Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Carteggi Con Quadrio ... Ripa

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Carteggi Con Quadrio ... Ripa

Article excerpt

Carteggi con Quadrio ... Ripa. Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di L. A. Muratori, Voi. 35. Edited by Ennio Ferraglio and Marco Faini. [Centro di Studi Muratoriani, Modena.] (Florence: Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki. 2008. Pp. 654. euro120.00. ISBN 978-8-822-25767-3.)

Fortunately, a re-evaluation of the role played by the historian and reformer Ludovico Antonio Muratori in the Italian pre-Enlightenment has not had to wait for the completion of the national edition of his correspondence, but has accompanied this ongoing editorial venture, which is now in its thirty-fifth year and still has some twenty-nine volumes to go. The editors of the most recent installment, covering somewhat more than one letter of the alphabet, have adhered scrupulously to the project's high standards and strict criteria. They have looked far and wide to add material supplementing the main body of documents that exists in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena. In the case of letters by Muratori himself, rather than simply reprinting those published by Matteo Cámpori at the beginning of the twentieth century (14 vols., 1901-22), they have corrected the transcriptions against the originals wherever possible and have added any recently discovered letters. They provide detailed introductions to each correspondent, ranging from mini-dissertations up to eight pages long (for the more important figures) to short paragraphs (for the lesser-known figures), along with explanatory footnotes. The appendices round out the collection, adding letters not to or from Muratori himself but clearly intended for his perusal.

The letters here constitute a particularly challenging portion of the series, including no fewer than seventy-one correspondents from all over Europe, referring to every period of Muratori 's long career- from the early studies on poetry and good taste to the later ones on legal and political reform to the immense masterworks on medieval and modern history- during a key period in Italian and European culture: from the War of the Spanish Succession and the rise of Frederick ? to the papacy of Benedict XTV. They show the difficulties of obtaining and confirming knowledge in a regime of bibliographical fragmentation and the trials of publishing in a regime of censorship, experienced not only by Muratori himself for the Annali d'Italia and other works in various states around Europe but also by Francesco Algarotti, author of a layman's manual on Newtonian philosophy, and many others. …

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