LAST UPDATE: March 3, 2013


Back To Main Menu



Email

Note: Desktop computers, to exit a new popup from this page, hit the backspace bar. For mobile devices, use the back button.


PROLOG: Gaza (Arabic Gazzah), also referred to the modern Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE. Gazzah could be loosly basterdized to Gazza (dropping the h during pronounciations by early inhabitants)

Modern Coat of Arms


Coat of Arms Palestine

Coat of Arms Gaza

Kingdom of Jerusalem

The Palestinian city of Gazza's history of habitation dates back 5,000 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Located on the Mediterranean coastal route between North Africa and the Levant, for most of its history it served as a key entreport of the southern Levant and an important stopover on the spice trade route traversing the Red Sea.

Bronze Age: Settlement in the region of Gazza dates back to Tell es-Sakan, an Ancient Egyptian fortress built in Canaanite territory to the south of present-day Gaza. The site went into decline throughout the Early Bronze Age II as its trade with Egypt sharply decreased. Another urban centre known as Tell al-Ajjul began to grow along the Wadi Ghazza riverbed. During the Middle Bronze Age, a revived Tell es-Sakan became the southernmost locality in Canaan, serving as a fort. In 1650 BCE, when the Canaanite Hyksos occupied Egypt, a second city developed on the ruins of the first Tell as-Sakan. However, it was abandoned by the 14th century BCE, at the end of the Bronze Age.

Ancient period: Gazza later served as Egypt?s administrative capital in Canaan. During the reign of Tuthmosis III, the city became a stop on the Syrian-Egyptian caravan route and was mentioned in the Amarna letters as "Azzati". Gazza remained under Egyptian control for 350 years until it was conquered by the Philistines in the 12th century BCE, becoming a part of their "pentapolis". According to the Book of Judges, Gazza was the place where Samson was imprisoned by the Philistines and met his death.

After being ruled by the Israelites, Assyrians, and then the Egyptians, Gazza achieved relative independence and prosperity under the Persian Empire. Alexander the Great besieged Gazza, the last city to resist his conquest on his path to Egypt, for five months before finally capturing it 332 BCE; the inhabitants were either killed or taken captive. Alexander brought in local Bedouins to populate Gazza and organized the city into a polis (or "city-state"). Greek culture consequently took root and Gazza earned a reputation as a flourishing center of Hellenic learning and philosophy.

Gazza experienced another siege in 96 BCE by the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus who "utterly overthrew" the city, killing 500 senators who had fled into the temple of Apollo for safety. Josephus notes that Gazza was resettled under the rule of Herod Antipas, who cultivated friendly relations with Gazzans, Ascalonites and neighboring Arabs after being appointed governor of Idumea by Jannaeus. Rebuilt after it was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 BCE under the command of Pompey Magnus, Gazza then became a part of the Roman province of Judaea. It was targeted by the Jews during their rebellion against Roman rule in 66 and was partially destroyed. It nevertheless remained an important city, even more so after the destruction of Jerusalem.

Throughout the Roman period, Gazza was a prosperous city and received grants and attention from several emperors. A 500-member senate governed Gazza, and a diverse variety of Philistines, Greeks, Romans, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Jews, Egyptians, Persians, and Bedouin populated the city. Gazza's mint issued coins adorned with the busts of gods and emperors. During his visit in 130 CE, Emperor Hadrian personally inaugurated wrestling, boxing, and oratorical competitions in Gazza's new stadium, which became known from Alexandria to Damascus. The city was adorned with many pagan temples; the main cult being that of Marnas. Other temples were dedicated to Zeus, Helios, Aphrodite, Apollo, Athene and the local Tyche. Christianity began to spread throughout Gazza in 250 CE, including in the port of Maiuma. Conversion to Christianity in Gazza was accelerated under Saint Porphyrius between 396 and 420. In 402, Theodosius II ordered all eight of the city's pagan temples destroyed, and four years later Empress Aelia Eudocia commissioned the construction of a church atop the ruins of the Temple of Marnas. It was during this era that the Christian philosopher Aeneas of Gazza called Gazza, his hometown, "the Athens of Asia." Following the division of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century CE, Gazza remained under control of the Eastern Roman Empire that in turn became the Byzantine Empire. The city prospered and was an important centre for the Levant.

