1. THE NATURE OF DYNASTIC SUCCESSION IN THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE
The Byzantine Empire was the legal successor to the Roman Empire established by Augustus Caesar in 30BC. The word “Byzantine” was not used to describe it until over a century after its dissolution in 1557. Its inhabitants most usually simply referred to it as the Roman Empire. It is correctly referred to as the Holy Roman Empire as a means of distinguishing the era of the Christian emperors that had begun with Constantine rather than the pagan Roman Empire that had preceded it. However, the title Holy Roman Empire was also used by Charlemagne and his successors in the West.[i]
The succession to the Byzantine Empire was complex and unusually wide-ranging, with no succession law and the practices of succession essentially inherited from the Roman Empire. Emphasis was placed on the emperor being physically unimpeachable; any deformity to the limbs, or blindness, rendered an heir unsuitable. It was for that reason that blinding of potential challengers for the throne is seen so often in the Imperial history. After Constantine, it was also required of emperors that they should profess the Christian faith.
Males and females were equally eligible to succeed to the throne, although in practice most emperors were male[ii]. Precedence amongst the children of the emperor was not according to age or absolute primogeniture. Rather, the emperor would exercise a free choice among any of his children, with the heir often reigning as co-emperor during his father’s lifetime to ensure an orderly succession. Some preference was given to children born after their father’s accession (porphyrogenitus, that is to say, born in the purple chamber of the Bucoleon Palace while their father was a reigning emperor) but this was not consistently followed. Illegitimate children could and did succeed to the throne. The emperor could also adopt as an heir either someone from his wider family or someone who was not a blood relation at all[iii].
Co-emperors (and at times there were as many as four at once) could also include rivals, who often found themselves blinded or killed once their power had been compromised, and infant emperors, who were often killed or deposed by their older colleagues.
In some cases, emperors were also acclaimed by the army, having been successful generals. However, when this happened to more than one general at once, it usually resulted in civil war. In other cases, plots and intrigues resulted in elaborate distortions of the planned succession, with usurpation and the deposition of heirs in order to assure a passage to the throne.
Some have argued that primogeniture was customary as a means of succession during periods when the Empire was peaceful and stable. Certainly, where the reigning emperor had a son, it was expected that the son would succeed him, and the succession of another relative generally occurred when the emperor had no son. However, there are exceptions to this. It can certainly be seen that primogeniture had largely been adopted by the medieval era, but it was still not codified as law.
In their work on the Amorian dynasty, Scotto di Tella and Colleoni cite the jurist Giuseppe Pensavallo de Cristofaro and the Latin Emperor Baldwin II on the subject of Byzantine succession laws, “Indeed, as the Comm. Avv. Giuseppe Antonio PENSAVALLE DE CRISTOFARO, Patron of the Supreme Court in his work “Historical-Heraldic-Genealogical Memory on the Tomassini del Piceno family (formerly Tomasi-Leopardi) and its sovereign rights”, Bari, Publishing Company Typographical, 1952:
“The Sovereigns of the East never knew the Salic Law and the rights of succession were transmitted both in the male, firstborn, legitimate line, both in the natural and adoptive line or by the female line ……… Justin I, Head of the Justinian dynasty, ruled for nine years from 518 to 527. Married in Vigilantia, he adopted a nephew, Justinian, who succeeded him at his death, reigning until 565 and making himself famous for his legislation ”.
The passage of the Amoriense Titles (i.e. of the Byzantine Imperial House of Amorio) also to the adopted heirs is even expressly mentioned within the Diploma of Baldwin II, Emperor of Constantinople and Ruler of Romania, dated Bari, 1259, 2 September, 23rd Year of the Empire, where the following is read in Latin:
“- omissis – Permettimus praeterea, et Nostro Caesareo consensu facultatem damus, de praesentibus consuetudinibus derogantes, donatam nobilitatem et dignitatem Comitis Baronisque a te tuisque successoribus largitas, modo tuae, tuorumque prudentiae placuerit, singulari Magisterij gratia transmitti posse quoque ad ultrogenitus et adoptatos, etiamsi minores, vivente quoque Equite dignitate praedito, et ad mulieres, si quae dignissimae fuerint”.
that is “- omitted – We allow, in addition to this, and with Our Imperial Assent we give the faculty, in derogation of the present customs, that the grants of Nobility and the Dignities of Count and Baron bestowed by you and your successors, as it shall be according to your prudence and of your (successors), and by special thanks of the Magisterium the Dignity of Knight may also be transmitted to second-born and adopted children, even if minor, while alive, as well as to women, if there are absolutely worthy ones.”[iv]
In addition, Prof. Dr. Renato de Francesco, Counselor to the Court of Appeal, has written, “The Title of Sovereign Prince (Sovereign title, therefore native that was borne as Right of Blood), in this case Prince Porphyrogenitus and Prince of the Blood (Princeps Natus i.e. Regis sanguine ortus est), as a definition of personal status, meaning legitimate male descent from a Sovereign Family is also due in the case of Adoption, especially in the Byzantine context, in fact, the sovereign quality “does not only belong to the physical person of said Sovereign, but to all His Descendants. To better clarify, we will say that the “generic and potential sovereign quality” belongs to an entire dynasty and also to the individual branches of it (“heirs and successors” indefinitely, that is male and female, in legitimate or natural or adoptive or by female devolution, in the Eastern Dynasties) as well as to individual members of it, but the “specific sovereignty”, that is, the powers relating to sovereignty itself are exercised by the Head of Name and Arms of the House or individual family branches, who has first obtained or recognized this quality or first claimed (in all Dynasties the Right of Usurpation was always legalized and legal, as indeed has always happened and always will happen.”[v]
Clearly, the Byzantine Empire no longer exists since 1453, and so any determination of a putative heir to the empire among the descendants of its multiple dynasties would be a highly vexed if not impossible question. However, each emperor represented, and in some cases founded, an imperial dynasty. All the descendants of any emperor, including adoptive descendants, would, by European royal standards, be of imperial standing and entitled to the style prince or princess[vi]. Moreover, all of them, whether male or female, and whether descended through the male or female legitimate, illegitimate or adoptive line, and regardless of seniority, would be potential claimants to the throne, and the heads of the distinct and particular branches of those families (designated usually as Royal or Imperial Houses) would be those who would exercise the fons honorum. The reality of the position is that there are today quite a number of people throughout Europe and elsewhere in the world who are by right of descent members of one or more Byzantine Imperial Houses and fully entitled to the privileges of this status. As to who is the head of a particular dynasty, this is in practice a matter of agreement among its members rather than of clear-cut rules, just as it was in the Byzantine era.
2. BYZANTINE IMPERIAL CLAIMS IN THE LIGHT OF ITALIAN LAW
Italy became a republic in 1946. Article 14 of the Republican Constitution provides that titles of nobility are not recognized. However, the Constitution did not abolish or suppress titles of nobility, nor did it prevent their use socially. In 1948 the Consulta Araldica, the legal body which advised government on matters of nobility and heraldry, was abolished.[vii]
As was stated by Cesare Balbo, “Nobility is indestructible, because it is nothing but notability and it cannot be prevented from arising, lasting and being handed down. Those belonging to this Nobility, which can be called intrinsic, that is, which has real principles in itself and it depends on itself, is always, at all times and under any government, alive and operating, as opposed to that which is said to be extrinsic, that is, that it comes from the favour of the Prince or from other fortunes.”[viii]
Royal Decrees Nrs. 1489 of 16 August 1926 and 1091 of 16 June 1927 regulated the descent of noble titles in the Kingdom of Italy, but they applied only to those titles created by the Kingdom or by the states which had immediately preceded it, and not to succession to Byzantine titles. These Decrees were also abolished in 1948.
Law 178 of March 3 1951 as originally enacted sought to proscribe Italian citizens from using within Italian territory any foreign chivalric honours not approved by the Republic. However, enforcement of the law is the business of the Italian courts, and they have on several occasions determined that the conferral and use of seemingly “proscribed” orders is in fact legal. Moreover, subsequent amendments to the 1951 law as well as several court judgements have served further to clarify its intent and applicability.
A highly relevant decision is that of the Court of Appeal of Pistoia of 5 June 1964, which considered whether the bestowal of the Military Order of the Collar of St Agatha of Paterno was in breach of this law. This Order, which is bestowed by the Royal House of Aragon (in exile) had been the subject of proscription by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it might be thought by an uninformed observer that it would be precisely the sort of Order that would fall foul of the 1951 law. However, the decision of the Court of Appeal of Pistoia of 5 June 1964 served to clarify the application of the 1951 law, as well as concluding that the bestowal and acceptance of this Order was, in fact, fully legal.
The court’s decision reads, “Truly it should be noted that according to the terms of Articles 7 and 8 of the said Law, while the conferring of honours decorations and chivalric distinctions is forbidden to organisations, associations and private individuals and the practice is to be punished, be it in whatever form or manner in which it is carried out, the acceptance of honours is sometimes permitted to Italian citizens when conferred by non-national Orders or by foreign states and this practice is only forbidden in so far as it lacks the authorisation of the President of the Republic as proposed to him by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Without the application of such an interpretation, the terms in question should remain without significance because the mention of non-national orders, in connection with the possibility that the practice of the relative concessions may be authorised, necessarily signifies that the same concessions may exist and be accepted. Such an interpretation was confirmed by Parliament, with the result that the phrase “non-national orders” has been added to the original text of Article 7 and that the expression “cannot be accepted” has there been substituted with the other phrase “cannot be used in the territory of the Republic”. In substance, with the terms in question the legislator has wished to forbid that various subjects be able to take the initiative to make themselves the distributors of honours and decorations without an effective pre-existent title or faculty; and moreover that such concessions should remain in the private ambit of the distinguished subject, unless he has permission to use it in public, without which these same concessions should remain matters inconsistent with the internal right of the State, which forbids such external manifestation in order justly to safeguard the merits reserved and represented by the honours recognised by the State.”[ix]
The significance of the phrase “an effective pre-existent title or faculty” is important. Throughout the twentieth-century, doubtless to protect themselves against such laws as well as to establish in the eyes of the public, several Byzantine dynasts (most of whom were Italian citizens) have sought judgements from the Italian courts that confirm that they are officially considered genuine possessors of the fons honorum and can therefore legally bestow chivalric Orders and titles of nobility without the risk that these may be considered illegal or fraudulent. These judgements, made by the civil courts, have applicability not only in Italy, but may be recognized elsewhere in the European Union.
It should not be thought that this is merely a phenomenon of republican Italy. In fact, nobiliary decisions of this nature are evident throughout the Kingdom of Italy and particularly in the first half of the twentieth-century, since the Kingdom of Italy also had strict laws governing the bestowal and use of titles of nobility and imposed penalties where these were judged to be The post-republican legal environment created a new cause for the use of the same legal procedures, again with the aim of establishing legitimacy in the eyes of Italian law.
Scotto di Tella and Colleoni trace the development of this jurisprudence as follows: “We recall that since 1904 the Court of Cassation of Rome (14 June 1904) stated that “The judiciary is always competent to pronounce on Titles [of nobility]”.
We recall the [Court of] Cassation of Rome that on February 28, 1921 stated that “the controversy about the recognition and transmission of Nobility Titles is the exclusive competence of the Ordinary Courts even if the Heraldic Council has already pronounced on it in a contrary way”.
We also recall the Court of Appeal of Palermo of 18 October 1930 which declared that
“The declaration of [someone] possessing a Title or Noble Distinctions is the responsibility of the Judicial Authority, concerning a real Subjective Right “.[x]
A further understanding of the position is provided by Scotto di Tella and Colleoni, “Judgments such as that issued by the Civil and Criminal Court of Bari, Section II, Sentence of 10 November 1959 Reg. Gen. nr. 2452/58, state formally and irrevocably that Italian citizens, pursuant to art. 7 of Law no. 178, can indeed accept the Honours and Distinctions conferred by an already Reigning House that is equipped with a genuine Fons Honorum, and that they can make use of them in private life without restriction, excepting that they must request the prescribed authorization from the Head of the Italian State for Official and Military use.
…Non-National Orders are Orders that are part of the Heraldic Patrimony of a Nation or in any case of a different entity than the Nation in which they operate. They are mainly Collation Orders of Families descending from former Sovereigns.
An honour granted by a dynastic-family order is something very different from those that the law of March 3, 1951 nr. 178 qualifies as being granted “by Bodies, Associations or Individuals”. The Italian Legal Doctrine has pointed out several times that neither the granting nor the use of independent Merit and /or Knightly Decorations falls under any Criminal Sanction “so long as it is limited to social relations…and always accompanied by the specification of the type and quality of the Order of Chivalry” (Sentenza della Suprema Corte di Cassazione – Sezione III del 23 aprile 1959).[xi]
Let us recall again that under the Republican Constitution of 1948, titles of nobility are “not recognized”. But what does that mean in practice? Titles of nobility exist, and their existence cannot be ignored. In practice, this has become a semantic distinction whereby the Italian courts have in fact pronounced many times since 1948 on facts that amount to the explicit recognition of titles of nobility, but have done so indirectly, in the course of pronouncements on other areas of law.
It will be seen that all of the Byzantine dynasts who obtained Italian court judgements were descendants in the female line. None would have qualified had male primogeniture been imposed[xii]. Nor did the Italian courts, in contrast to the British practice in conferring Royal Licenses for the use of foreign titles that has been discussed earlier, seek to interfere in the existing dynastic successions by imposing primogeniture where it did not belong.
It is missing the point to state that the Italian Republic was not the successor of Byzantium and therefore was not in a position to decide claims to the Byzantine throne. That was not what was going on at all. Rather, the courts were deciding whether a given claimant in exercising the fons honorum in Italy was doing so by legitimate right according to the definition and norms of Italian law.
It is also worth addressing the point sometimes made by detractors that the ancestors of the claimants themselves did not assert their rights to their heritage, did not use the titles to which they were entitled, or otherwise did not keep alive the “constant protest” against their dethronement that some hold is an essential factor to maintain the fons honorum in non-regnant sovereignty. Firstly, the science of genealogy is very different from the perspective of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries than previously. The ability to access research sources easily, and latterly online, means that many have discovered their royal descent for the first time after tracing their ancestors. It is unreasonable to castigate individuals for not claiming rights of which they were wholly unaware through no fault of their own. Moreover, the research into the descent from antiquity by Christian Settipani published from the 1990s onwards has made it possible for us to understand historical links to the distant past that were previously unknown or poorly understood[xiii].
The Byzantine issue is particularly prone to such exigencies since the Byzantine Empire ceased to exist as long ago as 1453 and since the descendants of the Byzantine Imperial Houses are so numerous and so widespread, with every single member potentially possessing equal rights. In today’s world, it is common in Western democracies for an individual to use a genuine foreign title of nobility or to make an evidenced claim as the pretender to an extinct throne without either breaking the law or placing themselves at personal risk. In the medieval and post-medieval world, these matters were treated very differently, and indeed until the twentieth-century few nobiliary systems save the Italian and the Maltese recognized any Byzantine nobles[xiv].
At times it is questioned that one of the main mechanisms by which judgement on nobiliary and chivalric matters is rendered in the Italian legal system is in arbitration. Certainly this is not exhaustive as a means of legal solution, and we shall see that in some cases it is judgements of the criminal courts that in fact predominate. However, arbitration is a main means by which civil matters like this can be resolved. As stated earlier, the key element for the person asserting the right to the fons honorum is that they can be assured that what they are bestowing is regarded as both genuine and legal under Italian law. The judgement of an arbitral court is sufficient in Italian law to satisfy this requirement and to preclude any subsequent allegations of fraud or breach of the 1951 law in respect of these matters. In some cases, the proceedings can appear artificial, that is to say, it is in doubt as to whether the plaintiff and defendant are genuinely antagonistic. They may be working in concord or even friends. But what they are doing is not illegitimate as a result. It is akin to seeking a legal ruling on a given matter; or as we would say in English law, a test case designed to establish facts or principles in law. The resulting court judgement, if favourable, acts in order to instil confidence in both the donor and the donee. Moreover, as was shown earlier in MacCarthy vs. Horak, in the event that any evidence presented to the court is subsequently found to be false, the court has a process whereby its decision can be reconsidered and potentially annulled as a result. This provides confidence in the processes of justice.
