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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Arrival of the 2nd Company of the Papal Escort


The Vatican

The Commander turned and looked at his second in command uncomfortably, and the mounted men shifted around in their saddles.

"Ah... of course. Your business, papers, scribes, aides, any cardinals of counsel, lawyers. This I expected, and have made ample room for."

He looked uncomfortable as he spoke next.

"An entire regiment, however... I cannot imagine the logistical coordination and cost it would take for so many men and supplies. In addition, I am sure that the King of Aragon would not want a foreign regiment encamped in his capitol. Perhaps, if you would curtail your numbers to a respectable number of men-at-arms sufficent to keep the beggers of Barcelona away."
 

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Of course, I shall reduce the numbers to my most elite guard, twenty men.

Gregory turned towards the Vatican Aides and shouted,

Captain, gather twenty of your best men,

Gregory then turned towards the Spaniard and said in a low, menacing, annoyed voice, directed only towards the Iberian Commander,

We leave at once.
 

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The hungarians were a bit surprised with the chaos in the Curia. The Pope seemed to be going away to Iberia of all places, an area known to symphatize with Avignon. Still, in the end the hungarians presented their plea to the Curia. Palatine Garai was the one that spoke.

"Noble Princes of the Church."

"We do not know wether you have heard to terrible news from the east, but Charles of Durazzo has done nothing else than sign an alliance with the mongol hordes. The very same horde that ravaged the lands of eastern Europe like a storm. Their attack on Hungary was unsuccessful but was still of such a scale that the Kingdom has not fully recovered until recently."

"Yet Charles of Durazzo still plots and schemes, making an alliance with these servants of Satan. An act that must be the most severe threat to the body of Christ in decades. As such his life must surely be forfeit, his immortal soul doomed to an eternity of torment, his titles and lands stripped away from him."

"Yet this must all be considered by the most noble Curia. We only ask that this is acted upon quickly, for such an act can surely not go unnoticed. Surely this must be condemned with the harshest of measures. We await the divine guidance and wisdom of the Church in this matter."

After the speech the contents of the treaty between Naples and the Horde was read out aloud.

Pact of Brindisi-Sarai
Alliance between the Kingdom of Naples and the Golden Horde​

With the growing ties of friendship between the Golden Horde and Naples, the rulers of both Kingdoms have in their wisdom decided to set this friendship down in writing, in honour of their common goals and objectives.


Article I: In the event of an attack on either Naples or the Golden Horde, the other kingdom pledges to send either military or economic aid to help repel the invader.

Article II:
i) If either Kingdom declares war on a third party, the other Kingdom pledges to send support, either in men or in funds.
ii) Before war is declared, the ally must be given warning.
iii) The only exception to i) is an attack on a third party which is a known ally of either kingdom, by the other kingdom; in that instance the attacking Kingdom releases the other from their obligations.

Article III: An attack on either kingdom is to be considered a direct attack on the other.

Article IV: Both kingdoms pledge not to sign a separate peace in a common war.

Article V: Both kingdoms pledge not to send aid to the foe of the other, in times of war, in the occasion that either of the kingdoms undertake a war in which the other cannot be bound to join (by the terms of Article II, iii).

Article VI: The treaty will be confirmed by a royal marriage, at a later date.

[x] Charles, King of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, et cetera.
[x] Toqtamish, Great Khan of the Golden Horde,etc.
 

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The Holy Father stopped where he was standing. He looked at the Iberian Captain and said,

Commander, I cannot leave just yet. Give me a few minutes to converse with the Hungarian Delegation.

He turned to Bishop Ujlaky and Palatine Garai.

Dear Brother in Christ, is this true? Has the King of Naples aligned himself with the Infidel?

Gregory took the parchment from the Bishop and read through the clauses. Indeed, Charles had aligned with the infidel. THere were a number of options he could take, and he had to act.

