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Ampsicora: The Sardinian Hero 0 Comments

Ampsicora: The Sardinian Hero

Passing by Santa Caterina of Pittinurri, after a 2 hour 20 minute drive and 177 km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites, following the directions for Oristano, just after the village of S'archittu, a large stone stele appears on the right with a Sardinian text: 

A Ampsicora e Hosto / a sos tremiza patriottas sardos / chi / pro s’indipendenzia ‘e sa Sardinnia / in ojos sos lugores de su mare / po no esser iscraos de Roma / in custas baddes de dolore / hant derremadu su samben issoro / Campu ‘e Corra 215 a.C. – 1998

“To Ampsicora and Josto, to the three thousand Sardinian patriots who, for the independence of Sardinia, with the reflection of the sea in the eyes, not to be slaves of Rome, in these valleys of pain they spelt their blood. Campu 'e Corra 215 a. C. - 1998 " 

Historically speaking, who was Ampsicora? Titus Livius calls him "The first of the Sardinian princes''. In 215 a. C., twenty years after the Romans took possession of Sardinia, Ampsicora led the Sardinian revolt. He personally went to ask for the support of the Sardinian princes of the interior, (which Titus Livius scornfully calls Sardis pelliti, dressed in skins) trying, it seems unsuccessfully, to involve them in the revolt.  What we know about Ampsicora is due to the Roman historian, Titus Livius, who wrote about him not only two centuries after the events, but from a view on the winning Romans side, who tells of the Bellum Sardo between Ampsicora of Cornus and Annone of Tharros against the Romans under the command of the consul Titus Manlius Torquatus. The command for the defense of the city of Cornus was entrusted to Ampsicora’s son, Iosto. The defeat of the rioters was total: Iosto died in battle, Annone and Asdrubale were taken prisoners and Ampsicora, after getting the survivor safe back to Cornus, as Titus Livius recounts, committed suicide, due to the unbearable pain for the death of his son and for the defeat. 

But Titus Livius himself wrote that Sardinia was never under control as much of the island did not fall into the hands of the conquerors, and this is the merit attributed to Amsicora, a native Sardinian, heir of the Nuragic age, who did not simply face a rival clan, but the very Romans, the superpower of that historical time.

And then there is “Sandahlia”, the first book of a trilogy, where the author Stefano Piroddi tells us about Ampsicora and invites us to look at the Nuragic Sardinian past with different eyes, revealing how much the nuragics were familiar with the cosmos, at which they referred to as the "Dreaming Absolute", a thoughtfulness that we could call religion that was the foundation of their values.  

And Sandahlia, recounts of Ampsicora, of his maturation as Man, Warrior and Leader, in a perspective where the sacredness of the heroes is equivalent to the one of the heroines and they live "in a Song of Love and Death, dancing the rhythm of the melody ... which guide our steps and to which nobody can ever rebel".

And Ampsicora calls: "The warriors of Sandahlia prefer to die as heroes on the battlefield, rather than accepting defeat and living as slaves the rest of their days ...".

And Titus Manlius Torquatus says to Aetius Glaucus: But be careful of one thing, Tribune. Don't call them barbarians and never treat them as such. It is true, there is something in this land and its inhabitants that goes beyond our normal understanding, but precisely for this reason it would be a serious mistake to underestimate them".

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Written by Daniela Toti

 

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