It is certainly not the case that these judgements are rendered in ignorance. Even a casual perusal of the text of the judgements themselves and of the writings surrounding them (many of which are quoted in the present work) will show that they are rendered with expertise and particular knowledge of their subjects, and that they have considered the detailed evidence presented. No court is infallible. But there is equally no reason to denigrate the expertise present in the Italian courts (or any others) in delivering judgement on nobiliary issues on the basis of simple disagreement with the courts’ findings[xv].
Among a number of relevant court decisions concerning Byzantine dynasts and their exercise of the fons honorum, the following in particular are cited by Scotto di Tella and Colleoni.
Firstly, we will cite the cases in respect of the Byzantine claims to the Constantinian Order as awarded by the late Marziano II Lavarello, claimant by virtue of his Byzantine descent in the female line, as well as to his own titles and the titles of nobility he conferred on others[xvi]:
“Sentence of the Supreme Court of Cassation of 11 July 1871. Having to judge the position of the millennial Constantinian Order after the Unification of Italy, confirming the principles held by the IV Section of Court of Appeal of Naples of 16 March 1870 and in reproach of those adopted by the III Section of 5 August 1870 respectively in the Abenante de Capoa Causes, I affirm the impossibility of abolishing the Order, both in consequence of the changes of the Dynasty and of the new Political Order; invoking, as proof, the Albertine Statute 114 “soul and essence of the Italian Monarchy”, which gives contrary interpretations; this would be, the Distinguished Judging Panel believes, directly violated.
Judgment of the Court of Appeal of Naples I Section, February 5, 1872. It established the same principles, mentioning the ancient origin of the Constantinian Order and its various branches then existing.
Judgment of the Court of Naples of 22 October 1909. It stated that the Constantinian Order should enjoy the same privileges “in each of its dynastic branches”.
Judgment of the Civil and Criminal Court of Avezzano (chaired by the lawyer A. Campanile, with the other judges Avvocati Montuori and La Scala), of 3 December 1914. The learned judges definitively ruled that the Grand Magisterium of the Constantinian Order legitimately belongs to the Ducal-Lascaris dynasties, Comnenus, Angelos, Emperors of Constantinople, direct descendants of Constantine, as well as the Nemantic Kaponik Sovereigns of Serbia.
Sentence of the Supreme Court of Cassation, of 25 April 1923. It judged that all the Constantinian Orders existing in the Italian States at the time of National Unification continued their existence by virtue of article 78 of the Statute of the Kingdom.
Judgment of the Royal Magistrate’s Court of Casoria of 5 June 1945. It unquestionably ruled the legitimate autonomy of the Constantinian Nemagnic Order of Santo Stefano, as a descendant of the Priory of Orrea and Misia and retracing in detail the legitimate history and the pretensions of S.A.I. and R. Prince Nicholas of Serbia (Nicola Giuseppe IV Tommaso Kapone-Urosio Cerneo Balscia Nemanja Duke Angelo Flavio Comnenus Palaeologus of Ancient Serbia),
Judgment of the Royal Magistrate’s Court of Bari (Magistrate Dr. Francesco Fusilli), n. 4419, R.G. of 20 August 1945. This affirmed, with regard to the Nemagnic Constantinian Order, the legitimacy of belonging to the Imperial Family of the Nemagnitch ’Kaponik and that the conferral of the honours of this Order “is not only de jure but perfectly legal, as it takes place within the orbit of the Rights protected by the Law itself “
Judgment of the Civil Court of Catania in case no. 1996 of the General Roll of the Year 1946, col. n. 76695, of 18 July 1947, also promoted against the Heraldic Office at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Rome – Heraldic Council115 – in by S.E. the Head of Government, represented and defended by Attorney General of the State on 18 July 1947, being the President Dr. Paolo Cappellani and Giudici S. Piazza and G. Amoroso, P.M.R., Dr. Scalia. This acknowledged the contents of the Diploma of 14 September 1946 issued by S.A.I. and R. Marziano II Lavarello Obrénovitsch (etc. etc. etc.) confirmed in favor of Don Vito Zappalà of Dorilea (House also mentioned as Zappalà-Lascaris in the “Golden Book of Nobility of the Imperial Casa Amoriense – I – 1956 “, Heraldic Council of S.A.I. the Prince of Amoroso d’Aragona, private edition of 200 copies, page 295 to page 298), implicitly recognizing that this document derives from Don Vito Zappalà the right to the title of Duke (as he had from the same State Attorney – See Cont. 16233-30 B, signed by Avv. Nunzio Cucinotta).
Subordinated Noble Law in accordance with articles 2 and 3 of the Reg. of 7 June 1943 n. 652, upon examination of the title’s original concession “which must come from the Head of a foreign power in the exercise of his sovereign prerogatives “(in the Rome Judgment of 1948 and in the Perugia Judgment of 1950 the judges through the process of justice also asserted the question of the right to Marziano II of the treatment, of the quality and title of Majesty, as Keeper of the Imperial Crown and Head of His Nobility).
Judgment of the Civil Court of Naples of 28 May 1947. With Judgment of 28 May 1947 of the Court Civil of Naples IV section Reg. Uff. Judicial documents 6 June 1947 on appeal by Raffaele Tibaldi tending to obtain the annotation to his birth certificate of the Titles of Count Palatine, Grand Cross of Justice and Balì of Castelforte and Ausonia conferred by Marziano II on 23 September 1946 and 24 February 1947 proves the full recognition of the Court on the indicated titles and honours and motivating as per legitimacy of the conferment derives from the awardee the legitimacy of the use of these Honors, orders the Officer of the Marital status of Ausonia to make the required annotation.
First Degree Civil Judgment dated 18 November 2005 No. 727/05 of the Register of Civil Judgments of Ordinary Court of Ragusa, N. 526 Cron. C. – N. 1181 Rep., Which ratifies the Sentence pronounced on 4/05/2005 by the International Arbitral Tribunal, permanent body of the European Court of Justice Arbitration of Ragusa in favor of Poma Lorenzo (recognition of Titoli di Marziano II issued in 1950 to his Father
Judgment of the Attorney General at the European Court of Arbitration Justice of Ragusa, Via Roma n. 108, Ragusa. The International Civil Court, a permanent body of the European Court of Arbitral Justice of Ragusa, with a Sentence having the effects of a Sentence pronounced by the Judicial Authority, pursuant to article 824 bis of the Code of Civil Procedure, issued in Ragusa on 30 September 2008, n. 3/2008 R.G., irrevocable on November 16, 2009, registered under no. 683/2008 of the V.G. of the Ordinary Court of Ragusa, made executive in the territory of the Republic with the Presidential Decree of the said Ordinary Court of 6 November 2008, decided that to Dr. Leonardo Salomone, an Italian citizen, born in Charleroi (Belgium) on 9 August 1959, as the legitimate successor of his parent, Calogero Salomone, who died in Montesilvano (PE) on 30 June 1967, legitimately holds the Noble Title of Prince of the Holy Roman Eastern Empire of the Crown of Marziano II Lavarello Lascari Palaiologos Basileo of Constantinople-Serbia, with the treatment of the Most Serene Highness, transmissible in line of legitimate birthright for males and females within the sixth degree of kinship, together with the use of the coat of arms emblazoned below: “Blue bordered with gold with a hundred flaming rings with a lion-faced sun on top. Shield stamped with a princely crown, placed on the chest of the double-headed imperial eagle in black with flight unfolded, tongued and armed in red, with the imperial crown, all over a dark blue cloak, white interior, with fringes and golden ribbons, all crowned with the imperial, with the motto underneath: Scientia, Sapientia et Devotio ”
Judgment of the Court of Rome, VII Section, n. 23828/48, Reg. Gen. N. 5143 bis of 10 September 1948; Judgment of the Court of Vico del Gargano, n. 114/49, n. 217 R.G. 1949. With Judgment No. 114/49 R.G. 1949 of the Magistrate’s Court of Vico del Gargano examined a noble status that starts from the concession of a Title of Prince of Bellaria issued by the grandfather of Marziano II, Francesco I, on June 27, 1916. This judgment recognizes Prince Don Marziano II Lascaris Comneno Flavio Angelo Lavarello as His Imperial Highness Ventimiglia di Turgoville with the right of the titles of “Basileus” titular emperor of Constantinople; Head of the House Lascaris Comneno; Despot of Nicaea and Bitinja; Porphyrogenitus heir of the Nemanja Palaeologus; Pretender to the Imperial Throne of Byzantium and heir to the dynasty of the Holy Empire of the East or of the Most August Princes Lascaris Comnenus, who is the successor of the Emperor Constantine the Great, as well as the ability to perform Acts of Sovereignty as Porphyrogenitus and continuer of an August Breed that was already Sovereign, and moreover ousted without “debellatio” which, in addition to conferring Knightly Degrees of the Order of its patronage, also grants noble titles of its own jurisdiction. We declare the Constantinian Order to be inalienable heritage of the Crown. This Judgment concludes that Messeni Emanuele “Has the right to publicly and freely use the title of Prince of Bellaria”.
Judgment of the Civil Court of Perugia, Section I, n. 256 of the R.G. of 27 March 1950; the question was definitively resolved on February 3, 1964 by the Supreme Court of Cassation, Sections Riunite R.G. 7642/63, with Judgment 789/64, Reg. Gen. 4567/63. With Sentence No. 256 R.G. 1950 of March 27, 1950 of the Court of Perugia in the civil seat, where the recognition of the title of Count granted on May 31, 1946 is observed at N.H. Ulysses del Commoda, the dynastic entitlements of Marziano II already exposed in the previous judgments and recognizes by decree both the investiture of the title, transmissible in perpetuity, and possession of the coat of arms subsequently registered in the Eugubino coat of arms of the Municipality of Gubbio and others, for example he was cited as legitimate Fons Honorum within the Judgment of the Magistrate’s Court of Rome Section VII. – -. 23.828 / 48 R.G. 5.143 bis of 10 September 1948 (criminal case against Prince Mario Cilento, formerly Salvatore, Prince Cesare Cilento di Mario, Duke Lucio Gargiulo di Torrebianca, Count Gaetano Restani di Villagrazia formerly Giuseppe, deposited in the Chancellery on 25 September 1948 and became final on 10 October 1948). The Judgment of the VII section n ° 23828/48 R.G. 5143- bis District Court of Rome 10 September 1948 speaks of the Constantinian Order established by Constantine in 312 and is recognized as His Imperial Highness Prince Don Marziano II Lascaris Comneno Flavio Angelo Lavarello Ventimiglia di Turgoville the power of all the acts of sovereignty that belong to the Lascaris Crown as undisputed and indubitable Sovereignty even if dispossessed, but which in effect retains the prerogatives of the Ruling House.
The court decides that the treatment of Majesty is due, and that among its faculties there is that of granting noble and chivalrous titles.
Another basic sentence on the subject of surnames and variations, acknowledgments of Byzantine Imperial Titles and Serbian Royals is provided by the “Actio Familiae Lavarello Obrenovitch”, Judgment of the Supreme Court of Cassation, Joint Sections R.G. 7642/63, Judgment no. 789/64, General Register n. 4567/63, Hearing Publication of 3 February 1964, Filed in the Chancellery on 23 February 1964, Dr. AURIEMMA Giovanni, President (19 pages, 22 cm, Giolitti Typography, 1965, Rome, available at the Modern and Contemporary History Library in Rome). In this Sentence, the Civil Status Officer of the Municipality was authorized by Rome to make the following changes: “Marziano II LAVARELLO LASCARI PALEOLOGO Basileo di Constantinople-Serbia”.
The legitimacy of the Fons honorum of Marziano II and of his Titles was also recognized by the Sentence of First Degree pronounced by the Arbitration Court of Noble Justice in Padua on 27/03/2009 in the dispute between the Institute of Noble Law in the person of the Rector Marquis Renato Maria Spreti and S.A.S. the Prince Dr. Petros Iossif.[xvii]
This, then, is a legislative trail involving multiple courts of different levels, including superior courts, determining these issues over the space of more than one hundred years, and in the judgements finding unambiguously that the head of the Imperial Byzantine House in question, latterly the late Marziano II Lavarello, was a legitimate fons honorum and a legitimate Byzantine dynast. While it is difficult to escape the impression that the late Marziano II was rarely out of the courtroom, his work has left us with lessons and examples in law that should be noted carefully. The judgements of the Italian courts in his favour are important landmarks in the recognition of the Byzantine claims today. Much of the hostile press coverage about Marziano II during his lifetime mocked him not so much for his titles but for his flamboyant homosexuality. Attitudes on this last matter have changed, and with them should come a similar respect for the legal heritage that Marziano II has bequeathed us.
The Royal House Polanie-Patrikios was recognized early on by Marziano II:
Next, we look to the Imperial House of Amoroso d’Aragona, which descends from Byzantine Emperor Michael II Balbo d’Amorio (820-29) and additionally from the same Royal House of Aragon as the Paterno Castello Royal House previously mentioned. The Imperial House was recognized by Bull of Baldwin II, Latin Emperor, of 2 September 1259[xviii], and then by Papal Bulls of Pius II (“Veram semper et solidam” of 19 January 1459 and “Magnae devotionis tuae” of 16 March 1464)[xix] and by a Diploma of King Frederick of Aragon of 11 June 1500[xx], and a further Diploma of Francis II, King of the Two Sicilies of 22 September 1860[xxi].
All of these documents confirm the sovereign rights of the House and recognize its Orders of Chivalry. As Scotto di Tella and Colleoni confirm, they have been submitted to the Italian Courts and been confirmed as authentic by them[xxii].
Regarding the judgements of the Italian courts, Scotto di Tella and Colleoni say, “If it is true that only one Judgment legally certifying the lawfulness of the Fons Honorum Amoriense should be enough, for those who believe that a single swallow does not make a spring…we found a large number of Sentences, no less than 47…these Sentences crystallize a legal truth, not questionable and valid “erga omnes”, that cannot be ignored”[xxiii]
The following judgements are cited: Civil and Criminal Court of Avezzano, N. 9 Reg. Gen. Criminal Sentence n. 206 of 18 June 1914 against the Amoroso Princes Cesario Spiridione, Pietro and Angelo. The Criminal Court composed of Messrs. Campanile Cav. Antonio, President, Avv. Montuori Ernesto, Judge, Avv. Placidi Giovan Battista, Judge. [the court] acquits the accused with full formula for usurpation of the quality of Imperial Princes, the titles of Despot of Amorio with Galatia, Prince of Castel Alberico, Marquesses of Royal Throne of Poland, etc., of alteration of Imperial, Royal and Papal Diplomas from the 13th century onwards, notarial deeds and numerous diplomas, as well as Prince Luigi Cesario Spiridione Amoroso from the usurpation of the title of Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas and of that of Santa Maria di Bethlehem, after having submitted all Bulls, instruments, and documents to a rigorous judicial assessment, reconstructed the Genealogy of the Casa Amoroso, and legally assessed the legitimacy of the titles boasted by the accused, recognizing the first as authentic and the second as legitimate, with ample examination and rigorous motivation. Based on this Sentence of the Court of Avezzano of 18 June 1914, in case against the AMOROSO Prince Cesario Spiridione and others, contained in the book of the lawyer Luigi Forzati, published in Bari by the Typography G. Pansini & Figli Saverio, Year 1915, we read about of the Title of Marquis of the Royal Throne of Poland on pages 35 and 36 as follows: “The College notes and with the Diploma of King Stanislaus I of Poland, sent in the form of Patent Letters to Danzig (Gedani) on December 16, 1733 (fol.88), and recognized as authentic, Carmine Mattia AMOROSO, fourth ancestor paternal of Cesario AMOROSO, was awarded the aforementioned Title for himself and his Legitimate and Natural Descendants of both sexes, in perpetuity, through the continued masculine line. By virtue of this broad Diploma of the King of Poland, AMOROSO Cesario, descendant of di Carmine Mattia AMOROSO, as well as all his descendants of both sexes for the continued masculine straight line, has the right to carry the title of “Marquis of Real Soglio of Poland”[xxiv].
