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|Kingdom of Naples|
|Sovereign state under Capetian Angevins (1282–1442)|
Part of the Crown of Aragon
Sovereign state under a cadet branch of the Aragonese House of Trastámara (1458–1501)
Personal union with the Kingdom of France (1501–1504)
Spanish viceroyalty (1504–1714)
Ruled by the Austrian monarchy (1714–1735)
Sovereign state under a cadet branch of the Bourbons of Spain (1735–1806) and (1815–1816)
Client state of the French Empire (1806–1815)
The territory of the Kingdom of Naples
|• Type||Feudal absolute monarchy|
|Charles I (first)|
|Ferdinand IV (last)|
|31 August 1302|
|7 July 1647|
|7 March 1714|
|10 March 1806|
|8 December 1816|
|Today part of||Italy|
The Kingdom of Naples (Latin : Regnum Neapolitanum; Catalan : Regne de Nàpols; Spanish : Reino de Nápoles; French : Royaume de Naples; Italian : Regno di Napoli; Neapolitan : Regno 'e Napule), officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was established by the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate kingdom also called the Kingdom of Sicily. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it reunified with the island of Sicily to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
The term "Kingdom of Naples" is in near universal use among historians, but it was not used officially by the government. Since the Angevins remained in power on the Italian peninsula, they kept the original name of the Kingdom of Sicily (regnum Siciliae). At the end of the War of the Vespers, the Peace of Caltabellotta (1302) provided that the name of the island kingdom would be Trinacria (regnum Trinacriae). However, this usage did not become established, and the island kingdom became known as the Kingdom of Sicily.
In the late Middle Ages, it was common to distinguish the two Sicilies by noting its location relative to the rest of Italy and the Punta del Faro, i.e., the Strait of Messina. The peninsular kingdom was known as Sicily citra Farum or al di qua del Faro (on this side of Faro), and the island kingdom was known as Sicily ultra Farum or di la del Faro (on the other side of Faro). When both kingdoms came under the rule of Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1442, this usage became official, although Ferdinand I (1458–94) preferred the simple title King of Sicily (rex Sicilie).
By the late Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Sicily citra Farum had become known colloquially as the Kingdom of Naples (regnum Neapolitanum or regno di Napoli). It was sometimes even called the regno di Puglia, kingdom of Apulia. In the 18th century, the Neapolitan intellectual Giuseppe Maria Galanti argued that Apulia was the true "national" name of the kingdom. By the time of Alfonso the Magnanimous, the two kingdoms were sufficiently distinct that they were no longer seen as divisions of a single kingdom. Despite being repeatedly in personal union, they remained administratively separate. In 1816, the two kingdoms finally merged to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Following the rebellion in 1282, King Charles I of Sicily (Charles of Anjou) was forced to leave the island of Sicily by Peter III of Aragon's troops. Charles, however, maintained his possessions on the mainland, customarily known as the "Kingdom of Naples", after its capital city.
Charles and his Angevin successors maintained a claim to Sicily, warring against the Aragonese until 1373, when Queen Joan I of Naples formally renounced the claim by the Treaty of Villeneuve. Joan's reign was contested by Louis the Great, the Angevin King of Hungary, who captured the kingdom several times (1348–1352).
Queen Joan I also played a part in the ultimate demise of the first Kingdom of Naples. As she was childless, she adopted Louis I, Duke of Anjou, as her heir, in spite of the claims of her cousin, the Prince of Durazzo, effectively setting up a junior Angevin line in competition with the senior line. This led to Joan I's murder at the hands of the Prince of Durazzo in 1382, and his seizing the throne as Charles III of Naples.
The two competing Angevin lines contested each other for the possession of the Kingdom of Naples over the following decades. In 1389 Louis II of Anjou son of Louis I managed to seize the throne from Ladislas of Naples son of Charles III, but was expelled by Ladislas in 1399. Charles III's daughter Joan II (r. 1414–1435) adopted Alfonso V of Aragon (whom she later repudiated) and Louis III of Anjou as heirs alternately, finally settling succession on Louis' brother René of Anjou of the junior Angevin line, and he succeeded her in 1435.
René of Anjou temporarily united the claims of junior and senior Angevin lines. 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.
When Ferrante died in 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy, using as a pretext the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples, which his father had inherited on the death of King René's nephew in 1481. This began the Italian Wars.
Charles VIII expelled Alfonso II of Naples from Naples in 1495, but was soon forced to withdraw due to the support of Ferdinand II of Aragon for his cousin, Alfonso II's son Ferrantino. Ferrantino was restored to the throne, but died in 1496, and was succeeded by his uncle, Frederick IV.
Charles VIII's successor, Louis XII reiterated the French claim. In 1501, he occupied Naples and partitioned the kingdom with Ferdinand of Aragon, who abandoned his cousin King Frederick. The deal soon fell through, however, and Aragon and France resumed their war over the kingdom, ultimately resulting in an Aragonese victory leaving Ferdinand in control of the kingdom by 1504.
