Antonio Onofri

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Antonio Onofri (born 1759, died February 26, 1825 ) was a politician and diplomat of San Marino, a key figure in the country's political scene in the first half of the nineteenth century, and his "prudence and patriotism" during this challenging period in the Republic's history earned him a statue in the Public Council Hall and the description "the Father of his country".[1][2][3]

He came from an old family that had a great influence on the fate of the Republic for centuries. He received a thorough education in philosophy and law. In 1787 he was appointed as secretary of state, and in 1789 he was elected a member of the Grand and General Council. During his long career, he also served as Captain Regent seven times.

Onofri's accomplishments are linked in particular to foreign policy, whose skillful creation led to the recognition of San Marino by other European countries. In 1797, when Napoleon Bonaparte was camped at nearby Pesaro, the proposal to increase the territory of the Republic offered by the general's envoy Gaspard Monge was graciously rejected by Onofri on behalf of the Republic. However, he accepted 15,000 quintals of wheat and the promise of four pieces of artillery, the latter of which seems never to have been delivered. Onofri insisted that it was San Marino's experience that their greatest safeguard was not coveting their neighbours' territory.[4][5] This prudent move (justified by Onofri thus: "wars end, but neighbours remain") is speculated to have saved the Republic from repercussions upon the later defeat of Napoleon.[6]

In 1798 he signed a treaty on trade and friendly relations with the Republic of Rome, and several months later also with the Cisalpine Republic.[7] A similar agreement was also reached with the Italian Republic, which took the place of the two previously mentioned, in June 1802.

On May 26, 1805, again as Captain Regent, he attended the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte as the King of Italy in Milan, where he received an "amiable audience" with the now-Emperor.[8][9][10]

After the Congress of Vienna, Onofri helped establish good relations with Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Philippe,[11] as well as negotiating the country's way into the favour of Pope Leo XII, who after an audience with Onofri wrote a letter to the Captains Regent, "assuring them of his friendship and renewing the ancient conventions with them".[12]

In 2005, the 180th anniversary of Onofri's death was marked by a special commemorative silver €5 coin.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Month, Volume 26", Simpkin, Marshall and Company, 1876, p. 293
  2. ^ "Two Quaint Republics, Andorra and San Marino", Virginia W. Johnson, 1913, p. 206-207
  3. ^ "La storia di San Marino, il 1800 e Garibaldi"
  4. ^ "Two Quaint Republics, Andorra and San Marino", Virginia W. Johnson, 1913, p. 206-207
  5. ^ "The Month, Volume 26", Simpkin, Marshall and Company, 1876, p. 292
  6. ^ The Republic of San Marino, William Miller, in "The American Historical Review", Vol. 6, No. 4 (July, 1901), pp. 633–649.
  7. ^ The Republic of San Marino, William Miller, in "The American Historical Review", Vol. 6, No. 4 (July, 1901), p. 646.
  8. ^ "San Marino - the history in miniature", Youcanprint, 2017, p. 4
  9. ^ "Two Quaint Republics, Andorra and San Marino", Virginia W. Johnson, 1913, p. 206-207
  10. ^ The Republic of San Marino, William Miller, in "The American Historical Review", Vol. 6, No. 4 (July, 1901), p. 646.
  11. ^ "Two Quaint Republics, Andorra and San Marino", Virginia W. Johnson, 1913, p. 206-207
  12. ^ The Republic of San Marino, William Miller, in "The American Historical Review", Vol. 6, No. 4 (July, 1901), p. 646.
  13. ^ "Silver 5 euro coins - San Marino - coin series - Collector Coin Database"
  • "Historia małych krajów Europy - Andora, Liechtenstein, Luksemburg, Malta, Monako, San Marino" - praca zbiorowa pod redakcją Józefa Łaptosa, Ossolineum, Wrocław 2002