22 | 05 | 2022
Historical background Print E-mail
Swabian origins
From the Middle Ages to modern times southern Italy has provided a significant contribution to scientific and cultural progress as well as European civilization as a whole. What is certain is that the University of Naples was its source, its design and its forge. The ability, though in many ways admirable, that the south demonstrated in overcoming objectively difficult external conditions to find its expression for centuries with impressive dignity in many fields of knowledge, and especially in law was, in the first place, due to the amount of diverse and varied intellectual energy which converged and blended in that fertile melting-pot.
Long before Naples became an official hub, as capital city of the Kingdom, it was the most important centre of economic interests, ethnic groups and political ideas south of the Papal State. The Public Studium in Naples was set up by Swabian king Frederick II with the generalis lictera of 5th June 1224 to carry out a specifically political, institutional, cultural and, primarily, legal function. According to jurist Roffredo Epifanio of Benevento – who by 1220 was already a famous teacher as well as imperialis et regalis curiae magister et iudex – Naples was chosen because of the understandable need to create a driving centre of civilised thought capable of drawing up and developing Frederician and Ghibelline principles of state and social organisation.
These had recently been conceived by the Swabian king and his counsellors, compared favourably with the ‘constitutions’ of the most advanced European monarchies, and represented a decidedly early example and model for the rest of Europe. It is worth remembering at this juncture that the two most eminent and influential statesmen in the Sicilian court who had contributed the most to its design and were largely responsible for Frederician policy, were two jurists of humble origins from the region of Campania: the first, Pier delle Vigne of Capua, guided the second, Taddeo da Sessa in the royal court.
What is evident is the extremely tight bond between three significant facts: the foundation of the Public Studium in Naples, which soon became Studium Generale; the number of intellectuals from Campania in Frederick’s government and its attempt to create an efficient and centralised state capable of effecting a host of unitary and consistent political guidelines.
It is against this background of national and international politics, coupled with its geographical position, that a university establishment in Naples appeared the most suitable choice for countering both the cultural centres of Bologna and Padua and the Roman seat of ecclesiastical government.
In his lictera of 1224 Frederick exalted the advantages that attending the University of Naples could definitely bring in a variety of ways: the nobility of letters, easy access to the law courts, and prestige. Among the masters of the Studium, he also identified Roffredo da Benevento, “judge and professor of civil science, man of fine doctrine, notable virtue and trusty experience”, before going on to allow students privileged status, fair rents and special rates for loans. After the first half of the century, Corrado first, and then Manfredi especially, reaffirmed these privileges, praising the science that “enlightens the mind, [...] opens up treasures, creates a bridge to riches, provides a stairway to honours [...] lifts up the needy, [...] places it beside principles”.

The Angevin Dynasty
Meanwhile, the organisational lines along which Frederick’s government ran served later as both the expression and establishment of an extremely complex corpus of laws, which enjoyed an uninterrupted legislative and constitutional function in the regnum Siciliae and the Kingdom of Naples from the XIII century to the early XIX century. Those origins took on enormous significance not only because of their long history, but also for their importance in Europe. It was certainly owing to the precedents set by the Norman-Swabian rulers that in the Angevin age the Abruzzo jurist Marino da Caramanico - now an old man in 1280 – made his own comment on Frederician legislation. He expressed so clearly and indeed so early - albeit later than some canonists, but before the great French legists of Filippo il Bello - the theoretical and doctrinal premises upon which royal legal powers should be founded. This should ideally be derived from an imperial basis but was now, at last, independent.
And indeed, during the Angevin age (1265-1443), despite the radical change of the position of the State towards the Church and Guelph prevalence, the Studium di Napoli preserved its original character and maintained its independence from papal power. One of the first rules emanated by Carlo I was directed not only towards reaffirming the immunity and privilege bestowed by the Swabian kings, but to actually enhance them.