Court of Naples, 14th Section C, Sentence n. 10070, N. 13155 Reg. Gen. 1927 of 7 August 1929 against Prince Pietro Amoroso, Deputy Praetor of Naples, Sec. 14 ^ C Mr. Avv. Cav. Paolo Capobianco. This Sentence fully acquits the accused from the crime of usurpation of the well-known titles and degrees of military nature, of dignity, of offices, of honours, Serenissima, of Excellency, of Grand Master and Vicar of the Orders of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas and of St. Mary of Bethlehem, judging in full to pronounce the regularity, truth and legitimacy of the indicted titles and recognizing the right to the accused to the use of all the titles himself.
Court of Naples, 10 June 1935, XIII E.F., Magistrate Cav. Arnaldo Mastrostefano, Judgment in favor of Chiariello Pasquale Manlio di Gennaro (for having used the title of Knight of the Order of St. Mary of Bethlehem) – on anonymous complaint of 9 January 1935 directed to the Prosecutor of the King of the Court of Naples. Process assigned for the instruction of the Magistrate of the 14th Section of the Unified Court of Naples, with the n. 3901/35, District Court of Ischia of 11 April 1936, XIV E.F.,
Court of Naples X ^ Section, 28 December 1938 (Sentence nr. 15420; nr. 229986 / R.G. / 1938; acquittal for Alfonso Camagna, awarded the title of Commander of Grace of the Order of St. Mary of Bethlehem and recognition of the Order itself, founded by Pope Pius II276, privileged and confirmed by Sovereigns, as Dynastic of the Amoroso d’Aragona: “- omitted – he lived in this way over the centuries and he lived in the Kingdom of Naples in 1860, as he still lives in the same condition of autonomy and of independence”)
Court of Rome, 23 October 1939 against Count Prof. Temistocle Bertucci – later known Heraldist of the Tribunal of Rome – and others, again about the dynastic Bethlehemite Order. This Judgment acquits the accused of the crime of fraud, for having misled Count Elia G.G. about existence of the Order of Saint Mary of Bethlehem not recognized and not recognizable as to his reconstitution, ascertaining and judging that the Order is legitimate and existing from the day of its foundation, that is from 19 January 1459, and the conferment of chivalric titles by the same. This Sentence was confirmed on June 15-July 25, 1940 by the following of the Court of Appeal: Court of Appeal of Rome, Section II, June 15, 1940, Sentence 1094/1940,
Magistrate’s Court of Naples, 11 July 1941 against Antonio Padula, about two Dynastic Orders of the Amoroso d’Aragona, the aforementioned Bethlehemite and the Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas, with recognition of the legitimate origin and existence of the Orders of Chivalry, the quality of Grand Master to Prince Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona and the legitimacy of the titles conferred and used by the recipient),
Magistrate’s Court of Naples, February 2, 1942 against Filippo Nappi, regarding the title of Commendatore di Grazia of the Order of St. Mary of Bethlehem etc.); this sentence absolves the accused of the crime with full formula to have illegally used the title of Commander of Grace of the Order of Saint Mary of Bethlehem, not recognized by the State or by the Holy See, and is definitively considered to have verified the authenticity of the two Pontifical Bulls of Pius II, establishing the Order and the inheritance of Magisterium, the legitimacy based on the Laws and the Statute of the Kingdom of existence and activity of the Order, and also the legality, finally, of the conferral and assumption of chivalric titles of the Order.
Court of Bari, 26 (in many other texts reported on 20) June 1945, Sentence No. 786 Year 1945, N. 3383 R.G. – Year 1945, Magistrate Doctor Francesco Fusilli, against Demetrio Dr. Demetrio and the late Basilio and Cossaro Matilde, about the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas. Completely acquits the accused, from the accusation of having arrogated the titles of Count and Grand Cross of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas, establishing in an unequivocal way the right to confer and receive knightly and noble titles of the Military and Hospitaller Order of San Giovanni d’Acri and San Tommaso, by virtue of the sovereign and pontifical awards, as well as articles 78 and 79 of the Statute.
Civil and Criminal Court of Bari, 8 September 1945, President Cav. Dr. Stefano Parmegiani, Dr. Antonio De Carlo, Judge, Dr. Antonio Capriulo, Judge, Sentence n. 1019. The sentence was corrected for the registry documents and consequently the imperial descent resulted and the Native Title of “Prince” to the members of the AMOROSO d’ARAGONA family.
Judgment No. 1006 of the Royal Magistrate’s Court of Bari of 20/08/1945 recognizing the title of Count Palatine as valid that was conferred to Gaetano Capozza formerly Antonio on 2 September 1944 by Prince Nicola Nemagna-Palaeologus as well as the Title of Count of Aleppo granted to Gaetano Capozza himself on 25 March 1945 by H.S.H. the Prince Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona.
Sentence N. 1006 of the Royal Magistrate’s Court of Bari of 08/20/1945 recognizing the Title Conte di Lepanto as valid and legitimate, issued to Antonio Severo-Vernice by S.A.I. the Prince Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona.
Court of Bari, 20 August 1945 against Lucatello Guido and other defendants (Ventola, Severo-Vernice, Capozza, Palmieri, Lipartiti and Pertusi), about Knightly and Noble titles of the two Equestrian Orders and Nobility mentioned above etc. Completely acquits the accused of the alleged crimes of arrogation of Knightly and Noble Titles of the Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas which titles were refused registration in the Registers of the Heraldic Council, and with chivalric titles of the Order of Santa Maria of Bethlehem, ascertaining the right of the said Orders to confer titles, reiterating that registration with the Heraldic Council concerns only the titles conferred by the Sovereign or a foreign power and not by an Equestrian Order that has the right to confer them, and concluding that: “arrogating oneself means undue attribution and illegitimacy of a title, dignity, decoration, to which the agent knows he has no right; while clearly the results of the trial have highlighted that this attribution is not only by rights but perfectly lawful, as it takes place within the orbit of the Rights protected by the Law itself “.
Court of Bari, 1 March 1946 against Carlo Bonetti, about the Bethlehemite Order for the abuse of the Title of Pro Tempore Trustee of the Order of St. Military and Hospitaller of St. Mary of Bethlehem upon complaint of the legitimate Grand Master of the S.A.I.R. Principe Imp. and R. Prof. Dott. Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona. The correctness of what Don Pietro affirmed was recognized and Bonetti was held to have usurped the title of Trustee for the purpose of fraud, having never received such office.
Court of Naples, 30 September 1946 against Prince Pietro Amoroso, Alfredo Fella, Giuseppe Rogliano, Umberto Romano about the two Dynastic Orders mentioned above, etc .. This Sentence acquits the first by the accusation of having arrogated to himself the title of Prince and Grand Master of the Orders of San John of Acre and St. Thomas, as well as St. Mary of Bethlehem, inadmissible in the State, on complaint from the Mobile Squad of the Naples Police Headquarters, and the others for having exacted fees relating to the conferment of degrees in the two aforementioned Orders, stating that the Grand Master of the two Orders exercises his function “without the need for confirmation or authorization, as the privilege of independence and autonomy has existed since the creation of the Orders “. This Sentence moreover, given the articles 28, 90, 402 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, found that the law tends to avoid the denial of previous judgements on the same facts over time, and which already have been the subject of numerous sentences; therefore the citizens accused for the use of qualifications received by the said Orders are mutually acquitted, [the Orders] having all of them recognized full legitimacy, and this further inhibits the repetition of similar processes for the future, pronouncing:
“Not having to proceed against Prince Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona because the criminal action could not be exercised, and acquitting the other defendants because the fact does not constitute a crime”.
Civil Court of Naples, Section IV, 30 September 1946 (in other texts the date of 4 December 1946 appears). Chamber judgment on the application of Baron Tonker of Apamea. This Judgment recognizes the legitimacy of the granting of the title of Baron of Apamea by Prince Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona, and orders the competent Civil Status Officer to record in the Birth and Marriage Registers the title and predicate of Baron of Apamea, granted by the aforementioned Prince as Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas.
Criminal and Civil Court of Rome, 8 November 1946 (Judgment of clarification and legitimacy which reaffirmed the extraneousness of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Mary of Bethlehem from the Association Ecclesiastical of Mons. EFTIMIOS [Greek Melkite bishop] called “Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem”)
Civil and Criminal Court of Bari, Bari, 4 February 1947, President Dr. Comm. Vittorio Gallo, Judges Dr. Cav. Stefano Parmigiani and Dr. De Carlo Antonio, Sentence no. 57 RR. 1947 N. 1397 Chronological, filed on 4.2.47, Chancellor Longo, boll.n. 528 of 5.02.47, for the adjustments of the Registry Deeds as a Native Prince and as of Aragon;
Council of State, February 19, 1947 (Decision of the IV Section in which it is stated that the State has the obligation to comply with the final judgments of the judiciary and cancels the warnings of Ministry of the Interior and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers);
District Court of Busto Arsizio (Magistrate of the District Dr. Meloghi), June 27-July 12, 1947 Against Giuseppe Marino and Giuseppe Mucedero, about the Bethlehemite Order. This Sentence acquits the accused with full formula of the crime of having induced a third party to pay them a sum as a fee for a chivalric honour of the Order of Saint Mary of Bethlehem, while this Order was not recognized by the [Italian] State, nor by the Holy See, affirming instead the regularity of their work and the legitimacy of the Order.
Court of Rome, Section VII, N. 23.828 / 48 R.G. 5.143 bis, Judgment in the criminal case against: Principe Mario Cilento, the late Salvatore, Mario’s Prince Cesare Cilento, Duke Lucio Gargiulo of Torrebianca, Count Gaetano Restani di Villagrazia was Giuseppe (cited as an example of a legitimate Fons Honorum of very ancient Imperial origin of the Casa Amoroso d’Aragona);
Civil Court of Trani, First Section, 26 October 1948 on appeal of 10 June 1948. Chamber Sentence at the request of Raffaele Maglione, the late Camillo, and Gallo Adelaide, Count of Melasso. The ruling ascertained and established the right to confer this title by the Grand Master of the Order of San Giovanni d’Acri and San Tommaso, notes that the Italian Constitution does not recognize Noble Titles, but admits that the predicates attached to the noble titles granted before the year 1922 can become the second Surname, and orders the transcription of the Count’s Amoriense predicate “di Melasso” Raffaele Maglione, in the competent Civil Status Registers.
Court of Rome, XII Section, 5 November 1948, Sentence N. 1057, Nr. 1057/48, nr. 22835 R.G./48, Magistrate Dr. Mario Di Nola, against Raffaele Rosso, the late Giuseppe and Rosaria Arena, about the title of Count of San Secondo granted to him by Prince Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona. Raffaele Rosso was “Accused of the crime provided for by art. 498 1st ch. Criminal Code for arrogating the qualities inherent to a public office and employment that he did not have; of the crime envisaged and punished by art. 496 of the Criminal Code because, when asked about the identity and the state and quality of his person, he provided false statements to a Public Official in the exercise of his duties. It was established in Rome on 6-06-1948 that he was “acquitted because” the fact does not constitute a crime “. Filed in the Chancellery on November 19, 1948. It became final on 10 December 1948.
District Court of Vico del Gargano (Foggia), 23 March 1949 against Count Dr. Angelo de Zio for the Amoriense title of Conte di Cesarea, “The conferral therefore of Count of Caesarea made on 29 September 1895 to Cav. Michele De Zio by the Grand Master of the time of the Order of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas, Prince Salvatore Amoroso d’Aragona, is legitimate, so his son Angelo de Zio, Jure successionis, has the Right to freely use it “. From this Sentence originates the text entitled: “The legal and de facto existence, rights, privileges and faculties of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Giovanni d’Acri and S. Tommaso in a very elaborate sentence by Dr. Mario Di Nola, Pretore of the 12. Section of the Court of Rome ” by Angelo De Zio himself, Jurist, Bari, Establishment Typographic G. Pansini & Figli, 1949, 16 pages, 24 cm.
Court of Vico del Gargano (Foggia), 23 May 1949 (Sentence nr. 102/1949, nr. 160 R.G./1949, Praetor Dr. Vincenzo D’Addetta, against Prince Don Pietro AMOROSO d’ARAGONA, the late Luigi Cesario, and what he claims in general. This Sentence recognized Don Pietro and His Descendants as holders of the qualifications of “Prince” and “Imperial Highness”).
Unified Court of Bari, Sentence filed in the Chancellery on October 26, 1950 n. 3172-R.G. Year 1950, Judgment n. 1349, Hearing of 9 October 1950, Deputy Magistrate Lawyer Giovanni De Giosa, on Esposto of 18 May 1950, against S.A.R. Prince Ugo Corona Mendozza (acknowledgment as Legitimate Fons Honorum of the Amoroso d’Aragon dynasty and recognition of the validity of the inheritance of the Fons Honorum of the Royal House Mendoza alias Mendozza di Spagna of S.A.R. the Prince don Raffaele Mendozza. The adopted Ugo Corona formerly Giovanni was afterwards surnamed Ugo Corona Mendozza, adopted by Decree of the Court of Appeal of Naples of 18 June 1948, published in summary in Official Gazette no. 81 of 28 July 1948),
Civil Court of Padua, Section I, 19 June 1951 (Judgment of recognition and transcription of noble predicates of the Houses of Habsburg, Calzavara di Castelmauro and that of Amorio, Calzavara di Corinth, for the title of Count of Corinth granted on October 18, 1919 by S.A.I. the Prince Don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona to Dr. Giuseppe Calzavara, late Vittorio and late Angela Piermartini. The Calzavara family is also featured in the “Golden Book of Italian Nobility”, Collegio Araldico, Rome, 1949, Vol. XI, page 213 and on the “Golden Book of Nobility of the Imperial Casa Amoriense – I – 1956”, Heraldic Council of S.A.I. the Amorous Prince of Aragon, Out of Commerce Edition of 200 numbered copies, pages 75 to 77),
Civil Court of Trani, 23 October 1951 (Judgment of recognition and transcription of noble Amoriense predicate, De Zio di Myra, relative the Noble Title of Marquis of Myra granted on 15 October 1893 by S.A.I. Prince Don Salvatore Amoroso d’Aragona to Michele De Zio di Angelo).
