1902 Encyclopedia > Naples, Italy


NAPLES (Ital. Napoli, Gr. and Lat. Neapolis), formerly the capital of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and since 1860 the chief town of a province in the kingdom of Italy, is the largest and most populous city in the country, and disputes with Constantinople the claim of occupying the most beautiful site in Europe. It is situated on the northern shore of the Bay of Naples (Sinus Cumanus), in 40° 52' N. lat. and 14° 15' 45" E. long., as taken from the lighthouse on the mole. By rail it is distant 161 miles from Rome.

No other place in the world combines within the same compass so much natural beauty with so many objects of interest to the antiquary, the historian, and the geologist as the Bay of Naples. Its circuit is about 35 miles from the Capo di Miseno on the north-west to the Punta della Campanella on the south-east, or more than 52 miles if the islands of Ischia, at the north-west, and of Capri, at the south entrance, be included. At its opening between these two islands it is 14 miles broad; and from the opening to its head at Portici the distance is 15 miles. It affords good anchorage, with nearly 7 fathoms water, and is well sheltered, except from winds which blow from points between south-east and south-west. There is a perceptible tide of nearly 9 inches.

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Environs of Naples,

On the north-east shore of the bay, east of Naples, is an extensive flat, forming part of the ancient Campania Felix, and watered by the small stream Sebeto and by the Sarno, which formerly flowed by Pompeii. From this flat, between the sea and the range of the Apennines, rises Vesuvius, at the base of which, on or near the sea-shore, are the town-like villages of San Giovanni Teduccio, Portici, Resina, Torre del Greco, Torre dell' Annunziata, &c, and the classic sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii. At the south-east extremity of the plain, 3 miles beyond the outlet of the Sarno, a great offshoot of the Apennines, branching from the main range near Cava, and projecting as a peninsula more than 12 miles west, divides the Bay of Naples from the Bay of Salerno (Sinus Psestanus), and ends in the bold promontory of the Punta della Campanella (Promontorium Minervx), which is separated by a strait of 4 miles from Capri. On the north slope of this peninsula, where the plain ends and the coast abruptly bends to the west, stands the town of Castellammare, near the site of Stabix, at the foot of Monte Sant' Angelo, which rises suddenly from the sea to a height of 4722 feet. Farther west, and nearly opposite to Naples across the bay, are Vico, Meta, Sorrento, Massa, and many villages.

The north-west shore of the bay, to the west of Naples, is more broken and irregular. The promontory of Posiliipo

which projects due south, divides this part of the bay into two smaller bays—the eastern, with the city of Naples, and the western, or Bay of Baiee, which is sheltered from all winds. A tunnel through the promontory, 2244 feet long, 21 feet broad, and in some places as much as 70 feet high, possibly constructed by Marcus Agrippa in 27 B.C., forms the so-called grotto of Posillipo; at the Naples end stands the reputed tomb of Virgil. Beyond Posil-lipo is the small island of Nisida (Nesis); and at a short distance inland are the extinct craters of Solfatara and Astroni, and the Lake of Agnano. Farther west, on a tongue of land, stands Pozzuoli (Puteoli); and beyond it, round the Bay of Baias, are Monte Nuovo, a hill thrown up in a single night in September 1538 ; the classic site of Baiae; the Lucrine Lake; Lake Avernus;. the Lake of Fusaro (Acherusia Palm); the Elysian Fields; and the port and promontory of Misenum. Still farther to the south-west lie the islands of Procida (Pro-chyta) and Ischia (Pithecusa, JEnaria, or Inarime), which, divide the Bay of Naples from the extensive Bay of Gaeta.

