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Home/ The Amalfi Coast/Amalfi/Byzantine New Year's Day

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Byzantine New Year's Day

The Byzantine New Year's Day was conceived by Amalfi Medieval historian Giuseppe Gargano, with the collaboration of the town of Atrani; it is a cultural and historical event that finds its historical justification in the fact that legal and fiscal year began on September 1st in all countries subjected to the Byzantine Emperor. On that day, in fact, the comites, the leaders of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi in its early aristocratic period, came into office. This administrative practice lasted from 839, year of birth of the autonomous republic, to the first half of the X century. The annual election of the representatives of the towns of the Amalfi coast was taken up under the Anjou domination (1266) and lasted until the Bourbons time.
The main theater of the re-enactment is the Church of San Salvatore de' Birecto in Atrani, palatine chapel where the Dukes of Amalfi were crowned with the chlamys and cap (berretto), symbol of ducal power. In the atrium of the Church of San Salvatore de' Birecto both the investiture of comites - in the pre-ducal period - and the conference of parliaments composed by the mayors of the coastal towns - in the Angevin period - also took place.
After the investiture, proclaimed by the Archbishop of Amalfi in late Medieval language, the historical parade moves from Atrani to Amalfi, consisting in more than 90 actors in original costumes designed in 1950 by prof. Roberto Scielzo.

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