The village, from the tower, was said at first Torre Inferiore, to separate it by the other one said Tore Superiore (today's Castel Ruggero), perhaps the «turris Petrusiae » mentioned in Ughelli who affirms that the two villages were feuds of bishop of Bussento-Policastro.
Laudisio provides two explanations about the origin ofname of the village: one from an old document he consulted, the other one from Troyli. He writes, in fact, that in document there was news of an estate near the castle that he attributes to King Roger, where often they saw some bears near a tower built there.Residents neighboring frequented the place for the abundant hunting, so came to settle around the tower and the feud by country became a city and took the name of Torre Orsaia.
Troyli, instead,dates back to the Lucan people the founding of the town.However, the settlement existed before the succession of Saracens raids when the bishops of Policastro sought refuge inside and precisely in that small town. The bishop's palace, however,was built only in the last years of the '200, if the Gothic inscription of Bishop Pagano on the building («Anno Domini millesimo trecentesimo primo, indictione decimal quinta, Paganus episcopus opus fieri fecit ») is dated to 1301.
This news is also in the Angevin Registers(see Policastro). The village then ended up being recognized in the XIII centurywith the establishment of some lordship in place. The tower was rebuilt and strengthened by Antonello de Petruciis, Prime Minister of King Ferrante, when he was lord ofthe place, so the name of «Turris Petrusiae ». In 1479 King Ferrante said Torre Orsaia «Earth » by granting the privilege to notrecognize the «signum dominii » of Episcopal Mensa, privilegethen confirmed in 1550 by Charles V.In 1524 John Carrafa, Count of Policastro, agreedto R. House Sommaria with the bishop of Policastro takingto be the legitimate overlord of Torre Orsaia.
The bishop could notexhibit the original privilege of concession, otherwise by actorCarrafa, who showed that the inhabitants of Torre Orsaia hadalways recognized as their lord, either on the occasion of paymentof adoa, that of marriages and the redemption of his son Pietro Antonio,taken prisoner by the French. Count, clarified that the village of Torre Superiore, a mile away, was founded and fortified by Antonello de Petruciis and that from him it had also takenthe name of «the Petruccia. »
The bishops objected that, as confirmed the same degree of concession of County of Policastro, the Carrafa boasted the only concession criminal. They performed, infacts, the original chapters granted by Antonello de Petruciis, «Regius consiliarius ac secretarius, utilis domains civitatis Policastri ac jurisdictionis casalis Turris. » O. Pasanisi, which published local statutes, says that bishops became the lords of the place. Infact, the census of the «prayed » (request made by the inhabitants of the land to the bishopwhich gave to call families in Torre Orsaia) was always paid to bishops until the abolition of feudalism.Laudisio remembers the incursion of Dragut Pasha, on Saturday Night10 july 1562, with 123 galleys anchored in the Gulf of Policastro whosecrews, at approximately 15 of the next day (Sunday), «descen-derunt in terram velociores aquilis Coeli », looting and destroyingmany inland villages including Torre Orsaia.
By custom, the first inhabitants of Torre Orsaia and Castel Ruggero «were held every Sunday to pay a basket.The privilege was then confirmed by Charles V in 1550.By Cedolario we learn that last holder of the fief (26February 1789) was the bishop of Policastro. But Alfano, Giustinianiand then also Sacco include Torre Orsaia between the «royal lands »namely state property with the sole criminal jurisdiction belonging toCarafa family, the counts of Policastro.Galanti says of the 1,952 inhabitants of «Tower Ursaia reminding« that there is the tomb of Theodore Besa, one of those Greeks who came in Italy in the fifteenth century, and to whom we owe the revivalof our knowledge ».
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