Islamic era: In 635 CE Gazza was quickly besieged and captured by the Rashidun army under general 'Amr ibn al-'As following the Battle of Ajnadayn between the Byzantine Empire and the Rashidun Caliphate in central Palestine. Believed to be the site where Muhammad's great grandfather Hashim ibn Abd Manaf was buried, the city was not destroyed by the victorious Rashidun army in spite of the stiff and lengthy resistance. The arrival of the Muslim Arabs brought drastic changes to Gazza; at first some of her churches were transformed into mosques, including the present Great Mosque of Gazza (the oldest in the city), a large segment of the population swiftly adopted Islam, Arabic became the official language. In 767 Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi'i was born in Gazza and lived his early childhood there; al-Shafi'i founded a prominent Sunni Muslim legal philosophy (or fiqh) called Shafi'i, in his honor. Security was the key to Gazza's prosperity which had been maintained in the early rule of the Muslims. Although alcohol was banned in Islam, the Jewish and Christian communities were allowed to maintain wine production and grapes, a major cash crop in the city, were exported mainly to Egypt. Because it bordered the desert, Gazza was vulnerable to warring nomadic groups. In 796 Gazza was destroyed during a civil war between the Arab tribes of the area. However, by the 10th century CE the city had been rebuilt by a third Arab caliphate ruled by the Abbasids; Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi described Gazza as "a large town lying on the highroad to Egypt on the border of the desert." In 977 a fourth Arab caliphate ruled by the Fatimids established an agreement with the competing Seljuk Turks, whereby the Fatimids would control Gazza and the land south of it, including Egypt.

European Crusaders conquered the city from the Fatimids in 1100 and King Baldwin III built a castle used by the Knights Templar in Gazza in 1149. He also had the Great Mosque converted into the Cathedral of Saint John. In 1154, Arab traveller al-Idrisi wrote Gazza "is today very populous and in the hands of the Crusaders." In 1187 the Ayyubid forces, led by Saladin, captured Gazza and later destroyed the city's fortifications in 1191. Richard the Lionheart apparently refortified the city in 1192, but the walls were dismantled again as a result of the Treaty of Ramla agreed upon months later in 1193. The Ayyubid period of rule ended in 1260, after the Mongols under Hulagu Khan completely destroyed Gazza, which became his southernmost conquest.

Following Gazza's destruction by the Mongols, Muslim slave-soldiers based in Egypt known as the Mamluks began to administer the area in 1277. The Mamluks made Gazza the capital of the province that bore its name, Mamlakat Ghazzah ("the Governorship of Gazza"). This district extended along the coastal plain from Rafah in the south to just north of Caesarea, and to the east as far as the Samaria highlands and the Hebron Hills. Other major towns in the province included Qaqun, Ludd, and Ramla. Gazza which entered a period of tranquility under the Mamluks was used by them as an outpost in their offensives against the Crusaders which ended in 1290. In 1294 an earthquake devastated Gazza, and five years later the Mongols again destroyed all that had been restored by the Mamluks. Syrian geographer al-Dimashqi described Gazza in 1300 as a "city so rich in trees it looks like a cloth of brocade spread out upon the land." Under the governorship of Sanjar al-Jawli, Gazza was transformed into a major and flourishing city and much of the Mamluk era architecture is traced back to his reign between 1311-1320 and again in 1342.

In 1348 the Bubonic Plague infested the city, killing the majority of its inhabitants.........

End of Prolog

It is not know exactly when the original Arabic name Gazza devolved to the common modern name Gaza.

