Sicily as described in Historic Encyclopedias

Brockhaus 1809-1811, Pierer 1857-1865

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Sicilien
Sicily, this island which already in the earliest times was so important because of her connections to Rome and Carthago, derives its name from an Italic people, the Siculians who settled here in 1184 B.C. Later the Carthaginians conquered almost all of Sicily but were forced by the Romans to cede their conquests in 241 B.C., and the latter made themselves masters of the island (200). During the Barbaric Peoples' Migration the Vandals took control of the island in 439 A.D., in 669 it was conquered by the Saracens, and the Greeks later took part of the island from them, until both were expelled by the Normans (c. 1041). Roger I., after he had acquired several countries, took the title 'King of Sicily' in 1127. In 1191 Henry VI., already master of Naples, by marriage to Constance, the heiress of Sicily, acquired the latter. Charles of Anjou, since 1263 king of both Sicilies, lost Sicily in 1282 in the famous Sicilian Vespers. Peter III. of Aragon now realised his claims and became King of Sicily. King Alfonso V. of Aragon and Sicily conquered the Kingdom of Naples (until then held by the House of Anjou), and so Sicily remained with the House of Aragon until the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). In this treaty the island was ceded to the Duke of Savoy, with the title Kingdom of Sicily. The latter ceded it to Austria in 1720, and the latter stayed in the possession of it until 1736, when Don Carlos assumed the position of King of Sicily and Naples, and when he became king of Spain in 1759, he ceded his rights to both to his third son Ferdinand IV. It was him who, during the latest revolutions, and the repeatedly erupted hostilities with France, on January 23rd 1806, had to leave Naples and flee to Sicily. He is limited to this island, which still is divided as descrobed in the main article on Naples. - The population presently is calculated as 1,430,000. The clergy (the number including everyone belonging to it is given as 30,000) has extraordinarily important revenues, and the king acts as the highest head of the church, the archbishop or primate of Palermo is the second person in the state. By decrete of February 13th 1807 the monastic order of the relics of St. Bernhard and St, Benedict were abolished, their property added to the royal domain. State revenue is estimated at 1 million Thaler.
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Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Sicilien (2)
Sicily (Sicily beyond the Faro), kingdom, part of the Kingdom of Italy, includes the island of Sicily and he surrounding smaller islands. The main island forms an irregular triangle (the northern side is 40 miles long, the eastern side 22 and the southwestern one 37 miles). It is the largest island of the Mediterranean, and with environs contains 497.93 square miles. It is separated from the mainland by the Straits of Messina, which at its narrowest point (Faro di Messina) is only 3/4 mile wide. Sicily is mountainous, by the continuation of the Calabrian chain of the Apennines, which in the northeastern part of the island form the mountain ridge of the Monti Peloriani or Dinamari, in which deep, narrow valleys are incised; it consists of gneiss, mica slate, granite, clay slate, graywacke and sandstone; further the mountain chain of Monte Madonia stretching westward, consisting of sandstone and chalk, reaching its greatest height in Monte Madonia (6300 Parisian feet); it drops sharply toward the northern coast and declines gradually toward the south; to the west of it the Monte Cammarata near S. Giovanni, 6610 Parisian feet, the Monte Pellegrino 2075 feet, the Monte Cuccio near Palermo 2075 feet, and the chalk mountain Monte San Giuliano (Eryx) near Trapani, 3200 feet high. The mud volcano Maccaluba and another one near Monte Bifara are located in the province of Girgenti. In the southeastern part or the Viezzini Mountains are the Monti S. Venere (2373 feet) and the Monti Laura form the highest points. An independent mountain system is formed in the east by the Etna (see there). To the south and southwest of the Etna stretches the Piana or Pianura of Catalia, traversed by the Sineto, the Piana of Catania is the most fertile breadbasket of Sicily. The island's largest forest is that of Coronia in the district of Mistretta in the province of Messina. The three main capes of Sicily are Capo di Boco near Marsala (toward Africa), Capo Passaro toward the Peloponnese and Capo di Faro toward Italy. Along the coast there ae many bays and ports. The soil is extraordinarily fertile, the climate marvellous and healthy, but often disturbed by the Scirocco. Snow falls only in the mountains. Rain is also rare, but it is replaced by daily precipitating dew. The heat not rarely rises above 30 degrees Celsius, even 35 degrees Celsius. Earthquakes are frequent (1693 one of the strongest), the soil volcanic. The sea around Sicily has various names (Tyrrhenic, Ionian, Sicilian); it cools the air notably. Only smaller, non-navigable rivers flow from the interior to the sea (Giaretta with Gabello, Dittaino, Chrisas, Abisso etc toward the east, Salso, the largest, Platani and others toward the south, Arena or Delia toward the west. Larger lakes are not found; of the smaller ones the Palio stands out because of its volcanic origin, besides him the Biviere di Lentini etc. Despite the island being so fertile, already in antiquity it was called the breadbasket of Italy, agriculture is conducted in a careless manner, which not rarely is cultivated once every 3, or every 2 years. The fields are plowed shallowly. The peasant is tenant of the plot of land and exists in great dependency of the landowner. But grain produces 100 - 120fold, and provides the opportunity to export much of it. Wheat (especially the Majorca kind, he German winter wheat) in part ripens in 3 months, but also barley, rye, rice, hemp, flax, linen, legumes are cultivated, as is wine, but the latter needs better care (the best are those from Marsala, Castelvetrano, Syracuse, and the sugar cane muscadet of Noto, see : Sicilian Wines. Further are grown : olives, mulberry trees, carob beans, manna, safran, tobacco, aloe (as hedges and fences), citrus fruit, agrumi, almonds, sumach, licquerish, capers, soda, cotton, papyrus, sugar cane (called cannamela). Among the trees on Sicily are found oaks, beeches, spruces, asks, chestnuts (perhaps the largest chestnut tree in the world is found in the Etna; see under Chestnut Trees), date palm trees, cork oaks, midget oaks. The charcoal production of the province of Mssina deserves mentioning. Livestock breeding is not without importance. The mules and horses are beautiful (the horses of Mazzara are famous), without special care, to enjoy, the