps, which have a considerable, though variable, flow throughout the year, and those originating south of the Po, which, except for the largest, the Tiber, dry up completely or almost completely for anything from a few weeks to a few months. The rivers originating in the high Alps have a maximum flow in the summer, being fed both by the heavy rains and melting ice. Tributaries from the Pre-Alps that join these have maxima in spring and autumn. On the south side of the Po the rivers from the Northern Apennines carry very little water in the summer. The Po, which receives water from all these sources with their different regimes, has a more constant flow than any single set of tributaries. The discrepancy between a winter or early spring maximum and a summer minimum grows southwards, and in some parts of the South and Islands as much as 70-80% of the total comes in the first four months of the year. In the limestone areas drainage is of course different, and underground channels and caverns are widespread in both the limestone Alps and parts of the Apennines.

Italia as a Nation

Italy has played a leading part both in forming the culture of West Europe and in making an impact on the rest of the world, even though its late attempts at empire building were a dismal failure, its colonies in Africa largely and wastes and its annexation of Ethiopia in the late 1930s widely opposed and short-lived. Italians of the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance were responsible for many of the technological innovations that led to the great oceanic discoveries, and participated themselves, though on behalf of other countries, in exploration. During the last hundred years they have settled in very large numbers in the U.S.A. and parts of Latin America. Since the Second World War Italian influence as a trading nation has grown rapidly, Italian shipping and air routes are widespread, and Italian firms have participated in large construction projects in many parts of the world.

So far Italy has been considered as a single economic and political unit within a wider setting. In anticipation it may be suggested that superior conditions for agriculture and industry, including a more favourable physical environment (relief, climate, soils and so on) for farming, and a socially and politically more advanced population, have helped northern Italy for at least several centuries, with the result that there is now an enormous gap in living standards between the most prosperous parts of the North and the poorest parts of the South.

Here a few words are necessary about the term Italy. This was first used several centuries B.C. with reference to the southern part of the Peninsula, and later, after its annexation by Rome, the North of Italy as well. Later still, Sicily and Sardinia were also included. Italy therefore existed at the time of the Roman Empire, though it did not apply to a clearly defined administrative unit as it does today, but rather to a general area, obviously an important one, within the Empire. With the gradual disintegration of the western part of the Empire, Italy, through being split among various units, ceased to refer even to a specific piece of territory, except when, at times, a unit called Italy referring to some part of the country was temporarily resurrected. Thanks however to the common cultural heritage based both on language and religion, some kind of Italian consciousness remained, especially in the North and Centre, and although Italy failed to emerge with England, France, Spain and other countries as a modern nation after the Middle Ages, the idea of unification grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, and unification was proclaimed in 1861. Though conveniently delimited by coasts or by the crest of the Alps almost everywhere, perfectionists in post-unification Italy have devised an Italian region (la regione Italiana), which is somewhat larger than the present Italy and is bounded by the main watershed of the Alps, extends into France to Nice, and into Istria, and includes the Ticino canton of Switzerland, Corsica and Malta.

The true life of Italy -- from Dante to our own time

The true life of Italy -- from Dante to our own time -- is much nearer to the turbulence of Greece than to the official discipline of Rome. Our municipal life is clamorous and agitated, we are full of the daring of the navigators and merchants who find or rediscover the roads of the world (a daring which is renewed today in a more anonymous manner by our emigrants), the spirit of party, the originality of individual temperaments, all this reminds us father of the turbulent Ionic cities than of the solemn scenes of collective life described by Livy.

Yet of this so agitated Italian life the classics of the sixteenth century only speak to deplore' it; almost as though they were ashamed of it. Only the novellieri -- the story-tellers -- delight in it with tranquil serenity.

