Talk:Massimo family

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Without references?[edit]

Without references? Speedy delete! Or at least a speedy revert to a version where HRH isn't inserted everywhere and probably fictional heirs aren't being added anonymously every 2nd day. There are 1000's of people with the surname Massimo. Continued anonymous edits inserting HRH and removing the notice of lack of references for the info have been reverted. I think this article needs a re-write or a removal of unreference material. I have made a start. Paul Beardsell (talk) 22:27, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

All references to HRH titles are correct, as all the princesses cited came from Royal Families. For example, HRH keeps being removed from both Princess Beatrice of Borbon and Princess Maria-Adelaide of Savoy-Genoa. Why? They were both royal princesses who carried the HRH title. Princess Beatrice was the daughter of the pretender to the Spanish throne and Princess Maria-Adelaide was the neice of the reigning King of Italy. For example please see http://www.geocities.com/henrivanoene/gensavoy4.html for the latter. Please check your facts before deleting historically correct, factual references such as these. All references to current or recent family members come from the Paul Theroff Gotha website (the best on the web) as well as the current version of the Almanach de Gotha. For ease please check out: http://pages.prodigy.net/ptheroff/gotha/massimo.html, and you will see all members referenced there. Article now partly referenced. More references to come. The story of the family is documented in countless history books, many of which are in Italian, but many of which are in English. There are also very reliable passages on the family in the numerous books on the palaces of Rome. (85.18.201.170 (talk) 23:42, 30 January 2008 (UTC))

The entry repeatedly asserts genealogical ties to the Fabii Maximi and others that are based on nothing more than family tradition. "Maximus" was not a family name among the Romans, but a "cognomen," a nickname that was often became attached to the gentilica to distinguish one branch of a gens from another. It was used by several generations of the Fabii, but discarded before the Christian Era. It was also common in many other gens, such as the Vibii, the Egnatii, the Resii, the Valerii, the Carvilii, etc. See, Ronald Syme, “C. Vibius Maximus, Prefect of Egypt, Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Oct., 1957), pp. 480-487; Ronald Syme, “Missing Persons (P-W VIII A), Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Jun., 1956), pp. 204-212; Ronald Syme, “Missing Senators,” Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte, Vol. 4, No. 1 (1955), pp. 52-71; etc. --Al-Nofi (talk) 13:32, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Al-Nofi, the ties to the Gens Fabia are listed in Titus Livius and in an XVI century manuscript by Panvinius, 'De Gente Maxima' (in the Vatican and in the Massimo Archive in Rome). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fabritius (talkcontribs) 09:52, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


The article has been blocked (protected) because of edit warring by Historybluff1930. The actual page is incorrect in the 2nd section (Massimo family). It's an heraldic issue: titles of the Massimo family are firstborn only, as in most roman princely and ducal families.

Historybuff1930 is edit warring the article Massimo. He's doing this since february 2010 with removal of text, sources and references, pretending being irrelevant [1] - this is just one of the many now almost daily reverts. The issue is about titles. Historybuff1930 disregards official authoritative sources deleting references to other wikipedia's articles and to outer links, with personal attacks on me via edit summaries [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]. I think this is an inappropriate and incivil way of behaving. It is not even scientific: Historybuff1930, although claiming to be an historian [7], simply deletes the references and sources which go against his theories ('The family all bear the Princely title'), apparently refusing to investigate.

But why all this obsession with secondborns and cadet branche's titles? Because Historybluff is biased and here's the proof: in the Colonna article (another roman princely family) he cites exactly the one and only authoritative source for italian titles ('Libro d'Oro della Nobiltà Italiana. Rome: Archivio di Stato and Collegio Araldico')[8] which I'm referencing here in the article Massimo [9] and he's canceling and denying [10], saying in his edit summary '...Also, the 'Libro D'Oro' is known to be an unreliable source, including many fake titled families'. This source is the issue. According to Historybluff it is genuine in the Colonna article but at the same time unreliable in the Massimo one.

Also Historybuff's reference number 8 [11] in the now protected but incorrect article, demonstrates exactly that Historybuff is wrong and biased: the titles are not borne by all the members of the family, in particular Valerio Massimo bears no titles.

Historybuff has probably a conflict of interest - I suspect he actually is Valerio Massimo because of his stubborn vanity edits all in the same direction: in this way Valerio Massimo turns to be Prince Valerio Massimo.

The only authoritative source for italian titles is obviously the italian college of arms, Consulta araldica and its official directories (Libro d'Oro), as for any other country. Fabritius (talk) 17:37, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Historybuff1930 referenced once more, namely in the Orsini family article (another roman princely family) [12], the same source for italian titles (Libro d'Oro) he claims in the present article to be irrilevant and unreliable. He's defintively biased. Please block that 'historian'[13] asap! Fabritius (talk) 18:53, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Dispute over the 'Massimo' article[edit]

As discussed on Nick D's talk page, I am happy to initiate a discussion with 'Fabritius' about the relative arguments in the 'Massimo' article. However, I don't think the tone of what is written above is a good sign as it makes a number of unfounded accusations and is rather aggressive. I do not intent to respond in kind, but with the facts.

I will lay out my points in due course and this is not a response to the points made by 'Fabritius' above.

However, it should be noted that 'Fabritius' has already received a warning (from Dave1185 on Fabritius's talk page) about the fact that, by his own admission or claim, he is a member of the Massimo family and is specifically someone he himself writes about extensively in the article (per this edit). Wikipedia policy states that 'If you are affiliated with some of the people, places or things you have written about in the article (Massimo), you may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred, are strongly discouraged'. Given 'Fabritius', by his own admission, is writing about himself in the article, then there is already a clear conflict of interest.

As a small point, regarding the 'proof' of my alleged 'bias' on the 'Colonna family' and 'Orsini family' articles - in my edit to the 'Colonna family' article this morning I overlooked the fact that the reference source in question ('Libro d'Oro della Nobiltà Italiana. Rome: Archivio di Stato and Collegio Araldico') which is not available online and is not 100% reliable, was still there, so I have now removed it from the article. I have done the same for a previous edit of the 'Orsini family' article. Thank you to 'Fabritius' for pointing out my oversight. The 'Colonna family' and 'Orsini family' articles still needs some work on the links and sources which I will complete in due course.

My arguments, based on facts and original, online referenced sources, will follow in due course on the 'Massimo' article, and once again, I would welcome a constructive conversation, if possible. Regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 19:17, 20 April 2010 (UTC)




Dear Historybluff, it's you that are writing about my family and about other's families, not me. Your edits and informations are false and inaccurate. I'm just trying to mend your incorrect and not scientific edits, which are all biased, as extensively demonstrated, especially by you, inserting and subsequently deleting sources, and then giving ridiculous excuses for that.

Maybe you should delete even your reference number 8 [14],which clearly demonstrates that you're wrong and biased: Valerio Massimo bears no titles there, why? Maybe you oversaw even this one source? Hey, don't worry you still got the german directory [15], unfortunately it's not the italian one and it was privately owned and edited. There's a big problem with it: not all the members of the Massimo family bear the princely title there. Maybe you didn't inspect it very well.

Regarding the conflict of interests I suspect you are Valerio Massimo because of your obsession with his cadet branche's titles.

By your logic, if you're admitting I'm the head of my family, which in fact I am, I probably should know better than you who bears titles in my family.

There's nothing much to discuss: you're not using genuine references and you have no arguments. The only authoritative source for italian titles is obviously the italian college of arms, Consulta araldica and its official directories (Libro d'Oro), as for any other country. Maybe you should read that article and its references before arguing, especially this one [16] reading and understanding in particular the article number 68. Truth hurts. Fabritius (talk) 21:41, 20 April 2010 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} Please revert the article to its correct edit i.e. [17].

To settle this issue is very simple:

- Historybuff's only contribution to this article is his conjecture 'The family all bear the Princely title'. All his subsequent edit warring is about Valerio Massimo bearing a title [18];

-you could then check very easily the reliability of Historybuff by taking a look at his reference number 8 [19] and searching for Valerio Massimo and you will see he is listed with no princely title, in opposition to Historybuff's conjecture.

-Even his beloved source, which is a german directory privately owned and published [20], shows that not all the members of the Massimo family bear the princely title.

In my opinion, this should resolve the dispute.

Historybuff's other edits of roman princely families (Borghese, Colonna, Orsini) are all of the same kind: he adds heirs without their permission, as dome with my minor son [21], and gives titles according to his inadequate sources. Sometimes he deletes historically correct informations like here [22]. That's his scientific contribution to the net. Fabritius (talk) 12:22, 21 April 2010 (UTC)


Request for continued full protection of this article and explanation of 'conflict of interest' issue for Fabritius[edit]

I would like to request that this edit to this fully protected page not be made. This article was protected because of a continued difference of opinion between myself and Fabritius over the last paragraph. At Administrator Nick D's request, we are supposed to be discussing it over this page and this request to just reverse the article to Fabritius's (incorrect) version goes against the spirit of dispute resolution (and continues the 'edit warring' for which the article was fully protected in the first place). As I have explained above, I intend to post my arguments in due course in a clear, rational way, so that all editors and administrators can read them.

The key reason why this request should not be granted is that Fabritius has a proven CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Fabritius has already received a warning (from Dave1185 on Fabritius's talk page) about the fact that, by his own admission or claim, he is a member of the Massimo family and is specifically someone he himself writes about extensively in the article (per this edit). Wikipedia policy states that 'If you are affiliated with some of the people, places or things you have written about in the article (Massimo), you may have a conflict of interest. In keeping with Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, edits where there is a conflict of interest, or where such a conflict might reasonably be inferred, are strongly discouraged'. Given 'Fabritius', by his own admission, is writing about himself in the article, then there is already a clear conflict of interest. This conflict of interest, if Fabritius's claim to he 'head of the Massimo family' is correct, is a fact, not my opinion.

I am a neutral editor. Fabritius keeps insisting that I am a member of his family, referring to me as 'Valerio Massimo' or 'Valerio'. To be crystal clear (as I have written on 4 separate occasions in the edit summaries) I am not a member of the Massimo family. Given 'Prince Valerio Massimo' has been listed as such in the article since Sept 2006 (per this edit), and I made my first edit in Feb 2010, Fabritius's suggestion that I am somehow adding this person's name is incorrect. I have only ever restored the article and added supporting sources. I have only ever restored the article to its original state as I found supporting evidence that the disputed paragraph was correct. The only reason I can think of as to why Fabritius keeps trying to imply that I am a member of his family is because he realises that he himself, by identifying himself as 'Prince Fabrizio Massimo-Brancaccio' on the 13 Feb 2010 (per this edit) has a conflict of interest, which is against Wiki rules and compromises his ability to edit the article, and is trying to imply the same of me, but without any reason. In fact, Fabritius never inferred that I was a member of his family until I named him in an edit summary, based on his own previous self-identification, as someone who was 'vanity editing' (per this edit). Immediately after that (two days later in fact) - presumably realising that it was a mistake to be writing about himself because of this issue - he began suggesting, repeating my own words, that I was in fact 'vanity editing' because I was a family member (per this edit). This appears to be a tactic to try and associate my edits with the same 'conflict of interest' issue that Fabritius faces. It is incorrect.

Fabritius has been advised of the seriousness of this charge already. By his own admission he has a conflict of interest, whereas I categorically do not.

I will follow this message with an explanation for why each of the points listed in the request above is incorrect, but for now may I request politely that this page remain protected and that the dispute resolution process be allowed to continue in the normal way.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 13:29, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

{{editprotected}}


Historybluff you're just ridiculous. YOU are writing extensively about my family, not me. YOU are obsessed with titles and genealogy. YOU are inserting fake titles admitting you are not able to investigate the italian authoritative sources of the italian college of arms Consulta araldica, as you admitted in your edit summary [23].

