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The Calabrian Charlatan 1598-1603

Messianic Nationalism in Early Modern Europe

The Calabrian Charlatan 1598-1603 by Eric Olsen
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In 1598 a man - branded the Calabrian Charletan by his opponents - appeared in Venice claiming to be King Sebastian, the Portuguese monarch who disappeared in battle some twenty years before. Over the next five years, Venetians, Spaniards and the Portuguese wrangled overthe true character and identity of the man. Was he a lunatic? Was he an impostor? Was he a messianic king? Eric Olsen uses this strange event to explore Portuguese millenarianism and how a group of Portuguese rebels sought to exploit it to free their nation from Spain. Along the way, he analyses broader issues in early modern European politics such as the fragility of the state, the function of exemplary justice, the influence of popular beliefs and the role of rumour.
Palgrave Macmillan; November 2002
200 pages; ISBN 9780230597143
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Title: The Calabrian Charlatan 1598-1603
Author: Eric Olsen