Francesco Scipione Maffei Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Francesco Scipione Maffei was a historian, theorist, antiquarian, archeologist, and literary critic. He campaigned vigorously for the reestablishment of a strong tradition of tragedy in the Italy of his day. He also wrote essays on archeology and antiquities. He helped found the literary journal, Giornale dei Letterati d’Italia, and wrote for its pages for many years. He is remembered as well for his work in archeology, especially that related to ancient Roman buildings and monuments, as in his essay on Roman amphitheatres, Degli anfiteatri e singolarmente veronese (1728; on amphitheatres and especially on that of Verona), and in his Verona illustrata (1732; Verona illustrated). He published a political tract addressed to the government of the Veneto region expressing the case against dueling: Consiglio politico presentato al governo veneto (1736; political advice to the Veneto government).


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Francesco Scipione Maffei is chiefly remembered for his literary essays on tragedy, his collaboration with Luigi Riccoboni’s theatrical company in developing a repertory of French and Italian tragedies, and most of all for his single tragedy, Merope, which was much imitated and admired.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Carlson, Marvin. The Italian Stage from Goldoni to d’Annunzio. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1981. Portrays the currents in eighteenth century Italian drama and devotes several pages to the effort to establish a tradition of classical tragedy in the new age with the work of Maffei as well as that of Vittorio Alfieri and others.

Kennard, Joseph S. The Italian Theatre. 2 vols. Reprint. New York: B. Blom, 1964. This is a full survey of the history of Italian theater from Roman times to the twentieth century. The section on eighteenth century drama devotes some attention to the work of Maffei.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. Hamburg Dramaturgy. Translated by Helen Zimmern. New York: Bohn’s Standard Library, 1890. Lessing’s notes for the Hamburg National Theatre, written in the mid-to late eighteenth century, include commentary on Maffei’s work.