For centuries, local saints have show the capacity to encapsulate into tradition the continual change of the political and productive layouts of the places to which they were related. In doing so, patron saints acted as agent of production of place, becoming the symbol of the local identity. This is the case of Saint Antiochus, who gave its name to the island located in South-West Sardinia. As this paper will attempt to show, since 17th century the Saint became the pillar of a multilayered and "peripheral" system of power, ruled by the royal city of Iglesias. In the 18th century, the Savoy Monarchy tries to repopulate the island of the Saint, by assigning it to a colony of Greek settlers. The project triggers the sharp reaction of the city Iglesias. During the conflict between the city and the State, the Saint still plays a crucial role in terms of legitimization of the traditional prerogatives of Iglesias. However Antiochus also legitimate the foundation of a new town whitin the homonym island and, in doing so, he operates as the pivot of a new and polycentric local sense of belonging, which it will be soon exploited by the new community for breaking every subordination from the royal city.
Keywords: Internal colonisations, diaspora, cult of saints, kingdom of Sardinia.