Cabala: An ancient locality in N Sicily, located near Panormus (mod. Palermo), although it’s exact site remains uncertain. It was the location, in c279 BC, of a major defeat of the Carthaginians under Mago, at the hands of Dionysius I, the Greek tyrant of Syracuse.
Cabrera, Bernardo: A Spanish noble (d. 1411) who, during the 15th century, fermented rebellion in Sicily. Under the Aragonese king of Sicily Martin I, Bernardo held the position of Captain of the Army, Viceroy and Constable (Contabile) of the Kingdom. He eventually had a falling out with the royal family.
Caccamo: (anc. Cucumum). (PA): A commune (area: 187.8 km²; alt. 521 m) in the province of Palermo. Located 44 km SE of Palermo, it is situated on a rocky hill on the W slope of the Madonie mountains, between the rivers S. Leonardo and Tonto. Population: 8,636 (1991).
History: The center was founded by the Carthaginians in c400 BC. During the time of the Saracens it was called Karches. It suffered during the wars between the Angevins and Aragonese, but successfully repulsed the Angevin King Robert “the Wise” of Naples in 1302. The area around the town has deposits of jasper, agate, marble, porphyry, and rock-crystal.
Caccavello, Annibale: (fl. 16th century). Sculptor. He is known for his decoration of notable tombs in the churches of Naples. Among his works are the tombs of Marshal Lautrec (d. 1528) in the church of S. Maria Nova, and of Porzia (d. 1559), wife of Bernardino Rota, in the Franciscan convent of Santa Clara.
Cacciatore, Niccolò: (b. Jan. 26, 1770, Casteltermini (AG); d. Jan. 28, 1841, Palermo). Astronomer. A student and assistant of Giuseppe, Piazzi (director of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo and discoverer of the asteroid Ceres), he helped that scientist compile the second edition of the Palermo Star Catalogue (publ. 1814). He became notorious for a sort of practical joke concerning this catalog in which renamed two stars using the reversed spellings of his Latinized name. The trick did not hurt his career as he succeeded Piazzi at the observatory in 1817. A Sicilian patriot, he was imprisoned for a time after the failure of the 1820 Revolution in Sicily. Resuming his post at the Palermo Observatory, he discovered the globular cluster NGC 6541 in 1826. He remained directory until his death in 1841, and was succeeded by his son Gaetano.
Cacirus: The ancient name for Cassaro [SR].
cactus: Although not native to Sicily, cacti are found in abundance throughout the island. Prickly pear and aloes are especially common. The cactus plant found in Sicily is not related to more familiar plants of the same name found the Americas. The name derives from the Greek kaktos, which had originally been applied to the plant they found in Sicily and other parts of the Mediterranean. Only in the 18th Century did the botanist Linnaeus mistakenly extend its use to apply to the family of American succulents. The Sicilian plant is also known as the Spanish artichoke.
Cacus: A son of Vulcan and Medusa, he was a fabled bandit who lived in Italy. The approaches to the caves in which he dwelt were said to marked by the scattered bones of his human victims. As Hercules was returning to Greece through Italy with the cattle of Geryon, Cacus stole some of the animals. When Hercules discovered the identity of the thief, he fought Cacus and finally strangled him.
Cacyparis, River: (mod. Cassibili River). A river in ancient E Sicily, located to the south of Syracuse. It falls into the sea to the S of the Longum promontorium.
Cacyrum: (mod. Cassaro [SR]). An ancient town of E Sicily, situated to the N of Gela.
Caecilius of Calacte: (orig. name: Archagathus). (fl. 1st Century BC). Historian, critic, teacher, rhetorician. A native of the Sicilian town of Calacte (or Cale Acte) (from which he derived his nickname Calactinus), he went to Rome where he earned citizenship. He took the name of Caecilius after his patron, a member of the Metelli gens. Caecilius earned a reputation as a reliable historian and scholar during the time of Cicero and Augustus. Although he wrote many books on grammar, rhetoric, and history (including one on the Servile Wars of Sicily), only a few fragments of his work survive today.
Caecilius Jucundus, Lucius: (fl. AD 1st Century). An auctioneer in ancient Pompeii, he was well-known for a pair of herms which he displayed in his atrium. These statues said to be remarkably realistic images of Jucundus himself. Archaeologists have discovered a collection of 127 waxed tablets of his, most of which are receipts recording the proceeds of auction sales which Jucundus had conducted. Nearly all of them date to the period AD 52 to 62.
Caecinum: (mod. Satriano [CZ]). A town of ancient Bruttium, situated near the mouth of the river Caecinus.
Caecinus: a river-god of ancient Bruttium. He was said to have been the father of Euthymos, a boxer, who was victor at the Olympian Games.
Caecinus, River: (mod. Ancinale river). A river in ancient Bruttium. It flowed into the Sinus Scylacius (Scylleticus sinus) near the town of Caecinum, S of Scylletium, between Rhegium and Locri. According to Pausanias (vi.6.4), grasshoppers on the Locrian side of the river sang normally, but those on the Rhegian side were always silent.
Caelia (1): (mod. Ceglie del Campo [BA]). A city of ancient Apulia.
Caelia (2): (mod. Ceglie Messapico [BR]). A city of ancient Apulia.
Caelius Rufus, Marcus: (b. Puteoli, on May 2, 82 BC; d. Thurii, 48 BC). Roman politician. A close friend and pupil of the orator Cicero, and a protégé of the triumvir Crassus, he later changed his political beliefs and became influenced by Cicero’s enemy Catiline. Fortunately, he played no role in the latter’s disastrous conspiracy. He seems to have made amends with Cicero who successfully defended him when, in 56 BC, his mistress Clodia (sister of Publius Clodius) accused him of attempted murder (See Cicero, Pro Caelio). In 52 BC, Caelius served as tribune and, in 50 BC, became aedile. In 49 BC, he supported Julius Caesar against Pompey and saw military service during the campaign in Spain. When Caesar rewarded him with the office of praetor peregrinus, Caelius felt that he deserved more. In 47 BC, this resentment led him to join in a conspiracy against Caesar led by Milo in Campania. The plot was exposed before the conspirators could act on their plans. Caelius fled for his life but was captured by Caesar’s troops at Thurii and put to death.
Caenus promontorium (mod. Capo di Cavello, Coda di Volpe, or Punta del Pezzo [RC]): A promontory of Bruttium, opposite Sicily. It is believed that its name derives from the Greek kainos (= new, new found, undiscovered) and may have been given to the place by the original discoverers of the place.
Caeparius, Marcus: (d. 63 BC). A native of Tarracina. A supporter of Catiline, he planned to instigate a revolt among the slave shepherds of Apulia. When the conspiracy was exposed, however, he attempted to flee from Rome. He was captured soon afterwards and executed.
Caepio, Gnaeus Cornelius: (d. 174 BC). Roman politician and military leader. He served as curule aedile in 207 BC, praetor in 205 BC, and consul in 203 BC. In this last office he fought against Hannibal at Croton. He died during a plague in 174 BC.
Caesar: Originally the surname for one of the families of the ancient Roman Julian gens (or clan). The successors of Julius Caesar later used it as a title to signify their position as Emperors. It was eventually used to signify the heir apparent of a senior Emperor (or Augustus).
Caesar “the Brave” (Ital.: Cesario il Valoroso): (fl. mid-9th Century). Neapolitan Admiral. He served as commander of the fleet of the Duchy of Naples under his father, Sergius I, and his brother, Gregory III. He played important roles as the commander of the Neapolitan squadron during the Christian naval victories over the Saracens at Gaeta (AD 846) and Ostia (AD 849). In May 859, he was co-commander with his brother Gregory, of the Neapolitan troops attacking Capua. Defeated at the Teodemondo bridge over the Volturno, Caesar was taken prisoner and imprisoned for a time at Capua. After returning home, he resumed his command until c870.
Caesar, Gaius Julius: (b. July 12, 100 BC; d. Mar. 15, 44 BC). Roman politician and military leader. Born into an ancient and aristocratic family, he was the son of Gaius Julius Caesar (d. 84 BC) and Aurelia. Through his mother, he was related to the populist politician Gaius Marius, which makes it likely that he had some Samnite ancestry. From an early age he was closely connected with the popular party. He held the consulship in 59 BC. Between 58 and 50 BC, he conquered Gaul, and invaded Britain (unsuccessfully twice). In 60 BC, he joined Pompey the Great and Marcus Licinius Crassus, to create the First Triumvirate. .After the death of Crassus in 53 BC, and that of Pompey in 48 BC, he emerged as the principal Roman political and military leader.
Caesar, Sextus Julius: (fl. late 3rd Century BC). Roman politician. He served as praetor in Sicily in 208 BC.
Caeitani: a designation used for the inhabitants of Gaeta, and for their dialect.
Cafaro (or Caffarelli), Pasquale: (b. Lecce, Feb. 1 or 8, 1708. d. Naples, Oct. 23 or 27, 1787). Composer and pedagogue. Having been educated at the Conservatorio della Pieta, he served as Primo Maestro at the Santa Maria della Pieta dei Turchini. His compositions consisted principally of church music (Stabat Mater, Salve Regina, Christus factus est) as well as some cantatas and oratorios.
Caffarelli (stage name for Gaetano Majorano): (b. Bari, Mar. 8 or Apr. 16, 1703 or 1710; d. San Dorato, near Naples, July 4, 1783). Castrato, harpsicordist, composer and opera singer. One of the most famous castrato male sopranos of his day, he took his stage name from a certain Demenico Caffaro, one of his early sponsers. He studied under Norcia and Niccolo Porpora, the latter training him for six years using a single sheet of exercises. In 1724, when he debuted in Rome singing a female role, he gained instant public acclaim. In 1738, he appeared for the time in London, where he performed Handel’s Faramondo and Serse. He then returned to Italy where he continued his successful singing career. Caffarelli often performed in the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and was famous for his rivalry with Gioacchino Conti (Gizziello). In a single 3-month period in 1740, he earned $1,500, at that time a considerable sum. He also received a similar amount as a gift of appreciation from the city of Venice. By the time he retired at the age of 65, he was one of the richest men in Italy and had purchased two palaces as well as the title of duke for himself. According to some sources, Caffarelli became a castrato by his own choice over the objections of his father. As his fame grew, he became increasingly arrogant and quarrelsome in his nature, and his temper sometime resulted in his being jailed. He even fought a duel with poet Ballot de Savout over the merits of French and Italian opera. The composer Handel wrote a number of operatic pieces especially for Caffarelli.
Caffarelli, Pasquale: See Cafaro, Pasquale.
Caggegi: See Caggiano.
Caggiano: (Sometimes Caggegi). A surname found in southern Italy. It derives from Caggiano, a village in the province of Salerno. The names it believed to have originated from the ancient personal name, Cavius.
Caggiano, Emanuele: (b. Benevento, 1837; d. 1905). Sculptor and Painter. He was the tutor of Vincenzo Gemito.
Cagliostro, Count Alessandro di (real name: Giuseppe Balsamo): (b. Palermo, June 2, 1743; d. Urbino, Aug. 26, 1795) – Visit the full biography page.
Caiatia (1): Ancient name for Caiazzo (CE).
Caiatia (or Caieta) (2): A mythological figure mentioned in Vergil’s Aeneid. She was the old nurse of the hero Aeneas, and was among the surviving Trojans who followed that hero into the west after the fall of Troy. She died while the refugees were sailing north up the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. The promontory where she was buried was named for her, as was the city that later arose on the site.
Caieta (1): (mod Gaeta [LT]). An ancient town in southern Latium on the border with Campania. It sits on an eponymously-named promontory, beside a bay (Sinus Caietanus), with an excellent harbor. According to tradition, the place name comes from Caieta, the nurse of Aeneas, who was said to have died and been buried in the vicinity.
Caieta (2): An alternate name for Caiatia (2).
Caius, St.: Pope. (rDec 17, 283-Apr 22, 296).
Cajetan, Gaetano: (aka Giacomo/Jacopo de Vio, Tommaso de Vio Gaetano). (b. Gaeta, Feb. 20, 1469; d. Rome, Aug. 9, 1534). Ecclesiastic, scholar and opponent of the Reformation. Having entered the Dominican Order in 1485, he became a professor of theology and philosophy at Brecia and Pavia. In 1508 or 1509, he became General of the Dominican Order. He was raised to the rank of cardinal by Pope Leo X in 1517, and, in the following year, was sent as a Papal Legate to unsuccessfully attempt to convince Martin Luther to recant at Augsburg. In 1519, he became bishop of Gaeta and, in 1523, served as Papal Legate to Hungary. In 1530 he was summoned to Rome to serve as counselor to Pope Clement VII. He wrote on behalf of that pope, the decision to refuse granting a divorce to King Henry VIII of England from Catherine of Aragon. His works (Opera Omnia. publ. 1639) included a translation of the Bible, and commentaries on Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.
Cajetan of Thiene, St. (real name: Gaetano da Thiene): (b. 1480; d. 1547). Ecclesiastic. In 1506 he became Prothonotary in the Roman Curia and was ordained in 1516. In 1524, he was one of the founders of the Theatine Order, becoming its Superior at Naples in 1533. He was canonized in 1671.
Calabre: A dark colored fur from Calabria, used for the lining of the amyss, a type of cape worn by monks and choirs while in choir reciting the Divine office.
Calabri: An ancient Messapic-speaking people who lived in the area around modern Brindisi [BR]. It is from them that the names Calabria, Calabrian, and Calabrese, derive.
Calabria (Ancient): Visit the Ancient Calabria page.
Location: A region in southern Italy.
Name: See Calabria (Ancient).
Area: 15,080 km² (5,819 mi²).
Number of Provinces: 5 (Catanzaro; Cosenza; Crotone; Reggio (di) Calabria; Vibo Valentia).
Number of Communes (Municipalities): 409.
Population: 1,998,052 (2007)
Population Density: 132.5/km² (2007).
History: The region is prone to severe earthquakes, including those in 1783, 1905, and 1908.
Historical Population: 1,375,760 (1901); 1,668,954 (1931); 2,061,182 (1981); 2,070,203 (1991); 2,011,466 (2001); 2,004,415 (2006e).
Landscape: The north is dominanted by the Calabrian Apennines (Monte Pollino: 7,325 ft). To the south is the Sibari Plain and the granite La Sila (Botte Donato: 6,330 feet), and, in the far south is the Aspromonte (6,420 feet).
Calabria, Communes of:
Province of Catanzaro
Albi, Amaroni, Amato, Andali, Argusto, Badolato, Belcastro, Borgia, Botricello, Caraffa di Catanzaro, Cardinale, Carlopoli, Catanzaro, Cenadi, Centrache, Cerva, Chiaravalle Centrale, Cicala, Conflenti, Cortale, Cropani, Curinga, Davoli, Decollatura, Falerna, Feroleto Antico, Fossato Serralta, Gagliato, Gasperina, Gimigliano, Girifalco, Gizzeria, Guardavalle, Isca sullo Ionio, Jacurso, Lamezia Terme, Magisano, Maida, Marcedusa, Marcellinara, Martirano, Martirano Lombardo, Miglierina, Montauro, Montepaone, Motta Santa Lucia, Nocera Terinese, Olivadi, Palermiti, Pentone, Petrizzi, Petrona`, Pianopoli, Platania, San Floro, San Mango d`Aquino, San Pietro a Maida, San Pietro Apostolo, San Sostene, San Vito sullo Ionio, Santa Caterina dello Ionio, Sant`Andrea Apostolo dello Ionio, Satriano, Sellia, Sellia Marina, Serrastretta, Sersale, Settingiano, Simeri Crichi, Sorbo San Basile, Soverato, Soveria Mannelli, Soveria Simeri, Squillace, Staletti`, Taverna, Tiriolo, Torre di Ruggiero, Vallefiorita, Zagarise.
Province of Cosenza
Acquaformosa, Acquappesa, Acri, Aiello Calabro, Aieta, Albidona, Alessandria del Carretto, Altilia, Altomonte, Amantea, Amendolara, Aprigliano, Belmonte Calabro, Belsito, Belvedere Marittimo, Bianchi, Bisignano, Bocchigliero, Bonifati, Buonvicino, Calopezzati, Caloveto, Campana, Canna, Cariati, Carolei, Carpanzano, Casole Bruzio, Cassano allo Ionio, Castiglione Cosentino, Castrolibero, Castroregio, Castrovillari, Celico, Cellara, Cerchiara di Calabria, Cerisano, Cervicati, Cerzeto, Cetraro, Civita, Cleto, Colosimi, Corigliano Calabro, Cosenza, Cropalati, Crosia, Diamante, Dipignano, Domanico, Fagnano Castello, Falconara Albanese, Figline Vegliaturo, Firmo, Fiumefreddo Bruzio, Francavilla Marittima, Frascineto, Fuscaldo, Grimaldi, Grisolia, Guardia Piemontese, Lago, Laino Borgo, Laino Castello, Lappano, Lattarico, Longobardi, Longobucco, Lungro, Luzzi, Maiera`, Malito, Malvito, Mandatoriccio, Mangone, Marano Marchesato, Marano Principato, Marzi, Mendicino, Mongrassano, Montalto Uffugo, Montegiordano, Morano Calabro, Mormanno, Mottafollone, Nocara, Oriolo, Orsomarso, Paludi, Panettieri, Paola, Papasidero, Parenti, Paterno Calabro, Pedace, Pedivigliano, Piane Crati, Pietrafitta, Pietrapaola, Plataci, Praia a Mare, Rende, Rocca Imperiale, Roggiano Gravina, Rogliano, Rose, Roseto Capo Spulico, Rossano, Rota Greca, Rovito, San Basile, San Benedetto Ullano, San Cosmo Albanese, San Demetrio Corone, San Donato di Ninea, San Fili, San Giorgio Albanese, San Giovanni in Fiore, San Lorenzo Bellizzi, San Lorenzo del Vallo, San Lucido, San Marco Argentano, San Martino di Finita, San Nicola Arcella, San Pietro in Amantea, San Pietro in Guarano, San Sosti, San Vincenzo la Costa, Sangineto, Santa Caterina Albanese, Santa Domenica Talao, Santa Maria del Cedro, Santa Sofia D`Epiro, Santo Stefano di Rogliano, Sant`Agata di Esaro, Saracena, Scala Coeli, Scalea, Scigliano, Serra d`Aiello, Serra Pedace, Spezzano Albanese, Spezzano della Sila, Spezzano Piccolo, Tarsia, Terranova da Sibari, Terravecchia, Torano Castello, Tortora, Trebisacce, Trenta, Vaccarizzo Albanese, Verbicaro, Villapiana, Zumpano.