Instead of talking nonsense trying to evade the real issue, tell me why, in both sources you reference, not all the members of my family bear titles, in opposition of what you write in the article.

It's a simple question. Try to answer if you're unbiased and if you have arguments. Fabritius (talk) 15:11, 21 April 2010 (UTC)


Historybuff1930 response to Fabritius's two key questions (above) regarding genealogical sources[edit]

Fabritius. As I said above, I am preparing a detailed note on why the article is correct, and has always been correct, until you began editing it in Jan 2010. This complete write-up will follow in due course as I have a job and a life and am not able to work on this full time.

You have asked me to answer two questions, to quote you "why in both sources you (Historybuff1930) reference, not all the members of my family bear titles, in opposition to what you write in the article". While I am against dealing with specific questions without my full answer, I will provide you with an answer to this question now. If this is the key to your argument about why, to quote you directly, I "have no arguments", then I imagine you wll find the following very interesting.

You refer above to two sources specifically - my reference number 7 (the original copy of the 'Almanach de Gotha', a scanned original copy of the 1922 edition, kept in a library and available online), and my reference number 8 (Paul Theroff's online Gotha).


In reference number 7 (see link here) in my edit (the original copy of the 1922 'Almanach de Gotha'), allow me to explain:

Here you have misread the page on the 'Massimo' family. You are right, not all the family in the extended 'Massimo' section on p385, p386 and p387 are listed as Princes or Princesses (written as 'Pr' or 'Pssa' in the Gotha). However, look at the pages again. It is clear that the right to be called 'Pr' (Prince) and 'Pssa' (Princess) is reserved only for the descendants of 'Prince Camillo Carlo Alberto Massimo', b. 1834, who form the main Massimo family (see I. Branch: Principi Massimo on p385). All his descendants, men and women alike, have 'Pr' or 'Pssa' before their names. This includes 'Pr Leone', b. 1896 (grandfather of Prince Fabrizio Massimo-Brancaccio - i.e. you) and 'Pr Victor (Vittorio)', b.1911 (father of Prince Stefano Massimo, Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci, and grandfather of Prince Valerio Massimo) on p386. You will also notice that all other members of the family, including women, bear the title of 'Pr' or 'Pssa', including Prince Leone's sister ('Pssa' Elisabetta), and first cousins ('Pssa' Margherita, 'Pssa' Fabiola, 'Pssa' Blanca, etc). This is because as it says in the introduction for the family on p385 (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826'). Hence, 'The family all bear the princely title'.

The reason the rest of the family do not bear the princely title ('Pr' or 'Pssa') is because they descend from Prince Filippo Massimiliano Massimo, 1st Prince Lancellotti, who on the 17 Jan 1865 by letters patent ('par diploma du 17 janv. 1865) became the 1st Prince Lancellotti, effectively creating a new family with new heraldic rules. They did not enjoy the treatment of 'Roman Prince for all descendants' and took the surname 'Lancellotti'. As you will know, the modern 'Lancellotti' and 'Massimo-Lancellotti' families descend from this creation, but they only carry the honorific 'Don' or Donna', hence the lack of 'Pr' and 'Pssa' in the text, with just first names listed. As far as the totally separate 'II Branche: Duchi di Rignano' (2nd branch: Dukes of Rignano), this was a line of the family that descended from a common 16th century ancestor, and therefore would automatically not be included in the 'Roman Prince for all descendants' decree of the '27 June 1826'.

It is correct that many of the major Roman princely families do not enjoy the privilege of 'Pr' or 'Pssa' (Prince or Princess) for each member, and the source distinguishes clearly between those that do, and those that don't. For example the 1922 'Almanach de Gotha' entries for major Roman princely families such as the Colonna (see link here), Borghese (see link here), or Ruspoli (see link here) list all but the head of the family by their first names only, with no 'Pr' or 'Pssa' before the first names, as they are not all entitled to the princely title. However, other families (in addition to Massimo), such as the Odescalchi (see link here), Chigi Albani della Rovere (see link here), Rospigliosi [see link here) and Boncompagni-Ludovisi (see link here) all show the title of Prince and Princess ('Pr' and 'Pssa') for each family member. There is no strict rule, it depends on each family.

The same applies to the 1905 and 1925 editions, also available online, with page references in the reference link to the article.


In reference number 8 (see link here) in my edit, allow me to explain:

Here you have misread the format in which the site is written. Each page on each family, no matter whether all the family bear titles, only lists the main title holders - i.e. 'Prince of X' - in the case of the 'Massimo' family entry, these are "Pr (of) Arsoli' and 'Pr (of) Roccasecca dei Voslci'. All other members of the family are listed without titles. What you have failed to investigate, is that this is the format for each family listed, even when the entire family bear titles. For example, as you will no doubt be aware, all of the members of the Roman 'Odescalchi' and 'Chigi Albani della Rovere' families bear the title of 'Prince' or 'Princess', yet on the 'Odescalchi' page for example (see link here), everyone is listed simply by their first names, apart from the head of the family, who is listed as 'Pr Odescalchi'. If you are who you say you are you will be familiar that all the family bear the right to be called 'Prince X Odescalchi' or 'Princess X Odescalchi', the same goes for the 'Chigi Albani della Rovere' - it is just not the way the site is written. Sometimes the rule is written across the top of the page, sometimes it is not (as in the case of Massimo, Odescalchi, Chigi Albani della Rovere etc). As a final example, in the British Royal family page, 'Prince William of Wales', 2nd in line to the British Throne, is listed simply as '1k) William Arthur Philip Louis, b. Paddington, London 21 Jun 1982'. Does that mean the 2nd in line to the throne of Great Britain is not a Prince? Of course not. As I said, it is just the way the site is written.


As for the comment in the first line of your passage above that I am writing extensively about your (the Massimo) family, while you are not, well, that is clearly not true. All of the new text in the article post 27 Jan 2010 was written by you - I just reverted the page to versions that were written prior to my involvement. Losing an argument must be frustrating, but calling me 'ridiculous' will not help. In any case, as mentioned above, you should not be editing this page if you have a conflict of interest, which by your own admission or claim, you obviously do.

What is listed above is proper research, based on an original copy of a universally-recognised reference source on European heraldry. It is well known that the original (1784-1944) 'Almanach de Gotha' was the ultimate reference source, used throughout Europe, and famous for its accuracy. It was the 'gold standard' of European genealogy and recognised as such.

Also interestingly, during one of your edit summaries, you asked 'Where do you think Justice Perthes (the publisher of the 'Almanach de Gotha') got the genealogical documentation from?' (see this edit), suggesting that it was from the sources that you cite, but are unable to show. So therefore, even by your very own logic, if your sources are correct, and the 'Almanach de Gotha' (by Justice Perthes) got their information from your sources, then the 'Gotha' or my 'German directory' as you call it is, by definition, correct.

I am presenting a 100% original, reliable source which backs up the point I am making, which is indeed that 'The family (Massimo) all bear the princely title'. You have cited some sources, but not put up any references with any genealogical information on them. You make the point above that in my edit summary [24] I say I am not able to read your sources. This is incorrect. While I do not speak Italian, I looked through all of your references to find a set of genealogical data, yet there was nothing, just articles and in some cases, dead links. My point was that your references did not support your argument, whereas I am providing a link to an original, historic document, scanned and held in a library, and available online.

So there is your answer. I hope that gives you all the proof that you - and more importantly other independent editors - need in order for the article to remain in its present, correct, form.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 20:27, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Editprotected usage[edit]

Dear user Fabritius, I think you are misunderstanding the concept protected page (it's a cooling off period) and how to use editprotected (only when there is consensus). Please familiarize yourself more with the concepts before making requests again. You have five days to find a good solution to this article. If behavior such as before the block resumes (and that goes for the other editors as well), the article WILL be protected again and again as people fight over it. The only way to get your changes into an article is per discussion and agreement. Use references and sources. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:21, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


@ TheDj: if the other editor is biased do you think an agreement can be found? And, if nobody else intervenes where does the consensus come from? I already gave the solution, nobody is judging in this dispute. - Fabritius (talk) 11:58, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Your repeated personal attacks on Historybuff to not qualify as discussion and are likely to lead to your being blocked instead of the article being reprotected. Your edit history shows you are a single purpose account with an obvious conflict of interest. I strongly recommend you start providing actual sources to back your claims. Edward321 (talk) 12:30, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Edward and others, if I were you guys I would tone down your part on his alleged personal attack, its quite fringy. From the looks of it, we should help him overcome this part by guiding him through Wikipedia's editing guidelines and policies as he is a newbie (read WP:BITE~!) and that he is defending something very close and dear to him, his family honours and lineage (thus his source of COI). FWIW, I'd suggest that we drop our unnecessary/unwanted input and let the two of them (referring to Fab and Historybuff) discuss it versus fanning the flame of this WP:DRAMA (read also WP:MYOB). Cheers and regards~! --Dave ♠♣♥♦1185♪♫™ 12:59, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

These personal attacks are continuing. I have never resorted to personal attacks, merely to research. See (see this post and Dave1185's response). I am genuinely trying here but am just getting insults back and unfounded rebuttals that my research is 'completely wrong' without any source/reference back-up. Wikipedia is about facts, references and sources, not personal opinions, surely. Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 15:10, 23 April 2010 (UTC)




Historybluff, your 'proper research' is completely wrong. As usual you're clouding the issue.

The roman families you cited who all bear the princely title are the Princes of the Sacred Roman Empire (S.R.I.). These titles are completely different from the roman ones (granted by the Pope) which are valid for firstborns only. This roman use of titles is clearly visible in the families Borghese, Colonna, Massimo, etc.

If a secondborn wanted to have a title he had to ask the Pope or, later, the King of Italy.

This is exactly what Vittorio Massimo (grandfather of Valerio Massimo) did in 1933. He received the title of Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci because he had no other title. His correct heraldic treatment, after he received the Diploma of nobility, was Don Vittorio Massimo Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci. This title is also firstborn transmissible only.

There's more. The Head of the family, Prince Camillo Massimo (father of Vittorio), in 1904 asked the King the title of Duke of Anticoli Corrado for his firstborn Leone (aged 8). In fact even the firstborn, while his father was still alive, had no other title than the heraldic treatment of Don (Lord), i.e Don Leone Massimo. Only the Head of the family bore all the titles, that's why the Prince Massimo had to ask a title for his firstborn. His secondborn Vittorio did it independently when he was 22, as seen above.

The title in front of the surname is for firstborn only. Don means Lord.


Regarding Gotha it was and it is privately owned and published. It isn't the ultimate reference as just you pretend (arguing it with this ridiculous reference [25]), plus, nowhere in the book your unreferenced conjecture is reported.

Besides, it is full of errors, f.i. Filippo Massimiliano Massimo's sister Maria Francesca is not even listed (but you can find her in your other reference n. 8 [26]), even many other Massimo titles are not shown.

And, not all the italian families are listed, as f.i. the famous princely families Barberini and Cenci-Bolognetti. In fact, if you read the introduction to Gotha's 'Troisieme Partie' [27] (the 3rd section), it says (translated from the french) that all the requests of insertion in their list should be sent to the editorial office and that the insertion is free. They were just asking people to join, without supervising.


As obvious, the only authoritative source for italian titles is the italian College of Arms, Consulta araldica and its official directories (Libro d'Oro) (all by Royal Decree), as for any other country, and not a privately owned directory published without even the supervision of an Herald's College. In fact Gotha's Massimo article references the various Diploma of Nobility in the Massimo family, meaning there's an Herald's College and a 'fons honorum' that issued them. This 'fons honorum' is not Gotha.

Fabritius (talk) 11:58, 23 April 2010 (UTC)


Response to Fabritius's latest post of 23/04/10[edit]

Fabrtius - I really don't see how personal attacks can help here. How on earth can you say that the passage I wrote above (see this edit) is 'clouding the issue'. It is a clear piece of historical research.