Sentences issued after the entry into force of the Law of 3 March 1951 no. 178
Court of Bari, February 15, 1952, No. 4196 A.G., Year 1951, Sentence No. 204 A. 1952 in favour of Prince Pietro Amoroso of Aragon, Civil Court of Teramo, 18 July 1952, President Dr. Arnaldo De Lavigne, Judge Dr. Giovanni Sabelich, Judge Dr. Alessandro De Sapia (Sentence of recognition and transcription of Amoriense noble predicate, Trojani d’Arassa – granted by S.A.I. the Prince Don Salvatore Amoroso d’Aragona to Vincenzo Troiani of Loreto Gervasio and Sabatina Veramonti on April 2, 1885 and transformation due to ascertained transcription error by the Civil Status Office of the surname Troiani as Trojani, in favour of Comm. Troiani Antonio, Provincial Councilor of Teramo – Deposited in the Chancellery on 23 July 1952),
Civil Court of Enna, 23 July 1952 (in another text, however, the date of 14 August 1952 appears), President Dr. Angelo Pettinato, Judge Dr. Salvatore Agnello, Judge Dr. Alfonso Luciani (Sentence of recognition and transcription of Amoriense noble predicate, of San Secondo – Rosso di San Secondo – in favor of Raffaele Rosso, the late Giuseppe and the late Arena Maria. Noble Title with Predicate granted on January 12, 1901 by the Imperial Prince of Amorio and Galazia, Don Luigi Cesario Amoroso of Aragon),
Civil Court of Enna, 08 April 1953, President Dr. Cav. Zangara Antonino, Judge Dr. Di Silvestro Giuseppe, Judge Dr. Agnello Salvatore (Sentence of recognition and transcription of noble predicate Amoriense, (Giannò) of Zenata-Ben Asciur and Cartulano Mori, having regard to the application proposed by Giuseppe, Marianna and Agnese Giannò),
Civil Court of Vicenza, 07 April (in other texts it appears April 8) 1953 (Judgment of recognition and transcription of the Amoriense noble predicate, Valcasara di Monte Mileto in favor of Countess Teresa Valzasara as well as transcription of the Sentence itself in the Civil Status Registers of the Municipality of Sarego. The Noble Title of Count of Monte Mileto was granted on October 15th 1900 by S.A.I. the Prince Don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona to Feliciano Valcasara of Antonio and Teresa Zambon, n. on 20/7/1854. With a Provision of 22 June 1912, the granting Prince himself ordered that the successor in the title was the Daughter of the aforementioned Don Feliciano di Valcasara, Donna Teresa and that she could use the title of Countess of Monte Mileto even while the Parent was alive),
Court of Benevento, Civil Section, February 16, 1954, President Comm. Alfonso Cuoco, Judge Dr. Coppola Francesco, Realtore Dr. Nobile Gustavo Adolfo (Judgment of recognition and transcription of the Amoriense noble predicate (Del Bo) of Torre Rotonda in favor of the Journalist Comm. Del Bò Adriano was Francesco),
Civil Court of Benevento, 15 June 1954, President Dr. Cucco Alfonso, Member Dr. Coppola Francesco, Extender Component Dr. Ciampi Domenico (Sentence of recognition and transcription of Amoriense noble predicate, in favor of Moratti Angelo Pietro formerly Albino so as to become the surname Moratti di Valle Nestore, following the title of Count of Valle Nestore obtained in 1905, July 15, with Patent Letters issued by His Imperial Highness the Prince of Amorium and Galatia Don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona),
Court of Paliano (Frosinone), Sentence of 2 April 1954, N. 41 Reg. Gen. – N. 23/54 Reg. Sent., Magistrate Attorney Felice De Simone, Judgment of Absolution in the Criminal Case against Monfisani Antonio (Marquis Antonio Monfisani di Berea) the late Pietro and the late De Consoli Giovanna as Grand Chancellor of the Military and Hospitaller Orders of St. John of Acre and St. Thomas and St. Mary of Bethlehem, Brigadier General of the Rovero Reserve Umberto (Baron of Sidima in the Amoriense Nobility) the late Napoleon and the late Gibba Adele and retired Colonel Taibell Nicola formerly Gondisalvo and the late Tagliaferri Giuditta, Grand Crosses of Justice of the aforementioned Orders, relating to the use of the titles of the Orders both Giovannita and Bethlehemite),
Criminal and Civil Court of Venice, Section II, April 22, 1954, filed on April 30, 1954 under no. 4519, Vol. 56 Mod. 3, President Rel. Dr. Mario Tiberi, Judges the doctors Anteo Vasari and Giuseppe Gebbia, lawsuit brought with summons of 10/10/1953 n. 7728 Rep. Uff. Jud. Court of Venice promoted by Valente Attilio fu Angelo (Sentence of recognition and transcription of a noble Amoriense predicate, Valente di Valbruna, from the Patent Letters of Baron of Valbruna issued by Prince Luici Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona of 04/15/1921),
Court of Appeal of Bari, 9 June 1956, President Dr. Chieppa Lorenzo, Relator-Director Dr. De Lellis Gerardo, Director Dr. Celluzzi Lorenzo, Director Dr. Arnao Ugo, Director Dr. Bartoli Antonio (Sentence No. 285-1956, No. 4101 cron., No. 26054 Form VI, in the civil case capable of Appeal, for usurpation of Predicate, registered in the General Register of Shipping of Civil and Commercial Affairs under order number 63 of the General Litigation Register of the year 1956 between MORATTI Angelo late Albino Emilio di Valle Nestore against the homonymous and joint collateral MORATTI Angelo late Augustus). Filed in the Chancellery on 19 June 1956, Chancellor Vito Attanasio;
Court of Cagliari, Report of 1 March 1954, Hearing of 27 February 1957, Sentence no. 124 of 29 March 1958, Reg. Gen. N. 963/54. Criminal proceedings against Brandas Enrico fu Gaetano e di Concu Luigina acquitted for not having committed any crime (use of the title of Knight of Grace of the Order of Military and Hospitaller of Santa Maria di Bethlehem conferred on him by Magistral Decree of the Prince Luigi Amoroso d’Aragona);
Civil and Criminal Court of Ferrara President Dr. Riccardo Toma, Judge Dr. Giuseppe Begnudelli, Judge Dr. Francesco Campolongo (Sentence relating to the procedure for rectification of Acts of Marital status registered under No. 8 of the Register for the year 1957 on appeal filed by Mr. Bruno Umberto in date 6 March 1957; Judgment of recognition and transcription of Amoriense noble predicate, (Bruno) of Noepoli in favour of Bruno Umberto late Achille), June 26, 1957 – in other texts the date of June 28, 1957 (Patent letters of August 15, 1919 granted by H.H. the Imperial Prince of Amorium and Galazia don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona, relating to the title of: “Marquis of Noepoli”).
Supreme Court of Cassation, April 23, 1959 (Sentence no. 2008 of April 23, 1959, Reg. Gen. N. 3909, III Section Criminal: “full acquittal, reestablishment of the right of concession and assessment of Non-National Orders of Knighthood .”[xxv]
Scotto di Tella and Colleoni also go on to list separately (p.190 onwards) foreign court judgements regarding the Amoroso dynasty and then in a separate section judgements of the arbitral courts in Italy, which we omit for reasons of space.
They also discuss the position regarding the recognition of the Imperial House of Amoroso d’Aragona by the Holy See. This is particularly interesting since as already indicated the Imperial House has several Papal Bulls recognizing its sovereignty.
We read,“Regarding the lawfulness of the Titles also in the Vatican context, we can well note that given the existence of privileges (indeed, we even have Papal Bulls) towards the Amoriense family (for example Pope Calisto III issued in favour of the Order of NEMAGNA), the law teaches that the concessions made by the Pontiff under the Papal Government, expressed in any way, either by edict or rescript, or by simple letter, had the effectiveness of law and bound the state, until they were revoked by the Pontiff or his successor, however, the revocation must result from a positive and not a negative act (see Cassation of Rome, 11 May 1907, in Italian Jurisprudence, 1907, I, 1, 632): but it is also known that for the Apostolic Chancellery it is a rule not to derogate from acquired rights (see Heraldic Review of 1935, p. 60) and in fact Dynastic Orders such as the Amoriense and Nemagnic ones were never (NEVER) revoked by any Pontiff, but on the contrary, they were also recognized by Sentences and implicitly confirmed by Apostolic Blessings”[xxvi]
The role of Apostolic Blessings from the Pope as an implicit confirmation of approval, even of that which might be somewhat unexpected, has also been noted elsewhere[xxvii].
The head of the Imperial House of Amoroso d’Aragona issued Letters Patent to the present author as Prince-Abbot of San Luigi and Head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios on 18 May 2016 conferring full recognition of his sovereignty and also bestowing titles of nobility and chivalry and a number of heraldic rights upon him. In the course of this, the present author was made an honorary member of the Imperial House with the distinction of cousin. It should be remembered that the Byzantine Empire allowed more than one person to reign at the same time and permitted non-relatives to be adopted into the House. The recognition of sovereignty by a Byzantine Imperial House therefore has rather more significance than within a Royal House that only permits its head to reign; it confers an additional authority upon the sovereign concerned.
It is just as evident as with the situation of Marziano II that there is in fact a large corpus of jurisprudence all of which points to the same conclusion; the genuineness and legality of the titles claimed and granted by these two Heads of Byzantine Imperial Houses. We are not talking here of isolated cases or marginal decisions. The decisions are detailed, conducted by experts, engage different levels of civil and criminal courts up to and including the appellate courts, and cannot reasonably be ignored.
Let us now examine what Guy Stair Sainty of the ICOC has to say about these matters. In a message posted to the Usenet group rec.heraldry in 1999 he says, “In any case this is easily settled; in regard to an earlier Italian tribunal decision on a nobiliary title (a spurious procedure under which a person who claims a spurious titles [sic] sues someone who disputes that claim, the latter then withdraws and judgment is given for the plaintiff) the Italian Conmstitutional [sic] Court (Corte Costituzionale) by decision no. 101 of 8 July 1967, determined that no republican organ could legitimateky [sic] recognize a title or quality relating to nobility.
That this laughable procedure is still continued means nothing; those who have used it successfully in the past include a variety of imposters, notably as Capo della Casa Imperiale di Bisanzio the self-styled Marziano II Lavarello Lascaris (Tribunale Civile di Catania, 18 July 1947; Tribunale Civile di Napoli, 6 June 1947; Pretura di Roma, 10 Sep 1948; Pretura di Vico del Gargano, 27 July 1949, Tribunale Civile di Perugia, 27 March 1950), the self-styled Michele “III” Angelo-Comneno di Tessaglia (Tribunale Civile di Reggio Emilia, 16 Nov 1953) and the self-styled Pietro Donato Paleogolo di Bisanzio, by decision of the Tribunale Civile di Salerno, 19 July 1975. The Tribunale di Napoli by decision of 18 July 1945 and 7 Aug 1946 recognized the style of Imperial Highness and the descent from the eastern Emperors of Antonio Focas Flavio Angelo Ducas Comneno De Curtis di Bisanzio Gagliardi, better known to his Italian contemporaries as the actor and clown “Totò”. (My thanks to Gioacchino Quadri di Cardano for these references).
Anyone who uses these procedures is immediately attracting the cloud of suspicion as they are so entirely without any legitimate basis.”[xxviii]
Taking Sainty’s first paragraph, the judgement of the Constitutional Court to which he refers[xxix] does not mean what he says it means in such a broad and sweeping sense. Rather, it is concerned specifically with the constitutionality of the recognition of noble predicates as additions to the surnames of individuals. We have already encountered a number of such decisions.
The central question at hand is whether this recognition of predicates, on birth and marriage certificates etc., is in conflict with Article XIV of the 1948 Republican Constitution[xxx]. This states, “Titles of nobility are not recognized. The predicates [of nobility] of those existing before October 28, 1922 serve as part of the name.”[xxxi]
Writing on this, Louis Mendola in his article “Italian Noble Titles” says, “Article 139 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic codified the exile of the King of Italy and his male heirs, a provision abrogated some fifty years later. It also abolishes the Consulta Araldica and official recognition of predicati (territorial designations or “seats”) if recognized during the Fascist era (i.e. after 28 October 1922). Subsequently, these designations could be suffixed to surnames as a result of particular petitions to provincial courts having jurisdiction in such matters. Eventually, in 1967, Italian high courts would issue still more rulings to attenuate the status even of those titles recognized until 1922 (expressly abrogating most of the corpus of Italian nobiliary and heraldic law), but local courts would uphold the rights to identity of titled aristocrats in cases where impostors claimed the titles and territorial designations of living persons whose immediate forebears had been recognized by the Consulta Araldica before 1922.”[xxxii]
The effect of the 1967 judgement is quite subtle. The conclusion reads, “The Constitutional Court declares the constitutional illegitimacy of [here follows a list of statutes and Royal Decrees] within the limits in which they are applied for the addition to the name of predicates of noble titles prior to October 28, 1922 but not recognized before the entry into force of the Constitution; as well as to the extent that they subject the aforementioned right and the related judicial protection to a discipline other than that established by the legal system for the right to a name.” (my emphasis).
Noble predicates were in fact still recognized after 1967, but only as rights to a name (exactly as the Constitutional provision had stated), not as titles of nobility. In practice this is a largely semantic distinction, as the act of recognition has an identical effect in practical terms. The judgement says nothing at all about Byzantine titles or any other titles of nobility. In attributing to the judgement the view that “no republican organ could legitimateky [sic] recognize a title or quality relating to nobility.” Sainty is technically correct, in that recognition of noble titles in itself is not constitutionally permitted in Italy since 1948. But that does not mean that the courts will not determine recognition indirectly, in the course of proceedings where the legitimacy of a given title is at issue, where imposture is alleged, or where it is held that there may be a violation of the 1951 law on chivalric Orders. And when such indirect recognition is determined, the language used is effectively what would constitute direct recognition in any other jurisdiction.
In fact, Sainty shows in his next paragraph that he is in fact well aware that this is the case, because he says “That this laughable procedure is still continued means nothing”. If the procedure had been affected by the 1967 judgement, it would obviously not have continued. It is equally obvious that Sainty’s writings are as ever polemical. We find nothing laughable in the decisions of competent courts. We likewise consider their decisions to mean something rather than nothing. We further note that those libelled by Sainty as impostors are all dead and therefore incapable of initiating legal action. Our legal research does not lead to the conclusion that they were impostors at all – certainly no court ever judged them to be. The other Byzantine dynasts mentioned by Sainty are outside the scope of this work, but we maintain that their basis of vindication by the courts, if (as we believe) it is the same as those we have discussed above, is sound and eminently defensible. Again, we question what kind of expert must, in order to make his case, put himself above the judicial system?
3. ADOPTION IN THE BYZANTINE CONTEXT
There is at times some confusion as to what adoption of an heir means in the context of the transmission of the headship of a Byzantine imperial dynasty. Relatively few countries today have a legal system that allows for adult adoption. England, for example, permits only the legal adoption of children under eighteen years. In Italy, the issue of the adoption of an heir to a Byzantine dynasty comes up against similar legal prohibitions. While obviously the law of the country in question must be obeyed, nevertheless adoption for the purpose of heirship in an imperial house is properly a matter of dynastic custom and is subject to the private rules of the dynasty concerned. In this context, on the several occasions when this issue has arisen in Italy in the twentieth-century, a process called heraldic adoption (adozione araldico) has been used. This has its roots in the medieval kingdom of Poland and was a means by which nobles could confer noble and heraldic status upon individuals to whom they were not related by bringing them within their family or clan.
One example, which was subsequently recognized by Italian legal judgements which we have cited above, is the heraldic adoption of Marziano II by Prince Nicolas Capone Nemagna Paleologo, on 31 October 1944. Another is the adoption of Prince Edmond, the current head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios, by that House’s late head, Prince Kermit, on 1 March 2015. This adoption was made under special circumstances whereby it was held that the headship of the Royal House could be most effectively exercised by an heir who was not only a prince but also (like Prince Kermit) a bishop[xxxiii]. It also recognized the close friendship that had existed between Prince Kermit and his successor for some years and Prince Kermit’s admiration for the work that his successor had accomplished as Prince-Abbot of San Luigi.[xxxiv]
The rights of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios, including the fons honorum, were confirmed by the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara Royal Office of Orders, Honors and Awards Affairs (ROHA) which issued a Certificate of Recognition on 24 November 2019. This constitutes recognition by a reigning monarchy of the rights inherent in the Royal House and its head.
- By right of descent from the Byzantine Emperor Leo V Patrikios, the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios is today one of the Imperial Houses of Byzantium.
- The genealogical descent is traced through the female, illegitimate and adoptive lines, all of these being permissible in the transmission of the dynastic headship of Byzantine Imperial Houses.
- The fons honorum has been validly transmitted from the Byzantine Empire and is legitimately exercised by the Head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios today.
- While the inauguration of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios in 1970 was through ecclesiastical authority (and therefore the Royal House possesses the ecclesiastical sovereignty previously discussed), the Royal House’s primary claim to sovereignty and the fons honorum is through genealogical descent by right of birth (or adoption), from the Emperor Leo V Patrikios, and the same existed prior to 1970.
