Online Encyclopedia

SARDINIA (Gr. 'IXs'o"uva, from a fanc...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 215 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
SARDINIA (Gr. 'IXs'o"uva, from a fancied resemblance to a footprint in its shape, Ital. Sardegna), an island of the Mediterranean Sea, belonging to the kingdom of Italy. It lies 71 m. S. of Corsica, from which it is separated by the Strait of Bonifacio, which is some 50 fathoms deep. The harbour of Golfo degli Aranci, in the north-eastern portion of the island, is 138 m. S.W. of Civitavecchia, the nearest point on the mainland of Italy. Sardinia lies between 8° 7' and 9° 49' E., and extends from 38° 52' to 41° 15' N. The length from Cape Teulada in. the S.W. to Punta del Falcone in the N. is about 16o m., the breadth from Cape Comino to Cape Caccia about 68 m. The area of the island is 9187 sq. m.—that of the department (compartimento), including the small islands adjacent, being 9294 sq. m. It ranks sixthin point of size (after Sicily) among the islands of Europe, but it is much more sparsely populated. The island is mountainous in the main, almost continuously so, indeed, along the east coast, and very largely granitic, with a number of lofty upland plains in the east, and volcanic in the west. The highest point in the north-east group of the island (called Gallura) is Monte Limbara (4468 ft.), S.E. of Tempio. This mountain group is bounded on the S.E. and S.W. by valleys, which are' followed by the railways from Golfo degli Aranci to Chilivani, and from Chilivani to Sassari. The north-western portion of the island, called the Nurra, lies to the west of Sassari and to the north of Alghero, and is entirely volcanic; so are the mountains to the south of it, near the west coast; the highest point is the Monte Ferru (3448 ft.). East 'of the railway from Chilivani to Oristano, on the other hand, the granitic mountains continue. The highest points are Monte Rasu (4127 ft.), S. of Ozieri, in the district called Logudoro, on the chain of the Marghine, which runs toMacomer, and, farther S., in the region called Barbargia, the Punta Bianca Spina,' the highest summit of the chain of Gennargentu (6o16 ft.). These two groups are divided by the deep valley of the Tirso, the only real river in Sardinia, which has a course of 94 m. and falls into the sea in the Gulf of Oristano. South of Gennargentu, in the district of the Sarcidano, is the Monte S. Vittoria (3980 ft.), to the west of which is the deep valley of the Flumendosa, a stream 76 m. long, which rises south of Gennargentu, and runs S.E., falling into the sea a little north of Muravera on the east coast. Still farther W. is the volcanic upland plain of the Giara (1998 ft.) and south of the Sarcidano are the districts known as the Trexenta, with lower, fertile hills, and the Sarrabus, which culminates in the Punta Serpeddi (3507 ft.), and the Monte del Sette Fratelli (3333 ft.), from the latter of which a ridge descends to the Capo Carbonara, at the S.E. extremity of the island. South of Oristano and west of the districts last described, and traversed by the railway from Oristano to Cagliari, is the Campidano (often divided in ordinary nomenclature into the Campidano of Oristano and the Campidano of Cagliari), a low plain, the watershed of which, near S. Gavino, is only about too ft. above sea-level. It is 6o m. long by 7-14 broad, and is the most fertile part of the island, but much exposed to malaria. South-west of it, and entirely separated by it from the rest of the island, are the mountain groups to the north and south of Iglesias, the former culminating in the Punta Perda de Sa Mesa or Monte Linas (4055 ft.), and the latter, in the district known as the Sulcis, reaches 3661 ft. It is in this south-western portion of the island, and more particularly in the group of mountains to the north of Iglesias, that the mining industry of Sardinia is carried on. The scenery is fine, but wild and desolate in most parts, and of a kind that appeals rather to the northern genius than to the Italian, to whom, as a rule, Sardinia is not attractive. The rail-way between Mandas and Tortoli traverses some of the boldest scenery in the island, passing close to the Monte S. Vittoria. The mountains near Iglesias are also very fine. Coast.—The coast of Sardinia contains few seaports, but a good proportion of these are excellent natural harbours. At the north-eastern extremity is a group of islands, upon one of which is the naval station of La Maddalena: farther S.E. is the well-protected Gulf of Terranova, a part of which, Golfo degli Aranci, is the port of arrival for the mail steamers from Civitavecchia, and a port of call of the British Mediterranean squadron. To the south of Terranova there is no harbour of any importance on the east coast (the Gulf of Orosei being exposed to the E., and shut in by a precipitous coast) until Tortoli is reached, and beyond that to the Capo Carbonara at the south-east extremity, and again along the south coast, there is no harbour before Cagliari, the most important on the island. In the south-west portion of Sardinia the island of S. Antioco, joined by a narrow isthmus and a group of bridges to the mainland, forms a good natural harbour to the south of the isthmus, the Golfo di Palmas; while the north portion of the peninsula, with the island of S. Pietro, forms a more or less protected basin, upon the shores of which are several small harbours (the most important being Carlo-forte), which are centres of the export of minerals and of the tunny fishery. Not far from the middle of the west coast, a little farther S. than the Gulf of Orosei on the east coast, is the Gulf of Oristano, exposed to the west winds, into which, besides the Tirso, several streams fall, forming considerable lagoons. For some way beyond the only seaport is Bosa, which has only an open roadstead; and at the southern extremity of the Nurra come the Gulf of Alghero and the Porto Conte to the W., the latter a fine natural harbour but not easy of ingress or egress. The northern extremity of the Nurra, the Capo del Falcone, is continued to the N.N.E. by the island of Asinara, about i i m. in length, the highest point of which, the Punta della Scornunica, is 1339 ft. high. This small island serves as a quarantine station. On the mainland, on the south shore of the Golfo dell' Asinara, is the harbour of Porto Torres, the only one of any importance on the north-west coast of Sardinia. Geology.