Michele Amari

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Amari, Michele


Born July 7, 1806, in Palermo; died July 16, 1889, in Florence. Italian historian and political figure.

Amari was an opponent of the feudal absolutist regime of the Neopolitan Bourbons. In 1849 he published the book On the “War of the Vespers,” which became a success among the revolutionaries of his time. He was forced to move to France, where he lived until 1859 (except during 1848–49). He took an active part in the revolution of 1848–49 in southern Italy and was a member of the revolutionary government. He was minister of education from 1862 to 1864. During 1854–72 he wrote a history of the Arabs in Sicily. Amari idealized the relations between the rulers and the people in Sicily until the assumption of the Anjou dynasty (under both the Arabs and the Norman dynasty). Nevertheless, Amari’s works present a wealth of factual material and a new and more correct interpretation of several significant problems of Sicilian history.


Storia dei musulmani di Sicilia, vols. 1–3, 2nd ed. Florence, 1933–38.
La guerra del Vespro siciliano. Rome, 1947.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Those seriously interested in a comprehensive study of the political and cultural history of Muslim Sicily from 827 until roughly 1250--that is, from the period of Muslim sovereignty until the end of Frederick II's reign, broadly speaking--normally begin with the groundbreaking work of the Italian orientalist, Michele Amari (1801-1889), whose Biblioteca arabo-sicula and Storia dei musulmani di Sicilia constitute something of the "foundational texts" for the study of our field.
This book is a bold and massive undertaking that attempts to (re)write the political, economic, cultural, religious, and intellectual history of Muslim Sicily that spans four centuries and is crafted from centuries of primary and secondary sources, a project first undertaken by the nineteenth-century Michele Amari. With this twenty-first-century project we are all the more enriched.
(P.52) Michele Amari, an Italian writer of the 1840s even declares that far from being any antithesis to the Orient, Europe's history and civilization find their roots in the East.
But this was also true of Michele Amari's seminal work on Islamic Sicily, Storia dei musulmani in Sicilia (1854-72), which devotes nearly as many pages to the Norman period as to the Islamic.