A significant move was the creation of an efficient control system carried out by specific university authorities (known as the Giustiziere and his councillors) in charge of supervising the price set on supplies and provisions. This was a sign of the importance of the Studium also in the economic affairs of the city, which was on its way to becoming capital of the Kingdom, in line with a centripetal movement exemplified ahead of its time by Angevin provisions regarding education. As a result of this movement, state teaching came to be banned in the other towns of the south, apart from medicine in Salerno and ecclesiastic law (Decretal) in Bari; the kingdom’s subjects were forced to further their studies or teach in Naples alone; attempts were made to draw students from as far away as Paris and Orléans.
It is worth pointing out that the University of Naples had a direct research function and an indirect political function rather than purely professional. In actual fact, the university did not issue any academic qualifications. The three examinations and diplomas (bachelor’s, licence, degree), which attested to the learning achieved, were charged to a board which in its early days was nominated by the king, and later formed by the College of Doctors, the latter being a body representing the professions and, as such, serving outside the university itself. This was reorganised during the reign of Giovanna II (1428) and gained greater importance as royal intervention declined.
With its public, state and royal character ab origine and the close dependence of its organisation on royal power, the Studium of Naples positioned itself against both the ‘professors’ university (like Paris for example), and the ‘students’ university (like Bologna). All of these were bound to a greater or lesser degree to papal patronage, though providing a more direct expression of community and social life. Thus the difficulties in the relations between other universities and the Naples Studium. Thus the feeling of its particularity and its imperial origins. Thus the perfect correspondence in its first two centuries between the functions of the university and the features of the State, to whom it served as an important cultural instrument. Thus the absolute supremacy of law among the various disciplines taught which lasted unopposed into the Angevin age. Scientia juris was followed by medicine, letters and theology. The latter was considered separately and entrusted to monastic teaching, which took place within the monastery. Thomas Aquinas, the most famous and illustrious intellectual of Campania in the Middle Ages actually taught a short while in San Domenico Maggiore, the Dominican monastery. Carlo I summoned him from Paris towards the end of 1271, but the philosopher set out again in January 1274.
In the Angevin age there were an extraordinary number of fine jurists, who often performed the eminent function of statesman and judge at the same time. Many were also personally involved in the Public Studium, while others remained outside official teaching. Worth mentioning among the realm’s subjects are the two greatest, Bartolomeo da Capua and Andrea d'Isernia, as well as Andrea Bonello da Barletta, Marino da Caramanico, Biagio da Morcone and Luca da Penne.

The Aragonese Period
With the coming of Alfonso of Aragon (26 February 1443), the Public Studium entered a difficult and lengthy phase, which lasted well into the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. Very early in its life, the university was subject to a new turn of events. In fact, from then onwards the agreement between the centre of royal power and the official seat of juridical culture would no longer be univocal, full and intense. On the one hand, the court was sensitive to the literary, poetic and artistic ideas inspired by the ancient world, in line with recent tastes in humanism. King Magnanimo himself did not hide his own inclination towards theology, while the first serious doubts as to the objective worth of law arose. On the other, jurists began to retreat into the judiciary by emphasising their practical propensity as well as working towards creating a power which would be really effective. Clearly, the reasons for this lay in the fact that they were stricken by the theoretical and ethical-religious crises of the mediaeval world. They were weakened by the criticism that humanistic philology poured on the sacred texts of the tradition of Roman law, invalidating its charisma, and barely believed by a culture which was now more inclined to appreciate earthly success rather than the ethical and formal rigours of law. Thus, as far as juridical disciplines were concerned, a crisis struck the university.
Closed during the war, the university was reopened with a Chair of theology in 1451, eight years after the Aragonese conquered the city. Almost immediately, however, Alfonso had set up the Royal Academy and the Sacred Royal Counsel: the first then became the Pontanian Academy, the second was, for over a century. the most important jurisdictional institution of the realm, the body whose inception marked a qualitative leap, technically speaking, from the mediaeval curia regis to the court of justice.