I understand the difference between SRI titles and Roman titles, but nevertheless, the original copy of the 'Almanach de Gotha' (more on the validity of this source below) clearly states that the Massimo family, by what I can only assume was Papal decree given it was 1826, all have the right to be called Prince or Princess before their first names. This does not mean that the main title holders are not senior, merely that all members have the right to bear the princely title. In the source (see link here) in my edit (the original copy of the 1922 'Almanach de Gotha'), the right to be called 'Pr' (Prince) and 'Pssa' (Princess) is clearly reserved only for the descendants of 'Prince Camillo Carlo Alberto Massimo', b. 1834, who form the main Massimo family (see I. Branch: Principi Massimo on p385). All his descendants, men and women alike, have 'Pr' or 'Pssa' before their names. This includes 'Pr Leone', b. 1896 (grandfather of Prince Fabrizio Massimo-Brancaccio - i.e. you) and 'Pr Victor (Vittorio)', b.1911 (father of Prince Stefano Massimo, Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci, and grandfather of Prince Valerio Massimo) on p386. You will also notice that all other members of the family, including women, bear the title of 'Pr' or 'Pssa', including Prince Leone's sister ('Pssa' Elisabetta), and first cousins ('Pssa' Margherita, 'Pssa' Fabiola, 'Pssa' Blanca, etc). This is because as it says in the introduction for the family on p385 (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826').

It is correct that many of the major Roman princely families do not enjoy the privilege of 'Pr' or 'Pssa' (Prince or Princess) for each member, and the source distinguishes clearly between those that do, and those that don't (SRI or not SRI). For example the 1922 'Almanach de Gotha' entries for major Roman princely families such as the Colonna (see link here), Borghese (see link here), or Ruspoli (see link here) list all but the head of the family by their first names only, with no 'Pr' or 'Pssa' before the first names, as they are not all entitled to the princely title. However, other families (in addition to Massimo), such as the Odescalchi (see link here), Chigi Albani della Rovere (see link here), Rospigliosi [see link here) and Boncompagni-Ludovisi (see link here) all show the title of Prince and Princess ('Pr' and 'Pssa') for each family member. There is no strict rule, it depends on each family.

The entries are the same for all families in the 1905 and 1925 editions, so this is not a mistake.

On the subject of mistakes, despite what you say, the original 'Almanach de Gotha' was regarded as the only reliable source for European heraldry. It was the 'bible' by which courts were able to rely on, to distinguish real titles from false ones, and was famously accurate - as anybody familiar with heraldry will testify (I welcome the views of other editors on this point).

Regarding your points, Prince Filippo-Massimiliano's sister was not included as she was deceased at the time of printing (she died in 1893 and the 'Gotha' was published in 1922) and she was not the head of a line, so unlike Prince Camillo Carlo Alberto (d. 1921) and Prince Filippo-Massimiliano (d. 1914), she was not included. While both deceased, they were included so that their respective lines (Massimo and Lancellotti) could be traced down. It was not a mistake and is in keeping with the rest of the 'Almanach'.

Also, you mention that not all Italian families were listed - the Barberini and Cenci-Bolognetti - this would have been due to them not having sufficient genealogical information for their inclusion, as the 'Gotha' would rather print nothing than something that was incorrect. The fact that they are not in the 1922 edition does not mean that the rest of the information is wrong.

As for your argument that 'all requests of insertion in their list should be sent to the editorial office and that the insertion is free' - all that means is that the Head of each family would have been asked to submit the entry and that it wasn't paid for. That doesn't mean it wasn't CHECKED, of course it was. In fact, it suggests that repeatedly (1905, 1922 and 1925) the Head of the Massimo family sent in information and supporting documentation proving that each member of the family was entitled to be called Prince or Princess before their first name. Now why would the head of the House do that if it was not correct, and why would a very strict source as the Gotha accept this claim if it wasn't supported?

You talk about the 'fons honorum' or 'font of honour'. Of course this can only come from a sovereign, which in 1826 was the Pope (pre the state of Italy). At the time there was no 'Consulta Araldica' - that came after the unification of Italy. So of course the 'fons honorum' is not Gotha, but it certainly isn't Consulta Araldica in 1826. That phrase presumable came from a Papal decree. Unless you can show an original copy of that decree which says otherwise, then this source (Gotha) is the closest you can get to the 'fons honorum'.

Lastly, during one of your edit summaries, you asked 'Where do you think Justice Perthes (the publisher of the 'Almanach de Gotha') got his genealogical information from?' (see this edit), suggesting that it was from the sources that you cite, but are unable to show. So therefore, even by your very own logic, if your sources are correct, and the 'Almanach de Gotha' (by Justice Perthes) got their information from your sources, then the 'Gotha' or my 'German directory' as you call it is, by definition, correct.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 16:06, 23 April 2010 (UTC)


Important note on VERIFIABLE SOURCES for Fabritius[edit]

Repeatedly you have cited sources and above you give a different version to what is written in the 'Almanach de Gotha', but without providing any VERIFIABLE source back up, despite the urgings of editors other than myself.

Putting aside the fact that the original 'Almanach de Gotha' is a truly reliable source, which everyone on this page can look through to verify my arguments, you really must prove your arguments with verifiable sources, with full genealogical information on the family, that every editor on this site can verify.

Unless you can link to an online document which supports your argument, there is no way anybody can support your case. Asking Wikipedia editors to go to Italy and look at sources no-one is familiar with in State archives is just not realistic, when I have already presented a case which is verifiable here. This is an online encyclopaedia, and therefore relies on verifiable sources.

Please provide access to your sources - not to front pages of websites but to the original source material itself. Until you do, I do not feel I need to answer your points again, which until you can prove them, are just opinion.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 16:06, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Historybuff, I saw your post here [28] and I thought you wanted to discuss honestly. As I wrote on that post, answering to Dave1185, I'm transferring here some notes pertaining to this issue to keep everything in the same place.

Reading your last post (above) really confuses me, you're contradicting yourself. I'll answer to your previous questions first (below).

  • Actually, I have read through but I decided against replying until you have somewhat calmed down. Also, here's a few things I want you to do: -
  1. Please stop all your smart-alec remarks of other editors unless you want to get BLOCKED for being POINTY (also per no personal attack although they are quite fringy as you had made the remarks when you were feeling frustrated);
  2. Talk to Historybuff1930 (talk · contribs) as if you were talking to an acquaintance and discuss it objectively to resolve your differences;
  3. Find a common ground which both of you can agree on in order to work towards a common consensus (which is part of the process of dispute resolution).

Follow the steps I've mentioned and I think you should be able to calm down and work in a collaborative effort with other Wikipedians here. For your information, when I first started off on Wikipedia it was the same like what you had gone through but I changed my attitude and outlook after reading through the guidelines and policies. It wasn't easy but I've gotten used to it by now and I'm sure you can do it too. Cheers and ciao~! --Dave ♠♣♥♦1185♪♫™ 14:47, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

@ Dave1185 @ Fabritius

Dave - thank you for your remarks above. It has been difficult for me to just keep calm during these repeated personal attacks, when all I am doing is stating what my research is yielding. But let me, in the spirit of discussion, answer both Fabritius's 'charges' above, calmly:

Re: 'Libro D'Oro source': Why is what I wrote above 'ridiculous'? It was a completely honest owning up to an oversight. When the 'Massimo' article was originally edited by you (Fabritius), you added the 'Libro D'Oro' as a source and I incorporated it into the source list, even in early edits of the 'Massimo' page. When I did some research and spoke with offline colleagues about the source, I was told my a number of people that the modern 'Libro D'Oro' is a privately-funded publication, which is no longer officially recognised and is no longer 100% accurate, due to the inclusion of a number of fake titled families. I therefore removed it as a source in my next edit of the "Massimo' article when I found this out and, subsequent to your pointing out it was still in the 'Orsini' and 'Colonna' articles, duly removed it as I have forgotten to do so. Nothing ridiculous, just honest.

Re: the 'arbitrary' deletion of historically correct information in the Colonna article. That may be your opinion, but the passage clearly states that: 'In 1728, the family added the name Barberini to its name'. I deleted this because the modern main branches of the Colonna family (which this passage is about) does not include the name Barberini to my knowledge. If the family added the name back in 1728 and then removed it since then I guess the phrase is technically correct, albeit misleading, but it was not an 'arbitrary' deletion.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 14:59, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

@Dave: ok. I'll try my best though you writing Ignore all rules on your talk page. Hey, I thought humour (among other) was admitted on the internet! But I see your point. I agree not to be pointy if someone starts discussing. I'll transfer this to the Massimo discussion page just for the sake of keeping the discussion in one place. Thanks for your help and understanding. Please do keep an eye on the discussion page. Ciao, Fabrizio - Fabritius (talk) 16:38, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

@ Historybuff: First of all the 2nd point which doesn't raise conflict of interest: there's still a family called Barberini Colonna di Sciarra, they adjoined the surname Barberini long ago. This was the Palestrina branch of the Colonna family, btw, two titles in my family, prince of Roviano and Duke of Anticoi Corrado (although wrongly listed in the Gotha), comes from them.

Back to Massimo.

You're confusing the actual directory, improperly called Libro d'Oro, with the original one Libro d'oro della nobilta' italiana [29] (the wikipedia article is in italian, the english page refers to the other Libro d'oro).

The authoritative source for italian titles is again the italian College of Arms, Consulta araldica (wikipedia article in english) and its official directories (Libro d'Oro della nobilta' italiana) (all by Royal Decrees), as for any other country.

Please have a look at the english article Consulta araldica, it says The Consulta Araldica (English: Heraldic Consultative Council) was a college instituted by royal decree on 10 October 1869 to advise the Italian government on noble titles, coats of arms and related matters. It was part of the Ministry of the Interior. As such it combined the roles of the various heraldic colleges which had existed in pre-unification Italy, including the Tribunale Araldico of Lombardy, the Commissione Araldica of Venice and the Congregazione Araldica Capitolina of Rome.

Here's the Royal decree n. 313 (july 2nd 1896) [30] and if you read the article number 68 (it's in italian but is very easy to understand) it says (in english) 'The heraldic books are 4, the first one is called Libro d'oro della nobilta' italiana...'.

Historybuff, now I'm asking you what's wrong with this statement?

Fabritius (talk) 18:08, 23 April 2010 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @ Historybuff @ Fabritius Salve~! Gentlemen, as you two can see... discussion isn't very difficult, right? Just stay cool and be civil towards one another to work this out, I'm damn cocksure that you guys will have a common consensus settled in no time at all, yeah? The rest of the people, please let this two gentlemen strut their stuff and don't be a nosy-parker, alright? Cheers and ciao~! --Dave ♠♣♥♦1185♪♫™ 02:44, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Response to Fabritius's post of 23/04/10 and (again) an important note on the need for VERIFIABLE SOURCES[edit]

Thank you Fabritius for transferring all the discussion to this page, I think it is very helpful for other editors to see.

Also, I am indeed interested in an honest, calm discussion of the facts.

To briefly answer your points above I am genuinely not confusing 'Libro D'Oro' with the 'Libro d'Oro della Nobilta' Italiana' - I was just using the shortened version to write faster. Also your point about the 'Barberini Colonna di Sciarra' is true, I just see that family as part of the Barberini family (see this link), and therefore did not see it as relevant when discussing the modern Colonna family as it is merely a 'break-off' family (like the Lancellotti), not the main family itself. It was not an 'arbitrary edit' but one made in good faith.


1) Regarding the sources you cite:

I did read what you wrote above and had already read article 68. I don't disagree with what they say. Article 68, while not an original, certainly looks like a transcript of an official document. My issues is as follows.