When one talks of the novellieri one thinks before all of Boccaccio; the Decamerone is even today crowded with Italians of every age. In Boccaccio's own fourteenth century the pomp of the Church is superb, but faith is very weak; it might seem to have exhausted itself in the pure and sacred flame of St. Francis of Assisi in the preceding century; Dante thunders against the "new men and sudden wealth", but Boccaccio belongs to these "new men", he represents them, and moves among them at his ease. Like all Italians, he has learned as a child, the legends and visions that followed the year one thousand, but the Tuscan smile has not left his lips; his serene equilibrium gives him a sovereign indulgence for all human misery and this indulgence he applies with equal impartiality to the market-place and the church, to the cottage and the palace.

Dante sometimes describes with a simple stroke certain types of daily life like the old tailor who struggles with the eye of his needle, but we feel that all his lyrical power really reserves itself for tragic lovers such as Paolo and Francesca, or for a stubborn hero like Farinata. Boccaccio, instead, is all for the common people. If he describes princes, or knights and ladies, his world becomes pale and conventional. But when he brings on the scene merchants, artists or peasants, his prose is always bubbling with life. And then especially in Boccaccio -- notwithstanding the latinized rhythm of his style -- and, with him, in the anonymous stories that preceded him like the Novellino, and in all the succeeding collections of stories in Italian and in dialect, we may follow the long and authentic thread of Italian sentiment.

French story-tellers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries are not more inventive and realist than their predecessors, the Trouvères: almost always it is the usual deceived husband, the same sly wife who makes fools of her husband and her lover. . . . And so on down to La Fontaine: but the serene genius of this poet is concerned rather with human nature than with such typical French scenes.

The art of the Italian novellieri is a counterweight to the tone, sometimes too solemn and abstract, of literature of the highest order. In the novellieri all is a direct echo of the life of the people; just as it is in popular poetry, whether it is the Tuscan "rispetto", the Neapolitan "arietta", or the Sicilian "canzuna".

And like the Sicilian ottava with alternating rhymes -- spontaneous as the life of the people -- the Italian novella is rarely brilliant; only in Boccaccio these stories often present a final phrase that illuminates and wittily illustrates the whole.

French and German tales have a semi-mythological origin. In Italy, stories were very early written with contemporary human types as characters; for instance, in the fifteenth century, Arlotto, a parish priest of the neighbourhood of Florence, famous even today, or Gonnella, the buffoon of the court of Ferrara. Another difference between the Italian novella and that of other countries, is revealed in its essentially national character. In French and German fables -- as today in the Norman stories of Maupassant -- the humour has as its unique end some material advantage or some material pleasure. But behind the humour of Arlotto, as behind that of his successors, such personal ends are altogether lacking; it is indeed art for art's sake. These authors often injure themselves with their devices; they know it, but cannot resist it; what they aim at is a satisfaction of their self-respect. This is still today one of the most vivid traits of the Italian character.

A sceptical tolerance inspires our novellieri and chroniclers in almost all psychological problems. In one instance only are they all without exception unjust and even in this ultra-Italian. They have a double patriotism: love and pride in Italy, and a profound and secret tenderness for their native city. Even Boccaccio, whenever he brings a robber on the scene, a hypocrite or forger, never presents him as a Florentine, but makes him by birth Milanese or Neapolitan.

Four centuries later, we may note a similar love for Venice on the part of Goldoni; his typical liar comes from Naples, the braggart and the miser from other parts of Italy -- never from Venice.

It is only in the novellieri that we find faithfully described one of the most profound characteristics of the Italian people, one which centuries of silent struggles against the powerful and against nature have formed in them: a kind of philosophy, good-natured and resigned, that might appear to a superficial observer to be an almost oriental fatalism, while in fact it is only bitter experience of history, combined with daily practical attempts, silent and untiring, to eliminate the effects of evil and misfortune.

Italians and Their Literature

Italian literature presents this singular character, that it reached from its beginning complete formal perfection. Hardly had it taken its first steps when it produced Dante, its most universal genius; and with him Petrarch and Boccaccio. Shakespeare, Racine and Goethe only flourished after many generations of English, French and German poets; in Italy instead, Guido Guinizelli and Guido Cavalcanti had scarce time to astonish the Italians of the thirteenth century with catrzoni and ballate which made one forget the old troubadours, when they were overtaken by the master, as he himself says,

Che l'uno e l'altro caccerà di nido.