A little later, teaching in the Studium became interrupted once more, and took up again in full regalia in 1465 with two Papal Bulls of Pope Paul II, to whom Ferrante I turned to place the University of Naples, like all other European universities, under papal protection. Unscrupulous political interests prevailed in the king’s decisions from misunderstood and opposing jurists. In the reorganisation of 1465 law lost ground to a varied, diversified and wider vision of knowledge. A split grew between the teaching of Roman Law and a juridical culture now being particularly attentive to rites, customs, feudal law, the decisions of the law courts and the workings of the apparatus, its system of power and guarantee.
Where the teaching of law was concerned, there was a tendency to maintain the primacy of procedure. «Omnia alia sunt fantasia in scientia nostra», noted one student in the margin of a contemporary manuscript.
Moveable type, introduced in Naples in 1473, revolutionised teaching methods and tools, the image itself and the essence of culture. Two figures who were both jurists and teachers soon distinguished themselves among the greats of the day, not just in the south: Paride Dal Pozzo published i Riti della Vicaria, and then De Syndicatu; Matteo d'Afflitto began a specific course of feudal law in Naples and, at the same time, wrote his Commento ai Libri Feudorum, published much later. And yet, when death saved Ferrante I on 25th January 1494 from experiencing a lengthy period of war, which would sweep away the kingdom, teaching at university had already come to a standstill for some time.

The XVI and XVII centuries
It was not until 1507 that the Studium was able to take up its activities once more, when king and court no longer resided permanently in Naples: it was still the capital city but no longer an independent kingdom. This new situation though – which continued for over two centuries, up until 1734 – would accelerate the strengthening of the administrative-jurisdictional apparatus, which came under increasingly less control.
The juridical class set itself vigorously at the centre of society where it functioned to mediate interests between feudalism and society, aristocracy and the people, the Crown and the Kingdom of Naples, state and church, culture and power. The latter, in the meantime, was being increasingly appropriated with subtle means and ways by the ‘jurists’. The supremacy of the most powerful judiciary proved to be a determining factor and worsened the centripetal tendencies, though the gap was widening between the capital and the provinces, which were entrusted largely to feudal rule. The powerful Neapolitan elite was thus growing upon an increasingly slender body of the unlearned masses.
And yet under the rule of well-educated jurists society flourished, the circulation of thought was encouraged, though disliked by the Spanish rulers. Toledo – by far the most forceful of the viceroys – managed to abolish the Academies and banished Jews from the Kingdom. But neither he, nor others before or after, were able to establish the terrifying judicial device in Naples, which in other dominions of the Catholic king had deeply bowed society, culture, the judiciary itself, to the will of the Court: the Spanish Inquisition. Thus, beneath a semblance of servitude, despite the constant threatening and devastating pressure of Islam, and though North African and Dalmatian piracy made life along the southern coast of Italy precarious and ruined trade, the XVI and XVII centuries were hugely productive for Naples, especially in the field of law, but also in literature, poetry, art and philosophy.
This crisis of juridical teaching at university, the decline in financial reward and prestige suffered by the whole teaching body was common to all the large states of Europe. It came about as a result of several circumstances: the increasing authority held by major jurisdictional bodies, their release from any type of control and authority, including judicial responsibility and the duty to deliver fully reasoned decisions, the widening of the powers held and arbitrary conduct performed by administrative authorities.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the university too had to bend to the will of ‘legal despotism’, the frameworks of which arose and were selected officially within state education but unofficially so in private courses, often held by the very same teachers of the Studium who were paid extremely well. This goes some way to explaining the failure of the Spanish attempt of 1616 to apply the laws of the University of Salamanca, in force since 1561, to Naples. The Studium was set up in its own headquarters, outside the city walls, a suitable place for receiving what were thought to be at the time ‘unruly persons’, on the site of the present-day National Museum. Increasingly rigorous standards regarding competition for places and effective controls appeared ideologically unsound to the ‘wigs’, as well as economically unviable. Private schools came to a triumph in such a way that they partly relied upon the academic status of their professors. And yet the Studium offered the chance for the future levers of power to pour into the city, and as such it represented an instrument of cultural diffusion and political cohesion for the ‘wigged’ establishment.
To this end it was important to make a distinction between the theoretical, antiquated and formalistic teaching of the university, founded as it was on Corpus Juris and canonical and ecclesiastical law, and the practical, substantial teaching of the private schools based on case law. The reasons for this bipartisan approach are obvious. In the first place it was a way to avoid keeping the polymorphous, inconstant, frequently humble day-to-day experience of law unvaried, with the solemn tone of a true scientia, as required by Aristotelean-scholastic canons, prevailing in official teaching at that time. In addition, it was not prudent to reveal the arcana juris to all in a Public Studium, upon which Spanish and Roman control was still effective. The Prefect of Studies, or Cappellano Maggiore, was still a clergyman and, at least throughout the XVII century, was still Spanish. Thus, Roman law (Institutions, Codes, Digest) and canonical law (Institutions, Canons, Decrees) arose, with no history at all, neither social nor religious, no philosophy or natural law. This situation was actually quite common to most of the universities in Europe, including some of the finest (Paris, for example).
The most meaningful signs of the contrast between dogmatic-conceptualist-antiquated teaching and discipline aimed at more active education of the jurist (and thus bound to topical practices and theories, to economics, philosophy and modern history) may be found in the ivory towers of the XVII century university. The de feudis Chair alone was traditionally entrusted, both in Naples and other Studia of Italy, to jurists with a practical perspective of the law: to some ‘fine lawyer’, or ‘learned minister from the Courts’. Lectures were held on Sundays only, with “the chief Lawyers of the Courts and also high-ranking Ministers” fighting for a seat in the lecture hall. This can be found in the words of jurist Filippo Caravita in his plans for reform in 1714, who also added that “the most important lectures, such as those of the Institutes, are given by lowly professors, and most weak, when they ought to be held by leading professors, and the most tested; [...] students thus do not find it in their interests to study Institutions in the Public Studio, would rather pay private Lecturers.” In any case, ‘substitute’ teaching was the rule, in other words a replacement was generally nominated.
It was no accident, then, that apart from the feudal law scholars (Marino Freccia among them), the greatest experts of the ‘living’ law did not actually teach at university: including Scipione Rovito, Carlo Tapia, Giambattista De Luca, Francesco D'Andrea, Gian Vincenzo Gravina and Pietro Giannone.

The Eighteenth Century
A strong, though not very productive, drive towards renewal took place in the closing stages of viceroy rule from 1707 to 1734, under the Austrians, when in the light of scientific revolution the jurists themselves felt the influence of natural sciences and economics especially, and were now open to French culture and critical thought.
It was, then, the afrancesados who provided a major commitment to reform and to make universities work, while also generally promoting a new policy. By 1714 a place was being sought in Public Studia for recent law, for jus Regni, which had no place at all as yet, just as penal (or criminal) disciplines had been similarly ignored.
Later, ecclesiastical history and natural law gained ground, as decidedly public law subjects, along with an innovative and critical approach. Meanwhile, Gaetano Argento was defending Royal Jurisdiction from Roman interference, Pietro Contegna was busy trying to make Sant’Angelo a Nido work - the only library open to the public, Pietro Giannone had described the lives and fortunes of the intermediate class and the ‘jurists’, in his Istoria civile del regno di Napoli (1723), and Giambattista Vico published his most successful work, Scienza Nuova (1725).
In 1732, for fear of other decidedly anti-curialist and much more hardened candidates, the Rome court was forced to accept that the post of Cappellano Maggiore – upon whom depended the Regency of the university – be given to Celestino Galiani, a monk from Puglie, distinguished mathematician, member of the most famous academies of Europe, the greatest supporter of Newton’s theories all across Italy. But it was only in 1735, in the new climate which had come about with national independence offered by Charles the Bourbon, that he managed to set university reform on its way. The Austrians had made the palazzo degli studi (now the National Museum) into a barracks: it was restored in 1736 and taken over by the university, which had spent a lengthy time in the narrow confines of San Domenico Maggiore. Subjects became more responsive to the needs of the times, with experimental physics, ecclesiastical history, native land law, superseding traditional disciplines.
Natural law began to appear as a ‘free’ or otherwise ‘supplementary’ course: though many felt that this particular branch of the law was “the source and origin of fine laws [and] of Common sense” and “should occupy first place among all the other Chairs of Law Faculty studies.” Some time later, in 1754, Bartolomeo Intieri, a highly intelligent Tuscan mathematician and banker of humble origins, who had moved to Naples as a youth and had been completely integrated into the life of the city for many years, established out of his own pocket the Chair of commerce, one of the first in Europe, what we would call political economics today. On the wishes of the patron, the Chair was entrusted to Antonio Genovesi, the founder of the Enlightenment school of Naples, but fell into a lengthy silence on his death.
Enlightenment, meanwhile, had taken the approach expressed by the scientific revolution to its extreme, and had deeply underestimated traditional juridical studies which found refuge in the old in order to escape any sort of allegations. Society itself – though lacking any political rather than merely technical representative tools or apparatus – had now acquired a new awareness of its rights. It demanded that existing ‘wigged’ institutions accept some form of control in one sense, by simplifying and codifying their customs as well as making them transparent. In another sense, it demanded that they bring their cultural education up to date so that it might bear some relation to the economic, political, historiographical and philosophical interests which had changed radically over the last few years. This time the whole patriarchal and arcane system of mediation, the entire Ancien Régime came under threat. Thus, with the advent of Enlightenment, academic resistance towards innovation was supplemented by understandable defence of the judiciary and a large part of the ‘jurists’ who felt that they were being ousted and supplanted by diverse political, institutional and cultural powers.
And yet in Naples the afrancesados for some time now had renovated certain branches of the ancient scientia juris and helped them thrive. Few jurists were able to go beyond their narrow professional interests or leave their sheltered retreat in favour of a science that was juridical, economic and socio-political in character at the same time. However, those few that did so were the best and left their mark on Italian culture. In 1777, following Tanucci’s removal from office, the university was moved to the Edificio del Salvatore, former home to the Jesuits (banished from the kingdom ten years earlier), and further reforms were then put in place. These were based on Genovesi’s principles - among other things the Chair of natural law was established. What is certain is that the most fervid and productive juridical minds, either directly or indirectly, came out of the Genovesi school: Filangieri, Galanti, Delfico, Capecelatro, Zurlo, Conforti, Pagano, Tommasi, and many others, who brought fame to the entire civilization of the south in the XVIII century.
Many of them fell to Bourbon revenge following the revolution of 1799. In fact, the abres de la Liberté were uprooted, and a hundred of the highest minds available to the kingdom were purged. But the ancient roots of southern juridical culture held fast, and would thrive once more in the XIX century, despite the enormous difficulties now being placed by a dynasty which had lost the consensus of  the intellectuals and most of its juridical legitimacy.

Early Nineteenth Century
During the XIX century, Naples long remained the most important Italian centre for publications, translations and advances in research on the problems of law. The roots of juridical culture spread deep and wide in southern Italy, where traditions of institutional influence and political power were consolidated and steadfast. Above all, it widely drew its members from the bourgeoisie that was neither technical nor entrepreneural but very much bureaucratic and humanistic in nature.
