A long time ago, between the IX and XV century, Sardinia was divided into four distinct reigns called Giudicati, these were: Arborea, Cagliari, Torres/Logudoro and Gallura.
The four States were Sovereign states, therefore totally autonomous, and were governed by, “Giudici” (judikes in Sardinian) , their laws and structure were based on the Roman and Bizantine system, yet they were also characterized by peculiar local touches probably dating back to the Nuragic civilization.
The States were in many ways quite modern with respect to their European contemporaries of Feudal origin, as they were non patrimonial states (they didn’t belong to the sovereign)but super-individual, in other words, they belonged to the people.In fact, one of the most modern features of the Giudicati was the “Corona de Logu”, a council representing the citizens’ approval. The Judikes’ were also submitted to the local aristocracy’s consent.
The statue of the female Giudice Eleonora dArborea and the Mariano Tower located in the main squares of Oristano are evidence of this happy period, like the extraordinary Church of Saccargia in the Sassari province and the Church of San Simplicio in Olbia. To keep this memory alive, the 4th and 5th of December the association Memoriae Milites is organising in the park of Monte Claro in Cagliari, the “V Torneo del Liofante” ( Elephant tournament).
The Association Memoriae Milites was created by a group of friends, all sharing the same passion for history, that of Sardinia in particular. The Association studies and recreates ancient Medieval battle techniques, fencing in particular, and it has also managed to reproduce and “put on scene” the costumes of the period, which was probably one of the most significant of the island. These fascinating ancient times are restored through the careful study of old documents, and a Medieval Sardinia is literally brought back to life thanks to this extraordinary initiative consisting in a variety of events and shows, all in traditional costumes, often with the help of both public and private institutions.
Currently, the historical periods covered by the Group refer mostly to the Roman and Medieval times, particular attention is given to the period of the “Giudicato of Arborea” the most influential of the “giudicati” and characterised by the extraordinary female Judge Eleonora d’Arborea. Recently the Nuragic era has also become another topic of interest and study .
With regards to the Medieval period, “Memoriae Milites” is anxious to show and relive the epic periods of the four “Giudicati”, specially through the study and display of fencing. The Group’s very logo reproduces an uprooted tree , (the coat of arms of the Arborea Giudicato) and underneath has transferred the battle cry of the armed forces of the “Judikes” .
THE “LIOFANTE” TOURNAMENT
The great success and popularity of the Liofante tournament has brought it to its fifth edition and on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of December, alongside the collaboration of Cagliari, the Memoriae Milites will be happy to re-evoke a Medieval atmosphere with battles and costumes and much, much more, set amongst the nature of the Monte Claro park in Cagliari.