cattle breed is small, sheep and goats are most in number (excellent goat milk cheese). The hunt is little productive (mainly birds are hunted), fishery is much more productive (for anchovis, sardines, tuna, eels, swordfish, corals, oysters and many more. Several amphibians are found here, most of all snakes, of which mainly he viper is used for medical purposes. Bees produce excellent honey, which was famous already in antiquity, especially that from Hybla; sericulture is conducted, also Spanish flies are held, gallnuts. Mining produces mercury, iron, copper, lead, silver, alum, vermillion, coal, naphtha, fine chalk, alabaster, marble (400 different kinds) etc., but mostly salt and sulphur (the province of Girgenti has richer deposits than any other country in Europe); in the province Noto the most beautiful agates, only surpassed by the Indian ones, are found; further Jaspis and Chalcedon. Mineral springs near Termini and Sclafani, then near Palermo, Carini, Petralia, Soprana, Diana. Industry has recently made significant progress and deals with cotton spinning and weaving, the production of linen, silk, gloves, paper, crystal glass, iron foundries, chemical industry, pottery, stone and ivory cutting, the production of soap and fine pasta etc. Trade is largely in the hands of the English. Streets follow the northern coast from Messina to Palermo and Trapani, the east coast from Messina to Catania, through the interior from Cavnia via Castro Giovanni to Palermo etc. Exports consist mostly of grain, oil, almonds, pistacchios, agrumi, sumach, salted fish, salt, sulphur. salpetre, soda ash. Population 2,223,476 (after an official publication of May 1861). The population are mixed-breeds of peoples of various background, original inhabitants, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Saracens, Africans, Normans, Spaniards, Italians; despite being tied to he remainder of Italy, in many aspecs they retain their ties with Greece. The Sicilians speak an Italian dialect (see : Sicilian language), are of medium height, well-built, dark-skinned, the female gender often with a whiter skin, often beautiful, industrious, but not enduring, hospitable, willinmg to do favours, talented, but uneducated, curious, intrusive, passionate and vindictive. Robbery is a frequent occurrance, even just outside of the gates of Palermo; when it comes to pocket theft, the Sicilians compete with the British. Moral is rather low, there are about 170 cases of murder annually, the provinces with the worst reputation are Girgenti (where many criminals work in the sulphur mines) and Trapani (where many sentenced to the galleys and many banished live). The traditional dress of the men consists of a woollen cap, a short jacket, woollen socks and shoes. The women wear open corsages with large reverses, and linen, woollen or silk head covering. Here and there remnants of Moorish dress are found, black veils etc. Men and women look poor. The Sicilians have an extraordinary sense for poetry; music abnd singing in Sicily is especially conducted by the blind; there is an innumerable number of tabernacles and chapels where icons are worshipped, the large number of church festivals, marriages, serenades, carneval etc. provide ample employment for the musicians, hey are so busy that one can hire them only long in advance. In Palermo these blind beggars form an academy of 30 members, which formed itself as a congregation in 1661 and which joins in processions of the Jesuit Order. Also there is no other people equally capable in the art of improvization as are the Sicilians. The religion is exclusively Catholicism. The extraordinarily wealthy clergy, in consequence of recent events, has lost much of her wealth; there are 26,304 secular priests, 11,500 monks, 29,300 nuns in 1197 monasteries. Except for 2 universities (Palermo, Messina), a few libraries and musea, Sicily lacks educational institutions; the education of the population therefore is very low, sciences and the arts almost extinct. The population is divided in three estates : nobility (61 dukes, 117 princes, 217 marquesses, over 1000 barons and 2000 families of lower nobility), a numerous clergy, burghers (more and more impoverished) and very oppressed peasants. 1/3 of the Sicilians are beggars. Constitution, central authorities, legislation, jurisdiction, revenues, expenses, taxes, military, medals, coat of arms see under : Sicilies, Kingdom of both. Administrative division : in he past three provinces : Val di Mazzara (toward the south), Val di Demona (toward the north), Val di Noto (toward the east), an organization he people still refer to, now in seven provinces named after their capitals : Palermo, Messina, Catania, Girgenti, Noto, Trapani, Caltanisetta. Capitals : Palermo and Messina; sometimes Syracuse also is counted among them. Ports : Messina, Syracuse, Trapani, Palermo, Cefalu, Catania, Augusta, Liccata and Marsala. The best months to travel to Sicily are the months February to mid May, October and November. Steam boats connect Naples with Messina and Palermo. The northern and eastern coasts are more pictoresque, the south more interesting because of its antiquities; the ruins of the large Hellenic monuments still are the island's main attractions. Coins, Measures and Weights : ....
See : I.H. Bartels, Briefe über Calabrien und Sicilien, Göttingen 1787-1792, 3 parts, Fr. Münter, Nachrichten von Neapel und Sizilien, Kopenhagen 1790, 2 parts, Thompson, Sicilia and its inhabitants, London 1813, Smih, Memoir descriptive of the resources, inhabitants and hydrography of Sicily and its islands, London 1824, Hittorf, Architecture moderne de la Sicilie, Paris 1828-1830, I.C. Fehr, Die Insel Sicilien mit ihren umliegenden Eilanden, St. Gallen 1835, 3 issues, de la Salle, Sicilie etc., Frankfurt 1838, G. Ortolani, Dizionario geografico, statistico e biografico della Sicilia antica e moderna, Palermo 1819, Neigenauer, Sicilien, dessen politische Entwickelung und jetzige Zustände, Leipzig 1848, Helffrich, Neapel und Sicilien im Jahre 1850, Leipzig 1853, K.G. Grass, Sicilische Reise etc., Tübingen 1815, 2 parts, Russell, A tour through Sicily, London 1819, A.W. Kephalides, Reise durch Italien und Sicilien, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1822, 2 parts, Forbin, Souvenirs de la Sicilie, Paris 1823, G. Parthey, Wanderungen durch Sicilien und die Levante, Berlin 1834-1840, 2 vols., Renouard de Bussierre, Voyage en Sicilie, Paris and Strassburg 1837, Herzog von Ragusa, Reise durch Sicilien, Wien 1838, I. Baumann, Fussreise durch Italien und Sicilien, Luzern 1839, 2 vols., Arancio, Guida statistica su la Sicilia e sue isole adjacenti, Palermo 1844, Goldham. Ästhetische Wanderungen, Leipzig 1859, Oppermann, Palermo, Breslau 1860, Gregorovius, Siciliana. Wanderungen in Neapel und Sicilien, Leipzig 1861, Lionardo Vigo, Canti popolari Siciliani, Catania 1857.

