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Annibale Cogliano


Carlo Gesualdo. Il Principe, lamante, la strega[1]





        The time and place: 1603 in Gesualdo, a little agricultural and market town in Southern Italy

        The protagonists: the mistress, the witch, the sorcerer, and the wife of the bewitched

        The witchcraft for love: the spell and the poisoning

        The victim: Carlo Gesualdo, the Prince of the Musicians, the last descendant of Robert the Guiscardo, first Norman King of Sicily

        The trial: the triumph of secular power, both baronial and viceroyal

        The defeated ones at the time, and the winners in the long run: the einlightened Church and the Holy Office

        Magic as an emotional, cultural, and practical answer to suffering and to aristocratic contradictions in a society in transition

       The problem of the lack of efficacy of medicine among physicians, barbers, exorcists, and strioni (popular healers)


Unfortunately the documents about the trial for witchcraft or maleficium against Prince Carlo Gesualdo, the famous musician, are very poor: there are only a series of reports or correspondences among the baronal judge, the Viceroy and the episcopal Court. But this limitation has been lucky for my research, because I have been obliged to shift my reserach toward the rich correspondence by relatives of Carlo Gesualdo and toward material in numerous other Italian and European archives. The inquiry on the fate of the witch, Aurelia, and her accomplices has ballooned into an inquiry on the mentality, the magic, the Church, the official medicine, popular ritual healings, and aristocratic man-women relationships of the late 16th and early 17th century in Italian Courts.



The time and place


The case of witchcraft (spell and the poisoning) we are dealing with occurred in 1603, in a little (2,000 inhabitants) agricultural and mercantile town in the Naples Kingdom, a Spanish province. Lets say at the outset: in this period, there is no difference between popular culture and learned culture regarding views on magic, either in cities or the countryside. The town of Gesualdo (the name of the town is the same of the Prince, or better the town gave its name to the family Gesualdo) is not distinctive. Situated on a lovely, dolce, hill (altitude 600 metres), it was exposed to traders and to all of the cultural influences coming from Naples and other cities. Its crowded fairs, held several times a year, assured that there were exchanges of ideas and goods of all kinds. The population is not stagnant: new weddings and other newcomers followed a series of plagues, famines, and wars. Witchcraft is practiced by many people: the most skillful are professional men and women, often older, wise women and healers, experts in herbal medicine, the manipulation of bones, and in childbirth. Everyone believes in magic: spells, incantations, conjurations, manipulations, etc. This magic is no different from that of the saints, God, the Mass, Holy Water, the Host, devotions, processions, and so forth.

On the other hand, what is so different about exorcism, the declaration of anathema or excommunication by the Church, on the one hand, and conjurations and maledictions by the common people? Above all, nobody thinks that the resort to supernatural powers (whether divine or diabolical) is a transgression or a mortal sin. After the Council of Trent, the Church is a greater presence with more relics, devotions, masses, processions, the building of churches and monasteries, pastoral visits; but the spiritual religious life never changes. The Divinity is present only if his face is visible and the Saints are only the sacred in an accessible form, indipendent of any clerical intervention. St. Rocco is the protector against the plague, St. Margaret for pregnancy, St. Lucy for the eyes, St. Barbara against fire. Also God and the Madonna are saints: the heathen gods never disappear, they have only been replaced. Popular beliefs and religion overlap, sometimes in competition, but always also complementary to each other. A new bishop never tries to disrupt this balance: if he is radical, he is immediately refuted. Each reform can pass only if it is able to build a bridge between the Church and popular culture.


