Encyclopedia of Southern Italy – J-K


: (d. 1253). Ecclesiastic. He served as Bishop of Caiazzo. He was exiled by Emperor Frederick II for being disloyal to the Papacy.
Jacurso (CZ): A commune in the province of Catanzaro. Population: 742 (2006e).
James I: King of Sicily (Trinacria) (r1285-1295).
Januarius, St.: (b. Italy; d. cAD 305). Christian martyr. Having become bishop of Beneventum (mod. Benevento) during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian, he became caught up in the great persecution against the Christians. When some local Christians were arrested, Januarius, accompanied by his deacon and lictor (Saints Eutychius and Acutius), went to visit the prisoners only to be seized themselves. The Christians were condemned to death and sentenced to be thrown to the wild beasts. When the animals left them unharmed, the sentence was changed to beheading. Following the executions a Christian woman named Eusebia secretly collected some of Januarius’s blood which remained on the beheading stone. She brought the “relic” to the Bishop of Naples and it eventually came to be stored in the Cathedral at Naples. In 1389, the “miracle of St. Januarius’s blood” was first mentioned in the historic record. Twice each year the vial said to contain the blood is brought forth in the Cathedral. Within the vial can be seen a dried red-colored substance which, after a period of time (and some jiggling), liquefies. It is believed that so long as the miracle occurs, Naples remains safe. Failure of the so-called “blood” to liquefy, as has been known to happen on rare occasions, means disaster. The substance within the vial has never been reliably examined scientifically. Modern chemists have stated that it was possible for their medieval counterparts to create a substance resembling blood in appearance which would remain a solid when at rest but would liquefy when agitated. Interestingly, the “miracle” of liquefaction has occurred at least 7 times while jewelers were repairing the reliquary in which the blood is kept. It also created no small amount of embarrassment when, in 1799, the liquefaction occurred indicating that the saint had given his blessing to the new, but short-lived Parthenopean Republic. Januarius nearly lost his status as patron because of this when the Republic was overthrown a few months later.
Jelsi (CB): A commune in the province of Campobasso. Population: 1,867 (2006e).
jizyia: a poll tax originally paid by non-Muslims in Sicily during the Saracen period. It was later imposed by the Normans on the Jews of Sicily who continued to pay it until 1492 when they were expelled from the island.
Joachim I: See Joachim Murat, King of Naples (r1808-1815).
Joachim of Fiore: (b. c1130; d. Mar. 30, 1202). Ecclesiastic. Abbot of the Franciscan abbey at Fiore in Calabria. He authored the “Everlasting Gospel” or Revelationes, a book of prophesies, in which he claimed that the world would end in 1260.
Joan I: See Joanna I, Queen of Naples (r1343-1382).
Joan II: See Joanna II, Queen of Naples (r1414-1435).
Joanna (Giovanna, Joan) I: (b. 1327; d. May 22, 1382). Queen of Naples (r1343-1382). Daughter of Charles, Duke of Calabria, she married her cousin, Andrew of Hungary, and was crowned Queen of Naples in 1343. She arranged Andrew’s murder in September 1345. In 1349, she married Louis of Taranto, with whom she shared the throne until 1362. She made two further marriages, James, king of Majorca (1363) and Otho of Brunswick (1376). In 1382, Charles of Durazzo, overthrew Joanna and had her imprisoned. She was executed on his orders on May 22, 1382.
Joanna (Giovanna, Joan) II: (b. 1370; d. Feb. 2, 1435). Queen of Naples (r1414-1435). The daughter of King Charles of Durazzo, she succeeded her brother on the throne of Naples in 1414. Her method of rule was tyrannical and she involved Naples in intrigues with the Papacy, France and Aragon. Her numerous changing of potential heirs led to a succession crisis between Anjou and Aragon upon her death on Feb. 2, 1435.
John I, St.: Pope. (rAug 13 523-May 18, 526).
John I of Amalfi: Ruler of Amalfi (r1004-1007).
John I (called Ammirapolo) of Bari: Byzantine strategos of Bari (r989-990).
John II: Pope. (rJan 2, 533-May 8, 535).
John III: Pope. (rJuly 17, 561-July 13, 574).
John IV: Pope. (rDec 24, 640-Oct 12, 642).
John V: Pope. (rJuly 12, 685-Aug 2, 686).
John VI: Pope. (rOct 30, 701-Jan 11, 705).
John VII: Pope. (rMar. 1, 705-Oct 18, 707).
John VIII: Pope. (r Dec 14, 872-Dec 16 882).
John IX: Pope. (rJan 898-Jan 900).
John X: Pope. (rMar 914-May 928).
John XI: Pope. (rFeb/Mar 931-Dec 935).
John XII: Pope. (rDec 16, 955-May 14, 964).
John XIII: Pope. (rOct. 1, 965- Sept. 6, 972).
John XIV: Pope. (rDec 983-Aug 20, 984).
John XV: Pope. (rAug 985-Mar 996).
John XVI: Antipope (r997-998).
John XVII: Pope. (rJune-Dec 1003).
John XVIII: Pope. (rDec 25 1003-July 1009).
John XIX: Pope. (rApr/May 1024-Oct. 20, 1032).
John XXI: Pope. (rSept 8, 1276-May 20, 1277). Although he was only the 19th official pope to have the name of John, he was known as John XXI. The discrepancy arose because John XVI was an antipope and because of a mistaken belief by some papal historians believed that there was a pope named John between Pope John XIV and the true Pope John XV (whom they sometimes thus called XVI).
John XXII: Pope. (rAug 7, 1316-Dec 4, 1334).
John XXIII: Pope. (rOct. 28, 1958-June 3, 1963).
John Paul I: Pope. (rAug 26-Sept 28, 1978).
John Paul II: Pope. (rOct 16, 1978-Apr. 2, 2005).
Jommelli, Nicolo: (b. September 10, 1714, in Aversa. d. August 25, 1774, in Naples). Composer. Trained by Leonardo Leo, he produced his first operas Errore amoroso and Odoardo before turning 24. His career took him to Rome, and many of the other chief cities of Italy, as well as Vienna, and Stuttgart (where he served as musical director from 1751 to 1753). He eventually returned to Naples in 1768 but was unable to recapture the popularity which he had enjoyed there in his youth.