source in German, posted by Zeno

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Sicilien (3)
History. ... The Ostriogoths under Theoderich, together with the remainder of Italy, also conquered Sicily. When the Byzantinian Emperor Justinian sent his general against the Vandals in Africa, in 533 he also visited Sicily, and he conquered it in 538. From then on Sicily belonged to the Exarchate (see there). The Ostrogothic king Totila landed on Sicily in 548, plundered the island and conquered several places, but could not hold on to the island the inhabitants of which supported the Byzantines, and he left the island in 550, which now became a Byzantine province under the government of a patrician, independent of the exarch in Ravenna. The paricians oppressed the population, especially Stephen, as did the Emperor himself; Constans II. came to Sicily in 663, stayed there for 6 years, and ruled in such a tyrannical way that many of the inhabitants fled to the Saracens. He was murdered while taking a bath in 668, and in his place an Armenian by the name of Miziz was proclaimed Emperor. Now Constantine IV., son of the murdered Constans, came to Sicily, defeated his opponents, and returned to Constantinople. Then the Saracens, who had been called upon by Miziz, came from Egypt, plundered the island, and destroyed 98 places. The Byzantine Emperors from time to time send an army to Sicily and held on to the island, but the Saracens repeatedly raided the island. In 718 stadholder Sergius proclaimed Basilius Emperor, but the latter was expelled by Emperor Leo. Sicily was now thrown into turmoil by iconoclasm, and as the Sicilian bishops sided with the pope, the emperor in 730 confiscated the possessions and revenus of the ope on the island, and placed the island under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. In 780 the patrician Helpidius was to be deposed by Empress Irene, and despite the Sicilians defending him, he had to give way to the patrician Theodor, and he fled to Africa to the Saracens. Meanwhile the Saracens had continued to raid Sicily; in 820 they returned, conquered Palermo and raided the island. Count Boniface of Corsica attacked them in Africa and caused them to let go of Sicily, but already in 825 they returned and conquered Agrigento. When the Greek general Euphemius was subjected to humiliating punishment, he offered his services in the conquest of Sicily to the Saracens. hey landed in 828 under Halkam, and in a few years they conquered almost the entire island. The Greeks held on to Enna, but this place was lost in 859.
The Saracens, who had become masters of the island by the conquest of Messina 831 and Palermo 832, belonged to the Aghlabids of Africa; the emirs ruling the island were stadholders of the kings of Tunis or Qairawan. But the Sicilians rose against the Saracens, and the Byzantines mustered their forces in order to regain the island. Emir Muhammad (until 852) was followed by Alba (until 862), then Abdallah, murdered 869, as was his son Muhammad. The later was followed by Ahmad (until 875), then Ibrahim; he conquered Syracuse 878 after a siege lasting one year, and he destroyed the city so that it lost all its importance. From now on Palermo was the capital. In 880 the Greek Emperor concluded a truce with the Saracens, but war broke out again soon after. The Greek generals expelled the Saracens from Italy's mainland; the Saracen Hassan landed reinforcements on Sicily, and defeated the Greek Barsas near Tauromenium. n 885 the Greek fleet was destroyed. The Sicilians rose in 890, killed many Saracens and fought successfully for many years. But as they were not supported from Constantinople, instead in 896 Emperor Leo concluded a truce with the Saracens, they were defeated. In 898 they rose again against Abu Hassan, who wanted to make himself independent of Africa, they took him and his son prisoner and handed both over to the Africans. Now King Abraches of Qairawan sent his son Abu Abbas to Sicily with an army; then Abraches came in person, conquered Tauromenium in 903, had the inhabitants slain, and devastated Sicily. He died in 904. Now the Fatimids controlled Sicily, as Muhammad Abdalla Mohadi toppled the Aghlabids, who declared himself Caliph in 908. He appointed Ali Hassan as stadholder. But many dissatisfied rose and declared Korhab emir in 913. While Korhab was deposed in 916 by his own men, the stadholder sent by Mohadi failed o achieve recognition and in 919 Emir Solem established independence, and so, for a long time, there were struggles between two Saracen parties which resulted in the progressive depopulation of the island. The Sicilians made renewed attempts to regain their freedom; the Agrigentans excelled, as they expelled their Saracen garrison in 936, killed many enemies, and tried to conquer Palermo, unsuccessfully. In order to hold out against the Fatimids, Solem had called in other Saracens; the Sicilians continued to struggle against those. Governor Khalil, sent by the Caliph, conquered Palermo and razed its fortifications. In 939 the Agrigentans rose again, defeated the African army, but were besieged by Solem for 8 months; in 940 they overcame general Khalil and ook his camp, but finally had to submit to him, and Khalil finally became master of the island, after he had destroyed many cities and had carried off a large number of prisoners to Africa. In 948 stadholder Hassan arrived; he conducted an orderly government and tried to wipe out the traces of earlier devastation; he severely punished repeated attempts of the Sicilians to regain their liberty, and he repelled attempts of the Byzantines to land on the island. Hassan handed over the administration to his son Ahmad in 952, and four years later the Greeks landed, conquered Thermae, defeated the Saracens near Mazara, but in 959 suffered a defeat at sea. Shortly after the Caliph issued an order that all Christian boys were to be raised in Muslim faith, and 15,000 boys were circumcised. The Greek Emperor Nikephoros Phokas in 965 sent another army to Sicily, which cnquered Thermae, Lentini, Tauromenium and Syracuse, but then scattered in the country, and for the larger part was annihilated by the Saracens. Ahmed was followed by Abu Kasam 969-982, who supressed a Christian insurrection in 975, then his son Gaber 984, then Jafar, then his brother Abdallah who died in 989. Yussuf's son Jafar ruled in such a cruel manner that the people rose against him, and Yussuf had o take government out of his hands, which he gave to his second son Ali Hakem, who gained the sympathy of the people. The Greek Emperor Basileus in 1027 made an attempt to conquer the island, but his general Orestes suffered defeat. Soon after two Saracen emirs were engaged in a bitter conflict, and one of the two asked the Greek Emperor Michael V. for assistance in 1058. he latter dispatched general Maniakes and admiral Stephen, and as their allies the Normans under William the Iron Arm; together they conquered Messina and Syracuse and defeated the Saracens. But because Maniakes refused to share the booty with the Normans, they departed and Maniakes was recalled. Stephen remained alone, but by his greed became so hated, and the Saracens retook all his conquests except for Messina, and finally even took that city, so that Byzantinian rule on Sicily again was terminated. But the power of the Saracvens declined more and more, because in 1035 they had split from the Egyptian Caliph, and they suffered from internal dispute, always several emirs fought over supreme rule, in consequence of which the inhabitants suffered greatly. Finally the Normans appreared under Roger, brother of Duke Robert of Calabria, as the saviour from the Saracen yoke, Roger landed in 1061 with 60 knights, was victorious in a number of skirmishes, but then withdrew to Reggio. There he was visited by Emir Ben Humena, who had been expelled by Emir Ben Ahmad, and offered to help the former in the conquest of the island. Roger now took Messina, occupied Agrigento, Fraina in 1062, was victorious at Ceramo in 1063, successfully continued the war until he took Palermo after a long siege in 1072. Now he was given the title Count of Sicily by his brother; from here on begins Norman rule. Robert maintained the suzerainty over Sicily for himself and took on the title Duke of Sicily.