The city of Naples is built at the base and on the slopes of a range of volcanic hills, and, rising from the shore like an amphitheatre, is seen to best advantage from the water. From the summit occupied by the castle of St Elmo a transverse ridge runs south to form the promontory of Pizzofalcone, and divides the city into two natural crescents. The western crescent, known as the Chiaja ward, though merely a long and narrow strip between the sea and Vomero hill, is the fashionable quarter most affected by foreign residents and visitors. A fine broad street, the Eiviera di Chiaja, commenced in the close of the 16th century by Count d'Olivares, and completed by the Duke de Medina Celi (1695-1700), runs for a mile and a half from east to west, ending in the quarter of Mergellina and Piedigrotta at the foot of the hill of Posillipo. In front lie the Villa Nazionale (Reale) public gardens, the chief promenade of the city, which were first laid out in 1780, and have been successively extended in 1807, in 1834, and under the new regime; and the whole edge of the bay from the Castel dell' Ovo to Posillipo is lined by a massive embankment and carriage-way, the Via Caracciolo, constructed in 1875-81. The eastern crescent includes by far the largest as well as the oldest portion of Naples—the-ports, the arsenal, the principal churches, <tc. The main thoroughfare is the Toledo (as it is still popularly called, though the official name is Via di Roma), which runs almost due north from the Piazza (Largo) del Plebiscito in front of the Palazzo Reale, till, as Strada Nuova di Capodimonte, crossing the Ponte della Sanità (constructed by Murat across the valley between Santa Teresa and Capodimonte), it reaches the gates of the Capodimonte palace. A new _drive, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, winds along the slopes ibehind the city from the Str. di Piedi (at the west end of the Ri v. di Chiaja) towards the continuation of the Toledo. The character of the shore of the eastern crescent is being rapidly altered by the new harbour works : about the middle of the curve lies the new Villa del Popolo, or People's Park, constructed on land reclaimed from the bay.