—Geologically Sardinia consists of two hilly regions of Pre-Tertiary rock, separated by a broad depression filled with Tertiary deposits. This depression runs nearly from north to south, from the Gulf of Asinara to the Gulf of Cagliari. Physically its continuity is broken by Monte Urticu and several smaller hills which rise within it, but these are all composed of volcanic rock and are the remains of Tertiary volcanoes. It is in the south that the depression remains most distinct and it is there known as the Campidano. In the north it forms the plain of Sassari. Both to the east and to the west of this depression the Archean and Palaeozoic rocks which form the greater part of the island are strongly folded, with the exception of the uppermost beds, which belong to the Permian system. In the eastern region this was the last folding which has affected the country, and the Mesozoic and Tertiary beds are almost undisturbed. In the western region, on the other hand, all the' Mesozoic beds are involved in a later system of folds; but here also the Tertiary beds lie nearly horizontal. There were, therefore, two principal epochs of folding in the island, one at the close of the Palaeozoic era which affected the whole of the island, and one at the close of the Mesozoic which was felt only in the western region. Corresponding with this difference of structure there is also a difference in the geological succession. In the western region all the Mesozoic systems, including the Trias, are well developed. The Trias does not belong, as might have been expected, to the Alpine or Mediterranean type; but resembles that of Germany and northern Europe. In the eastern region the Trias is entirely absent and the Mesozoic series begins with the Upper Jurassic. Granite and Archean schists form nearly the whole of the eastern hills from the Strait of Bonifacio southwards to the Flumendosa river, culminating in Monti del Gennargentu. The Palaeozoic rocks form two extensive masses, one in the south-east and the other in the south-west. They occur also on the extreme north-western coast, in the Nurra. Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian beds have been recognized, the Upper Cambrian consisting of a limestone which is very rich in metalliferous ores (especially galena and calamine). The Permian, which contains workable coal seams, lies unconformably upon the older beds and seems to have been deposited in isolated basins (e.g. at Fondu Corrongiu and San Sebastiano), like those of the Central Plateau of France. The Mesozoic beds are limited in extent, the most extensive areas lying around the Gulf of Orosei on the east and west of Sassari in the north. The Tertiary deposits cover the whole of the central depression, where they are associated with extensive flows of lava and beds of volcanic ash. The most widely spread of the sedimentary beds belong to the Miocene period.' Climate.—The climate of Sardinia is more extreme than that of Italy, but varies considerably in different districts. The mean winter temperature for Sassari for 1871–1900 was 48° F., the mean summer temperature 73° F., while the mean of the extremes reached in each direction were 99° F. and 31.5° F. The island is subject to strong winds, which are especially felt at Cagliari owing to its position at the south-east end of the Campidano, and the autumn rains are sometimes of almost tropical violence. The lower districts are hot and often unhealthy in the summer, while the climate of the mountainous portion of the island is less oppressive, and would be still cooler if it possessed more forest. There are comparatively few streams and no inland lakes. Snow hardly ever falls near the coast, but is abundant in the higher parts of the island, though none remains throughout the summer. The rainfall in the south-west portion of the island is considerably greater than in other districts. The mean annual rainfall for Sassari for 1871–1900 was 24'45 in., the average number of days on which rain fell being 109, of which 37 were in winter and only 8 in summer—the latter equal with Palermo, but lower than any other station in Italy. Malaria.—The island has a bad reputation for malaria, due to the fact that it offers a considerable quantity of breeding places for the Anopheles claviger, the mosquito whose bite conveys the infection. Such are the various coast lagoons, formed at the mouths of streams ' See A. de la Marmora, Voyage en Sardaigne, vol. iii. (1857) ; J. C. Bornemann, " Die Versteinerungen des Cambrischen Schichtensystems der Insel Sardinien," Nova Ada k. L-C. Akad. Naturf. vol. li. (1886), pp. 1-148, pls. i.-xxxiii., and ib. vol. lvi. (1891), pp. 427-528, pls. xix.-xxviii.; A. Tornquist, " Ergebnisse einer ereisung der Insel Sardinien," Sitz. k. preuss. Akad. Wiss. (1902), pp. 808-829, and " Der Gebirgsbau Sardiniens and seine Beziehungen zu den jungen, circum-mediterranen Faltenziigen," ib. (1903), pp. 685-699; A. Dannenberg, " Der Vulkanberg Mte Ferru in rdinien," Neues Jahrb. f. Min. Beil. Bd. xxi. (1906), pp. 1-62, pl. i.for lack of proper canalization, while much of the harm is also due to the disforestation of the mountains, owing to which the rains collect in the upland valleys, and are brought down by violent torrents, carrying the soil with them, and so impeding the proper drainage and irrigation of these valleys, and encouraging the formation of unhealthy swamps; moreover, the climate has become much more tropical in character. The mortality from malaria in 1902 was higher than for any other part of Italy—1o37 persons, or 154 per ioo,000 (Basilicata, 141; Apulia, 104; Calabria, 77; Sicily, 76; province of Rome, 27). Customs and Dress.