Brothers, I will handle the King of Naples and attempt to sort this out. Go in Peace, and you shall soon see the fruits of your concern. Commander, we may leave. Captain! Lets go.
 

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"Charles, the most humble servant of Rome, to the Most Holy Father, greetings.

We read your letter with the greatest sadness. Indeed we made an alliance with the Horde - but have not the Byzantines done this also? Were they interdicted? Or even chastised in the slightest? However, we bow to your rule. We will talk to Khan, for heathen he may be, yet he is also the Creation of God, and we will see if he will convert and submit to Rome.

Your Holiness, we have long ago renounced our rights to Sicily and Hungary. We do not claim any other crowns. Our betrothed, Elizabeth, is the righteous heiress of the kingdoms of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, and Transylvania, and we ask that your Highness make some research into her just and righteous claims.

We remain your humble servant, and the champion of Rome. If Your Holiness will recognise the right of the princess Elizabeth to the four crowns, on behalf of her father Stephen, who ruled them until his death in 1354, and of her brother, who was their titular proprietor until his own death in 1363, we will most willing renounce all alliances with the Horde, until such a time as we receive confirmation that their Khan has converted. Those lands were held by King Lajos when the princess was his ward, but she is now capable of assuming her inheritance. We ask that you confirm her in this, and we will come ourselves to Rome, bringing with us the two Cardinals with us who serve Avignon.

Your most humble servant,
Charles d'Anjou."
 
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Encyclical letter: Filippus Fratris Antea Clarissimus




In the name of the holy & indivisible Trinity, Father & Son & Holy Ghost. Amen.



Clement, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God; to his Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, the Primates, the Archbishops & the Bishops & the Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See; & likewise to all the faithful believers in the One True Church, Universal & Apostolic, these chosen ones of God, who are subject to Us as to Peter, the one & only shepherd appointed by Christ to become the head of His mystical body; and especially to Our astrayed brother, Philip, of the House of Alençon: Greetings & Apostolic Benediction.



PHILIP, ONCE BELOVED BROTHER in Christ, of all the injuries inflicted upon the Lord God and his Mystical Body by their prosecutors and enemies, the most painful for Us were the wounds made by you. For We hear you now call yourself Bishop of Rome, using the name 'Gregory', this way abusing and berating the name of Our predecessor of holy memory, Gregory the Eleventh, who was Our master and fatherly friend. And not only that: if only you and your fellow schismatics, these false cardinals created by the schismatic usurper Bartholomew Prignano, had any care for the fate of the Church, Universal and Apostolic, you would have notified Us right after the death of that Prignano. For then We could have followed the advice of the learned scholars of the University of Paris, and We would have considered to peacefully abdicate, to let the cardinals of both obeidences gather together to elect the Bishop of Rome who would have been accepted by the entire Christianity, for the greater glory of God.

But you, Philip of the House of Alençon, and your schismatic fellows, you care not for the fate of the Christendom, you care not for the glory of God, you care only for your own benefit. You decided to get elected with a demonic speed, leaving no time for negotiations, this way proving that you are indeed guilty of the excommunicating sin of schism.

Therefore We wish it to be known to all of you, beloved children and venerable brethren, that the usurper Philippe of Alençon and his household, having by their own deeds been excommunicated, are herewith declared by Us the enemies of God and the Holy Church. We herewith declare them cursed, condemned, cast out, cut off from the Mystical Body of Christ, out of which there is no salvation. And for most severe crimes against the humanity and the Church, We declare the said Philippe of Alençon deposed of his offices, stripped of any and all rights of inheritance, stripped of his titles and dispossessed of his properties: the estates formerly owned by the said Philippe of Alençon shall be given to Our beloved son, the Count Pierre of Alençon. And We absolve his former subjects from any and oaths of obedience to him, and on the pain of excommunication We forbid all Christians from serving or obeying him in any way. He and his household shall be given no shelter, nor food, he shall not be protected nor defended by the laws of men and God.

