chapter  3
16 Pages

Contaminating Bodies: Print and the 1656 Plague in Naples

Historiography has often seen the history of the Kingdom of Naples, and of its capital, as one of missed opportunities and delays compared to the history of other countries, or other parts of Italy. Historical developments seem always to have taken place outside of southern Italy. For the Kingdom of Naples, the revolt was a missed opportunity for bourgeois revolution and political, economic and social modernization based on the example of Holland and especially England and this made the split between the south of Italy and other Western European countries' irreversible. In Galasso's interpretation, the Spanish government limited the political power of the feudal aristocracy but did not eliminate their economic power or their instruments for social control. The image of eighteenth-century Naples as a great centre of European culture consecrated by Croce as a capital of thought. Even the missed opportunities of Neapolitan history have slipped easily from being set within a historiographical framework into becoming a stereotype.