—The population of Sardinia appears (though further investigation is desirable) to have belonged in ancient times, and to belong at present, to the so-called Mediterranean race (see G. Sergi, La Sardegna, Turin, 1907). In the aeneolithic necropolis of Anghelu Ruju, near Alghero, of 63 skulls, 53 belong to the" Mediterranean " dolico-mesocephalic type and so to a Eurasian brachycephalic type of Asiatic origin, which has been found in prehistoric tombs of other parts of Europe. The race has probably suffered less here than in most parts of the Mediterranean basin from foreign intermixture, except for a few Catalan and Genoese settlements on the coast (Alghero and Carloforte are respectively the most important of these); and the population in general seems to have deteriorated slightly since pre-historic times, the average cranial capacity of the prehistoric skulls from the Anghelu Ruju being 1490 c.c. for males and 1308 for females, while among the modern population 6o% of males and females together fall below 1250 c.c.; and the stature is generally lower than in other parts of Italy, as is shown by the measurements of the recruits (R. Livi, Antropometria Militare, Rome 1896). Anthropologists, indeed, have recently observed a large proportion of individuals of exceptionally small stature, not found in Sardinia only, but elsewhere in south Italy also; though in Sardinia they are distributed over the whole island, and especially in the southern half. In the province of Cagliari 29.99% of the recruits born in 1862 were under .5 ft. I in., and in that of Sassari 21'99%, the percentage for ten provinces of south Italy being 24.35. These small individuals present apparently no other differences; and Sergi maintains that the difference is racial, these being the descendants of a race of pygmies who had emigrated from central Africa. But the lowness of stature extends to the lower animals—cattle, horses, donkeys, &c.—and this may indicate that climatic causes have some part in the matter also, though Sergi denies this. The dialects differ very much in different parts of the island, so that those who speak one often cannot understand those who speak another, and use Italian as the medium of communication. They contain a considerable number of Latin words, which have remained unchanged. The two main dialects are that of the Logudoro in the north and that of Cagliari in the south of the island. The native costumes also vary considerably. In the south-east they have largely gone out of use, but elsewhere, especially in the mountainous districts, they are still habitually worn. In the Barbargia the men have a white shirt, a black or red waistcoat and black or red coat, often with open sleeves; the cut and decorations of these vary considerably in the different districts. They have a kind of short kilt, stiff, made of black wool, with a band from back to front between the legs; under this they wear short linen trousers, which come a little below the knee, and black woollen leggings with boots. They wear a black cap, about 12 ft. long, the end of which falls down over one side of the head. In other districts the costume varies considerably, but the long cap is almost universal. Thus at Ozieri the men wear ordinary jackets and trousers with a velvet waistcoat; the shepherds of the Sulcis wear short black trousers without kilt and heavy black sheepskin coats, and the two rows of waistcoat buttons are generally silver or copper coins. The costume of the women is different (often entirely so) in each village or district. Bright colours (especially red) are frequent, and the white chemise is an integral part of the dress. The skirts are usually of the native wool (called orbacia). For widows or deep mourning the peculiar cut of the local costume is preserved, but carried out entirely in black. The native costume is passing out of use in many places (especially among the women, whose costume is more elaborate than that of the men), partly owing to the spread of modern ideas, partly owing to its cost; and in the Campidano and. in the mining districts it is now rarely seen. The curious customs, too, of which older writers tell us, are gradually dying out. But the festivals, especially those of mountain villages or of pilgrimage churches, attract in the summer a great concourse of people, all in their local costumes. There may be seen the native dances and break-neck horse-racesthe riders bareback—through the main street of the village. The people are generally courteous and kindly, the island being still comparatively rarely visited by foreigners, while Italians seem to regard it as almost a place of exile. They have the virtues and defects of a somewhat isolated mountain race—a strong sense of honour and respect for women, of hospitality towards the stranger, and a natural gravity and dignity, accompanied by a considerable distrust of change and lack of enterprise. Despite their poverty begging is practically unknown. The houses are often of one storey only. Chimneys are unknown in the older houses; the hearth is in the centre of the chief room, and the smoke escapes through the roof. In the mountain villages the parish priest takes the lead among his people, and is not infrequently the most important person. Agriculture:—The rest of the island is mainly devoted to agriculture; according to the statistics of 1901, 151,853 individuals out of a total rural population of 708,034 (i.e. deducting the population of Cagliari and Sassari) are occupied in it. Of these 41,661 cultivate their own land, 15,408 are fixed tenants, 24,031 are regular labourers, and no less than 72,753 day labourers; while there are 35,056 shepherds. Emigration is a comparatively new phenomenon in Sardinia, which began only in 1896, but is gaining ground. A considerable proportion of the emigrants are miners who proceed to Tunis, and remain only a few years, but emigration to America is increasing. Much of the island is stony and unproductive; but cultivation has not been extended nearly as much as would be possible, and the implements are primitive. Where rational cultivation has been introduced, it has almost always been by non-Sardinian capitalists. Two-fifths of the land belongs to the state, and two-fifths more to the various communes; the remaining fifth is minutely subdivided among a large number of small proprietors, many of whom have been expropriated from inability to pay the taxes, which, considering the low value of the land, are too heavy; while the state is unable to let a large proportion of its lands. Comparatively little grain is now produced, whereas under the republic Sardinia was one of the chief granaries of Rome. The Campidano and other fertile spots, such as the so-called Ogliastra on the east side of the island, inland of Tortoli, the neighbourhood of Oliena, Bosa, &c., produce a considerable quantity of