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Carbonari

The name in Italian means Charcoal Burners, applied to some revolutionary secret societies particularly active in Italy and France, having their principal inspiration during the reign of King Joachim Murat of Naples, and aiming to free themselves from foreign rule and establish democratic government. Murat, a Frenchman and a Freemason, the dashing cavalry leader of Napoleon's army, was rewarded with the throne. Luigi Villari says (Encyclopedia Britannica): ''The Carbonari were probably an offshoot of the Freemasons, from whom they differed in important particulars," a suggestion and admission meaning little more than similarity, both being secret societies. However, the Carbonari had its significant words: a Lodge was baracca or a hut; an ordinary meeting was venidita, a sale; an important meeting, alta vendita; God was Grand Master of the Universe. The ritual had four grades and the ceremonies had typical allusions, as "clearing the forest of wolves" was said to be the aim, and there were references to the 1amb torn by wild animals, tyranny. Carbonarism was declared high treason by 1821. While many prominent persons were members, Lord Byron of England and Louis, afterwards Napoleon III, of France, yet the strength of the movement waned and died in France about 1830, and soon afterwards a like end came to it in Italy, the Camorristi in the former country accepting generally the government then at work, and in the latter instance associating with Mazzini and his followers (see Camorra, Mafia, and Secret Societies).

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