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Journal > Volumes > 49 (2018) / 4 (Winter)
Paolo Paruta’s Oratione Funebre and the Just War in Venetian Commemoration of the Battle of Lepanto
Matthew Lubin
Boston College

Analysis of early modern European political thinking about the bellum iustum benefits from casting a wide net, in terms both of genres of writing and intended audience. The funeral oration given by the Venetian patrician Paolo Paruta in honor of the Venetian dead at Lepanto offers one example of thinking about the just war, in terms less systematic, and possibly more representative, than the erudite writings of the leading political philosophers of his time, trained as they were in theology and law. Here, it is argued that his Oratione Funebre (1571) harnessed classical parallels to convey a sense of Venice’s unique destiny among the Italian states of inheriting a maritime empire and offering a first line of resistance to the Turkish foe. A mainstay of Paruta’s argumentation, furthermore, are the continuities that he discerns between the medieval Crusades and more recent Venetian campaigns against the Turks.

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