Roger now continued his conquests and in 1075 defeated the Africans repeaedly at Mazzara. His natural son Jordan in 1077 conquered Trapani and soon afterward Catania. In 1082 Jordan rebelled against his father, but had to submit soon afterward. After his brother Robert died in 1085, Roger declared himself independent of Calabria, and took on the title Grand Count of Sicily. After a siege lasting 4 months he took Syracuse in 1088, Agrigento in 1089, in 1090 Butero and Noto, and now the conquest of Sicily was completed. Roger now introduced a regular constitution and Latin church service, but he granted religious toleration to Greeks and Saracens. and was benevolent toward the latter, in response to which the latter were loyal subjects to Roger and his successors. He formed them into an excellent cavalry. He was generous to the Roman clergy; for this the pope granted him and his the title of hereditatry legate of he Apostolic See. Also he did a lot for the country; he died in 1101. As his son Jordan, chosen to be his successor, already had died in 1092, and as his heir Simon was still a minor, at first his mother Adelheid of Montserrat functioned as regent, then her son-in-law Robert of Burgundy, who already died in 1113.
Simon also died while still being a minor, and now the rule fell to Roger II., the youngest son of Roger I., who took on the government in 1120. He ruled with insight and returned the island to prosperity. After the death of his cousin William in 1127 he inherited Calabria and Apulia, and in 1130 Pope Anaclet II. confirmed him as Duke of Calabria and Apulia. He made Palermo his capital and residence. Apulia and Calabria were administrated by stadholders, and in these territories he introduced the constitution and laws of Sicily. He fought an intense war with the Greek Emperor Manuel I. and conquered Athens and Corinth, and from there introduced sericulture to Sicily. The Greeks, with the aid of the Venetian fleet, retook Corfu from him in 1149, but the Sicilian Admiral defeated a Greek fleet intending to land on Sicily, and liberated King Louis VII. of France from imprisonment in Greece. Roger II. in 1151 accepted his son William as co-regent, and died in 1154. William I., the evil, had neither the insight nor the generosity of his father. He dismissed the experienced councellors of his father, had government taken care of by Majo de Bari, his state chancellor and grand admiral, and lived a life of lust in his palace. On the occasion of the rebellion of the barons in Apulia and Calabria, he personally lead an army wih great courage. Majo, by a combination of political prudence and victories at sea, steered the state out of a precarious situation, but his severity and greed caused further rebellions. He especially persecuted the higher nobility. Because he himself wanted to become king, he was murdered by Matthias Bonello, but because the latter did not get the influence he hoped for, and because he fell out of grace with queen Margaret of Navarra, he started a conspiracy among the nobility, in which the king's natural brother Simon of Policastro and Tancred, son of King Roger, were involved. It broke out during the absence of Bonello in 1161; the king was taken prisoner. But soon he was freed by the people. He appointed new councellors, who held a strict court over the conspirators. Bonello was executed. William I. died in 1066, and his son William II., the benevolent, succeeded under the regency of his mother, Margaret of Navarra. She took on new councellors and thus caused renewed unrest. In 1077 William II. was at war with Emperor Frederick I., but soon concluded peace. He spent great care on his navy and in 1180 sent galleys to aid the crusaders, so that Antioch and Tripoli could be saved. He supported the sons of Yusuf of Morocco against their father. He restored Byzantine Emperor Isaak Angelos, who had fled from usurpator Andronikos, to his throne in 1185; he died in 1189. He had married his daughter Constance with Emperor Henry VI. in 1183, and as he was without sons, he had assured the latter succession in Sicily. But this was to the dissatisfaction of many of Sicily's great, because they did not want to find themselves under the rule of a German prince, and so they declared king Tancred Count of Leccio, a natural son of Duke Roger of Apulia, grandson of King Roger, the last male descendant of he Norman royal house. Henry VI. had Tancred attacked in Apulia by his general Testa and by Count Roger of Andria, but Tancreds army under Count Richard of Acerra was victorious. In the meantime, the Kings Philip August of France and Richard the lion-hearted of England, returning from their crusade to the holy sepulchre, had landed in Sicily, and as Tancred had had quen Joan, Richard's sister, incarcerated, because she was a supporter of Henry VI., richard attacked Messina, but both sides came to an agreement. Tancred handed over the queen's dowry and he treasury of the deceased king, 40,000 ounces in gold, and several ships to serve the crusades. A second campaign Henry VI. had conducted against Tancred again was without success. The combined fleets of Genoa and Pisa were defeated by Sicilian admiral Margaritone, but when Tancred died in 1194, his wife Sibylla of Medaria, Countess of Lucera, wih her son William III., still a minor, could not hold on to the kingdom. Emperor Henry VI. conquered Sicily. See under Naples p.737. With him, the Hohenstaufen dynasty ascended to the throne of Sicily.
Henry I. (as Emperor Henry VI.) in continuous struggle with Sicily's powerful grandes, died in 1197 near Messina. His son Frederick I. (as Emperor Frederick II.) succeeded him at the age of 3, under regency. He thanked the maintenance of the crown to his mother Constance, who treated the Sicilian grandes with generosity, and who appointed Pope Innocent III., an opponent of the Hohenstaufen, as the guardian of her son, with a generous annual salary. After her death in 1198 Innocent III. sent Cardnal Gregory o Sicily to establish a regency. Marquard, commander of the German army, and by Emperor Henry VI. enfieffed with the Margraviate of Ancona and the Duchy of Ravenna, held the possession of the Neapolitan lands and strove for the crown of Sicily. So he was in communication with the Sicilian Saracens, and went to Sicily, but in 1200 he was defeated by the papal army, which was headed by Imperial marshall Jacob, and he was forced to leave Sicily. The young king came under the authority of a German, Capperon, and was ill-treated by him. The pope had charged Walther of Brienne with the defense of the interests of the crown, but as he himself strove for the crown; he was opposed by the grand chancellor and archbishop of Palermo, Diepold, who also did not want to tolerate the pope's influence on Sicily. Innocent III. now ordered Walther of Brienne to cross over to Sicily. The grand chancellor and Capperon, earlier bitter opponents, now came to terms and recognized he pope as the supreme guardian of the king. Walther of Brienne was defeated and wounded; he died in 1205. Frederick now came under the influence of the grand chancellor. As soon as he was of age in 1209, he issued excellent laws, such as those issued on the Imperial diet in Messina 1233, abolished the jus litoris (wrecking), cared for the security of military roads, favored agriculture and trade and induced the barons to obey. He maintained amicable relations with the Saracens of Africa and Asia. During his presence in Germany he had his son Henry II. crowned King of Sicily, but he deposed the latter when he rebelled against him in 1234, and had him thrown in the dungeon, where he died in 1241. Frederick died in 1252. He was succeeded by his son Conrad I. (as Emperor Conrad IV.). The pope contested his crown, and because unrest kept