Vattel in the Papal States: The Law of Nations and Anti-Prussian Propaganda in Italy at the Time of the Seven Years’ War
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This chapter examines the diffusion and uses of Vattel in the Papal States, analysed through a part of the literature published in Italy between 1756 and 1766. The essay will focus especially on the figure of the Celestine monk Appiano Buonafede (1716–1793), follower of Vico and friend of Genovesi, author of one of the first and most interesting adaptations of the “natural law of nations” in Italy, as well as one of the first testimonies of the influence of Vattel in the Papal States. This critique of Prussian propaganda engages in three specific issues: pre-emptive strikes as just causes for war, the rights of victory over the enemy in a just war and, finally, the pursuit of glory in the imitation of the Classics.