Thus, from a political and institutional point of view, the finest heirs of the old ‘wigged’ class - Tommasi, Poerio, Ricciardi, Giuseppe de Thomasis, Nicola Nicolini, Liberatore, Magliano, Giustino Fortunato senior, Giovanni Manna – sought to rescue the best of Enlightenment petitions and reforms in the Restoration era too, and founded the science of administrative law, which was well before its time in Italy. From a more specifically scientific viewpoint, the eclecticism of the Neapolitan school, coupled with its sensitivity towards philosophical, economic, statist, sociological and, in particular, administrative and public law issues, not to mention its lengthy experience of politics and government, worked purposively as an obstacle to a return to dogmatic and formal, antiquated and conceptualistic visions, taking shape, due to German cultural influence, with the Pandectists and Savigny’s System.
These were the last signs of an expansive, receptive, comparative, problematic, severely self-critical culture, that was thoughtful to practice and procedure and hostile to everything which was dogmatic or abstract. This very culture had established itself after the scientific revolution and had been expressed by the open, experimental and didactic system of the great Encyclopédie.
What is certain is that the drive towards renewal found a rapid, tumultuous outlet in the brief period of French rule. At that time, following a decree of October 1806, modified by Giuseppe Capecelatro in 1808, reorganisation of the University of Naples began, and teaching was divided among five faculties, first and foremost the Faculty of Law. More projects and reforms then followed: with Capecelatro, worked Ricciardi, Cuoco, Delfico, Manzi, Zurlo and Galdi. But after this period of time (1806-1815), during the restoration, there was no mere return to the past. Rather, the centrality of an administrative apparatus which had been profoundly reformed in terms of its ideals and constitutional significance, together with the blossoming of studies of public law, were perfect interpretations of the widespread need to arrive at a fresh-new meaning of the relationship between state and society.
Faced with such a purposeful scenario, which turned out to be only apparently technical and charged with strong political-constitutional significance, the monarchy was gradually forced to retreat. And yet it managed to underestimate the irreversible character of the turning point brought about by Enlightenment, which had led to a devaluing of the juridical functions of the ‘wigged’ establishment and the destruction of the old technical instruments of mediation. Thus the monarchy deceived itself into thinking that the collapse of the state-society relationship would clear the way for sovereign paternalism, and full legitimisation of their absolutism.
The alternative and the constitutional clash were a fact. The breakdown, despite the huge efforts of jurists and philosophers to re-design a pattern of civil and political freedom, became irremediable after 1848 and involved the best minds, who either chose or were forced into exile. Among these were Pasquale Stanislao Mancini – founder in Italy of the modern science of international law, who became teacher at the University of Turin, preceptor and minister to the Savoy monarchs – along with Antonio Scialoja, Giuseppe Pisanelli, Roberto Savarese, Emilio de Meis, Francesco De Sanctis, Paolo Emilio Imbriani, Bertrando and Silvio Spaventa, and Enrico Pessina. As state teaching suffered obvious consequences, the private juridical school flourished. According to De Sanctis, it was “master of the field” and produced “a huge benefit” in the capital and the provinces, as confirmed by Luigi Settembrini.

Italian Unification
After Unification, it was precisely some of these exiled southern Italians who were called upon to make a major contribution to the style of government. It was because of these figures that the juridical aspiration and scientific approach elaborated by Neapolitan minds, especially within the private schools, would prevail. This culture dated back not only to the first half of the century but also earlier to the late XVII century. And in actual fact, immediately after the general consensus achieved in October 1860, the reforms drawn up by Francesco De Sanctis profoundly changed the University of Naples all at once and, in particular, the Faculty of Law. The Chairs in this Faculty increased in number, adding largely new subjects to the older disciplines specific to mediaeval and humanistic tradition. These subjects responded to increasingly modern demands: constitutional, administrative, international, commercial, public, comparative law as well as the philosophy and history of law. The best teachers were recalled and the recently issued unjust regulations, forbidding students from the provinces to study in Naples, were repealed. The reform emptied the private schools and  - according to De Sanctis – led to the arrival of  “ten or twelve thousand students”. This was a serious problem, especially in the face of resistance from the church and the Bourbons, who pounced on each and every difficulty and dissatisfaction in the hope of imposing a return to the status quo.