wine, the sweet, strong, white variety called Vernaccia, produced near Oristano, being especially noteworthy. Improved methods are being adopted for protecting vines against disease, and the importation of American vines has now ensured immunity against a repetition of former disasters. The cultivation of the vine prevails far more in the province of Cagliari than in that of Sassari, considerable progress having been made both in the extent of land under cultivation and in the ratio of produce to area. The entire island produced 28,613,000 gallons of wine in the year 1899 and 19,809,000 in 1900. In 1902 the production fell to 13,491,517 gallons; in 1903 it was 26,997,680; in 1904 it reached the phenomenal figure of 63,105,577 gallons, of which the province of Cagliari produced 53,995,362 gallons; in 1905 it fell to 36,700,000, of which the province of Cagliari produced 32,500,000 gallons. Though much '.and previously devoted to grain culture has been planted with vines, the area under wheat, barley, beans and maize is still considerable. Most of the soil, except the rugged mountain regions, is adapted to corn growing. In 1896 the grain area was 380,000 acres, a slight diminution having taken place since 1882. The yield of corn varies from six to ten times the amount sown. In 1902 the total production of wheat in the island was 2,946,070 bushels, but in 1903 it rose to 4,823,800 bushels, in 1904 it fell to 4,015,020, and in 1905 rose again to 4,351,987 bushels, I& of the whole production of Italy. The cultivation of olives is widespread in the districts of Sassari, Bosa, Iglesias, Alghero and the Gallura. The government, to check the decrease of olive culture in Sassari, has offered prizes for the grafting of wild olive trees, of which vast numbers grow throughout the island. Tobacco, vegetables and other garden produce are much cultivated; cotton could probably be grown with profit. The houses of the Campidano are mostly built of sun-dried unbaked bricks. The ox-wagons with their solid wheels, and the curious water-wheels of brushwood with earthenware pots tied on to them and turned by a blindfolded donkey, are picturesque. Both European and African fruit trees grow in the island; there are in places considerable orange groves, especially at Milis, to the north of Oristano. The olive oil produced is mainly mixed with that from Genoa or Provence, and placed on the market under the name of the latter. Among the natural flora may be noted the wild olive, the lentisk (from which oil is extracted), the prickly pear, the myrtle, broom, cytisus, the juniper. Large tracts of mountain are clothed with fragrant scrub composed of these and other plants.' The higher regions produce cork trees, oaks, pines, chestnuts, &c., but the forests have been largely destroyed by speculators, who burned the trees for charcoal and potash, purchasing them on a large scale from the state. This occurred especially in the last half of the 19th century, largely owing to the abolition of the so-called beni adem-¢rivili. These were lands over which, in distinction from the other feudal lands, rights of pasture, cutting of wood, &c. &c., existed. When, in 1837, the baronial fiefs were suppressed by Charles Albert, and the land transferred to the state, the ademprivio was maintained on the lands subject to it, and it was thus to the interest of all that 'The herba Sardoa, said to cause the rises Sardonicus (sardonic laugh), cannot be certainly identified (Pausanias X. 17, 13).the woods should be maintained. In 1865, however, it was sup-pressed, and one half of the beni ademprivili was assigned to the state, the other half being given to the communes, with the obligation of compensating those who claimed rights over these lands. The state, which had already sold not only a considerable part of the domain land, but a large part of the beni ademprivili, continued the process, and the forests of Sardinia were sacrificed; and, as has been said, the necessity of reafforestation, of the regulation of streams, and of irrigation is urgent. Laws to secure this object have been passed, but funds are lacking for their execution on a sufficiently large scale. Another difficulty is that Italian and foreign capitalists, have produced a great rise in prices which has not been compensated by a rise in wages. Native capital is lacking, and taxation on unremunerative lands is, as elsewhere in Italy, too heavy in proportion to what they may be expected to produce, and not sufficiently elastic in case of a bad harvest. Live-Stock.—A considerable portion of Sardinia, especially in the higher regions, is devoted to pasture. The native Sardinian cattle are small, but make good draught oxen. A considerable amount of cheese is manufactured, but largely by Italian capitalists. Sheep's milk cheese (pecorino) is largely made, but sold as the Roman product. Horses are bred to some extent, while the native race of donkeys is remarkably small in size. Pigs, sheep and goats are also kept in considerable numbers. Whereas in 1881 Sardinia was estimated to possess only 157,000 head of cattle, 478,000 sheep and 165,000 goats, the numbers in 1896 had increased to 1,159,000 head of cattle, 4,960,000 sheep and 1,780,000 goats. The nomadic system prevails in the island. Breeding is unregulated and natural selection prevails. A more progressive form of pastoral industry is that of the tanche (enclosed holdings), in which the owner is both agriculturist and cattle raiser. On these farms the cultivation of the soil and the rearing of stock go hand in hand, to the great advantage of both. Nevertheless the idea of the value of improving breeds is gaining ground. Good cattle for breeding purposes are being imported from Switzerland and Sicily, and efforts are likewise being made to improve the breed of horses, which are bought mainly for the army. The opportunity of utilizing the wool for textile industries has not yet been taken, though Sardinian women are accustomed to weave strong and durable cloth. Everywhere capital and enterprise are lacking. Agricultural products require perfecting and fitting for export. Of wild animals may be noted the moufflon (Ovis Ammon), the stag, and the wild boar, and among birds various species of the vulture and eagle in the mountains, and the pelican and flamingo (the latter coming in August in large flocks from Africa) in the lagoons. Fisheries.