CORDIS - EU research results

The Scholar, the Jurist, the Priest: Moderation on the Italian Peninsula, 1700-1750

Project description

Moderation in 18th Century Italy

As observed by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod, moderation is best in all things. Thousands of years later, our understanding of moderation was established via the fusion of classical and Christian concepts within an intellectual-religious and political-economic environment. Today, it’s a concept in crisis with the rising trends of extremism and radicalisation in Europe. The EU-funded VIAMEDIAITALICA project will provide a historical study of the moderate strata on the Italian peninsula during the Age of Enlightenment. It will establish moderation as a practice and virtue in various contexts: political, scholarly, epistemic and religious. The project will explore these through case studies based on archival research of key texts, institutions and thinkers, such as Lodovico Antonio Muratori, a theorist of moderation.


As Europe enters the third decade of the 21st Century, moderation is a concept in crisis. Extremism, radicalism and ideological conflict are judged to be in the ascendant, while the moderate middle of political landscapes in a range of European countries has been physically vacated and conceptually hollowed out. This project offers a contribution to the history of moderation as an idea, as a practice, and as a virtue. Modern understandings of moderation were established in the 18th Century, through the fusing of classical and Christian concepts in a new intellectual-religious and political-economic environment. VIA MEDIA ITALICA offers an intellectual historical study of the moderate strata on the Italian peninsula in the first half of the 18th Century, the early Enlightenment. The ambition is to establish moderation as a practice and as a virtue in three different contexts: political moderation; scholarly, or epistemic, moderation; and religious moderation. Each of these contexts will be explored through a networked set of case-studies, founded upon extensive archival research, and orientated around key texts, institutions and thinkers. These three contexts will also be elaborated through a study of Lodovico Antonio Muratori as a religious, scholarly and political thinker, and reinterpreted as a theorist of moderation. This project will offer: a ‘bottom-up’ reinterpretation of the intellectual culture of the Italian peninsula between 1700 and 1750; a new reading of the contributions of L.A. Muratori to the European Enlightenment; and an interrogation of the concept of moderation as a historical and contemporary idea and practice. This project plays an essential role in the researcher’s maturation into an international, independent and interdisciplinary historian of early modern Europe. It also supports his development into a public-facing scholar, through a range of training schemes and the realisation of an extensive programme of public-orientated events.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United Kingdom

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North East (England) Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Tyneside
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76