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In 1442, however, Alfonso V conquered the Kingdom of Naples and unified Sicily and Naples once again as dependencies of Aragon. At his death in 1458, the War of the Neapolitan Succession (1458–1462) erupted, after which the kingdom was again separated and Naples was inherited by Ferrante , Alfonso's illegitimate son.
Naples enjoyed a brief period of prosperity and importance in Italian affairs under Robert, king of Naples (1309–43), but from the mid-14th to the 15th century, the history of the kingdom was a story of dynastic disputes within the Angevin house.
The history of Naples is long and varied. The first Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the 2nd millennium BC. During the end of the Greek Dark Ages a larger mainland colony – initially known as Parthenope – developed around the 9-8th century BC, and was refounded as Neapolis in the 6th century BC: it held an important role in Magna Graecia.
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Spanish Naples (1504–1713) saw itself as the defender and legitimate successor of the formerly independent Aragonese kingdom destroyed by French invasions in 1494 and 1499. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (1453–1515), the Great Captain, led an innovative military campaign that resolved more than two hundred years of Angevin-Aragonese rivalry in southern Italy. Charles V (king of Spain as Charles I, 1516–1556; Holy Roman Emperor, 1519–1556) confiscated pro-French nobles' titles, fiefdoms, and offices to forge an alliance between the absentee Spanish monarchy and the loyal local nobility, while Eleonora of Toledo, daughter of viceroy Pedro de Toledo (ruled 1532–1553), was married to Cosimo I Medici (ruled 1537–1574) of Florence as part of the Spanish pacification of Italy. Thispax hispanica quelled factional feuding among the local nobility, put a stop to open warfare between the Italian states, and protected Italy from the Ottoman Turks. Philip II of Spain (ruled 1556–1598) encouraged p...
Renaissance Naples's local variant of "feudal humanism," which concerned itself with the problems and values of the ruling baronial elite, continued into the early sixteenth century as humanist natives of the city or kingdom sought to interpret its failures and conquest in the Italian Wars. Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503) continued to be read, and Jacopo Sannazaro (1458–1530) published his influential pastoral poem,Arcadia, in 1502. The university reopened in 1507 and was known for its faculites of philosophy, law, and medicine, but the humanist Neapolitan academy was suppressed in 1542. Spanish Naples hosted the Spanish mystic Juan de Valdés (1500–1541) and his circle, the anti-Aristotelian philosophy of Bernardino Telesio (1508–1588), numerous academies and salons including the suppressed Accademia dei Segreti and later the Accademia degli Oziosi, both led by the scientist and dramatist Giambattista della Porta (1535–1615), while Torquato Tasso (1544–1595), born in exile in Sorrento,...
Porter, Jeanne Chenault, ed.Baroque Naples. A Documentary History 1600–1800. New York, 2000. Venturi, Franco, ed.Riformatori napoletani.Illuministi italiani, vol. 5. La leteratura italiana, Storia e testi, vol. 46. Milan, 1962.
Astarita, Tommaso.The Continuity of Feudal Power: The Caracciolo di Brienza in Spanish Naples. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1990. ——.Village Justice: Community, Family, and Popular Culture in Early Modern Italy. Baltimore, 1999. Calabria, Antonio.The Cost of Empire. The Finances of the Kingdom of Naples in the Time of Spanish Rule.Cambridge, U.K., 1991. Calabria, Antonio, and John A. Marino, eds.Good Government in Spanish Naples. New York, 1990. Galasso, Giuseppe.Alla periferia dell'impero:...
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The recorded history of the Naples (Italian Napoli) begins in the 7th century BC when the nearby Greek colony of Cumae founded a new city called Parthenope. Cumae itself had been founded by people from Euboea. Precisely why the inhabitants of Cumae decided to expand is not known for certain, but the Cumaeans built Neapolis (the "New City") adjacent to the old Parthenope. At about the same time, they had warded off an invasion attempt by the Etruscans. The new city grew thanks to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse in Sicily and at some point the new and old cities on the Gulf of Naples merged to become a single inhabited nucleus. Naples became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. The strong walls of Naples held off Hannibal. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites. However, the Romans soon took it from them and made Neapolis a Roman colony. Neapolis was greatly respected by the Romans as a plac...
Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths and incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom. However, the Byzantine general Belisarius recaptured Naples in 536, after famously entering the city via the aqueduct. The Gothic Wars raged on, and Totila briefly took the city for the Ostrogoths in 543, before, finally, the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius confirmed Byzantine rule. Naples remained in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, which was the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian peninsula. After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples continued with its Greco-Roman culture, it eventually switched allegiance under Duke Stephen II to Rome rather than Constantinople, putting it under papal suzerainty by 763. The years between 818 and 832 were a particularly confusing period in regard to Naples' relation with the Byzantine Emperor, with feuding between local pretenders to the ducal throne. The...
