National Geographic : 1976 Mar
mountains without Giuliano's permission." Peasant, bandit, patriot, he had stolen mas sively from the rich and given just as massive ly to the poor. His battalion-size band sometimes allied with the Separatists who sought independence for Sicily in the mid 1940's-had humbled the forces of the Italian Republic. But this king, like his native land, could know no victory. On July 5, 1950, the silver fingers of the dawn inched across a courtyard in Castel vetrano and found Turiddu. He lay crumpled in death. Shot by the Mafia? The police? The landowners? In the end, all had used Giuliano, distorting his struggle for the poor. In Sicilian tradition his death was steeped in treachery and violence. Although he was 27, his face, noted one observer, had the "calm beauty of an exhausted adolescent." The end of that tragic legend, like the be ginning, you can find in Montelepre. Desolate and poor, it huddles on a mountainside. Just beyond the town I came to its locked and somber cemetery. An inscription above the gate proclaimed: Fummo come voi, sarete come noi-We were as you, you will be as we. Unable to find an attendant, I climbed the wall and located the cypress-bracketed mau soleum of Giuliano. Behind a wrought-iron gate he lies in a sarcophagus of white marble guarded by a statue of the Sacred Heart. In the grillwork of the door someone had en twined fresh wild flowers-all red and gold, the colors of the Separatists. Overhead, hawks patrolled the silent sky. On motionless wings they soared and careened on currents as secret and elusive as dreams. Moslems Brought Glory to Palermo Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is experienc ing an unprecedented boom. While the popu lation of the island has steadily declined, migration from the rural interior has swelled Palermo to 700,000 inhabitants; one of every seven Sicilians now dwells in the capital. Although Phoenicians and Greeks exploit ed the city's fine harbor, it first came to great ness under the Saracen invaders who arrived in the ninth century A.D. Under the Moslems it eventually counted a hundred thousand inhabitants; it ranked among the most important cities of medieval Europe.