Province of Crotone
Belvedere di Spinello, Caccuri, Carfizzi, Casabona, Castelsilano, Cerenzia, Ciro`, Ciro` Marina, Cotronei, Crotone, Crucoli, Cutro, Isola di Capo Rizzuto, Melissa, Mesoraca, Pallagorio, Petilia Policastro, Rocca di Neto, Roccabernarda, San Mauro Marchesato, San Nicola dell`Alto, Santa Severina, Savelli, Scandale, Strongoli, Umbriatico, Verzino.
Province of Reggio (di) Calabria
Africo, Agnana Calabra, Anoia, Antonimina, Ardore, Bagaladi, Bagnara Calabra, Benestare, Bianco, Bivongi, Bova, Bova Marina, Bovalino, Brancaleone, Bruzzano Zeffirio, Calanna, Camini, Campo Calabro, Candidoni, Canolo, Caraffa del Bianco, Cardeto, Careri, Casignana, Caulonia, Cimina`, Cinquefrondi, Cittanova, Condofuri, Cosoleto, Delianuova, Feroleto della Chiesa, Ferruzzano, Fiumara, Galatro, Gerace, Giffone, Gioia Tauro, Gioiosa Ionica, Grotteria, Laganadi, Laureana di Borrello, Locri, Mammola, Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, Maropati, Martone, Melicucca`, Melicucco, Melito di Porto Salvo, Molochio, Monasterace, Montebello Ionico, Motta San Giovanni, Oppido Mamertina, Palizzi, Palmi, Pazzano, Placanica, Plati`, Polistena, Portigliola, Reggio Calabria, Riace, Rizziconi, Roccaforte del Greco, Roccella Ionica, Roghudi, Rosarno, Samo, San Ferdinando, San Giorgio Morgeto, San Giovanni di Gerace, San Lorenzo, San Luca, San Pietro di Carida`, San Procopio, San Roberto, Santa Cristina d`Aspromonte, Santo Stefano in Aspromonte, Sant`Agata del Bianco, Sant`Alessio in Aspromonte, Sant`Eufemia d`Aspromonte, Sant`Ilario dello Ionio, Scido, Scilla, Seminara, Serrata, Siderno, Sinopoli, Staiti, Stignano, Stilo, Taurianova, Terranova Sappo Minulio, Varapodio, Villa San Giovanni.
Province of Vibo Valentia
Acquaro, Arena, Briatico, Brognaturo, Capistrano, Cessaniti, Dasa`, Dinami, Drapia, Fabrizia, Filadelfia, Filandari, Filogaso, Francavilla Angitola, Francica, Gerocarne, Jonadi, Joppolo, Limbadi, Maierato, Mileto, Mongiana, Monterosso Calabro, Nardodipace, Nicotera, Parghelia, Pizzo, Pizzoni, Polia, Ricadi, Rombiolo, San Calogero, San Costantino Calabro, San Gregorio d`Ippona, San Nicola da Crissa, Sant`Onofrio, Serra San Bruno, Simbario, Sorianello, Soriano Calabro, Spadola, Spilinga, Stefanaconi, Tropea, Vallelonga, Vazzano, Vibo Valentia, Zaccanopoli, Zambrone, Zungri.
Calabria, Ecclesiastical Religion of:
Area: 15,629 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 2,098,476.
Total Priests: 1,410 (Diocesan: 1,059; Religious: 351)
Permanent Deacons: 154
Calabria Citeriore: A former province of southern Italy. It was the northernmost of the three former Calabrian provinces (the others being Calabria Ulteriore I and II). It is the equivalent in area of the modern province of Cosenza. In 1825, it had a population of 382,919.
Calabria Ulteriore I: A former province of southern Italy. It corresponds in area to the modern province of Reggio di Calabria. During the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, it was divided into 3 districts: Reggio, Gerace and Palmi. In 1825 it had a population of 246,669.
Calabria Ulteriore II: A former province of southern Italy. It corresponds in area to the modern provinces of Catanzaro, Vibo Valentia, and Crotone. Under the kingdom of the Two Sicilies it was subdivided into the districts of Monteleone (mod. Vibo Valentia), Catanzaro, Nicastro (modern Lamezia Terme) and Cotrone (modern Crotone). In 1825, it had a population of 284,027.
Calacta (Calacte; Cale Acte): An ancient city on the northern coast of Sicily, situated near present day Caronia [ME]. It was founded by Ducetius, the Sikel leader in c447 BC.
Calais: A mythological character. He was the son of Boreas, the North Wind, and Orethyia, an Athenian princess. He was the twin brother of Zetes, and together they were referred to as the Boreads (Boreadae). The brothers were said to be winged and numbered among the Argonauts. According Silius Italicus (viii.512), Calais founded the city of Cales in Campania.
Calascibetta (EN): A commune in the province of Enna, Sicily. Population: 4,701 (2006e). Used as a residence by Aragonese kings of Sicily during the 14th century, it was the site of King Peter II’s death in 1342.
Calatafimi (TP): A commune in the province of Trapani. It was known in ancient times as Longaricus. The Saracens renamed the place Calatio, from which the modern name is derived. Calatafimi is probably best known as the site of a hard-fought victory by Garibaldi over the Bourbon army under General Landi on May 15, 1860.
Calatia: (mod. Caiazzo [CE]). An ancient Samnite town situated on the Via Appia, between Capua and Beneventum. It fell to the Romans in 313 BC. Julius Caesar placed a veteran colony there.
Calatinus, Aulus Atilius: (fl. mid-3rd Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. As consul in 258 BC, he successfully campaigned against the Carthaginians in Sicily. During his second consulship (254 BC), he captured Panormus (Palermo). In 249, having been chosen dictator, he returned to campaign in Sicily, becoming the first Roman holding that title to command an army outside of Sicily.
Calavius: An illustrious family from Capua. Its best-known member was Pacuvius Calavius, who convinced the people of Capua to revolt against the Romans after the battle of Cannae (216 BC).
caldarium: the room in an ancient Roman bath which contained the “hot plunge bath.”
Calefati, Marc Antonio: (fl.c1594-1599). Navigator. A Knight of Saint Stephen, he invaded Greek island of Chios in 1599 for plunder and slaves.
Calepodius: (fl. mid 4th Century AD). Ecclesiastic. A bishop of Naples and papal legate at the council of Sardica (AD 343).
Cales (1): (mod. Calvi [BN]). The chief town of the Ausonian Caleni. Located in Campania, on the Via Latina, it was captured and colonized by the Romans in 355 BC. According to legend, the town was founded by Calais, son of Boreas (the god of the North Wind). The town was best-known for its fine wine. Some poets referred to the town as Threicia. The wine of ancient Cales (vinum Calenum) was praised by Horace.
Cales (2) (or Calenum): (mod. Calvi Risorta [CE]). A town of the ancient Aurunci in Campania. Most ancient sources (including Livy, Ptolemy, Strabo, and the Peutinger table) call the town Cales, while Pliny and Silius Italicus refer to it as Calenum.
Caligula (“Little Boots”), Gaius: Roman Emperor (rAD 37-41). The son of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder, he succeeded Tiberius on the throne. Little good has been recorded of Gaius Caligula in surviving historical records and he is considered one of the worst of the Roman emperors. How much of this reputation is deserved is difficult to determine. Despite being the son of two of the noblest figures in Roman history, much of his upbringing was in the debauched court of his grand uncle Tiberius. He may also have suffered brain damage from a serious illness early in his reign. Whatever the case, he was hated enough to be the victim of a conspiracy led by members of his own Praetorian Guard and was assassinated in Rome at the age of 29. He was succeeded by his uncle Claudius.
Gaius’s nickname Caligula (Little Boot) derives from the Latin word caliga, the name of a type of military boot. He received this epithet as a young boy when he accompanied his father on military duties clad in a child-sized military costume.
Callias: (fl. 4th / 3rd Centuries BC). Historian. A native of Syracuse, he was a contemporary of Agathocles. His 22-book history of Sicily, which includes the reign of Agathocles, survives in only a few fragments.
Callicrates (or Callippus): (fl. mid-4th Century BC). The assassin of Dion (d. 353 BC). Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus call him Callippus. A native of Athens, he had accompanied Dion back to Syracuse when the latter ousted Dionysius II from power. After murdering Dion he seized power in Syracuse for himself. After 13 months, he was forced to flee from the city and wandered through Sicily for a time afterwards as a mercenary leader. He was finally killed by his own men.
Callifae: A town of ancient Samnium. It has been identified with Calvisi, a frazione of Gioia Sannitica (CE).
Callipolis (1): (mod. Gallipoli [LE]). A Greek town of ancient Calabria on the Gulf of Taranto.
Callipolis (2): An ancient town located on the east coast of Sicily near Aetna.
Callippus: See Callicrates.
Callistratus: (d. 413 BC). Athenian military leader. The son of Empedus, he was a cavalry commander in the Athenian expedition against Syracuse. He died valiantly attempting to lead a counter-attack on a Syracusan force which was plundering the Athenian camp.
Callistus (Callixtus) I, St.: Pope (r cAD 217-222/223 ).
Callistus (Callixtus) II: Pope. (r Feb 2, 1119-Dec 13, 1124).
Callistus III: Pope. (rApr 8, 1455-Aug 6, 1458).
Callixtus I: See St. Callistus I.
Callixtus II: See St. Callistus II.
Calixtus III: See Callistus III.
calogeri: A Greek term meaning “hermits.” The Calogeri were also an order of monks of the Greek Mt. Athos. Members of this Byzantine order came to Sicily and Italy during Norman times bringing with them their talent for creating beautiful mosaics. It is believed that Calogeri monks were the aristists who created the famous mosaic works at the Sicilian cathedral at Cefalu.
Calor, River (1): Ancient name for the river Calore. A river of Samnium. Flowing past Beneventum, it emptied into the Vulturnus (mod. Volturno).
Calor, River (2): Ancient name for the river Calore Lucano. A river of Lucania, it emptied into the Silarus (mod. Sele).
Calpurnius, Lucius: (fl. 1st century AD). A Roman who constructed and decorated a temple, at his own expense, dedicated to Augustus at Puteoli.
Caltabellotta (AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento. Founded by the Saracens, its name means “Place of Oaks.” It is situated near the ruins of ancient Triocala.
Caltagirone (CT): A commune in the province of Catania located on two hills. Population: 39,314 (2006e); 37,373 (2001). It became famous as Sicily’s greatest producer of quality pottery, specializing in an excellent majorica ware. Despite its Arabic name, the city had already been in existence for some time when it was captured by the Saracens in 831. It fell to the Normans in 1060. The traveler Douglas Sladen, writing in 1907, called Caltagirone “the most civilised inland town in Sicily.”
Caltanissetta, Province of: A province in Sicily. Area: . Population: 278,275 (2006e). The province has mineral springs and sulfur deposits.
Caltanissetta: (anc. Nissa) (CL): A commune and provincial capital of the province of Caltanissetta. Population: 60,519 (2006e). In 1907, the traveler Douglas Sladen called Caltanissetta “the least civilised of the great inland towns. Its population is proverbial for its brutality.” Under the Saracens it came to be called Kalat-Nissa. In 1060, it fell to Roger I, who gave it to his son Giordano.
Caltavuturo (Sic. Cattavuturu)(PA): A commune in the province of Palermo. It was known as Kalat-butur in Saracen times. Its area is abundant in green and yellow jaspers.
Calvi (anc. Cales)(BN): A commune in the province of Benevento. Population: 2,424 (2007e); 2,400 (2006e). The town contains the remains of an ancient theater and temple.
Camarina (Kamarina): a mythological Oceanid nymph, a daughter of Oceanus. She lends her name to the ancient Greek city of Camarina, in eastern Sicily, and is thought to have originally been a local deity who watched over the local spring or fountain.
Camarina (Kamarina): An ancient city situated on the southern coast of Sicily, beside the mouth of the river Hipparis. Founded by Syracuse in 599 BC, it became hostile towards its mother-city, resulting in several destructive attacks by the Syracusans. It was destroyed in 552 BC and remained deserted until being refounded by Hippocrates in 495 BC. In 485 BC, it was again destroyed by Gelon I, who deported its population to Syracuse. In 461 BC, Camarina was again refounded, this time by colonists from Gela. In 427 BC, it became an ally of Athens but chose to remain neutral during the disastrous Athenian attack on Syracuse (415-413 BC). Its dependence on Gela was so great that when that city was destroyed in 405 BC, the Camarinians abandoned their own homes as well. The city was later occupied by the Carthaginians, who were eventually ousted by Timoleon. He planted a new colony there and the city again flourished. Camarina’s wealth made it a tempting target and it suffered attacks from Agathocles and from the Mamertines. During the First Punic War, Camarina initially sided with the Romans. Near Camarina’s shore, the Romans lost one of its fleets to a storm. When the city later changed its loyalty, the Romans attacked and captured it, selling the majority of its population into slavery. Camarina survived the war but was never able to regain its prosperity. By Strabo’s time, late in the 1st century BC, Camarina was deserted. Little remains of the city today.
Camarina’s best defense came from a nearby marsh, also called Camarina. Because it was the source of pestilence, the local citizens wished to drain it. An oracle from Apollo, however, warned them against the plan. Disregarding the oracle, the Camarinians drained the marsh. As a result, during the 1st Punic War, the Romans were able to capture the city and sell most of the inhabitants into slavery. From this incident arose the ancient proverb Ne moveas Camarinam (= “Don’t meddle with Camarina”), meaning that if you solve one problem, you might create a greater one as a result.
Cambiano, Brother Ascanio: (fl. c1602-1604). Navigator. He served as Captain General of the Galleys of the Knights of Malta.
Camenae (or Kamenae): Ancient Italic goddesses of who originally ruled over springs and wells. Their principal shrine was at Rome where the Vestal Virgins daily drew water from their well. They eventually came to be compared with the Greek Muses.
Camicus: An ancient town of the Sikans, situated on the south coast of Sicily, on a river of the same name. The Greeks captured the place and founded the city of Akragas (mod. Agrigentum) on or near its site. Camicus was the legendary capital of the Sikan king Cocalus, and it was here that the hero Daedalus found sanctuary during flight from Minos. Daedalus entered Cocalus’s service and, among other projects, strengthened Camicus’s defenses. When Minos finally arrived on the scene, he found the place unassailable. It was during his negotiations here that Minos was ambushed and assassinated. While Camicus figures largely in the foundation of Akragas, its exact site remains uncertain. Some claim that it was situated on a nearby hill which bears the same name. Others choose to identify it with the towns of Caltabelotta, Cammarata, or Sicultana.
Camilliani, Camillo: (fl. 1574-1603). Sculptor. The son of Francesco Camilliani, he was active in Messina.
Camilliani, Francesco: (b. Florence; d. 1586). Sculptor. In 1574 he created the Fontana Pretoria in Palermo. He was the father of Camillo Camilliani.
Cammarano, Salvatore: (b. Mar. 19, 1801, Naples; d. July 17, 1852, Naples). Librettist, painter, poet, and dramatist.
Cammarata (AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento. Population: 6,374 (2007e); 6,391 (2006e). Its name appears to be Greek in origin although some sources claim that it was a Saracen foundation. It was known for its local sulfur spring and the semi-precious stones (jaspar, agate, etc) found there.
Camorra: a secret criminal association in southern Italy, especially concentrated in Naples and Campania. Of controversial origin, it first came to light in 1830, though it may have grown out of Spanish prison networks and imported to Naples at uncertain date. Its activities spread by intimidation, blackmail, and bribery until Naples was controlled by it. The Camorra appears to have been used by the Bourbon rulers of Naples as a quasi-police network to crush opposition. Efforts to break the power of the Camorra, begun in the 1880s, culminated in the 1911 murder trial at which numerous members were convicted. The Camorra was suppressed and supplanted after Benito Mussolini’s takeover in 1922.
Camorrista (pl. camorristi): a member of the criminal association known as the camorra.