But Dante is Dante, unique. And unique also after him are Petrarch and Boccaccio. Boccaccio with his novelle, his stories, will emancipate the Italian spirit of his time and probably of all time.

But poets like Dante and Petrarch, and -- after the period of learning, of the Renaissance -- like Ariosto and Tasso, represent only themselves, and through themselves, the universal consciousness, so Leopardi in the nineteenth century.

Dante is moved by Italian passions; Petrarch thanks God that he was born Italian; but they do not represent Italy more than Racine represents France or Cervantes Spain, or Whitman the United States. For every authentic poet, the fatherland, while it remains a vivid element in his intimate life, is melted and fused into a more ample world. A poet of whom it can be said that he is entirely national is not truly a poet. Manzoni, who was a poet and who loved Italy so much, doubtless alludes to himself when, singing of Homer of whom

Argo ed Atene e Rodi e Smirne cittadin contende, adds:

Dante himself, intensely Italian though he was, declared that his fatherland was "the world in general", and to those who would have made peace for him, who worked to bring his exile to an end, but on humiliating conditions, he replied: "Cannot I then perchance contemplate wherever I may be the light of the sun and of the stars? Cannot I meditate anywhere on Supreme Truths?"

Let us then disregard the literary game of finding the soul of a people in its poets; and equally vain is it to speak of a Dantesque Italy, of a Racinian France or of a Shakespearian England. Rather the very opposite is true. It is for the universal poets to exercise an influence on successive generations and to mould their sentiments and aspirations. All Italians are brought up in the Dantesque religion; Dante has exercised a greater influence over them than Shakespeare over the English and Racine over the French. Even the most dense Italian will have been moved at least once in his life by some of those hendecasyllables in which the thought and the images are more swift and clear than in any other poetry. Certain American ladies, nurses in the armies of the United States in 1917, have told me that the convalescent soldiers of Italian origin asked very often to have Dante to read, so that it was necessary to buy many dozen copies of the poet. Neither the English nor the French possess anything comparable to this cult of Dante, and as for the Germans, too many of them have only sought in Goethe a motive of pride "vom deutschen Standpunkt"; faithless to the spirit of Goethe who so often recommended them in vain to rise to a universal spirit. Dante has become in Italy a national altar at which all are communicants -- or pretend to be. The fact is that Dante has been utilized in every age as a measure of national feeling; in the Divine Comedy we find described those "natural frontiers" that France has sought in her geography and history, but never found in her poets. When in the Parliament of 1920 I fought for a policy of friendly understanding with our Slav neighbours, finally liberated from the Austro-Hungarian chains, but at the same time maintained that Trieste and Istria were Italy, the argument purely literary and Dantesque which I found it natural to use, had a definite weight and not only with the masses; for has not Dante written that it is the Quarnero (the gulf to the east of Istria)

Ch'Italia chiude e i suoi termini bagna?

In the most unhappy moments of her history, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Italy abandoned Dante. There were more editions published of the Divine Comedy from 1818 to 1860, in the era of the Risorgimento, than during the two previous centuries.

All know that the unequalled perfection of Dante at the very origins of our literature, and with it, the art of Petrarch whose lyrics are still so near to our hearts, are at the roots of the exclusively literary formation of the greater number of Italian poets, perhaps less free to take their own way by reason of those formidable exemplars. It was simpler and more natural for a Villon to find his inspiration in his own anarchical spirit, and for an English poet to seek it in nature; for the Italian knew by heart all the canti of the Inferno and almost all the canzoni of Petrarch. Was this an obstacle? For us Italians our classics have meant for long something more than simple masterpieces of literature. They were the ideal fatherland, the only fatherland free from foreign domination; they were a promise of glory and of future independence.

