Cortona

The foundation of the city is lost in the fog of numerous legends of which there are traces going back to the classical era. These legends were elaborated upon and notably took shape in the late part of the Renaissance period under the rule of Cosimo the First (1537-1574). Despite opposition, he set up a plan to achieve the following goals: - In regards to the Florentine ruling class: to enhance the image of the Tuscan territory as ancient Etruria not only for the antiquity of all its most famous cities which dated back to roots of civilization immediately following the Great Flood, but with the aim of obtaining for the the territory and for the city the recognition of a Grand Duchy and the title of Grand Duke for Cosimo. This was granted by Pope Pius V in 1570.



In regards to the Cortonese ruling class: to enhance the image of the city by presenting it as the most noble and ancient among the cities of Tuscany, which had enjoyed an autonomous social structure from the time of the Etruscan lucomonia until it was transformed into the free Comune of Medieval times. Placed in the context of that time, in which the relationship with the "Signori" of Florence who had taken over Cortona was bitter, this research into the myths and legends particularly of those Etruscan gave an opportunity to the ruling Cortonese to reclaim some of the city's autonomy. The guidebook from the sixteen hundreds by Giacomo Lauro, refers to writings by Annio Viterbese (1432-1502), who touches on many writers of antiquity. He reports that eight hundred years after the Flood, Noah while navigating at the mouth of the Tiber River, crosses il Paglia and enters into the valley of the Chiana. He likes this place more than any other in Italy as it is very fertile land and therefore stops and lives there for thirty years. One of his offspring named Crano arrives at one of the hills and is very pleased with the altitude, the amenities and the air of tranquility. He builds the city of Cortona on this spot two hundred-seventythree years after the Flood. It is affirmed by Stefano, a great Greek historian, as the third city in Italy to be built after the Flood, and the metropolis of the ancient Turreni people.




Noah saw that Crano had done a good deed and names him Corito, that is King and Successor of the Realm. In fact Curim, from which the word Corito derives means scepter which is called Quirim in Latin from which the title Quirino is given to Romolo. Crano, after taking the title of King, constructs a kingdom of towers high on the hill of which there are still remains in an area called Torremozza. The kingdom of Crano was called Turrenia because the city that the descendant of Noah constructed had high towers. This was the first name of Tuscany and the inhabitants were called Turreni. However, as they were descendants of Noah who had been spared from the waters "ab imbribus" some were called Imbri or in vernacular Umbri. From the descendants of Crano, Dardanus was born. Following internal turmoil he flees to Samotracia then to Frigia and finally to Lydia, where he founded the city of Troy. From Troy descendants of Dardanus, now Greeks, return to live in Turrenia, that is Tuscany, and they were the Etruscans. Among these Greeks who came to Turrenia and Cortona were Ulysses and Pythagoras. In fact, ancient legends which are reported by the greek writers Aristotle and his conteprorary Teopompo, would have Ulysses emigrate ater his return to Itaca and the masssacre of the Proci, to Italy and more precisely in Etruria, to the city which Teopompo called in Greek Curtonaia, and citing this place, Cortona proper or its suburbs as his burial place. In Etruria Ulysses was much respected and referred to as Nanos which meant the Wanderer and his burial site was identified as being at "monte Pergo" near the modern day location of Pergo., Pythagoras after his stay in Cortona, died there, and was buried in a tomb which is called today "Grotta di Pitagora". According to Virgil (Eneide III and IV), Enea a descendant of Dardano fled the destroyed city of Troy to Lazio where his descendants founded Rome. This would have Cortona giving origin first to Troy and then to Rome. Continue.....


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