News of the city of Ruvo at the time of the Aragonese Dynasty.

From the registers of the great Archives the following facts are found. In the year 1454 Donata del Balzo Orsini eldest daughter of Gabriele del Balzo Orsini, Duke of Venosa, and second son of Ramondello del Balzo Orsini, Prince of Taranto, exhibited to King Alfonso Primo of Aragon that his deceased parent had owned the following cities and lands , that is Venosa with the title of Duke, Lavello, Lacedogna, Minervino, Ruvo and Vico with its hamlets named Castiello, S. Nicola and S. Suosso, Montelione, Laurenzana, Castello Vellotto, Flumari, Vallata, Guardia Lombarda, Pulcarino, Rocchetta Sancti Antonii , Carbonara, Monte Acuto, Carpignano, the hamlets of Trentola, Lauriano and Capodrise with the Territory called Pietra PalombaCum omnibus ipsarum civitatum, terrarum et locorum castris, seu fortellitiis, hominibus, vassallis, vassallorumque redditibus, mero, mixtoque imperio, et gladii potestate, Banco Justitiæ, et cognitione causarum civilum, criminalium et mixtarum, Bajulationibus statu et integer .

She said that the aforementioned fiefdoms belonged to her due to the death of her parent by way of legitimate succession, and asked for her investiture. The said King Alfonso I with his Privilege of the 1st of June of the aforementioned year confirmed to her the fiefs mentioned above pro se, suisque heredibus, et successoribus cum omnibus prædictis juribus et jurisdictionibus, prout melius et plenius tenuit, et possedit dictus quondam Gabrielius pater forza suorum privileiorum [203] , tenenda omnia prædicta in feudum etc. [204] .

The said Donata del Balzo Orsini took for husband Pirro del Balzo Prince of Altamura, Count of Monte Scaglioso and Grand Contestabile of the Kingdom and brought him the aforementioned fiefdoms as a dowry. For this reason, in the Aragonese papers and by the Writers of Customs Matter the said Pirro del Balzo is entitled Duke of Venosa and Minervino, and Count of Ruvo. To the aforementioned spouses, King Ferdinand I of Aragon, son of Alfonso, in 1458 confirmed the fiefs they respectively owned, including the city of Ruvo [205] .

Isabella del Balzo was the daughter of the said Pirro del Balzo and Donata del Balzo Orsini. Her husband was Frederick of Aragon, second son of King Ferdinand I of Aragon. For the death of her parents without male children, among the other fiefs she inherited there was also the city of Ruvo. It was certainly an advantage for our city to have passed under the domination of a prince who was very distinguished for his virtues and for the goodness of his customs. But this lasted very little.

Federico became King of Naples in the year 1496, perhaps pressured by the painful circumstances which will be discussed in the following chapter, in the year 1499 he sold the aforementioned city to Galzarano de Requesens , Count of Trivento and Avellino. Since this contract is not registered in Regj Quinternioni, the notes that exist in the Great Archive justify it by referring to an ancient process formed in the Regia Camera della Sommaria between the Regio Fisco and the Duke of Andria and Count of Ruvo for the assignment of the fires of the said city, in which the aforementioned privilege was produced [206] . Now we need to take a step back to bring back the following registers also of the time I am discussing.

In the Repertoire de ‘Registri Curiæ , in the Registro Licterarum Regiarum Primo of the year 1478 Cam. I Letter S Scanzia 4 n. 5 fol. 42 to t. there is the following news. University of Curati, et Ruvo community of water et herba 1478 Rex Ferdinandus.

In the said Repertoire under the Licterarum clausarum Curiæ Registry [a166]IX of the year 1478 Cam. I letter S Scanzia I n. 8 fol. 74 reads Ruvo et Corato for common water and grass .

In the Repertoire de ‘Registri Partium fol. 17 to t. under the Register Partium XIX of the year 1479 Cam. 5 Lit. A Scanz. I n. 29, University of Quaratæ reads immunity for the trust of animals in their territory, and community of water and grass with the University of Rubo .

Three Registers already mentioned are missing; but the transcribed notes left in the repertoire suffice to prove that there was once a community of water and grass between the two populations of Ruvo and Corato. This is also confirmed by the following Register, however, existing from the same year 1479.

Giacomo Caracciolo useful Lord at that time of the land of Quarata , and the university, and men of it explained to the said King Ferdinand thathaving dicta Terra, et Universita et homini of that community of water and herba with the Università et homini of the city of Rubo, and that if they use, and used a great time, and one with the other pacifice according to their ancient custom, privilege and chapters showed, at present for Cola Cometta of this Dohana of ours they want to innovate something not usual, nor followed for the other Officials of our Dohana, from which it will follow not a little damage and interest to said exponents. In addition to this they have made us beg for their indempnity of the opportune remedy that they should not be obliged to said supplicants to innovate anything in prejudice of their said chapters, privileges, and custom, for the dicto Cola, and other Officiali de dicta Dohana in their community of water and herba,.

There follows the Rescritto del Re which is seen inserted to the letter, with which it was ordered that nothing had been innovated against the exposed communion of water and grass. Finally, there is a provision from the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary of 12 September 1479 with which the full and exact execution of the aforementioned Real Rescritto was ordered [207] .

