“Most of Them are Honourable”. Luigi Villari and the Armenians during the 1905-1906 Armenian-Tatar War
- Armenian-Tatar War,
- Armenians in the Russian Empire,
- National Stereotypes
Copyright (c) 2021 Aldo Ferrari
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Luigi Villari’s book Fire and Sword in the Caucasus, published in London in 1906, is widely quoted by scholars working on the history of Transcaucasia, in particular in respect to the Armenian-Tatar war. Yet neither this text nor its author have been so far studied in detail. The Italian Luigi Villari (1876-1959) is a figure of considerable interest; he was a diplomat, traveler, and journalist. His father, Pasquale Villari (1827-1917), was an accomplished historian and politician who played an important role in nineteenth-century Italy; Villari’s mother was the British writer Linda White (1836-1915). It is remarkable that the author wrote a book an English at a time when this was not a popular language in Italy. He wrote extensively both in English and Italian about different topics, mainly related to history and international politics. It has been shown that, after the First World War, Villari joined Fascism and contributed actively to the regime’s propaganda in Great Britain. The present paper examines Luigi Villari’s book on the Caucasus, especially the author’s attitude towards the Armenians. I shall demonstrate that in his work, he handles negative stereotypes of the Armenians (“one of the most unpopular races of the East”), which were common in the Russian empire at the beginning of the twentieth century, in a rather interesting way.