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Judged as Kingdoms

Judged as Kingdoms

Judged as Kingdoms

The judges, the four institutional entities into which Sardinia was divided after the middle of the thousand, were bodies configured from a legal point of view as real states. At the top of the structure was the judge ('iudike, iuighe'), an ordinarily hereditary title 'of law'. Direct evidence of the legal value of this title comes to us from the lead seals.

Seals already in use in the great Mesopotamian civilizations and widely used in the Middle Ages with a juridical-diplomatic function, that is, as a solemn form of corroboration of the document produced in the chancelleries, in which the attribute of 'rex' is associated with the name of the judge.

Of extreme interest is the legal and cultural substrate that determined the structural configuration of the judges, consisting of an effective mixture of elements relevant to the Greek tradition (such as the use of the Greek language, for example, which explicitly evoked the original Byzantine matrix of the judicial “regnum”) with those of the Latin tradition (thanks to which it was intended to reaffirm the relationship with the Roman-imperial and papal world) and of a closer local character.

However, the possibility of “de facto” regences, which could be accessed mainly by elective means, was not excluded. This procedure was entrusted to the 'corona de logu', that is, to the forum of representatives of the administrative districts (the 'curators').

Documentary sources have preserved news of the honorary titles of the first judges of the Giudicato of Cagliari - archon of Sardinia, imperial protospatary, archon - as well as, perhaps only, their dynastic names attested in Greek inscriptions: Torcotorio and Getite, Torcotorio, Salusio and Ortzocor, Torcotorio, Salusio and Nispella. These inscriptions are technically such as to leave no doubt about their relevance to the cultural sphere of the ruling class, as their association with marble sculptures and architectural decorations used as liturgical furnishings, classifiable as expressions of a refined Middle Byzantine artistic school and certainly made on commission by the judges themselves, also suggests.

As far as the Cagliari judges following the first are concerned, some sources (for example, less official scrolls) give us back the attestation of the proper names of some of them in association or instead of dynastic names such as Torcotorio or Salusio. We know that the Cagliari judges belonged to the local Lacon-Gunale family. The first judge of this house was Mariano-Salusio (before 1058), followed by Orzocco-Torcotorio I (1058-89), and then continued with the alternation of a Salusio and a Torcotorio until the extinction of the dynastic line by male route.

The dynastic line of the kingdom of Torres begins with Barisone I, documented in 1065. The sons of Barisone I, Andrea and Mariano, gave rise to the two houses of the Lacon-Gunale judges of Torres and the Lacon-Zori judges of Arborea. From another son of Barisone I, another house originated, that of the Lacon-Serra and later that of the Bas-Serra, thanks to the relationship, which took place in 1157, with the Catalan house of Bas-Cervera. This dynastic framework clearly testifies to the genesis of the judges of Torres and Arborea, born evidently by emancipation from that of Cagliari.

As far as the Giudicato di Gallura is concerned, there are greater difficulties in reconstructing the genesis of formation and dynastic history. This court was under the direct control of Pisa from 1050 (Manfredi is the name of the first judge) until 1207, when the marriage between Lamberto Visconti and Elena de Lacon-Gunale took place, thus sanctioning the transfer of the title to the Visconti family that kept it until 1447.


20/9/2023 - 11:19


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