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Papal State Sicily
First posted on April 12th 2002, last revised on December 12th 2013

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1042-1194 . 1194-1282 . 12821443 . 1443-1618 . 1618-1648 . 1648-1707 . 1707-1734 . 1734-1806 . 1806-1815
see also Kingdom of Sicily, Kingdom of Unified Naples/Two Sicilies

In the 11th century, the Emirate of Sicily controlled the entire island. The mainland of southern Italy was divided into a number of polities, some Catholic (Lombard), other Orthodox (Byzantine). Norman Robert Guiscard arrived in 1042, in 1057 he became Count of Apulia; in 1059 Pope Nicholas II invested Robert Count of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily (the latter still was to be conquered; the conquest took place 1060-1091). By 1071, the last Byzantine stronghold in Italy, Bari, had been taken; the Normans undertook expeditions into the Byzantine Balkans. In 1130 the Norman lands in Italy (Sicily, Duchy of Apulia) were merged into the Kingdom of Sicily. Norman Sicily, in European policy, was used by the popes to counterbalance the influence of the Empire; hence the Normans enjoyed papal favour. In 1137 the Duchy of Naples was annexed into the Kingdom of Sicily. The Normans established footholds in North Africa.

The Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily were ruled by the Staufer Dynasty (1194-1254), then by the Angevin Dynasty (1254-1282). Upon the Staufer takeover, the territories in North Africa were lost.

While in 1282 Aragon had conquered Sicily, Angevin rule continued in Naples until 1443.

Since 1443 the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily were in Dynastic Union, held by the House of Aragon (since 1516 Spain). The kings were represented by a viceroy who resided in Naples; the two kingdoms maintained their separate institutions and laws.

The Spanish administration was focussed on financing the costly Spanish military. In order to do so, additional taxes were introduced and the state debt increased. From a Neapolitan point of view, most of the wars the Spanish Empire fought - in northern Italy, the Spanish Netherlands and elsewhere, were of secondary interest, not so the threat posed by the Ottoman Empire; in 1620 an Ottoman expedition raided the city of Manfredonia.
In the 1630es, the costly 30 Years War caused excessive taxation throughout the Spanish Empire. In 1646, France sent a number of expeditions against the Stato dei Presidii, a Neapolitan possession in Tuscany. The French also looked favourable at conspirations in the Kingdom of Naples which intended to overthrow Spanish rule (1644-1646). In 1647, a revolt erupted in Naples, organized by Tommaso Aniello, called Masaniello. He was murdered a few days after the revolt had begun; the rebels established control in the city, and also in part of the countryside. A Spanish fleet was defeated, the republic proclaimed. The revolt had both anti-Spanish and anti-feudal character. In 1648 the rebels agreed to the restoration of Spanish rule.

After the Neapolitan Revolt of 1647-1648, the Spanish administration of Naples, headed by a viceroy, was careful not to provoke a repetition by overtaxing her subjects. The Spanish administration diverted from her traditional policy of leaning on the church and the landowners, attempting to take a more balanced approach. The kingdom's revenues were stagnant, they were used to finance the administration, the Spanish military and for debt service, and the state debts were huge. In 1656 the plague struck, killing almost half of the population of the capital.
The Revolt of Messina (1672-1678), since 1674 dominated by the Messinian patricians, dissatisfied with Spanish rule, in neighbouring, equally Spanish Sicily served as an example to demonstrate to the Neapolitan administration, how precarious the position of Spanish rule over Naples was, once the impression arose, that the administration diverted from the ideal of good government.
In 1701 the War of Spanish Succession broke out. In 1702, King Philip V. of Spain (Bourbon Dynasty) visited Naples. In 1706 an Austrian army achieved a decisive victory in the Italian theatre of war; in 1707 Austrian troops occupied Naples without encountering resistance. Spanish rule over Naples was terminated.
According to Historian Paolo Mattia Doria (1667-1749; member of the Neapolitan Academy of 1698), the Kingdom of Naples, in the latter phase of Spanish rule, was characterized by social discontent, ignorance (cultivated by the clergy), misery, corruption, high taxation. Toward the end of Spanish rule, the tax burden on the capital of Naples was reduced - at the expense of other parts of the kingdom. The jurisdiction was forced to serve the interests of the state; the consequence increased corruption and misery in the provinces. The noble elite was uneducated and supersillious, differences in the standard of living, the morals varied greatly within the kingdom; the government failed to use legislation in order to improve the state of education, economy and culture. Those in government failed to act as role models. (quoted after Pesendorfer p.55). The countryside effectively was controlled and exploited by a class of barons; taxation was farmed out, with the result that only a fraction of the revenue reached the administration, which regarded it her priorities to ensure the capital adequately being supplied, the Spanish navy and garrisons to be paid. The abolition of tax farming had repeatedly been demanded, in vain. The city of Naples experienced an influx of lazzi, of paupers who neither owned land nor had an occupation. The anti-Spanish Macchia Conspiracy of 1701, which intended to place the Kingdom under Austrian administration, was suppressed, not without worsening the economic situation of the capital. The papal administration, the Duke of Parma and others owned large estates in the Kingdom, the revenues of which left the country without benefitting it; actually Spain had to subsidize the administration of the Kingdom of Naples. The parallel existence of a secular and an ecclesiastic jurisdiction was not without conflict.
The bad situation of the kingdom's economy, a host of problems the Spanish administration failed to address, resulted in harsh judgments by contemporary historians and observers, which are again reflected in historiography. Yet, Spanish rule over southern Italy had provided her with two centuries of protection from foreign invasions. The Spanish administration, notably in the later half of the 17th century, promoted the sciences. In 1698 Viceroy Luis Francisco de la Cerda, Duque de Medinacell, founded the (first) Neapolitan Academy. Naples' most famous scholar of the era was scientist Giambattista Vico (1668-1744).

