Abstracts 2014 LIV

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Saggi e testimonianze

Iñigo Ruiz Arzalluz, Su un’ipotetica Prefazione C al De viris illustribus di Petrarca

 Abstract . – Two versions of the proem to the De viris illustribus by Petrarch have survived: Preface B, linked to the universal De viris, seems to have been written at some time around the middle 50s; Preface A, dedicated to Francesco da Carrara, appears to be an abridged version of the former, and was written about the 70s. The author of this paper maintains that Preface A could have hardly stemmed from Preface B and defends the following hypothesis: probably between 1347 and 1353, Petrarch wrote a proem (Preface C) very similar to the present Preface A; Preface B, which is still thought to have been composed around the middle 50s, would be an extended version of hypothetical Preface C; and, finally, Preface A, written in the 70s, would have been derived directly from Preface C.


Michael J.B. Allen, Marsilio Ficino’s Last Great Achievement: his Commentaries on the Mystical Theology and the Divine Names of Dionysius the Areopagite

Abstract. – One of Marsilio Ficino’s most impressive achievements was his translation in the early 1490s of the Mystical Theology and the Divine Names by Dionysius the Areopagite, a translation that he adorned with expansive speculative commentary. Since he identified the ancient Greek author with the Dionysius mentioned in Acts 17:34 as St. Paul’s first Athenian convert – and not with the Neoplatonic Pseudo-Dionysius of the late 5th or early 6th century – he was convinced that he was interpreting the sublime achievement of a first century Christian Platonism that had been articulated by St. Paul and St. John and had surely stemmed from Christ himself. In the event, Ficino was moved both to subordinate the works of Proclus, Plotinus, and even Plato to those of Dionysius – except it would seem for the Parmenides. More interestingly still, he turned to the biblical Exodus in order to adapt its narrative of Moses’ encounter with the «darkness» of God to later Platonic notions both of inner ascent by way of our «unity» and of the apophatic method. The latter was the way not of wisdom, or even faith or love, but of the ascent beyond being to a transcendent God beyond being. These Dionysian commentaries, with their Mosaic underpinning, bear witness to a late but decisive development in Ficino’s thought, and to his recasting of the history of philosophy itself in order to emphasize the roles not only of the Areopagite but also of Parmenides. In doing so, he was able to arrive at a unique perspective on the Sinaitic, Eleatic, and Dionysian mysteries and their inter-connections.

Sebastiano Gentile, Vasoli, Ficino e il mito dei ‘prisci theologi’

Abstract. – This essay focuses on a topic very dear to Cesare Vasoli throughout his life, that of the myth of the so-called prisci theologi (ancient theologians). Vasoli began writing on this subject in 1960, studying the influence and circulation of ancient theology in sixteenth century France, especially in the writings of Symphorien Champier. He then gradually returned to the sources of the myth, that is, to Marsilio Ficino and, before him, to George Gemistos Plethon. At the same time Vasoli insisted on the close relation to be observed between the return of the prisca theologia and the desire of a renewal (renovatio) of Christian religion, founded on the rediscovery of the very ancient roots of the common Truth, viewed through the new light cast on human knowledge by means of the philological methods of the humanists.

Massimo Firpo, Baccio Bandinelli e il coro di Santa Maria del Fiore

 Abstract. – Commissioned in 1545 to Baccio Bandinelli, the choir of the Florentine cathedral was completed only after his death in 1572. This essay focuses on its iconography, emphasizing the similarities with the frescoes painted in the same period by Iacopo Pontormo in San Lorenzo and their common, unorthodox connotations.


