Born Mar. 13, 1838, in Rome; died there Aug. 15, 1915. Italian writer.
Giovagnoli was a participant in the Risorgimento and an associate of G. Garibaldi. His historical novels dealing with ancient Rome, including Plautilla (1878), Saturnino (1879), and Messalina (1885), convey a romantic enthusiasm for the struggle against tyranny and a sharp anticlericalism. The novel Spartacus (1874; Russian translation, 1880-81), which deals with the revolt of slaves and gladiators in the first century B.C., brought him fame. Despite a certain sentimentalism, this novel glorifies the ancient revolutionary who rose against oppression. With the lessons of the Italian national liberation movement in mind, he makes an appeal in the novel on behalf of the struggle for social justice and equality. Its support of revolutionary ideas guaranteed the novel’s success among the broad masses of the Italian people, as well as its popularity in Russia.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Spartak. Moscow, 1954. (Translated by A. lasnaia, with an introduction by Z. M. Potapova.)