—The tunny fishery is considerable; it is centred principally in the south-west. The sardine fishery, which might also be important, at present serves mainly for local consumption. Lobsters are exported, especially to Paris. The coral fishery—mainly on the west coast—has lost its former importance. Neither the tunny nor the coral fishery is carried on by the Sardinians themselves, who are not sailors by nature; the former is in the hands of Genoese and the latter of Neapolitans. The unhealthy lagoons contain abundance of fish. The mountain streams often contain small but good trout. In Roman times Sardinia, relatively somewhat more prosperous than at present, though not perhaps greatly different as regards its products, was especially noted as a grain-producing country. It is also spoken of as a pastoral country (Diod. v. 15), but we do not hear anything of its wine. Solinus (4, § 4) speaks of its mines of silver and iron, Suidas (s.v.) of its purple and tunny fisheries, Horace (Ass Poet. 375) of the bitterness of its honey. Pausanias (x. 17, § 12) mentions its immunity from wolves and poisonous snakes—which it still enjoys,—but Solinus (l.c.) mentions a poisonous spider, called solifuga, peculiar to the island. Minerals.—The mining industry in Sardinia is confined in the main to the south-western portion of the island. The mines were known to the Carthaginians, as discoveries of lamps, coins, &c. (now in the museum at Cagliari), testify. The Roman workings too, to judge from similar finds, seem to have been considerable. The centre of the mining district (Metalla of the itineraries) was probably about 5 m. south of Fluminimaggiore, in a locality known as Antas, where are the remains of a Roman temple (Corpus Inscr. Lat. x. 7539), dedicated to an emperor, probably Commodus—but the Inscription is only in part preserved. A pig of lead found near Fluminimaggiore bears the imprint Imp. Caes. Hadr. Aug. (C.I.L. X. 8073, 1, 2). After the fall of the Roman Empire the workings remained abandoned until the days of the Pisan supremacy,' and were again given up under the Spanish government, especially after the discovery of America. When the island passed to Savoy, in 1720, the mines passed to the state. The government let the mines to contractors for forty years and then took them over; but in the period from 1720 to 1840 only 14,620 tons of galena were extracted and 2772 of lead. In 184o the freedom of mining was introduced, 'By the law of 1906 the state has not assumed the responsibility of the construction of reservoirs for irrigation. 'The Pisan workings are only distinguished from the Roman by the character of the small objects (lamps, coins, &c.) found in them. the state giving perpetual concessions in return for 3 % of the gross I There is daily steam communication (often interrupted in production. In 1904-1905, 14,188 workmen were employed in the bad weather) with Civitavecchia from Golfo degli Aranci (the mines of the province of Cagliari. The following table (from the consular report of 1905) shows the amount and value of the minerals mail route), and weekly steamers run from Cagliari to Naples, extracted, the whole amount being exported: Genoa (via the east coast of the island), Palermo and Tunis, and from Porto Torres to Genoa (calling at Bastia in Corsica and Tons. Value £. Zinc Calamine 99,749 466,070 Blende 26,051 135,569 Lead .. 24,798 140,534 Silver .. 167 5,012 Manganese . 2.362 3,360 Antimony 1,005 4,700 Lignite . . 15,429 8,778 Anthracite . 577 586 Copper 98 445 170,236 765,054 The chief mines are those of Gennamare and Ingurtosu and others of the group owned by the Pertusola Company, Monteponi and Montevecchio. The mining and washing plant is extremely good and largely constructed at Cagliari. The most important minerals are lead and zinc, obtained in lodes in the forms of galena and calamine respectively. In most cases, owing to the mountainous character of the country, horizontal galleries are possible. The Monteponi Company smelts its own zinc, but the lead is almost all smelted at the furnaces of Pertusola near Spezia. Silver has also been found in the district of Sarrabus, iron at S. Leone to the west of Cagliari, and antimony and other metals near Lanusei, but in smaller quantities than in the Iglesias district, so that comparatively little mining has as yet been done there. Lignite is also mined at Bacu Abis, near Gonnesa, and Anthracite in small quantities near Seui. The salt-pans at Cagliari and of Carloforte are of considerable importance; they are let by the government to contractors, who have the sole right of manufacture, but are bound to sell the salt necessary for Sardinian consumption at 35 centesimi (31d.) per cwt.; the government does not exercise the salt monopoly in Sardinia any more than in Sicily, but in the latter island the right of manufacture is unrestricted. The total production in 1905 was 149,431 tons; the average price of salt for the island in 1905 was 21d. per cwt. (unground), and 1s. per cwt. ground; whereas for Italy, where the government monopoly exists, the price is £1, 125. the cwt. Commerce.—The total exports of the province of Cagliari in 1905 attained a value of £1,388,735, of which £550,023 was foreign trade, while the imports amounted to £1,085,514, of which b60,758 was foreign trade. Among the exports may be noticed minerals, wines and spirits, tobacco, hides, live animals; and among the imports, groceries, cotton and cereals. The tonnage of the shipping entering and clearing the ports of the province in 1905 was 1,756,866, of which 352,992 was foreign. Communications.