But in the meantime, the Naples university which was the driving centre of the culture of the south fell into crisis. Over the centuries, Naples – as mentioned at the outset – gathered and absorbed the best part of the intellectual and economic energy of the entire south, exulting and multiplying that energy to become an extraordinarily vital centre, the most productive in the wide area of juridical disciplines south of the Alps. The sudden interruption of this stream along with competition from Rome nearby, towards which the intellectual and bureaucratic migration of the south and of Naples itself was directed, set in motion an involutional kind of process, the awareness of which became (and still is) a huge obstacle on the path towards progress.
All of this was aggravated by internal difficulties affecting Italian juridical culture, which arose precisely in those years. Since the 1840s the Hegelian left systematically denounced the illegitimacy of every political structure founded upon a merely formal system of mediating the relationship between state and society. As such, not only the older technical-juridical patterns but also early extremely imperfect electoral and representative institutional mechanisms made their appearance. This fresh condemnation, which echoed and exacerbated Enlightenment, forced most jurists to shut themselves up in the narrow confines of law, and to look towards either the logical-dogmatic system of the Pandectists and Savigny, or to the archaic, varied and now unsatisfactory models of technical-positivist ‘separation’, or even to both, but almost always keeping themselves at some distance from the course of modern history, philosophy, economics or politics.
This retreat was in contrast to the old features of the juridical culture of Naples, which for centuries was used to interpreting the whole social system independently. In reality, as the XIX century drew to a close and the XX century unfolded, it did seem difficult to reconcile the old with the new, meaning that an increasingly technical-dogmatic science did not easily match with a society opening up towards the political currents that were hostile to formalism. Some of the major exponents of the school, which was thus given an economic-juridical label, ended up producing not just a synthesis but an inconsistent juxtaposition of the two terms from which a similar corporative grouping originated during Fascism.

Post-War Years
In the aftermath of World War II, the end of Fascism, the establishment of an intense international exchange of ideas and models of social and juridical organisation as well as the gradual and precious fruits of passionate debate and fiery political dialectics within the country, brought about a turning-point in the jurists’ way of thinking. Profound changes were brought about in regard to the object and methods of the various disciplines, these changes however affecting disciplines whose purpose was mainly instructive and theoretical (Roman, historical and philosophical) and the teaching of positive law. But mainly, what changed overall was the relationship with external cultural influences. As happened in the first century of the scientific revolution, what reaffirmed itself was the prevalence of Anglo-Saxon culture over German, the best part of which was lost under Nazism, also in Germany, in the diaspora beyond its borders and across the Atlantic. In these last few years the mythological and dogmatic syntheses of idealistic origin which, as a reaction to positivism, favoured the triumph of ideology to the detriment of fact, have dispersed and rapidly collapsed. What now prevails is a more empirical frame of mind, a more careful vision of concrete and contingent reality. Now more than ever before the world fully reveals its indomitably, extremely varied, dynamic and problematic nature. Its changes appear predictable only to those who possess the absolute, unprejudiced, diligent willingness to grasp the early signs above and beyond all preconceptions, prevention or faithfulness to what has been given, what has been seen and what has been thought. Never in these last few years has it seemed so clear that the task of the jurist is not to preserve the dogmatic structures and formal patterns of old but, also from a theoretical point of view, to redesign his or her creative and constructive activity deep within the rapidly changing social fabric on a daily basis.
In the space of just two centuries, perhaps even less, with a series of hasty pushes forward and disastrous withdrawals, the jurist has completed the great turnaround, redesigning the very shape and function of the jurist: from sacerdos iuris to social engineer.