COMMENTARY:
I think that at the beginning of the Bubonic Plague in Gazza, many people who lived in Gazza realized that this was more than an outbreak of the common cold or flu, fled for their lives. One group took their chances by sea and went by boat into the Mediterranean Sea heading towands the direction of France.
Arriving in France, they settled to form a small commune in Mant where they lived for a time. These were a proud people who only wanted freedom and a chance to prosper and called themselves Mant de Gazza (locals from Mant but comming from Gazza). Over a period of time, the name Mant de Gazza familiarized by the French language became Mantegazza.
Finding out that the Bubonic Plague had also hit France, they left and scattered to the 4 winds including Switzerland. One group eventually settled in Italy to form a new agricultural commune outside of the town of Vanzago.

Today, the municipality of Vanzago contains the frazioni (subdivisions, mainly villages and hamlets) Mantegazza, Valdarenne, and Tre Campane.

All the current Mantegazzas of the world are decendants of the original French Mant de Gazza commune.

Our bloodlines could be a mix of Philistines, Greeks, Romans, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Jews, Egyptians, Persians, and Bedouin whether we like it or not. So if you are wondering why you are so smart, or curious, or hostile, or ambitious or just plain lazy, you know where you get it from.


THE MANTEGAZZA FAMILY TREE
Famous or well known Mantegazza's
Michele Mantegazza 1417-1432 Bishop of Diocese of Alessandria Della Paglia
Cristoforo Mantegazza (c. 1430 ? 1482) was an Italian sculptor who was active from 1464. He was born in Pavia.
Antonio Mantegazza, Italian Early Renaissance Sculptor, active 1472-1495
Lucrenzia Mantegazza from 1625 - ?
Domenico and Pietro Mantegazza (violin makers and restorers) 1730-1803 Milan
Rosa Mantegazza (f 1769-?) + Giovanni Piubellini (m 1765-?) child Giovanni Maria Piubellini (1800-?)
Paolo Mantegazza 1831-1910 neurologist, writer, anthropologist
Mantegazza Cheese Producers, 1930 Luigi and Federico Dairy in Caidate Di Sumirago near Varese
Carlo Mantegazza married his first cousin film star Greta Scacci. Their son Matteo Mantegazza born 1997
Dr. AR Mantegazza (medical research) still active as of 2012
Walter Mantegazza played pro-football 1952-2006
Carlo Maria Mantegazza 2003 winner of the Bartolozzi prize, given to an Italian mathematician under the age of 35
Dr. Massimo Mantegazza, molecular neuron studies
Raffaele Mantegazza, research lecturer at University of Milan, Bicocca
Enrico Mantegazza, wedding photographer, Milan
Eredi Mantegazza, retailer of sewing machines, Milan
Elena Maria Mantegazza, nutritionist, Sydney Australia
Antonio, Sergio, Geo Mantegazza founders of Globus family of Brands Tour Travel

                         HOUSE GIOVANNI Milan                                       HOUSE PAOLO SWITZERLAND
(Mouseover image for baby photos if any)
GIOVANNI Mantegazza(1890's?-?) + ALESSANDRINA PIZZIGONI(1890's?-?)                     Paolo Mantegazza
                               |                                                               |
     _________________________________                                                         |                     
    |                     |           |                                                    1902-1972
                                                   
Alfredo + Elona Vero  Giuseppe Ferdinando+ Fernanda                                         Antonio + 1st wife    Antonio + Angelina
    |                                |      Arioli                                             |                     |---------------------------|
                                                                                     
Alex + Diane Arruda               Gianni + Ornella                       Founder of Globus Family of Brands        Sergio + Aristela               Geo + Elena            Geo + Liliana Ackermann
no children                          no children                                                                          | Hernandez Martin           | Vanini   ____________|______________________Business
                                                                                                                          |                            |         |        |        |        |            |
                                                                                                           
Alex + Ildiko Fuzessery                                                                                         Fabio   Dolores   Paolo               Anna    Antonio Claudio    Mario    Vicky
no children                                                                                                       |        |        |                             |                |
                                                                                        __________________________|     ___|____    |__________________           |________        |_____________________________
                                                                                       |        |        |             |        |             |        |          |        |          |        |        |        |
                                                                                                
                                                                                    Son 1     Son 2    Son 3         Son 1    Son 2         Son 1    Son 2     Girl 1   Girl 2      Son 1    Son 2    Son 3    Son 4