Talk:Umberto I of Italy

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OMG. The importing 1911 encyclopedia articles is nice, but this lays on the royalist/conservative propaganda so thick it isn't funny. Good gentle minded king? Tell that to the protestors he had massacred, Tianmen-square style! Somebody fix pls thx.

I also think this article is pure royalist propaganda. Of the few kings of Italy, Humbert I was probably the most hated, and as far as I know few wept over his death. The title "the Good" is simply ludicrous (though it's true the official propaganda machine tried to make it stick). If you ask any informed Italian, he's probably going to prefer Bresci's figure to king Humbert's.
In any case, a less agiographic article is needed. I'll put an NPOV notice on the article. --Orzetto 13:46, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I edited the stuff so it looks (to me) a bit more NPOV. You judge whether the NPOV template should go away. --Orzetto 11:24, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I didn't see the 1911 encyclopedia article, but I'm sure it can't be worse than the present entry on king Umberto I.

The content is very meagre, and apparently revolves around something he never did, i.e. firing on the crowd with cannons.

It must be underlined that the Kingdom of Italy was a constitutional monarchy, and the King was Head of State only, not having government responsabilities.

The decision to give absolute power to General Fiorenzo Bava Beccaris was of the government, Prime Minister di Rudini' and all members, including moderate ministers such as Zanardelli.

The King had nothing to do with that, and the fact that he congratulated Bava Beccaris for having termianted a very much feared revolution was normal procedure.

Even the dead count is wrong: the deads were 80, 2 were soldiers and policemen, that makes 78. At leas 23 were killed in the riots before the 7th of May, that makes no more than 55. Which certainly is a terrible toll, but can anyone believe that an army firing with cannons on the crowd for two full days can make 55 deads only?

Actually the article on Humbert I seems pure anti-monarchist propaganda. First, there is no mention of the Gold military valour medal he earned himself in 1866. Second, the inhumane conditions of the jailing of Passanante seem to be a direct responsibility of the King, when he instead tried to save Passnante's life by commuting the sentence. Third during the murder attempt by Passanante the Queen cried out "Cairoli save the King", Prime Minister Cairoli (who belonged to the moderate left) jumped on Passanante to defend the King and thereby got stabbed in the leg. It is quite difficult nowadays to immagine any Prime Minister jumping on an armed assailant to defend the life of a King with complete disregard for his life, let alone to defend the life oh a "hated tyrant" as Humbert I is described in this article. Fourth, Humbert responsibility for the Bava-Beccaris massacre was substantially non-existent, he justed congatulated the general for having restored order when faced by a revolutionary movement (so had been described what happened in Milan, the King was not there). Fifth, Humbert was greatly mourned and his murder shocked and horrified most of the Italians. This article needs editing and balancing rather quickly.Martin von Bachmann (talk) 05:45, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, the article is decidedly one-sided and negative. For instance, the article claims Umberto was a "colonialist" but gives neither any evidence of this or any sources. And the very bold claim that Passnante was held in a tiny cell and tortured into insanity is backed up only by some obscure book from the 1920's? That's weak. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:44, 2 January 2011 (UTC)


Certainly he should be at Humbert I of Italy for just the same reason as Humbert II of Italy is where he is? Or at least Umberto for both. This inconsistency is silly. -- Jao 19:53, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I agree, I put a request to change the name. --Orzetto 13:46, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
oppose Actually he is in as Umberto II. Humbert II is simply the redirect. Wikipedia policy is not to anglicise names, but to use the version of names used in English. I write a lot about royal issues, and indeed have written about the last two Italian kings and I rarely see references to Humbert II. Almost invariably to Umberto II. Humbert I is more difficult as he is rarely mentioned in English anyway, and where he is, it is 50:50 as Umberto or Humbert. As Humbert II is correctly at Umberto II logically we should then have this guy in as Umberto I. The Victors Emmanuel are invariably referred to in English by their English version of the name, probably because the name is too complicated to be translated as Victorio Emmannuele. It is crazy, I know, but for some reasons Italian monarchs seem to cause as much trouble here as they did in Italy when they reigned. :-) But as policy is to use the version of the name each monarch is known by in English, they should be named here
  • Victor Emmanuel I
  • Victor Emmanuel II
  • Umberto I
  • Victor Emmanuel III
  • Umberto II.

FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg(talk) 17:46, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

I would prefer some consistency (by the way it would be Vittorio Emanuele in Italian). I'm not sure why the articles about the Humberts are left in Italian, while the Victor Emmanuels are in English—it does not look well-thought.
Google-test: "Umberto I of Italy" and "Humbert I of Italy" are more or less equally matched, 703 to 671. However, it's clear that "Humbert II of Italy" is prevalent over "Umberto II of Italy", winning with 1500 against 904.
With such margins, I would definitely go for "Humbert". --Orzetto 06:56, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree with jtd - the inconsistency is irritating, but necessary. The Victor Emmanuels are almost always called "Victor Emmanuel". The Umberto's are normally called "Umberto". It is not as though this is unheard of. Ferdinand VII of Spain and Isabella II of Spain are succeeded by Amadeo I of Spain and Alfonso XII of Spain. I would suggest that this is most likely because names like "Amadeus," "Alphonse," and "Humbert" are pretty deeply uncommon in English, so there is not much point in anglicizing. As to google - the search for "Umberto I of Italy" vs "Humbert I of Italy" yields about twice as many results for Umberto. It should be added that "Umberto I" vs. "Humbert I" yields many, many, many, many more results for Umberto. Although some are in Italian, "Humbert I" yields very few results at all - and most of the early ones are just different sites with the Columbia Encyclopedia online. There are also nearly twice as many hits for "Umberto II" as for "Humbert II". john k 14:39, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Sorry but you must be wrong. The Google count for "Umberto I of Italy" and "Humbert I of Italy" are still as I reported (basically equal). Your search for "Umberto I" is completely invalid, as there still are thousands of squares, streets, hospitals and so on with the name of the king (he was murdered by an anarchist, and during the "orderly" fascist period they were naming everything after him). The first page of googling reports, among others, "Colle Umberto I", "Villa Umberto I", "Ristorante Umberto I", "Piazza Umberto I". Practically any town in Italy has a "via Umberto I" somewhere. Rome's main hospital is named Umberto I, so you might even find the name in scientific publication (well, if that hospital were a scientific institution and not a rat breeding ground). By the same reasoning, you might conclude that princess Margrethe (or Margaret) should not be translated either, because you will find bunches of "Margherita" (the pizza, invented for the queen, who did not like anchovies).
Umberto is neither common in Italian, a notable exception being Umberto Bossi. In English, I remember the man in Lolita was named Humbert.
In English-only pages, googling "Humbert II of Italy" (who did not have any streets named after him) returns 1480, while "Umberto II of Italy" returns 849 --Orzetto 17:35, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Indeed there are a lot of results based on Italian locations. The queen, so far as I know, is usually called "Queen Margherita" in English, so I'm not sure what you're getting at. At any rate, as I said, the google results aren't that important, since they're hard to interpret. As to the names, my point was not that Umberto is a common name in Italy, but simply that Humbert is not a common name in English. Thus, translating the name from "Umberto" to "Humbert" does not make it terribly more familiar, which is the normal reason for translating names. At any rate, google results should not be the be-all and end-all. Most books I have read which discuss Italian history use "Umberto" and not "Humbert" for the king. Obviously, this is not scientific, but neither is google, which only gives a false sense of precision. john k 17:56, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Two points for Orzetto.
  • Whether Umberto is common or not in Italy or in Italian is irrelevant. What matters, as John points out, is what is common in English. Academically, people use Umberto I and Umberto II, not Humbert I and Humbert II.
  • Google searches are frankly worthless. They throw up links that are high quality and crap, accurate and complete BS. For example, if I rename this article Humberdink I of Italy and it was left there for a couple of week (and that does happen sometimes when people rename articles and no-one notices), others would copy it and hey presto, you could find google evidence that there was once an Italian king called Humberdink. Google searches in the past have proved that the current Prince of Wales has a surname that he doesn't have, that Prime Minister Gladstone is known by a way that no historian would ever consider calling him. The list of fictions "proved" by google searches is endless. So google searches as evidence of anything is useless. FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg(talk) 22:38, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. violet/riga (t) 23:06, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Coincidences section added.[edit]

The following section was recently added. I found a single hit on it from Google, from a forum posting... not exactly the most reliable source. Is this a hoax? Or is there a real source for this? SnowFire 04:17, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

--- Strange Coincidences

King Umberto I' double In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I, went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia- Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto's order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblances between each other and found many more similarities. a) Both men were born on the same day, of the same year, (March 14th, 1844). b) Both men had been born in the same town. c) Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita. d) The restauranteur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy. e) On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restauranteur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, he was then assassinated by an anarchist in the crowd. ---

I read that in Ripley's Believe it or Not!, and actually came here looking for a source. 00:58, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I read that in a book titled "Mysteries of the Unexplained". I lost the book, but recall the story. -- User:lawrence142002 —Preceding undated comment added 04:14, 10 March 2011 (UTC).

I think Cracked slideshows are user generated, so the veracity may be questionable, but MMetro (talk) 18:08, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

What about the nickname?[edit]

Well, aside from the historical assessment on him, Umberto I was actually nicknamed “il Re Buono”, not “il Buono”. The difference is remarkable, since the former is an antonomasia. “Il Buono” should go along with the name (e.g. Amedeo III il Crociato), “il Re Buono” should not. Now, how does this translate into English? “Buono” is just “good”, “buon re” would be “good King”, but “re buono” is not the same as “buon re”! It specifically indicates goodness of heart (that is why such a nickname sounds nasty to anti-monarchists). Yes, English is difficult, I am not joking... --Erinaceus (talk) 21:15, 19 April 2009 (UTC)