The Book of Sacrifice and Glory

"To the heroic goliards of the University of Padua, gloriously fallen for the Homeland, the gratitude of the Nation."

These are the words of King Vittorio Emanuele III that open the Book of Sacrifice and Glory (Libro del Sacrificio e de la Gloria), a collection of profiles of the students who fell in the war, promoted in 1923 by a committee of students and edited by law graduated Giuseppe Cristoforo Frizzi, general secretary of the Comitato per le onoranze agli studenti caduti in guerra. The title, "D'Annunzio-esque," as Piero Del Negro defines it, frames a series of biographical cards within a volume conceived as a commemorative heirloom to be delivered, along with a medal, to the families of the deceased during the doorway inauguration ceremony. In reality, the two items will actually be offered on November 25, 1923, in the hall of Palazzo della Ragione.

Pianta del Salone in Palazzo della Ragione in occasione della cerimonia del 25 novembre 1923, ACGPd

The gallery of heroes consecrates the myth of the young interventionist (P. Del Negro 2015), ready to fight and make the supreme sacrifice in the name of his homeland, as acknowledged by Marshal Armando Diaz himself, signer of the letter published among the first pages of the Book. A brief introduction by Nino Tamassia follows, opening an ideal liaison between recent events and the past events of 1848, the symbolic beginning of the struggle that has just ended, when:

 “...the first proofs of the open struggle against the filthy foreigner were written in blood.”

1848-1915 (Frizzi 1923)

Sacrifice and Glory, the two terms that hinge the list of fallen soldiers in these parchment pages, celebrating their memory within marginal frames that enclose symbols of victory and mottos of ancient virtues.

In addition to being a commemorative and re-evocative work, the volume is also a valuable historical document, not only because of the biographical information and excerpts given, but also because of the photographic material included within it: portraits, of course, but also images of the gateway and, above all, of the ceremony that introduced it to the city.

Cerimonia d'inaugurazione del Portone (Frizzi 1923)