Talk:Umbria

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External links[edit]

As they now stand, they're in roughly descending order of officialness, quality, and coverage: the most useful sites are at the top. This morning I removed "Abitare in Umbria", which, when I included it a while back, had lots of good information on the region, but has now retrenched to their core business of renting and selling property; and moved AboutUmbria.Com down a few notches, since the site by no means covers all of Umbria, just a few of the main places. Bill 07:31, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Rebuttal to Bill Thayer[edit]

Bill, as you know, you have posted a message on the discussion boards for many of the Italian Regions, where you state you have removed links for ItalianVisits.com because, in your opinion, they constitute "link spam" and maybe an act of Vandalism. I see you have removed the ItalianVisits link in this section too.

I am the "someone" who added links to ItalianVisits.com on the various Italian Regional sites - and I don't think I was commiting "link spam" or engaged in vandalism when I did so. ItalianVisits.com is a serious endeavour being undertaken by my daughter, Jesse Andrews, who for the past 2 years has been living in Praia A Mare, in the northwest region of Calabria. My other daughter, Arianna, is attending university at the University for Foreigners in Perugia, and also contributes to the ItalianVisits website when she can.

If you look at the section on Calabria, you will see how much work and effort has been put into cataloguing towns and villages that are virtually unknown to English-speaking people, whether they are travelers or tourists, or people who have a curiousity about the area. You will note, I hope, the abundance of wonderful photographs that compliment the text, and present our viewers with images that otherwise would not be available. Incidentally, you should also note the link to Wikipedia resources whereever and whenever there is material on Wikidpedia about a region, town or other locale. We are as committed to Wikipedia as you are.

Jesse has created a vessel into which more information is being added every day. I just spent 15 days in Umbria, for instance, and added pages for Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Bevagna, Gubbio and the Regional Park at Colfiorito. Other contributors, like Katherine Lavallee, have added information about other towns in Tuscany. Such contributions are solicited eagerly so that we can fatten the content on the site.

ItalianVisits.com is hardly a come-on for selling tour packages, although we are trying to attract people to "unknown" parts of Italy, and in so doing, get some business to those out of the way places for local restauranteurs, hoteliers, and others in the travel business. If you are aware of what is going on in Italy now, you will understand that the economy is depressed, owing largely to various difficulties it has and is facing as it tries to integrate with the EU, and as it attempts to compete in a global economy. So, having information for travelers can not be the sine qua non of "link spam". If you look at all the external links listed in the Umbria section of Wikipedia, a number of them are active promoters of travel to the Region. Even in the various regional sections of Italy where you posted identical comments to the comments you made here there are links to sites that promote and facilitate travel. Should all of these be removed? And if so, by whom and under what (hopefully) reasonably well-defined policy?

You can coin or use phrases like "link spam", and "cyber vandalism", or other terms of denigration, but I think you, and others who "worry" about Wikipedia, should be careful not to sit on Wikipedia with a holier than thou attitude, deleting other people's contributions, unless a more thorough investigation is done into the content, and sometimes into the motives and objectives of their creators. Many people spend a lot of time, money and energy trying to do good without much reward beyond the satisfactions it provides. This effort to "do good" is manifest on your site Bill, at least, so far as I can see, and I commend you for it.

I'm a bit more than a little chagrined about what you have done Bill, and about how you have characterized ItalianVisits, but I hope we can discuss this if you think I am making an untenable argument in favour of allowing us to post links to the IV website, without fear of having them removed by the over-zealous.

Regards Vian Andrews Vancouver, BC July 28, 2005

External links[edit]

I have re-added ItalianVisits.com because a) it features every major Umbrian city and town; b) considerable care has been taken to create articles that deal with these towns from an historical perpsective, as well as itemizing most of their architectural and monumental treasures; and c) because each article includes a photogallery. All articles in IV also provide links back to Wikipedia to enlarge the audience for this wonderful resource. Collectively, the Umbria section of this website, offers a great deal to Wikipedia users. In addition, we are contributing new articles to Wikipedia, such as that on Amelia and Castiglione del Lago.

Before IV is removed again, I would appreciate hearing reasons why. JVian 23:24, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

And while I'm flattered (really!) that mine was one of the rare sites not pruned out of the list; that list as it was, FWIW, met with my own approval — yet as Vian and others can attest, I've been sedulous in removing garbage. Many of the sites you've removed, Ian, are both very good, reasonably complete to near-exhaustive, and have met the test of online permanence (relative though that be!). I dislike revert wars and the attendant fighting, so won't do anything quite now, but I strongly urge you to reconsider. Bill 01:08, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
having seen the note from Jvian and other discussions, I readded the ItalianVisits.com links (see also User_talk:Jvian). Many pages I watch have been plagued by affiliate / SEO spam recently, and I thought I'd stumbled onto a little nest of such, though I now appreciate you and others are watching over them, so I'll leave that to your better judgement and stay away from the Italian pages. My apologies for the disruption. Ianb 01:28, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Links, continued[edit]

I removed a link to not very good map. For other articles where there is no link to a map, that same site's OK, but it's really commercial spam; and in this case there are several maps among the other links. Bill 21:57, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Acquasparta[edit]