The streets of Naples are generally well-paved with lava oor volcanic basalt, which, however, renders them both noisy and slippery for horses. Side-pavements, where they exist, are usually narrow. In the older districts there is a count-less variety of narrow gloomy streets, many of them steep. The houses throughout the city are more.remarkable for otheir size and the solidity of their construction than for taste and elegance. They are mostly five or six stories high, are covered with stucco made of a kind of pozzuo-lana which hardens by exposure, and have large balconies .and flat roofs frequently ornamented with flowers, shrubs, and small trees planted in boxes filled with earth. The castle of St Elmo (St Ermo, St Erasmus), which dominates the whole city, had its origin in a fort (Belforte) erected by King Robert the Wise in 1343. The present building, with its rock-hewn fosses and massive ramparts, was con-structed by Don Pedro de Toledo at the command of Charles V. in 1535, and was long considered practically impregnable. Damaged by lightning in 1857, it was after-wards restored, but it is no longer used for defensive pur-poses. On a small island (I. del Salvatore, the Megaris of Pliny) now joined to the shore at the foot of the Pizzo-falcone by an arch-supported causeway 800 feet long, stands the Castel dell' Ovo (so called from its shape, though mediaeval legend associates the name with the enchanted egg on which the magician Virgil made the safety of the city to depend), which, dating from 1154, was for several centuries a place of great strength. The walls of its chapel were frescoed by Giotto ; but the whole building was ruined by Ferdinand II. in 1495, and had to be restored in the 16th century. Castel Nuovo, a very picturesque building constructed near the harbour in 1283 by Charles I. of Anjou, contains between the round towers of its facade the triumphal arch erected in 1470 to Alphonso I., and numbers among its chambers the Gothic hall of Giovanni Pisano in which Celestine V. abdicated the papal dignity. Castel del Carmine, founded by Ferdinand I. in 1484, was occupied by the populace in Masaniello's insurrection, was used as a prison for the patriots of 1796, and became municipal property in 1878. The royal palace, begun in 1600 by the Count de Lemos, from designs by Domenico Fontana, partly burned in 1837, and since repaired and enlarged by Ferdinand IL, is an oenormous building with a sea frontage of 800 feet, and a main facade 554 feet long and 95 feet high, exhibiting the Doric, Ionic, and Composite orders in its three stories. oOn their visits to Naples, Kings Victor Emmanuel and Humbert have usually preferred the suburban palace of Capodimonte, begun by Charles III. and completed by Ferdinand II. Naples is the see of a Roman Catholic archbishop, always a cardinal. The cathedral has a chapter of thirty canons, and of the numerous religious houses formerly existing thirteen have in whole or in part survived the suppression in 1868. The city is divided into forty-seven parishes (the boundaries of which are administrative and not topographical, so that different stories of the same house are sometimes in different parishes), and there are 257 Roman Catholic churches and 57 chapels. Most of the churches are remarkable .rather for richness of internal decoration than for archi-tectural beauty. The cathedral of St Januarms, occupying the site of temples of Apollo and Neptune, and still containing some of their original granite columns, was designed by Nicola Pisano, and erected between 1272 and 1316. Owing to frequent restorations occasioned by earthquakes, it now presents an incongruous mixture of different styles. The general plan is that of a basilica with a nave and two (Gothic vaulted) aisles separated by pilasters. Beneath the high altar is a subterranean chapel containing the tomb of St Januarius (San Gennaro), the patron saint of the city ; in the right aisle there is a chapel (Cappella del Tesoro) built between 1608 and 1637 in popular recognition of his having saved Naples in 1527 " from famine, war, plague, and the fire of Vesuvius "; and in a silver tabernacle behind the high altar of this chapel are preserved two phials partially filled with his blood, the periodical liquefaction of which forms a prominent feature in the religious life of the city (see JANUARIUS). Accessible by a door in the left aisle of the cathedral is the church of Sta Restituta, a basilica of the 7th century, and the original cathedral. Santa Chiara (14th century) is interesting for a fresco ascribed to Giotto (at one time there were many more), and monuments to Robert the Wise, his queen Mary of Valois, and his daughter Mary, empress of Constantinople. San Domenico Maggiore, founded by Charles II. in 1285, but completely restored after 1445, has an effective interior particularly rich in Renaissance sculpture. In the neighbouring monastery is shown the cell of Thomas Aquinas. San Filippo Neri or dei Gerolomini, erected in the close of the 16 th century, has a white marble facade and two campaniles, and contains the tombstone of Giambattista Vico. Sta Maria del Parto, in the Chiaja, occupies the site of the house of Sannazaro, and is named after his poem De Partu Virginis. San Francesco di Paola, opposite the royal palace, is an imita-tion of the Pantheon at Rome by Pietro Bianchi di Lugano (1815-37), and its dome is one of the boldest in Europe. The church of the Certosa (Carthusian monastery) of San Martino, on the hill below St Elmo's castle, has now become in name, as so many of the churches are in reality, a museum. Dating from the 14th century, and restored by Fonsega in the 17th, it is a building of extraordinary rich-ness of decoration, with paintings and sculpture by Guido Reni, Lanfranco, Caravaggio, D'Arpino, Solimene, Luca Giordano, and notably a Descent from the Cross by Ribera. One of the cloisters by Fonsega is particularly fine. A more ancient Christian monument than any of the convents or churches is the catacombs, which extend a great distance underground. The entrance is at the Ospizio dei Poveri di San Gennaro (see Schulze's monograph, Jena, 1877).

Of all the secular institutions in Naples none is more remarkable than the national museum, better known'as the Museo Borbonico. The building, begun in 1586 for cavalry barracks, and remodelled in 1615 for the university, received its present destination in 1790. Enriched by the Farnese collection, by all that was most valuable in Naples, and by everything that would bear removal from Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabia?, Puteoli, Paestum, &c, the museum is unique as a treasure-house of Roman and early Italian antiquities. The collection of Etruscan and Italo-Greek vases is unsurpassed. Nor is the variety of objects greater than the artistic value of some of the items—such as the Farnese Hercules, the Farnese Bull (Amphion and Zethus binding Dirce to its horns), the Dancing Faun (bronze), the statues of the Balbi (marble). For the rich libraries of Naples see vol. xiv. pp. 530, 548. The Club Alpino has a unique collection (25,000 volumes) of Vesuvian and seismo-graphical literature.

