Filomena Viviana Tagliaferri

The "Avvisi" in the letters of Malta's Inquisitor to the Secretary of State in Rome (1683-1721)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Avviso; Information; Inquisitor of Malta; Knights of Saint John; Vatican Secretary of State.

The paper highlights the process of circulation of information in the early modern Mediterranean area (1683-1721), focusing in particular on the importance of the news and their presentation. The main archival sources are the manuscript "avvisi" sent weekly from Malta to the Vatican Secretary of State, now in the Archivio Segreto Vaticano. The analysis of the production and dispatching of news from Malta is based on three parameters, i.e. the identification of the agent (the inquisitor of Malta), the island's key role as a news' gathering point, and the nature of the transmitted information. The enquiry allows to point out how the choice of what was considered to be a meaningful information changed over time, together with Malta's role in the Mediterranean balance of power. Furthermore, the change of the documentation's literary register over time allows us to assume that, despite their confidential nature, the Maltese "avvisi" began to be meant for a wider audience.

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