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Title: Interactions between Malta, Rome and France in the second half of the eighteenth century : a study of the last four years of ambassador De Breteuil in Rome, 1773-1777
Authors: Tesi, Aurora
Keywords: Breteuil, Jacques-Laure Le Tonnelier, de, 1723-1785
Knights of Malta -- History -- 18th century
Catholic Church -- Foreign relations -- 17th century
Enlightenment -- Europe
Order of St John -- History -- 18th century
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Tesi, A. (2018). Interactions between Malta, Rome and France in the second half of the eighteenth century : a study of the last four years of ambassador De Breteuil in Rome, 1773-1777 (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: The aim of this dissertation is to analyse certain elements of the Enlightenment in relation to the political and diplomatic spheres as well as in the social and cultural milieu of the second half of the 18th century. This dissertation will attempt to emphasise how the Enlightenment was more than just an intellectual movement conceived by the well-known philosophes, but that it was also a far-reaching phenomenon which effected several countries and different social classes, like those of Paris, Rome and Hospitaller Malta. They both experienced and contributed to the changing and challenging, international framework in various ways and forms. The dissertation focuses on the last four years of Ambassador Jacques-Laure le Tonnelier De Breteuil (1723-1785) as an Ambassador of the Order to the Holy See in Rome, 1773-1777. This study looks at the correspondence between Papal Rome and Hospitaller Malta at a time of Church-State struggles and pretensions, whilst also considering the influences of this new ‘Age of Reason’ emanating from the Ambassador’s native country, France. The dissertation seeks to show the importance of welcoming new innovations and implementing reforms. It also attempts to identify the emerging elements of secular influence against the backdrop of Absolutism, along the traditional feudal system, founded on the principle of privilege, which still held importance in 18th-century Europe. Ambassador Jacques-Laure le Tonnelier De Breteuil hailed from a renowned, highly-educated and traditional French noble family, and was one of those who experienced the intellectual and secular movements of the time at first-hand, whilst keeping abreast with the circulated philosophical debates coming from his native country. Through his correspondence De Breteuil opens a window onto the late 18th century and the pretensions coming from various secular states which contested the supremacy of the Catholic Church centred on Papal Rome. Whilst safeguarding the religiosity and sovereignty of the Order he formed part of, De Breteuil used his patronage and status in altering traditional assumptions, albeit with caution. He questioned what he saw as the opulence and abuses of the clerical estate. The Enlightenment, unlike possible general impressions, was not an intellectual development that belonged only to a small circle of renowned 18th-century philosophes, but its ideas spread amongst those whose interests were the Arts, the Sciences and education, to improve the politic socio-economic milieu. The flourishing cosmopolitanism of the Grand Tour and the importance of cultural exchange amongst different states further contributed to the Age of Reason.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 2018

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