In 1598 a man - branded the Calabrian Charlatan by his Spanish 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 Portuguese wrangled over the 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.
About the Author
ERIC OLSEN is a recent graduate of the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at Utah State University and in the European Division of the University of Maryland University College.
Table of ContentsPrologue Sebastianism, Millenarianism, and Nationalism The New Chosen People Venice: Portuguese King or Calabrian Charlatan? Lisbon: Rumor and Simmering Discontent Venice to Leghorn: Sanctifying the King Florence, Naples, and Sanlúcar: Descent into Purgatory Conclusion Epilogue