Online Encyclopedia

CARLO PISACANE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 647 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CARLO PISACANE, duke of San Giovanni (1818-1857), Italian revolutionary, was born at Naples, and entered the Neapolitan army in 1839; but having become imbued with Mazzinian ideas he emigrated in 1847, and after a short stay in England and France served in the French army in Algeria. The revolution of 1848 recalled him to Italy; he played a part in the brief but glorious history of the Roman Republic, and was the life and soul of the war commission in the defence of the city. After its capture by the French he again went into exile, first to London and then to Genoa, maintaining himself by teaching. He regarded the rule of the house of Savoy as no better than that of Austria. When Mazzini, undeterred by the failure of the abortive Milan rising on the 6th of February 1853, determined to organize an expedition to provoke a rising in the Neapolitan kingdom, Pisacane offered himself for the task, and sailed from Genoa with a few followers (including Giovanni Nicotera) on board the " Cagliari " on the 25th of June 1857. They landed on the island of Ponza, where the guards were overpowered and some hundreds of prisoners liberated, and on the 28th arrived at Sapri in Calabria and attempted to reach the Cilento. But hardly any assistance from the inhabitants was forthcoming, and the invaders were quickly overpowered, Pisacane himself being killed. See P. M. Bilotti, La Spedizione di Sapri (Salerno, 1907).
End of Article: CARLO PISACANE
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Additional information and Comments

Carlo Pisacane "emigrated" not as suggested as a result of his having become imbued by Mazzinian ideas but because he "eloped" with Enrichetta di Lorenzo, the wife of a cousin. He was with the French Foreign Legion in Algeria, form where he went first to Piedmont and joined the Piedmontese Army (briefly) before going to Rome on the declaration of the Republic. He agreed to lead the Sapri expedition due to his belief that the South was ripe for rebellion and that it would be the spark to light the revolutionary fire throughout Italy. His views at this time were not particularly Mazzinian who for Pisacane was to ready to underestimamte the need for social change, but both men felt it was necessary to act to prevent the disintegration of the republican opposition in the face of Peidmontese expansion. Which it actually probably precipitated Garibaldi had declined the invitation to lead the expedition, which initially was intended to first release an altogether different group of prisoners (Settembrini; Salvemini). The ground was meant to have been prepared by the local Neapolitan Secret Committee for a contemporaneous rising in Naples and to have prepared the ground also in Basilicata (Sapri is now in Campania 8km from the border with Basilicata. However, was there not only no waiting siupport, but the authorities were able to persuade the locals that Pidsacane & his 300 were a group of bandits intent on looting. Another rumour was that they were Murattists. The Bourbon troops were able basically to stand by a watch while the local militias and peasants tore the band to pieces.
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