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747131.  Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:09 am Reply with quote

We're currently doing an overview of it for my French subject at university, and I found a few bits Quite Interesting.

Invasions: being situated right in the middle of the Mediterranean, Corsica has been invaded by Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Saracens (Sarrazins), Lombards, Aragons, Greeks, Genoese and more (including the Americans in WWII, who didn't so much invade it as use it as a base).

Independence: At the moment, Corsica is a région of France (albeit one with more perks), but it has always been fighting for independence (achieving it in 1755, but losing it in 1768/9 with the Treaty of Versailles - no, not that one). It was integrated into France in 1789 from the Genoese.

Bandits and vendettas: Corsica has a long, ritualised, mafiaesque tradition of "bandits of honour" (a banditu di onore), who commit murders "with honour", for motives of vengeance. They are usually known as "vendettas". According to François-Guillaume Robiquet in Recherches historiques et statistiques sur la Corse (1835) (and others later), while there were much more physical crimes, there were virtually no thefts, due to this concept of honour.

Literature: Prosper Merimée (a French, not Corsican, author) wrote a short story called Mateo Falcone, which is not at all the same as The Maltese Falcon. Asterix and Obelix also had a Corsican adventure. There are doubtless many more examples.

Napoleon: can you tell me his nationality? (All together now...)

747221.  Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:39 am Reply with quote


The effective governor of Corsica at the time of Napoleon's birth was a gentleman named Mathieu (or Matteo) Buttafuoco, and the only time that he ever came up in my education even the teacher thought it amusing to revise this name so as to be rude.

747236.  Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:02 pm Reply with quote

I wonder if he's an ancestor of Joey, the guy who had an affair with Amy Fisher?

750559.  Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:26 pm Reply with quote

In the 18th Century Corsica was offered to Britain but it was rejected. The Swedish self proclaimed King of Corsica was thrown into prison in London for debt and tried to mortgage "his kingdom"

I have always thought how history could have been different if Napoleon had been born a British subject.


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