I added a short article for the town of Acquasparta that others may wish to review. It was written using information gleaned from the Internet and therefore can not be said to be very reliable. Feel free to correct and supplement the article.JVian 01:23, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Carsulae[edit]

I added an article about Carsulae, containing a list of monuments and a site diagram. Again, the information in the article was synthesized from readily available materials on the Internet and should therefore be treated with care.JVian 01:23, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

tah[edit]

thanks for helping it was interestibg tah

Return to the useful links[edit]

Now that the furore has died down about how awful all those sites were, and how commercial they were; that the interlopers have left who couldn't be bothered with keeping an eye on the page (so that a few true junky commercial sites and scant collections of tourist pix did start to slither in) — I'm restoring the careful list of good informational sites..... Bill 20:33, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Added section with Ms. Bellucci's photo[edit]

The entire section was garbage, with many factual errors. The two principal ones: the 16c idea, from a passage in Pliny, that the Umbrians were the original inhabitants of Italy, has long been shown to be false; and the (sentimental) nonsense about history sparing Umbria is grotesquely wrong. Umbria was a horrific bottleground during most of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages; and the business about hill-top towns is hardly unique to Umbria, but all over Italy. (The minor things? Umbria not known for cheese, quite on the contrary: the best cheese area of Italy is Northern Italy: Piemonte, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria. Umbria not known for chocolate, either: just one manufacturer, Perugina: a single commercial concern hardly makes a region famous for anything. Monica Bellucci — and the person who added this farrago of nonsense, see their "Contributions", was primarily interested in spreading her picture about — is hardly an Umbrian type, short and square-faced.) Bill 02:42, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

I am from Umbria and Monica looks just like my Aunt in her younger years. She has very classic features. The area is well known for very unique chocolates considered to be the best in Italy as well as very unique Chocolate liquors. Umbria has the largest concentration of hill towns. Most of Umbria was spared from outside invaders less often than other areas of Italy. I think it should be left alone.--Caligvla 06:22, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Bé se vuoi dire grosse bugie, vai.... La Bellucci è una bella ragazza; ma sebbene non vissi quarant' anni in Umbria, non si può dire che sia tipica. I cioccolati? la Perugina. Non è una tradizione particolarmente diffusa sul territorio; avresti potuto anzi parlare della norcineria, dei tartufi, del cinghiale, della palomba alla ghiotta, che ne so. Nemmeno i formaggi, paragonati al resto dell' Italia, nè certo alla Francia ad esempio. L' iper-romantismo della storia che avrebbe risparmiato l' Umbria, ahimè! E le tantissime battaglie attorno all' asse della Flaminia, che ne fai? ad es. quella di Tadino, senza contare tutte le lotte sul territorio intero nel Medioevo, Spoletini contra Trevani, il Gattamelata a Narni e altri condottieri che spogliarono tutto il territorio, Tuderti e Perugini (e Baglioni) contra tutti, ecc. Per quanto riguarda l'idea (dovuta a Plinio il Vecchio) che gli Umbri sarebbero i più antichi abitanti dell' Italia, Thomas Ashby direttore dell' Accademia Americana di Roma non è stato il primo a negarlo, e ancora meno l' ultimo; oltrepassato dagli studiosi da due secoli. Insomma, è questo tipo di cose che fanno della Wikipedia una risorsa inaffidabile e anche, spesso, ridicula. Peccato. Bill 21:16, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
And how, as a purported Italian, you could describe Umbria, in one small sentence, by the further two falsehoods that it is "the only landlocked provence (sic)" in Italy, is beyond me. Umbria is a region and not a province; no Italian would make the mistake, at least not since 1927 when it was divided., of course; and the map in front of everyone's eyes shows clearly that there are several other landlocked regions in Italy; hint, look north. 24.148.19.254 21:54, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I do not see any reason to differentiate the people of Umbria from that of the rest of central Italy. Maybe at the time of Pliny, the thing about aboriginals was true, but not now, clearly. First, umbrians are not homogeneous today, as in past times; northerners, centralers, and southerners speak very different dialects, letting you think they come from different roots. Even the story about invaders is not fully true: lombards ruled over Spoleto for centuries, after their invasion from central Europe in Middle Age; and let me cite the oppression from papal (swiss, french) troops, dominating Perugia, Todi, and a lot of other hilltop towns, for nearly half a millennium. Typical products for which umbrians are well known are, as Mr. Thayer said, ceramica (pottery), norcineria (art of butchery applied to pigs' meat), loom-made tissues, steel factories and one large chocolate factory. The photo of Monica is wonderful, as she really is, thus she may be kept, only the accompanying section should be reworked completely. --Cantalamessa 00:31, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I can help...

The physical features of the people of Umbria are what many scholars believe to be very close to the ancient people of the Italian peninsula.

He said close not they actual people, so I think this is fine, they most likely do look closer than other areas that were dominated by outsiders for longer periods of time.

History has been gentle to Umbria, compared to other areas of Italy.

