Historical Italian Figures

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Historical Italian Figures

Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) Youngest ever Prime Minister of Italy, in 1922 transformed the office into a dictatorship. Created Fascist Party
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) Folk hero, military leader, political leader. Adopted the “Red Shirts” and captured Sicily and Naples and allowed them to join Kingdom of Italy.
Michelangelo (1475-1564) Architect, painter, sculptor and poet. Most famous Italian artist; “Sistine Chapel”
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) Mathematician, artist, inventor and writer. “The Last Supper”, “Mona Lisa”.
Marco Polo (1254-1324) Explorer and journalist. Wrote “the Travels of Marco Polo”
Galileo (1564-1642) Mathematician and astronomer. Laid foundation for modern science, physics and astronomy.
St. Francis of Assisi ( 1181-1226) Saint. Abandoned life of luxury and devoted life to Christianity.
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) Explorer whom discovered “New World of the Americas” in 1492
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) nurse known as “Lady with the Lamp”, spending nights caring for wounded soldiers and reducing death count by 2/3rds.
Boticelli (1444-1510) early renaissance painter “Birth of Venus”

Biographical Profile
Julius Caesar
Birthdate: 100 BCE
Death: 44 BCE
Place of Birth and Death: Rome, Italy
Full Name: Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus
Children: Son Caesarion with Cleopatra

Important events:
• Fought in several wars, became involved in Roman politics
• Negotiator between Crassus and Pompey
• Made “Dictator for Life”, “Father of Country”
• Relieved debt and reformed Senate
• Reformed Roman Calendar
• Reorganized local government
• His assassination led by Longinus and Brutus on the Ides of March
• First Roman figure to be deified, given title “The Divine Julius” 2 years after death

Historical Event
Dictatorship of Mussolini

Benito Mussolini was born on July 29, 1883. The son of a blacksmith, he moved to Switzerland where he became involved in Socialist politics. He moved back to Italy in 1904 working as a journalist and was drafted into the Italian army in 1915. In 1919 he formed the Fascist Party. He organized unemployed war veterans into armed “Black Shirts”. Mussolini gradually dismantled all institutions of government and in 1925 made himself dictator. He eventually was captured and killed.

Italian History
The history of Italy can be divided into 7 distinct eras.
Pre-History – thousands of rock drawings were discovered in the Alpine regions of Lombardy date around 8000 BC. There were also settlements throughout the Cooper Age, Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
Roman Empire ( 5th Century BC to 5th Century AD) – Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus in Etruscan, Italy in 735 BC. Over the next several centuries, Rome expanded its territories into the well-known “Roman Empire”. The Romans named the Italian peninsular “Italia”. Italia flourished until the Roman Empire ended with the death of Augustus Caesar.
Middle Ages (6th to 14th Century) - Began with multiple invasions including Ostrogoths conquering the Italian Peninsula, the Gothic War and the Lombards establishing a kingdom in North Italy and 3 regions in the South. Popes began building independent states and when the French defeated Lombards, the Papal States were created.
The Renaissance (14th to 16th Century) – At this point in history there was a lot of disparity. The north was prosperous and the central and south were struggling. Naples, Sicily and Sardinia were controlled by foreign powers. A cultural movement began in Tuscany. The Medici family, a major contributor of the arts, introduced artistic greats, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli. Italian popes rebuilt the city and Rome flourished. Tuscan dialect became the official language.
Foreign Rule (1559-1814) – A dark period in Italian history. France invaded Northern Italy, Spain and Germany attacked Rome.