The Consulta Heraldica came after the unification of Italy and ended with the Italian republic, so it is not longer an official body. Given it lasted from 1869 to 1947, it started after the 1826 Papal decree, listed on p385 of the 'Gotha' (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826'). Hence its authority has come and gone with its abolition. Article 68 does say that 'The heraldic books are 4, the first one is called Libro d'oro della Nobilta' Italiana', however again the authority of the body that wrote that article, no longer exits. Titles were abolished in Italy in 1948 when the new constitution was formed, so the Roman families merely reverted to their original 'fons honorum' (the Papacy) as the legitimate source for their titles, even though during the period of the Italian Monarchy these titles had been briefly incorporated into the Italian College of Arms and its publications.

This brings us back to the 1826 Papal decree, listed on p385 of the 'Gotha' (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826'), meaning that all of the family have the right to bear the princely title before their first names. This is distinct from the main title holders (eg the Prince of Arsoli), who are senior, clearly. Effectively, the Papal decree never went away, the titles were just incorporated into the new Italian College of arms (which famously had a hard time stitching together all the claims from titled families from different parts of pre-unified Italy - princes from the Kingdom of Naples, counts from the Republic of Venice, etc, into a unified 'order of precedence') until the Consulta Araldica was abolished. The Papal decree remains and is the reason why the Papal nobility are still 'officially recognised' - not by the state of Italy, but by the Papacy from where their titles originally came from.

So in essence, I don't disagree with what you said - there was an Italian College of Arms and an Italian 'Libro D'Oro' that were valid between 1868 and 1947, but no longer, as the 'fons honorum' (the Italian Monarchy) that allowed them to be 'official' is no more. Roman papal families essentially had two 'fons honorum' for a while - the Papacy and the Italian Monarchy - now they have simply reverted to their original 'fons honorum', the one which originally created the titles anyway, the Papacy.

If this discussion had been taking place in 1912 it may be a different matter, but it is not. The Italian Monarchy as a 'fons honorum' has come and gone, but the Papacy remains. This backs up the current and ongoing validity of the 1826 Papal decree, listed on p385 of the 'Gotha' (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826'), meaning that all of the family have the right to bear the princely title before their first names.

I believe the above argument is technically correct and have provided the original source material to back it up.


2) Regarding the importance of verifiable sources and source material

You may argue differently I don't know yet. However if you do, you must provide sources to back up your arguments. As I said above (see this post on the importance of verifiable sources), it is not enough to cite your source names, or to quote articles that say your sources were valid between 1869 and 1947. You have to show the original genealogical documentation - the source itself - with all the family members laid out and the titles clearly indicated. You have been asked to provide verfiable source material by me and by other editors on this page

Without this, as I have said before, unless you can link to an online document which supports your argument, there is no way anybody can support your case. Asking Wikipedia editors to go to Italy and look at sources no-one is familiar with in State archives is just not realistic, when I have already presented a case which is verifiable here. This is an online encyclopaedia, and therefore relies on verifiable sources which can be checked here. Otherwise you cannot prove your argument as no one on this forum (despite accepting that your sources were valid between 1869-1947), has any idea what they actually CONTAINED, and indeed, whether they actually do say something different to the original 'Almanach de Gotha' which is linked for all to verify.


Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 14:34, 24 April 2010 (UTC)


Reaching a consensus rather than edit warring - a request to Fabritius[edit]

Once again, I am glad that we are engaging in discussion in order to resolve this issue and to try and reach a consensus based on facts. However, since I posted my answer above almost two days ago I have had no response to the post (above) 'Response to Fabritius's post of 23/04/10 and (again) an important note on the need for VERIFIABLE SOURCES' (24/10/04).

I have also not had a proper response to all my points raised above in 'Historybuff1930 response to Fabritius's two key questions (above) regarding genealogical sources' (21/04/10), 'Response to Fabritius's latest post (of 23/04/10, my reply posted on the same day), or 'Important note on verifiable sources for Fabritius' (23/10/10).

I am genuinely trying to discuss the facts and answer all your points with comprehensive answers, and I have urged you to do the same, particularly by showing your original source material backing up your arguments.

This article was protected because of edit warring by both of us. We have already been told clearly that if this starts again the article will just be re-protected. We have been advised to discuss it between ourselves and get 3rd party editors to contribute so that a consensus may be formed in time (something which I have initiated already, but have not seen any responses yet on this page).

In the unlikely event that a consensus is reached by the expiration of the deadline, I urge you politely to not re-start the edit warring by just reverting the article to your edit. Please give us - and other editors - the time we need to reach a consensus given that progress has already been made.

I look forward to your responses to the my various posts listed above and hope you will agree to this more constructive way forward.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 09:46, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

@Historybuff1930: Relax, give him some time, Rome wasn't built overnight, yeah? --Dave ♠♣♥♦1185♪♫™ 10:37, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

@ Dave 1185: Dave I agree with the point you make above. Just to clarify, I am not trying to rush Fabritius into responding to my various posts above (he may be away or busy, I have no idea). All I was asking for was more time for us to discuss the issue, exchange views, and ideally incorporate the views of other Wiki editors with a knowledge of this subject (something which I have initiated but as yet have had no response to - I will continue trying). My aim is to work towards a consensus based on discussion, facts and verifiable sources. The purpose of my note was to appeal to Fabritius not to start edit warring when the protection is lifted and before consensus has been reached, by just reverting the article to his edit - that is all. BTW I would like to thank you for your help in getting Fabritius to begin a non-personal discussion of the issue over this talk page. Please see this as what it is - an appeal for the time for this civilised discussion to continue towards resolution and according to Wiki's dispute resolution guidelines. Do you not agree that this is the way to go, rather than immediately reverting the article? I have no intention of recommencing edit warring by 'firing the starting shot', but I need a collaborative editor on the other side who agrees to leave the article as it is until we resolve the dispute. For my part, I have done a lot of work (see posts above) to clearly lay out my case in a straightforward, well researched and verifiable way, so I am in no way 'stalling'. If you agree with me on the point about not reverting to edit warring by not reverting the article to his (Fabritius's) edit without continuing to pursue this talk page discussion, would you mind saying so? I think Fabritius would respect your opinion on this. Many thanks and kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 14:54, 26 April 2010 (UTC)


Genuine sources[edit]

Historybuff, you wrote

When I did some research and spoke with offline colleagues about the source, I was told my a number of people that the modern 'Libro D'Oro' is a privately-funded publication, which is no longer officially recognised and is no longer 100% accurate, due to the inclusion of a number of fake titled families. I therefore removed it as a source in my next edit of the "Massimo' article when I found this out.

You're confusing the original Libro d'oro della nobilta' italiana (also called Libro d'oro) [31] (in italian - stored in the Archivio di Stato in Rome), issued by royal decree, correct and still the source for italian titles and still used along with other documents of the Consulta araldica, as you can read here in italian (in the section Servizio Araldico -Heraldic Service- of the State Archive)[32]), with the privately owned Libro d'oro della nobilta' italiana (also called Libro d'oro) [33] which derives from the previous. The latter is like the german Gotha you referenced, but includes italian families only and, as the Gotha, it can have errors (not on the Massimo family as you wrote previously and in fact the titles there are for firstborns only). The privately onwed Libro d'oro and Gotha are of the same kind: they're not the original and authoritative sources.

Regarding your other 2 points, you wrote:

Titles were abolished in Italy in 1948 when the new constitution was formed, so the Roman families merely reverted to their original 'fons honorum' (the Papacy) as the legitimate source for their titles...

This is another mistake. The italian republican constitution was formed in 1947 (not in 1948) and the italian titles were never abolished, only the Consulta araldica was suppressed. The law that governed italian titles remained valid and here you have the proof [34] (the italian government is still referencing it -law n. 652 by Royal decree 7 june 1943- for heraldic regulations).

The fons honorum remained the King of Italy until he died in 1983. At present there's no fons honorum, which means that italian titles can't be granted any more. The Pope is another fons honorum because he actually is a kind of king but he can grant titles pertaining to his kingdom only, i.e. the Vatican, and he cannot grant italian titles any more because he has no authority on it like he has no authority on spanish or english titles for the reason that there are other fons honorum there (the King of Spain and the Queen of England).

The papal decree 27 june 1826 you cite doesn't say 'Roman Prince for all descendants', it says that the head of the family will be Prince of Arsoli (instead of Marquis of Arsoli) and that his firstborn will be Prince of Arsoli, and so on for the firstborn of the future fistborns. You can find this roman use of titles in all other roman princely families like Borghese, Colonna, Barberini, etc. Only the princes of the Sacred Roman Empire (not granted by the Pope) bear all the title of 'Prince', with no predicate.

Regarding point n. 2 I already referenced the original laws, institution and official heraldic directories.

Gotha was not and is not an authoritative source for italian titles because it is not an expression of a national official College of arms, in fact it was and it is privately owned and published.

Regarding your reference n. 9 [35] please remove it as it is not reliable as Nick-D wrote ...why that self-published Angelfire website is authoritative (it doesn't meet Wikipedia's criteria for being a reliable source). Nick-D (talk) 09:24, 21 April 2010 (UTC) [36].


Although I might have a conflict of interest I think the above arguments are scientific and my point of view neutral. - Fabritius (talk) 08:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)


@ Fabritius: A small point re: the 'Colonna family' article. I noticed you restored the point about the Colonna Carbognano branch (Colonna di Sciarra - now part of Barberini) having added Barberini to its name in 1728, and it is now correct so I have left it. I did however restore the reference to the other members and heirs of the main branch of the Colonna family, as they are accurate (see your edit here). I did make one change to my original, which is to attribute only the Prince of Paliano as 'Prince' before the Christian name, and the rest as 'Don' (different to the Massimo family, see above). This is backed up by the 1922 'Almanach de Gotha' page on the Colonna (see link here). I don't want to start an edit war on that page and all I have done is add back information you deleted (with the correction) and left the additional point you added, but the information you deleted on the Prince of Paliano's heir and on the Prince of Avella and his heir is now accurate with my changes and should not just be deleted. I also added the Colonna di Stigliano line. I have not touched the source list as I don't want to start the same debate on that page as we are trying to resolve here. I hope you will agree that the info I have added is not inaccurate, in the spirit of collaboration! Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 22:08, 29 April 2010 (UTC)


Response to Fabritius's post of 28/04/10 and (again) an important note on the need for VERIFIABLE SOURCES[edit]

Dear Fabritius,

Many thanks for your post above and I welcome this discussion. With all due respect however, I must politely disagree that your arguments are 'scientific' as I will explain, particularly in (2) below.

Before I delve into the detail, I wanted to summarise - at a very high level - the two main issues that separate us. These are:

(1) Determining which source(s) are the correct ones

(2) Demonstrating, using access to online sources, what those sources SAY in relation to the use of titles - this is the issue of verifiability (i.e. that the sources can be checked for their veracity by other Wiki editors online)

Your post above (see your last post), deals exclusively with (1) above - i.e. what sources you believe are correct. It does not deal with (2), as it does not show what the sources you cite actually say - i.e. you do not offer any links to the original source material itself to uphold what you say about how titles work in the Massimo family.

As I have argued extensively, I believe that (1) the original (pre-1944) 'Almanach de Gotha' is the best available source, particularly when dealing with titles that were not initially granted by the Italian Monarchy and therefore which came before the advent of the Consulta Araldica - the title came from a Papal decree in 1826 and remains a Papal title, and is therefore no longer under the authority of an Italian Heraldic body that has now been dissolved (as the Consulta Araldica was in 1947) and (2) I have provided links to the original reference source material itself, detailing the heraldic rules specific to the 'Massimo' family (using an original document, held in a library and available online - and not something which I have posted myself - which which is independently verifiable by any Wiki editor) which backs up my argument.