If you juse leave it a gentile it's too soft.

largely due to the construction of hilltop towns. While other locations of Italy were subjected to invaders over time, the majority of Umbrian towns were well protected on hill tops. Often too daunting for invaders to bother with. Umbria is landlocked. The lack of ports have allowed Umbrians to remain unaffected throughout history by sea traders.

I think this is okay.

Then end result being the original homogeneous people of Italy.

I think this becomes original research, if we put "The end result being a group of people who are fairly close to the original homogeneous peopel of Italy."

The Umbrian people are known for high quality chocolates, cheeses, and women of great beauty.

I think cheese and chocolate is a bit trivial.

"The Umbrian people, like all the other regions of Italy, are known for women of great beauty." I think this helps make his point inclusively vs. exclusively.


hope I helped.--MCMLXXI 06:46, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I have changed the section by removing weasel words and inaccuracies. Since it may contain "spelling errors", please feel free to clean-up it, at least without reverting it back to the old version, which is partly nonsense. --Cantalamessa 08:20, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Since the user Caligula keeps deleting my edits, I've left a message on his talk page, just to understand how can we improve the section, after he reverted it due to the bad spelling. I hope he will share his thoughts with us here. --Cantalamessa 10:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Post your revision here, so we can discuss it.--Caligvla 14:49, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Here it is
The physical features of the people of Umbria are what many scholars[citation needed] believe to be very close to the ancient people of the Italian peninsula. History has been gentle to Umbria, largely due to the construction of hilltop towns. While other locations of Italy were subjected to invaders over time, many Umbrian towns were protected on hill tops. The lack of ports have also allowed Umbrians to remain almost unaffected, throughout history, by sea traders. As a consequence, it is nowadays possible to recognize differences in customs and spoken dialects, which can be related to those ones existing between the original peoples that settled in the region in past times (mainly, Etruscans and Umbrians).
I've tried to follow the suggestions given by the other editors, being as conservative as possible. The sentence on the beauty of umbrian females is totally nonsense, for me: every people claims that its females are the most beautiful, intelligent, and harmonious beings on earth! (finishing to discover, once married, that such statements are dangerous...) --Cantalamessa 17:43, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I cleaned up the statement see below,

The physical characteristics of the Umbrian people are what many scholars[citation needed] believe to be very close to the ancient people of the Italian peninsula. While Umbria like most of Italy has had a turbulent past. Most of Umbria’s conflicts were with neighboring rival communities. Due to the construction of hilltop towns, outside invaders were rare. The lack of ports have also allowed Umbrians to remain unaffected by sea traders. Resulting in a homogeneous people that are very close to their ancient ancestors. It is possible to recognize differences in customs and spoken dialects, which are closely related to the original people that settled in the region (mainly, Etruscans and Umbrians). Umbrian women throughout history have been know for their great beauty.


The line about women is not offensive, it is not saying they are the most beautiful in Umbria just that they have a reputation for great beauty, so I think it's fine...--Caligvla 08:19, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Though I'm not a native english speaker, is this sentence correct: "While Umbria like most of Italy has had a turbulent past." ? There is neither proper punctuation nor this colloquial style is good for an encyclopedia, in my opinion. There are syntactical errors, I think, also in "The lack of ports have also ...", in "Umbrian women throughout history have been know ...", and in "Resulting in a homogeneous people that are ...". And, "... ancient ancestors ..." sounds not too good. Sorry, Caligula, if I use your same weapons, but if you say that my original revision had (RV too many spelling errors), well, I can say the same thing about this one, with the only difference that I am not gonna reverting it back :-) Moreover, if you state that umbrian women are known for their beauty, please provide a reference for this. Last, if umbrians are homogeneous, why in the following sentence you accept that there are differences between them? --Cantalamessa 09:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Good fight, but a losing one. The statement about Umbrian women is indeed nonsense; the great historical beauties of Italy have been those of the three big cities (Rome, Florence, Venice), merely because there were a lot of people to see them, and painters and poets to make them famous. I can't think of a single Umbrian woman — before our own time — famous for her beauty; the odds are, neither can anyone else.
Similarly, but more importantly, nonsense also is the statement that Umbrians are, or are like, the oldest inhabitants of the peninsula. The origin of that occasionally heard old chestnut is, as I've already pointed out, a single statement in Pliny (NH III.112): Umbrorum gens antiquissima Italiae existimatur, ut quos Ombrios a Graecis putent dictos, quod in inundatione terrarum imbribus superfuissent. — "The race of Umbrians is judged to be the oldest of Italy, since they are thought to have been called Ombrios by the Greeks because they survived the rains (imbres) in the universal deluge." The statement is nonsense, as the mythical element and folk-etymology show, and has been discredited by scholars for about two hundred years; it is now also refuted by the results of excavations thruout Italy. It's just not true.
Similarly again, the statement about history being gentle to Umbria — disregarding the saccharine pseudo-romanticism of the phrasing — is false. Not a little false, not weasel-around false, but pure unadulterated balderdash false. The various attempts at weaseling around (in order to try and make it true in some sense) don't improve it much, even if the ferocious local fighting is now acknowledged: three of the fiercest and most devastating battles ever fought on the soil on Roman Italy were fought in Umbria: the battle of Lake Trasimene, the battle of Tadinum, and the battle of Perusia, during and after which Augustus slaughtered very many Umbrians; and a fourth, the battle of Sentinum, just barely misses the boundaries of modern Umbria by 7 km: all of them were caused by outside invaders. In more recent history, the horrific slaughter of the inhabitants of Perugia by outsiders (Papal troops) in 1859 is famous on an Italy-wide level, and will qualify as another bit of history's gentleness to Umbria, no doubt.
Finally, look at who made the original insertion of this entire section, how long they've been on Wikipedia, and why it was done: On Nov. 5, User:Gubbio (no homepage) turns up on Wikipedia for the first time, adds the beautiful picture of Monica Bellucci that he himself took, then modifies the Umbria article on Nov. 6. Ms. Bellucci's features are hardly typical of Umbria, and only the inane line now left about Umbrian women being known for their ravenous beauty remains to "justify" the eye-candy. C'mon, folks, let's be serious: pitch the whole business. Bill 17:58, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