- In exercise of the fons honorum, the Head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios may validly, so long as the law of the country concerned permits it, do the following inter alia:
- create titles of nobility, such titles to be legitimately described as being “of the (Holy) Roman or Byzantine Empire” with the qualification that they have been awarded by the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios[xxxv].
- rehabilitate the titles of nobility of any other jurisdiction that has ceased to exist, recognize titles of nobility conferred by other authorities, or decree changes in the succession rights of titles conferred by other authorities where those authorities have ceased to exist, all within the Imperial power as represented by the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios.
- award the Orders of Chivalry of the Royal House, and inaugurate new Orders and new awards.
- grant and regulate arms internationally where such an activity is not in conflict with any statutory heraldic authority.
- grant constitutions and enact changes to the institutions of the Royal House, and to its succession procedures, such changes to be, however, capable of reversion or alteration by any successor Head of the Royal House.
And these things may be done by the Head of the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios moto proprio or through any Institution he may use or create for the purpose.
[i] This was a major political issue during the medieval era (the “problem of two emperors”), since the Byzantine Emperors did not necessarily acknowledge the successors of Charlemagne as “Roman” emperors and vice versa. When Byzantine Emperor Michael I eventually acknowledged Charlemagne in 812, it was merely as “an emperor”. In many ways the Byzantine Emperors were sacred kings of the type that has been discussed earlier, answerable directly to God (caesaropapism), whereas the Western Holy Roman Emperors were to a large extent dependent on Papal authority and support.
[ii] Female empresses regnant included Pulcheria (alone for a few months in 450 and then co-empress with her husband Marcian), Irene of Athens (797-802), Zoe Porphyrogenita (1028-50, co-empress with her husbands) and Theodora Porphyrogenita (1042-1056, reigning alone from 1055 until her death).
[iii] Among many examples is the adoption in 1041 by the Emperor Michael IV and his wife Empress Zoe of Michael’s nephew as their son; he succeeded Michael IV at his death later that year, becoming Emperor Michael V Kalaphates. An example of the adoption of someone not related by blood is the adoption by the Emperor Justin II in 574 of the future emperor Tiberius II Constantine, who was a friend and military general, and who succeeded Justin II on his death in 578. This was notwithstanding the fact that Justin had a daughter, Arabia, who in turn had issue.
[iv] Letters Patent issued by Prince Luca, head of the Amorian dynasty, to the present author, pp. 5-6, “Addirittura, come dottamente scrisse il Comm. Avv. Giuseppe Antonio PENSAVALLE DE CRISTOFARO, Patrocinante in Cassazione nella Sua Opera “Memoria Storico-Araldico-Genealogica sulla Casata Tomassini del Piceno (già Tomasi-Leopardi) e i Suoi Diritti Sovrani”, Bari, Società Editrice Tipografica, 1952:
“I Sovrani d’Oriente non conobbero mai la Legge Salica ed i diritti di successione si trasmettevano sia in linea maschile, primogenita, legittima, sia in linea naturale e adottiva o per linea femminile……..Giustino I, Capo della Dinastia Giustinianea, governò nove anni dal 518 al 527. Sposato a Vigilantia, adottò un nipote di Lei, Giustiniano, che gli succedette alla morte, regnando sino al 565 e rendendosi celebre per la sua Legislazione”.
Il passaggio dei Titoli Amoriensi (cioè della Casa Imperiale Bizantina di Amorio) anche agli adottati è financo citato espressamente entro il Diploma di Baldovino II, Imperatore di Costantinopoli e Reggitore della Romania, datato Bari, 1259, 2 settembre, 23° Anno dell’Impero, ove si legge, in latino, quanto di seguito riportato:
“- omissis – Permettimus praeterea, et Nostro Caesareo consensu facultatem damus, de praesentibus consuetudinibus derogantes, donatam nobilitatem et dignitatem Comitis Baronisque a te tuisque successoribus largitas, modo tuae, tuorumque prudentiae placuerit, singulari Magisterij gratia transmitti posse quoque ad ultrogenitus et adoptatos, etiamsi minores, vivente quoque Equite dignitate praedito, et ad mulieres, si quae dignissimae fuerint”.
“ – omissis – Permettiamo, oltre ciò, e col Nostro Imperiale Assenso ne diamo facoltà, in deroga delle presenti consuetudini, che la Nobiltà donata e la Dignità di Conte e Barone elargite da Te e dai Tuoi successori, come sarà piaciuto alla prudenza Tua e dei Tuoi (successori), per grazie speciale del Magistero possa essere trasmessa anche ai secondogeniti e agli adottati, quantunque minori, pur vivente il Cavaliere insignito della Dignità, come pure alle donne, se ve ne saranno di degne in modo assoluto.”
[v] Prof. Dr. Renato De Francesco (Counselor of the Court of Appeal) Michele II Angelo Comneno d’Epiro e la sua discendenza – Studio storico genealogico araldico e giuridico Edizioni F. Ferrari P.ta dei Cestari, 2, Rome, 1951, pp.36-37 “Il Titolo di Principe Sovrano (titolo Sovrano, quindi nativo che nasce come Diritto di Sangue), nella fattispecie Principe Porfirogenito e Principe del Sangue (Princeps Natus cioè qui Regis sanguine ortus est), quale definizione di stato personale, stando a significare la discendenza legittima maschile da una Famiglia Sovrana spetta anche nel caso della Adozione, soprattutto in ambito bizantino, infatti, “La “qualità sovrana” non inerisce solo alla persona fisica di detto Sovrano, ma a tutta la Sua Discendenza. Per meglio chiarire, diremo che la “qualità sovrana generica e potenziale” spetta a un’intera Dinastia e anche ai singoli rami di essa (“eredi e successori” all’infinito, cioè maschi e femmine, in linea legittima o naturale o adottiva o per devoluzione femminile, nelle Dinastie Orientali) nonché ai singoli membri di essa, ma la “sovranità specifica”, cioè i poteri relativi alla sovranità stessa sono esercitati dal Capo di Nome e d’Arme della Casata o dei singoli rami familiari, il quale abbia per primo ottenuta o riconosciuta tale qualità o per primo rivendicata (in tutte le Dinastie il Diritto di usurpazione era sempre legalizzato e legale, come del resto è sempre avvenuto e sempre avverrà.”
[vi] This title is also routinely accorded to the descendants of formerly regnant non-European Royal Houses of Imperial or kingly status, such as those of the Middle East.
[vii] For a discussion of the context of Italian law as regards nobility and chivalry, see R.A.U. Juchter van Bergen Quast, What is the legal status of noble titles and knightly orders in modern Italy? retrieved at https://freiherrvonquast.wordpress.com/2020/11/01/what-is-the-legal-status-of-noble-titles-and-knightly-orders-in-modern-italy/ November 9 2020.
[viii] Cesare Balbo, Uomo Politico, Storico e Letterato. Torino 1789, ivi 1853. Figlio del Conte Prospero (Chieri, Torino, 1762, Torino, 1837), quoted in Luca Scotto di Tella de’ Douglas di Castel di Ripa and Aldo Colleoni, Il Casato Lascaris Ventimiglia Valperga, 2016, Trieste, Edizione Goliardiche, p.41 (translation by the present author; original – “La Nobiltà è indistruttibile, perché non è altro che notabilità e non si può impedire che essa sorga, duri e si tramandi. Gli appartenenti a questa Nobiltà, che può chiamarsi intrinseca, cioè che ha princìpi reali in noi e da noi dipende, è sempre, in tutti i tempi e sotto qualsiasi Governo, viva ed operante, al contrario di quella che dicesi estrinseca, cioè, cioè che proviene dal favore del Principe o d’altra fortuna”.
[ix] Translation by the present author. Original reproduced at https://freiherrvonquast.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/facspist2.pdf, cited in R.A.U. Juchter van Bergen Quast, Protection against illegitimate use of titles of nobility, (2018) published at https://freiherrvonquast.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/protection-against-illegitimate-use-of-titles-of-nobility/ (retrieved 6 October 2020)
[x] Luca Scotto di Tella de’ Douglas di Castel di Ripa and Aldo Colleoni, Il Casato Amoroso d’Aragona, 2013, Trieste, Edizione Goliardiche, p.10.
[xi] Scotto di Tella and Colleoni, op. cit., p.44 (translation by the present author, original: “Sentenze come quella emessa dal Tribunale Civile e Penale di Bari, II Sezione, Sentenza del 10 novembre 1959 Reg. Gen. nr. 2452/58, affermano sanciscono formalmente ed irrevocabilmente che i cittadini italiani, a norma dell’art. 7 della Legge nr. 178, ben possono accettare le Onorificenze e le Distinzioni conferite da una Casa già Regnante cioè provvista di veritiera Fons Honorum, e che di esse possono farne uso nella vita di relazione privata, precisandone la specie e la qualità, salvo a richiedere la prescritta autorizzazione al Capo dello Stato Italiano per uso Ufficiale e Militare.
Il Costantiniano è infatti un Ordine NON NAZIONALE. Gli Ordini Non Nazionali sono Ordini facenti parte del Patrimonio Araldico di una Nazione o comunque di una entità differente rispetto alla Nazione nella quale si opera. Sono principalmente Ordini di Collazione di Famiglie discendenti da ex Sovrani. Una Onorificenza concessa da un Ordine Dinastico-Familiare è cosa ben diversa da quelle che la Legge 3 marzo 1951 nr. 178 qualifica come concesse “da Enti, Associazioni o Privati”. La Dottrina Giuridica Italiana ha fatto rilevare più volte che né il concedere, né il fregiarsi di Decorazioni di Merito e/o Cavalleresche Indipendenti cade sotto alcuna Sanzione Penale “purché limitato alla vita di relazione sociale – omissis – ed accompagnato sempre dalla precisazione della specie e della qualità dell’Ordine Cavalleresco”.(Sentenza della Suprema Corte di Cassazione – Sezione III del 23 aprile 1959).”
[xii] It is the opinion of the author, based on many years of research, that no genuine male-line descendant of any of the Byzantine Emperors exists today.
[xiii] This research includes the use of various computer-based tools for analysis, which were not available to our ancestors.
[xiv] See the discussion of the title of Count Wzzini Paleologo held by a Byzantine descendant at https://www.maltagenealogy.com/maltesenobilityhq120 retrieved 3 October 2020, and the titles of Prince of Mystria and Despot of Selimbria (Byzantine Imperial grants from 1407 and 1443 respectively) discussed at https://www.maltagenealogy.com/paleologo1407 retrieved 3 October 2020.
[xv] One obvious case of this is in Derk Kinnane-Roelofsma The Emperor of Palm Beach published at http://caltrap.bbsnet.com/The Emperor of Palm Beach.htm (retrieved 1 September 2000). The article is about the late Enrico Vigo, whose claim to Byzantine dynastic status was recognized by both the Italian and French courts. The article is written in the style of a gossip column rather than an academic study, but essentially presents the opinions of various sources against the claims of Enrico Vigo. Among these are various experts who have expressed doubt as to the pedigree claimed by Vigo, but have not chosen to bring any evidence before the courts in order to challenge their decisions. Moreover, Kinnane-Roelofsma in fact discusses a successful libel action brought by Vigo against the author Dominique Ivan Calzi (pseudonym Patrice Chairoff) who had questioned his legitimacy. It is extraordinary that in an article that is full of moral castigation of Vigo, the author expresses support for Calzi who has some thirteen convictions for fraud and has left thousands of victims of his crimes. Calzi is hardly a “witty rogue” but instead a former Neo-Nazi activist (see https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrice_Chairoff retrieved 6 October 2020 “He campaigned for a “National Socialist Proletarian Party”, led by Jean-Claude Monet, before being excluded.”)
Kinnane-Roelofsma writes, “In 1983, a witty French rogue by the name of Dominique Ivan Calzi who wrote under the pen name of Patrice Chairoff published a book called “Faux chevaliers, vrais gogos” (Fake knights and real suckers). In it he wrote that [Enrico Vigo] was not really a prince and sold worthless titles and orders. The Prince sued Chairoff and his publisher, Jean Cyrille Godefroy in 1986. When the court found for the defendants, the Prince appealed. In 1987, the court of appeals at Aix-en-Provence also found for the defendants. The Prince’s lawyer took the appeals court decision to the cour de cassation also in Aix. This is a court which reviews the legal procedure of trials, not the substance of the charges nor the evidence. The cour de cassation, that the Prince calls the French supreme court, found faults in the procedure and ordered a second trial before another appeals court, this one at Nimes. This time the court found for the plaintiff [judgments dated October 9, 1990/April 16, 1991], imposing a fine of ten thousand francs (roughly $2,000) on both Chairoff and Godefroy.
The prince had good reason to be pleased. In its verdict the Nimes court recognized the right of descendants of former ruling houses to confer distinctions; it accepted the Italian court’s finding [of 24 March 1964] that the Prince belonged to such a former ruling house that kept its right of jus honorum; and, that the defendants had not proved the Prince was trafficking in honors.
A lawyer in a top Parisian law firm, having read the verdicts in the several trials, concluded that the prince had indeed proved to the satisfaction of the French legal system his claim to his title and to Byzantine descent. Nor, said the lawyer, did the legal system deny the prince the right to confer titles. The lawyer did note one other thing, however: that in the final trial the defense offered nothing of any substance to contradict the evidence presented by the plaintiff.
Indeed, the Nimes court described the evidence presented by the lawyers for Chairoff and Godefroy as “photocopies of passages from un-named works whose authors could not be established, nor their credibility”. The description of the evidence presented by the defense at the first appeal trial was strikingly different. The Aix appeals court referred to “a file with numerous publications and a letter from the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor”, the top French official for matters of orders and decorations.
The Grand Chancellor, the court said, had written that the prince had “handed out decorations [his orders of chivalry] for money and that these decorations may not be worn in France under penalty of the law as they are not the creation of legitimate authority.” The court also found “that the prince’s claims concerning his ancestry which are the basis for his insolent claim to possess the right to create and confer decorations are doubtful.”
We do not know why the defense in the second appeals trial failed to present the same evidence shown at the previous trial, why it failed to present any acceptable evidence at all. Perhaps the reason is connected to reports that about the time of the second appeals trial Chairoff was in a French prison for another offense unconnected with the Prince. Chairoff, who became a celebrity in France by exposing French politicians’ use of strongarm squads in the 1960s, is no stranger to jail. He says he likes it there as it gives him time to write. As for Godefroy he had gone bankrupt after publishing “Faux chevaliers vrais gogos”.
There are important lessons from this account. Firstly, the judicial process and its decisions have such importance because justice is for all. It is open to the persons quoted by Kinnane-Roelofsma to use the judicial process to present evidence to support their cause. In the case in Nimes, however, it seems that they decided not to do this. An obvious explanation, not considered by Kinnane-Roelofsma, is that the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour could either not prove his statements, or had withdrawn them rather than be associated with a convicted criminal such as Chairoff. Unlike Kinnane-Roelofsma, the Grand Chancellor was not at liberty in this situation to indulge in polemic.
Further, it cannot be determined that if these critics had presented evidence to the court, it would not have been overcome by Vigo. The practice, far too common in these quarters, of questioning a court’s judgements while declining to participate in its actions is one that is intellectually and personally disreputable. None of this is to say that Vigo’s genealogy was sound or not open to challenge. But his critics have chosen to make their case in the forum of public opinion, and through gossip and personal attacks, rather than through the proper channels of justice where a higher standard of proof applies. This can hardly lend them credence.
[xvi] A number of the full texts of the judgements cited can be read at the website http://www.mac-ro.com/ita/documenti.html retrieved 10 October 2020. A fuller treatment of the subject, including a genealogy of Marziano II (pp.78-83), is to be found in Roberto Romano, Il Sacro Ordine Imperiale Militare Nemagnico Angelico Costantiano di San Giorgio e Santo Stefano di Rito Orientale, 2012, San Giustino, Editrice “Pliniana”.