The university of Naples is one of the oldest in Italy, having been founded by Frederick II. in the first half of the 13th century. It had fallen to insignificance under the Bourbons, but since 1860 it has rapidly recovered. It comprises five faculties (literature and philosophy, jurisprudence, mathematics, natural science, and medicine), and is well equipped with zoological, mineralogical, and geological museums, a physiological institute, a cabinet of anthropology, botanical gardens, and an observatory on Mount Vesuvius.

The students in 1882-3 numbered 3421. Originally erected in 1557 for the use of the Jesuits, the university buildings are regarded as the best work of Marco di Pino ; the quadrangle, surrounded by a simple but effective peristyle, contains statues of Pietro della Vigna (Frederick's chancellor), Thomas Aquinas, Vico, and Giordano Bruno. The famous zoological station at Naples, whose aquarium is the principal building in the Villa Nazionale, is not connected with the university ; it was founded in 1872 by Dr Dohrn, and has become one of the greatest centres of biological research in Europe. Its Mittheilungen began to be published in 1878, and a great work on the fauna and flora of the Gulf of Naples is in progress. The Royal Society of Naples, dating originally from 1756, was reconsti-tuted in 1861, and now comprises three ''academies" or depart-ments, dealing respectively with the physical and mathematical sciences, the moral and political sciences, and literature, archaeology, and the fine arts. The famous Accademia Pontaniana, founded in 1471 by Ant. Panormita and J. J. Pontanus, was restored in 1809, and still exists. The royal school of Oriental languages (35 pupils in 1880) owes its existence to Matteo Ripa, who in 1732 estab-lished a college for Chinese missionaries with money which he had collected by visiting various European courts in company with ten or twelve young Chinamen. Since 1857 Ludovico da Casoria, relying on public subscriptions, has carried on a special college for the education of Africans (Coll. dei Mori a Capodimonte). The royal college of music, practically founded by Charles III. in 1760, and thus one of the oldest as it is one of the most celebrated institutions of its class, was re-established in 1879. It has a teaching staff of nearly forty persons, takes in hoarders (50 Italians gratui-tously), and carries on a free day school for males and females. A large and beautiful building in Strada Fuori Porta Medina, erected in a Pompeian style by Francesco del Giudice, accommodates the royal institute for the encouragement of the natural and economical sciences, the royal technical institute (535 pupils), and the nautical institute (46 pupils); and in Str. del Salvatore there is a royal school of engineering with 250 pupils. Four technical schools are maintained by the municipality. The primary educa-tion of the people was so much neglected under the Bourbons that after twenty years of a better regime there were still 294,384 persons in Naples who could neither read nor write. That some progress had been made was shown in 1881 by the fact that the number of persons under thirty years of age who could both read and write had increased from 79,224 in 1871 to 101,277. In 1872 there were 14,461 children attending school; in 1879 there were 75,311. The educational expenditure of the commune was £64,972 in 1882 for the education of 30,000 children. About one-fourth of the children attending the infant schools are gratuitously supplied with soup at midday, and the children of the working classes are taught free of charge. Among the various private educational enter-prises Mrs Salis Schwabe's Froebel Institute, founded in 1873, the Italian Protestant schools, and the institution established by the Marquis Casanova in 1869 to take charge of boys leaving school and bring them up to some special trade, deserve special mention. There are three schools for the blind—notably Lady Strachan's (1865) and the "Prince of Naples," founded by'Martuscelli (1873) —and as many for the deaf and dumb.