him in Germany, his brother Manfred administrated the government , but because he was tied down by the intrigues of his enemies on the mainland, he appointed his younger brother Henry as stadholder of Sicily. He died already in 1254. Conrad, in the short years of his reign, by severe oppression became such a hated man, which Manfred, himself treated in the most unjust way, attemped to milden as much as possible. So, upon Conrad's early death, the kingdom's diet deprived Berthold of Hohenburg of the regency for Conradin, and granted the regency to Manfred. Before the pope, who pretended to be willing to defend the rights of Conradin, sent Cardinal William as legate to Sicily to accept all state revenues, to deprive the supporters of Manfred of their fiefs, but he could not achive these goals in Sicily, which remained calm. Only Count Rufo of Catancaro , stadholder of Messina, rebelled against Manfred. But many cities refused to join in, and he was forced to leave Sicily; only Messina, instigated by Fulco, a nephew of Rufo, resisted, but Federico Lancia forced its submission, and after the cities Placia, Aidone and Castro Giovanni were conquered in 1257, the entire island was pacified. When in 1258 the rumour of Conrad's death spread in Sicily, the kingdom's diet in Palermo proclaimed Manfred as the king. Soon emissaries appeared stating that Conrad was still alive, but Manfred did not return he crown. Continuously he had to struggle with the pope, who wanted o deprive him of his kingdom, and who even had a crusade against him proclaimed from the pulpits. In 1262 on Sicily a false Emperor Frederick II. rose aghainst him, who won over a large followership, but who was defeated by the alert stadholder Count Richard Filangien. In order to obtain outside help, Manfred married off his only daughter Constance to Prince Peter of ragon, the son of King Jacob I. The pope continued to offer the Sicilian crown to several European princes, but none of them seriously contemplated to accept it, except for Count Charles of Anjou, brother of King Louis IX. of France. The pope had a crusade preached in favour of the latter, and Charles now waged war against Manfred, who fell in 1266 in the Battle of Benevento, after which Charles took possession of Naples. In Sicily, Prince Frederick of Castile appeared; he took control of government in the name of Conradin, he was supported by Conrad of Antioch, but he was overpowered by Charles' army, and after the battle of Tagliazzo on August 23rd 1268 Conradin, who undertook a crusade from Germany into Lower Italy, was taken prisoner, and on October 29th 1268 decapitated in Naples. From the scaffold with a sign of his glove he encouraged his followers to take revenge and to take possession of both Sicilies for Peter III., his next relative by his marriage with Constance, Manfred's daughter.
Charles of Anjou held on to the throne; with him the House of Bourbon came in possession of the same. He burdened Sicily with heavy taxes; his stadholder William d'Etendart conducted the severest injustices, and his soldiers were guilty of the grossest violations. A crusade undertaken bu Charles against Tunis forced the latter to pay tribute to Sicily, but Sicily had to pay much to finance the expedition, and on the return voyage a part of the fleet was destroyed by storm near Trapani, on the occasion of which 5,000 men, among them many Sicilians, lost their lives. As the tyranny of Charles' stadholder became more and more unbearable, John of Procida, a Salemitan nobleman, in 1279 decided to overthrow the French yoke. He was given money by Byzantinian Emperor Michael Palaiologos, won over Pope Nicholas III. and King Peter III. of Aragon, the son-in-law of Manfred, the legitimate heir of Sicily. Pope Martin V., he successor of Nicholas III., left the coalition, but Peter III. equipped an expedition under the pretext of leading it against the Saracens of Africa. He even requested King Philipp III. of France, the pope and King Charles for financial contributions, to cover his real intentions. In Palermo the French stadholder John of St. Remi had ordered the populace to be disarmed; when the inhabitants on March 3rd 1282 went to attend the afternoon service, he Frenchman Drouchet offended the daughter of nobleman Roger of Maestro Angelo under the pretext of waning to search for a hidden dagger. Father and husband threw sown the offender; the infuriated populace massacred the Frenchmen in Palermo, elected Roger of Maestro Angelo as their captain and proclaimed liberty. Now everywhere on Sicily the French were murdered. Only one Frenchman, William de Porcelet, had gained general respect, and he was permitted to leave in peace. Messina was held by a viceroy with a strpng garrison, but also he was atacked by the people, 3000 Frenchmen murdered and the city so liberated. Messina and Palermo now concluded an alliance. More than 24,000 renchmen had perished in this bloodbath, which was named the Sicilian Vespers, after the time of its eruption.
The Sicilian cities now elected a stadholder; government was entrusted to 4 presidents, confidants of Procida and friends of the Swabian dynasty, who were given a council of 60 councillors at their side. The pope was discontent with this revolution; also Charles of Anjou soon appeared with an army off Messina. he citizens defended the city valiantly, first under Balduin of Messina, then under Abramo Lentini, but fearing to ultimately having to surrender, they showed willingness to surrender if certain conditions were granted, but when these were rejected by Charles of Anjou, continued to resist. On August 20th 1282 finally Peter III. of Aragon landed near Trapani with 10,000 men infantry and 800 men cavalry. To weak to stand an open battle on land, he had Admiral Roger Laurio burn 30 enemy ships near Faro, and so forced Charles of Anjou to raise the siege and cross the straits. The pope declared the ban against Peter III. and the interdict against Sicily, but Peter I. [of Sicily, the III. of Aragon] forced the clergymen to conduct religious service. Roger Lauria won a naval battle against the French near Malta in 1284, and conquered the island. In a second naval battle near Naples he even took prisoner Charles, the eldest son of Charles of Anjou. Charles of Anjou died early in 1285, Pope Martin IV. soon after, and in November Peter I. Jacob, the second son of Peer I., whom Sicily already had paid homage, now succeeded, but stirred up by the still irate pope, a crusader army in 1287 landed near Augusta with the aim of conquering Sicily. But Admiral Roger Lauria defeated the enemy fleet, took 5000 prisoners and 40 galleys; also the disembarked crusader army was taken prisoner. The release of prince Charles, still a prisoner, caused a lot of effort. Only under stern conditions, King Edward I. of England mediated a ruce which was followed by the Peace of Oleron, in which Charles forever ceded Sicily to the male line of the House of Aragon, and in return should obtain his freedom. But the pope did not approve this treaty. Charles, now a hostage of King Alfonso of Aragon, finally was released in 1289, after he had signed the Treaty of Champfranc, and he was crowned in Naples. Stirred up by the pope, he renewed his claims on Sicily and hostilities resumed anew, but soon a truce was concluded. But Charles II. maintained his demand that Jacob I. should recant his claim on Sicily, and Alfonso, Jacob's older brother, seemed to agree with this demand. But he died in 1291, and Jacob now inherited the Aragonese crown. In order to finally achieve reconciliation with the pope, in 1295 Jacob I. recanted his claim on the Sicilian crown and concluded peace with the papacy and King Charles, but Sicily under no circumstances wanted to elect the House of Anjou as their rulers, and