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Vico and NaplesThe Urban Origins of Modern Social Theory$
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Barbara Ann Naddeo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449161

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449161.001.0001

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date: 25 May 2020

Vico’s Social Theory

Vico’s Social Theory

The Conundrum of the Roman Metropolis and the Struggle of Humanity for Natural Rights

(p.90) Chapter 3 Vico’s Social Theory
Vico and Naples

Barbara Ann Naddeo

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers both the legal aspirations and jurisprudential works of Vico, and reconstructs his first full-blown account of Roman law and society in light of the jurisprudential tastes of his target audience, the leading members of the Neapolitan judiciary. It begins with an ample reconstruction of Vico's life and work between the publication of his last inaugural address, the De ratione (1709), and the drafting of his legal treatise known as the Diritto universal. It then identifies Vico's motivations for undertaking a legal treatise, and reconstructs the publication history and reception of both De uno (1720) and De Constantia (1721). The third section of this chapter reconstructs Vico's unique history of Rome, which made novel claims about the origins and laws of development characteristic of cities and, by analogy, world polities.

Keywords:   Roman law, Roman society, Neapolitan judiciary, Vico's works, publication history, Rome, world polities

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