Il “Principe repubblicano”. Paolo Sarpi e altri teorici della sovranità (secc. XVI-XVII)


  • Alessia Ceccarelli Sapienza Università di Roma


Parole chiave:

Republican absolutism/Republican principality, Paolo Sarpi, Sarpi’s unfinished treatise Della potestà de’ prencipi, Republicanism, Absolutism


The concept of “Principe  repubblicano” (“Republican absolutism” or “Republican principality”, as the case may be) aims to combine republicanism and absolutism and unites many theories on sovereignty elaborated in sixteenthand seventeenth-century Europe by thinkers of various profiles. This idea is in fact a hybrid that reflects the specific characteristics of the political-state context for which it was conceived: the Republics of Venice, Genoa and Holland, Florence (under Cosimo I de’ Medici), England (under James I Stuart). It is an ideology that seeks to overcome such a complex political-institutional turn of events that new and daring political instruments were needed. This
collection of contributions is primarily concerned with the most important of these ideological positions: the “Republican absolutism” by Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623), i.e. the Potestà (Della potestà de’ prencipi), an unfinished work, composed around 1610-11. Long thought to have been lost (or never existed), the Potestà came to light again in 2006, through the seventeenth-century copy identified by Nina Cannizzaro among the manuscripts of the Beinecke Library (Yale University). The political and literary issue revolving around Sarpi’s unfinished treatise that Dimensioni e problemi della ricerca storica brings to the attention of readers on the occasion of the fourth centenary of Sarpi’s death is also extremely compelling. This monographic section contributes to illuminate the “Potestà affair”, especially with regard to the problem of its/Sarpi’s possible or very probable legacies. We hope that some of the hypotheses and suggestions formulated in these pages may sooner or later prove useful in unravelling the tangle.



2024-03-18 — Aggiornato il 2024-03-24




Sezione monografica