Abstracts 2012 LII

Sommario scarica pdf
Saggi e testimonianze

Guido Giglioni, Theurgy and Philosophy in Marsilio Ficino’s paraphrase of Iamblichus’s De mysteriis Aegyptiorum

Abstract. – This article is a study of Marsilio Ficino’s paraphrase of Iamblichus’s Master Abammon’s Reply to Porphyry’s Letter to Anebo, which Ficino entitled De mysteriis Aegyptiorum (1497). Iamblichus’s articulate discussion of the relationship between philosophy, theology and theurgy in response to Porphyry’s objections suited Ficino’s philosophical programme extremely well, in that, like Iamblichus, he believed that the effects of theurgic practice could be explained only as instantiations of a wider onto-theological understanding of reality, in which the radical transcendence of the One acted as an inexhaustible source of meaning and action, capable of accounting for the significance and causal power of human rituals.


Massimo Firpo, Il volto, la maschera, la caricatura. Sulla celebre ‘testina’ di Niccolò Machiavelli

Abstract. – The essay outlines the iconography of Machiavelli, in particular concerning the so-called ‘testina’ (‘little head’), which appeared for the first time on the titlepage of his works published by Comin da Trino in Venice in 1540. Widely disseminated throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth century not only in Italy, the image presents the Florentine secretary as an ugly, unreliable and evil man, and may be considered as a fragment of early antimachiavellism. The discovery of the source of that image (a portrait of the Ferrarese Fino Fini, author of a massive Flagellum contra Iudaeos) allows us to understand even the anti-jewish implications of that image.


Salvatore Carannante, «Quell’intelletto artefice …». Causa, principio e intelletto universale nel De la causa di Bruno

Abstract. – This essay will focus on Bruno’s analysis of the concepts of cause, principle and universal intellect contained in the second dialogue of Cause, Principle and Unity. Starting from the distinction between theology and philosophy, which deal, respectively, with God, «first cause and first principle», and nature, the «proximate cause and principle», Bruno chooses to leave aside the theological research, related to faith and concerning «things above the sphere of our intelligence», preferring to explore the nature as «vestige» and «shadow» of the unknowable Deity. After having clarified the difference between the terms ‘cause’ and ‘principle’, Bruno introduces the universal intellect as «first and principal faculty of the world soul», analyzing it as efficient, formal and final cause of natural production. The aim of the article is to examine Bruno’s theory of universal intellect from two different, but complementary, points of view: on the one hand, by means of reconstructing his continuous dialogue with the philosophical tradition, on the other hand, trying to show the philosophical meaning of this concept in the general context of his methaphysics.

Testi e commenti

Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro, Aggiunte all’epistolario del Castiglione: lettere inedite alla madre Aloisia (1525-1528)

Abstract . – The topic of this essay is six unknown Letters addressed by Baldassar Castiglione to his mother Aloisia, from an unpublished manuscript preserved in a Private Archive in Mantua. The Letters which span from March 1525 to December 1528 were written during the Spanish Nunciature. They extend the Castiglione’s epistolary (adding new information on the edition of the Cortegiano) and increase the knowledge on the diplomatic activity of the Mantuan man of letters, in particular those composed after the Sack of Rome, which focused not only on a family matter but on political too. The most noticeable are the letter dated to 15th November 1527 and that one dated to 27th December 1528. The first letter was known thanks to information provided by Bernardino Marliani (1584) and Antonio Beffa Negrini (1606); after a long search without any reasult, this letter was considered lost. The second letter was addressed by Baldassar Castiglione to his mother just a few weeks before his death (8 February 1529).


Eva Del Soldato, Francesco Vimercato’s De placitis naturalibus platonis et Aristotelis, ac inter eos de illis consensione et dissensione

Abstract. – Francesco Vimercato has always been an elusive personality despite his philosophical and philological achievements. Born in Milan, he spent the better part of his life in Paris, working at the Collège Royale and producing a number of Aristotelian commentaries. Usually considered an Averroist, Vimercato nonetheless had interests that stretch beyond what this label might suggest: the treatise here published for the first time – the De placitis naturalibus Platonis et Aristotelis – demonstrates that he was also at ease as an interpreter of Platonic texts. This article provides an analysis and the edition of the text, offering a reconstruction of the context in which the work was composed. The article also addresses the teaching of Platonism in the universities, and presents new data regarding Vimercato’s biography.

Note e varietà

Simona Mercuri, Le rime di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Problemi testuali e interpretativi

Abstract. – The rhymes of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola – as well as other works by him (both in Latin and in vernacular) – have been awaiting for a long time a serious scholarly study. Traditionally classified as poetry exercises of his youth, they have been almost totally neglected by scholars. The issues to be explored in view of a future critical edition of the rhymes are many: the boundaries of Pico’s ‘canzoniere’, which are still to be drawn; the role played by scattered poems, whose authorship is uncertain; the comparison of witnesses containing the poems which belong to a manifold tradition, which is still to be done. All these elements will help to identify possible variations of authorship and/or different stages of writing. This paper lays the basis for a new critical edition: the sonnets I have examined, which have been critically edited and commented on, represent an example of the textual and interpretative problems raised by the entire corpus of Pico’s poems.


