The origins of the surname

The Ierovante surname appears the first time in Italy in the 1534, year in which some inhabitants of  Corone, a small town sited in the Morea region, in Greece, took refuge to escape to the invasions of the Ottomen. Corone was in those days under the domination of the Albanian people; the expansion of the Turco Ottomano empire in the Greek region pushed some of the family more in sight of Corone to accept the refuge offer given by the aragoneses, which allowed to the greeks of install oneself in some locality of the south of Italy, in particular in Calabria, where still today there are numerous towns in which it is spoken it the ancient Greek language.

The country in Italy in which installed the Ierovante family is Castroregio, sited in Calabria, in the province of Cosenza. At present there are numerous family Ierovante scattered in the world; between the end of the 1800 and the first of the 1900 some inhabitants of Castroregio, between which also some Ierovante, emigrated and  established in America (United States) and in Argentina; other one transferred in Germany and other still transferred by Castroregio remaining in Italy. Today the Ierovante are numerous and scattered in a lot of parts it of the world, but the origin is common, and comes from the town of Castroregio.

The historic situation in the 1460-1480 in the Greek -Albanian region

In Albania, in about the 1460, get togheter in Alessio the  “league of all the Albanian peoples”, that proclaimed as his head Giorgio Kastriota Skanderberg. This last, also with the help of Alfonso di Aragona, but with forces clearly subordinates in number, defeated more time the Ottomen, which although they had recourse to all the stratagems, didn't succeed to have reason of the troops guided by Skanderberg. In 1461 outbreak in the kingdom of Ferdinando di Aragona, success to Alphonso, the rebellion of the barons. Skanderberg lands in the south of Italy and soon the order is re-established.
The value of the Albanian leader, that for about a period of thirty years maintains far from the Europa the Ottoman threat, reveals splendidly in Croia in the 1465. It is the same sultan, Maometto II, that, tired of the continuum defeats of his army, comes to besiege Croia, where Skanderberg and his men are shut in. Yet, the sudden sorties of this last and the ascertainment that the undertaking is impossible, make the sultan to abandon the siege. But the death of Skanderberg, that happened during the meeting of the league to Alexis in the 1467, nearly sudden made fall the hope of a possible further opposition to the Ottoman empire and well soon nearly all the Albania was engaged.
A lot of family then, droping every thing and giving proof of big pride and national dignity, preferred to embark for Italy in order of don't give way to the Ottomen. They joined, then, in the south of Italy in the 1478, and were divided and fixed up in some extent hamlets left uninhabited for the scourges that invested the Calabria during the sec. XV.

The foundation date of Castroregio

Controversial is the foundation date of Castroregio. According to A. Scura, this would go up again to the 1476-78 and together with Scura other people is of the same notice. Giorgio Toscano, in its ‘Storia di Oriolo’ asserts that he has seen in the file of the castle the assent privilege of the king, which authorized the building of a hamlet of greeks, to the time of the baron Giovanni De’ Vergara, subfief of Oriolo. The hamlet in question is Castroregio and, according to this privilege has been built toward the 1515. Toscano speaks also of the Camideca family that would have been called to populate this hamlet, but avoids to him that the Camideca came in Italy in the 1535, that is after the Corone fall and, then, it is not possible that they were the first inhabitants and founders of Castroregio. It is rather possible to say, much probably, that also the assigned greeks to Castroregio arrived in Italy toward the 1478. The Aragoneses didn't like certainly much the presence of this warlike people on the theirs soil, but given the big resonance of the theirs resistance against the Ottomen, it doesn't be possible to deny the hospitality to them. So after alternates events, in which intervened also the mediation of the Pope, the greeks came divided in all the kingdom.
Passed so some years before that it was possible to fix up in the places chosen from the aragoneses. Castroregio then, was built toward the 1510-15, with the good offices of Giovanni Lopez De’ Vergara.
After this not friendly welcome on behalf of the sovereigns and of the various barons of the kingdom (that they are not trusted of the refugees and so separated them as enemy to ward off for the kingdom) the behaviour of the greeks toward the native peoples could only be hostile.
After many vicissitudes, the Castroregesi halted lastly in a place and then constructed theirs houses, but only for a short time it was possible for them to enjoy this relative quiet. Burst in this period the war between Spagna and France, all the countries near, but Oriolo, passed in the enemy field.
For the approaching of the frenches, the Spanish army began to withdraw to south in the attempt of organizing the defence. While they were withdrawing toward Castrovillari, the spanishes put the theirs field on the outskirts of Castroregio and the place still keeps the denomination of  “Timpone of the Spanish”.
After the withdrawal of the spanishes, the countries that passed with the frenches sacked the territory of Oriolo. Castroregio was attacked and burnt from the inhabitants of Amendolara, Roseto and Canna. Oriolo was besieged from the frenches, that put the field in the called place “il seggio”, but she resisted and the frenches, tired, took off the siege. Being, yet, its territory run and sacked by the bands pro-frenches, to the end it was submitted.
Ended the war with the victory of the spanishes, all the territory passed in feud to the family Sanseverino of Salerno.

View of Castroregio

The entry to the town

A foreshortening of Castroregio

The church of S. Rocco

Typical greek-albanian costumes

The arrival in Castroregio of the families Di Lazzaro, Ierovante, Camodeca and Pappadà

In the meanwhile in Orient happened the last act of the ottoman conquest: the strength of Corone, in Morea, was laid siege to, and shortly afterwards it falls in possession of the ottomen. Carlo V, astonished from the value of the, sent two hundred ships to save the family more in sight.
The inhabitant of Cornone, said Coronei, had innumerable privileges. To the contrary of the poor greeks that became first, they enjoy the protection of the emperor: they were possible to ride with bridles and spurs, allowed thing in these times only to the nobles; they didn't pay taxes or duties; they were possible to  establish themselves, to their choice, in one of the Albanian villages of the Calabria, Sicilia or Puglia; they were possible to bear the arms for the kingdom and even within the room of the prince, title of great distinction.
In Castroregio, in the 1534, arrived, coming from Corone, the families Di Lazzaro, Ierovante, Camodeca, Pappadà and other, that joined together the already existing people and emploied to reconstruct the poor village. It was in these years that Castroregio, with the construction of the church, that in the 1552 already resulted existing, and of some walling houses, bought the aspect of a town. The coming family from Corone gave so a certain town planning layout, if so it is possible to say, to the village, but not founded it, as it is supported more late.

The historic reference has been extracted by the book"Profilo storico di Castroregio, dalle origini all'unità d'Italia", written by Pina Cecere Roma and printed by Tipografia Jonica - Trebisacce (CS), 1978.

Last update: 1/9/2000
Web designer: Sandro Ierovante