Untiring agitator of ideas
Cimbali, (1858-1924), Jurist, philosopher, was a polyhedral
Was the second of four brothers that reached high cultural levels in
various fields: the first Enrico, the third Francesco and
the last Eduardo.
Started his studies in Bronte in the Capizzi College to continue them from 1873
to '76 at Liceo Spedalieri di Catania and then at the Regia Università di
Napoli, studying law.
He got his degree in 1880
in Roma, that chose as adoptive country and where
he lived for over 40 years.
At Roma in 1881 began the large literary
production with the book "Confessions
of a disillusioned", followed by " Solitary days"
(1884), "Half asleep" (1889), "Dawn" (1890), "The
He published above all many essays
of philosophy, moral and juridical,
- "The human will in rapport to the natural, social
and e juridical organism" (second edition, F.lli Bocca, Torino, 1898),
"The right of the stronger"
(1898, third edition 1902),
"The moral and the law" (1898),
of social and juridical philosophy"
"Reason and freedom" (1912),
of natural law",
"Politic Revolutions and social revolutions",
"The earthly city" (Società editrice nazionale,
"The task of law philosophy of the right in the organization of international rapports",
About the book "La Città Terrena", published in 1906
by the National Publishing House Roux and Viarengo,
in underlining the reception received in Italy, we
want to highlight here the notoriety achieved by
Cimbali in the Italian socio-cultural environment.
Before being published "La Tribuna di Roma" (year
XIII, No. 356 of 23.12.1905) he presented it to his
readers: «It, as the title itself announces, should
be the antithesis of the City of God of St.
Augustine; and, as this summed up the medieval
spirit, - so that should be the maximum expression
of the modern spirit. Moreover, it would tend to be
the opposite of all the ancient and modern utopias,
from the City of the Sun, of Campanella, to the
Modern Utopia of Wells».
Some books were translated and published also overseas.
taught law philosophy in the Royal university "La
Sapienza" of Rome.
Was also an executive to the
Ministry of Public Works, proving his
administrative capacity with a critic essay ("Techniques
and administration", of the 1902) and supporting the
institution of a Ministry that would take care of the
Railway or Transports ("For the institution of the
Ministry of Railway or transports", Torino Unione
Tipografica Editrice, 1912).
a tenacious assertor and follower of the revolutionary doctrine of Nicola
Spedalieri, holding university courses on the philosopher, and, above
all, revalued the Work that, when first appeared, (1791) had been ostracized
everywhere, and, as years went by, even the memory of it had been lost.
Giuseppe Cimbali searched for the precious volume in Naples, Rome, uselessly.
As a bookworm (this was one of the two nicknames used by him, the other one was Monte Barca),
consulted libraries, public and private archives, diaries, yellowed papers that would mention the
A brief biographic note written by the same
of childhood and youth"
«I was born in Bronte, on the western slopes of Etna, from
Antonino Cimbali, surgeon, and from Marianna Leanza.
The registrar sets the event to the 13th of
My mother used to tell me that should be set instead
on the previous day and that I was born (the fortune-tellers
formulate their horoscope) while over the country town was raging
a never seen before, furious storm with extraordinary lightning
and thunder. Of the four sons (all males) I arrived second in the
family. The first was Enrico, the third Francesco and the last
Unlike my brother Enrico — whose prodigious precocity possibly
caused his death at 31 and a half years of age, but without first
given his name indissolubly to the Private Law’s reform — I was in
my early years an object of pitiful oddness, of painful worry. I
did not have the typical vivacity, restlessness, gayety of normal
childhood. I was not laughing or smiling, I was not looking for
the company of boys of my same age. I seemed devoted to solitude,
to silence and to inertia.
I could stay for entire half days in
contemplation I don’t know of what, at home over a chair and in
the country sitting over a stone. I was only showing at every hour
of the day a great appetite. [...]
At a certain point I did, at home, function as the firstborn.
Enrico for his incorrigibility had been put in the local Seminary
(the Capizzi College); He did not stay there, however. more
than a year. I not only was studying very much, but I was also
expecting that my two younger brothers would study as much.
third one, Francesco used to get me angry. Although he was very
smart he did not like books e would willingly prefer the country. My father, positive spirit, used to say that he could see no
problem, if he did not want to study he could very well be
assigned to take care of the country. More than an intention to me
that appeared more lilke a treat, a danger and I was crying hot
[Giuseppe Cimbali, from “Ricordi d'infanzia e di giovinezza",
Printing works “Rome”, 1913]
in three archive’s photos; the
first was taken at Naples in 1880, the others in 1893, when the Cimbali lived in
A precious and rare photo of
Giuseppe Cimbali, taken by his friend the writer Luigi Capuana.
On the back an autograph dedication by the Capuana.
Benedetto Radice defined him: "a tireless agitator of ideas"
and "fighter indefatigable for the triumph of the people rights".
Supporter of international justice and of the juridical organization of
people life, Giuseppe years, wrote the book "From
international anarchy to the Declaration of the people rights as fundament
to United Nations" (Bemporad,
After years he found the precious book
"Dei diritti dell’uomo" (Of Man's rights)
at Recanati, in the house of the Leopardi (the book, among other
things, was bearing this phrase written by the poet: "this book
talks very well; but unfortunately for everybody, or is not
understood, or is understood very badly").
The Cimbali studied in depth the philosopher and published "Nicola Spedalieri
publicist of the XVIII° century" (in two volumes, Città di Castello, 1886)
and the "Anti-spedalieri, or rather tyrants and clergy against
revolutionary doctrine of N. Spedalieri",
(Torino, Unione Tipografica Editrice,1909) and, with the nickname of
Bookworm "Around Spedalieri, the insults of a century"
Besides the conspicuous literary production that goes over short stories,
novels, essays of philosophy social and juridical, Giuseppe Cimbali directed
also two quarterly reviews: "The Spedalieri" (1891-92) and,
during the world war, "The rights of the people" (1917-19).
Proposed also to immortalize the Spedalieri with a monument in Rome and, with the help of the King, the government and of many writers,
jurists and politicians, obtained it in 1903.
Giuseppe Cimbali mortal remains were transferred to Bronte and
buried in the cemetery.
To honor him a crowd of students, workers and
friends and the banners of many Councils of the Province (from Catania
Eduardo Cimbali, (Bronte 1862 – Catania 1934), fecund
publicist, professor of International Law at the Royal
University of Macerata, Sassari and Catania.
It was the last of the brothers Cimbali (Enrico, Giuseppe and Francesco,
second brontese deputy to Montecitorio).
In an epoch of colonialism and conquest, was a tireless fighter for the freedom of all oppressed people.
Were his the words: Every
is a new source of war that opens up"; "The
legitimate state of
people must be the reciprocal independence of all, never the
command for some and
the slavery for the others.»
Published important essays and studies on international law. Some of his assertions, as considering the existing international law
false and not true Law, caused him ostracisms of every kind.
The great G. Noricow said of him: «He is in the lead of all
the professors of international law. Has formulated truths without
which the human civilization shall remain forever a vain word.»
Among his book we remember "The not-intervention"
(Roma-Torino, Fratelli Bocca Editori, 1889), "Bulgaria and
international law" (Roma, Fratelli Bocca Editori, 1889), "The
State according to universal international law " (Roma, Forzano e C. Tipografia del
Mach of his work has been translated and divulged abroad.