But let me first deal with issue (1) - what sources are correct, and also the points that you raise in your post:

Regarding the 'Libro D'Oro'. I am genuinely not confusing the 'Libro D'Oro' (i.e. the version published privately today) with the 'Libro d'Oro della Nobilta' Italiana' (the publication linked to the old Consulta Araldica). In fact, I refer to the 'modern Libro D'Oro' in order to distinguish it from the one that was issued by the Consulta Araldica between 1869 and 1947. I was just using the shortened version to write faster. For the record, I agree that the 'Libro d'Oro della Nobilta' Italiana' was indeed an officially recognised-source for that period (1869-1947), although not the only source. However, it is no longer an official source as the Consulta Araldica was dissolved in 1947.

When I said that the 'modern' Libro D'Oro contained "many fake titled families (not Massimo)", I meant exactly that - i.e. while it was an 'unreliable source' because of the fake titles families, the Massimo family was clearly not a fake titled family. I did not say that the information it contained on the Massimo family was therefore correct. The 'modern' Libro D'Oro, from what I have heard, is a privately-funded publication, invariably short of funding, which has been swayed into accepting the claims of dubious families with 'donations', thereby compromising its reliability. Like the modern 1999 edition of the 'Gotha' (by Kennedy not Perthes), it is known as a work of dubious scholarship.

Regarding your request to remove the 'Theroff Online Gotha' as a source (my reference 9 here), I would be happy to. Nick D did indeed say "it doesn't meet Wikipedia's criteria for being a reliable source". I agree, it is not an official document, although I am not using as such. It is merely useful to list names of family members and birth dates (as you yourself acknowledged when you wrote above that "Filippo Massimiliano Massimo's sister Maria Francesca is not even listed (but you can find her in your other reference n. 8 [37])". The site is light on heraldic details but I am not relying on it for those purposes. I would rather not edit the article at all until we resolve everything on this talk page but rest assured it can be removed as an official source (but perhaps left as a reference) once we do.

My key point about sources relates to the fact that the Massimo princely title is originally a Papal title, not an Italian one. The 1826 Papal decree, listed on p385 of the 'Almanach de Gotha' (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826') came before the Italian Monarchy and a new, coexistent (with the Papacy) 'fons honorum'. The Italian Monarchy did not replace the Papacy as the 'fons honorum' or source of the title, it merely incorporated the Papal title into its newly-formed Heralds College (Consulta Araldica) and made the Papal, Venetian, Neapolitan etc, titles all become 'Italian' titles. For the Papal titles, during the period when there was an Italian Monarchy, there were effectively two 'fons honorums' in parallel (the Pope and the Italian King). They remained 'Italian titles' and 'Papal titles' until the end of the Monarchy, at which point the 'Italian and Papal titles' reverted to just being 'Papal titles', as they originally had been at their creation and had remained all along.

Titles ceased to be officially recognised in Italy in 1948 when the new constitution was formed (you are correct that it was agreed in 1947, but in only came into effect on Jan 1 1948, so we are both right on this (see this wiki article). You say that titles weren't abolished by the 1947/8 constitution. While not 'abolished', titles ceased to be recognised under Italian law, and the organ of state which had regulated them, the Consulta Araldica, was eliminated. However the so-called predicati - territorial designations that were often connected to a noble family by use of a nobiliary particle such as di, da, della, dei, could be resumed as part of the legal surname upon judicial approval for persons who possessed it prior to 28 October 1922 (e.g. 'Colonna di Stigliano'). While no longer officially recognised by the Italian state, the Papal titles remain (as they always have been) recognised by the Papacy/Vatican state.

On this point, according to Philip M. Thomas in 'Burke's Peerage' (a recognised source on heraldry): "On 27th September, 1947, the Italian Republic abolished titles. Those granted after 1922 are revoked, but those existing before then though no longer titles of nobility are recognised as part of the family name. In practice, however, and socially, titles whenever granted are borne now just as in the days of the monarchy...The Roman nobility is and always has been separate, and was not affected by the law of 1947". What this means is that the authority of the Italian State (and therefore the Consulta Araldica and the 'original' Libro D'Oro) was revoked, but the Roman nobility (given its original 'fons honorum' was and remained the Pope), remained.

Above you pointed out that 'at the moment there is no 'fons honorum' (since the death of Umberto II). That is not true. The Papacy remains an official 'fons honorum'. Also, clearly the Papacy can not issue or give opinion over Italian titles because a) there are no 'Italian titles' any more and b) it doesn't need to as it has its own authority over its own (Papal) titles. Just because a title is not Italian does not mean it does not exist. In fact given the Italian Monarchy is gone, but the Papacy remains, the opposite is true in the case of Roman/Papal titled families.

Regarding the authority of Consulta Araldica - my point - as I explained above - is that the authority of the Consulta Araldica came into force after the granting of the Princely title by Papal Decree in 1826. The Massimo family were not granted their princely title by the King of Italy - they already had it before there was a King of Italy or indeed an associated Consulta Araldica, which in turn was created by the Italian Monarchy/Italian government in the 1960s. The Consulta Araldica came after the unification of Italy and ended with the advent of the Italian Republic, so it is not longer an official body. Given it lasted from 1869 to 1947, it started after the 1826 Papal decree, listed on p385 of the 'Gotha' (see link here), 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' (in French 'Prince Romain pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826'). Hence its authority has come and gone with its abolition. Article 68 does say that 'The heraldic books are 4, the first one is called Libro d'oro della Nobilta' Italiana', however again the authority of the body that wrote that article, no longer exits.

Regarding your point about the Italian 'fons honorum' remaining until the death of King Umberto II in 1983, this is true. While the Consulta Araldica was no longer an official body from 1947, because Umberto II never actually abdicated, he technically remained an official 'fons honorum' for the ex-Italian Monarchy, and created titles post the 1946 referendum. He did not, however, issue reference works on heraldry and the 'fons honorum', while disputed by some, certainly died with him in 1983 as his son was never a sovereign.

As I have said the 'modern' reference works on Heraldry (such as the current Libro D'Oro or the 1999 version of the Almanach de Gotha) are not reliable. The latter, which was published by John Kennedy in 1999 (not Justes Perthes), was regarded as totally unreliable when compared to the last official and reliable Gotha printed in 1944 (before the archives were destroyed by the Russians, during their advance into Germany).

This is emphatically not the case with the original 'Almanach de Gotha'. While it was a family-published publication, it was published at the Gotha court, and for almost two hundred years it was recognised - throughout Europe - as the definitive reference source. That is why 'The Gotha' has become a byword for royalty/aristocracy in Europe. Anyone with any knowledge of heraldry knows that it was a genuinely impossible publication to get listed in if the titles were not correct and supported by documentation (Papal documentation in this case). I would welcome input from other editors interested in heraldry on this point because claiming that the original 'Almanach de Gotha' (i.e. the version printed until 1944) is not a serious reference source is simply incorrect.

So while the Consulta Araldica was an official body between 1869-1947, and its associated 'Libro d'Oro della Nobilta' Italiana' was official between the same dates, the Papal decree of 1826 has been valid from 1826 to the present day, and continues to be valid as the 'fons honorum' (the Papacy) has always been constant.

The Pope, as you rightly point out, is a sovereign. He is a Head of State and an absolute (elected) monarch, and hence a legitimate 'fons honorum' or 'font of honour' - i.e. able to award, regulate and authenticate titles of nobility. Much the same as the King of Spain or the Queen of Great Britain can do in their jurisdictions until the present day.

You say above that the Papal decree of 27 June 1826 does not say 'Roman Prince for all descendants' ('Prince Rom. pour tout les descendants'), but that is EXACTLY what it says in the original Gotha. Given the primacy of the Papal decree of 27 June 1826 over the now defunct Consulta Araldica of Italy, unless you can show the original document (i.e. the decree itself from 1826) proving it says otherwise, then the original copy of the Almanach de Gotha is the closest authentic source that exists to confirm the Papal decree.

That is why the titles listed and the sentence repeated in the 1905, 1922 an 1925 'Almanach de Gothas' are more more reliable than the Consulta Araldica or any of the publications that it issued while it was legitimate. Also, the sentence Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826' ('Prince Rom. pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826') was printed in all editions over (at least) a 20 year period, so it is, by definition, not a one-off mistake.

If we were having this discussion in 1912 - i.e. while there was an Italian Monarchy and the Papacy - there would be a debate as to which source was more relevant, but even then I would have argued that the Papal decree would take precedence over any subsequent Italian Royal decree. But we are not, and only the source which refers to the Papal decree is officially relevant today - i.e. the original Gotha.

Lastly, during one of your edit summaries, your asked 'Where do you think Justice Perthes (the publisher of the 'Almanach de Gotha') got his genealogical information from?' (see this edit), suggesting that it was from the sources that you cite, but are unable to show. So therefore, even by your very own logic, if your sources are correct, and the 'Almanach de Gotha' (by Justice Perthes) got its information from your sources, then the 'Almanach de Gotha' is, by definition, correct.


Now allow me to deal with issue (2) - demonstrating, using access to online sources, what those sources SAY in relation to the use of titles (i.e the issue of verifiability - i.e. that the sources can be checked for their veracity by other Wiki editors online):

I have argued above why 'Consulta Araldica' and the original 'Libro d'Oro della Nobilta' Italiana', while relevant between 1869-1947, are not longer valid, and why the 'Almanach de Gotha's reference to the Papal decree of 1826 is the closest evidence of the original 'fons honorum' or Papal decree stating that all members of the family have the right to bear the princely title or 'Roman Prince for all descendants 27 June 1826'.

However, it is one thing to argue about which source is the correct one. More importantly, you need to show/prove what the source says in a way that is verifiable by Wiki editors online.

I urge you to provide links to the sources to back up your arguments. As I said above (see this post on the importance of verifiable sources), it is not enough to cite your source names, or to quote articles that say your sources were valid between 1869 and 1947. You have to show the original genealogical documentation - the source itself - with all the family members laid out and the titles clearly indicated. You have been asked to provide verifiable source material by me and by other editors on this page

Without this, as I have said before, unless you can link to an online document which supports your argument, there is no way anybody can support your case. Asking Wikipedia editors to go to Italy and look at sources no-one is familiar with in State archives is just not realistic, when I have already presented a case which is verifiable here. This is an online encyclopaedia, and therefore relies on verifiable sources which can be checked here. Otherwise you cannot prove your argument as no one on this forum (despite accepting that your sources were valid between 1869-1947), has any idea what they actually CONTAINED, and indeed, whether they actually do say something different to the original 'Almanach de Gotha' which is linked for all to verify.

Without actual source material (i.e. online proof, not names of sources), this remains a theoretical discussion on your part against an original, fully-referenced and sourced argument on mine.


Having said that, I welcome this discussion, as it is certainly interesting from a historical point of view. I would also welcome the views of other Wiki editors with an interest in this subject so that they may opine on the different arguments listed on this talk page.

To summarise, a) I believe the 'Almanach do Gotha' is the correct source to use for the reasons listed (in great detail) above and b) I have linked it online so it can be verified by anyone reading this talk page.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 21:50, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

You have to prove what you declare[edit]

Historybuff, regarding Colonna and other princely roman families, the head of the family has the heraldic treatment of His Excellency (H.E) and bears the tile before the surname. Thus if you say that 'the family is represented by' you have to write the head of the family itself, for the Colonna is H.E. the Prince Marcantonio Colonna, Prince of....etc.. But this is an article on a family, it is not a genealogical directory, otherwise you should be citing the other brothers and sisters of Marcantonio Colonna. Remember also you are writing about living persons and I'm not sure they want to be listed here with their names and date of birth. In Italy there's a law which prohibites it unless you have a permission.