The mistress, the witch, the sorcerer, and the wife of the bewiched


Leonora dEste, the second wife of Carlo Gesualdo, tired of his continous betrayal and also because of his occasional physical violence--, and no less because of the consumation of his betrayal under her own eyes in the castle where he held court--threatens to expose the scandal. Yet her two brothers, Cardinal Alessandro and Cesare, Duke of Modena, are watching: there is the real possibility of a divorce, which will involve Pope Clement VIII. Carlo has just lost his uncle, Alfonso, Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome, who had died a few months before. The musician-prince cannot stand another scandal after his murder of his first wife, the beatiful Maria dAvalos, and her lover, Duke Fabrizio Carafa, killed by him and his bodyguard 13 years before in an alcove of his palace in Naples. The memory of that crime travels throughout Europe in prose, poetry, and the tears of lovers.

Carlo Gesualdo must eliminate his wife. The reasons are the same as those in place over hundreds of years: his honor is in danger. Now only the roles are reversed: as a man, he may betray; but he must not offend the honor of the Este family in public. This is not a matter of love, but only of etiquette. At this time, in aristocratic Italian society, laws regarding etiquette and honor were more valued than any other kind.

But the mistress, Aurelia dErrico, young and beatiful women, doesnt agree. After 10 years of concubinate (it seems she was lady companion of Leonora), she could be a lost women, there it would be not a future without her Prince. She hasnt cards to play and trays that possible one of the magic. An old and famous witch (fattocchiara) of the village, Polisandra Pezzella, called upon goes in her aid with an apprendice, Totia. The witch, daughter of a priest, yet processed from episcopal court of blasphemy, and condemned to perforate the tongue, believes that her power is insufficient. She cannot miss the oppertunity. The spell must be adequate to the powerfull victime. She look for the aid of another sorcerer, Antony Paulella, a priest, who, is also a living laical Saint, resides in a mountanuos village and gives advices and magic to people who go in pilgrimage to him. His town, Montemarano, is center of another bishop, and his house isnt far from a cathedral, but nobody thinks that magic is heresy or sin for the post-tridentine Church.


The spell for love: incantations and the poisoning

The magic paraphernalia used for capturing the love of the Prince is frightening: incantations, conjurations, the Eucharist, holy water, crucifix, and homeopathic magic (wax, key, lock, menstrual blood).

Aurelia is frequently threatening the Prince: The Prince left me, and Ill make him something by which Ill keep him for eternity, and if is not mine, he will also not be with any other woman. This is a threat of creating a bond of love (fattura ) and, if it fails, the Prince will still be impotent.

The main element of the homeopathic magic is the menstrual blood and the humors of the vagina. If you want to cheat a women, use sperm, and if you want to cheat a man, use the menstrual blood and the humors of the vagina, recepies prescribed a few years before by Giovanni Battista della Porta, who was one of the more learned and careful of the natual philosophers of Naples. Down through the centuries, menstrual blood has always had ambivalent meanings: both impurity and fertility, or, as in our case, binding love (more effective if from a virgin).

And so the sorcerer Antonio Paulella raised the dose: he advised Aurelia, with whom he spent a few days together, that during her embrace with Gesualdo, she should take a slice of bread (prepared by him), lubricate it with her vaginal humors and the sperm of the Prince, and, together with sauce and her menstrual blood, she should give it to th Prince to eat.

In the report by the baronal judge, Cesare Staibano, Aurelia says that whe will boast to the village that the Princess is served: the Prince will be only mine from waist down, and from waist up he will belong to the Princess, who can only be served by kisses.

But the homeopathic magic doesnt end with the menstrual blood. There are other ligatures: two little statues (Carlo Gesualdo and Aurelia) transfixed by nails and pins; a key and a lock buried under a passageway frequented by the Prince; hair and toenails of dead persons placed in a lock; coins place into a few holes in the castle; a crucefix and a large loaf of bread also buried under a passageway used by the Prince.

Finally, there was a spirit, captured by the sorcerer Paulella and put into a carafe and given to Aurelia so that she could find out what the Prince was doing through her understanding of falsetto in Greek.