The Spanish troops occupying Calabria and Apulia, led by Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordova did not respect the new agreement, and expelled all Frenchmen from the area. The peace treaties that continued were never definitive, but they established at least that the title of King of Naples was reserved for Ferdinand's grandson, the future Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Ferdinand nevertheless continued in possession of the kingdom, being considered as the legitimate heir of his uncle Alfonso I of Naples and also to the former Kingdom of Sicily (Regnum Utriusque Siciliae).
The kingdom continued as a focus of dispute between France and Spain for the next several decades, but French efforts to gain control of it became feebler as the decades went on, and never genuinely endangered Spanish control.
The French finally abandoned their claims to Naples by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.
In the Treaty of London (1557), five cities on coast of Tuscany were designated the Stato dei Presidi (State of the Presidi), and part of the Kingdom of Naples.
After the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 18th century, possession of the kingdom again changed hands. Under the terms of the Treaty of Rastatt in 1714, Naples was given to Charles VI, the Holy Roman Emperor. He also gained control of Sicily in 1720, but Austrian rule did not last long. Both Naples and Sicily were conquered by a Spanish army during the War of the Polish Succession in 1734, and Charles, Duke of Parma, a younger son of King Philip V of Spain, first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule in Spain, was installed as King of Naples and Sicily from 1735. When Charles inherited the Spanish throne from his older half-brother in 1759, he left Naples and Sicily to his younger son, Ferdinand IV. Despite the two Kingdoms being in a personal union under the Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties, they remained constitutionally separate.
Being a member of the House of Bourbon, Ferdinand IV was a natural opponent of the French Revolution and Napoleon. On 29 November 1798, he effectively started the War of the Second Coalition by briefly occupying Rome, but was expelled from it by French Revolutionary forces within the year and safely returned home. Soon afterwards, on 23 December 1798, Ferdinand fled Naples to Palermo, Sicily as a French army closed in. In January 1799 the French armies installed a Parthenopaean Republic, but this proved short-lived, and a peasant counter-revolution inspired by the clergy allowed Ferdinand to return to his capital. However, in 1801 Ferdinand was compelled to make important concessions to the French by the Treaty of Florence, which reinforced France's position as the dominant power in mainland Italy.
Ferdinand's decision to ally with the Third Coalition against Napoleon in 1805 proved more damaging. In 1806, following decisive victories over the allied armies at Austerlitz and over the Neapolitans at Campo Tenese, Napoleon installed his brother, Joseph as King of Naples, he conferred the title "Prince of Naples" to be hereditary on his children and grandchildren. When Joseph was sent off to Spain two years later, he was replaced by Napoleon's sister Caroline and his brother-in-law Marshal Joachim Murat, as King of the Two Sicilies.
Meanwhile, Ferdinand had fled to Sicily, where he retained his throne, despite successive attempts by Murat to invade the island. The British would defend Sicily for the remainder of the war but despite the Kingdom of Sicily nominally being part of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Coalitions against Napoleon, Ferdinand and the British were unable to ever challenge French control of the Italian mainland.
After Napoleon's defeat in 1814, Murat reached an agreement with Austria and was allowed to retain the throne of Naples, despite the lobbying efforts of Ferdinand and his supporters. However, with most of the other powers, particularly Britain, hostile towards him and dependent on the uncertain support of Austria, Murat's position became less and less secure. Therefore, when Napoleon returned to France for the Hundred Days in 1815, Murat once again sided with him. Realising the Austrians would soon attempt to remove him, Murat gave the Rimini Proclamation in a hope to save his kingdom by allying himself with Italian nationalists.
The ensuing Neapolitan War between Murat and the Austrians was short, ending with a decisive victory for the Austrian forces at the Battle of Tolentino. Murat was forced to flee, and Ferdinand IV of Sicily was restored to the throne of Naples. Murat would attempt to regain his throne but was quickly captured and executed by firing squad in Pizzo, Calabria. The next year, 1816, finally saw the formal union of the Kingdom of Naples with the Kingdom of Sicily into the new Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Peter III of Aragon was King of Aragon, King of Valencia, and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. At the invitation of some rebels, he conquered the Kingdom of Sicily and became King of Sicily in 1282, pressing the claim of his wife, Constance II of Sicily, uniting the kingdom to the crown.
Ferdinand I, was the King of the Two Sicilies from 1816, after his restoration following victory in the Napoleonic Wars. Before that he had been, since 1759, Ferdinand IV of the Kingdom of Naples and Ferdinand III of the Kingdom of Sicily. He was also King of Gozo. He was deposed twice from the throne of Naples: once by the revolutionary Parthenopean Republic for six months in 1799 and again by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805.
The Neapolitan War was a conflict between the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples and the Austrian Empire. It started on 15 March 1815 when King Joachim Murat declared war on Austria and ended on 20 May 1815 with the signing of the Treaty of Casalanza. The war occurred during the Hundred Days between Napoleon's return from exile and before he left Paris to be decisively defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. The war was triggered by a pro-Napoleon uprising in Naples, and ended with a decisive Austrian victory at the Battle of Tolentino after which Bourbon monarch Ferdinand IV was reinstated as King of Naples and Sicily. However, the intervention by Austria caused resentment in Italy, which further spurred on the drive towards Italian unification.
