Coronini Rodolfo (1731- 1791)


Born in Gorizia on 10 January 1731, Rodolfo Coronini studied law in Vienna at the prestigious Collegium Theresianum, where he was directed by his father Erasmus Fröhlich to studies and historical research. He thus turned to the investigation of the history of his city and county, publishing the first results in the Tentamen genealogical-chronologicum promovendae seriei Comitum et rerum Goritiae, which appeared in Vienna in 1752.

It was in the Tentamen Coronini's Tentamen that he presented his thesis, which he then discussed at the time of graduation, and which was a great success among the teachers and within the court itself. Cultured and brilliant, he was initiated into a diplomatic career and began his internship with the plenipotentiary minister of the Austrian government in Milan Beltrame Cristiani, but his future political career was cut short by the death of his father: the young Rodolfo Coronini was forced to leave Milan and return to Gorizia to collect his inheritance. The vicissitudes of the trial that followed, however, reduced him for a period in difficult economic conditions, which was joined by the loss of his three children still at an early age. He divided his time between Gorizia and Vienna, between public commitments and historical and literary production. His experience of the Viennese cultural world made him consider the one in Gorizia very small: "Gorizia is not for those who have lived in Vienna for a long time" he wrote to a friend. In addition to continuing his historical research on Gorizia's history and that of his family in particular (he published, among other things, a new map of the County, a second expanded edition of the Tentamen, the Fasti goritienses, a historical poem about the Gorizia nobility, The Bellum Petriniense on the war against the Turks that had seen his ancestor John the Baptist) participated in the cultural life of the city, however, adhering under the name of Libanio Crissanteo to the Arcadia Romano-Sonziaca which was established in Gorizia on 8 August 1780 and of which he was one of the founders, and making his villa in Quisca available for the Arcadian "ragunanze". His public responsibilities involved him in the life of the city as a member of the Captain's Council of Gorizia, and for a short period as provincial captain following the death of the titular, then as vice-president of the Captain's Council, and he was also governor of the Monte di Pietà established by the Archbishop of Attems. Still attached to the Viennese court, and in particular to Empress Maria Theresa, he was appointed chamberlain or "chamberlain of the Golden Key", and later received the appointment as intimate councillor. He was also the only one from Gorizia to receive the cross of the order of St. Stephen. Rodolfo Coronini died in Vienna on 4th May 1791, while he was engaged in a mission in the capital in favour of the people of Gradiscia.