And now, as Cantalamessa points out, for the grammar and stuff. (By the way, C, congrats for being the person who finally fixed the article Marche; see my user page....)

The physical characteristics of the Umbrian people are what many scholars believe to be very close to the ancient people... (characteristics are not close to people, but to their characteristics: "those of" is required; also, characteristics are what... is very poor writing. The author of this garbage at least meant The physical characteristics of the Umbrian people are similar, according to many scholars, to those of...)

While Umbria, like most of Italy has had a turbulent past. Most of....; the writer was allergic to commas, so the sentence. Is incomplete.

The lack of ports have — Singular subject, plural verb: no.

Resulting in a homogeneous people that are very close to their ancient ancestors. Another non-sentence.

dialects, which are closely related to the original people. Dialects are not related to people.

And, leaving the syntax and style for a second, I just noticed another falsehood: the current Umbrian dialect is almost certainly not related to Etruscan in the least. What little we know of Etruscan shows it to be quite unrelated to Latin, Italian, and the Italian dialects. The ancient Umbrian language, since it was a member of the Osco-Latin family, is a bit better fit, but is only marginally related to modern Umbrian dialects. In fact, these local dialects are very much in the mainstream of Italian dialect, deriving from Latin rather than ancient Umbrian. Within the family of Italian dialects, the Umbrian group is less distinctive than many: much closer to standard Italian (which after all is a blend of Tuscan and Roman) than Venetian, Sardinian, Sicilian for example. Anyhoo, if you can recognize Etruscan or ancient Umbrian in what one hears in Umbria, you're a great scholar (and hearing some statistically unusual conversations). Bill 22:34, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Wow, this section is a bit overgrown... never expected it! I am not an historian/linguist, so I cannot dispute about the dialect matter. But just hearing at the difference in speech and tonality which happens in as few as 5-10 kms under the Tiber line, and remembering that it was a natural border for Etruscans, it gives me the idea of a linguistic difference that could have persisted over centuries. If this is related to the etruscan language or to the peoples living there, I do not know. Bill, you are right about the low distinctiveness of Umbrian dialect, which is amidst Tuscan and Roman, and thus very next to mainstream Italian. But let me say that Italian-speaking people coming from regions other than Umbria, sometimes find it difficult to discern between the speech used in Città di Castello (northern Umbria) and the one in Perugia, even if they hear that a difference exists. Great is also the distance between Ternano and Perugino, completely different to me, especially in their tonality. (Possibly this is true for any region in the world where relative isolation and low mobility of inhabitants permitted such a condition.) Thus, concluding (and unfortunately for me), I'm not able to tell if Etruscans or Umbrians left their linguistic heritage in some Umbrian words: I just can say that there is neither a unique nor uniformly spoken dialect throughout the region. --Cantalamessa 00:58, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Boy, do I not write clearly: it's my running joke with myself! I hope I didn't say that in Stroncone they talk the same way they do in Pietralunga.... (I carefully used the plural, too, in speaking of Umbrian dialects.) I've bumped into it myself quite unwittingly, having learned a few words at the market in Todi where I stayed my first few months, then repeated them later in Spello: understood, but thought peculiar, not 40 miles away! (Quest' Umbro-Americano dirà sempre una "gaboccia d' aglio"). But my main point for that section is a very simple one: it is foolish to say that modern speech differences are recognizably due to the ancient Umbrian language; and absolutely certainly not from Etruscan.
No, this section, which needs to be thrown out completely, is a perfect example of why Wickedpedia is not a serious resource. Someone with a half-baked motion comes along and inserts something, then everybody tries to "save" it by fudging, weaseling, flattening. Foolishness is unsavable, and should be plain deleted. Wackopedia is OK to some extent in scientific fields, because most of us, quite rightly, don't think we can say anything useful or true. The humanities, however, have that air about them that the common run of us can make statements with impunity; so people do — yet the humanities, for all their "fuzziness", are just as much subject to the laws of truth and evidence as the sciences, and it is just as palpably false to say that modern Umbrians are descended from the earliest race of Italians, and that the current dialects are related to Etruscan, and Umbria is famous for beautiful women and cheese, and that history has been gentle to it — as to say that the speed of light is 80 kilometers per hour, and that it emanates from the eyes of the person who sees it. Anyone who made such statements in one of Wpedia's scientific articles would be reverted immediately without argument; but because here this is the humanities, here's a bunch of people arguing about saving what is obvious garbage. Picking over details about just what kind of women are more beautiful in Umbria than elsewhere, or whether Spellano or the dialect of Ficulle might not have some Etruscan words in it, or trying to make Umbria the abode of the bluebird of happiness by circumscribing the source of the many vicious battles fought there, none of this solves the problem: it just takes garbage and makes it flat, ungraspable weaselly garbage.
Imagine doing this with a scientific article! Someone comes in, says that light travels at 80 kph; then others try to fix it by saying that some people say, and some light might under special conditions, and sound after all travels slower, and red light does not travel at the same speed as blue light (which I believe? is very marginally true, for example).... Bill 11:32, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Quick Poll[edit]