Campania, Ancient: A district of southern Italy, roughly corresponding to the modern region of Campania. It measured roughly 1,700 sq. miles, including its islands. The name derives from a Latin word campus (= “plain”). Ancient Campania, in its broadest terms, was bounded on the northwest by Latium (divided by the River Liris), on the north and east by Samnium, on the southeast by Lucania, and on the south and southwest by the Tyrrhenian Sea. Prior to the time of Augustus, it extended only as far south as the promontory of Minerva. The Augustan redrawing of Italy’s provinces advanced Campania’s boundary to the river Silarus. In a narrower sense, the original Ager Campanus, was confined to the area around the city of Capua.
Location: A region in southern Italy.
Name: See Campania, Ancient.
Capital: Naples (Napoli).
Area: 13,595 km² (mi²) ().
Number of Provinces: 5 (Avellino; Benevento; Caserta; Naples/Napoli; Salerno).
Number of Communes (Municipalities): 551.
Population: 5,790,187 (2007).
Population Density: 425.9/km² (2007)>
Historical Population: 3,142,378 (1901); 5,463,134 (1981); 5,630,280 (1991); 2,701,931 (2001); 5,790,929 (2006e).
Campania, Communes of:
Province of Avellino:
Aiello del Sabato, Altavilla Irpina, Andretta, Aquilonia, Ariano Irpino, Atripalda, Avella, Avellino, Bagnoli Irpino, Baiano, Bisaccia, Bonito, Cairano, Calabritto, Calitri, Candida, Caposele, Capriglia Irpina, Carife, Casalbore, Cassano Irpino, Castel Baronia, Castelfranci, Castelvetere sul Calore, Cervinara, Cesinali, Chianche, Chiusano di San Domenico, Contrada, Conza della Campania, Domicella, Flumeri, Fontanarosa, Forino, Frigento, Gesualdo, Greci, Grottaminarda, Grottolella, Guardia Lombardi, Lacedonia, Lapio, Lauro, Lioni, Luogosano, Manocalzati, Marzano di Nola, Melito Irpino, Mercogliano, Mirabella Eclano, Montaguto, Montecalvo Irpino, Montefalcione, Monteforte Irpino, Montefredane, Montefusco, Montella, Montemarano, Montemiletto, Monteverde, Montoro Inferiore, Montoro Superiore, Morra De Sanctis, Moschiano, Mugnano del Cardinale, Nusco, Ospedaletto d`Alpinolo, Pago del Vallo di Lauro, Parolise, Paternopoli, Petruro Irpino, Pietradefusi, Pietrastornina, Prata di Principato Ultra, Pratola Serra, Quadrelle, Quindici, Rocca San Felice, Roccabascerana, Rotondi, Salza Irpina, San Mango sul Calore, San Martino Valle Caudina, San Michele di Serino, San Nicola Baronia, San Potito Ultra, San Sossio Baronia, Santa Lucia di Serino, Santa Paolina, Santo Stefano del Sole, Sant`Andrea di Conza, Sant`Angelo a Scala, Sant`Angelo all`Esca, Sant`Angelo dei Lombardi, Savignano Irpino, Scampitella, Senerchia, Serino, Sirignano, Solofra, Sorbo Serpico, Sperone, Sturno, Summonte, Taurano, Taurasi, Teora, Torella dei Lombardi, Torre Le Nocelle, Torrioni, Trevico, Tufo, Vallata, Vallesaccarda, Venticano, Villamaina, Villanova del Battista, Volturara Irpina, Zungoli.
Province of Benevento:
Airola, Amorosi, Apice, Apollosa, Arpaia, Arpaise, Baselice, Benevento, Bonea, Bucciano, Buonalbergo, Calvi, Campolattaro, Campoli del Monte Taburno, Casalduni, Castelfranco in Miscano, Castelpagano, Castelpoto, Castelvenere, Castelvetere in Val Fortore, Cautano, Ceppaloni, Cerreto Sannita, Circello, Colle Sannita, Cusano Mutri, Dugenta, Durazzano, Faicchio, Foglianise, Foiano di Val Fortore, Forchia, Fragneto L`Abate, Fragneto Monforte, Frasso Telesino, Ginestra degli Schiavoni, Guardia Sanframondi, Limatola, Melizzano, Moiano, Molinara, Montefalcone di Val Fortore, Montesarchio, Morcone, Paduli, Pago Veiano, Pannarano, Paolisi, Paupisi, Pesco Sannita, Pietraroja, Pietrelcina, Ponte, Pontelandolfo, Puglianello, Reino, San Bartolomeo in Galdo, San Giorgio del Sannio, San Giorgio La Molara, San Leucio del Sannio, San Lorenzello, San Lorenzo Maggiore, San Lupo, San Marco dei Cavoti, San Martino Sannita, San Nazzaro, San Nicola Manfredi, San Salvatore Telesino, Santa Croce del Sannio, Sant`Agata De` Goti, Sant`Angelo a Cupolo, Sant`Arcangelo Trimonte, Sassinoro, Solopaca, Telese Terme, Tocco Caudio, Torrecuso, Vitulano.
Province> of Caserta>:
Ailano, Alife, Alvignano, Arienzo, Aversa, Baia e Latina, Bellona, Caianello, Caiazzo, Calvi Risorta, Camigliano, Cancello ed Arnone, Capodrise, Capriati a Volturno, Capua, Carinaro, Carinola, Casagiove, Casal di Principe, Casaluce, Casapesenna, Casapulla, Caserta, Castel Campagnano, Castel di Sasso, Castel Morrone, Castel Volturno, Castello del Matese, Cellole, Cervino, Cesa, Ciorlano, Conca della Campania, Curti, Dragoni, Falciano del Massico, Fontegreca, Formicola, Francolise, Frignano, Gallo Matese, Galluccio, Giano Vetusto, Gioia Sannitica, Grazzanise, Gricignano di Aversa, Letino, Liberi, Lusciano, Macerata Campania, Maddaloni, Marcianise, Marzano Appio, Mignano Monte Lungo, Mondragone, Orta di Atella, Parete, Pastorano, Piana di Monte Verna, Piedimonte Matese, Pietramelara, Pietravairano, Pignataro Maggiore, Pontelatone, Portico di Caserta, Prata Sannita, Pratella, Presenzano, Raviscanina, Recale, Riardo, Rocca D`Evandro, Roccamonfina, Roccaromana, Rocchetta e Croce, Ruviano, San Cipriano d`Aversa, San Felice a Cancello, San Gregorio Matese, San Marcellino, San Marco Evangelista, San Nicola la Strada, San Pietro Infine, San Potito Sannitico, San Prisco, San Tammaro, Santa Maria a Vico, Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Santa Maria La Fossa, Sant`Angelo d`Alife, Sant`Arpino, Sessa Aurunca, Sparanise, Succivo, Teano, Teverola, Tora e Piccilli, Trentola-Ducenta, Vairano Patenora, Valle Agricola, Valle di Maddaloni, Villa di Briano, Villa Literno, Vitulazio.
Province of Napoli:
Acerra, Afragola, Agerola, Anacapri, Arzano, Bacoli, Barano d`Ischia, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase, Brusciano, Caivano, Calvizzano, Camposano, Capri, Carbonara di Nola, Cardito, Casalnuovo di Napoli, Casamarciano, Casamicciola Terme, Casandrino, Casavatore, Casola di Napoli, Casoria, Castellammare di Stabia, Castello di Cisterna, Cercola, Cicciano, Cimitile, Comiziano, Crispano, Ercolano, Forio, Frattamaggiore, Frattaminore, Giugliano in Campania, Gragnano, Grumo Nevano, Ischia, Lacco Ameno, Lettere, Liveri, Marano di Napoli, Mariglianella, Marigliano, Massa di Somma, Massa Lubrense, Melito di Napoli, Meta, Monte di Procida, Mugnano di Napoli, Napoli, Nola, Ottaviano, Palma Campania, Piano di Sorrento, Pimonte, Poggiomarino, Pollena Trocchia, Pomigliano d`Arco, Pompei, Portici, Pozzuoli, Procida, Qualiano, Quarto, Roccarainola, San Gennaro Vesuviano, San Giorgio a Cremano, San Giuseppe Vesuviano, San Paolo Bel Sito, San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, San Vitaliano, Santa Maria la Carita`, Sant`Agnello, Sant`Anastasia, Sant`Antimo, Sant`Antonio Abate, Saviano, Scisciano, Serrara Fontana, Somma Vesuviana, Sorrento, Striano, Terzigno, Torre Annunziata, Torre del Greco, Trecase, Tufino, Vico Equense, Villaricca, Visciano, Volla.
Province of Salerno:
Acerno, Agropoli, Albanella, Alfano, Altavilla Silentina, Amalfi, Angri, Aquara, Ascea, Atena Lucana, Atrani, Auletta, Baronissi, Battipaglia, Bellizzi, Bellosguardo, Bracigliano, Buccino, Buonabitacolo, Caggiano, Calvanico, Camerota, Campagna, Campora, Cannalonga, Capaccio, Casal Velino, Casalbuono, Casaletto Spartano, Caselle in Pittari, Castel San Giorgio, Castel San Lorenzo, Castelcivita, Castellabate, Castelnuovo Cilento, Castelnuovo di Conza, Castiglione del Genovesi, Cava de` Tirreni, Celle di Bulgheria, Centola, Ceraso, Cetara, Cicerale, Colliano, Conca dei Marini, Controne, Contursi Terme, Corbara, Corleto Monforte, Cuccaro Vetere, Eboli, Felitto, Fisciano, Furore, Futani, Giffoni Sei Casali, Giffoni Valle Piana, Gioi, Giungano, Ispani, Laureana Cilento, Laurino, Laurito, Laviano, Lustra, Magliano Vetere, Maiori, Mercato San Severino, Minori, Moio della Civitella, Montano Antilia, Monte San Giacomo, Montecorice, Montecorvino Pugliano, Montecorvino Rovella, Monteforte Cilento, Montesano sulla Marcellana, Morigerati, Nocera Inferiore, Nocera Superiore, Novi Velia, Ogliastro Cilento, Olevano sul Tusciano, Oliveto Citra, Omignano, Orria, Ottati, Padula, Pagani, Palomonte, Pellezzano, Perdifumo, Perito, Pertosa, Petina, Piaggine, Pisciotta, Polla, Pollica, Pontecagnano Faiano, Positano, Postiglione, Praiano, Prignano Cilento, Ravello, Ricigliano, Roccadaspide, Roccagloriosa, Roccapiemonte, Rofrano, Romagnano al Monte, Roscigno, Rutino, Sacco, Sala Consilina, Salento, Salerno, Salvitelle, San Cipriano Picentino, San Giovanni a Piro, San Gregorio Magno, San Mango Piemonte, San Marzano sul Sarno, San Mauro Cilento, San Mauro La Bruca, San Pietro al Tanagro, San Rufo, San Valentino Torio, Santa Marina, Santomenna, Sant`Angelo a Fasanella, Sant`Arsenio, Sant`Egidio del Monte Albino, Sanza, Sapri, Sarno, Sassano, Scafati, Scala, Serramezzana, Serre, Sessa Cilento, Siano, Sicignano degli Alburni, Stella Cilento, Stio, Teggiano, Torchiara, Torraca, Torre Orsaia, Tortorella, Tramonti, Trentinara, Valle dell`Angelo, Vallo della Lucania, Valva, Vibonati, Vietri sul Mare.
Campania, Ecclesiastical Region of>:
Area: 13,879 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 5,911,843
Total Priests: 3,568 (Diocesan: 2,261; Religious: 1,307)
Campanile: a bell tower. It might be attached to a church or a free-standing structure.
Campi Diomedei (or Diomedis): A district of ancient Apulia. Its name derives from that of Diomedes, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, who is strongly connected with Apulia through many myths.
campiero: (pl. campieri). Literally “country guard.” During the 18th and 19th centuries, the campieri were a type of rural police force in Sicily. Many of them were actually private guards hired by landowners to guard their estates. Other campieri were an official corps of government police, also known as cantonieri, who were commissioned to patrol the rural country roads.
campion: a small dwarf pink-colored flower found in Sicily.
Campi Phlegraei: Ancient name for the Campi Flegrei. The name means “fields of fire.” This volcanic region extended from Cumae to Puteoli, encompassing Vesuvius itself.
Campobasso, Province of: A province of Molise.
Campobasso (CB): A city and provincial capital of the province of Campobasso. Regional capital of the region of Molise. Population: 51,337 (2006e).
Campobello di Mazara (TP): A town in western Sicily. It was founded by the Saracens as a castle called Beribaida.
campo santo: Literally “Holy Ground” or “Sacred Field”, it is used as a term for a cemetery in Sicily or southern Italy. In Sicily, cemeteries have traditionally been so elaborate that they were often compared to actual cities. These cemeteries consist of a collection of mortuary chapels, usually Classical or Gothic in style. Each chapel has an open vault below for family tombs. These are sometimes glass coffins which allow the body to be viewed. Such chapels are expensive and are built to great heights. This gives some cemeteries the look of walled, medieval cities. Among the customs that upset foreign travelers in the past about these cemeteries is the inserting of large photographs of the dead person into the headstones. Some Italian-American families still follow this practice in the United States. Other visitors have described the cemeteries as places of serenity and beauty, enjoying the traditional cypress trees and carpet of wildflowers usually found in such places.
candytuft: A flower with white, clover-shaped blossoms, called by the Sicilians Fiore di micle.
Cangemi, Gianluca: (b. 3 December 1979, Palermo). Composer. He received his musical education as a composer under the guidance of Eliodoro Sollima (1926-2000). His works are commissioned and performed both in Europe and in U.S.A. He is the editor of new music collections of Mnemes Publishing. His compositions include a very wide range of styles.
Canicatti’ (Canicattini; Bagni-Canicattini) (AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento; in E Sicily near Syracuse, in the vicinity of the gorge of Spampinato, through which the river Anapo flows. Population: 33,769 (2007e); 33,604 (2006e). It was the site of the final defeat of the Athenian expedition against Syracuse in 413 BC. Sulfur deposits are located nearby.
Canidia (Gratidia): (fl. 1st Century AD). Pseudonym for a woman named Gratidia who lived in Naples during the time of Horace. She was apparently hated by that poet who referred to her as an old sorceress in some of his works (Epod. 5,17; Sat. i.8).
canna: a unit of length measure formerly used in the kingdom of Naples. It was the equivalent of 6.908 English feet.
Cannae: An ancient village, Apulia, SE Italy, scene in 216 B.C. of Hannibal’s crushing defeat of the Romans. It was situated to the NE of Canusium, within a plain laying to the E of the river Aufidus and N of the river Vergellus. During the famous battle, Hannibal’s troops assumed a crescent-shaped formation to meet the Roman troops, which were especially concentrated in the center. As the Romans advanced, Hannibal by brilliant strategy managed to encircle the entire Roman force and cut it to pieces.
cannibalism: Although not normally connected with Italy or Sicily, there is a possibility that such a practice may have occurred in Italy and Sicily in past ages. Certainly in Homer’s Odyssey, the Greek hero has two encounters with cannibals. The first group, the Laestrygonians, are believed to have inhabited the island of Corsica, near to, though still outside of Italian lands. The second group, however, the infamous Cyclopes are strongly tied to the area near Mt. Etna in eastern Sicily. Certainly Polyphemus, the Cyclops who figures most prominently in the epic, feasted on some of the stranded Greek sailors of Odysseus’ party. But did cannibalism truly exist in the Italian South outside of mythology? While few nations or peoples would like to admit it, incidents of cannibalism can be found in the pages of history. Famine was common in former times and desperate hunger can make people do things that they might not do otherwise.
Ritual cannibalism, however, is a far different thing, connected with the survival of the soul rather than the body. There does not appear to have been widespread ritual cannibalism in historical Italy. In prehistoric burials, however, there is some evidence for it taking place. Occasionally some bones are missing are missing. Others include bones which had definitely been burnt by fire. On Monte Circeo, near Rome, a Neanderthal skull was unearthed which had been buried in such a way to suggest ritual cannibalism. It had been found in the center of a circle of stones and had its base broken open to allow access to the brain.
Perhaps the closest thing to ritual cannibalism that can be found in historical Italy is the somewhat tongue-in-cheek naming of foods, especially ones connected to particular religious festivals. In Sicily, for example, one popular treat consumed during Lent and Easter is a cake made from the paste of almonds called the “Bones of the Dead Man.” At Molfetta, they serve a bread on the feast day of Santa Lucia called “Holy Lucia’s Eyes.” A sweet treat served in Sicily on All Souls Day is known as the “Breasts of the Virgins”, while several breads including the “Face of the Dead,” and the “Hands,” are associated with the same holy day. Not to be outdone by the Sicilians, the Calabrians eat a cake shaped like fingers called, appropriately enough, “Apostles’ Fingers.”
Cannizzaro, Stanislao: (b. 1826, Palermo; d. 1910). Chemist.
cannoli (“pipes”): crisp fried pastry tubes, filled with sweetened ricotta or pastry cream. Sicilian cannoli is traditionally filled with sheep milk ricotta, flavored with orange flower water, cinnamon, candied fruit, pistachios and bits of chocolate.
cantastorie: itinerant musicians found mostly in Sicily.
canterbury bells: A wild flower found in Sicily.