in 1296 elected Frederick II., a brother of Jacob, as their king. This man, a good prince, now warred with Charles II. of Naples, inituially without fortune as Roger Lauria left his services and entered Neapolitan service, and as Jacob II. ordered him to cede Sicily, and even personally took up arms against him and landed in Sicily in 1298. A number of cities surrendered to Jacob, but he unsuccessfully laid siege to Syracuse and lost a battle against the Messinese. In 1299 Jacob, who had married a daughter of Charles II. of Naples, was persuaded to attack Sicily for a second time. He won a naval battle, but Frederick was strongly supported by the inhabitants of Messina and Palermo. Jacob finally returned to Aragon and left the continuation of the war to the sons of King Charles. Several cities surrendered to them, and a rebellion against Frederick broke out in Catania, by which this city was lost, but Frederick won a battle near Falconaria, where prince Philipp was taken prisoner, and in 1299 he defeated the Count of Brienne near Galiano. These victories were balanced out by the naval battle of Ponza, where the Sicilian admiral Doria lost against the Neapolitan admiral Lauria. Lauria proceded to lay siege to Messina, but lacking provisions he concluded a truce for six months and lifted the siege. Now the pope charged Charles of Valois with the conquest of Sicily in 1302. He landed on Sicily, but after he lost many men due to plague during the siege of Siacca, he signed the Treaty of Castro Nuovo, which left Frederick in the possession of Sicily, but in which he returned all his conquests beyond the straits, and according to which he married Eleonor, daughter of Charles II. The pope approved of the treaty under the condition that Sicily would remain a papal fief and that it was to pay an annual tribute of 41 pound in gold, and that it would send troops to fight in the wars of the popes. Frederick granted generous privileges to the cities which had fought on his side, rewarded faithful barons, persecuted highway robbers, attracted many foreign settlers into the country and added to its legislation. He had several roubles with his father-in-law, Charles II. of Naples, only the death of the latter in 1309 prevented he break out of hostilities. King Robert of Naples also showed himself hostile to Ftrederick; the latter concluded an alliance with Emperor Henry VII., conquered a large part of Calabria, and then came to Pisa in order to support the Ghibellines. Robert invaded Sicily in 1314, took Castellamare by treason, but lost many men during the siege of Trapani and therefore concluded a truce for two years. After its expiration he undertook a second invasion, but achieved nothing besides devastating the island; then he withdrew. These invasions were repeated for a number of years, while Frederick allied with Italy's Ghibellines, in 1327 also with German King Ludwig, and with changing fortune he fought on the mainland. A feud between the influential families Clermont and Ventimiglia in 1335 caused confusion on the island. The ban was declared against John Clermont, but the latter persuaded Robert of Naples to undertake another invasion of Sicily, which failed. Frederick II. died in 1337; his son Peter II. tried to calm down the feud between the Clermonts and the Ventimiglias, but then sympathized with the Clermonts, in response to which the Ventimiglias turned to the King of Naples and the pope. The King of Naples launched another invasion of Sicily. Peter II. held his ground, with he aid of the Palizzi by whose influence he was controlled, until these palace favorites were toppled by his brother John. When Peter II. died in 1342, he was succeeded by his son Ludovico, still a minor. So his uncle, Duke John of Randazzo, led the government. The Palizzi hostile to him triggered a rebellion in Messina, which accepted a Neapolitan garrison, but John suppressed the rebellion. A new invasion in 1344 was repelled. The plague devastated Sicily in 1348, even Duke John succumbed to it. The regency now fell to Blasco d'Aragon. Another party hostile to he king elected Matteo Palizzi, and a civil war broke out between both, during which Sicily's coast was plundered by the Genoese. After Matteo had been murdered, in his place Simon Clermont became regent, who also refused obedience to the king and who requested assistance of King Louis of Naples. He as sent only 100 cavalry and 400 infantry, but more importantly ships loaden with provisions, which were welcomed by the starving inhabitants. The cities opened their gates to him, and soon he found himself in possession of the larger part of the island. A small part of Sicily remained faithful to King Ludovico, he reconquered Syracuse and gained a victory over the cities, but suddenly died in 1355. He was succeeded by Frederick III. the Simpleton, who found Sicily at war with King Louis of Naples and the cities. The former failed in the siege of Catania in 1357, and was forced to return to he mainland because of unrest in Naples, and he left behind on Sicily only a garrison of 300 men. The Sicilian cities one by one broke with Naples, the Clermonts reconciled with the king and in 1372 Sicily and Naples signed a peace in which Sicily recognized Naples' suzerainty and agreed to pay an annual tribute of 300 ounces in gold. The King of Naples was also to call himself King of Sicily, while the King of Sicily only was to call himself King of Trinacria. The pope confirmed the treaty under the condition that Sicily was to remain papal fief. Frederick III. died in 1377 and was succeeded by his daughter Maria, a minor under the guardianship of Artalo of Alagon. Several grandes refused obedience to him, and finally he queen was abducted in 1382, brought to Barcelona and in 1387 married to Prince Martin, the nephew of King John. The pope instead named Manfred of Clermont admiral of Sicily, who with the aid of the Genoese defeated the Moors who plundered the coasts of Sicily. Maria and Martin finally came to Sicily in 1392, found a large followership, and after having settled their differences with the Clermonts, were crowned. Unrest was not yet settled, as Pope Boniface IX. stirred up the latter, because Martin and Maria were supporters of Anti-Pope Clement. Also King Ladislas of Naples supported the rebellious barons, and only in 1399 could King Martin I. enjoy the undisturbed possession of the island. Maria died in 1402 and Martin now was sole ruler; in 1404 he undertook a campaign against Sardinia, which had risen against his father, King Martin of Aragon, and he forced i to return to obedience. When he died without children in 1409, his father Martin II., King of Aragon, succeeded; only he died in 1410. Ferdinand the Just, also Ferdinand I. of Aragon, uncle of the former from his mother's side, confirmed Queen Blanca which had been elected by the diet as regent, but grand justiciary Caprera, who srove to obtain the crown for himself, took a hold of power, and long resisted Aragonese forces. He was followed by Alfonso the Magnanimous (Alfonso V. of Aragon), Ferdinand's eldest son, in 1416. In the face of the powerlessness of the pope in 1418 he inroduced a law according to which no foreigner could hold a church benefice in Sicily. In 1420 he came to Sicily, swore an oath on the island's privileges and appointed stadholders. In 1421 he moved on to Naples, where Queen Joan III. had named him as her successor, to support her against the Neapolitan grandes. About the events which led to him inheriting Naples in 1442, and thus reuniting both Sicilies, see Naples, History of p.738f. Alfonso exercised great power in Italy. He fought many wars against Genoa, Venice, the Papal State and others, but Sicily remained calm , and enjoyed growing prosperity under him. He died in 1458.