Charitable institutions are unusually numerous in Naples. The oldest civil hospital is S. Eligio, dating from 1270 ; but the largest is the Casa Santa degli Incurabili, founded in 1521 by Francesca Maria Longo. It is open to patients of both sexes and any rank, contains upwards of 1000 beds, and has an annual income of about £32,000. In 1877 an international hospital was established by the foreign residents. The Albergo dei Poveri (poorhouse) occupies a magnificent range of buildings, commenced in 1761 by Charles III. at the suggestion of Padre Rocco. Starting with an income of about £3000, it now disposes yearly of £48,000 ; and it has succes-sively absorbed various minor institutions such as the Conservatorio of St Francis of Sales (1816) and the deaf-mute school (1818). The great almshouse of St Januarius for old men (Ospiz. di S. Gennaro dei Poveri) dates from 1666. Besides the great provincial lunatic asylum (340 patients), now transferred to the convent of St Francis of Sales, there are three smaller asylums in the suburbs. Nothing perhaps is more characteristic of Naples than its so-called Arci-con-fraternitd, associations similar to our friendly and burial societies, but entering more into the life of all classes of society. There are about one hundred and thirty of them. The oldest which has kept the date of its origin is that of the Bianchi della Carita, founded in 1382 ; seven belong to the 15th century and twenty-seven to the 16th. Mutual benefit societies are also numerous.

There are about a score of theatres in Naples. The San Carlo opera-house, with its area of 5157 square yards, and its pit capable of containing one thousand spectators, is one of the largest in Europe. It was originally erected in 1737 under Charles III. after the designs of Giovanni Medrano, but had to be almost completely rebuilt after the fire of 1816. Though closely associated with the names of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Mercadante, &c., San Carlo has always had to be subsidized—first by the Bourbon princes, and since 1860 by the municipality, which also helps to support the Mercadante theatre. It is enough to mention the Teatro Nuovo, the Sannazaro, the Dei Fiorentini (de-voted to the Italian drama), and the Bellini (dating from 1876, and second to none in the matter of decoration). The San Carlino, though mean and incommodious, is largely frequented by all classes-from royalty downwards, its Pulcinella farces, always in the Neapolitan dialect, being a purely local institution, connected it may be with the Atellan plays.

At a very early date the original harbour at Naples, now known in its greatly reduced state as Porto Piccolo, and fit only for boats and lighters, became too small. In 1302 Charles II. of Anjou began the construction of the Porto Grande by forming the Molo Grande or San Gennaro, which stretched eastward into the bay, and was ter-minated by a lighthouse in the 15th century. By the addition of a new pier running north-east from the lighthouse, and protected by a heavily armed battery, Charles III. in 1740 added greatly to the safety of the harbour. In 1826 the open area to the south of the Porto Grande was formed into the Porto Militare by the con-struction of the Molo San Vincenzo, 1200 feet long. Shortly after the formation of the new kingdom of Italy attention was called to the insufficiency of the harbour for modern wants ; and new works were commenced in 1862. Besides the lengthening of the Molo San Vincenzo to a total of more than 5000 feet, the scheme as authorized in 1879 includes the formation of a new pier, which is to extend from the Castel del Carmine a distance of about 2460 feet, the con-struction of quays along the shore between the fort and the Porto Grande, the deepening of the enclosed area to about 25 feet, and the establishment of new bonded warehouses and a floating dock on the Clark-Stanfield system. The contract provides for the com-pletion of the works in 1885. The entrance to the harbour will then measure more than 2000 feet.

The port of Naples is second in the kingdom. The total tonnage of foreign and coasting trade (entrance and clearance) had increased from 1,812,138 register tons in 1863 to 4,128,057 in 1882. In the foreign trade the first place belongs to French shipping, 956,171 tons; the second to British, 374,608 ; and the third to Italian, 93,424. Cotton, cereals, sugar, coffee, tobacco, wool, &c, are the chief imports; pastes, coral (to the value of £1,500,000), and jewellers'' work, dried fruit, hats, tartar and wine lees, wine, and olive oil are the chief exports. The total value of imports and exports was. £9,374,940 in 1881 and £8,055,798 in 1882. Coral, kid gloves, and macaroni are manufactured in the city on an extensive scale.

