How the word Mafia got its modern meaning. In Palermo, Sicily, in a young and penniless playwright, Gaspare Mosca, and the actor Giuseppe Rizzotto wrote and brought to the stage a play set in the new prison of the city, the Ucciardone. This production would serve to popularize the Sicilian word Mafia and to change its traditional meaning from positive to negative. Gaspare Mosca was a political dissident during the period when the Spanish Bourbons controlled Sicily. He participated in the revolution of , when the Sicilians sought to throw out the foreign government.
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Challenging the Mafia Mystique pp Cite as. Opposition to the Bourbon dynasty was not always liberal, and the opposition following the reforms that were introduced after the abolition of feudalism in , during the restoration of the Bourbons, certainly was not.
The process of reform began under the viceroy, Domenico Caracciolo —86 , a Neapolitan marquis who had been ambassador in France for a while, where he was imbued with philosophical ideas. The Inquisition that represented the political-religious power of the Spanish Catholics in Sicily was nothing more than a coagulation of the interests of political clientele that had corrupted the institutions of the viceroyalty.
The reformatory efforts of the new viceroy were directed against the barons and their feudal privileges. Many of the abuses that had previously affected the workers were also abolished. This encouraged the magistracy to aim for independence from the barons and to carry out their own roles with impartiality.
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In origine, non si trattava di un lavoro organico, ma di una serie di scene destinate ad essere rappresentate nelle strade e nei teatrini popolari di Palermo. Il successo dell'opera non fu casuale. Seppe individuare l'intreccio complesso ed ambivalente che legava questo mondo a quello della malavita. Rizzotto era un attore popolare, ma non privo di una certa cultura, avendo intrapreso, anche se non portato a termine, gli studi giuridici; Mosca era stato informato circa gli usi e costumi della Vicaria di Palermo dal camorrista Gioacchino D'Angelo.
I mafiusi de la Vicaria