The victim: Carlo Gesualdo, the Prince of Musicians


Who is the victim of the ligation and of the spell? A man among the most powerful in the Kingdom of Naples. The Gesualdo is among the most ancient royal families of Naples. The ancestor of Carlo Gesualdo and the first lord of the castle at Gesualdo is Guglielmo dHauteville, a Norman knight who is the natural son of Ruggero Borsa, whose father is Robert the Guiscardo, the founder of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily and Naples.

Other ancestors down through the centuries had contributed to the history of the Kingdom by fighting with or against the Kingdom as knights and by participating in government as a minister to Sweden, and the Angevin and Aragon Kings. Charles great-grandfather had the privilege of appearing in front of the Emperor Charles V with his head uncovered, and his grandfather was a Councillor for Philip II. Pope Pius IV was his great-uncle; his mother was the sister of Saint Carlo Borromeo, the powerful and famous reformer of the post-tridentine Church. Carlo Gesualdo was also the nephew of Alfonso Gesualdo, Dean of the College of Cardinals at the Vatican Court and Archbishop of Naples, the second most powerful individual in the Kingdom; and a relative of Federico Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan. The sisters of his mother Geronima Borromeo are wives of the dukes of Gonzaga and Colonna. His aunts, uncles, and sister are related to main families of the Kingdom of Naples. The second marriage of Carlo with Leonora dEste, whose family was among the most famous in Italy and Europe for its renaissance court, gives the Gesualdos further power and status.

Moreover, the wealth and political power of Carlo Gesualdo are immeasurable: great influence at Court; more than 21 fiefs in three provinces; the privilege of a private company of soldiers; an annual income of 40,000; 400,000 ducats of real property and jewelery (or 15% of the entire income of the state of Naples) .

Finally, Carlo Gesualdo, even while he was living, is compared to a new Apollo and is a famous composer of sacred and secular music as well as a patron of the best musicians in Italy. His Court in Gesualdo is a jewel which produces new and daring compositions and even musical scores widely distributed throughout Italy.

It may seem paradoxical that this powerful Prince could die from the jealousy and feeling of abandonment of a poor concubine. Her spell and her potion threaten him, particularly because his health has usually been very poor. His physicians four of the best ones of the time say that they are impotent to help: The menstrual blood is a kind of poison, and carries the victim step by step to death; and because the numerous and frequent medical cures were of no help, therefore, the illness is supernatural and is caused by magical potions.

The lives of Aurelia, Polisandra and Totia dont have the least value. Cesar Staibano, the baronal judge who holds the first and second trials in the town of Gesualdo, would like to send Aurelia and the witches to their deaths.


The trial, the political power and the Italian society of 16th and 17th century


The death of Aurelia and the witch, Polisandra, meets a major obstacle: the Church, through the episcopal court of the diocese of Avellino, and the Holy Office of Rome. And the community of Gesualdo sides with them. The bishop, with support from the Holy Office, would like to judge the witch and Aurelia dErrico. While he waits and fights the decisions of Viceroy, he threatens Staibano with excomunication. But powerful Prince cannot stand the scandal of a public trial and looks for the intervention of the Viceroy to take the trial on himself. The case belongs to mixed jurisdiction, secular and ecclesiastic. It explodes in a violent conflict between the State and the Church, while Carlo vascillates between life and death until the autumn of 1603. Carlo Gesualdo wins, but he must renounce his proposal of vengeance: the hanging of two women. Regarding Totia, we know nothing; she probably escaped or was killed. The Prince can only imprison Aurelia and Polisandra. His baronal judge, Staibano, has tortured the poor women, but they have survived: the use and intensity of torture by the rope has been limited by the presence of the Church. Moreover, we know that the mistress and the witch were in the prisons of the castle until 1607, as Leonora and her chaplain, who wished them dead, inform us. Probably they died a few years after of illness or suffering in the castle, but this only a likely supposition.

