Il rifiuto di Vito Volterra: matematica e politica. Dalla 'damnatio memoriae' alla memoria ritrovata - Mathematics and Politics: Vito Volterra’s refusal of the fascist oath. From ‘damnatio memoriae’ to memory rediscovered

  • Giovanni Paoloni Università di Roma La Sapienza
Parole chiave: Fascist oath, Racial Laws, Volterra Vito


The author frames Vito Volterra’s refusal of the oath of allegiance to fascism in the general context of his anti-fascist political position. Such position became public as early as 1923, with his opposition to the educational reform promoted by Giovanni Gentile, and later on as opposition to the Mussolini government in parliamentary activity and as a signatory of Benedetto Croce’s Manifesto in 1925. Fascism reacted by ousting Volterra from its positions in the world of culture (presidency of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and presidency of the National Research Council) and by making him invisible to public opinion. In a few years, Volterra was obscured outside the scientific community, and even within it the very important role he had played as a science stateman was forgotten. Only after decades has the historical significance of his personality been fully rediscovered.

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