History

TOWN-PLANNING, INDUSTRY IN POST-UNIFICATION NAPLES

Naples after  Italy unification underwent a deep crisis, loosing part of its city  identity like a capital, as it had been  till a few years before.

By the loss of its capital role, Naples struggled to find a political stability, and its commissioner’s  governments were often. During the 1870 – 1880 years Naples became a national case due to the spreading of a cholera epidemic.

Despite Naples had a  harbor with  a spread trade, was an important university center, had prestigious monasteries, and the presence of an educated bourgeoisie  and nobility, it could not act as a motor  for the south country.

The manufacturing base was minimal, industrial settlements were concentrated in the east  town area. The east area was preferred because near to the railroad ( where later  Square Garibaldi,  Via Foria and Square Carlo III  were built) and because being outside the walls  import fees were not due, and the plain ground  was particularly fit to  build sheds and factories. Thanks to these favorable factors there was a proliferation of leather  tanneries (famous for the manufacturing of gloves, often processed by the piece at home) and other factories necessary for the presence of the army and  due to a strong protectionism.

Nearly all invested capital and contractors were foreigner – example Armstrong in Pozzuoli was a British industry manufacturing weapons for the Armies all over the world –  because Naples was seen as a big  income source for lack of competition.

pozzuoli

pozzuoli

Local contractors were possibly found leading tanneries, or food transformation plants (pasta factories) and tailoring firms.

Between 1600 and 1799, in Naples we find a high level intellectual class actively participating into the political  kingdom life, cooperating to build up solutions for civil and political problems. After Italy unification  Neapolitan intellectuals  were put into a background under Rome influence, in spite of the presence of remarkable personalities like F. De Sanctis and  B. Croce.

A further burdening on post-unification Naples was the demographic crisis that prevented the city to start becoming a modern town. Plans discussed during the first fifteen years after the unification are projects belonging to the Bourbon period (due to the continuous turnover of commissioner’s governments).

– the opening of a street from south to north, passing through the town, near the Cathedral – Via Duomo;

– the building of Course  Maria Teresa, than Course Vittorio Enmanule was started in Bourbon period and finished after the unification!

During the last Bourbon phase some road axis  were thought enabling the circulation from north to south including causeways making the bypassing easier. Course Vittorio Emanuele and Via Duomo  were born just to satisfy this need.

– construction of an aqueduct concerning  water from Serino river (working was started after Italy unification and went on till the city restoration)  in order to  replace collection tanks and wells.

– construction of a seaside street – (Santa Lucia – Mergellina and Posillipo).

Before the construction of the mentioned streets there was a coastal area   overhanging the sea, whose ground was transformed into a viable road.

via posillipo

It formed the Riviera di Chiaia,  a representation road identifying the aristocratic district.

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NAPLES – THE LAST DECADES AS A CAPITAL

Naples image during the second Bourbon restoration is certainly disappointing.

Ferdinand tried to adopt a conciliatory policy towards the bourgeoisie, accommodating the political and social rise with the purpose of putting an end to the strong isolation which hit the Bourbon Dynasty.

But it did not happen so, and shortly the first revolutionary movements burst, when at first the province and than the town center were protagonists.

The short Ferdinand I’s reign, shaped on neutrality, could not solve the environment degradation problems plaguing ancient Naples. An image about Naples asleep in the restoration is given by Stendahl in his work “Rome, Naples, Florence” telling the conditions in which Naples lived and expressing at the best the appeal spread by the city on that author.

Ferdinand II ascended the throne when he was just twenty in 1830 and he tried to discuss the relations with political men and intellectuals who found a rather good support during that cultural growth. Naples became a good social life center with many theatres appearing operative.

Many exiles, escaped from the Bourbon repression, returned and among those there was Antonio Ranieri who described the political and cultural life in the capital by his work “State of literature in Naples and Sicily”(1883).