Sara Olivia Miglietti, Al di là dell’‘auteur d’un seul livre’: Cesa­re Vasoli lettore di Jean Bodin

 Abstract. – The essay offers a critical overview of Cesare Vasoli’s contribution to the renewal of Bodin studies, focusing on three main aspects: 1) Vasoli’s understanding of Bodin as a rich and complex thinker, irreducible to his juridico- political theory of sovereignty; 2) his attempt to identify the properly philosophical nucleus of Bodin’s thought, and to situate the latter within a larger intellectual tradition; 3) his emphasis on the internal consistency and ‘harmony’ of Bodin’s thought, of which he particularly stresses the encyclopedic nature. After clarifying Vasoli’s position in the landscape of Bodinian scholarship, the article sheds light on both the merits and the potential limits of his historiographical approach: among the latter, in particular, the risk of overlooking the diachronic dimension of Bodin’s intellectual biography, so rich in shifts, adjustments, and spectacular contradictions.



Ida Campeggiani, Shakespeare, Ariosto e Pasqualigo: due congetture

 Abstract. – This essay aims to demonstrate the influence that two Italian authors, Ludovico Ariosto and Alvise Pasqualigo, may have had on Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Ariosto’s play Il Negromante is proposed as a possible source, particularly for dramaturgical choices and for the character of Iachimo, whose model may have been Ariosto’s Iachelino. Some precise references to the Orlando furioso are then highlighted. Finally, convergences with Pasqualigo’s tragicommedia Il Fedele are illustrated. Each proposal is supported by a close reading of the text.

Testi e commenti

Giovanni Licata, An Unpublished Letter of Elijah del Medigo to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: de nervis et sensu tactus

Abstract. – In this Note, I provide a complete edition of an unpublished letter from the Jewish philosopher Elijah del Medigo to his pupil Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, written between 1482 and 1486. The edition is introduced by a philosophical commentary and an historical account of the background to the letter, which deals with the relationship between the sense of touch and the peripheral nervous system in Averroes’ interpretation of Aristotle, and with the chronology of Aristotle’s biological and psychological works. The letter should be taken into account in any future complete edition of Pico’s correspondence.

Note e varietà

Guillaume Alonge, Dalla carità all’eresia. Il Divino Amore e il dis­senso religioso nell’Italia del primo Cinquecento

Abstract. – This essay deals with the problem of charity in the early sixteenth century and its connections with the diffusion of heterodox thoughts. In Genoa, in Rome, in Naples and in many other Italian cities, a strong link between charity and heresy can be highlighted through the biographical trajectory of men and women such as Ercole Vernazza, Marcantonio Flaminio, Bartolomeo Stella, Lorenza Longo. All developed a religious feeling focused on the assistance to poor and marginalised people, with no link to the institution al Church. The relationship with God was a free and intimate experience, with no human mediators. Catholicism presented many styles and proposals to restore religious life. The way promoted by Trent and the Counter-Reformation was just one of many, but, in the end, the successful one.

Laura Carotti, Due note su Giordano Bruno

 Abstract. – This essay aims to examine the structure of Giordano Bruno’s Candelaio and Eroici furori. In the first section the author shows how complex mnemotechnical devices work in the paratext of the comedy. The second section is devoted to a comparison between Bruno’s Eroici furori and Teofilo Folengo’s Chaos del Triperuno. The intention is to illustrate thematic and stylistic similarities, but also the theoretical difference between the theological experience depicted by the macaronic poet and the heroic frenzy, which reaches its acme in the transient vision of Diana, deus in rebus.


Andrea Suggi, Jean Bodin filosofo del Rinascimento. Rassegna de­gli studi 1996-2014

 Abstract. – 1996, the fourth centenary of Jean Bodin’s death, has been an occasion to take stock of studies and to draw new lines of research. For nearly twenty years, new editions, monographs and essays have radically changed the reputation of this French thinker. The traditional historiographical portrait of the theorist of the absolute state, the jurist who defined the ‘modern’ idea of sovereignty, the advocate of religious tolerance, the witch hunter still clinging to medieval prejudices, has been substituted by a new portrait, in which Jean Bodin has taken on the features of one of the greatest philosophers of the Renaissance.

Indice dei manoscritti 273
Indice dei nomi 275