Canusium: (mod. Canosa di Puglia (BA)). A city of ancient Apulia. It was situated on the river Aufidus. According to tradition, the town was founded by the mythological Greek hero Diomedes, who gave his name to the district around the town (Campus Diomedis). Historically, Canusium was colonized by the Greeks although evidence shows that the population was a mixture of Greek and Oscan speakers. Canusium rose to become the principal town in the area, flourishing until the depredations of Hannibal during the 2nd Punic War. Following their disastrous defeat at Cannae in 216 BC, the surviving remnants of the Roman army took refuge at Canusium. In ancient times Canusium had a reputation for the high quality of the mules bred there and the woolen textiles its weavers produced.
Canzone Napoletana: a variety of popular song traditionally found in and around Naples.
canzune (1): Sicilian lyric songs.
canzune (2): Neapolitan song.
capello di Venere: A type of maidenhair fern which grows wild throughout Sicily.
caper-plant: A common cultivated flower of Sicily. It is noted for its beautiful white and purple blossoms.
capital (Ital. capitello): The top part of a column. In ancient times, it had been traditional to use Doric style in the temples, and later, in the churches of Sicily. There are a few examples of Ionic and Corinthian, notably at Syracuse. Under the Normans, columns of churches and palaces became richly carved in the Byzantine-Saracenic styling. In the early Renaissance, further inovations were introducted including double-arched capitals for columns.
Capitanata: A former province of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Naples). It was roughly equivalent to the present province of Foggia in Puglia. It was situated on the E. slope of the Apennines, bounded on the N and E by the Adriatic Sea. It had an area of 3,178 square miles and a population, in 1856, of 334,878. Its economy was based largely on the rearing of sheep and horses. Much of the province was dominated by the mountainous promontory of Monte Gargano. The remainder consisted of a sandy plain watered by several streams which emptied into the Adriatic. The Capitanata was bounded on the S by the Terra di Bari, on the W by the Principato, and on the N by Sannio (Molise) and the Abruzzo Citra. The province was about 70 miles in length and varied between 40 to 80 miles in breadth. It corresponded with the ancient Apulian region of Daunia.
Capitano: an official in charge of the police force in Sicily during the period of Spanish control.
Capito: A Sicilian bishop who attended the council of Nicaea (AD 325).
Capizzi (anc. Capytium, Capitium)(ME): A commune (area: 70.1 km²; alt. 1,139 m) in the province of Messina. Population: 3,448 (2006e); 3,797 (1991). Located 167 km SW of Messina, it is situated on a spur on the S slope of the Monti Nebrodi, near the source of the river Salso.
capo (pl. capi): literally “head.” The boss of a mafia family.
Capo Colonne: A headland of Calabria (Lat: 39º 7’ N. Long: 17º 15’ E).
Capo Corvo: A promontory of Sicily. In 1613, it was the site of a great defeat of the Ottoman Turk fleet at the hands of the Admiral Ottavio d’Aragon of Palermo.
Capo d’Orlando: A promontory of Sicily. It was the site of the ancient Sikel town of Agathyrnum.
Capo d’Orlando (ME): A commune (area: 14.6 km²; alt. 12m) in the province of Messina. It is located 90 km W of Messina, on the N coast of Sicily, to the W of the similarly named cape. Population: 12,951 (2006e); 11,948 (1991). The economy is principally agricultural (citrus fruit), but other local industries include tuna-fishing, milling, pasta-making, and the manufacture of cement blocks. The beach area has been developed as a resort.
History: During the 14th century, Roger di Lauria, commanding an Allied fleet of Sicilian, Catalan, and Angevin ships, defeated Frederick II of Aragon.
Points of Interest: There are ruins of a 13th / 14th century castle.
At the top of the headland is a sanctuary founded in 1598, which has long been a place of pilgrimage.
The beach of S. Gregorio is noted for its boulders which wind and water has carved into unusual shapes.
capo dei capi (or capo di tutti capi): boss of bosses. A mafia term usually given by the press to signify the boss of the strongest of the five New York families. It is normally not used within the mafia organization itself.
Capo di Faro (sometimes Galofaro) (anc. Charybdis): The NE promontory of the island of Sicily, situated on the W shore of the Straits of Messina. In ancient times it was the site for the monstrous Charybdis whirlpool.
Capo di Sorrento (NA): A frazione in the commune of Sorrento (NA).
Capo Schisò: A promontory on the eastern shore of Sicily formed by a prehistoric lava-flow. Naxos, the earliest Greek colony on Sicily, was founded on its headland in c734 BC. The cape was the first landfall for most ships arriving from the Italian mainland.
capodecina (pl. capidecina): a head or “captain” of ten in the mafia organization.
Capodichino (NA): A district (alt. 99 m) of the city of Naples.
Capodimónte (NA): A district in the N part of the city of Naples, located on the E side of the Campi Flegrei. A royal palace and park was established here by Hing Charles III. The district was also the location for the Astronomical Observatory of Naples (alt. 155 m), founded in 1812 by King Joachim Murat, and completed during the reign of Ferrdinand I.
capomandamento: a mafia term signifying a head or captain of a mandamento (or district).
Caporciano (AQ): A commune (area: 18.3 km²; alt. 825 m) in the province of L‘Aquila. Located 30 km SE of L’Aquila, it is situated at the S edge of a high plain, between the SW slopes of the Gran Sasso d’Italia and the chain which flanks the valley of the river Aterno. Population: 265 (2006e); 324 (1991).
Caposele (AV): A commune (area: 40.5 km²; alt. 415 m) in the province of Avellino. Located 58 km ENE of Avellino, it is situated on the NE slope of the Monti Cervialto, near the sources of the river Sele, from which it derives its name. Population: 3,718 (2007e); 3,719 (2006e); 4,026 (1991). The local economy is based on cereal crops and vineyards. The nearby hill of Materdomini is the site of several summer homes.
History: The village was rebuilt after having been destroyed by an earthquake in 1694.
Pounts of Interest: The principal religious monument is the Sanctuary of Materdomini (or S. Gerardo Maiella). Located on a hill of the same name, it is a place of pilgrimage.
Near the center is located the first stretch of the Apulian Aqueduct system.
Capo Spartivento: the southernmost point of Italy (Lat: 37º56’ N. Long: 16º 3’ E).
cappa: A generic Italian term for “cloak.” The traditional cappa used in Sicily, known as a cappotto, was a hooded dark blue style.
Cappadocia (AQ): A commune (area: 67.4 km²; alt. 1,000 m) in the province of L‘Aquila. Located 62 km SSW of L’Aquila, it is situated in the upper valley of the Liri, on a spur to the right of that river’s sources. Population: 519 (2006e); 660 (1991). The local economy is based on timber, charcoal, and saw-milling.
Points of Interest: In the valley below the center are the springs of Sorgenti del Liri.
cappella ardente: A traditional burial practice of Sicily and southern Italy in which a coffin in laid out surrounded by tall burning tapers. The name comes from the fact that it sometimes occurred in a chapel. More often, it took place in front of the altar.
Cappella Reale: The “Royal Chapel” of Palermo. It was described as Sladen in the early 20th century as “the most beautiful ecclesiastical building in Europe.”
Cappelle sul Tavo (PE): A commune (area: 5.5 km²; alt. 155 m) in the province of Pescara. Located 12 km W of Pescara, it is situated on a hill to the right of the river Tavo, near its confluence with the river Fino. Population: 2,985 (1991).
cappotto: See cappa.
Cappuccini monasteries: These facilities have been very popular for visitors to Sicily for centuries. The attraction is the collections of mummies for here. The largest such collection is that found in Palermo. This consists of hundreds of well-preserved mummies, exhibited in well-lighted, ventilated vaults. These collections originated in the practice of burying a properly mummified body in soil specially brought from Palestine and thus considered holy. This was meant to ensure the salvation of the soul. When space ran out, the older mummies were dug up to make room for newer ones. The disinterred bodies were then properly arranged in one of the vaults.
Capra, Frank: (b. 1897, Palermo; d. 1991). Sicilian-American firm director. He won Academy Awards for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), and You Can’t take it with You (1938). Other notable films include It Happened One Night (1934), Lost Horizon (1937), and It’s A Wonderful Life (1946).
Capracòtta (IS): A commune (area: 42.4 km²; alt. 1,410 m) in the province of Isernia. Located 43 km N of Isernia, it is situated on a hill crest between M. Capraro and M. Campo, which separates the basins of the rivers Sangro and Trigno. Population: 1,063 (2006e); 1,314 (1991). The economy is based on agriculture, livestock-breeding ((yielding wool, dairy, and meat products), and saw-milling. The commune has been developed into a winter-sports/summer home resort.
History: The center was founded in medieval times.
Points of Interest: The communal seat of Capracòtta is located at a higher elevation than any other center in peninsular Italy.
The principal religious monument is the chapel of Madonna di Loreto, which houses a fine group of 15th century sculpture.
Near the center are the remains of prehistoric cyclopean walls and limestone monoliths.
Culture: Every three years, a nighttime procession is held on September 8.
Caprara, Isola (or Capperara, Capraia) (FG): The northernmost island of the Tremiti chain, in the Adriatic Sea. It measures about 1 km² in area, and rises to a maximum elevation of 56 m. A lighthouse is located on the island’s N shore. Most of the island’s shore consists of high cliffs, broken only by two sandy coves.
Caprara derives its name from the wild capers (capperaia) which grow there.
History: In 1567, the Turkish fleet anchored in the island’s largest bay after their unsuccessful siege of the neighboring island of San Nicola.
Points of Interest: The most interesting features of the island are the archetielli (little arches), small, natural rock bridges. The most famous are the L’Architiello and the Grottone.
The only man-made structures of note on the island are the lighthouse and an abandoned building called the Casa dei Coatti.
Caprarica di Lecce (LE): A commune (area: 10.8 km²; alt. 60 m) in the province of Lecce. Located 12 km SE of Lecce, it is situated in the central part of the Salentine peninsula, on the E slope of the Serra di Galugnano. Population: 2,673 (2006e); 2,968 (1991).
Capreae: (mod. Capri). A small island off the coast of Campania, situated at the southern entrance to the gulf of Puteoli, near the Promontory of Minerva. The name means “goat island”, so named from the large numbers of wild goats which once inhabited the island. Ancient tradition claimed that the earliest inhabitants were the Teleboae. In historical times, Capreae came under the control of Neapolis (Naples). The Neapolitans either sold the island to Augustus, or traded it for Pithecusa (Ischia). Whatever the case, it became the private property of the Julio-Claudian Emperors of Rome. The island’s beautiful scenery and mild climate soon made it a favorite place of escape for the Emperors. Capreae’s most famous resident was the Emperor Tiberius, who lived on the island for the last ten years of his life. The remains of the magnificent villas he built here, the site of his infamous acts of debauchery, can still be seen. Also see Capri (NA).
Capretto: Baby goat. One of the most popular dishes in the regions of Abruzzo and Molise, it is barbecued on a spit or baked in an oven.
Capri (anc. Capreae): A small island (area: 10.4 km². length: 6 km. width: 0.8 to 2.8 km) located off the coast of Campania, about 32 km S of Naples. Population: 12,416 (1991). It is one of Italy’s favorite locations thanks to its incredibly beautiful scenery, mild climate, and remarkable caves.
Points of Interest: The foundations of some buildings incorporate traces of 3,000 year old masonry.
The principal church of the center was rebuilt during the 17th century.
The Carthusian monastery of S. Giacomo was founded in the 14th century. It includes a small cloister of 15th century date, and a larger one from the 16th century. Within the monastery is a museum which houses four Roman statues found in Capri’s famous “Blue Grotto.”
Capua, Ancient: An ancient city in northern Campania. The date of its foundation by the Etruscans is uncertain although one tradition states it was 50 years older than Rome. That would put its foundation near the end of the 9th Century BC. Whatever the case, Capua grew to become one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, second only to Rome itself. Originally known as Vulturnum, after the nearby river Vulturnus (Volturno), its name was changed to Capua, supposedly in commemoration of Capys, one of the Trojan followers of Aeneas. According to another version of Capua’s foundation myth, Capys was not a Trojan but actually was the name of the Samnite chief who captured the city. The Roman historian Livy rejected both versions of the myth, explaining that Capua’s name simply derived from its location in a plain (campus). Capua remained the principal Etruscan city in southern Italy until 420 BC, when it was captured by Samnites. The population became a mixture of Ausonians, Oscans, Etruscans, and Samnites. These disparate ethnic groups were able to successfully integrate Capua’s prosperity continued. About 60 years later, however, Capua found itself threatened by a new Samnite invasion. Unable to defend their city, the Capuans placed themselves under the protection of the Romans in 343 BC. As a Roman protectorate, Capua was able to maintain its prosperity though at the expense of a certain measure of independence. Following the disastrous Roman defeat at Cannae in 216 BC, the Capuans shifted their support to Hannibal in the hope of gaining supremacy over Rome. These grandiose hopes were dashed by Rome’s quick recovery. Capua soon found that Rome was not going to tolerate its disloyalty. When the Romans retook the city in 211 BC, the Capuans lost much of their wealth, territory, and autonomy. A Roman prefect was now appointed annually to govern the city. In 59 BC, Julius Caesar established a colony here. Later, under Nero, Capua became the site of a veterans’ colony.
The modern town of Santa Maria Capua Vetere (CE) marks the true site of ancient Capua.
Capua, Archdiocese of:
Conference Region: Campania.
Area: 500 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 162,800
Total Priests: 81(Diocesan: 68; Religious: 13)
Permanent Deacons: 3
Capuana, Luigi: Sicilian critic, poet and dramatist. He was born at Mineo on May 29, 1839.
Capys (1): In mythology, one of the Trojan followers of Aeneas in Italy. It is said that his name inspired that of the city of Capua in Campania.
Capys (2): (fl. 2nd half of the 5th Century BC). According to one tradition, he was the chief of the Samnites who conquered the Etruscan city of Vulturnum in 420 BC. The victors changed the name of the city to Capua in his honor. Livy, who preserved this story in his “History of Rome”, considered it unreliable.
Capytium (Capitium): (mod. Capizzi [ME]). Ancient town of Sicily. Situated near Mount Aetna, it was called Capitina Civitas by Cicero.
Caracciolo: A noble family of Naples, possibly of Byzantine origins. Its members belonged to several braches, the most illustrious being that of Avellino. Members of this branch came to hold the titles of Counts of Gallerate (1539), Counts of Torella (1560, Dukes of Atripalda (1572), and Dukes of Avellino (1589). In 1609, they also came to hold the hereditary title of Grand Seneschals of Naples. The Melfi branch of the family, which also rose to importance, included such distinguished members as general Giovanni Caracciolo (1480-1539), who defended the last Republic of Florence, and later served as Governor of Marsailles and Piedmont for the French king Francis I.
Caracciolo, Filippo Giudice: (b. March 27, 1785, in Naples; d. Jan. 29, 1844, in Naples). Ecclesiastic. Ordained a priest in 1809, he was chosen a cardinal in 1833. He served as bishop of Molfetta (1820-1833) and archbishop of Naples (1833-1844).
Caracciolo, Giambattista: (b. c1580, Naples; d. 1641). Painter.
carabinieri: The highest level of police in Italy.
Carafa, Brother Francesco: (c1625-1627). Navigator. He served as the Captain General of the Galleys of the Knights of Malta.
Carafa, Brother Francesco Maria: (c1669-1672). Navigator. He served as the Captain General of the Galleys of the Knights of Malta.
caratone: A large cask used in Sicily. They varied widely in volume and those used for wine-production often reached the size of small rooms.
Carcinus: The father of Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse.
Carcinus (mod. Corace), River: A river in ancient Bruttium. It is mentioned by Pliny the Elder. The name appears to derive from the Greek karkinos (= “crab”), which, in turn, comes from the IE root *kar- (= “hard”).
Cardinal: Sometimes called a “Prince of the Church”, a Cardinal serves as an advisor to the Pope. Most, though not every, Cardinal is also a bishop or archbishop, and normally resides in his own diocese, visiting the Curia only on special occasions. One such occasion that brings the Cardinals together is the election of a new Pope. When a reigning pope dies or, on rare occasions, retires, the Cardinals gather together in a secret conclave to choose a new leader. Most candidates are drawn from the ranks of the Cardinals themselves. There are three classes of Cardinals: Cardinal-Deacon, Cardinal-Priest, and Cardinal-Bishop.
Cardinal-Deacon: The lowest of the three classes of Cardinals. Most Cardinal-Deacons reside in the Vatican where they perform functional duties.
Cardinal-Priest: The middle-ranking (and largest) of the three classes of Cardinals. Cardinal-Priests are normally Ordinaries of dioceses and archdioceses.
Cardinal-Bishop: The highest–ranking of the three classes of Cardinals. There can be only 7 Cardinal-Bishops at any time.
cardo (or cardus maximus): the principal N-S street of an ancient Roman town, camp, or colonia. It ran at right-angles to the E-W running Decumanus Maximus. Normally, the Cardo was the principal street of the town.
Carini (PA): A commune in the province of Palermo. Founded by the ancient Sikans, it was originally named Hyccara. It was the birthplace of Laís, the famous courtesan painted by the artist Apelles, and who was considered one of the most beautiful women in history. She was captured during the Athenian sacking of Hyccara and sent as a slave to Athens. Carini was again sacked in AD 900, this time by the Saracens led by Ibrahim. This was also the birthplace of the poet Paolo Gambino.