Regarding the Massimo article I disagree with all you wrote:

1. You don't reference your conjecture Gotha...it was recognised - throughout Europe - as the definitive reference source. It's not true, and I would like to know where you read it, apart from your reference to an online article on economicexpert.com [38].


Gotha was not and is not an authoritative source for italian titles because it is not an expression of a national official College of arms nor was supervised by a Herald's College.

Where are your verifiable sources?


2. Again, italian titles were not abolished with the republican constitution and this you know it very well otherwise you couldn't write Stefano Massimo Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci, as the title of Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci was granted in 1933 and referring to what you say it should have been abolished in 1948 (hey, why don't you amend the article). Where are your verifiable sources?


Here's the proof that titles weren't abolished: The law that governed italian titles remained valid and here you have the proof [39] (the italian government is still referencing it -law n. 652 by Royal decree 7 june 1943- for heraldic regulations).


3. How can you say the papal decree was saying Princes for all the members of the Massimo family if you never saw the papal decree nor you reference it?

You also know very well that titles (granted by the Pope) in roman princely families (Borghese, Colonna, Barberini, etc.) were for firstborns only. Only the princes of the Sacred Roman Empire (not granted by the Pope) bear all the title of 'Prince', with no predicate. If you claim to be an historian with an interest in papal nobility you should know all this.


Historybuff, honestly, I don't see a great scientific discussion here. I proved what I said with references but you didn't prove anything. Please comment the 3 points above. Fabritius (talk) 13:56, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Let's have a virtual tea (unless you're in Rome) while waiting for discussion to begin. --195.66.9.198 (talk) 16:01, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


Re: 'Colonna family' article @ Fabritius - regarding your point about the 'Colonna family' article. It is not a genealogical directory, I agree. I only listed the main title holders (Prince and Duke of Paliano, Prince of Avella and Prince of Stigliano and their heirs). Also, you wrote "Remember you are writing about living persons and I'm not sure they want to be listed with their names and date of birth. In Italy there is a law which prohibits it unless you have a (sic) permission". I know privacy laws in Italy are strict, but these aren't personal details (names and dates of birth?). If what you said was true, then there wouldn't be a single article written about a single individual in Italy anywhere on Wikipedia, or indeed in any of the Italian or foreign press, without each individual's express permission. This is obviously, factually, not the case. Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 21:12, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


Response to Fabritius's post of 30/04/10 and a polite appeal[edit]

Dear Fabritius,

With respect, I would like to politely make a request regarding the conduct of this ongoing discussion. I genuinely want to engage in a productive, civilised and non-personal discussion, and see no reason on my part to inject any 'heat' into it as Dave1185 counselled against above after your most recent post. All I am interested in is working according to the Wiki guidelines, presenting my arguments in a constructive and clear way - all with the aim of reaching a consensus, either between ourselves or with the input of other editors with a knowledge of this subject.

Each time I write here, I am presenting full, non-personal, detailed arguments, which take a considerable amount of time to put together. Yet given the amount of time I have put into writing each post, I am beginning to feel as if, no matter how clearly I lay out my arguments, and no matter how exhaustive my explanations, I am not getting anything like the same in return. You are replying with phases such as "Regarding the Massimo article I disagree with all you wrote". This can't be true as my post contained information where we agree, as well as other widely accepted historical facts. I don't believe that sort of sweeping phrase is an attempt at a proper discussion.

I have answered so many of your questions, and in some cases accusations, with clear answers, only for those answers to go unacknowledged. On the 23/04/10 I wrote "Please provide access to your sources - not to front pages of websites but to the original source material itself. Until you do, I do not feel I need to answer your points again, which until you can prove them, are just opinion", yet despite this I am still answering all of your questions, spending lots of time writing up proper research, only for it to be dismissed, not because you prove it is wrong with different source material, but because you don't agree. I have put a considerable amount of work into each of these posts, where I make numerous points in great detail with references to back them up. This has taken me a lot of time and I have a job and a family, including two young children, so I am not able to do this full time. All I ask is that I get the same sort of detailed, non-personal response back. Otherwise it feels one sided in terms of effort. Please see this for what it is - a polite appeal.

I would politely urge you to read the last post I wrote again, because the answers to your questions are already there. However, in the spirit of collaboration and being helpful, you have asked me to answer your three new questions, so I will do so.


Taking your questions in turn:


1. The 'Almanach de Gotha' as source

The original 'Almanach de Gotha' is the best known, famously accurate and incorruptible reference work on Western European heraldry (for Ducal, Princely and Royal families). While it was a family-published publication, it was published at the Gotha court, and for almost two hundred years it was recognised - throughout Europe - as the definitive reference source. Anyone with any knowledge of heraldry knows that it was a genuinely impossible publication to get listed in if the titles were not correct and supported by documentation (Papal documentation in this case). I would welcome input from other editors interested in heraldry on this point because claiming that the original 'Almanach de Gotha' (i.e. the version printed until 1944) is not a serious reference source is simply incorrect. There are various articles on the net that reference this (the one on economicexpert.com was just an example), but really this is not a matter for dispute. Saying it is not a proper source is a bit like saying that the statement 'Florence was one of the birthplaces of the Renaissance' is incorrect - it such a widely accepted thing to say that it doesn't require an official reference. I would really welcome 3rd party input here from people with an interest in this subject so we can settle this point for good.

Furthermore, the statement that the Gotha was "not an authoritative source for Italian titles" is not relevant when the title in question was originally not an Italian title - don't forget the Papal decree was issued in 1826 and the the Italian state did not exist until 1861 (35 years after the Papal decree) and the Consulta Araldica until 1869 (43 years after the Papal decree).

During one of your edit summaries, your asked 'Where do you think Justice Perthes (the publisher of the 'Almanach de Gotha') got his genealogical information from?' (see this edit), suggesting that it was from the sources that you cite, but are unable to show. So therefore, even by your very own logic, if your sources are correct, and the 'Almanach de Gotha' (by Justice Perthes) got its information from your sources, then the 'Almanach de Gotha' is, by definition, correct. How do you explain that? I have asked this question many times, yet have received no response.


2. Regarding 'Italian' (not 'Papal') titles post the 1948 constitution

In my latest post, I didn't say titles were abolished, I corrected that to writing that titles ceased to be officially recognised in Italy in 1948 when the new constitution was formed. In any case, they were never abolished by the Papacy. While not 'abolished' in Italy in 1947, titles ceased to be recognised under Italian law, and the organ of state which had regulated them, the Consulta Araldica, was eliminated. Even your source (see this link) is it a reprint of a 1943 document (i.e. before the Republic) which in the preface/first paragraph says "…della constituzione in base al quale i titoli nobiliari non vengono piu riconosciuti", which when I asked a friend to translate means "…from the constitution in which noble titles are no longer recognised". All this page seems to be doing is highlighting some of the points from the 1943 document that are still valid, while in the introduction making it clear that titles of nobility are no longer recognised by the modern Italian state.

Your point about the Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci is not relevant as it would apply to every title the family holds. Given the date, it would have been granted by Papal and Royal decree. All Massimo titles are Papal titles - they only became Italian titles for just over 80 years - so they are all still officially-recognised by the one font of honour which remains, the Papacy. All titles ceased to be recognised under Italian law (see this Wiki article) in 1947, but as Philip M. Thomas in 'Burke's Peerage' (a recognised source on heraldry) wrote: "The Roman nobility is and always has been separate, and was not affected by the law of 1947". This was because the Roman nobility is also the Papal nobility, hence its continued official status. What this means is that the authority of the Italian State (and therefore the Consulta Araldica and the 'original' Libro D'Oro) was revoked, but the Roman nobility (given its original 'fons honorum' was and remained the Pope), remained. This is why the 1826 Papal decree has primacy of the (subsequent) parallel ruling of the now defunct Italian Heralds College.


3. Regarding referencing the 1826 Papal decree

I am genuinely confused as to how you can write "How can you say the Papal decree was saying (sic) Princes for all members of the Massimo family if you never…..reference it (the Papal decree)?" I don't understand how you can write that, when I have referenced it extensively in my last three posts. The papal decree is referenced in the 1922, 1905 and 1925 'Almanach de Gotha' editions (and is therefore not a one-off mistake) and clearly says 'Roman Prince for all descendants 17 June 1826' ('Prince Rom. pour tout les descendants 27 Juin 1826'). The reference is here on p385 of the 1922 'Gotha' (see link here). I cannot understand how you can say that I do not provide a reference for it?

Given the primacy of the Papal decree of 27 June 1826 over the now defunct Consulta Araldica of Italy, unless you can show the original document (i.e. the decree itself from 1826) proving it says something different, then the original copy of the Almanach de Gotha is the closest authentic source that exists to confirm the Papal decree, given it is a verifiable source which directly refers to it.


Before I conclude, let me summarise a few points (not a comprehensive list), all of which are detailed in the post above (see my last post):


1) The Massimo titles were created as Papal titles (all of them), and although they were also Italian titles for the duration of the Italian Monarchy, their Papal origin and continued legitimacy is primary

2) The Italian heraldic sources you cite (but do not show) were relevant between 1869-1947, but no longer

3) The 'Almanach de Gotha' is a recognised reference source. Anyone with any knowledge of heraldry in Europe will acknowledge the original (pre-1944) version as the best known and most reliable of all sources on this subject

4) The Gotha is referenced and verifiable here, online, with links to the original source material (a scanned version of the original hardback text, held in a library). It meets Wiki standards as a 'verifiable source'

5) I along with other editors on this page, repeatedly and politely, have asked you to show your sources (not just name them), so their contents or 'what they say' can be verified. You have not done this


In your points 1) and 2) you have simply repeated my own words back to me (in bold) regarding verifiable sources. I have asked you to show these repeatedly, yet despite this you have not. My verifiable source is the 'Almanach de Gotha' (1905, 1922 and 1925), an original copy of which I have linked online. It meets Wiki rules as a verifiable source. It has content that Wiki editors can read, clearly explaining the rules regarding titles in the Massimo family. It is legitimate, an original copy, and is held in a 3rd party library. It is widely accepted as the 'gold standard' source in these matters.

I, and others, keep asking you to show your alternative verifiable source material but you do not. You simply can't say things like "You claim to be a historian….so you should know this" - that is not proving anything, it just expressing your own opinion. It seems that if someone does not agree with you - even though you have not shown any actual evidence for the points you make - then their research is wrong. That approach cannot work on a forum such as Wikipedia.

In your last line you wrote "I proved what I said with references but you didn't prove anything". Do you really believe this? You did not prove what you said with references - you just cited names of sources, but nobody can verify what they actually say, even if they were the right sources (which I disagree they are for the reasons extensively laid out above). I did provide proof: original, verifiable source material and detailed explanations and arguments. I am at a loss as to how you can write such a statement when it is so obviously incorrect.

I have written extensively in repeated posts, and have provided all that has been asked and more. I am asking you politely to please read the posts again, then to respond to them with verifiable evidence as to why you are right, rather than just brushing my research aside and writing your views without showing any verifiable proof.

I also welcome the input of 3rd party editors with a knowledge of this subject as I think this will enrich the debate. I will continue to try and elicit 3rd party opinion.

I am genuinely appealing to you, politely. I honestly want to have a proper debate and a civilised discussion, which is something I genuinely look forward to.

In the spirit of genuine collaboration!

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 21:02, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Response[edit]

Nowhere does Wikipedia require that a source must be “an expression of a national official College of arms” or be “was supervised by a Herald's College” in order for it to be a reliable source. If one were to accept Fabricitius unique definition, one would have to discard famed heraldist [Johannes Rietstap]], along with Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, Charles Boutell and many other clearly reliable sources.

Taking a look at Google scholar, we see that Almanach de Gotha is heavily cited.[40]. It also returns a large number of hits on Google Books.[41] The 4th hit listed there refers to the Almanach de Gotha as “The ultimate authority for the genealogies of royal and princely houses of Europe and their descendents, first published in 1763 in the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg”. This is clearly a very reliable source, regardless of Fabricitius’ opinion.