Many cultural magazines flourished having the aim of educating the population to homeland love. The most successful magazine was “Il Progresso” by Giuseppe Ricciardi. G. Ricciardi believed progress at the base of historicism starting the behavior which makes us think today is better than yesterday.

Many critic opinions were started by Leopardi who thought progress not good for man, as man is only seeking happiness.

In addition we have some memories production by the protagonists of Risorgimento, witnesses suffering in Bourbon jails, among whom was Guglielmo Pepe accusing in his work “Memories – 1848” the heavy Bourbon repression.

Luigi Settembrini, by his work “Memories from my life” – 1879, an autobiography, describes the repression hitting many intellectuals, and the bourbon motto: teaching = conspiring, as the Bourbons well understood the dangerous action of intellectuals.

In spite of many signals about cultural growth and new public renovating works, unemployment and overpopulation weighed on the kingdom. Between 1836-1837 there was a large cholera crisis.

In 1859-50 Francis II ascended the throne. It was the year of the One thousand expedition and the arrival of Garibaldi in The Two Sicilys Kingdom with the aim of conquering it in the name of Victor Emanuel.

By the annexation to the Kingdom of Savoy and Victor Emanuel as King, the town tuned its page.

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NAPLES BETWEEN TWO CENTURIES – SECULAR SACREDNESS

The Piedigrotta feast in 1860 was marked by the arrival in Naples of Garibaldi and the refugees from 1848, among whom was Matilde Serao.

matilde serao

Matilde Serao in spite of the   lack of early  education during childhood,   was able to graduate and work in the State telegraph company. Being lead to the journalist career by her father, she was the first journalist woman in Italy.

In 1885 she founded  the “Corriere di Roma” ( Rome Courier) and after its failure she came to Naples  to lead the “Naples Courier” and start in 1892  the newspaper  “Il Mattino”. In 1904 she left the  Mattino’s editorial staff, divorced  from her husband and founded a new daily newspaper “Il Giorno” where she worked till the end of her life.

Another protagonist of the Naples scene was Benedetto Croce.

benedetto croce

He was born in Pescasseroli in 1866, he was registered in the College founded by Father Ludovico from Casoria. In that college he happened to meet Francesco De Sanctis.

Benedetto Croce carried out his studies in the Institute Genovesi. In 1883, during the summer holidays in Ischia, his parents and brothers died because of an accident, but one brother  who was in a college. Healed from the  body wounds but  deeply marked in his soul B. Croce and his brother  went to Rome where he started his university law  studies never accomplished.  In 1886 he came back to Naples. In 1890 he was appointed administrator of public elementary and middle grade  schools.

In 1903 he founded the magazine “La Critica (Critics) and later he published “La letteratura della Nuova Italia” (Literature in the New Italy). In 1910, already a famous literary man,  he was named State Senator.  On the eve of the first World War Croce belonged to  the interventionists. On his magazine he started a fight for the defense of European culture.

In 1920 Giolitti chose  Benedetto Croce as Minister of Public Education. At the end of his Minister experience he continued his studies, just  before the 1922 crisis and the arrival of fascism.

In 1925  he wrote  the   manifesto of   anti-fascist intellectuals. Croce took part in all the Senator chamber  sittings to oppose laws  menacing freedom. The political engagement of B. Croce ended by the vote against the “Concordato” (Concordat with the Vatican City), but he  indirectly continued his action on  the newspaper  “La Critica”.

In 1947 in his house  the “Italian Institute for History Studies” was opened, in 1948 he became  director of the Suor Orsola Benincasa Institute. He died in 1952.

The period between the 19th and 20th century was called the period “of new religion”, when the word  “secular/laic” is no longer synonymous with anti-Christian.

A man  well expressing the meaning of secular sacredness is Giuseppe Moscati.