After a period as a Norman kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily passed under the Hohenstaufens, the powerful Germanic royal house of Swabian origin. The University of Naples was founded by Frederick II in the city, making it the oldest state university in the world and Naples the intellectual centre of the kingdom. Conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the Papacy led, in 1266, to Pope Innocent IV crowning the Angevin Duke Charles I as King. Charles officially moved the capital from Palermo to Naples where he resided at the Castel Nuovo. During this period much Gothic architecture sprang up around Naples, including the Naples Cathedral, which is the main church of the city. In 1282, after the Sicilian Vespers, the kingdom split in half. The Angevin Kingdom of Naples included the southern part of the Italian peninsula, while the island of Sicily became the Aragonese Kingdom of Sicily. The wars continued until the peace of Caltabellotta in 1302, which saw Frederick III recognised as Ki...
Sicily and Naples were separated in 1458 but remained as dependencies of Aragon under Ferrante. The new dynasty enhanced Naples' commerce by establishing relations with the Iberian peninsula. Naples also became a centre of the Renaissance, with artists such as Laurana, da Messina, Sannazzaro and Poliziano arriving in the city. During 1501, Naples became under direct rule from France at the time of Louis XII, and the Neapolitan King Frederick was taken as a prisoner to France. This lasted only four years. Spain won Naples at the Battle of Garigliano and, as a result, Naples fell under the direct rule of the Spanish Empire throughout the entire Spanish Habsburg period. The Spanish sent viceroys to Naples to deal directly with local issues. The most important of these was Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, who was responsible for considerable social, economic and urban progress in the city. He also supported the Inquisition. During this period, Naples was second only to Paris in size among Europ...
During the time of Ferdinand IV, the French Revolution made itself felt in Naples. Nelson, an ally of the Bourbons, even arrived in the city in 1798 to warn against it. However, Ferdinand was forced to retreat and fled to Palermo, where he was protected by a British fleet. Naples' lower classes, the Lazzaroni, were strongly pious and Royalist, favouring the Bourbons. In the mêlée that followed, they fought the Neapolitan pro-Republican aristocracy, fermenting a civil war. The Republicans conquered Castel Sant'Elmo and proclaimed a Parthenopaean Republic, secured by the French Army. A counter-revolutionary religious army of Lazzaroni known as the Sanfedisti was raised and led by Fabrizio Ruffo. They had great success and the French surrendered the Neapolitan castles and were allowed to sail back to Toulon. Ferdinand IV was restored as king. However, after only seven years Napoleon conquered the kingdom and installed Bonapartist kings, including his brother Joseph Bonaparte. With the...
Following Garibaldi's Expedition of the Thousand, culminating in the Siege of Gaeta, Naples joined the Kingdom of Italy as part of the Italian unification in 1861, ending Bourbon rule. The kingdom of the Two Sicilies had been wealthy and 80 million ducats were taken from the banks as a contribution to the new Italian treasury, while other former states in the Italian unification were forced to pay far less. The economy of the area formerly known as Two Sicilies collapsed, leading to an unprecedented wave of emigration, with estimates claiming that at least four million of those who left for the north and abroad between 1876–1913 were from Naples or near Naples. During World War II, Naples was more heavily bombed than any other Italian city. Although the Neapolitans did not rebel against Italian fascism, Naples was the first Italian city to rise up against German military occupation, liberation being achieved by 1 October, 1943. The symbol of the rebirth of Naples was the rebuilding...
Italy - Italy - The Kingdom of Naples: Pedro de Toledo (viceroy 1532–53) reorganized the Kingdom of Naples and placed it firmly within the Spanish monarchical orbit dominated by Castile. Within the kingdom, he oversaw the eradication of the pro-French barons and attempted to install centralized, absolutist policies. Within the city, he developed new residential quarters and strengthened ...
The history of the kingdom of Naples is intimately tied to the history of Europe and reflects the intrigue, turmoil and bloody relations of the ruling dynasties and governments of the time. The interests of France, Britain, Austria, Spain are all reflected in the story of Naples.
- Pietro Colletta, S. Horner, John A. Davis
The Kingdom of Naples (Italian: Regno di Napoli; Neapolitan: Regno 'e Napule) was a French client state in southern Italy created in 1806 when the Bourbon Ferdinand IV & VII of Naples and Sicily sided with the Third Coalition against Napoleon and was in return ousted from his kingdom by a French invasion.