[xvii] Original in Luca Scotto di Tella de’ Douglas di Castel di Ripa and Aldo Colleoni Il casato Lavarello di Marzano II, Trieste, Edizione Goliardiche, pp. 82-85 “Sentenza della Suprema Corte di Cassazione dell’11 luglio 1871. Dovendo giudicare la posizione del millenario Ordine Costantiniano dopo l’Unità d’Italia, a conferma dei principi ritenuti dalla IV Sezione della Corte d’Appello di Napoli del 16 marzo 1870 ed in biasimo di quelli adottati dalla III^ Sezione del 5 agosto 1870 rispettivamente nelle Cause Abenante de Capoa, afferò la impossibilità di abolizione dell’Ordine, sia in conseguenza dei mutamenti di Dinastia che per novello Ordinamento Politico; invocando, a comprova, lo Statuto Albertino114 “anima ed essenza della Monarchia Italiana”, che da contrarie interpretazioni verrebbe, ritiene a buon conto l’Illustre Collegio Giudicante, direttamente violato.
Sentenza della Corte d’Appello di Napoli I^Sezione, 5 febbraio 1872. Statuì gli stessi principi, accennando l’antica origine dell’Ordine Costantiniano ed alle Sue varie diramazioni allora esistenti. Sentenza del Tribunale di Napoli del 22 ottobre 1909. Affermò come l’Ordine Costantiniano debba godere I medesimi privilegi “in ogni Sua Branca Dinastica”.
Sentenza del Tribunale Civile e Penale di Avezzano (presieduto dall’Avvocato A. Campanile, Giudici a latere Avvocati Montuori e La Scala), del 3 dicembre 1914. I Dotti Giudici sentenziarono definitivamente che il Gran Magistero dell’Ordine Costantiniano appartiene legittimamente alle Dinastie dei Duca-Lascaris, Comneno, Angelo, Imperatori di Costantinopoli, discendenti diretti di Costantino, nonché dei Nemantic dei Kaponik Sovrani di Serbia.
Sentenza della Suprema Corte di Cassazione, del 25 aprile 1923. Giudicò che tutti gli Ordini Costantiniani esistenti negli Stati Italiani al momento della Unificazione Nazionale proseguivano la loro esistenza in virtù dell’articolo 78 dello Statuto del Regno.
Sentenza della Regia Pretura di Casoria del 5 giugno 1945. Sentenziò incontrovertibilmente la legittima autonomia dell’Ordine Costantiniano Nemagnico di Santo Stefano, quale gemmazione del Priorato di Orrea e Misia e ripercorrendo dettagliatamente la storia legittima, le pretensioni di S.A.I. e R. il Principe Nicola di Serbia (Nicola Giuseppe IV Tommaso Kapone-Urosio Cerneo Balscia Nemanja Duca Angelo Flavio Comneno Paleologo d’Antica Serbia),
Sentenza della Regia Pretura di Bari (Pretore Dott. Francesco Fusilli), n. 4419, R.G. del 20 agosto 1945. Affermò, per quanto riguarda l’Ordine Costantiniano Nemagnico, la legittimità di appartenenza alla Famiglia Imperiale dei Nemagnitch’ Kaponik e che il conferimento delle Onorificenze di tale Ordine “non è soltanto de jure ma perfettamente lecito, in quanto si svolge nell’orbita dei Diritti protetti dalla Legge stessa”
Sentenza del Tribunale Civile di Catania nella causa n. 1996 del Ruolo Generale dell’Anno 1946, col. n. 76695, del 18 luglio 1947, promossa anche contro l’Ufficio Araldico presso la Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri in Roma – Consulta Araldica115 – in di S.E. il Capo del Governo, rappresentato e difeso dalla Avvocatura Generale dello Stato il 18 luglio 1947, essendo Presidente il Dott. Paolo Cappellani e Giudici S. Piazza e G. Amoroso, P.M.R., Dott. Scalia. Diede atto del contenuto del Diploma del 14 settembre 1946 rilasciato da S.A.I. e R. Marziano II Lavarello Obrénovitsch (ecc. ecc. ecc.) confermato in favore di Don Vito Zappalà 116 di Dorilea (Casato citato pure come Zappalà-Lascaris sul “Libro d’Oro della Nobiltà dell’Imperial Casa Amoriense – I – 1956”, Consulta Araldica117 di S.A.I. il Principe Amoroso d’Aragona, Edizione Fuori Commercio di 200 esemplari numerati da pagina 295 a pagina 298), implicitamente riconoscendo che detto documento deriva a Don Vito Zappalà il Diritto al Titolo di Duca (come ebbe a rilevare la stessa Avvocatura dello Stato – Veggasi Cont. 16233- 30 B, a firma dell’Avv. Nunzio Cucinotta). Diritto Nobiliare subordinato giusta gli articoli 2 e 3 del Reg. del 7 giugno 1943 n. 652, all’esame del titolo originario di concessione “che deve provenire dal Capo di una potenza estere nell’esercizio delle sue sovrane prerogative” (nella Sentenza di Roma del 1948 e nella Sentenza di Perugia del 1950 i Giudici attraverso l’iter del Giudicato, asserirono inoltre la questione della spettanza a Marziano II del trattamento, della qualità e del titolo di Maestà, quale Custode della Corona Imperiale e Capo della Sua Nobiltà).
Sentenza del Tribunale Civile di Napoli del 28 maggio 1947. Con Sentenza 28 maggio 1947 del Tribunale Civile di Napoli IV sezione Reg. Uff. Atti giudiziari 6 giugno 1947 su ricorso di Raffaele Tibaldi tendente ad ottenere l’annotazione al proprio atto di nascita dei Titoli di Conte Palatino, Gran Croce di Giustizia e Balì di Castelforte e Ausonia conferiti da Marziano II in data 23 settembre 1946 e 24 febbraio 1947 si dimostra il pieno riconoscimento del Tribunale sulle indicate titolature ed onoreficienze e motivando come dalla legittimità del conferimento derivi all’insignito la legittimità dell’uso di tali Onori, ordina all’Ufficiale dello Stato Civile di Ausonia l’annotazione richiesta.
Sentenza Civile di Primo Grado datata 18 novembre 2005 N. 727/05 del Registro delle Sentenze Civili del Tribunale Ordinario di Ragusa, N. 526 Cron. C. – N. 1181 Rep. , che ratifica la Sentenza pronunciata il 4/05/2005 dal Tribunale Arbitrale Internazionale, organo permanente della Corte Europea di Giustizia Arbitrale di Ragusa.a favore di Poma Lorenzo (riconoscimento di Titoli di Marziano II rilasciati nel 1950 al Padre);118
Sentenza della Procura Generale presso la Corte Europea di Giustizia Arbitrale di Ragusa, Via Roma n. 108, Ragusa. Il Tribunale Civile Internazionale, organo permanente della Corte Europea di Giustizia Arbitrale di Ragusa, con Sentenza avente gli effetti di Sentenza pronunciata dalla Autorità Giudiziaria, ex articolo 824 bis del Codice di Procedura Civile, emessa in Ragusa il 30 settembre 2008, n. 3/2008 R.G., irrevocabile il 16 novembre 2009, iscritta al n. 683/2008 della V.G. del Tribunale Ordinario di Ragusa, resa esecutiva nel territorio della Repubblica con Decreto Presidenziale di detto Tribunale Ordinario del 6 novembre 2008, ha deciso che al Dott. Leonardo Salomone, cittadino italiano, nato a Charleroi (Belgio) il 9 agosto 1959, quale legittimo successore del proprio genitore, Calogero Salomone, deceduto in Montesilvano (PE) il 30 giugno 1967, legittimamente spetta il Titolo Nobiliare di Principe del Sacro Romano Impero d’Oriente della Corona di Marziano II Lavarello Lascari Paleologo Basiileo di Costantinopoli-Serbia, con il trattamento di Altezza Serenissima, trasmissibile in linea di primogenitura legittima per maschi e femmine entro il sesto grado di parentela, unitamente all’uso dello stemma gentilizio qui appresso blasonato: “Azzurro bordato d’oro con cento anelli fiammeggianti con sopra un sole a faccia di leone. Scudo timbrato di corona principesca, accollato in petto all’aquila bicipite imperiale di nero col volo spiegato, linguata ed armata di rosso, coronata all’imperiale, il tutto sopra ad un mantello blu scuro, interno bianco, con frange e nastri dorati, il tutto coronato all’imperiale, con sotto il motto: Scientia, Sapientia et Devotio”.
Sentenza della Pretura di Roma, VII Sezione, n. 23828/48, Reg. Gen. N. 5143 bis del 10 settembre 1948; Sentenza della Pretura di Vico del Gargano, n. 114/49, n. 217 R.G. 1949. Con Sentenza n° 114/49 R.G. 1949 della Pretura di Vico del Gargano esaminato uno Stato Nobiliare che prende le mosse dalla concessione di un Titolo di Principe di Bellaria emanata dal nonno di Marziano II , Francesco I, il 27 giugno 1916 si riconosce a Sua Altezza Imperiale il Principe Don Marziano II Lascaris Comneno Flavio Angelo Lavarello Ventimiglia di Turgoville la spettanza dei titoli di “Basileus” titolare di Costantinopoli; Capo della Casa Lascaris Comneno; Despota di Nicea e della Bitinja; erede Porfirogenito dei Nemanja Paleologo; Pretendente all’Imperiale Trono di Bisanzio e di erede della dinastia del Sacro Impero di Oriente ovvero dell’Augustissima Comnenia dei Principi Lascaris, che si ricongiunge all’Imperatore Costantino il Grande, nonchè la capacità di compiere Atti di Sovranità quale Porfirogenito e continuatore di una Augusta Stirpe già Sovrana, e per di più spodestata senza “debellatio” che, oltre a conferire Gradi Cavallereschi dell’Ordine del suo patronato, concede anche titoli nobiliari e di volontaria giurisdizione. Dichiara l’Ordine Costantiniano patrimonio inalienabile della Corona. Conclude tale Sentenza che Messeni Emanuele “ha il diritto di usare pubblicamente e liberamente il Titolo di Principe di Bellaria”.
Sentenza del Tribunale Civile di Perugia, I^ Sezione, n. 256 del R.G. del 27 marzo 1950; la questione fu risolta definitivamente il 3 febbraio 1964 dalla Corte Suprema di Cassazione, Sezioni Riunite R.G. 7642/63, con Sentenza 789/64, Reg.Gen. 4567/63. Con Sentenza n° 256 R.G. 1950 del 27 marzo 1950 del Tribunale di Perugia in sede Civile, in cui si osserva il riconoscimento del Titolo di Conte concesso il 31 maggio 1946 al N.H. Ulisse del Commoda, si ribadiscono le spettanze dinastiche in capo a Marziano II già esposte nelle precedenti sentenze e riconosce con Decreto sia l’investitura del Titolo comitale trasmissibile in perpetuo, sia il possesso dello stemma gentilizio successivamente registrato nello Stemmario Eugubino del Comune di Gubbio
ed altre, ad esempio venne citato quale Fons Honorum legittima all’interno della Sentenza della Pretura di Roma Sez. VII. – –. 23.828/48 R.G. 5.143 bis del 10 settembre 1948 (causa penale contro il Principe Mario Cilento fu Salvatore, Principe Cesare Cilento di Mario, Duca Lucio Gargiulo di Torrebianca, Conte Gaetano Restani di Villagrazia fu Giuseppe, depositata in Cancelleria il 25 settembre 1948 e passata in giudicato il 10 ottobre 1948). Con Sentenza della VII sezione n° 23828/48 R.G. 5143- bis Pretura di Roma 10 settembre 1948 si parla dell’Ordine Costantiniano istituito da Costantino nel 312 e si riconosce a Sua Altezza Imperiale il Principe Don Marziano II Lascaris Comneno Flavio Angelo Lavarello Ventimiglia di Turgoville il potere di tutti gli atti di sovranità che competono alla Corona Lascarense quale indiscussa ed indubitabile Sovranità ancor se spodestata, ma che conserva a tutti gli effetti le prerogative di Casa Regnante.
Si deliba che spetta il trattamento di Maestà e che tra le proprie facoltà vi è quella di concedere titoli nobiliari e cavallereschi. Altra Sentenza basilare in tema di cognomizzazioni e variazioni, riconoscimenti di Titoli Imperiali Bizantini e Reali Serbi è fornita dalla “Actio Familiae Lavarello Obrenovitch” 119, Sentenza della Corte Suprema di Cassazione, Sezioni Riunite R.G. 7642/63, Sentenza n. 789/64, Registro Generale n. 4567/63, Udienza Pubblica del 3 febbraio 1964, Depositata in Cancelleria il 23 febbraio 1964, Dott. AURIEMMA Giovanni, Presidente (19 pagine, 22 cm, Tipografia Giolitti, 1965, Roma, reperibile presso la Biblioteca di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea di Roma). In tale Sentenza si autorizzò l’Ufficiale dello Stato Civile del Comune di Roma ad apportare le modifiche seguenti: “Marziano II LAVARELLO LASCARI PALEOLOGO Basileo di Costantinopoli-Serbia”.
La legittimità della Fons honorum di Marziano II e dei Suoi Titoli venne pure riconosciuta dalla Sentenza di Primo Grado pronunciata dalla Corte Arbitrale di Giustizia Nobiliare in Padova il 27/03/2009 nella controversia tra l’Istituto di Diritto Nobiliare in persona del Rettore Marchese Renato Maria Spreti e S.A.S. il Principe Dott. Petros Iossif.”
[xviii] Scotto di Tella and Colleone, Il casato Amoroso d’Aragona, op. cit., pp. 41-42.
[xix] Op. cit., pp.47-49.
[xx] Op. cit. p.53.
[xxi] Op. cit. pp.55-58.
[xxii] Op. cit., pp.41, 60.
[xxiii] Op. cit., p.178 “Se è vero che già una sola Sentenza attestante giuridicamente la liceità della Fons Honorum Amoriense dovrebbe essere sufficiente, a chi ritiene che una sola rondine non faccia Primavera (la locuzione latina “Una hirundo non facit ver”) abbiamo trovato una grossa mola di Sentenze, ben 47, riconoscenti non soltanto la reale esistenza ma la storica importanza di questa Illustrissima Casata Imperiale e la legittimità di quanto da essa concesso. Queste Sentenze cristallizzano una verità legale, non opinabile e valida “erga omnes”, che non può essere disconosciuta o sottaciuta, per usare le parole del Chiarissimo Prof. Dott. Avv. Generale dei Carabinieri Domenico Libertini275, nonostante taluni possano nutrire dubbi o perplessità:”
[xxiv] By “the continued masculine straight line” it is meant that a female may inherit only where there is no male heir, and afterwards preference will be given to her male descendants in accordance with primogeniture.