At the outset of the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the Kingdoms of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia were Spanish. In 1706, the Austrian army achieved a decisive victory in the Italian theatre of war; in 1707, Austrian troops entered Naples without encountering resistance. Sardinia was taken in 1708. The landing of a small Spanish force on the island, intending to rally the pro-Spanish segment of the population to revolt against the pro-Austrian administration in 1710 was foiled by an English fleet. In 1708/1712, the Stato dei Presidii, except for Porto Longone on Elba, was taken by an Austro-English expedition. In the Treaties of Utrecht 1713 / Rastatt 1714, Austria was awarded Milan, Naples, Sardinia and the hitherto Spanish Netherlands. The status of the King of Naples as a vassall of the pope was ignored by the signatories.
To the Emperor, residing in Vienna, the Kingdoms of Naples and Sardinia were remote possessions; Austria lacked a fleet in the Mediterranean and only began to develop Trieste and Fiume into seaports of importance. In 1717, a Spanish fleet took Sardinia with ease, in 1718 the Spanish retook Sicily, which the Treaty of Utrecht had awarded to the Duke of Savoy-Piemont. In the peace treaty following the War of the Quadruple Alliance 1718-1720, Spain was forced to return her conquests. Austria and Savoy-Piemont swapped Sicily for Sardinia (in 1720 to Austria). Emperor Charles VI., in 1722, had himself be enfiefed by pope Innocent XIII. with the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily.
The Kingdom of Naples, the tax revenues of which were hardly sufficient to finance the administration of the country, was one of the more neglected provinces of the Austrian Habsburgs' Empire. Naples was governed by a viceroy.
During the War of Polish Succession (1733-1735), in 1734, a Spanish force retook Naples. The peace treaty of 1738 awarded the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily to Spain; the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was established, under a sideline of the Spanish Bourbon Dynasty.
The population of the Kingdom, for 1700, is estimated at about 3,300,000, that of the city of Naples 215,588 - Italy's largest city.
Until 1713, the Austrian administration of the Kingdom of Naples was provisional by nature, as the War of Spanish Succession still went on and the final status of the kingdom had not been decided yet. King was Charles III., residing in Barcelona 1707-1712; the various viceroys of Naples ruled in his name.
Papal support for the French candidate to the Spanish throne provided the new Austro-Spanish administration with a reason to take measures against the outflow of Neapolitan revenue into the Papal State. Estates of clergymen who did not reside in the kingdom were confiscated, the transfer abroad of money forbidden. Pope Clement XI. in return mobilized an army; Neapolitan forces invaded the Papal State, temporarily occupying Bologna. In 1709 a peace treaty was concluded; Austrian troops held Comacchio (Papal State) occupied until 1725.
Projects such as the construction of an Austro-Neapolitan fleet, political matters such as the proposed restoration of a confiscated lecture hall, used since Spanish times as a garrison, to the University of Naples, petitions for political reform were positively received, but proceeded at a snail's pace; it took years for a few warships to be built (of substandard quality, as funds were syphoned off); the lecture hall was restored to the university - after the Austrian Habsburg administration had been replaced by a Spanish Bourbon administration.
In 1720, Sicily (population c. 1,200,000) was acquired in exchange for Sardinia (population c.300,000). During the 7 (5) years of Piemontese rule, attempts had been made to stimulate the island economy, by bringing in new industries, and to reform her administration. The Austrian administration continued in this policy, yet few manufactures emerged. In 1728 an arrangement was reached with the papal administration concerning ecclesiastic jurisdiction. The inquisition on Sicily (in the Kingdom of Naples, there was none) continued to exist, and occasionally to condemn persons to be burnt at the stake.
In the few years of Austrian rule, the Kingdom of Naples saw 12 viceroys come and go, none of them native to the kingdom. Emperor Charles VI. and his viceroys in Naples saught to rule with the support of the country's nobility, and of those burghers with a university degree in law. Thus Austrian policy did not aim at abolishing the privileges of the barons, but rather at improving the lot of the peasants by regulating their burden and taking measures to curb excessive treatment from the side of the barons.
The Austrian administration had succeeded, by comparison to her Spanish predecessors, to raise the revenues of the kingdom; however, they did not suffice to pay for state expenses. Much of state revenues were spent for the military, the construction of an Austrian fleet. Postal services in the Habsburg territories, including the Kingdom of Naples, were nationalized. The plan, to declare Pozzuolo near Naples a free port, did not materialize. Incentives were given for the creation of a Neapolitan merchant marine.

