assumed name of an arch-impostor, his real name being Giuseppe Balsamo, born in Palermo, of poor parents; early acquired a smattering of chemistry and medicine, by means of which he perpetrated the most audacious frauds, which, when detected in one place were repeated with even more brazen effrontery in another; married a pretty woman named Lorenza Feliciani, who became an accomplice; professed supernatural powers, and wrung large sums from his dupes wherever they went, after which they absconded to Paris and lived in extravagance; here he was thrown into the Bastille for complicity in the DIAMOND NECKLACE AFFAIR (q.v.); on his wife turning informer, he was consigned to the tender mercies of the Inquisition, and committed to the fortress of San Leone, where he died at 52, his wife having retired into a convent (1743-1795). See CARLYLE'S "MISCELLANIES" for an account of his character and career.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Alessandro Cagliostro — Count Alessandro di Cagliostro (2 June 1743 – 26 August 1795) was the alias of the occultist Giuseppe Balsamo (also called Joseph Balsamo), an Italian adventurer. Contents …   Wikipedia

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  • Cagliostro — biographical name Count Alessandro di 1743 1795 originally Giuseppe Balsamo Italian adventurer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Cagliostro — /kal yoh stroh/; It. /kah lyaws trddaw/, n. Count Alessandro di /ah les sahn drddaw dee/, (Giuseppe Balsamo), 1743 95, Italian adventurer and impostor. * * * …   Universalium

  • Cagliostro — Ca•glios•tro [[t]kælˈyoʊ stroʊ[/t]] n. big Count Alessandro di, (Giuseppe Balsamo), 1743–95, Italian adventurer and impostor …   From formal English to slang

  • Cagliostro — /kælˈjɒstroʊ/ (say kal yostroh) noun Count Alessandro di /alɛˈsandroʊ di/ (say ahle sahndroh dee) (Giuseppe Balsamo), 1743–95, unscrupulous Italian adventurer and supposed magician …   Australian English dictionary

  • Alessandro Cagliostro — Portrait Giuseppe Balsamo Portrait Lorenza Feliciani …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cagliostro, Alessandro, Count di — ▪ Italian charlatan original name  Giuseppe Balsamo   born June 2, 1743, Palermo, Sicily, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies [Italy] died Aug. 26, 1795, San Leo, Papal States       charlatan, magician, and adventurer who enjoyed enormous success in… …   Universalium

  • Giuseppe Balsamo — noun Italian who was famous as a magician and alchemist (1743 1795) • Syn: ↑Cagliostro, ↑Count Alessandro di Cagliostro • Instance Hypernyms: ↑sorcerer, ↑magician, ↑wizard, ↑necromancer, ↑thaumaturge, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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