It’s been 5 days since I started out on this path of learning and I am already struggling with staying motivated. I have tried to keep plowing through Henry D. Sedgewick’s “A Short History of Italy”, which although may be short in comparison to other works, is not so brief for someone who has a short reading attention span. I have made it through 67 pages, which is brings me to year 867 at the time of the great Pope Nicholas I. While much of what I have read has passed right over my head, there are a few particular things that have struck me as significant:
1. Italy has struggled with unification ever since the fall of the Roman Empire.
2. Up until recently, religion and government have been viewed as one for the citizens of Italy. Today, the Roman Catholic church is completely segregated from governmental affairs and most Italians do not practice this faith, although many still claim to be Catholic out of mere tradition.
3. Rome is Italy’s heartbeat.
4. I am jealous of The life of the ancient Romans. Here’s why:
-they lived in villas high upnin the hills with beautiful views of Rome.
-these villas had ponds and lakes and multiple rooms, each with a specific purpose
-their everyday activities consisted of things we would call mere hobbies today: tennis, gardening, reading, drinking wine, etc.
My only question is, did they ever work? This is something I think I would like to learn more about. Which brings me to the following adjustment of part I of the Italy Project.
I am going to take a slightly different approach to learning Italian history than I had originally set out to do. I had hoped to get a general understanding of the complete history of Italy, however after finding that certain subject areas are more interesting than others, I think I will use Sedgewick’s work simply as a guide and try to pick out a few interesting periods of time to delve further into.
I should mention that I do not mean to discredit the author Henry D. Sedgewick or his writing style. Compared to other history books that I have read (or at least tried to), his style is much easier to follow and he tries to move along the sequence of events wihtout digressing too far. Nevertheless, if anyone has any suggestions for good reads or films that are related to Italian history, please let me know! As someone who doesn’t know much about history, I am always looking for something new and interesting to learn from.