Moreover, even though the interdict laid on the city of Rome and the territories of the Patrimony of St. Peter in rebellion against Us expired with the death of the usurper Bartholomew Prignano, this command of interdict shall be renewed by Us: so long as the usurper Philip of Alençon, schismatic and heretic, is in power in the aforesaid territories, all ecclesiastical courts and all churches there shall be closed, no Masses shall be celebrated, no confessions shall be heard, all sacraments, except the last rite, shall be withheld.

Moreover, let it be known that all the clergy and laity who dares to ignore these commands of Ours shall be ipso facto excommunicated.

Furthermore, herewith We command all the former subjects of that Philip of Alençon to rise up against the usurper. Any city that resists the yoke of the schismatic shall be forgiven by Us for its former crimes; and any city that tears down the banners of the usurper shall be given by Us the status of a Free City.

And We also call Our venerable brethren, the prelates in the service of the usurper, to come to Us in a properly servile and humble manner, begging for Our forgiveness, and We promise they shall be forgiven by Us.​


Given in Avignon, in the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord MCCCLXXXIV, in the sixth year of Our Pontificate and fifth year of Our Exile.



Clemens PP. VII



 
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The letter the Antipope Gregory sent to Avignon in the summer of 1384 caused great sensation in the Palais des Papes: this was the very first occasion a schismatic person expressed his wish for a peaceful settlement of the Schism, and on official level, no less. So far the efforts to end the Schism were restricted to the correspondence of the various prelates and holy men and women who used to be friends before the Schism broke out: Catherine Benincasa, Pedro Cardinal de Luna, Adam Easton, Pietro Cardinal Corsini and Filippo Ruffini had kept writing each other dozens and dozens of letters, trying to win each other over to the cause they thought just. But this time one Pope wrote to the other.

Suddenly a very large group of prelates favouring the peaceful settlement emerged from the obscurity; even some cardinals embraced their cause. And dozens and dozens of lesser officials kept expressing their wish for a general council. Some people were actually favouring the self-styled Gregory XII over Clement VII; it seemed the Roman cardinals' calculation was right: the origin and descence of Philippe d'Alençon, grandson of Charles de Valois and cousin of the King of France did impress many: they were plotting in the fortified castles of Villeneuve-lez-Avignon; it was rumoured they were led by Guillaume Cardinal d'Aigrefuille, the former Bishop of Avignon. Then there were the staunch conservatives, who did not even want to hear about concessions, and there were, of course, the hesitating ones who did not want to take sides until the things would get more certain.

And there was Jean de la Grange.








SUB IMMUNITATE APOSTOLICA HOC SUPPOSITUM EST.
QUISQUIS NUNTIUM MOLESTARE AUDEAT,
IPSO FACTO EXCOMMUNICETUR.



Jean Cardinal de la Grange, O.S.B., S.Th.D., bishop of Frascati; onto his brother in the service of Christ, Philippe d'Alençon: greetings

Firstly, I wish to say thank you for writing a letter to my Lord the Pope Clement, as well as I wish to thank you for your seemingly genuine desire to end the Schism, this serious malady that is devastating the Mystical Body of Christ. Be assured, my desire is the very same, and even though certain things may set us apart, this mutual desire of ours to heal the Church binds us together stronger than those would divide us. Let us, therefore, put those differences of opinion aside until the Church is healed.

I have carefully examined your letter, and I have consulted with numerous learned scholars from the Université de Paris. Your reasoning is noteworthy, but let me call your attention onto certain debatable points.

Primo: the idea that an ecumenical council should be convoked for the removal of the Schism, or even to make any important decisions concerning the politics of the Church, I oppose for a variety of reasons. Chiefly, I firmly believe that the final decisive authority over the matters of the Church is solely the Roman Pontiff, and this is good so. Letting a synod be the final authority only once could make many of our brothers in the service of Christ falsely believe that a synod would be legally empowered to decide about the matters of the faith without the consent of the Roman Pontiff, and some would even believe that a synod could legally elect and depose the Roman Pontiff. This so-called conciliarism is not yet a heresy, but it should be that, for it is in clear contrast with numerous decisions of past Synods and Popes. This conciliarism undermines the authority of the Roman Pontiff, thus its spreading would eventually undermine the authority of the entire Church.