Carlentini (SR): A commune in the province of Siracusa. It was founded by the Spanish viceroy Giovanni Vega in 1551, and was meant to replace malaria-stricken Lentini. It was named for Charles V.
Carlino (carolinus, carolenus, karolenus): A small Neapolitan coin, minted in gold and silver, used in the kingdom of Sicily-Naples. It was first introduced by, and named for, King Charles I of Anjou in 1278. It was minted in two types, a gold version (4.43 grams) and a silver version (3.34 grams). After the reign of Charles II, the gold coin was discontinued, but the silver one became the standard denomination for the mainland kingdom until the end of medieval times.
A new Carlino was introduced into the kingdom of the Two Sicilies by King Charles VII (r1735-1759).
It was equivalent in value to 10 grani, 20 tornesi, and, prior to 1784, 0.4368 lire. From 1784 to 1814, its value was equal to 0.4249 lire.
carob: (or caruba). A tree which grows abundantly in the southern part of Sicily. It has been widely used in the past for fodder, especially during times of drought.
carretto: A traditional 2-wheeled Sicilian cart. Its standard axle width was identical to those of ancient carts since their wheels could fit perfectly in the ruts worn long ago into ancient pavements. Usually measuring only about 5 feet by 4 feet, they could sometimes hold up to a dozen or more riders and haul a load of 100 stacked chairs. Foreigners nick-named them “Palermo Carts.”
carro: A simple trolley once widely used in Sicily. About 6 feet long, c18 inches wide, and c18 inches high, it was drawn by a single ass, and used for hauling heavy weights.
Carseoli: Ancient name for Carsoli (AQ).
Carthaginians: See the full entry on this topic.
Carthalo: (fl. late 3rd Century BC). Carthaginian military leader. He served as Hannibal’s cavalry commander in Italy during the 2nd Punic War. Left in charge of the Carthaginian forces at Tarentum, he was forced to surrender to the Romans when the city fell in 207 BC. Immediately upon his surrender, he was cut down by a Roman soldier.
Caruso, Enrico: (b. Feb. 27, 1873 in Naples; d. Aug. 2, 1921). Opera singer. As a child he displayed such singing talent that he was called upon to perform in his local church and at festivals. At the age of 15, his mother became seriously ill, but when he wished to remain by her side, she insisted that he go to church to sing. He obeyed her wishes but, upon returning home, he found his mother dead. Enrico continued to develop his talents of music and theatrics on his own without receiving formal training. He eventually joined touring companies with brought him to the attention of a wider audience. Caruso continued to advance his career until he was performing in the great theaters of Milan and London, finally crossing the Atlantic to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He toured the United States and had the misfortune to be in San Francisco when the great earthquake of 1906 occurred. He survived unscathed but vowed never to return to that city. Caruso returned to the Met in New York where he would continue his career, performing there a total of 607 times. Eventually ill health forced him to retire and he returned to Naples with his family. He died in that city at the age of 48.
Carvilius Maximus, Spurius: (fl. 1st part of the 3rd Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. He served as Roman consul in 293 and 273 BC. During both of his consulships he warred successfully against the Samnites. He and his colleague L. Papirius Cursor were finally able to force the Samnites into a peace treaty, ending the Second Samnite War.
Casavola, Franco: (b. July 13, 1891 at Modugno (BA); d. July 7, 1955 at Bari). Futurist composer and theorist.
casèdde: an Apulian dialect term for a trullo dwelling.
caseddère: an Apulian term for a mason who specializes in building trullo structures.
Caserta, Province of: A province in Campania.
Caserta (CE): A city and provincial capital of the province of Caserta, in northern Campania. It is the site of a magnificent royal palace. Population: 79,432 (2006e).
Caserta, Diocese of:
Metropolitan: NapoliConference Region: Campania.
Area: 185 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 182,591
Total Priests: 112 (Diocesan: 68; Religious: 44)
Permanent Deacons: 33.
Caserta, Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) of: The largest and most magnificent royal palace of Italy, often judged second in Europe only to Versailles. Work on the complex began in 1752 under the direction of Vanvitelli, for King Charles III. The S. front of the great rectangular structure measures 780 feet in length with a height of 125 feet. 37 windows run the length of each story.
The theater in the is decorated with 16 Corinthian columns of African marble taken from the “temple of Serapis” in Pozzuoli.
The palace is listed as a United Nations World Heritage site.
casidde: an Apulian dialect term for a field hut built in trullo style used for storage, or as a stall.
Casilinum: (modern Capua). An ancient town in northern Campania, on the river Vulturnus. It was famed for its defense against Hannibal in 216 BC. Although it received a Roman colony, it had declined to a place of little importance by the time of Pliny the Elder in the 1st Century AD. During the Middle Ages, the deserted site of Casilinum was chosen by the refugees of Capua to refound their city (New Capua) after their old home had been destroyed by the Saracens.
casina: (or villino). A Sicilian term corresponding to villa or a suburban house. In Sicily, the word villa is actually used for “garden’, irrespective of the presence of a house.
Casinum: (mod. Cassino). An ancient town in southern Latium, near the border with Campania. It was colonized by the Romans during the Samnite wars and eventually became a municipium. An important temple dedicated to Apollo was located on its citadel was built an important temple to Apollo. This cult was so popular that is not only survived but thrived well into the Christian era. The temple and cult were finally destroyed by St. Benedict in cAD 529, who founded the abbey of Monte Cassino upon the site of the destroyed temple.
Casinus, River: A small river which lay along the border between ancient Campania and Latium. It emptied into the river Liris.
Casmena (Casmenae): An ancient town in Sicily. Originally founded by the Sikels, it was taken over and colonized by the Greeks of Syracuse in 644/643 BC. It has been identified with a number of modern towns including Spaccaforno, Comiso, Rosolino, and S. Croce. In 486-85 BC, it was a place of refuge for the Gamori (the noble land-owners) exiled from Syracuse.
casr: An Arabic corruption of the Latin word castrum (= “castle”). It is found in several place-names in Sicily where the Saracens settled.
Casr Janni: The Saracen name for the Sicilian city of Enna.
Cassano allo Jonio, Diocese of: A diocese in the Ecclesiastical Region of Calabria.
Conference Region: Calabria
Area: 1,311 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 108,054.
Total Priests: 68 (Diocesan:61 ; Religious: 7)
Cassibile, River: (anc. Cacyparis). The site where Demosthenes and 6,000 Athenians surrendered to the Syracusans in 413 BC.
Cassiodorus (1): (fl. mid- 5th Century AD). Roman nobleman. According to some sources he may have been born somewhere in the Eastern Roman Empire. He held the rank of vir inlustris when, in cAD 440, he organized the armed defenses of Bruttium and Sicily in anticipation of Vandal attacks. He was the father of Cassiodorus 2.
Cassiodorus (2): (fl. mid-5th Century AD). Roman official and diplomat. He was the son of Cassiodorus 1 and the father of Cassiodorus 3. He held the post of tribunus et notarius in the western Roman Empire under Emperor Valentinian III. He accompanied Carpilio on an embassy to Attila sometime in AD 435 or later. Because of this mission, he was offered the rank of illustris as well as a considerable monetary gifts. Cassiodorus, however, accepted neither reward choosing instead to retire to a comfortable private life in Bruttium.
Cassiodorus (3): (fl. late 5th / early 6th Centuries AD). Roman statesman. He was the son of Cassiodorus (2) and the father of Cassiodorus (4). A native of Bruttium, he began his political career at a time when the Western Roman Empire had collapsed. Between AD 476 and 490, he held the offices of CRP (comes rei privatae) and CSL (comes sacrarum largitionum) under Odoacer. In cAD 490, he wisely abandoned Odoacer, becoming a supporter of Theodoric the Great, thus allowing him to continue advancing his political career under the new Ostrogoth Kingdom. Sometime between AD 490 and 493, Cassiodorus held the post of Consularis Siciliae (governor of Sicily). Through his efforts he was able to keep Sicily loyal to Theodoric during the latter’s war with Odoacer. Later, sometime between 491 and 506, he was Corrector Bruttii et Lucaniae. After this he was promoted to become the Praetorian Prefect of Italy. In AD 507 he received the honor of patricus (= Patrician) and eventually became part of Theodoric’s court. Cassiodorus maintained his family’s large ancestral estates in his native Bruttium. The quality of the horses he bred there were of such high quality that he became a supplier of mounts to the Gothic cavalry.
Cassiodorus (4): (full name: Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator). (b. cAD 485/490; d. c585). Roman statesman and scholar. A native of Scyllacum, Bruttium, he was the son of Cassiodorus (3). Sometime between AD 503 and 507, he served as consilarius to his father when the latter was Praetorian Prefect of Italy. This was to launch him into a distinguished political career through the reign of King Theodoric the Great, the Ostrogothic ruler of Italy. After delivering a well-written panegyric to Theodoric, he was promoted by the king to the post of Quaestor Palatii. Holding this office from AD 507 to 511, he developed a reputation for reliability and scholarship. Sometime between AD 511 and 533, he served as corrector Lucaniae et Bruttii, a position held a few years earlier by his father Cassiodorus 3. In AD 514, he obtained the Consulship. He was a minister at court when Theodoric died in AD 526. After a long career in government, Cassiodorus retired at the age of 70, taking up residence at the monastery of Viviers, which he had founded near his family estate in Bruttium. For the next three decades he concentrated on scholarly pursuits. Cassiodorus produced works on a myriad of subjects including history, metaphysics, liberal arts, and divinity. He also created a number of scientific instruments including sun-dials and water-clocks. Many scholars sometimes refer to Cassiodorus as the “Last of the Romans” because with his passing Western European culture and scholarship deteriorated into the long Dark Ages.
Castelbuono (Sic. Castieddrubbuoni) (PA): A commune in the province of Palermo, founded in 1269 by a count of Geraci. In one of its churches is preserved a holy relic, the reputed head of S. Anna, mother of the Virgin Mary. At the nearby monastery of S. Maria del Parto is the body of S. Guglielmo (St. William).
Castellammare di Stabia (NA): A town situated on the coast of Campania, at the foot of a hill. It sits on the site of the ancient town of Stabiae, destroyed by Vesuvius in AD 79. Population: 65,707 (2006e).
Casteltermini (AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento. Population: 8,618 (2007e); 8,669 (2006e); 13,021 (1901). It is a center for sulfur mining, and is the birthplace of the astronomer Niccolo Cacciatore.
Castelvetrano (Formerly Castello Entellino) (TP): A commune in the province of Trapani. Population: 24,510 (1901). The name is thought to derive from the Latin words meaning “a post of veterans.” It is believed that the name was originally attached to some nearby ancient ruins, which was probably a colony founded for Roman veterans.
Castiglione di Sicilia (CT): A commune in the province of Catania. Population: 3,479 (2006e); 12,998 (1901); 9,473 (1881). The town still retains many of the aspects it had in medieval times when it served as a citadel for Roger di Láuria. This town was severely damaged during World War II.
Castor and Pollux: (Ital. Castore e Polluce). The two divine twins, known to the Romans as the Dioscuri, enjoyed great popularity in ancient Sicily. It is thought that their worship was brought to the island by the exiled Messenians who arrived in Sicily from Greece. The city which they founded for themselves, Tyndarus, bore the name of the father of Castor and Pollux (as well as of Helen of Troy). More correctly, Tyndaris was the husband of Leda, who had claimed the paternity of the children actually belonged to Zeus.
Castor-oil plant: A common plant in Sicily, found in a cultivated form is many gardens, as well as growing wild in the countryside.
Castra Hannibalis: An ancient town in Bruttium, situated on the SE coast, north of Scylacium. It was so-named because it occupied the site of the fortified camp used by Hannibal during his final campaigns in Italy during the 2nd Punic War.
Castra Minervae: (mod. Castro [LE]). A town in ancient Calabria, situated south of Hydruntum (mod. Otranto). The oldest town of the Salentini, it was later colonized by the Romans. Its harbor, Portus Veneris later became Porto Badisco. The town’s name came from its notable temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva.
Castrogiovanni: Former name of the Sicilian city of Enna.
Castronuovo di Sicilia (Sic. Castronovu)(PA): A commune in the province of Palermo. Originally of ancient origins, the existing town was rebuilt by Roger I on Monte Assaro. It was the site, on August 9, 1302, of the peace treaty between the Angevins and Aragonese thus ending the War of the Sicilian Vespers. The area around the town is noted for its fine yellow marble.
Castroreale (ME): A commune in the province of Messina. Population: 2,767 (2006e). Now about 11 km inland from the sea, there is evidence in the rocks around the town that the site was once underwater. Geologists have ancient shells, fish, etc, petrified in the local rocks. The existing town was founded by the Aragonese King Frederick II of Sicily, who chartered it in 1324. The site was earlier occupied by ancient Crizina or Cristina.casuarina: Also known as “she-oak.” This tree, originally from Australia, thrives in cultivated public parks and gardens of Sicily.
Casuentus, River: (mod. Basiento). A river in ancient Lucania. It emptied into the sea near Metapontum.
catacombs: Although the catacombs of Rome are by far the most famous, there are also many to be found in Sicily. Those who have visited the catacombs of S. Giovanni at Syracuse, claim that they are “among the best in the world, superior to any at Rome except that they have fewer emblems, frescoes, and inscriptions.” Other catacombs are found at Marsala (part of which were constructed for habitation rather than for burials), Agrigento, Palermo, Palazzolo and in the Val d’Ispica.
catafalque: (Ital. catafalco = scaffold). In Sicily, a catafalque is a temporary canopy placed over the coffin of a distinguished person, and over the sepolcri (Gardens of Gethsemane) prepared in Sicilian churches on Holy Thursday.
Catalan-Gothic: a hybrid form of architecture which combines elements of 15th century Spanish and northern European styles. Several examples of this style can be found in Sicily and on the southern Italian mainland. These include:
Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo.
Palazzo Marchesi, Palermo.
Palazzo Bellomo, Siracusa.
La Laterna, Brindisi.
Duomo di San Nicola, Bari.
Catane: (Katane. mod. Catania). A major city of ancient Sicily, situated on the east coast of the island at the foot of Mt. Aetna. It was founded in 730 BC by Chalcidian Greeks from nearby Naxos. In 476 BC, the city was captured by Hieron I of Syracuse, who transported the inhabitants to Leontini. A new population was settled in the city consisting of 5,000 Syracusans and 5,000 Peloponnesians. The city’s name was also changed to Aetna. Not long after Hieron’s death in 467 BC, the original inhabitants returned and restored the former name to the city. Catana came under Syracusan control again during the reign of Dionysius I but soon regained its independence under its own tyrants. Agathocles conquered it when he took power in Syracuse, and it remained under Syracusan control until it was taken by the Romans during the 1st Punic War. Augustus placed a veteran colony there. The origin of the city’s name is disputed. Some sources state that it derives from an ancient Sikel word meaning “bowl.” This was inspired by the hills which encompass the ancient site. Others believe that the root-word is the Phoenician qaton (= “little”), referring to its size in comparison to nearby Syracuse.
Catania, Province of: A province in Sicily.
Catania, Metropolitan Archdiocese of:
Type: Metropolitan Archdiocese
History: Diocese of Catania erected in the 1st century.
It was promoted to become the Archdiocese of Catania on Sept. 4, 1859.
It became the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Catania on Dec. 2, 2000.
Conference Region: Sicilia/Sicily
Metropolitan (if applicable):
Suffragans (if applicable): Acireale, Caltagirone
Area: 1,332 km² (514 sq. miles).
In 2006 the diocese had a population of 734,218, of which 724,886 (98.7%) are Catholics. There are 155 parishes, 400 priests (259 Diocesan and 141 Religious), 34 permanent deacons, 176 male religious, and 991 female religious.
Catania (Anc. Katane, Catana): A city and provincial capital of the province of Catania, situated on the E coast of Sicily. Population: 304,144 (2006e). It is the second largest city in Sicily.
History: Ancient Katene was founded in 729 BC by Chalcidian Greeks from Naxos.
Points of Interest:
Secular Buildings and monuments:
Amphitheater: Probably founded in the 2nd century BC, this ancient Roman amphitheater was, in its prime, second in size only to the Colosseum in Rome.
Castello Ursino: Located in the Piazza Frederico di Svevia, it was constructed in c1232 for Emperor Frederick II by Riccardo da Lentini. Most of the original structure was destroyed by a lava flow in 1669. The surviving keep now houses the Museo Civico.
Municipio: Constructed in 1741, it is located on the N side of the Piazza del Duomo.
Museo Civco: Housed in the Castello Ursino, it has a fine collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and ceramics, as well as medieval and Renaissance artifacts and artwork.
Elephant Fountain: Created by Vaccarini in 1736, it is located in the center of the Piazza del Duomo. It receives its name derives from the ancient elephant carved from volcanic rock, out of which it was created. The elephant and the obelisk it carries is believed to have once been part of the Roman amphtheater.
Religious Buildings and monuments:
Cathedral (Duomo) of Sant’ Agata: Located in the Piazza del Duomo, it was founded by Count Roger I in 1092. Extensive reconstructions were made after earthquakes in 1169 and 1693. Of the original Norman structure only the apses survive. The western facade was created by Vaccarini in 1736 and includes columns taken from the ancient Roman theater.
Church of San Benedetto: Situated on the Via Crociferi. Fine facade.
Church of Sant’Agata: 18th century. Facade created by Vaccarini. Located on Via Vittorio Emanuele, near the Piazza del Duomo.