Naples has several good local springs (notably the Acqua del Leone at Mergellina); a covered channel brings the waters of Monte Soinma (Vesuvius) to the lower parts of the town ; an aqueduct, constructed in the 17th century at the cost of Criminello and Carmignano, taps the Isclero at Sant' Agata dei Goti, 30 miles distant; and a number of artesian wells have proved successful as far as quantity is concerned. But in spite of all these resources the water supply has long been far below the demand ; and a city which from its position might be one of the best-drained, cleanest, and healthiest in the world has had an unenviable reputation for dirtiness and unwholesomeness. At present extensive works are in progress by which good drinking water is to be brought from Serin o (nearly 50 miles distant) and laid on at three different high levels at the rate of 22,000,000 gallons daily for the use of the-inhabitants and 1,000,000 for public purposes.

Naples, the most densely peopled city in Europe, is slowly but steadily increasing. The commune—which includes not only the urban districts (frazioni) of S. Ferdinand, Chiaja, S. Giuseppe, Monte Calvario, Avvocata, Stella, San Carlo all' Arena, Vicaria, S. Lorenzo, Mercato, Pendino, and Porto, but also the suburban districts of Vomero, Posillipo, Fuorigrotta, Miano-Mianella, and Piscinola-Marianella—has advanced from 404,000 inhabitants in 1788 to 493,115 in 1881, and the city proper (the first twelve dis-tricts) from 326,130 in 1812 to 461,962 in 1881. In the condition of the lower classes considerable improvement has been effected since 1860; the lazzaroni, who bulked so largely in the experience of the tourist in the early part of the century, no longer exist, their place-being taken by the dock-labourer, the fisherman, and the artisan.

History.—All ancient writers agree in representing Naples as a Greek settlement, though its foundation is obscurely and differently narrated. It seems that the oldest city on its site was founded by a colony from the neighbouring Greek town of Cumse. They are said to "have given it the name of Parthenope, from a legendary connection of the locality with the siren Parthenope, whose tomb-was still shown at the time of Strabo. A number of Chaleidic and Athenian colonists are reported to have afterwards joined the original settlers, and to have built for themselves separate dwell-ings, which they called A'eapolis, or the new city, in contra-distinction to the old settlement, which in consequence was. styled Palsepolis. or the old city. All modern attempts to define the respective extent and situation of Paloepolis and Neapolis have failed ; but Livy's testimony leaves no doubt that they were close-to each other, and identical in language and government.

In the year 328 B.C., the Palaepolitans having provoked the hostility of Rome by their incursions upon her Canrpanian allies, the consul Publilius Philo marched against them, and, having taken his position between the old and the new city, laid regular siege to Palajpolis. By the aid of a strong Samnite garrison which they received, the Paliepolitans were long able to withstand the attacks of the consul; but at length the city was betrayed into the hands of the Romans by two of her citizens. Neapolis possibly sur-rendered to the consul without any resistance, as it was received on favourable terms, had its liberties secured by a treaty, and obtained the chief authority, which previously seems to have been enjoyed by the older city. From that time Pahepolis totally disappeared from history, and Neapolis became as an allied city— fcsderata civitas—a dependency of Rome, to whose alliance it re-mained constantly faithful, even under most trying circumstances. In 280 B.C. Pyrrhus unsuccessfully attacked its walls ; and in the Second Punic War Hannibal was by their strength deterred from attempting to make himself master -of the town. During the civil wars of Marius and Sulla, a body of partisans of the latter having entered it by treachery, 82 B.C., made a general massacre of the inhabitants ; but Neapolis soon recovered the blow, as it was again a nourishing city in the time of Cicero. It became a munieipium after the passing of the lex Julia; under the empire it is noticed as a colonia, but the time when it first obtained that rank is uncertain—possibly under Claudius.