Secundo: according to your proposal, both obediences would delegate fifteen cardinals to a new Collegium that would immedietaly go into conclave. I must object: such a conclave would inevitably be stuck in deadlock for long months, even years. To get the required two-third majority one faction would need to win five cardinals over to his cause, and that is, as shown by the conclaves of the past century, way too much. Further, I am sure the cardinals of both obediences would be fragmented into sub-factions, thus making the work of the conclave even harder. Also, such long, hard, tiresome conclaves usually result in the election of weak and old persons. I firmly believe that the Church now needs a strong, able man more than ever and needs him fast; and since the Collegium you proposed would only slowly elect a man right the opposite, I believe your proposed Collegium would actually ruin the Church.

I wish to present here a counter-proposal. Even though Avignon does not recognize Prignano and Rome does not recognize my Lord Clement, both obediences recognize His Holiness Gregory XI of blessed memory as a Pope elected legally, thus as a true Roman Pontiff. Therefore we might as well deprive all cardinals created by Prignano and my Lord Clement of the purple, leaving only the cardinals created by the Pope Gregory or earlier. We are fortunate enough to still have ten such cardinals living, amongst them my humble self. Upon the abdication of both you and my Lord Pope, these cardinals could go to conclave to elect a Pope recognized by the enitre Christendom, ending the Schism. Since relatively small, such a conclave would prove to be workable.

Tertio: you seem to be very firm when proposing the Basilica of St. Peter as the place of the election. Albeit it may not seem to be an important point, let me call your attention to the fact that with this proposal you involuntarily embrace another heresy: namely the heresy that requires the Pope to reside at Rome. The standpoint of the Catholic Church was always that Rome is always where the Roman Pontiff is. Claiming the opposite, thus that the Roman Pontiff is where Rome lies is ridiculous and heretical. I believe the election should take place not in Rome, as if to demonstrate that the Church opposes the urbanist heresy. Also, many people of the Avignon obedience have very bad memories about the city of Rome. For these reasons I would suggest some neutral city to house the election. Pisa or Anagni would be acceptable to us.

Hoping you are in good health, etc., etc., I eagerly await your kind reply.​
Written in Avignon, in the Incarnation of Our Lord MCCCLXXXIV,



Jean Card. de la Grange, O.S.B.​

 

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Not long after dawn, a letter arrived in Rome, for the reading of the Pope.

"Elizabeth, By the Grace of God, Queen of Transylvania, Slavonia, Croatia, and Dalmatia, Queen Dowager of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, Princess Dowager of Achaia, Durazzo, and Taranto, unto His Majesty, the Most Holy Father Gregory, the Twelvth, greetings.

It is with the saddest of hearts that I write to you to inform you of the most grievous death of His Majesty, King Charles of Naples, and his son, King Ladislas, only four days after. We ask that you lift the interdict from the land, and once more extend your hand in Holy Benediction and blessing over Naples, and come at once to Naples. The Princess Joanna, who her father intended to become Queen upon Ladislas' death, is in far-off England. We do not know what will become of the kingdom if you do not come at once, sire, and intervene.

By her own hand,
Elizabeth, Queen of Transylvania, etc."
 

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Departure of the 2nd Company of the Papal Escort


The Vatican


Gregory said:
... Commander, we may leave. Captain!

Lets go.
The Commander ushered the Lord of Rome and his entorage into several carriages that had been appropriated from a nearby stable, and reversed course. As they trraveled the winding streets of the city, the Castelleons kept the people at bay and away from the carriages.

