restricted access Chapter 2. Naples: Tommaso Campanella
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46 C h a p t e r 2 Naples: Tommaso Campanella The most notorious case in our period involving Rome and Naples was that of Tommaso Campanella.1 It may have set a record for length at nearly thirty years, not counting three other trials lasting another eight years that Campanella underwent at the hands of authorities in Naples and elsewhere before his most important processo began. That trial raised in particularly acute form the same issues of overlapping jurisdiction between Rome and Naples and jealously guarded prerogatives between secular and religious authorities in Naples that we have already considered. Unlike those episodes, Campanella’s trial is exceptionally well documented in both the decree registers and documents in Naples, allowing us to watch closely the maneuverings for advantage between the pope, the Congregation, its ministers in Naples, the nuncio, the archbishop , and royal officials there and how these affected the course of the trial, or rather trials. Part of the exceptional complexity of Campanella’s troubles arose from the fact that he was charged almost simultaneously with two different but related crimes in both papal and viceregal courts. His case also allows a detailed consideration of how the Roman Inquisition slowly constituted its branch in Naples. Finally, the trials throw a great deal of light on the Inquisition ’s procedure, particularly how its “style” underwent almost constant innovation. No sooner had the Congregation instructed Campanella’s diocesan to bar him from preaching and hearing confessions on 16 August 1599, apparently as part of the sentence ending his second (or possibly third) trial, than Pope Clement VIII, acting on a denunciation dated two days earlier and containing a much more serious charge, fomenting a rebellion in part by prophesying the end of the world, ordered the viceroy written to imprison him.2 Six days later Cardinal Nephew Cinzio Aldobrandini sent the nuncio powers to arrest the Naples: Tommaso Campanella 47 clergy and religious involved in the uprising.3 On 1 September the Dominican provincial visitor opened proceedings against them, including Campanella. It is highly interesting that this official immediately drew up a document headed Inquisitionis acta, which ended with the claim that all the actions taken drew on “the advice of legal experts” (“iuris utriusque peritorum consilium”). It included an allegation of fama publica praecedente (“precedent public report”), enumerated the charges—following Neapolitan practice, but against the usual Roman view that they were not to be given to the accused until after the investigative phase had ended—and closed with a request to the secular arm, here called litterae capturae and a precept in another document, to arrest Campanella .4 The charges included a number that continued to appear throughout the trial, beginning with atheism, doubts about the sacraments, miracles, and the resurrection, and a sheaf of attacks on papal and ecclesiastical authority.5 The visitor followed canon law to the letter. Campanella and the rest of the conspirators panicked when the viceroy moved against them, and by 6 September 1599 Campanella had been arrested.6 Despite the antecedent request from the pope, Campanella found himself in the hands of the secular power, thus beginning a protracted jurisdictional dispute . Tricked by the local Neapolitan fiscal, on 10 September he drew up the so-called “Declaration of Castelvetre,” full of incriminating evidence on the score of rebellion.7 A week later, the Roman Inquisition first intervened directly, sending the provincial visitor orders to capture Campanella, turn him over to the nuncio, and send the information thus far collected. Secretary Giulio Antonio Santoro also ordered the visitor to cooperate with local bishops.8 Brought to Naples, Campanella underwent his first interrogation by a royal official and the nuncio on 23 September 1599, although it is unclear on what authority they acted.9 The case was complicated since there were two separate but overlapping investigations, one for rebellion and conspiracy nominally in the hands of viceregal agents, the other for heresy, equally nominally under the control first of the nuncio alone and then jointly with the Holy Office, which the pope wanted involved right from the first.10 The viceroy was equally determined that the Holy Office not take a hand in the trial for rebellion, while the nuncio feared the royal authorities would engulf the heresy case as well.11 Since Campanella was a religious, the pope had to give authority both to a viceregal appointee to assist in the trial for heresy, and also in general terms for the trial on...