Jacopo: (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.