The Calabrian Charlatan, 1598-1603: Messianic Nationalism in Early Modern Europe
Author: H. Eric R. Olsen
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Release Date: February 08, 2003
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 two 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.