Abstracts 2013 LIII

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Saggi e testimonianze

Stefania Pastore, «Il peccadiglio di Spagna»: incredulità, scetticismo e politica imperiale nell’Italia del primo Cinquecento

Abstract. – ‘Marranos’, anti-trinitarians, unbelievers, skeptics. The image of Spaniards in the first half of sixteenth century is far from that of the devout and intransigent Catholics that would rapidly take its place. Hypocritical and treacherous, the Spanish stand out for their mixed blood and their uncertain and shifting faith, as well as for an innate tendency toward doubt that arises from their contamination with Jews and Muslims. First used by Ariosto, the phrase ‘peccadiglio di Spagna’ (the Spanish little sin or pecadillo) was transformed in the work of later authors and in popular vulgarizations: from an anti-semitic accusation against the marranos, it became synonymous with anti-trinitarian doubt and, ultimately, with incredulity and skepticism. By retracing the contours of this particular semantic shift, the essay will narrow the focus onto the history of skepticism and unbelief starting from fifteenthcentury Spain, through the Sephardic Diaspora and into the Italian peninsula in the first half of the sixteenth century. In doing so the essay pinpoints a particular moment in Spanish intellectual history whose development took place, however, beyond Spain’s borders.


Riccardo Caporali, La virtù scellerata e nefaria (sul capitolo VIII del Principe)

Abstract. – The essay is divided into three parts. Dealing with the eighth chapter of The Prince, the author displays the fundamental tensions between politics and morality. A critical examination of the prevailing interpretations of the eighth chapter is followed by an exploration of the basic and unsolvable «inconsistencies » which characterize the chapter at issue and the author considers that they can be solved neither by a temporary and unstable revenge of morality on politics nor by the mere reaffirmation of the supremacy of politics over morality. Politics cannot demiurgically rise above the other elements of social life, no matter how wide its horizon is or how deep its motives are. For this reason Machiavelli, the radical thinker of immanence and occasion, proves to be distant from both medieval substantialism and modern constructivist rationalism.


Stefano Visentin, Il luogo del principe. Machiavelli e lo spazio dell’azione politica

 Abstract. – This paper deals with the issue of the political space in Machiavelli’s thought, with the intent to offer a new contribution to the debate on the relationship between the Florentine and the genesis of the modern State. By taking into account the different use of spaces (private and public, visible and invisible, and so on) by the machiavellian prince, and in particular his attempt to create a ‘right distance’ between himself and the people, it comes to light that political space is always unstable and heterogeneous, so that the princely action must continuously reinvent its ‘place’, in order to maintain its effectiveness. Therefore we could say that the machiavellian definition of political space(s) cannot easily be connected with the production of territorial homogeneity and concentration of sovereign power in a unique subject, as in the case of the building of modern State.


Sara Miglietti, «Le souverain remede». Letture machiavelliane della crisi in Francia (1573-1579)

Abstract. – This article compares the use that was made of Machiavelli’s thought by some French authors of the 1570s occupying different positions on the political spectrum: the politique Jean Bodin, who upheld absolute sovereignty; and the Huguenot constitutionalists François Hotman, «Eusebius Philadelphus » (author of the Reveille-matin) and «Stephanus Junius Brutus» (author of the Vindiciae, contra tyrannos). While the chief goal was for all of them to find a way out of the severe crisis that had been shattering France since the outbreak of the civil wars, these authors put forward different representations of the crisis itself and also suggested different remedies to it. This article argues that competing interpretations of Machiavelli’s thought inspired and reinforced the belief in such different remedies: while the Huguenot constitutionalists called for a renovatio described in terms of a return to the origins, Bodin pursued the ideal of a virtuous and daring prince who, by his bold transformative action, builds on popular favour to govern an unruly aristocracy and carry out necessary reforms.


Adriano Prosperi, Il figlio, il padre, il gesuita. Un testo di Antonio Possevino

Abstract. – The success of the training the sons of the upper class received from the Jesuits in the noble colleges is well known. But what kind of knowledge did they give to their pupils? This article explores the topic of the political nature of Jesuit pedagogy by focusing not on the theories, but on the real outcomes of their teaching. Drawing on archival material, the reconstruction of two connected episodes from the period between the late sixteenth and the early seventeenth centuries – the French René Ayrault’s and the Venetian Luigi Molino or da Molin’s decision to become Jesuits – allows to analyse the contrast among fathers, sons and Jesuits, in two linked political and cultural contexts. The first case caused a particular sensation since René’s father, the jurist Pierre, ended up addressing the public opinion with a pamphlet about the parental responsibility as a model for sovereignty and a foundation of the political life of a state. On the contrary, the Venetian case ended without any public controversy: an apologetic work by Fr. Antonio Possevino remained unpublished. Hereafter, it was Paolo Sarpi who reused Pierre Ayrault’s argument to accuse the Jesuits of releasing the sons from the obedience they owed to their fathers, as well as the subjects to their rulers.


Michele Ciliberto, Gramsci e Guicciardini. Per una interpretazione ‘figurale’ dei Quaderni del carcere

 Abstract. – This paper focuses on Gramsci’s interpretation of Guicciardini, illustrating its complexity and classification. It is divided into two distinct phases. The first – also chronologically – consists of a revival of Francesco De Sanctis’ critical judgment of the ‘Uomo del Guicciardini’ and its development from a historical-political point of view, on one hand hinging on a sharply critical assessment of the figure of the Italian intellectual, from the Renaissance up to Benedetto Croce; and on the other hand focusing on an organic connection between ‘guicciardinismo’ and ‘passive revolution’, one of the main concepts of Gramsci’s political theory. The second period, emerging especially in the last years of Gramsci’s life, displays autobiographical considerations that open the way to a richer and more complex evaluation of the human and political figure of Guicciardini (and especially regarding the Ricordi, taken as a model for the Quaderni ); an evaluation vibrating with accents and motifs that directly involve Gramsci’s reflections on his own human, intellectual, and political experience.