His brother John (as King of Aragon John II.) inherited of him Aragon and the other Spanish and dependent countries, Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily, but Napls fell to Ferdinand, the natural son of Alfonso, and so this counry again was separated from Sicily. Sicily since remained a sideland of Aragon, and later of Spain, was governed by viceroys, shared the fate of the motherland, and from 1516 those of Spain. See under Spain (History). For almost 2 centuries he island was spared of hostile invasions; still the prosperity suffered under feudal aristocracy and excessive taxation, as well as under maladministration under Spanish rule, the population decreased and a large part of the fertile soil remained uncultivated. A rebellion which broke out in Palermo in 1647 eased the situation only momentarily. A rebellion in Messina caused by the government having abolished the Messinese monopoly to export silk, in 1674 was used by Louis XIV. to place a French garrison in the city. The French fleet three times defeated the combined Spanish-Dutch fleet. The French soon were hated because of their extravagancies and departed in 1678, fearing a second Sicilian Vespers. The mail line of the Spanish dynasty went extinct in 1700 and this caused the War of Spanish succession, during which Austria occupied Sicily for prince Charles (later Emperor Charles VI.). In the Treaty of Utrecht 1713, which ended the War of Spanish Succession, Sicily was separated from Spain and allocated to Savoy. By trade for Sardinia, Austria acquired Sicily in 1718, but in the ame year the Spanish conquered the island, but were expelled by the Austrians in 1720. For the second time the Spanish conquered Sicily in 1735, and Austria ceded the island in the preliminary peace of October 3rd 1735 and in he definitive peace treaty of April 21st 1739. Naples had already remained Spanish in the Treaty of Utrecht, and the Queen Elizabeth Farnese, wife of mad King Philipp V. of Spain, long had desired to creae an independent possession for her son Charles; in 1720 he received Parma and Piacenza, in 1735 Naples and Sicily as Charles III.; n his government see under Naples (History) p.740. When his older brother Ferdinand VI. died without an heir in 1759, he took on the Spanish crown, without leaving Naples and Sicily to his brother Philipp, who had Parma and Piacenza, as earlier treaties provided, but instead left them to his third son Ferdinand IV., and took the older princes with him to Spain. Already in 1799 the king fled the approachinf French armies, to Sicily, but returned to Naples in July, lead by Ruffo, and in 1801 concluded peace with France (see Naples (History) p.741). In 1805 Naples permitted a British-Russian army to disembark, and in January 1806 Napoleon proclaimed that the House of Bourbon in Naples had ceased to rule. After the French conquest of Naples 1806, King Ferdinand only held on to Sicily, where he had moved his residence on January 25th, and where he was protected by the British fleet. According to a treaty of March 30th 1808 Britain maintained a force of 10,000 men on Sicily, and it paid the king an annual subsidy of 300,000 Pound Sterling, in return for which the king took it upon himself not to sign a separate peace with France. The state finances were more and more confused. This, the expenses continuing on the level when Ferdinand had ruled Naples and Sicily, and the fact that most positions at court were held by Neapolitans, caused dissatisfaction. Murat established contact with some among the mob of Palermo, in order to trigger a revolution. But this conspiracy was uncovered, and an attempted landing by Murat below Messina in 1810 failed; his landing force of 5,000 was either slain or captured by local peasants. But British and Sicilian attempts to conquer Gaeta and to establish a foothold in Calabria failed as miserably. Also the treasury was exhausted; minister of finances Medici had to request additional taxes, but the barons and clergy refused, so that they were not implemented. The dissatisfaction of the Sicilians had the British fear a general rebellion in Sicily, and Lord Bentinck, who replaced Lord Amherst as ambassador at the court of Palermo, seriously demanded changes in the constitution and an improvement of state administration. But as even Queen Caroline was against the British, and as she began secret negotiations with Napoleon in 1809, Lord Bentinck demanded her being removed from all matters of the state; the king had to agree to this demand. Bentinck was appointed captain general of Sicily, and the king himself, under the pretex of a disease, transferred government to crown prince Francis, under the title of a grand vicar. In 1812 Bentinck introduced a constitution modelled after the British, parliament was bicameral, in the chamber of peers were represented 61 clerical and 124 secular peers, the chamber of commons was composed of 154 deputees of the cities and rural districts. Legislative power lay with parliament, executive power with the king, jurisdiction with independent judges and magistrates, equality of all classes in front of the law, freedom of the press with the exception of religious publications, responsibility of public officials, feudal rights were abolished. All estates were content with the new constitution, only the Queen was most discontent; she departed from Sicily and travelled via Constantinople to Vienna, in the vicinity of which she died on September 7th 1814. The king declared to have recovered in January 1812 and intended to resume government, but was prevented from doing so by an urgent statement of Lord Bentinck. Soon dissatisfaction with the constitution and criticism against Lord Bentinck's administration became apparent, and King Ferdinand, when he returned to take his throne in Naples in 1815, found no objection when he abolished the constitution and restored the previous conditions.
