turin naples history
GIANNONE, PIETRO (1676-1748), the most distinguished historian of whom Naples can boast, and amongst all Italian historians second alone to Fra Paulo Sarpi for the strong and clear light thrown in his works on the growth of the papal power, was born at Ischitella, in the province of Capitanata, on the 7th of stay 1676. Arriving in Naples at the age of eighteen, he devoted himself to the study f law, but his legal pursuits were much surpassed in importance by his literary labours. He devoted twenty years to the composition of his great work, The Civil History ,f Xaples, which was ultimately published in 1723. Here, in his account of the rise and progress of the Neapolitan laws and government, he warmly espoused the side of the civil power in its conflicts with the Romish hierarchy. The position thus taken up by him, and the manner in which that position was assumed, gave rise to a life-long conflict between Giannone and the church ; and we must know much more accurately- than we at present do all the facts concerning his alleged retractation in prison at Turin, before we can withhold from him the palm - as he certainly endured the suffcrings --of a confessor and martyr in the cause of what he deemed historical truth. Hooted by the mob of Naples, and excommunicated by the archbishop's court, lie was forced to leave Naples and repair to Vienna. Meanwhile the Inquisition had attested after its own field' the value of his history by putting it on the Index. .%+, Vienna the favour of the emperor Charles VI. and of many leading personages at the Austrian court obtained for hint a pension and other facilities for the prosecution of Inc historical studies. Of these the most important result seas Il Triregno, ossia del regno del ado, della terra, e del papa. On the transfer of the Neapolitan crown to Charles of Bourbon, Giannone lost his Austrian pension, and was compelled to remove to Venice. There he was at first most favourably received. The post of consulting lawyer to the republic, in which he might have continued the special work of Fra Paulo Sarpi, was offered to him, as well as that of professor of public law in Patina ; but he declined both offers. Unhappily there arose a suspicion that his views on maritime law were not favourable to the pretensions of Venice, and, notwithstanding all his efforts to dissipate that suspicion, it was resolved to expel him from the state. On the 23d of September 1735 he was seized and conveyed to Ferrara. After wandering, under the assumed name of Antonio Rinaldo, for three months through Modena, Milan, and Turin, he at last reached Geneva, where he enjoyed the friendship of the most distinguished citizens, and was on excellent terms with the great publishing firms. But in an evil hour he was induced to visit a Catholic village within the Sardinian territory, where he was kidnapped by the agents of the Sardinian Government, conveyed to the castle of Miolan, and thence successively transferred to Ceva and Turin. In the fortress of Turin he remained immured during the last twelve years of his life, though part of his time was spent in composing a defence of the Sardinian interests as opposed to those of the papal court, and though he was led to sign a retractation of the statements in his history most obnoxious to the Vatican. He died March 7, 1748, in his seventy-second year.
Giannone's style es an Italian writer has been pronounced to be below a severe classical model. But his very ease and freedom, if not classical, have helped to make his volumes more popular than many works of greater classical renown. In England the just appreciation of his labours by Gibbon, and the ample use made of them in the later volumes of The Dccliee earl Fall, early secured his rightful place for him in the estimation of English scholars.
A good and complete edition of Giannone's works is still a desideratum. The more important facts of his life have been recordedby'the Abbe Fernando Parizini in Italian, and in Latin by Fabroni; whilst a more complete estimate of his literary and political importance may be formed by the perusal of the collected edition of the works written by him in his Turin prison, published in Turin in 1859 - under the care of the distinguished statesman Pasquale Stanislao Mancini, late minister of grace and justice, universally recognized as one of the first authorities in Italy on inestions relating to the history of his native Naples, and especially to the conflicts lytween the civil power and the church.