Taming Transgression and Violence in the Carnivals of Early Modern Naples

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The purpose of this article is to explore the political importance of Neapolitan Carnival and the government's involvement in steering and controlling the celebrations at various historical junctions during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is particularly important to note in this context the ritual pillages of cuccagne staged by the rulers. The sponsorship of such Carnivalesque entertainments quelled the rulers' fears from popular rebellion and disorder as much as they fed popular needs for bread and circuses; and it is in this context of maintaining intact the city's fragile social balances that we should interpret the ubiquity of these violent spectacles in early modern Naples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalHistorical Journal
Issue number1
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished online - 11 Apr 2016


  • Naples
  • Carnival
  • Bourbons
  • Habsburgs
  • Viceroys
  • Cultural History
  • Ritual Violence
  • Italy
  • Spain


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