Who here was actually born and raised in an Umbrian town? just sign your name under the proper statement. MCMLXXI 23:20, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I was born and raised in Umbria
  • Luogo di nascita, Gubbio, Umbria. --Gubbio 01:36, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Perugia --Caligvla 03:27, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I was NOT born and raised in Umbria
  • Bill 23:23, 18 November 2006 (UTC) (So però che stai facendo, amico....)

"Poll"[edit]

So someone out there believes, bless them, that only Umbrians can say anything about the (non-)relationship of the Etruscan language to Umbrian dialects, about the history of Umbria, about bad grammar, folk etymology, archaeological evidence as to the early inhabitants of Italy, the source of popular beliefs, Pliny the Elder, the fame of Umbria as to X or Y? (For this last, a reminder that "fame", by definition, means that lots of people know something; if lots of people don't, then there is no fame). Your objection, 1971, to the deletion of the garbage section was that it should be it should be built on rather than blanket-deleted. And yet, did you build on it? No, you blanket-restored it; you didn't correct even the obvious and irrefutable errors of grammar and style, or even the typos. The reason I didn't do so myself, of course, is that I believe the section, as garbage, cannot be built on, and should not be "improved." It is beyond that. A more obvious tissue of falsehoods would be hard to write, even on Wackypedia. And weaseling just dilutes it: instead of the initial bucket of urine, you're suggesting we add water to the stuff....Bill 23:38, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

I will not sign this kind of poll, too. More positive towards one for deciding whether this section should be kept, reworked, or deleted. Just let me say that one of the humanities' scientists wich studied in depth umbrian language and customs, before they were partially swept and milded by industrialization (up to 1940, Umbrians were 90% peasants) and emigration, was a german one, Paul Scheuermeier [1], definitely neither umbrian nor italian. --Cantalamessa 00:13, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
P.S.: I know una speccia d'aglio.

Amici umbri, perché non avete inserito queste bugie nella voce Italiana? No, sure enough, you guys haven't dumped this stuff in the Italian article: you know it would be laughed out of court there, by Italians.... Nor would the nonsense about serene and blessed Umbria hold up there for a minute: the history section of the Italian article, small as it is, is almost all taken up by references to the battles between Lombards, Ostrogoths, Byzantines. Bill 18:07, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

History of Umbria[edit]

Due to the recent mini-war on the People of Umbria section, I think we can give a great help to this article by writing down the history of the region. It can be retrieved for example from the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition, here and here (Volume V27, pp. 576-577). This is the OCR-ed version, which I provide for further editing. (Many errors are present, but please note the statement rejecting Pliny's idea about the antiqueness of umbrian people, and the detailed report on Etruscan invasion.)

UMBRIA (Όμβρική), the name of an ancient and a modern district of Italy.


