« Back to all events

The Disciplining of Historical Scholarship: Matteo Egizio, Naples and the Italian ʼRepublic of Lettersʼ, 1700-1734

Dates:
  • Fri 06 Jul 2018 10.00 - 12.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-07-06 10:00 2018-07-06 12:00 Europe/Paris The Disciplining of Historical Scholarship: Matteo Egizio, Naples and the Italian ʼRepublic of Lettersʼ, 1700-1734

This thesis is primarily an enquiry into the production of historical scholarship on the Italian peninsula in the first three decades of the 18th Century, with a specific emphasis on Naples and the Italian South. As a point of entry this study draws upon the passive correspondence of the Neapolitan lawyer and scholar Matteo Egizio. Its method is strategic rather than exhaustive: it argues that during the early 18th Century networks of Italian scholars sought to systematically reform how history was written, how the past was understood and related to the present, and how scholarship worked and related to other realms of life. Working collaboratively, groups of Neapolitan and Italian scholars aimed to enforce a specific method, epistemology and sensibility upon the writing of history and the production of scholarship. Building upon the humanist tradition, this entailed a critical approach to history, valuing empiricism and certainty in factual knowledge, challenging speculation and prejudice, and opposing the excesses of universalism, rationalism, dogmatism as well as Pyrrhonic scepticism in historical thought. This amounted to a coordinated attempt to discipline the production of historical scholarship. On the one hand it aimed to insulate historical scholarship from the encroachment of ideological bias, demarcating the writing of history, in a limited sense, as a distinct realm of learning. At the same time, the disciplining of scholarship made history a powerful source of authority, able to construct and deconstruct political-jurisdictional and theological-ecclesiastical arguments. Between these two tendencies, the generalization of historical criticism in the early 18th Century animated tensions between the intrinsic and the instrumental value of historical argument, as well as between the particular and the general meaning of historical truth. An exposition of these conflicts is the subject proper of this thesis.

Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle

This thesis is primarily an enquiry into the production of historical scholarship on the Italian peninsula in the first three decades of the 18th Century, with a specific emphasis on Naples and the Italian South. As a point of entry this study draws upon the passive correspondence of the Neapolitan lawyer and scholar Matteo Egizio. Its method is strategic rather than exhaustive: it argues that during the early 18th Century networks of Italian scholars sought to systematically reform how history was written, how the past was understood and related to the present, and how scholarship worked and related to other realms of life. Working collaboratively, groups of Neapolitan and Italian scholars aimed to enforce a specific method, epistemology and sensibility upon the writing of history and the production of scholarship. Building upon the humanist tradition, this entailed a critical approach to history, valuing empiricism and certainty in factual knowledge, challenging speculation and prejudice, and opposing the excesses of universalism, rationalism, dogmatism as well as Pyrrhonic scepticism in historical thought. This amounted to a coordinated attempt to discipline the production of historical scholarship. On the one hand it aimed to insulate historical scholarship from the encroachment of ideological bias, demarcating the writing of history, in a limited sense, as a distinct realm of learning. At the same time, the disciplining of scholarship made history a powerful source of authority, able to construct and deconstruct political-jurisdictional and theological-ecclesiastical arguments. Between these two tendencies, the generalization of historical criticism in the early 18th Century animated tensions between the intrinsic and the instrumental value of historical argument, as well as between the particular and the general meaning of historical truth. An exposition of these conflicts is the subject proper of this thesis.


Location:
Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

Examiner:
Jorge Flores (European University Institute)
Prof. Girolamo Imbruglia (Università di Napoli ʼLʼOrientaleʼ)
John Robertson (University of Cambridge)

Supervisor:
Prof. Ann Thomson (EUI - HEC)

Defendant:
Nicholas Mithen (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Attachment:
Privacy

Similar events

 

Page last updated on 18 August 2017