What would have happened if Aurelia and the witch had been tried by the Episcopal Court, under the direction of the Holy Office? First of all, they wouldnt have been tortured. The Holy Office has abandoned the easy application of torture at the end of 16th century and forbids torture in trials of witchcraft for love. Further, it sees torture as an instrument of punishment, not of learning the truth. In second place, this kind of magic, according to this new outlook, is only superstition, which must be fought by new and more efficacious practices of the Church. In third place, the trial by this baronal Court (and the proxy given from Viceroyal Power) would have been considered to be without legal guarantees by the Church. What rights to a defense would have been given to Aurelia and Polisandra? What knowledge is there as to the basis for the accusations? The report of Judge Staibano is founded on secret tortures, witnesses, and records. In fourth place, regarding the use of the Holy Host and Crucifix in magical practices, the Church of Rome, since the 1580s and 1590s, has abandoned the idea of heresy on these matters; they are only considered blasphemy. If they had been condemned by the Episcopal Court, the witch Polisandra and the mistress Aurelia would have been given only healing penances (rosaries, prayers, fasting, and so forth) or, at the most, have been condemned to give a private abjuration. Last but not least, the Church would had rejected the medical report of the Princes illness which stated that it was of a diabolical nature. If the diagnostic and therapeutic knoweledge of physicians is inadequate, why attribute this to the devil, rather than to the failings of ignorant physicians? This is another great contribution of the Church to the development of the natural sciences in the early 17th century. If the causes of sickness are not due to diabolical influences or the supranatural, and if the official medicine is inadequate to diagnose and cure, then physicians must turn to asking, what are the exact causal agents of illness?

Why and how did these new ideas come about? The Church of the Roman Inquisition, directed by Pope Clement VIII and Cardinal Julius Antony Santori, Dean of the Holy Office, abandoned the belief in the devil and in the pact between him and sorcerers and witchs (more precisely, the concept of the witch's sabbath of Malleus maleficarum) and, furthermore, abandoned the strategy of repression which had persisted from the first decades of its establishment. A new politics is evolving based on a pastorate of education and of social and religious control through mutual consent. It is a shift which we can summarize in this way: from the external judicial forum of the tribunal to the internal forum of the conscience, including confession, in which the soul of the sinner and, by means of the self--the internal society--passes through the scrutiny of the judge who confesses and absolves. For the criminal-sinner, redemption shifts from defeat at the stake with the collaboration of the secular arm, to sin--an inevitable aspect of man in his weakness--which is responded to with persuasion, admonition, abstinence and privation, prayer, and the sacraments.

For public condemnation, for abjuration de levi (private and light) and de vehementi (strong and public in the auto da f), grave and dangerous, are progressively substituted confession, absolution, salutary penitence, and the "tribunal of conscience" to use an expression by A. Prosperi and, before him, of the Protestant historian, H. C. Lea. The central figure is, then, no longer the executioner representing the secular arm, but the confessor, with his power to liberate and to imprison. The theater is no longer the public square or the packed cathedral, but the secrecy of the confessional, in which, the confessor, separated from the sinner by a grate, inquires, interrogates, discerns, selects, judges, pardons, imposes penance, and absolves.

This achievement, which would be formally expressed a few decades later, was a new manual which was circulated through all corners of Europe, the last of which was the famous Instructio pro formandis processibus in causis strigum, sortilegiorum et maleficiorum, which was an indication of the ultimate abandonment of the witch-hunt by ecclesiastical tribunals under the control of the Holy Office, and a cultural trigger for a slower and more tortuous abandonment on the part of the lay tribunes in the more advanced states and cultures.

This shift by the Holy Office constitutes a real cultural revolution in the bosom of the Church, which, with time, and in different ways, reverberated throughout society generally, not only through the pontifical states, but also through the nascent modern states of the west. The instrument of the Congregation is born in order to combat "l'eretica pravit" (depraved heretics) in the face of the destructive threat of the Protestant Reformation, which changed--in a little less than fifty years--into the key instrument of the moral reform of the Church, pur conserving the treatment of a military corps and also accompanying the development of the shift, with repressive measures with a strong symbolic valence which, even today obscures it.