Upon reaching the ship, which was quite a modest caravel in size, the entorage and personal guards of the Pope were packed into the hold, along with the emmisaries that followed Gregory.


"Set sail Commander Rodreguiz."


The newly appointed commander saluted the captain and set course for Sardinia where they were to pick up another guest.

To be continued... please consider the ship to be in Aragon court waters, and thusly place in ship RP there.
 

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Blaz of House Gozze-Gucetic

After a long journey across the Med. Sea, they finally arrived at the port of Cadiz, once they docked within the habour, Blaz went on along with his small guards and after few days of hard riding, they managed to arrived at the most splendid court of Rome... He told these guards at the gate that he is a envoy from the city of Ragusa who wish to request a meeting with newly elected Pope.
 

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The guard looked at the elderly Ragusan, and said,

His Holiness is currently away from the Patrimony. He shall be returning soon, we assume. While he is away, you may speak with Father DiRossio about matters of state, and the Archbishop of Ostia, Pietro Cardinal Tomacelli about matters of religion.

The guard then looked on as the man pondered his decision.
 

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Blaz of House Gozze-Gucetic

Blaz looked thoughtfully as he thinking it over and replied back, nodding:

Blaz Then, sir, I do hope that Pope's journey is successful. I will then desire to speak with Father DiRossio about the matters.
 

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Please Sir, if you will.

The Ragusan was led down the halls of the Castel, and finally into the ornately decorated office of the Papal Steward and Chancellor, Father Anthony DiRossio.

Sir, what may I do for you?
 

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"John, King-designate of Naples, et cetera, to Gregory XII, the Most Holy Father, greetings.

It has come to my knowledge that the girl Joanna is now a servant of Avignon, and is to marry either the King of Castille or Wilhelm of Notto. Thus she is forfeit of all titles, rights, and claims upon the crown of Naples. I ask that you give me permission to be crowned at once, so that I may be firmly established on the throne. I also ask that you confirm the lady ELizabeth of Slavonia as Queen of Poland, and nominate her as your candidate to rule over that land.

By his own hand,
John, King-Designate of Naples"
 

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Pietro Cardinal Tommacelli, the Archbishop of Ostio and Dean of the College of Cardinals, looked at the letter from the Heir-Prince of Naples. The Pope had not been heard from in close to a week, and the Dean was beginning to worry. He knew that going with the Castillians would be a bad thing. They were the standard-bearer for the Bishop of Avignon, and his anti-papacy. Although addressed to the Pope, as Co-Regent while Gregory was away, he opened it and read its contents.

So, Joanna has converted to the teachings of Robert of Geneva, eh? Well, in that case, she shall be disinherited, and John of Gravina named King. As for Poland, the Papacy's official stance is that a man is to inherit, or a woman can inherit, but only with a consort. Elizabeth was unmarried. It was turning into an interesting affair. Gregory would have to be consulted for Poland, but Naples was easy. He took down a letter to the Archbishop of Corfu on the subject at hand.
 

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"John, King of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, Prince of Achaia, Durazzo, and Taranto, et cetera, to Gregory XII, the Most Holy Father, or his representative-regent, greetings.

It is with great joy that I write to inform you of the coronation of myself and my wife, Queen Joanna, who i believe is already with child!

As for the crown of Poland, I have considered the matter in more depth, and of course, the lady Elizabeth cannot succeeed without a consort, in the same manner as the princess Joanna could not, before she bowed to the Antichrist in Avignon. Therefore, I will do my best to seek out a consort for her: perhaps the Grand Duke of Lithuania or the Elector Palatine will make suitable candidates. Otherwise, let her claims and titles pass to her son Stephen, and let him rule as Rome's chosen in Poland, for he is a healthy and pious young man, and already of marriageable age. The lady Elizabeth could then rule Poland as regent, until such a time as he reaches his full maturity.

By his own hand,
John, King of Naples"
 

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A letter arrived from Hungary.




