By his exposition of the political history of the kingdom, based on a study of its laws and institutions and of the legal conflicts between the state and the court of Rome, Pietro Giannone was the initiator of what has been since known as civil history.
PIETRO GIANNONE (1676-1748), was born at Ischitella, in the province of Capitanata, on the 7th of May 1676.
His merit lies in the fact that he was the first to deal systematically with the question of Church and State, and the position thus taken up by him, and the manner in which that position was assumed, gave rise to a lifelong conflict between Giannone and the Church; and in spite of his retractation in prison at Turin, he deserves the palm--as he certainly endured the sufferings - of a confessor and martyr in the cause of what he deemed historical truth.
On the transfer of the Neapolitan crown to Charles of Bourbon, Giannone lost his Austrian pension and was compelled to remove to Venice.
Mariano, "Giannone e Vico," in the Rivista contemporanea (1869); G.
Ferrari, La Mente di Pietro Giannone (1868).
Bonacci's Saggio sulla Storia civile del Giannone (Florence, 1903) is a bitter attack on Giannone, and although the writer's remarks' on the plagiarisms in the Storia civile are justified, the charge of servility is greatly exaggerated.