Saturday, May 20, 2006

Who were the Equis?

The family name “Equi” seems unique to many people today, but it has a long history. We have learned from an active network of Equi families that the Equi’s are principally from Tuscany, Italy, especially in the city of Barga.

One of the Equi family sources has written that he believes his ancestors are named in the Aeneid of Virgil, in the following citation:

Ferter Resius / rex Aequeicolus
is preimus / ius fetiale paravit
inde p(opulus) R(omanus) discipleinam excepit
Et te montosae misere in proelia Nersae
Ufens, insignem fama et felicibus armis;
horrida praecipue cui gens adsuetaque multo
venatu nemorum, duris Aequicula glaebis:
armati terram exercent semperque recentis
convectare iuvat praedas et vivere rapto.

Ferter Resius, king of the Equis
was the first to obtain the right of the feziali.
Therefore, the people of Rome had to learn to accept it.

You went to battle in the mountenous Nerse,
Proud and strong with invincible fame,
tough like your people used to the long hunts in the forests:
the Equis made of very tough soil,

who work the earth fully armed and everyday,
always find new prey, surviving through robbery.

If you search Google Earth for “Equi, Italy,” you find a remote location, high in the snow-covered Apuan Alps (which, I gather, are to the southeast of the Ligurian Alps), not far from the town of Barga. Nearby is the ancient hamlet, "Terme di Equi." The area is said to be full of ancient marble quarries – very fitting since Marie Equi’s father was a stonemason. The picture is from a website about a nearby country hotel-farm, with pictures of the "outskirtses". I know I'm ready for vacation.


Anonymous said...

ready for a vacance? in which case I should check out just what Barga has to offer

Melanie Erickson said...

Thanks for the info, she is a cousin of mine and I would love to learn more about her and the history of my family.