Through the ROUTES it is possible to access some presentations of the main themes regarding the history of the Patriarchate of Aquileia and Friuli. Moreover, it is possible to consult the biographical profiles of the most important bishops and patriarchs of Aquileia, the lives of which are intertwined with the paths taken by the written culture of medieval Friuli traced by this site.

The places of the patriarchs

The Historical Topography of Aquileia’s Patriarchate is a research tool primarily aimed at scholars of medieval history, but also useful for those who deal with toponymics or linguistics in general, and interesting for all regional culture lovers.
This tool allows people to easily identify the places mentioned in medieval sources, which becomes necessary for carrying out historical research in a multilingual context, such as that of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. In fact, the documentation relating to this ecclesiastical institution, though written in Latin, often gives evidence of a toponymic polymorphism due to the presence of populations of different languages; for this reason, the Latin name of a place can be the original one, or it can result from a translation or adaptation of Germanic or Slavic forms (or even romance forms, namely Friulian).

Go to Historical Topography of Aquileia’s Patriarchate

Publishing medieval sources for the history of the Church in Friuli, which has been promoted in the last fifteen years by the “Istituto Pio Paschini” and then collected in a series published by the “Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo”, has made it possible to publish a considerable number of volumes. Some of them are dedicated to the documents, instruments and abbreviations devised by notaries and patriarchal chancellors. Precious information emerges from these materials about the exercise of the two souls – spiritual and temporal – of patriarchal jurisdiction, modelled on the life of ecclesiastics and laity, on their relationship with the society of the time, on the trials examined by the multiple courts of the patriarchy domain. Above all, emerges the considerable mobility of the people involved, who come not only from the large area of the Patriarchate – already in itself very diverse on a linguistic and cultural level – but also from the neighboring territories. The amount of data that these publications display is enormous; even a simple look at the indexes of places and personal names that accompany the editions of the registers can offer an idea of the extent of the area referred to in the documents.


The data included in this Topography were obtained through the scrutiny of the registers of the patriarchal notaries, published by the collaborators of the “Istituto Pio Paschini” in the series “Fonti per la Storia della Chiesa in Friuli – Serie medievale”. The insertion of the names is still in progress (and the given data are subject to revision as well), but with regard to the materials already inserted, the consultation of the historical topography database already allows people to easily find the correspondences between the current toponyms (in the official language of the current state of belonging) and ancient place names (paleonyms).

First of all, the platform offers this information:

  • for each toponym the corresponding paleonyms are listed;
  • each paleonym is located on the map and the attestations are listed in chronological order; each attestation is linked to a short form which reports, in addition to the date:
    the notary;
    the context;
    the reference to the archival source (readable in full with the mouse pointer);
    the reference to the modern edition of the source in which the attestation appears.

The structured search on toponyms operates on the list of proper names of the localities, in the current official forms. In the “Toponimo” (Toponym) field it is possible to search in the following way:

  • by entering the first few letters in the search field, the list of toponyms containing the entered string will be suggested;
  • by selecting an item from the list and clicking on Search, you will get to the toponym, with its position on the map and the list of corresponding paleonyms.

It is also possible to use the truncation character * to obtain all toponyms starting with the entered text string (e.g.: Lim* finds Limberk and Limbuš).
If a state, a province or a municipality is also selected, the list of results will be limited to the desired area.


The structured research on paleonyms operates on the list of ancient names of localities, in the forms evidenced by the sources. In the “Paleonimo” (Paleonym) field it is possible to carry out a search according to the procedures previously mentioned for toponyms. In the “Contesto” (Context) field it is possible to search by word, with the option again to use the truncation character *.
In case a notary, a typology or an archival source or a district is additionally selected, the list of results will be limited to the desired circumscribed corpus.
By entering the years in the “Da” (From) and “A” (To) fields, only the attestations relating to the indicated time span can be obtained.
The fields relating to ecclesiastical and lay circumscriptions allow an even more precise search: in some cases by selecting from the complete list (e.g.: “Arcidiaconato” or “Pieve”), in others by inserting any letter in one of the fields (e.g.: “Chiesa” or “Cappella”) and selecting from the list of names that contain the entered letter.
It should be noted that in these fields the data have been entered only in cases their belonging is explicitly certified by the source.


The general search (“cerca nella topografia storica”) is a useful tool in cases where you do not have a clear idea about the criterion by which to search.
It operates not only on the list of toponyms and paleonyms, but also on the contexts of the attestations. Also in this case, it is possible to carry out a search according to the procedures previously illustrated for toponyms.


The Historical Topography of Aquileia’s Patriarchate was created by the “Istituto Pio Paschini per la Storia della Chiesa in Friuli” in collaboration with its financial supporters.


Scientific conception and coordination

Gabriele Zanello, University of Udine


Historical advice and data entry

Sebastiano Blancato

Nicola Ryssov





Technical design and implementation

CG Soluzioni Informatiche


The project is realized thanks to the support of

  • Regione autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Fondazione Friuli
  • Identità culturale del Friuli
© - Istituto Pio Paschini
per la storia della Chiesa in Friuli
Via Treppo, 5/B - 33100 Udine
Tel. e fax: 0432 414585