Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (US: /kÉËlËjÉËstroÊ, kÃ¦l-/, Italian: [alesËsandro kaÊËÊÉstro]; 2 June 1743 â 26 August 1795) was the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo (pronounced [dÊuËzÉppe Ëbalsamo]; in French usually referred to as Joseph Balsamo).
Cagliostro was an Italian adventurer and self-styled magician. He became a glamorous figure associated with the royal courts of Europe where he pursued various occult arts, including psychic healing, alchemy and scrying. His reputation lingered for many decades after his death, but continued to deteriorate, as he came to be regarded as a charlatan and impostor, this view fortified by the savage attack of Thomas Carlyle (1795â1881) in 1833, who pronounced him the “Quack of Quacks”. Later worksâsuch as that of W.R.H. Trowbridge (1866-1938) in his Cagliostro: the Splendour and Misery of a Master of Magic (1910)âattempted a rehabilitation.
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