Furthermore, in the Kingdom of Naples, the revengeful will of Carlo Gesualdo is out of bounds. Here, there had never been a witch-hunt, because both the learned and popular cultures believe that the aid of supernatural power can be requested in many ways, and the devil has never been considered an absolute and omnipotent force in opposition to God, but was considered only another saint.

Gesualdos revengeful wishes are similar to the attitudes of Carlo Borromeo, his uncle, who operated in the extensive archdiocese of Milan, and whose politics against witches and the world of magicians was terrible and lethal, but were also alien to the world of the Roman and Italian Church.

In addition, Carlos other uncle, Alfonso, Archbishop of Naples during the last years of his life, also wanted to take a severe stand against magic and popular devotions. But the Church of Rome watches and represses his pastorate. The old, almost pagan world of the people must be corrected, integrated, but never expelled from the Holy Mother Church.

Carlo Gesualdo, paradoxically, also belongs to a family of Christian transgressors: Giulio Gesualdo, another uncle, was a necromancer in Naples during the 1560s, and even though he was the leader of a team of sorcerers, his name cannot be found among the accused and condemned (in 1571). Maria Gesualdo, his aunt, was the wife and mother of two followers of the Protestant Reformation in Caserta. Their lives were miraculously saved while other nobles were burned in the market square in Naples in 1564.


Magic as an Easy Answer to Suffering and to Aristocratic Contradictions in a Society in Transition


In the face of an enlightened Roman Church and of a pluralism of cultures, we find a series of unresolvable contradictions in an aristocratic society in its waning days.

The eternal presence of the irrational and the fear or the illusions of occult power are only the sublimated materials by which the conditions of great suffering and subordination of women and the irresolvable tensions between the sexes--especially between aristocratic men and women, wives and concubines are concealed. The aristocratic ladies are only instruments for the preservation of the fiefdoms and the courts, the inheritances from both maternal and paternal sides, kingdoms and dukedoms. The world of magic is often the only way out to avoid confronting a personal, family, or social crisis in the face of the impossibility of changing it. And for men and women of the lower classes, it is the only way to live with the feeling of impotence in the face of sickness, natural catastrophes, and the power of the upper classes.

We can start with an historical concept, conjugal fidelity (not love: this is a value and a concept of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the West): this concept applies only to the woman, not the man, and still less, a Prince, as demonstrated by the life of Carlo Gesualdo and the lives of the relatives of Leonora d'Este, from the cousin of Alfonso II d'Este, to her father or to her brother, Duke Cesare. If they are attentive to their honor and that of their household, it is not a crime to murder a wife, it is only an act of duty.

Physical maltreatment and continual humiliation are the price that Leonora d'Este, sister of the Duke of Modena, had to pay for marrying, at the instigation of her brother, a man whom she had first met on the day of the wedding. Her marriage was nothing more than a business deal; her life was as a continual hostage of the house she came from and the one she joined.

After returning to Rome from a private visit with Leonora, his sister, he reports to Duke Cesare, "The principle reason for her unhappiness is that she suffers greatly because the Prince has immersed himself in sordid greediness which is an unbearable thing for her; and moreover, we cannot tell how she is offended and ridiculed by him: it is enough that she never opens her mouth but that he causes injury and crucifies her. Sometimes he grabs her arm violently and has thrown her to the ground. And she suffers very much because when the Prince speaks about us, whether it is Your Highness, or me, or our family, he does so with impertinence and dishonor and it is very true that these acts have been clear from the beginning, but from a certain time until now, it has become worse and precisely since he fell in love with one of the two young women whom our sister--through bad luck--took with her. He has done so much with importunity and with gifts, that he has corrupted one to be a procuress to obtain what carnal property he wants. And now he enjoys his mistress under the eyes of the Princess, and all others in the castle without regard and without temperance. [...] And in addition to these bad things, we can see that the unlucky Princess has never become accustomed to the sharp and very cold air of Gesualdo, having such a serious illness and being in such a distemper in head that all of her teeth rattle in her mouth. Moreover of all of the travails, she has been advised to be very careful and vigilant if she wants to avoid being poisoned."

