Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

Several legends trace the founding of the Italian secret society of the Carbonari (“Charcoal-burners”) back to antiquity. They made their first historical appearance in southern Italy in the Napoleonic period, c. 1807. Similarities in organization and ritual as well as personal connections suggest that they emerged from the Bons Cousins Charbonniers, an occupational organization established primarily in Burgundy and Franche-Comté. It was an initiatory society but not conspiratorial, and had only two grades. Their instruction was Christi…

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Binder, Hans-Otto, “Carbonari”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 06 December 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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