[xxv] Op. cit., pp.179 foll. “Tribunale Civile e Penale di Avezzano, N. 9 Reg. Gen. Sentenza Penale n. 206 del 18 giugno 1914 contro i Principi Amoroso Cesario Spiridione, Pietro ed Angelo. Il Tribunale Penale composto dai Signori Avv. Campanile Cav. Antonio, Presidente, Avv. Montuori Ernesto, Giudice, Avv. Placidi Giovan Battista, Giudice, assolve con formula piena gli imputati per usurpazione della qualità di Principi Imperiali, dei titoli di Despota di Amorio con Galazia, Principe di Castel Alberico, Marchesi del Real Soglio di Polonia, ecc., di alterazione di Diplomi Imperiali, Reali e Pontifici dal secolo XIII in avanti, di Rogiti Notarili e di numerosi Diplomi, nonché il Principe Luigi Cesario Spiridione Amoroso dall’usurpazione del titolo di Gran Maestro dell’Ordine di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso e di quello di Santa Maria di Betlemme, dopo avere sottoposto a rigorosa perizia giudiziale tutti i documenti, Bolle, strumenti, ricostruito la Genealogia della Casa Amoroso, e vagliato giuridicamente la legittimità dei titoli vantati dagli imputati, riconoscendone autentici i primi e legittimi i secondi, con ampia disamina e rigorosa motivazione. In base a questa Sentenza del Tribunale di Avezzano del 18 giugno 1914, in causa contro il Principe AMOROSO Cesario Spiridione ed altri, contenuta nel libro dell’Avv. Luigi Forzati, edito in Bari dalla Tipografia G. Pansini & Figli Saverio, Anno 1915, si legge a proposito del Titolo di Marchese del Real Soglio di Polonia alle pagine 35 e 36 quanto segue: “Il Collegio rileva che con Diploma del Re Stanislao I di Polonia, spedito sotto forma di Lettere Patenti a Danzica (Gedani) il 16 dicembre 1733 (fol.88), e riconosciuto autentico, Carmine Mattia AMOROSO, quarto avo paterno di Cesario AMOROSO, fu insignito del Titolo sopradetto per sé e Suoi Discendenti Legittimi e Naturali d’ambo i sessi, in perpetuo, per continuata linea mascolina. In virtù di tale ampio Diploma del Re di Polonia, AMOROSO Cesario, discendente di di Carmine Mattia AMOROSO, così come tutti i Suoi discendenti di ambo i sessi per continuata linea retta mascolina, ha ben il diritto di portare il Titolo di “Marchese di Real Soglio di Polonia”. Il peculiare Titolo di Marchese del Real Soglio di Polonia non venne attribuito solo alla Famiglia AMOROSO. Ad esempio sappiamo che il Casato dei LONGHI, che pure ebbero il Patriziato romano nel 1586, ricevettero il titolo di Marchese del Real Soglio di Polonia da Giovanni III nel 1696 (fonte Internet: http://www.castellodifumone.it/italy/flonghi/origini.htm). Questo non è assolutamente il caso di famiglie italiane con Titoli Nobiliari stranieri. Ad esempio sappiano della Famiglia CORALLI VANELLI iscritta nella Nobiltà Lituana col titolo trasmissibile di Conti e sulla qualla quale Casa esiste pure una pubblicazione, come segue: “Ricerche storico-araldiche sulla Famiglia Coralli Vanelli i cui membri sono iscritti nell’Albo della Nobilta Lituana con il titolo trasmissibile di Conti”, a cura del Centro Studi Araldico-Genealogici, Firenze, Bologna, Tip. Vighi e Rizzoli, 1950.
Pretura di Napoli, 14^ Sezione C, Sentenza n. 10070, N. 13155 Reg. Gen. 1927 del 7 agosto 1929 contro il Principe Pietro Amoroso, Vice Pretore di Napoli, Sez. 14^ C Sig. Avv. Cav. Paolo Capobianco. Questa Sentenza assolve con formula piena l’imputato dal reato di usurpazione dei noti titoli, di gradi militari, di dignità, di cariche, di onorificenze, Serenissima, di Eccellenza, di Gran Maestro Vicario degli Ordini di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso e di Santa Maria di Betlemme, giudicando in estesa pronuncia la regolarità, verità e legittimità dei titoli incriminati e riconoscendo all’imputato il Diritto all’uso di tutti i titoli stessi.
Pretura di Napoli, 10 giugno 1935, XIII E.F., Pretore Cav. Arnaldo Mastrostefano, Sentenza in favore di Chiariello Pasquale Manlio di Gennaro (per avere usato il titolo di Cavaliere dell’Ordine di S. Maria di Betlemme) – su denuncia anonima del 9 gennaio 1935 diretta al Sig. Procuratore del Re del Tribunale di Napoli. Processo assegnato per l’istruzione del Pretore della 14^ Sezione della Pretura Unificata di Napoli, con il n. 3901/35,
Pretura del Mandamento d’Ischia dell’11 aprile 1936, XIV E.F., Pretura di Napoli X^ Sezione, 28 dicembre 1938 (Sentenza nr. 15420; nr. 229986/R.G./1938; assoluzione per Alfonso Camagna, insignito del titolo di Commendatore di Grazia dell’Ordine di S. Maria di Betlemme e riconoscimento dell’Ordine stesso, fondato dal Pontefice Pio II, privilegiato e confermato da Sovrani, quale Dinastico degli Amoroso d’Aragona: “- omissis – visse così nei vari secoli e viveva nel Regno di Napoli nel 1860, come vive tuttora nella medesima condizione di autonomia e di indipendenza”),
Tribunale di Roma, 23 ottobre 1939 (contro il Conte Prof. Temistocle Bertucci – poi noto Perito in Araldica del Tribunale di Roma – ed altri, sempre circa l’Ordine Betlemita, dinastico. Tale Sentenza assolve gli imputati dal reato di truffa, per avere tratto in inganno il Conte Elia G.G. circa l’esistenza dell’Ordine di Santa Maria di Betlemme non riconosciuto e non riconoscibile quanto alla sua ricostituzione, accertando e giudicando che l’Ordine è legittimo ed esistente dal giorno della sua fondazione, cioè dal 19 gennaio 1459, e legittimo il conferimento di titoli cavallereschi da parte dello stesso. Tale Sentenza fu confermata il 15 giugno-25 luglio 1940 dalla seguente della Corte di Appello: Corte di Appello di Roma, II^ Sezione, 15 giugno 1940, Sentenza 1094/1940,
Pretura di Napoli, 11 luglio 1941 (contro Antonio Padula, sempre circa due Ordini Dinastici degli Amoroso d’Aragona, il Betlemita innanzi detto e l’Ordine di S. Giovanni d’Acri e S. Tommaso, con riconoscimento della legittima origine ed esistenza degli Ordini Cavallereschi, la qualità di Gran Maestro al Principe Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona e la legittimità dei titoli conferiti ed usati dall’insignito),
Pretura di Napoli, 2 febbraio 1942 (contro Filippo Nappi, circa il titolo di Commendatore di Grazia dell’Ordine di S. Maria di Betlemme etc.). tale Sentenza assolve con formula piena l’imputato dal reato di avere illegittimamente usato sui titoli da visita, il titolo di Commendatore di Grazia dell’Ordine di Santa Maria di Betlemme, non riconosciuto dallo Stato, né dalla Santa Sede278, e ritiene definitivamente accertata l’autenticità delle due Bolle Pontificie di Pio II, istitutive dell’Ordine e della ereditarietà del Magistero, la legittimità in base alle Leggi ed allo Statuto del Regno della esistenza e dell’attività dell’Ordine, la legalità, infine, del conferimento e dell’assunzione di titoli cavallereschi dell’Ordine stesso.
Pretura di Bari, 26 (in altri molti testi riportato il giorno 20) giugno 1945, Sentenza N. 786 Anno 1945, 1 3383 R.G. – Anno 1945, Pretore Dott. Francesco Fusilli, contro di Demetrio Dr. Demetrio fu Basilio e fu Cossaro Matilde, circa l’Ordine Militare ed Ospedaliero di S. Giovanni d’Acri e S. Tommaso. Assolve con formula piena l’imputato, dall’accusa di essersi arrogato i titoli di Conte e Gran Croce dell’Ordine Militare ed Ospedaliere di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso, stabilendo in modo inequivocabile il Diritto a conferire e ricevere titoli cavallereschi e nobiliari dell’Ordine Militare ed Ospedaliero di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso, in virtù dei sovrani e pontifici riconoscimenti, nonché degli articoli 78 e 79 dello Statuto.
Tribunale Civile e Penale di Bari, 8 settembre 1945, Presidente Cav. Dr. Stefano Parmegiani, Dr. Antonio De Carlo Giudice, Dr. Antonio Capriulo, Giudice,Sentenza n. 1019. In questa basilare Sentenza si ebbe la correzione degli Atti Anagrafici e conseguentemente risultò la discendenza imperiale ed il Titolo Nativo di “Principe” ai componenti della Famiglia AMOROSO d’ARAGONA.
Sentenza N. 1006 della R. Pretura di Bari del 20/08/1945 riconoscente valido il Titolo di Conte Palatino rilasciato a Gaetano Capozza fu Antonio il 2 settembre 1944 dal Principe Nicola Nemagna-Paleologo nonché il Titolo di Conte di Aleppo concesso allo stesso Gaetano Capozza il 25 marzo 1945 da S.A.I. il Principe don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona.
Sentenza N. 1006 della R. Pretura di Bari del 20/08/1945 riconoscente come valido e legittimo il Titolo di Conte di Lepanto rilasciato ad Antonio Severo-Vernice279 da S.A.I. il Principe don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona.
Pretura di Bari, 20 agosto 1945 contro Lucatello Guido ed altri imputati (Ventola, Severo-Vernice, Capozza, Palmieri, Lipartiti e Pertusi), circa titoli Cavallereschi e Nobiliari dei due Ordini Equestri e Nobilitanti sopra menzionati etc. Assolve con formula piena gli imputati dai presunti reati di arrogazione di Titoli Cavallereschi e Nobiliari dell’Ordine di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso senza che il titolo fosse iscritto nei Registri della Consulta Araldica280, e di titoli cavallereschi dell’Ordine di Santa Maria di Betlemme, accertando la facoltà dei detti Ordini di conferire titoli, ribadendo che l’iscrizione presso la Consulta Araldica riguarda unicamente i titoli conferiti dal Sovrano o da una potenza estera e non da un Ordine Equestre che ha Diritto a conferirli, e concludendo che: “arrogarsi significa attribuzione indebita ed illegittima di un titolo, dignità, decorazione, cui l’agente sa di non avere diritto; mentre le chiare risultanze del processo hanno posto in evidenza che tale attribuzione non è soltanto jure ma perfettamente lecita, in quanto si svolge nell’orbita dei Diritti protetti dalla Legge stessa”.
Pretura di Bari, 1° marzo 1946 contro Carlo Bonetti, circa l’Ordine Betlemita per l’abuso del Titolo di Fiduciario pro Tempore dell’Ordine di S. Militare ed Ospedaliere di S Maria di Betlemme su denuncia del legittimo Gran Maestro dell’Ordine S.A.I.R. il Principe Imp. e R. Prof. Dott. Don Pietro AMOROSO d’ARAGONA.
Venne riconosciuta la giustezza di quanto affermato da Don Pietro e venne condannato penalmente il Bonetti per usurpazione del titolo di Fiduciario a scopo di truffa, non avendo mai ricevuto tale carica.
Tribunale di Napoli, 30 settembre 1946 contro il Principe Pietro Amoroso, Alfredo Fella, Giuseppe Rogliano, Umberto Romano circa i due Ordini Dinastici sopra menzionati, etc.. Tale Sentenza assolve il primo dalla imputazione di essersi arrogato il titolo di Principe e di Gran Maestro degli Ordini di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso, nonché di Santa Maria di Betlemme, inammissibili nello Stato, su denuncia della Squadra Mobile della Questura di Napoli, e gli altri per avere esatte tasse relative al conferimento di gradi nei due Ordini suddetti, affermando che il Gran Maestro dei due Ordini esercita la sua funzione “senza bisogno di conferma o di autorizzazione alcuna, perché privilegiato della piena indipendenza ed autonomia fin dalla creazione degli Ordini”. Questa Sentenza per di più, visti gli articoli 28, 90, 402 del Codice di Procedura Penale, constatato che la Legge tende ad evitare la successione nel tempo di giudicati contrari sul medesimo fatto, e che già numerose Sentenze hanno concordemente assolto i cittadini imputati per l’uso di titoli ricevuti dai detti Ordini, avendone tutte riconosciuta la piena legittimità, inibisce per l’avvenire il ripetere di analoghi processi, pronunciando:
“Non doversi procedere contro il Principe don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona perché l’azione penale non poteva essere esercitata, ed assolvendo gli altri imputati perché il fatto non costituisce reato”.
Tribunale Civile di Napoli, Sezione IV, 30 settembre 1946 (in altri testi risulta la data del 4 dicembre 1946). Sentenza Camerale su Istanza del Barone Tonker di Apamea. Tale Sentenza riconosce la legittimità della concessione del titolo di Barone di Apamea da parte del Principe Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona, ed ordina all’Ufficiale di Stato Civile competente a trascrivere nei Registri di Nascita e di Matrimonio il titolo ed il predicato di Barone di Apamea, concessi dal predetto Principe quale Gran Maestro dell’Ordine di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso.
Tribunale Penale e Civile di Roma, 8 novembre 1946 (Sentenza di chiarificazione e legittimità in cui si ribadiva l’estraneità dell’Ordine Militare ed Ospedaliero di S. Maria di Betlemme dall’Associazione Ecclesiastica di Mons. EFTIMIOS denominata “Ordine di Nostra Signora di Betlemme”); Tribunale Civile e Penale di Bari, Bari, 4 febbraio 1947, Presidente Dr. Comm. Vittorio Gallo, Giudici Dr. Cav. Stefano Parmigiani e Dr. De Carlo Antonio, Sentenza n. 57 RR. 1947 N. 1397 Cronologico, depositata il 4.2.47, Cancelliere Longo, boll.n. 528 del 5.02.47, per le rettifiche degi Atti Anagrafici come Principe Nativo e come d’Aragona;
Consiglio di Stato, 19 febbraio 1947 (Decisione della IV Sezione nella quale si afferma che lo Stato ha l’obbligo di uniformarsi alle Sentenze definitive della Magistratura ed annulla le avvertenze del Ministero dell’Interno e della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri);
Pretura di Busto Arsizio (Pretore del Mandamento il Dott. Meloghi), 27 giugno-12 luglio 1947 contro Giuseppe Marino e Giuseppe Mucedero, circa l’Ordine Betlemita. Tale Sentenza assolve gli imputati con formula piena dal reato di avere indotto un terzo a versare loro una cifra come tassa per Onorificenza Cavalleresca dell’Ordine di Santa Maria di Betlemme, mentre tale Ordine non sarebbe riconosciuto dallo Stato, né dalla Santa Sede, affermando invece la regolarità del loro operato e la legittimità dell’Ordine stesso.
Pretura di Roma, Sezione VII, N. 23.828/48 R.G. 5.143 bis, Sentenza nella causa penale contro: Principe Mario Cilento fu Salvatore, Principe Cesare Cilento di Mario, Duca Lucio Gargiulo di Torrebianca, Conte Gaetano Restani di Villagrazia fu Giuseppe (citazione come esempio di Fons Honorum legittima e di antichissima origine Imperiale della Casa Amoroso d’Aragona);
Tribunale Civile di Trani, Sezione Prima, 26 ottobre 1948 su ricorso del 10 giugno 1948. Sentenza Camerale su Istanza di Raffaele Maglione fu Camillo e di Gallo Adelaide, Conte di Melasso. Tale Sentenza ha accertato e stabilito il Diritto di conferire tale titolo per parte del Gran Maestro dell’Ordine di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso, rileva che la Costituzione Italiana non riconosce i Titoli Nobiliari, ma ammette che i predicati annessi ai titoli nobiliari concessi prima dell’anno 1922, possono diventare il secondo Cognome, ed ordina la trascrizione del predicato amoriense “di Melasso” del Conte Raffaele Maglione, nei Registri dello Stato Civile competente.
Pretura di Roma, XII^ Sezione, 5 novembre 1948, Sentenza N. 1057, Nr. 1057/48, nr. 22835 R.G./48, Pretore Dott. Mario Di Nola, contro Raffaele Rosso fu Giuseppe e fu Rosaria Arena, circa il titolo di Conte di San Secondo concessogli dal Principe Don Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona. Raffaele Rosso fu “imputato del reato previsto dall’art. 498 1° cap. Codice Penale per essersi arrogato delle qualità inerenti un ufficio e impiego pubblico che non aveva; del reato previsto e punito dall’art. 496 del Codice Penale perché, interrogato sulla identità e sullo stato e qualità della propria persona, ha fornito mendaci dichiarazioni a un Pubblico Ufficiale nell’esercizio delle Sue funzioni. Accertato in Roma il 6-06-1948” assolto perché “il fatto non costituisce reato”. Depositata in Cancelleria il 19 novembre 1948. Passata in giudicato il 10 dicembre 1948.