It’s also easy to find evidence that the Italian titles were abolished.[42] Here’s a few sample quotes “Italian titles themselves have been legally abolished and are only used socially”, “Italy Titles were abolished by the 1947 Constitution”. The link that Fabricitius gives does not support his claims as it clearly says that “titles are no longer recognized”.[ http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.governo.it%2FPresidenza%2Fcerimoniale%2Fonorificenze_araldica%2Faraldica%2Fnormativa%2Fregio_decreto070643.html&sl=auto&tl=en] Scanning the Italian Constitution, posted online by the Italian government, section XIV clearly says “Titles of nobility shall not be recognized”.[ http://www.senato.it/documenti/repository/istituzione/costituzione_inglese.pdf] Edward321 (talk) 00:36, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Response to Edward321[edit]

I never said that Wikipedia required that a source must be “an expression of a national official College of arms” or be “was supervised by a Herald's College”. I said that Gotha is not an official source for italian titles as there was a national Herald's College with official reliable directories approved by Royal decree (Elenco ufficiale nobiliare italiano and Libro d'oro della nobiltà italiana), as in any other nation. All the heraldists and herald's associations are referencing these directories as the autoritative sources when talking about italian aristocracy, like f.i. CILANE which is the european nobility society [43], CNI, the italian nobility society [44], the Order of Malta (Elenco storico della nobiltà italiana (compilato in conformità dei decreti e delle lettere patenti originali e sugli atti ufficiali di archivio della Consulta araldica dello Stato italiano), Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta. Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, Roma 1960.), or many wikipedia's other articles like f.i. these about the official directory Libro d'oro [45] and the Consulta araldica [46] All these references and sources were simply deleted by Historybuff1930 from the Massimo article with no reason. These too are reliable sources (plus some are wikipedia articles). As soon as I cite that sources these get deleted by Historybuff1930. Why?


If you take a look at Google books you'll see that the sources I cite are there: [47] [48]. If you look at Google scholar here thy are [49], [50].


Regarding the 4th hit ([51])here [52] this issue lists correctly the Massimo titles because it has been amended: titles in the Massimo family are for firtborns only.


Italian titles have nver been abolished like you can read on some wikipedia articles [53], [54], or f.i. here to name but a few [55], [56]. Here you can find also the original article XIV of the republican constitution [57] which says merely that the titles aren't recognised any more by the italian government, meaning that titles are not any more under a heraldic legislation, as happened before via the Consulta araldica and here [58] it is very clearly explained.

Right here (translated automatically) [ http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.governo.it%2FPresidenza%2Fcerimoniale%2Fonorificenze_araldica%2Faraldica%2Fnormativa%2Fregio_decreto070643.html&sl=auto&tl=en] you can see that the heraldic law (Royal Decree of June 7, 1943, No 652 652) is still cited and used by the italian government (of course not in the sections pertaining to titles which the state doesn't use any more). Btw, the translation you provided there is not correct, the italian text [59] says that the law is not more 'in use' (but still remains valid) and not that it is 'no longer active', which is very different. In fact, the government's office for heraldry still refers to that legislation calling it 'Normativa araldica', i.e. heraldic legislation. - Fabritius (talk) 10:39, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Response to Fabritius[edit]

Actually, what you said was “Gotha was not and is not an authoritative source for italian titles because it is not an expression of a national official College of arms nor was supervised by a Herald's College.” As I have amply shown, this statement of yours is clearly incorrect. Gotha was and is an authoritative source.

Your first link, CILANE, [[60]] is private organization. It is neither “a national official College of arms nor was supervised by a Herald's College” It does not seem to mention the Elenco ufficiale nobiliare italiano or the Libro d'oro della nobiltà italiana at all, let alone mention their value as sources.

Your second link, CNI [61] clearly uses Gotha as a source.[62] It also is neither “a national official College of arms nor was supervised by a Herald's College”.

Checking your Google Scholar links, we see "elenco ufficiale della nobiltà italiana" is cited in 11 works.[63] "libro d'oro della nobiltà italiana" is cited by 32.[64] “Almanach de Gotha” is cited by 3470 works.

So scholars have cited Gotha 80 times as often as the other two sources combined, yet you seem to be refusing to accept Gotha as an authoritative source.

The Dritto Nobiliare website appears to have been created by a private individual who claims expertise, but there is not enough information to tell if that claim is factual, nor if their opinion is correct.[65] The defunct L'Araldica Italiana website is also by a private individual with no evidence if their opinion is authoritative or correct.[66]

You dismiss the translation of the Italian Constitution that I found as incorrect.[67] Did you miss the fact that that site is the official website of Senate of Italy? And that it is their translation, not mine or one done with Goodle Translate?

This site that you mention does not support your opinion.[68] It shows that this agency now deals with things like municipal coats of arms since noble titles are “no longer recognized”. Edward321 (talk) 23:57, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Response to Edward321[edit]

My statement is correct, Gotha is not an expression of a national official College of arms (in particular italian) nor was supervised by a Herald's College and you still didn't prove the contrary.

If you cite statistics to prove your claims, well, you should at least divide the citations found by the number of nations represented in the Gotha and then maybe take the average citations per nation and you should even investigate how many citations are referencing Gotha's italian titles. Plus you have to normalize to each nation's population otherwise your numbers are useless.

The 3470 works on Gotha you reference bear no evidence if the opinion of the editors are authoritative or correct and you surely didn't investigate.


Maybe we're just misunderstanding. I say that Gotha is not the official source for italian titles. I'm not saying anything about the other nations represented therein.

It's true that CILANE [[69]] and CNI [70] are private organizations, but these are respectively The Italian and The European Nobility Association). Also Gotha was and is private. But these 2 organizations are authoritative and recognized by the Herald's colleges of various kingdoms, like you can see f.i. here for Belgium [71]. And yes, CNI's site writes the word Gotha [72] but if you look therein you'll discover it's not a directory, it lists just royal families and the links are not to the original Gotha but to a private on line directory which is only improperly called Gotha [73]. This it is the same source Historybuff1930 keeps on referencing and which clearly demonstrates that Valerio Massimo (aka Historybuff1930) and his brothers and sister - yes, he has brothers but doesn't list them - don't bear titles [74].

Your reference [75] is saying exactly what I wrote (I do not see why you're complaining), here it is again: "...Here you can find also the original article XIV of the republican constitution [76] which says merely that the titles aren't recognized any more by the italian government, meaning that titles are not any more under a heraldic legislation, as happened before via the Consulta araldica and here [77] it is very clearly explained."

Nowhere is written that titles have been abolished like you assumed (btw it is your opinion, though not supported by evidence).

The site that I mentioned [78] exactly supports what I declared (I don't see why you're complaining, you missed the point - maybe you should be less aggressive and more scientific). For you reference here it is again what I wrote:

"...you can see that the heraldic law (Royal Decree of June 7, 1943, No 652 652) is still cited and used by the italian government (of course not in the sections pertaining to titles which the state doesn't use any more). Btw, the translation you provided there is not correct, the italian text [79] says that the law is not more 'in use' (but still remains valid) and not that it is 'no longer active', which is very different. In fact, the government's office for heraldry still refers to that legislation calling it 'Normativa araldica', i.e. heraldic legislation."

BTW, the site I referenced is the Italian Government's site and the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri is the Presidency of the Council of Ministers which is the institutional structure to support the activities of the Prime Minister and yes, they deal even with things like municipal coats of arms.

To conclude, you said titles have been abolished and I proved they were not. Another proof of it you can find it right in your reference [80] (which I never dismissed nor said it was incorrect like you pretend I did) and exactly in the sentence "The place-names included in those existing before 28 October 1922 shall serve as part of the name" which clearly shows that the official directory (Libro d'Oro which you can find it here [81]) is still used and that titles were not abolished. --Fabritius (talk) 14:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


@Historybuff1930: I'm sorry, I didn't answer yet because of lack of time (you're a little bit verbose, to my opinion - don't take it personally) I'll do it asap. Just a brief note to your 2nd point. The titles were never abolished. If you look at my answers to Edwards321 you'll find all the links even that to the to the republican constitution. The link I cited doesn't say titles are no longer recognized (your translation), it says titles are not any more recognized which means from that point onward the italian government doesn't do what was soing before through the Consulta araldica. Another proof is in the Constitution (see the above answer). The title of Prince of Roccasecca was granted in 1933 by the King of Italy, not by the Pope, thus if italian titles (during the fascist era) would have been abolished, that title wouldn't exist any more. - --Fabritius (talk) 15:32, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


@ Fabritius: no need to apologise - I welcome you taking the time to respond properly so no need to rush. You should know that what you call '"verbose", others would call time-consuming, comprehensive, detailed, correctly-referenced research. I am happy to wait for a considered and detailed reply from you which will hopefully address and/or answer all of the points I made, as I have answered every question you have asked of me (with verifiable source material).

However, I need to make an important point here as it now appears you are attempting to 'bully' another editor into accepting your views in exactly the same way as you have tried to do with me on this page and elsewhere.

It seems that unless an editor agrees with what you say (but repeatedly do not provide proof for), then they are 'biased'. You are now calling Edward321 "biased" and "aggressive" and requesting that a 'calm tag' be inserted into his post (see this post), despite his rational response and there being no evidence whatsoever of any bias. You previously accused me of the same. You have admitted to having a clear conflict of interest (a proxy for bias) and, despite being counselled by more experienced editors to to so, you are not maintaining a Neutral point of view attitude. You are also being personal and uncivil and have already been warned about this (see this post by Dave1185), in accusing editors (in this case Edward321) of being "aggressive" and of having "no arguments pertaining to the issue". You have similarly dismissed my equally rational fact-based arguments. Perhaps you will also falsely accuse Edward321 of being a member of your family, as you falsely suggested I was (and repeat above)? Perhaps he is Prince Stefano Massimo, father of Prince Valerio Massimo, hence the bias? Or have you considered the more obvious fact that neither Edward321 nor I (two totally independent editors on Wikipedia) are biased, and that we are just laying out the facts? Politely I ask you again to stop these personal attacks on both myself and any other editor who disagrees with you.

NB: The title of 'Prince of Roccasecca dei Volsci' was brought of out abeyance in 1932 for Prince Vittorio Massimo. As Debrett's (the noted heraldic publication in the UK) wrote in its 1992 edition of 'Debrett's People of Today' and its entry for Prince Stefano Massimo, the current holder of the title, it was created by 'Royal, Papal and Civil decree' in 1932. Therefore, like all other Massimo titles, it was an Italian title but also a Papal title, and remains a Papal title (with an ongoing 'fons honorum' in the Papacy), so your point is incorrect.

I will let Edward321 respond to your last post above ('Response to Edward321'), but please I urge you, again politely, to take heed of the advice Dave1185 has repeatedly given you, in particular when he wrote "Please stop your smart-alec remarks of other editors unless you want to get BLOCKED for being POINTY" (see this post).

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 00:17, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


@Historybuff: I said that I might have a COI but my point of view is neutral because I'm referencing official laws and sources. You're citing other sources like Debrett but where do I see his statement? It's not verifiable, plus this is his opinion.


It's not true the title of Prince of Roccasecca is a papal one. This is a big mistake. Did you see the original document? How can you say such a thing if you claim to be an historian?

You're misunderstanding the meaning of fons honorum. You seem to forget that there was a King of Italy and that the title was granted by him (Roccasecca is an italian town not a papal one!). There's no Papal decree for that title. Where is you verifiable source?