Testi e commenti

Federico Baricci, Un travestimento bergamasco dell’ Orlandino di Pietro Aretino

 Abstract . – This paper provides the first critical edition of the Bergamasque travesty of the poem Orlandino by Pietro Aretino witnessed by a XVI th century printed edition included in the miscellaneous volume Ital. 1566-71, now held at the Spencer Collection in the New York Public Library. The paper includes a literary analysis of the hypertextual relationships between the travesty and its hypotext, an account of the linguistic features of the text (compared with those of Ruzante’s, Andrea Calmo’s and Carlo Assonica’s Bergamasque), as well as the edition of a later and shorter remake of the text, printed in 1586 in Ancona with the title of Trasmutatione dell’Ariosto, now held at the Biblioteca Alessandrina in Rome.


Note e varietà

Raphael Ebgi, La mistica notturna nel pensiero di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Abstract. – The aim of this paper is to focus attention on the role of the night/darkness imagery – mainly associated with the innermost nature of the divine – in Pico della Mirandola’s thought. We will show how Pico, throughout his works, manages to gather, compare and assemble instances of this imagery scattered in texts belonging to different traditions ( Jewish, Orphic, Christian, Neoplatonic). This is not just an elegant display of erudition. On the contrary, this survey is needed to unfold the concordance between ancient doctrines on a crucial issue: that of the ineffable and unknowable nature of God. We will also see how Pico’s interpretation of the symbolism of divine darkness is influenced by that of Christian authors such as Gregory of Nyssa and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.


Ovanes Akopyan, With ‘latins’ against ‘latin vice’: Savonarola, Saint Maximus the greek, and astrology

Abstract. – The article is dedicated to the reception of anti-astrological polemics, risen in Italy after the publication of Giovanni Pico’s Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem, in medieval Russia. Perhaps the most interesting supporter of Pico’s and especially Savonarola’s attack on astrology was Saint Maximus the Greek, an Orthodox monk, translator, and religious writer. He came to Italy around 1490 and was so inspired by Savonarola’s sermons that in 1502 became a Catholic novice at San Marco, in Florence. In 1504, however, he returned to Greece and was later invited to Russia by Grand Prince Vassily III. His views on astrology, expounded in his three treatises previously written in Russia, had been formed in Italy, probably under the influence of Savonarola’s sermons. These texts are of great interest, especially because Saint Maximus’ Epistles against astrology were a part of a greater anti-Latin and anti-Catholic polemics.


Alessandra Paola Macinante, Parodie agiografiche: nota sulla fortuna della Vita sancti Neminis tra testo e paratesto del Baldus

 Abstract. – This note identifies as the source of a long marginal gloss added by Folengo himself in the second edition of Baldus (the so-called Toscolanense printed in 1521) the sermon of Saint Nobody, one of the most popular literary jokes of the Middle and Modern Ages.



Renzo Ragghianti, Une nouvelle version de la Servitude volontaire

Abstract. – The copy of the Servitude volontaire which is conserved among the papers of Louis Desgraves at the Mériadeck Library in Bordeaux (ms. 2199) has some important variants, especially the absence of the dedications to Guillaume de Lur-Longa and of the praise of the poets of the Pléiade. This copy looks like a derivation from the De Mesmes exemplar, but the above mentioned omissions could demonstrate that the allusions to Lur-Longa and the praise of Ronsard were a mere stratagem, useful to suggest the name of La Boétie and to keep hidden the real author/editor of the Discours.

Camilla Caporicci, Shakespeare e Giulio Romano: fonti e problemi

Abstract. – The only explicit reference to a living artist in Shakespeare’s work is to be found in The Winter’s Tale, when the ‘statue’ of the queen Hermione is said to be «newly performed by that rare Italian master, Giulio Romano, who, had he himself eternity and could put breath into his work, would beguile nature of her custom, so perfectly he is her ape». This passage has always been central to critical debate: how had Shakespeare become acquainted with the name of the Italian artist? And why did he decide to name Giulio Romano who was in fact both a painter and an architect, but not a sculptor? The first part of this article is devoted to a general survey of the possible sources through which the name and reputation of Giulio could have reached Shakespeare, while in the second section the main scholarly opinions about the reasons for Shakespeare’s choice are discussed. Finally, a new possible source for Shakespeare’s mention of the Italian artist is proposed: a cycle of seven sonnets in Tebaldeo’s Rime.


Giuliano Guzzone, Nicola Badaloni storico della filosofia italiana: materialismo e immanenza nell’interpretazione del De la causa, principio et uno di Giordano Bruno

Abstract. – This paper examines the work of Nicola Badaloni (1924-2005) as scholar of Brunian thought. Special attention is given to the dialogue De la causa, principio et uno, so as to critically reconstruct the materialistic interpretation of ontological concepts and cosmological themes, and to show that this interpretation makes possible a historico-philosophical and politico-cultural appropriation of the figure of Bruno. The introductory paragraph proposes some elements for the historical contextualization; it is followed by a diachronic analysis of Badaloni’s philosophical writings on Brunian thought; the conclusive paragraph contains some remarks on the relationship of the ‘Nolan philosophy’ to the making of the Modern world, in particular to the secularization of culture and society and to the appearance of the modern scientific inquiry.

Indice dei manoscritti 401
Indice dei nomi 403