Giovanni Scarpato

The Jesuits’ arcana in the controversy of the Italian libertines

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


This article discusses the controversy against the Jesuits in seventeenth-century Italian libertine culture, particularly in the republic of Venice. At least three phases of this debate can be distinguished. In the first phase we find the militant anti-Jesuitism of Paolo Sarpi, who describes the Jesuits as an instrument of the papacy and Spain to impose dominion over Italy. In a second phase this polemic resumes with the writings of Pallavicino, Loredan, and the Accademia degli Incogniti. These writers use the novel to continue their political struggle against the papacy and the Jesuits, not without taking up themes typical of Sarpi’s works. After 1657, with the return of the Jesuits to Venice, the anti-Jesuit polemic would be revived by Gregorio Leti, a writer active in Geneva who published several of Sarpi’s works and took up themes characteristic of Pallavicino’s works.


  • libertinism
  • jesuit
  • Sarpi
  • Pallavicino
  • Leti


Article first page

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat