AVITABILE, Paolo

AVITABILE, Paolo Crescenzo Martino. Agerola 25.10.1791 — Agerola 28.3.1850. Neapolitan Officer and Traveller in India. From 1807 served in Neapolitan militia and army under Joseph Bonaparte and Joachim Murat. In 1815 second lieutenant, still served under the Bourbons, but after two years quitted disappointed. Travelled in Maghreb, then in 1818 went through Constantinople to Persia. After several years there in Qajar service he first returned to Naples, but soon left for the Pañjab, and served under Rañjit Singh as an artillery general. After 1830 in civil administration. As governor of Wazirabad and then of Peshawar in 1834 became known as ruthless but succesful administrator. In 1843 he returned via Simla and Calcutta to Naples, arriving in Febr. 1844. After a brief period in Agerola, where he married a young cousine, he made a long trip to Paris and London. Last years again in Agerola, divorced and died in unclear circumstances.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *B.N. Goswamy, “General A. and the Vaishnava Establishment at Dhyanpur”, JRAS 1971, 156-165; Amedeo Maiello, “Avitabile the Mastiff: The Making of an Image”, Napoli e l’India. I.U.O. Dip. di studi as. Series minor 34, Napoli 1990, 207-315. Not in D.B.I.; Wikipedia (Italian version shorter, but with picture).

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