The Cardinal proposes either a divorce or a separation from Prince Carlo, but neither his brother, Duke Cesare, nor Leonora want to take up a measure that would throw a shadow over the house of the Este. Previously, Lucrezia d'Este, the sister of Alfonso II, had separated from the Duke of Urbino, creating a great scandal and dishonor to the Este house.

The Cardinal wanted at least to visit her in Naples, but Prince Carlo opposed the visit, and succeded in stopping it. Diplomatic considerations were more important than those of the heart, and Cardinal Alessandro was prevented from visiting his sister without Gesualdo's permission.

Leonora's only son, Alfonsino, died at the age of five, in 1600. For her, it opened a path without relief from sorrow. The death of her son robbed her of all power and consideration as a married woman, as if she had never had a son--since the sole reason for conjugal fidelity was to continue the hereditary line and to transmit its power and inheritance. For years after Alfonsino's death, whenever she was able to talk about it, she always maintained that his death was caused by a "spell" produced by the Prince's lover. She continually referred to the death of the ladies imprisoned in the castle who, in death, had continued to cast spells over human justice, just as they had during her life.

The sorrow of this offended lady and this deprived mother was transformed into a sickness without a face and without hope. The same condition had already led her sisten-in-law, Virginia de Medici, Cesare's wife, and their daughter, to become mad in response to their husbands behavior. Many times Leonora was at the point of death, and all of the doctors and attendants gave her just a few hours to live. She had frequent hysterical crises in the form of epilepsy from which she was partially freed only when she left Gesualdo and returned to her home in Modena. Official medicine diagnosed her condition as "black humor" or melancholy, caused by an excess secretion of black bile from her liver. Hippocrates and Galen had never died in traditional medicine. Some new doctors prescribed an infusion of an extract of china china, an extract of the Peruvian quinine shrub. The Jesuits were responsible for this innovation. But the side effects and erroneous dosage quickly discouraged any repeat of this intervention. So the barber-surgeons and physical doctors--who practiced bloodletting and suggested therapies which made her illness worse.

Her sickness is called Carlo Gesualdo and the marriage contract, but it cannot be either acknowledged nor spoken about. There was nothing left for Leonora but to use her sickness to her advantage. The physicians prescribed a "change of air," which led to her returning to her native Modena several times; it was a justification that allowed her to leave Gesulado with the consent of both her brother and her husband without causing a scandal. It is the only therapy which has any sort of efficacy, but only before her leaving and during her absence from Gesualdo and from the Prince.

The days pass interminably in the castle at Gesualdo. Her butler and servants try to relieve her profound loneliness. Her present is solely the memory of her past life. The one who lived in a lavish court before her marriage, and who sang and played with the greatest poets and musicians of Ferrara, is now silent, cut off from the musical court which Carlo held in the rooms of his castle. Her countenance only lights up when she receives a letter from the court of the Este or when he writes to her brothers. But she must be careful; her letters could be intercepted, and her correspondence could be turned over to Carlo.

The magic which relieves sickness is the ultimate scape-goat for those who are not driven mad. The castle of Gesualdo becomes a favorite destination for exorcists, witches, charlatans, who draw excessively on the credibility and pocketbook of Leonora and Carlo.

Carlo--My Lordship", as she calls him to indicate who has jurisdiction over her--is no less sick than she is. After his poisoning in 1603, the long-standing asthma and chronic constipation grew worse. Those who visited him frequently comment that the Prince is always afflicted with melancholy. His melancholy, however, is different from hers, and different from that of the depression of the Medieval period which was associated with demons and sin. His melancholy is that of the man of genius, of the creative artist blessed by Saturn. It is the occult philosophy of the Renaissance which sustains him, encompassing a pseudo-Aristoteleanism and importing the Jewish Kabbala from Spain.

