Sicilian Parliament

The Sicilian Parliament was the legislature of the Kingdom of Sicily.


The Sicilian Parliament is arguably considered one of the oldest parliaments in the world and the first legislature in the modern sense.[1][2]

Sala dei Parlamenti (Parliaments Hall), establishment of the Sicilian Parliament in the Aragonese time.

In 1097 came the first conference in Mazara del Vallo convened by Roger I the Great Count. The parliament initially travelling, as it had no official building to house it. The Sicilian Parliament was made up of three branches: one feudal, one Ecclesiastical, and one from the towns. The feudal branch was formed by nobles representatives of counties and baronies, the ecclesiastical branch was formed by archbishops, bishops, abbots and archimandrites, while the state-owned branch was formed by representatives of 42 autonomous towns in Sicily. The first Norman parliament had only an advisory function and confirmation of the sovereign, especially in taxation, economics and wars. Members were chosen from the more powerful nobles.

Since 1130 meetings are held in the Palazzo dei Normanni, in Palermo. First radical change came with Frederick II of Swabia, which allowed access to part of civil society. After a period in the background during the reign of Anjou, the Parliament became the central focus of the organization of the Sicilian Vespers. On 3 April 1282, during the uprising, the red and yellow flag with the center triscele was adopted by Parliament: today is the flag of Sicily. With the Vespers and the subsequent settlement of Frederick III of Aragon in 1297, the Assembly strengthened its central role. This was the time that the permanent establishment of the Parliament was in the Castello Ursino, in Catania, at the Sala dei Parlamenti (Parliaments Hall). At this time consisted primarily of landowners, mayors of cities from the counts and barons, was chaired and convened by the king. Parliament had the constitutional responsibility to elect the king and to perform the function of body guaranteeing the proper conduct of ordinary justice exercised by executioners, judges, notaries and other officials of the kingdom.

In 1410 the Sicilian Parliament held at Palazzo Corvaja of Taormina, in the presence of Queen Blanche I of Navarre, a historic meeting for the election of the King of Sicily after the death of Martin II. With the successive kings of Aragon, Sicily lost its political autonomy and a viceroy ruled the island. With Charles V in 1532 was again summoned a parliament in Palermo, which also continued to meet under Philip II, preserving its authority. Over time the importance of the Sicilian Parliament faded.

In Palermo, on 19 July 1812, the Sicilian Parliament, meeting in extraordinary session, declared the feudal regime abolished, promulgated the first Sicilian constitution, of English inspiration, and approved a radical reform of the state.[3] In 1816 the Parliament along with the Kingdom of Sicily was abolished when united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

The Parliament only met again during the Sicilian revolution of 1848.

Popular revolt in front of the Sicilian parliament in 1848

On 25 March 1848 the General Parliament of Sicily met in Palermo, with a revolutionary government composed of a president and ministers from the president himself eligible. Vincenzo Fardella of Torrearsa and then Ruggero Settimo were elected president: declared void the Bourbon dynasty and offered the vacant throne of Sicily to the Duke of Genoa, the second son of Carlo Alberto of Savoy, who would not. The life of the Parliament of 1848-49 lasted briefly and already the so-called Gaeta decree of 28 February 1849 Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies began to take possession of Sicily, and 14 May the assize was dissolved.[4] Reconstitution of the Parliament came at the end of World War II, when for the vast defuse separatist movement in Sicily, was granted special autonomy and was reborn, 25 May 1947, in Palermo, as Sicilian Regional Assembly.


  1. ^ Storia del Parlamento - Il Parlamento
  2. ^ Enzo Gancitano, Mazara dopo i Musulmani fino alle Signorie - Dal Vescovado all'Inquisizione, Angelo Mazzotta Editore, 2001, p. 30.
  3. ^ www.jstor.org
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions


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