1. The ancient district was bounded in the period of the Roman supremacy by the Ager Gallicus (in a line with Ravenna) on the north, by Etruria (the Tiber) on the west, by the Sabine territory on the South and by Picenum on the east. The Via Flaminia passed up through it from Ocriculum to Ariminum; along it lay the important towns of Narnia (Narni), Carsulae, Mevania (Bevagna), Forum Flaminii, Nuceria Camellaria (Nocera Umbra) and Forum Sempronii; and on the Adriatic coast Fanum Fortunae (Fano) and Pisaurum (Pesaro). To the east lay Interamna (Terni), Spoletium (Spoleto), Fulginium (Foligno, on a branch of the Via Flaminia which left the main road at Varina and rejoined it at Forum Flaminii) and the important town of Camerinum on the side of the Apennines towards Picenum. On the side towards Etruria lay Ameria (Amelia) and Tuder (Todi), both on the direct road from Rome to Perusia, Iguvium, which occupied a very advantageous position close to the main pass through the Apennines, and Hispellum (Spello). Not far off was Assisium (Assisi), whilst far to the north in the mountains lay Sarsina. Under the empire it formed the sixth region of Italy. In earlier times it embraced a far larger area. Herodotus (iv. 49) describes it as extending to the Alps, and the περίοδος ascribed to Scylax (a treatise which embodies material of the 4th century B.C. or earlier) makes Umbria conterminous with Samnium. Furthermore, place names of undoubted Umbrian origin abound in Etruria and are also found in the Po valley. Thus in the early days of Italian history Umbria may be taken as having extended over the greater part of northern and central Italy. The name Umbria is derived from the Umbri, one of the chief constituent stocks of the Italian nation. The origin and ethnic affinities of the Umbrians are still in some degree a matter of dispute, but their language proven them to have been an Aryan people closely allied with the Oscans and in a remoter degree with the Latins. Archaeological considerations further show with approximate certainty that the Umbri are to be identified with the creators of the Terramara (q.v.), and probably also of the Villanova (q.v.) culture in northern and central Italy, who at the beginning of the Bronze Age displaced the original Ligurian population by an invasion from the north-east. From the time and starting point of their migrations, as well as from their type of culture, it may be provisionally inferred that the Umbrians were cognate with the Achaeans of prehistoric Greece. Pliny’s statement (iii. 13, 19) that they were the most ancient race of Italy may certainly be rejected. The process by which the Umbrians were deprived of their predominance in upper and central Italy and restricted to their confines of historic times cannot be traced in any detail. A tradition declares that their easternmost territory in the region of Ancona was wrested from them by the Picen(t)es, a branch of the Sabine stock. It may also be conjectured that they were partly displaced in the valley of the Po by the Gaulish tribes which began to pour across the Alps from about 500 B.C. But their chief enemies were undoubtedly the Etruscans. These invaders, whose encroachments can be determined by archaeological evidence as proceeding from the western seaboard towards the north and east, and as lasting from about 700 to 500 B.C., eventually drove the Umbrians into that upland tract athwart the Apennines to which the name of Umbria belonged in historical times. In the course of this struggle the Etruscans are said to have captured 300 Umbrian towns. Nevertheless the Umbrian element of population does not seem to have been eradicated in the conquered districts. Strabo records a tradition that the Umbrians recovered their ground in the plain of the Po at the expense of the Etruscans, and states that the colonies subsequently founded in this region by the Romans contained large Umbrian contingents. In Etruria proper the persistence of the Umbrian stock is indicated by the survival of numerous Umbrian place names, and by the record of Umbrian soldiers taking part in Etruscan enterprises, e.g. the attack on Cumae in 524 B.C. Indeed it is not unlikely that the bulk of the population in Etruria continued to be of Umbrian origin, and that the Romanization of this country was facilitated by the partial absorption of the Etruscan conquerors into the Umbrian multitude. Against the Romans the Umbrians never fought any wars of importance, a fact which may be explained partly by the remoteness of their position, but chiefly by the common hostility of the two nations to the Etruscans. After the downfall of the Etruscan power they made a related attempt to aid their Samnite kinsmen in their decisive struggle against Rome (308 B.C.); but their communications with Samnium were impeded by the foundation of a Roman fortress at Narnia (298 B.C.), and at the great battle of Sentinum (295 B.C.), which was fought in their own territory, the Umbrians are not reported to have lent the Samnites any substantial help. It is perhaps on account of this defection that in 200 B.C. they received from the Romans a portion of the Ager Gallicus reconquered from the Senonian Gauls. They offered no opposition to the construction of the Via Flaminia through the heart of their country, and in the Second Punic War withheld all assistance from Hannibal. In the Social War (90—89 A.C.), they joined the rebels tardily and were among the first to make their peace with Rome. Henceforth the Umbrians no longer played an independent part in Italian history. The material prosperity of Umbria, in spite of its unfavourable position for commercial intercourse, was relatively great, owing to the fertility of the numerous small valleys which intersect the Apennine system in this region. The chief products of the soil were olives, vines and spelt; the uplands harboured the choicest boars of Italy. In Pliny’s time there still existed in Umbria 49 independent communities, and the abundance of inscriptions and the high proportion of recruits furnished to the imperial army attest its continued populousness. Among its most famous natives were the poets Plautus (b. at Sarsina) and Propertius (b. at Assisi). Of the Umbrians’ political and municipal organization little is known. In addition to the city (tota) they seem to have had larger territorial division in the tribus (trifu, acc.) as we gather from Livy (xxxi. 2, "per Umbriam quam tribum Sapiniam vocant"; cf. xxxiii. 37) and from the Eugubine Tables ("trifor Tarsinates," vi. B. 54). Ancient authors describe the Umbrians as leading effeminate lives, and as closely resembling their Etruscan enemies in their habits (Theopompus, Fragm. 142; Pseudo-Scymnus, 366—368). It is almost certain that each race influenced and modified the other to a large extent. There is conclusive proof of strong Etruscan influences in Umbria. For instance, they undoubtedly borrowed their alphabet and the art of writing from the Etruscans. Their writing ran from right to left. The alphabet consisted of nineteen letters. It had no separate symbols for O, G, Q; the aspirates and X were wanting; on the other hand, it possessed forms for Z and V, and had likewise the Etruscan f (8). It also had a symbol peculiar to itself for expressing the sound of palatal k when followed by either e or i. The fact that it is only in towns on the side next Etruria, e.g. Tuder and Iguvium, that a coinage is found indicates that they borrowed the art of minting from that quarter. The Umbrians counted their day from noon to noon. But whether they borrowed this likewise from the Etruscans we do not know (Pliny ii. 77). In their measuring of land they employed the vorsus, a measure common to them and the Oscans (Frontinus, De Limit. p. 30), 3⅓ of which went to the Roman jugerum.