Onto the members of the Curia,

It was with shock we received the news that Rome now supports Stephan Pietro for the throne of Poland. Stephan Pietro was born of a marriage that was never recognized by Rome. Furthermore his mother died in 1380. (OOC: 3 years before the game started). Therefore the woman that calls herself Elizabeth of Slavonia can be nothing but a fraud.

Furthermore, we were confident that Rome supported the candidacy of one of our daughters for the crown of Poland. Indeed, our daughter Jadwiga has widespread support among the polish nobles. Prominent men such as:

Jan z Melsztyna,
Otton z Pilczy,
Jan Tęczyński, castellan of Wojnik,
Piotr ze Szczekocin herbu Odrowąż, castellan of Lublin, Steward of Kraków,
Włodek z Charbinowic herbu Sulima, castellan of Kraków,
Spytek z Tarnowa,
Jaśko z Tęczyna, voivode of Sandomierz and starost of Ruthenia,
Jan Kimita z Wiślicza, Starost of Sieradz and Butler of Kraków,
Piotra Nieorża,
Dobiesław z Kurozwęk, voivode of Kraków,
Krzesław z Chodowa herbu Róża, castellan of Sądeckie
Jan Radlica, Royal Chancellor and Bishop of Kraków
Sędziwój z Szubina herbu Pałuka, starost of Kraków
Dymitr z Goraja,
Krystyn z Ostrowa,
Mikołaj Bogoria, castellan Zawichojski,
Wincenty Granowski, castellan of Nakło,
Piotr Wysz​

Surely the support for Stephan Pietro, not even a legitimate child, is nothing but a bad rumour.

If this woman that poses for Elizabeth of Slavonia continues to spread her lies we will have no other option than to take matters into our own hands to stop her. Even if it means extracting her from whomever grants her sanctuary, by force if nescessary.

We are confident that wisdom will prevail in this case.

Erzsébet Angevin
Dowager Queen and Regent of Hungary
 

Hawkeye1489

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Pietro Cardinal Tomacelli considered the letter from Hungary. He had indeed made a mistake. If only the Pope would return from Aragonia...
 

Velasco

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Apr 9, 2005
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"John, King of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, Prince of Achaia, Durazzo, and Taranto, et cetera, unto Our Most Holy Father Gregory, greetings.

We were most pleased by your first letter; and most sadden by the second. The lady Elizabeth of Slavonia I can testify is indeed the same that was born the daughter of the Duke of Slavonia, and married in her youth to Philip, the second of that name to rule as Prince of Taranto. My wife, Queen Joanna, formerly Duchess of Andria and Lecce, can also testify to the lady's identity, she also having known her in her youth, and also my steward Luigi d'Altavilla, who knew her as Princess of Taranto, and confesses that she is the same woman. My brother, Charles, also knew her to be the self same daughter of Stephen of Slavonia & Transylvania, by whom he fathered two sons, and kept in a monastery near Bari, where I saw her various times, and her sons also.

Indeed it falls to the Poles to elect their own King. However, the girl Jadwiga is exactly that, a mere girl, a child, and will be unable to rule for some years. The crown should only pass to a woman in the absence of a male heir. Stephen Pietro is the closest male kinsman of the late King Lajos, and was legitimised by the marriage of his father and mother some months previous, which was rendered null and void by an interdict laid upon us, but rendered legitimate and just by the lifting of that interdict. He is now of fourteen years, and will be able to learn the Polish tongue, and the Poles will be able to instruct him in their own customs and manners of rule. It is said Jadwiga has much support amongst the Poles, but I know this not to be true, for it is well reported that her mother is most detested amongst them, for her avaricious conduct toward the kingdom. I ask that you will reconsider this matter once more, in light of the proper identification of the lady Elizabeth to be exactly who she claims to be, and also her marriage to Charles, which took place before the interdict was laid, and which vows were taken in the purest innocence and honesty.

By his own hand,
John, King of Naples"