Anna Vlaevska

History of a Historiographical Issue: Proto-Bulgarian Traces in Medieval Italy between Legend and Historical Memory

Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2016 N 4

Abstract: This paper aims to present the Proto-Bulgarian presence in medieval Italy. Since at least twenty years this theme has been object of an increasing media speculation that has supported opposite positions, swinging between historical truth and populist view. The purpose is to explore the context that is at play in this metamorphosis, fostering a critical perspective on the chief work by Paulus Diaconus Historia Langobardorum. This paper also proposes a close examination of the research that has been done in this field, particularly the studies undertaken by Vincenzo D’Amico and Giandomenico Serra, in order to outline the consequences of wrong interpretations, misunderstandings or doubtful reconstructions. This approach highlights then some linkages between different populations, ethnic geography, and historical memories throughout a linguistic analysis of Proto-Bulgarian traces in Italian toponymy, along with their origins and possible meanings.                

Keywords: Proto-Bulgarians in Medieval Italy, Toponymy, Vincenzo D’Amico, Giandomenico Serra