Simzig Federico (1849-1922)


Federico Simzig (later Simsig) was born in Gorizia on 23 February 1849, at a time when the city was discovering the first constitutional freedoms after the uprisings that had run through the empire the previous year. He attended the Gorizia Staatsgymnasium and after the conclusion of his studies he dedicated himself to teaching. He was professor of Italian, Latin and Greek first in the gymnasium of Koper and then, from 1877, in that of Gorizia, where he was director - the first and only Goritian to hold that position - from 1903 to 1910. Besides his scholastic activity, he found the time to compose second-hand verses (some of which appeared in "Forum Iulii" and in the "Almanac of the people") and to carry out and publish researches of a linguistic nature, particularly directed towards the language of his and his city's origin, Friulian in the Gorizia variant. Various news about the Friulian dialect with critical notes and etymological essays and Solecismi nella parlata goriziana are the titles of his works, to which Simsig added a translation into Friulian by Catullus, Lis gnozzis di Teti e di Peleu, and other writings, including at least the "humorous speech" held at the Teatro Sociale in memory of Pietro Zorutti in 1892, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the Friulian poet. On some occasions he used as a pseudonym an Italian "translation" of his name: Pacifico Simonelli. When he retired, he could not accept the idea of leaving the world of school that had been his life and that he continued to love, and continued teaching. At his death, which occurred at the age of seventy-four years on September 12, 1922, all the main city authorities attended the funeral: the mayor Antonio Bonne, members of the town council and provincial council, many city councillors, teachers of the schools in Gorizia; but above all, as the family members pointed out in public thanks to the many who had wanted to honor the memory of Professor Federico Simsig, a "crowd of students and pupils" who had had the opportunity to appreciate his qualities as an educator of the youth of Gorizia.