Manus 14: Giannone, Pietro. Professione di Fede ; Abbiura di Pietro Giannone ; Nota per il Doctor Pietro Giannone. (Italy) Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Item 14
Level of Description


  • Mid 18th c. (after 1738) (Creation)


  • Scope and Contents

    Language: Italian ; Latin. Date: Mid-18th century (after 1738). Title: Professione di Fede ; Abbiura di Pietro Giannone ; Nota per il Doctor Pietro Giannone. Creator: Giannone, Pietro (1676-1748) ; unknown scribe. Place of creation: Italy [Turin?]. Physical description: Paper, 1-53 numbered leaves, [1], 54-64 numbered leaves ; 28 x 21 cm. Summary: Texts from the posthumous works of Pietro Giannone of Naples, Italy, written during his time in prison in Turin from c.1736-1748. For comparison with an early printed copy of the text, see Opera Postume di Pietro Giannone (Venice: Giambatista Pasquali, 1768). Pietro Giannone was an important Italian historian of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, perhaps best known for opposing papal influence in Naples in his polemical survey of Neapolitan history, Istoria civile del regno di Napoli (1723). This work, and his later Il triregno, ossia del regno del cielo, della terra, e del papa (“The Triple Crown, or the Reign of Heaven, Earth, and the Pope”) were two of the first texts to deal systematically with the relationship between church and state from the perspective of the history of institutions of power and an historical account of sovereignty, which he called Istoria civile, “civil history.” As a result of his writings, in which he took a polemical stance on the side of the civil powers in their conflicts with the Church hierarchy, Giannone was excommunicated and his books were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, after which Giannone left Italy to live in exile in Geneva. However, several years later on a visit to a Catholic village in Sardinia, he was captured and turned over to the authorities in Turin, where he spent the last twelve years of his life in prison. He was well respected as a historian during his own time, and Gibbon drew on his work heavily in the later volumes of the The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, thus ensuring his reputation in England. Today he remains a significant figure in Italian history of the 18th century. It is difficult to date this manuscript precisely, though it may be traced with some confidence to the mid-18th century, which places it very close to the date of Giannone’s original writings (1738). A scholarly comparison of this manuscript to other extant manuscripts of this work, such as those used in preparing the 1768 edition of Giannone’s posthumous works, may be a worthy project for a researcher in Neapolitan history. For more information on Gianonne, see Harold Stone, “The Record of the Losers: A Consideration of Pietro Giannone” in The American Scholar Vol. 54, Issue 1 (Winter 1984-1985): 111-118 ; and Hugh Trevor-Roper, “Pietro Giannone and Great Britain” in The Historical Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3. (Sept. 1996): 657-675. See also a modern Italian critical edition of Gianonne’s works, Opere di Giannone Pietro, ed. Sergio Bertelli and Giuseppe Ricuperati. (Milano: R. Ricciardi, 1971). Note: Bound in 18th century full vellum over paper boards ; gilt decoration to covers and spine ; marbled endpapers. Leaf count disregards 2 blank and unnumbered leaves at front one at rear of manuscript. Written in dark brown ink in a single hand. First and final pages contain stamp of “Malvezzi, Duca di Santa Candida.” The title of Duke of Santa Candida was granted to the Malvezzi (or Malvinni) family by Carlo VI in 1784, thus this volume must have been in the family’s possession some time after that date. History of Brandeis’s acquisition of the volume unknown ; possibly the gift of Philip D. Sang. Call #: Manus 14