Though a municipal town, Neapolis long retained its Greek culture and institutions; and even at the time of Strabo had gymnasia and quinquennial games, and was divided into phratriae, after the Greek fashion. When the Romans became masters of the world, many of their upper classes, both before the close of the republic and under the empire, from a love of Greek manners and literature or from indolent and effeminate habits, resorted to Neapolis, either for education and the cultivation of gymnastic exercises or for the enjoyment of music and of a soft and luxurious climate. Hence we find Neapolis variously styled—by Horace as "otiosa Neapolis," by Martial as "doeta Parthenope," by Ovid as "inotia natam Parthenopen." It was the favourite residence of many of the emperors : Nero made his first appearance on the stage in one of its theatres ; Titus assumed the office of its archon; and Hadrian became its demarch. It was chiefly at Neapolis that Virgil composed his Georgics ; and he was buried on the hill of Pausilypus, the modern Posiilipo, in its neighbourhood. It was also the favourite residence of the poets Statius and Silius Italicus, the former of whom was a Neapolitan by birth.

After the fall of the Roman empire, Neapolis suffered severely during the Gothic wars. Having espoused the Gothic cause in the year 536, it was taken, after a protracted siege, by Belisarius, who turned aside an aqueduct, marched by surprise into the city through its channel, and put many of the inhabitants to the sword. In 542 Totila besieged it and compelled it to surrender ; but, being soon after recovered by Narses, it remained long a dependency of the exarchate of Ravenna, under the immediate government of a duke, appointed by the Byzantine emperors. When the Lombards in-vaded Italy, and pushed their conquests in the southern provinces, the limits of the Neapolitan duchy were considerably narrowed. In the beginning of the 8th century, at the time of the Iconoclastic controversy, the emperor Leo the Isaurian having forced compliance to his edict against the worshipping of images, the Neapolitans, encouraged by Pope Gregory III., threw off their allegiance to the Eastern emperors, and established a republican form of government under a duke of their own appointment. Under this regime Neapolis retained her independence for nearly four hundred years, though constantly struggling against the powerful Lombard dukes of Benevento, who twice unsuccessfully besieged it. In 1027, however, Pandulf IV., a Lombard prince of Capua, succeeded in making himself master of it; but he was expelled in 1030 by Duke Sergius, chiefly through the aid of a few Norman adventurers. The Normans, in their turn, gradually superseded all powers, whether Greek, Lombard, or republican, which had previously divided the south of Italy, and furthermore cheeked the Saracens in the advances they were making through Apulia.

For the consolidation of the Norman authority over Sicily and Naples, the reader is referred to the article NORMANS. It is sufficient here to state that the leaders of the house of Hauteville in 1053 did homage to the pope for all conquests they had made or might make both in the island and upon the mainland, and that in 1130 Count Roger of that family assumed the style of king. In this way the south of Italy, together with the adja-cent island of Sicily, was converted into one political body, which, owing to the peculiar temper of its Norman rulers and their powerful organization, assumed a more feudal character than any other part of the peninsula. The " regno," as it was called by the Italians, constituted a state apart, differing in social institutions, foreign relations, and type of home government from the common-wealths and tyrannies of upper Italy. It should furthermore be noticed that the indirect right acquired by the popes as lords paramount over this vast section of Italian territory gave occasion to all the most serious disturbances of Italy between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 16th centuries, by the introduction of the house of Anjou into Naples and the disputed succession of" Auge vine and Aragonese princes. From the date at which the south of Italy and Sicily were subjugated by the Normans, the history of Naples ceases to be the history of a republic or a city, and merges itself, as the history of a kingdom, in that of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Naples henceforth formed the metropolis of the Italian portion of that kingdom, owing this pre-eminence to its advantageous position on the side of Italy towards Sicily, and to the favour of successive princes. Separated from Sicily between the years 1282 and 1442, reunited to Sicily between 1442 and 1458, again separated between 1458 and 1504, and finally reunited in the year 1504, the kingdom of Naples remained from that date forward, with short interruptions, under one crown, together with Sicily, until 1861. Then both Sicily and Naples-were absorbed in the Italian kingdom through the cession by Garibaldi of his conquest to the popularly sanctioned sceptre of the house of Savoy.

