The first place this year is divided by two theses on two historical figures dear to Asti: the jurist Pietrino Belli and the Dante scholar Giambattista Giuliani. This is what the commission of the Bordone award, formed by Patrizia Gerbi Bordone, Ezio Claudio Pia and Mario Renosio. Pippo Sacco, president of the Company, announced the names of the winners. An annual award, established by the Astesi Studies Society to remember Professor Renato Bordone (1948-2011), former full professor of Medieval History at the University of Turin, innovator of European medieval studies. Among the objectives of the award, to make available to all studies in the Asti area. Each year the awarded theses are entrusted to the Astense Library where they can be consulted.
Graziella Di Matteo received the prize of one thousand euros in the ceremony held in the hypogeum room of the Bank of Asti, with her master’s thesis in Administrative and Legal Sciences of public and private organizations entitled “Historical-legal research on the jurist Pietrino Belli” and Valentina Petrini with “Dante and the language of this people are all my care: for an annotated bibliography by Giambattista Giuliani”, in Modern Philology, Sciences of Literature, Theater and Cinema. Two special mentions were assigned to Silvia Bertone for the three-year degree thesis entitled «Fund of the Roero di Cortanze family at the State Archives of Asti. Project to enhance the photographic material relating to the life and military career of the Marquis Giuseppe Adolfo Roero di Cortanze “and to Enrica Biglia, with the thesis” The profile of Asti in the centuries of the Grand Tour “.
The Pietrino pass
The story reconstructed by Graziella Di Matteo and which has as its protagonist the 1500 jurist Pietrino Belli, considered by many to be a precursor of international law, is curious. In the first half of the century the dispute for the Marquisate of Monferrato opened, which pushed the jurist to a drastic decision. He preferred the confiscation of all assets and exile in nearby Asti, in order not to submit to the new lords of Alba, which passed into the hands of the Saluzzo people in 1533. A choice that today makes us smile in the light of that “rivalry” between Asti and Alba, “cousin” cities so similar and so different at the same time. “Only some time later, in 1540, Belli will define himself as ‘civis albensis et astensis’, or citizen of both cities,” Di Matteo underlines. A way to affirm how it was possible the coexistence of both personalities in one’s heart.
Dantist and Italianist
The references to current events, not only territorial, are very strong and can also be felt in the work of Petrini, who has analyzed the figure of Giuliani from Canelli. «I have been studying Giuliani for over ten years – he comments – for me, as a Canellese, it has always been a passion and to be rewarded for a passion is an indescribable joy». For many Canellesi today Giuliani is just a name: a street, an elementary school. He was a philologist, but also a historian and linguist, one of the main Danteists of the nineteenth century. Although life had brought him to many cities and especially to Florence, where in 1881 he will obtain honorary citizenship, Giuliani always carried his Canelli in his heart, for which he also spent words of affection in the correspondence, preserved in the State Archives of Asti. in copy. He died in Florence in 1884. Of him Asti keeps a street that bears his name and which is located near Piazza Statuto, away from traffic.
Identity of Asti
Given the increasingly evident links with the present that silence any possible prejudice, the same administrations (municipal and provincial) have launched a challenge to the researchers of the Bordone prize. «Given all the in-depth studies of recent years – suggests the mayor Maurizio Rasero – the local institutions would be particularly helped if it were decided to touch all together the issue of Asti, Monferrato, Astesana, on which there is so much confusion today. Thanks to competence, we would understand once and for all our vocation and how we want to present ourselves to the world ». Of the same opinion, the president of the Province of Asti, Paolo Lanfranco: “I feel the theme of the identity of us astigiani particularly current – I hope that this project will find new sensitivity also among young people”. An invitation to be taken into consideration, beyond the award, perhaps for a project that, in addition to the past, does not forget to look to the future.