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of the Italian peninsula and for a time the region of Ifriqiya from its founding by Roger II of Sicily in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of the southern peninsula. The island was divided into three regions: Val di Mazara, Val Demone and Val di Noto; val being the apocopic form of the word vallo, derived from the Arabic word wilāya.
Southern Italy or Mezzogiorno is a macroregion of Italy meant to broadly denote the southern half of the Italian state.
Louis III was titular King of Naples from 1417 to 1426, Count of Provence, Forcalquier, Piedmont, and Maine and Duke of Anjou from 1417 to 1434, and Duke of Calabria from 1426 to 1434.
The First Italian War, sometimes referred to as the Italian War of 1494 or Charles VIII's Italian War, was the opening phase of the Italian Wars. The war pitted Charles VIII of France, who had initial Milanese aid, against the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and an alliance of Italian powers led by Pope Alexander VI.
The Second Italian War (1499–1504), sometimes known as Louis XII's Italian War or the War over Naples, was the second of the Italian Wars; it was fought primarily by Louis XII of France and Ferdinand II of Aragon, with the participation of several Italian powers. In the aftermath of the First Italian War, Louis was determined to press his claim on the thrones of Milan and Naples. And in 1499, Louis XII invaded Lombardy and seized Milan, to which he had a claim in right of his paternal grandmother Valentina Visconti, Duchess of Orléans.
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. The Greek culture of Naples was important to later Roman society. When the city became part of the Roman Republic in the central province of the Empire, it was a major cultural center. Virgil is an example of the political and cultural freedom of Naples. Naples is a microcosm of the European history because it saw several civilizations come and go, each leaving traces also in its art and architecture. Naples was the capital of States and Empires, and it was a primary cultural center. Naples was an advocate for Italian unification during the Neapolitan War. Today Naples is part of the Italian Republic, and is the third largest municipality by population after Rome and Milano, with the second or third largest metropolitan area of Italy.
The War of the Sicilian Vespers or just War of the Vespers was a conflict that started with the insurrection of the Sicilian Vespers against Charles of Anjou in 1282 and ended in 1302 with the Peace of Caltabellotta. It was fought in Sicily, Catalonia and elsewhere in the western Mediterranean between, on one side, the Angevin Charles of Anjou, his son Charles II, the kings of France, and the Papacy, and on the other side the kings of Aragon. The war resulted in the division of the old Kingdom of Sicily; at Caltabellotta, Charles II was confirmed as king of Sicily's peninsular territories, while Frederick III was confirmed as king of the island territories.
The House of Valois-Anjou was a noble French family, deriving from the royal family, the House of Valois. They were monarchs of Naples, as well as various other territories.
The Treaty of Florence, which followed the Armistice of Foligno, brought to an end the war between the French Republic and the Kingdom of Naples, one of the Wars of the French Revolution. Forced by the French military presence, Naples ceded some territories in the Tyrrhenian sea and accepted French garrisons to their ports on the Adriatic sea. All Neapolitan harbours were closed to British and Ottoman vessels.
The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was a kingdom located in Southern Italy from 1816–1860. The kingdom was the largest sovereign state by population and size in Italy prior to Italian unification, comprising Sicily and all of Peninsula Italy south of the Papal States, covering most of the area of today's Mezzogiorno.
The Gigliato, also Gillat or Carlino, was a coin of pure silver established in 1303 by Charles II of Anjou in Naples, and then also in Provence from 1330. Its name derives from the Lilies ("giglio") depicted on the reverse entwined around a cross. The coin weighed 4 grams. This type of coin was widely copied in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially by the Turks, such as the Emir of Saruhan.
The Spanish monarchs of the House of Habsburg and Philip V used separate versions of their royal arms as sovereigns of the Kingdom of Naples-Sicily, Sardinia and the Duchy of Milan with the arms of these territories.
The Treaty of Villeneuve (1372) was the definitive agreement that ended the dispute between the House of Anjou and the House of Barcelona over the Kingdom of Sicily that began ninety years earlier in 1282. Its final form was approved by Pope Gregory XI in a bull issued at Villeneuve-lès-Avignon on 20 August 1372, and it was ratified by Queen Joan I of Naples and King Frederick IV of Sicily on 31 March 1373 at Aversa, in Joan's kingdom, in front of the papal legate, Jean de Réveillon, Bishop of Sarlat.
The Kingdom of Naples 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. Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon I, was installed in his stead, he conferred the title "Prince of Naples" to be hereditary on his children and grandchildren. when Joseph became King of Spain in 1808, Napoleon appointed his brother-in-law Joachim Murat to take his place. Murat was later deposed by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after striking at Austria in the Neapolitan War, in which he was decisively defeated at the Battle of Tolentino.