By Sophus Reinert, Rosario Patalano

In this e-book a few of the world's major economists and specialists on Serra discover the iconic allure of his 1613 Breve trattato.

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31. Calabria, 2001, p. 45. 32. Villari, 1993, Naples, p. 4. 33. , “The Rural World in Italy under Spanish Rule”, in Dandelet and Marino, eds, 2007, p. 429. 22 Gabriel Paquette 34. Interestingly, efforts to augment revenues in the short-term did not necessarily require raising taxes and other heavy-handed measures. In Castile in the 1620s and 1630s, “activities still administered directly by the state were turned over the private enterprise”. , Crown and Cortes: Government, Institutions and Representation in Early Modern Castile, Aldershot: Variorum, 1993, p.

Observance of these provisions, as in the case of the others mentioned above, came under the control of the Grand Court of the Vicaria. Particularly interesting, too, are the Instructions regarding selection of the jailers, who were to be chosen among the “respectable” persons approved of by the Fiscale (Treasury) and not under investigation by the Grand Court; the selection was to entail no charge, but obviously there was a gulf between rule and actual practice, abuse and corruption still characterizing the procedure.

8 No beds were provided in the sleeping quarters – a circumstance that raised the prisoners’ mortality rate, with particularly high peaks in the winter months9. A few privileged prisoners could have a bed of their own, brought there, on payment, from their homes; others could rent The Vicaria Prison of Naples 25 a bed, but few could take advantage of this option, the rate for a single night being very high. 11 In order to play a part in this “criminal society”, the prisoners needed money, which was readily obtained by stealing from the newcomers: thefts were so frequent that no sooner was some poor wretch imprisoned than he was immediately stripped of his clothes to be sold to the bystanders; they were so skilfully stripped that the hapless victims had no time to realise what was being done to them, and even if they had realised they would not have been able to report the theft for fear of retaliation, fearing even that they might be killed in the ambushes that were customary in those places.

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