San Giuseppe Moscati

He was born in Benevento in 1880.  Due to his father’s  job necessities Giuseppe Moscati first moved to Ancona and than to Naples. Family Moscati was bound to the Volpicellis  and the young Giuseppe received his first communion in the  Holy Heart Maidservants’ church. He finished primary school and graduated at the Classic Lyceum “V. Emanuele”.

In 1897 he joined the  University Faculty of medicine and thereafter he lost his father due to a cerebral haemorrhage. In 1903 he  graduated and started his job as medical doctor at the Hospital  “Gli incurabili”  (the incurable). In 1914 he lost his mother because of diabetes. In 1922 G. Moscati was the first one in Naples to promote the use of insulin.

In 1917 he refused the chair of chemistry at Naples University, and in 1919 he became primary physician   at the “Incurabili” Hospital. Giuseppe Moscati dedicated his whole life to the care for the sick, mainly the poorer ones. He died in 1927 in his cabinet.

He was sanctified in 1987 by Pope John  Paul II, the year while  vocation  and  secular missionaries in the church and in the world were widely discussed. Moscati was always coherent with his ideas, he attended  the Holy Mass in  secular  dressing, with his patients he talked about religion, even living during a period when anticlericalism and anti-christianism were at the top, he never hid his faith.

In 1927 he attended a medical Convention held by Leonardo Bianchi famous for his anticlericalism – to the point  of leading a conference against Christ. At the end of the conference L. Bianchi   suddenly was taken ill and being unable to talk he  tried to catch the gaze of Moscati who told him consoling words and let him give the holy sacraments  by a priest.

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NAPLES – WOMEN EDUCATION – XIX CENTURY

In 1806 the French occupation of the Naples Kingdom became a real fact and the new monarch Joseph Bonaparte made several reforms with disappointing results, because he let himself lead by the French model being difficult to realize in Italy.

In 1808 Joseph Bonaparte was followed by Joaquin Murat who declared school education compulsory in the whole kingdom, starting from the plans by J. Bonaparte. Murat claimed school education to be both a man and woman right.

By time passing the need about girls schools grew larger and the figure of a woman teacher appeared. In 1799 women education was dealt with, but the failing of the Republic attempt gave no practical results.

Joseph Bonaparte managed the ladies’ education building an education home in each Province, as Royal Institution. Later Murat renamed this Royal Institution into “Royal Caroline House” – in honor to his wife.

The girls educational homes were the first in Italy and were aimed for the daughters of aristocratic families looking at these schools with sympathy, mainly because of the engagement of Queen Caroline. Later a new girls education home was opened, and all homes were renamed into “Royal House at Miracles”.

With the birth of girls education homes many civil and religious enterprises open to women grew stronger. Some women religious orders were born and became operational.

A new women social intellectual and cultural class started which characterized Naples history in the XIX Century.

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FROM THE END OF BOURBON KINGDOM TO THE UNITED ITALY

The women Neapolitan scene in the middle of the  nineteenth century was characterized by the presence of Paolina Caraven de la Ferronays and Teresa Filangieri – this one a descendent of the  Normand nobles  being  a daughter of General Carlo Filangieri and wife of Duke of Roccapiedimonte.

Teresa Filangieri and Caraven  allocated   the income from theatre shows for charity purposes,  engaged themselves  in gathering youths from  the streets, teaching them the bases of writing and literature, educating them in their own homes as  domestic servants and gardeners, allowing them a more respectable future.

In 1861 Teresa Filangieri lost her daughter Lina and later she was appointed  patron of the Strachan Institute – a college for  sightless  girls.  In 1873, during the cholera  outbreak she was charged with the organization of  cooking  kitchens free of charge. In 1880 she organized the first pediatric/surgical  hospital in Italy, named after  her dead daughter. Beside being a laic founder of charity enterprises, T. Filangieri was a writer too and she died in 1909.

