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The Comacina                                                                   Precedente Successiva

In the I century B.C., Varro hinted at Comacina (or Comatina ) where tasty hams were produced. Later, in the IV century A.C. St. Ambrose, writing a letter to a friend, talked about the impressive cliffs of Comacina.

Moreover, some medieval documents quotes the Lake Comacinus as a part of the Lake Como, exactly the sector where Lecco city is placed, while its remaining part is indicated as Lake Comensis. In Modern Ages historians used the term Comacinus like a synonymous of Comensis, but it was wrong because the two words had different meanings for medieval authors, who used them to specify different segments of the same lake.

During the kingdom of Charlemagne, the Lombard historian Paulus Diaconus wrote the history of his people. This book widely talks about Comacina Island, a place with impregnable fortifications, where inestimable treasures were kept and also where the Byzantines opposed the siege of Lombard ranks for six months before surrendering.

However, since the eighteenth century this island Comacina has been identified with the unique small island in the Lake Como, situated in front of the village of Ossuccio.

Such identification is not congruent neither with the historical text nor with the conditions of that small lacustrine island. So we have tried to re-read Paulus Diaconusí book in order to remove historiographical interpretations and contaminations of Modern Ages.

The Comacina Island could have been a different place from that lacustrine island; probably, it was a Byzantine enclave that Lombard warriors were not able to conquer during the first phase of their invasion. Others countries could have had a similar origin, i.e. Fulcheria Island, the land situated between Serio and Adda rivers, or Brembana Island situated between Brembo and Adda rivers. 

This new hypothesis is coherent with events occurred after the A.D. 580, that archaeological researches have already proven to be true. These facts concern the passage of the Lecco territories from Byzantines to Lombard dominion; an example is the destruction of the Gothic-Byzantine settlement on Barro Hill (near Lecco).

The Association has examined in depth this important topic. Results have been published in an article on number C - I/2016 of Nuova Rivista Storica.


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Last update: 22-05-17.