Pastoral-iter: Bartolomeo Nappini, Arcangelo Spagna e la politica culturale di Crescimbeni

Salvatore Canneto

This essay examines certain specific elements in the life of Bartolomeo Nappini, respected, Calabria-born pedantic poet active in Rome at the turn of the seventeenth century and in particular, his relationship with Arcadia which, according to Crescimbeni who wrote a brief official biographical profile of him, was marked by an adherence broken only with the schism of 1711 during which Nappini opted for sober neutrality. A fervent exponent, together with his companion abbot Arcangelo Spagna, of the Accademia degli Infecondi, in actual fact Nappini’s opinion of Arcadia throughout his work was completely and unrestrainedly negative. In particular, Custode Crescimbeni was subjected to serious criticism of his management of the academic institutional apparatus in an exchange of letters in verse between Nappini and Spagna dating to 1715-1716. They argued that Crescimbeni’s management of Arcadia was not lacking in errors and illegitimate actions which, in the last analysis, revealed the personal and instrumental nature of his objectives. These accusations were, moreover, substantially in agreement with the writings of Domenico Ottavio Petrosellini in Giammaria, Pier Jacopo Martello in Satire and Girolamo Gigli in Brandaneide.