—The railway system of Sardinia is in the hands of two companies—the Compagnia Reale delle Ferrovie Sarde, and the Compagnia delle Ferrovie Secondarie della Sardegna. The former company's lines (of the ordinary gauge) run from Cagliari, past Macomer, to Chilivani (with a branch at Decimomannu for Iglesias and Monteponi). From Chilivani the line to Sassari and Porto Torres diverges to the N.W., and that to Golfo degli Aranci to the N.E. The latter company owns narrow-gauge lines from Cagliari to Mandas (whence lines diverge N. to Sorgono and E. to Tortoli, the latter having a short branch from Gairo to Ierzu), from Macomer E. to Nuoro and W. to Bosa, from Sassari. S.W. to Alghero, from Chilivani S. to Tirso (on the line between Macomer and Nuoro), and from Monti (on the line from Chilivani to Golfo degli Aranci) N.W. to Tempio. In the south-western portion of the island are several private railways belonging to various mining companies, of which the lines from Monteponi to Portoscuso, and from S. Gavino to Montevecchio, are sometimes available for ordinary passengers. There is also a steam tramway from Cagliari to Quartu S. Elena. The trains are few and the speed on all these lines is moderate, but the gradients are often very heavy. Communication is thus most wanted with the northern and south-eastern extremities of the island, and .between Tortoli and Nuoro, and Nuoro and Golfo degli Aranci. The main road system, which dates from 1828, previous to which there were only tracks, is good, and the roads well engineered; many of them are traversed daily by post vehicles. Some road motor services have been instituted. The total length of the railways is 602 m., and of the roads of all classes 3101 m., i.e. 596 yds. per sq. m. Leghorn) and Leghorn direct. A fortnightly line also runs along the west coast of the island from Cagliari to Porto Torres. All these lines (and also the minor lines from Golfo degli Aranci to La Maddalena and from Carloforte to Porto Vesme and Calasetta) are in the hands of the Navigazione Generale Italiana, there being no Sardinian steamship companies. There is also a weekly French service between Porto Torres and Ajaccio in Corsica. Administration.—Sardinia is divided into two provinces—Cagliari and Sassari; the chief towns of the former (with their communal population in 1901) are: Cagliari (53,057); Iglesias (20,874); Quartu S. Elena (851o), really a large village; Oristano (7107); Fluminimaggiore (9647); Lanusei (3250); and the total population of the province is 486,767: while the chief towns of the latter are Sassari (38,053); Alghero (10,741); Ozieri (9555); Nuoro (7o51); Tempio Pausania (14,573); Terranova Pausania (4348); Porto Torres (4225); and the total population of the province 309,026. The density of population is 85.38 per sq. m. (294.55 for the whole of Italy), by far the lowest figure of any part of Italy. The archiepiscopal sees of the island are: Cagliari (under which are the suffragan sees of Galtelli-Nuoro, Iglesias and Ogliastra), Oristano (with the suffragan see of Ales and Terralba) and Sassari (under which are the suffragan sees of Alghero, Ampurias and Tempio, Bisarchio and Bosa). The number of monastic institutions in the island is very small. Education.—The number of scholars in the elementary schools for 1901-1902 was 59•o9 per r000 (Calabria 42.27, Tuscany 67•o9, Piedmont 118•oo); the teachers are 1.34 per moo, a total of 1084 of both sexes (among whom only one priest) (Calabria 1.18, Tuscany 1.29, Piedmont 2.0), while the rural schools are not buildings adapted for their purpose. In some of the towns, however, and especially at Iglesias, they are good modern buildings. Still, the percentage of those unable to read and write is 72.8, while for the whole of Italy it is 56•o. The male scholars at the secondary schools amounted in 1goo to 2.74 per r000 inhabitants. The university of Cagliari, which in 1874-1875 had only 6o students, had 26o in 1902-1903. At Sassari in the same year there were 162. There are besides in the island to gymnasia, 3 lycees, 6 technical and nautical schools and institutes (including a school of mines at Iglesias), and 9 other institutes for various branches of special education. A tendency is growing up towards the extension of technical and commercial education in place of the exclusively classical instruction hitherto imparted. To the growth of this tendency the excellent results of the agricultural schcols have especially contributed. Crime.—For the years 1897–1901 statistics show that Sardinia has more thefts and frauds than any other region of Italy (1068.15 for Sardinia and 210.56 per 100,000 inhabitants per annum for the rest of Italy). This is no doubt accounted for by the extreme poverty which prevails among the lower classes, though beggars, on the other hand, are very few, the convictions being 8.95 per 100,000 against 258.15 per 100,000 for the province of Rome. Sardinia has less convictions for serious crimes than any other compartimento of south Italy. Public security is considerably improved, and regular brigandage (as distinct from casual robbery) hardly exists. The vendetta, too, is now hardly ever heard of. Finance.—In 1887 a severe banking crisis occurred in Sardinia. Though harmful to the economic condition of the island, it left agriculture comparatively unaffected, because the insolvent institutions had never fulfilled the objects of their foundation. Agri-cultural credit operations in Sardinia are carried on by the Bank of Italy, which, however, displays such caution that its action is almost imperceptible. An agricultural loan and credit company has been formed on the ruins of the former institutions, but hitherto no charter has been granted it. Institutions possessing a special character are the monti frumentarii, public grain deposits, founded for the purpose of supplying peasant proprietors with seed corn, debts being paid in kind with interest after harvest. But they, too, lack funds sufficient to assure extensive and efficient working, even after the law of 1906. Meantime much evil arises from usury in the poorer districts. It is estimated that Sardinia pays, in local and eral, direct and indirect taxation of all kinds, 23,000,000 lire 168en20.000), a sum corresponding to 35.44 lire per head. History and Archaeology.