«Una guerra di parole non meno travagliosa che una guerra d’acciaio». Paolo Sarpi, Della potestà de’ prencipi e la Disputa anglicana


  • Chiara Petrolini Università di Bologna




This contribution explores the affinity, recognized by their contemporaries, between Paolo Sarpi and James I, delving into Sarpi’s profound interest in the Oath of Allegiance enacted in England and the sovereignty model it embodied. Through the examination of polemical texts, legal consultations for the Senate, private letters, and diplomatic dispatches, this article reaffirms the genesis of Sarpi’s treatise Della potestà de’ prencipi within the James I-Paul V Controversy. However, it also reveals how Sarpi’s engagement with the issue of the oath extended beyond the failure of the treatise Della potestà de’ prencipi and its related project. On one hand, he sought to utilize or resist loyalty oaths in the Venetian domain as tools for defense or attack against the Pope and the Inquisition. On the other hand, the British Oath of Allegiance persisted in being recalled by Sarpi as a cautionary tale to the Senate of the Republic. Despite his harsh criticisms of the English sovereign, Sarpi continued to view James I’s conduct during the crisis with Pope Paul V as an exemplary demonstration of sovereignty, a model he aspired to introduce within the Republic of Venice.






Sezione monografica