Identità inventate e rivelate, tra letteratura, storia e cronaca (secc. XVIII-XIX)
In the eighteenth cemury, abandoned children were usually given only a fìrst name, usually that of some saint. Later, French occupation and the Civil Code attempted to turn the children of unknown parents into «Enfants naturels de la Patrie», dictating that they too should bear a surname to pass on to their descendants. This led to a new repertory, with the addition of names inspired by literature and ancient and recent history, as well as hagionyrns. The laws were not, however, implemented consistently throughout the occupied territory and gave rise to varying solutions. This paper compares naming policies in two different geographical areas (Emilia Romagna and Piedmont), based on the consultation of unpublished local sources, such as the archives of important foundling institutions.