—The early history of Sardinia is entirely unknown.' The various accounts of Greek writers of the early colonizations of the island cannot be accepted, and it appears rather to have been the case that though there were various schemes formed by Greeks for occupying it or parts of it (e.g. that recorded by Herodotus i. 170, when it was proposed, after the capture of Phocaea and Teos in 545 B.C., that the remainder of the Ionian Greeks should emigrate to Sardinia) none of them ever came to anything. On the other hand, the island contains a very large number of important prehistoric monuments, belonging to the Bronze Age, Nurag6l. during which it must have been comparatively well populated. The most conspicuous and important of these are the nuraghi (the word is said to be a corruption of muraglie, i.e. large walls, but it is more probably a native word). Of aeraw AMNuraghe Lugheras near Paulilatino, or the Nuraghe de S'Orcu near Domusnovas, the entrance may be protected by a regular system of courtyards and subsidiary nuraghi. Roughness of construction cannot be regarded as a proof of antiquity, inasmuch as in some cases we find the additions less well built than the original nuraghe; and it is often clear from the careful work at points where it was necessary that the lack of finer construction was often simply economy of labour. That the simpler forms, on the other hand, preceded those of more complicated plan is probable. The manner of their arrangement seems to indicate clearly that they were intended to be fortified habitations, not tombs or temples. The niche at the entrance, which is rarely wanting, served, no doubt, for the sentry on guard i 1 'von N • SLGTION • From Papers of the British School at Rome, v. 92, fig.'. these there are, as has been estimated, as many as 6000 still traceable in the island. The nuraghe in its simplest form is a circular tower about 30 ft. in diameter at the base and decreasing in diameter as it ascends; it is built of rough blocks of stone, as a rule about 2 ft. high (though this varies with the material employed) ; they are not mortared together, but on the inside, at any rate, the gaps between them were often filled with clay. The entrance almost in-variably faces south, and measures, as a rule, 5 or 6 ft. in height by 2 in width. The architrave is flat, and there is a space over it, serving both to admit light and to relieve the pressure on it from above, and the size decreases slightly from the bottom to the top. Within the doorway is, as a rule, a niche on the right, and a stair-case ascending in the thickness of the wall to the left; in front is another similar doorway leading to the chamber in the interior, which is circular, and about 15 ft. in diameter; it has two or three niches, and a conical roof formed by the gradual inclination of the walls to the centre. It is lighted by the two doorways already mentioned. The staircase leads either to a platform on the top of the nuraghe or, more frequently, to a second chamber con-centric with the first, lighted by a window which faces, as a rule, in the same direction as the main doorway. A third chamber above the second does not often occur. The majority perhaps of the nuraghi of Sardinia present this simple type; but a very large number, and, among them, those best preserved, have considerable additions. The construction varies with the site, obviously with a view to the best use of the ground from a strategic point of view. Thus, there may be a platform round the nuraghe, generally with two, three or four bastions, each often containing a chamber; or the main nuraghe may have additional chambers added to it. In a few cases, indeed, we find very complicated systems of fortification—a wall of circumvallation with towers at the corners, protecting a small settlement of nuraghe-like buildings, as in the case of the Nuraghe Losa near Abbasanta and the Nuraghe Saurecci near Guspini;2 or, as in the ' It has been widely believed that the Shardana, who occur as foreign mercenaries in Egypt from the time of Rameses II. down-wards, are to be identified with the Sardinians; but the question is uncertain. There were certainly no Egyptian colonies in Sardinia; the Egyptian objects and their imitations found in the. island were brought there by the Phoenicians (W. H. Roscher, Lexikon der griechischen and romischen Mythologie, ii. 392). 2 In neither of these cases have the subsidiary buildings been fully traced out. The plan of the former is given by Pinza (op. cit.), and that of the latter by La Marmora (op. cit.). The latter seen from a distance resembles a medieval castle crowning a hill-top. -~~ 1 • • • • • 7 sierras From Papers of the British School at Rome, v. 97, fig. 3. and would be on the unprotected side of any one coming in; the door, too, is narrow and low, and closed from within. The approach is, as we have seen, often guarded by additional constructions; the fact that the door and window face south is another argument in favour of this theory, and the access from one part of the interior to another is sometimes purposely rendered difficult by a sudden vertical rise of 5 or 6 ft. in the stairs; while the objects found in them—household pottery, &c.—and near them (in some cases silos containing carbonized grain and dolia) point to the same conclusion. Numerous fragments of obsidian arrow-heads and chips are also found in and near them all over the island. The only place where obsidian is known to be found in Sardinia in a natural state is the Punta Trebina, a mountain south-east of Oristano. The choice of site, too, is decisive. Sometimes they occupy the approaches to tablelands, the narrowest points of gorges, or the fords of rivers; sometimes almost inaccessible mountain tops or important points on ridges; and it may be noticed that, where two important nuraghi are not visible from one another, a small one is interpolated, showing that there was a system of signalling from one to another. Or again, a group of them may occupy a fertile plain, a river valley or a tableland,' or they may stand close to the seashore. Generally there is, if possible, a water-supply in the vicinity; sometimes a nuraghe guards a spring, or there may be a well in the nuraghe itself. A final argument is the existence in some cases of a village of circular stone buildings of similar construction to the nuraghi, but only 15 to 25 ft. in diameter, at the foot of a nuraghe, which, like the baronial castle of a medieval town, towered above the settlement. ' Those of the Giara are fully described by A. Taramelli and F. Nissardi in Monumenti dei Lincei, vol. xviii. ; Nissardi's map of the Nurra, published by G. Pinza, ibid. vol. xi. sqq., may also be consulted. uw[v RAN. 