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Born in L'Aquila of a great landowning family and educated at the University of Rome, Croce lived almost his entire life in Naples, raising himself, as a scholar of independent means, to the status of a "cultural institution" of national and then general European importance. He enjoyed an active political career as a senator and minister of education and was fiercely opposed to the Fascist regime. In literature, Croce contributed a major revision of the Italian view of poetry, drawing first on Hegel and then on the great Italian-Hegelian literary critic Francesco De Sanctis for a modernistic view of poetry, distinguishing it from the nonpoetic elements often fused with it. Croce's most influential work is his Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic (1902), which he brilliantly summarized and updated in Breviario di estetica (1913) and in "Aesthetica in nuce," originally written for the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.