For the years 1734-1806, see Kingdom of Unified Naples (in contemporary sources also refered to as the Kingdom of Two Sicilies : Monthenault d'Egly 1741).

1806-1815 For 6 months in 1799, the Kingdom of Naples (not Sicily) was occupied by French troops and reorganized as the Neapolitan or Parthenopean Republic. French troops evacuated Neapolitan territory and the monarchy was restored.
In 1806, French troops occupied the Kingdom of Naples (not Sicily) again; Napoleon made his brother Joseph King of Naples (1806), and in 1808 replaced Joseph (now King of Spain) by Joachim Murat. The Council of Vienna in 1815 returned Naples to the Bourbon Dynasty. In 1816, the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily were merged into the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.

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Country Profiles . Links . Organizations . Accounts of History . Politics . Military History . Economic History . Social History . Ethnography
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Country Profiles modern Article : Kingdom of Naples, from Wikipedia
Links on History Category : Kingdom of Naples, from Wikipedia
Organizations Associazione Culturale Due Sicilie
Historical Dictionaries Enciclopedie on Line, from Treccani, in Italian
Enciclopedia italiana e dizionario della conversazione, vol.1 : A-Amminicolo, 1838, vol.2 : Amministrazione-Asfodelo, 1838, vol.3 : Asia-Basilica, 1839, vol.4 : Basilicata-Brunetto Latini, 1841 (incomplete scan), vol.5 : C-Cavallino, 1842, vol.6 : Ceba-Danza di San Vito, 1843, vol.7 : Danzica-Errore, 1844, vol.7 pt.2 : F-Guizot, 1845, vol.8.1 : H-Litotomista, 1847 (incomplete scan), vol.8.2 : M-Orientali, 1848 (incomplete scan), vol.9.1 : P-Sesso, 1850 (incomplete scan), vol.9.2 : Siam-Zaffiro, 1851 (incomplete scan), vol.10 : Appendice, 1853, Tavole vol.1, 1837, Tavole vol.2, 1847, in Italian, GB
Accounts of History General, Modern La Storia di Napoli (the History of Naples), in Italian
General, Historical P. Giannone, The civil history of the Kingdom of Naples, vol.1, 1729, vol.2, 1731, GB
P. Colletta, Storia del reame di Napoli: dal 1734 sino al 1825, vol.1, 1851, vol.2, 1851, vol.3, 1834, in Italian, GB
Specific Periods C. Porzio, Histoire de troubles advenus au royaume de Naples: 1480 - 1487, 1627, in French, GB
Marguerite de Lussan, Histoire de la revolution du royaume de Naples,: dans les ann? 1647 & 1648, vol.1, 1757, vol.2, 1757, vol.3, 1757, vol.4, 1757, in French, GB
Charles Philippe de Monthenault d'Egly, Histoire des rois des deux Siciles de la maison de France, vol.1, 1741, vol.2, 1741, vol.3, 1741, vol.4, 1740, in French, GB
Gregoire Orloff, Memoires historiques: politiques et litteraires sur le royaume de Naples, vol.1, 1819, vol.2, 1819, vol.3, 1821, vol.4, 1821, vol.5, 1821, in French, GB