On the community of water and grass of the city of Ruvo with Corato and Terlizzi.
From the Register of King Robert of the year 1310 and 1311 reported in front of p. 144 it has been seen that between Ruvo and Terlizzi there was the same communion of water and grass. Why was our city once in communion with the two lands of Corato and Terlizzi, and not with the neighboring cities of Bitonto, Altamura and Gravina? It seems that the thing is self-explanatory. As for Terlizzi, which is at a distance of two miles from Ruvo, a single glance of anyone who does not want to give up reasoning is enough to decide that that is a new Population born in the ancient vast Ruvestino countryside, and that as much as the same has and possesses can only repeat it from our city.

As far as Corato is concerned, it seems that there is no doubt that it is also located in the territory of Ruvo, and that the land assigned to it by Count Pietro Normanno from which it was built was also cut out by the Ruvestino countryside. It has first been shown that on the western side Ruvo was the last city of Peucezia, just as Canosa was the first city of Daunia that we met starting from Ruvo. These two cities were adjacent to each other, since between one and the other there was no intermediate city, and that Netium for which so much noise has been made, I have shown in Chapter I a merely ideal name.

Corato is in the middle between Ruvo and Canosa, but at a distance of three to four miles from Ruvo and seventeen miles from Canosa. To which therefore of the said two ancient cities must it be believed that the land on which Corato was built is located? Common sense and natural reasoning attributes it to the nearest city. But paying attention to ancient geography, this is only a factual truth.

It was shown earlier in Chapter III that the territory of ancient Peucezia extended to the mouth of the Ofanto, and that on the straight bank of the Ofanto there was the Daunia only the city of Canosa and the village of Canne located in the field of Diomedes made famous by the bloody defeat [a168]de ‘Romans. It is easy to understand from this that the Canosino countryside on the side of the Peucezia could not, and should not have been very extensive, otherwise how could it have happened that the boundaries of it extended as far as the Ofanto? The city of Canosa is on the Ofanto.

The fort of the Agro Canosino must therefore have been on the left of Ofanto, where after Canosa the other ancient city called Herdonia met , of which today only the remains can be seen, not far from which the petty village that bears the Ordona name . Between Canosa and Erdonia there was no other intermediate city, as Cerignola which is now between Canosa and Ordona is a new city.

Now between Canosa and Erdonia according to the itinerary of Antoninus there was the distance of twenty-five miles, and according to the Gerosolimitano itinerary of twenty-six miles. From that side, therefore, that it was very extensive to enter the ancient Canosino countryside, and from the side of the Peucezia it could not have been greater than it is at present, nor can one ever believe that it had extended as far as the walls of Ruvo where Corato was built.

From which it follows that Corato must necessarily believe that it was built in the Ruvestino countryside, and that from this the endowment of land that was assigned to it was returned. For the premise observations it seems that the same must also be said for the territory of Andria, at least for that part of it which is on the side of Ruvo, since on the side of the Garagnone with which Andria is bordering, it is very likely that it will be included today in its territory a good portion of what belonged to the ancient city called Silvium , of which I spoke at length in Chapter III, and I have shown that that ancient city was on the precise site, where today the Garagnone castle stands.

In fact, in the extreme part of the Ruvo murge there is a trifinio that connects the territory of Ruvo with that of Garagnone and that of Andria; which makes it probable that this new city built at the time of the Normans has also taken a portion of its territory from the ancient Silvino countryside , known today as Garagnone . This trifinio is marked with three stone terms in the extreme part of the Ruvo murge in the site called Taverna Nuova and Giuncata which I will talk about later.

Returning now to that promiscuity of water and grass in which the city of Ruvo was once with Corato and Terlizzi, I observe that similar [a169]promiscuity contracted between two neighboring populations have always started from the calculation of mutual utility, and from the equality of the respective convenience that would have resulted from it. Such could have been the promiscuity that our city had by chance contracted with the city of Bitonto, Altamura or Gravina, which were also provided with an extensive territory. But what use could it have drawn from placing its vast territory in communion with Terlizzi and Corato?

It did not have the former, just as it now has only a very limited territory, which was not provided with other pasture, except for the small wood called Parco di Terlizzi now reduced to cultivation. Compared to the vast territory of Ruvo this was only a mathematical point. Compared to Corato, it has a wider territory than that of Terlizzi, and is also equipped with more extensive pastures; but not at all comparable to those of the Ruvestino area. It is therefore clear for himself that the aforementioned promiscuity did not dictate interest, since there was nothing in it to gain for the city of Ruvo, and in all times the Coratini and Terlizzesi have needed the territory of Ruvo, not never the Ruvestini of Corato and Terlizzi.

This communion therefore dictated only by the benevolence, affection and affinity of the Ruvestini with the two new Populations that arose in their territory, and probably formed at least in part by their fellow citizens who went to settle in Corato and Terlizzi. It is therefore that in the last Aragonese Register of the year 1779 just transcribed the University and Men of Corato said that this promiscuity was enjoying it by virtue of ancient customary privileges and chapters .

The privileged words and chapters in our ancient legal language are worth the same as the concession . Chapters and Privileges are called the graces granted by our past Sovereigns to the city of Naples and to the whole Kingdom. Hence the same University of Corato with its previously transcribed request was naively to declare that the aforementioned promiscuity was repeated by a concession from the city of Ruvo.

This promiscuity has not existed for a long time that surpasses all memory. It had to remain dissolved for just reasons that are ignored. Having been there once, however, and forming part of the history of our city, it was regular to investigate the reasons that suggested it.