Church of Sant’Agostino: Situated on the site of an ancient Roman basilica.
Catania, Gulf of: Gulf located along the E coast of Sicily, named for the city of Catania, its principal port.
Catania, Plain of: The largest plain of Sicily. The soil is very fertile but has suffered in the past from malarial swamps.
Catanzaro, Province of: A province in Calabria. Population: 366,647 (2007e).
Catanzaro: A city and provincial capital of the province of Catanzaro, in Cosenza. Population: 94,612 (2006e).
The city’s name derives from Byzantine Greek Katantzarion, a combination of the Greek kata (“on” or “near”) and the Arabic anjar (“terrace”). This probable refers to the city’s high altitude (320 m) above the Gulf of Squillace.
Catanzaro-Squillace, Metropolitan Archdiocese of:
Type: Metropolitan Archdiocese
History: Diocese of Catanzaro is established in 1121.
Promoted to the Archdiocese of Catanzaro on June 5, 1927.
Renamed as the Archdiocese of Catanzaro-Squillace on Sept. 30, 1986.
Promoted as the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Catanzaro–Squillace.
Conference Region: Calabria
Metropolitan (if applicable):
Suffragans (if applicable): Crotone–Santa Severina, Lamezia Terme
Area: 1,604 km² (619 sq. miles).
In 2004 the diocese had a population of 249,426, of which 245,326 (98.4%) are Catholics. There are 122 parishes, 191 priests (136 Diocesan and 55 Religious), 18 permanent deacons, 82 male religious, and 196 female religious.
Catenanuova (EN): A commune in the province of Enna. Population: 5,048 (2006e).
Cath: See Cautha.
Catharnai: Ancient Etruscan goddess of hunting.
cathedrals: The most notable cathedrals of Sicily are located at Palermo, Monreale, Cefalù, Messina, Siracusa, Catania, Agrigento, and Mazzara.
Cattolica: A noble family in Sicily. One of its members founded Cattolica-Eraclea (near the ruins of ancient Eraclea-Minoa) and Mecara in 1642.
Catulus, C. Lucatius: The Roman consul who defeated the Carthaginian fleet in 241 BC at the Aegatian Islands, thus bringing the First Punic War to a close.
Caudine Forks (Lat. Caudinae Furcae; Furculae Caudinae): narrow passes in the mountains near the Samnite town of Caudium. It was here in 321 BC that a Roman army was ambushed by the Samnites and forced to accept a humiliating surrender.
Caudium: An ancient town in Samnium, situated on the road between Capua and Beneventum. Located nearby was the Caudine Forks (Furculae Caudinae), the site of a major defeat of the Romans by the Samnites in 321 BC.
Caulon (Caulonia): (mod. Castel Vetere). A city in ancient Bruttium located to the NE of Locri. It was founded as Aulon or Aulonia by Greeks from Croton or Achaea. It was attacked and destroyed by Dionsius the Elder, who transported its population to Syracuse, and gave its territory to Locri. Later rebuilt, it was destroyed a second time be Pyrrhus. A third city arose only to suffer a similar fate during the 2nd Punic War. Caulon was a site for the worship of the Delphian Aloppo.
Caulonia, Ancient: (mod. Punta Stilo di Monasterace). Ancient city in Bruttium. Strabo and Livy call it Caulonia, while Pliny uses the name Caulo. The name is of Greek origin, and is related to kaulos (=stem, shaft), so-named from the shape of the promontory where the town sits.
Caurus: A name used in ancient Italy for the stormy Northwest wind. It was the equivalent of the Greek Argestes.
Cautha (Cath): The Etruscan sun god.
Cava d’Ispica: A valley in Sicily which runs from Modica to Spaccaforno. It is the site for many former cave dwellings and ancient tombs.
cavallo: a copper coin which originated in medieval Aragon. Introduced into the Regno during the Aragonese dynasty, it remained in use in southern Italy until July 1862 when it was suppressed by the Italian government. Between 1784 and 1814 it was equal in value to 0.0035 lire.
cavea: The auditorium of an ancient Roman theater.
caverns and caves: There are many caverns throughout Sicily. Many have been utilized for tombs, catacombs, and residences. Many of these last were used by the poor at Syracuse and at Marsala.
Cavo, Giovanni de Lo: (fl.c.1270). Navigator. He was active in Aegean Sea as a pirate.
Cefala’ Diana (PA): A commune in the province of Palermo. The place-name derives from that of Niccolo Diana, who purchased it in 1620.
Cefalù (anc. Cephaloedium) (PA): A commune in the province of Palermo, situated the N coast of Sicily, to the E of Palermo.
cefalu: Sicilian name for the cefalo, a type of fish (mullet or gurnet).
celandine: A spring flower found in Sicily, often found growing wild with cyclamens.
Celestine I, St.: Pope. (r Sept. 10, 422-July 27, 432).
Celestine II: Pope. (rSept 26, 1143-Mar 8, 1144).
Celestine III: Pope. (r Mar 30, 1191-Jan 8, 1198).
Celestine IV: Pope. (rOct 25-Nov 11, 1241).
Celestine V, St. (Pierto Angelerio; Pietro del Morrone; Pietro da Marrone): (b. 1210 or 1215, in Santangelo Limosano [IS]; d. May 19, 1296). Pope (July 5-Dec 13 1294). Born into a poor Abruzzian family, the 11th of 12 children, he chose to become a religious hermit at the age of 20. He became a spiritual leader to several other hermits and founded the Holy Spirit Community of Maiella (Benedictine Celestines). As the result of a deadlock over the election of a successor to Nicholas IV, the elderly hermit was chosen as a compromise to become Pope, taking the name of Celestine V. As pontiff, he presented a weak character and was easily manipulated. Charles II, King of Naples, was especially dominating, forcing Celestine to take up residence in Naples. Throughout most of his term, Celestine played a very minor part in affairs, the actual power of the papacy being controlled by a committee of three cardinals. After only 5 months as pope, the unhappy Celestine abdicated (Dec. 13, 1294), and was succeeded by Boniface VIII. Although wishing to return to his simple life, Celestine was considered to be a potential danger to the new papacy and found himself imprisoned in the castle of Fumone, near Ferentino [FR]. There he languished for 10 months in poor conditions until he died on May 19, 1296. Rumors that he had been murdered by having a spike thrust into his head immediately spread and there exists a hole in his skull that may confirm this. He was canonized in 1313.
cella: (Greek naos). The center or walled-in part of an ancient temple. Several Christian churches in Sicily incorporate the cellae of former temples.
Celsus: (fl. AD 50). A native of Centuripa, in Sicily, he became one of the most celebrated Roman physicians of his day. He also wrote works on rhetoric, history, philosophy, warfare, and agriculture. His most famous work De Medicina still survives reveals the techniques of the ancient medical school of Alexandria.
centesimo: a coin used in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It was the equivalent of 1/100 of a lira.
Centumalus, Gnaeus Fulvius:(d. 210 BC). Roman politician and military leader. Having served as Roman consul in 211 BC, he was killed in battle the following year against Hannibal near Herdonia (Apulia).
Centuripe (EN): (anc. Centuripae or Centuripa; formerly Centorbi): A commune in the province of Enna. Population: 5,761 (2006e).
An ancient town in Sicily. Founded by the Sikels, it was situated at the foot of Mt. Aetna between Catana and Panomus, near the river Symaethus. It’s territory was highly productive in grain crops. Its population was never hellenized, remaining independent until the Roman period. It allied itself with the Athenians during their siege of Syracuse (415-413 BC). Under the Romans it became one of the largest and most flourishing cities in Sicily. This unfortunately made it a prize in the eyes of Verres, the corrupt Roman governor, who plundered it of many treasures. In 1242, it was destroyed by Emperor Frederick II, by later restored by Francesco Moncada, Count of Aderno. Among the monuments of the town is a fortified tower called the Corradino, believed to be named after Corrado Capazzi, who maintained a long defense there against the Angevins.
Cephaloedium: (mod. Cefalù [PA]). A town in ancient Sicily, located on the northern coast of Sicily, near Himera.
Cephalus: (fl. 5th Century BC). A native of Syracuse, he was the father of the orator Lysias. Arriving in Athens at the invitation of Pericles, he was one of the speakers in Plato’s “Republic.”
Cerami (EN): A commune in the province of Enna. Population: 2,331 (2006e).
A Sicilian town founded by the Byzantines. In 1064, it was the site of an important victory of the Normans under Roger I over the Saracens.
Cerda (PA): A commune in the province of Palermo. There is an important pre-Greek megalithic site located on Monte Castellaccio, about 3 km from Cerda.
Ceres: The goddess of Roman/Italic agriculture, she was the daughter of Saturn and Vesta. As a corn-goddess she was worshipped in Sicily, equated with the Greek Demeter. She was normally associated with her daughter Proserpine (Greek: Persephone). It is believed that these goddesses were not originally part of the pantheon of the pre-Greek Sikans or Sikels. More likely, the Greek deities were adopted by the native Sicilians, who transferred many of their myths to locales on the island. Cicero, in the 1st century BC, mentions the beliefs of the Sicilians that the goddesses lived in the region near Enna (anc. Henna) and that corn was first grown in Sicily. Ceres was worshipped at important temples at Enna, Syracuse, and Akragas. The worship of the corn-goddess was so strong at Enna that the city was only converted to Christianity when Ceres was identified with the Virgin Mary. Even after the conversion, the characteristics of the old pagan cult remained strong among the local population. Ancient cult images depicting Ceres holding the infant Proserpine were often reidentified as the Madonna and Child.
The worship of Ceres in Sicily was closely associated with the earth goddess Tellus.
Ceretanum: (mod. Giarratana [RG]). An ancient city in Sicily, near modern Ragusa, noted for its extensive ruins.
Cerignola (FG): A commune in the province of Foggia, located 24 miles SE of Foggia. Population: 58,001 (2006e). It is situated on a height amid a great plain. It had a population in 1856 of 10,500. Traditionally, the economy was based on the cultivation of almonds and cotton, and the manufacture of linen. On Apr. 28, 1503, the Spanish under Gonsalvo de Cordova defeated the French under the duke of Nemours, who was killed in the battle. In the town is a milliarium, which records that the Roman Emperor Trajan personally paid for the extension of a road from Beneventum to Brundusium.
Cerilli (or Cerillae, Cerelae): (mod. Cirella Vecchiadi Diamante [CS]). A town in ancient Bruttium, situated on a small coastal island, just to the south of the mouth of the river Laus.
Cerisola, Bettino: (fl. c.1496). Navigator. He operated as a pirate against Venetian merchant ships.
Cerreto Sannita – Telese – Sant’Agata de’ Goti, Diocese of:
Conference Region: Campania
Area: 583 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 88,989
Total Priests: 75(Diocesan: 59; Religious: 16).
Permanent Deacons: 1.
Cerito, Fanny (Francesca Teresa Giuseppa Raffaela Cerrito): (b. May 11, 1817, Naples; d. May 6, 1909, Paris). Ballet dancer and choreographer. A student of Jules Perrot, Carlo Blasis, and Arthur Saint-Léon, she debuted as a dancer in Naples in 1832. In 1838, she became Prima Ballerina at La Milan, remaining there until 1840. In that year she travelled to London where she became Prima Ballerina in Her Majesty’s Theatre (to 1848). In 1845, she married her former instructor Arthur Saint-Léon (divorced 1851). Between 1847 and 1851, she gave performances at Paris. She retired at the age of 40 in 1857.
Cerulli, Vincenzo: (b. Apr. 20, 1859, Teramo; d. May 30, 1927, Merate, prov. of Como). Astronomer. A man of some personal wealth, he built his own private astronomical observatory in Teramo. His observations helped to compile a star catalog. Turning his attention to the planet Mars, he was the first to develop the theory that the so-called canals (canali) of Mars were nothing more than an optical illusion. Cerulli was the discoverer of the asteroid 704 Interamnia, named for the ancient city of Teramo. He was honored by having one of the craters of Mars and an asteroid (366 Vincentina) named for him.
Cethegus>: (fl. mid-6th Century AD). Patricius of Sicily. He was informed by Pope Pelagius I (rAD556-61) of the ordination of a bishop of Catania, and of a married bishop being seated at Syracuse because no other proper candidate could be found.
cetrach: A variety of fern found in Sicily. It is identified by its notched fleshy leaves, often said to resemble the tail of a crocodile.
Chalcidian Greek Colonies: The principal colonies founded by the Chalcidian Greeks in Sicily were Naxos and Zankle (mod. Messina).
chancel (presbiterio, coro): a part of a church apse containing the altar. It derives its name from the Late Latin cancellus (= “lattice,”), in turn derived from the Latin cancelli (pl.) (= “grating, bars”). It is so-named because it is normally separated from the nave by lattice-work.
Chariot-ruts: A term given to the ruts worn into ancient roads. Created by the innumerable wheels of chariots, carts, and other vehicles over several centuries, some of the ruts are nearly a foot deep. In Sicily, they can best be seen around the sites of ancient cities like Syracuse.
Charles I of Anjou: (b. March 21, 1226 or 1227, in Paris, Ile De France; d. Jan. 7, 1285, Foggia). King of Naples (1262-1285) and Sicily (1262-1282); King of Albania (1272-1285); King of Jerusalem (1277-1285); Prince of Achaea (1278-1285); Count of Provence and Forcalquier (1246-1285); Count of Anjou and Maine (1247-1285). He was the posthumous son of Louis VIII, King of France, and of Blanche of Castile.
He married (1) Beatrice of Provence (daughter of Count Raymond Berenger IV of Provence) on January 31, 1246, by whom he became the father of 7 children:
Louis: b. 1248, in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Blanche: b. c1250; d. July 14, 1269.
Beatrice: b. c1252; d. 1275.
Charles II: b. 1254; d. May 5, 1309. King of Naples/Sicily.
Philip: b. 1256; d. Jan. 1, 1277. Titular King of Thessalonika.
Robert: b. c1258; d. bef. May 9, 1265.
Elisabeth (Isabella) or Maria: b. c1261; d. Dec. 20, 1290, in Naples. Queen of Hungary.
Following the death of Beatrice, Charles married Margaret of Burgundy in 1268. Their only child, Margaret, died in infancy.
Charles II “the Lame”: (b. c1248 or 1254, in Naples; d. May 5, 1309). King of Naples (r1285-1309); Count of Anjou and Provence. Dante, in the Divine Comedy, places him in Hell because of his bloodthirstiness, treachery and avarice.
He married Maria, Princess of Hungary, on March 25, 1323, by whom he became the father of 14 children:
Charles Martel: b. Sept. 8, 1271; d. August 12, 1295, in Naples. Titular king of Hungary.
St. Louis of Toulouse: b. Feb. 9, 1275, in Nocera Inferiore; d, Aug. 19, 1298, Chateau de Brignoles). Bishop of Toulouse.
Robert “the Wise”: b. 1277; d. Jan. 20, 1343. King of Naples (r1309-1343).
Philip I of Taranto: b. Nov. 10, 1278; d. Dec. 26, 1331. Prince of Achaea and Taranto, Despot of Romania, Lord of Durazzo, titular Emperor of Constantinople.
Raymond Berengar:b. c1281; b.1307), Count of Provence, Prince of Piedmont and Andria.
John: b. 1283; d. aft. Mar. 16, 1308. A priest.
Tristan: b. 1284; d. bef. 1288.
Peter “Tempesta”: b. 1291; d. Aug. 29, 1315. Count of Eboli. He was killed at the Battle of Montecatini.
John of Gravina: b. 1294; d. Apr. 5, 1336, Naples. Duke of Durazzo, Prince of Achaea, and Count of Gravina.
Marguerite: b. 1273; d. Dec. 31, 1299. Countess of Anjou and Maine.
Blanche of Anjou: b.1280; d. Oct. 14, 1310, Barcelona). Queen consort of James II of Aragon.
Eleanor: b. Aug. 1289; d. Aug. 9, 1310, Monastery of St. Nicholas, Arene, Provence. Queen consort of Frederick III of Sicily.
Maria: b. 1290; d. c1346. Queen consort of Sancho I of Majorca.
Beatrice: b. 1295; d. c1321.
Charles III: (b. 1345; d. Feb. 24, 1386). King of Naples (r1382-1386). He was opposed by Louis I of Anjou (r1383-1384).
Charles VII: (b. Jan. 20, 1716; d. Dec. 14, 1788). King of Naples and Sicily (r1735-1759). King of Spain (as Charles III) (r1759-1788).
Charles Albert: (b. Oct. 2, 1798). King of Sardinia. Succeeded his uncle, Charles Felix, on April 27, 1831. Married (Sept. 30, 1817) Theresa, daughter of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was the father of Victor Emanuel II (b. Mar. 14, 1820), 1st King of United Italy, and of Ferdinand (b. Nov. 15, 1822), Duke of Genoa.