Il Settecento, from La Storia di Napoli, in Italian
Politics D.R. Bryant, Affection and loyalty in an Italian dynastic marriage, thesis Sydney 2012; on marriage to which Eleonora d'Aragona (1450-1493) was committed by her father, Ferrante I, king of Naples, in 1465, to Sforza Maria Sforza of Milan
S.R. Davis, Marriage and the politics of friendship: the family of Charles II of Anjou, King of Naples (1285-1309), thesis UCL 1998
Military M. Arpaiola, The road to Naples: Florence, the Black Bands and the army of the League of Cognac (1526-1528) , thesis Warewick 2001
V. Cipollone, La politica navale della Spagna della Spagna nel fronte mediterraneo (1635-1678), thesis Cagliari 2012
Economy & Finances Paola Avallone, Paper Money in the Kingdom of Naples : The Public Banks between XVI and XVIII Centuries, IEHC 2006
Social History
Religion general Patron Saint Index : Naples
Franciscan Provinces with their Custodies and Convents, c.1350, from M. van der Heijden and B. Roest, click Terra di Lavoro, Penna, St. Angelo, Apulia, Calabria
Documenti per la storia degli ebrei a Napoli nel XVIII secolo, from Hebraica Hereditas, in Italian
Article History of Islam in Southern Italy, from Wikipedia
Storia del Eparchia di Piana degli Albanesi, in Italian
La Storia, from Diocesi di Lungro, in Italian
H.C. Lea, The inquisition in the Spanish dependencies : Sicily - Naples - Sardinia - Milan - the Canaries - Mexico - Peru - New Granada 1908, IA
History of Regions Articles Abruzzo : History, Apulia : History, Basilicata : History, Calabria : History, Campania : History, Molise : History, from Wikipedia
Local History Articles Amalfi : History, Bari : History, Brindisi : History, Campobasso, Capua : History, Crotone : History, Foggia : History, Gaeta : History, Manfredonia : History, History of Naples, Reggio di Calabria : History, Salerno : History, Sorrento : History, from Wikipedia
Civitella, from Walled Cities
Culture M. Osnabrugge, Aert Mijtens (1556-1601): a painter from Brussels in Naples and the Spanish Viceroyalty between 1575 - 1600, thesis Utrecht 2008
C. Philippon, Le caravagisme a Naples : polymorphisme de la poetique caravagesque méridionale, thesis Montpellier 2010, covers years 1606-1610
A. Tuck-Scala, The Documented Paintings and Life of Andrea Vaccaro (1604-1670), thesis Penn State 2003
Biographies Standard Works of Reference N.M. di Gregorio, Biografia degli uomini illustri del regno di Napoli vol.2, 1814, vol.3, 1816, vol.4, 1817, vol.5, 1818, vol.6, 1819, vol.7, 1820, vol.8, 1822, vol.9, 1822, vol.10 pt.1, 1825, vol.10 pt.2, 1825, vol.11, 1826, in Italian GB
Environmental History S.F. Cocco, Vesuvius and Naples: nature and the city, 1500-1700, thesis Univ. of Washington 2004