Regarding your last point: are you trying to stop me from answering? I don't see your point in always repeating these phrases like you did almost everywhere like f.i. on Dave1185's discussion page "I fear Fabritius's clear conflict of interest (see this post on 'Fabritius's conflict of interest' for details) is making him unable to make clear, concise arguments based on real research and sources/references." Did you oversee his answer about you having a COI [82] ? Are these arguments perhaps pertaining to the subject of the discussion? Should it be a scientific discussion to resolve the issue or just a waste of time? - --Fabritius (talk) 09:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

p.s.: when you or Edward321 ignore an original and authoritative source arguing with third parties opinions (which are not verifiable and might be incorrect), with false statistics as he did, I think I can use appropriately the term bias without meaning to offend you. You didn't discuss, you just ignored my statements and refused to take into account the original sources.

Consulta araldica and Libro d'oro (I referenced wikipedia's articles) were created by Royal decree. Libro d'oro is by law the official directory. The heraldic law was regulating titles and these have never been abolished. Libro d'oro is still used nowadays when someone listed therein wants to add the predicate to his surname. This is all ruled by laws which I already referenced. Should we discard all the wikipedia's articles I referenced?

When you ignore these official laws I say you're biased because I'm pretty sure you're trying to evade the issue. --Fabritius (talk) 09:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


@ Fabritius: I am still awaiting your reply to my numerous, extensively researched posts above, which you promised to provide in your post of 07/05/10. If you disagree with any of my points, I look forward to original, verifiable source material to back up your arguments (as I provided). All is explained extensively above (see posts on verifiable source material) and I welcome your response whenever you have the time to put a comprehensive answer together. Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 12:59, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

@Historybuff: Give him some time as I'm arranging for him to upload some scanned official documents to photobucket. Once completed, I'll link them for you to read, but right now we are still short of the last and final piece, hopefully he should be able to get it up by tomorrow. Cheers~! --Dave ♠♣♥♦1185♪♫™ 23:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


@ Dave1185: Many thanks Dave. For the record, I was not trying to rush Fabritius into responding - in fact I have repeatedly said that he should take the time to compile a comprehensive answer. My point was merely that I was being asked further questions without getting responses to the original, exhaustive posts I wrote earlier, so I felt that it would be best to wait for those responses, whenever that were possible, instead of me putting in more time repeating arguments I have already laid out.

Regarding the ongoing discussion, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a key point. While I have repeatedly asked Fabritius to show his sources (and welcome the prospect of seeing them), the crux of the argument is not the fact that they have not been shown, it is about the ongoing validity of those sources in the first place, compared to the ones I have used, explained, and already shown. As I have said above, I am aware of the sources that Fabritius is citing, and indeed I have never suggested that they say something other than what he claims. My request that he show his sources was very much a secondary point - a pre-requisite if you like to having a discussion in the first place. In my post of 28/04/10 (see this post on '(1) Determining which sources are the correct ones'), the main argument (argument 1), and where all my work has gone into, is about which sources are valid and why. Even assuming Fabritius is able to somehow show his source material in a way that is verifiable, the key issue is the validity of that source material. For the reasons explained extensively in that post and on this page, I do not agree that these sources are still relevant, given the Papal (not Italian) origin of the titles in question. Indeed, when another editor (Edward321) looked at the issue of which source was primary, his research backed up my original points (see Edward321's post on which are the correct sources).

While I welcome being able to see 'what they say', let us be clear that the key disagreement here is not whether Fabritius can show his source material, but that his sources are not the correct ones, as their 'dual' validity ended in 1947 with the new Italian constitution and Republic. Only if Fabritius can show the a copy of the original Papal decree of 1826, which is clearly and directly referenced in my source, showing that it says something different, will he be able to prove his argument. If he can do that from the archives in Rome then I welcome it as it would be primary research.

I very much look forward to the ongoing discussion but just wanted to make this point clearly before we resume. The responses I have asked for are about source validity, and I welcome responses (no rush!) to that key question.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 07:05, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Vacation![edit]

Sorry guys, I'll be going for a two weeks vacation starting today (Shanghai Expo here we come!). Please note that Fab has provided me with the photobucket link (given above) to his uploaded official documents, do take a look and discuss this nicely with him in the name of WP:AGF#Good faith and newcomers. Once again, I urge all parties to bear in mind of WP:CIVIL, as well as WP:BITE. Over and out~! --Dave ♠♣♥♦1185♪♫™ 09:12, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Response to Historybuff[edit]

Regarding your points

1. The Massimo titles were created as Papal titles (all of them). This is not correct. The title of Prince of Roccasecca was granted in 1932 and is an italian title as there was a King of Italy and Roccasecca is an otalian town. In fact this is the only title which can't be part of the name, i.e. nor Stefano nor Valerio can't add di Roccasecca to their surname (see above or point 2 below when talking about titles and the italian constitution).

2. The Italian heraldic sources you cite (but do not show) were relevant between 1869-1947, but no longer. Above you have the link to the original sources. Well, if, as you say, they were relevant between 1869-1947 this means Gotha was not correct, as I always pretended. In fact you can read (link above) that all the titles, including Prince of Roccasecca, were for firstborns only, being the main title Prince of Arsoli. You can see there the roman use of calling only the head of the family Prince (i.e. Prince Massimo). Thus the heraldic treatment for all members of the family but the head (like happens for other roman princely families, f.i. Colonna, Barberini, Borghese, Orsini etc.) is Don/Donna ....... Massimo dei Principi di Arsoli. Stefano Massimo, son of Vittorio was granted a title thus only he in his cadet branch can be called Don Stefano Massimo Prince of Roccasecca, dei Principi di Arsoli.
It is also a mistake to say that that sources are no longer relevant. They're still relevant nowadays like I already proved in the response to Esward321 by citing the italian republican constitutions ("The place-names included in those (titles) existing before 28 October 1922 shall serve as part of the name" which clearly shows that the official directory (Libro d'Oro della nobiltà italiana) is still in use in Italy and that titles have never been abolished.

3 & 4. The 'Almanach de Gotha' is a recognised reference source. I proved the Massimo titles are not correct. Gotha is not the authoritative source for italian titles. In this case titles are wrong. The modern Gotha like the one referenced by Edward321 in his statistics have been amended and show the right titles.

5. I along with other editors on this page, repeatedly and politely, have asked you to show your sources (not just name them)... . Above they are (see link).
Historybuff, you first urged me to show the sources like on 23rd April 2010 "Please provide access to your sources - not to front pages of websites but to the original source material itself. Until you do, I do not feel I need to answer your points again, which until you can prove them, are just opinion." and suddenly, when the sources were on their way to the web, you declared (3rd May 2010) "While I welcome being able to see 'what they say', let us be clear that the key disagreement here is not whether Fabritius can show his source material, but that his sources are not the correct ones...". Well, let me say this looks biased and fickle to me.

Hystorybuff, I hope you'll want to honestly examine and discuss the sources I referenced.

- Fabritius (talk) 15:11, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

A request to Fabritius - please stop the edit warring you have resumed[edit]

Fabritius: I note your latest post on 14/05/10 at 15.11 on this talk page, asking if I wanted to 'discuss...the sources'. Yet a mere 36 minutes later at 15.47 on the same day, you reverted the article to your version (see Massimo edit history). You have gone back to edit warring the article without a consensus for your edits. Given the amount of work I have put into each of the arguments on this talk page over the past month, I am very disappointed that you have done this. As you know, it is against the spirit (and rules) of Wikipedia and contrary to what we were asked to do.

We were asked to discuss the different arguments over this talk page by admin Nick D so a consensus could be reached, ideally with the input from third party editors. Indeed, since the protection was lifted on 27/04/10, that is what we have both been doing. As anybody can see, I have put an enormous amount of time into my research in a series of properly-sourced, detailed, and comprehensive posts (all above). We are in the middle of a discussion, yet you have gone back to edit warring the article by simply reverting the article to your version. I note this was just after Dave1185 (who has been kindly helping you to better understand the rules of Wikipedia and giving you advice on how best to behave on this forum) posted that he would be away for two weeks and not checking on the page. He also urged us to continue the discussion in good faith. This is not in good faith.

May I politely remind you that there is now a CONSENSUS (a majority of editors agreeing) on this talk page against your additional edits, with two independent editors agreeing on the key point regarding which sources are the correct ones to use (Edward321 and myself). You cannot simply ignore this fact because you don't like it. Unlike the edit war that preceded the protection of the article on 20/04/10, we now have the well-researched views of a third editor (and not just any editor, but an extremely active and experienced Wiki editor with experience in the area) who supports the original edit, due to agreement regarding the key issue of which sources are correct. There is therefore a consensus against your additional paragraphs. As you will have seen, Edward321 subsequently reverted your edits before I even logged in and saw them myself today.

I ask you kindly to continue the discussion. I also suggest that you attempt to solicit the views of experienced third party editors to support your arguments if you can.

I am asking you politely not to make another change to the main article until you have a consensus for your edits.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 10:39, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Respomse[edit]

Didi you look at the documents? Probably not if you're edit warring again. Take a good look at the documents. All ypou conjectures are false as you can clearly see. I was right calling you biased.- Fabritius (talk) 21:52, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Coomemts on the original and authoritative sources ?[edit]

@ Efward321 : before e edit warring take a look at the sources here [83] as suggested by Dave (above).

@ Historybuff1930 : you never discussed the above sources but continued to complain. These sources demonstrates that Gotha lists wrong titles and that all the conjectures based thereon are false. You never commented nor discussed. - Fabritius (talk) 06:03, 19 May 2010 (UTC)


Before a discussion can be resumed - a message to Fabritius[edit]

Fabritius - I would ask you kindly to please take note of the following important points:

1) There is now a CONSENSUS on this page against your edits, whether you like it or not. When Edward321 reverts your edits, he is not edit warring because his version has a consensus behind it. Your version does not

2) You are working against the spirit of Wikipedia and breaking the rules by edit warring an article with a consensus. You were asked by an administrator (OhNoitsJamie!) on the 15/05/10 to 'Please continue use the talk pages before making controversial and/or major changes to articles. You have yet to achieve any sort of consensus on this page for the edits you are proposing' (see this post on your talk page). You have completely ignored this and have changed the article twice since he posted. He has now reversed the main article to the original/consensus version (see this edit), posted an edit warring notice on your talk page (see this warning regarding edit warring), and urged you in his main article edit summary to 'establish a consensus before changing this' (his latest revert of the main article). I hope you will take heed of these warnings and will not start edit warring the article for a third time

3) You cannot seriously complain that I have not as yet discussed your sources since the pages were uploaded last Friday (even though I have discussed the validity of these exact sources at length, including this post above). Despite the fact that I am travelling this week with limited internet access (see the edit summary of this post on Monday), you have clearly shown that you are not interested in a discussion. If you were, you would not have reverted the article (starting a new edit war, as you do not have a consensus for your edits) a mere 36 minutes after your 14/05/10 post on this page (you posted here 15.11, and unilaterally reverted the article at 15.47 the same day). You cannot expect others to engage with you when you break the rules in this way, including ignoring a direct warning from an administrator

4) There are times when I do not know if you are reading the posts here. Above you wrote, in response to my last post, 'Didi you look at the documents? Probably not if you're edit warring again'. This was at 21.52 on the 18/05/10. How can I be edit warring the article when I have not edited the main article at all since it was first protected a month ago on the 20/04/10 (look at the edit history)? This just doesn't make sense and suggests you are not reading the material properly, which given how much time it has taken to put together, does not exactly invite a discussion

We can resume a discussion on this page when you demonstrate that you do not intend to edit war the article against a consensus. Please do this by clearly stating that you will not make any further changes to the main article unless you have a clear consensus (this is an agreement with the other editors involved) on this talk page beforehand for your changes.

I look forward to your response. Hopefully, we can then continue the discussion but I would appreciate this assurance before dedicating any more time to this.

Kind regards, Historybuff1930 (talk) 21:02, 20 May 2010 (UTC)