Wednesday, July 10, 2013


   The Camorra, the union of disputatious persons, is a secret society which for many years dominated Naples.  Originally, so far as can be traced, a league of prisoners formed for good fellowship and mutual aid, it gradually spread through many branches of Neapolitan society. 

   There was a grand master, whose name no one was supposed to know, and a court of judges, picked from the twelve branches of the league.  Each branch was composed of a number of semi-independent groups, politicians, blackmailers, smugglers, or thieves.  The judges met in secret and sentenced in secret.  

   Those who refused them obedience died, as a long list of unpunished murders testified. The old Cammoristi were helped, criminals in its ranks mysteriously escaped punishment ; and respectable citizens submitted to its blackmail rather than fight it.  It hung like a shadow over Naples.

From The Times, London, 13 March 1911.

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