Catena is widespread throughout central and southern Italy, Cateni is typically Tuscan, Catenacci has a Lombard lineage, one between Lazio and Abruzzo, and one between Bari and Potentino, Catenaccio, very rare, would seem to be Roman, Catenazzi, also very rare. , is typical of the area between Varese and Verbanese, Catenazzo is specifically of the Foggia area, Catenelli, absolutely rare, it would seem Roman, Catenino, almost unique, is of the Neapolitan. Supplements provided by Stefano Ferrazzi At least two hypotheses converge on the origin of these surnames, both valid to explain the spread from the north to the south of the country. Beginning with the first interpretation, first of all, a connection with Italian toponymy is quite probable, if we consider toponyms such as Aci Catena (CT) and Catenanuova (EN), as well as some hamlets called Catena found in the Treviso area, in Pisa and Cosentino. Moving on to the second hypothesis, however, it must be said that in many cases these surnames derive from the medieval name Catena, which, in the Christian sphere, alludes to the cult of the Madonna della Catena (in this sense, for example, the names Catena and Maria Catena are still widespread in some areas of Sicily). Supported by various miracles and visions, the cult of the Madonna della Catena has quite ancient origins, probably traceable in the High Middle Ages: the Christian tradition, in this context, attributes to the Madonna the faculty to free men from all evil, dissolving them from chains that make them slaves of human suffering; in some cases, however, the role of the Virgin is that of a link between a human being and a divine being, in which the chain represents the strong link with the Good, the spiritual communion with Jesus Christ. From a historical point of view, however, traces of the name Catena can be found in the Siena of the 13th century, with a certain Catenaccio of the late Boldrone. As far as the surnames in question are concerned, therefore, these are the surnames or personal names of the founders or of the nicknames attributed to them (to be understood also in a toponymic sense).
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