In Early Modern Italian States, Freemasonry had a difficult start. Lodges were created in Rome, Florence, Naples, Milan by the first half of the Eighteenth Century, however almost all of them faced difficulties and even persecutions. The most notable case is that of Florence: poet and freemason Tommaso Crudeli was imprisoned by the Florentine Inquisition. Although later freed, he never recovered and died shortly afterwards, becoming the first martyr of Italian Freemasonry. Nevertheless, Freemasonry persisted and, in the Seventies, re-emerged as a key-player, especially in the Kingdom of Naples favored by Queen Maria Carolina, in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany under Peter Leopold and in Austrian Lombardy. Freemasonry fostered the creation of cultural networks which helped exchange ideas and books. During the Enlightenment, the most interesting Italian example of cultural, political and masonic intertwinement is represented by the Neapolitan reformism of Gaetano Filangieri and Francesco Mario Pagano. The revolutionary outburst brought along a new season of oppression: Freemasonry, for instance, was banned from all the Austrian territories. On the contrary, the arrival of Napoleon in 1796 caused an unprecedented dissemination of masonic lodges and ultimately to the creation of the Grand Orient of Italy in 1805.
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