The women Neapolitan scene in the middle of the  nineteenth century was characterized by the presence of Paolina Caraven de la Ferronays and Teresa Filangieri – this one a descendent of the  Normand nobles  being  a daughter of General Carlo Filangieri and wife of Duke of Roccapiedimonte.

Teresa Filangieri and Paolina

An important figure was Father Francis from Casoria, born in 1814, after his  priest ordination  he dedicated himself to infirm people and he followed  Matteo Ripa’s example, who founded the college for the education of  Chinese and orient clergymen, becoming,  after the Italy Unit,  the  “Asian College” and in 1888  “Orient Institute”, the actual University.

istituto orientale napoli

In  1854 he dedicated himself to the rescue of the African children sold like slaves. Those children were taken into a monastery and  educated in a Christian way. In this enterprise Father Francis from Casoria involved King Frederic II too, who expropriated the building near the convent thus allowing  its enlargement.

Among his other foundations we remember the “Hostel Marino” in Via Posillipo,  the “Institute for deaf and dumb” and the  Order of  Bigi Friars and Elizabeth Nuns.

Immagine

In 1871 Father Francis from Casoria was called to Assisi for the foundation of the “Seraphic Institute” for sightless and deaf-dumb people, where he worked as manager till 1881.

– Education actions for  deaf-dumb people started in Naples in 1788  with  a school lead by Abbot Benedetto Cozzolino,  this  was the first public school recognized in Italy.

– In Italy  school education for deaf-dumb people became compulsory in 1923.

In 1885 Father Francis from Casoria died and was buried in the “Hostel Marino”. In 1993 Pope Johan Paul  beatified him.

A friend and disciple of Father Francis  from Casoria was Caterina Volpicelli who in the middle of the XIX century founded a religious congregation not making  compulsory the ceremony of taking the habit and open even to married women. Caterina Volpicelli was born in 1839, she received her education in the best Neapolitan schools and was a student of Leopoldo Rodinò – school of Basilio Puoti. In 1855 she kew Ludovico from Casoria uselessly trying  to put her into any religious order.

In 1864, according to the nuns tradition, she consecrated and dedicated herself to the  prayer apostolate  practice, such as a very common habit in France. Thus Volpicelli’s actions  attracted new followers  and caught the attention  of the Holy Heart Nuns of Montluçon who considered the Volpicelli’s operating as a Neapolitan section of  the  French order. But  that was  opposed by Sisto Riario Sforza, Naples Archbishop, underlining the specific Neapolitan  character of Volpicelli’s work.

In 1872 Caterina Volpicelli founded  the Institute of the Holy  Heart Maidservants with a new own structure:

– Maidservants   –  central community;

– Little Maidservants –  they could keep living in their own families;

– Aggregated Maidservants  – cooperating in the order mission, even being married.

It was a congregation without  a religious uniform receiving the Decretum Laudis from the Holy See in 1890. In 2001  Pope John Paul II  beatified  her.

A friend of Ludovico from Casoria was  Bartolo Longo, the founder of the Sanctuary Church of Valle Pompeii. Bartolo Longo was born in 1841 in the Province of Brindisi,  he came to Naples to accomplish his law studies.

The strong anticlericalism  wide spread in the universities influenced a lot on Bartolo Longo. But due to friendship with  good catholics  he returned to a  convinced christian life.

Thanks to his being acquainted with Caterina Volpicelli he kew Ludovico from Casoria and Marianna Fernararo –  widow of Count De Fusco and  owner of many properties in the Pompeii valley.  Bartolo Longo proposed himself as a teacher  of the Countess’  children and as her properties administrator. They  got married a few years later.

The Pompej valley was in very bad and unhealthy  conditions due to the  overflowing of the river Sarno. Bartolo Longo decided to evangelize the peasants by the rosary practice.

In 1875 Longo  brought to Naples a picture of  Madonna del Rosario ( Rosary Virgin picture ), which became  a goal of pilgrimages due to its miracle qualities.