Pretura di Vico del Gargano (Foggia), 23 marzo 1949 contro il Conte Dott. Angelo de Zio per il titolo di Conte di Cesarea, Amoriense. “Il conferimento perciò di Conte di Cesarea fatto il 29 settembre 1895 al Cav. Michele De Zio dal Gran Maestro del tempo dell’Ordine di S. Giovanni d’Acri e S. Tommaso, Principe Salvatore Amoroso d’Aragona, è legittimo, onde suo figlio Angelo de Zio, Jure successionis, ha Diritto di liberamente usarlo”. Partendo da questa Sentenza si è sviluppato il testo intitolato: “L’ esistenza giuridica e di fatto, i diritti, i privilegi e le facoltà dell’Ordine Militare e Ospedaliero di S. Giovanni d’Acri e S. Tommaso in una elaboratissima sentenza del Dott. Mario Di Nola, Pretore della 12. Sezione della Pretura di Roma” a cura dello stesso Angelo De Zio, Giurista, Bari, Stabilimento Tipografico G. Pansini & Figli, 1949, 16 pagine, 24 cm.
Pretura di Vico del Gargano (Foggia), 23 maggio 1949 (Sentenza nr. 102/1949, nr. 160 R.G./1949, Pretore Dott. Vincenzo D’Addetta, contro il Principe Don Pietro AMOROSO d’ARAGONA fu Luigi Cesario e quanto da esso rivendicato in generale. Questa Sentenza riconobbe a Don Pietro ed ai Suoi Discendenti le qualifiche di “Principe” e di “Altezza Imperiale”).
Pretura Unificata di Bari, Sentenza depositata in Cancelleria il 26 ottobre 1950 n. 3172-R.G. Anno 1950, Sentenza n. 1349, Udienza del 9 ottobre 1950, Vice Pretore l’Avvocato Giovanni De Giosa, su Esposto del 18 maggio 1950, contro S.A.R. il Principe Ugo Corona Mendozza (riconoscimento come Fons Honorum legittima della Dinastia Amoroso d’Aragona e riconoscimento della validità del passaggio della Fons honorum della Casa Reale Mendoza alias Mendozza di Spagna di S.A.R. il Principe don Raffaele Mendozza, all’adottato Ugo Corona fu Giovanni poi cognominato Ugo Corona Mendozza, adottato con Decreto della Corte di Appello di Napoli del 18 giugno 1948, pubblicato in sunto nella Gazzetta Ufficiale n. 81 del 28 luglio 1948),
Tribunale Civile di Padova, I^ Sezione, 19 giugno 1951 (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicati nobiliari delle Case d’Asburgo286, Calzavara di Castelmauro e di quella di Amorio, Calzavara di Corinto, per il Titolo di Conte di Corinto concesso il 18 ottobre 1919 da S.A.I. il Principe don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona al Dott. Giuseppe Calzavara, fu Vittorio e fu Angela Piermartini. La Famiglia Calzavara è pure presente sul “Libro d’Oro della Nobiltà Italiana”, Collegio Araldico, Roma, 1949, Vol. XI, pagina 213 e sul “Libro d’Oro della Nobiltà dell’Imperial Casa Amoriense – I – 1956”, Consulta Araldica di S.A.I. il Principe Amoroso d’Aragona, Edizione Fuori Commercio di 200 esemplari numerati, da pagina 75 a pagina 77),
Tribunale Civile di Trani, 23 ottobre 1951 (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, De Zio di Myra, relativo il Titolo Nobiliare di Marchese di Myra concesso il 15 ottobre 1893 da S.A.I. il Principe don Salvatore Amoroso d’Aragona a Michele De Zio di Angelo).
Sentenze emesse dopo l’entrata in vigore della Legge 3 marzo 1951 n. 178
Pretura di Bari, 15 febbraio 1952, N. 4196 A.G., Anno 1951, Sentenza n. 204 A. 1952 in favore del Principe Pietro Amoroso d’Aragona, Tribunale Civile di Teramo, 18 luglio 1952, Presidente Dott. Arnaldo De Lavigne, Giudice Dott. Giovanni Sabelich, Giudice Dott. Alessandro De Sapia (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, Trojani d’Arassa – concesso da S.A.I. il Principe don Salvatore Amoroso d’Aragona a Vincenzo Troiani di Loreto Gervasio e di Sabatina Veramonti il 2 aprile 1885 e trasformazione per constatato errore di trascrizione da parte dell’Ufficio dello Stato Civile del cognome Troiani in Trojani, a favore del Comm. Troiani Antonio, Consigliere Provinciale di Teramo – Depositata in Cancelleria il 23 luglio 1952),
Tribunale Civile di Enna, 23 luglio 1952 (in altro testo risulta però la data del 14 agosto 1952), Presidente Dr. Angelo Pettinato, Giudice Dr. Salvatore Agnello, Giudice Dr. Alfonso Luciani (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, di San Secondo – Rosso di San Secondo – a favore di Raffaele Rosso, fu Giuseppe e fu Arena Maria. Titolo Nobiliare con Predicato concesso il 12 gennaio 1901 dal Principe Imperiale d’Amorio e Galazia don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona),
Tribunale Civile di Enna, 08 aprile 1953, Presidente Dr. Cav. Zangara Antonino, Giudice Dr. Di Silvestro Giuseppe, Giudice Dr. Agnello Salvatore (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, (Giannò) di Zenata-Ben Asciur e di Cartulano Mori, vista l’istanza proposta da Giuseppe, Marianna e Agnese Giannò),
Tribunale Civile di Vicenza, 07 aprile (in altri testi risulta l’8 aprile) 1953 (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, Valcasara di Monte Mileto a favore della Contessa Teresa Valzasara nonché trascrizione della Sentenza stessa nei Registri dello Stato Civile del Comune di Sarego. Il Titolo Nobiliare di Conte di Monte Mileto venne concesso il 15 ottobre 1900 da S.A.I. il Principe don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona a Feliciano Valcasara di Antonio e di Teresa Zambon, n. il 20/7/1854. Con Provvedimento del 22 giugno 1912 lo stesso Principe concedente disponeva che successibile nel Titolo fosse la Figlia del predetto don Feliciano di Valcasara, donna Teresa e che la stessa potesse usare del Titolo di Contessa di Monte Mileto anche vivente il Genitore),
Tribunale di Benevento, Sezione Civile, 16 febbraio 1954, Presidente il Comm. Alfonso Cuoco, Giudice il Dott. Coppola Francesco, Realtore il Dott. Nobile Gustavo Adolfo (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare amoriense (Del Bo) di Torre Rotonda a favore del Giornalista Comm. Del Bò Adriano fu Francesco),
Tribunale Civile di Benevento, 15 giugno 1954, Presidente il Dott. Cucco Alfonso, Componente il Dott. Coppola Francesco, Componente Estensore il Dott. Ciampi Domenico (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, a favore di Moratti Angelo Pietro fu Albino sì da far diventare il cognome Moratti di Valle Nestore, a seguito del titolo di Conte di Valle Nestore ottenuto nel1905, il 15 luglio, con Lettere Patenti rilasciate da Sua Altezza Imperiale il Principe d’Amorio e Galazia don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona),
Pretura di Paliano (Frosinone), Sentenza del 2 aprile 1954, N. 41 Reg. Gen. – N. 23/54 Reg. Sent., Pretore l’Avv. Felice De Simone, Sentenza di Assoluzione nelle Causa Penale contro Monfisani Antonio (Marchese Antonio Monfisani di Berea) fu Pietro e fu De Consoli Giovanna quale Gran Cancelliere degli Ordini Militari ed Ospedalieri di San Giovanni d’Acri e San Tommaso e Santa Maria di Betlemme, Generale di Brigata della Riserva Rovero288 Umberto (Barone di Sidima nella Nobiltà Amoriense) fu Napoleone e fu Gibba Adele ed al Colonnello in pensione Taibell Nicola fu Gondisalvo e fu Tagliaferri Giuditta, Gran Croci di Giustizia degli Ordini predetti, relativi all’uso dei titoli degli Ordini sia Giovannita che Betlemmita),
Tribunale Penale e Civile di Venezia, Sezione II, 22 aprile 1954, depositata il 30 aprile 1954 al n. 4519, Vol. 56 Mod. 3, Presidente Rel. il Dott. Mario Tiberi, Giudici i Dottori Anteo Vasari e Giuseppe Gebbia, causa promossa con citazione del 10/10/1953 n. 7728 Rep. Uff. Giud. Tribunale di Venezia promossa da Valente Attilio fu Angelo (Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, Valente di Valbruna, dalle Lettere Patenti di Barone di Valbruna rilasciate dal Principe Luici Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona del 15/04/1921),
Corte di Appello di Bari, 9 giugno 1956, Presidente Dott. Chieppa Lorenzo, Relatore-Consigliere Dott. De Lellis Gerardo, Consigliere Dott. Celluzzi Lorenzo, Consigliere Dott. Arnao Ugo, Consigliere Dott. Bartoli Antonio (Sentenza N. 285-1956, N. 4101 cron., N. 26054 Mod. VI, nella causa civile in grado di Appello, per usurpazione di Predicato, iscritta nel Registro Generale di spedizione degli Affari Civili e Commerciali sotto il numero d’ordine 63 del Ruolo Generale contenzioso dell’anno 1956 tra MORATTI Angelo fu Albino Emilio di Valle Nestore contro l’omonimo e congiunto in linea collaterale MORATTI Angelo fu Augusto). Depositata in Cancelleria il 19 giugno 1956, Cancelliere Vito Attanasio;
Pretura di Cagliari, Denuncia dell’1 marzo 1954, Udienza del 27 febbraio 1957, Sentenza n. 124 del 29 marzo 1958, Reg. Gen. N. 963/54. Procedimento Penale contro Brandas Enrico fu Gaetano e di Concu Luigina assolto per non avere commesso alcun reato (uso del titolo di Cavaliere di Grazia dell’Ordine di Militare ed Ospedaliero di Santa Maria di Betlemme conferitogli con Decreto Magistrale del Principe Luigi Amoroso d’Aragona);
Tribunale Civile e Penale di Ferrara – Presidente Dr. Riccardo Toma, Giudice Dr. Giuseppe Begnudelli, Giudice Dr. Francesco Campolongo (Sentenza relativa al procedimento per rettificazione di Atti dello Stato Civile iscritto al N. 8 del Registro per l’anno 1957 su ricorso presentato dal Sig. Bruno Umberto in data 6 marzo 1957; Sentenza di riconoscimento e trascrizione di predicato nobiliare Amoriense, (Bruno) di Noepoli a favore di Bruno Umberto fu Achille), 26 giugno 1957 – in altri testi è riportata la data del 28 giugno 1957 (Lettere Patenti del 15 agosto 1919 concesse da S.A. il Principe Imperiale di Amorio e Galazia don Luigi Cesario Amoroso d’Aragona, relative al Titolo di: “Marchese di Noepoli”).
Corte Suprema di Cassazione, 23 aprile 1959 (Sentenza n. 2008 del 23 aprile 1959, Reg. Gen. N. 3909, III Sez. Penale: “piena assoluzione, ristabilimento del Diritto di Concessione ed accertazione degli Ordini Cavallereschi Non Nazionali”).
[xxvi] Op. cit. p.192: “Circa la liceità dei Titoli anche in ambito Vaticano, possiamo ben notare che data l’esistenza di privilegi (anzi, abbiamo addirittura Bolle Papali) nei confronti del casato Amoriense (ad esempio Papa Calisto III ne emise a favore dell’Ordine dei NEMAGNA298), la Giurisprudenza insegna che le concessioni fatte dal Pontefice sotto l’impero del Governo Pontificio, in qualsiasi modo espresse, sia per editto o rescritto, che per semplice lettera, avevano l’efficacia di Legge e vincolavano lo Stato, finché non fossero revocate dallo stesso Pontefice, però la revoca deve risultare da un atto positivo e non negativo (cfr. Cassazione di Roma, 11 maggio 1907, in Giurisprudenza Italiana, 1907, I, 1, 632): ma è noto pure che per la Cancelleria Apostolica è una regola di non derogare ai Diritti acquisiti (cfr. Rivista Araldica del 1935, pag. 60) ed infatti Ordini Dinastici come quelli Amoriensi e Nemagnici non furono mai (MAI) revocati da alcun Pontefice, ma anzi si trovarono riconosciuti pure da Sentenze ed implicitamente confermati da Benedizioni Apostoliche
[xxvii] See http://tradcatknight.blogspot.com/2017/12/francis-blesses-sspx-mission-in-vanuatu.html retrieved October 8 2020 The author is a traditional Catholic who, so far as can be established, is sympathetic to the traditionalist and separatist elements of the Society of St Pius X, whose mission in Vanuatu had received a Papal blessing despite such a blessing being seemingly reserved for those in full communion with the Holy See, “Some intelligent commentators are sweeping this papal blessing under the carpet as of little to no significance: “Papal parchment blessings can be obtained simply by completing a form for a whole host of reasons,” and/or following from this, “The Pope probably never had anything to do with this rubber-stamped blessing, which was most likely completed on his behalf by an administrative nun working in this department of the Vatican.” But I am persuaded otherwise. According to the Vatican website which executes the papal parchment blessings, there are only 9 reasons/occasions which qualify for the reception of same: “The Apostolic Blessing is granted for the following occasions: 1. Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation 2. Marriage 3. Priestly Ordination 4. Religious Profession 5. Secular Consecration 6. Ordinations of Permanent Deacons 7. Marriage Anniversaries (10, 25, 40, 50 , 60 years)*, Priestly Ordination, Religious Profession 8. Birthdays (18, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100)* 9. Catholic individuals* or families* (with name and surname of the spouses united in a religious marriage).” Obviously, none of these 9 reasons apply to the blessing of the mission in Vanuatu, and consequently, on this analysis alone, we could surmise that the papal blessing was not of this papal parchment (i.e., rubber stamp) variety. In fact, the same SSPX announcement explicitly states the contrary: “Through the mediation of our Bishop Fellay’s Second Assistant, Fr. Nely, our mission received a Papal blessing from Pope Francis in person.” The blessing, therefore, is significant. It clearly (however disingenuously) signifies Roman approval of the mission.”
[xxviii] Guy Stair Sainty, 15 July 1999, message posted to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.heraldry/vom4C00ytFA%5B1-25%5D retrieved October 6 2020.
[xxix] Reproduced in full at http://www.giurcost.org/decisioni/1967/0101s-67.html retrieved October 6 2020.
[xxx] The official English translation of the current version of the Constitution is at http://www.senato.it/documenti/repository/istituzione/costituzione_inglese.pdf retrieved October 8 2020.
[xxxi] 1948 Constitution in English http://constitutionnet.org/sites/default/files/Italy.Constitution.pdf retrieved October 6 2020.
[xxxii] http://www.regalis.com/nobletitles.htm retrieved October 9 2020. In the same article, the author includes a number of points concerning the inheritance and acquisition of titles in the section “Recognition of Nobiliary Titles”. It is important to realize that the points he makes refer solely to Italian titles (whether originating in the Kingdom of Italy or its predecessors) and have no applicability to Byzantine titles held by or granted to Italian citizens.
[xxxiii] It was agreed that Prince Kermit’s two sons and their descendants would retain all of their hereditary and nobiliary privileges and would remain full members of the Royal House.
[xxxiv] There is also believed to be a genealogical link between Prince Kermit and his successor. It is hoped that future dNA testing will provide more substantive evidence to support this.
[xxxv] By this is not meant the body of the West led by Charlemagne and his successors (which was not the legal successor to the Roman Empire), but the Eastern Roman Empire, the legal successor to the Roman Empire of the Caesars, deemed “Holy” as the successor of the Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor.