Origins of the Fiefs in the Neapolitan and Sicilian Kingdom in the work of Giacinto Dragonetti

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Abstract

The article focuses on Giacinto Dragonetti’s Origins of the Fiefs in the Neapolitan and Sicilian Kingdom. The book was published in 1788 as expression of the governmental policy concerning the good interpretation of the Volentes chapter and the right exerted by the fiscal system on the fiefs without heirs. Through a detailed analysis of the text and the context into which it was written, the article aims to deepen the knowledge of the cultural changes caused by the intertwining among historiography, politics and law into the framework of the discussions relating the feudal matter in the second half of the Eighteenth century. Paying particular attention to the epistemological and methodological innovations in the fields of the textual critics and philological erudition, as well as in the larger outlook of the social and natural sciences, the author points out the “pre-historicist” bent acquired by the history of law through the development of evolutionary and dynamic conceptions (such as the theory of epigenesis), which were alternative to the hypothetical and analogical ones at that time prevailing. The study of the origins of the fiefs borrowed many heuristic innovations from different disciplinary fields in a complex way, fostering the way to the writing of proper constitutional histories.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)803-839
Number of pages37
JournalNuova Rivista Storica
Volume100
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History

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