Its fame  grew so large that it was necessary to build a new temple, the actual  Pompeii  Basilica .

santuariodipompei

B.Longo died in 1926 and was beatified in 1980.

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THE MODERN AGE IN NAPLES

The modern age in Naples is identified with the coming of Alfonso of Aragon, who in 1492 managed to wrest the kingdom of Naples, René d’Anjou and Naples politically unite with the kingdom of Sicily.
One of the first actions was the rebuilding of New Castle, which was transformed into a fortress by imposing structure, with towers piperno and footings, to prevent climbing.
The crenellated terrace which allows the use of modern artillery, and the triumphal arch which represents the triumphal entry of Alfonso of Aragon.

castel nuovo - napoli

In 1497 by Archbishop Alessandro Carafa  have the return of the relics of St. Gennaro, Cardinal Oliviero Carafa (brother of Alexander) started the creation of the crypt under the main altar, which is one of the largest architectural works of the Renaissance Naples.

cripta-del-duomo-il-Cardinale-Oliviero-Carafa-Orante

 The Aragonese reign lasted until 1503 where after the Franco-Spanish war Naples became a Spanish viceroyalty.

Viceroyalty, which will end after two centuries, not for this Naples slowed the growth urban planning, art and culture, remaining a major European capital.

In the early decades of the 1500s important was the imprint of Maria Longo

Maria Longo, widow determined to dedicate his life to serving the sick, having been miraculously cured by St. Gaetano founded the church and the hospital Santa Maria del Popolo the Incurable which became one of the largest hospitals in the south, as well as a prestigious medical school.

Incurabili

In 1535-36 Naples was home to Charles V and the Viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo began a sort of Neapolitan Renaissance, a period of great growth mainly cultural.
Not overlooked, is the cultural presence of women, especially Orsola Benincasa who with his works characterized the viceroys.

Orsola Benincasa received his early education at home by his brother who got busy to give him a knowledge of the Bible and the scriptures.
When expressed its mystical qualities was placed at the center of attention of the people, which is not distracted her from her life straight and devoted to his work (drafting of drapes).
In 1579 gave his live exemplary ecclesiastical authorities allowed him to set up a chapel in his own home.
In 1581, with the Abbot Gregorio Navarro realized the mountain of S. Martino with a retreat by the church of the Immaculate Conception, the withdrawal was intended to create a community of lay people with the help of priests could reform the church.
Orsola expounded his idea to Gregory XIII, who handed it to the court of the Inquisition.
He was ousted after it was founded, only later he returned with the opening of a girls’ school on the hill S. Elmo, a work which had great success among the aristocratic families.
Next to death O. Benincasa dictated the rules for a hermitage which was to receive 33 virgins in a cloistered community.
Following the death of Ursula there were several attempts to build the hermitage, which was not completed until half a century later, at the foot of S. Martino 1606 was the start of construction of the chapel of S. Gennaro, in the same year Caravaggio painted the “seven works of mercy”

Caravaggio_-_Sette_opere_di_Misericordia_(1607,_Naples)_Copia

work with which the painter shows the everyday life of Naples, only later founded the school of painting of Caravaggio (Caravaggio of note were Artemisia Gentileschi and Annella Massimo)
1604 foundation of a brotherhood of nobles who were collecting alms to celebrate masses for the souls in purgatory.
Initiative which enjoyed considerable success to allow the construction of the church S. Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio known for its cemetery and for the care and prayers of which contained human remains, a practice which degenerated into superstition which led the ecclesiastical authorities to close several ossuaries in the city including the cemetery of the drinking fountains.

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NAPLES IN THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT

In the XVIII century Naples was marked by strong people devoutness: be enough the thought about Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori.

Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori was born in Marianella (the current Via Pietro Castiglione), he soon showed himself to be very clever in juridical studies, becoming one of the most important Neapolitan lawyers.