In Italy the main stream of our literature is composed of two currents which combine without mixing, without being confounded: the writer who, like Dante, composes "when love inspires him" -- this is the current that flows down to Leopardi and Manzoni; and, on the other hand, those writers whose ability only produces formal or exterior results, prodigious sometimes, it is true, like those of Vincenzo Monti, but too often deprived of that real inspiration which the young Manzoni promised himself "never to betray".

It is in the epochs when liberty is lost, when an artificial order reigns in the street and in books, that all originality disappears from Italian literature; it cedes its place to clever and able writers whose arsenal is composed either of arches of Constantine and Roman eagles, or of women who please for a moment but do not remain in our hearts: the Dori, the Filli, the Ebi of the long Spanish epoch; gracious shades, but neither Italian nor universal, excepting those of Metastasio.

It is at the beginning of the heroic epoch of the Risorgimento, with Manzoni and Leopardi, that the spark of our national poetry glowed again. The unrestrained passion and the excess of sorrow in Leopardi repeat, for the first time, what we find in Dante. The same Leopardi writes -- and it is in harmony with his genius -- that from the sixteenth century to his own time Italy had known only "verses without poetry".

Manzoni and Leopardi left behind them not merely Manzonians and Leopardians; they left Italians converted to simplicity and sincerity; that is to say, to true poetry.

I have said that our classical literature reached at its birth a formal perfection, because it was born of the perfection of the Latin tongue and in the shadow of the genius of Dante. It was this very perfection, perhaps, that soon detached it from the people, exception being made, I repeat, for the Divine Comedy, and later, during many generations, for Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata.

Noble spirits in Italy

There was certainly a memory of Rome which animated many noble spirits in Italy; but these -- Dante first among them -- dreamed not of conquests but of that universal idea of the Empire with Rome and Italy as the centres of a universal societas with equal rights for all.

Leibniz has written in the Preface to the Codex Diplomaticus, that in the Middle Age the Emperor and the Pope were the two heads of the Christian Republic. The Italians were the first from the twelfth to the fourteenth century to feel themselves united in this idea. It was their first political idea, national and supra-national at the same time. They will never give it up, but ancient Rome itself and its cruel glory contributed little to the formation of the Italian spirit.

In the Middle Age, the most living of all the Romans, for the Italians, was Virgil; but they transformed the poet half into a magician and half into a Christian. The only name of an Emperor which remained popular was that of Trajan, but because he was "the just", and with him was Justinian because he gave the world universal laws.

In the epoch, more formalist than earnest, which in Italy followed the Counter-Reformation, all Italian schools were modelled to the same form in the hands of the Jesuits, and Rome became the inspirer of current literature, but, it must be understood, a "mannerist" Rome, like the ruins in the pictures of Pannini. The fact that the heroes of the literature and schools of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were looked for among the ancient Romans rather than in the Middle Age, proves that those in control considered ancient Rome less dangerous; the exception was Tacitus, whose love of liberty was suspect; and the pompous Roman mise en scène that the schools of the seventeenth century inaugurated shows their suspicion of the natural; it was at this time that the head of the class in many schools was given a crown and the title of Emperor.

The last and the most eloquent of the Italians to be blinded by that Rome of mannerists was Carlo Botta, whose ponderous Storia d'Italia, famous at the beginning of the nineteenth century, is to be found even today in all our old country-houses, where it sleeps between the Primato of Gioberti and Le Consulat et l'Empire of Thiers.

For Botta, the golden age of Italy and of the world is the Roman Empire: the Middle Age seems to him "a desolate age, especially in Italy", an age in which only ignorance, force and barbarism dominated.

