Sicilian Vespers, the name given to the insurrection of Palermo, March 31,1282. It was at a festival on Easter-Monday that a multitude of the inhabitants of Palermo and the neighborhood had thronged to the Church of the Holy Ghost, about half a mile out of the town. The religious service was over, and amusements of all sorts were going gayly on, when a body of French soldiery appeared, under the pretext of keeping the peace. One of them offering an insult to the daughter of Roger Mastrangelo, he was immediately slain, and in the fighting which followed every one of the 200 Frenchmen present was killed. The insurrection became general; 2000 French were slain. A government was hastily formed, the towns asserted their independence, and formed a league for mutual defence, and in one month Sicily was free; the French had disappeared. See Milman, Hist. of Latin Christianity. ii, 155 sq.