In 1715 he joined the “Pia Unione dei Dottori” (Pious United Doctors) assisting sick people in the Incurabili Hospital. After ten years of successful career, he decided to give up his profession and overtake the priest ministry. Receiving the priest order in 1726, because of family problems he renounced joining the Orator Order founded by Filippo Neri.

Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori dedicated himself to the less wealthy classes and became an innovator in sermon methods, thanks to his orator capabilities and the use of dialect (worth remembering his Christmas song dialect).

In 1732 he founded the Holy Saviour Congregation with the aim of evangelizing the most abandoned people.

In 1762 he was appointed Bishop in S. Agata dei Goti. In 1775 he was compelled to retire from his ecclesiastic mission due to health reasons. He died in Pagani in 1781.

In the popular Naples of Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, the first holy Neapolitan woman was originated, Anna Maria Rosa Nicoletta Gallo. She was born in Naples in 1715 and her vocation was evident, but hindered by the family wanting for her a marriage, in the hope of a social growth.

Under the guide of a friar, St. John Joseph of the Cross, when she was sixteen, she joined the Franciscan order under the name of Mary Francisca of the Five Wounds.

The holy lady lived her vocation like a nun, keeping her votes but living in the world. Mary Francisca of the Five Wounds highly influenced many Neapolitans of any class and she died in 1791.

During the last years of her life Anna Maria Rosa Nicoletta Gallo had as confessor Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi, born in Arpino in 1743, he died in Naples in 1815 and he was beatified by Pope Leon XIII in 1893, and sanctified by Pope Pio XII in 1951.

(1696-1788) upsetting the missionary action. “Tu scendi dalle stelle” edit in Neapolitan

Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi had known Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori and followed his steps. In 1762 he joined the Bernabiti order engaged in youth education.

In 1767 he became a priest, hereafter he was called to Naples, where he received prestigious tasks, becaming a University Lector. But he kept being nearer to the poor people.

In 1799 the Jacobin Revolution has as heroin Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel, born in 1792 in Rome and soon living in Naples. She was a poet appreciated by the Monarchs, she was the founder of the newspaper “Monitore Napoletano” where she explained her opposition against the Bourbons not succeeding in involving the people.

The same year 1799 the Republican attempt failed and Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel was put to death.

Lapide_a_Eleonora_Pimentel_Fonseca_Napoli

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Christian Naples

At  the dawn of christianity the  female religiouness plays an important role.

A legend claims Naples to be the first christian town.

Saint Peter would have stopped in Naples during his journey from Antioch to Rome, where he founded  his Church just in the place  remembered  now by the Basilica St. Peter in Aram.

During his stay in Naples he is told to have christianized Candida, who  would have presented him Aspreno, the first town Bishop, after  he was miraculously healed.

The attempt  to give Naples  the christian faith  primogeniture in  west lands is very important.

It’s  enough considering that  in the IV Century the first Baptistery “S. Giovanni in Fonte” was already built before the Roman one  “S. Giovanni in Laterano”.

cupolino battistero s. giovanni in fonte

The Church arising  in Naples  during the first century should be confirmed by the diffusion of the apocalyptic  script “Il pastore di erme”  which was widely  known during the  century of vulgar language spreading.

During the Trajan age this text could have inspired the realization of one of the most ancient  palaeochristian frescos  to be seen in Naples in the San Gennaro Catacombs.

Catacombe_Di_San_Gennaro-visite-guidate_1

The neighborhood of Pozzuoli having already in 61  a. Ch., when  St. Paul arrived there on his journey to Rome, a flourishing christian community and the position of Naples like a town open to progress, would justify the presence of christians in the early apostolic  age.

In spite of the important origins of the neapolitan christian tradition  directly bound with St. Paul, the Vice-King Naples felt the necessity of a christian  town re-foundation  due to the work  of the virgin St.  Patrizia,  whom we have  a few information about, but her  tradition and devotion are still alive  and her relics are kept  in the Church S. Gregorio Armeno since the XIX century.

