VIDAL Silvina Paula
congresos y reuniones científicas
Tommaso Campanella’s criticism of Spanish monarchy, between politics and historiography
Jornada; Might is not right: critiques of imperial rule and representations of the world; 2021
Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639) was a natural philosopher, but he also had a great interest in historiography and politics. In fact, history was considered the foundation of all disciplines. In his Historiographia (1638), Campanella trusted more on tradition and agreement between authors as criteria to determine the truth of a particular history rather than the use of vocabulary and phrasing, disagreement with opponents and discussion of authority. These three conditions were regarded as accidental, that is, never enough to “demolish a historian”. Discussion of authority played an important part in the last years of Campanella’s life, once free from prison, in 1635. He published the Monarchia di Francia (1636) and Aforismi politici per le presenti necessità di Francia (1637), among other minor political writings, both dedicated to Richelieu, in which he expressed a harsh criticism of Spanish monarchy and attributed its decadence to historical, demographic, economic, military and anthropological causes. To make his diagnosis and put forward as solution a political order more favorable to the Italian peninsula, Campanella talks as a historian, following the golden rule of arte historica: presenting himself as an eyewitness, who had first-hand experience of the facts he narrates. My presentation will address three issues: (i) the relation between these pro-French writings of Campanella and his historical preceptive, (ii) the critics to Spanish imperialist ruling, and (iii) give a possible explanation for Campanella’s rejection of his previous defense of a theocratic universal monarchy in favor of a more realistic alternative.