On Education

L’Educazione. Poemetto in ottava rima. 

Padua, 1796. 

8vo, pp. xxxii (initial blank included in pagination); marginal paperflaw to foot of a4, minor staining to gutter (worse at beginning and end of volume), but otherwise a crisp, wide-margined copy; in contemporary carta rustica largely covered in striped paper; somewhat soiled, sewing loose, with pencilled doodles of bearded men on front and rear free endpapers.


US $432€403

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Only edition of this poem on the theme of education, dedicated to the Paduan noblewoman Arpalice Savorgnan di Brazzà, well-known in the city for her embrace of radicals and revolutionaries, which led her salon to be known as ‘l’unione dei giacobini’ (see di Brazzà, p. 714). 

Giuseppe Greatti (1758–1812), a native of Friuli, had a varied career as priest, teacher, poet, government official, and librarian, and as the author of works on subjects ranging from public intellectuals to the use of fords.  The present poem was not his only writing on education: his Saggio di un Programma di studi, written in 1796 and posthumously published in 1879; the editor claimed that Greatti ‘had the merit of understanding and applying a natural method which is repeated in the present reawakening of pedagogy necessary in giving new life and true efficiency to our schools’ (trans.).  L’Educazione, written on the occasion of the wedding of Arpalice’s daughter Laura, echoes over sixty-nine stanzas some of the themes of his essay, in emphasising the ways in which education can prepare people for life and the necessity of providing wise guidance, citing Cicero, Thomas More, and Isaac Newton. 

ICCU records copies in five Italian libraries; no copies recorded by OCLC or Library Hub.  This poem is not to be confused with an 1830 Lugano-printed work of the same name. 

See Fabiana Savorgnan Cergneu di Brazzà, ‘Famiglie, personaggi e nobiltà: le figure femminili’ in La settimana della cultura friulana (2016), pp. 711-719; for more on Greatti, see Maria Diemoz, ‘L’istruzione a Udine tra Repubblica Veneta e Regno Italiano’ (PhD thesis, University of Udine, 2012). 

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