Altamuran Revolution
Monumento martiri 1799.jpg
Monument to the martyrs of the Altamuran Revolution (1799), by Arnaldo Zocchi,[1] erected during the celebrations for the first centenary of the revolution (1899) and located in piazza Duomo (Altamura)
Native name Rivoluzione di Altamura
Date8 February – 31 May 1799 (1799-02-08 – 1799-05-31)
(3 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
LocationAltamura, Parthenopean Republic
CauseFall of the Parthenopean Republic and resistance to Sanfedisti
OutcomeDefeat of the rebels and restoration of the Kingdom of Naples
Deathsat least 1400[2]
Arrestsabout 200[3]

The Altamuran Revolution (Italian: Rivoluzione di Altamura, also Rivoluzione altamurana) was a three-month period of self-government of Italian town Altamura, right after the birth of the Parthenopean Republic (23 January 1799) which ousted the Bourbons and the Kingdom of Naples. The city of the Kingdom of Naples was then defeated and taken by the so-called Sanfedisti, led by cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo, after a battle on the city walls. After being defeated, most Altamurans managed to flee through Porta Bari, one of Altamura's main gates.

In February 1799, the news that the king had fled to Palermo arrived in Altamura. Altamura population then reorganized and embraced the ideals propagated by the French Revolution. The Liberty Tree was also planted in what it was then called piazza del mercato (today it's called piazza Duomo). In the meantime, the Sanfedisti, led by the cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo, were getting closer and closer, determined to restore the Kingdom of Naples and the Bourbons dynasty. The Sanfedisti left Matera and arrived at the gates of Altamura on 9 May 1799. Altamura had already fixed everything before the battle, by closing the secondary city gates and preparing ammunition. On 9 May, the battle took place, but soon Altamurans ran off of ammunition and they started to shoot coins. This let the enemy realize that the situation inside the city was critical and that they wouldn't last for long. On the night of 9 May 1799, most Altamurans managed to escape from porta Bari. On the morning of 10 May, Sanfedisti entered Altamura, sacking and slaughtering an unknown number of Altamurans who had remained there. The stay of the Sanfedisti and Ruffo inside the city lasted 14 days, during which the people living in Altamura gradually returned and some of them were killed or imprisoned. By the end of May 1799, the situation had already normalized and Altamura had returned under the full control of the Kingdom of Naples.

The number of deaths among Sanfedisti has been estimated around 1,400 people, but it is not clear how many Altamurans were killed. Some historians estimated the losses among Altamurans from about forty to a hundred people, while other historians suggested that many Altamurans and Neapolitan Jacobin people coming to Altamura from other cities may have been counted as Sanfedisti. In this case the death toll among Altamurans and Parthenopean Republicans would be much higher.

See also



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-06-30. Retrieved 2018-10-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ bolognese-zecher, pp. 22-23
  3. ^ bolognese-zecher, p. 43