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Mario Pagano

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Jurisconsult and man of letters, born in Brienza, Province of Salerno, 8 Dec., 1748; died at Naples, 29 Oct., 1799. At twenty he became special lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of Naples, at the same time practising law. He published various works on criminal jurisprudence, e.g., "Considerazioni sulla procedura criminale". He became professor of law in 1787. He likewise published in 1792 some political essays on barbarian peoples, and the origin and decadence of civilized society and of nations, revealing the idea of Vico. As early as 1768 he had written a political review of the entire Roman legislation, which was much applauded. In this is discerned the influence of Montesquieu and in general of the philosophy then in vogue. The novelty, and in part the audacity, of these theories created some enemies, and, although he enjoyed the favour of the Court, he was imprisoned. His writings, accused of irreligion, were subjected to theological examinations, which resulted in his favour. When in 1799 the French established the republic at Naples, Pagano was one of the most active. He wrote the constitution, built up on the remains of the French Constitution of 1793. On the restoration of the monarchy, Pagano was on the side of those republicans who made the last resistance at the Castel Nuovo. Contrary to the agreement of capitulation, he was imprisoned and condemned. In prison he composed æsthetic discourses and produced a number of lyric and dramatic compositions, of which only two were printed, the tragedy "Gerbino", and the melodrama "Agamemnon".

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