Martin Bauzer (1595 - 1668)


On 11 November 1595, the feast of St. Martin, a child was born in a village in the Vipacco valley, Selo di Cernizza, a child who was destined to become the first historian from Gorizia: Martino Bauzer (or Martin Bavcer). He entered the Society of Jesus, studying in Ljubljana and Brno, Bohemia. In 1621 he returned to Gorizia, and here he taught at the Jesuit college that had been founded two years earlier. Between 1634 and 1658 he was teacher, prefect and administrator of several Jesuit colleges, including the one in Rijeka and the one in Graz (the "Ferdinandeum"). He returned definitively to Gorizia, where he taught theology and where he died on 23 December 1668, at the age of seventy-three.

This is his life as a religious and teacher, not too different from that of many other Jesuits present in Gorizia whose names, however, have not left such a lasting mark. Father Bauzer instead is remembered for his work as a historian. In fact, he dedicated himself to the writing of two works, the Historia Rerum Noricarum et Forojuliensium and the Sillabus Ducalium Comitum Goritiae, while the text of a speech made on the occasion of the visit to Gorizia of Emperor Leopold in 1660 was published under the pseudonym of Gaudentius Hilarinus. The two historiographical works remained unpublished.

The Historia, written in the form of annals, is the history of Noricum, the region that included Tyrol, Bavaria, Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Istria, and Friuli. In it Martino Bauzer traced what has been called the history of Europe of his time as seen from Gorizia, describing the events that occurred from the time of the universal flood to the death of Emperor Ferdinand III (1657) and reporting the sources, published and unpublished, from which he had drawn the news used, often transcribing passages of the documents he had used. The Syllabus is the list of the accounts of Gorizia and other public offices of the city and the county, with a summary of the most important events that happened under the government of each one.

These studies of his were not printed, but manuscripts circulated and served as a basis for the works of other local historians: in the public libraries of Gorizia several copies made in different periods are preserved, while it seems that the originals were found in Graz. Like most scholars of his time, Martino Bauzer wrote in Latin, and his works clearly show his vision of a supranational homeland of which Gorizia was part. The Historia has recently been translated into Slovenian, while an Italian edition of his writings has not yet been realized.