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Statecraft

The Deeds of Antonio Carafa (De rebus gestis Antonj Caraphaei)

Giorgio A. Pinton

In 1716 Giambattista Vico published De rebus gestis Antonj Caraphaei to celebrate Neapolitan Antonio Carafa who emigrated to Vienna in 1662 to serve at the Court of Leopold I of Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor. After becoming familiar with the intrigues of the Viennese court, Carafa gradually learned the secrets of state and the arts of public administration and of governing. Enjoying the favors of the emperor and of the royal princes related to the Habsburgs, Charles of Lorraine and Maximillian of Bavaria, Carafa was allowed to leave the Viennese court for the Hungarian marshes. His military experience grew under the leadership of generals such as Montecuccoli and Lorraine and he was promoted to higher ranks according to the many accomplishments that revealed his bravery, foresight, prudence, strategy, and political diplomacy. Leopold appointed him Military Governor first of Upper Hungary and then of Transylvania as well as General Commissary of all imperial armies on all fronts: Rhine, Danube, and Po. However, because of the jealous attacks of his rivals, Carafa was recalled to Vienna where he died of despair.