Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

Piacentino rebellion (1805–1806)

Surviving Napoleon. A case study of small town discursive strategies during the Piacentino rebellion (1805–1806)
Doina Pasca Harsanyi
Modern Italy, Volume 22, Issue 3, August 2017 , pp. 233-246


In December 1805 a violent anti-French rural insurgency broke out in the mountainous area around Piacenza, in the States of Parma. Castell’Arquato was one of the centres of this rebellion: local leaders devised a strategy that, using to advantage the dominant French imperial discourse of competent and progressive government, saved the town from the anticipated reprisals. Close reading of this particular case of narrative ingeniousness brings into focus the larger issue of agency local Italians were able to derive from the French quest for stability in the region.