St. Patrizia too, like St. Gennaro  regularly  melts her blood,  not because of martyrdom but  due to  an exceeding devotion.  It is asserted the devotion myth about  the Holy Patrizia could have been originated in the protestant  counter-reformation  age  adding more values to devotion and worship.

The myth construction about St. Patrizia makes arise  the thirst for  holiness  pushing Naples  collecting  Holy men not belonging to the town, since the Middle Age. The same St. Gennaro ( a martyr of the IV century) and city patron isn’t just neapolitan, he was beheaded in Pozzuoli when he was a Bishop in Benevento. His relics were  taken to the Catacombs dedicated to his name only  in the V Century.

Restituta is  an african martyr women whose legend tells  her  body remains arrived at Ischia onboard of the same ship being her  martyr scaffold place.

Naples tried to even coempt  holy men not of its own, because in its two thousand years long christian tradition it has no martyrs.

The neapolitan Middle Age saw the foundation  of the first State  University in the XIII century history by Fredric II of Swabia.  A Universitry visitor was  Thomas  d’Aquino.

Thomas was born from the  Count d’Aquino and as a child he was taken for learning to the Benedictanian monks at the Montecassino Abbey, and after this Abbey was transformed into  a military fort, he   came to Naples.

In 1224  he entered the Dominican Order, in 1245 he  went to Paris and afterwards to Cologne. After his German experience he taught theology at the “neapolitan studium”. During this last period he wrote his memories kept in the Basilica St. Dominic Maggiore, in Naples,  where  the Crucifix  would have talked to him complimenting him for his work.

Thomas died in 1274  at  Fossanova while he was travelling to Lyon  for the Council called by Pope Gregor IX.

SanDomenicoMaggioreNaples-2_Copia

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NAPLES BETWEEN MYTH AND LEGEND

Usually the foundation of Naples by Greek colonies is dated back to the VIII – IX century b. Ch.
Naples was peopled by autochnonous peoples who preserved the grave of” Sirena Partenope “( giving the name to the town ).
This is the sign for the presence of female cult all along the coast, from Coma–Miseno till Sorrento .
The legend says that Sirens lived in Galli ( little islands near Positano beach )

Li_Galli_Copia

In the burial place of Sirena the new town – Neapolis – was erected.
After centuries, the Partenope grave was moved to Caponapoli hill, which became the place of the mythical founders –
Partenope was procreated by river God Acheloo and her mother Persenofe: primaries elements –sky – earth – water – subsoil – were mixed in Her.
The grave place of Sirena is unknown ( being a myth ).
In the V century, after Neapolis rising, tradition says that the grave was to be in Caponapoli .
According to another tradition, the grave is today in S. Giovanni Maggiore church ( where on a IX –X century tombstone a protection invoke to Sirena Partenope can be read ) – Someone else thinks, the grave is on the temple basement of Dioscuri ( where S. Paolo Basilica on S. Gaetano square is located).
The metamorphosis myth of Sirena into the landscape gives a link to the formerly elements.

Such a myth tells about the Sirena lying on the Gulf, where she can be observed through the panorama admired from Caponapoli to Posillipo promontory.
Myth born from Greek ideals of nature worship, driving to the respect of the landscape, such an element being a particular sign of Naples, not a monument or archeological site, not a particular historic tool handmade by man, but the landscape of the Gulf.
Just this Greek descent, influenced in a positive or negative way the style of Neapolitan characters which even today keep existing – cleverness, respect, passion for knowledge , for living in open air, for conversation, for meeting each others, understanding the town as an urban territory,
distinguishing the countryard as a place of boorish peasants.
One more myth in the Flegrean area is the Cuma Sibyl, who arrived from Crete, where she was Amaltea, the mythic goat feeding Zeus, as a nursing mother pre existing King of Gods.

 antro  della sibilla

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