Charondas: (prob. 6th Century BC). Law-giver. A native of Catana in Sicily, he was famous for creating law-codes for his own city as well as other Chalcidian settlements in Sicily and Magna Graecia. These codes were written in verse to make them easier to remember. How many cities for whom he personally created law codes, and how many were secondarily influenced by his work is disputed. It can be agreed, however, that the influence of Charondas on the legal systems of much of Magna Graecia and Greek Sicily was profound. Although it cannot be precisely determined when he lived, many scholars believe that he was a disciple of Pythagoras. He would also predate Anaxilaus, the tyrant of Rhegium from 494 to 476 BC, who abolished a law code created earlier by Charondas for that city. This date, however, would invalidate the claim of Thurii (founded 443 BC) whose law code was attributed to Charondas. Some sources even put him as early as the 7th century BC. According to a tradition, Charondas committed suicide as a matter of honor. Forgetting to remove his sword one day before entering an assembly, he was confronted by someone who pointed out that the penalty for carrying a weapon at the meeting was death, according to his own law-code. Despite the fact that it was clear that Charondas had made an honest mistake, he felt that there could be no exceptions to the law code. He then drew his sword and killed himself.
Charontes: A class of Etruscan demons. They appear to have had connections with Charun.
Charun: An Etruscan demon similar to the Greek Charon as the guardian of the entrance of the underworld. He was far more monstrous character than his Greek counterpart, having a vulture’s beak, pointed ears and wings. He carried a great hammer with which he crushed his hapless victims.
Charybdis (Grk = Kharybdis): A mythological monster. A daughter of Poseidon (or Pontus) and Gaia, she was associated with a whirlpool which lived on a rock near Messina, on the Sicilian side of the Straits of Messina. According to myth, three times each day, she created a whirlpool capable of sucking down an entire ship into the depths of the sea and then belching it out again. From this Charybdis derived her name from the Greek words for “swallow up” (khaoô) and “belch” (bdeô). The Greek writer Pherekydes even incorporated her name into a verb ekcha^rubdizô (= to shallow like Charybdis), which he used to describe gluttons.
It is believed that Charybdis was originally a goddess of the tides. She is also identified with Keto Trienos whose name (“Sea-monster three times”) relates to the tri-daily ebb-and-flow of the Messina Strait high tides. This latter monster was said to be the mother of Scylla by the Cyclops Polyphemus or Phorcys.
Chianche (AV): A commune in the province of Avellino. Population: 583 (2007e); 596 (2006e).
Chiaramonte: One of the most important noble families in medieval Sicily. Its members claimed descent from Charlemagne. In the 13th century one of its members, Manfredi Chiaramonte, married Isabella Mosca, thus uniting the counties of Modica and Ragusa under a single lord. The last family member of note was Andrea Chiaramonte, 8th count of Modica, who defied King Martin I. For this act, he was beheaded in 1392, putting an end to the family’s power.
The town of Chiaramonte Gulfi, in the province of Ragusa, is named after the Chiaramonte family.
Chiaroscuro: a term in art for the bold contrast of light and dark. One form of this technique known as tenebrism became widely practiced in Spain and the Kingdom of Naples in the 17th Century.
Chiesa Matrice (Chiesa Maggiore): A term applied to the principal church of a town which has no cathedral. Such a church is sometimes called a Duomo, despite the fact it is not a true cathedral.
Chieti, Province of: A province in the region of Abruzzo. Number of Communes: 104.
Chieti(CH): A city and provincial capital of the province of Chieti, in Abruzzo. Population: 55,751 (2006e).
Chinnici, Rocco: (b. Jan. 19, 1925; d. July 29, 1983). Magistrate. Beginning his judicial career in Trapani in 1952, he later became Chief Prosecutor at the Palace of Justice in Palermo. A dedicated opponent of the Mafia, he was assassinated by a bomb on July 29, 1983. Chinnici’s predecessor, Cesare Terranova, and two of his fellow magistrates, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, all were assassinated by the Mafia as well.
Choerades: A pair of small rocky islands off the coast of Apulia, near Tarentum.
Chone: An ancient Oenotrian town in southern Italy from which the Chones derive their name.
Chonia: An ancient district in southern Italy. It was inhabited by an Oenotrian people, the Chones. The land of Chonia appears to have encompassed all of SE Lucania and all of eastern Bruttium as far as the promontory of Zephyrium.
Chrestus: (fl. 1st part of the 4th Century AD). Bishop of Syrause. In AD 314, he was directed by the Emperor Constantine I to attend the council at Arles, scheduled to be convened on August 1st of that year. Constantine issued instructions that the bishop should apply to Latronianus, the governor (corrector) of Sicily for the use of a public carriage for the journey.
Christopher: Antipope (r903-904).
Chromius: (date uncertain). Athlete. A Syracusan. He was notable for triumphing at the Nemean Games.
Chrysas, River: (mod. Dittaino). A river in ancient Sicily. An affluent of the river Symaethus, it passed to the south of Agyrion. The Sicels of Assorus (Grk. Assoros) considered the river to be a divinity.
chrysobull: the most formal type of Byzantine imperial document. It’s name derives from the gold seal (chryse boulla) attached to it.
Churchyards: Unlike most of Europe, the churchyards in southern Italy and Sicily were not used for cemeteries. Wherever possible, gardens surrounded by balustrades and decorated with statuary of saints were found in Sicilian churchyards.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius: (d. 43 BC). Roman statesman. Born in the town of Arpinum, he was the son of a Roman knight and cliamed descent from the Sabine kings. He was famed in his abilities as an orator, lawyer and statesman and came to be the principal leader in the senate in defying the growing powers of the Second Triumvirate. He finally the target of Marc Antony who ordered his assassination in 43 BC.
Cicirrhus, Messius: A native of Campania, he was a character introduced by Horace in the 5th Satire of his first book.
Cilea, Francesco: (b. Palmi (RC). d. 20 November 1950, Varazze). Composer.
Cincius, Gaius: (date uncertain). Full name (C. Cincius C.F. Paullus). A Roman at Vibo Valentia. With his fellow quattuovir iure dicundo (an official in charge of public monuments), Quintus Vibullius, he oversaw the repair and erection of a statue of the goddess Proserpina and the rebuilding of an altar. The construction was undertaken by a decree of the Roman Senate.
Cioparedda: a variety of Calabrian multi-part song.
Cipolla, Antonio: (b. 1823, Naples. 1874, Rome). Architect. He worked primarily in Renaissance forms. Principal works: Banca d’Italia (Bologna) Cassa di Risparmio (1872, Rome) stables for Quirinale (Rome)Church of Spirito Santo dei Napoletani (Rome) (reconstruction).
Ciuccio, Andrea: (b. c1656, Acerra [NA]). Actor. He was famous for his portrayal of Pulcinella in the Commedia dell’arte.
Civitella Messer Raimondo (CH): A commune in the province of Chieti. Population: 938 (2006e).
Clampetia (Grk: Lampetia): A town in ancient Bruttium, situated on the west coast. It was already in ruins by the time of Pliny the Elder (3.89) in the 1st Century AD. It is traditionally identified with Amantea (CS). It was sometimes called Clampesa.
Clarac, Count Charles Othon Frederic Jean: (b. June 16, 1777 in Paris; d. 1847). French antiquary and artist. Having fought against France for a time, he later took advantage of an offered amnesty and returned home. In 1808, he accepted the post of tutor to the children of King Joachim Murat at Naples. Impressed by his scholarship, Murat appointed Clarac as the superintendent of the excavations at Pompeii. After the fall of Murat, Clarac returned to France and continued his career as a diplomat and museum curator.
Classical period: Greek chronological term; 480-323 BC.
Clanis, River: An earlier name for the ancient river Liris.
Claudius Caecus, Appius: (fl. late 4th /early 3rd Centuries BC). Roman politician, military leader, writer. He received the epithet Caecus (= “blind”) when he lost his sight sometime in his middle age. He held a number of important offices including the censorship in 312 BC, a very rare occurrence for someone who had not previously been a consul. This office was normally held for a period of 18 months but Claudius retained it for a period of some four years. During his censorship he built the Appian aqueduct to supply fresh water to the city of Rome. He also began the construction on the first length of the Via Appia (Appian Way), which connected Rome with the city of Capua. He eventually did hold two consulships, in 307 BC and 296 BC. During this last term, he campaigned against the Etruscans and Samnites. By the time of the Pyrrhic War, Claudius was in his old age and blind. That, however, did not prevent him from having the ability to convince the senate to reject the offer of peace made by Pyrrhus. Besides his political and military accomplishments, Claudius was also the earliest Roman writer mentioned in history. It is known that he composed a poem which was known to Cicero, and well as a legal treatise entitled De Usurpationibus. He was the brother of Appius Claudius Caudex and the father of Publius Claudius Pulcher.
Claudius Caudex, Appius: (fl. mid-3rd Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. Consul in 264 BC, he campaigned against the Carthaginians in Sicily during the 1st Punic War. He was the brother of Appius Claudius Caecus.
Claudius Pulcher, Appius: (d. 211 BC). Roman politician and military leader. He was the son of Publius Claudius Pulcher. Having served as aedile in 217 BC, he was one of the few Romans to survive the terrible Roman defeat at Cannae in 216. In 215, as praetor, he was sent to Sicily. In 212 BC he was elected consul. In the following year, he suffered a fatal wound in battle against Hannibal near Capua.
Claudius Pulcher, Publius: (fl. mid-3rd Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. Consul in 249 BC, he was the son of Appius Claudius Caecus. Having suffered a major naval defeat against the Carthaginians in the harbor of Drepanum, Sicily, he was recalled and subsequently condemned. He was the father of Appius Claudius Pulcher.
Cleander: (d. 498 BC). Tyrant of Gela (r505-498 BC). Assassinated after a reign of 7 years, he was succeeded by his brother Hippocrates.
Clement I, St.: Pope(r AD 88/92 – 97/101). A Roman by birth, he succeeded St. Anacletus and was succeeded by St. Evaristus.
Clement II: Pope. (rDec 24, 1046-Oct 9, 1047).
Clement III: Pope. (rDec 19, 1187-Mar 27, 1191).
Clement IV (Guy Foulquois): Pope. (rFeb 5, 1265-Nov 29, 1268).
Clement V: Pope. (rJune 5, 1305-Apr. 20, 1314).
Clement VI: Pope. (rMay 7, 1342-Dec 6, 1352).
Clement VII: Pope. (rNov 26, 1523-Sept 25, 1534).
Clement VIII: Pope. (rJan 30, 1592-Mar 3, 1605).
Clement IX: Pope. (rJune 20, 1667-Dec 9, 1669).
Clement X: Pope. (rApr 29, 1670-July 22, 1676).
Clement XI: Pope. (rNov 23, 1700-Mar 19, 1721).
Clement XII: Pope. (rJuly 12, 1730-Feb 6, 1740).
Clement XIII: Pope. (rJuly 6, 1758-Feb 2, 1769).
Clement XIV: Pope. (rMay 19, 1769-Sept 22, 1774).
Cleon (Kleon): (b. Syracuse; fl. late 4th century BC). Courtier. A member of Alexander the Great’s court, he had a reputation as a flatterer (kolakes), who advocated the public announcement of Alexander’s divinity. Some scholars identify him with another Cleon of Syracuse who, during the same period, wrote a work entitled “On Harbors.” It is likely that the latter Cleon would have served Alexander as a technical expert.
Cleonymus: (fl. late 4th / early 3rd Centuries BC). Spartan prince. The younger son of King Cleomenes II of Sparta. In 303 BC, he crossed over to Italy to give aid to Tarentum against the threat of the Lucanians. He later withdrew and seized the island of Corcyra.Cliternum (Cliternia): A town of the Samnite Frentani, in the territory of Larinum (in modern Molise).Cluvius: A family of ancient Campania. Its most important member was M. Cluvius Rufus, Roman consul suffectus in AD 45, and governor of Spain under Galba. He was an historian who composed a history of the reigns of Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius.
Clibanus mons: An ancient mountain identified by some with M. Gariglione in Cosenza province, Calabria. The origin of the name is disputed. Some believe that it is derived from the Latin clibanus, the name for a type of oven. Others contend that it is of pre-Latin derivation, related to an Indo-European root *k’lei- (“to tip, incline, lean”).
Coadjutor Bishop: A special class of auxiliary bishop. Unlike most auxiliaries, the coadjutor is considered as the heir-apparent to the current bishop. When the latter dies, retires, or is transferred, his coadjutor immediately succeeds him. Because of their special status, coadjutors usually work more closely with the current bishops than do other auxiliaries.
Cocalus: A mythical Sikan king. He warmly welcomed the fugitive Daedalus, and protected him when King Minos demanded his return. He eventually tricked Minos and was able to have him assassinated.
Cocynthum promontorium: (mod. Capo Stilo). A promontory of ancient Bruttium. It is mentioned by Pliny the Elder. The name was apparently of Greek origin, derived from the word kyntho-, used to signify a mount. Some scholars believe the word to be Pelasgian in origin.
coinage in ancient Sicily: Prior to the First Punic War, many of the Greek and Carthaginian cities on Sicily minted their own coinage in both precious and base metals. It was a common practice for the likenesses of the particular city’s patron deity or civic symbol to be impressed on the coins. Later, under the Roman Republic, many of these cities retained the right to mint their own coinage. Bronze coins were still minted in Amistratus, Cephaloedium, Iaetia, Lilybaeum, Paropus, and Petra. Larger cities like Syracuse and Tauromenium continued to produce their own coinage in a variety of metals until the reign of the Emperor Tiberius (AD 14-37).
Collatia: A town in ancient Apulia. Its location is uncertain and it is known to have existed only during the time of the Roman Empire.
Colletta, Pietro: b. Jan 23, 1775, in Naples; d. Nov. 11, 1831, in Florence. Patriot. A supporter of the Napoleonic French kings of Naples, he was appointed (1808) commissioner of Calabria Citra. In 1812, he held the posts of general and director of bridges and public roads. With the fall of Murat and the subsequent return of the Bourbons to Naples, Colletta was arrested and imprisoned for a time. With the outbreak of the revolution of 1820, Colletta again rose to prominence. He served for a short time as viceroy to Sicily, but was soon recalled to Naples to become minister of war. With the collapse of the reform government and the occupation of Naples by the Austrians, Colletta again found himself a political prisoner. He was exiled to Monrovia but was later allowed to resettle in Florence.
Colonia Minervia: Ancient name for Squillace (CZ).
Colonne, Guido delle: A judge and poet in Messina who flourished under Emperor Frederick II (r1198-1250) and Manfred (r. 1258-1266). A member of the Sicilian School of Poetry, he also wrote a Latin prose epic on the Trojan War, the Historia Trojana. The first of the 28 books of this work was written in c1270, but the remainder dates to Sept-Nov. 1287. Between these times, he had gone to England with Prince Edward I when he was returning from the crusades after the death of Henry III. After returning home he was made a judge at Messina (c1276). He was reported to still be alive when Nicholas IV reigned as pope (1288-1292).
Cominum: A town in ancient Samnium, destroyed by the Romans.
Comitatus Aprutinus: Medieval name for the region of Abruzzo.
Commissione (=commission): the governing board or parliament for each province of Sicily.
Communes (by population) in Southern Italy, Largest:
Bari delle Puglie
Reggio di Calabria
Reggio di Calabria
Giuliano in Campania
Torre del Greco
Torre del Greco
Comparatico: the institution of “godfatherhood” in southern Italy.
Compare (pl. compari): Godfather.
Compsa: (mod. Conza della Campania (AV)). A town of the ancient Hirpini, in Samnium. It was situated near the sources of the river Aufidus.
Conca, Sebastiano: (b. 1680, Gaeta. d. 1764, Naples). Painter. After studying under Solimena in Naples, he moved to Rome in 1706 where he worked with C. Maratta. In 1729, he joined the Academy of S. Luca. He also did work in the court of Sabaudia. After his return to Naples in 1751 he turned from classic styles to the Baroque ones inspired by Luca Giordano. Principal Works: Ceiling painting of Incoronazione della Santa (Church of S. Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome) (with C. Maratta).Oratory of San Filippo (Turin).Santa Teresa (Turin).S. Pietro Martire (Naples).Santa Chiara (Naples).
Condottieri (sing. condottiere): commanders and captains of the various troops of mercenary soldiers employed by Italian city-states and rulers during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. The term first came into use during the 14th century. They typically owed their loyalty to whomever offered them the highest wage and only for the duration of their contract. The same condottiero leader might fight on behalf of a ruler or city which, only recently before, he had battled against, and which he might fight again at a later time.
Conon: (d. AD 687). Pope (rOct. 20/21, AD 686-Sept. 22, 687). Born in Sicily to parents of Thracian decent, he succeeded John V after a delay of over two and a half months. His election was affected as a compromise between the conflicting factions vying for the papal seat. Owing to his advanced age and poor health, Conon was ineffectual and died after a reign of 11 months.
Conrad IV: Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily (r1250-54).
Conradin (It. Curradino): King of Sicily (r1254-1258; 1268). The son of Emperor Conrad IV, he was the last legitimate Swabian/Hohenstaufen claimant to the throne of Sicily.
Consentia: (mod. Cosenza). The principal town of the ancient Bruttii. It was situated on the river Crathis. The Visigothic chief, Alaric, died and was buried nearby.
The origin of the name is disputed. According to one theory, it comes from an Oscan word related to the Latin consentire, and thus means something like “peace” or “friendship.” Another theory agrees that the name is of Oscan origins but suggests that it is related to the Latin consentia (= confluence). It was so-named because it was situated at the confluence of the rivers Crati and Busento.
consigliere (pl. consiglieri): advisor to a mafia capo.
cosca: a mafia term for family.
Consilinum: (mod. Consignano). A city in ancient Bruttium, located north of Locri.