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Historical Data Lists of Statesmen from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Titles of European Hereditary Rulers : Naples
Lists of Bishops Cronotassi dei Vescovi, AD Bari, AD Brindisi, AD Capua, Crotone, AD Gaeta, Ischia, AD Lecce, Manfredonia, Melfi, AD Napoli, Nardo-Gallipoli, AD Otranto, AD Potenza, Pozzuoli, AD Reggio Calabria, AD Salerno, AD Sorrento, AD Taranto, from Wikipedia Italian edition
Statistical Data Economic Data Global Price and Income History Group, Southern Europe, has file on Kingdom of Naples 1811
Documents Historical Newspapers Official Gazettes Bulletino delle Leggi del Regno di Napoli 1808 sem.1, 1809 sem.1, 1810 sem.1, 1811 sem.1, 1812 sem.1, 1813 sem.1, 1814 sem.1, in Italian, GB
Online Yearbooks International,
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Laws Bulletino delle Leggi del Regno di Napoli 1806, 1807, 1808 I, 1809 I, 1810 I, 1811 I, 1812 I, 1813 I, 1814 I,
Treaties British and Foreign State Papers 1812-1814 I, 1841, 1812-1814 II, 1841, 1814-1815, 1839, posted on Google Books
Historiography Fonti per la storia d'Italia pubblicate dall'Istituto storico italiano vol.41 1907 : V. de Bartolomaeis (ed.), Cronaca Aquilana Rimata de Bucco di Ranallo di Popplito di Aquila
G. Fernandez de Cordova y Aguilar [1453-1515], Cronicas del Gran Capitan 1908, IA
Document Collections Ch.27 : De Scriptoribus Rerum Italicum, pp.659-716 in B.G. Struve, Selecta bibliotheca historica, 1705, in Latin, GB ; a catalogue of narrative historical sources
Royaume de Naples, Circulaire de son excellence le secr?aire d'etat, ministre des affaires ecclesiastiques, 1820, GB
Individual Documents
Historical Maps links
overview, modern Maps : Eastern Hemisphere 900 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1000 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1100 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1200 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1300 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1400 AD, Eastern Hemisphere 1500 AD, by Thomas Lessman
Maps : Europe in the Year 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, from Euratlas
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Encyclopedia Entries
General Article Neapel, from Zedlers Universallexikon (1732), posted by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, in German, 18th century font
Economic Gallipoli (Kingdom of Naples), p.162, Naples, pp.317-322, in P. Kelly, The universal cambist, and commercial instructor, 1811, GB
Geographical Article : Naples, in : E. Bohun, A geographical dictionary, representing the present and ancient names of all the countries, provinces, remarkable cities, universities, ports, towns, mountains, seas, streights, fountains and rivers of the whole world, 1688, GB
Historical Royaume de Naples, pp.101-135 [on 1621-1708] in vol.32 of Maximilian-Samson-Friedrich Schöll, Cours d'histoire des Etats Europeens, depuis le bouleversement de l'empire romain d'Occident jusqu'en 1789, 1832, in French, GB
Parliamentary Debates Hansard (British Parliament)
Institutions Archives Archivio di Stato di Bari, Brindisi, Campobasso, Caserta, Crotone, Enna, Foggia, Lecce, Napoli, Salerno, Taranto
Archivio Storico di Comune di Manfredonia
National Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag of 1806, from FOTW
Coat of Arms, Royaume de Naples, from Heraldique Europeenne
Coins, Banknotes Search Coin Archives for Naples

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Online Libraries general Google Books; Internet Archives; Gutenberg Library Online; HathiTrust
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on Italy Repertori di biblioteche digitali italiane
BNCF Biblioteca Digitale; BNCR Biblioteca Digitale; Digitami, Biblioteca Digitale di Milano
Biblioteca Italiana; Biblioteche Digitali, from Biblioteca del Dipartimento di Scienze della Storia e della Documentazione Storica, Univ. of Milan
Thesis Server Registry of Open Access Repositories, Italy
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Tesi Online
Online Journals full text online Annali civili del regno delle Due Sicilie (official), vols.1-68, 1833-1860, in Italian, GB
Contents Online
General Accounts John Santore, Modern Naples, 1799-1999, a documentary history, NY : Italica Press 2001, KMLA Lib.Sign. 945 P844b v.5
Jeanne Chenault Porter, Baroque Naples, 1600-1800, a documentary history, NY : Italica Press 2001, KMLA Lib.Sign. 945 P844b v.4
Girolamo Imbruglia, Naples in the 18th Century, Cambridge : UP 2000, KMLA Lib.Sign. 945.73 I32n
Specific Topics Franz Pesendorfer, Österreich - Grossmacht am Mittelmeer ? Das Königreich Neapel unter Kaiser Karl VI. (1707/20-1734/35) (Austria - Great Power in the Mediterranean ? The Kingdom of Naples under Emperor Charles VI., 1707/20-1734/35), Wien : Böhlau 1998, in German [G]
John A. Marino, Early Modern Italy 1550-1796, Oxford : UP 2002 [G]

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