Archivio della Società romana di storia patria vol. 145.4 – Alessia Ceccarelli
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«La salute di Roma e la gloria del Papa»: la peste del 1656-57 nei dispacci di Palazzo Venezia
The article examines the plague-diplomacy nexus in relation to events occurring in and around Palazzo Venezia, the oldest embassy in Rome, during the Roman Plague of 1658-1657. As pope Alexander VII Chigi (1655-1667) struggled to keep the epidemic in check, Venetian cardinals Marcantonio Bragadin, Pietro Ottoboni, and Cristoforo Vidman sought to minimize the situation. Palazzo Venezia itself became a hotspot of infection in August 1656 when ambassador Girolamo Giustinian caught the plague, was confined to his quarters and eventually died. Meanwhile, the Congregazione di Sanità (Rome’s emergency unit during the health crisis) placed Palazzo Venezia under quarantine and ordered that it be guarded by soldiers. The worsening of the epidemic could have irrep- arably compromised the image of the Pope (la gloria del Papa) in the same way that the death of Giustinian gravely damaged the reputation of la Serenissima.
Archivio della Società romana di storia patria, 145
gennaio 2023, pp. 60