Alessandra Paola Macinante, Per un episodio folenghiano: la divisione del «varolo» (Baldus, XV) e il «concilium principis» di Giovenale (SAT., IV)

Abstract. – Moving from the examination of the four different editions of Baldus and from the linguistic analysis of the ichtyonym varolo, chosen by Folengo to replace the latin rhombus, and trying to justify the presence of the verse 45, «Quamprimum medio stetit haec impresa senatu», this short paper explores the first part of the fish-episode in the XV book of Baldus, pointing out the debt towards the noted fourth satire of Juvenal, where Domitian invokes the Roman Senate just to deliberate on the cooking of a huge fish.


Matteo Al Kalak, Ridere e riformare. Egidio Foscarari e il presunto novelliere di Francesco Ghini

Abstract. – The article focuses on three novels in the codex 1621 of the Biblioteca Universitaria of Bologna. The texts are attributed to the Modenese humanist Francesco Ghini, to whom it seems possible to ascribe the production and/or the collection of many other materials in the same manuscript. In addition to the novels (transcribed in the appendix of this article), there are many letters from the lost archives of the Dominican Egidio Foscarari, bishop of Modena from 1550 to 1564. The analysis of the codex allows to recall some episodes of religious dissent in the mid-16th century, shows complicities and compromising approaches of Foscarari and raises questions about the use of novels in the Modenese heretical movement.


Donato Verardi, «In lingua nostra italiana». Sul greco e il latino nel lessico filosofico vernacolare di Cesare Rao

Abstract. – Cesar Rao was a philosopher and man of letters of the Italian Renaissance. This essay concerns the importance of Greek and Latin in his vernacular philosophical writings. Rao attempts to create a coherent philosophical language in order to explain natural phenomena to a wide public and defeat superstition. Thanks to his solid knowledge of classical languages, he explains in his work I Meteori a great number of technical philosophical words derived from Greek and Latin.

Francesco Giusti, Le circostanze del dolore. il canzoniere di fine Cinquecento di Francesca Turina Bufalini e i suoi modelli

Abstract. – Writing delicate, quiet and sweet verses: is it really all that a minor woman poet of the 16th century can do? The article investigates Francesca Turina Bufalini’s collection of sonnets devoted to her dead husband, within the composite frame of her book of Rime spirituali sopra i Misterii del Santissimo Rosario in which it is published in 1595, in order to show how the poetess consciously re-uses the Petrarchan model – deeply mediated by Vittoria Colonna’s poetry – to enter the field of contemporary local politics. The sonnets, which reveal an author with a broad awareness of contemporary poetry, are meant to support the widow-in-danger to negotiate a new social position for her and her family. The use of quotations from, or allusions to, Dante’s Divina Commedia and Torquato Tasso’s female heroines are clearly connected to the construction of the figure of a woman who is morally lost after her husband’s death; but, beyond the affective and moral distress, the complex world of local politics appears and the traditional poetical figure reveals itself to be also a rhetorical device skilfully selected to act in the real context, to ask Pope Clemente VIII – to whom the book is explicitly addressed – for help.


Ilenia Russo, Per ‘necessità’, per ‘elezione’ o per ‘giustizia’. Sul concetto di legge nel Rinascimento

Abstract. – The law plays a crucial role in Renaissance political thought; this essay examines some features of this concept focusing on Italian authors such as Savonarola, Machiavelli, Guicciardini and Bruno. Three main points are considered. First, it addresses the connection between a pessimistic understanding of human nature and the idea of the law as a necessity. Second, it considers strength as fundamental prerogative of the law which on the one hand contributes to making the rule effective but which, on the other hand, might turn it into an oppressive political tool. Third, it discusses the metaphor of ‘fruits’ as a recurring image which signifies the right criteria whereby a law, a government, and even a religion can be considered righteous, useful and worthy of being respected.


Gabriele Donati, La fortuna di un primitivo: Matteo Civitali e i primordi della storiografia artistica lucchese

Abstract. – This essay investigates the success and fame of Matteo Civitali, a XV Century artist from Lucca, in the XVI and XVII Centuries. In fact the rare case of a pre-sixteenth Century artist whose fame grew in the two centuries following his death. In the final part of his biography on Jacopo della Quercia, Giorgio Vasari furnishes us with a short, yet partially incorrect account of Civitali’s work. These inaccuracies in Vasari’s work provoked a reaction that led to the artist being considered a type of hero in the small Republic of Lucca; Civitali then became the catalyst for the discovery and appreciation of an artistic patrimony, characteristic to the city of Lucca. This work is based upon previously unpublished material concerning Civitali: Extracts from Scelta delle antichità di Lucca and Famiglie nobili lucchesi by Nicolao Penitesi (1619-1620 circa), Daniello de’ Nobili’s eulogy in Latin (1625 circa) and finally a ‘biography’ written in Italian by Bartolomeo Beverini (1682-1686 circa). The study concludes with a personality analysis of Paolo Lipparelli, an engineer and military architect, who in the XVII Century was the owner and probable patron of a portrait depicting Matteo Civitali.


Simonetta Bassi, More about Giordano Bruno’s Works on Magic

Abstract. – This essay discusses some recent interpretations of Giordano Bruno’s works on magic, focusing especially on the relation between De magia naturali and Theses de magia and highlighting Theses’ autonomy from the earlier treatise, as an example of the peculiar development of Bruno’s thought on magic, which unfolds according to a characteristic process of rewriting theoretical statements which are progressively re-elaborated and analyzed in more depth.

Indice dei manoscritti 391
Indice dei nomi 393