It is impossible to write the history of Naples in modern times, apart from that of Sicily, or to separate it from that of the several dynasties which have held royal or vice-royal state in Naples as their capital. But an epitome of the main vicissitudes which it has undergone during the last seven centuries and a half may be supplied. The Norman dynasty controlled both Sicily and Naples until the year 1194, when their rights were transmitted, by failure of legitimate male issue, to Henry VI., emperor, and husband of Constance de Hauteville. The popes, in pursuance of their Guelf policy, persecuted the great imperial house of Hohenstaufen to extinction, subdued the Ghibelline party in southern Italy, and conferred the kingdom of the Two Sicilies upon Charles of Anjou after his victory at Grandella, in the year 1265. As a consequence of the Sicilian Vespers, Charles had to relinquish Sicily in 1282 ;. but he continued to be king of Naples. It was then shown that, though the Normans had welded Sicily and the southern provinces of Italy into one substantial political whole, the-island and the mainland had no strong bond of national cohe-sion. The subsequent history of the sister kingdoms makes this even more apparent. Seven princes of the house of Anjou ruled Naples after the death of Charles until the year 1442. Meanwhile Sicily obeyed the house of Aragon, whose rights were-derived from Constance, the daughter of Slanfred, a bastard son of the emperor Frederick II. In 1442 Alphonso V. of Aragon and Sicily, surnamed the Magnanimous, expelled René of Anjou from the kingdom of Naples, and reunited the Two Sicilies under his own rule. Upon his death in 1458, his brother John became king of Aragon and Sicily; while his natural son Ferdinand assumed the crown of Naples, which was bequeathed to him by Alphonso as being his own property by righi of conquest. The bastard Aragonese dynasty thus founded continued to hold sway in Naples, separate from Sicily, through four successive princes, until their line ended by the expulsion of Frederick, Alphonso's grandson, in 1501. Betrayed by his cousin Ferdinand of Spain, this prince surrendered to a French army and died in captivity in France three years later. The French and Spaniards were at this epoch disput-ing the possession of Italy. Charles VIII. of France had already, in 1494, reasserted the claims of the Angevine line, and had conquered the kingdom of Naples ; but he proved unable or unwilling to maintain his conquest more than a few months. His suc-cessor Louis XII. covenanted in 1500 to partition Naples with. Ferdinand the Catholic of Spain, who was already king of Sicily. Ferdinand, however, having no intention of fulfilling his engage-ments with his French ally, succeeded in possessing himself of the-whole kingdom of Naples, which he now reunited to that of Sicily, and governed together with Castile and Aragon. From 1504 until 1707 Naples and Sicily owed immediate obedience to viceroys of the kings of Spain,—the only important episode in the history of the city throughout this period being the revolt of MASANIELLO (q.v. ) in 1647. After 1707, during the wars of the Spanish succes-sion, the Austriaus made themselves masters of both Sicily and Naples ; and, though Sicily was ceded by them in 1713 to the house of Savoy, and in 1718 conquered by Spain, they became again in 1720 possessors of both kingdoms. Naples was at this, time of her history administered by Austrian, as previously by Spanish, viceroys. The war of the Polish succession gave^ monarchial independence once more to the Two Sicilies ; for in 1735 Don Carlos, a younger son of Philip V., of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain, after a successful campaign against the Austrians, was crowned sovereign of both kingdoms at Palermo. He founded the Bourbon line, which reigned in Sicily and Naples until the year 1861, interrupted only by the disturbances of the French Revolu-tion and by a brief French occupation (1806-15), during which Joseph Bonaparte bore the title of king of Naples for two years and Joachim Murat for seven years. Sicily throughout this period of French influence remained beneath the sway of her Bourbon princes. For the events which led to the expulsion of the Bourbons and the annexation of both Sicily and Naples to the crown of Italy, the reader is referred to the article ITALY ; see also MASANIELLO, NORMANS, SICILY.


Since the article ISCHIA (q.v.) was written the island has been visited by another severe shock of earthquake (July 28, 1883), which completely ruined Casamieciola, Porio, Lacco

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