Conference Simon Rutar and Slavia Veneta
On 2 September 2020 a conference on Simon Rutar and Beneška Slovenija/Slavia Veneta was held in the Hall of Slovenska matica in Ljubljana. The organizers, Slovenska matica and the ZRC SAZU Research Station Nova Gorica, celebrated 120 years since the publication of the book Beneška Slovenija (1899), a valuable regional work by one of the first educated Slovenian historians and geographers, Simon Rutar (1851–1903). The natural and historical description with 15 images, as the work was subtitled, was actually published in 1900 the third book in the series Slovenska zemlja [Slovenian Land], although Slavia Veneta had been part of the Kingdom of Italy since the 1866 referendum. The anniversary was an opportunity to devote ourselves to both Slavia Veneta and the work of Simon Rutar from an ethnological, geographical, linguistic, and historical point of view.
Researchers from the Heritage on the Margins research programme also presented their contributions at the conference. Primož Pipan highlighted Simon Rutar’s role as one of the most important founders of the geographical name Beneška Slovenija or Benečija. In the report Zemljepisna imena in dediščina v knjigi Beneška Slovenija Simona Rutarja [Geographical Names and Heritage in Simon Rutar’s book Beneška Slovenija], he presented numerous place names in Slovenian and Italian using concrete examples from various maps, from the oldest maps to the present. He pointed to the Torre valleys in comparison to the Natisone valleys and Resia as an exception, where until recently geographical names in Slovene were not listed on the maps. The last part he dedicated to the geographical names as heard and written by Simon Rutar.
Branko Marušič presented the article O začetkih književnega ustvarjanja Beneških Slovencev [On the Beginnings of Literary Creation of Slovenes of Benečija]. He presented in detail Jožef Podrecca and his work Katekizem ali kristianski nauk [Catechism or the Christian Doctrine], dedicated to the priest Anton Ukmar, which was printed in Gorizia in 1855. According to Marušič, it is one of the key works in this area, one which was not confirmed by the Catholic school authorities simply because it was written in Slovenian, and not because of religious inaccuracies or shortcomings, as stated in the official declaration.
The presentation of Jernej Zupančič of the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana entitled Political Geography of Slavia Veneta was broadcast in the programme Pogled v znanost on Radio Slovenia Ars on 7 September 2020.