Constance (1): Queen of Sicily (r1194-1198). Wife of Emperor Henry VI. Daughter of King Roger II of Sicily. Mother of Emperor Frederick II.
Constance (2): (d. 1302, in Barcelona). Daughter of Manfred, King of Sicily, and Beatrice of Savoy. In 1262, she married Peter III of Aragon, by whom she had three sons, Alphonso (King of Aragon, r1285-1291), James (King of Sicily, r1285-1296, King of Aragon, r1291-1327), and Frederick (King of Sicily, 1296-1337). It was through his marriage with Constance that Peter was able to claim the throne of Sicily as Peter I.
Constantine: Pope. (rMar 25, 708-Apr. 9, 715).
Constantine II: Antipope (r767-768).
Constantine “the African”: (b. Carthage, fl. mid-11th Century). Translator. A Christian living in Saracen-controlled Carthage, he was already a well-known translator of Arabic, Greek and Latin texts when he accepted an invitation from Alfano I, archbishop of Salerno, to join the staff of the School of Medicine at Salerno. Arriving in c1065, with his own library, he devoted himself to the task of translating the many Arabic medical manuscripts held by the school into Greek and Latin. His work was instrumental in the restoration of Classical Greco-Roman medical knowledge to Europe during the Middle Ages. He also translated and adapted many Arabic handbooks on a variety of topics.
Constitution of 1812, Sicilian: A constitution created by Lord William Bentinck, the English administrator of Sicily, during the Napoleonic Wars. It was based largely on the British constitution and was designed to protect the Bourbon monarchy but severely restrict its powers. Real power would reside in a bicameral parliament designed on a British model. It was in effect only from 1812 to 1815, but served as a basis for later Sicilian reform attempts. The provisions of the constitution were these: 1. The supreme authority of making laws and imposing taxes is vested alone in the nation. 2. The executive power is in the king. 3. Judicial authority is in the magistrates, subject to the approval of parliament. 4. The king’s person is sacred. 5. The ministers are responsible to parliament. 6. The two chambers to consist of lords and commons, and the clergy to have seats in the former. 7. The barons shall have only one vote each. 8. The right of assembling parliament is in the king, and necessary every year. 9. The nation is the sole proprietor of the state.10. No Sicilian can be judged or condemned, except by laws to be recognized by parliament.11. The feudal law in abolished, as well as the right of investiture (monopoly).12. The privileges of the barons over their vassals is also abolished.13. Every proposition relative to taxation must originate in the lower chamber, and be approved by the upper.14. A modification of the British constitution to be recommended this session.
Conte (Eng. Count): A noble title. The term derives from the Late Latin comes (= companion), a term used for an attendant or supporter of the Emperor. A Count/Conte is the equivalent of an English Earl.
Contessa Entellina (Sic. A Cuntissa; Arbëreshë: Hora e Kundisës)(PA): A commune in the province of Palermo.
Conza (Gonza), Alfonso Gesualdo di: (b. 1540, Calitri; d. Feb. 14, 1603, at Naples). Ecclesiastic. Having become a cardinal in 1561, he served as archbishop of Conza (1564-1572) and archbishop of Naples (1596-1603).
Corace, River: (anc. Carcinus). It is located in the province of Catanzaro, Calabria.
Corato (BA): A commune in the province of Bari. Population: 47,115 (2007e); 46,901 (2006e). It had a population in 1871 of 26,220.
Corax: (fl. 1st half of the 5th Century BC). Ancient Sicilian rhetorician. Through his superior oratory, he gained ultimate power in Syracuse following the expulsion of Thrasybulus in 467 BC. He is the author of history’s earliest known work on rhetoric.
Corfinio (anc. Corfinum)(AQ): A commune in the province of L‘Aquila. Population: 1,023 (2006e).
Corfinium: (mod. Corfinio [AQ]). The principal town of the Samnite Peligni, located near the river Aternus. During the time of the Social War, early in the 1st Century BC, it served for a time as the Italian capital, under the name Italica.
Corleone (Sic. Cunigghiuni)(PA): A town in Sicily. Population: 11,319 (2006e).
Cornelius, St.: Pope. (rAD Mar/Apr 251-June 253).
cornice (Ital. cornicione): the uppermost section of a classical façade.
Corsair: a term used for the maritime brigands who plied the waters of the Mediterranean from medieval times until the early 19th century. They were based particularly along the Barbary Coast of North Africa and the island of Malta. Corsairs were closer in nature to privateers rather than pirates, sailing under the sponsorship of their respective governments.
cortile: a galleried courtyard or cloisters.
Cosa (or Cossa): A town in ancient Lucania.
Cosconius, Gaius: (fl. 1st part of the 1st Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. He defeated the Samnites in 89 BC during the Social War.
Cosenza(anc. Consentia) (CS): City and provincial capital of the province of Cosenza in Calabria. Area: 37.24 km². Population: 70,185 (2006e). The city’s name derives from the Latin Consentes dii (= counselor gods), a term used by the 12 principal deities.
Cosenza-Bisignano, Metropolitan Archdiocese of:
Type: Metropolitan Archdiocese.
History: :Diocese of Cosenza established in the 7th century. Promoted to a Metropolitan Archdiocese in 1150.
Renamed as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cosenza e Bisignano on April 4, 1979. Renamed as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cosenza–Bisignano on September 30 1986.
Conference Region: Calabria
Metropolitan (if applicable):
Suffragans (if applicable): Cassano all’Jonio, Rossano–Cariati, San Marco Argentano–Scalea
In 2006 the diocese had a population of 383,000, of which 381,000 (99.5%) are Catholics. There are parishes, priests (Diocesan and Religious), permanent deacons, male religious, and female religious.
Cosmati Work: a decorative highly colored mosaic work on marble, common in early Italian churches.
Cossura: An ancient name for the island of Pantelleria.
Cossyra: An ancient name for the island of Pantelleria.
Costantino: Bishop of Capua (r483-499).
Cosura: An ancient name for the island of Pantelleria.
Cosyra: An ancient name for the island of Pantelleria.
Cosyrus: An ancient name for the island of Pantelleria.
cotognata: a traditional quince paste used in Puglia and Sicily.
Cozzo, Francesco: (b. 1605, Stilo Calabro. d. 1682, Rome). Having trained under Domenichino, he also worked as a partner with him. Principal Works: Fresco in the Stanza del Fuoco (Palazzo Pamphili, Valmontone, 1658-59).Fresco in the Library of Palazzo Pamphili in the Piazza Navona with the Apotheosis of Pamphili House on the ceiling of the main hall (Rome, 1667-73). Frescoed ceiling of a Library of Collegio Innocentiano.Palazzo Altieri (Rome).
Cozzupara: a variety of Calabrian multi-part song.
Crassus, Marcus Licinius: wealthy Roman general and politician; in 71 BCE Crassus put down the slave revolt led by Spartacus; in 70 BCE, he was the consul along with Pompey; in 60 BCE Crassus became a member of the First Triumvirate with Caesar and Pompey; following his final consulship, Crassus goes to Syria as its proconsul in 55 BCE and is killed at the Battle of Carrhae 53 BCE.
Cratas mons: Ancient name for the Madonie mountains in Sicily.
Crathis, River: (mod. Crati). A river which formed the boundary between ancient Bruttium and Lucania. It empties into the sear near Sybaris. A famous temple to Minerva stood near the river’s mouth. According to legend, the waters of the Crathis could dye a person’s hair blond. It is believed that the name is of pre-Roman and pre-Greek origin, and may come from an Oenotrian word. Its root may br found in the Indo-European *g’her- (‘to gripe, grab, enclose’) or *kert- (‘to turn, roll, wind’).
Crescent, Order of the: The name for two orders of knighthood created by the Angevin rulers of Naples and Sicily. The first was initiated by King Charles I of Anjou in 1268, while the second was created by Rene of Anjou in 1448.
Crimisa (or Crimissa): An ancient Greek colony in Bruttium, located on a promontory of the eastern coast of Bruttium (present-day Punta dell’Alice di Cirò Marina (KR)), just south of the river Crimisus, near Croton. It was founded by Philoctetes, and was mentioned by Strabo. The name appears to derive from the IE root *grem- (= “damp”, “to sink”).
Crimisa (or Crimissa), Promontorium: (mod. Punta dell’Alice di Ciro Marina (KR)). A headland situated on the eastern coast of ancient Bruttium.
Crimisus (Grk Krimisos): an ancient river-god of Sicily. He is believed to have been the son of Oceanus and Tethys, and was the father, by Egesta, of Aegestes.
Crimisus (or Crimissus), River: A river in northwestern Sicily. It was the site of an important victory of the Greeks under Timoleon over the Carthaginians in 339 BC.
Crison (Krison): (b. Himera; fl. 4th century BC). Athlete. A noted runner, he once raced Alexander the Great. Alexander became annoyed with him when he learned that Crison had deliberately lost the contest.
Crispi, Francesco: (b. Oct. 4, 1819 at Ribera, Sicily; d. Aug. 11, 1901). Statesman. A supporter of Garibaldi, he accompanied that leader in the conquest of Sicily in 1860. He served as Prime Minister of Italy from 1887 to 1891 and 1893 to 1896. He was a strong advocate of Italian colonial expansion in Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
Crocchio, River: (anc. Arogas). It is located in the province of Catanzaro, Calabria.
Cronus: a Titan, son of Gaia and Uranus; father of Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus by his sister Rhea, also father of Chiron the centaur by Philyra; some myths identify Cronus as the father of Aphrodite; Cronus is overthrown as the king of the gods by Zeus with help from his brothers, the Titans, the Cyclopes, and the Hecatoncheires; in Rome, Cronus is identified with Saturn.
Crotalus (mod. Alli), River: A river in ancient Bruttium. It is mentioned by Pliny the Elder. Although some scholars believe that the name derives from the Greek krotalos, a musical instrument, others believe it to be of pre-Greek origins.
Croton (Crotona): A ancient Greek city on the east coast of Bruttium (now Calabria), on the river Aesarus. It was founded as a colony of Achaean Greeks led by Myscellus of Aegae in c. 710 or 708 B.C. There Pythagoras established his school, which exerted a notable political and moral influence. The nearby temple of Hera Lacinia was the religious shrine of Magna Graecia. Croton’s athletes won fame at the Olympic Games. The height of the city’s prosperity was reached after the army, led by the athlete Milo, destroyed the rival town of Sybaris (510 B.C.). Croton then became involved in wars and soon declined after suffering a major defeat at the hands of the Locrians. It was captured by the Romans in 277 B.C., and received a colony in 195 BC. The place declined and until modern times it never rose above the status of a provincial town. It was called Cotrone from the Middle Ages until 1928, when its name was changed to Crotone.
Croton, Athletes of: During the 5th and 4th Centuries BC, the city of Croton in southern Italy produced more notable athletes than anywhere else in the Greek world. Of the 71 known victors at the Olympic Games between 588 and 488 BC, 20 were from Croton. Sparta, which was known for the athletic abilities of its citizens, ranked a distant 2nd place with 4 victors over the same period. The Crotoniates were particularly notable as runners. Out of the 26 known winners of the stadion race, 11 were from Croton, with Corcyra and Elis tied for second place with just 2 victors each. In one of these races, the first seven finishers were Crotoniates.
There have been many theories about the reasons behind the remarkable abilities of Croton’s athletes. Some claim that the city was in the habit of hiring the best athletes from other cities to compete under their name. Others believed that unlike many other cities, Croton allowed members of all social classes to participate, not just those who were high-born and wealthy. It is also important to note that Croton was also the home of one of the best medical schools in the ancient Greek world, as well as the principal center for the Pythagoreans. Thus, their athletes were able to receive the finest medical care and intellectual guidance of the age.
The extraordinary accomplishments Croton’s athlete’s came to an abrupt end after 480 BC. No Crotoniate victors are recorded in any major competition after this time. Just as there is no consensus of the reasons for Croton’s golden era of athleticism, there is no real explanation for its sudden end.
Crotone, Province of: A province in the region of Calabria.
Crotone-Santa Severina, Archdiocese of:
Conference Region: Calabria
Area: 1,885 km²/ mi²
Total Population: 191,945.
Total Priests: 116(Diocesan: 95; Religious: 21)
Permanent Deacons: 16
crypt (Ital. cripta): the burial place in a church, usually located beneath the choir.
cryptoporticus: an underground passageway. One notable example is located at the House of the Cryptoporticus in Pompeii.
Culsans: An ancient Etruscan deity. He was the equivalent of the Roman Janus, the god who presided over beginnings.
Culsu (or Culs): an Etruscan female demon. Like her male counterpart, Charun (Xarun), she guarded the entrance to the Underworld. He is also associated with Tuxulxa.
Cumae (Kyme): An ancient Greek city situated on the coast of Campania, about 6 miles north of Cape Misenum. In 474 BC, it was attacked by the Etruscans and Carthaginians but rescued by the Syracusan fleet led by Hieron I. In 420 BC, it was attacked by the Samnites who captured the city after several attempts. According to tradition, the Greek population was massacred and the city was reinhabited by Samnites. Modern scholarship, however, suggests that the takeover was far less violent and that the population became mixed. During the Second Punic War, Hannibal attempted to capture the city but was thwarted by Sempronius Gracchus. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Cumae became the site where the Ostrogoths kept their regalia and valuables. It was said to have been the last city in Italy to fall to the Byzantine general Narses.
Cumae, Sibyl of: An ancient priestess and prophetess located at the cave sanctuary of Apollo near Cumae. She was, in many ways, the equal in importance to the Delphic Oracle in Greece, and figures prominently in the early history of ancient Rome. According to Roman legend, the Sibyl approached Tarquinius Priscus, the king of Rome, and offered to sell him nine books of prophecies. When the king refused, saying the price was too high, the Sibyl threw three of the books into a nearby fire. She then offered the remaining six books to the king at twice the original price. Tarquin again refused and the Sibyl burned three more of the books and again doubled the price. This time, however, Tarquin realized that the remaining three books would be lost as well if he didn’t agree to the price. He then agreed to buy the three books and brought them back to Rome. A set of books, identified as the three surviving books of the Sibyl’s prophecies were housed in the temple of Capitoline Jupiter at Rome and were consulted at times of crisis. The cave complex believed to have been connected with her oracle was rediscovered by the archaeologist Amedeo Mauri in 1932.
Currency in Medieval Sicily: The basic unit of currency in medieval Sicily was the ounce (Lat.: uncia; Ital. onza), although no coined of that denomination was ever minted. Smaller denominations which were minted were the tarinus (Ital. tarì), the granus (Ital. grano), and the denarius (= 1/6 of a grano). Values of these coins were as follows: 1 ounce = 30 tarì = 600 grani = 3,600 denari.
Cursi (LE): A commune in the province of Lecce. Population: 4,166 (2006e).
Cursor, Lucius Papirius (1): (fl. 2nd part of the 4th Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. He was one of Rome’s greatest generals during the 2nd Samnite War. He held the Roman consulship 5 times (333, 320, 319, 315, and 313 BC) and was dictator twice (325 and 309 BC). He won many victories over the Samnites. He was the father of Cursor, Lucius Papirius (2).
Cursor, Lucius Papirius (2): (fl. 1st half of the 3rd Century BC). Roman politician and military leader. He held two consulships (293 and 272 BC). He won several victories over the Samnites and forced them to sue for peace, thus ending the 2nd Samnite War.
Curti, Antonio de (born: Antonio Clemente, aka Totò de Curtis): (see full page).
Cusano Mutri (BN): A commune in the province of Benevento. Population: 4,246 (2007e); 4,276 (2006e).
cvl alp: an Etruscan deity of the underworld or of fate.
Cyamosorus (or Kyamosoros), River: (mod. Salso). A river in ancient Sicily. It passes to the north of Agyrion.
Cyane (Grk. Kyane): A Sicilian nymph and friend of Persephone. She grieved so much for the latter that she turned into a fountain near Syracuse. The blue waters of her spring are remembered in the name of the color Cyan (Grk. kyanos = azure-blue). The ancient Syracusans celebrated an annual festival at her spring, which including the drowning of a bull.
Cyclopes (sing. Cyclops): A mythical race of one-eyed giants. Most of them were simple shepherds although some were notable craftsmen. The Cyclopes were associated with eastern Sicily, particularly around Mt. Aetna.
In general, the Cyclopes were considered lawless cannibals, living uncultured lives and capable of great violence. They were thought to be related to both the monstrous Giants (Gigantes) and the human Phaiakians (Phaeacians). Most of them were said to have been born from the drops of Uranus’s blood which fell upon the earth when he was castrated by Cronus. The exception was the infamous Polyphemus, who was a son of Poseidon.
Another, older, group of Cyclopes forged the weapons of the gods. These three craftsmen worked in a forge located beneath Mt. Etna whose spouting fires were caused by them.
Cyclopean Walls/Masonry: ancient fortifications built of huge, rough stone blocks. These works were so-called because it had been believed that men were incapable of such feats, so they had to be the work of the mythical Cyclopes. Although usually associated with Mycenaean Greece, examples also exist in Italy and Sicily. Among the sites containing Cyclopean works are:
- Eryx/Erice, Sicily.
- Tyndaris, Sicily.
- Cefalù (anc.Cephalaedium), Sicily.
- Sepino (anc. Saepinum), Molise.
- Caiazzo (anc. Caiatia), Campania.