'They are distributed over the whole island, but are perhaps most frequent towards the centre and in the Nurra. They seem to be almost entirely lacking in the north-east extremity, near Terra-nova, and in the mountains immediately to the north of Iglesias, though they are found to the north of the Perda de sa Mesa. In the district of Gennargentu they occur, rarely, as much as 3600 ft. above sea-level. The tombs of their inhabitants are of two classes—the so-called tombe dei giganti, or giants' tombs, and the domus de gianas, or houses of the spirits. The former are generally found close to, or at least in sight of, the nuraghe to which they Tombs. belong. They consist of a chamber about 31 ft. or less in height and width, with the sides slightly inclined towards one another, and from 30 to 40 ft., or even more, in length ; the sides are composed sometimes of slabs, sometimes of rough walling, while the roof is composed of flat slabs; and the bodies were probably disposed in a sitting position. At the front is a large slab, sometimes carved, with a small aperture in it, through which offerings might be inserted. On each side of this is a curve formed of two rows of From Papers of the British School at Rome, v. p. 119, 5g. I r. slabs or two small walls; the semicircular space thus formed has a diameter of about 45 ft., and was probably intended for sacrifices. The tomb proper was no doubt covered with a mound of earth, which has in most cases disappeared. Close to these tombs smaller round enclosures, about 4 ft. in diameter, covered with a heap of stones, like a small cairn, may sometimes be seen; these were possibly intended for the burial of slaves or less important members of the tribe. Dolmens (probably to be regarded as a simpler form of the tomba dei giganti, inasmuch as specimens with chambers elongated after their first construction have been found) and menhirs are also present in Sardinia, though the former are very rare—that known as Sa Perda e S'altare, near the railway to the south of Macomer is illustrated by A. Taramelli in Bullettino di Paleoetnologia, xxxii. (1906), 268, but there are others. The latter, however, are widely distributed over the island, being especially frequent in the central and most inaccessible part. The domus de gianas, on the other hand, resemble closely the rock tombs of the prehistoric cemeteries of Sicily. They are small grottos cut in the rock. We thus have two classes of tombs in connexion with the nuraghi, and if these were to be held to be tombs also, habitations would be entirely wanting.l 1 The whole question is well dealt with by F. Nissardi in Atti del Congresso delle Scienze Storiche (Rome, 1903), vol. V. (Archeologia), 651 sqq. ; cf. Builder, May 18, 1907 (xcii. 589). Among the most curious relics of the art of the period is a group of bronze statuettes, some found at Uta near Cagliari and others near Teti, west of Fonni, in the centre of the island, of which many specimens are now preserved in the museum at Cagliari. It is thus clear that in the Bronze Age Sardinia was fairly thickly populated over by far the greater part of its extent; this may explain the lack of Greek colonies, except for Olbia the modern Terranova and Nea olis on the cia ' - > > P cios. west coast, which must from their names have been Greek, though we do not know when or by whom they were founded. Pausanias (x. 17. 5) attributes the foundation of Olbia to the Thespians and Athenians under Iolaus, while Solinus (i. 6i) states that he founded other cities also. In any case the Phoenician settlements are the earliest of which we have any accurate knowledge. The date of the conquest by Carthage may perhaps be fixed at about 500-480 B.C., following the chronology of Justin Martyr (xviii. 7), inasmuch as up till that period colonization by the Greeks seems to have been regarded as a possible enterprise. The cities which they founded —Cornus, Tharros, Sulci, Nora, Caralesare all on the coast of the island, and it is doubtful to what extent they penetrated into the interior. Even in the 1st century B.C. there were still traces of Phoenician influence (Cicero, Pro Scauro, 15, 42, 45). There are signs of trade with Etruria as early as the 7th century B.C. The Carthaginians made it into an important grain-producing centre; and the Romans set foot in the island more than once during the First Punic War. In 238 B.C. the Carthaginian mercenaries revolted, and the Romans took advantage of the fact to demand that the island should be given Roman period. up to them, which was done. The native tribes opposed the Romans, but were conquered after several campaigns; the island became a province under the government of .a praetor or proprietor, to whose jurisdiction Corsica was added soon afterwards. A rebellion in 215 B.C., fostered by the Carthaginians, was quelled by T. Manlius Torquatus (Livy xxiii. 40). After this the island began to furnish con- siderable supplies of corn; it was treated as a conquered country, not containing a single free city, and the inhabitants were obliged to pay a tithe in corn and a further money contribution. It was classed with Sicily and Africa as one of the main sources of the corn-supply of Rome. There were salt-works in Sardinia too as early as about 150 B.C., as is attested by an inscription assigned to this date in Latin, Greek and Punic, being a dedication by one Cleon salari(us) soc(iorum) s(ervus) (Corp. Inscr. Lat. x. 7856). .We only hear of two insurrections of the mountain tribes, in 181, when no less than 8o,000 Sardinian slaves 2 were brought to Rome by T. Sempronius Gracchus, and in 114 B.C., when M. Caecilius Metellus was proconsul and earned a triumph after two years' fighting: but even in the time of Strabo there was considerable brigandage. Inscriptions record the boundaries of the territories of various tribes with outlandish names otherwise unknown to us (Corp. Inscr. Lat. x. 7889. 7930). Some light is thrown on the condition and administration of the island in the 1st century B.c. by Cicero's speech (of which a part only is preserved) in defence of M. Aemilius Scaurus (q.v.), praetor in 53 B.C. Cicero, speaking no doubt to his brief, gives them a very bad character, adding " ignoscent alii viri boni ex Sardinia ; credo enim esse quosdam " (§ 43). In the division of provinces made by 2 The large number of slaves is said to have given rise to the phrase Sardi venales for anything cheap or worthless. 3 CTION • AA. -tILMTION TO FAST SIDL
End of Article: SARDINIA (Gr. 'IXs'o"uva, from a fancied resemblance to a footprint in its shape, Ital. Sardegna)
[back]
COUNCIL OF SARDICA
[next]
SARDIS

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.