The Sardinian Medieval Judicadu

Last time we had a short trip to Ichnusa and we reached the historic period when four separate Logus (Sardinian states) were established and each judicadu was headed by its own judike. Most probably you already got lost in these unknown words for you. That is why let me you clarify some of the terms and be your unprofessional guide today.

Judicadu, logu or rennu are three terms in Sardinian whose meaning is a “state” (and sometimes “kingdom”). Such four Sardinian states were formed in the 900 AD and existed in the medieval times. Each of those giudicati (in Italian) was a sovereign and independent state. Moreover, power was not inherited from one’s father or ancestors but it was super individual simply because it wasn’t owned by a judike (king, monarch). All of the states were very democratic, too, since all extremely important national decisions were reached not by the respective ruler but the by representatives of the people who were united in a parliament which was named Corona de Logu. Each of the four Sardinian kingdoms had its own state guarded boarders. All of them followed their own both commercial and political interests. Each rennu had its own Corona de Logu and Cartas de Logu (laws), own state offices and coats of arms, state symbols and national languages.

And which were these four logu in Sardinia? Before telling you, I will say a few things about la Bandiera dei Quattro mori (the Four Moors Flag). The Sardinian flag has been vreating confusion and mystery up to now because it’s changed without a notice through the centuries. On the other hand, the meaning of the flag is not clear yet simply because there are too many legends. According to one of them the 4 blindfolded Moors are related to a period, previous to the domination of the Kingdom Aragon. What does it mean? It means that each Moor represents one of these four judicadus on the island, these tiny independent Sardinian states which existed between the 9th and 15th centuries and which defended their island against the constant invasions of the Moors, i.e. Càlari, Torres, Gallura and Arborèa.

Giudicato Càlari (900 – 1258): Judicadu de Calaris in Sardinian was situated to the south and south-east. It was mainly pro-Genoese in political terms. Unfortunately, it had a shorter history than the rest three logus because it lost the battle and its capital Santa Igia was invaded and destroyed by mixed Sardinian and Pisan forces in 1258. That put an end to its existence and the rennu was divided between the Republic of Pisa and some of the other giudicati on the island.

Giudicato Torres or also Giudicato Logudoro (900 – 1272): Judicadu de Torres was situated in the north-western parts of the island and it was always pro-Pisan. The very end of the rennu was in 1272 when judike Enzo died without an heir. It was divided between Genoese families of Doria and the other giudicato on the island. As for Sassari, it turned into an autonomous city-state.

Giudicato Gallura (900 – 1288): Judicadu de Gallura was brought to end some 16 years after the fall of the second one. When last judike Nino Visconti was captured by the Pisans in 1288, the whole territory was occupied by them.

Giudicato Arborèa (900 – 1420): Judicadu de Arbaree is the fourth independent Sardinian state. Its capital was Oristano and it was the only logu which existed for about 520 years. It should be mentioned that it was pro-Pisan in political and cultural terms like some of the others.

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4 thoughts on “The Sardinian Medieval Judicadu

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