Carlo continues to compose and to publish both sacred and secular music which is still today--even moreso than in previous centuries--admired and praised. Meanwhile, the door of the castle is never closed to physicians, famous exorcists (Basiliani, Jesuits, famous istrioni, and necromancers). The procession of many diverse cures goes on without interruption between Naples and Gesualdo, within daily life and musical splendor. From Ferrara, Gesualdo obtained "Unicorn Powder", commonly extracted from the horns of cows, but sold by charlatans as derived from the horns of the unicorn--a mythological animal from Africa or Asia. It was considered the panacea of European courts (including the Papal court) which spent enormous sums. Gesualdo felt better when he used this potion: the placebo effect is not a modern invention.

Following a fall from a horse, Carlo Gesualdo's first son by his murdered first wife, Emanuele, died after a few days. Carlo retired to his music room and waited to die. Death came soon, on September 8, 1613.

It is the pleasure of God to call..." is the ritual formula used in the communication of the death of a relative. In truth, death knocked often, and without regard for the age or status of the House of Gesualdo. Gesualdo's mother died in childbirth at the age of 25, when Carlo was seven. His older brother Luigi died at the age of 21, leaving Carlo in the role of the first-born son. In the same year, his maternal uncle, Carlo Borromeo (later canonized) died. His first wife died at his hands after just four years of marriage. His other son, Alfonsino died at the age of five, when he was still playing in his arms. His father, Fabrizio died at the age of 53, while still exercising his feudal responsibilities. And now, after the death of Emanuele, he could only redraw his last will and testament, hoping that Polissena Furstenberg-Pernestein, Emanuele's wife, recently having become pregnant, could give birth to a son so that the family line would not become extinguished. Polissena had already given birth to a baby boy in 1610 who had died after a few days of life, and later, in 1612, she gave birth to a daughter, Isabella. Another daughter, Eleanora, would be born just two months before Carlo's death. Eleanora would write to her brother, Cesare, that "the entire Kingdom weeps at the birth of a girl, and that a house so illustrious and ancient has disappeared."

Eleanora returned for the last time to Modena, and would live for another 20 years, to the venerable age of 76. Regarding demons, maleficence, and witchcraft, needless to say, there is not even a hint.






Ordini religiosi soppressi; Archivio Storico


ARCHIVO GENERAL DE SIMANCAS, Estado, Secreterias provinciales




ARCHIVIO DI STATO DI MODENA, Archivio segreto estense,Casa e Stato

Cancelleria ducale, Principi esteri; Cancelleria ducale, Ambasciatori Napoli; Cancelleria ducale, Principi non regnanti; Inquisizione; Archivio per materie, Medici e Medicina


ARCHIVIO DI STATO DI NAPOLI, Collaterale, Diversi II serie, Segreteria; R. Camera della Sommaria, Significatoriarum; R. Camera della Sommaria, Relevi; R. Camera della Sommaria, Diversorum; R. Camera della Sommaria, Catasti Onciari; R. Camera della Sommaria, Attuari diversi; Tribunale Misto, Processi; Archivio privato Caracciolo di Torella



ARCHIVIO SEGRETO VATICANO, Archivio Boncompagni-Ludovisi; Relationes ad limina; Visita Apostolica; Nunziatura; Archivio Concistoriale, Acta Cameraria


BIBLIOTECA APOSTOLICA VATICANA, Barberini Latino; Vaticano Latino


BIBLIOTECA NAZIONALE NAPOLI, Manoscritti; Brancacciana Manoscritti; Manoscritti Alfani

BIBLIOTECA PROVINCIALE AVELLINO, manoscritti fondo Capone; fondo Modestino




[1] This is only a short abstract of the book, A. Cogliano, Carlo Gesualdo. Il Principe, lamante, la strega, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, Napoli 2004, to which we refer for the sources and bibliography.

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