Again and again he had excused himself to the pope, and been excused by the pope, because the exigencies of his policy in Germany or Sicily tied his hands.
But after a brief stay in the island he returned to Piedmont and left his new possessions to a viceroy, which caused much discontent among the Sicilians; and when the Quadruple Alliance decreed in 1718 that Sicily should be restored to Spain, Victor was unable to offer any opposition, and had to content himself with receiving Sardinia in exchange.
In Sicily they all found a strip of sea-coast with an inland region behind; but the strip of seacoast was not like the broken coast of Greece and Greek Asia, and the inland region was not a boundless continent like Africa or Asia.
Ferdinand to some extent maintained French legislation, but otherwise reorganized the state with Metternich's approval on Bourbon lines; he proclaimed himself king of the Two Sicilies at the congress of Vienna, incorporating Naples and Sicily into one state, and abolished the Sicilian constitution (December 1816).
On the west of the Aegean a new symbol was invented for the aspirate value, and this spread over the mainland and was carried by emigrants to Rhodes, Sicily and Italy.
The war between France and Spain for the possession of Naples dragged on, and Alexander was ever intriguing, ready to ally himself with whichever power promised at the moment most advantageous terms. He offered to help Louis on condition that Sicily be given to Cesare, and then offered to help Spain in exchange for Siena, Pisa and Bologna.
The Moslems of Sicily were busy in civil wars; Arabs fcught against Berbers, both against the African overlord.
Many other smaller towns suffered both in Sicily and in Calabria; the loss of life was appalling and the distress widespread, in spite of the prompt assistance rendered by Italian naval and military forces and by the crews of British, Russian and German warships and other vessels, and the contribution of funds for relief works from every part of the world.
At first in Sicily and afterwards throughout Italy the Ghibellines gave them a warm welcome; the rigorists and the malcontents who had either left the church or were on the point of leaving it, were attracted by these communities of needy rebels; and the tribune Rienzi was at one time disposed to join them.
Alfonso reigned alone and undisturbed in Lower Italy, combining for the first time since the year 1282 the crowns of Sicily and Naples.