The Act of Union of December 12th 1816 declared Naples and Sicily an indivisible kingdom under the name Kingdom of both Sicilies, and from there a new dynastic count began, so that Ferdinand IV. took on the name Ferdinand I. The entire state was divided in 22 intendantures, of which 7 were on Sicily. Municipal, district and intendanture councils were established, which had only advisory function. In 1819 the crown prince was elevated to viceroy, in 1820 General Naselli appointed his deputy. After the revolution had broken out in Naples (see there p.743), Sicily declared in favour of it, but it wanted its own parliament separate from the Neapolitan. As General Church, commander in Palermo, declared against it, on July 16th 1820 a rebellion broke out, which at first was victorious, but then was defeated by the Neapolitan army under General Floristan Pepe, and which later was fully suppressed by General Coletta (see under Naples (History) p.744). When, in consequence of the Laibach Congress, with the aid of an Austrian army, the constitution of Naples was abolished, an Austrian division under General Walmoden occupied Sicily on June 1st 1821. There General Rossarol instigated a new insurrection and proclaimed the republic in Messina, but the insurrection soon was suppressed. In Sicily, too, the rebels were treated with severity, and about 16,000 individuals arrested. These measures disregarded, soon a new conspiracy formed; the plan was to assassinate the Captain General of Sicily, Prince Eudo, and Cardinal Archbishop Gravina, to disarm the Austrians and to expel them from the island. The conspiracy was uncovered on January 10th 1822; a general disarmament was ordered, new investigations begun. The financial situation deteriorated from year to year, Sicily's state revenue was so low that a loan had to be signed in order to secure the payment of public officials. Following the death of Ferdinand I. in 1825 we was succeeded by his son Francis I., who gave several good laws (see Naples p.745). The Austrian troops left Sicily and were replaced by Neapolitan troops. In 1828 and 1829 many arrests took place, the troublemakers and suspects were punished. The finances seemed to improve, as no new loans were taken on. On November 8th 1830 King Francis I. died; he was succeeded by his son Ferdinand II. The expectation to get from him a representative constitution was justified at the time of his ascent to the throne, as several old abuses were abolished, and the policy of severity was replaced by a policy of leniency. While a large number of exiles was permitted to return, the army was improved by the regulation of December 17th 1830, the pressing mill tax was reduced, and in planning the budget attention was paid on possible savings. The measure of the king to appoint his brother Leopold, Count of Syracuse, as stadholder general of Sicily, was widely aproved. He was surrounded with a ministry consisting of the most respected men. Only the declaration of the king, that he regarded it not to be a suitable time to change the constitution, and the general reimplementation of legitimist principles, the rich endowment of the Jesuits, the etablishmen of a new spiritual criminal court as well as increased severity in the application of censorship quickly alienated the Sicilians. When the cholera broke out in Sicily in 1837, the inhabitants, who believed an attempt was made to poison them, plundered the evacuated palaces of the rich; the dead remained unburied, as nobody was willing to touch them, except for galley slaves who had been promised liberty. In Palermo one calculates 23,000 dead in 8 weeks, every 7th inhabitant had died. The viceroy was deposed, state treasury plundered, and only Neapolitan troops which were dispatched to Sicily restored calm. In Syracuse and Catania, where 14,000 persons had died, similar events occurred. The king visited Sicily on October 1st 1837, but returned already on October 12th; on November 10th 1837 he declared the Kingdom of Sicily a Neapolitan province (see Naples (History) p.746). Until 1840 the island was treated according to military law. Even more threatening was the fermentation in Sicily in 1840 during a dispute between Naples and Sicily in relation to the sulphur monopoly (see Naples p.746), and Naples came close to loosing all Sicily, as on that occasion the British caused excitement on the island. In August 1845 the sulphur monopoly was lifted definitively. The reforms implemented by Pope Pius IX. immediately after he had ascended to the Holy See also caused a strong movement on Sicily, in September 1847 Messina was in open rebellion, which escalated in January 1848 and after news of the Paris February Revolution spread. he concessions made by the king, the approval of a constitution (January 29th) and similar ones, were rejected; Sicily separated from Naples and on February 24th called for a separate parliament, which on April 13th deposed King Ferdinand II. and the Bourbon Dynasty. On his and the further course of the revolution (1849) see Naples p.746ff.
Since, Sicily fell under a policy of ruthless reaction, against all who had participated in the struggle for independence, or even were suspected of a liberal view. Every means, even torture, was applied, so that despite the general fermentation, seemingly calm had been restored. Even during the Italian campaign of 1859, Sicily remained extraordinarily calm. Only after the annexation of a large part of Central Italy by Sardinia had been implemented, Sicily rose anew. On April 4th 1860 a rebellion broke out in Palermo, which was followed by rebellions in other cities. The sudden appearance of Garibaldi (May 11th landing near Marsala, May 27th taking of Palermo) supported the rebellion, and victory was achieved. Details see under Naples p.752f. and under Sardinian Monarchy p.922. On October 21st 1860, both on Sicily and in Naples, a plebiscite was held on the annexation into the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the annexation implemented on November 3rd. The realisation of the demand raised in the Turin parliament, and which was echoed louder and louder throughout Italy, to unite Rome with Italy under the scepter of Vitorio Emanuele, and to declare it the capital of Italy, was only blocked by the occupation of that city by a French garrison. As Napoleon III. could not be moved by diplomatic means to withdraw from Rome, and as Italian prime minister Ratazzi seemed to tend toward France, Garibaldi, trusting on his immense popularity and in view of the successful conquest of Naples in 1860, in the summer of 1862 from Sicily he launched an attempted conquest of Rome. At the end of June he went to Palermo with his most trusted friends and most reliable officers, issued a call for the formation of volunteer corps, openly declared the object of the undertaking to be the expulsion of the French, declared the motto to be "Roma o Morte" (Rome or Death) for all of Italy, and, despite King Vittorio Emanuele condemning his action, was given an enthusiastic welcome everywhere on the island, and even by royal officials and troops not hindered in his actions. Avoiding larger cities and coastal places, sticking to the mountains and avoiding contact wih royal troops, he crossed the island via San Cataldo and Caltaniseta toward the eastern coast, arrived on August 19th in Catania, after the garrison had just left the city, crossed over to the mainland on August 24th with about 1000 volunteers, in order to move the Calabrians to join him, landed on August 25th near Melito, to where a part of his supporters followed in small groups. On August 30th at Aspromonte royal troops under Major Pallavicini wee engaged in a skirmish with Garibaldi's volunteers, in which Garibaldi was wounded and taken prisoner, and by which the entire undertaking was suppressed. Already earlier the state of siege had been declared over Naples and Sicily.
See : Fazelli, Rerum sicil. scriptores, Frankfurt/Main 1579, H. Golzius, Sicilia, Magna Graecia et Insulae, Antwerpen 1576, new edition 1618, G.B. Caruso, Memorie istoriche di quanto e accaduto in Sicilia dal tempo de suo primi abitanti fino a Normanni, Palermo 1716, G.B. Caruso, Bibliotheca historica regnum Siciliae etc., Palermo 1720-1723, 2 vols., folio, de Johanne, Codex diplomaticus Siciliae, Palermo 1743, 2 vols. folio, A. Airoldi, Codice diplomatico di Sicilia sotto il governo di Arabi, Palermo 1789-1792, 6 vols., T. Fazelli, De rebus Siculis, Palermo 1558, folio (Italian Palermo 1817, 3 vols.), G. Buonfiglio Costanzo, Historia Siciliae, Venice 1604 (Italian Messina 1738, 2 vols., folio), L. Levesque de Burigny, Histoire generale de Sicilie, Den Haag 1745, 2 vols., V. Castelli di Toremuzza, Fasti della Sicilia, Messina 1820, 2 vols., Bianchini, Storico economico-civile di Sicilia, Palermo 1841, Mich. Amari, La guerra del Vespro Siciliano, Palermo 1841, 2nd edition Paris 1843 (German by Schröder, Leipzig 1851, 2 vols.), Mich. Amari, La Sicile et les Bourbons, Paris 1849, Helffrich, Neapel und Sicilien im Jahre 1850, Leipzig 1853, La Varenne, La revolution Sicilienne et l'expedition de Garibaldi, Leipzig 1860, Rüstow, Der Italienische Krieg von 1860, Zürich 1861, 2 vols., Rüstow, Erinnerungen aus dem Italienischen Krieg von 1860, Zürich 1861, 2 vols.; see also the literature listed under Naples

source in German, posted by Zeno


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First posted on March 5th 2009

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