Sec Strabo bk. v.; T. E. Peet, The Stone and Bros Ages of Ilaly and Sicily (Oxford, 1909), pp. 492—510; B. V. Head, Historia numorum (Oxford, 1887); B. Nissen, Ilalische Landeskunde; B9cheler, Umbrica (1883); R. S. Conway, Italic Dialects. (M. O. B. C.)

2. The modern territorial division is situated in the middie of the peninsula, between Tuscany and the Ma.rches on the N. and E., and Rome and the Abruzzi on the S. and W., and com prising the one province of Perugia, with an area of 3748 sq. m.; pop. (r9oI), 675,352. Umbria and the two provincesofAncona and Pesaro and Urbino taken together form n area siightly more extensive than that of the sixth region of Augustus. The surface is mountainous, but affords good pasture, and there are nurnerous fertile valleys. Many treasures of art and architec ture are preserved, and Umbria is in this respect one of the most interesting regions of Italy (sec PERUGIA). !vlodern Umbria formed down to i86o a part of the States of the Church. Two main lines of railway run through the territory. That from Florence to Rome skirts the borders of the province on the west, running north and south, while the Rome-Ancona runs across the province from north-east to south-west. The cross communication is given by three branch lines. In the north a narrow gauge line from Arezzo to Fossato passes through Gubbio. Perugia, the capital of the province, stands on the line from Terontola to Foligno, while on the extreme south a line passing through Rieti and Aquila, and ultimately reaching Sulmona, starts from Terni on the Rome Ancona line. (T. As.)

As you can see, this is a lot of stuff we can use for building up the true history of this region. Cantalamessa 23:57, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

And to save anyone reinventing the wheel, the Britannica article, proofread against the print copy (and therefore free of the mindless scanning errors picked up by the other online versions) is already online, at the link on my site that I gave earlier, and with the links to the texts too; but here it is again. Bill 23:33, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Links, again[edit]

Just to note that the kept umbria.org is more commercial (association of industry owners) than the removed umbria2000.it (official tourism portal of the Region). --Cantalamessa 22:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

And the confusion and pious hypocrisy of the general policy is underscored these days — as rather often — by the large banner greeting every reader of these pages, asking for money and announcing that several hundred thousand dollars have been raised: Wikipedia is a commercial site. We all have to earn money to live; what is obnoxious and not a good link, is a site trying to sell us bathing suits by dangling some nominal info, say, on Spoleto (cribbed from other websites) — but both Umbria2000 ("noncommercial", by government) and Umbria.Org ("commercial", by a major cross-industry group in the area) are good. The aim ought to be to provide a few solid links to the reader who might want further investigation. Imagine running a bibliography this way, and eliminating all books written for money! Bill 22:28, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Dispute on "The people of Umbria" section[edit]

After one and a half month, our few-words user Caligula has reinserted the disputed section on Umbrian people. I am afraid that he will not discuss his/her ideas and will simply keep reverting back, if we delete the section (I have left in his/her discussion page a message -> no answer). Thus, for the moment, the "disputed" template is in my opinion the preferred way to signal this problem; if I understand his/her mind, he/she will not be satisfied and will try to delete the template, but this is more difficult to justify. --Cantalamessa 17:06, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I just went back and looked carefully, and found that though it was asserted (20 Nov 06) that "per Admin request" the section was to be reinstated, and that editing was OK, blanket deletion was not — in fact, this seems to be just that: a bald assertion. There is no evidence that anyone other than the editor who so stated requested anything at all. Blanket deletion of falsehood is not somehow prohibited. Nor is impersonating a mythical admin a proper tactic. The fact remains that the section is garbage. Bill 18:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I do completely agree. But he/she can be persistent. --Cantalamessa 23:19, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Link to paradoxplace[edit]

Ok, let's say that I want to get some money from my work on wikipedia: then, I can build up a website where I share my photos and opinions with the world, put some links to amazon or expedia, and advertise it on all the wiki pages. If this is absolutely legal, I don't think that we want this to happen. Because if I can do this, then even John, Bob and Alice may do that. And, of course, I am not speaking of Bill Thaier's website, which is a little treasure for us and for Umbria: it is evident that in that case there is much work, study, structure, and commitment behind. --Cantalamessa (talk) 00:22, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Less discussion, more article[edit]

