History of Republic of San Marino  

From the video Nemini teneri, which means Do not depend on anyone

© Copyright by V.E. Pizzulin & M. Cecchetti

San Marino

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     The XVII century: San Marino is idealized as a haven of democracy  

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Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Meanwhile the people of San Marino have identified the bones of the saint. They have adorned the remains with the royal crown, symbol of sovereignty and they have clearly written that their freedom was donated by him and that he is the founder of their liberty. No cardinal or Pope in an age of counter reformation can take away the crown of a saint.

Willing to suffice, now San Marino is at the mercy of Rome. It is just a small village like the many others that still nestle among the mountains that they have since the middle ages.

It is little more than a municipality within the Papal State, a tiny enclave without defences, without protection.

In Italy, in Europe, everywhere dukes and grand dukes, princes, marcheses, barons, kings and emperors. Oppression and absolutism are rife.

In Holland the situation is somewhat less dim.

In Venice a feint ray of light is beginning to shine through. The word reaches Venice that on an appenine peak inside the Papal State, “there is a community of mountain men, who govern a republic and belong to no-one”.

The writers and journalists of the time get hold of the news and anxious to strike a blow against absolutism, colour it with accounts of freedom and democracy, to the point of creating a legend of a happy land.

The news comes as a shock to the world of potentates. It crosses the alps and reaches France and Holland. From Holland it spreads to the rest of Europe together with an outlook full of realism which helps to foster interest and boost credibility. Some even decide to come over and check the story for themselves. Among them is Addison, the early 18th century English writer who really does discover the spark of ancient liberty high up on the mountain among the people, mixed with a strong religious faith.

The saint he notes is at the centre of the main alter, whosoever offends the saint is punished as if he had blasphemed God.

Words are spoken and written about San Marino. San Marino takes a permanent place in people’s hearts and minds. The goal is achieved. From now on it is defended by Europe and the world. This becomes clear  shortly afterwards when Rome tries to suppress the community.

Cardinal Alberoni at the head of the papal army uses wily strategens and religious pressures to bring the land under the heel of the church. Paris, Madrid and Vienna intervene. San Marino regains its independence.

It is the 5th February 1740, the day of Saint Agatha. Since then the joint patron saint of the Republic.

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