Joppolo (VV): A commune in the province of Vibo Valentia.
Joppolo Giancaxio (AG): A commune in the province of Agrigento. Population: 1,220 (2006e).
Joseph I Bonaparte: (b. 1778, Corte, Corsica; d. 1844). King of Naples (r. 1806-1808) and King of Spain. Eldest surving brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, he married Julie Clary, sister of Desiree Bernadotte. After serving in several diplomatc positions for his brother, he received the crown of Naples in 1806. Although also claiming domain over Sicily, that island remained under Bourbon-English control throughout his reign. Despite later negative propaganda, Joseph was an enlightened monarch and was genuinely dedicated to aiding and advancing the lives of his subjects. Under his brief reign, the law codes were reformed and the financial and educational systems of the kingdom modernized. The centuries-old feudal system was also finally brought to and end thanks to Joseph and his successor Joachim Murat. In 1808, he reluctantly gave up the Neapolitan throne for that of Spain. His Spanish reign was continually troubled with rebellion. In 1813, he suffered a major defeat at Vittoria at the hands of the Duke of Wellington.
Jourdan, Count Jean Baptiste: b. Apr. 29, 1762, in Limoges; d. Nov. 23, 1833, in Paris. French general. After a distinguished military career, he rose to the rank of Marshal of the Empire and grand eagle of the legion in 1804. In 1806 he was appointed governor of Naples, where he became the close friend and chief advisor to King Joseph Bonaparte. He later accompanied him when he moved to Spain.
Juliana of Cumae, St.: (d. AD 305). Christian martyr. A virgin from the city of Cumae, her hand was sought by the Roman prefect. When his proposal was rejected, he had Juliana arrested, tortured and beheaded. A later version of her story added new embellishments. She was then said to have been from the Anatolian city of Nicomedia and there martyred. Her relics were later transferred to Cumae where they became the center for her cult. When depicted in art, she is shown either surrounded by flames or binding the devil. Her feast day is February 16.
Julianus: (fl. late 7th century). Ecclesiastic. Bishop of Naples in c690. He held the see for a period of 7 years.
Julius I, St.: Pope. (r Feb 6, 337-Apr. 12, 352).
Julius II: Pope. (rOct 31, 1503-Feb 21, 1513).
Julius III: Pope. (rFeb 7, 1550-Mar 23, 1555).

Juvara, Tommaso Aloysio: (b. 1809, Messina; d. 1875, Rome.). Engraver. Having received his artistic training in Rome and Parma, he returned to his native Messina in 1836. In 1846 he became professor of engraving at the University of Naples. He later served as director of chalcography at Rome. During his career he won 18 medals for his works including the gold medal of the Berlin Academy. His best works were based of the paintings of Guercino, Camucinelli, Mancinelli, and Raphael. At age 67, he committed suicide in Rome.
Juvarra (or Juvara), Filippo: (b. 1678 or 1685, Messina. d. 1735 or 1736, Madrid). Architect and scene-designer. Born into a family of gold-smiths and sculptors, he received his early training in his native Sicily. In 1703, he moved to Rome where he became influenced by the architecture of Carlo and Francesco Fontana. Becoming a member of the Academy of San Luca in 1706, his first important work was the chapel of Antamori in the church of San Gerolamo della Carita’ (Rome, 1708). During this period he also worked as a scene designer for several private theaters in Rome. After returning for a time to Messina, he became (1714) the first court architect to King Victor Amadeus of Savoy in Piedmont. In 1735, he moved to Madrid at the invitation of King Philip V. He died soon after.Principal Works:Chapel of Antamori in the church of San Gerolamo della Carita’ (Rome, 1708).Basilica di Superga (Turin, 1715-1718).The facade of the church Santa Cristina (Turin, 1715-1718).Palazzo Martini di Cigala (Turin, 1716).Quartieri Militari (Turin, 1716-1728).The big stair-case and a facade of Palazzo Madama (Turin, 1718-1721).The Stupinigi’s house of hunt (Turin, 1729-1731).Church del Carmine (Turin, 1732-1736).Palazzo Reale (projected, Madrid, 1735). Granja di Sant’Ildefonso (projected, Madrid, 1735).Palazzo di Aranjuez (projected, Madrid, 1735).


kaid (
caïd): a title used in the Kingdom of Sicily under the Normans. Originally a Saracen title meaning “master” or “leader”, it was usually given those Saracens or converted Christian Saracens who served as palatine officials or members of the curia. Sometimes, however, it was held by certain European Christians like the Englishman Thomas Brun. The Latin version found on documents was gaitus or gaytus.
Kamarina: See Camarina.

Kamenae: See Camenae.
Katane: See Catana.
Kaulonia (Lat.: Caulonia): A city of ancient Bruttium.
Keton: An athlete of ancient Locri Epizephyrii. He was victor in the Pentathlon at the Olympian Games in 448 BC.
Killichiroi: the lower class of ancient Syracuse.
King (Ital. Re): A national ruler or sovereign leader
Kniaziewicz, Karol: (b. May 4, 1762, at Courland, Poland; d. May 9, 1842, at Paris). Polish general. He served as commander of the 1st Polish Legion under Dombrowski in Italy during the French invasion of 1798. He distinguished himself in battles at Calvi, Terracina, Gaeta (which he captured), and in the capture of Naples.

koíniks: an ancient Oscan unit of dry measure. Equivalent of the ancient Greek choenix, it was about the same as a modern quart.
Koller, Baron Franz von: (b. Nov. 27, 1767 in Munchengratz, Bohemia; d. Jan. 25, 1826, in Naples). Austrian general. A staunch supporter of Napoleon, he accompanied that Emperor into exile on Elba in 1814. He later commanded the Austrian army that had been dispatched in 1821 to crush the reform government in Naples and restore King Ferdinand I as an autocrat. In Naples he collected a considerable library and art collection. His many antique vases were later purchased by the king of Prussia to become part of the collection of the museum of Berlin.
Konsentia (Lat. Consentia): A city of ancient Bruttium.
Krison: an athlete of ancient Himera in Sicily. He was victor in the Stadion at the Olympian Games in 448 BC, 444 BC and 440 BC.
Kroton (Croton): A city of ancient Bruttium.
Kvaisstur: a magistrate in the ancient Oscan-speaking peoples of southern Italy.
Kyme (Lat. Cumae): See Cumae.