Bill, you seem to generate emotion wherever you go. That is what you call charisma although I am sure it makes you cringe. Don't cringe. What I notice about this discussion is this. First, the initial criticisms of Bill's removal of links are standard stuff. The author just copied that section and placed it in the discussions of every single article of this type Bill worked on. I answered it once somewhere along the line. I'm not going to bother again. The link is out. No advertising please. Sorry, them's the rules. Second, someone copied over the entire EB 1911 article here. What was that for? Don't you know how to put such articles in Wikisource? They get accessed from WP by a small notice produced by a template. Frankly even WP admits in the help that EB1911 is only a stopgap measure. Most of the articles are far out of date, although there is good material in there no doubt. Don't waste your time on it. Either put it in Wikisource or link to it externally but don't inflict it on us. Now for the article. Format generally good. Content a mixture of good and bad. For one thing, it is still muchly redundant. Bill is right, once a thing is said in the upper article to the right, let's not have it over and over again. So, I'm cutting out redundant stuff. This will leave the article a bit sparse looking in places. That's your job, to fill it out. We don't need any padding here. If there is really no article, there is really no article. It is what it is. Trying to hide that is not going to help. I notice the history section starts out with some questionable material. What do we need this for? We have a WHOLE ARTICLE on Roman Umbria. I'm going through here with a pole axe. Sorry. If you don't like it, do it better. This isn't tea time here. This article is now on my list. Changes won't be dramatic at first but will be persistent. Ciao.Dave (talk) 20:24, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

The changeable river etc[edit]

"The river course is changeable and thus few towns have been built on it: the Tiber itself is not a major factor in the history and human geography of Umbria."

Is there any such thing as a river whose course is not changeable? Since when was changeability a reason for not building a town? This is not encyclopedic, it is shallow padding by the editor. As for the Tiber not being a factor, again, this is just a bunch offhand opinions thrown in by the editor to mark time. Let's have some real information, please.Dave (talk) 00:21, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

The green heart, etc[edit]

", treasured as a beauty spot — is to a certain extent appropriate since the modern administrative region is the only one to have neither a coast nor a border with a foreign country, and, except for August and September, is famously green."

I removed this as unencyclopedic. If it called the green heart exaggerating the poet then it is called the green heart, but we don't particularly care whether you think it is justified. And as for your speculations, out they go - but is this seriously encyclopedic? Why do you think you have to explain why the green heart is the green heart? Do you think we have some kind of deficit in grasping figures of speech, the understanding of which is reserved to you and you alone?Dave (talk) 00:52, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Disputed section[edit]

Don't be bothered by this; no one is meant here. No one we know wrote it. This is from the EB 1911 and it is the worst bunch of bull (excuse me) I ever saw. Scarcely a sentence in there has not been disputed over the last 99 years. It was written in the youth of archaeology. Kossinna had not yet even formulated his law and here they all were practicing settlement archaeology, and with such gusto and utter conviction! They were so sure, you see. The student didn't stand much of a chance in those days. The teacher told you the way it was in exactly this language and whacked your little hands if you dared to question or else bounced you out of your fellowship. I used to meet some of those characters in my youth. I'd certainly rather not have. If you want to know why the Russian revolution happened take a good read. It is there, between the lines. But, what do we do now? This is totally unsuitable for a modern article on modern Umbria. I am really not sure of what do do. It will have to go, but what is to be put in its place? Most of the history will be covered in other articles, such as Roman Umbria. The archaeology should go under the archaeological articles. These are mainly on or are going to be on my list. As far as I'm concerned - and others may make other efforts - it will take some time to get this right. Meanwhile I have put this tag on here to alert the public. I will work on it.Dave (talk) 01:19, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Cleaned up sufficiently to warrant removal of "disputed tag" I think, though the history needs many more references. --Genie (talk) 10:58, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Thayer's website[edit]

Thayer has numerous websites. It can't be just him anymore, of course. No one can personally do thousands of pages. For our purposes, like any other website, it has to be in cite web format; no editorial descriptions instead of titles. Is that a gazeteer? I don't think so. It looks like a travellogue to me. I don't know whether this is encyclopedic or not. On the negative side is the personalized, conversational style, which is the hallmark of Thayer. Not only that but his icons often lead to commercialized sites. We aren't allowed either the style or the sites. On the positive side, it contains maps, photos. I notice that (at least for today anyway) on each page Bill himself does not get commercial; he is not selling us hotels, food, transportation and the like. Not yet anyway. So, for this sanity check I am going to keep the external link. It might not survive another, but another is another.Dave (talk) 09:45, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Thayer's website update[edit]

I just received a message from Thayer assuring me with some irritation that except for three pages he has personally created all those thousands of pages himself. Bill is not on WP anymore. He is far too creative to work under the limitations imposed by WP, I think. Thayer performs an invaluable service to public education and my having to be chided by him is a matter of some chagrin to me. I apologize, Bill. Thayers' sites, which are non-commercial, are a valuable source of information for WP. Many editors use them, including me. Please understand, Bill does these himself. He taught himself Latin and to a large extent Greek and knows a few other languages besides. In addition, he is affiliated with the U. of Chicago and works with other scholarly sites used as sources by WP editors. There Bill, I hope this notice will serve as public remedy for my misconception.Dave (talk) 14:38, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

map[edit]

The map here is frustrating. It does not show any internal features. Cities? Rivers? Mountains? Just a solid color is not very informative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Skysong263 (talkcontribs) 02:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)