Botta was the last of the sincere worshippers of Imperial Rome. The Risorgimento began to make itself felt, first in the political struggle with an array of notable scholars from all parts of Italy, from Piedmont to Sicily; many among them were excellent historians; all these had cast off the Roman vanity which belonged to the generations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; they were too proud to dress up in old costumes of the theatre. One of these writers, Micali, went so far as to maintain in his best work, L'Italia avanti il dominio dei Romani, that Rome had been nothing but brute force, suffocating the spontaneous impulses of the Italian spirit, which would have come from the happy union of the diverse peoples of the peninsula, from the Etruscans to the Siciliots.

The supervening romanticism contributed to turn the mind of the time to the Middle Age, as the sacred and dolorous epoch whence sprang the authentic life of the Italian people.

The citizen class and the best among the Italian working classes that the preaching of Mazzini had moved, recognized themselves in the Communes of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and in their struggles against the German Emperors.

It is also true that at the same time another current -- corresponding to the ancient Italian anti-clerical tradition -- drew its epos from the Ghibellines, from the epoch in which the court of Frederick II, the heretic, more Sicilian than German, had produced the earliest Italian poets. But precisely because it was Ghibelline this tradition too was medieval.

The nineteenth century was, in Italy as in the rest of Europe, the age of Liberalism and then of democracy, and it appeared, more or less clearly, that the Roman Empire had only been, at least from the artistic point of view, a triumph of anonymous and uneducated masses. In Imperial Rome one was occupied with the kolossal, as in the Germany of Kaiser Wilhelm II. One noted that the immense edifices of Rome -- so heavy when one confronted them with the supreme grace of the tiny Acropolis of Athens -- were the symbol and the fruit of the impoverishment and depopulation that was already appearing in Italy: impoverishment and depopulation whose ruinous effects opened the way later on for the barbarian invasions.

Eloquent parallel with that stupid satisfaction which appears always in Italy in epochs of decadence, with the glories of Imperial Rome, the first rumour of which can be traced back to Rome itself, for example under Hadrian, whose coins bear the inscription: Italia felix or Temporum felicitas, and the like.

Such complacency only manifests itself when corruption is upon one; thus it befell in Venice, in China, in Persia and in Spain; wherever the corruption becomes gloriosus.

At bottom, the history of Italy offers to the world this disconcerting message: that it is during the struggle between rich and poor, during the periods troubled by bitter factions that the poets, the painters, the sculptors and the architects most filled with genius have expressed themselves among us; and that it is during these same periods that the great achievements of our navigators, our bankers and our merchants have dominated the world.

Of all Machiavelli has written, these words remain the truest for all time: "The multitude is more constant and more wise than any monarch." And "It appears to me that they who condemn the tumults between the nobles and the plebs are condemning just those things which were the first cause of Rome winning any freedom; and that they give more weight to the rumours and noise which sprang from such tumults than to the good effects they brought to pass".

The last Italian author who felt our romanità, but did not make of it an instrument of rhetoric, was Carducci, the poet of the generation of 1870-90.

Like Machiavelli in his histories, Carducci found his deepest lyrical inspiration in love of country; and he drew the symbols of his ideal from Republican Rome.

Leopardi, too, was not insensible to the same ideal; but he soon dropped his "vedo le mura e gli archi" ; universal poet as he was, his love for his country was fused ever more profoundly into a sentiment that did not deny but rather amplified his love for Italy.

This explains why Carducci, notwithstanding the force and beauty of his poetry, is not better known outside Italy. There is a kind of justice in the radius of the fame of poets.

Florence dominated Europe with her bankers

Florence then dominated Europe with her bankers, from Flanders to Constantinople. Genoa and Venice were the queens of all the known seas; it was then were upreared to Heaven in every Italian city cathedrals and bell-towers that still remain the marvel of the world; our religious enthusiasm then gave St, Francis of Assisi to Christianity; Italian poetry at a leap had overwhelmed the Provençal; Guido Guinizelli and Guido Cavalcanti had proved it . . . But all that counted nothing for Dante. He saw but one thing: that the political unity of Christian society was broken; that the Roman Emperor lived beyond the Alps and that Italy had ceased to be "il giardin dell'Impero", the garden of the Empire.

And as he thought so did others, less lofty in spirit but equally sincere. Giovanni Villani living in the luminous life of Florence only knew that one must "greatly fear the judgement of God". Another Villani saw nothing about him but "grave dangers and destruction", and the anonymous chroniclers echo them: the Chronica Astensis deplores that "semper Lombardia in malo statu fuit".

Two centuries later, in full sixteenth century, this discontent, which almost recalls that of the prophets of Israel, deepened even more, not without reason, since the "italiane tempeste" -- to use the expression of one of the Villani -- had become more miserable with the invasion of the foreigners; but above all because all the great writers of the sixteenth century were children of the Renaissance and in consequence felt even more profoundly, if it is possible, than the generation of the time of Dante and Petrarch, the distance which separated their fallen Italy from the ideal times of the Pax Romana.

Not one of the historians who, like Machiavelli, loved Italy so ardently, deigned to bring into the light from the pages of the old chronicles, the marvellous day in 1170 on which the Italians, all of them, except the priests, the blind and the dumb, swore on their baptismal fonts this oath:

"In the name of the Lord, Amen. I swear on the Gospel that neither directly nor indirectly will I make peace or treaty or pact with the Emperor Frederick or his son or his wife, nor with any other person of his family; in good faith, with all my means, I will try to prevent any army, little or great, of Germany or of any other land of the Emperor's beyond the Alps, from entering Italy; and if an army should enter, I swear to make war upon the Emperor and on all his, until the said army goes forth from Italy; and I will cause my sons to swear the same as soon as they reach the age of fourteen years."

This oath was carried out and became history at the battle of Legnano, one of the most shining pages of the struggle for liberty among the young peoples of Europe. Battle and victory, but truth to tell without definite consequence; but this too was due to our universalist character: all Italians maintained the oath, they fought the German King who attempted to violate their liberty and their privileges, but their efforts drooped when the German who was also Roman Emperor spoke in his decrees of the splendour of Rome of which he called himself the heir.

Thus is explained the character of the wars waged by the Italians; they were all defensive: never did the Lombard League decide to prevent an Emperor from crossing the Alps, or to follow him beyond the Brenner after having defeated him. Therefore the Germans always chose a favourable moment to cross the Alps, "cum omni pace", and to fall in surprise on the rich plains of the Po; then beaten, they saved themselves retreating beyond the Alps. The danger, immense for the Italian cities, was almost non-existent for the Germans, who had learnt that the Italians only claimed the right to defend themselves.

Such a history might seem a miserable business, and one might indeed think it such since it is the basis of the stupid assertions which have placed Italian valour in doubt. In reality, however, such a history bears witness to a collective moral superiority, which would be enough, if it were generally spread through the world, to prepare a Europeless unhealthy and less quarrelsome.

Some years after Legnano, in 1179, in the same plains which were the site of that battle, was begun the work, gigantic for that time, of the canal of the Ticino. And the canal of the Muzza too -- the greatest in Europeuntil the end of the nineteenth century was begun after another battle, that of Casorate, with another Emperor, Frederick II, in 1239.

It was then that a hundred cities of Italyinscribed in their Statutes the right of free transit even across the property of the nobles, for water for irrigation, to bring water to the fields of the most humble village; a right which, outside Italy, landowners, staunch in the idea of the absolute rights of property, have fought successfully even till yesterday.

It was about the same time, in 1236, that Bologna,first in Europe, gave freedom to all the serfs of her glebe; the elected representatives of the people decreed, "on pain of death", that no longer should any man be kept as a serf; and all the serfs, men and women, were redeemed by the Commune and set free, the nobles retaining their lands alone.

No Italian historian has ever thought to bring into the light facts of this kind with which the old chronicles are filled, except one, Carlo Cattaneo; but that sovereign independent spirit was a republican federalist, between Cavour, monarchist and unificator, and Mazzini, unificator and republican.